After their morning run, Gibbs didn't give Tony (or himself, for that matter) time to wind down, he instead led him out to the front with a couple of spades and a gardening fork. Throwing down a couple pairs of gardening gloves, the older man looked around with his piercing blue eyes, noting the overgrown gardens and even the remains of an old dog house tucked into the too long grass. He arched a brow and turned back to Tony, passing him a spade. "I want everything alive or dead removed from the gardens, we're going to redo them from scratch," he told the other man before he picked up a hammer, going to pull down the old, rotting dog house. There was no point in keeping it, they didn't have a dog and weren't likely to get one. Even if they did, it would only have to be made from scratch again, the wood completely rotted right through, Gibbs noted as he broke open the side, the wood like wet cardboard.
"Everything?" Tony asked disbelievingly, but Gibbs had already gone to tend to the dog house, leaving the younger man standing there looking at the spade as if he didn't know what to do with it.
"Everything," Gibbs confirmed with a brisk nod, glancing over at the gardens.
It took Anthony a few moments to come to terms with the fact that there was no chance of getting out of this-despite the fact that he had never in his life tended to a garden (unless watering plants counted)-and he found a spot close to where Gibbs was working to start pulling up weeds. He didn't bother to put the gloves on as he knelt down, using the spade to clear away some of the dirt around the roots, wanting to make sure he did this right, because he sure as hell didn't plan on doing it a second time.
"You could have at least given me a chance to sit down for a few moments, Boss," he told the man, but he wasn't whining. He already knew, without having to ask, that he was going to have to get used to doing things that required more physical labor than he was used to.
"Do you need to sit down, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked him, his gaze falling on the other male, watching him work for a few moments, actually finding himself admiring the way Tony's skin glinted with sweat as he worked under the hot sun and he supposed he probably looked the same, if not worse, by this point.
"Nope," Tony responded once he'd finally pulled some weeds free-he hoped they wouldn't all be this difficult. "I'm just saying, it would have been a nice gesture," he told the man, turning to look at him and wiping the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. "Maybe later on when we do get a break, I'll make us some fresh squeezed lemonade. How does that sound, Boss?" he questioned jokingly, thinking about the lamest thing that one of those housewives on TV might do for their husband.
"Don't think we have any lemons, DiNozzo," Gibbs replied, looking amused at the idea.
"Well there's your answer, Boss. That's what we should plant first," Tony enthused jokingly as he yanked a few more weeds free from their home in the dirt, once again wiping at the sweat on his brow. "Lemons."
Throwing the crumbling wood down into a pile near his feet, Gibbs rubbed his hands over his shirt and headed towards the other male, noticing people walking by, curiously watching them. They had to act more like a couple, he knew that, but he was hesitant on this sort of stuff-even in a real marriage he wasn't very good at it, having become a bit hard shelled since the death of his first wife. It was then, as he got closer, that he noticed DiNozzo wasn't wearing the gloves and he picked a pair up, using them to smack the man over the back of the head. "The gloves, Tony."
"Ow," Tony huffed, taking the gloves from him. "Sorry, Hon, I'm not exactly used to these sort of activities," he told Gibbs, taking the gloves and brushing the dirt off of his hands before he pulled them on. "What are we going to do with all these once we've pulled them up, anyway?" he asked, working on pulling more of the weeds up, finding it much easier to do with the gloves on-not that he'd admit that to Gibbs.
"The wood could probably be dried and burned, the vegetation can go in a pile somewhere and I'll build a compost bin around it," he told him after a moments thought, remembering all this kind of stuff from his first wife, it had been the last time he'd even cared. Then again, this was just a cover, it had to look convincing. "Just throw them into a pile," he told DiNozzo with a small grin as he worked, making sure to pull his own gloves on-even if he didn't need to, it was always better to set an example by doing it yourself.
"I can do that," Tony agreed with a nod. It sounded easy enough.
With a huff, he pulled some more weeds free, stumbling back a little as he did so and nearly falling right onto his ass. He only just managed to catch himself, looking a little embarrassed as he set them aside, along with the lot he'd already pulled up. It was pretty quiet for awhile other than the sounds of them working, both of them surveying the area as they did so. By the time Tony stopped, he had done the entire area along the front of the house, the dirt looking a bit messy now, but that could easily be fixed.
"Making progress, Boss," he noted, leaning back against the side of the house, looking quite the mess covered in sweat and dirt. "Noticed anything suspicious?"
"Other than the fact that this whole neighborhood seems to have nothing better to do than to spy on the new couple in the area?" Gibbs grumbled, standing straight and dropping down the hammer to the grass. he'd managed to clear away the doghouse and had started on making a small compost area for them to throw the weeds into, tucking it around the side of the house. "Not yet, nothing overly unusual. It doesn't help that I've been working with a hammer close to my ear."
Looking at DiNozzo, the older man dragged the gloves off of his hands, walking towards the other agent. Tony was a good looking guy and it was easy to see what a woman could appreciate about him, especially how he looked right then. And Leroy knew that as a newlywed husband he should be taking advantage of that, or at least look like he was. The older man hesitated when he got close, meeting Tony's eyes.
"You're a mess."
Looking up at him, a little surprised, Tony let out a huff of laughter that quickly turned into a smirk. It was a nice attempt, but he was getting the vibe that Jethro had no idea what he was doing. He looked a bit like a highschool boy, asking a girl out for the first time, and honestly... Tony found it kind of endearing. He stood, his eyes sweeping over the older man briefly as he took his gloves off and dropped them at his feet, reaching up to wipe away a smudge on Gibbs' cheek, but only succeeding in making it worse.
