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My Forever

Chapter Text

Throughout the entire case, both McGee and Ziva noticed Tony acting very strangely. Tony was quiet, and if anyone knew Tony, they knew the Very Special Agent was never quiet. Every time DiNozzo had the opportunity to poke fun at McGee or Ziva, DiNozzo never seized the opportunity. Neither McGee nor Ziva knew what to do. Perhaps Tony was sick? Did something happen to DiNozzo?

Their concerns led them to led them to one of the only two people who could help them understand the mystery behind DiNozzo. Their first choice was out of the question; Gibbs would throw them out of the building if they asked him if he noticed anything strange about their bombastic team member. Which is how Ziva and McGee found themselves in the elevator heading down to forensics.

Abby was still working on the evidence for the case. Her music was blasting, and she was dancing in place in front of her favorite piece of machinery, Major Mass Spec as she dubbed the machine. There was a Caf-Pow sitting by her computer signifying that Gibbs had stopped by recently. The energetic goth never noticed that she was no longer alone in her lab. Ziva nodded her head toward McGee, and the young agent took the initiative to turn off Abby’s stereo.

As soon as the music ceased, Abby whirred around to confront whoever was disturbing her groove. Her green eyes lit up when she spotted Ziva and McGee. “Oh it’s the two of you,” she spoke as she headed toward her computer to grab her Caf-Pow, “you just missed Gibbs. Let him know everything I have so far, which isn’t much to be honest.” She took a big gulp of her favorite drink.

McGee stole a quick glance at his partner before clearing his throat. “That’s not why we are here Abby,” he started to explain himself.

Abby tilted her head and raised a curious eyebrow. She loved playing investigator and solving puzzles. McGee was an easy puzzle for her to figure out. “What are you doing here then?” she wondered aloud.

Ziva took a step forward and decided to speak up. “We wanted to know if you have noticed anything strange with Tony.”

Placing her Caf-Pow back on her station, Abby chewed on her bottom lip. “Strange… what do you mean strange?” There was a lot Abby could say about Tony, but some things she was not ready to share at the moment.

McGee was the first to share his observations. “Tony is acting really weird. He is quiet. Did my report and Ziva’s. I’m pretty sure he came in early to work on an old case.”

“He’s not making jokes, even though McGee has given plenty of opportunity. He isn’t even trying to get Gibbs to give him his ‘atta boy’ like he usually does in cases,” Ziva added.

Abby listened to her friends and colleagues very carefully. “Is there anything else?” the goth wondered. It did not sound like her usual rock named Tony, but it was not super strange.

“He’s going to the bathroom way more often,” Ziva was quick to share. She just now realized how often her partner was sneaking off to ‘hit the head’ as he liked to call it.

Enthused by his teammate’s response, McGee added, “I don’t think he is eating as much either.” Maybe Tony was sick. The last time he ate so little, he had the Plague.

There was so much Abby was curious about when it came to Tony. As much as Tony loved to talk, he never really discussed the things that mattered most to him. He was much like Gibbs in that regard. Like Abby had said, she loved to solve puzzles, which is why she got into the field of forensics. So she became a silent observer to dear friend. She watched for any little tell that would clue her in on the real DiNozzo that hid under the mask he cloaked himself in. Whenever Tony was with Gibbs, Abby always spotted a crack in Tony’s disguise. It led her to question what was really going on between her two favorite team members. Maybe there was something more to Tony and Gibbs, but for whatever reason the two would not share it with the others. Abby was not sure, but she was not going to give up until she had the answers.

In response to her friends’ concern, the goth shrugged her shoulders and internalized her true wonderings. “Maybe Tony has the flu or something,” Abby offered an answer, “I don’t know if it’s anything serious.” If there was something going on between Gibbs and Tony, then Abby was not going to send the bloodhounds before either one of the men were ready for the chase.

McGee and Ziva turned to face one another. There was a bit of disappointment, but neither one of them planned to give up until they figured what was wrong with their teammate. “He did try calling a doctor’s office today, but they were out to lunch. Maybe he is sick,” the ex Mossad agent thought aloud.

“Maybe,” McGee responded, “if we find out anything, we’ll let you know.” They needed to get back to the bullpen anyways before Gibbs realized they were gone.

Their case was solved at last. Their missing witness, Petty Officer Jerry Niesler was in safe hands. They uncovered Matthew’s Grey plan to avenge his sister, and now he was in jail for tampering with a federal case. Thank all those who could hear that Jerry Niesler was out of their hair. That Pettty Officer was most annoying, as Ziva would describe him. His psycho analysis of the team was unnecessary and completely untrue. His words about them were irrelevant though, because he was now in their past. Their case was solved, and a little bit of celebration was in order.

“Who is up for some drinks?” Ziva asked the team as they finished the reports.

McGee looked up from his computer and smiled. “I’m in!” They needed to spend more time together outside of work. It would be good for their overall moral and cooperativeness.

Ziva then turned to the Senior Field Agent. “Tony, will you be joining us?” she asked her partner.

Still unusually quiet, Tony glanced at their boss before the Italian American shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t see why not,” he agreed to the offer.

Feeling confident and high on a job well done, McGee turned to their boss. “You going to join us too boss?” the young agent wondered.

It was surprising that it appeared that Gibbs was leaning toward joining the rest of the team for a night out to celebrate. Before Gibbs could verbally give his answer, DiNozzo’s phone rang. With questioning eyes, Tony stared at his phone before answering. “DiNozzo.”

The rest of the team was silent as they listened in on his conversation. “Do you have the results of my test?” Tony asked the caller on the phone. He listened, and his eyes widened at what he heard. “Are you sure?” he then asked for confirmation.

It was frustrating to not know who or what Tony was talking about through the phone. Ziva especially wanted to know what was going on with DiNozzo.

The surprise on Tony’s face washed away to a strange stoic. There was no emotion on his face as he said his goodbyes on the phone before hanging up. His green eyes stared at the phone while he processed the news he just received.

Never one to respect boundaries, Ziva got up from her desk and moved to stand in front of DiNozzo. “Is everything alright Tony?” she asked in concern. There was no denying that she cared about her partner. He was her friend, and they would always have each other’s backs.

Finally, green eyes looked up at the others. His eyes briefly glanced at the members of his team before landing on his boss. “I’m pregnant,” he admitted aloud.

He did not care to witness the others respond to the news because there was only one person’s reaction that mattered to him.

Chapter Text

It was absolutely unbelievable. Tony was pregnant. Sometimes it was easy to forget that Tony was a carrier and not a hundred percent male. With the way the Very Special Agent like to bolster his more masculine qualities, it was understandable. Then again, DiNozzo would seduce a man just as fast as he would seduce a woman. Gender was not an issue for Italian hot blooded male.

The main question on both McGee and Ziva’s minds was whether or not they should be wishing DiNozzo congratulations on the unexpected news. Was DiNozzo happy that he was pregnant, or was this something that might be going away soon?

Unbeknownst to the four teammates in the bullpen, there was an observer leaning over the railing above them. Director Vance had stepped out of his office to head to MTAC. Before he headed inside, he wanted to observe his best Major Case Response Team; all seemed right with the four of them. As he was about to head to MTAC, Vance watched as DiNozzo answered the phone, and he heard the man’s confession.

For a while now, Vance had his suspicions. He knew about Jenny offering DiNozzo Rota. Any agent in their right mind would have taken the chance to lead their own team, but DiNozzo had turned it down. The million dollar question was why? Vance certainly had his suspicions. Gibbs and DiNozzo were far too close. After all, why would Gibbs insist DiNozzo return to Gibbs’ team? Why did Gibbs choose DiNozzo over David back in Israel? No, there had to be something more to their relationship. Tony DiNozzo was a carrier, which meant it was possible that their relationship was more than a mentor/mentee type. Vance was planning on getting some answers.

“DiNozzo!” Vance yelled from the railway, “My office!”

The members of the Major Case Response Team all turned their heads to glance above them. McGee, Ziva, and Tony seemed surprised by the Director’s presence, but not Gibbs. No, there was an unreadable expression on the team leader’s face. Green eyes felt compelled to glance toward a pair of ice blue eyes. Shrugging his shoulders, DiNozzo got to his feet and headed up the stairs. Without a word between them, DiNozzo followed the Director inside his office.

Once when the door to his office was shut, the accusations began. “Have a seat,” Vance directed his subordinate to take the seat on the other side of his desk. As soon as the green eyed male took a seat, Vance began. “So I take it congratulations are in order.”

Tony took a deep, heavy breath and nodded his head. “Yeah,” he responded, “I still can’t believe it.” The news still had not sunk in for the one who it mattered to the most. Tony had not been feeling right, but he thought it was just a flu. He never would have thought he had a bun in the oven.

Vance placed his elbows on his desk and folded his hands together. “As you know, any field agent who is pregnant is immediately put on desk duty. NCIS will not be liable putting you and your unborn child in danger.”

Even though he was still processing the news, Tony nodded his head along the Director’s words. “I understand,” DiNozzo said almost absent mindedly. He was still processing the last few minutes in his head.

The Director of NCIS leaned back in his seat and stared down his agent. This could be his only chance to get the truth. “Tell me DiNozzo… who is the father?” Vance demanded answers.

Green eyes widened in surprise. Why was Vance asking him that? “Why does it even matter?” Tony immediately responded.

Keeping his face blank of emotion, Vance responded, “I want to be sure there are no inappropriate relationships on any one of my teams.”

Biting his cheek, Tony’s blank stare masked his emotions. “With all due respect Director, but it is none of your business.”

Sniffling, the Director finally looked away. “If you understand the protocols for pregnant agents, then you can go ahead and leave. I will see you bright and early tomorrow DiNozzo with all the proper paperwork waiting for you on your desk.”

Without saying another word, Tony got up from his head and headed out of the Director’s office and back toward the bullpen. The Very Special Agent was surprised to see Abby, Palmer, and Ducky waiting between his and McGee desks. When DiNozzo approached his work area, he wondered aloud, “Hey everyone, what are you all doing here?”

Abby whirred around when she heard Tony’s voice and rushed into wrapping her arms around him. “McGee called and told us the news! Congratulations Tony! I’m so happy for you. I can’t believe you are going to be a mommy!” Abby was so hyped and excited for one of her dearest friends.

Ducky moved closer and clapped the agent on the back of the shoulder. “Yes, congratulations on the wonderful news. You know, I once knew this carrier in medical school….” Ducky was about to go on one of his tangents.

Tony smiled at the medical examiner. “Thank you,” the agent said to both his friends. Their support, and the rest of the team as well, meant so much to him.

Suddenly Abby was jumping up and down as she clapped her hands; an idea suddenly came to the forensic scientist. “We should go out tonight and celebrate!” she exclaimed as she shared her genius idea.

Ziva was the first one to speak. “Perhaps Tony would like to go home and tell the father the news?” Always one to bring the moment back to reality, Ziva did make a great point.

All eyes turned toward the Italian male. Pursing his lips, DiNozzo thought about how he would respond to her point. “It’s ok Ziva,” he replied, “I have a feeling he might already know.” He never could get anything by this man after all.

Gibbs spoke up for the first time. “Even still Tony, you might need some time to process that news. Abby, why don’t we hold off the celebration until the weekend.”

Abby looked as though she was going to protest; she was pouting. Her head jiggled before she relented. “Ok, but we all do dinner then,” she conceded.

No one was going to say no to Abby, so dinner would be Friday night after work. They would go to this little bar and grill that was not too far away from the Navy Yard.

McGee could not stop staring at the senior field agent. “You know Tony, I didn’t know you were seeing anyone, let alone a guy,” the younger agent realized.

The twinkle in DiNozzo’s green eyes appeared like it did whenever he was about to make fun of the Probie. “Ah, don’t you know McGiggles that I never kiss and tell,” Tony teased.

The younger agent rolled his eyes and shook his head. “You always kiss and tell, or more so brag.”

Tony licked his lips and shrugged his shoulders. “I guess it’s none of your business then Probie,” Tony responded with a bit of seriousness. There was a reason he had not shared the latest chapter in his love life.

Ducky had been listening to DiNozzo very carefully, and the old doctor came to a realization. “Well then it must be serious. You my dear Anthony are very private whenever it does concern the matters of the heart,” Ducky commented.

Gibbs stepped in when Tony was too embarrassed to speak. “Everyone go home. I still expect everyone to be here on time bright and early tomorrow,” the boss ordered.

All of them had been trained to follow Gibbs orders. Palmer was the first to leave, followed by McGee and Ziva. Abby grabbed Ducky’s arms as they headed for the elevator. While they waited for the elevator, Abby glanced back at Tony. Gibbs had walked over to Tony’s desk, and Abby knew that Gibbs was speaking softly to his senior field agent. She longed to know what the two men were talking about, but then the elevator doors opened. With no reason to stall, Abby headed into the elevator as Ducky regaled her with another one of his tales of his youth.

When Gibbs was sure the others were out of earshot, he headed to DiNozzo’s desk. “Basement,” he said the one word as though Tony understood the meaning.

Of course, DiNozzo did, as he nodded his head in agreement. Then the younger man grabbed his supplies and headed out for the night. The night was not finished, and Tony was relieved that Gibbs was up for a talk.

When Tony arrived at Gibbs’ house, his boss was already home. Like always, the front door was unlocked. The green eyed male let himself in. There were no signs of life on the main floor, so he headed down to the basement. The door was open, and the light was on. As soon as Tony was in the doorway, he could hear the sounds of Gibbs working on the boat.

Tony sat down on the bottom steps and took a heavy breath. It was comforting to be there with Gibbs working on his latest project. It was comforting in the routine. For a long moment, neither man said a word. Gibbs was never going to be the first to speak; he would wait for Tony to be ready. Gibbs did not have to wait much longer before Tony lifted his head and turned towards him. “I know this is something neither one of us was expecting,” Tony began with the obvious.

Gibbs grunted, but he did slow down in his wood work. It was certainly unexpected, but not the worst thing to hear. Still, he said nothing as he waited for Tony to let everything off of his chest.

Licking his lips, Tony thought about his own emotions. For the longest time, he did not want children. Either fathering them with a woman or carrying his own child was not part of the plan. But still, Tony was not totally horrified by the news either. Would it be so bad to have a baby? Tony was thinking it might be the best thing to happen to him since starting this relationship.

“I know everyone is concerned with how I feel about this,” Tony mused aloud, “but I need to know how you feel about this.”

The older male immediately stopped his work on the boat and turned toward the other male. Tony was avoiding looking Gibbs in the eye. Dropping his sander, Gibbs moved to stand in front of the carrier he had known for a decade. Their eyes were forced to meet in this position. “It is ultimately your decision if you want to keep this baby,” Gibbs’ voice was soft as he spoke.

Reaching for the other man’s hand, Tony closed his eyes and soaked in the silent support. “We were always so careful,” he smiled as he remembered the countless times they shared a bed.

Gibbs smiled as well. When he heard the news in the bullpen today, he immediately searched his memories for when they conceived their baby. “Except for that one time….” Gibbs reminded him.

Chapter Text

There was no doubt that Anthony DiNozzo Jr. idolized his boss, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. It was evident in every “yes boss” or every time DiNozzo would yell after Gibbs “on your six”. Whenever any other team member got a head slap from their fearless leader, Tony could not help but feel some sense of jealousy; those slaps were the method Gibbs showed affection to his senior field agent and him only.

The question was how far did Tony’s emotions toward his boss run deep? For the longest time, Tony was uncertain of his own feelings. He understood it was something more than hero worship but not ready to accept how deep his feelings went. In the meantime, DiNozzo passed his time with a wide variety of men and women that kept his bed warm but his heart empty. He would not let any of his lovers actually into his heart, where he could get hurt.

Though not as many, Gibbs had taken some lovers since his third and final divorce. His most prominent relationship was Lt. Colonel Hollis Mann. She was certainly special, but she never wanted to be a replacement for Shannon, Gibbs’ first wife. Seems like no woman Gibbs entertained in a romantic way ever managed to stand up to the memory of Shannon. Gibbs already had one great love, so he could manage by himself.

Things for the two men certainly changed as time went on, especially after Ziva joined the team. There was a strange sort of tension between Tony and Ziva that was vastly different from Tony and Kate. Gibbs immediately picked up on the strangeness, and he kept his eye on things. Was there something going on between Tony and Ziva? Gibbs was not sure, but he was certain to find out. Tony should know better than to get involved with a coworker and break rule 12. After Jenny, there was a reason Gibbs created the rule in the first place, and Tony should learn from Gibbs’ mistakes. Even though temptation seemed to affecting Gibbs more and more lately.

There was no denying that Tony was attractive; anyone who met DiNozzo would agree. As a carrier, Tony was designed to attract members of both genders. Carriers were meant to be sex on wheels. His soft smile and incredible emotive green eyes had a way of luring people into the DiNozzo orbit. Gibbs always appreciated the DiNozzo charm; it always kept the Marine on his toes. Tony was one of those rare people who could always make Gibbs smile and laugh.

Then Gibbs lost his memory, and the tension between the team leader and senior field agent changed. When Gibbs lost his memory, the way he saw his second changed. Gone was his partner in the field, and the only thing Gibbs saw was a beautiful carrier that he found himself attracted to. When his memories returned, the easiest thing to do in the face of this now undeniable attraction was to flee until he could bottle the attraction away. In all honesty, after Shannon, Gibbs was not ready for something real… like Tony.

Mexico brought on its own struggles for DiNozzo. Never before had the special agent felt so lost. Gibbs walked out on them, and the team was in shambles. DiNozzo was doing everything he could to keep the team together, and they were just barely holding on. Then came the undercover assignment with Jeanne. It was easy to lose himself with her. It was the closest Tony ever got to being in love, but it was still a lie because Tony finally understood his feelings for Gibbs. The affection Tony had for Jeanne was nothing compared to the love he felt for Gibbs. However, Tony could never act on those emotions. Gibbs could never love Tony the way Tony loved Gibbs. It was best to bury his feelings and learn to pretend.

Then Jenny died, and the new NCIS director broke up the team. Ziva was sent back to Mossad. McGee was sent to Cyber Crimes, and Tony became an Agent Afloat. There was no doubt in Tony’s mind that Gibbs would bring the team back together. They were more than just a team after all; they were a family.

When Gibbs finally came for DiNozzo, Tony was truly angry at his boss. McGee and Ziva were already back on the team it seemed, and Gibbs chose to collect them first. Why? DiNozzo had been with Gibbs the longest; Tony was Gibbs’ second. Why was Tony always the forgotten one?

