Here it is, the auction story. bainst was the winner and I have to thank her, not only for her generosity to a great charity, but for a wonderful story idea. She was so amazing to work with and I have to thank her again for a great experience, since this was my first time collaborating like this. My hope is that I gave her and all of you a story you'll enjoy.
To Srienia, my beta reader. What can I say? You are fantastic! Thank you for your hard work, patience's, and dedication to helping with this story. Your feedback always helps so much.
Vegas! They were in Vegas, Sin City, gambling, show girls, half naked show girls, the 'all you can eat' steak and lobster buffet, and one time home of old blue eyes. And what had he spent the last six days doing? He'd been stuck at Nellis Air Force Base, sitting through intense, long and extremely boring demonstrations and seminars. Tony glanced at his watch for the third time in as many minutes. They were ten minutes from lunch, and he was desperate for a break. Today was the last day and he wanted to jump for joy, as did most of the rest of the team. Still, two more seminars after lunch remained, each three hours long. He wondered if he could somehow talk Gibbs into letting him skip them. He chuckled to himself, yeah right! Like that would ever happen. Again he glanced at his watch when he felt the nudge to his shoulder.
"Staring at your watch doesn't help." Callen grinned at Tony.
"I know." Tony ran his hands down his face.
"Haven't you realized by now that these blowhards always run long?"
"Don't remind me." Tony groaned. The only saving grace of this trip was having the rest of the team here with the Los Angeles team. He'd finally gotten to meet all the people he'd heard about. Nate and McGee had practically been joined at the hip since everyone arrived, talking computer and nerd stuff. Sam had been spending a great deal of his time hitting on Ziva. Kensi, Abby and Ziva were hanging out together. Then there was Callen, the one person Tony had been most interested in meeting. He knew about Callen's history with Gibbs and wanted to see the friendship for himself. The two men were a lot alike, both leery of new people, quiet, emotionally closed off, and extremely intense. Gibbs and Callen had spent the first night deep in conversation, completely removed from the rest of their teams. But after that, Tony noticed the differences between them. Callen was easier to get to know, at least on a superficial level, smiled more, enjoyed down time more, and didn't take himself as seriously. Callen had warmed up to him quickly and they'd spent most of the seminars keeping each other awake with nudges, off color comments, and Gibbs' slaps to the head.
"We'll break for lunch now." The speaker said.
Tony jumped out of his chair and heard Callen laugh.
"You do like food, don't you?" Callen grinned.
"Yes, yes I do." Tony smirked. "But I wanna get the hell outta this room more."
"Lunch is on me." Callen said, standing up and smacking Tony on the back.
"Let's get the hell out of here before someone starts talking again." Tony smiled as they headed out the door, neither noticing the silver haired man sitting at the back of the room watching them leave.
"Those two seem to have hit it off."
"Um hum." Gibbs mumbled.
"They are two of the best agents you've ever worked with- " Hetty Lange smiled. "That's what you said."
"So what's bothering you about them spending so much time together?" She asked.
"Nothing." He shook his head.
Why didn't she believe that? Something was bothering him, she just wasn't sure what. And Gibbs wasn't exactly the sharing type. "Want to get some lunch?"
"Not really hungry." Standing up, Gibbs forced a smile. "Have a few calls to make."
She nodded. "See you back here in an hour."
"We're all free at six, we need to go out."
"Hit the strip, bars, gambling, drinks." Tony wiggled his eyebrows.
"Yeah, think everyone will be up for it?" Callen asked.
"Are you kidding? Everyone will jump for joy." Tony paused. "Except Gibbs, not the 'go out with a group' party type."
"Oh come on, he can be." Callen grinned. "Just ask him. I'm sure your powers of persuasion will work on him."
"Don't bet on it." Tony pushed the last few bites of his steak around with his fork. "Believe me I've tried before."
"Maybe you're just not using the right incentive."
Tony's eyes narrowed. "What is the right incentive with Gibbs?"
Callen shrugged. "Depends on who's asking."
"Well, I've tried offering to pay for drinks, appealing to the fact the team is his family and they want to spend time with him, offering to do his paperwork, even said I would help with the boat." Tony shook his head. "Nothing seems to work."
Leaning forward, Callen put his elbows on the table. "Did you ever just tell him you really wanted him to come with you?"
Tony's gaze dropped to his plate. "No."
"Maybe you should." Callen leaned back in his chair. "You're friends, sometimes it's as simple as letting your friend know you want them around."
"Maybe." Sure they were friends, but Tony didn't see Gibbs agreeing to go out with the team just because Tony wanted him there. Maybe Abby should ask Gibbs, she was his favorite. As if his thought had made her magically appear, Abby, Ziva, Kensi and Sam approached the table.
"We wondered where you two disappeared to." Abby grinned. "Should have known you'd be here."
"Needed to get away from that damn base as fast as possible." Tony chuckled. They were at a restaurant just off base, but at least they were off the grounds.
