Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 5533
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Abby Sciuto
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Episode Related, First Time, Fluff, Humor
Summary: Tony has lots of questions after the events of Devil's Triangle and as a result he's a bit unfocused, but Gibbs tells him to just get over it. There may or may not be mentions of marriage.
Also: This has SPOILERS for episode 9x07, Devil's Triangle - it's an episode tag! So beware!
Standing in front of the mirror, head tilted the side and eyes focused intently on his upper hair line, Tony's scrutinizing himself very carefully, trying to see exactly where the extra seven hairs in his drain came from the other morning, when he's struck with the urge to dye his hair red.
He laughs at the thought, though. "Like you would look good with red hair," he says to his reflection, but even as he shakes his head and gives himself an easy grin and a chuckle, he remembers Diane telling him what a bad liar he is, and his grin fades.
With a groan, he flicks off the bathroom light and goes into his bedroom, sitting on the edge of his bed and putting his head in his hands.
Of course he would look awful with red hair, and it would be such an obvious move that he knows it's not an option. Yet he can't help but wonder exactly what Diane's answer to his question would have been, had their conversation not been interrupted by the untimely arrival of her two ex-husbands.
What made Gibbs marry her?
The question's been tugging at his brain for a long time now, but after meeting her, it's been consuming him non-stop.
He wonders about her cooking, about her cleaning, about what tricks she might do with her tongue, about what perfume she wears.
He wonders what their dates were like - was Gibbs smiling? Did he flirt with her? Did their whole relationship consist of her pushing and pushing and pushing and Gibbs just shrugging along with her ideas? He couldn't imagine that, though, because that was just so, well, un-Gibbs.
She's attractive, of course, and she's definitely got a strong personality, and he knows Gibbs likes those things. And of course there's the red hair.
But beyond that, he's not sure what it is. He's not sure what little bit of her made Gibbs want to marry her.
And ultimately, when he's honest with himself, he knows that it's not curiosity, and it's not the gossip-lover in him - it's something much more.
Because really, the question is not about what made Gibbs marry her.
For Tony, the question is, what the hell does she have that he doesn't?
At work, he finds himself staring at Gibbs nonstop, peering at him from behind his desk, sneaking glances while they're driving to a crime scene - he's always been a little quirky, so nobody thinks anything of it. But he's obsessing. Obsessing even more than he does about the number of hairs in his shower drain.
He's wondering exactly what the hell is going on in Gibbs' mind, if Gibbs is thinking about her, if seeing her made him remember what good times, if any, they had together. He's wondering if Gibbs is remembering how she was in bed, if Gibbs regrets the end of their relationship.
He's pretty sure he already knows the answer to that; Gibbs doesn't regret anything. It's not his style. He's also pretty sure Gibbs would never forget his alimony payments in favor of waxing poetic about Diane.
When he catches Gibbs staring back with a raised brow more than once, he knows Gibbs is onto him. And when Gibbs jerks his head towards a conference room, he scrambles to follow, sparing a moment to give Ziva and McGee a faintly terrified expression before schooling his features and catching up to Gibbs.
Gibbs pulls the door open and glares at Tony, gesturing him in with an overdramatic sweep of his arm and a roll of his eyes while Tony slinks in and presses himself as far from Gibbs as he can get, sliding against the far side of the doorway and then standing still in anticipation, waiting to see what Gibbs wants.
Gibbs closes the door and gestures to a chair, so Tony sits, stomach flip-flopping. "How can I help you, Leroy?" he asks with a cavalier grin, mentally berating himself for starting out like this.
"Leroy?" Gibbs asks in disbelief.
Tony shrugs, keeping the grin going. "It's your name, right? I mean, I usually say Gibbs, but I hear some people call you-"
"DiNozzo," Gibbs growls, and Tony abruptly stops spinning his chair from left to right - when had he started doing that, anyway?
