Title: Brick by Brick chapter 7
Sorry it's taken so long. Real life does that. More soon though. *hopefully*
Tony stared at the key laying on his dining table. He smiled slightly despite himself, Gibbs might not be perfect but sometimes he definitely knew something about making a grand gesture sincere. Tony was completely screwed, and he knew it. He just needed to be sure Gibbs didn't know it for a while, after all Tony wasn't that easy.
He'd been debating adding it to his key-chain for over a week, he'd honestly been avoiding it. That almost made it all seem too easy. But Tony knew he only had a limited amount of time before Jenny showed up so they could go to the wedding.
His hands shook a little and he cursed as he struggled with the ring and key, trust a key to Gibbs' house to be difficult. He swore softly at the sharp knocks that alerted him to Jenny's presence at his door. Finally the key slid onto the ring and he was able to trot to the door and open it.
“There you are! I was worried you'd forgotten or-” Tony wasn't surprised to see that Jenny was quite obviously in a tizzy of nervous emotion. She looked lovely, but she was biting her lip and twirling a piece of hair almost frantically.
Tony shook his head, his issues with Gibbs paled in comparison. “You know I wouldn't forget, the wedding starts in about an hour. It'll take us about half an hour to get there, and we're not going to the reception. Right?”
She nodded and leaned into the arm he wrapped around her shoulders. “Thanks Tony. Really.”
“It's okay, really. I'm driving though.”
She laughed a bit breathlessly, “Yeah that's probably for the best.”
Tony sighed as they walked into the brightly lit hall 45 minutes later with Jenny clutching his arm. The next few hours wouldn't be pleasant.
Gibbs frowned down at his phone, Tony wasn't answering. Which wasn't a big deal, but the part of Gibbs that had been half giddy with hope that they could go to dinner or something wasn't so giddy anymore.
He sighed and decided he'd try back in a few hours, but in the meantime he'd figure out something to work on in the basement.
About three hours later he had the base for a bookshelf almost done when his phone rang. He didn't really think when he answered it with his customary grunt.
“Hey, you called?” Tony's voice was tinny, but obviously tired but a part of Gibbs was getting giddy again because if nothing else Tony had called him back.
“I was just wondering if you wanted to have dinner tonight.” Gibbs tried to sound casual, he wasn't sure if he succeeded.
Tony was silent for a moment before he sighed, “Yeah, I'll be there as soon as I can. Hannah has Jenny duty tonight, it's apparently something that she needs another girl around to deal with. Whatever, I need a shower so it might be...”
“Tony, it's okay. Just come when you can.”
Tony sighed again, “Thanks Gibbs. Really, I...I'll see you soon.”
An hour later Gibbs had lost himself in the wood again when he heard the door swing open, he smiled slightly and set his tools aside and dusting his hands off. He was about to start coming upstairs when Tony opened the door. Gibbs smile grew a bit more, and he was pleased to see Tony smile back.
“I knew you'd be down there. Starting another boat?”
Tony's tone was teasing and Gibbs just shook his head and snaked an arm around Tony's waist as he passed by. “Nah, just a bookshelf at the moment.”
“Abby still doesn't know how you got that thing out of there.” Gibbs was gratified by the fact that Tony didn't pull away, he just moved with Gibbs to the kitchen and accepted the proffered soda.
Gibbs snorted, “I'll take that to the grave.”
“She might put you there trying to find out.” Tony smiled widely at him and Gibbs felt himself give a soft huff of laughter.
“Nah, she wont. She'd miss me too much and she knows it.” Gibbs dropped into one of the kitchen chairs with a sigh, “So. What do you want to do tonight? Dinner?”
Tony winced slightly, “I don't think I'm up for any fine Dining tonight, just....after today not really in the mood.”
Gibbs nodded, “Chinese, Thai or Pizza? And what was so bad about today.”
“Pizza would be awesome.”
Gibbs nodded slowly, “Alright.”
