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by: Xanthe (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 005 Word Count: 48169
Rating: ADULT
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Character Study, First Time, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Pairing(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo
Summary: When Tony receives some bad news, it forces him and Gibbs to go on a difficult and emotional journey.

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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Part Two

They picked up a rental car at LaGuardia. Tony took the wheel, and Gibbs gazed out of the window, watching as the high-rise apartments of Queens gave way to the leafy, well-heeled suburbs of Long Island’s north shore.

They drove through affluent areas, large houses with long, elegant driveways protected by gates and expensive security systems. Tony got quieter and quieter the further they drove, until finally he shut up completely. A silent Tony was an un-nerving thing – usually he talked more, not less, when he was anxious - and Gibbs didn’t like the way this was headed.

They pulled up at the Holiday Inn near Tony's family home in Old Westbury where Tony had booked two rooms for them. Gibbs dumped his bag in his room, and then went back downstairs to find Tony standing in the lobby looking...kind of lost. He didn’t even notice the attractive young blonde who passed him by wearing a short, tight skirt – and that wasn’t like Tony.

Tony saw him, and Gibbs went over to where he was standing.

“So…I’m going to head over to the house,” Tony said. He stared absently over Gibbs’s shoulder for a moment. Gibbs gazed at him, waiting for his cue. “I…uh…”

“You want me to come with you?” Gibbs asked. “Or stay here?”

Tony looked relieved – as if he hadn’t been aware he was actually going to be given a choice in the matter. Gibbs bit back a growl of annoyance. Being in the vicinity was enough – he didn’t need to actually accompany Tony to his father’s deathbed – although he would if Tony wanted that. He had to be nearby though, because he had a feeling that when this seventeen year old corpse was finally opened up and autopsied, and the remains pored over and analysed, it might get very ugly. At the very least there would be fallout, and as it was fallout he’d partially created the least he could do was be here to take his fair share of it. He couldn’t tell Tony that though; Tony still didn’t have a clue why he was here.

“Tony?” Gibbs asked softly. Tony’s shoulders hunched, and he morphed in seconds from the capable if fairly annoying senior agent he’d want on his six in a shoot-out, to the nineteen year old kid he’d met in a bar a long time ago. Gibbs found the whole thing a little freaky. In all the years Tony had worked for him at NCIS he’d only seen glimpses of Andy in him. Now though…it was as if the years had been turned back, and they were lying in a bed in a motel room in Ohio. It was only momentary though, and then Tony was back with him.

“Yeah…come with me,” Tony said, and then he looked surprised, as if he hadn’t been expecting to say that. Gibbs nodded.


The DiNozzo family house was grand and imposing, set at the end of a long, sweeping driveway. They pulled up outside, and a man around Tony’s age came out to greet them.

“Hey – you made it,” he said, grabbing Tony and pulling him into a hug. Gibbs got out of the car and leaned on the open door, watching.

“Pete! You’re looking old – when did you lose all your hair?”

“Must have been around the same time you got so fat!” Pete grinned. Insults duly exchanged, they gazed at each other happily for a few seconds, and then Pete’s grin faded, and he cleared his throat. “I’m sorry about…you know, I wanted you to stay here,” Pete said. He was a tall, broad-shouldered man, with only slightly receding dark hair despite Tony’s comment, and looked enough like Tony for Gibbs to guess he had to be his cousin. “It’s not like there aren’t enough bedrooms,” Pete added, with an apologetic wince. “I just thought…you know – he’s dying. I didn’t want to stress him out by asking him and I wasn’t sure how it’d go with you two so…”

“It’s okay. I understand. And quit lying, Pete – it wasn’t that you didn’t want to stress him out – you *did* ask him and he said no.” Tony’s hunched shoulders were a giveaway to Gibbs that he while he might say he understood, it still hurt that his father didn’t want him staying in his house.

Pete winced again. “At least he’s said he’ll see you.”

“Old man must be mellowing then,” Tony said, with a bright grin, slapping his cousin’s arm. Gibbs didn’t think the bright grin was fooling anyone. “What happened to the whole ‘never darken my doorstep again’ thing, huh?”

“Well, that was years ago. I thought the two of you had…not exactly patched things up but…that you’re talking again?”

“Once a year. Christmas day.” Tony shrugged. “I tell him what I’m earning now and he tells me about his latest tax avoidance scheme. Then we, you know, argue. I think that phone call kind of makes his Christmas – it sure as hell makes mine.”

“Better than nothing,” Pete offered. Gibbs closed the car door, and Pete looked up, surprised.

“Uh…this is…” Tony hesitated, clearly unsure how to introduce Gibbs. Gibbs saw the shock in Pete’s eyes and knew immediately that he suspected Tony had brought a boyfriend home with him. So, it seemed that Tony’s misdirection in respect of his sexuality hadn’t been entirely successful where his close family was concerned. That might explain a lot.

