A/N: Here's the last chapter of this little story. When I started out I thought it would be around six chapters and look where it led me. 30 chapters (and I'm sorry that the last ones have taken forever) later and here we are. Thank you for all the reviews, hits, alerts and favorites. It still surprises me that people actually like my stories. So - thank you a lot! :) And in case nobody told you today, you are all awesome :)

Hope you enjoy!


Free

Gibbs sometimes wondered how Tony and all the other celebrities were able to do that all the time. He snuck a look out of his drawn curtains and they were still there. Photographers. And a lot of them. The worst part of it was that Tony wasn't even there with him. He was still in Vancouver and while his house had been deserted late last night when he had gotten home from his weekend trip, Gibbs sure wasn't alone now. He sat down on the couch, running a hand through his hair. God, how had his life gotten there? He knew that he would have saved himself a lot of trouble if he hadn't started dating Tony but he also would have spared himself another shot at love. And he was sure that it actually was love this time around. The flutter in his chest whenever he just thought of Tony was enough to know that it was worth a lot – even those goddamned paparazzi in front of his house.

As if on cue, he heard police sirens and when he turned around, he saw two unmarked cars pulling up in front of the people outside. With a slight grin on his face, Fornell got out of one of them and flashed his badge. The photographers tried to argue for a few minutes but then they grudgingly packed up their stuff and went their ways. Only then did Gibbs open the door, handing a cup of coffee to both Fornell and Sacks. The younger agent took with a surprised frown before he went back to his car, leaving Fornell standing there with him. The FBI agent grinned at him and then took a sip from the offered beverage.

"I owe you one," Gibbs said, nodding at him.

"It's okay," Fornell laughed. "I married your ex-wife, I think we're even."

"Yeah," Gibbs let out a bark of a laugh.

"Though I wouldn't say no to a couple of free movie premieres or something."

"Yeah, that seems like all there is I have to offer these days," Gibbs gave back.

"Yeah, well. Perks of dating a movie star, Gibbs."

"Shut up," Gibbs just said as he bumped his shoulder against Fornell's when he passed him to get his own car. "Thanks, Tobias."

"My pleasure."

#

Gibbs hadn't really known what to expect when he arrived at the Navy Yard. He had no idea how the other agents would deal with the news of him being gay. When he entered the building though, he was greeted with the usual 'good morning's and that was really it. It was like nobody even cared and he let out a relieved breath at the realization. Of course, he had heard the hushed voices of a few younger agents behind his back but his reputation still preceded him. They didn't dare to say these things to his face. Not that he would have cared anyway but it was still nice to know that the fact that he was seeing a guy hadn't changed people's opinion of him. He had just sat down at his desk when Abby emerged from one of the elevators in the back and came running towards him, pulling him up into one of her rip-crushing hugs.

"Are you alright?" she asked when she had finally let go as he sized him up.

"Fine, Abs."

"You're not freaked out? About the press? About 'Don't ask, don't tell? About other people hating you?"

"Abs, people have always hated me."

"True," Abby grinned. "And you're really fine?"

"Yeah," he said, giving her a quick peck on the cheek just for the doubt of it. "Was bound to happen sometime."

Just when Abby wanted to reply something, none other than the director himself interrupted their exchange.

"Gibbs, my office. Now."

"Uh-oh," Abby made but Gibbs just winked at her.

He walked up the stairs, feeling a bit nauseous despite himself. He knew he'd done nothing wrong, he wasn't military after all, so it was no problem that he was gay, but they were still dealing with the Navy, he knew that.

"Listen," he said when he entered the office without a knock. "If this is about the FBI at my house…"

"What FBI…?" Morrow retorted, scrunching his face up in confusion. "I swear to God, Gibbs..."

"It was nothing, just a favor," Gibbs answered as he sat down in one of the chairs in front of Morrow's desk.

"I don't even want to know," Morrow replied, rubbing a hand over his face. "You do realize how much press this will give us?"

"The FBI being at my house?"

"No, Gibbs!" Morrow answered a bit indignantly, so Gibbs decided to drop the act right there and then.

"Look, we're not military. 'Don't ask, don't tell' doesn't apply to us."

"I know that," Morrow sighed. "I just wished you'd have come to me before an appalled Jenny Shepard rings me in the dead of the night that my top agent is gay."

"Jenny Shepard?" Gibbs asked, feeling anger bubble up inside of him.

What in the world…?

"I can't say I wasn't at least a bit amused by her jealousy, but really, Gibbs. You have to tell me things like this."

"Why?" Gibbs retorted. "How is any of it your business?"

"You know damn well it is my business. What the hell are you thinking?"

