AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Anthony DiNozzo/Timothy McGee
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: McGee and DiNozzo are an established couple. McGee is the agency director and DiNozzo the senior agent. Everything seems to be going okay until DiNozzo notices the other agency directors don't have any respect for McGee or nor NCIS. He figures out why and knows what he has to do to put things right.
WORD COUNT: 2,285
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Tony slipped into MTAC and stood near the door as he watched Tim have a conversation with the directors of the FBI and the CIA. Tim looked calm, relaxed even and in control of the situation. However, Tony hadn't been involved with Tim for six years without knowing exactly how well his lover could act. The last thing that Tim was was calm, relaxed and in control of the situation.
He frowned, crossed his arms and pushed his temper under control. He considered going down into MTAC and giving Tim some silent support - or even verbal support. However, just as he was about to do so, Jenkins from the FBI said something to Tim and Tony noticed, he really noticed, the look on Jenkins's face and the tone of his voice and instantly he knew what the problem was.
He stood rigid, staring at the man he loved, hearing the way Jenkins and Culverton spoke to him and cursed under his breath. DADT might be a thing of the past, but when it came to some people, clearly it wasn't.
It was quite obvious that neither Jenkins nor Culverton had any respect for Tim, and from what he could hear them saying, they had little if any for NCIS as an agency, and Tony knew why. It was because Tim was openly involved with, living with, another man - and not just any other man; another man who worked for NCIS. And that Tony suddenly realized was the issue, the problem, the reason the other agencies had no respect for NCIS or Tim. An outsider they could have accepted, but not an insider.
He cursed again and found he couldn't stand there any longer listening to and watching his lover be insulted. He pulled open the door and slipped out of MTAC and then took the elevator down to Autopsy.
"Hey, Jimmy," he called, striding inside. "Have you got those reports yet from the FBI and ICE?"
Jimmy looked up from his desk and flushed and Tony knew the answer before Jimmy spoke. "I'm sorry, Tony," he said, jumping to his feet and knocking a pile of files off the desk. Tony sighed and went across to help Jimmy pick them back up. "I did call them again," Jimmy said, "twice. But they said they were too busy. Well, ICE told me they were too busy, the FBI just said 'no' and hung up."
Tony took several deep breaths and clenched his fists. Once he had got a grip on his temper he looked at Jimmy who was blinking at him from behind his glasses and said in a scarily calm voice, "Call them back, Jimmy, and tell them that Special Agent - Very Special Agent - Anthony DiNozzo said if they don't get the reports to you by the end of the day, he will personally, personally note, visit them and kick their asses until they hand them over. Is that clear, Jimmy?"
Jimmy was staring at him eyes wide, mouth slightly parted. "Er, yes, Special Agent, sorry, Very Special Agent, DiNozzo, sir," he stammered. "I'll do it right now." He managed to trip over the wheels of the chair, before he fell into his chair and knocked the phone off the desk.
Tony bent and picked it up and handed it back to him. "Oh and, Jimmy," he said softly.
Tony put his hand on Jimmy's shoulder and squeezed it. "Don't call me sir - I'm not Gibbs." And hands in his pockets he strode out of Autopsy; he was quite certain the reports would indeed be with Jimmy by the end of the day.
He went into the elevator, started it and then pushed the emergency stop button before sinking down onto his heels, put his head in his hands and sighed as he allowed himself to think about Tim, the man he loved; the man he would do anything - anything - for.
LATER THAT NIGHT
"You're drunk!" Tim yelled.
"And you're tight-assed!" Tony countered. He had started the fight within seconds of Tim arriving home and half an hour later they were still shouting at one another. "On second thoughts that should be flabby, given you sit on it all day." He put the bottle of beer to his mouth and glugged some down - it was the last thing he wanted to do, but he knew he had to; he couldn't do this sober.
"I sit on my ass all day? You can talk! You have Dornie and Fran running around after you all day, while you sit at you desk like some king."
Tony shrugged. "You gotta love probies," he slurred.
Tim stared at him and then said more softly, "Tony what's the matter? What have I done?" He held out a hand to Tony and Tony wanted nothing more than to take it. However, he forced the feeling down and instead gave Tim a withering look at he again put the bottle to his lips and this time emptied it. He wiped the back of his hand over his mouth and slammed the bottle down. He heard a car-horn outside and grabbed his coat.
"Where are you going?"
One hand on the door Tony forced the bile that was rising in his mouth back down, swallowed and said, "To find someone to fuck - because let's face it, I can't remember the last time you let me fuck you!" He yanked open the door and left a white-faced and shaking Tim just staring after him.
TWO HOURS LATER
Completely sober now, Tony let himself back into the house he shared with Tim and found Tim in the lounge waiting for him. "And did you find someone to fuck?" Tim asked, standing up and moving towards Tony.
"Sure did - two someones actually." He stumbled backwards as Tim's fist made contact with his jaw; he staggered and then tripped over the edge of the rug trying to avoid being punched for a second time.
"Get out," Tim said, his face white and damp with sweat. "Get out of my house."
"Gladly," Tony said, wiping the blood from his cut lip away with his hand. And he grabbed his coat and slammed out of the house. He made it to the corner of the street before he was violently sick.
He considered finding a hotel for the night, but suddenly he had a desperate need for company and not the kind he took to bed.
"Tony!" Jimmy exclaimed as he opened the door and stared at Tony. "What has happened to you?"
"Can I come in?"
"Of course. Come on, Breena's out with a couple of her friends and the kids are asleep, come in and have a drink."
