Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: What if Tony was in a serious relationship throughout the series? What if House was in a serious relationship throughout the series? What if this relationship was with each other?
Pairing: House/Tony established. Implied Cameron/Chase, implied Abby/McGee.
Author's Note: House's father dies. House and Tony get to talk. Episode tag to the House episode Birthmarks and to the NCIS episode Agent Afloat. Two for one. It's your lucky day. Oh, and House tells his mother.
Also, and I'm sorry to say, but this is the end for now. I have nothing else written and haven't really been inspired by the latest episodes of NCIS to write anything. And I've missed most of this season's House, so... There may be more later. And I know that I promised that Ziva would be told. Sorry. I have actually written that scene, but it's like three lines long and doesn't fit yet. If I add more later, then that will be included.
One last thing, sorry for not updating last weekend. It was my wedding anniversary and I had better things to do. :)
Chapter 13: Birthmarks
Chapter Summary: House and Tony talk about House's father. Tony comes home.
Background: This is an epidsode tag. I also put my own spin on Amber's death. Season six NCIS. Season five House. September 2008.
Gibbs approached PPTH slowly. It was the first time he'd actually been to the hospital, but he knew that House's office was on the fourth floor, so he headed for the elevator. He got off on the fourth floor and headed for the nurses' desk. "Hi. I'm looking for Dr. House's office."
She pointed down the hallway, "Down the hall on your left. Glass walls. You can't miss it."
"Thanks," Gibbs replied, heading that direction. He found the office easy enough and stared in horror for a few moments at the glass walls. Who would want glass walls? Then he entered the office. There was a black man there, sitting at the desk, "I'm looking for Dr. House."
Foreman stared at the man before him in shock, "Who are you?" he asked warily. After all, he'd been standing right there when House had been shot two years before.
Gibbs pulled out his badge, "Agent Gibbs, NCIS."
"You're Tony's boss," Foreman returned. House had mentioned this man a few times, mostly in not so nice terms.
Gibbs nodded, "Used to be."
Foreman walked to him, "When's Tony coming back? He's been..."
"Foreman, get out," House's voice cut him off before he could finish his sentence.
Foreman raised his eyebrows at Gibbs, silently asking him as he backed out of the room.
House walked over to his desk, "This isn't one of those 'next-of-kin' calls, is it Agent Gibbs?" he asked fearfully. The last time he'd talked to Tony was two weeks ago, when the younger man had called to tell him they were extending his assignment another 15 weeks, this time aboard the Seahawk.
"No," Gibbs reassured. "Tony is fine. Talked to him last week. Kind of."
House raised his eyebrow in question but merely nodded, "Then why are you here?"
Gibbs sighed, "I'm going to Columbia tomorrow, for a case. Going to meet Tony there. Was going to see if there was anything you wanted me to bring him." He looked around the office.
House stared at him. He'd refrained from sending anything to Tony on the boat, mainly because he didn't want Tony's boss to have yet another reason to send him away. Didn't know how the new director of NCIS would take knowing Tony was in a relationship with another man. He nodded, dumbly, reaching for a pen and some paper.
Taub poked his head into the office, "House, your mother's on the phone again. Talk to her." He left without waiting for a reply.
House grimaced, putting his head in his hands, but made no move to answer the phone as he'd been told. He looked up at Gibbs, "Can you give me a few minutes, Agent Gibbs," he whispered.
Gibbs nodded and watched as House snatched the pen and paper and left the office. He looked around, taking in the numerous medical texts on the shelves. He couldn't help the smile that crossed his face as he saw both of McGee's books there as well.
Tony's postcards were stacked on the desk, about fifteen of them. Gibbs was tempted to read them, but figured House would kill him if he did. He was still looking at the postcards when he heard the door open. He looked up to find Foreman back in the room. He sighed, "I don't know when Tony will be back," he admitted.
Foreman nodded, "I overheard that you're going to see Tony," he admitted.
Gibbs nodded, "Tomorrow," he relented.
"Will you give him this," Foreman held out an envelope. "It's something that we feel he should know, but know House would never tell him."
"Who's we?" Gibbs asked, accepting the envelope.
