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Not What it Seems
by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1550
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Summary: Gibbs' mysterious behavior worries Tony.
Author Notes: Thanks to Cat for the beta. Written for the NFA Secret Santa challenge for rosebud26. Happy Holidays!!!
Not what it Seems
Tony had no idea what was going on, and that bothered him.
Gibbs hadn’t let him into the basement for months, and Tony had been deeply upset by that. He’d originally wondered and thought that Gibbs was pushing him away, that he was no longer wanted. The day Gibbs had put a lock on the basement door, Tony and he had gotten into a huge fight. But Gibbs was Gibbs and there was no way he would sway or bend.
So Tony had been locked out of the basement—Gibbs’ safe haven. If Gibbs hadn’t shown him with touches and deep kisses and slow lovemaking sessions that Tony was still deep in his heart, Tony would have been worried. Instead, he was bemused when Gibbs had gone to Wal Mart on the day after Thanksgiving and picked up a large HD ready TV. The TV had been installed in the den.
Tony had been staying at Gibbs more and more often, so even though he was confused, he went with it and enjoyed the hell out of the new TV. Tony had hauled a box of his favorite DVDs over and while Gibbs worked in the basement on his mystery project, Tony had watched and rewatched some favorites. This had been their routine for a couple of months now and Tony was tired of it.
Gibbs had sent Tony to pick up Chinese food, and when he got back to Gibbs’ place, there had been a bunch of strange cars in the driveway. They weren’t “out” to anyone, though Tony knew Abby suspected, so he stayed in his car down the street until all the cars in the driveway pulled away. What the hell was going on? There was no way that Gibbs was entertaining. He would have warned Tony, would have called him or something.
Tony grumbled as he stomped up the stairs. It had been a long week and they had a tough case behind them. The last thing he needed was more Gibbsian intrigue. The man was a mystery wrapped up in an enigma some days.
Gibbs was lurking by the front door and Tony skidded to a stop, almost dropping the plastic bag of food when he saw how close Gibbs was. “What are you doing here?” Tony said, trying to act cool and calm, trying to act like he wasn’t really annoyed about everything.
“In my house?”
“No…here.” Tony motioned to the front hallway area.
“What’s today?” Gibbs asked, looking calm, cool, and collected.
Tony blinked a few times. “Um…Wednesday.” It was Wednesday, right? Yeah, Christmas would be on Friday. “Why?”
Tony was aware that Gibbs had shifted both his attitude and the situation, and Tony would have to wrest that control back in order to get answers.
“Just making sure,” Gibbs said, and there was an enigmatic little smile on his lips. Tony didn’t know if he wanted to kiss it or throttle it off Gibbs’ face. “We gonna eat?”
“Yeah,” Tony muttered, stomping toward the kitchen, Gibbs following behind at a slightly slower pace.
“Good. Because I have something to show you after dinner.”
Tony was two steps past the basement before it registered that the door was wide open. He turned to look at Gibbs and the other man just gave him a steady gaze back. Gibbs wasn’t an easy nut to crack in the best of circumstances and he was being absolutely poker faced today.
Tony turned back to Gibbs, pointing at the basement, and Gibbs only gave him that innocent look, the one Tony knew was anything but.
“After dinner?” Tony asked, looking from Gibbs to the open door and back again.
“Yup. I’m hungry and you took a long time.”
“Well, there were people here,” Tony said, starting to protest. When Gibbs only cocked his head and arched a brow, Tony sighed, knowing he was being completely melodramatic, and stormed the rest of the way into the kitchen. Like always, Gibbs would dole out answers when and if he wanted to, on his schedule, and Tony could either take it or leave it. Gibbs never said the words, but he was just that kind of guy and Tony wasn’t interested in pushing him.
Gibbs pulled out plates and Tony opened cartons; they moved silently and efficiently, as two people who could anticipate each other’s moves before they were even made. There had been a time when they’d finished each other’s sentences at work, though they tried not to do that too much any more. It had only taken Pacci asking Gibbs what was going on for them to realize they were giving far too much away.
