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The Home Is ......Series
by: tutncleo (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 012 Word Count: 36720
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Character Study, Established Relationship, Humor, Romance
Summary: A series of one-shots that look at Tony and Gibbs in their private moments.
Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
A/N: I ended my last story with the line ‘Let’s go home’ and that got me to thinking about the differences between public personas and private behavior. This series will be a collection of one-shots, centered on Tony’s and Gibbs’ private interactions. They aren’t sequential, and some may even be slightly AU (and will be noted as such, if that occurs), but they’re all intended to give a slice of life glimpse into their unguarded moments, and will be centered around, as the title implies, home.
The Home Is…..Series
“The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.” Thomas Moore
“Did you say you wanted mustard or mayonnaise on your sandwich?” Tony called, sticking his head through the open door to the basement, the sound of sanding and the smell of wood which wafted up the stairs to greet him causing him to smile. They had become more precious to him than the finest cologne or the world’s greatest symphony.
“Mustard. Just on one side, though, otherwise I can’t taste the pastrami,” a voice yelled back. “What kind of cheese did you buy?” the voice asked, the sanding paused to make the question more audible.
“Swiss, of course,” Tony answered, rolling his eyes at the absurdity of the question, as if there was any other kind to have on a pastrami sandwich.
“You didn’t get those stupid pita shells to put it in again, did you?” the unseen owner of the voice demanded. “Mine fell apart before I even got it up to my mouth last time, and all the ingredients fell into my bucket of turpentine.”
“Are you kidding? Never trying that again; you bitched about it for a solid week,” the warmth in Tony’s sparkling green eyes revealing that he hadn’t really minded all that much, though. “I picked up some bagels on my way over, from that good place over on Lincoln. They should be sturdy enough to suit you.”
“What’s wrong with good old fashioned bread?” the voice grumbled. “If you want variety it comes in white, brown or black.”
‘Oh, goodie, it’s going to be one of those nights!’ Tony thought, as he leaned into the doorframe, crossing his arms across his chest, preparing for the argument that was likely to ensue. “Empty calories,” he called down to the sander. “You know what the doctor said. You were supposed to ease up on red meat, carbohydrates and caffeine. As far as I can tell, you translated that to mean no more Sausage Egg McMuffins and hash browns on your way into work, and only six cups of coffee before lunch.”
Indistinct muttering could be heard coming up from the basement.
“I didn’t catch that,” Tony called down, a smirk on his face, knowing he had scored a point. The only answer he received was the resumed sound of sandpaper rubbing against wood, a nonverbal indication that the subject was closed. With a quiet chuckle, Tony pushed away from the doorway, and headed back into the kitchen.
Gibbs’ kitchen had what realtors describe in their ads as ‘character’. The house had been built in the 1950’s and the kitchen had not been remodeled since. The speckled, white Formica counter tops had thousands of tiny scratches and dings, attesting to over fifty years of use, the wooden floors glowed from within, displaying the rich patina only age could bring. The sturdy cupboards, coated in layers of white paint, reflected the care and attention to detail so rarely found in house construction today; their scalloped edges so outdated, they would now be described as ‘retro’. ‘I love this kitchen,’ Tony thought as he pulled condiments out of the refrigerator, and set them on the counter, next to the bags from the grocery store and bakery.
Over the past few months Tony had begun to covertly make small additions to it, adding a small espresso machine - which he now regretted, a retro styled stand mixer in bright red, matching red blinds for the window, a hanging pot rack constructed out of a garden trellis, which had been harder to just slip in, unnoticed, and various and sundry cooking tools that he had slowly brought over from his own apartment, where he spent very little time anymore. Gibbs hadn’t commented once, as new item after new item had mysteriously appeared, but he’d certainly learned to use them, in particular the espresso machine; although he claimed he only used it to make the wussy kind of coffee Tony liked, and Tony refrained from mentioning the fact that he always seemed to make himself a cup too. Reaching up, Tony pulled two plates down from the shelf in the overhead cupboard, and then placed a sliced bagel on each. On one bagel he spread a liberal amount of mayo and on the other he put mustard. Then reaching into a grocery bag, he pulled out a package of meat, sliced thin at the deli counter. The pastrami was added to the sandwiches, followed by cheese. Another reach into the bag produced a bag of prewashed carrots and celery, which was divided equally between the two plates. Sliced apples followed the veggies, and finally Tony deemed the meal complete. After returning the condiments and left over meat and cheese to the refrigerator, Tony grabbed the plates and two napkins and made for the basement door. He had almost reached it when he sighed and said, “Oh, what the hell,” and turned around. Putting the napkins and plates back on the counter, he opened the frig back up, and extracted two bottles of beer, lite of course, which he tucked under his arm. Then, picking the other things back up, he headed down.
