Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1907
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Episode(s): 3-24 Hiatus (2)
Summary: He knows things could be different. This is a companion story to my other fics, 'He Pretends' & 'He Remembers'
Title: He Knows
Rating: R/Possibly NC-17
Summary: SLASH – He knows things could be different. This is a companion story to my other fics, ‘He Pretends’ & ‘He Remembers’
Spoilers: Pretty much the whole show up to Hiatus 2
Warnings: Slash M/M, description of M/F friendship with an original character
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.
When it’s over, he files his final report for the case and makes sure his entire team has left for the night. Even though he knows most of them left hours ago, he still checks; it’s part of being a team lead. At least for him it is. Tony has made sure that all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted on everything he hands in, because he knows that even the tiniest mistakes will be held against him. He still hasn’t gotten used to being ‘the boss.’ It’s not a position he ever really strived for. He likes being a right hand man, he knows he’s good at it. But Gibbs left him in charge, and no matter what, DiNozzo has to try and live up to that.
Then he heads home to his empty apartment and his emptier bed.
He knows he could change that. It’s not like he hasn’t had opportunities or offers to fill either space. Hell, he’d even gone out on a few dates with this amazing woman he met at his new favorite sports bar, one that didn’t have any Gibbs-related memories. She’s a translator who speaks over twenty languages and loves to watch basketball on big screen TVs. Smart, great sense of humor, laughs at his jokes, and understands his knee-jerk flirting reaction and doesn’t take it personally whether it’s directed at her or someone else, and is in fact a bit of a flirt herself. They talked for hours on end and she learned more about him in that time than his teammates or Gibbs had over all the years he’d known them. Tony even told her about his ‘relationship’ with Gibbs.
And it’s not like the information exchange was one sided. He learned about her dreams and past heartache and she let him learn it the fun way. Emma understood and indulged his passion for finding out information through snooping and subtle questioning. It became a small game for them that started with her casually leaving her purse at the table when she’d gone to the restroom on their first date. The innocuous handbag called to him in a siren song he couldn’t resist, daring him to open it and have a peek at its contents, especially her wallet. When she came back to the table to find Tony checking the age on her driver’s license, she just smirked knowingly and told him she was proud he had resisted for as long as he had.
In short, Emma should be perfect, at least for him. She understands him, and knows what he wants and needs. If only there was a spark. Maybe she seemed so perfect because she is a lot like him in many ways. On their third date, they discovered that kissing each other was like kissing a sister or brother. She admitted that they had this great vibe going between them and they shouldn’t let that go, but that it wasn’t necessarily romantic or sexual. They both had so much fun together that it didn’t feel right to let it go to waste. So Tony has a new best friend, one who loves him and supports him and takes opportunities to subtly boost his mood and self-worth.
He knows that when she finds someone to love, she’ll still be the friend that he needs her to be. And she knows the same thing about him.
When he gets home from work, he kicks off his shoes and checks his messages. When he opens his door at the knock to see Gibbs standing there, it’s impossible to say who is more surprised, Tony or the man himself. His ex-boss has this disbelieving look on his face, like he can’t understand why he’s shown up.
When Tony asks him what the hell he’s doing there, Gibbs just says two words, “I remember.”
Tony doesn’t know what that means or if it’s a good or bad thing.
Again, they’re both surprised when Gibbs starts to tell him about spending the time that he’s been gone regaining and analyzing his memories. The former Special Agent tells DiNozzo that he doesn’t like the things he remembers.
Tony knows that at that revelation his face must show every ounce of the stabbing pain he is feeling, because Gibbs hastily adds that it wasn’t that he didn’t like the memories of being with Tony, those were explicitly hot; it’s the memories of how he treated him that turn his stomach.
When Tony asks what he expects to happen now, Gibbs knows he has just one chance to say the right thing. Apparently, “I want to be a better man than the one I remember being,” is close enough.
Gibbs doesn’t know what to think when Tony abruptly starts talking about a woman he’d met and become friends with. “If the world was fair, I would have fallen head over heels in love with her,” Tony says. “I could have convinced her to go to Vegas with me after the first date, put a ring on her finger, and never looked back.”
