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by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 808
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Character Study, Episode Related, General
Summary: Gibbs has a vulnerable moment when Tony returns.
Author Notes: Spoilers for Last Man Standing! Special thanks to Anna for the beta.
Gibbs was content to be in the background here. Tony had called when he’d landed and had given Abby an ETA. That had been forty minutes ago and Abby was almost shaking with excitement, her pigtails bouncing. Ziva was pacing and looked a little vulnerable—for her anyway. And McGee, he was the most interesting of all. Jethro saw shades of a new leader in him but with the return of Tony, it was clear that McGee wasn’t altogether sure of his place.
Ducky was seated at Ziva’s desk, observing just like Gibbs was, silent for the moment. Gibbs knew Duck could probably read his emotions, no matter how subtle, no matter how much he tried to hide them.
Langer was gone now, Fornell working that angle and getting the gravely injured agent deep underground until the situation resolved; Keating had gone to cyber crimes. And Lee…they’d get her soon. She hadn’t fooled him or Vance. Or Langer in the end, the first thing the agent had told him upon regaining consciousness was that Lee was the traitor. As if Gibbs hadn’t already figured that out.
Gibbs was ready to have his team reunited, hadn’t realized how much he’d come to rely on this group of people. They’d only been together since Kate’s death three years ago but this team felt just as right as that one had. Maybe even more, though he’d never say that out loud and disrespect Kate.
And Tony was the soul of the team. Gibbs knew it, Ducky knew it, Abby knew it, he hoped to hell that Tony knew it. Hell, even McGee and Ziva probably knew it. And it wasn’t right that he’d been kept away the longest. Even though he now knew why, it still bugged him.
The elevator dinged and Abby ran forward, smothering Tony in a hug. “You’re back! You’re back!” Gibbs arched an eyebrow at Ducky. Abby’s enthusiasm was infectious but he wouldn’t show it. Not yet. Much better to watch the team’s reactions and see what they needed from him.
Tony wrapped Abby in as tight an embrace as she did him. “I missed you so much, Abbs.” Gibbs realized Tony’s voice sounded extra tender and he wondered just how badly Tony had reacted to life on board the Regan and Seahawk. They’d emailed a few times, but the call in MTAC was the only time he’d heard Tony’s voice in months.
He wasn’t ready to admit how much he’d missed his SIC.
Gibbs continued to watch as Ducky approached, giving Tony a hug of his own, warmth brimming over in his voice and his “Dear boy, you’ve been missed.” The affection that was so easy for Ducky and the way Abby flitted around, unable to contain her excitement made Gibbs grin.
“Hey Ziva, McGee.” Tony turned to the other agents before they turned to him, and Gibbs sent up a prayer of hope that they’d make him know they’d missed him too. He shook McGee’s hand and McGee clapped him heartily on the back, as close to a hug as they’d probably get. But McGee genuinely seemed happy to have Tony back. Maybe McGee was only now becoming aware of the complexities of Anthony DiNozzo.
“Tony.” Ziva seemed almost coy and Gibbs had to tamp down his annoyance. She wrapped her arms around Tony’s waist and gave him a light squeeze before stepping back. “You look good. We’ll have to exchange war stories over a drink later.”
Tony nodded, his eyes and fingertips drifting to the scar on Ziva’s forehead. “You’re okay?”
“I am,” Ziva replied, squeezing Tony’s hand. “It is in the past now. It is over. We have all returned and it is over.”
Tony nodded and Gibbs saw a flash of guilt cross his face before DiNozzo shoved it away. He looked up now and Gibbs caught his eye.
“DiNozzo,” Gibbs replied, feeling a smile playing over his mouth.
Tony started to move toward his desk but Gibbs cleared his throat and beckoned him closer. “C’mere, Tony.”
As soon as the man was close enough to touch, Gibbs took the last step forward and wrapped Tony in a tight embrace. He heard the other man’s shocked gasp just before he mussed Tony’s hair, his other arm tight around Tony’s shoulders.
“Welcome home, Tony. You’re irreplaceable, remember?” he whispered the words into Tony’s ear, knowing his lover could hear the meaning behind the words in his tone of voice.
As Tony chuckled against his shoulder, Gibbs finally relaxed. His team was complete—HE was complete now that Tony was home.
MTAC - NCIS Fic