Years of creeping up on criminals had conditioned Tony to move quietly, and Gibbs didn’t hear him as he made his way down the stairs. Once he reached the bottom, Tony took a moment just to stand and enjoy the sight of the man in front of him. It was a Sunday, and Gibbs was dressed in his favorite hanging around the house, doing nothing special outfit, old jeans washed to a bluish tinted grey and an equally faded Marine Corps t-shirt, decorated with small holes and wood stain. His usually silver colored hair was dusted a light golden brown with a layer of sawdust, and he wore an expression of deep concentration, as his eyes scanned the wood he was sanding for any signs of imperfection. Tony thought he looked perfect.
Finally, as if sensing Tony’s presence, he looked up. Putting the sanding block down, he said with a small smile, “I didn’t think you’d ever get home, I was getting hungry.”
Laughing, Tony walked over to him and handed him a plate and napkin, accompanied by a bottle of beer. Gibbs studied the assortment of fruit and vegetables with distaste. Setting the beer and plate down on the work bench next to where he stood, Gibbs proceeded to ignore the offending produce, and picked up the sandwich and took a greedy bite. He looked at the sandwich as he chewed, frowning slightly. After swallowing his first bite, he took another, this time letting the food sit in his mouth, allowing his taste buds to fully experience the food. “There’s something wrong with this meat,” he said with a scowl, as he set the sandwich back on the plate.
Tony, who had been covertly watching him from the armchair he had settled down on after handing the plate to Gibbs, assured him, “No there isn’t. It tastes fine.”
“No, it doesn’t. I’ve never eaten pastrami that tasted like this,” Gibbs insisted, as he lifted the top layer of bagel off of the sandwich to inspect it. “And the color is off, too,” he added, holding the plate out for Tony to inspect, ignoring the fact that Tony had an identical plate balanced on his lap, and that he had just prepared the sandwich in question.
“That’s the way it’s supposed to look,” Tony said patiently, “and this is the way it’s supposed to taste.”
“I’ve never had a pastrami sandwich from Maurice’s Deli that tastes like this,” Gibbs decreed.
“No, probably not,” Tony readily agreed, giving Gibbs an innocent smile.
It was the smile that clued Gibbs in. “Just what kind of meat is this, DiNozzo?” he asked, suspiciously.
“Pastrami,” Tony answered, and when Gibbs’ blue eyes bore into him like a laser, one eyebrow raising sharply, he added, “Turkey pastrami.”
“Oh, for the love of God!” Gibbs exclaimed, as he set the plate back down again, and grabbed the beer, looked at the bottle, sighed, and then twisted off the cap. “Lite beer, rabbit food, and pretend meat.”
“Gibbs, you heard what….” Tony started, only to have Gibbs interrupt him.
“I’m not going to drop over dead from a heart attack any time soon, but you may irritate me into a stroke,” Gibbs said through gritted teeth.
“When you get to be your age, you can’t be too careful,” Tony said with a smirk.
Gibbs put a hand on either arm of the chair Tony was sitting in, and leaned into Tony, “Are you calling me old, Tony?” he asked menacingly.
“Not old, Boss,” Tony said. “More like ripe,” he added in a teasing voice. Then he reached his face up, and ran his tongue over the top of Gibbs’ mouth. “Mustard,” he said, by way of explaining his action, as he then ran his tongue over his own lips.
Gibbs just stared at him for a second, and then began to laugh. Leaning closer to Tony, he pressed his lips to Tony’s mouth, and kissed him, long and hard.
When they broke the kiss off in order to breathe, Gibbs said, “Let’s put the plates in the frig and go upstairs. You’re going to need to help me work up a bigger appetite if I’m going to eat this food.”
“That’s a good idea,” Tony said saucily, “The doctor said that exercise is good for you too.”
Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
MTAC - NCIS Fic