Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Spoilers: General Story Lines for Season 4 & up to Requiem in Season 5
Warnings: Contains slash and some sex
Word Count: approx 6,800
Beta: azraelz_angel Many Thanks!!!!
Crossposted: gibbstony_athon; gibbs_dinozzo; ncis_slash; ncisfanfic
Written For: gibbstony_athon
Agatha Christie (1890 - 1976)
Summary: When Gibbs loses his memory, Tony finds that their habits are forced to change.
It was a Thursday when Gibbs walked out of NCIS and Tony’s life with nothing more than a “you’ll do” and “semper fi”. Tony was left with Gibbs’ gun and badge and a whole lot of damn pieces to pick up; broken, shattered pieces that came from everyone, including himself.
Friday was the longest day he ever remembered. McGee spent the day with Abby in the lab trying to cheer himself up by cheering her up. Tony knew it wasn’t working or he would have joined them to save himself from the bullpen. Throughout the day, he sat at his desk staring at the blank report on his screen, forcing himself not to look up at the empty desk. More often than not, he couldn’t stop himself from looking and each glance twisted his gut.
“Agent DiNozzo, a word in my office please.” The Director’s sharp voice had caused him to visibly jump.
Glancing at his watch, he saw it was eight o’clock and the office around him was practically empty. He wasn’t sure how he had lost track of the time, but he needed to get his act together to talk with the Director. Taking a deep breath, he turned his computer off and headed up the stairs.
Once inside her office, he greeted her with nothing more than, “Director.”
“Please sit, Agent DiNozzo. We have some things to discuss and this may take awhile.”
Taking a seat across from her desk, he tried not to fidget as he thought of all the possible things she might say. But what she started with was the last thing he expected.
“Have you seen Jethro since he left last night?” Her voice was laced with concern and it was written in her expression.
Tony gave her a small smile and shook his head. “Not since he got on the elevator. You?”
“No. But he somehow managed to file a retirement package,” she added as she placed her hand on the folder in front of her. “And he left a note.”
Tony was both curious and worried at what the boss could have said in a letter that warranted the Director mentioning it to him. He decided to sit quietly and see if she would share it with him or not.
“Have you given any thought to even being a team leader Tony? I’ve read your file and noticed that you turned down a promotion twice before.”
The question was implied and Tony didn’t have an explanation he cared to share with the Director, so he improvised. “The offers were for field offices in other regions and would have required leaving DC. I wasn’t read to move either time.”
It wasn’t the real reason, but Tony hoped it was enough to keep her from digging for more. He couldn’t tell Jenny Shepard that he didn’t want to leave because he was sleeping with his boss; that he was always waiting to get that ‘something more’ that Gibbs never gave him.
The Director gave a curt nod and Tony let out the breath he didn’t realize he was holding. He watched as she picked up a paper from the top of the folder in front of her.
“You know that it takes more that Gibbs’ words to make you the team leader,” she stated more than asked. “But, they do weigh quite a bit in the final decision. For the time being I am listing you as Acting Team Leader until a performance review can be completed to back up Gibbs’ words. Are you okay with that?”
“I can be, Director,” Tony said slowly. “Did-“ he paused as he considered his next words. “Did Gibbs say anything more in that letter?”
“Only that he wrote the letter after Agent Todd was killed as a precaution should something happen to him. And that I was not to let you read it because he wouldn’t be around to smack your head to deflate your ego.”
Tony chuckled lightly before turning serious again. “So the ‘new’ Gibbs didn’t say anything else?”
“No Tony,” Director Shepard said quietly. “I’m worried about him,” she admitted in the same soft voice.
Tony looked up and locked eyes with her, “So am I. So am I.”
A short time later, Tony found himself driving home on autopilot as his mind drifted over everything that had happened. Gibbs had walked out and it appeared that he didn’t even remember Tony or anything that they had had together. Tony had always known he was forgettable; his own father had driven that point home time and time again. Tony had allowed himself to believe that Gibbs was different, but Gibbs had forgotten him too.
