Gibbs had been back for a week before he approached Tony on his own time. Things were awkward between them at work. Tony was constantly fighting his instinct to follow Gibbs' lead and the one which told him that he was the boss instead. Gibbs, on the other hand, had been more than happy to let Tony take charge. But it had put them on unfamiliar ground, both with each other and the team.

Extending an olive branch, Gibbs showed up at Tony's apartment with a movie and a pizza. It wasn't steak, but it was a start, he thought as he rang the bell and waited for Tony to open the door. In his mind, he could see himself opening the door for Tony and was struck by the reversal of their roles.

"Can I come in, Boss?" he'd asked the first time, looking like he didn't know what he was there for. Gibbs hadn't known either, but that had been the start of things. Two lost strangers finding each other in friendship and in something more.

"I'm sure you can, DiNozzo," Gibbs emphasized. Can implied the ability to do something and Tony's ability to enter his house was not in question.

"May I come in?" the younger man asked again, and Gibbs stepped aside to him enter.

"Gibbs." Tony automatically moved aside to allow him entry into the apartment, but not without eyeing him warily first. "Movie and pizza?"

Gibbs' lips twitched a little. "Figure I have more than a few to make up for," he admitted as he found a place to set down the pizza box and the movie on top of it.

Tony shrugged and gave the door a little shove to close it all the way. His expression was not as guarded as it could have been, and Gibbs could see him struggling to maintain indifference. In the end, Tony looked away, but before pain broke through the mask he'd been trying to wear. "I thought you'd forgotten about that along with everything else," he accused when he finally found his voice again.

Gibbs swore under his breath. "Damn it, Tony, would you look at me?"

"Look at me! Would just look at me for one minute!"

Tony's voice was desperate but Gibbs didn't know why at the time. He continued throwing clothes into the suitcase, not bothering to actually fold them. "Can't. I've got a plane to catch."

"So that's it, then? You're just gonna run away?"

Looking at Tony now, months later, he could still hear the disappointment and despair in the young man's voice. Only this time, he knew exactly what lie behind it. "I'm sorry, alright?" he said gruffly, putting his hands on Tony's shoulders to make him look. "I'm sorry."

"Not good enough," was Tony's pained answer. "You left. You forgot and yo--"

Gibbs interrupted Tony's protest with his lips. It was hardly a gentle kiss meant for tender moments. Instead, it was fierce and commanding, pulling Tony in and holding his attention as long as the kiss continued. And continue it did, with Gibbs tongue finding an opening and forcing its way into Tony's mouth. Tastes of coffee and spearmint chewing gum accosted his taste buds, tangling with something that was uniquely Tony. A breath or two later, Tony responded, his body going from rigid to warm in the space of a second, and soon the one-sided kiss became a furious dance between two lovers.

When they came up for air, Gibbs pressed his forehead to Tony's, holding the other man to him. "I could never forget you, Tony," he breathed into the intimate space between them. He had lost his memory, but only briefly. The memories they'd shared, the important ones they'd made together, had steadfastly refused to be lost to oblivion. And for that, Gibbs would forever be grateful.