Disclaimer: NCIS and its characters do not belong to me, this was just written as a bit of fun.
Summary: Tony has just been released from hospital after his latest near-death experience. Gibbs is watching out for him but all Tony wants is for everyone to stop walking on eggshells.
Author's Notes: Set sometime in season three.
All feedback welcome good, bad, constructive… everyone is entitled to an opinion.
Warning: Could be seen as slash, don't like it? Tough.
Tony DiNozzo sank down onto his large, comfortable leather couch with a wince and a sigh of relief, ever since his release from Bethesda Naval Hospital earlier in the day he had been dealing with the increasingly frustrating behaviour of his colleagues and friends and he was glad to be alone.
Abby hadn't been able to stop petting and hugging him, she'd just suddenly burst into tears and grab him babbling incoherently all the while, McGee had reverted to his probie-behaviours of stuttering and jumping out of his skin every five seconds and Ziva had refused to look him in the eye all day. The worst was Gibbs, who had hovered over him like the world's most irascible mother hen and had been… nice. He hated it when Gibbs was nice, it creeped him out. Eventually he had retreated to Autopsy to hang with Ducky and Palmer who had been their usual selves, bickering like an old married couple over their latest body, which had been a big relief to the beleaguered agent.
Tony knew he wouldn't have long to enjoy the peace and quiet, he had escaped from Gibbs earlier only by dint of extreme sneakiness and he knew that the older man would soon knocking at his apartment door.
Half an hour later the expected knock came and swallowing back his irritation, Tony went to let his boss in.
"By all means come on in," he sighed in exasperation as Gibbs, not waiting for an invitation, pushed past him into the apartment. Once he stepped into the main room however, Gibbs seemed at a bit of a loss what to do with himself.
"Sit down boss, I'll make coffee."
Gibbs watched his SFA quietly for a few minutes as he prepared what looked to be Gibb's favourite brew, before quietly asking, "How you doing DiNozzo?"
Tony looked at Gibbs, clearly deliberating before giving an answer, this prompted a raised eyebrow from Gibbs who had been expecting the typical DiNozzo response of 'I'm fine'. But a few hours of his team walking on eggshells around him had driven Tony nuts and honesty was the only thing he could think of to get Gibbs to go back to normal, the others would all follow Gibbs' lead, all he had to hope was that honesty would do the trick.
"Tired, sore and I have a cracking headache, but all things considered it could be worse."
"You were…" Gibbs paused swallowing and balling his hands into fists as he tried to contain his anger, "I don't think it gets much worse DiNozzo," he finished as calmly as he could.
"I was raped, you can say it Gibbs," Tony sounded serious but composed, almost as if he was trying to comfort his boss. "And it could be much worse, I have no internal injuries, no broken bones and oh yeah, I'm still alive." A brief flash of DiNozzo grin accompanied this.
"How can you be so… no one gets over something like that so easily. You can't tell me you're okay." That had almost come out as a question, Gibbs was extremely puzzled at Tony's behaviour, experience told him that Tony would attempt to cover any distress but his SFA wasn't telling jokes and pretending everything was alright and didn't appear to suffering. This was Tony as Gibbs had never seen him before, he strongly suspected he was getting a look at the man behind the masks and he wasn't sure how to read him.
"I'm not going to pretend that I'm alright, but I will be. All I need is some time."
"Time? That's it? Just a few days or weeks to get your head sorted then hey-presto everything is good again?"
"Y'know there's no need to be sarcastic boss. I know what I'm talking about and I know where to get help if I need it."
"And you'll admit it if you need help will you? Because that's not exactly one of your strong points."
"Pot, kettle, black."
Gibbs glared, "I'm not letting this go DiNozzo!"
"I. Will. Be. Fine." Tony enunciated carefully, starting to let his frustration get to him, "I can handle this. Turns out it's easier second time around."
"Second time around?" Gibbs was startled to his feet, moving towards Tony where he now leant against the island that separated the living and kitchen space.
Tony sighed again, "Look I really didn't want to do this… I have been raped before boss, and then I was a mess. The whole nine yards, denial, anger, screaming, crying, you name the cliché, but I got help, and I got past it, and strangely enough the past experience helped me, knowing that I recovered the first time makes me more confident about recovering this time."
Tony stopped taking pity on Gibbs, the older man had gone rather pale and was again holding his fists clenched trying to reign in his anger. Tony pulled Gibbs back to the couch and sat him down with an injunction to stay while Tony refilled his coffee mug.
"You okay boss?" He asked handing the mug over.
"Am I okay? Jesus DiNozzo, try worrying about yourself for once will you?" Gibbs shook his head at the smile that this comment won from Tony.
