"Probie: An NCIS Tail" is finally finished! Wow! It's the single longest story I've written to date, and I had so much fun writing it. Thank you all for being so supportive of my work, especially the few (you know who you are) that urged me on and made me laugh so I can continue. Probie's story doesn't stop here, though! I do plan on continuing to write smaller bits and pieces of their home lives. (In fact, I already have some stuff written that was supposed to be an epilogue but had decided it wanted to be fic instead!) So stay tuned!

Thanks to sunsaralyn for the speedy beta!

Chapter 10

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

He woke groggily from a haze of confusion by a ringing sound. It took him a while to recognize that it was his ring tone. Glancing briefly at the alarm clock Gibbs kept by the bed, Tony cursed softly to himself before picking up the call.


"Hey, Tony." It was McGee. Tony rubbed his eyes with the heel of his palm.

"Hey, Tim. Sorry, I overslept. Didn't hear my alarm, I'll be there in about an hour," Tony said apologetically, a trace of fatigue audible in his voice. "How're you guys doing?"

"No rush, Tony, we're still working on the background but we're almost done. Abby's got the ballistics back. The bullets from both cases matched Burman's gun," McGee read from his notes. "Tony…"

"What, Tim?" Tony sighed.

"Are…are you okay?"

"Why is everyone and their mother asking me that question?" Tony tried to joke, trying to be as nonchalant as possible. "I'm fine! Now get that background done before I get in so I can go make that mother fucker cry like a baby and close this case."

"Okay, Tony." Tony could hear McGee's chuckles over the phone. "I'll see you when you get in."


Tony slumped face down on the bed, giving himself another moment. It hadn't been restful sleep last night. He kept finding himself waking up with a start in the middle of the night, the feeling of panic lodged in his gut, before he willed himself back to sleep. He breathed in deep, hanging on to the scent of Gibbs' bed before he sighed and got up.

He stripped himself out of the sweatpants and sweatshirt he was wearing and tossed them into the laundry pile with the scrubs so he could wash them later before padding to the bathroom. On the way there, he noticed that Gibbs had washed the pair of jeans he'd left there the last time, and left them on the guest bed. He thought for a moment before grabbing the jeans along with one of Gibbs' undershirts and headed to the bathroom for a shower.

Tony made it into Abby's lab an hour later, after a stop at home to change into something more presentable, Probie in tow.

"Tony!" Abby rushed over and slammed into Tony, wrapping her arms around him tightly. "I was so worried. How is Gibbs? I couldn't go to the ER last night because I had to get the ballistics done and Major MassSpec was having a fit so I had to get him to cooperate to analyze the drugs from Burman's apartment. How are you? You must've been worried sick—"

"Abby… can't… breathe…" Tony barely managed.

"Oh, sorry!" Abby finally let him go, which was when she noticed her other visitor. "Probie!"

"Can I leave him with you for the day? I haven't had the chance to feed him or take him for a walk. If you don't mind…"

"Of course!" Abby nodded. "Abby Sciuto, Dog Sitter, at your service."

"Thanks. Good work on the ballistics, by the way." Tony pulled her in for a hug, knowing that she needed it as much as he did. Gibbs and Abby had always been close, and he knew Gibbs getting hurt was affecting Abby as much as it was affecting him.

"Thanks Tony… How is Gibbs?" Abby mumbled into Tony's suit jacket.

"He's lost quite a bit of blood, but the doctor said that he'll be fine. They said they'll call when he's awake." Tony pressed a kiss to Abby's forehead. "I'll let you know."

"Okay." Abby nodded again, taking the leash from Tony. "Come on, Probie, let's get you some breakfast and we'll go for a walk."

"Thanks, Abs." Tony gave her a wave as he headed for the elevator.

The rest of the day passed quickly.

The evidence, in addition to the background Ziva and McGee compiled on Burman, revealed that he had been dealing in everything from prescription narcotics to designer street drugs. It took all of an hour for Tony to crack Burman, after Tony had told him that he was definitely be looking at the death penalty for felony murders unless he reveal his sources—the ballistics reports and the drugs they found would be convincing enough to any jury and Burman knew it.

It turned out that both their dead marine and the Metro victim had been simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Burman had been meeting with his suppliers in both cases, and was interrupted by the victims. Burman had shot them after they had refused to just walk away.

The case was forwarded to the DEA so they could further investigate the drug connections, and Metro police was informed so they could close their cold case. Tony would've congratulated himself on a job well done if Gibbs hadn't been injured.

Ducky had called, right after he finished the interrogation, telling him that Gibbs had been transferred out of the ICU and now was sleeping in his new room. Tony found himself rushing to the garage after briefing Vance on the case and sending the team home with a "good job". They could deal with the reports tomorrow.

Tony made it to the hospital in record time.

