Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 4085
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Abby Sciuto
Summary: At the end of a very difficult year for Tony, he meets the one man he never expected to meet and is given the chance for a new start.
Author Notes: Beta'ed by Periwinkle, who has my undying gratitude. Written for the 2007 NCIS Tinsel challenge
At twenty-five minutes to midnight, on New Year’s Eve,Tony DiNozzo stood in the crowded Downtown bar, wondering what the hell he was doing there.
He could have been at home, beer in hand, watching movies, dressed in old, comfy sweat pants and t-shirt. Not dressed to kill in his best Hugo Boss suit (the one with the pinstripes) and Paul Smith shirt and tie. He knew why, of course. Abby had asked him to be her date for the night. She had tickets and everything, that and plus Tony was too much of a gentleman (so he liked to believe) to bear to see a lady in distress.
Besides, an evening at home watching movies on his own or a ‘date’ with a beautiful woman? No contest in Tony’s book.
Tony was feeling very pleased with himself. He’d caught the eye of the pretty (but overworked) bartender and gotten his order in within three minutes of getting to the bar. Possibly a new record. He rewarded her with a cheeky smile and a five dollar tip. With the sound of her calling blessings for the New Year on him and his loved ones filling his ears, he slowly worked his way through the throng to where he’d left Abby.
She wasn’t difficult to spot in the crowd. Many other women in the bar had decided to go with jewel colours. To Tony’s appreciative eye, they all looked good, standing out like the proverbial birds of paradise among the blacks and greys favoured by the men in the bar. As far as Tony was concerned, none of them looked as good as Abby did. He didn’t think that because she was one of his dearest friends, but because it was the truth.
Abby decided to follow style rather than fashion, favoring the little black dress. Tony thought she looked like Audrey Hepburn dressed by Gaultier rather than Givenchy.
She was a knockout, looking like two million dollars (once inflation had been taken into consideration) and envied by every woman in the room for the way that she entranced every single man in the room. Not that she noticed, never did. She was more interested in having fun, making new friends and renewing old acquaintances.
If anyone decided to try it on with her (and there had been a couple that night) then Tony was there to gently ‘dissuade’ them of the idea. Abby wasn’t looking for anything but a good time that night. While Tony could do nothing for himself, he could do a whole lot for Abby. It was what friends did for one another.
As he slowly made his way through the crowds towards Abby, Tony noticed the gentleman talking with her. Bottled microbrew and a Jamesons whiskey (to welcome the new year in with) in one hand, can of Red Bull and a double vodka for the lady in the other.
Abby’s ‘gentleman friend’ wore a grey suit, light blue shirt, Tony noted with professional ease. One of the downsides of being a cop, he was always taking notes. Suit was well cut but not designer, the color complimented the guy’s salt and pepper hair.
“Tony!” she exclaimed, reaching out to take the can of Red Bull and the vodka glass from him. “Look who I found!”
Tony plastered a smile on his face and prepared to play nice with this ‘interloper’; more out of deference to his age (as ascertained by his grey hair) and the fact that he was making Abby smile than anything else. Abby might go for older men but Gibbs would have Tony’s hide if anything happened to her on his watch.
“DiNozzo, that better be bourbon.” Gibbs stated as turned around to face his Senior Field Agent, taking the whiskey from from his hand in one smooth move. Tony let him take the glass from him without protest, such was his outright shock of seeing Gibbs standing right next to him in the bar.
For his part, Tony didn’t know quite what to do with himself. He had so many questions to ask. Starting with ‘Why didn’t he say he was coming?’ and ‘Who was his tailor?’ because as far as Tony was concerned, Gibbs looked hotter than a volcano at the equator.
“Hey Boss,” he began, frantically thinking of something sensible to say before his libido cut his brain out of the loop. Despite his best efforts in recent months to convince himself otherwise, Tony was in love with his boss, for all the good it would do him.
