He still saw that horrible moment every time he went to sleep. He and his team have the bad guys at gun point; everyone's screaming and yelling and while they're all distracted, a fourth guy sneaks up from behind and swings a two-by-four with all of his strength, nothing held back. The ensuing gunfight is quick and ends with three wayward marines and a drug dealer dead, and Tony lying on the ground, his head a bloody mess. Gibbs hated to remember, but couldn't bring himself to forget the day he nearly lost his young lover.

The days of his retirement passed by all too fast. It seemed like only yesterday that he'd brought Tony home from the hospital, unable to stand by himself, barely able to speak, and suffering from severe migraines. Now, four weeks later, Tony's migraines were ebbing and his legs supported his weight once more. His vocabulary was slow on the return and the stumbling way the former agent pronounced words brought reality into harsh, unforgiving realism. Tony DiNozzo, his senior agent, lover, and dear friend, had the mentality of a six-year-old.

There were good days, when the man Tony used to be occasionally showed himself. Tony was calmer and spoke more like his own self than the awkward man child he was now. Then there were the days when the Tony Gibbs knew was completely gone and in his absence was a young, unruly child who couldn't understand why he couldn't go outside alone, or why he was so old, or why his wiener got hard when he touched it and why Gibbs didn't like it when he did that.

"Mr. Gibbs? Are we gonna have ice cream now? You said if I cleaned my room I could have ice cream." Tony was sitting at the peninsula counter in Gibbs' kitchen, perched on his knees on a barstool and hind end wiggling impatiently while he wait for an answer. The childishly eager look on his former agent's face made him incredibly sad. Tony never used to pull off such an innocent look successfully before.

Gibbs fought back the catch in his throat as he asked, "Did you make sure to put your dirty clothes in the hamper and not on the closet floor?"

Tony nodded rapidly. "I even pulled that sock from beneath my bed and put it in the hamper! So can I have ice cream Mr. Gibbs? Please?"

Mr. Gibbs. That was who he was to Tony now. He smiled at Tony and turned to pull one of those pre made cones from the freezer. They weren't a new addition; Tony loved them before he was hurt. He watched Tony eat away at the chocolate and peanuts coating the top and then slowly licking at the vanilla ice cream underneath. The way his tongue lapped and licked and twirled around the dessert had Gibbs' pants uncomfortably tight. Even Tony's expression of delight was sinful looking.

Then Tony opened his eyes and looked at him and Gibbs was limp again. There was no seduction, no coyness in Tony's eyes. Just a child's innocent enjoyment of an ice cream cone, an expression that was very un-Tony. This man child before him, this little boy stuck in a man's body, was Tony. But it wasn't his Tony. His Tony was killed in that warehouse.

Tony hummed as he latched onto the end of the cone and sucked out the melting ice cream out of the tip. Gibbs' cock gave a traitorous twitch. He was fairly sure he was going to be sick.