AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Anthony DiNozzo/Jimmy Palmer (Jimmy/Breena as a couple are mentioned)
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Jimmy has a choice to make.
WORD COUNT: 2,760
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for sexycazzy: Y - Yours
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Jimmy sat in his apartment; a cup of tea which he had let grow cold was on the coffee table; it was getting dark outside but Jimmy barely noticed. He had sat in the same place, pretty much in the same position, all afternoon, just mulling over a problem. He had a choice to make; a choice he didn't relish making; a choice he shouldn't have to make. He shouldn't have to make it because he should never have allowed himself to get into the situation he was in.
Suddenly the darkness impinged on him and he blinked, rubbed his eyes, stood up, stretched and flexed his arms and legs; he really had been sitting still for a long time. He wandered over to the window and pulled the drapes, before putting the lights on; after grabbing a beer from the icebox, he returned to the couch. He sighed, sat down, grabbed the remote control and turned the TV on, flicking though the channels in an attempt to find something which would occupy his mind, or at least hold his attention for more than a second or two. He didn't find anything. This meant he had to return to thinking about the dilemma he had got himself into; return to thinking about his problem.
He wondered what his co-workers would think if they knew just what his problem was. He thought they would be surprised, shocked even - well, all but one of them would be. The one who wouldn't be wouldn't be because not only did said person know all about his problem, but said person was part of it.
Tony. Tony DiNozzo. Anthony DiNozzo was part of Jimmy's problem. In fact he had really been the one to cause Jimmy's problem. Except that was unfair; Jimmy was a grown man, he was capable of thinking for himself and making his own decisions. He had been the one to choose to do what he had done; Tony hadn't made him do it. Okay, he had, in part, encouraged him to do it, but he hadn't held his Sig to Jimmy's head and made him do it.
Jimmy and Tony had been - Had been what? Even now Jimmy wasn't altogether certain he knew exactly what they had been; what they were. Lovers? Could he use that term? Technically he guessed he could, because technically given they slept together, well they had sex, they had never spent an entire night together, they were lovers. However, the term to Jimmy at least implied a degree of affection, of caring, and to be honest he had never been sure that Tony felt anything more than a kind of liking for him. Well, he hadn't been sure. Now he was - hence his problem.
After they'd had frantic sex on the floor of Tony's apartment for the first time, Tony had made it quite clear that while he had enjoyed what they had done and would like to do it again, they weren't 'together'; they weren't committed. He had made it quite clear he still expected to be free to date and bed as many women as he could, and had encouraged Jimmy to do the same.
To begin with, Jimmy hadn't; it wasn't in his nature to 'cheat' even if the other person knew about it and was the one to encourage it. To his surprise he and Tony ended up in bed together on a pretty regular basis; at least once a week. But each time had ended with Tony either getting up and going home, or making it clear he expected Jimmy to get up, say goodbye and go home.
The sex was great; it was the best sex Jimmy had ever had - not that he had a vast deal of experience, but there had been a handful of people. However, the affection, the tenderness even, the closeness was, if not quite totally missing then, barely there. Tony liked him; he made that more than clear; he enjoyed having sex with Jimmy, but beyond that? Beyond that he was unreadable. Nonetheless, Jimmy had still settled for what he could get from Tony; settled for great sex, without any real connection. He thought he would be happy to go on settling for it for as long at Tony wanted it.
And then he had met Breena.
She was everything Tony wasn't. She was happy to go out to dinner with him, happy for people to know about them, happy for people to see them together. It wasn't just that he and Tony didn't actually sleep together, they didn't do anything together other than have sex, and Tony had made it clear no one could know about them and not just because of Gibbs's Rule 12. With Breena he could have an open relationship; with Tony . . . Well, with Tony other than great sex he didn't know what he could have.
Despite dating Breena, taking her out to dinner, to the movies, for walks, to the theater, Jimmy didn't actually sleep with her for quite some time, and hadn't intended doing so. He was still bound by his own ethics of not cheating, of not sleeping with more than one person at the same time. However, one evening they had been at her apartment and she had been so attentive, so caring, so close, so tender, so affectionate. And . . .
