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by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1027
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Summary: When Gibbs disappears when in Boston, Tony does a little investigating and discovers something surprising about his boss. Slight crossover with St. Elsewhere.
Author Notes: Thanks to Cat for the beta and Carina for the sanity read. Mark Harmon played Dr. Bobby Caldwell in St. Elsewhere. Written for the NCIS 1000 LJ community Reverse Fandom challenge.
“Where the hell are you, Gibbs?” Tony muttered, looking around the conference room. Gibbs had ducked out of the terrorism task force at the last break and hadn’t returned. Even though he wasn’t a conference guy, Gibbs had a strong loyalty to his country, and this wasn’t normal. When Gibbs stumbled into the shared hotel room after dinner, he was unsettled.
“Where have you been?” Tony asked casually.
“Out. Had some things to do.” He didn’t say a word for the rest of the evening, showering and hitting the rack early, ignoring Tony completely. Tony sighed and snuggled close anyway, resting a hand on Gibbs’ shoulder gently, even though Gibbs tensed and pulled away.
When Gibbs disappeared the next day, Tony followed him to a hospital, watching as he greeted two men outside, a tall blond and a completely bald and energetic one. They both shook Gibbs’ hand and one of them—the blonde—spoke loudly enough to be overheard.
“Look just like Bobby. I can’t believe he’s been gone twenty years.”
They moved into the hospital and Tony didn’t follow. He stood outside for hours until Gibbs emerged, weariness in every movement. Tony was so used to Gibbs standing Marine tall that this was a complete shock to his system. Was Gibbs sick? Dying?
Gibbs hailed a cab and Tony called McGee, asking him to run a trace on Gibbs’ cell. McGee wanted to know why, but Tony didn’t fill him in. Not yet. When there was something to worry about, Tony would share it. McGee tracked Gibbs easily—thank God Gibbs hadn’t turned his phone off—and texted Tony the address. Tony disconnected and had a cab take him there.
Tony didn’t know what he’d expected, but he couldn’t have anticipated Gibbs would be entering a cemetery, his posture and bearing a little taller. Tony watched as Gibbs strode to a gravestone and sat in front of it, clearing the leaves and debris from it.
Gibbs sat there for about a half hour before Tony started drifting closer. Gibbs wasn’t speaking at all—not that Tony had expected him to. He reached into the pocket of his blazer and pulled something out, placing it against the stone.
“Think about you a lot, Bobby. Could use you here, ya know.” Gibbs swallowed hard enough for Tony to hear it, even though he was still yards away. “And you,” he said, stroking a hand over a name Tony couldn’t quite read, even with his great eyesight. “Miss you guys. Wish I hadn’t wasted so damned much time being stubborn. Talking with Jackson now. Think you’d both be happy…”
There was a catch in Gibbs’ voice that Tony had never heard before—sure as hell not at work and not even as his lover these last four years. It was that catch and the shuddering breaths that had Tony moving closer. He squeezed Gibbs’ shoulder and Gibbs twisted around, looking up at him.
Gibbs’ eyes were glistening with emotion, not quite tears, but there was deep and profound there. “You okay?” Tony asked, sitting next to Gibbs on the hard ground. Now that he was eye to stone, he could read the names. Margaret Caldwell 1930-1969, Robert Caldwell 1954-1988.
“Who are they?” Tony asked, reaching for the picture.
Gibbs tried to pull it away, but Tony clasped it gently, tugging it closer. It was a blown up photo of a teenaged boy and one quite a bit younger, the little one looking up at the bigger one with a big bright grin on his face.
“Bobby…” Gibbs said, motioning to the teenager. “And me.”
“You too look enough alike to be…” Tony trailed off, gulping down his stupidity. “Is he…?”
“My brother?” Gibbs asked, nodding. “Was, DiNozzo.”
“Is,” Tony insisted. “What happened? He died pretty young.” Tony did the math and came up with thirty-four, wincing.
“He was sick,” Gibbs allowed. He sighed heavily and then spoke in a low tone. “AIDS, Tony. He had AIDS. He died from it…”
Tony had expected cancer or something else but not this…
“Was he…” Tony began, reeling when Gibbs headslapped him hard.
“He wasn’t gay. He was just reckless. He screwed up just once… That’s all it takes.”
“Wasn’t going to ask that,” Tony said. He was feeling a bit testy about the slap, but he understood. He’d seen enough in the ‘80s to understand the stigma. “Was he a full brother? Why isn’t his last name Gibbs?”
Tony didn’t think Gibbs would answer, but just as Tony was about to give up, Gibbs spoke. “Hated Jack for cheating. Didn’t want to carry his name. When Mom and Jack divorced, Mom got Bobby and Jackson got me. He changed his name back then… And after she died, he never changed it back.”
“What was he like?” Tony asked. This was a brand new section of Gibbs’ life and it was so painful Tony knew he had to tread carefully.
“He was a plastic surgeon. Smart, good looking, charming, cocky. Worked here in Boston, Mom’s hometown.”
“Is that why you were at the hospital?”
“You followed me there? Yeah, I was meeting some of his old friends. I look just like him.” Gibbs pulled out another picture, one of him in full Marine uniform standing beside a guy who looked a lot like him. The smile was brighter and the body language more open, but the resemblance was incredible otherwise.
“Good looking guy, just like his brother,” Tony remarked quietly. They sat there for another hour, shoulders touching, Gibbs deep in his memories, Tony wondering what Bobby must have been like. Gibbs was a puzzle and Tony had yet another piece now. This one was vital to understanding his lover.
“Ready to go?” Gibbs asked, patting the stone gently. “Mom and Bobby aren’t going anywhere, but you and I need dinner.”
Tony stood, nodding. Just before they turned away, he, too, patted the stone. “Thank you,” he said quietly, having the feeling they’d understand.
MTAC - NCIS Fic