A/N: Okay so this fic is a sequel to 'Everytime we hurt is anytime we love', which is a song fic and should probably be read prior to this one, but I do think you can figure things out even if you haven't read that one. The pairing is Tony/Gibbs and this fic is slash, but there is nothing graphic or anything like that. The reason why I'm posting this is because some of the readers of the first fic wished for continuation and I really really need some cheering up and usually posting fanfics make me feel better especially when it's me questioning my writing abilities that has me feeling down. But anyways I hope you enjoy the fic :)
Gibbs swirled the bourbon in his glass as he stared at the half finished boat dominating his basement.
Usually he would be engrossed in trying to finish the thing, but tonight working the wood held no appeal so he just sat on the work bench and let his mind wander even if he knew that it would lead to a very dangerous subject.
Just the simple thought of the younger man caused images and feelings come unheeded to his mind and fill it with bittersweet memories. Memories of the two of them together in the very basement he was now sitting in, of the two making out against the boat that had been a mere frame at the time and finally memories of the night when it all fell apart.
Gibbs took a long drink and wished that the burn of the liquor would erase the image of Tony lying in bed with someone else.
If he was completely honest with himself, everything hadn't been exactly a walk in the park until then either, but he didn't want to think about that because then he might be forced to admit that not all the blame for their down fall lay solely on the Italian's shoulders. Unfortunately once the thought entered his traitorous mind, there was no way to stop the idea from escalating.
It was true that Tony had slept with someone else and that had been the final nail in the coffin of their relationship, but what led to the coffin being built in the first place? Or better yet what were the nails that had sealed the box so that one more nail had lead to their suffocation?
With a star he realized where it all went wrong.
He head slapped himself with his free hand as he cursed every bastardy bone in his body that was held together by his stubbornness. His ex-wife should have hit him a bit harder on the head with the golf club and maybe he would have learned a thing or two about the fine art of communication.
He'd been afraid of how important Tony had become to him and how much he didn't want to screw up the relationship and more than once he swore he saw the same emotions reflect in the other man's eyes, but Tony never brought it up.
And neither had he.
Instead he'd gone to a friend and talked to her about it, more than once he'd spent time with Mary talking about Tony and how he felt. She had encouraged him to open up to his lover, but he hadn't, he didn't even tell Tony anything about Mary and how close a friend she was to him.
No wonder Tony had thought the wrong this when he saw the two of them together and in a what would seem like an intimate situation.
But Tony should have talked to him about his suspicions, should have trusted him enough to talk to him about his fears and feelings.
Just like I should have done
Jethro hung his head as he realized that he couldn't expect that from the younger man when he hadn't done it either.
He felt unexpected anger flare up inside of him and with a roar he threw his now empty glass against the far wall of the basement.
The explosion of the shards didn't make him feel any better, on the contrary it made him regret losing his temper like that. Luckily there had been no one to see it.
"Now I know why I never could find matching glasses in your house."
The voice startled him and made his heart beat faster as he turned around to see Tony standing at the stairs.
He took his time looking at the younger man, he took in the bags under his bloodshot eyes and sighed heavily before standing up and making his way to the boat with a piece of a sanding paper and getting to work just to give his hands something to do.
He knew Tony had been drinking a lot since their break up but since it didn't affect the younger man's work he hadn't said anything about his chosen coping mechanism, he was just glad that DiNozzo hadn't gone down the same road that he had, pretending that he could replace the lost relationship with someone else hadn't worked for him and he really didn't know if he could have watched Tony with another man or a woman.
"What're you doing here DiNozzo? Shouldn't you be out clubbing and finding a young piece of ass to pass your time with?" He knew it had been a low blow fueled by his misplaced anger and the though of Tony being with someone else and from the sharp intake of breath from behind him he knew he'd scored a direct hit. The thought of how far they'd sunk made him feel hollow inside.
He listened for any sounds of movement and as he heard nothing Gibbs started to wonder if he was alone after all.
A glance back showed that Tony was indeed standing on the same spot he had been since he spoke and his heart clenched as he saw the pain that was clearly written all over the younger man's face.
"I don't-" The younger man started but stopped and bit his lips as he thought of how stupid it had been to even come to the older man's house when he didn't even know himself what he hoped to gain from it.
"You're right I shouldn't be here." Tony turned and saw his vision getting blurry as unwanted tears made the world before him swim.
