Title: Love Affair
Relationship: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Tony DiNozzo, Ellie Bishop/Spencer Reid, Tim McGee/Delilah
Characters: Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Ellie Bishop, Abby Sciuto, Tim McGee, Dr. Spencer Reid
Content: Slight Anti-Abby, Abby Being a Brat, Established Relationship, Non-Canon Compliant: NCIS
Author’s Note: Written for the Forever Angst Valentine’s Day Challenge. Challenge was to write two fics, one romance, and one friendship based. Word limit on each fic is 5K. I did two sets. I started writing this, and got to about 350 words and had two different ideas come to me. So, I did them both. Because of that, the beginning of this story will match the beginning of A Love out of this World.
Summary: It’s Valentine’s Day, and all Tony wants is a romantic dinner with his members and their significant others. What he gets is a tantrum by Abby who has slowly damaged her relationship with the team, but by the end of the night, the goth is the last thing on his mind.
Tony was sitting at his desk trying to get his paperwork done so that he could leave on time. The problem was that Abby was standing in front of his desk trying to get him to come out with her and Ellie, even though he’d told her that he had plans.
“Abby, I love you, but no means no,” Tony said calmly but firmly as he backtracked on his form to fill in a field her distraction made him skip accidentally. “Just because you don’t agree with my plans doesn’t mean they’re not valid or important to me. The fact that you don’t even know what they are, and still insist that this supposed she is some… how did you put it? Oh right, clueless floosy and therefore you are more important says a lot about our friendship I think.”
“Fine! Just pick your hootchie of the moment over your family,” She threw back frowning and twirled around to look at Bishop who was frowning at her.
“I don’t remember making plans with you, Abby,” Bishop said carefully as she chewed on her lip nervously. “If I did, I’m sorry, but I have plans. Even if I didn’t, I don’t think I would want to go out with you the way you’re acting. Tony’s right. You’re not being a very good friend right now. I know that you’re upset that you and whatshisface broke up, but Tony and I have had plans for a few weeks now. I’m not breaking them for you. I’m really excited.”
The bullpen fell into silence, and Tony saw Bishop’s eyes widen as she realized what she said. Sighing, he turned his attention momentarily to Gibbs, who just smirked and shrugged one shoulder. He knew the man would leave the decision up to him, but he needed at least to know that the older man would have his back.
“You and Tony are going out together? As in to the same place? As in at the same time?” Abby screeched turning to look at Tony. Her pigtails hitting her in the face she turned so fast.
“Ms. Sciuto, I believe we talked about this,” Tony said quietly, careful to make sure that there were no negative tones in his voice. Lifting his eyes from his screen, he refused to look at anyone but Abby. Inside his head he was chanting the words “please, work” over and over as he watched her reaction.
At first, her expression remained stubbornly petulant, but gradually he saw it morph into confusion and then recognition. When she hung her head and bit on her lip, he knew that the worst had passed. “I bet if you call the nuns they’d be happy to have you come over.” He watched the Goth nod before she practically slunk off. If she was an animal with a tail, it would be between her legs. It was hard for him to watch. Bad habits were hard to break for everyone, not just her. It was the reason why he was dealing with her and not Gibbs. No one believed that he could do what was needed to get her back on track. Because of this, they’d all backed off of the information that they told her.
While his relationship with Gibbs wasn’t new by any means, it wasn’t an outright secret either. They simply limited who they told to only to those they felt would support them. Abby hadn’t made the list because she couldn’t seem to get on board with the changes that had occurred. It was the same reason why Bishop hadn’t told her about her much newer relationship.
The team’s separation had been an eye opener for everyone, including Abby, and when they all returned, except Ziva of course, it had been obvious that some things needed to change. The biggest was that Gibbs wasn’t fully in charge of the team anymore. The second biggest was that Tony and Gibbs no longer had to hide their relationship. When the dust settled and everyone who was coming back had returned, an order came from upon high, as in higher than Vance and SecNav even. SecDef and the AG had visited along with AJ Chegwidden, who had been Gibbs’ counsel, and pointed out that there was only one person on the MCRT that hadn’t been under suspicion of impropriety. It certainly wasn’t Gibbs. So, why in the hell was Tony still stuck as an SFA who wasn’t really even given any SFA authority beyond all the paperwork that he had to do.
