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Workin' For The Weekend (Follows Overcoming)

by: BuffyAngel68 (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 015 Word Count: 14418
Rating: ADULT
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Timothy McGee, Other Male Character
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Drabble, Humor, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Pairing(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo
Summary: The week leading up to Cody's visit is a bit of a roller-coaster for Jethro and Tony, but once the other man arrives, it's all uphill...

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15

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6

Workin' For... 6/?

GIBBS' HOUSE:

"Cody? We're back..."

"I have ears, Jethro. The one place you never sneak up on is your own house."

"There's nobody here I have to keep an eye on. Not usually, anyway..." Jethro grunted as he gazed around. "What the hell have you done to my place?"

Cody laughed brightly as he emerged from the kitchen. After drying his hands, he patted his long-time friend on the shoulder.

"It's called polishing and dusting. Look 'em up in the dictionary, learn the benefits."

"Real funny. Mmm... ham... and scalloped potatoes. Smells great."

"Now that's the Jethro I know and love. Complain about the changes, *then* notice that I made his favorite meal." Cody teased gently. Peering over the other man's shoulder, he saw Tony, shoes off, waiting patiently on his knees a few feet behind where Gibbs had stopped. "Do I have permission?" he asked quietly.

"Of course." Gibbs responded the same way

"Standard release?"

"Double."

"That'll change as he progresses, hmmm?"

"Yeah. I won't hold him to it much longer. He learns so fast and he's come so far already..."

"I believe you, but I'll see for myself this weekend. Go find a drink and relax. Anthony and I will be there in a few minutes."

Gibbs paused then drifted off towards the liquor cabinet, only allowing himself one brief glance back. He trusted Cody more than anyone in recent memory, almost more than anybody he'd ever known, but the bond with Tony was still so new and untested that leaving the younger man in another set of hands, even experienced ones, triggered faint alarms from Jethro's gut that he fought hard to silence.

"Good to see you again, Anthony." Cody offered lightly.

"You too, sir. Dinner smells amazing."

"All compliments gratefully accepted. Your safe-word?"

"Sketchbook."

"Rules?"

"Submission is strength, not weakness. No lies, especially if you know it's one before you open your mouth. No breaking prior agreements. No betrayal in any form and no concealing anybody's attempt to make me betray my dom. No hiding anything that could affect my health and safety."

"Sore spots?"

"Trust... and vulnerability."

"Can you elaborate on the second one?"

Tony squirmed a little, but he still replied promptly

"Distorted body image... fractured self-esteem."

"Wow. Very brave. Thank you, Anthony." Cody praised, brushing a hand over Tony's neck. When the younger man stood, the touch was repeated. Tony grinned, ducked his head and moved of to get undressed. Cody watched him for a few seconds before strolling into the living room and joining Jethro by the sofa.

"And?" Gibbs invited.

"Putting together everything I've seen so far... that's a hell of a sub you chose. 'Course, you've got a long way to go, yet, but you'll put back all his missing pieces eventually. Just like Cory and Mac and Belinda."

"Mmm." Jethro grunted around a sip of bourbon. "No. It's different... Tony's different. I thought you understood that."

"He's not as broken, that's for sure."

Jethro placed his glass on the nearby mantle a little harder than strictly necessary and glared at his friend.

"I love him."

"You loved the others... for a while. Once you were sure they'd be okay, you set them free to find their Mr. or Ms. Right and went back to your memories. Are you saying you're in too deep to let that happen this time? Are you telling me you're finally ready to let go of the past?"

"Damn it..."

"You have to know for sure, Jethro. You have to. You're right, he is further ahead than most can manage in such a short time... but to be here he had to get past the first step, which means you've already made him promises. If you still can't say goodbye..."

Jethro snarled under his breath, snatched up his glass and made a motion as if he was about to throw it against the nearest hard surface, but the anger dissolved as quickly as it had appeared and the tumbler survived. A deep sigh was followed by a reluctant explanation.

"It's not an issue anymore, Cody. She let go of me."

"I'm not sure I understand."

" Every other time I've walked into this house, she just fell in beside me... moved with me everywhere I went. I could smell her, feel her... taste her. When I finally let Tony in, let A.J convince me to bring him to the house so he could help in a purge session they were running for me... I came home and she was gone. Just... gone."

