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by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1838
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Summary: On Veterans Day, Gibbs remembers and reconnects.
Author Notes: Thanks to Anna for the beta! And thanks to everyone who has served. Happy birthday USMC!
Fanfic 100 prompt “home”
This was his ritual and because the work schedule had been so crazy, he could do it at his leisure instead of a hurried stop before work. He wasn’t due back to work until Thursday morning. At oh five hundred he slipped out of bed, showering, then put his dress uniform on. All the while his lover slept, one long leg peeping out from under the mounded blankets. He supposed he could have asked Tony to come along, but he wouldn’t know what to say, how to phrase it.
And today was about those lost before he had known Tony. Dave Cameron, who had died in his arms. Joey Newson, Vic Klein, Grant Unger, Lance Patterson, Warren O’Dell, Peter Framingham, Rudy Tabuleri. His friends and brothers in arms lost in the line of duty. They were never far from his thoughts, but the only time he visited all their graves was on Veterans Day.
He went to Dave’s grave first. Dave had been on his mind a lot since Col. Ryan had been confused and claimed he was seeing him. Gibbs let out a huge gust of air as he approached the grave, saluting solemnly and standing at attention, his thoughts with the young man who had died far too young.
“Gibbs?” The voice was soft, tentative, but he’d know it anywhere.
“Tony?” Gibbs turned, taking in the other man’s gray suit and muted tie. “Too early for you to be here. Did I wake you up?” He didn’t know why Tony was there, to the best of his knowledge, none of Tony’s close friends had served.
Tony stepped closer, hands jammed in his pockets. “Tell me about them, Jeth. Tell me about Dave and the other guys…”
Gibbs angled a look over at Tony. Even after a year and a half together, his lover could surprise him so easily. “Expected you to enjoy the day off.”
“I’m with you,” Tony replied simply. “And don’t try to get me to leave because I’m staying. Even if you don’t want to talk about them, I’m here.”
Gibbs nodded, closing his eyes briefly. “Someday, Tony. Some day…”
They made the rounds in silence, but Gibbs knew the silence was a comfortable and unstressed one. Unlike the exes, Tony didn’t expect a constant stream of meaningless chatter, even though he rambled almost as much as Ducky at times. When he’d visited all his men, they parted, both going back to their cars and returning home without another word.
The tantalizing aromas of coffee, cinnamon, and fresh baking hit Gibbs’ nose once he walked inside. A plate of freshly baked cinnamon rolls sat on the counter and the coffee pot was full. Tony had obviously beaten him home and had set up breakfast. It was a hell of a lot more than the coffee and toast on the run that they usually had. “What would I do without you, Tony?” he asked, wrapping his arms around Tony’s waist from behind.
“Be a sad and lonely man. I know this is Veterans Day and I’m supposed to be nice to my vet, but if you don’t change out of your dress uniform, you’re gonna get molested.”
While that had possibilities, Gibbs was hungry. Damn hungry! He was going on eighteen hours with only coffee and adrenaline.
He went upstairs, changing into jeans and a comfortable shirt. Gibbs was planning on working on the boat all day and Tony’d mentioned a war film fest, so casual clothes would do. Tony himself had changed into jeans that molded to his ass like a second skin and a soft button down shirt.
They settled at the table, newspaper folded on the empty chair, three huge rolls on their plate each. “Gonna have to work this off later,” Gibbs remarked, giving Tony a gentle smile. Now that his duty was done, Gibbs could begin to relax and make the most of their midweek “weekend”.
He had just bitten into the still-warm pastry when the phone rang. At Tony’s alarmed look, Gibbs shook his head. “We’re not on call. Don’t worry,” he said, getting up and reaching for the phone.
“Happy Veterans Day, son.”
“Ja—Dad?” He hadn’t expected this. He’d called Jack once a week since they’d reunited, but it hadn’t even occurred to him to call Jack today. “Yeah…same to you, Dad. Happy Veterans Day.”
Tony looked over in surprise. Gibbs knew that Tony was curious about Jack, but Tony wisely hadn’t pushed too hard after they’d gotten back. The question about the rules had shaken Gibbs up, and Tony knew it.
“You got today off work, Leroy? I expected to get that darned answering machine of yours.”
“Yeah, got a couple of days off. Went to Arlington this morning.”
“Yeah? Well whatcha doing for your days off?” Jack asked, obvious warmth in his voice.
“Workin’ on the boat,” he replied easily.
“That all? Why don’t ya come up here, spend some time with your old man? I’ll close up shop early and we can go for a fancy dinner somewhere, my treat. Bring that new car of yours.” Even before Gibbs had started thinking about protesting, Jack plunged onward. “Neither of us getting any younger, Leroy. Haven’t ever spent a Veterans Day with my boy, the Marine. Make this old soldier happy.”