Tony was not going to wait to find out. As soon as he was back home, he made his way to Gibbs’ house. The younger agent let himself in and headed straight for the basement where Gibbs was more likely to be. Just as DiNozzo predicted, his boss was working on the boat. Tony stopped at the bottom of the stairs and watched his boss. Gibbs had to know the other agent was there, yet he continued to work on his boat. This infuriated the green eyed male. Why did Gibbs continually overlook his senior field agent? Tony had enough of the ignorance. He got into his boss’ space and tossed the sander from Gibbs’ hand. Green and ice blue eyes stared one another down; neither male said anything for a long moment.

“Why?” Tony finally demanded of his boss.

The older male raised an eyebrow and adjusted his stance. The blue eyed male knew this confrontation was coming; he could sense it when he reunited with his senior field agent on the USS Ronald Raegan. Tony was never one to keep silent for long; all that Gibbs had to was wait long enough before Tony could no longer take the silence.

Just as Gibbs’ predicted, Tony elaborated further, "Why was I the last one? Why am I always the last one?” DiNozzo was not going to let this go; he was tired of feeling like he was so unimportant to his boss. He could not play these games anymore.

Taking a deep breath, Gibbs answered with the truth, “You were the first one I requested back on my team.” Only the truth would help both of them at this point.

Clenching his fits, Tony finally let loose the storm of emotions that was sealed away tightly. “What do you mean by that? I know you Gibbs; I’ve worked with you for eight years. If you wanted me back so badly, you would have.” After he spoke, Tony realized how close he was to the object of his desire? Why were they in each other’s faces; shouldn’t Gibbs be moving away from the younger man?

Gibbs took another step closer to his agent. His voice was soft as he responded, “You were the one I needed the most, but Vance made it so hard to get you back. He was punishing you for what happened to Jenny.”

Did Gibbs just say the he needed Tony? The younger man could not believe it; his jade orbs widened in surprise. One thing both men had in common was that they were men of actions whenever it concerned emotions. Tony was not sure who made the first move, but it did not matter. Between one breath and the next, their lips were locked in a passionate embrace. Gibbs’ mouth dominated Tony’s like everything else Gibbs did.

As their tongues did the passion dance, Gibbs pushed back Tony until the younger man was pressed against the work bench. Only then did their lips separate. “Are we doing this?” Tony asked breathlessly.

The younger man got his answer when Gibbs pulled Tony’s shirt over his head. Tony smiled as Gibbs sighed at the undershirt Tony always wore underneath his clothes. As a carrier, he wore a special undershirt designed for a carrier’s body. Of course, Gibbs wanted that last layer before skin gone, and Tony had no hesitation removing the last layer of his top half. While Tony did that, Gibbs also pulled his sweatshirt and t-shirt in one easy motion.

When their chests were bare, they each took a moment to study the other. Gibbs’ breath caught in throat. “You’re beautiful,” he stated.

Tony’s chest contained the cutest little breast buds, much like a young girl at the onset of puberty. Most carriers did not fully develop breasts until after pregnancy when the milk ducts activated from the hormones. Redness appeared on DiNozzo’s cheeks; he always did when men commented on his looks. “You’re not so bad yourself,” he responded with a not so subtle leer. It was true, his boss was a silver fox.

Their lips met one more, and Tony moaned when Gibbs’ sucked the younger man’s bottom lip between his teeth. The move distracted the green eyed male from Gibbs unbuttoning his jeans. The younger man pulled away as his pants were pushed down his hips. When his jeans were pooled down to his ankles, Tony stepped out of them. He stood before his boss completely naked.

Gibbs took the moment to study the object of his desire. Tony was breathtaking from his swollen chest, thin waist, and curvy waist signifying his ability to bear children. The blue eyed male longed to have the beautiful creature before him in the most biblical way possible. “Come here,” Gibbs whispered before bringing their lips together once more.

Tony completely surrendered himself to Gibbs. His cock was erect and leaking precome, and the lips of his vagina were moist with his desire. He wanted his boss inside him now. Breaking away from the kiss once more, Tony begged, “Please.” He could not wait anymore on the off chance Gibbs would come to his senses and stop touching Tony in the way Tony longed to be touched.

Gibbs was quick to remove his sweats. He too was erect and ready to pound into his senor field agent until the younger man was speechless. Gibbs quickly turned his lover around, and Tony was quick on his feet as he bent himself over the workbench. The blue eyed male nudged his lover’s legs apart, and Tony spread his legs to accommodate his boss. Before Gibbs dove right in, he took the opportunity to explore the canvas before him with his hands. Tony gasped when he felt Gibbs’ hands at the folds of his pussy. The younger man had to bite down on his bottom lip as Gibbs sunk two of his fingers inside his wet folds. A shuddering breath escaped his lips as those fingers plunged in and out of him. Tony’s cock was weeping at the sensation, but he did not want to come without his boss inside him. “Please,” the green eyed male begged, “fuck me.”

How could Gibbs say no to such a request? Reaching back to the workbench, Gibbs grabbed a condom. He was quick to tear open the wrapper and place the condom on his hardened member. They had to be careful because Tony was capable of giving birth as a carrier. Gibbs held onto the base of his cock as he guided his member to the warm and wet folds of Tony’s vagina. To tease his submissive lover, Gibbs slowly inched his cocked until he was fully seated inside the younger man. Tony groaned as his lover pushed into him more and more. Why was Gibbs going so slow? Where was the hard and rough fucking Tony always imagined his boss delivering?

After that, Gibbs quickly pulled out before slamming back home, setting up a fast and rough pace. There was the Gibbs that Tony was expecting; the only thing the green eyed male could do was hold onto the workbench and enjoy the ride. Every other time Gibbs pushed inside his lover, his hardened cock always brushed up against that bundle of nerves that always drove carriers crazy. “I’m so close,” Tony stuttered as he grabbed his weeping member. A couple of pumps of his hand, and Tony cried out as his orgasm washed over him.

Gibbs squeezed Tony’s curvy hips as he chased his own release. The feel of Tony’s inner walls squeezing him was too much. Muffling his cry of pleasure in Tony’s shoulder, Gibbs came, and the condom prevented any of his release from reaching Tony’s internal reproductive organs. After catching their breaths, Gibbs pulled out of Tony’s channel and chucked the condom off of his softening member. With a slight wince, Tony stood up straight and stretched his sore muscles from being stuck in that one position. “Wow,” Tony uttered in a breath.

Blue eyes glanced at the mess of Tony’s release on the workbench. Blue eyes then turned to hooded jade. “Next time, you come on my cock alone,” the older man warned his younger love.

Tony’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. Did he just hear his boss right? “Next time?” His tone was so hopeful. Gibbs definitely knew how to fuck DiNozzo’s brains out, and he could not wait to be fucked in a bed….

And there was definitely a next time and a time after that. The best way Tony could explain it was that he and Gibbs had become friends with benefits. Neither one had put a clear label on this thing between them. They did not go home with each other every night, but they were not entertaining any other lovers at the same time. Neither one of them had a great track record when it came to past relationships, and Tony was scared to be another bad mess in the love life of one Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

They never told anyone about their slight change in their relationship, and Tony was fine with not sharing it with anyone. In a way, he had something with Gibbs that no else did. Then the whole mess with Rivkin popped up and almost threatened Tony’s happiness. They all went to Israel, but Ziva did not come back with them. Tony was still angry with himself and Ziva for what happened in Tel Aviv. Ziva was his partner, and she should trust that Tony would always have her back.

Returning from Israel brought a new change in Gibbs. Tony thought he was going crazy, but it seemed as though Gibbs was much more attentive to Tony’s needs. The green eyed male stayed with his boss at his house as arm healed; their sex was more gentle as Tony’s bruises began to fade away. In all honesty, Tony was not ready to leave Gibbs’ house when he got the clean bill of health from his doctor.

It seemed that Gibbs was feeling the same way because he was brining Tony home from work more and more. Soon Gibbs’ bathroom and closet was half filled with Tony’s things. In fact, Tony only slept at his place once or twice a week, usually to restock what he needed at Gibbs’ place.

Gibbs was always good about using a condom every time he and Tony had sex. Tony was not on any birth control, which was usually more unreliable in carriers than women. They never fooled around at work, where they stayed strictly professional, so no one was the wiser about their secret.

Things got a little hairy when Jackson Gibbs came for a visit. Ever since that case in Stillwater, the two Gibbs had been working on their strained relationship. Jethro reached out to his father more, and Jackson was known to visit his son.

Jackson came down for a surprise visit for Thanksgiving. Tony was already at Gibbs’ house when the older Gibbs showed up unannounced. It was easy to come up with a lie to explain why Tony was at Gibbs’ on a late Saturday night. His condo was being fumigated and his boss was being generous by letting his senior field agent bunk with him until it was safe to return. Of course by not telling Jackson the nature of their relationship, Jethro and Tony had to sneak around to be together. Which is how Gibbs and Tony ended up having sex on the living room couch while Jackson slept in the guest bedroom. It was a rushed need to be together, and it was the one time Gibbs forgot to wear a condom. The heat of the moment made the couple careless. Neither one of the men regretted it after they finished their love making. Besides what were the chances that one time without a condom could get Tony pregnant….

Chapter Text

It was a fond memory both men in the room. Tony could not help but smile at the memory of the two of them sneaking around under Jackson Gibbs’ nose. That night they fooled around on the couch left the Italian male with a stiff neck and a slight limp. It was embarrassing when Jackson noticed. Tony tried his best to laugh it off and explain it away as a rough night trying to get comfortable on the couch.

Even with those fond memories, that night left the pair with something that would change their lives forever. Tony was getting more and more used to the idea of having this baby. For the longest time, the green eyed male was certain that he did not want children. Kids were a lot of responsibility, and DiNozzo was barely keeping himself a functional human being. Besides, Tony was the first to admit that he struggled with connecting with kids; as seen with his encounters with kids in the past. However, Tony could not stop thinking about his own baby. The thought was unbelievable… his own baby. Tony had never been able to connect with kids, but maybe he would be able to with his own child. The baby would be half DiNozzo, and that was something he could wrap his head around. Maybe having this baby would not be such a bad thing.

The only concern DiNozzo had was the other half of his child’s genes. Neither one of them had the talk about kids and the future. Hell, neither he nor Gibbs ever talked about what the hell was this thing going on between them. Then DiNozzo had to screw things up and get himself knocked up. Gibbs already was a father, and Gibbs lived through a father’s greatest fear. Who even said Gibbs would want to be a father again and risk the fear of reliving that loss again. Tony was just beginning to accept the mantle of being a parent; he was not sure if he could handle Gibbs’ rejection of their child.

Licking his lips, Tony finally voiced his concerns. “Are you are sure you are ok with this boss? This baby?” Tony was definitely not Shannon, and this child was not going to be a replacement for Kelly. Tony was not going to live in the shadow of someone else’s memory.

For a moment, Jethro Gibbs did not say anything. His ice blue eyes studied the man before him. Gibbs could see the uncertainty and nervousness in the way the younger man fidgeted in place. A breath later, Jethro lifted his lover’s chin so their eyes could meet. This was the Tony that Gibbs was always intrigued by. Behind the face of a clown, Tony was vulnerable and so eager to please. Whenever Gibbs got to glance that raw vulnerability, it always stole his breath away.

“Why would I not be ok with it?” Jethro finally responded in a soft voice.

Out of nervous habit, Tony bit his bottom lip. Hope began to blossom in the younger man’s chest. Even after all these years, he was still seeking the older man’s approval. “Just have to be sure,” Tony uttered in a whisper.

Gibbs took the next step and took a seat next to his younger lover. Turning to face the younger man, Gibbs rested his left hand on Tony’s still flat stomach. Tony needed the reassurance, and this time Gibbs was not going to deny his second. “This is certainly a surprise, but children are always a blessing Tony,” Jethro added.

The younger man smiled at his lover’s words. Green eyes glanced down at his pelvis and waist. It felt right to have Gibbs’s hand there; it made Tony feel warm. “I can’t believe we are going to have a baby,” Tony responded, “when I heard the news I was shocked but excited. I was excited to have a kid of my own.”

Jethro grabbed Tony’s head and turned it toward him. Their lips met in a soft and intimate kiss. “You are going to be great,” the older man spoke softly, “he or she is lucky to have you as a mom.”

The younger man’s cheeks reddened at the compliment. It was the first time he put the two together; he was going to be a mom. “They are lucky to have you too Jethro; we both are. There is no doubt you are going to be a good dad,” Tony added before joining their lips together once more.

The worry and tension eased out of the younger man. There was nothing to worry about, and all was right in the world. Tony and Jethro were going to have a baby, and everything was going to work out in the end.

The next day brought the pair back to work. They were the first ones in, followed by Ducky then Abby. McGee and Ziva arrived a little bit later, but the two other team members were still on time. Tony was at his desk, and smiled at his Probies. “Well it’s about time,” the senior field agent commented.

Both Tim and Ziva raised a curious eyebrow at their fellow team member. “Tony, you’re early,” McGee commented aloud, “you are never here early.”

Raising his eyebrows and shrugging his shoulders, Tony replied, “Well I have a mountain of paperwork to fill out, so I figured I better get a start on it before we got ourselves a case.” The worst thing about their job was the endless amount of paperwork they always had to complete.

McGee’s mouth made a silent “O” in realization. It all came back to the younger agent; it was not a dream. Tony was pregnant, and all that paperwork made a whole lot of sense.

Silent as always, Gibbs walked up to the other from the direction of the stairs. “Too late,” Gibbs stated, “grab your gear. We have a case.”

McGee and Ziva immediately headed to their desks to grab their bags. Tony reached for his own backpack, but then stopped himself. He was on desk duty, which meant that he would not be heading out to the crime scene to investigate. A frown formed on his handsome face. “What do you want me to do boss?”

The boss stopped in his tracks and turned back toward his senior field agent. This was something both men were going to have to get used to; Gibbs was used to having his second always at his side. “Start collecting background information on our victim. I want a complete work up by the time we get back,” Gibbs ordered his agent.

Tony pouted, but he nodded his head in agreement. He would follow orders, but he did not have to always like it. DiNozzo was an excellent investigator, and it was his favorite part of his job. He was good at investigating a crime scene, and it sucked that he could not shine at the part of his job he did well. Besides who liked following the paper trails besides McGeek?

“You know boss because the bun in my oven means that you can’t drive me around anymore,” Tony commented with an amused glint in his eye.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. “What makes you say that?” the older man responded.

“Well you drive like a madman, and I’m supposed to be on light duty,” the younger man jokingly explained.

Rolling his eyes, Gibbs smacked his senior field agent on the back of the head. “Get to work DiNozzo,” Gibbs replied before taking his leave.

A few hours later, Gibbs’ team returned to the Navy Yard. The evidence had been bagged and tagged, and it has already been sent to Abby. Ducky and Palmer already returned as well with their victim’s body, and no doubt the pair would already be preparing for the autopsy. McGee and Ziva were chatting about the case as they got off the elevator. Gibbs was nowhere to be seen; no doubt getting a fresh cup of coffee.

Tony got to his feet and asked his fellow team members, “So what happened?” The senior field agent was at a disadvantage of understanding the crime they were investigating. Maybe he could get Gibbs to clear that Tony could at least work a crime scene; it was not like he was in any physical danger at the crime scene.

“Dead Gunny Sergeant. Car fire outside Norfolk,” Ziva explained to her coworker as she put her bags down beside her desk.

DiNozzo’s eyebrow shot up in surprise. Whenever a victim was burned to death, if intentional and not accidental, it was always a case of revenge. The question was who hated their victim enough to want to burn him to death?

Grabbing the clicker, Tony shared his findings on the plasma screen. “Well our victim is Gunny Sergeant John Bennett. Spent his whole career with the Marines in artillery. He is married to a Veronica Bennett for eight years, and they do not have any children. Only records I could find were a couple of speeding tickets in the past year.”

McGee turned to the other male. “That’s all you found?” One would think in the last few hours DiNozzo would be able to pull up more information.

Green eyes narrowed in annoyance. “You wanted basic background, and you got it. But judging the way our Gunny died, I would look no further than the wife,” the senior field agent snapped back.

“Why would think the wife?” Gibbs asked before taking a sip of his coffee.

All three of his agents physically jumped in surprise. None of them noticed Gibbs creep up behind them. Turning around, the three agents glanced at their boss. In one had was the coffee Gibbs was drinking, in the other hand was a Caf-Pow for Abby.

Tony crossed his arms over his chest. His patented DiNozzo confident smile formed on his lips. “Someone had it out for our victim. I bet his wife caught him cheating, and set his lying pants on fire.”

It was a good theory; Gibbs was not going to deny that. “We don’t solve cases based on guess work,” the boss replied, “find me proof of this affair then. McGee, if there was an affair, then there has to be a paper trail. Go through his bank statements. Ziva, with me; let’s go talk to the wife. DiNozzo, take this to Abby and see what she has so far for us.” Gibbs handed his senior field agent the Caf-Pow he would always gift their forensic scientist.

As Tony took the drink, he replied to his boss, “On it boss.” Then the Very Special Agent quickly headed to the elevator that would lead him to Abby’s lab.

McGee was still staring at the spot where Tony stood. His eyes were wide, and then they slowly glanced at their boss. Ice blue eyes glared back at the younger agent. “What are you waiting on?” Gibbs barked.

Stuttering, McGee answered, “Nothing boss. Sorry boss. It’s just you always give Abby her Caf-Pow.” The young agent was not accustomed to change, and things were certainly changing among their team.

Rolling his eyes, Gibbs was not going to respond to his agent. He turned around and headed to the elevator. Ziva was already waiting for him there. Neither one of them said a word as they waited for the elevator to ding.

Once when Gibbs got Mrs. Bennett into interrogation, she immediately confessed to her crimes. The Gibbs glare was undefeated, and she folded within twenty minutes of being alone with Gibbs in his field. Turns out Tony was right in his theory; Gunny Sergeant Bennett was stepping out on his wife with a waitress at the local bar he and his Marine buddies frequented. His wife followed him that night as they got a hotel room and waited for him to leave. She followed him and forced him off the road before dousing his car in gasoline and setting it on fire. The woman had no regrets for what she did; she was still mad as hell for the betrayal.

By the time the Major Response Team finished their reports, it was the end of the work day on Friday. Even Abby had made her way into the bullpen and stood at Gibbs’ desk nervously. “What’s on your mind Abs?” the blue eyed male immediately asked her. He would never let her sit and stew under his glare.

