Here's my tag to Newborn King, so it contains a few spoilers. Also has some slight references to Restless, Safe Harbor, and Devil's Triangle. I'm so loving this season! Unbetaed, so all mistakes are mine. And of course I don't own NCIS, I just love it so much I have to write about it.
This one is for Sweetsexytony and gosgirl, who both encouraged me to write a tag. Hope you guys like it!
An Unexpected Find
Gibbs watched Tony closely, splitting his attention between his senior field agent and Amira's demands for attention. He'd taught his goddaughter to ride her new bike in the driveway, under the exterior lights with Tony and Leyla watching and laughing in delight as she cruised along, balancing all by herself. Gibbs had noticed Tony watching him carefully, but if he'd experienced a pang or two, remembering doing the same for Kelly so many years ago, he'd hidden it well.
Now they were sitting at dinner, listening to Amira recounting her accomplishment for her captive audience, while Gibbs tried to puzzle out what was going on with Tony. He hadn't expected the edge he'd seen in his basement, and he certainly hadn't been ready for the accusation that somehow Tony's lack of a family was his fault. Gibbs was still trying to figure out where that had come from.
He wasn't sure that he'd responded well, but he couldn't have done too badly, since Tony was here with them, smiling at Amira and being his generally charming, if distant, self. The distance toward himself, he understood… their conversation from the basement clearly wasn't finished. Gibbs fully intended to drag Tony back there if necessary, to fix whatever Tony seemed to think was broken. The distance toward Leyla, though, was strange.
She was an exotically beautiful woman, and Gibbs had fully expected Tony to flirt and possibly ask her out. If he were honest with himself, Gibbs would have to admit that he'd entertained the thought of Tony and Leyla ending up together… he'd be happy to see his girls with another protector, one he could trust implicitly. Tony, however, wasn't cooperating. He was charming, but in a 'friends only' way that made Gibbs wonder if the man was feeling alright.
The rest of the evening went well. Leyla missed Mike Franks, but she was happy making a life for herself and her daughter in D.C. Franks had left her more than enough for the two of them to live comfortably, and if he hadn't, Gibbs would have taken up the slack. He visited at least two evenings a week, making sure the house was in perfect shape and that they lacked for nothing.
The four of them were relaxing in the living room, in front of the fireplace, when Amira finally nodded off. Leyla smiled at both men, thanked them for coming, and gathered up her daughter to put her to bed. Gibbs kissed Leyla on the cheek and Amira on the forehead, then turned to Tony, a little startled by his second's closed expression. Tony thanked Leyla for having him and wished her a good night, then whispered in Amira's ear, making her giggle sleepily. Gibbs led the way out of the house, locking the door behind him.
They drove back to Gibbs' house in a comfortable silence, despite the subtle tension between them. Gibbs glanced over at Tony several times, and each time Tony had the same determined look on his face that he sported when he was about to crack a case. It made Gibbs just a little confused.
Gibbs pulled into the driveway, parked the car, and got out, turning to Tony to tell him to come with him, only to find Tony already making a beeline for the door. Gibbs followed him into the house and down to the basement, where Tony poured them each a bourbon and raised his glass in a silent toast, meeting Gibbs' eyes before downing his drink in one long swallow. Gibbs sipped his, raising an eyebrow at the younger man, who grinned suddenly.
"Good stuff, Boss."
Gibbs smiled slightly. "You should know, DiNozzo. You gave it to me."
"I have good taste." Tony's smiled faded a bit, and he looked seriously at Gibbs. "I lied before, you know."
Gibbs took another sip, cocked his head to one side, watched Tony, and waited. Tony tapped his fingers against the glass still in his hands, then put it down on the workbench.
"It's not really about balancing work and family… thing is, Gibbs, work is my family."
"That's not the way it should be," Gibbs said quietly.
Tony waved his hand aimlessly. "Should, shouldn't… doesn't really matter. You, Tim, Ziva, Abby, Ducky… hell, even the autopsy gremlin. You're all family."
"Not the same as having a wife, children… you shouldn't miss out. You should spend less time here, more time somewhere else, where you have a chance of actually meeting someone."
Tony chuckled quietly. "You did say I won't find what I'm looking for here." The laughter faded quickly, and he straightened a bit, looking at Gibbs. "You were wrong, you know."
Gibbs shook his head and started to speak, but his voice died in his throat as Tony pushed away from the workbench and moved purposefully toward him. He stopped only a foot away, smiling slightly "See, Gibbs, it's like this…"
And Tony reached out, cupping a hand behind Gibbs' neck and pulling the startled man into a kiss.