“Gibbs.” He stepped forward and held out his hand to Pete. “Leroy Jethro Gibbs – I’m Tony’s boss at NCIS.”

“Oh. Right.” Pete looked relieved but still a little puzzled as he shook his hand.

“And his friend,” Gibbs added, to help explain away his presence a little more easily. He almost wished he hadn’t said that when he saw the little spike of happiness in Tony’s eyes at being called a “friend”. It was always the little stuff with Tony – a tiny word of praise or expression of satisfaction at his performance at work would make his eyes light up and stay that way for days. Gibbs wondered how he’d feel if he finally got a chance to meet the bastard who had made Tony this way. Maybe he would soon. Very soon.

They went into the house and Gibbs looked around discreetly. He didn’t think he’d ever seen such a grand place – at least not somewhere people lived in, as a home. He’d seen hotels that came close. Pete led them into the enormous kitchen, where several people were milling around, drinking coffee. This must be what happened when you were rich and died in your own home, Gibbs thought to himself, feeling a sudden wave of gratitude that his own family origins were so humble. If you were rich like Tony’s dad, people just gathered around and waited, like vultures, hoping to pick over the corpse and see what they could carry away with them.

Tony was enveloped into hugs by various aunts and cousins while Pete explained away Gibbs’s presence to anyone who was interested. He felt a hand on his arm and turned…to come face to face with a bespectacled man, a few years older than Tony.

“Uh, Mr Gibbs – this is Daniel Weston – the DiNozzo family lawyer,” Pete said.

Gibbs held out his hand, expressionlessly, looking into the face of a man he’d met once before, seventeen years ago. He’d lost that air of young earnestness that he’d had back then; now he radiated a kind of quiet, experienced capability. If he remembered Gibbs, and Gibbs was pretty sure he did, he gave no sign of it. He just shook Gibbs’s hand and gazed at him thoughtfully.

“It was nice of you to come up here with Tony,” he said, and Gibbs remembered from before how deceptively sharp those blue eyes behind the spectacles were. Gibbs gave a non-committal grunt in reply. Weston moved away as Tony was released by a large, overly enthusiastic aunt who had been kissing his cheeks for the past several minutes. Weston took hold of Tony’s arm and guided him into a private corner, murmuring to him. They were close enough for Gibbs to overhear the conversation.

“I just didn’t want you to get your hopes up,” Weston was saying to Tony. “His will remains pretty much as it has been for the past few years – he’s made no secret of it so I’m at liberty to tell you.”

“No death-bed changes of heart, huh?” Tony rubbed his hand over his chin.

“Not unless you can work a miracle in the next day or so,” Weston told him.

“Oh I don’t care about his damn money,” Tony snapped, with an uncharacteristic display of temper. “I never did. Well…maybe once,” he grinned, smoothing over his lapse in temperament with his usual charm. “When I was younger; I always did want that red Ferrari of his.”

Weston’s eyes were sympathetic behind his glasses and he shook Tony’s hand, holding it tightly between his own, then he released him and moved away. Tony came over to where Gibbs was standing.

“Sorry about this, boss. I had no idea all these relatives would crawl out of the woodwork. It’s like something out of The Godfather – and I really don’t want to give you the impression that we’re one of *those* types of Italian families.”

Gibbs gave a little chuckle and was about to reply when Pete butted in.

“So – you ready to see him?” he asked Tony.

“Now?” Tony’s voice was tight and anxious.

Pete grabbed his arm. “Tony – I can’t promise you he’ll still be here tomorrow. Now might be all you have,” he said urgently. Tony gazed at him, then took a deep breath and nodded.

“Okay then.” He put down his coffee and followed Pete towards the door, and then turned. He glanced back at Gibbs, and, once again, that expression was there - the pleading one, the one that took him back seventeen years to when he’d been drop dead drunk in a motel room, staring at his gun and trying to decide whether to kill himself. Tony had been a lifeline for him then – the least he could do was be there for him now.

“I’ve got your six, Tony,” he said softly, walking on behind. Tony gave him a look of relief and Gibbs followed him out of the kitchen and up a massive flight of stairs. They walked along a long hallway, passing several doors as they went. Gibbs wondered how any father, deathbed or not, would make his son stay in a hotel when he had this much space in his house, but then again, what kind of father disowned his own son when he was just a kid? He’d always wondered, and now, it seemed, he was about to find out.


Gibbs awoke to a warm, entirely pleasant sensation in his groin. The pounding headache and savage pain behind the eyes caused by his hangover were offset a little by the waves of pleasure currently coursing through his body. He lay there for a moment, trying blearily to figure out why he felt so good. He could hear sucking noises, and his cock was rock hard, and…oh shit. He moaned, and moved his hand down, groping blindly until he found Andy’s head nestled against his groin. The sucking noise stopped, and he bit back a curse because it had felt so good having Andy’s mouth wrapped around his morning hard-on.