The friendly goth swayed from side to side on her feet. “It’s Friday, and we are not working a case,” she began to explain.

DiNozzo, McGee, and Ziva all glanced up to stare at Abby. What was on her mind? She clearly wanted Gibbs’ permission for something.

After sucking on her bottom lip, Abby added, “You said we could celebrate Tony’s big news tonight….” Gibbs better not have forgotten his promise to her. Abby wanted to celebrate her dear friend’s amazing news.

Gibbs rested his elbows at the desk; there was an unreadable expression on his face. “Well I don’t have any issue with it, but you might want to ask the others if they want to go out. It has been a long week Abs,” he responded to her.

Abby turned around to look at the other members of Gibbs’ team. “You want to go out tonight, right?” she asked a little bit nervously.

McGee, Ziva, and DiNozzo immediately replied at the same time, “Of course Abby!” Everyone in the building had a hard time saying no to the bubbly goth.

Abby smiled and turned back to Gibbs like she won the battle. A hint of a smile appeared on the man’s lips. “Go see if Ducky and Palmer want to join,” he reminded her.

At first, Abby wanted to jump into action to ensure that the rest of the unofficial members of Gibbs’ team would be joining celebrations. But there was one thing that was still concerning the scientist. “You are coming too right Gibbs?” she double checked. It would not be the same if their fearless leader was not there; Gibbs had to come.

No one noticed Gibbs and Tony share a look with one another. With a dramatically heavy sigh, Gibbs lowered his head and defeat. “Alright, I’ll go for you Abs,” he conceded.

Everyone was grinning at the news. Gibbs never joined them for a night out on the town. It was truly a night of celebrating.

The team ended up the local bar and grill they frequented on occasion. None of them had dinner, so they were quick to order food with their drinks. When the round of beers, wine, and water were passed around, Ducky raised his glass for a toast. “It is not often we get together to celebrate. Let’s take a moment to enjoy each other’s company in such a positive environment.”

Everyone raised the glass. Tony was grinning. “Yeah, I mean it’s not every day that I got a bun in the oven,” he added before taking a sip of his water. No more alcohol for the next nine months of course.

The other members of the group appeared exasperated, but they still took a sip of their drinks. A moment later, the side conversations between friends started. Palmer and McGee were discussing whether or not McGee would ever write another book. Ducky and Ziva were discussing the finer points of a glass of wine. This left Abby the opportunity to study two of her favorite people. Gibbs and Tony were whispering softly between them, and Abby could not hear what was said between them. There was an air of intimacy between them. They were not doing anything special, but it was the familiarity between them is what Abby noticed. Very few people could make Gibbs smile and laugh, and Tony was one of those few people. On the flip side, Tony was always more relaxed whenever it was just him and Gibbs.

“So Tony,” Abby spoke loud enough for everyone at the table to hear, “who is the mystery man that you have been seeing?” She knew she would not get a truthful answer, but she could not help but tease him.

Placing his glass back on the table. Green eyes met another set of green eyes. “Well now, where would the fun be if I told you?” he responded with an amused smile. Eventually, Tony was going to tell Abby the truth, but he was not going to tell her tonight.

Abby mockingly pouted, but her job was done. The rest of the team’s interests were peaked. “Yes Anthony,” Ducky commented, “we have not heard anything about this lovely person who has stolen your heart I assume.”

It made both McGee and Ziva wonder. Was this child a product of a one-night stand, or had Tony been in a relationship secretly right under their noses? McGee was the bold one and asked, “Are you actually in a relationship Tony?”

A blush appeared on Tony’s cheek, he took a sip of water to bide some extra time. “I’m seeing someone,” he quietly answered.

There was a grin on the goth’s face. “I knew it!” she exclaimed. Then she turned to the one person who had been quiet this whole time. “Gibbs, aren’t you a little bit worried?”

Blue eyes turned to feminine emerald orbs. “Why would I be worried Abby?” he asked her.

“What if this mystery man takes our loveable rock away from us? Aren’t you concerned Tony might be stolen away?” she asked her silver haired fox.

Gibbs waved off her concerns, “Nah,” he answered, “won’t happen.”

“Tony has a penchant for chasing after his partners. What makes you think this is going to be different?” Tony has been known in the past for literally chasing after men and women that caught his eye.

The blue eyed male was confident in his answer. “No, I’m not worried. DiNozzo would not leave us like that. Right DiNozzo?”

Tony immediately answered, “Right boss. Can’t get rid of me that easily.”

From there, the conversation settled, and the side conversations returned. Abby, Tony, and Palmer were guessing on the gender of the baby. Abby was hoping for a boy, and Palmer was guessing it was going to be a girl. During their whole debate, Tony kept a hand on his stomach. The acceptance of his friends made him more excited for baby. He had the best support system around him.

When they were finished with their meals and drinks, the group slowly headed home their own separate ways. Ducky was the first to leave, followed by Palmer. Then McGee drove Abby home. As the three remaining team members headed for their cars, Gibbs whispered in Tony’s ear, “Come home with me tonight.”

Tony swallowed and shivered at the implication. There was no way that he was going to say no to his boss and lover. “I’ll see you soon,” Tony promised him.

Chapter Text

The first trimester of Tony’s pregnancy was coming to a close. Morning sickness was a bitch, and it was mostly triggered by certain smells. Poor McGee took the brunt of Tony’s misery from puking his guts up from wake up until about eleven every morning. It took a good week and a half for the team to realize McGee’s breakfast was one of the triggers for Tony’s dash to the men’s room. The verbal tongue lashing from DiNozzo had the probie spitting out an apology along with a promise not to eat his usual breakfast burrito in the office again.

Gibbs did nothing but inwardly smile at the antics. Like usual, he let his team members sort out the petty squabble amongst themselves. However, the blue eyed male made sure that his pregnant lover had a healthy breakfast that was not going to be spewed up in the bathroom later. Over all, Gibbs was very attentive to Tony since finding out about the baby. The older male went to every doctor’s appointment, and they spent most nights together at Gibb’s home. The blue eyed man enjoyed having Tony with him, so more of Tony’s things started to appear in Gibbs’ home.

The only that changed at work was Tony’s involvement in a case. The Very Special Agent did not enjoy being completely sidelined during an investigation. After the second case, Tony managed to convince his boss to let his second work the initial crime scene. Both Tim and Ziva were surprised that Gibbs caved to Tony’s begging. Gibbs, however, had some counter demands of his own. Tony could only work crime scenes as long as he was able to maneuver himself around without any help. This ensured that during his third trimester, Tony would do nothing more than sit behind his desk. As someone who lived more in the moment than think about the future, Tony enthusiastically agreed; he was so sick of sitting at his desk all day.

One morning, Gibbs got the early morning call to head into the office. There was a murder of a Marine on a dinner cruise. Tony was not too enthused to be woken up, but Gibbs forced his lover out of bed. Gibbs got first use of the bathroom while Tony changed into some clean clothes. When Jethro was finished in the bathroom, he spotted his lover standing beside the bed struggling to button his pants. Tony’s emerald orbs were panicked as he glanced up at his older lover. “They won’t button,” the younger man complained.

Moving to stand beside his pregnant lover, Jethro took a minute to study Tony’s pregnant form. He was dressed only in a pair of unbuttoned slacks and his special carrier undershirt. From the side, it was obvious why his pants would not button. The green eyed male was already sporting the tiniest baby bump. It was barely there, but that was their baby growing inside the carrier. The thought put a smile on Gibbs’ face, and he placed a hand on the bump. “Starting to show a bit,” the older male stated.

Tony pouted at the realization as he quit trying to button the pants that would not fit. He could not believe it was already happening; his body was changing to accommodate their growing child. “I’m already turning into a fat, ugly person,” he complained as he plopped down onto the edge of the bed.

Gibbs rolled his eyes; he immediately responded, “You are not fat Tony, just pregnant. And you will never be ugly.”

Even though he was blushing at the compliment, the Italian still sighed. “I’m going to have to get some new pants,” he thought aloud.

The blue eyed male lifted his lover’s chin and brought their lips together in a soft kiss. “We can do it this weekend,” the older male reassured his lover.

Tony smiled and got back to his feet. “I think I have some jeans that are a size too big from my dad that he sent over for Christmas,” he spoke before pulling on some pajama pants on, “we just have to stop by my apartment.”

After making a pit spot at Tony’s place, the couple still arrived at the office early. Tony headed up to the bullpen while Gibbs got himself a cup of coffee. It was Tony’s job to collect their gear and order McGee and Ziva to get the truck ready to drive to the crime scene. Their teammates were already at their desks. Tony tossed the keys to Ziva. “Boss wants us downstairs in five minutes,” Tony informed the duo.

Trained well, both McGee and Ziva grabbed their gear and followed the senior field agent to the elevator. A nice, juicy murder could take Tony’s mind off of his growing waistline.

The new case brought the return of a familiar face. Abigail Borin was a guest on the same dinner cruise as their dead Marine, and she was eager to join the Major Case Response Team. Borin was a person every member of the MCRT liked, so it was not a burden to allow her to assist on this case. Gibbs was still in charge, and he divided up the duties among his team. DiNozzo was to sketch and photograph the crime scene, McGee was to talk to the local LEOs, and Ziva was in charge of the sweep. Gibbs himself joined Borin and Ducky as the M.E. did his initial analysis of the victim.

As Borin and Gibbs traded their usual banter, DiNozzo approached the duo to report to his boss. “Crime scene is sketched and photographed boss. I got the McProbie collecting some evidence,” the Italian male reported.

Borin’s eyes traveled up and down DiNozzo’s form. “I didn’t know it was casual day at work today DiNozzo,” she commented as she pointed out the jeans he was wearing while everyone else was dressed in slacks.

Tony grinned and shot her a lewd look. “Well navy is certainly your color Agent Borin. Hopefully all your dates don’t end in a murder,” he teased right back.

Gibbs was not a fan of Tony’s incessant need to flirt. “DiNozzo, you and David talk to the passengers. Build a timeline of what happened the moment the ship set sail until the body was discovered. Have McGee on evidence collection,” the team leader ordered.

DiNozzo gave a single nod. “You got it boss,” he replied before heading off and collecting Ziva no doubt. As soon as he was at her side, they headed toward McGee. The young agent did not seem too thrilled with order that he was to do the evidence collecting… oh well.

Meanwhile, Boring turned back to the silver haired male. “Giving the grunt work to McGee and not DiNozzo,” she mused, “you must be in a good mood.”

Taking a sip of his coffee, Gibbs responded, “Can’t only pick on one of my agents. Some might say I’m picking favorites.”

It was not long after that when the MCRT headed back to the Navy Yard. After filing the official paperwork for the evidence collected, McGee hand delivered it all to Abby. Tony and Ziva headed back to the bullpen to start the background information on the victim and his family. As Borin got the lowdown from the two agents, Gibbs returned with a white bag of food, which he placed on DiNozzo’s desk. The green eyed male thanked his boss, and pulled out a sandwich, which he immediately started eating.

“Our victim, Jeremy Nolan was arrested for assault,” DiNozzo reported between bites, “his uncle was his legal counsel.”

It was a good starting point to find a motive for Nolan’s murder. Gibbs turned to the other members of his team, “McGee, David, you two go and find out what happened with this assault. Borin, work with Abby on the photos and see if you find anything out of the ordinary.”

Gibbs did not even wait for the choruses of “yes boss” before heading to the elevator to check in with Ducky. McGee and Ziva headed for the other elevator to follow their orders leaving Borin alone with DiNozzo in the bull pen. Tony was already on his computer trying to pull out more information on their victim.

Borin was curious why DiNozzo was staying at his desk, when it was usually McGee who did all the computer things. At least, that was how she remembered it from the last time she worked with MCRT. “DiNozzo, why does Gibbs have you riding out on desk duty?” she was bold enough to ask.

Tony turned away from his computer screen and smiled at the Coast Guard agent. There was a warmth in his emerald orbs as he smiled. “I’m limited in the field for the near future,” he cryptically began to answer her.

She raised an eyebrow and continued to press for answers. “Why are you so limited?” Was it the weight gain? She noticed that he put on a few pounds since she last saw him.

The senior field agent was not ashamed of his situation, so he answered truthfully, “I have a bun in the oven, so not much physically I’m allowed to do now.” Tony then grabbed his sandwich and took another bite. Gibbs had a spidey sense for whatever his Italian lover was craving.

The shock on Abigail Borin’s face was priceless. Her mouth formed a perfect “O”, and her eyes were like saucers. She quickly schooled her features before responding, “I did not realize you were a carrier DiNozzo.”

Most carriers she knew dressed to accentuate their more feminine features. Borin thought about the differences between the carriers she knew and the one before her. DiNozzo kept his hair shorter than most carriers, and he dressed more masculine. Then again being a special agent required more of that masculine presentation, even for women. Agent Borin should not be so surprised by this news. Letting go of her preconceived notions, she smiled at the pregnant male. “Congratulations then.”

DiNozzo thanked the woman and attempted to get back to work. However, the Very Special Agent was surprised that Agent Borin had not moved and was still staring at him. “What?” he asked her a little rudely.

Borin raised a curious eyebrow as she studied the carrier before her. “How did Gibbs take the news?” she wondered out loud.

The green eyed male was confused. Why did she care about Gibbs’ thoughts on his agent’s pregnancy? It is not like she knew about Gibbs and Tony’s thing. “He told me I would be in the field a lot less and in the office more, which is pretty much about it.” Tony shrugged his shoulders. If they did not tell the rest of the team about their relationship, he certainly was not going to tell this woman they only worked one other case with.

The Coast Guard agent took another step closer to the seated agent. The bells were already going off in her head, and she had a sneaking suspicion of the truth. “Gibbs didn’t demand to meet your baby daddy and have a little talk with him?” she asked.

There was a puzzled look on DiNozzo’s face that suddenly morphed into annoyance. Ever since finding out about the baby, he has been asked by pretty much everyone how Gibbs’ felt about it. Like it even mattered to them. “I don’t get why everyone cares what Gibbs thinks. It’s not like it’s anyone business but mine,” Tony snapped before standing up and moving away from the bullpen. He needed to go to the restroom.

Borin bit her bottom lip. She decided to stop her investigation for the moment. She knew Abby was waiting for her in her lab, and the Coast Guard agent made her way down to continue finding out the truth about Jeremy Nolan’s murder.

It did not take the team long to figure out the truth. Nolan’s own family conspired together to kill Jeremy to prevent him from turning the family business into a non-profit organization. Whenever large amounts of money were involved, it always twisted people into something truly disgusting. Gibbs even broke rule #1 to get a confession. Hopefully now that his killers were behind bars, Jeremy Nolan could rest easy. Gibbs would never understand the greed of others.

Of course with the case solved, it meant that Borin was needed back at her job. Already she had gotten the call for a murder by her team. There was no rest for the wicked. After hanging up the phone, Borin turned to the blue eyed team leader. “Can I talk to you for a moment?” she asked loud enough for only him to hear.

Gibbs nudged his head toward the elevator. “Let’s talk in my office,” he answered just as softly.

As soon as the elevator doors closed, Gibbs flipped the emergency switch. He then turned to the woman beside him and waited for her to speak.

“Thanks for letting me help you solve this one. Jeremy was a nice guy, and he didn’t deserve what happened to him,” Abigail began.

“That all you wanted to say to me?” Gibbs asked her. He knew there was more than a thank you that required the two of them to talk privately.

Borin turned her head and smiled at the blue eyed male. “No,” she responded, “I also wanted to give you my congratulations as well.” It was not difficult for her to figure out the truth.

Gibbs kept any emotion out of his face. “Congratulations on what?” Even his tone was devoid of emotions.

There was a soft smile on the brunette’s lips. “On the baby. I don’t know if it was planned, but I am happy for you and wish the best.”

It was the first time anyone came to him with knowledge of the truth. “What makes you think it’s my baby?” he asked for answers.

Releasing a dry chuckle and a huff, agent Borin explained, “As if you would let anyone else get that close to him. You always kept him on a tight leash, and I doubt you are one to share. I’m not blind you know.”

The silver haired agent could not help but smile, and he released the emergency hold on the elevator. “Thank you,” he said after a long moment.

As the door to the elevators opened, Borin turned back to Gibbs one more time. “Do yourself a favor and enjoy the happy moments. There is too much bad in the world to not focus on the things that keep us going.” She left with those parting words.

That night Gibbs worked on his boat in his basement. While he was working on the boat, Tony sat on the stairs and watched him. The green eyed male did not usually do this; most of the time when Gibbs was working in the basement, Tony was watching a movie in the living room. The green eyed male made sure there was a working T.V. and DVD player at Gibbs’ house for such occasions. But every now and then, the carrier got the urge to just sit and study his boss and lover. Gibbs spoke so much without ever saying a word, and it took years to master the ability to read Gibbs.

It was a comfortable silence between the two. After a little while of nothing but silence between the two, it was Gibbs who broke the mood by speaking. “Borin knows,” was all the older male said.

Tony’s eyes widened as he focused on his lover’s face. He was not expecting to hear that. And how could Borin have figured it out when the rest of their team could not? “How?” Tony wondered.

Gibbs placed the tool he was using on the floor and moved to stand in front of his lover. “Does it matter?” the older male wondered.

DiNozzo chewed on his bottom lip for a moment before shaking his head. “No,” he answered truthfully. It really did not matter who knew. It just became a game to the couple to leave the rest of their team members in the dark. “You know everyone keeps wondering how you are taking the news of my pregnancy, like it would matter if you weren’t the dad.”

Gibbs let out a rare smile and pulled the other man to his feet. “But I am, and I’m happy about the baby,” the blue eyed male reassured their lover.

It always put butterflies in the carrier’s stomach to hear Gibbs share such reassurances. “Me too,” Tony added before bringing their lips together in a soft kiss. When the kiss ended, he added, “but maybe we should tell the team the truth.”

“Nah,” Gibbs liked the games he and his lover were playing, “let them figure it out. If they ask us, then we tell them.”

There was a sly smile on the younger man’s face. “That’s pretty naughty of you Jethro,” Tony teased.

Gibbs pulled his lover so that they were pressed up against each other. “I’ll show you naughty,” Jethro promised.

Tony did not hesitate to follow his lover up the stairs and toward the bedroom. It was going to be a good night tonight.