Blinking back tears from his eyes, he was startled to see himself parked in front of Gibbs’ house. Then it hit him. Under normal circumstances, this was one of their nights. A night where Tony would arrive at Gibbs’ house, order some Chinese, eat while Gibbs worked on his boat and then they would have sex. Locations were never discussed, they just happened; in the basement, on the couch, the kitchen table, the door, the bedroom. When it was over, Tony would redress and leave. They never discussed things.
Tony’s fingers tightened on the steering wheel as he looked at the dark house. He wasn’t sure why he had driven there, just that it was habit; his body’s way of telling him what it wanted.
He let his head drop to the steering wheel as he cursed. Then he got out of the car and made his way to the house. He wasn’t sure what to expect inside. He was torn between wanting to see Gibbs and hoping he wasn’t there.
Gibbs dropped his bags on the dilapidated porch to the shack that Mike Franks called home. He wasn’t sure why he was there, but he did know that Mike was familiar to him when nothing else but his empty house in DC had been. The empty house just reminded him of Shannon and Kelly, so he packed a few bags, filed some retirement papers, found a letter he had written in case of his death and then took off for familiarity.
But now that he stood on the porch that overlooked the blue ocean, he wasn’t sure of his decision. He felt like he was missing more than just his memories, but he couldn’t figure out what. Then he was startled from his thoughts by a slap to the back of his head.
“What dragged your ass down here, Probie?” Mike’s voice greeted him.
“Needed someplace to get my head screwed on, Boss,” he admitted softly.
“Guess you can stay as long as you put those wood working skills to use and fix some things around here. Beer’s in the fridge,” Mike added as he headed into the shack without a second glance.
Taking that as his welcome, Gibbs picked up his bags and followed his former boss inside.
Over the next week, Gibbs spent time between gathering supplies he would need for various projects and sipping drinks down in the cantina. The local women left him alone after he rejected their offers one too many times. In his mind, he was still with Shannon and he would never cheat on her.
As he started on the much-needed repairs to the shack he now called home, he turned his thoughts to the memories he hadn’t fully reclaimed. Especially the memories of the people he had left behind in DC.
First was the Director, Jenny Shepard. He could remember sleeping with her more clearly now and for the life of himself, he couldn’t fathom what he had seen in her. The only thing that made sense was her red hair. All the ex-wives had red hair too and a part of him knew he had tried to find a substitute for Shannon and failed every time.
Next was Dr. Mallard. Ducky. He had known Ducky for years, and he still found himself struggling to remember details of the older man. Snippets would flash by and he would try to grab them and hold on tight.
He was also starting to remember bits about his current team. Things like how the Director forced Ziva on to his team after Kate’s death. He knew McGee had a tattoo that said Mom on his butt, but he didn’t know why he knew that. He remembered giving Abby a stuffed hippo that farted for her birthday one year and how he received a puncture hole from her spiked collar when she hugged him.
Then there was Tony, his second in command. Every time he tried to think about the younger man, Gibbs’ chest constricted and he felt a turmoil of emotions. His feelings ran the gamut from annoyance to fear to something he didn’t want to name. It was something that reminded him all too much of what he had with Shannon and Kelly and it scared him.
“Thank you for meeting with me Agent DiNozzo,” Director Shepard said with a small smile directed his way.
Tony gave a slight nod in welcome as he sat down on a chair at the end of her conference table. “I take it a decision was made about my suitability.”
“The job is yours if you want it permanently.”
“So,” Tony began as he leaned forward on the table and lowered his voice, “you don’t think Gibbs is coming back?”
“I’m not sure Tony,” the Director admitted. “At first, I thought he would be back. But it’s been almost two months and there hasn’t been any word from him.”
“But he still has another two months left before his leave is officially up.”
“How were you aware of his leave time Agent DiNozzo?” the Director asked in a voice full of curiosity.
“I’ve worked with Gibbs for around five years Director. I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two from him.”
