Note: Not my sandbox, just playing in it. Thanks to everyone involved in NCIS, Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis for making them such wonderful shows. This story is slashfic, which means that it contains homosexual relationships. If you don't like that, if you're underage, if it's illegal where you are, don't read this. Life's too short to be upset by things you read on the internet!


When DADT is repealed there's a flurry of people who take the plunge and come out. They come out to COs, to the people they work with, to the people they trust to keep them alive. By and large, that trust isn't misplaced. The people who come out straight away have pressing reasons to do so and/or they're in more open-minded placements.

On Atlantis, Major Evan Lorne asks permission to move in with David Parrish, while Markham and Stackhouse have been an open secret for years. Back at Stargate Command, it isn't much of a surprise when Carter proposes to Doctor Lam; she's always had a thing for white coats and stethoscopes.

NCIS sees a bit of an upswing in hate crimes, but nothing they can't handle. The MCRT comes down on offenders with the full Wrath of Gibbs and after the initial problems, things seemingly settle down. Still, six months into the post-DADT military world, Ziva stares at her monitor, scowling heavily.

"What's up with her?" Tim whispers as Tony passes him a file.

"I'm pretty sure it's a cultural thing," Tony says with a frown. "Either that or someone's scratched her car."

"Ziver," Gibbs says, coming round the corner. "Problem?"

The agent looks up, brushing her hair behind an ear. "I thought things would be different now," she says. "Since your military has come out of the black ages."

"Dark ages, Ziva, not black ages," Tony corrects automatically. He perches a slim hip on the corner of McGee's desk for a moment until Tim jabs him with a sharp pencil. "Ow!"

"You thought everyone would sign up for a Village People remake?" Gibbs asks. The team goggles at him. "That's not how it works."

"I expected your officers to lead by example," Ziva says. "In Israel, in the military, no one cares if you prefer men or women or both so long as you are good at your job. It's too important for such a security risk. But here, the only high-ranking officers to come out of the wardrobe are retired."

"Closet!" Tim and Tony chorus.

She glares at them, then turns back to Gibbs. "Wardrobe, closet, refrigerator - there are no ranking officers who are still serving who have come out as gay. Statistically speaking, I find it highly unlikely that they are all straight."

"Then you might want to watch this," Gibbs says. "McGee! Put the news on the screen."

Tim scrambles for the remote and a moment later the lunchtime news fills the big screen. The team gather around it, quickly joined by the other people in the bullpen. A reporter stands to one side with a microphone in her hand while behind her, in full dress uniform, couples are emerging from a registry office right there in D.C.

"Today we're witnessing an historic moment for all branches of the US Military," the reporter says, her attention on the camera. "Four same-sex couples have just gotten married here in Washington. It seems that several highly decorated officers in the US Air Force have fallen for the scientists they work with."

The camera cuts to the steps of the courthouse behind her, where the four officers stand in full dress uniform, hand-in-hand with their spouses, who are wearing suits. As the reporter recites their names, they scroll across the bottom of the screen.

Lieutenant General Jack O'Neill & Doctor Daniel Jackson, Colonel Samantha Carter & Doctor Carolyn Lam, Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard & Doctor Rodney McKay, Major Evan Lorne & Doctor David Parrish

"Although details of their postings remain classified, all the people involved have apparently worked together," the reporter continues. "When we asked why they chose to get married today in joint ceremonies, General O'Neill had this to say."

The feed cuts to footage shot half an hour ago, of the couples making their way into the courthouse. O'Neill pauses in response to a question the viewers don't hear.

"Why us, why now?" He grins wolfishly. "Due to logistics, and no, I can't say more about that, this is the first opportunity we've had to do this. I've been waiting ten years to marry the man I love. He's saved my life more times than I can count. He's the reason I get up and do everything in my power to protect this country, this planet. And I know everyone here could say the same."

"What does your ex-wife think?" is called out from somewhere amid the crowd of reporters.

"She's happy I'm finally getting a second chance at happiness," the General says. "As she's had. Life is too short and too precious and love is hard enough without placing artificial boundaries around who we can spend our lives with. We've all fought long and hard for peace, for every one of you out there watching this. Politicians have finally fought for us. Now if you don't mind, we have a wedding to get to."

"Shut it off, McGee," Gibbs says. "That good enough for ya, Ziva?"

"Almost," Ziva says with a shrug. "Why am I on your team?"

"You want the long answer?" Gibbs asks drily. He finishes up his coffee and tosses the paper cup in the trash.

"The short answer will do," Ziva says. "It is because with me on the team, we can cover a wider range of cases, yes? Because I am a woman, because I was Israeli, because I was with Mossad. So-"

"What, you're saying we should have someone who's gay on the team?" Tony asks. "How about someone who's black, Native American, maybe. Registered disabled? Look, affirmative action is great, but we're a four-person field team. We can't tick all the boxes, Ziva. That's why there are other teams here."

Ziva's gaze is scornful enough to wither an entire garden full of plants. "I'm saying there is no longer a reason for you and Gibbs to hide how you feel about each other."

Tony stares at her, blood draining from his face. Then Gibbs is at his side, urging him into his chair, pushing his head between his knees.

"Damn it, Ziva!" Gibbs snarls. "You might want to wait til we've had a chance to work things out beforeyou say something like that!"

Ziva rolls her eyes. Tim stares at them, open-mouthed. Then the phone rings and Tony, head still between his legs, answers it, and they're off and running to another case.

Forty hours later, with one drug-dealing marine behind bars and another in the hospital under guard, the team reassembles in the bullpen. Empty takeout cartons fill the trash cans. Abby sits on Tony's knee, while Tim is too tired to scowl.

"So, I hear you guys are getting together," Abby says, far too cheerily for nearly midnight. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"They'd have to tell me first," Vance says, stalking round the corner into the team's area. He drops forms on Gibbs' desk. "You'll need to fill these in. And I'll be keeping an eye on you. You don't have to be in until ten tomorrow." He gives Gibbs a pointed look, raises an eyebrow at Tony and Abby, then heads for the elevator and his bed.

"Not you too, Leon!" Gibbs says, exasperated. "Go home, all of you."

The team slowly gather their things and leave one by one, until only Gibbs and Tony remain in the dim glow of their desk lamps.

"Boss?" Tony says, levering himself out of his chair.

"It's late, Tony," Gibbs says, giving in to the urge to move closer. "You should go home."

"Are we really going to do this?" Tony asks, ignoring Gibbs' words and focusing on his actions instead.

"Get married with TV cameras watching?" Gibbs asks, placing a hand on Tony's hip.

"I was thinking more along the lines of dinner and a movie," Tony says, stepping right up to the older man. He cups the back of Gibbs' neck, feeling the soft, short hair against his palm.

"A date?" Gibbs asks, his breath dancing over Tony's cheek.

"Mm," Tony murmurs, closing the distance between them. The first brush of lips is dry, chaste, but the second is hotter, the third has them locked in an embrace that heats the air around them as they kiss.

At last they pull back, panting, cheeks flushed and shirts rumpled. Tony rests his forehead on Gibbs' shoulder.

"A date," Tony says, with an incandescent smile.

"As long as we don't catch a case," Gibbs says, indulging in the feel of his second's muscled body pressed close.

"Been a long time coming," Tony adds softly.

"Yeah, but it's worth the wait," Gibbs confirms. "You're worth it. We'll be fine from here on out."

And as four couples, decorated heroes all, enjoy their honeymoon, Gibbs and Tony make their way home separately, secure in the knowledge that this time, change is definitely for the better.