Title: Brick by Brick
Author's Note: Well kittens it's done. =3 I hope you like the ending, well I like to think of it as a beginning, but hey that's just me. This does mean that work will begin on My Belle again sometime soon, thanks for your patience and I hope you've enjoyed it!
It was hours later and Tony was watching Gibbs, and Gibbs was watching Tony, and they were both laying in bed and were close enough to touch but not. There hadn't been any sex Tony had already felt raw, open, and slightly betrayed, but seeing her car in the driveway had been an axe to the heart. Sex wasn't what he'd needed, and Gibbs hadn't even mentioned it. They'd shared kisses and Gibbs had helf him like he was something precious but Tony still had that niggling feeling.
Tony sighed as he thought about Jenny, and how she'd told him that he needed to talk to Gibbs, make him understand and acknowledge the pain that he'd put Tony through. But...neither of them talked about feelings, it just wasn't something they did. Tony put up with it for Jenny's sake, but he wasn't good at it and it didn't come easy to him. But after tonight, he needed to know that Gibbs understood and the only way that would happen is if they talked about it.
Tony sighed again and shifted slightly, “Gibbs, I...I think we need to have that talk.”
He winced as Gibbs stiffened, “Tony I told you....”
Tony shook his head and cut him off, “and I believe you. But......we need to talk about...well I need to talk about how it felt before.”
Gibbs' jaw clenched and Tony suppressed the urge to kiss him until he relaxed, “I know I hurt you. I understand.”
“I thought you understood before all this happened. I don't want to make that mistake again.” Tony tried to sound firm, but he wasn't sure if it worked at all.
Gibbs sighed, “Can I at least....” He paused for a moment and Tony met his gaze frankly before moving closer and allowing the strong arms wrap around him.
“You might regret this in a while you know. It's not pleasant.”
The arms only tightened and Gibbs' voice was gruff when he said, “Yeah well I'd rather it like this than any other way so you might as well tell me what you need to so we can sleep.”
Tony sighed and resisted the urge to nuzzle against the older man's throat, “Well...I-I guess I don't know how to start.”
“The beginning is as good a place as any.” Gibbs voice was forcefully positive and it made Tony roll his eyes.
“I'm not even going to comment on the fact that the one time you semi-quote a movie, it's The Sound of Music. Sheesh Boss.” His smile faded and he nodded slightly, “Fine well them I suppose I always thought of this as a relationship. I thought we didn't need to say the words for it to be real, you know? I just thought.....I thought we were doing the whole 'I'm a big bad marine who doesn't talk about my feelings so I show them through action' thing. And...and I let it go on like that because I didn't want to push you too far, because you were the best damn thing to happen to me in years if not ever and I wasn't willing to risk that.” Tony swallowed and he was briefly thankful for the arms that had tightened around him,
“I knew Hart was attracted to you, the slut didn't exactly hide it. And I knew she was your type, and I just....I knew that I needed to keep an eye on it but at the same time I didn't think that much of it you know? I trusted that you understood. But you didn't. And-and then I went to your place and....and well....I....I saw that kiss. Then it was obvious you knew I knew, because you weren't really talking to me anymore and I had no idea and.....and then Ducky of all people talked at me about it.” Tony shook his head. “And I felt pathetic. I felt used and alone and I drank a lot and it wasn't healthy. And I can't do that again. I can't. I felt.....I don't even know how to tell you what I felt.” Tony ignored how his voice broke on the word know, he just tightened his hold on the other mans chest and allowed himself to be crushed into it.
“I need to know you understand that this isn't casual, and that it never was for me. I have to know you get it because if you don't or you can't, I need to get out now.” Tony couldn't look at Gibbs face after that, he just buried his face in the older mans neck and tried to regain some of his composure.
It was silent for a long time before Gibbs pulled away to meet Tony's gaze, “I'm sorry I didn't understand.” He pressed a kiss against Tony's forhead, “I do now. I wont get it wrong again, and I'll spend however long you need me to making it up to you.”
Tony smiled and something cold and sharp in his chest dulled a bit, “Thank you.”
Gibbs let out a large pained sounding breath, “Thank you.”
They slept then.
Time passed as time often does. And things changed in subtle ways, almost without Tony noticing. Coffee would appear on his desk in the morning before they were called to a case; it was always exactly how he liked it, hazelnut creamer and all. Gibbs started forcing him to eat and sleep on difficult cases, and there was less competition with the rest of the team for acknowledgment. Then he noticed Gibb's house change, slowly but surely. He got a new bed, although that happened early on since Tony patently refused to sleep in anything that had “harbored the slim” that was Allison Hart, a ziplock bag of sugar took up permanent residence next to the coffee maker and a carton of creamer was now in the fridge.
And eventually he came over one evening to find a Television had been set up in the lounge area that had once been a dining room. When Tony had asked Gibbs about it he'd gotten a gruff, “It looked stupid in the living room.” The kiss that followed had apparently been satisfactory, because the next time he came over to the house Tony found two shelving units next to the TV so that he could “help” Gibbs pick out some movies for his new collection.
They also talked more, much more than they ever had before. Which really was a ton of talking, since Tony'd been amazed about how much they'd talked about before. But now? Now they were talking all the time, and on certain occasions they'd talk about the past. Not often, because neither of them liked to but the first time Gibbs had mentioned Kelly it had somehow evolved into a discussion. So that the next time Tony mentioned his father the same thing happened, and suddenly Tony realized what it was like to be able to trust someone again.
So when he came home one evening after they'd wrapped up a case that had landed him in the ER with a graze wound for the god-only-knows-how-manyth time and found Gibbs waiting for him he wasn't surprised. The pained, “Tony come home with me.” did surprise him, because he knew Gibbs meant for more than the night. But he'd sighed, nodded and allowed the older man to pack him an overnight bag and bundle him into the car. Later that night when they were laying in bed and Gibbs sighed against his neck Tony knew he'd move in soon.
He thought of Jenny, who was so happy for him, and how she was still looking for someone, of Jimmy and Hannah and how Jimmy had asked him what kind of ring he should get for her, and of Abby and Ducky and the team. And he realized he was happy. And that maybe he'd be okay, even if Hart did ever show up.
Because this time they'd laid their foundation brick by brick together. Tony smiled and allowed himself to fall asleep, confident that he was home.