Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 2409
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Established Relationship
Summary: McGee envies Tony his relationship with their boss... he thinks.
1 of 1
Characters: DiNozzo, Gibbs, McGee
Summary: McGee envies Tony his relationship with their boss… he thinks.
Author: Azure K Mello
McGee liked Tony, no really: he did. Tony was rude, bombastic, rambling, teasing, kind, empathetic, and loyal. The last three qualities made up for the first four. But for the last two weeks something had been off because all Tony had been was quiet, kind, and efficient. He brought coffee for everyone, he worked cases intensely, and he didn’t speak much. He didn’t make fun of anyone, didn’t correct Ziva’s idioms, he hugged Abby back instead of gently removing himself. And Tony was always a great cop but recently he’d been scary. They would get a case at nine AM and Tony would wrap it in two days.
There were a lot of things McGee envied about Tony: his cop work wasn’t all of it. It was his charm, his luck, and of course it was this: the pipes in Tony’s building burst and he said, “Boss, can I stay with you for a couple of days?”
Gibbs didn’t even look up, “Sure, DiNozzo. Just let yourself in. Some of your stuff’s still there from last time.”
And McGee envied that. Anyone else would have been pushed on to someone else. Abby would have stayed with the nuns, McGee would have stayed with Abby, Ziva would have stayed with McGee. But Tony was the favorite. He even had stuff left at Gibbs’ house.
Later in the day Abby walked in and Tony quickly signed something to her while Gibbs’ back was turned. McGee was trying to learn ASL but it was a lot harder than computers. Tony and Abby could have conversations without Gibbs telling them to can it. Abby mouthed, “Totally,” before launching into a speech about DNA at the scene.
The last way McGee wished he was just a bit more like Tony was that Tony was nowhere near as forgetful McGee. McGee, Tony, and Gibbs had been the last three left in the bullpen. McGee was always creeped out by a quiet bullpen. But they’d finished their reports so late that everyone else on the floor had left. McGee had ridden the elevator all the way down to the car park before he realized he’d left his coat at this desk. He took the stairs for the exercise. Taking the stairs up was sort of a personal punishment for forgetting, negative reinforcement. He opened the door quietly and almost as soon as he stepped in he regretted the move. If he’d made some noise Tony and Gibbs would have noticed him and stopped the conversation they were having.
“See you later?” asked Gibbs as Tony collected up his things. He sounded hopeful to McGee like he actually wanted Tony to stay at his place. It was a quiet tone and McGee instantly knew that whatever he had walked in on was private.
“Don’t worry.” Tony’s voice held a sneer. It was a mean noise and McGee hadn’t heard the tone in Tony’s voice except when he was in an interrogation with a suspect they knew was guilty. “I’m staying at Abby’s.”
“I thought you asked me.”
“I asked you because it would have looked odd for me to ask Abby. DiNozzo not begging for the boss’s attention like a small puppy? It would have been weird.”
“And you care about looking odd since when, Tony?”
And Tony snapped from calm and pissy to incredibly angry. “Shut up, Jethro, just shut up. You know I can talk fast and a lot and for once just let me talk. I’m so tired and I don’t want to do the sparring thing. I just want to go to bed but I can’t. My apartment is flooded. And two weeks ago it wouldn’t have mattered. Over half my stuff is at your place anyway. I would have gone to your house, crawled into your bed, and gone to sleep. And later you would have come up smelling like sawdust and kissed me awake just to say goodnight. The flood would barely have mattered. Your bed is comfy, you’re in it, my DVD player and most of my movies are in your basement. But now… I’m so tired.”
“I could sleep in the guest room.”
“I can’t go back there. I can’t sleep in the same bed where you rolled over and told me you were done. Even I have never dumped someone at one in the morning after screwing them blind while they were still basking in the afterglow. It’s really tacky. I could barely move and I was getting kicked out.”
“I didn’t mean for you to go right then. Tony, I told you-”
“Shut up, Jethro, please. You told me I was pretty and I said girls are pretty and you said, you’re right, Tony, you’re not pretty you’re gorgeous. You told me rule number twelve you then told me to ignore rule number twelve. You told me you didn’t do casual. You told me you didn’t care that I hadn’t been with any men, that my inexperience was a turn on. You told me you loved me. You told me that you were never the one who left, never the one who called it quits. So which lie would you like to tell me again? I remember every single one.”
“I’m sorry, Tony,” was all Gibbs said.
“Now I could throw that in your face. Could tell you that apologizing is a sign of weakness. But right now, I think you are pretty weak. And I think I deserve an apology. Because for the first time in my life I found a job I could stick to for more than two years. I found a team I worked with. I had a great boss and a pretty great life. And so what if my boss made me hot? There was rule number twelve and I could ignore a crush for a job this great. You screwed up the minute you seduced me. And now all I can do is work and be super cheerful because if I stop for a minute I’m going to break. You made my pretty great life into an awesome life and now I’m the guy pulling off to the side of the road because REO Speedwagon comes on the radio and I’m almost weeping. REO freaking Speedwagon. And for all the work I’ve done I haven’t gotten one, ‘Good job, DiNozzo,’ or eye contact, or even a head slap.”
