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Too Late

by: emily_sheppard (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 009 Word Count: 7294
Rating: MATURE
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Episode Related, Established Relationship, Hurt/Comfort
Pairing(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo
Episode(s): 3-23 Hiatus (1), 3-24 Hiatus (2), 4-01 Shalom, 4-02 Escaped, 4-03 Singled Out, 4-04 Faking It
Summary: Gibbs tries to get his life back after the events of Hiatus, but will Tony let him?

Author Notes: Not now, nor will they ever be mine

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

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Chapter 1

Seeing Gibbs sitting at his old desk, settled in, brought back feelings Tony had carefully hidden through the case they’d just wrapped. He didn’t want to feel his stomach jumping in joy at realising the other man was back. He didn’t want to feel his heart lighten at the sight of the man he once loved so much… the man he still couldn’t help but love.

No! He didn’t love him anymore. He couldn’t. Gibbs had left him… them, twice. And both times without saying goodbye. The brief encounter when the man handed over his badge and gun didn’t count. Tony didn’t expect it, but he hoped had he meant a little more to the other man that he at least got a goodbye without the entire bullpen as a witness. The second time he didn’t even get a chance to see him, in public or otherwise, after hearing from McGee Gibbs had once more left for Mexico. And then hearing from Fornell and the Director that Gibbs had put his house up for sale? No, couldn’t love him anymore.

But his damned heart.

He tried to sound happy when he welcomed Gibbs back, tried to joke about his desk and the benefits about having a bigger one, but his smile never reached his eyes, his jokes were forced and he couldn’t muster being even close to his usual up-beat self. He tried to hide it from everyone, but from the pained expressions he occasionally received from Gibbs… he should really practice his poker face.

For the rest of the day he avoided Gibbs with an ease that surprised both men. Made sure he was never alone with his boss, went down to Abby’s lab more times than he could count. He was half expecting to be torn a new one every time he got back upstairs, but Gibbs never so much as said a word.

Time never went as slow as that day and when Gibbs called it, he was the first in the elevator, wanting to put as much space between them as possible.

Being at home didn’t improve his situation much though. Suddenly everything reminded him again of Gibbs. He’d spent weeks trying to suppress that feeling, desperately wanting for it to go away. He’d finally succeeded and last week was the first time he’d actually had a full night’s sleep without waking up in the middle of the night from a memory of Gibbs. Now that feeling was back, tenfold.

There was only one thing that could make those thoughts go away: as much alcohol as his stomach would allow. He’d have to go to work with a giant hang-over but he’d done it before.

He was on his third scotch when he heard a familiar knock on his door. There was only one person in the world that could make a knock sound like an order. Tony debated whether or not to just let Gibbs stand there at his front door, but he knew the knocking would continue and the last thing he wanted were his neighbours coming out into the hall demanding what was going on. He really didn’t want to deal with anyone right now. He was already close to the edge.

So he opened the door.

He cursed his heart again for feeling happy to see the man he really didn’t want there. See those familiar ice blue eyes, hands that had touched every part of him, legs, arms and frame he knew like the back of his hand.

“What’d you want?” His voice had every ounce of venom he could muster. And from the way he saw Gibbs wince, the other man had felt it.

Gibbs closed his eyes, head dropping forward a bit before picking himself up again. “Can I come in?”

Every fibre of his being told Tony to say no, close the door and walk away, but that treacherous part if him made him stand back to give the other man room to enter.

Gibbs stood still in the middle of his living room, his back to Tony.

“So, you back for good? Or should I be expecting you to be gone again tomorrow morning?” Tony had to wrap his hands around himself to keep from lashing out.

Gibbs slowly turned, eyes to the floor. “Tony…”

“If you’re here to give me some lame ass explanation… I don’t want it. I don’t care.”

Gibbs swallowed down his initial response. “So that’s it? You’re not even gonna give me the chance to explain?”

It was taking everything Tony had to not walk away, to run like he always did. “You don’t have to give me any explanation. You’re back, I’m back to being your second. You expect me to not be late on Monday. I won’t.”

“Tony, I didn’t come here to…”

“You didn’t come here to what? To talk?” Tony snorted. “Then why did you come? To satisfy that unreachable itch? Fuck my brains out? See if it’s like you remembered? If you remember it at all.”

Tony saw Gibbs’ jaw flex and for a second he was convinced the other man was going to punch him in the face.

Instead he saw Gibbs forcibly take a deep breath.

“I remembered it all when I left. I remembered every feeling, every touch, every second you and I spent together.”

“Still wasn’t enough to get you to stay.” Now besides the barely contained urge to hit Gibbs, Tony had to fight to keep himself from not falling to pieces. He hated that his voice sounded so shaken. He didn’t want Gibbs to know how much he was hurting.

“I’m here now.”

That sentence drew all the energy Tony had. “You should’ve been here then, but you ran.” He suddenly felt more tired than he’d been in a very long time. “Go home Gibbs. Whatever you came here to find, it’s too late. You had your chance.” Without looking back, Tony walked to his bedroom and closed the door behind him.

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Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

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