Cody moved close to Jethro and squeezed his shoulder.

"That girl never was one to hang around after the job was finished. Shannon saw you through 'till your second soulmate came along. Now she's moved on to whatever her next mission is."

"Probably organizing and handing out wings and haloes..." Jethro proposed, flushing a bit when his voice cracked. Cody gave him another squeeze and laughed.

"Sounds about right."

"That was a real SOB thing to do, Cody."

"True, but I really like Anthony and I wasn't about to see him get hurt if you were still stuck in ancient history. I figured if you said it out loud... You know I'm sorry."

"Yeah... I know. Go check on dinner. It burns, you're buying me new cookware *and* paying for take-out."

"Greasy fast food, on my watch? I don't think so."

Halfway back to the kitchen, Cody halted in his tracks, watching Tony come down the stairs. "Holy heavenly bodies, Batman..." he murmured under his breath, but toned down his shock and awe for Tony's ears so the younger man's image problems wouldn't kick in and make him shy. "Very nice, Anthony. Very nice indeed."

"Appreciated, sir."

"Supper's in about ten minutes. I assume you've washed up?"

Tony smirked lightly and showed both sides of his hands. Cody inspected them carefully, a smile also tugging at his lips.

"Good job. Go show Jethro."

Gibbs actually met his lover somewhere in the middle, wrapping Tony in a gentle embrace and leaving a kiss below his ear.

"You're doin' great, baby. I'm so proud of you. "

"He's easy to get comfortable around."

Gibbs pulled back an inch or two, a hopeful expression on his face.

"That mean you're okay with him jumping into anything that might develop tonight?"

"Yeah... yeah, I'm fine with it. Just make sure he's aware of the limits."

"You can tell him yourself, ya know."

"I can." Tony stated, though his face clearly said it was actually a question. "I guess I have to, right? It's part of learning to always protect myself. If I speak up loud and clear, everybody involved knows where my boundaries are and knows what'll happen if they try and cross them."

"Letter perfect." Jethro replied. "C'mon, let's go see what else 'Master Chef' Bonner made for supper..."

---------------------------------

90 MINUTES LATER:

"Oh God, no... not Italian leather..." Cody snorted. He was trying hard to express the empathy he genuinely felt, but mirth kept showing up instead.

"Go ahead and laugh." Tony responded easily. "Now that I've gotten a little distance from it, I can admit how funny it must've looked from the outside. Anyway, like I said, Abby replaced those and I got a few other new pairs, too, so it's okay. Man... that dinner was fantastic. You're a great cook."

"Your caramel pecan cheesecake wasn't too shabby either. One of the best desserts I've ever had."

"You should see what's still in my apartment fridge. I've been baking practically every night this week."

"Jethro said it's been unusually rough." Cody prompted, but Tony calmly shot the attempt down.

"I'm sorry. I'm not ready to talk. Trust me, the worst of it will probably come out at some point this weekend... but I'm feeling really peaceful right now and I'd prefer to hold onto that."

"Hey, nothing to be sorry about. I'd much rather that you tell me straight out to back off than let me push you. Just know that when you need to unload, there's a second set of ears around."

"Thanks. Can I, um... I wanna ask you something, but it could be a little... out of line."

"I'll let you know."

"How tired are you? You've obviously worked your butt off around here today and then making dinner and everything..."

"If you're asking do I have enough energy to play for a while... the answer's definitely yes."

"It is? Great..."

Tony shifted his gaze to Jethro, but the dom gestured for him to keep talking. "Right. It's... you need to understand that I haven't done a lot yet. We're... taking it really slow."

"There's nothing wrong with that. I have to know where the fence line is, though."

Jethro laughed.

"Just because you've got a cowboy name..."

"Have you forgotten I was born and raised in Montana? Sometimes it just slips out."

"I was born in tiny little town, but you don't hear me spoutin' off about church suppers or checkers around the woodstove."

"I would if I ever got you back there. Five minutes and you'd sound just as country as anybody else."

"That's what you think." Jethro groused, though he was also smiling faintly as he rose to his feet. "Enough with the history lesson. Let's get these dishes done and the leftovers put away so we can get on with the fun stuff. Gimme a hand, Tony?"

"Yes, sir."

-----------------------------

TBC.........

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