AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Anthony DiNozzo/Jimmy Palmer
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: A sequel to Tony Or Breena. Tony tells Gibbs about his relationship with Jimmy.
WORD COUNT: 2,700
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for sexycazzy & sinkwriter who both asked for a sequel to Tony Or Breena. And yes, I am in the process of writing a companion story where Jimmy tells Ducky.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Tony woke up first; he was a little surprised to discover Jimmy was still in his arms. They had fallen asleep in that position, but Tony knew he tended to move about quite a bit during the night, thus he had expected them to be sleeping on his side of the bed with Jimmy on the other. Just for a moment he lay there, holding Jimmy's warm body close to his. As he held Jimmy and even gently stroked his back, he realized quite how much he liked just holding him, rather than holding or touching him simply to make love. It was nice just to hold, just to touch, without it being about sex.
He also realized that despite him declaring a few weeks ago to Jimmy that he wanted them to be exclusive and saying that they could spend the entire night together, this was actually the first night they had spent together. As he continued to just lie there, knowing he really did have to move soon, especially as it would take longer to get ready for work given there were two of them, Tony realized just how right it felt having Jimmy in his apartment, in his bed, in his arms.
He thought back to what Jimmy had said about them at some point in the future, if all went well, actually living together and how he wanted to be Tony's, and he realized that he wanted the same thing. He wanted them to live to together and not 'just some time in the future', but as soon as they could. They were right together; this was right; him and Jimmy. They were right. He reckoned they should start to look for an apartment they could share as soon as possible. Of course that couldn't happen until he had told Gibbs about their relationship and Jimmy had told Ducky.
He really hoped Gibbs would be as okay about it as he thought he would be. He didn't want to leave NCIS or even move to another team - but he knew he would if Gibbs tried to enforce Rule #12. Of course technically, by agency rules, Gibbs couldn't enforce it. However, Tony respected Gibbs enough not to force his hand, not to make Gibbs find some other reason for throwing him off of his team. Thus, if Gibbs said 'no', he'd make an appointment to see Director Vance and request a move to another team. And if that wasn't possible . . . Well, there were other federal agencies and if it really came to it, he could always go back to being a cop.
He honestly couldn't see Ducky having any objections, not even given his close friendship with Gibbs. He knew they didn't agree on everything, no matter how often they presented a fully united front, and he suspected Rule #12 might well be something they didn't agree on, even if up until now Ducky had kept his opinions to himself. He didn't want to leave Team Gibbs, but for Jimmy, for Jimmy and him, he would.
He sighed ruefully; so it had finally happened, what he had put off for years, what he in all honesty had never really thought would happen. It had. He had grown up. Talking of 'up' he really did have to get up, they had to get up. He vaguely considered waking Jimmy up and suggesting they share his shower, but decided that firstly, in all honesty, his shower really wasn't large enough for two grown men to share and secondly, that would make them very late for work and he wanted Gibbs go be in a good mood.
Thus, he carefully took his arms from around Jimmy and slid cautiously to the edge of the bed, turned the duvet back just far enough to uncover him and got out of bed. He stood for a second or two just staring down at the still sleeping Jimmy and realized he really didn't want to ever sleep alone again. He would suggest that Jimmy go home, pack a bag or two and move into his apartment; they could cope for a short time in the fairly small space, while they found a larger apartment they could share. With or without Gibbs's blessing, he was going to share a home with Jimmy. He hoped it would be with, but if it wasn't . . . Well, in all honesty, there were far safer teams he could be on with far nicer team leaders!
"Are you really sure about this, Tony?" Jimmy asked, as he sat next to Tony in Tony's car. They had stopped off at Jimmy's apartment long enough for Jimmy to quickly change his underwear, socks and shirt before heading towards the Navy Yard.
Tony took his eyes off of the road for a second as well as one hand off of the steering wheel so that he could squeeze Jimmy's leg. "Yeah, Jimmy, I am. I really am. We've made the decision, why wait before we act on it? You do still want to tell Gibbs, Ducky and the others, don't you?"
"Of course I do, Tony! I just . . . Okay, I just don't want you to feel I bullied you, blackmailed you even into doing it."
Tony glanced at Jimmy again before returning his attention to the road. "You didn't, Jimmy. I want to tell them; I want us to be together properly. I told you, I want us to live together straight away. You do want that, don't you?"