There had been talk of giving him his own team, but the relationship was a snag. There were no openings in the Navy Yard office, and honestly, nobody thought that taking the voice of reason off the team was a good idea. It had been AJ who suggested that they make Tony a Co-Team Lead and then SecNav suggested they add two more people. That was beyond the person they’d need to replace Ziva, whom would never under any circumstance be allowed to work for an American Intelligence Agency again.
Tony requested that the be given six months to let the three original members and Ellie Bishop, who was Ziva’s replacement gel before they looked to expand the team. They were now in the process of picking two more people. Tony and Gibbs decided that they both had to agree on Ziva’s replacement, but that they would each get to pick one person for the expansion spots. Interestingly enough, Gibbs had his eye on an agent who had typically done undercover, named Nicholas Torres. Because the agent was currently finishing up his last undercover assignment, he hadn’t joined the team yet.
Tony however, had used his local PD contacts, and recruited a DC cop named Will LaMontagne, Jr to fill the other spot. The former DC Detective was the husband of one of the agents on the primary Behavioral Analysis Unit team over at the FBI office in Quantico. Tony had a longtime friendship going back to his college football days with one of the team members, Derek Morgan. Through Derek he’d met the rest of the team, and become at least friendly with them all. When the opportunity came up to add someone of his choosing to the team, he knew that he’d be looking for someone with a background in a Police Department.
He honestly hadn’t expected that Will would take him up on his job offer, but was pleasantly surprised when, after talking it over with JJ his wife, he accepted. Because it was a 60-day course, it was a big decision for the family to make, and with Georgia being the closest location, coming home even every weekend would be a financial strain on the young family. In the end though, JJ and Will had decided that it was a good move for Will, and that they’d figure things out. So, the former Detective was currently in Georgia undergoing his FLETC training, and had about another 30-days to go before he’d be done. Tony for one couldn’t wait. He was excited to have someone with a background similar to his own on the team.
Once the elevator doors closed behind Abby, hopefully taking her down to her lab, and not to autopsy to complain to Ducky or Jimmy, Tony turned his attention to Ellie. “Your report looks fine, ProBish. Why don’t you go ahead and go change. Gibbs and I should be done by the time you get back. We each need to change our shirts. Gibbs I think is adding a tie and I am adding a vest and changing my tie, but all that can be done here. We’ll be ready and then we can head off to the restaurant. Spencer is meeting us there, right?”
“Yup!” Ellie chirped happily before taking off to change. After breaking things off with Jake the Jerk as Tony stubbornly called him, they all expected that Ellie would be single for quite a while. However, one night when the team was hanging out at Tony’s favorite sport’s bar, they happened to run into the BAU team, who had a night off after a long difficult case. The two teams decided to hang out, and by the end of the night it was apparent there was something developing between the youngest members of each team.
Turning his attention to McGee, Tony saw the man frowning at his monitor in what appeared to be confusion. He hoped that it was something about his report that was confusing, and not the incident with Abby. Things with McGee were still touch and go some days. While, mostly, they’d improved from where they’d been when Ziva was on the team, there were still days that it was a struggle. Tony knew that Delilah was helping a lot in Tim getting his head out of his rear end, and for that alone he appreciated the spunky woman.
“What’s with the frowning, McTroubled?” Tony prompted earning an eye roll from his friend. While friend might still be a stretch, Tony was going by the fake it until you make it train of thought where McGee was concerned.
“Mostly, it’s because I can’t figure out parts of this report that you sent me to practice doing,” Tim started as he turned his attention away from his monitor and toward Tony. “A little of it is Abby though,” he followed up admitting, and Tony stubbornly held in a sigh deciding to wait to see where the team’s computer genius went with the statement.