"Tonight." Callen looked at Sam.
"Oh, I know that look." Sam smirked.
"What?" Abby asked looking slightly concerned.
"The strip." Tony grinned. "All of us!"
"Yes!" Abby started clapping. "There are so many clubs I want to go to and maybe a little gambling."
"You in?" Callen nodded at Kensi.
"Sure." She rolled her eyes. "After sitting through all this crap I need a drink and some dancing. Let off some steam."
"Ziva?" Tony smiled at her.
"I am in."
"Guess that's a yes from all." Sam rubbed his hands together.
"McGee and Nate?" Tony asked.
"Oh, they'll come." Abby could talk McGee into anything.
Callen folded his arms across his chest and looked at Tony. "Gibbs?"
"Gibbs is not really the joining type." Ziva spoke up.
"I still think Tony should ask." Callen stared at Tony. "You can ask after the last seminar."
"Fine." Tony shrugged. "But he won't come."
"Still have to ask."
"What about your boss?" Tony stared back at Callen.
Callen grinned, then glanced over at Kensi and Sam. "Oh, she has other plans."
Tony and the rest of the team looked at Callen.
"She has a date."
"Really?" Tony chuckled. "Go Hetty!"
"Oh, you have no idea!" Sam laughed.
"So we meet in the lobby of the hotel at seven thirty?" Callen asked. "Does that give everyone enough time?"
The people around him nodded.
Callen glanced at his watch and groaned. "Damn, we have to go."
"Only two more." Sam tried to sound positive, but he saw the depressed looks on the faces around him. "Just think about tonight."
He was sitting in the last seat in the back row, Hetty sitting next to him again, as he scanned the agents walking back into the large conference room. All week it had been the same, Ziva, Abby, Kensi and Sam walking in together, then Nate and McGee chatting away and finally Tony and Callen talking and laughing. The two men looking for seats somewhere in the middle, unfortunately they were running late and the only seats still open where two right in front of him and Hetty.
"Hetty, Gibbs." Callen smiled.
Gibbs gave a little nod.
"Hey boss." Tony smiled, then looked at Hetty and winked. "Hetty."
She rolled her eyes. "Save it."
Tony clutched at his chest. "Heartbreaker."
Again she rolled her eyes.
"Don't you find me even a little bit attractive?" Tony smirked.
She leaned forward. "Your attractiveness has nothing to do with it."
"So you do think I'm attractive?" Tony grinned proudly. "I know the good ones are always taken."
This time Gibbs rolled his eyes.
"Well, except you boss." Tony added still grinning.
"Sit down and shut up." Gibbs barked.
"Shutting up boss." Tony dropped down into the chair.
Callen snickered then whispered. "Whipped."
Tony shot a glare at Callen. "Excuse me?"
"You heard me." Callen chuckled.
"Oh and you're not?" Tony scoffed.
Both of their heads jerked forward with the force of the slap.
"Both of you shut up!" Gibbs said just loud enough for those close by to hear.
"Shutting up." The two men said in unison.
Hetty put her hand over her mouth to hide her laughter.
By the time the second seminar started, even Gibbs wanted out. However, this seminar followed up on the big reason for this week long event. *Twenty-seven states had now legalized same sex marriage, the armed forces had done away with DADT, and everyone had to be up to date on the laws, legal issues and proper procedures. Since more and more active and retired men and women were coming out, the military had finally decided they needed to discuss it. NCIS may be a civilian operation, but they were all about the military.
Surprisingly, Tony and Callen had been almost silent during the first speaker. He was interested to see if that was the case during this second seminar, especially given what he knew about Callen. They had worked together long enough and become close enough friends that Callen trusted him with the truth. Of course, that trust may have come from Gibbs walking in on Callen with his tongue down some guy's throat. It didn't matter to him that Callen liked both men and women. Hell, he'd been there done that... truth was, he liked men a hell of a lot more than woman. He just didn't share that with many people and no one in this room knew it.
The whispering voices in front of him drew Gibbs out of his thoughts.
"You cool with all this?" Callen ask softly.
"Yeah, I don't care who anyone sleeps with."
"Ever been down that road?" Callen whispered to Tony.
"Been with a man?" Tony shook his head. "No."
"Right, you're the ladies' man of D.C." Callen chuckled.
Tony grinned. "Well, when you got it, you got it."
Callen rolled his eyes.
That was Tony, ladies' man extraordinaire. Gibbs knew that all too well, had heard the stories, and seen Tony in action more than once. Tony was attractive, smooth, and with that million dollar smile he could charm just about anyone.
Callen whispered again. "Ever been hit on by a guy?"
"Of course." Tony huffed.
"And still never wanted to try it?"
Callen shrugged. "Guess you just haven't met the right guy."
Tony's eyebrow went up. "You trying to tell me something G?"
Letting out a little laugh, Callen grinned not giving an answer.
