Title: Daddy DiNozzo
Disclaimer: NCIS and its characters do not belong to me, this was just written as a bit of fun.
Summary: Tony's best friend has recently died and made Tony the legal guardian of Evie, her six-year-old daughter. DiNozzo rises to the challenge of fatherhood, with a little help and a little hindrance from the team.
Author's Notes: Set sometime after beginning of season nine.
All feedback welcome good, bad, constructive… everyone is entitled to an opinion.
Warning: Tibbs slash, don't like it? Tough.
Thanks and Acknowledgements: 65 reviews so far (wow), all really positive and some constructive comments too, thank you!
Chapter Five: Lunch with the Ex
Gibbs and Tony fell into a new work routine easily, Tony would still come by to deliver coffee a few times each week and every Friday, cases permitting, they took a long lunch and wandered about the capitol, catching up on sports, movies and the latest cases as the mood took them.
Six weeks after Tony started work with his new team, they went to Gibbs' favourite diner and after a couple of burgers and lots of coffee they took a stroll around the Washington monument, alternating between companionable silence and easy conversation about the current baseball season.
When they reached the base of the monument Gibbs paused over the reflecting pool, looking as relaxed as Tony had ever seen him.
"So, how are you liking cold cases?" the older man asked.
Gibbs shot him a part-fond, part-exasperated look, "No Tony, I want you to lie to me."
Tony just smiled, "Boring when compared to the MCRT and Dobbs is an idiot, but I'm not chained to my desk as much as I thought I would be, Helen is a real blast and the Fibbies are a whole hell of a lot less annoying to work with when Fornell and Agent Slacks aren't in the picture. Could be worse."
Tony knew what Gibbs was asking, "I get to see her every evening, make her dinner, read her some complicated science fiction novel while she corrects my pronunciation, kiss her goodnight. It's… perfect."
Gibbs seemed to relax even further, "The cold case solve rate has only gone up by three per cent," he commented with studied off-handedness, clearly enjoying the opportunity to tease Tony.
Tony didn't even hesitate, he head-slapped Gibbs growling fondly, "Give me another three months and you'll get your ten per cent, impatient bastard."
Silence settled around them again as they began to make a circuit of the reflecting pool, each thinking about the changes of the previous weeks. Gibbs was smirking, smug that Tony had grown comfortable enough to head-slap him in such a short time.
Tony broke into his reverie, "It's Evie's seventh birthday next week, we're going on a picnic. Thought you might like to join us?" he asked.
Tony was rewarded with a quick 'Yeah Tony' and an expression he had never seen before on Gibbs' face, an open smile full of affection and he was momentarily struck dumb, "You know, you should smile like that more often Boss."
This made the smile widen even further, "I'm not your boss now Tony."
"But 'Jethro' still sounds so strange when I say it."
"Well you're not calling me Leroy." Gibbs said, his smile turning wry.
"I thought I could call you whatever I wanted?" Tony joked.
"I remembered who I was talking to."
"Gee, thanks Gibbs"
They reached the opposite end of the reflecting pool and paused again to look back at the obelisk, Gibbs was lost in the past, thoughts with his girls and the last ten years spent working with Tony.
"I meant it," he said, out of the blue.
"What?" Tony sounded puzzled.
"That you could call me whatever you wanted," Gibbs clarified, "You know… I…" he trailed off not sure what he wanted to say next, Tony just quirked an eyebrow in question.
"The first time I spoke to Shannon, we were waiting for a train at Stillwater station, I told her my name and she said the same thing you did, that she was just gonna call me Gibbs. I said she could call me whatever she wanted." He smiled slightly at the memory.
Tony didn't look surprised so much as worried but visibly relaxed when he saw the smile, "Something tells me she didn't always call you Gibbs though."
It wasn't really a question but Gibbs answered anyway, "No, she eventually decided that she preferred Jethro to Leroy, have used it ever since."
Tony squeezed Gibbs' shoulder, trying to offer comfort. Gibbs turned towards him and acting on sudden impulse stepped closer to him, right into his personal space and kissed him, forcefully. It was the first time Gibbs had been aggressive with Tony, this was no peck on the lips and it was more habit than desire, that made Tony give in to it.
Tony was so used to following Gibbs' lead he responded automatically but, as he got with the program Tony wrapped his arms around Gibbs and kissed back with less and less hesitation and more and more skill and it was Gibbs who was breathless when they broke apart.
"In public, out on the street, surrounded by tourists? Really?" Amusement colouring Tony's voice, although after that kiss Gibbs was surprised he had the presence of mind to recognise subtleties in Tony's tone.
Gibbs just nodded.
Tony suddenly changed tack with nary a pause, just went on as if nothing had happened, the only difference in his demeanour that slight sense of fun in his voice, "So, you don't like Leroy and I just can't call you Jethro. How about Jet?"
"Really? It suits y…" he was interrupted by a head-slap.
"I said no!"
"Right, Right. Jeth?"
Gibbs considered his options, "I can live with Jeth," he conceded.
"Jeth it is then." Tony's grin was big, honest and mischievous.