Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 2226
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Summary: Happens a week after the events in my story, 'Special Delivery.' Gibbs confronts Tony.
Author Notes: Thanks to my beta, TheTenthmuse1 for looking things over.
Disclaimer: Characters are not mine, no money being made.
Gibbs stood at Tony’s apartment door and took a deep breath. He’d seen Tony’s car outside so he knew he was home. He knocked and got only silence. He knocked again. Still nothing. He sighed and pulled out his lock pick. In less than a minute the lock clicked and he opened the door. Light from the TV was the only thing that lit the dark living room. Gibbs could make out someone sitting on the couch. Moving closer he saw it was Tony. Their eyes met and inwardly Gibbs winced at the weary look he easily read on Tony’s face.
Tony shifted like he was going to stand, but he didn’t. Gibbs noticed that he was dressed in a white sleeveless tee shirt and blue pajama pants. There was a bandage high on Tony’s left shoulder. “What happened?”
Tony looked at the TV and didn’t answer.
Gibbs was ready to ask again when Tony spoke. “I zigged when I should have zagged.”
Gibbs sat down beside Tony and sighed. He didn’t know where to start. The Tony he’d seen on that film, the way he’d acted. He didn’t know that Tony. Did six weeks really change a man that much?
The TV was muted so Tony’s voice was the only thing that cut through the silence.
“Come to get your revenge? Go on then, get it over with so I can go to bed.”
“I’m not here for revenge. I want you to leave Jen alone. This is not about her. What the hell is wrong with you?” He waited for Tony to say something, to defend himself. Gibbs wanted to be angrier but mostly he felt tired and confused.
Tony took a drink from the bottle that rested between his legs. Gibbs noticed it was water and not beer. Probably because of the medication he was on for his shoulder. Tony sighed. “You ever get so angry you can’t see anything else? So angry, you focus on one thing and think that might fix you, make you feel something else besides pain?” He cleared his throat and whispered, “I regretted sending that DVD to you as soon as I put it in the mail. I broke it off with Jen two days later.” Gibbs’ eyes narrowed and Tony stuck his chin out. “No, I didn’t film it. That was an empty threat, Gibbs. And I didn’t tell her about us. I think she might suspect, but I didn’t tell her.”
Gibbs didn’t say anything. He was still trying to figure out this version of Tony. He’d thought that he’d known him so well. But that was then and this was now. In this now, he left and never called, never let Tony know he was more than just the new team leader.
“The Tony I know…”
Tony snorted, interrupting him.
“The Tony you know. The Tony you know worshipped the ground you walked on. Every moment, every second I could get your attention made my day better. When we started sleeping together, I thought I had everything I needed. I had a job doing something worthwhile and a lover who was even more dedicated than I was. Some days I wanted to tell everybody about us. Then you almost died.” Tony sipped his drink. “After that, things happened fast, didn’t they? You back at work, but not all there. Then you gave me your gun and shield.”
Gibbs watched as Tony rubbed at his eyes.
“I expected you to come by later, or call. I waited. Then I went to your house. I could tell you’d packed some things.” He laughed bitterly. “Like a fool, I still waited. I just couldn’t get it through my thick head that you would leave like that.”
Gibbs looked at the TV. There was a basketball game starting and he watched for a few moments. “I remembered us a few days after I got to Mexico. I should have called. I should have let you know something, anything. I’m sorry for that Tony. More sorry than you can know.”
Tony stared at him. “Are you really?” He seemed to lean to the side before he straightened back up and blinked at Gibbs. “I started drinking more after you left. It felt good to have that first burn in the back of my throat once I was here away from everyone. Seeing all the doubt and speculation in everyone’s eyes made work an interesting place. It pissed me off so much, but I couldn’t show it. I’m supposed to be happy, right? Tony DiNozzo, playboy and flirt first, Special Agent second.”
Gibbs didn’t say anything because he could imagine that that’s what plenty of people thought of Tony. He’d seen beyond the mask Tony put out there, but most people couldn’t be bothered to see more than what was in front of them.
Tony stood up and Gibbs watched him go to the kitchen and come back with another bottle of water. He took a long swallow and Gibbs watched shadowy throat muscles work.
Tony started talking again. “A few drinks on the weekend became a few drinks every night.” He was quiet and Gibbs tried to remember if he’d ever seen Tony so quiet and serious outside of work. “A day after I slipped that package into the mail I looked into the mirror and saw my father. I’d always vowed not to become him, but there he was, looking back at me and it made me throw every drop of liquor out.” Tony looked at him as if trying to read Gibbs’ mind. “I’m not using the drinking as an excuse. It is what it is.”
Gibbs stood and got his own bottle of water. His entire body felt dry and barren like it used to, back during Desert Storm. He sat back down. He hadn’t prepared any speech for this Tony. He was expecting the one that he’d seen on that film. Clear-cut plans involving hitting and some threats was how he’d wanted to take care of the problem.
