Author’s Note: Written for laytoncolt for her birthday.
What he was doing here, Tony hadn’t the faintest idea. Things hadn’t been the same between them since Gibbs had woken up from a coma with no memory of the past fifteen or so years of his life. Not that things between them had ever really been what Tony wanted them to be, but still, there was something missing these days. Something that had allowed him both to fall in love with Jeanne in the first place and then to so easily break her heart.
Maybe that was why he was standing here, only hours after lying to Jeanne and telling her there had never been anything real between them. He wanted that man back, the man he’d been before Gibbs changed: the man who knew where he stood with the most important person in his life.
It wasn’t a reason so much as it was an excuse, but it would have to do because the door was opening and Gibbs stood on the other side, his expression unreadable. “DiNozzo.”
“Boss.” Tony smiled weakly. “Bet you’re wondering what I’m doing here, aren’t you?”
“The thought had crossed my mind,” Gibbs answered dryly.
“I was wondering…that is, I was hoping…” Oh, hell. He was stammering. That was never good, especially in front of someone who knew him as well as Gibbs. Pulling himself together, Tony forced himself to meet Gibbs’ steel blue eyes and did what he always did when he didn’t have the nerve to be serious: he cracked a joke. “I guess I figure if anyone would know how to deal with being accused of murder by the woman you thought you’d spend your life with, it’d be you.”
A muscle twitched in Gibbs’ cheek, and the lines around his eyes deepened almost imperceptibly in – was that a smile? Tony’s heart gave a hopeful little leap.
Then Gibbs’ hand was on his shoulder, the fingers curling almost possessively along the muscles at the base of the neck. “Come on in,” he stated quietly, another twitch of the lips revealing something that was definitely the wry shadow of a smile. “You can help sand the boat.”
(Related work: Never After Ever (The Fore-and-Aft Rigged Remix) by circ_bamboo)