He had felt guilty about it, partly because he had never thought he was that kind of person and partly because it had been so good. He had even told Tony about it and Tony had been all in favor and told him it was great. However, Tony had also insisted on them getting together the next three nights in a row and the sex had been even better than usual.
For six months Jimmy had slept with both Tony and Breena and every time it happened he felt guilty about it. However, apparently not guilty enough to give one of them up. He occasionally considered giving them both up and starting again, starting afresh, but he never took that final step. For six months he had surprised himself by quite how far he was acting out of character, doing things he never believed he would do. For six months he hadn't really liked himself, but he had still gone on doing it.
However, one day he had woken up and realized that enough was enough. This wasn't who he was; this wasn't the man he wanted to be; this wasn't the man he would want anyone to know about. Thus, he decided: he would give up Tony; he would walk away from the best sex he had ever had, probably the best sex he would ever have, and suggest to Breena they become serious about one another and even think about a future.
He wanted a relationship he could be open about; he wanted to spend the night with someone, not just a few hours. He wanted to be able to introduce his lover to his mom, to his friends; he wanted his co-workers to know. He wanted all the things people had in a 'normal' relationship; he wanted - He wanted someone to show him some affection, to care about him.
However, even as he thought about giving up Tony, he had felt a deep seated pain shift through him and he thought again. Could he really give Tony up? Could he give up the best sex he had ever had? Could he give up the man he cared about, because he did care about Tony; for him it was, no matter how much he had tried not to let it become, more than just sex, far more.
Maybe he should give up Breena instead. Okay, that would mean he would be in a relationship he couldn't be open about. He wouldn't get to spend the entire night with Tony; it would just be for a few hours. He wouldn't be able to introduce Tony to his mom or to his friends, and the rest of the team wouldn't be able to know because Tony wouldn't want that, wouldn't let that happen. He wouldn't have a 'normal' relationship; he wouldn't be shown affection.
So again he had changed his mind and decided it was Tony he would give up. He had been all set to tell Tony when . . . When Tony dropped a bombshell and told Jimmy he was prepared to give up seeing and sleeping with anyone else and would be committed to Jimmy and that they could even spend their nights together. The offer still came with the stipulation that no one else could know, no one else could ever know. They would still sneak around behind the backs of friends and family; they would still live apart, would in effect be nothing more than they were, except at least they would be exclusive.
And that was Jimmy's real dilemma; that was his problem. Did he want a lover he could be open about? A lover he could openly go out to dinner with? Walk in the park with? Introduce to his mom, his friends and the team? In due course marry or at least live with? Or did he want a lover he in effect had to keep behind closed doors? A lover he had to take care when he looked at him or spoke to him lest he give anything away? Someone he would never even get to live with?
It actually wasn't an easy choice because when it came down to it, he realized he actually liked them both a great deal; in fact he believed he might even love or at least care deeply about both of them. He hadn't slept or seen (apart from Tony when at work, of course) either of them for the past two weeks; he hadn't thought it would be fair, not until he had made his decision.
Of course in truth he didn't actually know if Breena wanted anything more from him than what they had. He didn't even know if she had continued to see other people while they had been dating. They had never talked about being exclusive or about taking the relationship further, so maybe he was being presumptuous.
He sighed and once again flicked through the channels on the TV; once again nothing held his attention. He decided he really should have something to eat and opted to phone for a pizza.
As he ate it, not really tasting it, wondering quite why he had ordered extra cheese, and sipped another beer, he made himself admit what he really wanted. Who he really wanted. He sighed again, ate the last slice of pizza, threw the box away, went to the bathroom and washed his hands before grabbing his coat and leaving his apartment. He had made his decision; he wasn't going to change his mind. Thus, now was as good a time as any to make his position known.
"Jimmy!" Tony exclaimed, as he stared at Jimmy. The surprise was clear on his face. Jimmy wasn't surprised to see it; he had never just turned up unannounced and uninvited at Tony's apartment before.
"Can I come in, Tony? Or do you have someone else here?" Jimmy asked, staring at Tony.
"What? No of course I don't. I told you - Yeah, come in."
"Thanks." Jimmy went inside the apartment and Tony closed the door.