Chapter Text

Tony was the first to arrive to work before the rest of the team. It was one the rare nights lately that he slept at his own apartment, but it was necessary to replenish his clothes and take care of things at his place. In fact, the Italian male spent the evening boxing away the clothes that no longer fit his expanding middle. Replacing his usual collection of jeans and slacks were stretchy pants straight from the maternity catalogue designed for expectant carriers. Tony was not so vain that he would keep replacing his clothes as the months drew in his pregnancy; no, that was a waste of money. So Tony decided to be smart and invest in a maternity wardrobe that would stretch as the little one grew inside of him. The goal though would be to fit in the same pants he used to wear pre baby after the little one came into the world.

It was calm and quiet inside the bullpen without the team. Tony used the opportunity to get some things done. First was to schedule his next doctor’s appointment. The green eyed male checked the time before dialing the number. The nurse answered on the third ring, “Hello, Dr. Tanner’s office. This is his nurse Michelle; how can I help you?”

“Hi, this is Tony DiNozzo. I need to schedule my next appointment with Dr. Tanner,” the NCIS agent answered.

He could hear through the phone that she was going through her files. “Alright Mr. DiNozzo. This will be your sixteen-week appointment. If at all possible, would you like to the know the gender?” the pleasant voice of the nurse asked.

Tony felt his mouth go completely dry. He was already a third into his pregnancy, but it was becoming more and more real. He now had the chance to find out if he was having a boy or a girl. It made it that much more concrete that in a few short months there will no longer be a fetus growing in his womb but a baby in his arms. “If at all possible, yeah,” the man’s voice was strained as he replied over the phone.

His doctor’s appointment was scheduled for the end of the week, and it would be first thing in the morning, so Tony could go to work after the appointment. When he hung up the phone, the elevator dinged, and Gibbs stepped through the open doors. There was a white paper bag in his hands, which he dropped at DiNozzo’s desk. Tony looked at his boss with curious eyes. “Bagel sandwich,” Gibbs explained as he took a sip of his coffee and headed for his own desk.

“Thanks boss!” the younger man immediately responded.

The green eyed male licked his lips and dug into his surprise breakfast. As soon as he took a bite into the bagel, Gibbs asked his second, “Did you schedule your appointment?”

Swallowing his mouthful of food, Tony nodded his head. “It’s on Thursday at 8:15, so you know I will be showing up late that day.”

Those ice blue eyes spoke so much without their owner ever saying a word. At last, Jethro added, “Call me when it’s done and let me know how it goes. Wish I was going with you.”

A smile spread across Tony’s lips. “Same boss, but you got to lead the troops. No doubt we will be knee deep in a case by then,” the younger man agreed.

As soon as the Italian carrier was done with his breakfast, Ziva arrived followed by McGee ten minutes later. Once when McGee was settled at his desk with his computer on, Gibbs’ phone rang. “Gibbs…. Yeah, ok, thanks.”

Reaching for his badge and gun, the team leader barked orders, “Gear up. We got a dead Navy recruiter in Fairfax.”

The rest of his team grabbed their gear and followed their fearless leader; it was business as usual for the MCRT. They headed to a high school in Fairfax, and their victim was pushed down the stairs. Gibbs and DiNozzo talked to the locals while McGee and David were on evidence. Cases where a recruiter were murdered bothered the team leader immensely. Gibbs saw it as an attack on the military whenever a recruiter was the victim of such a heinous crime.

When they had finished with the crime scene within a few short hours before it was time to head back to the Navy Yard. DiNozzo volunteered to be the one to take all the evidence the team collected to Abby’s lab. It was an easy assignment to volunteer for because already the others were hot on the cyber trail as they dug through their victim’s life and career as a recruiter.

When Tony entered the forensics lab with a box full of evidence, Abby had some soft New Orleans Jazz playing on her stereos. Tony smiled; he loved him some Jazz. “Oh, I like the sound of this!” the green eyed male announced his presence before placing the box of evidence onto the table.

Abby whirred around on her heels and smiled at the guest in her lab. “Oh Tony look at you!” she greeted as she eyed him up and down, “Those pants and sweater are showing off that baby belly you got!” It was the cutest little bump; he was showing at this point.

With a big smile, Tony turned to his side and modeled his baby bump. He rubbed the growing bump before adding, “Little one stopped finally giving me morning sickness.”

The bubbly goth had no qualms about closing the gap between herself and one of her favorite people and rubbing the growing bump. “Hi little one,” Abby spoke to the unborn child, “this is your Auntie Abbs. I can’t wait to meet you! I’m going to teach everything I know in how to be awesome.”

The green eyed male smiled at the moment. His child was already so loved and welcomed into their lives. “Hey, if anyone is going to teach the little one in how to be awesome, it’s going to be me,” he joked.

Abby straightened her posture and took another good look at her dear friend. His chest was starting to round out with the pregnancy as well. “I think your boobies are starting to come in too!” she exclaimed as she motioned to his growing chest.

A blush appeared on the carrier’s face. It was the only part of the deal of his biology he was uncomfortable with. Sighing as he readjusted his shirt, Tony responded, “Ugh, please don’t remind me.” The sad part was that they were never going to go away again. Out of his carrier physiology, his chest was the part he liked the least.

Crossing her arms over her chest, Abby raised a curious eyebrow. Two sets of green eyes stared at one another, waiting for the other to break. Abby was never one to not speak her mind, so she spoke up first. “I think this is the first time I’ve seen you be nervous about the whole pregnancy,” she realized.

Abby was not the only expecting Tony to freak out; it was no secret that he was uncomfortable with children. In fact, McGee started a pool with Ziva, Ducky, Jimmy, Abby, and a few others on when Tony was going to freak out about having a baby. The Very Special Agent could only play it cool for so long….

Tony shrugged his shoulders. There was a guarded look in his emerald orbs. “This isn’t the first time I’ve been nervous since finding out,” he admitted in a soft voice.

Feminine green eyes widened in surprise. Before another word could be spoken, Abby led the two of them to the seats inside of her office to ensure a private conversation. When the door closed behind them and they were seated, Abby finally asked, “Alright, what’s going on in that brain of yours?”

It was almost calming for DiNozzo to absently rub his growing bump. He needed to talk to someone, and Abby would always be there for him. “I did have the big freak out when I went to the doctor and asked for the blood test. I knew something was up, but I still wanted to live in denial. It’s not like the two of us ever really talked about the future with kids and all that.”

Abby bit her tongue to keep her mouth silent. If she applied the right amount of pressure, she could get Tony to admit the name of the baby’s father in the state he was in, but Abby would not do that to her friend. Tony was finally opening up, and she wanted to be the ear he could trust.

“I mean I’m ready to be a parent. Figure I can’t be as bad as my own. But I’m worried about….” The green eyed male was struggling with admitting his greatest fears aloud.

The goth reached out and held Tony’s hand in comfort. She hated to see him so bothered. “What are you so worried about Tony?” she wondered, “I know that you will be a good mom to the little one.”

Tony smiled at her assurances. “You know I could find out the gender of the baby at my next appointment on Thursday,” he commented with a tight smile on his lips.

Tilting her head to her side, Abby had a puzzled expression on her face. “And you are worried about being a parent to either a boy or a girl….” Some parents wanted a specific gender for their child. Most wanted a boy, but there were some who wanted a girl instead. She never thought Tony was like that.

The green eyed male shook his head. “It’s not me that I’m worried about; it’s Gibbs,” Tony answered, “I’m worried about Gibbs.”

It was like the breath was knocked out of Abby. This was her confirmation about the boss man and his second. However, now was not the time to freak out about the couple. “Why are you so worried about Gibbs?” she tried to discern the root of the problem.

“What if Gibbs cares more about the gender,” Tony shared his thoughts aloud, “I mean what if I have a girl, and all he thinks about is Kelly. What if our little girl is a pale comparison to his first daughter? Then again, what if the baby turns out to be a boy, and Gibbs only wants to have daughters? I don’t even want to get started if the baby turns out to be a carrier.”

Abby squeezed Tony’s hand tighter in hers before smiling at her close friend. “I think you are over thinking things Tony,” she replied, “I also think you need to talk to Gibbs. Tell him how you feel. Boss man will make things right.”

Her faith in their fearless leader was unwavering. There were times Tony still wished he had that unwavering faith as well. As he opened his mouth to speak, his cell phone rang. Tony was quick to answer the phone. “DiNozzo. Yeah, I’m still in Abby’s lab. Alright, I’ll be up in a minute.” Then the green eyed male hung up the call and put his phone back in his pocket.

“Sorry Abbs, boss wants be back at my desk,” Tony apologized before standing up.

The bubbly goth bit her bottom lip before insisting, “Just promise me that you will talk to Gibbs before your appointment.”

Tony smiled at his friend. “What would I do without you?” he asked her, “You win. I’ll talk to him when the case is done.” He then made his way back to the bullpen before their boss loses his temper.

The case was solved, and thanks to the efforts of Leroy Jethro Gibbs and his team, the Navy had a new recruit. They managed to solve the case before Thursday, and Tony was dreading heading home after their reports were submitted. The plan was to stay at Gibbs’ house for the night, and Tony knew he was going to find his lover in his basement working on that damned boat.

When Tony arrived, he headed straight down to the basement. He went to the workbench, and poured some bourbon into the clean coffee mug. He then handed the drink to Jethro before leaning against the work bench once more.

Jethro took a sip of his drink before studying his lover. Tony was fidgeting under the older man’s gaze. “What’s on your mind Tony?” Gibbs got straight to the point.

Tony played with the hem of his shirt and kept his eyes diverted from his lover. “I just need to know that you don’t see our kid as some kind of replacement for Kelly. Whether the baby is a boy, girl, or carrier, you will love them like any father should love their kid.”

Hearing the younger man’s concerns, Gibbs moved to stand in front of his younger partner. Placing one hand on Tony’s hips, Gibbs used his other hand to lift Tony’s chin for their eyes to meet. “This baby is not Kelly.” Gibbs had to swallow the pain of his daughter’s loss, “I would never do such a thing. Whether it’s a boy, carrier, or girl, I already love it.”

Hope blossomed within the green eyed male. His fears had been quieted for the moment, though some still lingered in the deep recess of his mind. “Thanks,” Tony cleared his throat, “I needed to hear that. I can maybe find out the gender at tomorrow’s appointment.”

Now Gibbs understood his lover’s concerns. “I just want a healthy baby,” the blue eyed male admitted.

Tony was ready to head to that appointment tomorrow with excitement. If he found out the gender, he could better plan his baby’s future. After all, they could not keep calling it ‘Little One’ forever.

With one cased solved and no new one coming in, the team was on cold cases until the weekend. Even though Tony’s appointment was in the morning, he did not show up into the office until the afternoon. There was a huge smile on the Very Special Agent’s face. There was a bag in his hands as well. “You want to meet me in the evidence garage?” Tony asked his team.

Both McGee and Ziva turned to Gibbs. Blue eyes were staring at his second in command. “You want Abby and Ducky there as well?” the boss wondered.

The green eyed male nodded his head in confirmation “The autopsy gremlin is welcome to come too,” Tony added as he dropped his gun and badge off at his desk.

Ziva was already reaching for her phone. “I’ll call Ducky.”

At the same time, McGee stated, “I’ll let Abby know.”

Gibbs stood up and followed his second to the elevator. When the elevator started, he immediately pulled the emergency switch. “Are you going to tell me now, or am I going to have to wait like everyone else?” Gibbs asked.

Tony grinned at his boss and lover. “I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Besides, I want to enjoy the look on your face when you find out,” the younger man teased.

Within ten minutes, the entire team was in the evidence garage. They were gathered in a circle, and Tony passed each of them a pop streamer. “On my count, pop goes the weasel,” the green eyed male instructed.

Abby was giddy, and she bounced on her toes. “This is so exciting Tony. You know we have a bet going on the gender,” she informed her friend, “I say it’s a boy. Ziva thinks it’s a girl.”

There was a soft smile on Ziva’s lips. “I think it would be cosmic justice that Tony ends up having a daughter for all of the ladies’ man stories he forced us to hear,” the former Mossad officer explained.

“Well let’s find out who won the pool on the count of three. One… two… three!” Tony shouted in exclamation.

All at once, the streamers were popped, and blue smoke erupted all around the circle. There was a huge grin on the pregnant man’s face. He rubbed his pregnant belly and thought about his little man. Yes, Tony was having a son, and he was thrilled. Of course his green eyes turned to the child’s father, and Gibbs’ eyes were bright with excitement. The two lovers turned to one another. They would share more in private. For the moment, Tony just basked in the congratulations of his team and his family. Maybe he did not need to be so concerned after all.

Chapter Text

Of course Tony and Jethro took the time to celebrate the fantastic news of their baby’s gender. Regardless if it was a boy or a girl, the pair was still ecstatic. They celebrated with some cowboy steaks and a night full of naked pleasure.

That was two and a half weeks ago, and everything was still going smoothly. When Tony woke in the morning, he was alone in bed. He could hear the shower running, so he realized where his lover was. Rolling onto his back, Tony stretched his tired from sleep muscles and yawned the sleep away. There was no rush to get out of bed just yet. The green eyed male was two days shy of being nineteen weeks pregnant; he could not believe how fast time seemed to fly by.

Tony absently made note of hearing the shower turn off; no doubt that his blue eyed lover would be out of the bathroom in a couple of minutes. There was something else that had the carrier’s focus. Pushing the covers off his body, Tony stared at his expanding middle. His belly felt weird; there was this weird flutter he felt. There was no pain, just the weird flutter feeling.

It was how Jethro found his lover. Gibbs was wearing nothing but a pair of pants and a towel in his hands to finish drying his hair. “What is it?” the older man asked when he spotted the weird look on his lover’s face.

Finally, Tony turned away from his belly and to focused on his lover. “I felt this… I don’t know flutter,” the younger man explained.

Gibbs dropped the towel carelessly to the ground and climbed back onto the bed in a sitting position. There was no visual movement on his lover’s belly, but Gibbs understood what Tony was feeling. “He’s moving,” Jethro explained with a smile on his lips.

Jade orbs widened in surprised as they turned back to his abdomen. Placing a hand on his belly, Tony rubbed it absently as he began to speak, “Hey little one. You certainly feel weird moving around in here. Sorry I didn’t realize it sooner.”

Jethro’s heart was warmed by the sight before him. His hand joined his lover’s in rubbing the place where unborn son was growing. “Eventually the movements will get stronger into kicks,” the blue eyed male explained.

Tony couldn’t help but smile as he linked his hands with his lover’s over their baby. “I’m actually looking forward to that.” Tony closed his eyes and just enjoyed the moment. “This must be what Heaven feels like.” It was the only way to describe how perfect this moment was.

Gibbs leaned forward and brought their lips together in a soft kiss. Tony was right; this moment was absolutely perfect. “You are already such a good mom Tony; I can’t wait to see you with our son.” There was this calm sort of peace when Gibbs thought about being a father again. There will always be a special place in his heart for Kelly, but Gibbs was ready to share his love with another child.

The smile on the carrier’s face was breathtaking, so much so it reached his jade orbs. Who would have ever thought that Tony’s life could be so perfect? It was almost like a dream, his life right now.

Tony’s high spirts spilled over into work. Everyone in the bullpen could feel it, even Vance knew to leave the team alone. Gibbs must have had a talk with the director because Tony got a congratulations card from the Director. The power play games between Gibbs and the Director were finally coming to an end, and even Vance seemed to show some respect to one of his top agents.

The current case relied heavily on McGee’s skills. A Marine Corporal dead with missing fingers surrounded in mystery with enhanced programming skills. Turns out their key witness was Armstrong’s ex, someone perfectly suited for the Probie. Max was a carrier and willing to help the MCRT team in solving Armstrong’s murder. The only thing left to investigate was whether or not McVirgin was into carriers.

While watching Gibbs in interrogation, Tony decided to broach the subject with his Probie. It was just the two of them in the observation room, so McGee did not have to act tough around Ziva or any other member of the team. “How do you feel about carriers?” Tony asked his agent.

That was certainly a loaded question, and McGee blinked in surprise. Was Tony referring to Tim’s feelings about his coworker or just carrier’s in general. “I mean carriers are people too,” Tim tried for the most political answer.

Green eyes rolled in response. “I meant if you would ever date a carrier Elf Lord,” DiNozzo snapped back.

Tim turned to fully face his coworker. “I’ve never dated a carrier before,” the younger agent admitted the truth.

A sly grin formed on the carrier’s lips. He loved getting under his probie’s skin. “If you had the opportunity, though, would you take it?” DiNozzo continued to wonder.

Of course only McGee would take the question the wrong way. A blush formed on the younger man’s face. “Are you saying you and me Tony?” he asked as he pointed between himself and the other agent.

A look of horror crossed the senior field agent’s face. “What? Oh, no. You and me never going to happen McDummy!” Tony exclaimed in horror, “Besides, you can never handle me.”

The two men put more space between each other. “I meant Max,” the green eyed male clarified, “the two of you seem to share a connection.”

Neither one of them had realized that Gibbs already left the interrogation room. Both of the agents’ minds were on their witness. “Max is super intelligent,” McGee agreed.

Suddenly the door to the observation room was thrown open, and ice blue eyes glared at his agents. “Hey, I don’t pay you two to stand around!” Gibbs yelled at his agents, “Get back to work!”

Both Tony and Tim replied with simultaneous “Yes boss” before following their team leader back down to the bullpen.

Of course Gibbs and his team eventually solved Armstrong’s murder. Max was lingering around the office, as though the young carrier was waiting for McGee. Tony sat at his desk, pretending to be on his phone, as he watched McGee walk up to the waiting carrier. That kid Max, with his bright blond hair and big blue eyes, appeared so enthusiastic to be receiving Elf Lord’s attention. Tony could not hear what the two of them were saying, but green eyes watched as Max seemed to deflate in disappointment. Then a moment later, the carrier headed to the elevator to depart while McGee returned to his desk.

“Trouble in paradise?” Tony asked as he placed the phone receiver back down in its rightful place.

McGee sat back down at his chair and shrugged his shoulders. “Nah, just not what I’m looking for Tony,” McGee attempted to explain himself.

Before Tony could probe further, McGee’s phone rang. The younger agent did not even check the caller id before answering. “McGee. Yes, Abby I’m still here. Ok, I’ll be down in a second.” He then hung up the phone and quickly gathered his things to meet the forensic scientist in her lab.

Gibbs did not just hire DiNozzo for his good looks. Tony’s investigative skills were top notch, and the dots were coming together. “Well I’ll be damned,” the carrier mused aloud, “even after all these years, you still carry a torch for her.”

“You are just realizing that now DiNozzo?” Gibbs questioned.

