Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Word Count: 1,000
Beta: All mistakes are mine
Written For: February 2014 Unwritten Meme for hawk_soaring
Note: I started this before sinfulslasher posted The Wooden Heart, I haven't read it yet, but just in case, any similarities given her title are purely coincidental since we've determined we are twins.
Summary: In the days leading up to Valentine's Day, Tony develops an addiction that everyone at the office helps encourage.
It started when Sally from legal had dropped a clear bag tied with red and pink ribbons on each desk. She'd even left one on Gibbs' desk to the shock of everyone. Of course, the man had just tossed his baggy toward Tony with a grunt and Tony couldn't help but smile. He'd count regifting the same as a gift any day.
Over the next few days, he was slowly working his way through each piece of candy. He would find a target to quote the saying to before popping the little heart into his mouth. It was fun, even if he noticed that Ziva was sharpening her knife more frequently if he aimed the sayings at her. Targeting Gibbs was a surefire way to get a head slap and Tony was never opposed to that form of affection from the other man.
As the week progressed, Tony was please to see more bags of the little candy hearts appearing on his desk. Most were the standard fair that could be bought at any store. However, there were some obvious custom ones that made him even happier. Abby had provided him with a complete bag of black hearts with catchy phrases like, "Oh My Goth."
McGee finally got into the game with a back of geek themed candy. Tony went through that bag within an hour, throwing out the sayings to McGee as he tried to finish his reports.
When Harris, the guard at the gun range, handed him a bag, Tony wanted to pump his fist. He had succeeded in getting his coworkers engaged in a holiday that normally left most at the office morose and angry. On a whole, NCIS agents and the rest of the staff didn't have the best luck at love. About the only success was Jackie, an MTAC tech, who had married Agent Nelson. Now, everyone was in the game of giving him candy hearts and there seemed to be a contest to one up the previous person.
For his part, Tony continued to eat every last heart that was given to him. He'd eat them in the morning when he woke up, not sure what to think of the mix of toothpaste and the chalky flavor of the hearts. He'd pop some in his mouth at every red light he caught on his way to the office. He was mainstreaming them at his desk since they'd been stuck on reports and cold cases all week. He'd even tossed some on his pizza as he watched an old Cary Grant movie before bed. The damn things were addictive.
By the time Valentine's Day actually rolled around, Tony had been eating a steady diet of candy hearts for a solid week. His stomach had been protesting all day, but he was determined to make the day special for Gibbs since it was their first Valentine's Day together as a couple. Tony had hopes that if he did everything right, he could be like Jackie and Nelson.
Ignoring the twinges in his stomach, Tony popped some more candy hearts in his mouth figuring that would settle things. He managed to reach Gibbs' house before the other man only because Gibbs was detouring to take some flowers and candy to Leyla and Amira. That would give him about an hour to prep everything since Leyla had promised to stall Gibbs for him.
In a rush, Tony turned the oven on and pulled out his homemade lasagna dish. He'd frozen it the night before and just needed to reheat. It wasn't exactly the same as fresh, but it would be close enough. Not worried about the lasagna, Tony turned his focus to his special garlic bread. Rosita had passed the recipe down to him because she didn't have any kids and most of the time he didn't have a dad.
The queasiness in his stomach slowly crept up on him as he worked, but finally the smells of the food finally overcame him and he found himself running toward the bathroom, the pan with his bread clattering to the floor behind him.
He wasn't sure how long he was bent over the toilet, but suddenly there was a hand carding through his hair. Tony risked looking up and saw Gibbs standing over him with a concerned frown.
"Yah okay, Tony?"
"Maybe," he risked saying. Then he remembered the food and shouted as he tried to stand up. "Damn! Dinner!"
"Got it under control, Tony," Gibbs said as he put a steadying hand on Tony's wobbly form. "Lasagna is fine and the bread is salvageable. It landed on the pan. But not sure you'll be able to eat any of it."
"I'm okay, Boss," Tony said as he got his bearings.
Gibbs just eyed him, but didn't say anything else. Tony considered it a victory until the other man finally did speak.
"Rule sixty-five, no candy hearts," and Tony absolutely agreed with the man. Tony figured that would be a good first rule from now on.
Once they made it to the kitchen, Tony surveyed the damage and decided it wasn't too bad. He popped the bread in the oven next to the lasagna and turned down the temperature. It wouldn't hurt to delay the start of dinner until his stomach had settled. Grabbing a glass of water he followed Gibbs to the couch where he curled into the man as they both stared into the fire.
"I didn't even get to set the table with the candles. Was supposed to be romantic," Tony said softly. "Not me upchucking in the bathroom because I OD'ed on candy."
"Fireplace works for me," Gibbs said gruffly. "Don't need candles." Then Gibbs pulled a small drawstring bag out of nowhere and passed it to Tony. "Here. Figured these would be safer for you."
Curious, Tony opened the bag to find several small hand carved hearts inside. Pulling one out of the bag, he smiled as he read it out loud, "You're Mine!"