The hallway outside of Gibbs' room was eerily quiet with everyone speaking in hushed tones—another reason why Tony hated hospitals. The unnatural silence always felt like a perpetual cloud of bad omens to him.

Tony knocked lightly on the door before entering only to find the lights dimmed and the sole occupant of the room asleep in bed. He grimaced as he looked to the bed. Gibbs seemed sickly and pale, lying there propped up in the hospital bed, and Tony could feel the worry and fear from the previous night resurfacing even though he knew Gibbs would be good as new in a couple of weeks.

He deposited himself in a chair next to the bed, repositioning it so he was sitting as close to Gibbs as possible. He reached out, hesitantly at first, and grabbed onto Gibbs' hand, feeling the rough pads of Gibbs' fingers in his palm.

Tony could feel the tension he'd been holding for the past day and a half bleed out of him, now that he was sure Gibbs was alive and well.

Holding Gibbs' hand in his, Tony leaned forward to rub his cheek on the back of Gibbs' hand before pressing his lips to it.

"You had me worried, Jethro," Tony scolded fondly, even though he knew Gibbs wouldn't hear it in his sleep. He reached out with his free hand to brush a stray strand of hair away from Gibbs' face. "Didn't I tell you to be more careful? Gotta stop worrying me like this."

Flashing back to the day before with Gibbs lying on the ground and his hands bloody, then to the coma, and then that day at the docks…Tony let out a shuddering breath as he kissed the back of Gibbs' hand again, their fingers now entwined. "I was so scared. So scared that I'd lose you forever this time. So scared that I wouldn't get a chance to tell you—" Tony paused, the enormity of what he was about to confess hitting him. He was suddenly glad that Gibbs wasn't awake to hear it.

"I was so fucking scared that I wouldn't get a chance to tell you that I love you," Tony finished in a barely audible whisper, his voice shaking with emotion. "I love you, you bastard. I need you to wake up so you can either fire me or kiss me senseless."

Tony looked up when the hand in his began to pull away to find Gibbs staring at him.

Gibbs began to wake as soon as someone had touched him. And then Tony's voice drifted into earshot.

The pain from his chest wound began to make itself known, but Gibbs ignored it. Tony was here, wasn't running away, and that was all that mattered to Gibbs.

The way Tony kissed Gibbs' hand, it made Gibbs' stomach clench and his heart ache. He could hear the pain and hurt in Tony's voice. He never meant to upset the younger man, never meant to hurt or worry him. He just needed Tony to be safe, even if it meant giving his own life.

And then he heard it.

Tony said…he loved him.

Gibbs felt his heart swell even though he'd known it since that morning, the smile that began at the corner of his lips grew impossibly wide. He opened his eyes, just in time to catch Tony's last few words.

He pulled his hand from Tony's, watching the younger man's eyes grew wide as they met his own, and, quick as he'd always been, gave Tony the biggest headslap he could muster from a hospital bed.

"Now why would I want the first option?" Gibbs asked, his voice scratchy and gravelly, as Tony rubbed the back of his head. Wrapping Tony's skinny tie around his hand, Gibbs pulled Tony closer by the thin strip of silk. "C'mere."

Gibbs sealed his lips over Tony's as the younger man got up and leaned forward to meet him, sitting on the edge of the bed. The kiss was almost chaste, Tony responding pliantly to the movement of Gibbs' lips. Gibbs let his tongue sweep over the slit between Tony's lips, and Tony opened up, letting Gibbs in, giving control over to the other man.

When they parted for air, Gibbs sighed contently after breathing deep. Finally.

"Missed you these last few days," Gibbs brought his hand up to cup Tony's face, his thumb stroking Tony's cheek. "Missed you when you didn't come over. I thought I'd fucked it up again."

Holding Tony head closer to his shoulder, Gibbs kissed Tony's temple and hair gently, breathing in the familiar scent that he'd grown used to having around him.

"And here I thought I'd messed everything up by kissing you first." Tony pouted, looking up at Gibbs, his upper body practically plastered over Gibbs' left side. He let a hand trail to Gibbs' right shoulder, fingers gently caressing the thick gauze that covered the bullet wound.

"Thank God." Tony shivered slightly, flashing back to the alley again. "You gotta stop scaring me like this."

"It's okay, Tony. I'm okay." Gibbs tightened his arm around Tony, murmuring assuring words into Tony's hair, feeling the soft strands under his fingers. "Sorry I had you worried."

"I thought that was a sign of weakness?" Tony looked up at Gibbs again, surprised at the apology coming from the older man.

"Not when it's someone I care about," Gibbs said, eyes gazing into Tony's. "Not when it's someone I love."

Tony could feel his breath catch at Gibbs' words, and a bright grin lit up his face for the first time since the barbecue.

That very moment, in Gibbs' mind, couldn't have been more perfect.

