Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Word Count: 1,077
Written For: sinfulslasher's Lucky 13 Prompt (Western AU) and 2013 tibbs_yuletide Day 01
Beta: azraelz_angel who did a mobile/Facebook quickie for me. :)
Author's Note: I'm a procrastinator who wrote this in an hour today. So hopefully it makes sense.
Summary: The winter storm took the fledgling town of Stillwater by surprise, but Gibbs knows how to make the best of a cold situation.
Gibbs watched as the door kicked open, letting snow swirl into the one room jailhouse. He tried to keep a grin off his face as DiNozzo hopped up and down trying to dislodge the clumps of wet snow from his boots and coat.
"It's gettin' bad out there, Boss," he said as he tossed his hat in a perfect side arm throw so it hooked the corner of the chair at his desk. Gibbs was impressed at how quickly the Italian's natural accent had slipped into the drawl that permeated the locals of the region.
"Everything secure?" Gibbs had sent his deputy out for one last check of everything, especially the bank. The storm had taken them by surprise, as winter usually didn't hit hard until near Christmas time. Of course, old Doc Mallard had predicted it, but most were inclined to ignoring the man's ramblings.
"Yeah. Mr. Vance opted to stay at the bank, but his wife packed more than enough to last him. She also sent this," DiNozzo added as he held up a basket that was no doubt laden down with fresh baked bread and pies that wouldn't go bad.
"How 'bout Kate's?"
"Tim helped her board things up just in case. Think she's saying with the Doc and Abby. Also saw Stan just before he headed back out toward the ranch. Said he planned to get out his sled and check on the outliers once this thing dies down. If it dies down," DiNozzo added as another strong gust of wind shook the building.
"This town's been through worse," Gibbs said with confidence. "That twister spring before last should've knocked us off the map by all accounts."
"Hate to tell you, Gibbs, but this place was never on any map. And I should know."
Gibbs did smile at that as he recalled how DiNozzo ended up in their little town of Stillwater with a half lame horse and a bullet wound through his leg. The man had been on the run from some men with a grudge with DiNozzo's father. His father had caught some ship from New York back to his home country and left DiNozzo to fend for himself.
By the time the band hunting DiNozzo had arrived in Stillwater, the small town had already fallen in love with the man's easy smile and the way he could talk about life in the city, especially the stage shows. Everyone helped in hiding him. The Doc had hidden areas for runaway slaves. Not only was DiNozzo safe there, but the Doc could keep an eye on the still healing wound. When DiNozzo had first arrived, he'd had a ragin' fever from infection. There had been brief talk of amputation before the man pulled through against the odds.
Kate had put the outlaw band up in the spare room above her tavern. With the tavern right across the dirt path from Gibbs' jailhouse, he could easily keep an eye on their comings and goings.
Burley had set out before the band's arrival in the hopes of getting a Marshal or Ranger to come back with him. They'd have more pull that Gibbs' small, backwater sheriff's badge.
It all came to a head with the leader of the band took Abby hostage as she was heading back toward Doc's with some fresh bandages Mrs. Vance had fixed up. They'd demanded DiNozzo in exchange for the girl and Gibbs wasn't about to lose either of them.
He'd gotten the Doc to do the talking to keep them distracted while Gibbs had scoped out the best perch from which he could sight the men. Tim, Kate and Mr. Vance were ready to move at the first gunshot. Gibbs' plan was for him to take out the leader holding Abby and the rest wouldn't have time to react before the others took them out.
His plan worked like a charm, with the leader dropping from a bullet between his eyes. The others were too busy trying to save themselves to think about Abby who had scrambled away from the dead man. Gibbs had just finished putting the three live men in the single cell when Burley got back with a Ranger in tow. The Ranger got DiNozzo's statement and got Burley's assistance in escorting the three back to the city with a wagon.
Once DiNozzo had healed, the man just stayed in Stillwater. No one questioned it three months later when he became the first deputy to the first sheriff of the town. And no one questioned it when DiNozzo never moved out of Gibbs' house once his leg was healed.
Gibbs shook himself from his reminiscing when he heard a repeated creaking sound. He looked around to see DiNozzo sitting in the single cell on the bed. He was bouncing up and down on his ass, testing the strength of the springs.
"DiNozzo!" he barked out and was satisfied when the other man startled and fell to his ass on the wooden floor.
"Not nice, Boss," DiNozzo said as stood back rubbing his ass.
Then they both startled at a crashing sound that plunged them into darkness. Gibbs stood and made his way over to the fireplace where a mound of snow had just fallen down the chimney and put out the fire. He stuck his head down to look up and was greeted with a face full of snow.
DiNozzo had lit one of the lanterns and was standing next to Gibbs when he pulled his soot and snow filled face back up.
"No more fire tonight," he said grimly. "Can't clear it out with the storm. Have to wait till mornin'."
"So how we gonna keep warm, Boss?" DiNozzo asked. "Not like we can build a fire in the middle of a wooden building. Maybe we can make it over to Kate's or the bank."
"No need to go outside. Get your ass back to that bed you were testing out."
Gibbs smiled as DiNozzo's eyes lit up. Sex was a sure fire way to make the man happy. And if it had the side effect of keeping them warm from shared body heat, so be it.
However, what Gibbs failed to notice as he was pushing Tony into the thin mattress was the door to the cell swinging shut behind them while the key rested securely in his desk drawer. Whoever found them the next morning would never let them live it down.