Title: Answers Needed

Fandom: NCIS

Characters: Gibbs, Franks, DiNozzo

Series: Hiatus Series

Prompt: # 17 Confused

Table: debc./281277.html

Word Count: 608

Rating: PG-13

Warnings/Spoilers: spoilers for Hiatus (parts 1 & 2)

Summary: Gibbs has questions that can't be answered on the beach

Mexico wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Gibbs knew that, but he'd gone anyway, because sitting on a strip of beach with Agent Franks seemed like it would be more productive than sitting in his empty house banging his head up against the wall. Figuratively speaking, of course.

The two of them spent day after day drinking cheap beer, or in some cases cheap tequila, talking about the past.

Every now and then, Gibbs would be assaulted by a memory... something triggered by a chance turn of phrase. This didn't bother him so much, really. Some of the holes in life were finally starting to fill themselves in.

It was the dream that threw him off, however. A dream so vivid at times, he would awake in the night expecting a warm body next to his and, not finding it, feeling somewhat disillusioned.

It always started the same way -- with the feeling of soft lips against his own. A tentative kiss: the stuff first kisses are made of. Full of promises and hope before escalating into full-blown need.

The first time the dream came to him, Gibbs had assumed he'd been kissing a woman. Shannon, perhaps, or one of his other ex-wives. Maybe Jen, if he could trust the memories that were returning to him.

But that assumption was quickly dispelled by the next dream, which started the same but ended with him breathing out the name he least expected.

"DiNozzo..." he awoke with Tony's name on his lips in what sounded like a sigh and an ache in his groin from the intensity of the dream itself.

But why DiNozzo? Why a dream like that... about DiNozzo?

In the daylight hours, he hesitated to examine it more closely. It raised too many issues for him. Too many questions he couldn't answer and wouldn't be bringing up to Franks, for that matter. Their conversations revolved mostly around the changes in policies -- military and US in general -- which Gibbs had apparently lived through. Some of them were starting to sound more and more familiar, though the one which surprised him the most was President Clinton's approach to homosexuality in the military.

"Shook things up, that did," Franks told him bluntly. "Some commands still aren't sure quite how to handle it."

"Don't ask, don't tell?" Gibbs echoed, his expression one of confusion.

"Yeah, that's what they call it," Franks told him, taking the look to mean Gibbs wasn't quite sure what to make this new policy. "Common sense, if you ask me. I don't want to know what anyone else is doing behind closed doors anyway."

"Yeah..." Gibbs answered, but his thoughts were racing now. In his mind, he could see the kiss from his dreams and now, for the first time, he let himself examine what had happened the day Tony'd taken him home.

Tony had kissed him, and it had been a desperate, needy kiss. Like Tony was trying to tell him something.

Gibbs had pushed him away, yelled... had been angry because that wasn't what was supposed to happen.

Except for the fact the here he was on a beach in Mexico... dreaming about kisses that he was fairly certain he'd initiated. At least, that's what they always felt like in the dream.

Why had Tony kissed him that day? Why were the dreams so real? So inviting? Comforting? These questions weighed heavily on his mind over the next few days. He couldn't explain them, nor could he dismiss the feeling that they were questions he needed answers to.

They were, however, answers he couldn't get sitting on a beach in Mexico.