AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Anthony DiNozzo/Jimmy Palmer
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Tony and Jimmy have been seeing one another for some time. Tony had always believed it had just been for fun until something happens to make him reevaluate his feelings.
WORD COUNT: 1,500
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for sexycazzy: F - Fun. Caz, I doubt this is what you had in mind when you gave me the prompt, but this is what Six decided to do with it.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
It had begun when Gibbs quit and went to Mexico.
Tony had tried hard, with hindsight too hard, to replace him as team leader. But in reality no one could replace Gibbs. He'd always thought he had a good idea of what Gibbs did, of how he led the team, of what it involved. However, when it was him doing the job, he realized he didn't know even half of it.
He had found himself escaping the squad room and going down to Autopsy more and more, and the more he did it, the more he realized why Gibbs had done it. Why he'd gone to see Ducky even when there hadn't been a body or even when he'd have known Ducky wouldn't have anything for him.
More often than not Ducky had left Jimmy to explain things to Tony and Tony had found it easy to talk to Jimmy. So easy that often in the evenings after he knew Ducky had left for the evening (Ducky didn't seem to stay around as late as he used to do before Gibbs had quit) Tony would go down to Autopsy and just talk to Jimmy.
He hadn't really realized how often the talking had led to Jimmy offering suggestions, tentatively at first and then later on with more conviction, on the cases, giving Tony a different way of looking at it. Again he soon realized that was something Gibbs had done with Ducky. Sometimes it needed a different perspective; a viewpoint from someone who wasn't a field agent. And sometimes it was just a case of someone, a friend, listening and nodding in the right places.
One thing led to another and after a particularly frustrating day that had led to Tony writing out his resignation (albeit not actually give it to Jenny), he had suggested to Jimmy that they go out and get a drink or two. Jimmy had readily and happily agreed. A drink or two had led to three or four. Which in turn had led to Tony inviting Jimmy back to his apartment for a take-out and to watch a movie.
A friendly tussle over the remote control had led to the movie being forgotten and hands and mouths finding one another's bodies and mouths.
It had begun in such an easy, such a fun way. And that was how it continued. And that was how Tony saw the relationship. It was easy, it was fun, Jimmy was good company, had a surprising sense of humor, was happy to watch movies or go to a game with Tony, didn't seem particularly bothered if Tony broke a 'date' - because after all, it wasn't really a date, was it?
It wasn't as though this was 'it'; it wasn't as though Jimmy was going to be the one Tony would spend his life with, would set up home with, would raise kids with. It was just a bit of fun. The sex was good, again surprisingly good; it was angst free, there was no need for sweet talking and 'I love yous' or worrying about stubble or leaping out of bed the second it was over to shower and strip the bed, or all the other things so many of the women Tony took to bed seemed to want.
Jimmy was fun; sex with Jimmy was fun; watching movies, drinking beer and eating popcorn with Jimmy was fun; going to a ballgame with Jimmy was fun; beating Jimmy hands down at move trivia was fun; play-wrestling with Jimmy was fun; kissing Jimmy was fun; holding Jimmy's hand was fun. He enjoyed every second of his time with Jimmy; he missed him if he didn't get to see him at work or outside of it for several days; they were good together; they were friends; they worked. But it was just fun; plain and simple fun. Nothing more. Nothing less.
At least that's what he'd always told himself. At least that's what he'd always believed. And that's probably what he'd have gone on telling himself gone on believing. Until three days ago.
Three days ago when everything had changed.
As he sits in the dimly lit hospital room, holding Jimmy's hand, clothes rumpled, smelling slightly from a lack of showering, three days worth of stubble-growth, eyes dry and sore, hair starting to go greasy, he knows how wrong he had been.
He can still see it when he closes his eyes, which is why he's barely slept since lights flashing and sirens blazing they'd raised Jimmy to the hospital. He can still see it unfold in front of him in slow motion. Just like a movie.
The crime scene. The blood. Ducky telling one of his stories. Gibbs giving orders. McGee taking pictures. Ziva sketching. Him taking measurements. Jimmy telling Ducky he'd fetch the gurney. Then McGee's cry of 'shooter'. Four Sigs being pulled as one. Three shots. Eight shots. Over them the sound of Ducky crying 'Jethro! Jimmy'! Gibbs whirling. Firing. The shooter falling. Cordite in the air. Ducky running towards the ME's van.
And then . . .
And then his eyes coming to rest on the body on the ground. Not just any body, but Jimmy's body. He remembers crying, "Jimmy!" Running after Ducky. Falling to his knees by Jimmy. Babbling to him. Tying to push Ducky out of the way. Being yanked up and held arms behind his back by Gibbs. Hearing McGee telling Gibbs he was calling 911. Watching Ducky work, compressing Jimmy's chest, breathing into his mouth. But the blood; there was so much blood. Every time Ducky pressed down on Jimmy's chest, more blood spurted. He struggled, but it was pointless, Gibbs held him as firmly as he'd seen him hold a suspect. Never once letting up. Never once giving an inch.
And then . . .
And then the scream of sirens off the paramedics arriving. Taking over and giving Ducky some relief. Jimmy being loaded into the ambulance. Gibbs finally letting him go. Pushing him towards Ziva. Throwing the keys to the sedan to her. Ordering her to follow the ambulance and take him with her. And follow the ambulance Ziva had done.
She'd stayed with him while they worked on Jimmy. She stayed with him after they'd raced Jimmy to the operating theater. She'd stayed with him handing him endless cups of coffee, taking them all away again without comment as the let them get cold. She stayed until Gibbs, Ducky and McGee also arrived. He vaguely remembers Ducky chiding Gibbs for parking the van in the wrong place. Of McGee saying he'd left a message for Jimmy's mom to call Gibbs. And they'd all waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally, Gibbs had taken McGee and Ziva and headed home in the ME's van, leaving Ducky the sedan. And for what seemed like hours he and Ducky had sat and waited. And waited. All in silence. He couldn't recall a time he'd ever known Ducky be silent for so long. But he had been that day. Part of him had wished anyone but Ducky had stayed. Part of him had wished no one had stayed. But that had been before the doctors had tried to say they couldn't tell them anything as they were not next of kin.
And that was when Tony had seen just how the elderly, mild mannered, rambling story-telling, gentle, caring, loving, friendly, gentleman, who he loved like a favorite uncle, who exasperated him most of the time, who he wasn't sure even after all the years of working together he really knew or understood, could have pushed a French cop off a cliff.
Ducky hadn't raised his voice - that had probably been the scariest part of it. But after twenty minutes not only did they have a full update on Jimmy's condition, they were being ushered into ICU. Tony had wanted to run when he'd seen Jimmy or at least what he assumed was Jimmy, there was so many machines, so many things attached to him, lying still, pale, lifeless, on the bed. But Ducky had taken his arm, his grip steely, almost as firm as Gibbs's had been and stopped him from leaving.
And apart from a few bathroom breaks he hasn't left since. And it hasn't been fun. And nothing was going to be fun again until Jimmy opened his eyes. He refuses to accept the very low odds of that ever happening.
Jimmy was going to open his eyes. Jimmy was going to live. And when he did open his eyes, when he looked at Tony, when he smiled at Tony, that was when Tony was going to tell him how he felt. That was when Tony was going to tell him that he didn't just want 'fun' between them. That was when he was going to tell him he wanted commitment.
Because Jimmy was going to open his eyes.
Because Jimmy was going to live.
Because anything else was unacceptable.