“That actually leads us into the second thing I would like to discuss with you today. I’m aware that you are skilled in many areas, but undercover is one of the primary areas you excel in. Is that correct?”
“Depends on the assignment, but, yeah, I can,” he answered with curiosity.
“Then consider the rest of this meeting confidential. I would like to have you work on a case for me.”
Tony considered for several moments. It seemed the rest of his team wouldn’t be in the loop. There was a little voice in his head saying something was wrong with the picture, but the voice sounded like Gibbs just before a head slap and he didn’t want to think about the other man for the moment.
“I’m all ears Director,” he answered.
One month later, he found himself still listening to her as she asked him to undertake a more difficult and long term undercover assignment.
“Her name is Jeanne Benoit. Her father is the arms dealer, Le Grenoille. She is a doctor and currently single.”
“So,” Tony said slowly as he flipped through the folder that contained the story of the woman’s life. “You want me to get close to her, seduce her?”
“More like date, Tony,” the Director said with a smile. “If you can get close to her, she will eventually introduce you to her father. My intel suggests she is close to him.”
“I’m not exactly the ‘meet the parents’ kind of guy, Jenny,” Tony said with slight snort.
“But this won’t be you Tony. This will be your undercover persona. He will be the guy that every woman wants to date, introduce to mom and dad, marry and live happily ever after with the kids, dog and white picket fence. That is who she will meet and take to her father.”
“And you think I can be this man?” Tony asked in deep thought.
“I need you to be Agent DiNozzo. This is the best chance I – we have at getting Le Grenoille and I will not let it slip through my fingers. You can give me your answer tomorrow Tony. I know you will make the right choice.”
After he was dismissed, Tony found himself in his car driving the route his normal Friday routine always took him. Ever since Gibbs had left, every Friday night was spent driving for around an hour before he pulled to a stop in front of the empty house that held so many memories.
He walked inside and would head for the basement. Once there, he sat on the steps and look over the boat and try to picture Gibbs standing in his usual spot with some sandpaper. After an hour or so, he made his way upstairs to the bedroom and shed his clothes on the floor. Once naked, he stretched on the bed and pictured Gibbs leaning over him telling him he was back and that he wanted to keep Tony there forever.
Tony closed his eyes, moved his hand to his limp cock and began stroking it as he brought to mind all the times he had spent in that bedroom with Gibbs. As he began to harden, he increased the speed of hand sliding up and down on his length. He let his thumb rub over the tip of his cock on every other stroke. It wasn’t long before he came with a shuddering breath and Gibbs’ name.
Then he rolled over in the bed and grabbed a pillow to pull close to his chest. Before Gibbs had left, he had never spent the night. But now he did ever Friday night and if he took the assignment from the Director that would have change.
In order to become the undercover persona the Director needed him to be, he couldn’t come to Gibbs’ house once a week and jerk off to the thought of the missing man he loved. He had to be a single man who was open and ready for a relationship with an intelligent young woman. Being hopelessly in love with his awol male Boss wouldn’t cut it.
“God,” he groaned out loud. “What should I do?”
He knew would Gibbs would do. Gibbs would tell Jenny to go to hell and then figure out why she has such a jones for the arms dealer. But he wasn’t Gibbs and Gibbs wasn’t here to tell him what to do. If Gibbs had been around, Jenny never would have approached him in the first the place.
“It’s something different,” he said out loud. “Something that is not Gibbs, will never be Gibbs.”
It seemed his decision was made for him, so he turned over and fell asleep.
Gibbs smiled inwardly as he felt Tony’s body relax underneath his as he pushed the younger man into the wall. He relished in the feel of his hands sliding under the expensive shirt to find the toned skin sprinkled with hair. He pressed his thigh in between Tony’s legs to separate them as he pulled the shirt over the other man’s head.
Once the shirt was discarded on the floor, Gibbs moved his mouth to Tony’s left nipple. He sucked it into his mouth, letting his tongue roll over it. As he felt the nub harden under his actions, he gave it a light nip with his teeth. He was rewarded with a sharp intake of breath above him and the press of Tony’s erection into his thigh.
