Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 867
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Episode Related
Summary: Gibbs won't be alone tonight.
Tony had been sitting in his car for a while. Just as he considered going inside Gibbs’ house, his boss came out, something rusty in one hand and a spade in another. He moved aside some greenery and buried the rusty item, then stood tall and walked quickly over to Tony’s car. There wasn’t even time to slump or pretend he was doing anything but watching out for Gibbs.
His boss rapped on the window. “You gonna sit out here all night or you coming in?”
“Coming in, Gibbs.” Tony grabbed the six pack of beer and the still-warm pizza he’d picked up beforehand and followed Gibbs inside and down the stairs to the basement. Without a word, he put the pizza box on the workbench and handed Gibbs a beer.
“You get the assignment of watching over me?” The statement was said without heat or anger, very matter-of-fact.
“Not at assignment. I wanted it.”
“Bet ya did. No plans tonight?”
“This is right where I want to be, “Tony replied, standing his ground. “You could have died today.”
“Not the only one. You breathing okay?” Gibbs looked as concerned as Tony had ever seen him. Tony broke off eye contact first and grabbed a piece of pizza and cracked his beer open.
“Yeah, I’m fine, Boss. You’re the one I’m worried about. We could have lost you today.” He lowered his voice. “I could have lost you today.”
“But ya didn’t. Eat up, DiNozzo. The pizza is getting cold and the beer is getting warm.”
Tony put the pizza and beer down, stepping closer, placing his hands on the older man’s shoulders before releasing him, stepping back. “I could have lost you today. Don’t you understand? Boss…I—“
“Can it with the boss thing, Tony. You call me Jethro when we’re home, remember?”
Tony nodded, swallowing hard. “I could have lost you, Jethro. And I never said the words.”
Jethro quirked an eyebrow. “I know how you feel, Tony.”
“Do you? I love you. I love you like—“
“I know. I know. Insert movie reference here. C’mere, Tony.” When Tony hesitated, Jethro pulled him into his arms. Tony rested his chin on Jethro’s shoulder, tightening his arms around his lover.
“I needed this tonight. When I had to choose between you and Maddie…”
“You made the right choice. You know you did.”
“I made the choice that broke my heart,” Tony said quietly.
“But it’s all okay now. I’m here. You’re here. We’re both okay. Let’s eat.”
Tony wasn’t quite ready to give up yet. “Jethro—“
“Eat, Tony. You’re going to need your strength later.”
Tony gave up and ate his pizza in silence, studying Jethro. He had a lot of questions but he knew that Jethro wouldn’t talk until he was ready to. The pizza disappeared quickly followed by two bottles of beer each. Tony drifted over to the television and put a game on while Jethro puttered around. Tony made every effort to be casual, to not stare or even act too interested in what was going on.
“You want to know what I buried?”
Tony turned around to see Jethro swallowing hard. “Memories. Maddie and Kelly’s memories.” He motioned over to the pictures sitting on the workbench, pictures Tony had been studiously avoiding. One was the one of Gibbs and Maddie that Abby had taken but the other was one he hadn’t seen yet, though he recognized the young girl.
He moved toward the picture and then hesitated, waiting until Jethro nodded his permission. Tony picked up the picture, holding it gently. Jethro had never spoken of Shannon or Kelly to Tony, and it was a subject he would never push.
“She was beautiful.” It was all he dared say.
“Yeah,” Jethro said in a resigned voice. When he looked at Tony, his eyes were overbright. “I saw her today. Both her and her mother.”
Tony blinked a few times, forcing the instant panic welling up inside him down. “You what?”
“Saw Kelly. Must have dreamed her. She told me it was okay.” He shrugged, appearing unaffected but Tony knew him too well to buy it.
“She must have known how much I need you.” Tony traced a fingertip over Kelly’s face. “Thanks, sweetheart.” He put the picture down carefully, moving it back into position with the other photo.
He and Jethro looked at each other for a few second before Tony moved to the older man, offering his hand. “I need you, Jethro. More than ever. Come to bed with me.”
Jethro glanced over at the picture and then nodded, slipping his hand into Tony’s. The past and present had collided today and Jethro had chosen to return to him. He didn’t need the other man to say the words. His actions spoke volumes.
But Jethro surprised him. After he turned the lights off and closed the basement door, he squeezed Tony’s hand and gave him the biggest gift Tony could imagine. “I love you too, Tony.”
And Tony knew everything would be all right.