He glanced down to see Andy looking up at him warily, his lips sinfully swollen from his recent activity.

“Well don’t damn well stop now,” Gibbs growled, his balls aching. “Finish what you started.”

Andy grinned at him happily, and then bent his head again and enveloped Gibbs’s cock between those wide, mobile lips, an expression of intense concentration on his face as he slowly drew back, then dipped his head forward again. Gibbs bit back a moan. Christ, the kid was good at this. He carded his fingers through Andy’s hair, stroking softly as the kid sucked him; it felt so good…too good.

Gibbs didn’t even want to think about insane this was. Being in the Corps had hardly been a sheltered existence, and he’d had a handful of homosexual encounters – although they’d all been before he met Shannon. He’d allowed other men to jerk him off, and back when he was no more than Andy’s age, and his raging hormones had made him open to all kinds of offers, he’d embarked on an entirely sexual relationship with one of the men in his unit of his own age, Joe Ellis. He could remember stroking Joe’s buzz cut hair while Joe knelt in front of him, sucking him off; or meeting Joe in the head, both of them crowding into the stall, Joe bracing himself over the toilet while Gibbs fucked him hard from behind.

At the time he hadn’t viewed their clandestine encounters as anything more than a way to blow off some sexual steam, to get it out of his system so he could concentrate on his job and avoid pissing off his CO who thought he was a hot-headed troublemaker. However, looking back he wondered whether it hadn’t meant a whole lot more to Joe than it had to him. Gibbs had enjoyed the sex far more than he’d wanted to admit and keeping Joe at arm’s length had been his way of handling what they were doing. Falling in love with Shannon on his first leave home after joining up had been a huge relief – he hadn’t gone near another man since then. Until now.

Andy’s hair didn’t feel anything like Joe’s. Andy’s hair was longer and softer, but his mouth felt just as good on Gibbs’s cock. He stroked Andy’s hair the way he had once stroked Joe’s, and, when he came, he thrust his hips up with a hoarse shout, and wrapped his fist in that thick hair, holding on tight as he spurted out into Andy’s mouth. Joe had always spat out his come, but Andy swallowed it, a satisfied, almost smug grin on his face, then he swiped his tongue over the head of Gibbs’s cock a couple of times to clean it.

“See, I told you I was good,” he said.

Gibbs released his hold on the kid’s hair and Andy snaked his way up towards him. He snuggled up against Gibbs’s right side, rested his head on Gibbs’s shoulder, and wrapped an arm around Gibbs’s midriff. Gibbs lay there, gazing up at the ceiling. When Gibbs didn’t move, Andy reached out, took hold of Gibbs’s left arm, and pulled it across his own body, so that Gibbs was now holding him. Then he pressed a kiss to the side of Gibbs’s face.

“I haven’t forgotten about the car,” Gibbs said, glancing at him, although he didn’t move the arm that Andy had carefully positioned into a semblance of a hug. Andy winced, theatrically. “What the hell were you thinking?” Gibbs demanded.

“That if I gave you a really good blowjob you might not remember?” Andy admitted, that cheeky glint back in his eyes.

“Not that! What were you thinking sneaking out from the diner while I thought you were in the restroom and messing with my car yesterday?”

Andy chewed on his lower lip. “You told me you weren’t going anywhere special so I thought it’d be nice if you hung around here some more. With me,” he added.

“You mean you wanted a room to sleep in at night,” Gibbs muttered.

“No. I told you – I like you. And I figured if you kept on driving, and kept on drinking, that one of these days you’d get yourself killed – or you’d turn that gun under the pillow on yourself,” Andy said. “And that’s just a waste.”

“When I could be your meal ticket instead?” Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

“Why are you so damn suspicious?” Andy asked, his eyes sullen again, the way they had been at the diner yesterday when Gibbs had told him that he was going to leave.

“Because you’re a hustler, Andy, and a devious little shit – you screwed with my car and you’ve been lying to me.”

“Okay – I admit that I messed with your car and I’m sorry about that but I haven’t lied to you,” Andy said, with a frown.

Gibbs shoved him away, got out of the bed, and strode over to where Andy’s bag was lying in the corner of the room. He opened it, found the sneakers, and held them up.

“Where did you get these from?” he demanded. “They’re expensive, Andy. You steal them?”

“No.” Andy sat up in bed, hair sticking up at all angles from where Gibbs had had his fist in it, looking pissed off now.

“Then how the hell did you afford stuff like this? And what’s this?” Gibbs reached into the bag and found a different set of clothes to the ones Andy had been wearing yesterday, shirt and pants nicely laundered. “These are expensive as well. Where did these come from? You steal these too?”

“I haven’t stolen a damn thing,” Andy said sullenly. “They’re mine.”

