Title: Goldilocks' Immortal Words

Tony had great respect for Mother Nature, he understood her strength and her ability to pull the rug out from under you. Hell, he'd seen the Perfect Storm enough times to know that the woman could be a bitch with a screwed up sense of humor when she wanted.

Like today, while searching for a missing petty officer and her 22 month old son, Mother Nature had thrown everything at them. Drenching rain had turned to sleet when the temperatures dropped followed by wet, heavy snow after the temps had dipped even lower. Yeah, today Mother Nature was like a woman scorned (and Tony knew all about scorned women).

The good news, the petty officer and son had been found snug as a bug in a rug in a family owned cabin in a remote area of Rock Creek. (Her husband had conveniently forgotten to mention that he'd recently used her for a punching bag).

The bad news, his new Bacco Bucci loafers were trash. Traipsing through snow had a tendency to do that to good European leather. His Gucci suit had seen better days and he prayed that the dry cleaners would be able to salvage his favorite pin stripe.

Gibbs had taken pity on his shivering team when they'd returned to the Navy Yard. They were wet, bedraggled and maybe the fact that Tony coughed more than a few times had pushed their boss over the edge. "Go home," he'd growled, "but I expect reports on my desk no later than zero nine hundred. Tomorrow."

Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, the three of them had scattered to the winds.

A scalding shower. A pair of sweats. Two pairs of tube socks, raising the heat before he climbed into bed and Tony still wasn't able to shake the down-to-his bones chill.

The bed dipped and Tony's groan of appreciation as he moved to leech the heat from the new body was met with a huff of contentment.

"I know, feels nice," Tony said, smiling into his pillow as he snuggled even closer.

A tongue slithered across his exposed neck, reawakening the cold. Annoyed, he shouldered away the advances. "Not that nice."

The answering heavy breath of frustration flowed over him.

"Live with it."

In apology, the body cuddled even closer to Tony who reached around to pat the flank. "You're forgiven."

***
Eventually, their breathing was synced, deep, relaxed, and on the cusp of sleep until Tim's voice interrupted the journey into slumber.

"Tony, how many times have I told you Jethro, get out of bed."

Groaning, Tony flipped onto his back, sputtering as Jethro thought this was an invitation to wash Tony's face with his huge tongue. "Stop," Tony commanded, moving a tongue's length away from his furry bed warmer.

"Don't think I'm going to kiss you now." Tim warned, his glare sliding from Tony to his co-conspirator, Jethro. "No. Dog. In. The. Bed."

"You were busy. I was cold. Jethro... "

"Knows better." Tim moved toward the bed, his hand outstretched, fingers wagging in the direction of Jethro's collar.

Jethro moved closer to Tony, who wrapped his arms protectively around the dog. "He was warm."

Jethro's tail gave a triumphant thump against the quilt.

Tim stopped, the slightest of pouts pushing out his bottom lip. "I'm warm."

"Yeah, but you were warm in front of your computer, McElf Lord, Jethro was warm in here. Next to me. In bed."

Jethro was keeping his six warm while Tim was pressed against his front. Finally, Tony was thawed out and comfortable. A wet tongue tickled his hairline.

"You're welcome," Tony whispered.

Another lick followed the first.

"Alright," Tony hissed, keeping his voice low so not wake his sleeping partner. "I promise, tomorrow we'll talk about getting a bigger bed. Happy now?"

Jethro offered up the equivalent of a whispered doggie woof.

"If the two of you don't stop it right now, there's a bed in the spare bedroom with your names on it."

Tony rested his chin on the sensitive spot between Tim's shoulder and neck. "I can lick you if you're feeling a touch jealous."

"Not jealous. Tired. As in I want to sleep."

Jethro barked then nudged his snout into the sensitive spot between Tony's neck and shoulder.

Weird. Tony thought. Definitely weird.

"Tony?"

"Hmmm."

Tim ground his ass against Tony's crotch. "Do you really think we need to discuss a larger bed?"

"No," Tony said sliding his right leg over Tim's. "After much consideration, I think, in the immortal words of Goldilocks, 'this bed is just right'."

~the end~