Title: Friday's Child
Warnings: Some mild profanity. Gibbs swears out loud and in his mind.
Characters: Gibbs and Tony
Summary: 'When, Tony sleeps over at Gibbs house, he dreams. Most of them are unpleasant.' A look at the friday night of our two favorite boys. Shameless Fluff, H/C, and of course Father/Son.
AN: This sappy little number is, essentially, a bribe, e-mailed to my beta with a "Here's some fluff, now will you please read the other one?" So if you're planning on reading The Gap Theorem, read that one first, and then come cheer yourself up with the ridiculously warm fuzzies that are the entirety of this Fan-fiction.
Disclaimer: If I owned NCIS, you'd know it.
Shout out to my beta, emily_sigerson , found on livejournal. This one's for you. Thank you for always being there, especially to catch epically embarrassing mistakes like 'espisode.' Next time I want a Fic done I promise not to creepy on you so much. :)
Fight the Power and Enjoy the Fluff!
Most times, when he sleeps under your roof, Tony dreams.
Not all of them are pleasant. That us to say almost all of them aren't, at least the ones that you've been witness to.
It's not that the only time DiNozzo comes to your place is to haunt your basement steps like he does when he's troubled. He comes for casual visits too, though more often than not you're forced to drag him. DiNozzo has never been taught that a parent should come with a home you're always welcome back to, and the way things are looking it'll take a while to undo all the damage that's been done to him. You sure as hell aren't daunted; you figure that if God didn't want you to be stubborn, then he wouldn't have made you that way.
On a typical evening, things start off with a gruff "1830, DiNozzo" at the end of a workday, or even better, a simple "You're with me, DiNozzo."
Depending on how much he thinks riding with you to your house will inconvenience you, you wrestle him into the truck with minimal effort. The drive is spent in companionable silence, mostly, the way you both like it.
Once you reach the house, Tony's damn overgrown and distorted sense of courtesy causes you to squabble ritualistically over who is actually doing the cooking, before you come to the usual realization that you can split the work fifty-fifty and still come out with something edible at the end. You like cooking with Tony. If he's in an especially good mood, he's bold enough to teach you all kinds of tricks that he learned from the housekeepers and kitchen staff as a kid. If he's really, truly, blissfully relaxed, you get authentic Italian. You've come to love homemade pasta and cannolis for more than just the taste.
After dinner you take him down to your basement, where you argue once again. DiNozzo has some bull idea about not being worthy enough to work on the boat ("What if I break something, Boss?") and you think he'd make a ton of a lot more sense after he's had a damned lathe thrown at his head and 'do ya wanna test that theory out, DiNozzo?'
He shuts up real quick after that.
He's a good craftsman, despite what he might think, and the wood gleams under his hands. Sometimes, his quiet excitement reminds you of another helper, one with red hair and a princess hat. This is when you take him to a different part of the boat, and teach him something new, your hands warm in his to guide and teach.
You usually work pretty late, talking, and even (you will admit it) laughing together. Of course there's bourbon. You share your mug because "I don't want to go and get a cup, DiNozzo. Just drink." Depending on how much he does, Tony's eyes are at half mast by 2400.
Thus begins your final argument of the day. The damn fool thinks that taking the couch instead of the 'guest room' will somehow make him less of a 'burden' to you, even though the damn thing is his anyway. Over the past two an a half years, you've been quietly taking things from his apartment, so that now the room is full of his books, clothes and DVDs. You've even invested in those t-shirt material sheets that he likes, and your next step will be to hang up some very pointed pictures of him and the team at the navy yard. The only way you could get more obvious would be to carve out some of those tacky wooden letters that Kelly liked to paint and spell out 'DiNozzo's Room' on the door.
"I bet you just washed the sheets, Boss." He'll tell you. "I don't want to inconvenience you. The couch is-"
You let your hand tell the back of his head exactly what you think of that notion.
"-Not where I'm sleeping. Got it, Boss."
You give him a gentle nudge toward the staircase, and follow him up. His steps are slow and careful because he's tired from the exhausting week you've put him through. Luckily for both of you, it doesn't take long to reach the second door on the left. He doesn't bother with the lights, just collapses on his bed with a contented sigh, still awake but too tired to do anything more.
You take off his shoes and dress shirt, setting them in a pile to go into your hamper, along with his slacks. After the first couple of nights you've gotten into the habit of turning down the covers whenever you intend to have him over, so it's easy to get him under them. You pull the blankets over him, and tuck him in. If he were more lucid he'd probably be embarrassed by this, stupid kid, but as it is he just gives another one of those soft sighs.