Gibbs' hand tightened on the arm of his chair, his knuckles turning white with the strength of his grip. When Hetty had asked him if something was bothering him about Callen and Tony spending time together and he'd said 'nothing', he'd lied. It bothered him. It bothered him that Callen had a friendly flirtation with Tony. It bothered him that Tony accepted it, even smiled and laughed at it. And it bothered him that it bothered him.
Feeling his hand start to go numb, he let go of the arm of the chair and flexed his hand. He was a jealous man, even when he had no right to be, and in this situation, he really had no right to be.
He ran his hand down his face. Over the years he'd learned to deal with his jealousy when it came to Tony and all the women, it was just part of who Tony was, but he'd never had to deal with watching a man flirt with Tony or Tony playing into it. He moved his head from side to side, feeling the bones crack and the muscles tense. Suppressing his feelings for Tony had gotten easier over the years, he'd realized long ago Tony didn't see him as anything more than a boss, a friend, someone he trusted. Early on he believed in the fantasy, that one day, Tony would see him as more, but years and time had taught him that that was never going to happen. So he buried his feelings and let himself be happy with their friendship. But seeing Callen and Tony together now, it started to push all those feelings to the surface again.
The people around him started to stand up and Gibbs realized the lecture was over. Glancing to his right, Hetty was already up and looking down at him.
"Try and enjoy your last night here." She smiled. "I know I will."
"Um speaking of that." Tony glanced at Gibbs. "We're all going out, come with us."
Gibbs shook his head.
"Come on, we haven't spent a lot of time with you this week." Tony smiled.
"Have fun." Gibbs felt his jaw clench as he said the words. Truth was he wanted some reason to order Tony not to go, a way to keep Callen and Tony far away from each other.
"Jethro." Callen cocked his head. "You can at least come out for one drink."
Gibbs' gaze fell on Callen.
"How often do you get to see me?" Callen smiled. "I'll buy, top shelf."
Maybe he should go. Just to make sure... make sure Callen's innocent flirtation, was just that, innocent without any real motive behind it. Gibbs sighed. "One drink, top shelf."
"You got it." Callen winked. "In the lobby of the hotel at seven thirty, we'll head out from there."
Gibbs gave a nod, stood up, and walked away.
Callen smiled over at Tony and saw the disappointed expression on the man's face as Tony watched Gibbs walk out of the room. "What's wrong?"
Tony shook his head. "Nothing."
"That look isn't nothing." Callen stared at Tony, trying to get a read on why Tony would look disappointed. He knew Tony wanted Gibbs to come tonight, so why the disappointment? Then it struck him. The disappointment was because Tony hadn't been able to convince Gibbs to go out tonight, but that he was able to. "Hey, you see him every day, I used the 'I never see you' ploy, hard to deny that."
"Yeah." Tony forced a smile. Even after all these years, it bothered him that it seemed Gibbs wanted to spend time with everyone but him. Their friendship had grown, changed, it had gone from just Boss and Senior Field Agent to what he believed were real friends. Yet still, Gibbs kept some odd kind of distance between them, almost as if it was physically painful for Gibbs to spend time with him outside work or the basement. Those were the two places Gibbs felt safest, that much Tony understood, but what was the issue of them spending time together any place else?
He shouldn't have agreed to this, it wasn't a good idea. Gibbs tossed his suit jacket on the bed, pulled his shirt from his pants and started to unbutton it. Dropping down on the edge of the bed, he took a deep breath. He shouldn't go, it wasn't like he agreed because he wanted to spend time with Callen or anyone for that matter. The only reason he agreed was because he wanted to keep an eye on Tony and Callen, and what the hell for? What was he going to do if he actually saw something develop between them? He had no claim on Tony and couldn't risk losing Tony by admitting his feelings. Plus if Tony did want something to happen with Callen, Gibbs' feelings were irrelevant.
Shaking his head, he headed to the closet. He'd go, have one drink, then back here to the room where he could drink alone and without jealousy and temptation.
"He's really coming with us?" Abby looked shocked.
"Yeah, for one drink." Tony nodded.
"How did you talk him into coming?"
"I didn't." Tony glanced over at Callen.
"Wow." Abby grinned. "You must have some major dirt on him."
Callen shook his head.
"Where is he?" McGee asked looking at his watch. The slap to the head made him jump.
"I'm right here." Gibbs said. "And it's not seven thirty yet."
McGee nodded. "Right."
"Whoa!" Abby's eyebrows went up. "Looking sexy bossman, hoping to get lucky?"
Gibbs rolled his eyes.
Abby was right, Tony thought as he scanned over Gibbs' form. Black slacks, an untucked deep blue dress shirt, that made his eyes look darker than their normally steely blue, and a black suit jacket. Not exactly casual jeans and a t-shirt, but for Gibbs an untucked shirt was casual.
"Let's get the hell out of here and have a drink." Callen slapped his hands together.
*The 27 states legalizing same sex marriage is part of the story, not actually correct.