Deciding to move things along to reach his ultimate goal, Gibbs released Tony’s nipple and trailed his tongue down Tony’s abdomen as his fingers worked the button and zipper of Tony’s pants. Within moments, Gibbs pushed Tony’s jeans and boxers to his knees and eyed the thick cock in front of him.
He placed a gentle kiss at the tip before sucking the length into his watering mouth. He heard Tony’s head thump against the wall and then felt the familiar hands brushing over his hair. Not one to leave his hands idle, Gibbs slid one up Tony’s leg to cup the heavy balls. He rolled them in his hand in time with his suction. His other hand found itself wrapped around Tony’s upper thigh with his fingers pressing into the ass cheek he loved to hold.
When Gibbs heard Tony’s panting increase, he moved his other hand to the opposite thigh. Tony took the signal and gripped Gibbs’ head to hold it in place. Then he began to freely thrust into the welcoming warmth of Gibbs’ mouth. Tony’s speed increased and within moments, Gibbs was swallowing the strands of come that filled his mouth. Gibbs held Tony’s spent cock in his mouth for just a bit longer to clean it off and then he let it slide out of his mouth with a wet pop.
Gibbs then looked up to see Tony’s sated eyes smiling down at him. Gibbs licked his lips and smiled at the hungry look Tony’s face took on as he watched the action.
“You want to move this to the bed?” Gibbs asked in a rough voice.
“You’re the boss, Boss,” Tony said in a flippant, playful tone as he move toward the bed and flopped down. He had shucked the remainder of his clothing along the way, and Gibbs found himself looking at the naked backside stretched on his bed, waiting for him.
Gibbs took his time moving to the bed, shedding his own clothes on the way. Then he grabbed a condom and the lube from the nightstand before kneeling on the bed over top of Tony.
Starting at the top of Tony’s shoulder blades, he massaged his way down Tony’s back. He loved the feel of the other man’s body relaxing under his touch. He cataloged each sound Tony made and what caused him to make it. He wanted to know every inch of his lover and do everything in his power to keep the man happy.
His hands finally reached their destination and before long he had two fingers sliding in and out of Tony’s tight hole. The feeling of the warmth constricting around his fingers had him anxious to replace them with his cock. He wanted to have Tony’s warmth wrapped around him. He wanted to hear Tony panting as he took him long and hard.
Slipping a third finger in, Gibbs leaned down against Tony’s back and placed a kiss at the top of his spine. Then he whispered into Tony’s hair, “You ready for me?”
“Fuck me Boss,” Tony breathed out as he pushed back hard into Gibbs’ fingers.
Gibbs smiled and pulled his fingers free. Then he positioned himself at the tiny opening to Tony’s body. He slid inside slowly, enjoying every clench of Tony’s muscles around his hard cock. Once he was fully inside, he gave Tony’s back another kiss and then wrapped his arms around Tony’s chest. He teased the nipples he found for just a moment and then he tugged back on Tony’s body, causing his hips to rise up into position.
“Please Gibbs,” was all the command Gibbs needed to began moving. He started out with slow thrusts and then increased the speed with each passing moment.
Before long, Tony’s body was covered in sweat and Gibbs smiled as he heard the heavy panting and moans the other man made. Gibbs angled his thrusts slightly different and gripped Tony tighter when he cried out from the pleasure of his prostate being brushed.
Gibbs maintained that angle and increased his speed, mixing the sound of skin slapping skin with both their moans.
“That’s it, Gibbs! God… Make me come Boss. So close.” When Tony started rambling, Gibbs knew they were reaching completion.
He gave two more deep thrusts and felt Tony’s body go slack under him as the man came for a second time that night. Keeping his hold, Gibbs thrust once more and felt he seed spill from his cock as he cried out Tony’s name.
“Damn Probie! Do that with one of the girls down at the cantina, not where I can hear yah.”
