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by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1043
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Episode(s): 1-10 Left for Dead
Summary: With stresses high, Gibbs worries if his relationship with Tony is over. Part of the Julia Knows Best series.
Author Notes: Thanks to Anna and Hilde for the beta.
Tony waited a few hours before he came over. Gibbs was just starting to worry, had considered calling Julia. Things were off kilter and Gibbs hadn’t figured out why yet. They’d had unbelievable sex just after Gitmo. Hell, the whole weekend had been great, but then Tony had withdrawn. Gibbs wondered if he was seeing Paula Cassidy. Then they’d caught the case that took them to South America. Gibbs had been sure Tony would come over afterward, but he hadn’t shown up until the next morning, bringing muffins and coffee. Things had been tense between them and Gibbs finally had Tony leave early in the afternoon.
Tony hadn’t protested, and that worried Gibbs a lot. He’d been giving Tony what hints he could at work, trying to show him what it was far too soon to say. He liked having Tony around a hell of a lot. The house was starting to feel wrong without him here.
Gibbs paced the living room, his arm aching, his lungs still constricted from the explosion. They’d all come damned close to not making it out today—especially Kate. But Gibbs’ mind wasn’t on Kate, it was on DiNozzo.
Gibbs hadn’t been sure what Tony was asking, what he was saying when he said he needed a place. This was the problem with relationships; he never understood the hidden meanings and implications. Gibbs wasn’t a game player, so he’d thrown up a wall, refusing to let the wounded look in Tony’s eyes get to him.
But when Suzanne McNeil had taken the ultimate revenge, all Gibbs could think about was Tony. Even though Kate was closer to the explosion, Gibbs emotional focus was on Tony. It was only after Gibbs was sure that Tony was okay that he’d checked on Kate.
Gibbs wondered if Tony had felt so shaken up when he’d taken the shrapnel in the shoulder and Tony hadn’t been able to stop it. They were going to have to get used to standing by while danger surrounded them.
But what if it was too much for DiNozzo? What if he wasn’t interested? What if…
Gibbs gave himself a mental headslap. He’d never been this uncertain in any relationship before and it was pointless to start now. If Tony wanted to come over, he would. If he wanted to stay cold in his own house, well he was welcome to do that too. Or even if he wanted to stay with Julia…
Gibbs’ eyes darkened at the thought of Tony staying with anyone else. Sure, Ducky had the room and Abby had a spare coffin, and Julia could use the company, but DiNozzo was supposed to stay with Gibbs. That was just the way it was.
Gibbs flipped open this cell phone, patience completely fractured. He didn’t care how he looked to the other man. Even seeming a little needy was worth it. It was DiNozzo after all; his picture was beside needy in the dictionary.
Just as he hit dial, his front door opened. “Boss?”
“In here,” Gibbs called.
“Oh. Thought you’d be in the basement…” Tony walked in, carrying a duffle and wheeling a suitcase.
“Moving in?” Gibbs asked mildly, his balance reset now that he’d seen his boy.
“You offering?” Tony asked, an irresistible little smirk on his face that quickly faded. “Forget that. Could be a week or more. They have to overhaul more than the boiler, I guess.” He worked his lower lip between his teeth and rocked back on his heels. “You sure it’ll be okay?”
“Positive,” Gibbs replied seriously. “We’ll trade off cooking and carryout, you pull your weight around here, and we’ll be fine.”
Gibbs blinked a few times. He hadn’t expected Tony to ask that question. “Mine. Why are ya asking such a dumb question?”
“Did you forget what happened between us?” Gibbs asked. “Cause I’ve been trying to figure out what the hell changed, DiNozzo.”
Tony sank down to the couch, fidgeting for a few minutes. Gibbs didn’t say anything else, just sat on the edge of the sturdy coffee table in front of the couch, so close their knees were touching.
“You could have died…”
“Don’t joke about it, Gibbs. Don’t make it like it was nothing. Casey lobbed a grenade at us, and you got hurt.”
“And you and Kate took Casey down, Tony. I’m healing. I’ll be okay.”
“We almost had to shoot through you,” Tony said in an unsteady voice. “It rattled me bad, Gibbs.”
“We could have died today. All of us. Kate came too damned close, Gibbs.”
Gibbs rested a hand on Tony’s knee, squeezing gently. “We have jobs where it can all go to hell any time, Tony. Any one of us could end up on Ducky’s table. But we’re here now, and we’re okay.”
“Good as it gets. Gonna choose to live in fear?”
“Guess not.” That hope was shining in Tony’s eyes again and Gibbs let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. He needed his hands on Tony, to affirm DiNozzo’s vitality. Gibbs himself was pretty shaken up and it was about damned time he acknowledged that.
“Good.” Gibbs stood, pulling Tony to his feet as well, and mussing his hair. “Carryout tonight, my treat. And after we eat…”
“I get to be on top?”
“Maybe if you’re good.” Being on top wasn’t being on top; there was no way that was going to happen any time soon. But if Tony wanted to try that position, Gibbs was all for it. As long as Tony always knew who was boss.
“I’m really good, Gibbs!”
“Gonna have to prove it, DiNozzo.” But he had, and Gibbs couldn’t deny it.
“Thought I already did, Bossman.”
“Nah, that was just a warm-up. Tonight is the main event.”
“Think we can order a pizza instead? I’m gonna need my strength.”
“Damned right ya will,” Gibbs said with a laugh. Crisis averted, he had his boy back.
MTAC - NCIS Fic