Tony jumped in surprise; he did not hear his boss approach the bullpen. “Guess I never really paid attention,” the younger man answered.

Gibbs released a half smile. “Remind you of anything?” the team leader teased.

DiNozzo shook his head and blushed. “Yeah,” he answered. It was just like McGee and the others never noticing the subtle changes between Gibbs and DiNozzo. He then turned to face his lover. “You ready to go?” Tony asked.

Being a gentleman, Gibbs grabbed his lover’s belongings. “Just waiting on you,” he answered before heading to the elevator. He did not have to turn back to know Tony was hot on his heels.

For the next few weeks, things were uneventful. New cases came across their desks, and the team solved each and every case they investigated. Tony’s middle continued to expand, and he finally had that round belly shape that signified pregnancy. Abby continued to coo over Tony and the unborn child, and the others joined in to a lesser extent.

The first sign of change was when Tony finally felt his son kick. Tony and Jethro had just sat down to eat when he felt it. Immediately, he dropped his fork when he realized what the feeling was. His green eyes were wide as he stared down at his belly before insisting, “Jethro, come over here.”

When Gibbs was standing in front of him, Tony grabbed his hand and placed it at the spot he felt the baby kick. It took a minute, but their son kicked again. A look of wonderment appeared on the older man’s face, and he immediately dropped down to his knees without ever losing that physical connection with his unborn son. “Sure got some powerful kicks for a little guy,” the blue eyed male commented with a soft smile.

Tony’s warm eyes lingered on his lover. “Can definitely see a future in martial arts,” the younger man agreed. His Aunt Ziva would be so proud.

The next morning, Gibbs was pulled into a meeting first thing with the Director. Tony was the one who stopped for coffee and dropped it off on his desk. It was then that the Very Special Agent noticed the fancy envelope beside his boss’ computer. It was engraved, fancy, and obviously expensive. What was inside, and who was it from? Based on the expensive paper and calligraphy, it had to be a wedding invitation. But whose? Tony was always very curious, and he deserved to know what was going on in his lover’s life.

While he was analyzing the front of the envelope, Ziva and McGee entered the bullpen and immediately chastised their coworker for snooping through Gibbs’ belongings. Tony reluctantly placed the envelope back on their boss’ desk, but his curiosity was not satiated.

His curiosity was even worse when Gibbs returned to his desk. When their fearless leader spotted the mysterious envelope, he immediately shucked the horrid thing into the trashcan. Both Tony and Ziva were shocked and curious to understand the motivations behind their boss’ actions.

Before Tony could investigate further, they got the call of a dead Navy Lieutenant. From there it was case mode, and Tony almost forgot about the invitation… for all of five minutes. It just bothered the Italian male; this was not the first invitation that Gibbs received, and Gibbs still would not explain himself to his lover.

Once when they were settled back in the office, Tony sneakily grabbed the invitation and headed toward the showers. There were would be more privacy in the women’s showers, so that is where Tony headed to open the invitation. Of course, Ziva had followed him in and called him out on his nosy behavior.

“You know Gibbs has his right to privacy, just like you do Tony,” Ziva commented.

The green eyed male raised a curious eyebrow. “What do you mean?” he responded, “My life is an open book.”

Ziva’s dark eyes glanced down at his fecund middle. “That’s why you haven’t told us who the father is yet…. And I’m sure you’re not planning on it anytime soon,” she pointed out the obvious.

“You’re right,” Tony relented, “Gibbs does deserve his right to privacy. Here,” he handed her the unopened invitation, “I won’t look into it anymore.” Though Gibbs still should be open and honest with Tony.

The Israeli woman took the invitation, and she grabbed Tony’s arm as he headed out of the showers. “Tony wait,” she called him. When he turned back around to face her, she added, “I know you have every right to keep your personal life private, even though you usually don’t. But, I have respected you keeping your child’s father a secret. I hope one day you will share with me.”

“What are you trying to say Ziva?” he asked for the straight and narrow.

For a while now, Ziva could sense that as was not right with her partner, but she never knew how to broach the issue. In a soft voice, she explained, “If you ever need to talk, I’m here is all I’m saying.”

There was a soft smile on DiNozzo’s face. “Thanks Ziva,” he replied before walking away.

By the time the two returned to the bullpen, Fornell was standing in the bullpen briefing Gibbs on the FBI side of the case. Fornell turned toward DiNozzo and David approaching, and the FBI agent’s eyes widened in surprise. “Well DiNozzo, I got to say I never thought I would see the day when you would embrace your more maternal side. You definitely getting big there,” Fornell commented.

Tony rubbed the front of his expanding middle with a look of pride on his face. “Guess I’m just full of surprises,” he responded.

Gibbs did not want to have this conversation in front of the others. “Let’s finish this conversation in my office,” Gibbs spoke to Fornell.

Without another word, the two federal agents who can be best described as ‘bastards’ headed toward the elevator. When they were inside, Gibbs immediately flipped the emergency switch. “Congratulations Gibbs,” Tobias immediately wished well. Of course the FBI agent knew about Gibbs and DiNozzo’s relationship; Fornell had known since the last time he worked a case with NCIS. It was an unpleasant experience walking into Gibbs’ house and seeing the two lovers going at it.

The blue eyed male did not respond with words, but he did smile in gratitude. “Don’t be too harsh on DiNozzo,” Gibbs commented before flipping the switch again, “he is starting to get mood swings.”

Fornell took the initiative and hit the emergency switch one more time. Gibbs stared at him with a raised and curious eyebrow. Crossing his arms over his chest, Tobias warned his friend, “Do you know where this with DiNozzo is going?”

Gibbs did not reply; instead, he stared at the doors in front of him. In all honesty, Jethro did not have an answer. He was enjoying his time with Tony immensely, but Gibbs was not exactly the expert in long term commitments.

Of course, Tobias took his friend’s silence for an answer. Shaking his head, Tobias added, “You better figure it out before DiNozzo starts wondering. I don’t think he is the type to wait around if he isn’t wanted.”

With a sigh, Gibbs switched the elevator back up to running. He had a lot of thinking to do, but first he needed coffee. Like always, Gibbs avoided problems of the heart until he was confronted head on.

The case was solved, and Tony also solved the mystery behind the wedding invitation. Technically, Fornell was the one who accidently allowed DiNozzo to discern the truth. Apparently, the wedding invitation belonged to Fornell and Gibbs’ shared ex-wife Diane. It was not so hard for Fornell to admit the invitation came from Diane, so why was Gibbs so tight lipped about it? It was not like either one of the men were going to the wedding anyways!

Even when Tony asked Gibbs, Jethro not too politely told Tony to leave it alone; it was none of his business.

Tony sat back on his couch and sighed. They were at their own separate apartments tonight. No doubt Fornell was already with Gibbs in the basement. Tony took a moment to rub his pregnant belly; the little guy was kicking in response to his mom’s negative emotions.

“I don’t know why I’m so bothered by this,” Tony spoke to his unborn child.

Half a minute later, and fetus settled in the womb. Tony leaned his head back on the couch and closed his eyes. The whole wedding invitation got the pregnant carrier thinking. What was Tony to Gibbs? Were they just coworkers who fooled around? Were they ever going to put a name on this thing between them? Did Gibbs see them as anything serious? Maybe it was time to start getting answers to those questions.

Chapter Text

Abby had a field day the first time she felt the baby kick. She loved placing her hand on Tony’s ever expanding middle and feel the little boy announce his presence. Lately, there seemed more and more excuses as to why Abby was visiting the bullpen, and it was not to greet her silver haired fox; though she always got her kiss from Gibbs whenever she ventured out of her lab. When Ziva commented on Abby’s frequent visits, she seemed abashed, and then the friendly goth was insisting that DiNozzo visit her lab to help her or update the team on the case. When in actuality, she just needed her “little peanut” fix, as she had taken to calling Tony’s unborn baby.

Ziva’s enthusiasm was a lot less exuberant, but she too shared in the joyous celebration as the forensic scientist. Unlike Abby, Ziva would always ask Tony’s permission to feel the baby kick, and she would only do so when they were not being particularly watched by the other members of their team. The former Mossad agent usually asked whenever the two were alone together or driving. Whenever she felt the baby kick against her palm, there was always a warm smile on her soft face, and it always accompanied a compliment to her partner. Tony never felt closer to Ziva since becoming pregnant.

McGee was the squeamish one of the group. He never asked, but the others could tell that he was curious. When Abby was in the bullpen cooing over the little guy, she had enough of McGee’s antics; she grabbed his hand and placed it where her hand had been. There was a look of stunned shock when McGee first felt a kick. He of coursed asked Tony how it felt for him. Rather than reply with a crude joke, Tony responded with the truth; it felt like a flutter or tumbling inside him that occasionally pulled on his skin.

Ducky was always asking about how Tony’s medical appointments went. The pregnant carrier was always truthful as he discussed the events of his doctor’s appointments with the medical examiner. Whenever Tony went for an ultrasound, he always gave a copy to Ducky. Nothing made the aging Scott smile brighter than being gifted such a personal gift. The medical examiner had a special box in his office drawer for all the ultrasound pictures he had been given. Of course, the morgue was no place that sort of picture should be framed and placed. No, even through the grainy image, the baby was not ready for the horrors that the morgue held.

It was at their usual weekly lunch with Ducky that Abby realized something. “We need to start planning your baby shower Tony!”

It was Abby, Ducky, Palmer, Tony, and Ziva at lunch. McGee was stuck at the office fixing Gibbs’ computer. The poor young man seemed nervous by Gibbs’ deadline of two hours to have his computer up and running the way the blue eyed male wanted it to run. Thus Tim was unable to accompany the others on the time away from the office.

Tony swallowed his bite of food, and wiped his mouth with a napkin. It bought him some time to respond; the pregnant carrier did not want the whole bonanza that usually went along with having a baby shower. “Do I have to?” DiNozzo finally responded with a slight whine, “Can’t I just set up a registry, and people send in the gifts?”

Abby appeared aghast by his suggestion. “You mean you don’t want a celebration with the people closest to you on the new addition to your family?” She seemed hurt that he did not want to celebrate the new baby.

Surprisingly, it was Palmer who stuck up to the carrier who intimidated the assistant medical examiner. “I think DiNozzo means that he does not want the usual hoop-la that happens at a baby shower, like the games and stuff,” Palmer elaborated.

The green eyed male nodded his head in agreement. “I don’t want the whole let’s measure my belly and the stupid decoration nonsense,” DiNozzo added.

The forensic scientist bit her bottom lip and thought about her options. She wanted to throw a shower for her friend, but she could concede to his points. “What if it was a barbeque where you did receive baby shower gifts?” Abby compromised.

Tony thought about it, and he nodded his head. He agreed, “Ok Abbs, but I approve of the guest list, and there better be ribs there. Baby is craving some now.”

Abby clapped enthusiastically; she loved when things went her way. “Leave all the details to me. Just set up your registry and send me the link. I will plan the whole thing that will even impress the boss man,” she was very confident in her skills.

Ziva laughed at the other woman’s words. “I will be amazed if you can get Gibbs to even say yes to going, let alone show up,” the ex Mossad officer responded.

The goth waggled her eyebrows. She swallowed the urge to respond that of course Gibbs would go to his own child’s baby shower; Tony was still not ready for everyone to know. Instead, the goth teased, “You have not seen my full powers Agent David.” She purposefully mispronounced Ziva’s last name to remind the other woman of the days when Ziva first arrived on the team.

The Mossad officer turn NCIS agent raised her hands in defeat. “I know you are full of surprises Abby, and I look forward to your shower,” Ziva bowed her head as she deferred to the other woman.

Abby smiled at Ziva. “Be sure to keep an eye on your inboxes for an invitation,” the goth informed the table.

When Tony and Ziva arrived back in the bullpen from lunch, Vance was perched on the railing as he watched over the teams under his purview. When his eyes spotted the pregnant carrier, he called, “DiNozzo, my office.” The Director did not wait to see if his agent followed the order before returning to his office.

A sense of dejavu passed the green eyed male, and he was not looking forward to having a repeat of the same conversation. DiNozzo was never going to come in the middle of whatever was going on between Gibbs and the Director. With a sigh, the green eyed male made his way up the stairs and headed toward this conversation with his head held high.

Vance was already in his seat behind his desk when Tony entered the office. Vance leaned up and motioned toward the seat already pulled out for his guest. “Have a seat,” the Director’s voice was much softer this time around.

When Tony took his seat, Vance sat back fully in his chair. Clearing his throat, the Director got down to business, “I wanted to check in with you about when you will be taking your maternity leave.”

Green eyes blinked in surprised; Tony was expecting more demands on confirmation on his relationship with Gibbs. “It will be closer to my due date,” the agent uttered.

The NCIS Director nodded his head. “We will put a temporary agent to fill your position until you’re ready to return. As I experienced with my wife when she had both of our kids, don’t rush back into the office. Take the time you need. I’ve sent the leave forms to you as well as the daycare application for here in the Navy Yard,” the Director explained.

Tony was taken aback by the Director’s helpfulness. Last time, Vance was damn near antagonistic. “Thank you,” Tony responded with honesty.

Leaning back in in his seat, Vance added, “And I want to apologize for my reaction when I found out about your pregnancy. Since I took over as Director, I have suspected there was something going on between you and Gibbs. I realize now that it is none of my business because it does not affect how the two of you do your jobs. I promise I will leave it alone.”

Wow… Tony had no words at the moment. His green eyes were wide, and his mouth was open in shock. No doubt about it; Gibbs certainly had one hell of a talk with the Director about his actions concerning DiNozzo. Tony wished he was a fly on the wall for that one. It would have been incredible to see his boss take the Director down a peg in classic Gibbs fashion.

At last, DiNozzo could speak. “Thank you Director Vance. I appreciate it.” Tony got to his feet and offered his hand to his top boss. The two men buried their issues in a hand shake. Tony was grateful for this; it would suck for his director to have it out for him.

When DiNozzo returned to his desk, Ziva was on the phone. The senior field agent could not help but watch his partner talk on the phone. There was a big smile on Ziva’s face as she spoke in a hushed voice. When she noticed her partner watching her, Ziva turned away from the prying eyes. She said her goodbyes and then hung up the phone.

“That was the mystery man none of us have met I assume,” DiNozzo surmised.

Ziva placed her cellphone back in her desk and turned to the man across from her. “Yes. We are meeting in New York this weekend and going to the opera,” she answered him as she finished her email from earlier.

DiNozzo’s brows furrowed, and he stood up and moved over to the former Mossad officer’s desk. “Why haven’t we meet this oh so wonderful boyfriend of yours?” he demanded answers.

Before Ziva could tell Tony where to put his nose, Gibbs was storming the bullpen. “We got a dead naval officer in Virginia,” Gibbs informed his team.

The conversation between Tony and Ziva was put on pause as the team gathered their gear and followed their boss toward the elevator to their latest case.

The body was seaman Derrick Balfour, who was strangely dressed in an officer’s uniform. He was bound and wrapped in plastic wrap. Another strange thing about the victim was he had a Metro card in his pocket, which was dated after his time of death. His eyes were set in the direction of DC, which could be a warning of some kind.

Gibbs and the team were well on their way investigating this case when E.J. Barrett came barging in and attempting to take over Gibbs’ investigation. Apparently, Balfour was another victim of a serial killer Barrett’s team had been tracking since Rota, Spain. Barrett called the dirt bag ‘The Port-to-Port Killer’ and she planned to lead the investigation, which did not sit right with Gibbs. Everyone was feeling the power play between the two team leaders.

Finally, Tony had to get Gibbs alone in the restroom to get into that thick skull and understand what is going on with his boss. “Jethro, what’s bothering you so much?” the younger man pleaded for answers.

Gibbs shook his head and sighed as he used both hands to lean against the sink. “I don’t trust her, and I’m not going to sit back and let her screw this investigation up. There is something more going on here Tony. Vance is hiding something.”

Tony rubbed his protruding belly. Today was the first day of his third and final trimester. All the pregnant carrier wanted was an easy day at work, and then Gibbs give him an awesome foot massage later in the night. Obviously, that was not going to happen. “Barrett is hiding something. Vance is hiding something. CI-Ray is hiding something. At least we can trust each other, right?” Tony just felt like they were on the edge of something big happening.

Blue eyes dashed to the pregnant male. Concern was written all over Jethro’s face. He eyed his partner up and down before asking, “You doing ok?” He was worried about Tony and the baby.

The pregnant carrier had not stopped rubbing his fecund middle. He realized this was the cause of concern and smiled. “We’re fine. Kind of getting tired of calling him just ‘little guy’ though,” Tony reassured the older man, “I think we are going to have to start thinking of a name for him.”

Gibbs smiled and leaned forward to steal a kiss from Tony. “Thanks Tony,” the blue eyed male commented before rubbing his lover’s pregnant belly.

The two men took a moment to compose themselves before heading out of the bathroom. Team Gibbs may have lost the battle today in the fight against the Port-to-Port Killer, but they were going to find and catch this dangerous serial killer. No bad guy has ever gotten away from Leroy Jethro Gibbs before, and that was not about to change now.

With everything that happened between Ziva and her boyfriend, Tony was worried about his friend. Ziva was important to him, and she was suffering and not in a good place. Of course the Very Special Agent followed her to the bar when Gibbs sent them all home. Before entering, Tony texted Gibbs where he was and what he was doing, so Jethro would not worry. Ziva needed someone to talk to, and honestly, so did Tony.

“Hey, you shouldn’t drink alone; it’s too depressing,” DiNozzo greeted as he worked himself into a seated position at the bar stool. With his large belly, it was not easy moving around so much. Gibbs already told him that he was done at crime scenes.

Brown eyes narrowed at his form. “It’s a club soda, and I’m not depressed,” she immediately responded. She should have known that he would come after her; he always went after her.

“I’ll have what the lady is having, and it better be a club soda Agent David,” Tony ordered a drink.

Even though Tony was not a fan of CI-Ray, he understood that Ziva was over the moon for the guy. Ziva was much like Gibbs in the sense that one thing could change a relationship entirely. “He’s CIA, and he has a sworn duty to secrecy to do his job. Just like we do, you know,” Tony reminded his friend.

“Doesn’t change the fact he lied to me Tony,” she responded as she took a sip of her drink.

Tony reached for the drink the bartender handed him. When the bartender was out of earshot, Tony added, “Because he is crazy about you. Don’t forget that.”

Ziva placed her drink back on the bar. “It doesn’t matter because it is over between the two of us. What about you and Gibbs?” Ziva would much rather talk about that than her own relationship woes.