“How can you afford this kind of stuff when you can’t even afford a room for the night?” Gibbs snapped. “Who are you, Andy? You aren’t like any hustler I’ve ever seen. You don’t do drugs, you’re educated, you have way too much self-confidence, you’ve got all this expensive shit and yet you whore yourself out and sleep in dumpsters. What’s your story?”

“My mom bought me the clothes,” Andy told him. “Happy now?”

“Happy? I’m not even close to happy, Andy,” Gibbs growled. “Where are you stashing this stuff anyhow?”

“At the country club,” Andy replied, glaring at him. “I get the use of a locker. I might have, uh, appropriated more than one locker – several in fact. When I got thrown out of my apartment a few weeks ago because I couldn’t pay the rent any more I moved my stuff in there. If I make nice with the girls there they wash my clothes. I can use the showers. I can’t sleep there though – I got caught doing that once and I’d lose my job if it happened again.”

“If your mom can afford to buy you these clothes then couldn’t she help you with the rent?” Gibbs demanded.

Andy’s eyes darkened to a dull shade of grey-green. “My mom died a few months ago,” he said quietly. “And before you ask, she didn’t leave me any money. She didn’t have any damn money. She was an alcoholic – oh, not the drunk in gutters type like you – no, she was the genteel kind – she’d dress up nice every day and go and sit in places like the country club down the road, where she’d sip on martinis all day and all night long. Any money she had she spent on drink apart from the stuff she sent me. She paid for me to go to college by selling off the jewellery my dad gave her when they were married, but there wasn’t a whole lot of that left when she died and she was up to her eyeballs in debt. I didn’t find that out until after she was gone though.”

Gibbs stared at him but he had a gut feeling for when people were telling him the truth, and he was sure the kid wasn’t lying.

“What about your dad?” he asked. “Can’t he help you through college?”

A mixture of emotions so complicated Gibbs couldn’t even begin to unravel them passed over Andy’s expressive face, and then he shut down, and shook his head, firmly.

“Listen – you got the stuff about my mom for free but we’re done now,” Andy said. “I’m sorry I messed with your car – here…” He scooted down the bed until he got to the side nearest to Gibbs, reached out, grabbed his bag from Gibbs’s hand, and felt around inside it. He pulled out a fistful of money. “Maybe this will cover it,” he said, thrusting the notes into Gibbs’s hand and closing his fist around them. “If not, let me know and I’ll go blow a few guys in the bar tonight to make up the rest.”

He unravelled himself from the sheets, got off the bed, and walked towards the bathroom. It was hard to maintain an air of wounded dignity while walking stark naked across a motel room, and, faced with Andy’s disappearing butt, Gibbs did the only thing he could in the circumstances – he laughed.

Andy stopped in the bathroom doorway and turned to look at him, anger and curiosity warring in his eyes. Gibbs shrugged.

“Just thinking – gotta be the first time the hustler ever gave the john money,” he said.

Andy was one of those people who couldn’t hold a bad mood for long, and his face broke into a grin.

“Yeah. I may not be the world’s best at this,” he said, with a rueful shrug. “I haven’t been doing it that long.”

“How long?” Gibbs asked.

“Just a few weeks. That’s when the money ran out,” Andy sighed.

“Talking of which – I don’t want your money.” Gibbs thrust the handful of dollar bills back into Andy’s bag. “I shouldn’t have accused you of stealing, Andy. I just couldn’t figure you out. I still can’t.”

“Well, I can’t figure you out, either,” Andy replied, shaking his head. “Whatever you’re on the run from, it must be bad.”

“It is, Andy – it is,” Gibbs told him. “And I’m not an alcoholic.” Andy raised an eyebrow.
“You said that I was earlier – the drunk in the gutter kind? I’m not.”

“If you say so,” Andy muttered dubiously. “But I’ve been around alcoholics all my life and you don’t seem any different.”

That brought Gibbs up short. He’d always enjoyed a drink but he’d never had a liquor problem before. Still, Andy had seen him get blind drunk twice in the two nights he’d known him; it was hardly surprising he thought he was an alcoholic. Was he, he wondered? Could he go an evening without drinking himself into the ground? Did he want to?

“I am sorry about your car,” Andy said. “I can see why that would piss you off. I didn’t mean anything by it. I just wanted you to hang around a bit longer.”

“Well, you got what you wanted,” Gibbs said. “And look, I’ll prove to you I’m not a drunk. If you want, we can do something this evening after you finish work - something other than getting drunk in a bar,” he clarified.

Andy’s face broke into a ridiculously pathetic grin. “It’s my day off today so you can prove it to me all day,” he said. “If you want?” he added uncertainly. Gibbs thought he really was the strangest mixture of total confidence and complete insecurity.

“Well, I don’t have any place else to be,” he sighed.