"Yes, Boss?" Tony replies, sitting up straighter. He can't help but notice that Gibbs' hair, despite being gray, is pretty thick, and he suddenly feels self-conscious, wondering if the bright conference room lights are enhancing how thin his hair is becoming - and he remembers how lustrous and thick Diane's hair is, and the thought of dying his hair red is becoming overwhelming even though he knows it's not the answer.
"You need to focus," Gibbs says. "What the hell is going on with you?"
"Going on with me?" Tony asks, chuckling lightly. "Me?" He points to himself and shakes his head, shrugging with an exaggerated expression of nonchalance. "Nothing going on with me, Boss. Just another day in the life of Very Special Agent-"
"Cut the crap, DiNozzo."
Tony had been expecting hardness from Gibbs, a brittle non-flinching response and an order for him to shape up, but instead, Gibbs just sounds tired. Tony frowns, worried that maybe Diane did throw Gibbs for a loop.
"Won't happen again," he says, eager for Gibbs to get back to being a hard-ass.
"Yes it will," Gibbs says, and Tony can't help but quirk a grin despite himself. "Now tell me why the hell you're staring at me," Gibbs adds
"Your hair is so thick," Tony says, and then resists the urge to pound his head on the table. "I mean, mine's starting to - you know, thin a little?" He tilts his head and taps his temple, giving Gibbs a conspiratorial glance. "I've been getting it cut a little differently to try and-"
"I'm not stupid," Gibbs interrupts.
"Of course you're not," Tony says. "I just didn't think you'd notice my haircut-"
"I didn't notice your damn haircut," Gibbs says, rolling his eyes. "I don't care about your haircut."
"Hey!" Tony says, wounded. "I thought it looked-"
"You've been staring at me since Diane came here," Gibbs says, obviously done with Tony's runaround tactics.
"Oh," Tony says, averting his eyes. "Right."
"You got a question about her? Get over it. You're not gonna get the answer." Gibbs stands up and looks like he's going to leave, but he stops, staring at Tony. "You can tell Abby that, too. Whatever it is, get over it."
Gibbs leaves the room and Tony's left blinking, staring at the empty seat across from him, heart in his throat.
Get over it.
"Here, Abby," Tony says, walking into her lab and handing her an envelope full of pictures from their newest case.
"Thanks, Tony!" she says, smiling at him and clomping over to drop them next to a pile of papers near her printer. He turns to leave, but he stops when he hears rapid-fire clomping closing in on him, so he turns and sees that she's rushed over to him.
"Where do you think you're going?" she asks, narrowing her eyes.
"Oh, I don't know, I was thinking maybe this place called my desk?"
"Don't get snippy with me, mister," she says, one hand on her hip. "Timmy says you're not quoting any movies or doing that tapping thing you always do or singing or throwing things at him."
Tony looks at her in confusion. "Is this a problem?"
"Yes!" she says immediately, as if this answer was the most obvious in the world. "Of course this is a problem! It's like when Gibbs has a mustache! It's just not right!"
Tony considers this for a moment. "I guess I could empty my garbage can onto the Probie's chair," he muses. "It has that gooey-"
"Tony!" Abby says. "That's not what this is about! Ziva said the Bossman called you into the conference room yesterday and you've been all weird ever since."
"All weird?" Tony asks with a grin, doing his best to ignore the tiny bit of anxiety creeping into his mind - was he really that obvious?
"What did he say to you?" Abby asks.
She looks worried, and Tony resists the urge to sigh and scrub a hand over her face and tell her everything. Instead, he grins and shrugs. "Nothing," he says. "Just that I should focus."
"Focus?" Abby asks, brow furrowed. "What's he talking about?"
"He thinks I've been distracted since Diane came," he says flippantly, as if this were a completely absurd thought. "And he says you and I should stop thinking of questions for him because we won't find the answers. He says we should - should get over it." He tells himself that the way his voice chokes on the last three words is allergies.
"Get over it?" Abby says incredulously. "I'll never get over it! I mean, it's Gibbs!"
Tony's heart twists and he thinks truer words were never spoken. "Well, he says you'll never have any of the answers you want," he says with a shrug.