"Good night, Tony." You tell him from the doorway. And then, so soft that not even you can hear it, you lower your voice to a whisper. "Love ya, kid."
You only go into your room for as long as it takes him to fall completely asleep, then you get up to stand in the hallway. Because most times when Tony sleeps under your roof, he dreams. And they're not pleasant.
He does it quietly, most of the time. He never yells, just whispers, and tosses and turns so quietly that if you stayed in your room you never would hear it. Thinking about why makes you want to punch something hard. (Or better yet, punch someone.) The one thing you never do, though, is go in and wake him up. You sit in the hall in agony and wait for it to end. Your heart clenches when it does and Tony has to wake up alone. You want to go in, want to help him, but you're so afraid that you'll scare him away that you don't try.
Tonight is different. Tonight you spent all your time in the basement teaching him something new just for an excuse to touch him, and your "I Love ya" was a little louder. That's because today you damn near lost him. You couldn't admit to Kate that you were worried when you saw his phone lying on the pavement near that godawful bar, but you can admit it to yourself. That crazy woman could have shot him, and that's a nightmare that's far too close to reality for your tastes.
Tonight is different because you're ready to take your chances.
"No." Tony breathes. "Please. Just let us out. Just please let me out."
"Tony." You hiss. "DiNozzo, wake up."
All he does is moan, tossing violently. "Please."
You reach out to touch him, and it all goes FUBAR.
He jolts awake before you even hit his skin, scrambling away from you with a startled yell. There's a heavy thump that you think might have been him hitting his head on something, so you switch on the bedside light.
You're greeted with Tony's Sig pointed at your heart (impressive that he has good enough hearing to target you so exactly in the dark), the agent it belongs to shaking and sweating, hard green gaze a mixture of defiant and terrified. Until he realizes just who he's pointing his gun at. Then the shame and embarrassment bleed in.
"Sorry boss." He mutters, looking away and desperately wiping at his eyes. He sets his gun down. "Didn't mean to snap at you like that."
"I tried to shake a highly trained marksman having a nightmare, Tony. It's my own damn fault if I get a gun in my face."
He winces at that, and says sorry, again. "Didn't mean to sweat all over your sheets. God, I must look like a girl."
He gives a watery chuckle at that. He expects you to laugh with him.
"You look like you need a hug, Tony." You tell him truthfully, and now he's the one laughing. He stops when he realizes that you weren't joking.
Wide eyed, he watches you as you plop down on the bed next to him, and wrap your arms around him. You situate the both of you so all of your joints stop complaining and his spiky haired head is tucked under your chin.
He's extremely tense, and you wonder if he's ever been hugged before, by anyone other than Abby. You don't think it's likely, especially when he begins to wriggle and announces. "I'm fine now, Boss. You can let me go now, if you want."
"I don't." You tighten your hold to let him know that he's not going anywhere, and he gets the message and settles against you. "Atta boy. Now Talk."
"Did that sound like a suggestion to you, Tony?" You demand, before you gentle your tone. "You've had a hell of a day, son. I'd have nightmares too. I want to hear about it."
He takes a deep, shuddering breath. "I was in the sewers. I'd been there for days, and I was sore all over and starving. I was a kid again, dressed in one of those godawful fancy suits my Dad would make me wear to formal dinners and stuff.
"Was Atlas there?" You prompt, rubbing his back. You haven't forgotten about the 'us.'
"No." He chokes. "No. It was me and… me and my mom."
Aw hell, DiNozzo.
"It was my dad that was keeping us there, and he wouldn't let us leave. I finally managed to get us out, and we were almost to the gutter, but he found us just like she did. My mom was so weak, I set her down. He pointed a gun at us. I begged him and begged him, but he shot her… there was blood everywhere… she was screaming so loud…"
He can't talk after that. He starts to cry silently, and you shake your head. "Let it out, Tony."
"Boss, I can't!"
"Yes you can. Let it out."
Never one to disobey a direct order, he does.
You wake up in the morning with a crick in your neck and an armful of DiNozzo. For the first time that you can remember, he's actually managed to get back to sleep. He sleeps soundly, the smile on his face a sharp contrast to the tear tracks on his face.
You expect him to wake up when you do, since his ear is right on your heart, but he just stirs for a moment and settles back down, a sign of total trust. You grin, widely, and since he's not awake, kiss his head and ruffle his hair. You really want to cheer, a nice loud Hoo-rah, but you settle for a quiet but audible "I love ya, Tony" instead.
Thank you for the time to invested in reading this work. If you have anything to let me know, you can do so in a review or on my profile page. Happy Easter, everyone!