A/N: I know I know, I'm so sorry, I don't know what happened. I was supposed to post yesterday, but for some reason I just didn't seem to be able to get this chapter written and it took me this long to get it out of my head and onto the computer. But I hope you'll enjoy the chapter none the less. Thank you to everyone who reviewed, put this fic on alert or to their favorite list. I'm so happy this story got so many readers and currently this fic has gotten more reviews than any of my other fics! So thank you to everyone you guys are the best! Now to the last chapter:
Getting out of the hospital felt like being released from prison to Tony and as he stepped into the bright afternoon he made a show of taking a deep breath and exhaling as loudly as he could.
"Ah, sweet freedom." He looked to the right to see the amused eyes of Gibbs looking at him and the weight of the hand at the small of his back urged him to move forward towards the car he could see parked a few spaces away.
"You were there for a day and already DiNozzo. It couldn't have been that bad for you."
Tony just scoffed at that as Gibbs steered him to the passenger's side of the older man's car and despite the Italian's protest, bend down to buckle him in before going to the other side of the vehicle.
They drove in silence towards Gibbs' house as Tony dozed lightly the whole way there and the other man flicked glances at him as if to make sure he was really there. The doctor had given the all clear for Tony to since he'd managed to eat both lunch and a light snack. The younger man still needed rest for his body to recover from the abuse it had been taking, and he needed to take his antibiotics to make sure he didn't develop a chest infection, but those things didn't require a prolonged hospital stay.
Once at the house, Gibbs killed the engine and rounded the car before carefully shaking the younger man's shoulder to rouse him.
"Tony we're here."
The younger man opened his eyes and blearily looked around to determine where exactly was 'here'. Once he realized they had reached the older man's home he couldn't help the goofy grin spreading across his face before censure kicked in an he smiled sheepishly up at the other man who had his eyebrow quirked in amusement.
Tony cleared his throat and levered himself up, the grin threatening to break out again when he felt Gibbs place a guiding hand again at the small of his back.
The two men made their way inside and into the kitchen where Tony dropped to sit it one of the kitchen chairs while Gibbs loaded the coffee machine and leaned on the counter to wait for it to percolate.
"You want something to drink?" The one restriction the doctor had set for Tony was that he wasn't allowed coffee for the rest of the day and he'd also pressed the importance that Tony would need to drink plenty and eat regular meals so Gibbs had gone to the store earlier to stock up his fridge with different kind of juices and healthy foods along with a few of the junk food snacks the younger man enjoyed so much.
"Not right now thanks." Gibbs nodded his head, not really pleased by the answer but willing to let it go for now. He'd just have to ask again in an hour or so.
Neither man really knew what to do at the moment. They didn't need to go to work before Monday and Tony was feeling good enough that he wasn't bound to bed all the time, even if the headache still lingered and he needed to rest more than usual.
Once the coffee was done Gibbs took a cup and filled it with the hot liquid before turning to his companion.
"Wanna help me with the boat?" Tony looked sceptically at the older man at the offer, but upon finding the older man standing there with an expectant expression he shrugged his shoulder and stood up to follow the other man into the basement.
Gibbs had obviously made a lot of progress on the boat since the last time Tony had laid his eyes on the creation and he took a few minutes just to circle the thing and look it over, he took in the smooth surface of the bottom and wondered what Gibbs wanted him to do since the boat looked pretty finished to him.
As if reading his mind the older man walked over to him and wrapped his arms around him from behind, startling the younger man, and answered the silent question. "It still has some rough patches that need to be smoothed before coating the surface."
To demonstrate his point he casually took one of Tony's hands in his and ran the fingertips over a particularly rough spot, smiling as he felt the shiver that ran up the younger man's spine. He reach to the side to pick up a piece of sanding paper which he handed to the younger man.
"Get to work Tony." Gibbs noticed the light flush on the younger man's face and he was quite certain it had nothing to do with having a temperature or anything like that, but to be on the same side he pressed his lips to the younger man's forehead to check anyway. The way the flush deepened at the contact made cemented the fact that it was this new found closeness that was affecting the young man.
Deciding to not push too much he retreated to the other side of the boat and found a spot for himself to work on.
Tony liked the quiet companionship as they worked on the boat together and with a start he realized that he could get used to this. It was less than a day since they'd decided to give a relationship a go, but he already found that he was completely at ease with the older man and somehow the way Gibbs had let him into his basement to work with him on something so important to him, it gave him confidence that they might actually make this work.
After an hour of working in silence Gibbs threw Tony a look that told him to keep working while he himself ran upstairs.
The younger man looked puzzled as he tried to figure out where Gibbs had run off to, but it took only a few minutes for him to return and the meaning behind his departure came clear. As the older man neared him holding a glass of what looked like juice held in his hand, which he offered to his companion with a pointed look, Tony felt a warm feeling settle inside of him at the simple gesture that told him just how much Gibbs cared about his health even off the job.
He took the glass of juice without even thinking of protesting and under the ex-marines watchful eyes drained half of the glass, realizing that he actually was thirsty. The next gesture wasn't as well received as Gibbs pulled his other hand from behind his back and Tony saw the two small pills nestled in the middle.
"Do I really have to? I'm not even coughing." Gibbs just raised his brow at the whining man in front of him and after glaring mutinously at the unmoving figure Tony sighed and took the pills and swallowed them with the rest of his drink.
"There, you happy now?" He asked pouting slightly as he put the empty glass down on a nearby work bench before turning back to the older man.