“Watching her pull stuff like that reminds me how big an asshole I was when Ziva was here, and that got me to thinking about her not being here. Am I a bad person if I feel like I don’t miss having her on the team? I mean, I guess that she was my friend. At least, at the time I thought so. It’s just now looking back things look so different than they did at the time, and I don’t know as I could still be me if she ever came back and I don’t want to go back to being that old me.”
“You’re allowed to feel however you feel, McGee,” Gibbs offered speaking for the first time since Abby started her nonsense in the bullpen. “Doesn’t make you a bad person to not want what I think we all see was a bad influence back in your everyday environment. Looking back I think that we can all recognize that having Ziva on the team was a bad fit for us and for her. Putting someone on the team who wasn’t trained in investigation could never have worked out. Ziva already had the wrong personality type and mindset for the environment we work in. But, to then put her in a situation where every day that she didn’t fit in and constantly had to find a way to justify her position certainly didn’t help her out either. No matter what some government desk jockey decides in the future, I would never agree to having her on the team again. So, just worry about fixing your bullshit and stop worrying about things that aren’t gonna happen.”
Tony kept silent as he observed McGee staring at Gibbs. When the younger man finally spoke, Tony couldn’t help but let loose a snort of laughter. “Wow, Boss. That was a solid 8.5 for a pep talk. I gave you a half point deduction for the grumping at the end.”
“I’m gonna give you a deduction if you don’t get that report finished, McGee,” Gibbs shot back, but the grin on his face softened the words and Tim went back to trying to figure out what he’d missed on the practice report.
A little over an hour later, Tony found himself studying the team and their significant others as they all gave the waitress their drink orders . Dr. Spencer Reid was already in a lively discussion with Bishop and Delilah about some study he’d read recently and how it could relate to profiling and collecting information on suspects. Tim and Gibbs were talking about couches of all things. He hoped this meant that his partner was coming around to the idea of getting rid of that horrible thing in the living room. Tony couldn’t help but picture what the team would look like next year.
Breena would be included in the couch conversation, although hopefully by next Valentine’s Day they’d have a new couch and it would be some other piece of furniture they were discussing. Jimmy and Abby, who would be acting as Ducky’s date, would be listening to him tell some story about a past Valentine’s Day date memory. Nicholas would be talking to Will about some case related thing sharing how they’d each interpreted certain parts of it so that they could get a different point of view. Whomever Nicholas was dating at the moment would be talking to JJ about some girly thing, and Tony would probably still be caught in his head thinking about something or other.
He had to admit though that he liked the view. When he felt a hand on his arm, he looked to his left to see Gibbs looking at him concerned. “Where’d you go to?”
Tony just shrugged and smiled. “Just thinking about what things might be like when we get the new people, Jet.”
Gibbs hummed and smiled at him. “I’m sure it’ll be good.”
“The best!” Tony insisted offering a bright smile and earning himself a quick peck on the lips.
“I umm, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something,” Gibbs started, and Tony cocked his head to one side.
“Ok?” When Gibbs just fidgeted in his seat for a moment, Tony found himself intrigued.
“I was thinking that maybe we could sell our places and buy something together.”
“Jet,” Tony breathed shocked that his love would even suggest the idea. “You’d sell the house? I mean, that’s… the girls.”
Gibbs just shrugged casually, but the way he was playing with his beer bottle spoke to his nerves. “They’re in the past. You’re in the now. I talked about this a lot with Doc Forrester. I want us to live in one place. It’s beyond time. Now that everyone knows we’re togher there’s no reason not to, and the going back and forth between your apartment and my house is getting old. I want something that’s going to be ours, and only ours. Not somewhere that we’re going to be constantly fighting my memories of the past. As much as I wanna think that we could make it at my home, I can’t see how you would ever not have some degree of uncertainty or resentment there.”
“I’d do it for you,” Tony said softly, and Gibbs just flashed him a sad smile.
“I don’t want you to do it for me,” Gibbs replied honestly. “It would be like you’re sacrificing your happiness and your safe place for me, and that’s the last thing I want. I want a house that has a large room for your piano and your guitars. I want a room with great light that you can use as a little studio to do your drawings. I want a separate building so that I can make a boat that I won’t chop up at the end for once. Something we can use on vacations to sail around the world and see all the places we wanna go. I want a big kitchen with a large eating area so you can throw dinner parties and show off your cooking skills. I don’t want sacrifices and ghosts of either my past or yours. Build a house with me. Please?”
