Not Quite Falling

This happens just after the end of Kill Ari II, so some spoilers up until then. Still dunno if I'm happy with this...


He sits staring out the window on the plane ride home, Abby asleep on his shoulder, her feet tangled up with Gibbs', the still-new director's hair spread fiery against the boss's shoulder, remembering all that she was and all that he loved. And he knows that Gibbs is doing the exact same thing, and yet so, so differently. To him she was the adorable sister he never had who drove him bat-shit crazy and who he loved so much. But as his eyes slip to the other man's, he's never seen the boss's eyes ache that colour of blue.

Leroy Jethro Gibbs was in love with Caitlyn Todd.

Tony remembers their discreet touches, too-long glances, the way they thought no one knew. And, to be fair, it had taken him a damn long time to figure it all out. He still remembers the moments it clicked. He supposes, thinking about it (though he generally tries not to think about the idea at all, because Kate and Gibbs? um, eww) it had been niggling at the back of his mind for ages. All those subtle touches, clutches and words dripping with insinuation. But it was as Gibbs strapped her into that harness - Kate whimpering like a little girl and Gibbs just taking it and him grinning like a fool – that he first really noticed the bosses hands drifting all over Kate's hips and waist and ass. Then, as she freaked out at the top how Gibbs seemed to just keep touching her, and Tony couldn't miss the brush across her chest, the way Kate leaned into him and relaxed just the slightest bit. What clinched it though, was the easy way she forgave him for throwing her off the top of the tower and the realization that Gibbs would forgive Kate just as easily.

And then it had all fallen into place: uncomfortable comments about boyfriends and Catholicism and guns under pillows and handcuffs and shy and sultry looks slipped sideways and touches and leans and awkward dashes and rumpled looks. And afterwards he would never be able to look at them the same: a shared water bottle became domestic, a glance became possessive, their awkward tension was recognized as sexual, their physical distance recognized as measured and imposed.

Yeah, Tony had no doubt, the boss had loved Katie the very best he could.

And yeah, everyone hurt now, but at least that was something.