Last time, Tony had seen Gibbs looking that hot in a suit, he’d made a crack about the older man getting married again. It was either that or make an offer to blow Gibbs in the elevator, which was what he’d been thinking at the time. A great idea but not one that was conductive to finding Commander Wilkinson alive and bringing her kidnapper to justice.
It didn’t stop Tony from from jerking off, for months afterwards, once the case wrapped, over the fantasy of him kneeling at Gibbs’ feet in the elevator. The older man’s suit pants undone, shirt tails and tie askew; the fabric caressing Tony’s hands as he kneaded his boss’s ass while he enthusiastically sucked Gibbs’ cock to the soundtrack of the other man’s pleasure moans.
“I didn’t think this would be your kinda shinding, Boss.” Tony said, thanking his stars that his cock hadn’t hi-jacked his entire blood supply from his brain. Any more blood flow down to the little head and the entire bar would know how he felt.
“Ducky gave me his ticket just before he went to the UK to deal with his Mom’s estate,” Gibbs explained to the both of them, his mouth curling up in that half smile that always made Tony’s heart that little bit lighter in his chest each time he saw it.
Abby came to Tony’s rescue, diverting the subject and asking Gibbs whether he had heard from any of their friends and co-workers, who were elsewhere enjoying the holidays.
Tony attempted the appearing to listen to Gibbs tell Abby about the phone call he had from Ziva in London. Telling them how she was enjoying being in the city over the holidays. That meeting her parents had been a surprise but it had all worked out happily in the end. Nobody had been killed and Ziva had made peace with her father and been retuned to the family fold.
Tony wished he could be so lucky, that the situation he found himself could be resolved at all.
He was in love with his handsome, bastard, boss. Who, unfortunately for Tony, was straight (the four wives were a big clue). Gibbs would be far more interested in any one of the beautiful women casting lingering looks in his direction than he would in his male, (seemingly) straight Senior Field Agent, standing in front of him.
Heavens knew that Tony had tried everything possible to extract himself from the predicament he had found himself in. He had chased after any and every pretty girl who smiled at him. For a while, soft curves and long tresses were enough to smother Tony’s desire for broad shoulders and buzz cut silver hair.
A lipstick kiss sealed envelope had changed that.
As he lay dying under the blue lights of Bethesda isolab, Tony had decided that if he was spared, he’d stop being a coward and tell Gibbs how he felt. Even if it would mean leaving NCIS, since Gibbs had would have kicked him off the team.
Somebody up there must have been paying attention because he was spared. For his part, Tony went on to do nothing about telling Gibbs how he felt. In his defense, Kate’s death had, understandably, put paid to any confession of love on Tony’s part, for the moment. Yet he was in no rush; he had time on his side to tell Gibbs how he felt. At least that’s what he thought until Gibbs quit and ‘retired’ to Mexico.
Tony tuned back into the conversation in time to hear Gibbs say his name.
“Yes, boss?” he asked, reflexively. Gibbs didn’t reply, just smiled slightly at Abby who grinned at him.
Tony decided not to ask. Someone would fill him in soon enough; hopefully before he made a complete ass of himself.
“Abs, if we’re not back in by midnight-” Gibbs began.
“I’ll come looking for you.” Abby finished. Tony looked at her askance. She seemed to know what was going on. Perhaps she could fill him in.
“Tony, with me.” Gibbs said, as he moved through the crowd to the bar’s front door.
Tony quickly turned to his ‘date’. “Abby!” he hissed, loud enough to be heard over the cacophony of music and voices filling the bar. “What did I miss?”
Abby, for her part, simply shook her head. Tony saw the ‘you’re an idiot!’ look on her face before she grabbed him by the shoulders. “Tony, just go and find out!” she ordered as she turned him 180 and none too gently shoved him in the direction of the door and Gibbs’ retreating back.
Tony decided that he could take a hint. Slowly he made his way through the thronged bar, wondering why the hell he was doing this. Other than he really was Gibbs’ loyal St Bernard, he couldn’t think of a single reason. They were off duty (for a change), besides, he’d get a page if there was a case. If it was something to do with his job, then Gibbs would have said so, at work. Not now, that was not Gibbs’ style at all. Being in love with the guy and being crazy didn’t cover this situation.
