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Forget Me Not
by: The Seventh Swan (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 2589
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): First Time, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Episode(s): 2-22 SWAK
Summary: Gibbs can't remember. Tony can't forget.
Author Notes: Angst, angst and more angst. Looking for a happy ending? Not the fic for you. Oh, and the character's certainly aren't mine but the poem is, so please ask if you want to use it.
Forget Me NotI still remember
Your blood red lips
Pressed against mine
In a gentle kiss.
I still recall
Watching the rain
As it smacked against
The window pane.
I still remember,
(I can’t forget)
The very first time
That we ever met.
I remember your body
As it pressed against mine
I remember your laughter
-It made your eyes shine.
I remember I loved you
In fact, I do still
And while I remember
I know you never will.
Forget Me Not
Tony still remembers the first time they kissed.
It was while he lay dying from Y Pestis, surrounded by eerie blue lights and trapped in his very own little bubble. Gibbs had stood beside him, ordering him not to die, and Tony was doubting his ability to adhere to that particular command. So he figured that, if he was going to die, he was going to do it with flair.
Of course, if the moment had been in a movie Tony would have yanked his boss down into a kiss that blew both their minds and probably would have morphed into a good old fashioned make out scene. Weak, on the verge of death, and utterly exhausted from coughing the kiss, in reality, was a mere pressing together of lips. And Tony had spoiled it by hacking up a lung halfway through. So, in all, it wasn’t the most romantic first kiss in the world, or even the nicest.
But, of them all, it had meant the most.
They didn’t proceed directly into a relationship afterwards. In fact, by the time Tony was finally well enough to even think about sex, the two of them had seen each other multiple times and never so much as mentioned the kiss. Tony had figured it was one of those ‘once in a life time’ things and hadn’t even mourned the loss of something more that terribly.
Their second kiss was while Tony was in jail. Again, Tony had figured that if he was going to spend the rest of his life in a jail cell he was going to do it with flair. So Gibbs had handed him a pizza and Tony had kissed him through the bars of his cell.
If it had been a movie, there would have been dramatic music and lots of tongue involved. In reality, it was short lived, achingly brutal and hideously awkward. The darn bars got in the way, the other prisoners jeered at them, and the guard had yelled at them to knock it off before their lips barely had time to part.
But when Gibbs left, Tony had found himself filled with hope.
A feeling that turned out to be well deserved, because Tony was cleared not long afterwards. Which was definitely a good thing, because having locked lips with a guy, Tony rather doubted he’d be well received in prison.
Then it was back to work, only this time Tony couldn’t dismiss the kiss as easily as he once had.
That Gibbs turned up at his apartment, half drenched from rain and as disarrayed as Tony had ever seen him, told him that his boss felt the same.
In a movie, they would have torn each other’s clothes off and had mind blowing sex. In reality, Gibbs was too much of a gentleman to tumble straight into the sack. So the night had been terribly vanilla –they’d spent the whole time planning.
It was very unromantic and horribly practical. Gibbs had told him, flat out, that he found Tony attractive.
“It’s your fault,” he’d said frankly, “You’re the one who kissed me.”
Apparently, he hadn’t seen Tony as a potential partner until he realized that Tony saw him as one. Tony could hardly complain and, well, if he thought that Gibbs had kissed him back a touch too readily for a man who’d never even considered doing such a thing, he made no mention of it. Instead, he told Gibbs he was interested in perusing an exclusive relationship.
Gibbs did what he did best –he established rules.
No one at work would know. Their lives outside the office would not affect their lives within it. Their relationship was not to interfere with Tony’s ability to follow his orders. Their relationship was to be entirely exclusive –no excuses.
There were probably others, but they escaped his immediate memory. Those had been the rules that had stood out, the ones Tony had agreed to without hesitation.
But despite his agreement, they still hadn’t proceeded onto the sex.
Instead, Gibbs had actually and formally asked him out. Tony, rather bemused, had agreed.