Foreman shrugged, "Me, Chase, Cameron. Not many of us know about Tony, but those of us that do are in agreement. Just make sure he gets that. And don't let House know you have it?"
Gibbs nodded slowly, pocketing the envelope. "I'll do that," he whispered as Foreman left the office.
House returned ten minutes later, handing Gibbs a sealed envelope. "Thank you, Agent Gibbs," he whispered earnestly.
Gibbs nodded, putting that envelope with the one Foreman had handed him. "I'll get him to call you," he promised.
House looked at his cane, "He said you were trying to fix this. When...When am I going to get my husband back?"
Gibbs sighed, "I'm trying, Dr. House. Been trying for four damn months. I want him back, too."
House nodded, "I appreciate that," he returned.
"See you later, Dr. House," Gibbs said as he left the office.
Gibbs waited until he had Tony alone. "I have something for you."
Tony looked at him, "A ticket home?" he asked, hopefully.
"Not yet," Gibbs admitted. "Working on it." He pulled the envelopes out of his pocket, "I drove to Princeton to get these."
Tony's eyes shot to Gibbs', "You saw Greg? How is he? Is he okay?"
"He's okay," Gibbs assured, handing the envelopes to Tony, "He's angry, but seemed okay."
Tony opened the first envelope, briefly wondering why there were two. But then he was lost in Greg's handwriting.
I wish I could tell you how happy I am, how glorious everything is, but you'd know I was lying. You always could see right through me, ever since that first day. Remember that day, Tony? I never believed in coincidences, you know that. But that day has made me believe in fate. Because fate is the only thing I have to describe you and me.
Fact is, I miss you. More than I'd expected, more than I ever thought possible. It's not fair. Wilson always told me karma would come back to kick my ass. This must have been what he meant.
On a lighter note, I hired a PI to spy on Wilson. He's not Wilson, and certainly not you, but he actually doesn't seem to mind the fact that I'm a bastard. I tried to talk to Wilson when he came back to town, but he refuses. I don't think it really has anything to do with my part in Amber's death. I think it has more to do with fear. I think he's afraid to lose someone else he cares about.
It's hell, Tony. I'm sorry, I really am. I'm really not trying to make you feel bad, but I haven't talked to you, really talked to you, for almost four months. I don't want to lie.
I miss you. I love you.
Tony didn't realize he was crying until the first drop hit the paper in his hands. He quickly wiped it off before it could smear the words of the letter. He folded the letter back up, putting it carefully back in its envelope. He wasn't sure he wanted to know what the other letter held. He opened it slowly.
We weren't sure House would tell you, but there are a few things you should know.
I hope he told you that Amber died not long after you left. House blames himself, since she was picking him up, but what's really bad is that Wilson blames him, too. He refuses any attempts of friendship from us. We'd never known a House without Wilson. Add in no you and you've got a very angry, miserable House, much more than usual.
But that's not all. Today, House's mother called. His dad died. He refuses to talk to his mother, refuses to attend the funeral. He hasn't been forthcoming with where you are, but if there's anyway you can come back, now would be the time. I hope we did the right thing by telling you.
Tony's heart sank; he needed to be home so bad. He folded Foreman's letter and stuck it back in its envelope. He bit his lip to stop the tears and put his head in his hands.
Gibbs put an arm around Tony's shoulders and handed him the satellite phone, "Call him."
Tony looked up, "His dad died. I need to be there."
Gibbs sighed, "I know, Tony. I'm sorry. A phone call is all I can give you now. I've told Vance I'll have no one but you on my team. He's learning. It's just taking him longer than we'd like."
Tony nodded, "I know. I'm sorry, I'm just angry." He held up the satellite phone, "Secure?"
Gibbs nodded, "I had McGee get it for me. It's not even NCIS issue."
Tony cracked a small smile, "Thanks boss. I really appreciate this."
"Least I could do, Tony," Gibbs returned. "Now, go. Call your husband."
House's head shot to Wilson as his phone rang. "Where's my phone?" He began searching his pockets frantically.
Wilson pulled it out of his pocket, "You'll get it back later. Whatever it is can wait."
