Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 3899
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Ducky Mallard, Abby Sciuto, Ziva David, Timothy McGee
Category(ies): Established Relationship
Summary: A New Years Eve party holds a surprise for the team.
Author Notes: I don't own the characters, only borrowed them for the holidays.
The cool tiles did little to ease the throbbing pain behind his right eye. He reached out and adjusted the water, hoping the heat would relax his tense muscles. The water cascading down his back felt good, it just wasn’t enough to put his mind to rest. He knew he shouldn’t be this nervous, but reasoning just didn’t cut it today.
Three weeks. Only three more weeks until it would all be out in the open. Till they all knew. All of it. It felt like time flew by and stood still, all at once. He groaned. “I’m a grown man, a federal agent, for fuck’s sake. I’ve faced homicidal maniacs, serial killers, and the goddamn fucking plague. And now your scared of a party, with you friends?” he muttered. “Lord,” he groaned.
A gentle kiss on his shoulder startled him back to reality. Strong calloused hands massaging his neck and shoulders tackled knots and he could feel the tension draining slowly away. “That feels so good,” he hissed, as Gibbs found a particularly sore spot, right below his right shoulder blade. “How long did you stay at the shooting range yesterday?” Gibbs asked, as his fingers dug into the tight muscle. “Dunno,” Tony replied, his forehead still resting against the wall, “a few hours, can’t remember.”
“They’ll be happy for us, ya know. It’s not like they won’t support us, I know they will.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right. I think Abby suspects something’s going on, anyway. She’s dropped a few hints and innuendoes lately. But I don’t think she knows it’s you. She’d pick your lock if she thought she’d catch us in the act,” he chuckled. “And Probie’s getting worried about my lack of dating. He even offered to set me up on a blind date. Me! As if I need dating advice from the Elf Lord…” he snorted.
“You’re telling me you’re worried about your reputation as the ladies’ man?” Gibbs teased, “or is it the fact that McGee’s apparently getting more action than you are?”
“Nobody’s getting more action than me, Jethro,” Tony grinned, rubbing lightly against the man behind him, “I’m just tired of not being able to share, that’s all. And noo, I don’t want to share you with Tim.”
Gibbs laughed outright, “I’d pay good money to see his face if you suggested a walk on the wild side!”
The former Marine placed another kiss on his shoulder blade before reaching for the soap. He lathered up a washcloth and ran it in firm circles across the younger man’s body, soothing and cleaning as he worked his way down Tony’s back. Turning him around, he looked into green eyes, looking lovingly back at him as he continued his task. This was about connecting, grounding them both, reaffirming the bond between them.
The water started to cool and they quickly rinsed off, before stepping into the warm bathroom. Tony handed Gibbs his robe and they headed down to the kitchen. It was late afternoon, and shadows were growing in the garden behind Gibbs’ house. Although they practically lived together, he still thought of it as Gibbs’ house. Maybe it would change when they came out, or maybe there were just too many memories here from the previous marriages.
“You have any plans for this weekend?” Gibbs asked, looking rather…..Tony couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
“No,” he replied, feeling a bit curious as to what the other man could have planned. “You?”
“Yep,” Gibbs said, before he started to set the table. Could you get the beer? He asked, as cutlery and plates found their way to the dining room.
“We’re eating in here?” Tony asked. It wasn’t like they never did it, but normally they dined in the kitchen. Unless there was a special occasion, but he couldn’t think of any. No birthdays or anniversaries that he could remember. The dining room was not a place for very formal dinners, at least not compared to the stiff formal affairs Tony had to suffer through when at his father’s house. Endlessly cold and silent meals. Polite conversation, very little of it directed towards him.
This place was warm, inviting. A large round oak table made sure everybody could talk easily to each other. The table could be extended to a larger oval one, seating 12. He took the beer and a couple of glasses into the room, surprised to see a purple sheet covering it, as well as two beautiful silver candle sticks.
“Did I forget something, an anniversary of some sorts?”
“Nope,” was the maddeningly curt reply.
“Come on, Jethro, what’s up?”
Gibbs placed a pot of piping hot chili con carne on the table, before walking back to the kitchen, returning with a bowl of sour cream and a basket of fresh bread. “Could you get the salad?” he asked, lighting the candles.
“Sure,” Tony replied, knowing he wouldn’t get an answer before the older man was good and ready.
They settled down to eat, conversation flowing easily. December had been anything but slow so far, but they stayed clear of work tonight. What to give Abby for Christmas was a far more entertaining topic. Tony had ordered a bedspread for her, black with silver bats on one side, dark red on the other. Gibbs had splurged on matching sheets. He’d made sure they were of a higher tread count than Jethro had ever bought before. Hell, Tony smirked, Gibbs probably didn’t even know the difference before he’d slept in his bed.