“No, no. You told me you wanted it all. So I gave it all to you. I brought my DVD player to your house, Jethro. I learned how to sand, and carve, and hammer for you. I cooked. I freaking cooked. And I’m not a great cook, I know that. But I made you a chicken casserole it’s my pièce de résistance and it’s not that good but it’s more of a metaphor: it might not be that great but it’s all my effort, it’s the best I can do and I did it for you. And you ate it all and said it was delicious. I even pretended to still chase women because you said you didn’t want people to know. I gave you everything and you didn’t even tell Ducky about us.
“You told Abby but only because she figured it out. Not Ducky though, not your best friend. All my frat brothers are waiting on their invitations to a secret gay wedding in Canada and thrilled that DiNozzo has finally joined the adult world and gotten himself in a healthy relationship even if it is a queer relationship. And I accepted that you didn’t tell Ducky. Every relationship has one small flaw. And really it didn’t hurt that bad. You didn’t want him to know about me and that sucked but I was happy because, whether or not he knew it, I had you. You gave me words and touches and I accepted them as the crown jewels because you gave them to me and it was more than enough. But rule number seven says that when you lie you’ve got to be specific. So I don’t know how much of it was real and I broke number eight because I took it for granted that you were telling me the truth.
“So what we’re left with is a lot of broken rules. Half my stuff is in a place I can’t go and the other half is ruined in a flood and I can’t even come up with a movie reference for it. So if you won’t look me in the eye, or give me a head slap, then at least put me up for a transfer. I’ve been the body in your bed for over a year it’s the least you can do.”
Gibbs spoke very softly, “If I look you in the eye I’m going to be the one breaking.”
Tony huffed a breath of air, “Two weeks ago that would have been a problem I helped you fix. But I don’t even know how to. I don’t even know why this happened because you didn’t give me an explanation: I’m not Shannon, my everything wasn’t good enough, my everything was too much, or maybe you were just done with me. I don’t know. So figure it out on your own. Look me in the eye or lose your senior field agent. Or, crazy idea, work out whatever it was that made you break up with someone you say you love, you say makes you happy, and explain it, undo it. You can have a do over, call Mulligans. Explain it and it will all go away. This can just be a huge fight that we put behind us. Sleep on it, take the week. Figure it out by next Monday.” Tony started to collect up his things to leave.
“I panicked, Tony. That morning I woke up and you’d cooked eggs and bacon, we ate, we went to work, we didn’t get a case, we did paper work, we came home. That night we watched Titanic and you liked it and I thought it was awful, and I cooked the steaks and you made the salad, and we worked on the boat, and we showered, and we had sex. And then you asked what the date was because you maybe had an appointment in the morning if it was the seventeenth. Just like that,” he snapped his fingers, “I realized that it was Kelly’s birthday. For the first time in eighteen years I wasn’t drunk on her birthday I had forgotten it entirely. I panicked. Do over?”
Tony smiled sort of sadly, “Yeah, do over… I’m sorry I was mean.”
“It’s a sign of weakness?” joked Tony.
“No, it’s just unnecessary. I deserved to be shouted at. Call Abby?”
“Yeah,” Tony looked away from Gibbs for the first time to reach for his phone and it was then that he saw McGee and his look of shock was sudden. “Probie, how long have you been standing there?”
McGee swallowed hard, “A really long time: I didn’t mean to. I forgot my jacket and the door didn’t make a noise and then I just couldn’t leave because I was afraid of making a noise and I panicked and I froze.”
“Panicking isn’t a sin,” Tony shook his head slowly and he did look exhausted. He walked over to McGee’s desk and picked his coat up off the back of his chair. “I never really saw why it had to be a secret from the team anyway, the director sure, but this team keeps so many secrets from Vance already I don’t think one more matters.” He tossed the jacket to McGee who caught it in shock. “Go home, sleep this off and come back bright and early in the morning.” McGee nodded. “Are you cool?”
McGee nodded quickly, “I’m totally cool.”
“Then have a good night.”
McGee started to leave and then said, “There are cameras.”
“No sound,” said Gibbs, working through his own shock. “Not good enough quality to lip read.”
“Okay, okay. See you in the morning. Sorry about the panicked eavesdropping.”
Gibbs smirked, “Good night, McGee.”
McGee left feeling a little less jealous of Tony. He really did not want to be that deeply embroiled with their boss.
Once he was gone Gibbs said, “I’ll tell Ducky. But rule twelve exists for a reason: if coworkers break up nastily the whole team is affected.”
“Well,” Tony smiled, “I guess you won’t be able to dump me again. You’ll have to tell me you’re panicking.”
“I love you, I don’t lie to you.”
“I was mad, I said it to be mean not to be true. Although it’s true that Keep on Loving You forced me to pull over yesterday.”
Gibbs yawned, “Call Abby from the car? I’ll drive. Everyone knows you’re staying at my house… This could be a good excuse to move in.” He started to collect up his things as though he hadn’t dropped a bombshell.
“Only a public excuse. The team can know, obviously. But, yeah, I have lots of space, you’re sick of apartments, you enjoy imposing yourself on others, and everyone knows I like you best and frequently indulge you just for a quiet life: perfect cover if Vance asks.”
Tony nodded excitedly, “Okay. You do like me best: it’s mostly because I put out.” Gibbs chuckled at the enthusiasm. “Y’gonna have your wicked way with me at home?”
“If by wicked way you mean get you naked and then pass out on top of you: yes.”
“Awesome. I need sleep.”
Gibbs looked him up and down, taking in his haggard and said sarcastically, “Y’think, DiNozzo?”