Gibbs didn't react for a moment, too shocked to even think of doing anything. Tony's lips slid over his own, while the hand on his neck held him in place. Tony's other hand rose up to his hair, running his fingers through the slightly longer-than-usual strands. Gibbs didn't pull away, but he didn't respond either; his mind was a blank.
Tony dropped his hand from Gibbs' neck to his waist, sliding his arm around the older man, pulling him close. He moved from Gibbs' mouth to his neck, nibbling and kissing and nuzzling. He whispered something Gibbs couldn't make out, then his hand moved to gently cup Gibbs' ass.
Gibbs' hands came up from his side to grab Tony's arms, but he simply hung on, neither pulling close nor pushing away. Tony hummed softly, then moved back to Gibbs' lips, not seeming to care that Gibbs wasn't responding. He licked and nibbled and then something in Gibbs let go. His eyes closed, and he tentatively returned the kiss, moving into it just a bit, barely sliding his own tongue along Tony's lips. Tony's mouth opened under his, and Gibbs' tongue instinctively started exploring.
Tony groaned softly, then moved to Gibbs' neck again. This time Gibbs tilted his head back and pulled Tony a little closer. He could feel the hard ridge of Tony's erection pressing into his hip, and his eyes shot open as his body tensed.
Tony gently kissed Gibbs' neck, then pulled back slowly, dropping a light kiss on Gibbs' lips before stepping back and letting go.
They stared at each other for a moment, Gibbs with his mouth hanging slightly open, looking startled and confused. Tony's expression was calm, looking centered in a way he hadn't all evening. He smiled and reached out to squeeze Gibbs' hand. "Don't worry, Gibbs. It won't happen again. Just thought you should know." He backed up a step, then moved around Gibbs and headed for the stairs. "I'll see you at work, Boss."
He jogged up the steps and was gone, leaving Gibbs staring up after him.
Hours later, Tony was sitting on his couch, staring at some game on his excessively large TV. He'd surprised himself tonight; he hadn't meant to let on to Gibbs how he felt, but he'd been having trouble containing it, and finally went with his gut.
It had taken him years to figure out why his relationships never worked out. For a long time he'd assumed it was just his passion for his work, and that was all he needed to explain why he always prioritized NCIS over female companionship. And then it hit him one day: it wasn't really the work, it was who he was working with. It shouldn't have been so difficult to discover; time spent with Gibbs in his basement usually had nothing to do with solving a case. Tony, however, wasn't known for introspection, the Stinky John fiasco being a case in point. So it had taken a little longer than it should have to realize that his feelings for his boss went far beyond friendship.
He'd thought he'd done a decent job of setting it all aside, but some of the public comments he'd been making about his boss lately had shown him he wasn't nearly as secretive as he'd thought. Romantic headslaps? Wild and untamed? Tim and Ziva were still clueless, but Ducky and Abby had taken to giving him knowing looks, and even Agent Borin, damn her, had smirked at him.
Tony knew Gibbs didn't feel the same way. The guy was too set in his ways, and Tony was willing to bet he'd never thought of getting involved with a man. He was pretty sure he'd made his boss extremely uncomfortable, but if he knew Gibbs, the man would simply ignore it until it went away. Tony had no intention of leaving his job, so he decided all he really needed to do was act as if nothing had happened. A week, maybe two tops, and it would all be forgotten.
There was a knock on his door. Tony sighed, got up, and looked through the security peep hole.
Apparently he didn't know Gibbs as well as he thought.
He opened the door, and Gibbs gazed at him impassively for a moment before walking in, hanging up his jacket, and moving into Tony's living room.
Tony closed the door, took a deep breath, and followed.
"If it's all the same to you, Boss, I really like my job. Like I said, it won't happen again… I'd really appreciate it if you didn't fire me." He gave Gibbs his best smile. "Please?"
Gibbs snorted quietly and picked up the remote, squinting at for several seconds before pointing it in the right direction and deliberately turning off the TV.
"Hey," Tony grinned, "Bossman's got new skills."
Gibbs shot him a mild glare and tossed the remote back on the coffee table. "Didn't know you were gay."
"Right to the point, huh? Well… neither did I, Gibbs. Bi, maybe?"
"What was that all about, Tony?"
"C'mon, Boss, you know what kissing's for!"
"Yeah… but when it's you kissing me, I think it calls for a little clarification."
"In my defense, you kissed me back. Eventually."
Gibbs' lips twitched slightly. "True."
"Seriously, Gibbs, we don't need to discuss it. I meant it when I said it won't happen again."
Gibbs hesitated, then scratched the back of his head and sighed. "What if I said I was open to it happening again?"