Tony sighed, “I'll tell you just....after Pizza, okay?”
Gibbs snagged Tony's hand and squeezed it, “You don't have to tell me anything. But I'd like you to. Now go figure out what we're doing after Pizza, there has to be a movie you want to see in the theaters now.”
“Gibbs, you don't have to...”
Gibbs glared at the younger man who was lingering, “When have you known me to do something I don't want to do.”
Gibbs smiled, “Exactly. Now go on my laptop is in the living room.”
Tony grinned, “First time it'll be used for something other than work, huh?”
“Probably.” There wasn't a point denying it and Gibbs knew it. He watched the younger man wander towards the living room and shook his head slightly, slightly in wonder of the fact that Tony was there at all.
He called their normal pizza joint and ordered, was assured it'd be delivered as soon as possible and made his way to the living room to find Tony taping away on his laptop.
“Anything good?” Gibbs dropped onto the couch beside Tony and fought a smile as the agent smiled at him.
Tony hummed distractedly, “Not...really. Unless you want to want to see Toy Story 3. I think most of the war movies would hit a bit close to home. And Toy Story might as well.” He met Gibbs' gaze with a smile, “But that's okay. You were willing to see a movie with me. That's actually kind of remarkable.”
“Well we have half an hour to kill before the Pizza gets here.” Gibbs tried not to stare at the younger man, but it was a little hard when having him in the room at all had sparked that small ball of happy hope in his gut again.
Tony sighed and shifted slightly before returning Gibbs' gaze, but his expression wasn't happy. Gibbs swallowed, “Everything okay Tony?”
“You wouldn't marry Hart, would you boss?”
Gibbs stared at the younger man for a moment, genuinely puzzled. “What are you on about Tony, marry her?”
Tony sighed, “Well you're the marrying kind Gibbs, and I've met your ex-wives and none of them were sweet gentle bred ladies. So y'know Hart sort of fit and....” The silent I don't rang between them uncomfortably.
Gibbs sighed, “If I'd never met you, yeah. I might have. But those women are all ex's for a reason Tony. I tried for a long time to replace something that can't be replaced.” Gibbs shifted uncomfortably, “Shannon......she wasn't timid. But she wasn't Allison Hart. I think I've finally gotten it through my own fat skull that you can't just replace someone you love. You have to move on.”
“Have you moved on?”
Gibbs knew the question was a landmine, even more than the previous one he sighed again and wished he'd grabbed a beer. “I'm trying. You're the closest I've come, and if I haven't screwed that up beyond hope I plan to keep trying until I do.”
Tony gave a half nod, and failed at a smile. “I'm trying too boss.”
“Tony, where were you today?” Gibbs didn't think about it when he moved to cup the younger man's cheek gently, but he was thankful not to be shaken off. “You seem.....I dunno upset. I don't like it.”
Tony sighed, “You remember Jenny? My Jenny, not.....Madame Director Jenny?” Gibbs nodded silently, and the explaination that followed made him frown.
“She went?” Tony nodded and Gibbs shook his head, “That man doesn't deserve to be called a man.”
Tony's smirk was bitter, “Some would say the same about you. And me.”
Gibbs shook his head sadly, “I'd never do that to you. Just like I never invited old girlfriends to my wedding, just seems.....kinda crude doesn't it? Especially if we parted on bad terms.”
“Boss....” his voice was bitter and Gibbs hastened to cut him off.
“Oh don't get me wrong Tony, I'm a jack ass. But.....if you'd made it plain from the start you didn't want anymore to do with me I wouldn't rub salt in your wounds by inviting you to a wedding. I'm pretty pathetic, but that's a low I hope I never reach.”
Tony's smile was a bit more genuine and he leaned into Gibbs hand, “Well. I suppose we don't have to worry about that anyway. But Jenny does want me to talk to you about stuff...”
Gibbs blinked, “Stuff?”