It was a surreal day. They ate in the diner, then Andy showed him around town, and in the afternoon he took Andy to the boxing gym.

“This is so cool!” Andy said as they got changed. “This is like something a dad would do with his son. Do you have any kids, Jethro?”

Gibbs stood there for a moment, gutted by the question. If he closed his eyes he could still remember what her face looked like, but it was becoming so hard to hang onto that memory. It felt like she was fading a little bit every day. He struggled all over again with the finality of losing her.

How was it possible that just a few short months ago he’d been playing with her in the yard, swinging her around and around and then setting her down and watching her walk in dizzy circles, giggling away the whole time? How could she have been so real and alive then, and now be gone forever? How could she not be here any more? And what did that make him? Was he still a father, or, if you lost your child did that mean you weren’t allowed to call yourself that any more? Did being a father once mean you were always a dad? Or did you lose that status when your only child died?

“No,” he said shortly, in answer to Andy’s question, still seeing her in his mind’s eye, pigtails swinging over her shoulders as she ran towards him. “Do you know how to fight, Andy?” he asked, changing the subject.

“Sure.” Andy grinned. “I’m good. I’ll beat you easily, old man.”

Five minutes sparring with ex-Gunnery Sergeant Gibbs soon disabused him of that notion. The kid had a smart mouth on him, and he pulled faces and made stupid jokes as he danced around opposite Gibbs, goofing around, full of exuberant energy. Gibbs stepped in and landed him on the floor in seconds. Andy didn’t seem to mind. He just bounced back up again. Gibbs wondered how many times you could knock this kid down and he’d keep coming back for more. He suspected, if you played him right, that this was a game that could go on indefinitely.

The time went more quickly than he’d have thought possible when every single dull grey second since he’d lost his family had hung on him like a heavy weight. They walked back to the motel and Gibbs claimed the first shower but he’d only been in there a couple of seconds when he felt a warm, hard, naked body behind him, and Andy’s hands began sliding soapy lather over his chest and down to his groin. His cock hardened almost immediately and he growled, and batted Andy’s hands away. Andy grinned at him, and pressed a kiss to his collarbone, then moved up higher, lips searching for Gibbs’s mouth. Gibbs turned his head away – that wasn’t somewhere he was ready to go to yet. He saw the flash of disappointment in Andy’s eyes and then the kid started sinking to his knees. Gibbs grabbed him before he got to his destination.

“Not that,” he said, his voice a low, guttural growl. He was surprised by how much he wanted to bury himself in this boy, and fuck him hard. He remembered Joe Ellis and how good it had felt pounding into his strong body all those years ago. Sex with women was different – gentler, softer, more loving and tender – and he didn’t want any of those things right now. He knew he couldn’t go with another woman so soon after losing his wife in any case. He didn’t want curves, long hair and the familiar comfort of plump, yielding flesh. He didn’t want anything that would remind him of making love to Shannon – and fucking Andy was as far away from that as it was possible to get.

He was filled with a sudden, strong sense of need. He grabbed Andy’s arm, pulled him out of the shower and shoved him into the bedroom. He threw the boy down on the bed and then landed on top of him. Andy grinned up at him.

“Fuck me, Jethro,” he said, moistening his lower lip with his tongue, making Gibbs’s cock ache. “I want to feel that big cock of yours inside me.”

That was enough to tip Gibbs over the edge. He ran his hands over the boy’s hard body, grinding his hips against Andy’s straining erection. Andy gasped and reached out to grab Gibbs’s buttocks. Gibbs lowered his head and bit down on the little area of skin where Andy’s neck and shoulder met, sinking his teeth into the inviting flesh. Andy yelled something, his nails digging hard into Gibbs’s buttocks. Gibbs pinned him down beneath him, sucking and biting at his neck, then licking along his collarbone, before finally moving further down, and swirling his tongue around a hard, flat nipple.

Andy was squealing now, making little gasping sounds of pleasure, his cock hard and leaking beneath Gibbs’s belly, pressed between their two bodies. Gibbs found himself turned on by Andy’s obvious enjoyment, and his balls tightened. He needed to be inside this boy, needed to bury himself in all this young hard flesh and fuck Andy into the mattress.

“Stuff…in my bag…” Andy gasped.

Gibbs tore himself away for long enough to grab Andy’s bag, throw the contents onto the floor and locate the pack of condoms and tube of lubricant. He tore open a condom with his teeth and slid it over his hard cock, then grabbed hold of Andy and turned him onto his stomach.

“Hands and knees,” he hissed into Andy’s ear.