"You got a problem with me being gay?" Gibbs retorted, suddenly feeling his stomach sink because, really, he had respected the man in front of him a lot until now.

"What?" Morrow exclaimed hurriedly. "No! I do have a problem with losing my best undercover agent though."

Oh.

"Guess, you didn't think of that, did you?" Morrow asked slightly amused this time.

"Nope," Gibbs relented, feeling better at the man's relaxed behavior.

"Nothing to be done about that, I guess. You gotta train your agents though. I can't really picture Agent McGee being really invested during an undercover stint."

"Neither can I," Gibbs replied, "but there's more agents around than just Tim."

"I am well aware," Morrow said and then sighed once more. "You never cease to surprise me."

"Keeps you on your toes, Director."

Morrow just nodded and then quirked a grin, so Gibbs took that moment to get up and reach out his hand.

"Thanks," he more mumbled than actually said when Morrow shook his hand. "And why in the world does Jenny Shepard call you?"

"You've got to make sure you're not forgotten when you want to become director sometime in the future, Jethro."

"Heaven forbid," Gibbs just said and then left the office with a much better feeling than he had entered it.

#

"You sure this is okay?" Tony asked a couple of weeks later when they were standing in the elevator going down towards Abby's lab.

The younger man had been home for two weeks already and Gibbs couldn't help but wish he'd never leave again. He knew that it was nonsense, knew that he was probably having abandonment issues without having a reason to. Tony had been great, they were doing great and he couldn't imagine how it could possibly get any better. Through it all, Tony seemed happy, genuinely happy about everything they did and Gibbs felt himself settle in the craziness that was Tony's life. There were still paparazzi everywhere, though they hadn't dared to go back to Gibbs' house and not only once had Gibbs wondered what exactly Fornell had threatened them with. It was fine though. He'd take them if it mean having Tony there right next to him.

"Yeah, why shouldn't it be?"

"You're at work. Don't want to interrupt."

"You never do. Besides, I'd tell you if you were a distraction."

"Oh, I always am," Tony grinned and then flashed his famous – yet fake – smile.

"Shut it, DiNozzo," Gibbs shot back as they were about to enter the lab.

He held Tony back though when he caught the tail of Abby and Kate's conversation.

"Why do you still have this up?" Kate asked, pointing towards a poster of one of Tony's movies that was hanging on the wall.

"Why wouldn't I?"

"Isn't it weird now that he's kind of your friend and you're dating his best friend?"

Gibbs raised an eyebrow at the last piece of information but Tony just shrugged, indicating that he hadn't known either.

"No. I still like his movies."

"I still think it's strange," Kate shrugged and it was obvious that she didn't want to talk about it anymore, but Abby apparently didn't think so.

"I think it's hinky that you think it's weird. Why are you so bitchy about him?"

"I'm not bitchy."

"Obviously," Tony whispered.

"You are and you know it," Abby retorted and then Gibbs could see Kate visibly slump her shoulders as if all denial had just suddenly left her.

"I am, aren't I?"

"Yeah, you kind of are," Abby said, patting her shoulder. "Why's that?"

"I can't tell you, it'll sound stupid."

"I'm sure it won't. Just tell me."

"It's just so weird that Gibbs of all people is dating him."

"Why? You got a problem with the gay thing?"

"No, not really," Kate shook her head. "It's just… I used to fantasize about the guy and then… I mean, first we find out that he's gay and then that he's actually dating Gibbs. It's just so weird."

Having heard enough, Gibbs tugged at Tony's sleeve and they retreated before they could be made out. Once inside the elevator, Tony suddenly started to giggle. It seemed like all nervous energy he had presented before suddenly welled over and he just couldn't hold it within him anymore.

"And all this ti…," Tony pressed out between two fits of laughter just when Gibbs had stopped the elevator because he didn't want people to wonder what in the world was so funny that it had Tony DiNozzo in stitches – especially when he didn't even know himself.

"And all this time," Tony tried again. "I thought that she was jealous of me. All this time I thought she had a crush on you."

"What?" Gibbs asked, letting out a bark of a laugh. "Why would you think that?"

"I've got no idea. It was just… she always looks at you like you're a god or something. I would have never thought she had a crush on me."

"Well," Gibbs finally said, not really knowing what to say but decided that he didn't really need to address it anyway. "At least this is finally settled. She'll get over it. I'm just glad I don't have to kill her for being too catholic and having a problem with the gay thing."

"Yeah," Tony hiccupped. "Maybe she just needs to get laid."

#

Gibbs could hear Tony groan and he felt his arousal heighten even though he hadn't thought it could even be possible. They were standing in Tony's spacious shower and Tony's hands were up against the wall in front of him, while Gibbs was pressing slowly into him from behind.