Gibbs jerked his eyes open and took in his surroundings as he continued to pant through his orgasm. After a few moments, he got up on shaky legs to go the bathroom to clean up. He splashed some water on his face and looked up at his reflection in the mirror. Suddenly, it all came flooding back to him. The nights that Tony would come over and watch as he worked on the boat. How they would then enjoy a few hours of sex in various locations and positions around the house. How Tony would leave after it was over. How he always wanted to tell the other man to stay in bed and let him hold him.
Gibbs bent over the sink and retched. He was in love with another man. He was in love with Tony. He had had a relationship of some kind with the man and had just walked out and left him behind without even a proper goodbye.
He still loved Shannon, but he now knew that he also loved Tony. He didn’t know what to do or how to feel. He didn’t think it was possible to love two people at once, but apparently he did. Shannon was dead, but Tony was alive.
“How would he even want me after what I did?” he said out loud to his reflection and waited for an answer that never came.
Gibbs returned and, outside of the hug Tony gave him when he reappeared after the exploding house, there was nothing to connect them. Tony found himself looking when he thought Gibbs wasn’t to see if there was any spark of memory any hint that his Boss remembered and wanted Tony back.
Of course, Tony didn’t think he wanted what he had before. He had said that to Jeanne one night as she questioned him about why they had hadn’t moved their relationship forward. Instead of telling her it was because of a lie, he settled for what he longed to tell Gibbs.
“If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got.”
With her, at least Tony knew that she wanted him. With Gibbs, he had never felt wanted.
Gibbs found himself watching Tony from a distance. He knew that he couldn’t keep away from Tony if he let himself get close again. He wanted to find what he had lost with Shannon and Kelly and Tony was the person he wanted to find it with. But he was scared. Scared that Tony would reject him, scared that he would lose Tony from his life permanently. At least this way, he would see Tony at work every day even if he couldn’t have him all the time.
Time passed and Gibbs found a poor substitute in Hollis Mann and it seemed that Tony had a new person in his life, someone he was serious with. Gibbs tried not to be jealous of the mystery woman, but many nights he went to bed wishing it was him and not her that Tony wanted.
Then, when the undercover assignment Tony had been working literally blew up in his face, Gibbs was angry and scared. All the time, he had thought that Tony had moved on after his departure, but it turned out he was working and that the woman had been lied to. He wanted nothing more than to grab Tony and slap some sense into his thick skull, but his need to protect Tony ran deeper. He had almost lost the younger man and he had never told him how he felt.
The next several weeks were eye opening to Gibbs. He quietly parted ways with Hollis and struggled for a way to talk to Tony, to tell him how he felt and that he remembered everything. But his nerves never took hold and suddenly he found himself cracking his eyes open and coughing up water with Tony’s dripping and worried face hovering over him.
“Welcome back, Boss,” the breathless voice greeted him.
That night, Tony walked into the silent house and immediately descended the steps into the basement. “Boss?” he called out tentatively as he made his way down the creaky steps. He didn’t receive a response and found no sign of the older man in the dusty room.
Making up his mind to stay and wait, Tony walked around the wooden structure that was the centerpiece of the basement. The wood of the boat showed every touch made by Gibbs’ hands or the hands of others he had allowed to help. Tony liked to think that he was one of the few that got to help on the boat, and secretly hoped that he was the one that got to help the most.
He paused to let a hand run over the smooth wood, before his eyes caught sight of something new. Across the stern were stenciled letters, half of which had been painted in black. The lettering spelled out a name that Tony had heard, but had never heard it from his boss.
“Kelly,” he said in a reverent tone as his fingers trailed over the letters. A smile graced his face as he realized how appropriate the name was.
Before his thoughts could unhinge himself, Tony turned away and walked toward one of the workbenches to see if Gibbs had any glasses that were relatively clean. He figured he would need one later, and he really hated the taste of sawdust with his alcohol. Before he got very far in his search, he saw two pictures sitting on the surface.