They stayed like that for a while with Tony tucked at Gibbs' side enjoying the calming comfort of each other's company. They didn't move until they heard a knock at the door. Tony straightened up and moved off the bed just in time to see Abby's head poke in the door.

"Hey, Abs," Gibbs greeted, tilting his head slightly to motion Abby over. "C'mere."

"Hey, Gibbs," Abby returned hesitantly before Gibbs gave her a look that said a non-verbal okay. She flew across the room to hug Gibbs, carefully avoiding Gibbs' injured shoulder. "God, I'm so glad you're okay!"

Gibbs let out an exasperated smiled, looking over to Tony, who gave Gibbs a shrug and a smirk. Gibbs rolled his eyes in reply.

"Abby?" Tony cleared his throat, trying to distract Abby from tackle-hugging Gibbs. Abby's hugs were great, except when you were injured. Tony had first hand experiences with that. "Where's Probie?" He'd asked Abby to bring Probie with her, knowing she'd want to come visit Gibbs as well.

Abby turned at Tony's question, finally letting Gibbs go, and replied sheepishly with a blush. "Oh, shoot! He's in the car. I left the windows cracked for air but we should probably go get him."

"Come on, let the man rest. I'll buy you dinner." Tony moved to steer Abby towards the door.

"Oh, all right." Abby sighed, hugging Gibbs lightly once more before heading out the door. "Bye, Gibbs. I'll drop in later, when you're more rested."

"Bye, Abs." Gibbs pressed a kiss to Abby's temple before she pulled away.

"I, uh, I'll come by after work tomorrow?" Tony waited until Abby was out the door before asking.

"You better," Gibbs nearly growled. He held up his hand to give tony the "come hither", and pulled the younger man down for a lingering kiss.

"Love you," Gibbs whispered against Tony's lips when they parted, slightly surprised that it was so easy to say, out loud, to Tony.

"Love you, too." Tony smiled, squeezing Gibbs' hand lightly before leaving the room to find Abby. "See you tomorrow."

"I'm not an invalid!" Gibbs growled when Tony went around to the passenger side and gingerly helped Gibbs out of the car as soon as Tony had shut the engine off. His further protest died in his throat when he saw the slightly hurtful look on Tony's face. Gibbs sighed as he allowed Tony lend him a hand to ease his large frame from his seat. He understood Tony's instinctive need to help him, protect him, keep him from harm. He had done the same thing when Tony had been injured.

The doctor had made Gibbs stay for nearly a whole week at the hospital, citing bed rest was needed to recuperate from his blood loss. They had only reluctantly agreed that he could go home to continue his recovery after Gibbs had glared them into submission. No coffee was making Gibbs a very grumpy Marine.

Gibbs made his way inside with Tony trailing behind, his good hand gripping the cup of joe Tony had gotten him after springing him from the "joint" earlier that afternoon.

Gibbs could hear the sound of Probie's claws on the floor as the dog ran through the kitchen towards them. He made a loud whistle and Probie skidded to a stop in front of him. He knelt down, patted and ruffled Probie's head as the pup sat down obediently. "Good boy."

"Why is it that he never does that for me?" Tony asked with a pout, staring at Probie in disbelieve, as he set Gibbs' bag down next to the living room entrance. "He usually just tries to tackle me."

Gibbs snorted. "I told you, dogs obey the alpha dog. And that's me," he replied with a grin, reaching for Tony and tugging him into his arms. Burying his head into the crook of Tony's neck, Gibbs breathed in then out, tightening his arms around the small of Tony's back. He couldn't understand how he could "miss" this, if they've never actually done the whole hugging-welcome-home thing.

"It's good to be home," Gibbs said, emphasizing the word "home" slightly as he tightened his arms around Tony, hoping the other man would catch his drift of what he really meant.

"It's good to finally have some privacy," Tony nearly growled as Gibbs turned his head slightly to kiss Tony's jaw. "I swear those nurses were talking about us."

Tony had been dropping by the hospital before work and staying for hours after work, keeping Gibbs company. They'd chitchat, like they normally do, but now and again, Gibbs would steal kisses from Tony when they were alone. Tony had been around so much that the nurses had begun to talk. Gibbs thought amusingly at the conversations he overheard when the nurses thought he was asleep.

"Let 'em talk," Gibbs mouthed the words onto Tony's neck, his breath moist and hot, making Tony's skin tingle. "Not like it isn't mostly true."

"Mmm," Tony groaned when Gibbs sucked at a spot on Tony's neck, nipping at the bit of skin under his lips, working it between his teeth. "God! How is it that we've never done this welcome home thing before, and yet I miss it?" Tony spoke in a near whisper, his voice taking on a gravely texture.

Gibbs chuckled, his body swaying gently with Tony's. "Ya know? I was just thinking the same thing."

