Author's Notes: Written for tibbs_yuletide Day 24 AND gibbs_dinozzo Challenge 12
Characters / Pairings: Gibbs/DiNozzo
Spoilers: 09x08 Engaged, Part 01
Genre / Category: Slash; Established Relationship
Word Count: 1,182
Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Beta: Will Be azraelz_angel, just not yet.
Summary: Fulfilling his bucket list wasn't an instant thing. Some items would take years.
Tony sighed as he settled into the couch and watched the fire crackle away. They had just enjoyed some steak and all the fixings for their Christmas Eve dinner and now it was time for a rare moment of relaxation. Tony had been shocked when Gibbs announced that the team had a full month off. Everyone had been shocked. No one asked at the office, but once they were on their way to the house, Tony had given Jethro a specific look. And for once the other man responded to the unasked question.
”HR’s been hounding Leon about our hours. Saying we’re exceeded regulations and not taking our leave. Leon’s also forming a new team that will ultimately be based in Norfolk. So he’s gonna start ‘em out here to keep an eye on them while we’re off.”
So now they were at the very start of the longest period of time they’d ever had to themselves. Tony just hoped they’d survive that much time together without work as a buffer.
His musings were interrupted as Jethro walked back into the living room from the kitchen.
“Hey,” he said with a lighthearted smile. “So what plans you got for us? As good as it sounds, a month in bed isn’t feasible. It would take me another month to get back in shape.”
Jethro gave a chuckle. “How about you open a present and we’ll go from there,” Jethro said as he plucked a white envelope that was nestled in the boughs of the Christmas tree.
“You are tricky, Jethro,” Tony said. “Never saw that one there. So what’d you get me?”
Jethro sat down next to Tony and draped an arm around the other man, pulling him close. “Open it up,” he said gruffly.
Tony pulled out his knife, smiling as he remembered their gift exchange from several years ago when they had bought each other the same brand of knife unknowingly. Pulling himself from the memory, he reached into the opened envelope and pulled out a worn looking index card with writing on it.
He cast a quick glance at Jethro before looking back to read what the card said. “Gibbs Family Steak,” he said out loud. “Jethro?” he turned, his hand shaking slightly. “Is this-“
“Yeah,” Jethro answered, squeezing Tony’s shoulder. “Number seventeen. Figured it was time. Just because you have the recipe doesn’t mean you can jump right in on your own. Took years before Dad let me do it on my own.”
“Jehtro,” Tony started, but was unable to think of anything else to say that fit the moment. Instead, he put the recipe carefully back in the envelope and set it on the coffee table. Then he turned toward Jethro and cupped the man’s face with his hands.
“Thank you,” he said solemnly and then leaned in for a long kiss.
Minutes later, they were curled against each gazing at the fire when Jethro spoke up.
“Think you’re forgetting something,” he said softly.
Tony blinked up at him, confusion apparent on his face. “What’d I forget?”
“Number seventeen. You didn’t just want to get the recipe, but you wanted to pass it on.”
“Huh,” Tony huffed out. “Guess I’ll have to find someone someday. But- well, they’d have to be family for me to pass it on.”
“About that,” Gibbs started. “Got a call from Jane at the agency a few days ago.”
Tony’s head whipped around and he stared openly at Jethro. “What’d she say? Were we approved? Why didn’t you tell me? What about-“
Gibbs cut him off with a finger to his lips. “Wanted to surprise you. We get to pick him up Tuesday when they open. I tried to work it out to have him for Christmas, but couldn’t pull enough strings. Thought we might hold off on most of the presents until them if you want.”
“Yeah,” Tony said with a stunned voice. “I got him something. I was hoping, I mean, I figured we’d get approved, but even if we didn’t I wanted him to have it. This the real reason we have the time off?” Tony asked knowingly.
“Partly. The other stuff was true. This was just the tipping point Leon needed to approve it. So you ready for this?”
“Being a dad? I- Does anyone know how to answer that?”
“No. I sure as hell didn’t when Shannon told me she was expecting. I was scared as hell. But, in the end, it’s worth it. And Ben’s a great kid. Makes me think of you.”
“I was gonna say he makes me think of you,” Tony said with a fun poke into Jethro’s side. “Guess he’ll be a mix of both of us in a few years. He’s only five after all.”
“So that means we gotta work on your steak fixing skills so you’re ready to pass it on when he’s old enough. The recipe’s been in the family for over a hundred years.”
“I’ll do my best, Jethro. And this is the best Christmas ever.”
Twenty Years Later
Tony looked up as he heard the door bang, singling the arrival of Ben.
“Dad!” he heard a few seconds later.
“In here!” he called out as he grabbed the envelope from the tree. His mind flashed back to all those years ago when Jethro had done the same thing with him. Now it was just him, Ben and soon Linda would be part of the family as well. They’d lost Jethro five years ago and it still hurt as if it was yesterday.
“Dad?” he drawn from his musings by his son voice. “What’s wrong? You didn’t say why I needed to be here, especially since I’m coming over with Lin in the morning.”
“Got something for you that I wanted you to have tonight. Something special.” And he passed the envelope over with trembling hands.
Ben took it and pulled out a knife that had been given to him by Jethro years ago, causing Tony to smile sadly. When Ben pulled out the card, he gasped as he read the words it contained.
“The family recipe?” Ben asked with a hitch in his voice. “You think I’m ready?”
“Well, it takes years to learn it. Can’t get it all from just the card alone. And since you’re settling down with Linda, we need to get you ready for that grandkid you’re gonna give me.”
“Dad,” Ben said exasperatedly. Then Ben pulled his dad into a full hug that would have rivaled his Aunt Abby. “I know you’ll teach me right.”
“If I didn’t, your dad would come back down here and head slap me to death. You know he wanted to be here to teach you himself.”
“I know. But he will be here, because he taught you. Now let’s go to the kitchen and you can tell me why the secret ingredient is just listed as Secret Gibbs Ingredient on the card. That makes it a bit difficult to follow the recipe.”
Tony smile and wrapped an arm around his son’s shoulder. “Well, the secret is…”