Adaption

by: Tibbslover (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 2403
Rating: YTEEN
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Ducky Mallard
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Established Relationship, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Pairing(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo
Summary: We never saw how Tony coped with the loss of Kate and on top of all that with the plague. Tony is still suffering from pneumonia and he needs Gibbs help to deal with all that. SLASH! Established relationship

Author Notes: It's a story I've written about two years ago. It follows after "Kill Ari"

Chapter 1

Adaption

When Gibbs got home the house was dark. There were no lights coming from the basement or the living room where the TV often flickered with some action movie or classic. The only sound he heard was water running in the master bathroom.

Gibbs frowned. He sent his lover home to shower a couple of hours ago. He didn´t want Tony to use the decontamination showers and then keep working. The paperwork could wait. After his bout with the plague two weeks ago, Gibbs didn´t want to take any chances with the health of his lover. Ari was back in Israel and Kate was buried in Indiana. Thank God it was Friday. The team was off rotation this weekend and they had the next week off. Now Gibbs and Tony could finally concentrate on themselves, their love, and Tony´s recovery. Tony's health was more important than some damn forms.

Gibbs took two steps at the time, went into the bedroom and then entered the bathroom. He noticed a strange sound coming from the shower and as when Gibbs opened the shower door he felt his heart break and stop. His beautiful lover was huddled in the corner of the stall, his knees pressed tightly against his body, his arms wrapped tightly around them, curling him into a ball. The strange sound was his teeth chattering. The water had run cold.

'Dammit Tony,' Gibbs thought as he turned the freezing water off, stopping it from drenching his lover further.

Gibbs grabbed a fluffy, warm towel from the heated towel rack that had appeared in his bathroom one day. He didn't mind the change; in fact he even found it was nice to step out of the shower and wrap up in a warm towel.

His knee cracked when he crouched in front of Tony. "Tony? What are you still doing in the shower," he asked softly so as not to startle his shivering partner. Tony's eyes tried to focus on Gibbs and to understand what he said.

"LJ," Tony asked. Gibbs had to smile at that. Tony refused to call him Jethro when they were alone, and Gibbs refused to be called Leroy. So they agreed on LJ.

"Yeah baby, it´s me. Come on, your pneumonia will get worse if you stay here any longer."

Gibbs helped Tony stand up and wrapped him gently in the warm towel. He rubbed his hands up and down on Tony's arms to warm him up. Gibbs fished his cell phone out of his pocket and hit the speed dial to call Ducky. Tony´s lips were slightly blue.

"Dr. Mallard speaking."

"Hey Duck, it´s me. I need your help." Gibbs stuffed his phone between his head and shoulder, grabbed another towel and covered Tony´s head with it.

"Ah, Jethro. What can I do for you," asked the kind Doctor. They all knew of Gibbs and Tony's relationship and were okay with it.

"I just got home and found Tony in the shower. The water was freezing and his lips are slightly blue. I wrapped him in a warm towel, another is over his wet hair and I am trying to warm him up."

"Oh my, I´ll grab my bag and be right over. In the meantime put him in bed, get a hot water bottle and put it under the covers. I´ll be there in 30 minutes."

"Okay. Thanks Duck." Gibbs said and hung up. He stuffed his phone back into his pocket and continued to dry Tony off.

Next he grabbed a pair of Tony's favorite sweatpants and one of his own USMC-Shirts that Tony loved and helped his lover dress. Now that the case (if you can call Kate a "case") was over and the Adrenaline had worn off, everything in Tony seemed to be falling apart. He was moving in slow motion, as though lifting his arms and legs took every ounce of strength he had left.

"She is gone, LJ," Tony whispered and Jethro had to listen closely to understand it. His heart was breaking from the pain he could hear and see in his lover's voice and eyes.

"I know, baby. Come on. Let´s get you in bed."

Gibbs guided Tony into the bedroom and pulled back the covers on the bed. He helped Tony into bed and tucked him in. Jethro dropped a kiss on his lover's forehead and started toward the kitchen when he heard Tony's voice again.