After a brief and comfortable silence Gibbs came to a decision, now he knew in general he needed to find out the details and he needed to know there had been some justice in the case. "What happened?" he asked.
Tony told him, it took longer than he had expected as Gibbs kept interrupting, first to ask questions, then to yell and finally to throw his coffee mug against the wall. Tony told him about his partner at Philly PD, how he and some of the other detectives had taken exception to him, how they had tricked him and cornered him around the back of a bar and beaten him nearly to death, gang-raping him and leaving him to die. How they had covered their tracks, ensuring no evidence was left behind for forensics to find. How his Captain had covered it up and put in for him to be transferred to Baltimore.
When he was done Gibbs looked as tired as Tony felt and he was clearly not going to let his anger go easily.
"Why? You said they had a problem with you, why did they feel it necessary to try to beat you to death?"
"They found out I wasn't as straight as they would like, homophobic assholes."
The look of stunned surprise on Gibbs' face made Tony laugh out loud, "You mean you didn't know? The great Leroy Jethro Gibbs isn't all seeing and all knowing when it comes to his Senior Field Agent? Priceless!"
"You're gay? But… I've seen you flirt with hundreds of women and there's no way you were faking, I would have noticed," he wracked his brains reviewing the many instances of Tony's flirting in his mind's eye.
"Relax boss, not gay, your powers of observation aren't that broken. I am however a firm believer in equal opportunities. I prefer women but every now and then I will notice a guy."
Gibbs sat back a bit scrutinising the man next to him, Tony was grinning in his amusement, completely distracted by Gibbs' reaction to his revelation and Gibbs was reassured, Tony would be fine, he was more than enough to get past his latest near-death experience. Relaxing slightly he grabbed his SFA and gave him a hug.
"Er, I really am okay boss," Tony said unsure what had prompted this uncharacteristic move.
"I'm not doing it to make you feel better," Gibbs growled.
"I'm doing it to make me feel better." Then he felt Tony's shoulders shake in another laugh and he released Tony, following up the hug with a good hard head slap.
A few hours later, after subjecting Gibbs to watching the latest James Bond movie, Tony announced that he was going to hit the sack. Gibbs made it as far as his Challenger before turning and heading back inside. Tony was already in bed when he opened the door to Tony's bedroom.
"Forget something boss?" He asked smirking as Gibbs appeared in his doorway.
Gibbs just shrugged and stepped inside the room, "No, just didn't want to leave." He took his jacket off and hung it over the back of a handy chair, then his shirt followed. When he went to undo his belt, Tony interrupted him.
"What are you doing boss?"
"Well I'm not sleeping on your couch DiNozzo."
"I didn't realise I had invited you to stay, on the couch or otherwise?"
"Shut up and move over," Tony obeyed automatically and Gibbs slid into the bed beside him.
"Y'know, I don't think I'll ever understand you boss," he huffed.
There was some argument as Tony settled down to sleep and found Gibbs flush against his back, arm around his waist, spooning him. After some rearranging of limbs, pillows and blankets they were both comfortable enough to doze off, Gibbs still loosely holding Tony.
Tony was woken roughly when Gibbs abruptly jolted against him and climbed out of the bed, he ran for the bathroom before Tony had time to ask what was wrong. When he heard the sound of vomiting, he followed his boss, pushing open the bathroom door to find Gibbs sitting next to the toilet, back to the wall, recovering.
Gibbs nodded, "Nightmare," he said by way of explanation.
"I'm the one who's supposed to be traumatised,' Tony said, smiling, shaking his head and offering Gibbs a hand up.
Gibbs began to speak very quietly almost under his breath, "I want to hurt them, I'd kill them all if I got my hands on them, rip them apart."
"You shouldn't let it bother you so much boss, I know you have my six." Tony soothed, handing Gibbs a glass of water so he could rinse his mouth out and then huddling him back to the bedroom.
"Don't call me boss right now Tony, this isn't about work, it's not my job to look after you. I want to look after you, and those bastards should pay for what they did to you. I would feel the same if this had happened to Shannon or Kelly.'
"Who are Shannon and Kelly?"
Gibbs took a breath and really focused on Tony, after a silent moment Gibbs began to talk. Sitting side by side with Tony in the large bed, he told Tony all about his girls, his life with them and how they had died.
It was the only time Gibbs could remember seeing Tony cry.
Author's Note: I was going to write another chapter of Daddy DiNozzo today but I got side-tracked by the Tony whump community on … oops. Anyway most of those stories (while great) show a damaged or broken Tony needing help after he is whumped, the Tony is my head is far too BAMF for that, hence this story. I hope you enjoyed it.