Tony sat and watched the rest of the team, they were all talking about what they were going to do for Christmas, even Ziva, who had been invited to Abby's to spend the holiday with her family. Tony really wanted to get up and leave but he plastered his famous grin on his face and joined in when asked what he was doing. He made up a great tale about going out with a particular female friend and left the rest to their imaginations. McGee groaned and Ziva gave him a look. The look Gibbs gave him was unusual. He looked back to him and said," You're only young once Boss."
"I know," Gibbs replied. "And some of us are younger than we say." Tony went red as the others laughed.
They all started to pack up and began wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. Tony was surprised to find Gibbs watching him closely. He turned to look at him," Have I done something to annoy you Boss?"
"What could that be?" Gibbs asked.
"I don't know."
"What are you really doing for Christmas?" Gibbs asked.
Tony stared at him. "I already said."
"This is me DiNozzo. No one else is here to hear you."
No way was Tony telling Gibbs that he was spending Christmas on his own. He smiled again," I'll see if my friend has a friend for you, if you want," he said waggling his eyebrows at Gibbs.
Gibbs glared at him and Tony lost his smile. "I don't like it when you lie to me," he said. "I don't care what you tell the others, just don't do it to me."
He saw Tony look down. His face was much more open when he looked back up. "I'm spending it in my apartment. Okay?" he challenged.
"No it's not. Be at my house 1800 hours tonight, bring an bag with enough clothes for 4 days."
"You getting deaf, DiNozzo."
"No Boss. Where are we going?"
"My Dad's. He's invited us for Christmas."
"Us?" he asked.
"Yes, seems he took a shine to you when he met you. Don't ask me why." Gibbs could have bitten his tongue off when he saw Tony's look change to one of sadness. He had meant it as a joke. "D..."
"Give my apologies to your father. I won't be coming." Tony picked up his back pack to leave.
A hand grabbed his arm. "I didn't mean that Tony. He wants to see you." Tony's expression hadn't changed so he added," So do I."
Tony's mouth fell open. "You feeling alright Boss. You don't sound like you." A light slap hit his head. "Sorry."
"My place 1800. Don't be late. You don't want me to have to come looking for you."
"You'd be the first," he heard Tony say under his breath.
Tony sat on his sofa, the unpacked bag beside him. He felt stupid now, Gibbs couldn't have meant it, he was just taking pity on him. The best thing to do would be just to not turn up. He made some coffee and sat down. He put the TV on. There was an old black and white movie on.
He woke up to pounding on his door. He looked up at the clock, it was half past six. Damn! "DiNozzo, I know you're in there, open this damn door."
Tony jumped up and made for the door. He stopped suddenly. If he just stood there and didn't answer it Gibbs would go. There was one more knock and then he heard a key turning in the lock. He'd forgotten Gibbs had a key to his apartment. He took a deep breath as Gibbs opened the door. "Are you trying to annoy me?" he asked stepping in.
"I changed my mind," Tony said.
"Too late." Seeing the bag on the sofa he said," Pack your clothes." Tony shook his head. "Or I will and you might not like my choice."
Tony turned to get his bag and just as he was leaning over the back of the sofa to grab it a hand went to his back holding him in place. "Let me go," he said squirming to get free. A hand delivered four searing swats to his backside before letting him go. He shot to his feet his hands going back to protect his backside from further swats. "You... you..," he spluttered.
"And there could be more if you defy me again. I'll meet you downstairs in five minutes." Gibbs walked out.
Tony looked at the door, he couldn't believe what Gibbs had done. Head slaps were normal. He heard a horn and realised he hadn't even begun to pack. He grabbed some clothes and put them in his bag. He was in the car in five minutes.
He wriggled trying to get comfortable. Those four swats had hurt. "Sit still, it's your own fault. If you'd done as you were told you wouldn't be sore." Tony stopped not wanting to annoy the older man any more than he already had.
They drove in silence for about half an hour. "You hungry?"
"No, I'm fine."
"Tony!" the word held a warning. "Did you have anything when you got home?"
"No but I'm fine." Gibbs' hand hit the steering wheel.
"We'll stop at the next town and get something." Tony looked at Gibbs as he drove. "Something wrong?"
Tony went red, "Nothing. I just... I don't understand."
"Why'd you invite me?"
Gibbs gritted his teeth angry at the man who had made Tony like this. He tried to answer as patiently as he could and not let the anger show, worried that Tony would think it was directed at him. "Because I wanted to."
Tony didn't know what to say. Gibbs turned the car off the road and stopped in front of a small cafe. "This is a good place to eat. Come on, my treat."
They walked in and sat at a small table. A small elderly woman came over. "What would you like?" she asked smiling.
"I'll have a steak and a coffee," Gibbs said. "Tony?"
"I'm not really..."
"He'll have the same. And a piece of pie each as well," Gibbs added.
The woman brought their coffee over. "Now you do as your dad says, you're far too thin to be missing out meals." Tony waited for Gibbs to contradict her but he just lifted up his cup and drank.
Tony didn't know what to say. He looked at Gibbs. "Why didn't you correct her?" he asked in a puzzled voice.
"Maybe I liked her thinking we were father and son, ever thought of that."
"You didn't like it? I can call her back and tell her if you want."
"No, it's just I was surprised. Why would you want me?"
Gibbs held the cup in a death grip wishing it was DiNozzo senior's neck. "Because I would be so proud to have a son like you."
Tony's mouth fell open. He couldn't believe it. "You would?"
"Damn right I would. I should have said this a long time ago. In all but name you are my son and I would be honoured if you would call me Dad." Tony blinked and his mouth open and closed. He didn't know what to say. "Well?"
"I ... But..."
"For a man who can talk the hind legs off a donkey you seem stuck for words. It's a simple question, all you need to say is yes or no."
"Yes!" Tony almost shouted.
"Good." The woman came back and set their food in front of them. "Now eat up. Your Grandpa is waiting for us."