The one on top had been taken by Abby earlier that day as Gibbs had walked by with Maddie beside him. The other, Tony didn’t recognize at first, but he was quick to place. It was a young girl that could only be Gibbs’ daughter, Kelly. Tony traced a finger over the two pictures, wondering how Gibbs had managed to deal with losing something so precious.
In his mind, Tony knew that Gibbs hadn’t really dealt; the three marriages and subsequent divorces were enough proof of that. Tony hurt after seeing how Gibbs had acted with Maddie and the look that had crossed Gibbs’ face every time he looked at the girl.
Tony ran his finger over Gibbs’ face in the picture before he drew it back into a clenched fist. “Damn it. What am I doing here?”
“I could ask you the same thing, DiNozzo,” Gibbs’ voice sounded from the bottom of the steps, startling him.
“Gibbs,” he all but squeaked out. The squeak subsequently turned into a cough that wouldn’t stop. The cough wracked his body in a way he hadn’t felt since the lingering effects of the plague had left him.
Gibbs was behind him in an instant using the same rub-pat routine he had perfected during that time. “Slow breaths, Tony,” came the reassuring voice as Tony was able to get his body back under his control.
“Sorry, Boss,” he said through a few deep breaths. “Didn’t mean to cough a lung up on your basement floor.”
“The doctors say you were okay, DiNozzo?” Gibbs asked as he pulled his hand back.
“Just peachy, Boss,” Tony said with a light tone. “Of course they may have said something about calling Brad and scheduling some additional tests to make sure I didn’t overdue things too much, but you know how doctors are with an actual survivor of the plague… Any chance they get to stick me with something, they’re going to do it.”
“And you’ll damn well let them,” Gibbs said gruffly.
“Don’t worry, they can poke me like a pin cushion all they want. So, we gonna talk about it?”
“Here’s some sandpaper,” Gibbs said as he tossed the piece of sandpaper in Tony’s general direction.
Tony just snorted and picked up the paper from its landing spot on the floor. He joined Gibbs at the boat and the two worked in silence, save the hypnotic sound of the rough edges of the wood being filed away by their hands.
It seemed like hours later that Tony stopped the repetitive motion of the sandpaper gliding over the wooden surface and walked to the benches behind him to get a drink. A chipped coffee cup in hand, he turned back and watched as Gibbs continued to work on the boat. The older man had a sense of calm about him when in the basement that Tony could never remember seeing in the office, especially when they had a hot case.
Tony slid to the floor with his back propped against the wooden paneled door on one of the benches. He let his eyes roam over the boat and then over to the two pictures, one new and one old, that had caught his eye when he first arrived that night.
Taking a generous sip of his drink for fortification, Tony decided to start talking. “She’s beautiful, Boss,” he said quietly.
Gibbs stopped moving and, after a moment, turned and joined Tony on the floor with a drink in hand. “She was.”
Tony pretended he didn’t notice the tense Gibbs used and changed the subject. “Thanks,” he said softly.
“For what?” Gibbs looked at him with a confused expression.
“Not dying,” Tony said matter-of-factly.
“You shouldn’t be thanking me Tony,” Gibbs said in a gruff tone.
“And why the hell not, Boss? You could have died-- hell, you were dead or at least not breathing there for a few minutes. And I don’t think it was me that brought you back, so…” Tony trailed off.
“I meant I should be thanking you Tony,” Gibbs said as he tapped Tony on the back of the head. Then he let his hand start at the top of Tony’s head and moved slowly down his hair to rest on the nape of Tony’s neck. He smiled lightly when Tony leaned back into his touch.
Tony let his eyes close as he felt more relaxed than he had been in a long time. “You don’t have to thank me Gibbs. I didn’t do it for thanks, I did it to…”
Tony paused and opened his eyes to look at Gibbs as he continued. “I did it because you dying was not an option.”
Gibbs took a sip of his drink before looking back into Tony’s eyes. “You dying to keep me from dying is not an option either. Got it?”
Tony just snorted. “Got it, Boss,” Tony responded as expected before he got a thoughtful look on his face. “You know, we could keep this up for a long time Gibbs.”