"Don´t go…please. Don´t leave me alone."

Gibbs sat on the edge of their bed. "I´m just going to the kitchen to get you a hot water bottle. I don´t want your pneumonia to get worse, baby." Gibbs carded his fingers through Tony's hair, the way he knew the younger man loved.

"I´m f-fine. P-p-please stay." Tony looked pleadingly in Gibbs eyes as he stuttered out the words.

"Don´t look at me like that…please, Tony. I won´t be long. I promise. Scout´s honor." That got Jethro a little smile from his partner.

"You were…n-never a b-b-boy scout, LJ."

"Busted. Listen. I really need to get you that hot water bottle or otherwise Ducky will rip me a new one and we don´t want that, now do we?" Gibbs tried to lighten the mood a little bit. It wouldn´t do Tony any good to fall into a depression.

"Well it w-would h-have it´s p-perks." Tony smiled again but it didn´t reach his eyes.

"I knew you would say that." Gibbs eyes sparkled a little and Tony knew he was only trying to cheer him up a little.

"Go…get my bottle," Tony said. He knew that Gibbs wouldn´t go anywhere, and it would only be a couple of minutes before he returned.

Gibbs bent forward and gave him a kiss. Tony opened his mouth and his lover's tongue carefully caressed his own. The kiss was so gentle and soft that Tony felt like crying. He had never felt more loved and cherished than he did in this moment.

That feeling didn´t last very long, because right then the need to cough overwhelmed him.

"Okay, okay. I get the hint. I´m going." Gibbs pulled away and stood up. Concern shown in his eyes.

Between coughing and trying to catch his breath Tony smiled at him. Gibbs grabbed the water bottle from a bathroom cabinet and went downstairs into the kitchen. He grabbed a pot, filled it with water and boiled it on the stove. While he waited he thought about the last couple of days.

He couldn´t believe that Kate was really dead. It seemed like only yesterday that he hired her. Now she was gone and the team had to learn to live without her. They had to adapt again. Before he could get any further with his thoughts, the water was ready and he heard his front door open and Ducky walked into the kitchen.

"Hey Ducky. Thanks for coming," Jethro said to his old friend as he poured the hot water into the water bottle.

"No problem, my dear boy. I assume that Tony is upstairs in bed?"

"Yes, he is." He closed the water bottle and went with Ducky upstairs.

"He is still shocked about what happened to Kate."

"Well we all are. But since our Caitlin was like the sister he never had, it hit him harder," Ducky said and entered the bedroom.

Tony was lying on his side with his back to the door. Ducky went around and sat on the edge of the bed.

"Hey Duck…" the rest was engulfed by a coughing fit. Ducky took out his stethoscope and lifted Tony's shirt. In the meantime Gibbs sat on his side of the bed and began to run his fingers through Tony's hair again.

"Are you still on your medication," Ducky asked as he finished with his exam and put his stethoscope away. Tony nodded.

"Okay, then keep taking them. Your lungs didn´t sound any differently since the last time I checked them. But I advise that you stay in bed and keep yourself warm."

"I will…thanks Ducky," Tony said and then sighed in contentment when Gibbs put the hot water bottle in front of him and covered him again.

"Your welcome, my dear boy. You just concentrate on getting better."

Tony nodded, Gibbs dropped a kiss on his forehead and escorted Ducky out.

"Keep an eye on him, Jethro. In his state it would be fatal if the pneumonia were to get worse." The Doctor warned the senior agent.

"What should I look out for, Duck," Jethro asked worriedly.

"Well first his breathing and second his coughing. If he is breathing heavily or wheezing or if he coughs up sputum that is dark or bloody, call me immediately. Keep him warm and if he begins to run a fever, I also advise you to call me immediately."

"I will Ducky. Thank you," Gibbs said and opened the door to let Ducky out.

"I will stop by tomorrow morning to check up on him."