Gibbs sighed again at the thick quality in the younger man's voice. They couldn't go on like this, neither of them were really coping with the situation and he honestly didn't know how long the younger man could keep everything together at work when he used all his free time drinking himself to oblivion.
"DiNozzo." He barked and he felt a tiny flicker of satisfaction as the command in his tone made the younger man stop in his tracks and straighten his back.
"Why did you come here tonight?" He watched as the younger man contemplated his options and his shoulders slumped slightly as he turned to look at the older man and answered with raw honesty.
"I don't know."
The two men just stood in the silence that followed the statement and nothing moved until Gibbs made a gesture with his head fro the younger man to come downstairs.
Tony slowly made his way down and sat on the second lowest step and let his legs stretch out in front of him.
"I really don't know Gibbs. I just-" He gathered his thoughts before continuing "I can't keep doing this anymore. I'm not asking you to take me back and forgive me, I'm not. But I don't know how to move on from this and seeing you everyday and not being able to-" He ran an angry hand through his hair, this was his mess and he shouldn't pour too much of it onto Gibbs.
"You know what, I've managed for the past two months, I'll figure something out." He said with confidence he didn't feel and stood up in preparation of leaving.
Gibbs wasn't sure which of them the younger man was trying to convince but he knew it wasn't working. He made a snap decision and hoped like hell he could follow through with his chosen course of action.
"What if I want you to ask?"
Tony froze and looked at the other man with wide eyes.
"You want me to ask-"
"Me to forgive you and take you back. Would you ask if I wanted you to?" Gibbs looked closely at the other man's expression and he knew what the answer was from the sad little smile that didn't reach Tony's eyes.
"No." Gibbs nodded and turned back to the boat to hide how much the rejection hurt him.
"It wouldn't be right Gibbs. You're could never forgive me what I did and it wouldn't be fair to you to ask you to take me back when all the problems that caused us to crash and burn are still there."
Jethro turned back to look at the other man and he was startled to see how much rejecting his offer hurt the other man too.
"I can't ask you that when I know there's no way it'll work."
"Why wouldn't it work?" Jethro hadn't realized how much he wanted Tony to say yes but now that he hadn't he felt the overwhelming need to make the younger man change his mind. Maybe it was his heart's way of telling him he could forgive the error the Italian had made.
Tony looked with open disbelief at his former lover. "Why? You really need to ask me that after everything that happened? We have issues Gibbs, neither of us is good at this relationship stuff and we don't trust each other nor do we talk about anything. I mean If you would have trusted me by telling me about your friend and that you were spending all that time with her maybe I wouldn't have over reacted and maybe if I had talked to you instead of drinking myself into oblivion this could all have been avoided." At the end of the rant Tony was pacing in front of the staircase and running his hands through his hair, making it stand up in an odd array of messy spikes.
Gibbs stopped the younger man by blocking his path and taking his hands in his.
"We're talking now. And I do trust you, I'm sorry I didn't show it in our private life enough but I really do."
"It's me who should apologize-"
Gibbs smiled slightly at the younger man. "I want to go give us another chance, a real one. No more shutting each other out and not sharing what we're feeling. And we both were wrong so no apologizing for it anymore, I forgive you for making a mistake and I ask you to forgive me for trying to replace you after that."
Tony smiled a bit and felt his eyes fill with tears again thought he didn't let them fall.
"There's nothing for me to forgive. I love you Jethro."
"I love you too Tony." Gibbs pulled the younger man into his arms and Tony let out a content sigh.
"I never thought I'd be here again. I'm so sorry Jethro, I'm so sorry." And with that the tears he had been fighting fell and soaked the spot where his face was pressed into the older man's neck.
"Shh. I told you, it's over and done with." Gibbs held the shaking man in his arms as a few tears made their way over his own cheeks as he felt both happiness and sadness well up inside of him. Happiness for the new chance they had gotten and sadness for the pain they had to go through to get there.
But he knew their relationship would be stronger for all they'd gone through and now they knew how important they were to each other. It wouldn't be easy but they would get past all this.
With their arms wrapped each other the two men felt at peace and knew they were right where they should be. And they would do anything to make sure they would always have that, even if it meant that they had to learn to share their feelings and talk about things.
After all they both had the right incentive.
Oh yeah, they would be just fine.