"Not much better yourself," he pointed out, and he was tempted to suggest that they go inside, get cleaned up, and find something more relaxing to do. There was still a lot of work to be done in the yard, though, and he was past trying to get out of it, wanting to just get it over with at this point. "Guess we'll both have to have a shower when we're through. You better not use all the hot water," he warned teasingly, trying to make it sound as though they were a couple.
"Would you rather we shower together, DiNozzo?" Gibbs practically growled at him, frustrated by the fact that the idea wasn't all that unappealing to him.
Despite the gruff tone behind the suggestion, making it obvious-at least from Tony's perspective-that he wasn't serious, the words had come unexpectedly and Tony couldn't stop the smartassed grin that appeared on his face. "Yes, Boss. Thank you, Boss. I thought you'd never ask," he answered cheekily.
It was obvious that Gibbs was surprised by Tony's response, but he quickly covered it with one of his famous dark looks as he got in Tony's personal space, their faces only inches apart, bodies so close he could feel the heat radiating off the younger male. Opening his mouth to say something in reply, Gibbs was interrupted by the feel of eyes on his back and he paused, shifting and leaning in to talk low into Tony's ear, making it look decidedly intimate. "What do you see?"
The initial closeness of their bodies had been enough to make Tony's heart race in his ribcage, but now he was breathless as well. The younger man moved his eyes to glance over his husband's shoulder, hands settling on Gibbs' hips to make it look even more convincing as he watched one of their neighbors across the street from them, struggling with a large dog that didn't seem to want to listen.
"Someone with a dog," he answered a little too throatily for his liking, moving out from between Gibbs and the house so that he could go and help them out. He was admittedly glad for the distraction, not sure he liked how much he'd enjoyed the way his boss had been standing so close. It was a little rattling for him, since he'd never really been attracted to another male before. At least not since college, and that had only been once-and he'd had a lot of alcohol in his system, not to mention other illegal substances.
"Let me help you," he called out to the blond, raising his hand in greeting.
Initially, he'd thought that he was a woman with his feminine looks, but the flat chest and slightly masculine jawline made Tony pretty certain that this was a male. "New dog?" he asked as he took the leash, finding that it was rather easy for him to control the dog once he was the one in control-it must not have liked this guy... strange.
"My partner's," The pretty blond corrected, holding out a slender hand to the handsome man. "Christof Romanov, I live a few streets up," he told him with a too sweet smile, one that had Gibbs coming up behind DiNozzo, his hand settling on his husband's back, actually feeling protective. Something deep in his gut was warning him, he just wasn't sure about what, yet. The older man bent down at the knees, falling into a crouch and he palmed the dog's head, smoothing his fingers over fur and roughly rubbing at his ears, the short, burley dog letting out a huff and leaning against him.
"Tony DiNoz-Sorry," Tony stopped himself with a grin, glad that they were supposed to be newlyweds instead of long time partners. "Still getting used to that. Tony Gibbs, this is my partner, Jethro," he introduced, watching the older man pet the dog. "Sweet dog."
"That's what everyone says, but he just doesn't listen to me. My partner is working, though, and someone has to walk him," Christof explained, looking relieved to have a break from trying to wrangle the stubborn dog. "I think Bruno's just a fan of more... masculine men. Guess that means he fits right in around here."
Tony found himself laughing at the joke and finding himself wondering if everyone gave their dogs stupid, typical names like that. The strange feeling that he'd had about this man was slipping away easily. Christof was so friendly and approachable, and honestly, if he really did play for the other team, Tony probably wouldn't have been against having a partner like the pretty blond. It was a lot closer to what he was used to dating in a woman, nothing like the strong-natured Gibbs. Although, Tony was getting more and more used to that.
Taking the dog leash from Tony, Jethro adjusted it and looped the handle somewhat, shortening the dog's leash, handing it back to the blond. "Like this," he said gruffly, not particularly interested in what was going on. He just had a bad, or at least a not so good, feeling about the young blond. The way Tony was looking at him didn't help things at all, only making the older man feel more protective and possessive by the moment-something that frustrated him to no end.
Grabbing at the lead, Christof looked surprised before smiling. "You're just so cute! You know, you don't have to hold back just because little ole me is here with you," he told them, thinking he knew everything and figuring that the reason they weren't all lovey-dovey was because he was there.
"Jethro gets a little embarrassed," Tony used as an excuse, flashing the pretty boy a wide smile. "It was all I could do to get him to kiss me during the ceremony."
"Ugh, I almost envy you! I'm sure I won't even be able to get Lou's hands off my ass when we have ours," Christof admitted with a pleasant laugh. "I'd better get this silly dog back before he decides to drag me all over the neighborhood. Thank you for you help, Jethro," he told the older man with another of those sweet smiles and a bat of those long lashes before he was carrying on, having a little more control over the dog now. This time, it was Tony who felt possessiveness course through him, and he shifted a little closer without even realizing he'd done so.
The moment Christof's back was turned, Gibbs' hand came up and connected with the back of DiNozzo's head, punishment for telling the blond that he was embarrassed. He supposed, though-he thought as he dropped his hand down again, resting it on Tony's back-that it was his own fault for not being quicker and giving the other man the chance to speak for him.