"The hell it can," House returned, lunging for the phone. Wilson tucked it back into his pocket. House saw red, "I swear to God, Wilson, if you make me miss the phone call from Tony I'm expecting, the police will never find your body."
Wilson stared at House for a few moments before silently handing the phone over. He raised his eyebrows. "Where is he, anyway?"
House ignored him, answering the phone, "Hello?"
Tony smiled softly, "Hey, Greg," he whispered. "I got your letter."
"Tony," House breathed, leaning back and closing his eyes, "It's so good to hear your voice."
Tony took a deep breath, "You, too, Greg. You, too. How are you holding up?"
"I've been kidnapped," House returned, glaring at Wilson.
Tony frowned, "Kidnapped?" he repeated.
"I'm being forced to go to my father's funeral," House admitted.
"Why didn't you tell me, Greg?" Tony asked.
"I didn't want you to rush here," House informed him. "The new director already apparently doesn't like you. Didn't want to add you running from an assignment to that list." He sighed, "When are you coming home?"
Tony rubbed his face, "Thirteen weeks, Greg. Who's kidnapped you?"
"Wilson," House muttered darkly.
Tony's eyes shot open, "I thought he wasn't talking to you."
"He's not," House returned. "Says it's a favor to my mom."
Tony cringed; that had to be killing House, "Damn. I'm sorry, Greg."
"Not your fault," House returned, closing his eyes.
"If I hadn't of left, you wouldn't have been in that bar, Amber wouldn't have been killed, Wilson would still be your best friend..."
House's eyes shot open and he leaned forward, "Stop it, Tony. Stop it. It's not your fault. Do you hear me? This is not your fault."
"I want to come home," Tony's voice broke, "I'm so sick of this. I miss you so fucking much. Greg..." he sank down the wall until he was sitting, his knees pulled up to his chest.
House felt tears come to his eyes at Tony's apparent anguish, "I miss you, too, Tony. You'll be home eventually. And then everything will go back to the way it was. I hate this, too."
"I'm sorry about your father," Tony whispered.
"I'm not. Tony, you know we've never gotten along. Would you go to your father's funeral?" House already knew the answer.
"My father disowned me, Greg. Yours was just a jerk. I wouldn't even be welcome at my dad's funeral. Think of your mother." Tony rested his head in his free palm.
House nodded, "I'm trying. I wish you were here."
Tony inhaled sharply, "Me, too."
"I'm telling mom about you," House stated. "Now that dad's gone...she'll be happy for us."
Tony frowned, "Are you sure? You don't have to..."
"I want to. I've wanted to for a long time, but dad wouldn't have accepted you. How are you holding up?" He changed the subject.
Tony sighed, "I've been drinking. A lot," he admitted. "I see Jenny every time I close my eyes. And if it's not her, it's Paula. Kate. I don't remember the last time I slept through the night."
"You don't drink," House whispered in horror. House's constant drinking was one of the few things they fought over.
Tony smiled bitterly, "I've discovered the wonders of alcohol. Frequently. And you were right; it can take away pain."
House rubbed his eyes, "God, Tony. Please stop. I'm throwing away all of my liquor. There won't be any when you get home."
Tony sighed, "Don't worry about me, Greg. I'll be fine. In about thirteen weeks. When I'm home. With you." He looked at his watch, "I should probably go," he whispered.
"No..." House whispered.
"Greg..." Tony's voice was anguished.
"I'm sorry," House returned. "I just know it's the last time I'm going to get to talk to you for three damn months."
"I'm sorry," Tony whispered softly, "but we do have a case. I really need to go. Go to your dad's funeral, if for nothing else, than for your mother. I'll see you in a couple months." He paused, trying to get his emotions under control, "I love you."
House took a deep breath, "I love you, too. Bye, Tony," he whispered.
"Bye," Tony echoed, hanging up the phone.
House hung up the phone, handing it blindly back to Wilson. He leaned against the window, wiping his eyes quickly of unshed tears.
Wilson waited until he couldn't anymore, "Where is Tony?" he ventured softly.
House didn't look at him, "Agent afloat. USS Seahawk."
"I'm assuming that means he's on a ship," Wilson returned.