Tony stared at him. "You're not gay, Gibbs."
Gibbs shrugged. "Do I have to be?"
"Uh… now I'm confused."
Gibbs looked around the room, then sat on the couch and looked over at Tony, tilting his head toward the cushion next to him. Tony shook himself slightly, then moved to the couch, sitting gingerly. Gibbs stared down at his own hands, clasping and unclasping his fingers.
"Years ago… Shannon and I were in New York City, and there was a gay pride march. Signs, chants, protests, the usual. We watched for a while, then we found a place for lunch, and we talked about it." He smiled slightly. "When Shan felt strongly about something, you knew it. She couldn't understand why people objected so strongly to crossing gender lines… said if you loved someone for who they are, the body shouldn't really matter." He looked up into Tony's eyes. "I didn't much care one way or another, just figured what people did in the privacy of their own homes was their business. Didn't think much about that conversation until after you left tonight. Thought about her, about what we had… only other person who's ever some close to understanding me the way she did is you. Only person I want to spend so much of my time with is you. So…" He reached out and gently took Tony's hand. "I'm thinking maybe we should give this a try. Unless you were just messing around, in which case I'm gonna head slap you into next year."
Tony shook his head. "I wasn't messing around, Gibbs."
Gibbs tilted his head to one side, then gave a decisive little nod. "Jethro," he said, squeezing Tony's hand a little.
Tony relaxed and squeezed back. "Okay. Jethro it is. And I'm in."
They grinned at each other, and then the smiles slowly faded.
"Now what?" Tony asked.
Gibbs laughed, and pulled Tony in for a long, lingering kiss.
Found… Five Months Later
Gibbs turned from where he was digging a hole for more rose bushes in front of the house and peered through the open door. "What?" he yelled.
"Where's the screwdriver? You know, the flat one, not the sort of roundish pointy one?"
Gibbs sighed, dropped the shovel, and went inside, shutting the door behind him. "It's called a Phillips head, not a… whatever you said."
Tony poked his head out from the kitchen and grinned at him. "Should we call in the rest of the team?"
Gibbs stared at him. "To find a screwdriver?"
"Well, if Phillip lost his head, and he's Navy or Marine, it is in our jurisdiction, Boss."
Gibbs tried to suppress his smile, but failed. "DiNozzo, that's the worst joke you've told since I've known you."
"Gotta be me," Tony said, his eyes dancing with mischief.
"What do you need a screwdriver for?"
"Some of the drawer handles in here are getting loose. Thought I'd tighten them up."
Gibbs nodded approvingly, then headed for the basement steps. "Gonna make a homeowner of you yet, Tony."
"Only when you let me start paying my share of the taxes."
"You've been here less than two months. Let's wait and see what happens." Gibbs trotted down the stairs, Tony close behind. When they reached the workbench and the toolbox sitting on top of it, Tony laid a hand on Jethro's shoulder and turned him around.
"You've gotta know by now that I'm not going anywhere, Jethro."
Gibbs grinned at him. "Yeah, Tony… I know. Just gotta wait for the lawyer to put the paperwork through, that's all. Then you can start paying your share."
"Had my lawyer put the house in both our names… said it should go through within a few weeks."
Tony's smile was blinding, and he moved forward to envelop Gibbs in a bone-crushing hug. Gibbs hugged him back, reveling in the comfortable intimacy he'd thought he'd never find again.
Tony let go with one arm and reached into the tool box, rummaging around for a moment before putting his arm back around Gibbs and leaning in to kiss his neck. "Remember what you said that night we got together?"
"I said a few things then."
"Yeah, you did. Remember telling me that I wasn't going to find what I was looking for in this basement?"
"You told me I was wrong and then you gave me the best surprise of my life since Shannon told me I was going to be a father."
Tony grinned. "Well, I have more proof that you were wrong."
Gibbs pulled back and gave Tony a mock glare. "You gonna go getting all sappy on me now, tell me you found a home?"
Tony stepped away and grinned, holding up the screwdriver he'd fished out of the tool box. "Nope. Found the screwdriver!" He stuck his tongue out at Gibbs and then set off running for the stairs.
Gibbs, torn between growling and laughing, took off after him, catching up in the kitchen where Tony was pulling on handles, looking for the loose ones, not looking at Gibbs, and obviously trying not to smile. Gibbs moved in close, pulled the screwdriver out of Tony's hand, set it down on the counter, reached up to cup Tony's face in his hands, and kissed him hungrily on the lips. He let go a few minutes later, and smiled at Tony.
"How about we go see what we can find in the bedroom?"
Tony set off running again, with Gibbs close behind.