“DiNozzo!” came the holler from somewhere near the front door.
“On your six, boss!”
The first thing Tony noticed as he edged out of the bar’s front door was how clear the night sky was. The way his breath condensed into pearly clouds of vapor was the second thing. He took the fact that it was ball-shrinkingly cold as read.
“Gunny went that way,” the doorman noted laconically as he pointed across the deserted street to the dark park opposite.
“How did-” Tony began, bemused at how the other man had guessed correctly about Gibbs.
“I’ll let you and Gunny back in when you’re done.” the doorman replied with a grin, completely avoiding the question into the bargain.
Tony looked closely at him, took in the cauliflower ears, broken nose and the buzz cut hair. The doorman ignored his scrutiny and pulled the collar of his great coat up to cover his ears to beat the cold. As he did so, Tony spotted ink at his wrists. Even upside down and at a forty-five degree angle, Tony would bet his badge that the tattoo said ‘Semper Fi’.
“The hot Goth girl you came in with comes looking for you and Gunny - I’ll make sure that she’s wearing a coat and no harm comes to her. You have my word, Sir.”
“Thank you, Marine,” he said smiling at the other man. “I owe you one.”
“Consider it a debt paid, Sir,” he said, gesturing to the park over the street. “Gunny went that way. Don’t think he’s the kinda guy to be kept waiting.”
“You got that right!” Tony replied, more to himself than to the doorman as he slowly walked past parked cars and dark shop fronts to cross the deserted street to the park across the way. As he did so, he looked up at the huge full moon, hanging like a pendant against the black velvet sky.
For a moment, Tony paused, wondering whether Jeanne looked up (where ever she was) and saw the same full moon as he did. Not that it really mattered right then. Had he been blessed with hindsight (specifically that Gibbs wouldn’t stay retired) Tony wouldn’t have touched the case with the ten-foot proverbial. It would have saved him and Jeanne a lot of heartache on her part and trouble (and heartbreak) on his. The job was done and the girl was gone. He was Gibbs’ man in all ways possible. Just took him a while to realize and make peace with that fact.
“Boss?” Tony called out as he entered the park, squeezing through the gap in the railings with a little effort. He grinned as he checked that he hadn’t ripped anything; he felt like he was sneaking into the local haunted house or something. Hadn’t done that since he was a kid. He hoped that this venture wasn’t going to end in being grounded or worse.
“Over here, Tony,” came a voice from out of the darkness.
Tony headed towards the sound, pondering why Gibbs couldn’t hold this conversation in the head. Would have been a lot warmer than out here, that was certain. Although it wasn’t as if it hadn’t happened before. He decided not to question Gibbs’ logic. The man had his reasons for what he did and Tony learned a long time ago not to question them. Mainly because Gibbs was always right.
He found Gibbs sitting on a park bench, staring out into the dark wilderness.
“Boss,” Tony began as he settled down on the bench beside Gibbs, “Nice night.”
Gibbs nodded in his direction, the half smile that Tony liked so much on his face, saying nothing.
Tony turned his head to study Gibbs’ profile. For a moment, he flashed back to the Haas case, back to the dockside, kneeling beside the unconscious bodies of both the girl that Gibbs was helping and Gibbs himself, pulled by Tony, from the wreck of a drowned car.
For a few, terrible moments, it was touch and go, but it would seem that the deity that protected idiots, children and federal agents was on duty as his frantic efforts paid off.
It was as Tony wrote up his report, later that night at the Navy Yard, that the full enormity of what happened hit Tony. He hoped that Janitorial would forgive him for tossing his cookies into McGee’s wastepaper basket. It wasn’t intentional; it had all suddenly been too damn close.
He shivered violently on the bench, even though it had all turned out for the best. The girl was safe and Gibbs was alive but sometimes, late at night, Tony woke up a cold sweat from dreams where he was too late to save Gibbs. He glanced at the other man’s profile again. Just to assure himself that the nightmares were just that. Nightmares.