“That’s the general idea,” Gibbs said with a smile.
Tony returned the smile with a yawn. Then he briefly registered that at some point during their conversation, Gibbs’ arm hand had moved from his neck to his shoulder so that Gibbs had an arm wrapped firmly around him. Tony tried not to think about the fact that he burrowed back into Gibbs’ hold more when he realized it. Instead, he let his eyes slip closed again as he asked, “Can you tell me about her, Boss?”
"She liked horses," Gibbs said quietly as his thumb drew soothing circles over Tony's shoulder.
Tony had two ways of waking up. One was a quick process that usually occurred when he was in the middle of a case or his cell rang signaling the start of a case. During those times, his body switched from asleep to completely alert in a matter of seconds.
The other way was a much slower process and occurred when his subconscious told him that he was safe. The first part of this wakeup process involved smell. He would take in all the scents that were around him and his mind would slowly catalog them against familiar smells to give him an indication of where he was. This time, an overpowering scent of wood filled his nostrils. His tongue instinctively darted out of his mouth as if he could taste the scent that was on the air.
Next came sound. At first he heard nothing beyond his own raspy breaths. Then, coming from somewhere above him, he heard light, puffy breaths that alternated with his own. His mind catalogued that he wasn’t alone.
Touch was next to last. He began to feel the little puffs of air from above him warm on his cheek. He felt the rough denim of a pair of jeans beneath his other cheek; the warm legs serving as a pillow for his head. Then he felt the hands that were positioned on his body. One was carded in his hair, while the other was resting on the small of his back, causing the arm it was attached to wrap around his body.
With all the sensory data in place, Tony’s eyes peaked open to put a visual with what his mind already knew. He bit down on his lip when he saw the waistline of a pair of jeans with an un-tucked white t-shirt hanging over the edges. Then his eyes slid upward over the upper body of his makeshift pillow to see the tilted head of his boss.
Tony held his breath as he looked into Gibbs’ sleeping face. The older man looked peaceful in a way Tony had never seen him and he wanted to commit it to his memory. But only moments later, he took in a sharp breath as he realized exactly where he was.
His eyes dropped back down quickly and he was staring right at Gibbs’ crotch; a crotch that was only inches from his face. Without thought, his tongue flicked out and wetted his lips. That one action sent his mind into a panic. He hadn’t been this close to Gibbs since before the explosion and even then, it was different. This seemed more intimate.
He tried to pull his body up and away from where it was rested, but met with resistance from Gibbs’ hands as they tightened their hold on him.
“Go back to sleep, Tony,” was mumbled from above him. The quiet normality of that sent him further into panic. He had to get away from Gibbs and he had to do it fast.
He placed his hands awkwardly on each side of Gibbs against the wooden cabinet doors and pushed. As his body started to go backwards, Gibbs followed with him and then ended up tumbling on the floor in a tangled lump of arms and legs.
Once their bodies came to a rest, Tony noticed two things; there was an almost pained look in Gibbs' eyes as they bore into his own and there was a firmness under his right hand that twitched when he moved his fingers. He absentmindedly moved his fingers again and his mouth gaped open when he realized just what was moving in his hand.
He pushed back from Gibbs, his ass sliding across the sawdust covered floor. Coming to a rest, he looked up at Gibbs with a panicked expression.
“Uh, mornin’ Boss?” he asked tentatively, testing the waters so to speak. He winced at the sound of his voice cracking.
“DiNozzo,” Gibbs all but growled causing Tony to scoot further away.
“Sorry, Boss,” Tony said quickly, hoping to diffuse the situation. “I’ll just be-- um, I’ll just go. Yeah, I’m gonna head home. Didn’t mean to stay the night anyway.”
Tony started to stand up on shaky legs only to have his shoe slide in the sawdust, sending him crashing back onto the floor. Before he could blink, Gibbs was standing over him with a hand held out.
“You okay, Tony?”