The massage had taken care of Tony’s headache and he felt more rested than he had for a long time. The chili was wonderful, hot and delicious, the beer cool and tasty. He looked across at Gibbs and saw his own feelings of contentment reflected in the other man’s face. But also something else, he looked nearly nervous, well, as nervous Gibbs was capable of looking. Not much fazed the other man.
“What? Come on, Gibbs, spit it out. What’s so special about tonight?” he asked, taking a swig of beer.
“Would you like to go shopping tomorrow?”
Tony nearly choked on his beer, “Shopping?” he sputtered. That was like the least favorite thing Gibbs ever did. “For what?”
A mischievous glean shone in the former marines eyes. The one he had when he really looked forward to something. Gibbs reached out and took Tony’s hand in his, entwining their fingers.
“I’ve been thinking,” he declared.
“I know you like to spend time here, with me, but I’d like to make this our home. To have you put your mark on the house. So, we’re decorating! Get some new furniture; maybe paint some walls, I don’t know. I know you’re dying to get a new TV. What do you think?”
Tony was nearly speechless, and a bit touched. “You’d do that for me?”
Yes, Tony, I’d do that….for us. It’s time.
Gibbs got up and crouched before Tony, I love you, and I want to show you just how important you are to me,” he said quietly. Tony leaned forward and captured his lips in a kiss that was both gentle and passionate.
“My love,” he whispered, resting his forehead against Gibbs’.
“That must have been a day from hell for you,” Tony chuckled as they closed the front door behind them. “Deciding colors for the living room and picking out curtains is just sooo you.”
“I need a bourbon,” Gibbs sighed as he slumped into the couch. He looked over at his lover and had to smile. He was practically bouncing around the living room, pulling out glasses and bottles, while putting a slew of shopping bags on the coffee table.
The day had in fact not been as hellish as he had feared. The apparent joy Tony had showed throughout had in itself made it an enjoyable experience.
“No, picking out curtains is not my favorite thing to do, but you’re worth it, Tony.” The young Italian smiled shyly, a faint blush coloring his cheeks.
“So we’ll be shopping for clothes next Saturday, then?” he teased.
“No, hell no,” Gibbs said, pulling the other man into a tight embrace. “I love you, Tony, but I will not go shopping again for a long, long time.”
The painters would come in next week. Gibbs had scheduled this a couple of months ago, as his plans for Christmas began to form. The new leather couch would be delivered the week after, as would the curtains for the living room. A large plasma screen was sitting in the hall, waiting to be plugged in. The dining room would be painted as well, but they’d keep the furniture. All in all, a very good day, he thought.
The best part of the day was hidden away in his coat pocket, to be locked away until New Years Eve. Two platinum bands, both engraved, hopefully to be placed on their fingers after they’d declared their love to the rest of the team. He hoped Tony would accept the ring, as a token of his love and devotion. God, I’m getting sentimental, he winced.
Tony started opening bags, pulling out items, scattering them around him. Christmas presents for the team, as well as a few new items for the house found their way onto the table, to be gift-wrapped later. Ziva had proved to be the most difficult, but a beautiful pair of leather gloves had caught his eye. A matching scarf had completed the gift. Tony had wanted to include a dictionary of American slang, but Gibbs vetoed it. He could yank her chain on any other night, but not his one.
He took another sip of bourbon, ‘yeah, life’s good he thought,’ smiling to himself.
It was time. Tony stood in front of the mirror, checking his own image. According to Abby, the gray suit and green shirt complemented his eyes, and did nice things for his ass. He smiled, thinking of the conversation they’d had the night before. She’d called him trying to ferret out what this New Years Eve party was all about.
“It’s not like Bossman invites us around that often, Tony, and especially not on New Years Eve. Is he lonely, is that why?” She’d sounded genuinely concerned. He hoped she wouldn’t be disappointed when she learned the truth. Probably pissed as hell, for not sharing, but she’d understand why.
They’d agreed to open their presents at midnight, kind of a belated Christmas party and New Years bash all in one. A bit untraditional, but Gibbs had insisted upon it since they had all spent Christmas with their families and loved ones. He and Gibbs had stayed at home, decorating the tree and making eggnog. All very Brady bunch, except for the fact that their little family had two dads. And no kids. He paused at that. Wondering whether Gibbs had regrets, wishing for another child. Kelly had been the light of his life, and he’d lost her. Would he have liked a second chance, an opportunity to be a dad again? He didn’t know. He’d never asked why he’d never had one with his three other wives.
Sighing deeply, he straightened his already smooth tie and ran his hands through his hair. Yep, he’ll do. Jethro came out of the bedroom; wearing the Armani shirt he’d given him for Christmas. The light blue color brought out his eyes, eyes that were eying him curiously. “You ok?” he asked.
