Gibbs/DiNozzo, shift

Title: Shifting Focus

Fandom: NCIS

Characters: Gibbs, mentions of Tony

Series: none

Prompt: #68 Happy

Table: debc./281277.html

Word Count: 544

Rating: PG-13

Warnings/Spoilers: implies Gibbs/DiNozzo slash, spoilers for Shalom, Escaped and Singled Out (slight)

Summary: Things have changed since Gibbs has been gone.

Disclaimers: Not mine, not even close

Author's Notes: Written for Medie's drabble-a-thon. The prompt was "Gibbs/DiNozzo, shift" Came out angsty.

"Shifting Focus"

Things had changed since he'd been gone.

Not that Gibbs had expected them to stay the same... not exactly. Things changed, life went on, people evolved and adapted. That was the way life was. But still... things had changed.

The change he'd least expected -- the one he wasn't sure he knew how to address -- was Tony.

Tony had changed, and he'd done so because Gibbs had left. Had left him, them. Oh, at the time, he hadn't known or realized there was a "them," but over the course of four months on a beach, enough of the memories had come back to him. Vivid dreams like the one he'd had of him and Jenny... only it was DiNozzo writhing beneath his touch and whimpering for just one more kiss, Boss.

When Gibbs returned, he hadn't intended it to be a permanent thing. He'd retired, handed his badge and gun -- and his team -- over to Tony and he'd been fine with that. Tony could have the team, have the job; Gibbs would help Ziva and then go home.

And then Tobias had contacted him. His little girl was being threatened -- by a man he'd helped put in jail. Gibbs had stayed to help his friend.

That was about the time he really started to notice the changes in Tony. He'd stepped up as team leader and was actually doing a good job. Not really doing it the way Gibbs would have done it, but it was his team now. But there was an awkwardness there, which Gibbs at first perceived as being caused by his presence after four months of no contact. Tony was behaving like the jilted lover he essentially was.

But now Gibbs knew better.

Tony didn't call him 'Boss' anymore; he called him 'Jethro' instead. Like an equal, and it wasn't until Gibbs was back full time that he realized why that was. The change. Tony wasn't his underling any more. He'd gotten a taste of leadership and had liked it. His world had shifted. His focus had shifted, and it was no longer centered on pleasing Gibbs.

As much as Gibbs hated to admit it, he missed it. He missed being called 'Boss' by Tony DiNozzo both in and outside of work. When Tony said it, it was a term of endearment. Or a cry of passion, depending on the setting and circumstance.

Gibbs hadn't heard it once since he'd been back and he missed it. But the change had occurred and there was no turning back the hands of time. He couldn't get back the four months he'd lost with Tony while trying to 'find himself' and he couldn't erase the pain he undoubtedly caused the younger man.

He should have stuck to his guns and went back to Mexico. Hell, he should have stayed gone, not come back at all. Should have, but hadn't. And after spending two weeks with Tony, working with him, even without the 'Boss' and the insatiable need to please Gibbs, he knew he couldn't just go back to the beach. They had something... something Gibbs didn't necessarily want to write off as lost to him. He could live with being called 'Jethro' if it meant getting Tony back someday.