House nodded, "For four months," he admitted.
Wilson gave him a sympathetic look, "Damn, I'm sorry..." he trailed, off, "Wait. Four months?" Four months ago would have been May. The bus crash. House drinking in a bar, sans Tony. Everything made sense.
House could see that Wilson had made the connection, "He'd flown out that afternoon."
"House..." Wilson began.
"He blames himself, you know," House cut him off. "For...Amber. And for the death of the director a few days before. He's started drinking."
"When does he come home?" Wilson was reeling.
"Three months," House returned.
"Let's just get this over with, Jimmy," House whispered, "And then you can go back to hating me."
Wilson sighed, "I don't hate you House."
"You should," House returned.
House walked into the living room and sat on the couch. His mom was sitting in the chair across from him, watching TV. He took a deep breath, "Hey, Mom, can I talk to you?"
Blythe nodded, turning down the TV, "What's on your mind, Greg," she returned, frowning at his apparent nervousness.
House toyed with his cane, "There's something I want to tell you," he began. "Something I've wanted to tell you for a while, but dad wouldn't have approved." He sucked in a breath and looked up at his mom. "I'm in a relationship. It's, well, it's about as serious as a relationship can get."
Blythe was confused, "I don't understand," she admitted. "Why would your father disapprove of that? We've been waiting for you to settle down. What's her name?" She smiled, "When do I get to meet her?"
House sighed, catching Wilson's eye. The other man was standing discreetly in the hallway, trying to offer silent support. "His name is Tony, Mom," he whispered.
Blythe was silent for a moment, trying to discern whether or not House was joking with her. Then she smiled, "Well, now I see why you felt your father wouldn't approve," she admitted. "So, when do I get to meet your Tony, then?"
House regarded her carefully, "You don't mind?"
Blythe laughed, "Greg. I may be old, but I'm not prejudiced." She walked to him, "Now, you were right not to tell you father. He wouldn't have approved." She took a deep breath, "Are you happy?"
House couldn't help the smile that crossed his face, "Yeah, I really am."
Blythe returned his soft smile, "Then I'm happy for you, Greg," she assured. She stood, glancing sideways at him and smirking, "So, when you say it's as serious as possible, what exactly does that mean? How long have you..."
"Six years," House admitted, staring down. He held up his left hand, showing her his wedding band, "We bought a house almost two and a half years ago."
She froze, the smile dropping off her face, "And how long have you been married, Greg," she demanded, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Almost 2 years," House admitted. "In January."
Blythe's mouth formed a thin line, "So, I guess inviting your dear old mother to that would have been too much, hmm?"
House grimaced, "I'm sorry, mom," he whispered. "I wanted to tell you, but I couldn't let dad find out. You know how that would have gone. We were hanging on by strings as it was."
Blythe sighed, "When do I get to meet him?" She sat back down.
House shrugged, "He's away on assignment right now. Won't be back for months."
"You married a military man?" Blythe asked in disbelief.
House chuckled, "No, of course not. Tony works for NCIS. The NAVY's police force. He's a civilian agent. He's been assigned to a ship for a while."
Blythe gave him a hard glare, "I expect you both here for Thanksgiving," she warned him.
Tony saw Gibbs enter the bullpen, "Hey, Boss. Talk to Vance?" He was shifting foot to foot, dying to get out of here.
Gibbs approached him, "Yeah. Yeah. He was..." McGee and Ziva followed him.
Abby ran to Tony, "Tony! You're back!" She threw her arms around him in a hug.
Tony couldn't help but grin at her, hugging her tightly, "In the flesh," he promised.
Abby pulled back, "For reals? Like, total reals? Like 'pinky promise' permanent reals?" She was practically jumping up and down.
Tony's grin got bigger, "Reassigned to D.C. effective immediately," he assured. He saw Gibbs' confusion, "Director just told me."
McGee smiled, "Never thought I'd say this, Tony, but it is nice to have you back."
Abby disagreed, "Nice? It's, like, spectacular." She was talking a mile a minute, "I kept every one of your postcards, and I have a whole DiNozzo wall in my lab."
