Well, my muse appears to have deserted me, so I'm not real happy this the way this turned out but nothing more is forthcoming. Hope you liked the story and thanks for all the kind words.

DiNozzo bolted upright in the unfamiliar bed, immediately hissing out a breath as pain flared through his shoulder and ribs.

Something had woke him up, the only question was what; never one to ignore his instincts, Tony struggled out of bed and pulled on a pair of Gibbs's sweats and a faded USMC t-shirt. He quickly reached for his gun on the nightstand; just because this was Gibbs's house didn't mean he was about to let it be broken into. Tony heard it again just as he reached the bedroom door. Someone was yelling, but the sound was muffled through various floors and doors of the house and he was unable to make out what was being said. DiNozzo threw caution to the wind, racing through the house as fast and as quietly as he could with a broken ankle. He may not be able to make out what was being said, but he'd know that voice anywhere- it was Gibbs.

Tony's Sig led around the door frame to the basement stairs, quickly followed by his head and shoulders.

"Tony! NO!"

DiNozzo froze for a fraction of a second, before ducking down to see into the basement. He could have swore he almost heard- anguish? in his Boss's voice; not really an emotion you'd expect to hear when someone was fighting off a burglar. Sure enough, all his bravado had been for naught; Gibbs lay sound asleep beneath his boat, apparently in the clutches of a vivid nightmare.

He quickly put the safety back on his gun and hopped down the stairs; he'd heard that you shouldn't wake someone having a nightmare, but the look of total devastation on Gibbs face had Tony questioning that bit of logic. He squeezed between the ribs of the boat and lowered himself down next to his agitated boss.

"Oh God, Tony-"

Tony winced at his tone; that was not a Gibbs tone. He reached out to lay a hand on the sleeping man's shoulder, "I'm right here, Boss, and I'm fine."

Surprisingly, Jethro settled immediately and slowly peeled his eyes open. He lay there staring up at his agent, drinking in the sight of him, for nearly a minute before his brain caught up to the present time and place. The nightmare had been horrid- Tony getting tossed from the plane over and over again in every possible expressive detail and of course, none of the scenarios ended with his fully open chute carrying him safely to the ground below. Gibbs continued to watch him, feeling the reassuring warmth of Tony's hand still on his shoulder as he silently told himself that none of it had been real; DiNozzo had been pushed out of the plane, but his exceptional instincts had kicked in and he'd done everything he needed to do to get himself down to the ground alive and in one piece. Speaking of which…

The former Marine quickly pulled himself into the upright position and sent a glare in Tony's direction. "What in the hell do you think you're doing out of bed," he glanced down at his agent's bare feet, "-and without the boot on? Ducky would have your head."

Tony let out a small chuckle, relieved that Gibbs was back to his good old surly self. "Well, considering all the yelling you were doing, I figured that there was someone in the house and you wouldn't mind me not taking the time to put on right then."

"Oh." At least Gibbs had the decency to look sheepish.

"I take it I had a role in your nightmare." It was a statement more than a question.

Jethro squirmed uncomfortably under his agent's gaze. Hell, he'd already talked more about his feelings that night than he had in the last few months, a little more couldn't hurt and Tony needed to hear this a lot more than it would hurt him to say it. "Thought I lost you up there tonight, scared the shit out of me." He took a deep breath, forcing the last tendrils of his fear back down where they belonged. "Unfortunately, that's not a feeling that goes away quickly, hence the- uh- bad dream. I'm sorry I woke you up, you really do need your rest."

"Boss, I'm fine-"

Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

Tony sighed; there was no winning with his Boss. "Alright, so I'm a little banged up. My point is, this family thing you've been talking about is a two way street; there are times even big brothers need to be taken care of." He returned his hand to Gibbs's shoulder, "I needed to make sure you were alright." It was Tony's turn to raise an eyebrow, "so…"

Gibbs shrugged, "I can't say the dreams are gone for good, but I do feel better."

"Guess that's all I can ask for."

Both men broke out into slightly uncomfortable smiles at the strangeness of the situation.

Tony quickly cleared his throat, "So Abby's definitely the baby of the family; you think Kate will ever fit in there somewhere?"

"Give her a few months and I'm sure she'll slide right in there between you and me."

DiNozzo was silent for a minute as he tried to decide whether or not he was offended that Gibbs felt he would play younger brother to Kate's older sister. Eventually figuring that it would be more fun that way, he looked back at Gibbs with an evil glint in his eye. "So, where's that leave Ducky in this crazy little family unit we've got going: father figure?"

Gibbs couldn't help but cringe as the two men shared a laugh, "God I hope not."