“You cold?” Gibbs asked, knocking Tony out of his reverie for the second time that night.
“Bit,” Tony admitted; the weatherman had said that it would be about zero all night, if they were lucky. Sure as hell felt colder to Tony right then.
“C’mere,” Gibbs said as he opened his arms, gesturing to Tony to move closer.
The action caused the opposite reaction in Tony. He pulled away from Gibbs, wondering what the bartender had spiked the Jamesons with.
“DiNozzo,” Gibbs began, a hint of his usual bad temper in his voice. “It’s a technique used in the Corps to conserve body heat. Nothing to it.”
From bitter experience, Tony knew better than to argue with that tone of voice. Jerkily, he moved closer to Gibbs until he was pressed up against the older man.
As he felt the weight of Gibbs’ arm settle around him, his train of thought jumped tracks from how weird and wonderful it felt to be snuggled up to Gibbs to Bond movies.
Specifically, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Most of the time, it was a habit that helped him get through the day, comparing whatever real life threw at him with scenarios he’d seen on the silver screen. Tonight it was doing nothing of the sort; more like the exact opposite, ruining what was meant to be the kind of moment that Tony wanted to remember for as long as he lived. He wanted to remember how warm Gibbs felt, how he good he smelled (sawdust, coffee and something else that suspiciously smelt like good quality aftershave. Present from the Director? he wondered). Instead he was thinking about 1960’s spy movies.
OHMSS was memorable to Tony for four reasons. One, it was George Lazenby’s only outing as 007. Two, it starred, arguably, the greatest Bond Girl of them all, Diana Rigg. Three, the scene where Tracy (as played by Ms Rigg) saved Bond from Blofeld’s henchmen on New Year’s Eve night. Appropriate given the date, how they saw the New Year in snuggled up under a blanket in a stable. Four, Tony didn’t want to think about right then. The final scene of the film, just like the book, Bond cradling the dead body of his new bride, telling the traffic cop that they ‘had all the time in the world’. It reminded him too much of being on that dockside, shivering cold, soaked to the skin, the smell of rotting fish in his nose and fear in his mouth as he raced to save Gibbs’ life.
Tony felt the older man shift slightly against him. “Never thanked you properly for saving my life during the Haas case.” Gibbs said quietly, his breath tickling Tony’s ear.
“Sure you did, Boss” he replied, frowning slightly. He distinctly remembered the ‘Good job, DiNozzo.’ Gibbs had whispered to him as the EMTs fussed over the him and the girl. Tony standing by, hovering until he knew that Gibbs was going to be fine. Gibbs gave out praise like the Agency gave out pay rises, rarely. If asked, Tony was sure that he could rattle off every time Gibbs praised him. He was in love with the guy, his excuse and he was sticking to it.
Gibbs shook his head, turning his head towards him. “Not like that,” he murmured, reaching up to cup Tony’s face in his large hand. “Like this,”
The kiss was gentle, a gentle brush of lips against lips. Tony was so surprised that his thought was that he was dreaming. That he was, in reality, lying in the gutter having been mugged crossing the street. It was the only way he could rationalize the kiss to himself.
“Um, boss?” Tony began, hesitantly, “You feeling okay?” he asked, debating whether he was brave enough to reach out to put his hand on Gibbs’ forehead to check for a fever. Mainly because if he wasn’t unconscious, then Gibbs had to be ill. As impossible as that seemed.
“Fine, Tony, why do you ask?” was the reply.
“Um... because you kissed me?” Tony replied, wincing at how lame it sounded to his own ears.
Gibbs laughed, a sound that Tony had heard from Gibbs’ mouth fewer times than he had heard words of praise directed at him. It was a beautiful sound.
“You noticed, huh?”
“I am a detective of ten years experience,” Tony replied smiling at Gibbs. “I tend to notice things others might miss,” he explained, sounding a lot more confident than he felt at that moment.