In a movie, it would have been something inspiringly romantic. A moonlit picnic, an expensive restaurant, a surprise dinner on a boat. But Gibbs was practical and, in the end, the evening consisted of a quiet dinner for two at Gibbs’ house, some beer, and Tony watching Gibbs work on the boat.
It wasn’t the most interesting date Tony had ever had, or even the nicest, but the conversation had flowed like water, the heated looks traded as though they were going out of style and the lingering touches had become increasingly frequent as the night went on. It wasn’t Hollywood material, but Tony had never felt so comfortable on a first date, nor so filled with anticipation.
The kiss at the door when it finally drew to a close was everything Tony had hoped it would be. Gibbs had been covered in sawdust, Tony’s ass had been numb from sitting on the wooden steps so long and they’d both tried to lead but it had been perfect regardless.
Tony was used to rushing headfirst into relationships. So it had been a novel experience taking one so slowly. Gibbs was infuriatingly stubborn –any time Tony tried to up the ante, he’d ease the pace and refuse to let them proceed to the good stuff. In fact, they didn’t have sex until after the fiasco wherein Kody had held a classroom hostage.
If life were a movie, it would have been fast, out of control, and breathtaking.
But in reality, Gibbs had taken his damn time. Tony had approached the situation automatically assuming he was in charge. He had been the one to initiate the kiss and he’d thought he’d used his remarkable seduction skills to finally convince Gibbs to go further. But everything Gibbs did was intentional, and so Tony had found himself on the receiving end on the older man’s intent before he even realized what was happening.
Tony had been the one to push Gibbs on to the bed. But Gibbs had taken control as though he was born to do so, and Tony was on his back, begging for Gibbs to take him without really knowing how he had gotten there. And still Gibbs had drawn it out. He’d prepared him so thoroughly, and stimulated his body so effectively, that by the time he finally slid himself home Tony was all but sobbing from desperation.
Tony had fucked countless of people. More than he could count. Men and woman both, not always on the giving end. But that had been the first time he’d ever surrendered all of himself in the process. That had been the first time he’d actually made love.
It was also the first time he’d realized that he was head over hills in love.
In a movie, this would have been a moment full of declarations, joyful music, and blissful kisses. In reality, Tony had utterly and completely freaked out.
He’d run home, which hadn’t helped. The bareness of his wardrobe had made him realize that, for the last few months, he’d been systematically moving his things into Gibbs’ house without even realizing it. A revelation that had only freaked him out further.
He’d spent the next few weeks avoiding his boss like the plague. Gibbs, no doubt puzzled as to what they hell had gone wrong, had refused to let him leave without an explanation. And Tony was too scared to give one.
He’d never told anyone he loved them before.
He knew what love did. It destroyed families, broke hearts and destroyed lives. Besides, there wasn’t any guarantee that Gibbs loved him back and, without that certainty, Tony was terrified. His own parents hadn’t loved him –what were the chances that this wonderful, determined, son of a bitch would?
If life were a movie, Tony would have confessed his feeling, Gibbs would have reciprocated, and everything would have been better than it was. But Tony refused to let himself get hurt, Gibbs refused to let the matter lay down and die, and in the end they only served to piss each other off and frustrate each other in turns.
Then Gibbs had been injured in an explosion and Tony had realized that, as scared as he was of being in love, the thought of living without Gibbs scared him more.
He decided he’d been an idiot long enough. While Gibbs was out, he’d be the best damn boss anyone could wish for and, when Gibbs was better and ready to take back his job, Tony would say the three words he’d only ever said once in his life.
If life were a movie, Gibbs would have woken up, Tony would have confessed, and everything would have been dramatic, and wonderful, and fine. But life wasn’t a movie, and Gibbs had awoken with amnesia.
He’d looked at Tony and not known who he was.
According to the doctor, some things would recover in time and some things wouldn’t. When Gibbs finally got his memory back, Tony was afraid that their relationship had fallen under ‘wouldn’t’. So when Gibbs hightailed it to Mexico, he’d let him go. Giving him the space he needed to recover his memories at his own pace and room to breathe.