Tony debated for only a moment before taking the offered hand. He held on to it longer than necessary once he was on his feet, almost wishing he could leave it there for balance. Instead he moved over to the stairs as he looked back at a rarely disheveled Gibbs.
“I’m fine Boss. I’ll just get going and, uh, get out of your way.”
“You’re not in my way, DiNozzo, and it’s not morning yet, still the middle of the night. Plus, we don’t have work in the morning.”
Tony felt the rush of emotions try to overwhelm him. “What exactly is going on here, Gibbs?” he asked in a rush.
“Damned if I know,” Gibbs confessed. Then in a quiet voice that Tony almost missed hearing, he added, “I remember us Tony.”
“You what?” Tony questioned with his voice rising sharply at the end. His heart picked up speed in his chest and threatened to jump out. “How long?”
“A couple of months in at Mexico.”
Tony tried to stifle his reaction, but couldn’t. “Mexico! You remember what we h- did together in Mexico and you never said a damn thing when you got back!? And you were in Mexico for four months, so remembering fucking me after two months of forgetting must not have been that great. You didn’t come back because of it.”
“That’s not what happened Tony,” Gibbs said firmly.
However, Tony wasn’t listening any longer. “I knew it was nothing. Told myself over and over that you just wanted someone to take control of and I was an easy target. That’s all I was to you, wasn’t I? Just a body to fuck and toss out afterwards. You never let me stay the night. Damnit Gibbs! I fucking loved you and you just used me as a toy to get off on!”
Tony slumped to the stairs beneath him, suddenly too tired to even think about making a retreat. He had finally said out loud what he kept buried inside from before their first time together. He loved Gibbs, even after Jeanne, he still loved Gibbs. Learning that the older man had never and would never return the feelings shattered his heart more than he had ever felt before. He was so lost in his own hurt that he almost missed Gibbs talking.
“You’ve got it all wrong Tony,” Gibbs said quietly as he sank to the floor. “Why do I always screw these things up?”
Gibbs thought about getting up to move over to the silent man on the stairs, but decided to keep his distance for the moment. “I was scared,” he said after several long moments. “Everyone I’ve ever loved has left me. Shannon, Kelly, three more wives… I didn’t want to lose you too. I thought if I let you stay, you would learn to hate me like the exes do. I didn’t want that to happen.”
Keeping his head down, Tony spoke softly, “I can’t hate you Boss. Even when I should.”
Gibbs snorted lightly. “Never do know what’s good for you, do you?”
Tony looked up then and gave a small smile. “That’s what I have you for. Why didn’t you tell me you remembered?”
“When I woke up, I had just lost Shannon and Kelly all over again. The first time around, it took me years before I could even look at another woman with appreciation, let alone want to sleep with her. When I started remembering things in Mexico, remembering about us, I felt like I had cheated on Shannon. I still loved her and I didn’t want to admit that I loved you too.”
“So instead you did you do best and kept quiet about everything?”
“Never said I was smart when it came to feelings. Why didn’t you ever tell me how you felt?”
“And risk losing not only you, but my job too? I’ve been around the block a few times Gibbs, Peoria, Philly, Baltimore… I would have been the one to leave, not you.”
“I wouldn’t have let you leave,” Gibbs said firmly as he moved from the floor to stand in front of Tony.
“I didn’t know that,” Tony said quietly as he looked up at Gibbs. “I told Jeanne something that I actually wanted to tell you,” Tony continued. “If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got. I don’t want what we had before. I don’t want it to be a habit that we both have on a Friday night. I want what I couldn’t have with Jeanne. I want forever.”
“I do too, Tony,” Gibbs said as he placed a hand on Tony’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “Come upstairs with me?”
“I want to go slow, Gibbs. We didn’t before. I want this to be different.”
“I want it to be different too. But slow doesn’t mean we can’t lie down together. I want to wake up with you in the morning, Tony. I want to know that you’ll still be there when I wake up.”
Tony reached his hand up to clasp Gibbs’ arm and give it a return squeeze before standing up and indicating for Gibbs to go in front of him.
“On your six Boss,” he said with a smile.