Gibbs nodded and then Ducky headed towards his car. Jethro closed the door and locked it. Ever since Tony and all his electronic gadgets moved in with him a year ago, he had adapted to locking his door.

He went back into the kitchen to make a sandwich for himself and some chicken soup for Tony. When the soup was hot, he put his sandwich and the bowl with the soup on a tray and carried it upstairs into the bedroom. Tony hadn't moved an inch in the time Gibbs was downstairs. When he rounded the bed and stood in front of Tony, Gibbs saw that he was asleep. He put the tray on the floor and just looked at his young lover. He loved just being able to look at Tony when his guards were down, when he let himself be vulnerable and wasn't hiding behind his frat boy persona. Gibbs knew the real Tony. The loving and caring man that made him laugh. That made him happy.

Tony's lips were still slightly blue and he had dark circles under his eyes. His skin was pale but he wasn´t sweating. As if he knew someone was watching him, one eye popped open.

"Hmm, you´re doing it again…" he mumbled.

"Doing what," Jethro asked innocently. Tony had caught him staring a couple of times in the three years they were together.

"You're burning a hole through my scull again. Ducky´s gone," Tony asked and sat up.

Gibbs nodded and picked up the tray putting it on his lover's lap. Then he went into the bathroom to get Tony's medication. His sick lover made a face when he saw that. He hated taking pills; but it was either that or going back to the hospital, which Gibbs knew his stubborn lover hated even more.

"I have to eat, right?" Gibbs nodded. "Okay, let's get it over with." Tony sighed, picked up the spoon and began to eat the chicken soup. Gibbs began eating his sandwich. They ate together in comfortable silence.

When they were finished, Gibbs took everything back into the kitchen and turned the lights off. The dishes could wait. He went back upstairs and got undressed down to his boxers. Gibbs got under the covers and Tony immediately put his head on his shoulder and draped an arm and leg over him. Jethro wrapped his arm around his lover and held him close. They lay like that for a couple of minutes before Tony spoke.

"I can´t believe she is gone, LJ. I can´t get my head around it. I wait for her to bust in on us again or a snarky remark on one of my jokes. There is no one now who´s ganging up with me to tease McGee…" Tony began to cry. "…I´m gonna miss her, LJ. What am I gonna do?"

Gibbs held his crying partner tightly and spoke soothingly to him while he kissed his forehead.

"Everything is gonna be alright, baby. Shhh, I´ve got you." At that, Tony cried even harder. "Let it all out. I´m here. I got you."

Tony cried until he had no tears left in him. He felt empty. There was a big hole in his heart where Kate had been. Besides their teasing and bitching, Kate was the sister Tony never had. No one could replace her. No one could fill that hole that Kate left. Maybe LJ could in time. Tony knew his partner would help him in every way he could.

Maybe they were all right and time would heal all wounds.

"What am I gonna do," Tony asked again. It sounded desperate and pain filled; he felt like he was grasping at straws.

"You adapt…" There was that word again. Adapt. "…eventually. In time the loss and pain you felt about Kate will reduce. Eventually you´ll remember the good times you had with her and it won´t be so painful to think about her. She will always be a part of our team and she´ll watch over us, I´m sure of that."

God how could he deserve someone like LJ? Who would´ve thought that under that 'second-B-for-Bastard' and tough Marine-sniper-persona would hide a caring, gentle and loving man. He realized in that moment that his life and future didn´t look so dark as long as he had LJ by his side.

"LJ?"

"Hmm?"

"I love you. I know I don´t say it often enough. But Kate´s death has shown me, that life is simply too short not to tell someone you love them."

Gibbs gave him a wide and heartwarming smile. He bent down and gave his partner a soft kiss, in that he poured all his love into.

"I love you, too, baby. And don´t you forget that."

Tony gave him one of his shy smiles that were reserved only for Gibbs. This time it even reached his eyes. In that moment Gibbs knew that everything would be alright. They would adapt. Like he adapted to lock his front door to protect Tony's electronic stuff, the team would adapt to work without Kate.

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MTAC - NCIS Fic