Green eyes widened and blinked in surprise. “You know about the two of us?” He was surprised that she figured it out.

The dark haired woman nodded her head. “I’ll admit that it took me a while, but yes. I had been waiting for you to say something.”

Tony took a sip of his own club soda as he thought about his response. Ziva was one the very few people who understood him on a fundamental level.  As he lowered his drink, he finally admitted his fears, “I think I’m more invested in this thing between us than he is.” The truth was that there still was not a name for whatever was going on between Tony and Jethro.

Brown eyes were full of empathy, and Ziva rubbed his arm that was closest to her in comfort. “I think you might be surprised by Gibbs,” she countered.

It was not that Tony did not want to believe her, but he just having so many doubts lately. He opened his mouth to speak, but the bartender placed another club soda in front of Tony. “This is for you,” the bartender spoke as he passed along the drink.

The pregnant carrier glanced at the drink and then back at the bartender before remarking, “I didn’t order that.”

The bartender pointed to the both behind the pair of agents. “Guy in the booth did,” the bartender explained, “said it was for the pretty pregnant carrier.”

When Tony and Ziva turned around to see this mysterious man, no one was in the booth. The door to the bar was closing, so they just missed the retreating figure. “I wonder who…” Ziva commented aloud.

Tony reached for the gifted drink. This was weird, and he took his time studying the drink. It did not take him long to noticed the eyeball. When he did, he immediately dropped the glass in shock. What the hell was going on?

Gibbs had a terrible feeling. The eyeball delivered to Tony was a warning; Gibbs was sure of it. The seasoned NCIS agent was also sure that the Port-to-Port Killer was the one behind the message of well. It was all too coincidental, and this was too many coincidences adding up.

Jethro and Tony were finally back home at Gibbs’ house, and the pair were getting ready for bed. As Tony climbed under the covers, Jethro took a moment to study the younger man. Tony’s middle seemed to be growing every day, and the carrier was absolutely glowing. Who knew pregnancy would suit Tony so well? The thought brought a smile to Jethro’s lips.

The happy moment made the former Marine that much more fearful. Why of all people did Tony get that eyeball? Ziva was at the bar too, but it was not delivered to her. Gibbs feared that Tony could be the next target of the Port-to-Port Killer, and Jethro was willing to do anything to protect Tony and their child. Gibbs was not going to lose any more family to any more monsters.

“So don’t get mad at me,” Tony spoke once when Jethro began to get into bed with him.

Taking a deep breath, Jethro leveled the pregnant carrier with the patented ‘Gibbs stare’. It of course got the desired effect of Tony spilling his beans. “I have an idea in mind for a name.”

Jethro raised an eyebrow in curiosity. “What are you thinking of?” he asked in a soft voice.

Tony’s cheeks reddened in slight embarrassment. “Well since you and your dad both have a ‘J’ name… even though technically your first name is Leroy,” the carrier babbled.

Gibbs grabbed his lover’s chin. “Tony,” he interrupted with a soft peck of the lips, “get to the point.”

The carrier’s cheeks reddened further. He diverted his eyes before saying, “What do you think of the name Jason?”

“Jason,” Gibbs repeated. He liked the name and how it sounded.

Tony’s eyes darted back down to his protruding middle, and he rubbed the front of his belly. “I was thinking Jason Dante. That way he has a little bit of me there too.” Dante was Tony’s middle name.

“Jason Dante DiNozzo,” Gibbs spoke the unborn baby’s potential name.

However, Tony corrected his lover. “Jason Dante DiNozzo-Gibbs.” He wanted their child to have both of their last names. It felt right that way.

Ice blue eyes were full of emotion as they gazed at their pregnant lover. “It’s perfect Tony.”

Tony did not even realize he admitted out loud, “I love you Jethro.”

Chapter Text

Abby was very insistent that she be the one to plan the baby shower. The forensic scientist was so busy working cases, but she still managed to throw one hell of a baby shower. No doubt that Ducky, Jimmy, and McGee helped the bubbly goth. Based on McGee grumblings all week, Tony assumed that Abby was running a tight ship.

The baby shower was held on Sunday. It was held at the church Sister Rosita and the other nuns run thanks to Abby’s bowling connections. There was a nice spread of food and drinks that Tony was ready to dive into as soon as he arrived. The decorations were light and subtle; Abby had the ability to go overboard but thankfully did not. Jethro drove himself and Tony to the church around 10:30. When the pair got there, Abby was in full management mode as she ordered McGee and Palmer around as they finished setting up the balloons by the food table.

Everyone dressed like they were going to church. Gibbs wore his usual garb of slacks and a polo. McGee and Palmer were dressed very similar to Gibbs, and it made the pregnant carrier want to laugh. Abby’s outfits were always outlandish, and the others had seen her church attire before. Ducky had his usual suit and bowtie, and it was just so Ducky. Tony, meanwhile, was dressed in a pair of comfy maternity pants and a stretched out sweater. Being thirty-one weeks pregnant gave him the excuse to finally forgo style over comfort. Besides, Tony was experiencing one of the worst symptoms of pregnancy, shortness of breath, and it was starting to concern everyone who knew the pregnant carrier.

As soon as Tony was ushered into special assigned seat, Ziva entered the hall. The former Mossad officer was wearing a lovely floral summer dress with a soft cardigan sweater over it. In her arms was large array of gifts for the guest of honor, which she laid out on the table behind Tony. Abby and McGee broke away from their tasks to help Ziva arrange the presents. On his way there, McGee smiled and greeted both DiNozzo and Gibbs. “Thanks again for bringing Tony here Gibbs,” McGee spoke to his boss, “I know this kind of event isn’t exactly your thing.”

Gibbs grunted while Ziva and Abby shared a look; Tony outright laughed at the Probie’s words. McGee was still clueless as to the exact nature of DiNozzo and Gibbs’ relationship. At this point, Tony was just having too much fun subtly teasing the Probie, but maybe soon the senior field agent should let the younger man in on the secret.

About twenty minutes later, the rest of the guests started to arrive. There was Balboa with a couple of members from his team, the rest of Abby’s bowling team, a couple of agents from HR, and Fornell arrived as well. In Fornell’s hands were two cups of coffee, and the FBI agent headed straight for Gibbs. Handing his friend one of the hot beverages, the two men stood off to the side and talked quietly with one another. At least Gibbs had someone to keep him company. Tony was loving that he was the center of attention at this shindig.

Abby did a great job planning the shower. It was more of a social, like a birthday party, rather than a formal baby shower. The one rule at the shower was there was to be no work talk, and everyone followed that rule. The job pretty much ran their lives, so it was nice to put it on the backburner. Abby kept the shower games to a minimum. There only was the onesie design and everyone had to guess the name of the baby. Tony promised to reveal the name at the end of the shower.

Tony felt like a king on a throne. He was seated in a super comfortable rocking chair, and everyone brought everything to the pregnant carrier. If he needed food or something to drink, McGee or Ziva got it for their senior field agent. All of the members of MCRT team were concerned with Tony’s shortness of breath. Gibbs had already taken him out of the field entirely. When it was time to open presents, Abby brought them over to the guest of honor herself.

It seemed like every single person who brought a gift also included diapers. Tony was grateful for all their kind thoughts and actions. Ziva gifted Tony with diapers and some adorable onesies. Ducky gifted Tony with baby shampoo, diaper cream, and lanolin cream to help his nipples after breast feeding. Seeing the cream caused Tony’s cheeks to redden. Putting it back in the bag as he avoided the one part of his carrier nature he was still uncomfortable with, Tony quickly said, “Thanks Ducky.”

Poor Ducky seemed confused about Tony’s embarrassment. “Are you not planning on breastfeeding Tony?” the medical examiner wondered.

The carrier’s cheeks reddened further when a couple of Balboa’s agents snickered at the thought. Of course, Tony planned on breastfeeding his son; he just did not want to advertise that he was going to. Thankfully Jethro stepped up and placed a hand on his old friend’s shoulder. “He is Ducky, don’t worry,” the team leader reassured, “he is just sensitive about losing his figure.”

Tony bit his lip to swallow his embarrassment. He reached for another gift to end this uncomfortable conversation. Jimmy’s gift included baby towels, disposable bibs, and baby wipes. Tony got more wipes and diapers from Balboa and his team. McGee’s gift included onesies and some books for Tony to read to the baby. Fornell’s gift included toys for the baby.

Abby of course went all out. She got Tony a play mat and a stroller. Tony could not believe what she did for him and the baby. “Thanks Abs,” Tony’s voice was chalk full of emotion.

The bubbly goth reached to caress the carrier’s expanding middle; she was never shy to do so. “Anything for the little guy. Auntie Abby will always look out for him.”

Of course Tony had to stand up and hug his dear friend in gratitude. When the two broke from their embrace and Tony sat back down, Abby glanced back at the gifts and realized something. Turning to her silver haired fix, she commented, “Gibbs, I don’t see your gift anywhere.”

The other guests turned to the elusive team leader. The blue eyed male merely raised an eyebrow and responded, “Tony will get my gift later.” Gibbs was subtle as he moved to stand beside his pregnant lover and rest a hand on his shoulder.

Tony was not bothered by not receiving a gift from Jethro. It made the green eyed male excited to receive it in private because Jethro was most certainly a private man.

Holding in her comments, Abby reached for the jar that held the name guesses. “Alright Tony,” she stated, “time for the big reveal.”

This was going to be fun. He could not wait to tease his friends and coworkers about how far off their guess could be. He read the first name, “Anthony DiNozzo the third. Sorry, the name ends with me everybody.” Seems like that was the most common guess. No one realized how much it bothered him being Junior to his Senior. Besides, there can only be one Tony DiNozzo.

“Jack Nicholson DiNozzo…” There were a few more actor names thrown in there. “Sorry, not planning on naming my son after a famous actor.”

Ziva pouted as she crossed her arms. “You sure do like to impersonate them though,” she muttered.

The other guests laughed while Tony rolled his eyes. He reached in for the last name suggestion, and he recognized Abby’s handwriting. “Anthony Jethro DiNozzo,” he read the name out loud.

McGee rubbed his chin and thought about the suggestion. It was no secret at the Navy Yard that DiNozzo idolized his boss. Whenever Gibbs was nor around, Tony had the bad habit of emulating their boss’ behavior. So, it would not be too surprising if Tony did indeed name his baby after Gibbs.

It took Tony a long moment to answer the unspoken question. “Sorry, wrong guess again. Guess none of you know me too well then,” he tried to add some humor.

Abby grabbed the jar and slips of paper and moved them aside. “Will you tell us the name of the baby now?” The wait was killing her!

DiNozzo searched for his lover’s eyes blue eyes. When two locked onto one another, Tony silently asked for permission. With a nod of Jethro’s head, Tony got the ok to admit the truth. “Little guy will be Jason Dante DiNozzo-Gibbs,” he informed the guests.

Tim did a double take. Why would Tony give his child Gibbs’ last name? “Why is his last name Gibbs?” the young agent found himself asking before he even realized what he was doing.

Everyone in the room turned to McGee and gave the intelligent agent a look. With a sigh, Tony rolled his eyes and shook his head. Abby and Ziva figured it out; he was surprised Timmy was still so clueless. “C’mon McGoogle, don’t tell me you don’t know. It’s the worst kept secret at NCIS. Everybody at the Navy Yard knows Gibbs is my baby daddy.” It always felt so good to tease his Probie.

McGee’s eyes were like saucers. He looked around at the others. Balboa and his team were shaking their heads. Fornell had a hand over his mouth to keep his reaction a secret; Ducky would not look the field agent in the eye. Ziva and Abby were stifling their giggles and failing of course. Gibbs just had that classic Gibbs expression on his face; the one that said he was doing what he wanted and there was no stopping him. However, McGee was still having a hard time processing the truth. Tony and Gibbs were Tony&Gibbs. “How? When?” McGee uttered in shock.

Tony waved off his junior agent. No one was ever really going to know when and how they got together; it would be a secret the two lovers would keep between the two of them. “And you call yourself an agent McProbie,” the senior field agent teased, “maybe you need to pay better attention.”

Abby was kind enough to place a hand on McGee’s shoulder and pat it in comfort. The younger agent turned to the two women. “You both knew?” And they did not even let him in on the secret.

Both Abby and Ziva nodded their heads. “I have known for a while,” Abby confirmed. She had been suspicious for so long though; it felt like she knew from the beginning. She was pretty sure she could even guess when the two actually got over their issues and admitted their feelings for one another.

Ziva added, “I forced Tony to admit it a little while ago.”

McGee sighed. He was not bothered by their relationship at all, but he just wished he was not the last one to know apparently.

The morning after the shower, Tony was at his doctor’s office for his latest appointment. Gibbs insisted Tony make this appointment with the way Tony was struggling with his breathing the last week or so. Shortness of breath was a common symptom in pregnancy for both women and male carriers. Of course, with Tony’s scarred lungs from the plague, the doctor was concerned for her patient.

“I think it might be best to put you on best rest Tony,” Dr. Tanner recommended.

However, Tony was shaking his head; he did not want to be stuck in bed for weeks. “I’m already completely out of the field and taking it easy. Please don’t put me on bed rest. I promise I won’t even take the stairs anymore.”

The doctor studied her patient and sighed. “Alright Tony,” the doctor relented, “I will withhold the bed rest for right now. But I want you seeing me every week, and if your symptoms do get any worse, then you will go on bed rest. Do you understand me?”

The pregnant carrier was eagerly nodding his head. “You got yourself a deal.”

Gibbs made Tony keep his promise to the doctor, and DiNozzo was stuck behind his desk for most of the day. No longer was the pregnant male allowed to go to crime scenes or pick up evidence from the garage. He was only allowed to check in with Abby or Ducky and work behind his computer. Tony felt like McGee, and he was a bit miserable. He was a bit grouchy, which Ziva and McGee took in stride.

Currently, the rest of the team was out on a case. From what Ziva texted, it seemed like another victim of the Port-to-Port Killer, which meant Gibbs was going to be hell to work with when he got back. The victim was wrapped up like the others, and Ducky was going to wait to unwrap their victim until they were back in autopsy. Tony planned to meet the medical examiner there; the senior field agent needed a name to start his portion of the investigation.

McGee and Ziva were also in autopsy. All of them were watching as Ducky slowly cut the plastic wrap down the front. When Tony saw the victim’s face, he was rushing to the closet trash can as he emptied his stomach. Ziva was the first one at his side. “Are you alright Tony? Shall I call Gibbs?”

Tony shook his head and wiped his mouth. Everyone was staring at him with concern in their eyes. “I know the victim,” he began to explain. It had been years since Tony had seen him, but the senior field agent recognized him immediately.

“Who is this Agent DiNozzo?” Palmer was the first to ask.

Swallowing, Tony revealed the victim’s identity, “Danny Prince. He was my partner back in Baltimore.”

When Gibbs learned about the victim, Tony begged his boss. “You got to let me take lead on this Gibbs,” Tony stood in the bullpen in front of Gibbs’ desk pleading while the other team members stared at them, “I have to finish this.”

Initially, Gibbs wanted to refuse. He was worried about the younger man’s health. Tony was supposed to be taking it easy. However, Gibbs also knew his partner so well. There was no way Tony was going to let this go, and it was best to be beside Tony rather than against him. “You can as long as you keep taking it easy. Send the others out Tony,” the team leader negotiated.

Tony was nodding his head and agreeing. He was going to find out why Danny was killed, and he planned to bring the killer to justice. Tony owed Danny that much.

Ducky was the one to discover that they were dealing with a copycat, not the real Port-to-Port Killer. There was an error on Ducky’s report, and that left a smaller window of who the killer could be. Both DiNozzo and Gibbs realized the truth was in the case that brought the two of them together. Both Gibbs and Tony put together the truth. The reason Danny was never prosecuted for being a dirty cop was that there was another dirty cop in the unit. There could only be one who had access to Ducky’s mistaken report and have the power to keep his secrets under wraps.

“I need to make this arrest Jethro,” Tony insisted as they stood inside Gibbs’ office.

“I know,” the older man agreed. He was not going to stop Tony in getting the closure that he needed.

Gibbs drove them down to Tony’s old precinct. It was just as DiNozzo remembered it being ten years ago. A lot of the guys DiNozzo worked with never left the precinct. One of the men got to his feet, and he called out, “Yo! Ladies and gentlemen, the legend is back… Anthony DiNozzo, Jr.” The man’s dark eyes widened as he studied DiNozzo’s form. “Would you look at that, he got himself knocked up while he was away!”

DiNozzo’s former captain had a big smile on his face as he turned toward his former detective. “Look at what the cat dragged in!”

Both Tony and Gibbs’ faces were blank as they approached their subject. They were not here for a social call, and Tony was going to get justice for Danny.

When DiNozzo did not even so much as smile, Raimey turned towards Gibbs. “Agent Gibbs right,” he offered his hand, “the man who took my best detective from me.”

Rather than shake the man’s hand, Gibbs shoved the evidence against the corrupt cop in his hands. Raimey was confused. “What is this?” he demanded answers from Tony.

“Your evidence locker logs,” Tony answered bluntly without a hint of emotion in his voice, “that was how you got the tray to make the fortune cookie, which was a nice touch. But you made your bones busting serial killers, so you knew how to make it smell real. Danny was right. Lt. Floyd wasn’t a killer; it was you.”

The look of surprise could not be taken off DiNozzo’s former boss’ face. “What are you talking about?” Raimey continued to deny.

DiNozzo got in his old boss’ face as he responded, “Danny figured it out, and he was going to set the record straight. So you killed him.” The pregnant carrier’s anger flooded his system, and he smacked the dirt bag in the chest.

There was a hushed silence amongst the precinct, like they could not believe what one of their own was suggesting.

“You knew DiNozzo wasn’t going to let it go,” Gibbs added.

“So you threw it in my face. Dropped another body on the Port-to-Port pile,” DiNozzo revealed as Gibbs moved to take away their suspects weapon, “did you think I was just going to assume it was a serial killer?” How dumb did Major Raimey believe DiNozzo to be? “Let me ask you something. What do you see when you look in the mirror?”

It was obvious Raimey realized the jig was up, and he would not look DiNozzo in the eye. “Am I done?” his tone was clipped.

There was hardly any space between Tony and Raimey. “Oh yeah; you’re done.” Then Gibbs grabbed Raimey by the arm and hauled the dirty cop away.

Tony did not dare look at the former colleagues who stared at him with scorn in their eyes. He ignored the whispered comments of “Slutty carrier doesn’t know what he is doing” because Tony knew it to be a lie, and he was a good agent. His status did not matter at the moment.

