Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Word Count: 5x100
Challenge: ncis_drabble; Past Challenges #85 Surprise, #33 Baby, #36 Guilt, #65 Team, #60 Temptations
Crossposted: ncis_drabble; gibbs_dinozzo; ncis_slash; ncisfanfic; gibbsbasement
Written For: writinginct's NFA prompt table: 50 Things Tony Associates With Gibbs; #7 Fast, #28 Baby, #50 Guilt, #38 Team, #2 Sandpaper
Companion piece to Five Associations.
Summary: I noticed it when he noticed me.
It was that first day in Baltimore that I noticed him noticing me. It was both surprising and worrisome. The surprise came from it being a long time since I caught a guy looking, especially one I wanted to look at too. I was worried because if he was this obvious in our line of work he had to hit some rough patches. I took note of his increased breathing as I pushed the car faster and held back a smile. “Too fast for you Detective DiNozzo?” He just barked a laugh and gave a grin, “I like it fast.”
One of the first cases I worked with him once I got him involved a murdered Marine’s wife and the baby and 4-year-old that survived by hiding in a closet. I felt his eyes on me as I carried the baby with practiced ease, making soft cooing noises at it. I felt his eyes on me the rest of the case where anytime the kids weren’t around I turned into a grade “A” bastard. I knew he wanted to ask why the kids affected me so much, but he never did. He just did his damnedest to lighten things up.
I’m not sure how he picked up on it when so many others that had passed through my team never even got it. He knew that I took each death personally, that I blamed myself for not being quick enough to save the next victim. He also seemed to know when I let that guilt eat away too much inside me, those nights when I wished nothing more than to have pulled that trigger after Shannon and Kelly. He would just show up on the third step from the bottom, Chinese food in hand and a smile on his face.
After Viv disappeared from our sights, I was stuck with just DiNozzo and to be honest, I would have been happy to keep it that way. But the Director was pushing for me to have a full team and he gave me enough leeway to create my own. He learned it saved on transfers. DiNozzo picked up on my interest in Kate rather quickly and gave me a silent nod of approval without me even asking him. With McGee, he stopped in the basement the night after Norfolk and said quietly, “I think you have a Probie waiting in Norfolk.”
As time passed, it was hard not to give in to temptation. Every time I caught him looking longer than a partner should look I wanted to show him that I wanted him too. The closest I ever came early on was the first time he stayed over night. We were in the basement and I decided to show him the proper way to sand the boat. Five minutes in, my hand resting over his on the sandpaper, we both froze, our breathing hot and heavy. He bolted from the basement and spent the night locked in the guest room.