He turned to Jimmy and frowned. "Are you all right, Jimmy?" he asked, touching Jimmy's arm. The move was uncommon; they didn't touch apart from when they had sex.
Jimmy shrugged. "Why might I not be?"
Tony gave him a guarded look. "Well, because you're here for one thing. We hadn't -"
"No, we hadn't. But we should be able to." Jimmy spoke firmly, as he removed his coat and went through into the lounge. It was several seconds before Tony followed him.
"Drink?" He asked.
Jimmy nodded. "Yes, please."
"It's fine." Tony fetched two bottles from the kitchen and returned to hand one to Jimmy. Jimmy took it. "Thanks," he said.
"Do you want to sit down?" Tony was still looking at him in a somewhat guarded way.
Jimmy smiled. "Thank you," he said, doing that thing and settling down on the couch.
After a moment or two Tony sat down at the other end of the couch and stared at Jimmy as he sipped beer from the bottle. "Well?" he said.
Jimmy sat forward, holding the bottle loosely in his hands between his parted legs. "Okay," he said.
"Okay. Yes. I want to be committed to you. I want to be yours. But," he said swiftly, as Tony opened his mouth. "I really want to be yours."
Tony frowned. "What does that mean?"
"It means that we can just turn up at the other's apartment without having to ask first. It means we go out to dinner together, for a walk in the park together, to the movies. It means," he paused and took a long swallow of beer from the bottle. He wiped his hand on his jeans. "It means we don't hide our relationship. It means I get to introduce you to my mom; to my friends. I'd like it to mean that we tell the team, but I can live without that; I know it might be difficult, but I'd like it. It means that if all goes well we live together at some point. It means - I want to be yours Tony. I want a proper relationship. I want . . . I want to be yours," he said quietly.
Tony was just staring at Jimmy, his bottle of beer frozen halfway to his lips, his eyes wide. His expression was unreadable and to Jimmy it gave him his answer. He sighed; it was what he had been expecting.
Then Tony spoke. "And if I say no, does that mean you'll go and set up home with Breena?"
Jimmy sighed again and slowly shook his head. "No. I don't want Breena. I like her, I like her a lot. But she isn't who I want to be with. You're who I want to be with, Tony. But I want to be with you; I'm tired of hiding."
Tony took a long swallow of beer, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, began to swivel the bottle around in his hands and said, "So what happens if I say no? To us?" he added.
Jimmy shrugged. "I want a proper relationship, Tony. I don't want to hide. I'm not ashamed to be your -" He fell silent for a moment and then with determination said, "Lover, in fact I'm proud of the fact. I want to go out do dinner with you and -"
"Tell people, yeah, I got it the first time, Jimmy. You still haven't answered my question."
"I have," Jimmy said. "You just haven't heard." He spoke softly and with regret. "I'll get my coat." He began to stand up.
However, Tony caught his hand and pulled him back down. "Is it all or nothing?"
Jimmy hesitated. "Not necessarily," he said slowly.
"Okay, because I'm not sure I'm ready - yet," he stressed, "to meet your mom or your friends. But," he paused, took another long swallow of beer, gripped Jimmy's hand more tightly, took a deep breath and said, "Dinner, movies, even the park sounds good. As does," again he paused, again he took a deep swallow of beer, again he tightened the grip he had on Jimmy's hand. "Telling the team."
Jimmy stared at him, eyes wide, mouth partly open. "You're willing to tell the team?"
For a moment Tony hesitated. Then he swallowed hard and nodded. "Yeah. You know what, Jimmy? I am."
Jimmy could hardly believe his ears. "Are you sure?" Tony nodded and relaxed his death-grip. "But what if Agent Gibbs -"
Tony shrugged. "I don't think he will. It's not as if you're part of the field team. It's not as though you spend a lot of time in the squad room or I spend a lot of time in Autopsy. I think he'll allow it."
"If he doesn't?" Jimmy hardly dared ask.
Tony shrugged again. However, rather than answer Jimmy in words, he put his now empty bottle down, tugged on Jimmy's hand until Jimmy moved towards him and put his arms around him and kissed him and went on kissing him.