Gibbs made it to Tony's apartment around four that afternoon. It'd been a long day but a good one. His upstairs floor was almost completely empty except for the bed that was still useable in the spare room. He'd then spent a few hours at the FBI office drinking coffee and talking to Fornell when he wasn't on the phone. Fornell had even asked his opinion on a case and wrote it off as a consult so Gibbs was even going to get paid for it. He'd told Fornell about the changes in his life. To his surprise, he found that Fornell wasn't the least bit surprised, and revealed a secret.
"Diane and I used to have a bet on when you and Tony would get together. We ended up dropping it about a few months before she…" Fornell took a deep breath and glossed over it. "We both had given up on the idea, figured if you hadn't by then you weren't going to. At least I got my 100 bucks back" His smile had been a little bittersweet. Gibbs knew he'd gladly part with that 100 and a whole lot more to have Diane back.
Gibbs shook his head as he replayed in his head what Fornell said. He'd never guessed that Fornell had given this any thought but it was comforting that he didn't have to explain it to him the way they had Ducky and Abby. He hadn't had to argue with Ducky, but like Tony, he cared what Ducky thought. Gibbs sighed. Ducky had at least accepted it, and hopefully time would prove the rest. He had to trust in that.
As he reached Tony's door, it opened and Tony let him in. No sooner had Tony closed it that Gibbs was pushed up against it and Tony was kissing him. Gibbs wrapped his arms around him and pulled him close. Tony's kiss was warm and wet and he groaned in the kiss. When they ended the kiss, he was smiling at Gibbs, his eyes excited and happy.
"What?" Gibbs smiled back.
"You shared good news with me this morning...I have good news for you."
Gibbs raised an eyebrow and waited.
"First, I had lunch with Jimmy today. He was surprised and speechless, and then made one of his stammering speeches." Tony grinned but rolled his eyes. "He said basically he didn't think you were gay and I head slapped him and told him you'd been married four times to women."
Gibbs snorted and Tony continued. "Then, I told him my plan and he thought it was great. He's happy for me. He said if you were happy, he'd be happy for you, too. I told him you were. I hope that was okay."
Gibbs gave Tony "the look."
Tony smiled sheepishly. "Didn't want to assume…"
"What's the other good news?" Gibbs wasn't going to dignify that with an answer. Tony knew how he felt.
"Well…how would you like to spend the rest of the summer at the beach house?"
Gibbs blinked, surprised. "What?"
"I called Doug a little while ago, told him everything. He was a little surprised at first, but he says I've talked so much about you over the years that somehow it wasn't too big a surprise. I told him I loved North Carolina and wanted to move there. He said that he and his wife are going to spend a week there not this coming weekend but starting next weekend and then they're going to be busy the rest of the summer and probably won't make it back and offered us the use of it so we have a base of operations in-state to find our own place. He also said we can still use the beach house for vacations if we want, too."
Gibbs took a minute to let this sink in and asked, "How much rent?"
Tony snorted. "That was my first question." Tony cleared his throat. "But he said no rent. He's not even going to charge us for the utilities as long as we didn't go overboard and I told him we wouldn't. All he asked is that we take care of the yard and the pool and keep the house clean like we did when we were there. Oh, and Carol raved about how clean the house was when she drove out to check on things. She swore we left it in better shape than she did and for her, that's saying something. She wants to meet you, by the way."
Gibbs was stunned. He didn't expect that. "She does?"
"Yeah. Doug told her what was going on while he talked to me. She's so happy I'm finally settling down." Tony rolled his eyes but he was smiling.
Gibbs went deadpan. "I don't know…"
Tony's face fell. "What?"
"What?" Tony looked serious and concerned.
"Shower is too small."
Tony froze for a second and then he busted up laughing. "Yeah, true, but we'll fix that with our future house."
"So...is that a yes?"
"Sounds good…Ya think Carol would let us take off those vine things out of the living room while we're there?"
Tony blinked. "You hated them too?" At Gibbs' nod, Tony grinned. "I already asked her. I didn't know you didn't like them but I hated them. She just laughed and said she'd take care of them when they went out for the week. Doug teased me about us having kinky sex in their bed, too."
Gibbs felt his face get hot. "Uh…"
Tony snorted. "Don't worry about it. He knows what I'm like. I told him we would be sure to christen the bed regularly. He laughed."
"So...they don't care?"
Tony snorted. "He doesn't care. I did tell him we'd bring our own sheets. Apparently I put all kinds of visuals in his head he didn't want without even trying." Tony grinned.
Gibbs chewed his lip a little. "Want to get one of those mattress protectors, too...we might get messy at times."
Tony raised an eyebrow. "Oh, really?"
"Good sex is messy. If you don't need a shower after, you did it wrong."
"I love the way you think. Doug would agree, too. He was wilder in college than I was."
Gibbs snorted. He could imagine that from the time he met him.
"Doug said he'd also like to come out for a weekend, he thought he probably would be able to, have a few beers, catch up. He said he'd be able to get the boat from his neighbor, too."
Gibbs smiled wide. "That'd be great!" Gibbs liked the idea of getting to know Tony's friend.
Tony beamed. "This is going to be the best summer!"
Gibbs agreed. He hugged Tony tightly and Tony squeezed him, his happiness contagious in the moment. In an instant, he was looking down on the two of them as if from right above them only he saw Tony's face. His eyes were closed, and smiling as he hugged him. From his vantage point above, he could feel and see himself squeeze Tony just a little more and Tony's smile widened. The joy in his face reminded Gibbs how beautiful Tony was. It was completely different from a woman's beauty, and in some ways, even more so. Tears filled his own eyes knowing he was the one who put that smile there.
Gibbs blinked and an image of Shannon, Kelly and Diane appeared before his eyes. Diane seemed to hang back while Shannon and Kelly were more vivid and were smiling at him. Shannon radiated happiness, and Kelly was grinning her trademark grin that used to melt him to pieces. He stared at them as a tear streamed down his face. They waved happily at him and seemed to step backward and slowly faded, but not quite disappearing. Diane seemed to move closer and become more vivid. She held his gaze for a moment, and then she smiled that warm, loving smile she used to bestow on him back early on in their relationship. She then blew him a kiss and faded gently into his memory.
Then he was looking down on himself and Tony hugging again, and another tear streamed down his face and he vowed that he would love Anthony DiNozzo, Jr. for the rest of his life.