He thinks Tony is telling him it’s too late until his beautiful boy informs him that it’s a good thing the world isn’t fair. He knows he looks confused when Tony just laughs.
“It can’t be like it was before,” Tony says. “I don’t think either of us wants that. You almost killed me, Gibbs, with your indifference. I can’t do that again. If it starts to happen again, I’m gone. Maybe I’ll beg Emma to be stupid and run away with me, to go cause havoc somewhere else, be the Grace to my Will. I just want you to know from the get go that there is someone who’ll be in my life and have my six if things go bad again.”
It takes Gibbs a moment to realize that he’s being offered something he hadn’t thought he’d get: an opportunity. He doesn’t pretend to know why he’s this lucky or DiNozzo is that forgiving, but Leroy Jethro Gibbs knows better than to question, so he does the only thing he can think of.
Tony knows he’s never been kissed like this before, especially not by Gibbs. A deep, tonsil-seeking, soul-touching, emotion-packed kiss that leaves him breathless for more than one reason.
When he pulls back, he knows the grin on his face has to be goofy, and he’s surprised when Gibbs returns his silly grin with one of his own. It warms something inside him to see that side of Gibbs, something he’s sure not very many people have seen. But as fantastic as the kiss was, and as much as he likes that grin, Tony knows he doesn’t want to just hop back into bed; that’s how it all started, with them going straight for the ‘goodies’ without bothering with the ‘dating’ thing. Tony knows great relief when Gibbs agrees and they both take a moment to get themselves under control.
Gibbs doesn’t know what to think when Tony turns away from him to pick up the phone and make a call. After the pizza was ordered, the younger man dialed another number. Gibbs pretends not to be a little hurt when he realizes that Tony is calling the woman he’d described. He thought Tony would be focused on him tonight. He’s even further concerned when DiNozzo starts speaking Italian, and from the murmurs that Gibbs can hear from her side, she probably is too. The glances Tony keeps throwing his way are a cross between concern and joy. It’s an odd combination.
He’s shocked when, after a few minutes, Tony hands the phone over. Gibbs doesn’t remember ever being given ‘the talk’ like that before. He’d been given the speech when he’d met the families of his exes before, but they’d never included specific descriptions of the application of shovels and removal of organs using grapefruit spoons before. The effect isn’t even ruined when she giggles and says that she and Tony had watched too much Buffy on DVD together, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. He’s impressed. Not just with the threats, although they were really well thought out and scary, but that Tony had found someone to be that protective of him. It comes through, despite the giggling. He knows that he won’t be allowed to treat the younger man like crap again, not that he intends to. But if he does, this woman will be right there to kick his ass, and he’s pretty sure it won’t be just verbally.
When Tony takes the phone back, he can’t hide how flattered and amused he is that Emma would make death and dismemberment threats on his behalf, especially since he saw how impressed Gibbs was by her speech. The Willowesque moment was pretty much for his benefit, because Tony had commented to her over popcorn and the ‘shovel speech’ that no one had ever cared enough about him to give someone the shovel speech about him. He doesn’t regret for one moment letting her befriend him. And he knows that she won’t let him let himself be misused again.
He knows that it might not seem like much when Gibbs pays the delivery guy for the sausage-pepperoni-extra-cheese pizza and asks if he can stay and watch a movie or something, but it’s a good sign for things to come. He doesn’t have to pretend that he’s not enjoying sitting on the couch next to his… boyfriend… and being held while they watch Tony’s favorite old movie. And he doesn’t remember ever feeling this content before, like things are going to be okay.
When Gibbs asks Tony to pick out the movie, he’s warmed by the light in the younger man’s eyes and he doesn’t know how he ever lived with constantly dousing it like he remembers doing before. He pretends he knows how to do this courtship thing right, and is very glad when just going with the flow seems to pay off. Not having to be totally in control of everything is a nice change for him. He doesn’t ever remember being this relaxed or… content… in anyone’s presence before, so maybe this is how things should have been all along. And he hopes they’ll be this way for a long time to come.