Tony took another deep breath before looking back at the older man, “Yeah, I’m good,” he smiled. Gibbs leaned in for a brief kiss, before heading down into the kitchen. The roast was nearly ready, trimmings done, table set.
The dining room looked great. Tony had brought his good china, an heirloom from an old aunt, along with his best crystal. They were pulling out all the stops on this one. He opened a few bottles of wine, letting it breathe before the guests arrived. They were due in about an hour, but he suspected Abby would… A loud knock on the front door interrupted his chain of thoughts. Heading out into the hallway, he smiled when he saw what could only be Abby bouncing up and down outside. Clearly impatient…or maybe just on a Cafpow high.
“Tony! Hi!” She hugged him, “you’re early! Did he rein you in to help out?
“Something like that,” Abs, he replied, deftly dodging the question. She knew he hung out with Gibbs now and then, but was neither aware of the amount of time he spent there, nor the reason why. Abby still came over to his place for movie night, and he treasured those fun filled evenings.
He took her coat and whistled slowly when she revealed the dress underneath. She had on a dark purple gown, silver threads accenting the corset bodice, making the top sparkle. A beautiful silver necklace completed the look. Her hair was swept up in a French knot, with silver beads running through it. She looked absolutely stunning.
“You look….stunning, Abs, absolutely beautiful.” He kissed her lightly and led her into the kitchen, where Gibbs was putting the finishing touches on the food.
“Wow, Gibbs, you’re pulling out all the stops tonight!” Abby exclaimed as she eyed the spread in front of her. “What’s the occasion?”
“The occasion? It’s New Years Eve, Abby, and I’m with the people I love, isn’t that reason enough?”
“Ah, Boss, I didn’t know you cared, I’m touched,” Tony quipped, grinning broadly, earning him what would hopefully be his last head slap. This year.
Abby rounded the kitchen table, pulling Gibbs into a tight hug. “I think next year will be your year, Bossman, I can feel it,” she said quietly.
“You know what, Abby, I think you might be right,” Gibbs replied, locking eyes with Tony over her shoulder. The young Italian blushed lightly, turning away to hide the grin that was threatening to split his face in two.
“Would you like something to drink, Abby?” Gibbs asked, leading the way into the living room.
Abby looked around, momentarily speechless. “What..this looks….well, sorry, Boss, but this looks way to good for you to have come up with yourself,” she teased. The living room walls were a creamy white, which set off the bookshelves Gibbs had made a few years back beautifully. The gleaming birch shelves looked great against the new tan couch. The coffee table stood upon a new red carpet. She turned to the other end of the living room and was once again lost for words. A large plasma TV had replaced the ratty old one that had stood there before.
“Right,” she said, “spill, Gibbs, what’s going on?”
They were both saved by the bell as a loud knock on the front door signaled the arrival of their other guests. The hall was soon filled with laughter and voices as the rest of the team arrived. Ziva and McGee had their arms filled with what looked like containers of food.
“Sorry,” McGee explained a bit sheepishly, “my mother insisted I brought her very, very special Christmas cookies. Her grandma was from Norway, there are 8 different kinds of cookies here. Enjoy!”
“Sweet,” Tony exclaimed, before disappearing into the kitchen, searching for a plate to put them on.
“Finding what you need, my dear boy?” A quiet voice sounded from the door. Startled, Tony looked up from the cabinet he was rooting through and met Ducky’s enquiring gaze.
“What?” Oh, yeah…just need to find something to put Probie’s cookies on. Thought maybe Jethro had something in here I could use,” he pulled out a plate and guided the older man back into the living room, hoping Ducky hadn’t noticed him calling Gibbs by his first name, “let me take your coat and we’ll get you a drink.”
Equal amounts of praise were bestowed upon the dining room. The expensive china and crystal earned Tony another inquisitive glance from Ducky. Ziva and McGee seemed curious, but apparently didn’t find it strange that Gibbs owned such quality items.
Dinner was a lively affair. A couple of days apart tended to do that. Abby had been bowling with the nuns, and Ducky had a few stories of his own, recounting Christmases past. After dinner they retreated into the living room. They all settled into the new couch and chairs, admiring the result of the work done and enjoying a cup of coffee and McGee’s cookies. They’d given up on pronouncing the names, settling instead for enjoying the flavors.
Abby got up and went over to the French doors opening onto the backyard. It was a clear night, and the moonlight cast an eerie light over the shrubs and trees, the entire garden dusted in a light coat of snow. Tony joined her, circling his arms around her from behind, drawing her close.
“ I have a funny feeling about tonight, Tony, are you sure Bossman’s ok? He doesn’t quite seem like himself.”
“What do you mean, Abs? He looks happy.”
