Note: Warning - here be the kind of crack!fic my brain comes up with when I'm sleep-deprived. It's PG because nothing happens to warrant a higher rating, but it is Tony/Gibbs slash. If you have a problem with that, don't read this. Life's too short to be upset by things you read on the internet, m'kay? Ooh, and, standard disclaimer, this isn't my sandbox, I'm just playing in it. Thanks to all the wonderful people who work so hard to make NCIS a fantastic show.
April is a long, hard month. The team catches cases back to back, and by the end of it only Tony is still daring enough to brave Gibbs' wrath by actually speaking to him without having been barked a question first. The director has visions of carnage in the bullpen and, not wishing to have to get bloodstains out of the carpet, sends them all home for a week.
When their leave is over, Tony's in early, hard at work filling in what look suspiciously like personnel forms when Tim gets in. 'Just keeping my details up to date,' he grins. Tim would be suspicious, but this is Tony after a week off: he's like a golden retriever, all bounce and bright eyes, ready for mischief.
'Did you have a good week off? Get outside, smell the roses? What am I saying, of course you didn't, but I just bet you levelled up that elf lord, huh, McGeek?' Tony grins.
'At least I don't look like I spent the entire week bed hopping,' Tim grumbles, secretly glad the atmosphere's no longer that of a storm just waiting to break. Right over their heads. With Buy One Lightning Bolt, Get Three Free on special.
'You say that like it's a bad thing!' Tony laughs, teeth gleaming white, shoulders loose and relaxed like they haven't been in months.
Then the elevator pings and Ziva steps out, followed by Gibbs and five minutes later they're rolling out of the Yard, rushing to yet another crime scene and it's business as usual, so Tim thinks nothing more of it.
There's nothing to think more of.
Life goes on as usual; dull and exciting, busy and dangerous by turns. Four months later, it's a scorchingly hot September and tempers are once again frayed to the point of snapping. After Ziva comes close to turning Tony into their next investigation – one inappropriate comment about bikinis too far – Gibbs hauls Tony off to his 'office'. Five minutes later, they're back in the bullpen and Tony's stuffing some of his things into his backpack.
'So Gibbs has finally had enough and fired you,' Ziva says viciously. 'Good.'
Surprisingly, Tony doesn't retaliate. Tim watches with what he won't admit is concern. 'I'm taking a couple of days off,' Tony says instead. 'Going to go hang out with some frat buddies, watch a game or two, have some beers.'
'More bed hopping?' It slips out before Tim can bite the words back and he has no idea where that came from.
Tony looks at him with an odd expression for a moment, then shrugs. 'Who knows? I'm sure there are plenty of women out there who can't resist the DiNozzo charm.'
Gibbs jogs back down the stairs from the Director's office. 'Come on, DiNozzo. Tim, Ziva, if you don't want to take a couple of days off too, make sure you stick to cold cases. I don't want either of you out in the field without us.'
'You're taking time off too?' Ziva asks in surprise, her expression just short of comical.
'End of the damn summer and I haven't done any sailing yet,' Gibbs grumbles. 'Might be the last good weather we have.' He strides impatiently towards the elevator. 'Get a move on, DiNozzo,' he calls and Tony scurries after him.
'On your six, boss,' he replies automatically, sliding into the elevator just as the doors begin to close.
'That was... unexpected,' Ziva says, staring at the metal doors.
'Yeah,' Tim frowns. 'But hey, we've got a four day weekend if we want it.' He brightens. 'I'll see you Monday, Ziva.' Hastily, he puts in his own request for time off, knowing Gibbs has it cleared and a few minutes later he's on his way out into the sunshine, already anticipating the taste of the coffee at his favorite bookstore. After so long working for the toughest team leader in the agency, he knows not to question the gift of time off and not on call.
So when Monday rolls around, the team find themselves at their desks once more, relaxed and ready for anything the Navy or the Marines can throw at them. Gibbs was right; the weather broke some time in the early hours of the morning and a steady stream of rain spatters against the windows. Gibbs is wearing a little smile, although he's hiding it behind his coffee cup. Tony is tanned, his hair sun-bleached.
'How was the game?' Tim asks, powering on his computer. He doesn't really care; he doesn't even know what sport the game was, but Tony's humming something earwormy and if he's talking, that'll stop.
'Game? Oh, right, yeah, it was fine. Good, even.' Tony's distracted, sending a text message or playing tetris on his phone.
Tim looks over at him and frowns. There's something different about him... 'You didn't go to a game, did you?' he asks, certain, suddenly, that Tony's hiding something.
'What?' Tony frowns over the top of his phone. 'What makes you think that, Probie?'
Tim frowns back at him. 'You didn't, did you? Or meet up with your frat buddies.'
'Where are you getting this?' Tony asks, sitting up straight. 'I kicked back, had a lazy long weekend, you know, the kind we almost never get. I'd ask how yours went, only I really don't want to know the details of your online gaming. Funnily enough, some of us have real lives.'
Tim blinks and it's like one of those 3D puzzles coming into focus. Things he's seen without knowing. Tony, relaxed and looking calmly satisfied in a way he's never done before. Change of personal details forms. A tan line on his ring finger... Tim shoots to his feet.