Tony ate in silence, knowing Gibbs was watching him. Instead of meeting that gaze, he stared down at his plate, complete concentration on the orange beef and combination fried rice he was inhaling. When he was done, his beer drained, Tony took his plate and Gibbs’ and put them in the sink, before turning, regarding the other man with a level gaze of his own. He wasn’t Gibbs, but he was getting more intimidating the older he became; some of Gibbs’ traits obviously rubbing off on him.
“Don’t jerk me around, Gibbs. I know something is going on.”
“Yeah, the basement. You’ve had it locked for two months. And you had a bunch of people here, at least three cars. What’s going on?”
“You only had to ask,” Gibbs replied, shaking his head in amusement. Tony had been intending to, but then Gibbs had been right there at the door and he’d turned everything around and….
Tony sighed. “You’re good.”
Gibbs tipped his head, grinning. “I know. Ya gonna drag yourself out of that funk and see that things aren’t whatever you imagined they were?”
“Maybe,” Tony allowed, drawing out the word.
Gibbs stood, crossing his arms and arching a brow. “Maybe?” he asked, and that thread of command Tony instinctively responded to was in his voice. When Gibbs got all bosslike, Tony was powerless to resist. Maybe it was a lifetime of military and prep schools, and a career with very strong leaders—or maybe it was just Gibbs.
“All right.” Tony wasn’t going to completely cave and bare his soft white belly so soon, but there was no point in pouting, not when he was genuinely interested in what was going on. It took all his willpower to not rush to the basement door and run down the stairs.
“Come on then.” Gibbs crooked a finger and Tony followed, feeling some confidence that they’d fallen back into their roles. It wasn’t natural for Tony to be the one who was scowling and annoyed.
“Hey!” Tony said as they passed the basement. “Aren’t we—”
“Nope. Upstairs.” Gibbs jerked his thumb toward the staircase and Tony nodded, following Gibbs, his questions growing with each step they took.
When they got to the closed bedroom door, Gibbs turned around in a graceful motion, resting his hands on either side of the frame. “Your Christmas present is inside, Tony.” It was clear Gibbs wanted to say more, but outside of his mouth moving a few times before he clamped it shut, it seemed that was all Tony was going to get.
“Shouldn’t we wait until Christmas?”
“Can’t,” Gibbs said, shooting him that crooked grin Tony loved so much. “Took a lot of manpower to get up here.”
So that was what those guys were for! Tony grinned, feeling a lot more lighthearted all of a sudden. “You present hasn’t arrived yet.”
“I can wait,” Gibbs assured. “You can’t. C’mon, Tony.”
Gibbs opened the door, motioning Tony inside. Bed, the same, dresser the same, bathroom door, the same, wa…Tony blinked a few times. There was something new against the wall, something large and hand carved and…
“Gibbs?” Tony asked.
“For you, DiNozzo. Your clothes. Get sick of you living out of your garment bags. Decided to build you something for your stuff.”
Tony walked over to the piece of furniture, opening the doors and looking inside. It was taller than him and at least six feet wide, the top part one open space with a rod running from side to side. The bottom half was filled with drawers. The cherry wood gleamed and the carvings were little glimpses into Tony’s life. A police shield, a DVD case, a basketball, a slice of pizza, a designer suit. It was clear that the wardrobe had been crafted with love and attention—and a hell of a lot of talent—and Tony was completely humbled by it.
“Gibbs,” he said softly, his voice shaking with emotion. “I…”
“Merry Christmas,” Gibbs replied, his own voice a little unsteady. “Do you like it?”
“Love it,” Tony replied, hugging Gibbs tight. “Thank you. My gift just isn’t gonna compare.” How could it?
“Haven’t I told ya that I don’t need gifts?” Gibbs asked, and Tony’s hair was ruffled by a gentle headslap. “All I need is you.”
“Well, you’ve got that, Gibbs.”
“Glad to hear it. Merry Christmas, Tony.”
“Merry Christmas, Gibbs.”
MTAC - NCIS Fic