After getting the confession, the team was getting ready to head home for the weekend Palmer had already left for the weekend. Palmer was so crazy about his girl Breena, and the two were taking a weekend getaway. McGee had some sort of gaming event planned, so he was ready to leave. It was still unclear if Ziva and her boyfriend were going to repair their relationship.

Gibbs had not let the Port-to-Port case go, and Ducky was helping his friend. Gibbs was staying later and later as he looked into the case himself. There had been more than a few nights where Tony had to drive himself home or get Abby to give him a ride. Tonight, it was looking to be one such night. Tony headed over to his boss’ desk. “You ready to go, or you staying late?” Tony asked. He could see the open case file, and he already knew his answer.

The team leader looked up at his senior field agent, and there was a look of concern on the older man’s face. Tony was pale, and his breathing was a bit shallow, and it had been like that since they left Tony’s old precinct. The pregnant male was clutching the side of his fecund middle. “You ok Tony?” The concern was evident in his tone of voice.

Tony winced before he answered, “I’m fine. Just been getting really bad cramps for the last half hour.” He did not mention how it felt like he could not get enough air into his lungs though.

Jethro did not want to let it go, but he knew how stubborn his lover could be. “Abby is still here. Get her to take you home. I will only be another hour or so,” the older male ordered.

Tony nodded his head. He made his way to the elevator down to Abby’s lab. The cramps just kept getting worse and worse, and the carrier was starting to get frightened that this was not just a normal pregnancy symptom.

When Tony arrived in Abby’s lab, she was shutting down for the night. Her bags were already in her hand, and she was locking her office tight. By this point, Tony was gasping for breath. He thought he was pushing himself into a panic attack over fear of these cramps.

Abby turned her head, and her eyes widened when she saw her rock. Tony was clutching the door way with one hand, and the other clutching his chest. Immediately, Abby was at his side asking, “What’s wrong Tony.”

Between his gasps of breath, the pregnant carrier answered, “Something is wrong…. Can’t breathe.” His emerald orbs were wide and panicked.

The forensic scientist was smart enough to know when to call for help. As soon as she got Tony seated in a chair, she called for an ambulance. It was best not to take a chance, especially with the life growing inside the carrier’s womb. The next call she made was to Gibbs, of course. Within two minutes, Gibbs was rushing into her office and checking on Tony. As soon as she spotted their fearless leader, she informed him, “Ambulance is on its way.”

Gibbs barely heard her. He was so focused on controlling Tony’s breathing. “Breathe Tony, breathe,” he softly pleaded with the younger male.

Within six minutes, the paramedics were storming Abby’s lab. The first thing they did was attach an oxygen mask to the carrier. From there, the eased their patient onto a gurney and rushed him out. Both Gibbs and Abby were giving the paramedics a rundown of Tony’s symptoms.

When they reached the outside of building, Gibbs joined his lover in the back of the ambulance. Not even the paramedics could stop Gibbs from staying at Tony’s side. Abby, unfortunately, was unable to accompany her two favorite men. “I’ll follow in my car. Gibbs, call his doctor,” Abby reminded her team leader.

While the paramedics were taking Tony’s vitals, Gibbs called Dr. Tanner’s emergency line and informed her of Tony’s condition. Dr. Tanner’s partner was completing her shift at the hospital, so Tony will be taken care of when he arrived.

From that moment to the hospital was all a blur to Jethro. All he could think about was that he was about to lose another person who somehow wormed his way into his heart. Jethro could not handle gaining the second chance of having a family only to lose them like his last.

Gibbs and Abby were joined in the waiting room by Tim, Ziva, and Ducky. Abby must have called them on the way to the hospital. Both Tim and Ducky tried to get Gibbs to talk about what happened to Tony, but the team leader remained silent. He was lost in a world of fear and pain. The blue eyed male took a seat in the far corner and waited. Tony just had to be ok… he had to be.

Half an hour later, a nurse came out to the waiting room. Gibbs was allowed to go back and see Tony, who was out of the woods. Dr. Tanner’s partner, Dr. Burgess, was with Tony waiting on Gibbs’ arrival. When the doctor spotted the other male, she offered her hand in greeting. “I’m Dr. Burgess. You must be Tony’s partner,” she greeted.

“Jethro,” he said as he shook her hand.

His eyes darted to the pregnant carrier. Tony still had the oxygen mask, the nasal cannula, on his face; however, the carrier was looking much better. His color was back, and it seemed the cramps had subsided.

“What happened?” Jethro asked for answers.

Dr. Burgess placed Tony’s file under her armpit. “I spoke to Dr. Tanner to get an understanding of Tony’s precondition. What he was experiencing was Braxton Hicks contractions, which are a normal part of pregnancy. However, with his scarred lungs, he was unable to breathe properly. Was there a stressor earlier in the day?”

Tony would not look anyone in the face, so Gibbs had to do the talking. “We had been investigating his former partner’s death, and the killer was their old boss,” the older man explained.

The female medical expert nodded her head in understanding. “A major stressor then,” she agreed, “I spoke to Dr. Tanner, and she agrees with my course of treatment. Tony, you need to remain on bedrest in a low stress environment until you go into labor.”

It was going to be hard to accept, but Tony was willing to try for the sake of his unborn son. Even knowing that he and Jason were out of danger, Tony’s hands would not stop shaking from fear. The carrier truly believed he was losing his son for a while there, and he was not ready to ever face that fear again.

Dr. Burgess did not linger after sharing the course of treatment, and she was already starting the process for discharging her patient. When she left the couple alone, Gibbs was helping Tony get dressed in his clothes. “I want you to stay with me until the baby comes at least Tony,” the older of the two insisted and pleaded at the same time.

Finally, watery green eyes looked up to his lover. “I thought I was losing him,” the younger man admitted.

Immediately, Jethro sat down on the bed and reached for the other man’s hand. “It’s alright Tony. I got you,” the older of the two promised.

Tony closed his eyes and soaked in his lover’s presence. Not even Gibbs could help Tony rid this feeling of being completely and utterly lost.

Chapter Text

Gibbs watched Tony sleep. It was still early, but the blue eyed male was already dressed and ready for work. Although Tony was not thrilled to be on bed rest, the pregnant carrier was willing to do anything to keep their unborn child healthy. Jethro also made some sacrifices and moved a T.V. into the master bedroom. Tony was only allowed out of bed for basic needs. To occupy his time while everyone was at work, Gibbs bought a DVD player and grabbed Tony’s favorite shows and movies. This week, the pregnant carrier was going to binge watch Magnum P.I. until Gibbs got home.

For the moment, Jethro just wanted some time to take in his lover’s from. Tony was still deeply asleep; his face soft from slumber. He was propped up on a bunch of pillows, and only wearing a pair of boxers. Tony’s nipples have been really sensitive the last few days, and he could no longer take to wearing his carrier undershirt. As long it was just him, or him and Jethro, Tony was fine spending his days half naked. His breast tissue had finally finished developing, and it was just another sign that Jason would be entering the world soon.

With a sigh, the blue eyed male leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on Tony’s temple. It was time to leave and start the day.

Like usual, Gibbs was the first one of his team to arrive in the office. With his coffee in hand, the team leader sat on his desk. Still out in the open was Ducky’s report. The conversation with his old friend kept replaying in the agent’s head. Yes, Ducky had made an error in his report, which allowed the team to solve the murder of Tony’s old partner. How Ducky discovered his own error was even more troubling. The Port-to Port Killer somehow was able to read and correct Ducky’s own error. It was unusual for a serial killer to go to such efforts. Gibbs was certain the dirt bag was planning something big, but the NCIS agent was nowhere near close to uncovering the killer’s plot.

An hour later, the rest of the team was in the office, and the MCRT was already hard at work. It was time for the annual reviews, so the whole team will be stuck behind their desks today. For a while, the three team members were productive. After a while, though, each of the three would glance at Tony’s empty desk. It was just so unusual for the bull pen to missing the loud and boisterous Very Special Agent.

McGee was finding it especially difficult without DiNozzo. No one has tried to superglue anything, and Tim was not hounded with any paper balls. In all honesty, McGee missed the carrier’s presence. Tony had the ability to be maddening beyond words, but he was also unbelievably fun. DiNozzo had the uncanny ability to make McGee and the other team members get lost in the moment.

Ziva was very observant, and she took notice of McGee’s continuous glances at Tony’s empty desk. With a sigh, she finally commented, “No matter how much you look at it, Tony will not magically appear.”

McGee grimaced before shrugging his shoulders. “I know, but I miss him. Didn’t think I would, but I do,” he responded.

The former Mossad officer got to her feet and moved closer to McGee’s desk. “He’s not dead McGee,” she replied to the morose mood, “Tony is on maternity leave. He will return soon.”

As McGee was about to respond, both he and Ziva noticed Director Vance make their way toward the bullpen. Gibbs’ head turned toward the approaching figure, and there was an unreadable expression on the team leader’s face.

Vance headed straight for Special Agent Gibbs. “How is DiNozzo, Agent Gibbs?” the Director wondered.

Gibbs turned his body to face the Director before answering, “Managing.”

The NCIS Director nodded his head. “I added another month to DiNozzo’s leave. But that is three months without your Senior Field Agent,” Vance began.

Taking a breath, Gibbs replied, “And…” What was Vance’s point?

“That is too long without a fourth member for your team. Now, I know this will be temporary until DiNozzo is back from leave, but I want you to add another temporary agent until that happens.”

Ice blue eyes narrowed in annoyance. “I’m not training another green-gilled Probie,” the team leader threatened. After all, it would be nothing but a waste of Gibbs’ time.

Vance shook his head. He understood where his agent was coming from, and the Director agreed that it would be useless to train someone for such a short amount of time. “I was actually referring to other agents who are transferring teams,” the NCIS Director elaborated.

Gibbs resisted shaking his head; he was certain his team could manage the short time without DiNozzo. “I will consider it,” Jethro relented.

With a nod of his head, Vance took his leave to check on EJ Barrett and her team, who had just returned to the Navy. Gibbs watched the Director walk over to the other team, and the blue eyed male followed as well. There was something about this case that had gotten under Gibbs’ skin, and he was not going to let it go.

Barrett and her team were already grabbing their gear. “New lead?” Vance questioned with raised eyebrows.

Barrett pulled her bag over her shoulders before answering, “We got another body.”

“Is it the same killer?” Vance continued to wonder.

The female team leader nodded her head. “Report is the victim is a dead NCIS agent,” she added, “but we will know for sure when we get there.”

Vance shook his head. “If it’s one of our own, then I want everyone on this,” he then turned to Gibbs, “you willing to help Barrett’s team with this one.”

The blue eyed male took a deep breath, and he nodded his head. He then whistled for his team. “Let’s go,” he ordered McGee and David.

Like the good agents they were trained to be, both McGee and David were grabbing their gear and following their team leader’s footsteps.

Gibbs hated to admit it, but Barrett’s team was a good team. The Port-to-Port Killer used Special Agent Stark's credentials to gain access of NCIS. However, Gibbs believed that he found the much more important lead in the case. The owner of the eyeball from Tony’s drink, CIA Trent Kort. Of course the CIA would be involved in such a case, but at least Kort gave him the identity of the serial Killer. Lieutenant Jonas Cobb, a former Navy officer.

“How’s our favorite carrier by the way?” Kort asked instead of giving Gibbs information on Cobb.

Immediately, the NCIS special agent knew the questionable man in front of him was talking about Tony. “DiNozzo is fine,” Gibbs kept his answer brief.

The smile on Kort’s face was disgusting, and Gibbs longed to knock that look off the other man’s face. “I hear he is due within the next month,” Kort continued, “it’s about time that carrier learned where his place is.”

Gibbs did not need to order Ziva to shove Kort into the Sedan. “Bring him to the Yard,” the boss ordered his female agent.

Ziva nodded her head and got into the driver’s seat. As she did that, Gibbs decided it was time to call in some reinforcements. Which is why Gibbs called Mike Franks, the one man Gibbs can rely on in sticky situations like this.

Cobb had been in the building, and Gibbs knew that Cobb came to study all them. It explained the missing glasses and the missing ultra sound from Tony’s last appointment. Jethro was filled with a sense of dread. Cobb seemed to be focusing on Gibbs and DiNozzo… the question is why?

When Gibbs returned home that night, he made the decision to keep Tony out of the loop. The last thing the pregnant carrier needed was any more stress to force him into early labor. Tony was in bed still watching Magnum when Gibbs arrived. Resting on his fecund middle was a bowl of cereal. Tony was taking bites in between quoting the show’s dialogue. When Jethro entered the room, Tony smiled and paused the show. “How was work?” the green eyed male asked as he moved into a better sitting position.

Smiling, Jethro moved to steal a quick kiss from his lover. “Fine,” he cryptically replied as he rubbed his lover’s belly.

Tony chewed on his bottom lip. “I hate that I’m not there to watch your six,” he admitted as he moved his hand to join Jethro’s on his belly.

Taking a seat on the bed, Jethro replied, “Jason needs you more than me at the moment.” For their son, Jethro was willing to lie to his lover.

Still chewing on his bottom lip, Tony took a moment to study the older man. There was something Jethro was keeping from him; the green eyed male was sure of that fact. However, it was never smart to confront Leroy Jethro Gibbs upfront, so Tony needed a game plan. Just because he was on maternity leave did not mean Anthony DiNozzo Jr. was out of the game. Tony was going to find out what his lover was finding; he just needed the right game plan.

The next morning, Franks arrived at Gibbs’ house. “Open the damn door Probie!” Franks yelled from outside the house.

Gibbs finished grabbing his things before heading out. Tony was still sound asleep, and Gibbs wanted him to stay that way. Leaving Franks’ gift in the living room, the blue eyed agent drove them to the Navy Yard.

“So how come you ushered me out of the house so quick?” Franks demanded answers as Gibbs drove.

Jethro turned a corner before answering, “Didn’t want you to wake Tony.” There was a lot that Gibbs has not told his mentor.

Mike raised a curious eyebrow. He was not blind; he could see the way his Probie looked at his Senior Field agent. “Why is he sleeping at your place?” Mike had a sinking suspicion there was always something more between Gibbs and Gibbs' own Probie.

“Tony is over eight months pregnant with my son,” Jethro answered bluntly and honestly.

Well, it did not take much to get his Probie to admit the truth. “Well damn, you don’t mess around do you?” Mike responded before breaking out into a fit of coughs.

Of course Gibbs was concerned about his friend, but Franks was worse than Gibbs when keeping secrets. “With Tony’s lungs scarred from when he got the Plague, he has to be put on bed rest.”

Mike turned his head to study the man driving. “Don’t tell me you called to play babysitter for your baby mama,” the retired NCIS agent retorted.

Rolling his ice blue eyes, Gibbs shook his head. “No, Tony is my concern, my responsibility. I need your help on this case we are working on…” Gibbs then took the time to explain the current predicament he was stuck in at work to his mentor.

With Franks’ help, Gibbs learned that Jonas Cobb was a part of a top secret CIA operation called Frankenstein. Gibbs was sickened by what Cobb and the others were forced to endure by the CIA. Sometimes the worst people who did the wrong thing for good intentions.

Currently, the pair were getting ready to head down to Gibbs’ basement. Tony was excited to see Franks. “It’s good to see you,” Tony smiled as he grabbed his dinner Gibbs prepared for him, “but why are you here Mike?”

Mike glanced at his old partner, who stepped in before Franks could reveal the truth to DiNozzo. “Helping me solve an old case. Nothing to worry about Tony. We will be in the basement,” the blue eyed male explained.

Green eyes were full of suspicion. “Well, what can I do to help?” Tony asked as he took a bite of the spaghetti.

However, Gibbs just shook his head. “Nothing. It’s just a bunch of reading. Go relax and yell for me if you need anything,” Jethro replied as he kissed Tony’s forehead.

Franks could see the anger and frustration on the pregnant carrier’s face as he grabbed his food and slowly made his way back up the stairs. As Gibbs walked toward the basement, Mike commented, “Any reason in particular you keeping that boy in the dark?”

When they were on the steps, Gibbs finally answered, “I’m worried about him.”

The first thing Mike reached for was the bourbon Gibbs kept by the paint thinner, and he poured each of them a glass. “If memory serves me right, that boy could always hold his own,” Franks responded.

Gibbs shook his head and headed to the crib he had been working on for the last couple of months. There was no boat in the basement, but there was a handmade crib meant for Jason. Jethro ran his hand over one of the railings. It was hard to admit that he was so full of fear. At this moment, Gibbs had so much to lose, and he was afraid of history repeating itself.

Franks took a sip of the bourbon and studied his old partner. “It’s weird Vance just shoving you aside on this case and pushing this Barrett to the front. What the hell is going on Probie?” Franks needed Gibbs to let him in.

Moving away from the crib, Gibbs reached for the other glass of bourbon and took a sip. As a man of few words, Gibbs did not know how to explain to his friend the concerns Gibbs was feeling.

Wishing to part a few words of wisdom, Mike asked, “You do hear ghosts, Probie?”

Placing his bourbon back on the table, Gibbs sighed and said, “Yeah, I do. I see them too.” If he closed his eyes, he could see Shannon and Kelly, and he could feel the unimaginable pain of losing them.

There was a hint of a smile on Mike’s face. “I believe we make them,” he added before taking another sip of the amber liquid.

Gibbs nodded his head and rubbed his chin. “We’ve certainly made our share,” he agreed with his mentor.

“Not just with this,” Franks patted his SIG, “but with the memories we make. We fill the spaces we live in with them.”

Leaning back in his seat, Gibbs glanced at the top of the stairs and spoke, “You are referring to me and Tony.” It was strange to get this kind of advice from his mentor.

Mike nodded his head and took the seat across from Gibbs. “I’ve never seen you this happy before, and I know it’s because of him. You are building something special here. Don’t let the ghosts of the past keep you from the future.”

Jethro raised his glass in a toast. “To more good memories,” he spoke.

Mike raised his glass and replied, “And fewer bad ones.” The two glasses clinked together. After taking a final sip of bourbon, Mike added, “Now go be with your carrier. He could use your company.”

Gibbs watched his old boss climb up the steps and walk out of the basement. Neither one of them knew what was coming.

When Mike Franks walked out of Gibbs’ house, he could sense there was something wrong. Mike found Cobb watching the house, and he recognized the bastard. Mike never backed down from a fight, and he was not going to start now. Even though he knew he was going to lose, Mike put up one hell of a fight.