"And you're just giving in to that?" Abby asks, narrowing her eyes. "I thought you were Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo!" She steps closer to him on each word and pokes a finger into his chest. "You have untamed curiosity! You don't stop until you have answers, especially when it's about a certain Leroy Jethro Gibbs!"
Tony pushes her finger away and steps back as he gives her a half-smile. "He's not gonna answer any of our questions, Abby," he says, as if that's what this has been about all along.
"So?" Abby says. "Ask Diane!"
"She'll rat me out!" Tony says, distracted for a moment and horrified at the idea of talking to her about anything.
Abby's shoulders slump. "That's true," she says, looking away in thought. "Wait!" she exclaims suddenly. "You could ask Fornell!"
Tony gives her a look of complete disbelief, and she relents.
"Yeah, I guess not," she says and then frowns. "Maybe we really should get over it."
Tony swallows past a lump in his throat and nods. "Guess so," he says.
Abby frowns for a moment, staring at him thoughtfully. Suddenly she reaches out and holds his hand, her fingers warm against his. He looks at her and sees such understanding in her eyes that he's taken aback, so he steps away.
"Hey, busy day," he says. "Still gotta figure out how much of my garbage can-"
"Tony," Abby interrupts, and her voice is so serious that he can't help but stop midsentence and stare at her, feeling suddenly hopeless and overwhelmed. He doesn't say anything because he's not sure what there is to say - that he's been harboring intense feelings for Gibbs even though he knows how completely and ridiculously stupid that is and he's suddenly slapped in the face with the reality of the situation and that those feelings will never, ever be returned? He'd rather not.
Abby hugs him, and he wonders how she always seems to get him, and he gives in to her hug because he could really use one, but pulls away after only a moment, holding her at arm's length and tweaking a pigtail.
"Back to work," he says with a smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes.
"Tony," she says again, her voice so full of compassion that it almost undoes him.
"Abby," he replies, and it's more pleading than he'd wanted it to be. "Don't."
She nods and wrings her hands, biting her lip and watching him with wide eyes.
"I'm gonna go upstairs now," he says, and she nods again, and when he gets in the elevator and presses the emergency stop and takes a heaving breath, he lets Gibbs' words ring in his mind again.
Get over it.
God, that's easier than it sounds.
He does get over it in the next few days - or, at least, he becomes self-aware enough to act like he has. And he supposes that in Gibbs' eyes, that's enough, because he's sure Gibbs has no idea what's going on in Tony's brain beyond his surface curiosity about Diane.
But it's getting harder and harder to act like everything's normal when Abby keeps hugging him more than usual and giving him knowing looks. He's avoiding her as much as possible.
But sometimes, he can't - like now, when he's sitting in her desk chair eating a cupcake.
(Okay, so he could've avoided that, but she bought him a cupcake.)
"I know what you're doing," Tony says, mouth full of chocolatey wonder.
"Oh really?" Abby asks. She's perched on the edge of her desk licking chocolate frosting off of her finger, peering at him as she idly swings her legs.
Tony nods. "Trying to get me fat. It's bad enough my hair is thinning."
"It's not," she says, and he ducks away when she reaches out to fluff it, giving her a look like she'd tried to steal his wallet or shove him in front of oncoming traffic.
"Don't touch it," he warns. "It takes too long to get it right."
"I know you've been avoiding me," she says abruptly once she's given him a sufficient glare in return for his chastising. "Don't worry," she adds. "I'm not offended. I understand why."
Tony doesn't bother trying to act like it's not true; he just shrugs instead.
"Can I ask you something?" Abby asks, and she's uncharacteristically hesitant, so much so that he finds himself nodding. "How long have you-"
"A long time," he says, looking away from her and setting the cupcake down, wiping his hands on a napkin. "I don't really want to talk about it."
"I kinda got that when you avoided me like the plague - oh, sorry, that's really a bad choice of words with you, isn't it? And really, the plague wouldn't be the plague if you could avoid it. What a pointless-"
"Abby," Tony says, too tired to listen to that. "Can we just - just sit here and eat chocolate like teenage girls? Do you have any Justin Bieber CDs?"