Bringing a hand back up, Gibbs let his fingers slide through Tony's hair, massaging the back of Tony's head gently with his fingertips before cupping Tony's face with his palm. He stroked Tony's cheek lightly with his thumb, straightening his head and gazing straight into Tony's eyes before bringing their lips together. Gibbs' other hand began to slide up and down Tony's back, making the other man groan in appreciation.

"Bed. C'mon," Gibbs said quietly, backing Tony towards the stairs. It was the middle of the afternoon, of a bright, sunny, early summer day. Good weather dictated that they should at least go out and enjoy the outdoors, but Gibbs couldn't think of better things to do than to spend the rest of the day in bed getting to know Tony in a more physical way.

It wasn't just lust, but also something more basic, more primal. It was the need to connect, to feel, to drown himself in the essence of the younger man—the sights, smells, tastes and sounds.

They kept their lips locked, even as they made their way up the stairs to Gibbs' bedroom. Somewhere along the way, Tony's t-shirt was pulled over his head and out of the way, and two sneaky hands had found their way underneath Gibbs' polo.

Gibbs could feel his hard length, trapped in his pants, brush against Tony's clothed erection as they moved. Gibbs could hear the moans of the younger man as he ran his hands down the length of Tony's spine, could feel the way those strong muscles rippled and turned under his hand as Tony moved.

They stumbled into the bedroom, both skimming out of the rest of their clothing as they went. Gibbs held out a hand to Tony and pulled him to the bed.

"Christ, you're gorgeous," Gibbs couldn't help commenting as he surveyed the landscape of Tony's body, stretched out in the centre of his king-sized bed.

"Not looking too bad yourself," Tony quipped, rearing up to pull Gibbs onto the bed next to him before rolling on top of Gibbs and straddling him around the thighs. Their hard lengths brushed against each other, and both men groaned at the sensation that sparked.

Tony leaned forward, watched Gibbs with a bewildered interest before moving one hand from beside Gibbs' head on the bed to slowly stroke Gibbs' face, down the jaw, along the neck to the chest. He followed his strokes with kisses—tender, lingering kisses, like he was worshiping the man beneath him. Gibbs groaned in appreciation, his body responding to the touches in earnest.

Gibbs reached out a hand to cup Tony's face, bringing him up for a deep, long kiss, then with one quick move flipped Tony onto his back. Slowly but surely, Gibbs mirrored Tony, stroking and kissing the younger man's body, cataloguing every shiver and sigh. They were both hard and leaking, but neither of them felt the need to hurry.

Gibbs kissed his way down, moving slowly to the edge of the bed, and took his lover's dick into his mouth, his tongue brushing over the slit. He chuckled with his lips around the head when Tony gasped loudly. "Jethro!"

The tangy, salty, slightly bitter taste of Tony exploded on Gibbs' tongue, making his mouth water. Giving Tony a long look, he took more of Tony into his hot mouth, humming and sucking his way down. The wanton look on Tony's face was…Gibbs moaned loudly around Tony with appreciation.

Running his tongue up and down the underside of Tony's cock as he bobbed his head, Gibbs gripped Tony's hips to prevent him from moving too much. He could feel the tensing of the thigh muscles, the twitching of the cock in his mouth. He could hear the way Tony was making tiny noises at the back of his throat, could smell the musky scent of arousal as he took Tony deep, his nose buried into Tony's pubic hair. Gibbs could see the way Tony was arching his back off the bed, the way his balls began to draw up. He was close.

"Jeth…" Gibbs' name ended on a moan as he sucked harder on his way up. "I'm… close…"

Gibbs glanced up at Tony, looking straight into his eyes, into those mesmerizing green eyes he loved.

Gibbs could almost pinpoint the exact moment ecstasy over took Tony, and the younger man came with a long, drawn out groan, falling over the edge with Gibbs' mouth still fused to his cock.

Gibbs took it all, swallowing it down. He licked Tony clean before kissing Tony's inner thigh, leaving a small bite mark.

"God, Jethro," Tony exclaimed as he breathed heavily. He tugged at Gibbs, forcing the older man to move back so they lay next to each other. Tony rolled onto his side to nuzzle at Gibbs' shoulder.

Tony could taste himself on Gibbs' tongue as he drew Gibbs into a slow kiss. Snaking a hand down to Gibbs' still hard cock, he began to stroke him, nibbling at Gibbs' strong jaw. It didn't take long for him to come, exploding in Tony's hand with a grunt.

"That was…" Tony paused, searching for the right word. "Phenomenal."

Gibbs chuckled, drawing the other man into his arms so Tony was plastered over Gibbs' side. "Yes, it was."

They lay there, spent and naked. They didn't need more words; the touches and looks more than enough to convey their feelings. Gibbs couldn't help the smile on his face as he tightened his arms, bringing Tony even closer.

Life really doesn't get better than this, he thought to himself as he drifted off into a light doze, his lover in his arms already asleep.