A/N: This is a song!fic. The song is Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now". I don't know what happened. I had a bad week (try bad year, so far), and my brain was probably looking for an outlet. I don't normally listen to country, so I totally blame my brother for allowing me to hear this song, which spawned the plot bunny that held me at gunpoint to write this.

Tony entered his quarters well after midnight. As far as he knew, they're currently floating somewhere in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico – it's hard to know for sure. The door was shut and locked behind him out of habit rather than conscious awareness of safety. Not like anything would happen on a boat like this, but it's better safe than sorry. Being the only cop on board a floating city of five thousand had its own share of quirks.

He was dead on his feet, and he ached all over after spending the day chasing and wrestling a bunch of high and drunk sailors all over the ship for disorderly behaviour. The kid and his friends had smuggled some good stuff on board when they had their last shore leave in Puerto Rico, but apparently they didn't know how strong the stuff was, or what their limits were. All Tony wanted to do at this very moment was to grab a hot shower and sleep until Kingdom come. Except that's not possible, and he knew sleep would probably never come anyways, even if he had to go on shift again in less than six hours.

He stumbled back into his room and onto his bed after a quick shower, his thoughts wondered back to the day before. McGee had needed help hacking into the Pentagon, and he was the only one with the kind of secure terminal around to do the job. That was the first time he'd actually 'seen' Gibbs in those four months as agent afloat.

Four long, agonizing, lonely months.

They'd talked, very occasionally, when he was on shore leave at some tropical destination that no longer held its appeal to him, or when he managed to convince the CO to let him use the comm to 'call home', but it just wasn't the same. They couldn't talk like they do at home. He couldn't say he missed the older man, couldn't tell him he loved him. He couldn't even give any indication that they were anything more than 'just friends'.

He was sure that it was really punishment, even if it looked like a promotion on paper.

He turned over on the bed, and flopped over the side of it to reach into the bedside compartment. He knew about the kid and his stash because, well, he'd gotten some as well that last time. The badly distilled rum was nothing compared to the Macallan 25 year old he'd left in D.C., but it would have to do.

He wasn't the sort to turn to alcohol; he'd seen his father held prisoner by the spirits to swear never to follow in his father's footsteps. But some nights, alone and jaded in that metal box, it got to be so much that he would drink until he couldn't feel, and sobbed into his pillow, cursing, screaming silently because his heart ached from the longing for the older man's touch.

A cashbox fell out of the cupboard with a 'clank' as he rummaged to find that bottle of rum.

Picture perfect memories, scattered all around the floor.
Reaching for the phone cause, I can't fight it anymore.

Tony picked up the small cashbox, and pulled out a small key that hung from the ball chain he wore around his neck. Opening it, a small smile found its way to the corner of his lips. Right there on the top of the pile of knickknacks, was a stack of pictures. Pictures of him, younger and now; of the team, random snapshots of them having fun, enjoying life; of those he'd lost over the years – Pacci, Paula, Kate; of the distant memories of college and sports… He looked at the pictures as he drank straight from the bottle.

And I wonder if I ever cross your mind.
For me it happens all the time.

And, of Gibbs. He pulled out the one of Gibbs standing right beside him, kissing him at the corner of his lips. Abby had taken that picture, catching both of them off guard. He closed his eyes, imagining that he was home with his lover, imagining the older man kissing him to within an inch of his life.

He wondered what Gibbs was doing right now.

Would he miss Tony like Tony missed him? Did he imagine hearing Tony's voice when he's alone?

Did his heart ache when he thought of Tony?

A quick look at his watch told him it was 0115. He brought the picture up for a small kiss, then put everything back into the cashbox and locked it, stuffing it back into the cupboard along with the bottle.

It's a quarter after one, I'm all alone and I need you now.

Tony sometime wished that his days onboard were busier. That way he won't have time to think about all the things he had had to leave behind. That way he won't be constantly thinking about Gibbs – about how the older man loved to surprise him with kisses at home, about the sound of Gibbs murmuring sweet nothings into his ears when they cuddled on the couch just enjoying togetherness, about the way those taut muscles moved above him as they brought each other to completion.

Said I wouldn't call, but I lost all control and I need you now.

His hand slowly snaked into the sweat pants he'd pulled on after the shower. He stroked himself, trying desperately to pretend that it was his lover's hand. He tried to recall the husky voice and the jagged breathing and the scent of his lover's arousal as his own heat built slowly before erupting.

And I don't know how I can do without, I just need you now.