“I know…I know…but there’s something else there as well…”
Ducky called them back to the rest of the group, announcing it was time to open the presents. Abby’s bedspread was a huge success, as was McGee’s video game for Tony. Ziva loved the gloves and matching scarf. The rest of the presents were open amid squeals of surprise and hugged ‘thank you’s’.
Tony hung back a bit, knowing that the clock ticked nearer to midnight faster than he had expected. He didn’t quite know how Gibbs had planned to announce their relationship, but he had allowed the older man to take the lead on this. Whatever Gibbs had in mind, he would go along. He trusted him, and hoped …
He was shook out of his reveries by Ducky who somehow magically had appeared by his side.
“Are you alright, Anthony?” The older doctor looked at him, concern showing in his eyes. “Why do you ask? I’m fine,” Tony smiled, nearly wincing as he heard how unconvincing he sounded. “It’s nothing, Ducky, just New Year’s Eve, you know. New beginnings, new year’s resolutions and all that.”
“I see,” was the short reply. Ducky glanced around the room, and rested his eyes on Gibbs who were watching them intently. “Some resolutions are meant to be broken, while others are of the kind one should have made a long, long time ago. Remember, my dear boy; always be true to yourself, Anthony. Life’s too short to live a lie.”
Abby called from the other side of the room, “Come on guys, it’s nearly midnight! Oooh,” she said, “four guys and two girls! We’re getting lucky tonight, Ziva,” she teased, earning an eye roll from Ziva and laughter from the rest. Gibbs handed out champagne and they all watched the count down on Gibbs’ new TV, counting down from ten. Tony caught Gibbs’ eye and suddenly realized what the former marine had planned. His eyes widened in shock and amusement, nearly laughing out loud and groaning at the same time.
“Well, that’s Gibbs for ya, never does anything half way, does he” he muttered.
The clock finally struck twelve and he found himself with an armful of Abby, giving him a big sloppy kiss before moving on to Ducky. Ziva was a little less exuberant, but kissed them all softly. Tony hugged Ducky and McGee, wishing them both a Happy New Year.
Then there was no turning back. Gibbs had just kissed Abby when he turned to Tony.
“You’re sure…like this…?” he asked, green eyes meeting blue. “I’m sure, Tony,” Gibbs smiled. He reached out and cupped Tony’s face in his hands, leaned in and kissed him lovingly, pulling him into a tight embrace.
Tony closed his eyes, faintly aware of the room going quiet, a faint “Oh.. my God” reaching him. Slowly Gibbs released him, rested his forehead against his and said a quiet ‘I love you’ before turning to their guests.
McGee had eyes like saucers, but also a big grin on his face. Ziva was harder to read, but she smiled at the spectacle before her. Abby looked like she was about to explode, words spilling out of her with a speed that made her almost impossible to understand. She looked happy though, so Tony released a breath he wasn’t aware he had been holding. Ducky had a knowing smile on his face, making Tony suspect he knew all along.
Gibbs put his arm around Tony’s waist, holding him close. “Yes, we are together and have been for quite some time,” he declared. “We hope you’ll be happy for us,” was all he managed to say before Abby was in his arms, holding him close, laughing and crying at the same time.
“Shame on you, Bossman, for holding out on me!” she said, punching him in the arm. “Not nice, Gibbs, not nice!”
“And, you…!! All those evening at your place and you never said a word! Haven’t I told you it’s polite to share,” she said indignantly.
“Sorry,” Abs, he smiled, kissing her cheek, “too much at stake..”
Ducky stepped forward and hugged them both.
“I was hoping you’d come to your senses. I am truly very happy for you both. So, how long have you two been an item?”
“About a year and a half,” Tony replied, earning him another gasp from the room.
“Man, you can keep a secret,” Abby laughed.
“A toast!” McGee declared, “to love.”
They all raised their glasses. “To love!”
The rest of the evening went by in a blur. Gibbs was acutely aware of the man in his arms, feeling very satisfied they could share this with their friends. An hour later the house was quiet and Gibbs and Tony were relaxing in the living room.
“You happy?” Gibbs asked quietly, lightly carding his fingers through Tony’s hair. “Very,” he replied, placing a kiss on Gibbs’ cheek. The former Marine hesitated slightly before reaching into his pocket, pulling out a small blue box. “I know we still can’t be out at the office, but I do want you to have this.” He opened the box and looked at Tony. “Will you be mine, Tony?”
Tony grew quiet, reaching out to carefully touch the beautiful platinum bands before him. “I’m already yours, Jethro, I always will be.”
Gibbs felt his hands shake lightly as he placed the ring on Tony’s right hand, watching as Tony put the ring on his.
Kissing Tony gently, holding him close, Gibbs knew that 2009 would truly be a good one.
I WISH YOU ALL A HAPPY NEW YEAR!