"Yes, Tony. I do. I can't think of anything I want more." Jimmy spoke quietly, his tone was slightly flat, but Tony noticed the complete honesty in his voice; in what he said.
Tony breathed a sigh of relief. "Good. Because neither can I. So that's settled. I'll tell Gibbs and you can tell Ducky. And then later we can tell Tim and Abby."
Jimmy was silent for a while then he said, again his voice was low and he spoke slowly, hesitantly even, "And if Agent Gibbs -"
"Then, as I said, I'll make an appointment to see Director Vance and request reassignment to another team."
"But you love being a field agent."
They'd had to stop for a red light, so Tony turned to look at Jimmy and this time he held his gaze. "There are things I love more," he said. He hoped Jimmy wouldn't push, hoped that he wouldn't actually say anything, because he couldn't offer anything more at that moment.
Jimmy's eyes softened and he smiled and squeezed Tony's thigh; he didn't speak. He didn't need to. They really were attuned to one another. Tony covered his hand for a moment before turning his attention back to the lights.
"Boss?" Tony stood in front of Gibbs's desk.
"DiNozzo?" Gibbs didn't even look up.
"I need to talk to you about something. I need to tell you something," he clarified.
Now Gibbs did look up; he leaned back in his chair and stared hard at Tony. Not for the first time Tony wondered if Gibbs really was capable of mind-reading. After a short time of silent appraisal, Gibbs glanced at his watch. "Twenty minutes. My office."
Tony hesitated. "Could we make it the conference room? Please," he added.
Gibbs shot him a hard look and once again appraised him, staring intently at him. Finally, he shrugged, nodded once and returned to reading the file he had been studying when Tony had gone over to his desk.
Tony was two minutes early, but he wasn't surprised to see Gibbs already seated at one end of the conference table. He hurried over to him and handed him a cup of coffee.
Gibbs nodded his thanks. "Well?" he said, even before Tony had sat down.
Tony quickly sat down, took a swallow of his own coffee, made himself look at Gibbs and said, "Pal- Jimmy and I have been . . . We're lovers, boss." He held his breath and forced himself not to look away from the penetrating gaze.
Gibbs just stared at him; his look gave nothing away. Even after all the years they had worked together Tony realized he couldn't read Gibbs; he doubted anyone apart from Ducky and maybe Fornell could. He waited. He went on waiting, fighting the urge to squirm and forcing himself to breathe slowly, regularly and keep holding Gibbs's unreadable gaze. Actually, he realized the way Gibbs was looking at him was the way he had seen both him and Ducky stare at x-rays. It really was disconcerting, even for someone who was used to be stared at by Gibbs.
Finally, Gibbs spoke. A single word. "And?"
Tony stared at him. Was that really all he was going to say? One word? One short word? He had kept Tony waiting; had stared at him in the way he had and now all he had to say was one word. He shifted slightly on the chair, unable this time to keep still under Gibbs's appraisal.
He took a quick swallow of coffee and committed himself. "We want to live together," he said. Then he added quickly, because it was, after all the truth, "We are going to live together, boss. As soon as we possibly can."
Gibbs continued to stare at him as he sipped his coffee. Then to Tony's surprise, he shrugged, stood up and said, "Fine. Just make sure you tell human resources about your change of address." He turned around and started to head towards the door.
Tony jumped to his feet. "Boss!"
Gibbs stopped and looked back. "Yeah?"
Tony swallowed; still he couldn't read Gibbs; didn't know what he thought; what he was going to do. "Aren't you . . . ? Is that all you're . . . ? I mean . . ." He fell silent and quickly tried to compose himself under the still steady, unreadable gaze. "Is that all you've got to say?"
Gibbs blinked. Tony could have sworn it was the first time he had actually done so. "What else do you want me to say, DiNozzo? Congratulations? Be careful? I hope you'll be happy? What?"
Tony swallowed. Yes, he would love Gibbs to say 'congratulations' or something nice, something a normal person might say. But this was Gibbs; he didn't say things like that. Anyway, that actually wasn't what Tony had meant. He swallowed again, forced himself to maintain eye contact with Gibbs, swallowed for a third time and said quietly, "What about Rule #12?" There, he had broached the subject; he had been the one to ask; he had been the one to 'remind' Gibbs about his unenforceable rule.