Gibbs shook his head, rolling his eyes. He’d forgotten how damn good Jack was with words.
“You still there, Leroy? We lose the connection?”
“I’m still here, Jack. I…” He looked up as Tony coughed, clearly wanting to know what was going on.
“You got company. Ah, nuts, Leroy. I should have known. Handsome boy like you must have your share of dates.”
Gibbs let out a slow breath, trying to push annoyance away. “Kind of, Jack. Tony’s here.”
Jack chuckled. “Is that all? I like Tony. Bring him along too. Leroy, I’m not taking no for an answer so get into that car and start driving. Car like that needs to be driven. Take her out, son. I’ll have lunch waiting for you boys.”
“I…” Gibbs started, but Jack had already hung up. He shook his head, amused.
“What was that about?” Tony asked from around a bite of roll.
“You attached to that war movies thing you talked about?” Tony shook his head, downing a huge slug of coffee. “Good. Finish up and pack an overnight bag.”
“Roadtrip?” Tony asked hopefully, his eyes glittering with excitement.
“Stillwater. Jack. Wants to spend Veterans Day together and you’re coming along.”
Tony froze, putting his mug down very deliberately. “And what’s he gonna think of you bringing me along?”
Gibbs knew what Tony was asking. He wanted to know if he’d have to pretend to be just a coworker or not. Gibbs chewed thoughtfully, considering how to answer that. “None of us are getting any younger, Tony,” he aid, echoing his father’s words. “You’ve been a presence in my life a long time.”
“But not as a lover,” Tony pointed out.
“True,” Gibbs agreed. “Guess we’d better change that, at least where Jack is concerned.”
“Only if you want to.”
Gibbs leaned in close, nodding, “I want to.”
Four hour later, they pulled up to the front of the store. Tony had been uncharacteristically quiet and Gibbs wasn’t sure if it was nerves or the reverence of the day, but he wasn’t complaining. A silent Tony wasn’t necessarily a bad thing and Gibbs could tell that his lover wasn’t brooding.
“You ready?” Gibbs asked softly and Tony nodded. He squeezed Tony’s knee gently. “Don’t worry. I’m not.”
And he wasn’t. Gibbs had given it a lot of thought and he was sure Jack would take the news fairly well. Even though he was a small town boy, Jackson Gibbs had been all over the world and was as open-minded as anyone in this area of Pennsylvania.
He opened the door and Jack looked up, big grin on his face. “Leroy! Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes!” He stepped closer and Gibbs didn’t hesitate this time before giving his father a hug. “And Tony. Hey Tony, will ya lock the door and flip the out to lunch sign over please? Sit down, boys. Coffee’s hot and I made ya some soup and sandwiches.”
“Thanks,” Gibbs said, pulling in a deep breath. “But Dad before we eat we have to talk.”
“Was expecting this, Leroy,” his father said with a knowing smile, completely shocking him. “How long?”
“How l-long?” Tony stammered. Gibbs could see that Tony was just as shocked and was stalling for time.
“Ya boys heard me, I asked how long.”
“How long what?” Gibbs asked, trying to sound completely casual.
“How long has he been a part of your life,” Jack jerked his thumb from Tony to Gibbs.
He couldn’t possibly be saying what Gibbs suspected he was. “Seven years. We worked a case in…was it late June of 2001? He came to NCIS right afterward.”
“You been seein’ him ever since, Leroy?”
Jack shook his head. “Lemme ask you, Tony. You open your mouth and speak but my boy doesn’t do that so good. How long have you and Leroy been seeing each other?”
“Seeing as in…” Tony replied slowly. Gibbs knew that look, the eyes darting around, the nervous biting of the lip.
Jack threw his hands up. “Oh, I don’t know what you young people call it. Dating? Romance? Boyfriends? Partners? How long have you two been there for each other off work.”
It couldn’t possibly be this easy, could it? Then again, this was Jackson Gibbs… Jethro stared right into the accepting eyes of his father and felt the last chunk of resentment toward him break away. “About eighteen months.”
Jackson nodded in satisfaction. “Good. You need someone who can be your equal. Tony, you tell me if my boy gets out of line.”
“This doesn’t bother you?” Tony sounded as incredulous as Gibbs felt.
“Son, life is short and we’re not guaranteed another morning. If you make my boy happy, I couldn’t be happier. You’re a good man, Tony. Welcome to the family, son. Now you two gonna eat my lunch before it gets cold? I owe ya a dinner but I don’t wanna hear those stomachs growling ‘til then.”
“Thanks, Jack,” Tony said, giving the man an impulsive hug. Gibbs looked around, realizing they were fairly well hidden from anyone walking by and then joined them, wrapping his arms around them both.
“Thanks, Dad.” For the first time in a long time, Leroy Jethro Gibbs remembered what it was like to feel complete.
MTAC - NCIS Fic