Abby laughs. "So, if you're gonna act like a teenage girl, does that mean you've been sitting in your room at night writing love poems?"
"What-no!" Tony says, sitting up and staring at her indignantly.
"Right," she says. "Just cutting out pictures of your one and only and staring at them while you wilt away into a pile of tears?"
Tony wrinkles his nose and looks at her in disgust. "No," he says.
"Then you're just keeping your feelings inside and doing nothing about it except angsting?"
She's looking at him very seriously now, and he hates it. This is why he'd been avoiding her.
"Abby, I don't know what kind of world you live in, but I live in reality," he says. "And reality says that only absolutely terrible things would happen if I did anything else."
"You won't know until you try!" Abby says. She shifts so she's facing him more, and she's leaning forward a bit, passionate and enthusiastic as ever. "You can't just-"
"Abby," Tony says. "Do you want me to get fired?"
She leans back as if this hasn't occurred to her, and he continues.
"I'm not angsting. I'm moving on with my life and getting over something I should've gotten over a long time ago, so leave it alone."
"I understand," Abby says a moment later. "I get it, Tony, I really do. I just think you'd be surprised. You can't see it from an outside perspective. You don't know the way he-"
"Stop," Tony says, voice choked again because he's not ready to talk about this. He doesn't think he'll ever be ready to talk about this because it was hard enough to admit this to himself in the first place, let alone deal with it for the past few years and then work so hard to get over it - even the tiniest flicker of unfounded hope is like torture. "Seriously, Abby. Just don't bring it up again. Please."
She doesn't say anything, and he shoves the last of his cupcake in his mouth and leaves, but not before tugging on her pigtail to let her know he's not angry - because he's not, not really, he's just frustrated.
When he goes back upstairs, Tim and Ziva are gone, and he looks at Gibbs curiously, expertly not noticing the way his collar is slightly askew and revealing a bit more of his throat than usual. "Where are the probies?" he asks.
"Sent 'em home," Gibbs says. "Not much left to do. I'm heading out."
"Oh," Tony says. It's only four, and it's a nice day outside, and he feels relieved at the thought of getting out of there himself. It's one of those days when he really needs it.
"You got plans this weekend?" Gibbs asks.
Tony grins at the unexpected nature of the question. "Nah," he says. "Just some quality time with 007."
Gibbs quirks a grin of his own as he steps out from behind his desk. He stops at Tony's, where Tony is sitting in his chair and closing a few things on his computer, and Tony glances up in curiosity.
Gibbs taps Tony's desk with one finger and Tony watches his hand for a moment, then looks up at his face. "Stop by if you want," Gibbs says.
"Okay," Tony says automatically, and then Gibbs is heading towards the elevator. Tony watches him go, and he doesn't know what this means because Gibbs has never said, "stop by if you want" to anyone as far as Tony knows, and Tony's still staring when Gibbs turns around and gives him a nod and a grin, and Tony goes back to his computer feeling very confused as the elevator doors close on Gibbs. This is hinky.
It's not until Sunday evening that Tony decides to "stop by if he wants." He'd wanted to, sure, but he hadn't really had a reason to go to Gibbs' house beyond Gibbs' strange sort-of invitation, and he hadn't wanted to seem too eager, and really, the whole thing weirded him out. But he'd gathered up his courage and gone to Gibbs' house, and the familiar creak of Gibbs' front door is kind of comforting.
He hears movement in the basement so he heads down, wondering what Gibbs is working on. "Hey, Boss," he calls.
Gibbs is bent over a red door and he looks up, screwdriver in hand. "Hey, Tony," he says. "Good weekend?"
Tony shrugs, grabbing a stool and plopping down on it at the end of Gibbs' workbench. "New door?"
"Repainted the back door," Gibbs says. "Just putting the handle back on."
"Oh," Tony says, watching for a moment as Gibbs screws in the handle and then gives it a little turn. Tony likes the way Gibbs is wearing a Marine Corps t-shirt overtop a long sleeve shirt, and he smiles because that's just so Gibbs.
