Hey, guys! This is a WIP but it will only have a couple of chapters, three at the most. For those of you who are waiting for the last chapter to my other fic 'Ice Cold Fever': working on it as we speak/type! :)

Gibbs can't suppress a sigh when he hears the familiar creaking of the stairs leading to his basement. He knows without a doubt who would come here at this hour. He's the only one who would come here at this hour.


He doesn't acknowledge him, has learned not to read into these late night visits. His movements barely faltering, he resumes the sanding. Normally it soothes him but the presence of the man sitting on the bottom step of the stairs always seems to be able to bring him off kilter. His skin feels too tight. It tingles and he has to tighten his grip on the sander block to keep from reaching out and touching him. Experience has taught him to keep his impulses in check but he can't seem to get used to the wave of lust that always accompanies the sight of the younger man.

Tony doesn't seem to notice Gibbs' silence, or maybe he just attributes it to his Boss' usual gruffness.

"So, that was an easy case today. If you scared everyone so easily into a confession, we wouldn't have a job anymore. You could be a MCRT on your own!" The younger agent cracks a smile at his own comment but his grin falters quickly when he realizes Gibbs still hasn't said anything.

Finally, the older man turns to his Senior Field Agent and sizes him up with a single glance. "Is this a social visit or did you actually have a purpose when you barged in here at three in the morning?"

His voice is soft and controlled but Tony doesn't miss the way Gibbs quickly turns his eyes back to the boat in front of him as if he can't stand to look at Tony for one more second. He sighs and decides to stop beating around the bush and just get it off his chest.

"I saw you with Balboa today." He feels strangely satisfied with the way Gibbs' hand on the sander falters for a moment before going through with the repetitive motion but slower this time. He loves to watch Gibbs work on the boat, loves to study the way his movements show his muscles under the well-worn NIS-shirt and the way he forces the wood under his fingers into submission. Just when he thinks Gibbs isn't going to say anything, the silver haired man puts down the sander and turns to gaze at him, leaning against the workbench. He picks up the mug that's left under the boat and takes a sip, his intense blue gaze never leaving Tony.

"Got a point to this DiNozzo?" There's a certain defiance in his voice now that wasn't there a couple of minutes ago.

"Well yeah, what was up with you squeezing his neck and leaning in so close? I know I did a good job when I last a whole day without getting slapped on the back of my head and I've worked with you for ten years. So I'd like to know what Balboa did right to earn your biggest smile." He's crossed his arms over his chest, only realizing it when he sees Gibbs raise an eyebrow in question.

Gibbs tries to ignore the anger flaring up in his chest but he fails to answer without a sharp edge to his words. "I expect the most from my own team. Balboa gave up his lunch hour to check a source for me. Why do you even care?"

For some reason, Tony's angry too. "Why do I care? Maybe the question should be whether you care as much as you claim to. I thought you did, but your heart is obviously bigger than it looks if you can fit so many people in it." Tony tilts his chin up, silently daring Gibbs to argue with his remark. He didn't expect the reaction he gets, however.

"Get out." He has seen Gibbs angry too many times to keep count, but he still flinches when he hears the words coming out of his Boss' mouth, cold and detached. He's used to furious Gibbs, when they have a case involving a child, or when he's annoyed by SecNav and political bullshit. However, he's only seen this anger a few times. It sounds like Gibbs is doing his best not to punch him in the face. Normally he would have backed down long ago by this point but the mere thought of Gibbs touching Balboa in an intimate way like the interaction he'd witnessed that afternoon makes him stupid enough to answer in the same indifferent tone.

"Why, what did I do wrong this time? Only two weeks ago you said you were in love with me. Is it me or do your feelings change really quickly? I must say, it's nice to see you fall for anyone who looks at you admiringly. Makes me feel really special." Somewhere in between his words he stood up from the steps and now he's closing in on Gibbs, keeping his gaze trained on the Marine.

Gibbs backs off, needs to put more distance in between them. He opens his mouth two times before he manages to answer, his voice tight and restrained. "You're jealous?" He invades Tony's personal space and jabs a finger in the younger man's chest with each word he forces over his lips. "You got drunk, you came here. And then if I recall it right, you kissed me after I put you on the couch to keep myself from taking advantage of the situation. Because I knew you couldn't handle my feelings. I knew I should have never said anything about it in the first place and I've never expected you to go easy on me since. But now you have the nerve to come here and claim what you seem to think is yours after someone else showed interest in it? You're like a child DiNozzo, you're not playing with your toy but no one else can play with it either, is that it?"

"Come on Gibbs. You know a relationship between us wouldn't have much chance of working out. We're both as jealous as can be. You have three failed marriages and my fear of commitment doesn't go too well with relationships either. But I guess that somewhere down the line I started fantasizing too, about what it'd be like to have you to come home to. And today you made me regret it. You obviously don't know what you want and there's absolutely no way I could handle you touching everyone in the office the way I want you to touch me. So let's just… put this behind us and move on, focus on other things than whatever did or did not happen between us."

TBC? Let me know! X