When Gibbs helped out Ziva, Tony was optimistically hopeful that that time had come to an end. When he returned from retirement to help Fornell, that hope rose by a few bars. And when he stayed, his memory obviously as good as it was going to get, Tony thanked all the lucky stars he had.
He waited until it was official. Until the director offered him a place leading his own team. Then he cornered Gibbs and looked him directly in the eye.
“I’m sorry,” he’d told Gibbs, his heart in his eyes and on his sleeves, “I was an idiot. And I’m sorry.”
At work, that was as explicit as he was willing to get. If life were a movie, Gibbs would have understood him. Would have given him a sign that he was forgiven. Would have shown up at his house that night to ravish him completely.
But life wasn’t a movie, and Gibbs had looked at him without comprehension. There was no acknowledgement in those eyes, no hidden memories or shadowed regret. Only confusion and impatience.
And Tony’s heart had broken.
He’d turned the job offer down. How could he possibly leave the team now that he knew not all of Gibbs’ memories had returned? What if he’d forgotten something important, something that might otherwise save his life? No, Tony needed to be there to protect him. To monitor him. To cover his six.
Then Jennifer had offered him the undercover operation. Tony, willing to do anything to distract himself, had accepted it. The relationship not only maintained the illusion that Tony was a womanizer, it allowed him to gauge Gibbs’ reaction to him apparently dating.
Gibbs was many things, but one of his most overt qualities was possessiveness. If Gibbs remembered anything of their relationship, there was no way he’d able to take Tony dating lying down. And Tony had become a five class ‘Gibbs Reader’. If Gibbs was jealous, Tony would have seen it.
But he wasn’t jealous. He didn’t seem to mind Tony dating at all. Seemed to actually subtly encourage it. And Tony had known that no sliver of their relationship remained.
He remembered what Gibbs had said: that he hadn’t seen Tony as a potential partner until he realized that Tony had seen him as one. Which probably meant that if Tony wanted what he’d lost then he had to start it.
If life were a movie, Tony would have done it without question and they could have started a fresh. But life wasn’t a movie, and the fact that Tony was in love changed everything. What were the odds that things would work out so well the second time around? And Gibbs had remembered everything else –why forget their relationship? If nothing else, surely that was the proof Tony needed that Gibbs didn’t feel the same way? Better to bow out gracefully than be in a relationship that wasn’t reciprocal. Tony would have to be content with watching his lover from afar. Tony could live with that.
He was used to being forgotten.
Jeanne was smart, pretty and enjoyed romantic gestures. She laughed at his jokes, kissed him with real passion, and told him with unreserved honesty that she loved him. She was everything Tony should love. If life were a movie, they’d be perfect for each other. The obvious ending to a heart rending tale.
Tony hated her.
Because as much as she was sweet and kind and honest, she wasn’t Gibbs. She didn’t bring him to his knees when they had sex, she didn’t make him feel like he was hanging onto his sanity by a thread, she didn’t open his heart to all the possibilities of the universe.
But Tony was good at what he did, and so he kissed her when she tilted her head, spoiled her rotten with gifts and affection, and was generally the best boyfriend he could be.
But things got to a point where she needed to hear that he loved her back.
And he didn’t.
Not just no, but hell no. He’d found that, having given his heart to Gibbs, the man now possessed it utterly. So he held off, dancing around those words as much as he could, refusing to say them until it got to the point where his only options were to say those words or fail the assignment.
He’d cried as he spoke them because, despite everything, they seemed like a betrayal. And he didn’t mean them. For the first time, he felt sorry for Jeanne. He knew what it was like to have his heart broken.
So when things finally went to hell, a large part of him was thankful. And all in all, the experience had taught him three things.
That even if he tried, he’d never love anyone else but Gibbs. That it was far too easy to pretend to be interested in someone, so much so that perhaps that was all Gibbs had been doing. And that he didn’t trust his director and never would again.
If life were a movie, things would have been concluded in a nice, easily wrapped package. But life wasn’t a movie, and Tony would have to learn to live with that.
MTAC - NCIS Fic