Gibbs finishes and sits down on his stool, turning towards Tony. "Something's bothering you," he said.
"What - no," Tony says, shaking his head. He's cursing himself for going to Gibbs' now.
"It is," Gibbs says. "And I think it has to do with me."
Tony sits up a little straighter and feels his eyebrows shoot up in surprise. His heart's thudding in his chest and he does his best to ignore it. "With you?" he asks. He's gonna kill Abby if she has anything at all to do with this.
"With me," Gibbs repeats.
Tony frowns. "There's nothing going on," he says. "I mean, I did lose a bet to Stacey in Accounting-"
"You've been off ever since the case with Diane," Gibbs interrupts.
"So have you," Tony shoots back, eager to get this conversation off him.
Gibbs snorts. "Guess so," he admits. "It was a little...hinky."
"You can say that again," Tony says, and just like that he's wondering again what it is she has that he doesn't, beyond the obvious.
"You can ask," Gibbs says. He sounds patient for once, and Tony looks up in surprise. "Whatever it is you're thinking," he clarifies. "You can ask."
Tony blinks, questions flooding to the surface and vying to get out of his brain. "I was just - did you spend a lot of time down here with her?" Because, really, he couldn't go with the most pressing question. It was a bit too much all at once.
"Nah," Gibbs says. "Came down here to avoid her. None of my wives ever really came down here much, just - just Shannon."
"Really?" Tony asks, and he's beyond shocked that Gibbs is being so candid about this because this is really an off-limits Gibbs conversation.
Gibbs shrugs. "Not exactly a woman-friendly place," he says. "Some women, maybe. But not a lot."
"Don't let Abby hear you say that," Tony says, and Gibbs grins.
"Diane always said it was filthy and I spend too much time down here," Gibbs said.
"Sounds like she didn't get you," Tony says.
"Ya think?" Gibbs says, but it's not with bite.
Tony grins. "I get you, Gibbs, maybe I should be your next wife," Tony says, and he doesn't know why he says it, but he gives an exaggerated wink to soften it, and he's relieved when Gibbs grins, the corner of his eyes crinkling.
"You know what Diane told me?"
"She told me she thinks I'll never be able to love another woman after Shannon," Gibbs says. "Maybe she's right," he adds with a shrug.
"Oh," Tony says, and he feels unexpectedly disappointed.
"You're not a woman," Gibbs points out with a grin, and Tony sits up straight, feeling a flush on his cheeks because, well, really, and he can't believe Gibbs just said that and he's not really sure he can handle this joke.
"Definitely not," Tony says. "The one thing Diane has that I don't."
Gibbs snorts. "Lots of things she has you don't," Gibbs says. "My money, a kid with Fornell-"
"Okay, true," Tony says. He's not sure he wants to hear this list.
"Lots of things you have that she doesn't, too," Gibbs adds, looking at Tony hesitantly.
"Really?" Tony asks. "Like what?" This conversation is getting way beyond his comfort level and he's in a state of high alert, his heart beating fast and his adrenaline pumping, and it leaves him strangely focused. He's intent on the way Gibbs is looking at him, his eyes softer than usual and his posture more relaxed.
Gibbs doesn't say anything for a moment. He's staring at Tony and he looks almost wistful, and Tony's not sure what to make of it because it's an expression he's not used to seeing on Gibbs' face. "You've got me," he says and his voice is softer than usual.
Tony blinks and then stares at Gibbs. His heart is pumping into overdrive and he's not sure his brain processed that correctly. "You - I what?"
"Me," Gibbs says with a shrug. "You've got me, Tony."
Tony refuses to believe that Gibbs means what he wants Gibbs to mean. "Yeah, I guess you don't hate me like you hate her."
"Don't hate her or you," Gibbs says. "Wasn't what I meant. She was right, I think. I won't love another woman after Shannon."
Tony's head is spinning and he wishes Gibbs were a little more talkative because he could really use some proper explanation here. "I don't think I get it," he says faintly.
"I think you do," Gibbs says.
