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I Need You
by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1121
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Episode Related
Summary: Tony's guilt is killing him. Is Gibbs the key to Tony forgiving himself? Spoilers for Agent Afloat
Author Notes: Special thanks to Anna for the beta.
I Need You
Tony took the sat phone and a bottle of tequila to his “office”. It was late and they were somewhere in the Atlantic and he needed…so much.
He needed to feel. He needed not to feel. He needed safety and comfort and so much more. He needed to feel a little slice of home again.
The guilt was eating him alive. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw Jenny’s still body, the look in Gibbs’ eyes, the clear blame in Vance’s. Tony had been expecting to be moved someplace else. Neither Gibbs nor Vance wanted to put up with him.
Yeah, Gibbs had called a few times the night before he’d shipped out, but Tony had ducked and dodged. Even though he and Gibbs were close, he knew Gibbs and Jenny had been similarly close and that Gibbs needed to work through this. Alone. The way Gibbs wanted to deal with things. The lesser sacrifice was for Tony to stay alone on his last night in town. He’d handed Abby his spare keys and asked her to pack him a bag. No DVDs, none of his top of the line clothes, he didn’t deserve any of that.
And he sure as hell didn’t deserve Gibbs.
Gibbs. It always came back to Leroy Jethro Gibbs. His mentor, originally his strongest father figure, his champion, his protector and defender. And, more recently, his lover.
It had started gradually, two guys drinking together sometimes in the wake of Jeanne, but then Gibbs had almost died and that night, Tony had sat with him as he slept restlessly, comforting Gibbs for the first time in their careers. Gibbs hadn’t said anything but Tony knew he knew what had transpired.
Just a week later, they’d found themselves kissing against Gibbs’ boat. It was casually uncomplicated. Pizza, kissing, sex, shower, sometimes he’d spend the night and others he’d go home. No feelings, no emotions, no difference in office relations. There was comfort in that.
Then he’d been sent to California. Their last night together hadn’t been memorable, just their average. Awesome sex, followed by two guys hanging out. He’d never known it would be the last time he’d be close like that with Gibbs.
He had secretly expected Gibbs would rescue him. But three months on the Regan and now a month into his deployment on the Seahawk and things hadn’t changed. Every time he asked, he got a sincere but slightly annoyed “workin on it”. He knew Gibbs was but he wanted so much more. Especially now that McGee and Ziva were back.
DiNozzo took a long slug from the bottle. Everyone on board tended to leave him alone as long as he didn’t cause any disturbances. The guys in med bay weren’t exactly his fans but he wasn’t in this to make friends.
Tony looked at the sat phone and tried to forget Jenny’s face, so still, her body bloodied. He supposed there’d be a day when the next screw up eclipsed this one, but for now she was who he saw when he catalogued his life mistakes.
For some reason tonight was extra bad and he needed to hear Gibbs’ voice as much as he needed oxygen. He dialed Gibbs’ number and hit “send” on the phone, not daring to take a breath in case he lost his courage.
“Yeah, Gibbs.” The voice was sleepy, so sleepy that Tony almost hung up. As it was, that voice reminded him of early mornings and the latent masculine strength of the man he wished was sleeping beside him.
“Hey,” Tony began casually, though he knew he was probably slurring his word.
“DiNozzo!” Gibbs’ voice sharpened. “You okay? It’s…what the hell time is it? Oh one hundred. You okay?”
“Manner of speaking,” Tony replied quietly. “Not hurt, don’t panic, Boss.”
Tony could hear Gibbs’ relieved sigh. “Whatcha need, DiNozzo?”
“I…” Tony began and then sighed. “You.” It was hardly more than a whisper but it took everything he had out of him. “We haven’t talked…”
“Since Jenny,” Gibbs replied quietly. “You blaming yourself, Tony? You drinking to forget the pain?”
“DiNozzo, she made her choice. She sent you away. You followed orders. You’ve got to let it go. I know you have regrets but you’re not to blame. Her choice. Tony, she was sick. Dying. She made her choice to go out in a blaze of glory.”
“I was checking out Ziva…”
“You took time off, Tony. Simple as that. You followed orders from a superior officer, from your boss’ boss. Glad you weren’t there. Would have lost you.”
“Just Gibbs, Tony.” The older man’s sigh echoed over the line. “I said ‘glad you weren’t there’. She was already dead, her body just hadn’t caught up. But you have a lot of life left to live. Would have been wrong for you to go down in her blaze of glory.”
Tony shook his head and took another gulp. “Doesn’t feel that way.”
“Ah, Tony.” He heard rustling sounds and then the splash of something falling into a glass. “Grief will do that to you. Ya gotta listen to me. There’s a lot of life left to live. You have unfinished business here, for one.”
“Yeah?” Tony asked, a small flare of hope alighting inside him.
“Not the only one with needs. Heard you left someone behind, someone who realized they wanted a hell of a lot more than beer, and pizza, and sex. A whole lot more.” Gibbs’ voice did that thing when it became an instrument of torture, delivering velvety smooth caresses.
“Yeah?” Tony repeated. “Cause I’ve been thinking that wasn’t enough for me either. Can you tell my friend I agree?”
“Message will be passed on and received loud and clear, Tony. You get some sleep; hang in there. I’ll get ya home soon. You gonna be okay?”
“Yeah, Gibbs. You gave me just what I needed.”
Tony couldn’t say exactly what he meant on the sat phone but he knew Gibbs knew.
“Good. Get some sleep, Tony. We miss you.”
“Miss you too, Gibbs.”
Tony hung up the phone, shoved the bottle aside, and stretched out in his uncomfortable chair, the burden of guilt finally dissipating. He’d be home soon and had a whole new relationship to look forward to. Maybe Gibbs was right and he could put this guilt aside or make peace with it. With Gibbs by his side, he felt like he could get through this.
MTAC - NCIS Fic