Still Gibbs just stood in silence; staring at him; appraising him; studying him; just as he studied a damn x-ray! Then he shrugged and said, "Palmer's not a field agent." Again he turned to go.
"You mean you don't mind?" Tony blurted out.
Gibbs stopped, turned back around, shot Tony a withering look, sighed heavily and said, "No, DiNozzo. I don't mind. Now is there anything else or can I get back to work?"
"Nothing else, boss," Tony said quickly, before saying softly, "Thank you, Gibbs." Gibbs acknowledged the thanks with a small nod of his head.
As he just stood there, Tony had to fight to stop himself from grinning like a lunatic. He could hardly believe it; Gibbs had . . . Gibbs hadn't told him he had to choose between Jimmy and being on Team Gibbs. Gibbs didn't mind! Leroy Jethro Gibbs didn't mind! He didn't mind! Tony wasn't sure he could ever remember being quite so happy, quite so relieved, quite so ecstatic even.
Despite saying he wanted to get back to work, Gibbs was actually still standing staring at Tony. Tony waited, not wanting to risk annoying Gibbs by saying something. "Palmer going to tell Ducky?" he asked suddenly.
Tony nodded. "Yeah. In fact he's probably telling him now. We thought we'd tell you and Ducky and then . . . Well, later we thought we'd tell Tim and Abby. If that's okay with you of course," he added quickly.
Gibbs gave another small nod. "Up to you who you tell, DiNozzo. But, yeah, the rest of the team should know. Just one thing; a bit of advice."
"Tell your dad before you tell too many other people. Don't let him find out through the grape-vine. We both know your dad's got contacts in the weirdest and most unexpected of places, plus I know he and Abby do that whatsit thing a few times a month. You don't want her inadvertently saying something before you've had a chance to. After all, you know how excited Abbs is gonna be."
For Gibbs it was a long speech; for Gibbs it was a very long speech. Tony swallowed; Gibbs hadn't just given his permission, he had given his approval. He would never come out and say so and he certainly wouldn't say he was pleased or anything remotely 'normal', but in the speech, in its length and content he had given Tony and Jimmy his approval.
He swallowed; his dad. He actually hadn't thought about his dad, not even when Jimmy had mentioned telling his mom had he thought about his dad. He had no idea at all how his dad would react; then he realized he did. His dad would react pretty much as Gibbs had. He wasn't going to say 'that's great news, Junior' or 'I'm so pleased for you, Junior' or 'Congratulations, Junior' or anything similar. He would just accept the news and find a way to tell Tony that it was okay; that he approved, even that he was happy, without actually saying any of those things.
Tony nodded. "Thanks, boss. I'll do that. I'll call him tonight."
Gibbs nodded. "Good idea." Then he again stared hard at Tony before saying, "Oh, and if the apartment you and Palmer find needs any work doing -" He stopped abruptly and simply held Tony's gaze.
Tony had to swallow really hard around the lump in his throat. "Thank you, boss," he finally managed.
Gibbs nodded and once again turned around. This time he turned back on his own accord, "Oh, and I guess you're planning on going and seeing Palmer and telling him you won't have to leave my team." He didn't make it a question and he didn't wait for Tony to acknowledge what he had said. Instead he continued talking, "Give it a bit of time before you go down to Autopsy, Ducky and Palmer won't have agreed yet who's gonna make the tea, let alone started to actually talk." This time after he had turned back around he kept walking, going out of the room and leaving the door open.
Tony stared after him, a smile on his face. He drained the rest of his coffee, balled the cup up and dropped it into the trash can before he headed out of the room as well. Gibbs was right, there really was no point going to find Jimmy yet. He reckoned it could be another twenty minutes before Jimmy even broached the subject with Ducky, and probably another ten minutes before he made sense. And at least another half an hour of Ducky telling him how happy he was and giving Jimmy all kinds of advice on apartment hunting. He'd probably also have a story or two to tell about some old uncle or friend or someone in a similar situation.
He sighed; yeah, it was going to be a long wait. He guessed he had better get back to the squad room and make himself busy. After all the last thing he wanted was for Gibbs to suddenly change his mind. Not that once Leroy Jethro Gibbs made up his mind he often changed it, but there was a first time for everything!
Hands in his pockets and whistling, Tony made his way back to the squad room, grabbed some old case files and began to do what he should have been doing for the past month: get them transferred onto computer.