Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Word Count: 5x100
Challenge: ncis_drabble; Challenge #86 - Too Late
Beta: azraelz_angel Many Thanks!!!!
Crossposted: ncis_drabble; gibbs_dinozzo; ncis_slash; ncisfanfic; tonydinozzo
Written For: writinginct's NFA prompt table: 50 Things Tony Associates With Gibbs; #6 Smell, #11 Coffee, #16 Glasses, #35 Smile, #49 Head Smack
Summary: I just catalogued everything I learned about him and prayed I could tell him before it was too late.
The moment I met him in Baltimore I knew the bastard was it, the one I had been looking for all my life. He smacked me on the back of the head and told me the case was his and to get lost. I smiled and told him I didn’t care who was in charge as long as we caught the guy responsible. We worked side by side from that moment on and I never told him how I really felt. I just catalogued everything I learned about him and prayed I could tell him before it was too late.
Gibbs was an enigma wrapped within a mystery, or so I joked with myself. At times, all I could see was the gruff man that he presented to everyone around him. Then I would catch those rare moments, usually around Abby where his face would light up and you could see this smile teetering at the edge of creation on his face. I made it my goal to get that smile to show up more. I liked it and wanted to see it every day for the rest of my life. But usually I looked too late to catch it.
Smell has always been important to me. I can’t remember my mother that well, but I still remember the horrible perfume from France she used to lather on every day to cover up the smell of her brandy. When I meet someone, I tend to categorize them in my mind with the smell I first notice. With Gibbs, it was the heavy wood scent. I made it my mission once I was hired to find out where it came from. The first time I saw the boat, I knew. It was just unfortunate that work always delayed me from helping.
Coffee. Anyone who had met Gibbs for just a few seconds knew that the man had an unholy addiction. I didn’t understand it myself, but then I compared it to my love of pizza and realized to each their own. I slowly learned that I could judge his moods by how fast he drank. When he was on his fourth cup and it wasn’t even noon, I knew it would be a bad day. Of course, by the time I realized what number he was on, it always too late to take back whatever stupid thing I had just done.
I’ll never admit it to another living soul, not even Abby, but something about Gibbs and his reading glasses hits all the right buttons. One night, we were both at the office wrapping up the paperwork on a difficult case when I glanced over and saw him reading a report with the glasses perched on the end of his nose and the tip of his tongue barely visible. My breathing stopped and I just stared until he finally looked up and caught me. I tried to backtrack, but he knew and it was too late to deny how I felt.