"No, I'll be happy when you won't have to take the pills anymore."
Tony looked at the serious expression on the other man's face and he bit his lip lightly before deciding he didn't like the worried look in the older man's eyes so he took a step forward and hesitantly pressed his lips to Gibbs'. As soon as their lips touched the older man wrapped his arm around Tony's waist and pulled him closer and smiled against the soft lips.
When the two men pulled apart Tony looked at the blue eyes and leaned into the hand that rose to cup his cheek. He saw the smug look on the older man's smiling face and he rested his forehead against the other man's.
"You played me didn't you?" Tony didn't sound offended by the prospect, but sighed dramatically which only caused Gibbs to smiled more widely which was a good look on the older man.
"Maybe. You got a problem with that?" Gibbs challenged lightly.
"Not at all Boss." feeling more daring Tony pressed another kiss to the older man's lips before pulling back and yawning widely.
"I think someone's ready for a nap." Gibbs teased him as he pulled the younger man into a tighter embrace, reveling in the fact that he was able to do so. "And you do realize you can call me Jethro when we're alone like this?"
"On it, Jethro." Tony grinned as he said the name and Jethro almost groaned as he realized that now the other man would make it his mission to find him some more fitting nick name. But startlingly he found that he was looking forward to it as he was looking forward to all the things he and Tony get to experience together now that they were in a relationship.
The two men went upstairs where Tony made his way into the guest bedroom without protest to take a nap since he was feeling a bit tired. Gibbs watched him go before making his way to the den where he pulled out his cellphone and made a few calls about the faith of Ziva. Once that was taken care of he made his way upstairs to check on his partner.
He smiled slightly as he saw the younger man doze on the big guest bed, he wanted to just hold the younger man and make all the doubts that were still plaguing the Italian's mind go away. After watching the younger man shift restlessly a few times he decided to do just that and carefully climbed into the bed beside the younger man.
He lay on his side, pondering the wisdom of his actions since he wasn't sure how Tony would feel about him pushing their relationship, even if this was about being close and there was nothing sexual about getting into bed with the other man. His silent musings were answered when Tony turned to look at him through half closed eyes and with a content sigh curled up next to the older man with his hands balled into Jethro's shirt.
Gibbs wrapped his arms around the other man and pulled him closer. This felt right and was what Gibbs had been yearning for, but unable to get for so long. His relationship with Ziva wasn't bad really, but there wasn't this kind of closeness with her. With Tony it felt natural to show his more tender side and he could just enjoy the physical contact without there being any pressure of having to go further.
Jethro looked down at Tony's peaceful face and saw the happiness and contentment there, it made him hope that the younger man was really starting to get it and could let go of some of his insecurities.
Both men were at peace lying there together, they knew they would have to work hard for their relationship but neither man had any doubt it would be worth it. They had all the time they needed, right now they dozed in each others arms and the rest could wait until later.
Short Epilogue (aka: what about Ziva?):
The day couldn't get any worse.
She and McGee had just gotten their perp interrogated and were writing their reports when Ducky had walked into the bullpen to fill them in on the events of the previous day and the fact that Tony had ended up in the hospital.
The news had made Ziva feel more guilty about the way she had been treating Tony since she never wanted the man to get sick enough to require hospital stay. Tim had thrown her an accusing glance and she really couldn't blame him since the only thing she'd told him when asked why the two men weren't at work she'd answered with a cross "They're taking the day off."
She also hadn't missed the look the usually mild mannered ME send her way and it made her think that maybe it would be wisest to transfer to another team.
She had tuned out the conversation Ducky and Tim were having about Tony's condition since she didn't need to know any more than she already did.
Once Ducky had left the bullpen McGee kept throwing glances at her which she found terribly annoying but had tried her best to ignore.
And now she stood on the balcony next to the directors office and looked down at the bullpen. Turns out she doesn't need to think about a transfer as Vance had called her up to tell her that her father had requested her to be sent back to Israel and her position in NCIS would be terminated immediately. She would be required to fly back home in a few days, which left her just enough time to pack her things.
She wasn't really angry at being sent back to Israel since in a way she did miss home and she did want a chance to fix things with her father, though she wasn't really looking forward to leaving NCIS and USA. She had learned to love the strange country and enjoyed her work at NCIS. She couldn't quite wrap her mind around the fact that obviously Gibbs had pulled some strings to get her sent back and she did feel betrayed because of that.
Obviously she'd underestimated Gibbs' feelings for Tony and what he was willing to do for him. But even if she was feeling betrayed she wasn't really surprised, she'd known that the Italian wouldn't be able to trust her like before all this and so one of them would have to go, the fact that it was her did hurt, but again she had somehow expected it.
She looked down at the bullpen and saw Abby talking animatedly to Tim, obviously angry about something and the glances towards her empty desk told her exactly what or more accurately who that was. Obviously Abby knew the whole story as well and was sharing the details with her friend. As she saw just how angry and upset the Goth was and how the same feelings were written on Tim's face as well she couldn't help but think what the two were scheming as a pay back for her hurting their friend.
She knew she wasn't supposed to be intimidated by anything, but the more she watched Abby and Tim interact the more she started to think all the ways those two could make her life difficult.
Maybe she was safer going back to Israel.
She wasn't sure how to feel about the relief that thought brought her.
Hope you guys liked the chappie, I wasn't sure whether to add the epilogue or not, but decided I needed to let you know what happens to Ziva.