Andy complied, getting into position, ass in the air, the dark hole between his buttocks inviting, promising him exactly what he needed. Gibbs knelt on the bed behind him. He squeezed some lube onto his hand and finger fucked Andy cursorily, wanting to push his hard cock into the boy but holding back just long enough to prepare him for it. Andy made the same orgasmic noises of pleasure as he finger fucked him as he’d made while eating those donuts the previous day and Gibbs couldn’t hold on another second. He removed his fingers, took hold of Andy’s hips, and slid his hard cock between Andy’s ass cheeks. Andy pressed back against him eagerly, head back, sweat starting to trickle enticingly down his throat.

Gibbs paused for a moment to get into position, then tightened his grip on Andy’s hips and thrust into him with one hard, smooth motion. He didn’t go slowly, and once he was inside that warm, tight channel he couldn’t stop. He moved his hands up higher on Andy’s flanks, holding the kid tight, trying to get more purchase, and then he began thrusting. He closed his eyes, threw his head back, and abandoned himself to the sheer enjoyment of how damn *good* this felt. He didn’t have to worry about breaking Andy – he was young and strong, and Gibbs could fuck him into oblivion, the way he’d been drinking himself into oblivion these past few weeks. Maybe he was exchanging one drug for another but right now he didn’t really care.

Andy seemed to be enjoying himself well enough in any case. He was still making those damn noises, the ones that turned Gibbs on and irritated him in equal measure. His eyes were closed, his hair, still damp from the shower, was sticking up every which way, and his body was open and willing, his ass rocking back to meet each hard, strong thrust as Gibbs fucked him mercilessly.

Gibbs was as close to brutal as he’d ever been with any sexual partner, not caring about anything save the sensation in his cock and the way Andy’s skin felt beneath his hands, hard muscles moving smoothly beneath the warm, taut surface. He could hear Andy’s breathing hitching, could hear Andy gasping in pleasure, and then Gibbs was coming, spurting out into the condom, buried deep inside Andy's body. Gibbs hung there for a moment, feeling the sweat start to cool on his body, his cock still balls deep within Andy. Andy was moaning, still rocking back, trying to impale himself on Gibbs’s softening cock, and Gibbs realised he hadn’t come.

He reached his hand down and took Andy’s hard cock in it, then brought him off with a few expert strokes. Andy came with series of happy little gasps, and then he pulled free of Gibbs and flung himself forwards onto the bed, turning as he went so he was lying on his back, gazing up at Gibbs from heavy-lidded eyes.

“I knew you’d be a good, hard fuck,” he muttered lazily.

Gibbs grinned and removed the condom from his spent cock, tying off the end and disposing of it in the trash next to the bed. Then he threw himself down next to the kid, and lay there, gazing up at the ceiling. Andy scooted over and rested his head on Gibbs’s shoulder, the way he always did, then placed his arm across Gibbs’s midriff and tangled his legs in between Gibbs’s legs. It was like having a big, heavy puppy lying half on top of him, and Gibbs thought about pushing him off, but, in the end, he just wrapped an arm around Andy’s body and held him close instead. He felt Andy relax against him, and then the kid began tracing little patterns on Gibbs’s chest with his fingers, idly playing.

It felt good. Gibbs closed his eyes and felt himself floating away on a happy, post-coital haze. Andy started talking but Gibbs wasn’t really listening. Andy talked a lot and it wasn’t always necessary to listen to every word he said; he did talk a lot of crap.

“…and then we could do this again…”


“…playing the…phys ed…basketball…you could watch…”


“Country club…Did you see that movie?…If I had a car that’s the kind of car I’d have…”


“Where did you get the gun anyway…listen to it on the radio…I’m good…”

“Yeah. I know.”

“Military judging by the weird hair…better movie…Sean Connery…”


“Thinking…would you let me…dad?”


“You’d let me? I’d blow you. We could pretend…what do you say? Could I?”

“Let you what?” Gibbs was suddenly aware that he was being asked a question.

“Call you ‘Dad’?”

Andy’s green eyes were too close, looking up at him hopefully, and Gibbs suddenly felt ill.

“What?” he said, raising his head and looking down at the kid.

“It’s not a big deal. It’s just…that waitress in the diner thought I was your son, and the guys down the gym thought so too. I just thought…if I could call you dad…” Andy’s voice trailed off. “I want to call you dad,” he whispered, suddenly looking scared.

Gibbs’s gut clenched so violently he thought he was going to throw up.

“You don’t have that fucking right,” he found himself saying, in a hoarse, growling voice he barely recognised as his own, taut with pain. “You don’t fucking have the right to call me that,” he said, shoving Andy off him, wanting to be rid of him. Only one person had called him that and she was gone, and for this stupid kid to suggest that, after what they’d just done…after the way they’d just fucked like animals in this bed; it made him feel physically ill.

“Get out,” he hissed. “Get the fuck out.”