Tony couldn't stop smiling, "It was a long four months. I've got to say it's great to be home. Not that I didn't think I wouldn't be coming back..."
Abby kept talking, "So, anyway, Sister Rosita, she bowled a 260 last month. And I watched Titanic finally. It sinks at the end. Very weird."
Tony let her words trail off as he shook Gibbs' hand. "Thanks, boss," he whispered. Then he clapped his hands, "Okay, guys, as great as this is. And it is. And I promise we'll all go out soon, right now, I've got to go." He kissed Abby's forehead, smiled at Ziva and Gibbs and clapped Tim on the shoulder. "And don't you dare call him. It's a surprise." He practically ran from the room.
"That was kind of rude," Ziva commented, "Where's he going?"
The other three exchanged glances. Gibbs sighed, "He's going home Ziva." She opened her mouth, but Gibbs cut her off, "He'll tell you when he thinks you're ready. Go home team."
House froze at the sight of the man walking down the hallway towards him. "I'm going home," he barked at the four people surrounding him.
Foreman followed his gaze, grinning, "It's about time." He took the file from House's hand, "We've got this."
Tony walked to House and his crowd. He nodded politely, "Hello, Foreman. Thank you. Nice to meet you all," he greeted the fellows. "I'm going to steal your boss now, though. I'll return him in a few days."
"When did you get back?" House's voice was soft, his fingers automatically reaching for Tony, grasping the younger man's shirt.
"Today," Tony returned. "Had to escort a perp back from my ship." He put his hand over the hand that grasped his shirt.
"Oh," House's face fell. "When do you leave?"
Tony grinned, "Never," he whispered. "Assigned back to D.C. effective immediately."
House visibly relaxed, stepping forward and pulling Tony to him in a hug, completely ignoring the three shocked fellows behind him. "It's about damn time," he murmured.
"Let's go home," Tony whispered.
House pulled back, nodding, "Bye guys." He looked at Foreman, "You'll..."
Foreman nodded, "I'll tell Cuddy if she asks. Bye House."
House grinned, "See you in a few days." He and Tony headed back to the elevator.
Tony waited until the elevator doors were closed before pushing House into the wall. He attacked the older man's mouth ferociously. His hands wrapped tightly around House's waist, inching up House's back until he got to bare skin.
House dropped his cane, his hands coming up to cup Tony's face. The kiss was anything but gentle as the two men fought for dominance.
Tony broke away first, breathing heavily, planting kisses down House's neck, "God, Greg..."
House was panting, one hand threading through Tony's hair as the other drifted down to grip Tony's waist. "I know," he managed. "I know. But we have to stop, Tony," he whispered. "Let's get home."
Tony nodded, calling on all his restraint to detach himself from Greg. "Sorry," he murmured, reaching down and picking up House's cane. He handed it to the other man, placing a sweet kiss on his lips. "I can't help myself."
House smiled softly, "Trust me, just wait till I get you home."
"I can't wait," Tony admitted softly. He nodded politely at the doctors they passed as they exited the elevator. He leaned next to House's ear as they left the hospital. "Think you can stay focused enough to drive the bike home?" he asked. He wanted to be wrapped around House.
House's steps faltered. An hour and a half drive. With Tony wrapped around him. God. He wanted that. He nodded, "So long as your helmet is in your car."
Tony grinned, "It is. I'll go get it. Meet me?" He pointed to where he'd parked.
House snagged his hand before he could walk away. Without caring who was watching them, he kissed Tony thoroughly. "I'm glad you're home," he whispered.
Tony smiled, "Me, too," he returned, squeezing House's hand. "See you in a few minutes."
House pulled up to Tony's car, smirking at the sight of Tony leaning against his car, helmet in his hands. "Going my way, Sailor," he quipped.
Tony laughed, "You're never gonna let me live this down are you?" He climbed onto the bike behind House, fastening his helmet. He'd also found his leather jacket in his car and had put that on as well. It would offer extra protection from the wind.
House shook his head, taking Tony's arms and wrapping them tightly around his waist. "Nope."
Tony nipped at the back of House's neck, "Take me home, Greg," he whispered.
The End . . . For Now?