"Can I stay for the night?"
Jimmy didn't hesitate. "Of course you can, Tony. The bed in the spare room is already made up."
"Thanks, Jimmy, I owe you."
"Don't be silly, Tony, we're friends. Friends don't owe each other." Jimmy took Tony's arm and led him into the lounge. He seemed to be pointedly ignoring the scent of cheap perfume that, despite having showered twice before leaving the third-class hotel he had taken the two women he'd fucked to, still clung to him. "Here," Jimmy poured a large measure of whiskey into a glass and handed it to Tony. "Sit down."
Tony did as Jimmy told him to. "Thanks, Jimmy," he said. He took a swallow of the whiskey and winced as the undiluted liquid hit his cut lip.
"Here, let me have a look at that. I'll get some ice," Jimmy said, after he had given Tony's lips a quick but through examination. "What happened?" he asked when he came back with some ice. "Or don't you want to tell me? You don't have to if you don't want to. But just so you know, Tony, I won't judge you and I won't tell anyone, not even Breena."
Tony sighed, winced again as he put the ice against his mouth, but within seconds found relief from the throbbing.
He didn't want to tell Jimmy, but he knew he was going to; he knew he had to. He sighed and took a tentative sip of the whiskey, this time it didn't burn his lip. "You have to promise, Jimmy, really promise that you won't tell anyone what I'm going to tell you, especially not," he paused, sighed again and took another sip of the whiskey. "Especially not Tim," he whispered as he fought and won the battle to cry.
Jimmy widened his eyes and stared at him. "I promise, Tony," he said softly and put his hand on Tony's arm.
Tony closed his eyes for a moment, swallowed hard and told Jimmy everything that had happened since he had stood in MTAC and had realized what he had to do.
Jimmy was silent as Tony talked; his eyes grew wider at times, he swallowed a couple of times, he emptied his own glass of whiskey, but otherwise he just sat giving Tony silent support and, Tony realized, comfort and reassurance.
When Tony finished, Jimmy stood up and poured another, smaller amount of whiskey for both of them. "But DADT was repealed years ago. It shouldn't matter any more that you and Tim live together."
Tony shrugged. "I know it shouldn't, but it does. I saw them, Jimmy, I saw how they looked at Tim and I heard how they spoke to him. While he's still living with another man, the other agency directors won't have any respect for him - or for NCIS."
"But surely there's another way. I mean you and Tim are . . ." Jimmy trailed off and glanced away from Tony for a moment. "I always thought you guys would be together for life, just like Breena and I will be."
Tony sighed and gave Jimmy a rueful look. "So did I, Jimmy, so did I."
"Then why did you . . ."
"I guess I love him just enough," Tony said softly. And then he felt his eyes fill with tears. "Damn it," he muttered, knowing this time he wouldn't be able to stop them from falling, thus he just let them fall over his lids and slide down his cheeks. He didn't see Jimmy move, but he felt Jimmy put his arms around him and hold him.
SIX MONTHS LATER
Tony slipped into MTAC and stood near the door as he watched Tim have a conversation with the directors of the FBI and the CIA. Tim looked calm, relaxed even and in control of the situation. And as he stood and stared at the man he still loved, Tony knew it wasn't just that Tim looked calm, relaxed and in control of the situation; he was.
"Right, so you'll let me have your report later today, Len?" Tim said, even though he had made it a question, it clearly wasn’t.
"Yes, Timothy, Sacks is sending it over as we speak."
"Good. And what about yours Alan?" Tim turned to look at the director of the CIA.
"It'll be on its way in twenty minutes."
"Well, that seems to be all, gentleman. Thank you for your time. I think we won this one."
"We couldn't have done it without you and NCIS, Timothy," Jenkins said quickly.
"We sure couldn't," Culverton added.
Tim smiled and nodded at them both, before he made the cutting gesture to Anderson and strode towards the back of the room. "Tony," he said, as he came to a halt in front of Tony. "I didn't know you were here."
Despite everything, despite the way their relationship had ended, both men had proved themselves to be completely professional and after only a few days when any interaction between them had been stilted and lacked eye contact, they had somehow found a way to continue to work together. And now they were as solid a team as they ever had been.
Tony shrugged as he stared at Tim; he looked well, he looked very well. He hadn't, not for the first couple of months, but now he did. Tony knew he was dating someone; he didn’t know the man's name, just that he was about ten years older than Tim and was a lawyer and that Tim seemed happy, which made Tony happy. "I Just came to give you some silent support," he said.
Tim smiled at him. "Thank you, Tony."
"And to say congratulations; you did well, Tim. You did really well - Jenkins and Culverton were right, it couldn't have been done without you."
"And NCIS," Tim said. And then added very softly, "And you. It couldn't have been done without you. Thank you, Tony."
Tony stared at his ex-lover and saw the look in Tim's eyes. He gasped and leaned back against the door. "You know?" Tim nodded. "Have you always known?"
"Not quite always. But near enough. I couldn't have done it, Tony, but then we all know you're the bravest man this agency has." He paused for a second and then said quietly, "And the best. The very best."
Tony just stared; he didn't know what to say, but they couldn't just stand there in silence, he had to think of something. However, suddenly it became academic as Anderson called, "Director McGee, we have a transmission coming in from Spain."
As Tim's face slipped back into director mode and he turned to head back down into MTAC, Tony opened the door and hurried out. As he headed towards the head, he heard again Tim's words in his head. "No, Tim," he whispered, "you're the bravest and the best - you always have been."