“She's convinced if we talk about how I felt about the whole thing....well she wants you to understand what it did to me......so that...well you wont do it again.” Tony sighed, “And really she's kind of right. I mean....I can't do this if the next time some redhead shows up for a good time you'll just....up and run with it. Because........I dunno if I could deal with it again.”
Gibbs fought down the pained sounded that threatened to escape, “That wont ever happen Tony. I don't know how to convince you of that.”
Tony shrugged, “Time. Really. But I'm going to give you that, so convince away.”
The Pizza arrived then, and they eat in silence.
It was a month later that Tony came back to Gibbs' house after tracking down a hard to find suspect and found him glaring at Hart over a mug of bourbon as she smiled at him smugly. Gibbs could tell Tony hadn't had a good day, well he'd known that before sending him home for some rest (which Tony obviously had ignored) but it seemed that his agent/lover's evening had only gotten worse. Tony glared at her, “You need to leave.”
Hart pursed her lips and regarded him appraisingly, “This isn't your house.”
Tony opened his mouth to say something, but Gibbs beat him to it. “No he's right. I think you need to go home now.”
She frowned at Gibbs and narrowed her eyes, “You don't really mean that.”
Gibbs smiled sardonically back at her, “Yes. I really do.”
“Here let me show you out.” Tony's hand shot out and gripped her elbow as he half dragged her up the basement stairs and across the foyer to the front door and finally out it. Gibbs followed slightly worried about what this would mean and he merely waved ironically to her as Tony slammed the door in her face.
Silence reigned as they listened to her stomp to her car and crank it.
“Tony I swear nothing happened...”
Tony was breathing heavily as he stood at the door staring through the window after Hart's car and Gibbs forced himself to move forward and lay a hand on his shoulder. Tony jerked slightly under his palm but didn't move away, “Tony she picked the lock, nothing happened, nothing was going to happen. She said she had a lead that's the only reason I even pretended to have a conversation with her. You have to know I'm telling you the truth.”
Tony finally looked at him and Gibbs was slightly shocked to see that Tony wasn't visibly upset, he just looked stony and focused. It only made Gibbs feel worse, and he found himself gently massaging the back of Tony's neck and easing the door shut. He pulled the younger man's stiff body against his own gently pressing his face against the taller man's neck, “You have to believe me.”
Tony gave a shuddering breath and seemed to melt against Gibbs, and Gibbs felt a bubble of happiness raise in his gut as the younger man didn't pull away. Gibbs allowed himself to gently press kisses against Tony's cheek, and they stood like that for a few moments and Gibbs was starting to wish Tony would do something when the younger man's grip suddenly tightened on his shirt and Tony shook his head.
For a moment Gibbs felt the all too familiar lead weight settle in his gut, but suddenly Tony was pressing forward and taking his mouth in an almost brutal kiss. Gibbs matched it with intensity of his own, and allowed a hand to burrow in Tony's hair. The younger man pulled away slightly, panting loudly in the silence of the foyer. “She can't have you.”
Gibbs blinked but before he could respond Tony was kissing him again, just as hard. Gibbs allowed himself to sigh into the kiss and brought his hands up to rest against the younger and obviously desperate man's neck, he allowed his thumbs to caress the soft skin there. The attempt at soothing Tony seemed to work because he allowed Gibbs to gentle the kiss.
When they pulled apart again Tony had lost the last of the ice that had tinged his expression, Gibbs sighed happily and allowed his forehead to rest against Tony's. the younger man sighed and Gibbs probably shouldn't have enjoyed the soft feeling of the warm puff of air against his cheek, but he did. “Stay here tonight.” Gibbs knew his voice was rough with emotion but he couldn't bring himself to care.
Tony smiled and bumped Gibbs' nose with his own, “Alright. But you need tighter security.”
Gibbs smiled softly, “The amount of locks on the door is sort of pointless now, you're the only one I'd let stay.”
The kiss he got in response spoke of forgiveness, acceptance, and hope. Gibbs felt himself relax. It felt like home.