Smiling softly, Tony leaned forward and stopping just before his lips touched Gibbs’, “Yeah.”
Their kiss was interrupted by a happy whoop from Tim, who was sitting across from Tony. “I volunteer to do your security system.”
Tony was giving Tim a glare for interrupting his kiss when Bishop piped in from the other end of the table. “What are you people causing a ruckus about down there?”
When McGee went to answer, Delilah slapped him making Tim frown and Gibbs snort. “No stealing my good news McTMZ” Tony snapped playfully before turning to Bishop and Spencer. Spencer was on the other side of Gibbs with Bishop on the opposite end on Tim’s side of the table and Delilah in the middle. “Gibbs and I are selling our places and building or buying something together.”
“That’s awesome!” Bishop exclaimed happily before getting up to come down and give Tony a hug.
“Congratulations!” Spencer offered happily. “If you’d like, I can get the name of the realtor that Hotch used to buy his current house.”
“Thanks, Dr. Reid, we’d appreciate it,” Gibbs accepted and Tony smiled at the interaction. Tony knew that his partner didn’t quite know what to think of the young genius. They were about as opposite as it came. They all knew that he meant a lot to Ellie, so Gibbs tried to get to know the other man.
Eventually, the dinner ended with each couple heading home. Tony and Gibbs decided to stay at Tony’s apartment that night. So, the pair headed there. Gibbs of course got there first, and was already unlocking the gun safe when Tony walked in the door. Coming up behind him, Tony placed a kiss on the back of the older man’s neck before reaching around him and putting his service weapon and his backup in the gun box that Gibbs had made him to put inside of it.
Once Tony upgraded his bed to something that they both could fit into, the couple tried their best to take turns spending the night at each other’s places. Tony even made Gibbs a room where he could work on small projects when he was at the apartment. “I think I’m too wound up to sleep,” Tony admitted as he stepped back so that he could head into the bedroom to change.
“Why don’t you put something in,” Gibbs suggested as he followed him in. “We can watch it in here in bed. That way if we fall asleep while watching we won’t wake up with stiff necks. I’m gonna take a quick shower.”
“Good idea,” Tony praised as he headed out to pick something. By the time Gibbs was out, Tony was in bed with the movie queued up and ready to be watched. “I picked Love Affair. A 1939 romance staring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer. It’s been remade three times. The last one was a 1999 Bollywood version. All three have their own strengths, but I like the original best. Although it’s hard to pass up Cary Grant who starred in the first remake. I thought that we deserved a happier ending than Casablanca tonight.”
“You did, huh?” Gibbs asked smirking as he crawled into bed. Stealing a kiss the older man got settled as Tony started the movie.
“Yup,” Tony confirmed as he settled down with his head resting on Gibbs’ shoulder. “We’re buying a house together! That deserves a happy ending.”
“Agreed,” Gibbs murmured before falling quiet as it started. He knew how much his love hated talking during a movie.
As always, Tony found himself getting lost in the romance and the storyline. This time though he couldn’t help but compare the relationships on the screen to his own. As he began to fall asleep listening to Michael assuring Terry that they’d make it no matter what, he couldn’t help but think about him and Gibbs in the same situation. After a long yawn, he shut the move off, Jet having long ago fallen asleep. Turning onto his stomach, he gave his partner one last kiss before he closed his eyes.
Never had he imagined that he’d live a real life love affair, but yet, he was. He’d gotten his forever, and held onto it even through personal and professional struggles. He’d gotten his career even when sometimes he himself doubted that he’d last at NCIS. Now he was getting the house and maybe if he was lucky he could talk Gibbs into the dog. As sleep finally took him under, his last thought of the evening was the secure knowledge that even if he or Gibbs ended up seriously injured on the job, they’d still make it. After all, that’s how it went in a love affair.