Tony proved he could still surprise Gibbs with his next words. His voice was strong, his tone hard. “I don’t want your forgiveness for what I did, you know. It won’t do me any good, if I don’t forgive myself first. If I need yours I’ll ask, beg, or whatever for it. But I have to take care of me. I can’t lose myself inside someone else again. I put you first for so long.” He laughed and it sounded sad and hopeful at the same time. “Looking back it was like you swallowed me whole, Gibbs. But when you left I felt like nothing, like less than nothing. Luckily, I managed to do some thinking and got beyond the anger and drinking.” Gibbs watched Tony lightly brush fingers over the white bandage on his shoulder. “Plus, this is a wonderful wake up call.” Tony’s next question wasn’t unexpected. “You destroy that DVD?”
Gibbs finished his water. Tony was still an unpredictable element and he knew that was strange in and of itself. He could always depend on a few truths with Tony, but not now. This was a whole new ballgame. “Yeah, I did.”
Tony nodded. “Good. If Jenny finds out what I did, the nicest thing she’ll do is shoot me.”
Gibbs felt like a he’d touched an electrical outlet when Tony said Jen’s name.
“When did you start sleeping with her?” Gibbs didn’t know why he asked that. He met Tony’s eyes and saw the speculative look in them.
Tony shook his head. “That’s none of your business. I already let you see a part of her you weren’t supposed to.”
Gibbs considered that answer and found he could live with it. He watched the game, content to stop arguing for the moment. Gibbs estimated it was ten minutes later that Tony groaned and stood up. His long fingers were wrapped around the empty water bottle’s neck. Gibbs’ stomach tightened as he realized he missed those hands, Tony’s hands. His eyes skimmed Tony’s body and he realized Tony had lost weight.
Suddenly Gibbs wanted to touch him. He wanted to strip off Tony’s clothes and examine him, see what was new and what he’d remember. His mouth almost watered as the memory of the way Tony tasted pushed its way to the front of his brain. Tony had tasted like hot salt and some other spice Gibbs couldn’t name. God, he used to be greedy for that taste, wanting to gulp it down, letting his lips and tongue travel Tony’s body, picking out where the taste was strongest. Tony seemed unaware of Gibbs’ sudden arousal. He gave Gibbs a half smile and waved a hand at the couch.
“You’re welcome to the couch.” He stepped pass Gibbs and walked to his room. Gibbs stood and followed. He touched Tony’s arm in the hallway and when Tony turned; Gibbs pressed closer and kissed him. For one still moment, Tony didn’t move, then suddenly he kissed Gibbs back, hard and sloppy but to Gibbs, it was perfect. Lips and tongues met and Gibbs hardened further as Tony’s tongue invaded his mouth and took over. Gibbs couldn’t hear anything but their heavy breathing. He was careful of Tony’s sore shoulder. He pulled away from Tony’s mouth and sucked at the skin on his jaw before he moved on to Tony’s neck.
Jethro found the smell he was looking for and it was just as addictive as it had been before. He licked at Tony’s neck and wanted to close his teeth over a patch of skin. He gave in to the urge and held Tony to the wall as Tony gasped and bucked his hips. Jethro reached into the pajamas and curled his fingers around Tony’s cock. Smooth, slick at the tip and so hot. Jethro sucked at Tony’s neck as he pumped and jerked him off. Tony moaned and it sounded like Gibbs remembered; hot and needy and just for him.
Jethro stroked Tony’s cock and didn’t stop even as Tony scrabbled at Jethro’s jeans, looking for the opening. He got them open and Jethro hummed in appreciation. Tony’s fingers touched him just how he liked it, a little rough and fast.
Tony hissed out a warning but Jethro ignored it and sped up. Seconds later his hand was warm and wet and his heart pounded fast and almost painful. He’d missed this, missed Tony, this connection. Jethro bit his bottom lip and groaned silently as he came, Tony’s fingers like magic on him.
They stood in the dark hallway, silent, each trying to recover. Jethro licked his lips and savored the taste of Tony that lingered as the other man left for a brief time. Tony brought him a washcloth and Jethro wiped off the sticky parts of his body. Tony leaned against the wall right next to his bathroom door. The light bled into the hall, illuminating parts of their bodies.
Tony’s voice was low and hoarse. “You’re not staying are you?”
Jethro didn’t have to think about his answer. “No.” He wasn’t ready to be back here. Wasn’t ready to be back among so many people. His body was healed and most of his memory had returned, but he still needed to adjust and face the fact that life was not as he wanted or wished. An idea weeded its way into his mind and he had to ask, though he could guess Tony’s answer.
“You want to come with me?”
Tony gave a half smile and shook his head. “This little hallway performance didn’t change anything. I’ve got some things to face and accept. I still love my job.”
Gibbs could see that love in Tony’s eyes. He wondered what the people at work would say if they could see it.
Tony continued, “I have to love it so much, or I’d have been gone after Kate died.”
They stood together a while, neither seeming to know what to do next.
Finally, Tony gestured at the bathroom. “You know where the towels are. The couch offer is still open.”
Jethro nodded and then just stood there. Tony looked at him for a long moment and his memory of the old Tony and this one merged. The one that sent that DVD wasn’t here. Even good people did ugly things they couldn’t take back. They had to live with it and that’s what Tony was doing.
The genuine smile Tony suddenly gave him made him stand up straight.
Tony patted his shoulder and headed to his bedroom. He called back over his shoulder, “When you find what you’re looking for, I hope you come back.”
Jethro showered and bedded down on the couch. He had a plane to catch in the morning.