Tony's adrenaline is starting to pump and he's getting the urge to say things he knows he'll regret again, and he's not sure he can contain it. "If I'm wrong, I'm really wrong," Tony says.
"You're not," Gibbs replies, and he's so earnest looking that Tony feels warmth and hope blooming in his chest. "You're not wrong, Tony."
Tony's all too aware of the space between them, and Gibbs seems way too far away. He doesn't move, though, doesn't inch closer, because he needs to be sure that he's right.
"I wondered what she has that I don't," Tony admits. His voice is quiet and a little bit shaky because this is something he'd internalized for so long that it's hard for him to grasp the idea of these words actually leaving his mouth. "I just wondered what she had that made you want to marry her."
Gibbs shakes his head and he's leaning forward towards Tony. There's still a corner of the workbench between them, and Tony wishes it would disappear. "I married her because I wanted it to be like it was," he says. His voice is hoarse, and his eyes are shining in the bright basement lights. "But it will never be like that again. Doesn't mean it can't be just as good, though - just different."
"Different?" Tony asks. His voice is hoarse and his heart is pounding, and he's afraid to move, afraid that if he so much as twitches that he'll wake up and find out this is all a dream.
Gibbs pulls his stool forward until he's sitting next to Tony. He doesn't look away from Tony's face as he reaches out and takes hold of Tony's hand. Gibbs' hand is dry against Tony's clammy palm, and Tony's fingers automatically curl around Gibbs'. "I hope I'm not wrong," Gibbs says. "Trusting my gut."
"Your gut's never wrong," Tony says. He feels strangely mesmerized, and he's still having a lot of trouble believing that this is actually happening.
"Sometimes it is," Gibbs admits. "Not now?"
"Not now," Tony confirms, eyes wide. Every nerve ending in his body is focused on Gibbs' knee touching his and Gibbs' fingers, calloused and strong, against his own. He's having a sensory explosion, and it's hard to focus.
"So marry me, then," Gibbs says.
Tony blinks, shocked out of his daze. "What?" That was certainly unexpected. He resists the urge to pinch himself.
"I mean it," Gibbs says. "Doesn't have to happen tomorrow. Doesn't have to happen this month or even this year. We already have more than I had with any of my ex-wives, Tony."
"You really - you-"
"Yes," Gibbs says earnestly.
Tony doesn't answer him, he just leans forward and kisses Gibbs, heartbeat beginning to ease into something a little less frantic as their lips slide together. Gibbs' hand goes to the back of Tony's neck, and Tony shifts forward a little bit, deepening the kiss and relishing in the feel of Gibbs' hands on his body. When he pulls away, he stays close to Gibbs, his hand on Gibbs' hip. "Did Abby-" "Didn't have to," Gibbs says. "I saw the way she's been acting with you. Figured she knew what was going on but I haven't talked to her about it." Tony swallows. He feels like his life is taking a sharp turn, and he's not exactly sure how to handle it. It's a good sharp turn, but that doesn't make it less scary. "Yes," he suddenly says. "Huh?" "I mean, yes, I'll marry you. Someday. I mean, this is really fucking crazy, Gibbs. We don't even know-" "It'll work," Gibbs says, and he sounds so earnest and relieved that Tony's taken aback. "Of course it'll work, Tony." "What makes you so sure?" Tony asks softly. It's not that he doubts them, really, because when you save each other's lives on a daily basis, your relationship tends to be quite strong. He just can't help but wonder at Gibbs' conviction. "My gut," Gibbs says. "Didn't you just tell me it's never wrong?" Tony grins. "Guess so," he says. "But what if-" Gibbs presses a finger against Tony's lips and shakes his head. "It'll work," he says. "I know you, Tony. And you know me, more than anyone else. It'll work." "But I'm a man," Tony says. Gibbs snorts. "I know. A hot, well-dressed, strong one, too." "You just called me hot," Tony says, and he doesn't mean to sound so awed, but he is definitely very much, well, awed. "Get used to it," Gibbs says with a shrug. Tony laughs because this is surreal, and then Gibbs is kissing him again. He's kissing him with fervor, and Tony feels completely claimed. If he weren't so used to that feeling with