They've had sex a lot of times since the first time in Vancouver but it was the first time that Gibbs was the one on top. He hadn't even felt the need to – and that had surprised himself more than anyone else – but Tony had practically begged him only five minutes ago as if his whole being was depending on it. So Gibbs had complied, had tried to be gentle but Tony was having none of it.

"Rough," he had whispered. "And fast," he had added in an afterthought when Gibbs had already pushed a finger inside of him.

He had taken Tony's words by heart and had made short work of stretching and opening him up. It was only when he had slowly slid inside the other man that he realized that had been missing out.

God, Tony was so tight and hot and god, so good.

Gibbs now sped up, feeling Tony press back into him. The younger man let out another needy groan, so one of Gibbs' hands that had rested on the other man's hips came around his body towards his cock, squeezing it hard and then stroking it in rhythm with his own thrusts. Gibbs felt his own coherent thoughts fade away as he concentrated on getting Tony off as fast as he could. He hadn't even felt himself adjust a bit to the other man's stance but then Tony cried out almost feverishly.

"Right there, right there. God, Jethro."

It didn't take long before Gibbs felt himself losing control and he did his best to hang on long enough for Tony to come first. And when he did, it was almost violently as if something inside had just exploded at his mere touch. Feeling Tony come around him, Gibbs couldn't help himself. He came inside the other man just as violently, just as satisfyingly, just as fast, spreading his cum inside Tony with a loud moan and a whispered "I love you."

"Wh-What?" he heard Tony ask as if from far away and it was only now that he realized what he had just said.

Now that he had said it out loud though, he knew that it was true. He didn't even try to cover it up because Tony deserved to know – and hell, Gibbs didn't care that he might have said it too early – it was just how he felt. He loved the guy.

"I love you," he repeated as he slid out of Tony so that the other man could turn around to look at him.

Gibbs could see the drops of water on the other man's long eyelashes, could see the green in his eyes glisten.

"You don't need to say anything," Gibbs continued but was cut off when Tony just shook his head and gave him a deep kiss.

"I love you, too."

And just like that, the last shred of doubt, the last shred of insecurity was gone.

#

Somewhere along the line

It was so goddamn bright.

The lights were blinding and for a moment Gibbs thought that he'd get blind from all the flash lights in front of him.

He hated it.

He felt Tony move next to him more than he actually saw it and then felt him take his hand. Gibbs turned to look at him and saw him smile. A real smile, the one he only reserved for Jethro, and the older man immediately knew that he'd made the right decision to join Tony for the ceremony.

"Just smile," Tony leaned in and whispered into his ear. "Just smile. They just want to see the most handsome man here smile once."

"You're an idiot," Gibbs gave back as he turned towards the photographers once more.

He didn't smile – he simply didn't know what for.

It didn't take long before Tony was dragged away to give a couple of interviews, so Gibbs just waited for him a little away from all the crazies. He knew that he'd made the right decision to come to LA with Tony for this. The younger man had never asked to join him for anything job related before but it wasn't often that one was nominated for an Oscar – even Gibbs knew that – so he had actually asked Tony to tag along. He'd never forget the smile on the other man's face. At that moment it had been just as blinding as the flashlights only minutes before and it had been all Gibbs had needed to know that he'd done the right thing for once.

Even when the ceremony was already in full swing, his glance would always stray towards the man next to him who was so enthralled by what was happening on stage that Gibbs wondered if he'd even notice if the older man would just leave. One squeeze of the hand that lay in the other man's though, told him that he was wanted there.

And damn it, Gibbs wanted to be there, too.

As much as he hated all of it, the ceremony, the pretentious assholes and the press, as much did he love it because – and it really was as simple as that – Tony loved it.

Gibbs couldn't help but realize that he was one lucky bastard. He simply loved the man next to him and he was sure that Tony felt exactly the same way. And Gibbs, screwed up inside as he was, had actually managed to find it again: love.

A love that some people never found – and he, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, had managed to find it for a second time. And if that wasn't lucky, he didn't know what was.

And then he realized another thing: he was smiling.

He was smiling at Tony. When the younger man turned to look at him, he tilted his head, his eyes smiling even before his lips followed suit. And he was still looking at Gibbs when his name was called out into crowd. And he was still staring at him when someone clapped on his shoulders from behind and only then did it register with Gibbs that Tony had actually done it. He'd won it. Tony let out a laugh and then quickly leaned in to give him a kiss before he got up to get on stage and Gibbs suddenly realized another thing.

He'd won it, too. Not the Oscar but Tony – and that one was far more important.