Lying there, spent and sweaty and short of breath, Tony suddenly felt cold. He curled up on the bed, biting his lips and shivering as he fought back the tears that threaten to fall.

God Jethro, I need you so much right now it hurts.

The bottle of bourbon on the workbench was less than half empty. Gibbs sat slumped against his boat. He eyed the empty jar in his hand, and got up to pour another finger into it. Sitting back down on the floor, he looked up and sighed before gulping down the drink, feeling it scorch a path down to his stomach, welcoming the burn; it hurt less than the loneliness and emptiness he was feeling the last four months.

Had it only been four months? It felt much longer than that.

Another shot of whiskey, can't stop looking at the door.
Wishing you'd come sweeping in the way you did before.

He was staring into nowhere in particular when he thought he heard a noise at the door.

"Tony?" He snapped his head around to the stairs, but there wasn't anyone there.

He forgot. Tony was still afloat on the Seahawk. He kept expecting Tony to walk through the door, pizza in one hand, six-pack of beer in the other.

Hey Boss, Tony would yell down from the landing. I brought dinner, but you'll have to come upstairs to get it. I don't care how nice it smells on you, I refuse to eat sawdust.

He was slowly going insane. He was sure of it. When he was at home, he couldn't even work on his boat anymore because his attention kept wondering off. He'd hear the voice of his lover all over his house – of him spouting movie trivia, of him whispering dirty things to his ears, of him saying those three little words like some magical spell after being fucked through the mattress.

He wasn't sleeping anymore either. Most of his nights he lay there, tired but wide awake. Or he'd drop off only to wake a couple of hours later from nightmares, all of which involved Tony getting hurt or maimed in some way. It'd gotten worse than when he'd lost his girls. Back then he could still sleep through some nights if he was down with the boat. Now, it was just a series of naps supplemented by excessive amounts of caffeine.

How the hell did he even get through the past four months?

Now that he thought of it, he didn't remember much about the past four months. He had at some point overheard someone said that he's gotten a lot more 'grouchy' and his new probies had been terrified of him from the get-go. Abby had been angry with him for the past three weeks for yelling at her and not bringing Tony home. He'd thrown himself into the job, working crazy hours that had Abby and Ducky gang up on him to force an intervention. Now that Ziva and McGee were back, his mood had actually gotten worse, since their presence had became stark contrast to the marked absence of Tony.

The only moments of clarity had been those few days when he got a call from Tony. They'd be docked, or he'd be on shore leave, or he'd charm the CO into some comm time, and he'd call Gibbs. They didn't really talk much about anything more than making sure each other was ok. Not like they can have any sort of proper conversation under those kinds of conditions anyways.

And I wonder if I ever cross your mind.
For me it happens all the time.

He thought back to the day before. He almost lost it when he saw Tony's face, all grainy and pixel-ly on the big screen in MTAC. Years of training and self-restraint born out of being a Marine was the only thing stopping him from breaking down right then and there in MTAC.

God he missed Tony. Missed him so much it hurt to think about the coming days.

He wondered what Tony was doing right now.

Would he miss Gibbs like Gibbs missed him? Were his nights just a restless as Gibbs' own?

Did it hurt this much when he thought about Gibbs?

Instead of pouring himself another shot of bourbon, he took the bottle and took a swig directly. The burn stung his eyes.

It's a quarter after one, I'm a little drunk, and I need you now.

He leaned his head back, teeth clenched, eyes closed, tears streaming down his face and he was helpless to stop them. He let out a straining cry that sounded like some wounded predator. He was so angry. Angry at Vance, angry at the circumstances, angry at himself. He wanted to punch someone, something, anything; he wanted to feel pain on his body so that it might block out the hurt in his heart.

Said I wouldn't call but I lost all control and I need you now.

He just wanted – no, needed – Tony back. Needed to see that brilliant smile that put the Mexican sun to shame. Needed to feel his lover's smooth tanned skin under his palms as they explored each other's body. Needed to wake up next to him, warm, content and happy. Needed Tony to watch his six when they head into whatever danger that awaited them at the next turn.

And I don't know how I can do without, I just need you now.

He needed Tony safe in his arms so he could tell him how much he loved him. Was that too much to ask?

He brought up a hand to rub his tired eyes.

God Tony, I need you so much right now it hurts.

It hurt like hell. Being this far apart for months with no means of saying to each other those three small words.

Yes I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all.

Despite all the hurt, they both knew in their desperate, aching hearts that they would never give up on them.

Never. Not for anything in this world.

And that would have to do. For now.