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by: xanfan (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1419
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Character Study, Angst/Drama
Episode(s): 2-22 SWAK, 2-23 Twilight, 3-24 Hiatus (2)
Summary: SLASH - He pretends it doesn't hurt, and maybe one day he won't have to pretend anymore.
Title: He Pretends
Rating: R/Possibly NC-17
Summary: SLASH – He pretends it doesn’t hurt, and maybe one day he won’t have to pretend anymore.
Spoilers: Pretty much the whole show up to Hiatus 2
Warnings: Slash M/M
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
He lies there panting when it’s over. The sweat still wet on his skin, the burn of muscles stretched in achingly good ways, the smell of lust and sex heavy in the air… he lies there soaking it all in, savoring each and every sensation, filing them away so that later he can pull them out as cherished sense memories. He pretends strong arms will reach out and pull him against a warm body for a little spooning. He pretends he’ll be kissed on the back of the neck and told to ‘Go to sleep, we have an early start tomorrow.’
Instead a strong body rolls away from him to sit on the edge of the bed and he hears a variation on the same words he always hears: “We both have to be in early tomorrow, and I still have some things I need to get done. I’ll see you in the morning. Bring coffee.”
He slowly climbs out of the bed and tries not to lose his ‘after-glow’ feelings as he pulls on his clothes. “Sure thing, Boss.”
“Give me a moment and I’ll walk you out, I need to get something out of my car anyway.”
As he waits, he pretends that when he’s walked out he’ll be pulled into warm arms for a lingering goodbye kiss. He likes to think the walk’s so they can catch a few extra moments together and not just an excuse to lock the door behind him, since he doesn’t have a key and won’t be offered one.
After receiving his slap on the shoulder, he climbs into his car and starts the car to drive to his apartment, where he will check his machine for messages and resist the urge to call and let him know he got home okay. He knows by now that the interruption won’t be wanted or appreciated. He will climb into a cold bed and wrap his arms around a body pillow and pretend he doesn’t wish the pillow was a warm and loving body. He’ll try to sleep, pretending tomorrow won’t be more of the same.
The exact details, the location, may change, but the theme is always the same. Sometimes he’s on his knees in a stopped elevator and he gets a ‘Thanks, but we gotta get back to work.’ Sometimes he’s bent over his own couch and he gets a slap on the ass and a ‘Thanks for the pizza and beer, I’ll call you this weekend and we’ll catch a game.’ He doesn’t get called, but it’s a nice sentiment. On the rare occasions where they go out in public, albeit to a random bar in an out-lying ‘burb where no one will recognize them or remember them, they pull over on the way back in some heavily wooded area that no one else even knows about. After some quick, hot friction and groping, he’s dropped off in front of his apartment building and he gets a ‘You’re on call this weekend, so make sure your phone is on,’ shouted out the car window at him.
Yeah. Different settings, same story.
He wakes up in the middle of the night with tears on his cheeks. It’s not a nightmare, just a cruel joke of a dream. He berates himself for acting like ‘such a chick,’ and can’t look at himself in the mirror when he splashes water on his face. He pretends that the dream wasn’t his greatest fantasy. Because what real man, gay, straight, bi, whatever, has a fantasy about being taken out to dinner at a restaurant where the lights aren’t dimmed to the point that you can’t see the person across from you, much less across the room? It’s not manly to dream about being taken home after dinner and having hot but tender love made to you. Only wimps wish for after-sex cuddles and to be asked to stay the whole night. Manly men don’t dream about not having to bite back three little words. And only wussies wake up in tears because they know that dream doesn’t have a chance in hell of coming true. He no longer finds it sad that he no longer even dreams about having those three little words said back to him; that particular fantasy is so far out of reach, even his subconscious mind will no longer entertain it.
He goes to work the next morning and plays the goof and tries not to flinch when his boss yells at him for daydreaming when he was staring at his computer screen and trying to find a connection between a suspect and a victim. He pretends he only cares a little bit that his team-mates get rare compliments and encouragement and he gets a slap on the back of the head.
He knows that tonight will be the same as any other. And yet, his stomach still gets tingles from the prospect of some time alone with the man.
He pretends that he no longer wants more. That he doesn’t mind being a fuck-buddy. That he never wanted to be more than a warm body and a stress reliever. He pretends he doesn’t sometimes wish he’d just given his boss a stress ball when the man had showed signs of burn-out, instead of giving himself.
He’s been living the same lie for over two years, so why stop pretending now?
When he has a coughing fit because his lungs are still a little weak after all this time, he doesn’t let himself be pulled into memories of the hope of a real future he had when he was ordered not to die while he lay in that hospital bed. He pretends he didn’t believe that things would be different, that they would be real.
He refuses to acknowledge, even to himself, how devastated he was when things went back to the status quo after he had recovered. How for months he kept looking for hints that he was more than an employee and a frequent booty call. How he still occasionally tries to find meaning in the smallest things.
He pretends that for months after their teammate’s death, he didn’t wake up from nightmares still feeling her blood spray across his face, showering and scrubbing the phantom blood off two or three times a night because no one was there to hold him while he cried.
Months later, when his boss has amnesia and doesn’t know who he is or what they do together, he pretends not to take it personally that he was so easily forgotten. When the man he has loved for so long hands in his badge and walks out the door, he pretends he doesn’t hear a shame filled voice in his head wonder if this is just an excuse for his boss to extract himself from their ‘thing’ without confrontation. He pretends it doesn’t hurt when the man doesn’t even bother to say goodbye in private, or say goodbye at all.
And as Tony DiNozzo tries to lead a team that doesn’t trust him to lead, surrounded by people who see him as just an aging frat-boy who’s under-qualified for a job he doesn’t even really want, he pretends he doesn’t go home to an empty apartment every night. He pretends he doesn’t check his machine for messages that won’t be there. He pretends he doesn’t crawl into a cold bed and wrap his arms around a body pillow and he’ll pretend he doesn’t wish the pillow was a warm and loving body. He’ll try to sleep, pretending that he doesn’t want things to go back to the way they were.
MTAC - NCIS Fic