“Yes, Tony, I kissed you.” Gibbs replied, his hands moving to rest on Tony’s shoulder and take one of Tony’s hands into his. “What does your ten years of being a cop tell you about that?”
Tony shivered at the touch; he hadn’t realized how cold his hands had gotten. Who knew that calluses could be so... ‘distracting’. ‘Um... that you’re interested in me?” he asked, closing his eyes and bracing himself for the worst.
The soft chuckle from the vicinity of his ear made Tony open his eyes. “I’d say that I was more than just ‘interested’ DiNozzo,”
“Oh!” Tony replied intelligently. His brain had seized up from the shock (not to mention that much of his blood was headed south and not for the winter either.) That was why he was acting like an idiot. That and because the guy he’d loved (and jerked off over) pretty much from the moment he’d first set eyes on was ‘more than interested’ in him.
“But what about the redheads and all that?” Tony asked before he could put the handbrake on his mouth. He braced himself for the inevitable head slap.
Gibbs leant in to nuzzle a cold nose against Tony’s ear. “Small matter of regs and being just as interested in dark haired men with light colored eyes as I am in redheads, Tony.” Tony could only nod and hope that Gibbs couldn’t see the way his pants were beginning to tent right then. Having ears sensitive to any erotic touch was a pain sometimes, but he could live with it. “I’m sure you can sympathize.”
“Oohhhh yeah!” Tony sighed. “Got this thing about ex-marines with silver hair and blue eyes,” he confessed, turning to face the other man. It meant breaking the ‘puppy pile’, but if he guessed right, there would be more of that to come. Preferably of the naked variety.
“Is that so?” Gibbs asked, a smile blooming on his face.
“It’s a terrible burden, but what can one do?” Tony stated, looking skywards, feeling happiness bubble up from within. “I mean, kisses have been recommended as a cure, but-”
Tony got no further as a strong hand cupped his jaw and turned his head to face Gibbs. Who then proceeded to kiss him. Tony, of course, responded with relish. To do otherwise would have been rude and Tony didn’t want to cause offense.
The fireworks were a touch over the top but Tony wasn’t going to complain. The gunshots he could hear in the distance made him wince. They reminded him too much of work, even though it would be Metro PD’s problem to deal with, not his. He pulled away slightly as the kiss ended.
“Happy New Year, Gibbs”, he said with a smile.
“Jethro,” Gibbs stated as he stood up, pulling Tony with him. “Given the kind of things I’m interested in, I’d prefer it,”
“Really?” Tony asked, the smile widening into a grin. “I like the sound of that,” he replied, leaning into whisper “Jethro.” into the older man’s ear.
Gibbs laughed and pulled Tony into a hug. “C’mon, we’d better get back before Abby sends out the-”
“Happy New Year, guys!” Abby called out from not too far away. The call made the two men break the hug with a guilty start.
“Stay where you are, Abs” Tony called out, then he turned to Gibbs with a smile. He quickly leant close and kissed him on the lips. “Be with you in a moment!”
“And with me, tonight?” Gibbs asked, taking Tony’s cold hand into his for a moment.
“I think I can arrange that,” Tony replied as they walked through the darkness to where Abby waited for them.
A while later, Abby made the excuse of having to visit the head to powder her nose. Instead she took her purse and headed out to deserted street. Under the watchful eye of the doorman she pulled her cellphone from her purse.
She hit the speed dial for Ducky. Even though he was over 3,000 miles away, in London, she was able to reach him... or his voice mail at least. She listened for a moment before speaking.
“Mr Kuryakin? This is Mrs Peel.” she stated. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the doorman giving her a puzzled look. “Mission accomplished!” she crowed happily into the phone. “I think that they’re both going to have a very happy new year!” she said, glancing up at the bar window. She could just make out Gibbs and Tony standing closer than strictly necessary, in conversation. Her grin widened. “Have a very Happy New Year and I’ll see you soon. Give my love to ‘Napoleon’” she stated as she closed her phone with a grin and returned to the party.