He got a glimpse of Andy’s shocked eyes and then his gut roiled and he staggered off the bed and into the bathroom and threw up into the toilet. He heaved his guts up, feeling angry, guilty and full of a savage, bitter grief. Shit, what kind of a man must he be? His wife and daughter were barely cold in their graves and he was fucking a stranger in a motel room, burying himself in a warm, willing body the way he’d buried himself in the burning comfort of glass after glass of Jack for god knew how many weeks now.

He finished throwing up and then sat back on his heels, gasping for breath. Kelly was gone; he might not be a father any more but he sure as hell wasn’t going to sully the title by allowing that kid he had just fucked to use it.

He wiped the back of his hand over his mouth and then got up and walked back into the bedroom. It was empty. The kid’s bag had gone, along with his clothes, and the door was hanging open. Gibbs took a run at it and kicked it shut, roaring out his anger and grief as it slammed.

His mouth felt dry and he could taste the acrid foulness of vomit in it and smell it on his breath. He got dressed, grabbed his wallet, and then went across the road to the bar. He sure as hell knew one good way to get rid of that taste.


Pete took them into a dimly lit room. It was decorated too grandly for Gibbs's personal taste – there were several dark old paintings on the walls, hung over thick, heavy wallpaper that was probably expensive but just felt oppressive to Gibbs. The room smelled as if nobody had opened a window in months, which was probably the case, and the stench of illness and imminent death hung all around them.

There was a massive bed in the centre of the room, and, next to it, an array of shiny new medical equipment that was at odds with the musty feel of the room. There was also an oxygen tank, an IV, and a whole load of other stuff that Gibbs presumed served some purpose. A nurse was sitting by the bed but she got up and left the room silently when they came in.

Tony stood in the doorway for a moment, and Gibbs resisted an urge to prod him over to the bed. Instead he waited – he'd told Tony he had his six and he intended to keep that promise. If Tony asked him to leave then he would, but until then Gibbs would be here.

He glanced over Tony's shoulder to catch a glimpse of the man in the bed. He had Tony's broad build, and his hair was a luxuriant silver, thick and abundant even despite his age and ill health. The cancer had eaten away at him, and while he had once clearly been a big man, probably even fat, now he looked as if he'd collapsed in on himself, his cheeks sunken and hollow. The skin on his face had crumpled into a series of papery folds, yellowy in hue, and his long fingers rested on the blanket, their constant jitters the only sign that this might once have been a man who lived life at an impatient pace.

Gibbs suddenly realised why Tony wasn't moving; the last time Tony had seen his father he'd been eighteen years younger, in the full prime of his life. It must be hard for Tony to reconcile the strong, vigorous man his father had once been with this shell of a man in front of him. He heard Tony make a little sound in the back of his throat, so soft that nobody but Gibbs could have caught it, and he rested his hand on Tony's shoulder and squeezed, hoping that would help.

It seemed to. Tony pulled himself up tall, and then walked slowly over to the bed. Gibbs took up position in the corner of the room, beside a window covered by thick, dark green, silk drapes. Now he was closer, he could make out the features on the old man's face more easily, and he was startled to see just how much Tony resembled his father. The likeness was unmistakeable, from the wide mouth to the freckle on the side of his nose, and, most particularly, a pair of green eyes, greyer and darker in tone than his son's, but still familiar.

"Hey Dad," Tony said softly, reaching the side of the bed. The old man exhaled a sigh, his lungs rattling in his chest.

"Tony?" he muttered, and his grey-green eyes flashed with some emotion Gibbs couldn't quite place.

"Yeah." Tony stood there, looking uncertain. He hesitated for a moment, and then leaned down and pressed a kiss to his father's cheek. The old man accepted the kiss with a dour kind of look at his son.

"Pete said you were on your way. I guess that means they don't expect me to hang around for much longer. I told him the only way you'd make the journey was if they promised you a funeral at the end of it," the old man said.

"You know me – I'll go anywhere for free food," Tony replied, but the attempt at humour didn't fool Gibbs.

"Yeah," the old man grunted, in a tone so low and gravelly it sounded almost like he was clearing his throat. "Let's see you then," he said, moving his hand in a feeble gesture that Tony should move into the lamplight. Gibbs bit back an urge to turn on the overhead lights – he had no idea why it had to be so damn dark in here.

Tony did as his father requested, and moved to one side. The old man examined him critically for a moment; he might be dying, but his eyes were as sharp as a hawk's as he stared at his son. Tony shifted uncomfortably, clearly ill at ease with the scrutiny.

"Hmmm. You still look like a DiNozzo," the old man said. "Shame you never carried on the family line, like Pete." He glanced over to where Pete was leaning against the wall. "How many kids you got now, Pete?" he called, a querulous whine in his voice.

"Five," Pete answered quietly.

"Five," the old man repeated. "And how long you been married, Pete?"

"Ten years," Pete replied.

"Ten," the old man told Tony pointedly.

"Yeah. I know," Tony said sullenly.