'Oh my god! You got married!'
The bullpen goes quiet, every head turning to look at the stunned agent.
'Wow, I owe you, boss,' Tony says into the silence. He gets to his feet, pulls out his wallet and drops a twenty on the lead agent's desk. 'I was so sure Abby would figure it out first.' He tuts and shakes his head.
Bizarrely, Gibbs is grinning. It's a full-on, light his face up smile as he pockets the bill. 'Be proud,' he advises. 'He learned that from you.'
'Hey, he knew how to investigate things before he joined the team,' Tony argues good-naturedly, perching on the corner of Gibbs' desk with his arms folded across his chest.
'Yeah, but leaps of intuition are your thing.'
'You're just trying to make me feel better about losing the bet,' Tony smiles.
'When have I ever tried to make you feel better about anything, DiNozzo?' Gibbs growls, but he's still smiling and there's something really weird going on here; Tim can feel it.
'Wait, Tim is right? You really got knotted?' Ziva asks, finally finding her voice. 'Tony, you are really married? I cannot imagine any woman who would put up with you!'
'It's hitched, Ziva. And yes, I really am married, have been for–'
'Four months, two weeks and three days,' Gibbs interrupts.
'But who's counting, right?' Tony's beam is incandescent and the way he and Gibbs are looking at each other...
Tim's knees give way and he drops back into his chair with a hysterical giggle. 'You're the latest Mrs Gibbs!' he hears himself exclaim and knows those will be his last words: either Tony will kill him or Gibbs will, or maybe they'll join forces and kill him together. Then he thinks that joining forces is exactly what they've done and he giggles again.
Tony stares at him like he's grown a second head, then sighs, stands up and fishes his wallet back out of his pocket. 'Damn, McGee! When the hell did you learn to pull your head out of your PC?' He slaps another bill into Gibbs' outstretched hand, letting the callused fingers squeeze his briefly. 'Looks like you're buying dinner tonight, then, Jethro.'
'Thai okay?' Gibbs asks and Tony nods. Gibbs holds Tony's gaze for just a second longer before he turns his attention to Tim.
'McGee!' he snaps, 'Rule number eight.'
'Uh... Never take anything for granted?' Tim stutters, at a loss for what this means here, now, in this context.
'You assumed Tony's the fifth Mrs Gibbs,' the agent says, and there's a look in his eyes that tells Tim whatever he's about to say is going to completely and utterly break Tim's brain and he knows it and he's really, really going to enjoy watching it dribble out of Tim's ears. 'But what if I'm the first Mrs DiNozzo?'
Tim hears himself whimper as his fertile imagination hastens to provide him with images he doesn't want, never, ever wanted in his head. He shuts his eyes, but that only makes it worse. 'Right. Yes, boss.' When he opens his eyes again, Gibbs is standing right in front of his desk. The expected headslap comes but it isn't as hard as it could have been and for that Tim is grateful.
'For the record, neither of us is Mrs anything,' Gibbs explains, as patiently as he ever does and complete with his trademark glare.
'Got it, boss,' Tim says, swallowing hard.
'Oh and McGee?' Gibbs says, turning back to his own desk where his husband – his husband – is waiting. 'Good work.'
'Uh, thanks, boss,' Tim says, blinking in surprise. He's about to make an excuse to get out of the bullpen so he can go down and tell Abby, let her enthusiasm help his world settle back into place now that everything he knows has been turned upside down and shaken, when the phone rings. A few seconds later, Gibbs slams it down.
'Gear up, people, we've got a case.'
And just like that, everything's back to normal except Tony isn't goofing around to get Gibbs' attention and Gibbs isn't squashing down the guilt he feels over looking for another redhead and Tim has a moment, right before the elevator doors close, to wonder why he hadn't worked it out before because with hindsight, it's blindingly obvious.
Tim grins. 'So did you tell Abby? Because she's going to be pissed.' This time the headslap is harder, but it only makes his grin wider. 'Ow! Does Ducky know?'
Ziva finally joins in. 'Which of you is the... bottom? This is the right word, yes? I bet it is you, Tony.'
Gibbs glares at them all as Tony sighs. 'And this is why we didn't tell any of you. Can't we just pretend you didn't work it out?'
'Oh, no, we cannot possibly do that,' Ziva says wickedly. 'After all, you deserve a bachelor party. Both of you. It wouldn't be right for you to miss out on such an important part of your culture.'
Normally, Tim hates bachelor parties, but this time he agrees. 'I'm sure Abby can arrange the strippers,' he says. When Tony and Gibbs turn and glare at them, Tim stands firm. 'You got married and you didn't invite us,' he says.
Ziva nods. 'And you didn't tell us for four months, two weeks and three days.'
As the doors open, they head out into the parking garage. 'You think Canada's got an NCIS?' Tony asks Gibbs. 'We could transfer. And hey, our marriage is legal there.'
Gibbs grunts and headslaps Tony.
Tim feels himself relax. Secret marriage or not, nothing's changed.
Abby's still going to be pissed.
Note: Don't worry, I've been working on Imprinted. Just a couple more scenes to write and I'll get it posted up here. Sorry for the delay!