Gibbs already, he might feel put off, but it just excites him, and he pushes closer to Gibbs, wanting to stake a claim of his own, the adrenaline of the conversation pushing itself into this moment, into the way his hands smooth over Gibbs' back and melt into the heat of Gibbs' neck, the way his legs shift-shift-shift until he's all but straddling Gibbs, the way his mouth moves so quickly. He's eager to taste every inch of Gibbs, to get him all at once - but then he pulls away abruptly, breath coming fast in his excitement. "Gotta slow down," he says breathlessly, eyes flickering between Gibbs' mouth and his eyes. Gibbs smiles. "That so?" he asks, and his hands are tugging Tony's waist, pulling him closer still. Tony nods. "I want - I want it to last," he says, thinking of all his failed relationships, of all the times he's rushed into sex and not savored it, and this is Gibbs, and he's waited so long he'd been absolutely positive it would never, ever happen, so what's the rush, really? Gibbs smiles again, and it's a fond smile Tony's not sure he's ever really seen, and then Gibbs kisses him, a sweet, chaste kiss. "It'll last," he says again. "I never let my ex-wives in, but you're already there. Nothing to worry about." "But - my hair is thinning," Tony says, sitting up a bit straighter. "My hair - I'm not young anymore, Boss. It's thinning. And I think I might be gaining-" Gibbs shuts him up with a kiss, and Tony can't help but smile at that, smile widening when Gibbs laughs. "I know you're not young, Tony," he says. "Neither am I. I don't care about your hair." "It's not red," Tony says. He's not sure why he sounds so petulant. "Good," Gibbs says with a shrug, and just like that, Tony feels sure that Gibbs is right, that this will work, and that maybe he can stop worrying and obsessing about how much time is passing while he's sitting around waiting for something that will never happen because here it is, happening. "Hey, call me crazy, Gibbs, but don't you think going straight from coworkers to married is a little intense? I mean, we haven't really explored the in-between, have we? I mean, I never really thought about marriage-" "Been exploring the in-between this whole time," Gibbs points out, and Tony frowns thoughtfully for a moment. "Guess you're right," Tony says. "But-" "Tony," Gibbs says. "I didn't mean we should go get married right now. I just mean it's serious for me, more serious than it has been with any of them, and I want to marry you, and I want it to work, and it will, because it's you. When my hair starts thinning -" "It's already gray," Tony interrupts, and he knows why he sounds petulant this time, because really, that's just not fair. Gibbs rolls his eyes, but isn't sidetracked. "When my hair is thinning and it's time to retire, I don't want to stop seeing you because I don't go to work. I want something outside of work, and I want it to be you, and I want it to last the rest of my life." "I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone," Tony says. "You remember that one-" "Tony," Gibbs interrupts. If it were someone else, maybe they would've kept talking, would've asked a question to express what they're trying to say, but this is Gibbs, and he doesn't need to, not with Tony. Tony can hear the vulnerability in his voice and see the question in the unusually anxious expression on his face, and he smiles, reaching up and cupping Gibbs' face with his hand. "I get it," Tony says. "I really do, Gibbs. You're stuck with me now. Forever. I'm not going anywhere." Gibbs' eyes close and his shoulders relax and he leans into Tony's hand a bit, and Tony leans forward and hugs him, thinking it's even better than their kiss, luxuriating in the feel of Gibbs' fingers on the back of his head. And then he pulls away abruptly, smacking Gibbs' hand and ignoring the look of startled bewilderment on Gibbs' face. "You're gonna make me lose more hair!" Tony says, alarmed. "It's-" "Shut up, DiNozzo," Gibbs says, putting his hand back where it was and letting his fingers massage the back of Tony's head, hair be damned. It takes only a second of that for Tony to relax and think maybe some things are way more important than the number of hairs in his tub drain, and he smiles. "Shutting up, Boss." When the massage turns into a gentle headslap, Tony grins. He could get used to this. Forever, indeed.