"Credit to his dad," the old man said. "Shame my brother didn't live to see those kids – he'd have been so proud."

"You hated him," Tony muttered.

"What?" The old man glared at Tony.

"Uncle Nico. You hated him your entire life. You never did one thing that wasn't motivated by that insane competitive shit you felt towards him."

Gibbs winced. It seemed that these two just couldn't help themselves; they were never going to let old wounds heal – they'd rather rip off the scabs and watch them bleed. He didn't blame Tony though – even on his deathbed, it seemed that Anthony DiNozzo Senior's disapproval of his son was as strong as ever, and Tony turned into a petulant teenager around him. He could empathise – his own father was a much kinder personality than this man but it was easy to fall back into old patterns with him all the same.

"You've still got a smart mouth on you, I see," DiNozzo grunted. "Always got you in trouble."

"Still does," Tony said, a faint glimmer of a smile on his lips as he glanced at Gibbs.

"Who's that over there?" the old man wheezed. "Standing over there? Who is it?"

Gibbs stepped over to the bed, into the lamplight. "I'm Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a friend of Tony's," he said quietly.

"A friend?" DiNozzo glared at him, and then glared at Tony.

"I'm his boss – at NCIS," Gibbs clarified, not liking the suspicion he saw in the old man's eyes, or the accusatory way he was glaring at his son.

"A cop," DiNozzo sighed. "I always told him he wouldn't make any money being a damn cop."

"Not a cop exactly – a federal agent," Tony said. "But I've explained that to you many times, Dad – you just never want to understand."

"What I don't understand is why you didn't take a degree in business or law, like Pete over there, and come and work with me, like a son should. Why couldn't you have been like him? Pete knows about the value of hard work. What did you ever do except get thrown out of all those expensive schools I paid for – how many was it?"

"Three," Tony said quietly.

"Three. First couple of times you got thrown out just for being the damn idiot you are, but the third time…" Gibbs glanced at Tony to see that he'd gone pale, his shoulders hunched, his eyes dark. "You have any idea what that was like? Getting a call from the principal to say that my son - *my* son…"

"You got any idea what it was like when Mom left to be the one who had to put your stinking carcass to bed when you got drunk every night? Or when you left me in a hotel suite because you forgot I even existed?" Tony shot back at him. "Your memory is one-sided, Dad – always was."

"You shouldn't have come," DiNozzo said, with a tired wave of his hand. "I know why you're here though – you've come sniffing after my money, the way you always did."

"You think that's why I'm here?" Tony rocked back on his heels, looking winded. "Seriously? You're dying and you think that's why I came here?"

"You like money. You always did," DiNozzo chuckled. "Always knew you could be bribed with a new pair of those fancy shoes you like, or some other shit like that."

"You're right. I do like money," Tony said quietly. "And yes, I do have expensive tastes. I'm like my father in that."

"You're nothing like me," DiNozzo said flatly. "I had nothing when I started out, Tony – and you - you had everything I could give you, and never appreciated a dime because you never had to work for it."

Gibbs watched them go at it, back and forth, and he suspected this was a very old argument that had been rehashed many times over the years, and the only reason Tony was allowing the old man to land this many punches was because he was dying. Tony was slugging it out with both hands tied behind his back and it was hard to see how he could win in that position.

"I work hard too," Tony said, and Gibbs didn't think he'd ever seen him look like this, in all the years he'd known him. Tony was a big, robust man but right now he looked as fragile as Gibbs had ever seen him. Being around his father had stripped away all those defences of his, laying the man bare.

"Running around with guns, flashing that badge of yours at people?" DiNozzo snorted. "You never did want to grow up."

"Yeah, well, you could be right there," Tony said, with a grin. "Look I didn't come here to argue, Dad…"

"Oh I know why you came here," DiNozzo interrupted. "You thought I'd be weak because I'm dying. You thought you'd just come along, flash that grin, and throw your mother’s charm at me and that I’d change my mind and leave everything to you. Well it won't happen. I'm leaving it all to Pete; the business, the house, the money, the cars – all of it, Tony."

"Good. I don't want it," Tony said abruptly.

"Pete's been more of a son to me than you ever were," DiNozzo said. Gibbs knew, even as the words were being spoken, that they'd be a body blow to Tony. He saw Tony flinch, visibly, and then nod.

"Yeah – he has, Dad, he has," he said. "And god knows he deserves the money, after putting up with you for all these years. Now, I need the bathroom. Try not to die before I get back."

He turned on his heel, and left, almost at a run. Pete glanced at Gibbs, and Gibbs glanced back at Pete, and then Pete turned and ran after him.

Gibbs moved back into the lamplight again, so that DiNozzo could see him clearly, and then he bent down and spoke directly into his ear.

"You are lucky, old man, that you are dying," he said, in a low, clear voice. "Because if you weren't, I'd put a bullet through your head myself."


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