Gibbs had just entered the bedroom when he heard the shots. Blue and green eyes were locked on to one another. Tony was sitting cross legged on the bed with all the pillows propping him up. Gibbs did not even utter a word before he turned around and raced out of the house. His gut was on fire, and he knew Mike was in danger.

“Jethro!” Tony called after his lover.

By the time Gibbs was outside, Franks was lying on the ground, alone, with a scalpel sticking out of his chest. Jethro raced to his friend’s side, but Mike was already dead. Gibbs made two calls. One was to call in his team. The other was a more personal one.

It did not take long for the team to arrive to investigate. Ducky, Palmer, McGee, and Ziva were quiet as they approached Mike and Gibbs. Without asking for permission, McGee and Ziva began to process their scene.

“I need to examine him,” Ducky spoke softly to Gibbs.

Finally, Gibbs got to his feet and looked around. McGee and Ziva were processing like it was just any old crime scene. Gibbs was feeling numb, and he would not speak. Then a hearse arrived, and Abby stepped out of her car and unfolded her umbrella. The bubbly goth was somber as she moved over to her idol. “What do you need from me Gibbs?” she asked without any of her usual enthusiasm.

“Take Tony back to his place and then get to the lab,” Gibbs requested of her.

Abby’s eyes widened, but she nodded her head. Without another word, she headed inside Gibbs’ house. She found Tony sitting in the living room. He struggled to his feet when he saw her. “What’s going on Abby?” Tony begged for answers.

Abby reached for his hand and squeezed it. “It’s Mike,” she answered while holding back her tears, “he’s dead.”

Tony had to grab hold of the arm of the couch to keep himself from falling over. “No,” he uttered in shock and denial.

Her lips quivered as she nodded her head. “Gibbs wants me to take you home,” she said.

Why was Jethro sending him away? Tony did not know what to think, but he did manage to get his shoes on with barely any help from Abby. Abby made sure to have a strong hold on Tony as she led him outside the house. Green eyes searched for his lover. “Gibbs,” Tony called.

Gibbs would not look at Tony. Instead, Gibbs glared at the Director, who remained inside his vehicle.

Tony did not care. Gibbs was his partner first and foremost. “Please let me help you,” Tony begged and pleaded.

Blue eyes still would not look at his pregnant lover. “Go home Tony,” Jethro dismissed his second in command.

Tony felt like a knife was plunged into his heart. Why was Jethro pushing him away?

When Ducky was finished with the autopsy, Gibbs finally started to speak. “Did you update your psych profile?”

Ducky wiped his hands as he answered, “Well, Cobb spent years within the rigid structure of the military. These kills make a mockery of rank and promotion.”

Gibbs glanced at the case file. “Changing uniforms after cleansing the bodies. As if they were reborn,” the team leader agreed.

Ducky threw down the hand towel. “His frequent use of ice might express how he himself felt frozen.”

“And bound. Constricting ropes tightly wrapped in plastic,” Gibbs agreed,

Taking a seat, Ducky elaborated, “Yes. Well, I’m sure his first kill as an operative of the CIA liberated him from those rules… freedom from right and wrong. He became a beast, and animal.”

The team leader nodded his head in agreement with his friend’s assessment. “Yeah. I saw that in his eyes on the video.” Gibbs literally watched the moment Cobb went from man to monster.

“In a moment, name, rank, and title meant nothing. It’s primal,” Ducky continued as he leaned toward the other man, “What dominates… is instinct and the will to survive. But I also believe that in a face-to-face confrontation, Cobb feels insecure. He doesn’t know if he can win, so he becomes a hunter. He picks his targets, lays traps, dresses his kill.”

The gears in Gibbs’ mind were turning. He needed to solve this one. “But why the change in his M.O. now?” It was the question that was bothering him all night.

Ducky believed he had the answer. “His focus changed. He drew the attention of predators further up the food chain in the form of Kort and NCIS agents; predators he had to study.”

Gibbs finally shared his concern. “Ducky, he was at my house.” Where Tony was most vulnerable. “How does that fit in? I was deliberately not chasing him.” Again, the Tony sized elephant was left unsaid.

Of course, Ducky understood Gibbs’ concerns. “There’s nothing to suggest that he was there to commit violence.”

Why was Cobb so focused on Gibbs? Jethro shook his head. “Mike Franks would disagree with that,” Gibbs protested.

“Mike Franks might have picked that fight. You and I both know that,” the M.E. countered, “each time Cobb has killed, he baited the trap. That’s never changed… prior to tonight. He wasn’t in your neighborhood hunting; he was….”

Gibbs interrupted, “He was doing research.” Just like when Cobb broke into the Navy Yard. “I’m afraid he might go after Tony.”

Ducky placed a hand on Gibbs’ shoulder. “I don’t think you need to worry about that,” the medical examiner reassured his friend, “Cobb has latched on to you because he sees a connection with you. Tony is someone important to you, and I believe Cobb will make sure no harm comes to Tony, especially while he carries your child.”

The only way Gibbs could make sure Tony and their unborn son were to remain safe was to kill Cobb. In doing so, Jethro would also get his revenge for Franks.

Chapter Text

Abby was alone in her lab. To see this case objectively, she needed the solitude. Mike Franks was one of the team, and he deserved justice. The Port-to-Port Killer had been identified, but it was only just the beginning. There was no doubt that Jonas Cobb killed Mike Franks, and Abby was certain that Cobb was never going to trial to face justice for his crimes. No, Gibbs was going to get even with the psychopath. In order to do that, Abby needed to find any clues to help ascertain Cobb’s hideaway.

She was pulled from her thoughts when she heard phone vibrate. This was the third call in the last half hour. The bubbly goth did not even need to look at the caller id to know who was calling. After the fourth ring, Abby finally sighed and reached for her phone and answered the call. “Tony,” her voice sounded exasperated.

“Abby,” Tony’s voice sounded equally as desperate, “what’s going on there?”

Turning her body away from her computer, Abby answered, “I’m just working the case Tony. You shouldn’t be calling. You should be in bed resting.”

A flash of annoyance flooded DiNozzo’s tone. “Nobody is answering their phone. I can’t reach Gibbs, Abs. Tell me what’s going on. How is he?”

Feminine green eyes glanced around her surroundings. Usually when she gossiped at work, Gibbs had a habit of popping up without a word. Feeling that it was safe to share, Abby admitted, “Not good Tony. Franks is dead. E.J. has been kidnapped by P2P. Something bad is happening; I have a really bad feeling.”

She could hear Tony struggle in his movements. This sent Abby’s anxiety in overdrive. Tony was on strict bedrest orders; ignoring those orders could result in the harm of his unborn child. “Tony stop!” she demanded over the phone, “You need to stay in bed, for Jason! You will make things worse if you come here.”

Tony’s sigh of frustration could be heard through the phone. “He shut me out. I need to talk to him. I’m going crazy here.”

Abby’s face softened in sympathy. She understood her friend’s concerns, and she wanted to help him in any way that she could. “I will talk to Gibbs,” she promised, “I’ll make sure he calls you soon.”

It sounded like Tony was moving back onto the bed, which was good. “Thanks Abby. I owe you,” he was already sounding slightly out of breath.

Even though he could not see it, she still smiled. “I mean godmother has a nice ring to it. If you are looking for a proper thank you,” she teased.

“Like there was going to be anyone else,” Tony teased back.

The two said their goodbyes and then hung up their phones. As soon as she put her phone back on her desk, McGee was walking into her lab with a somber look on his boyish face.

Well McGee certainly brought the forensic scientist some bad news. Levins was dead, and Cade was in critical condition. Barrett was alive and safe, but that did not take into account her current mental and emotional state. Abby wanted to cry. There was so much death and pain around her, around those she cared about. It was not right, and it was not fair.

Which led her to one of the only people she trusted to make it right. Gibbs was standing in front of the plasma with Ziva in the bullpen. The former Mossad officer was writing something down in her usual fast hand. When Ziva took her leave and headed for the elevator, Abby dared to move to her silver fox’s side. Her eyes must have been quite emotive because Gibbs was immediately placed an arm over her shoulder. “It’s going to be alright Abs,” he promised her, “we’re going to get him.”

Abby wiped away the tears that she had not realized escaped her watery eyes. “I know,” she responded, “but it’s more than that.”

Gibbs moved to stand in front of her, and green eyes stared at ice blue orbs. “What’s the matter Abby?” he asked in all seriousness.

The forensic scientist chewed on her bottom lip before admitting, “It’s Tony boss man. I’m worried about him. And I don’t understand why you are ignoring him.”

The team leader’s face was blank, and the anger he was feeling was expertly hidden. “Abby, you know I love you, but butt out of this,” he warned her.

With a sigh, she swallowed her complaints. Pursing her lips, she spun on her heels and headed back to her lab. For the first time in a long time, she was angry at her silver haired fox. She, for the life of her, could not understand why Gibbs was acting the way he currently was. Maybe it was worse than when Gibbs ran off to Mexico without so much as a goodbye. Well, Abby was not going to let this go; she was going to do everything in her power to fix things between her two favorite men.

When Abby got back to her lab, she immediately called Tony. “Listen Tony, I talked to Gibbs,” she spoke into the phone.

“What did he say?” the carrier wondered.

Abby did not have it in her to tell him about Gibbs’ dismissal. “Why don’t you come stay with me Tony. Gibbs is in a bad place with Mike’s death and hunting down his killer,” she offered.

Tony let out a humorless chuckle. “Guess that tells me all I need to know where I stand with him,” the carrier realized.

It broke Abby’s heart to hear Tony’s self-deprecation. “Tony, it’s not like that,” she insisted.

“It’s fine Abs,” Tony immediately interrupted her, “I know him. And I’ll head to your place sometime tomorrow. I have a feeling you won’t be going home anytime soon.” He immediately hung up the call.

Abby’s frown deepened as she pocketed her cell phone. Gibbs definitely needed to fix things between him and Tony.

Of course, things went from bad to worse. The Port-to-Port Killer had kidnapped Ziva! They had Cobb in custody, but Gibbs had a feeling that was by Cobb’s design. There was no way the crazed homicidal maniac was just going to willingly turn himself in; no, Cobb was after something. If anyone was to lead the interrogation, it was Gibbs. He was finally going to get his answers, and get Ziva back home safely.

Cobb smiled when Gibbs finally walked into the interrogation room. “It’s great to finally talk one on one,” the serial killer greeted with a smile.

Gibbs was silent as he took his usual seat. He folded his hands on the table and looked up at his prisoner before he even said a word. “You’re done Cobb.”

The killer’s smile vanished as a disappointed look formed on his handsome face. “I don’t like you acting so proud,” he commented with a wary look on his face.

The NCIS agent shook his head. “I don’t have anything to be proud about,” Gibbs responded, “you turned yourself in.”

“My work is almost done,” Cobb began to explain, “and I felt it was time you and I finally talked.”

The blue eyed older man raised an eyebrow. “Special Agent Barrett has been tracking you for a long time.” Gibbs skimmed over Cobb’s file.

The Port-to-Port killer shook his head. “Barrett is not like us Gibbs. Did you read about Sampson in her psych profile? I quite enjoyed that little tidbit.”

Gibbs’ face was blank. He was frustrated by Cobb’s runaround. Then again, it could lead the special agent to the answers he sought. “Tell me about Sampson,” Gibbs softly replied.

There was a strange smile on the serial killer’s face. “Once there was a boy whose father was a captain in the Navy, who had a horse named Samson who needed to be put down. Instead of calling the vet, the captain shot the horse to teach a lesson.”

A sense of dread began to fill the older man. “What lesson was that Cobb?” he demanded answers.

Jonas Cobb did not answer the other man. Instead, Cobb tilted his head to the side as he studied the older man. “Tell me about Tony. Why did you send him away?” Cobb asked.

It was like a bucket of ice water was thrown over Gibbs. He hated his lover’s name being spoken by the killer before him. “If you know what’s best for you, you leave Tony alone.”

Strangely, Cobb just laughed in response. The amusement still did not die as he responded. “I would never. You should know that. But it wasn’t smart to leave him all alone with how close he is to giving birth. You know that he favors sleeping on his left side. Little one likes to kick I’m assuming, but he always relaxes whenever Tony sings to him.”

Gibbs had enough at that moment. Thankfully, his phone rang. It was Abby. Without saying anything, Jethro walked out of the interrogation room. As soon as the door was shut behind him, Gibbs answered his phone, “What do you got Abs?”

Abby and McGee were an asset as they located where Cobb stashed Ziva. She was safe and mostly unharmed. When they reunited, all of them quickly realized the truth. Rescuing Ziva was all part of Cobb’s plan. They left Cobb alone right where he wanted to be with the last of his victims. This was Cobb’s last stand and end game. He had Barrett, the SecNav’s niece, and Jimmy as an innocent bystander.

There was only once place that Cobb could have taken them. It was obvious now that Cobb was getting revenge against those that transformed him into a monster. Gibbs was certain Cobb was holding Barrett and Palmer where it all started, where Operation Frankenstein took place. Along with SecNav and Director Vance, Gibbs was going to finish this once and for all.

Like Gibbs predicted, Cobb had Barrett and Palmer held captive in the old Operation Frankenstein location. They were not the only ones Cobb kidnapped. Seems like Cobb got the best of Kort as well. All three of them were hanging by their ankles as Cobb sprayed them down with a hose. Both Gibbs and Vance had their guns pointed at the psychopath.

However, Secretary of the Navy Davenport pleaded with Cobb to end it. “I can fix this,” Davenport promised. Davenport had to make this right and fix the mistakes he made.

Of course Cobb did not believe the politician. However, he knew the end was here. The younger man turned toward Gibbs. “You do right by him. Good things like that don’t happen to men like us,” Cobb informed Gibbs.

Gibbs knew Cobb was referring to Tony. He was done with Cobb’s obsession with the carrier. Both Gibbs and Vance shot at the killer, emptying their clips into Cobb. When Cobb was down, they ensured he was dead before freeing the others. It was finally over.

When Gibbs returned to the Navy Yard, his phone rang. He had just gotten into the bullpen when he answered with a sigh of frustration. “Yeah, Gibbs.” It better not be another case. He and his team needed a breather after everything involving Jonas Cobb.

“Is this Leroy Jethro Gibbs?” a female voice questioned.

Gibbs stopped dead in place. He had a sinking feeling in his gut. “Speaking.”

“You are the emergency contact for one Anthony DiNozzo Jr.,” the voice on the call began to explain.

The blue eyed male knew these types of calls, and dread flooded his veins. “Is Tony alright?” he immediately demanded to know.

Both McGee and Ziva turned toward Gibbs. They heard what their boss said, and both of them were concerned. Maybe Tony went into labor?

“He was in a small accident,” the voice continued, “he was uninjured in the crash, but he did go into labor.”

“Where is he?” Gibbs needed to be with Tony.

“Bridge Point Hospital,” she answered him.

“I am on my way,” Gibbs responded before hanging up.

When Gibbs looked up, both McGee and Ziva were on their feet just a foot away from their boss. “Tony has gone into labor,” the blue eyed male stated as he headed to his desk to collect his things.

“Which hospital?” McGee wondered, “So we can meet you there.”

Gibbs was already heading to the elevator when he answered, “Bridge Point.” He was not going to miss the birth of his son.

Driving break neck speeds, it took hardly any time to reach the hospital. As soon as he parked, he was jumping out of the car then racing inside. As soon as he saw the visitor desk, he demanded, “Where can I find Tony DiNozzo. He is in labor.”

The young man working behind the desk hit a couple of keys on the keyboard to find the answer, “He is in Labor and Delivery. Room 2.”

The man working security saw Gibbs’ gun holstered at his hip. “Sir, you can’t have that,” the security guard protested.

“I’m a federal agent, and I want to see my partner.” Gibbs’ glare was in full force.

“I’m sorry about that. I can show where he is staying,” the security guard offered.

Within two minutes, Jethro was standing outside the room where Tony was giving birth. Taking a deep breath, Jethro headed inside. Tony was already in the stirrups, and there was an oxygen mask over his face. Panicked green eyes turned to the newcomer, and Tony’s body relaxed when he recognized the sight of his lover. Without saying a word, Gibbs was at Tony’s bedside, and he squeezed the carrier’s hand in his. “I’m here Tony,” Jethro softly said to his lover.

Tony seemed to lean toward Gibbs as he absorbed some of the other man’s strength. It lasted only thirty seconds before another contraction hit, and the carrier groaned loudly as his whole body froze up as it prepared to push his child out into the world.

It took another hour of pushing before Jason’s head was out. Tony was physically exhausted at this point. Jethro had moved behind his lover to support the carrier better. Tony was gripping both of Jethro’s hand, and his head lolled on Gibbs’ shoulder behind him.

“Just the shoulder now,” Dr. Tanner commented from between Tony’s legs.

It took another ninety minutes to get the shoulders out. At that point, Jason easily slipped from Tony’s body. Tony’s eyes were half lidded, and he was still gasping for breath, even with the supply of oxygen. However, his tired eyes still sought out the form of his newborn son. Jason was with Dr. Tanner and her team of nurses. A minute or two later, Dr. Tanner was handing Tony his son. “Congrats Mom and Dad; you two have a healthy baby boy,” Dr. Tanner spoke as she placed Jason on Tony’s naked chest.

Immediately, Tony’s hands wrapped around his son. His green eyes were leaking tears of joy. He could not speak through the oxygen mask, but he wanted to tell Jethro their little man was beyond perfect.

Of course, Gibbs did not need to be told. His own blue eyes were watery as he peered over his lover’s shoulder to his infant son. “He’s perfect,” Jethro said for the both of them.

Gibbs only left Tony’s side when it was time to move Tony and Jason into a different room. “I’m going to grab some coffee and meet you there,” Jethro promised his lover.

When Gibbs headed toward the waiting room to find the cafeteria, he spotted the rest of the team. Ziva, McGee, Abby, Ducky, and Palmer were all sitting waiting for the news. Abby was the first to spot the team leader. She jumped to her feet and rushed to his side. “Is Tony and the baby alright?” she asked.

The blue eyed male nodded his head. “Jason has quite the set of lungs on him. Must get them from his mother,” he teased. Like Kelly, his heart soared with unconditional love for his newborn.

Abby squealed and clapped her hands. “Can we see them?” she asked.

Gibbs had to do a double take when suddenly McGee handed him a hot cup of coffee. “Figured you might need this boss,” McGee explained.

Nodding his head in thanks, Gibbs answered Abby’s question, “Yes, but one at a time. Tony is still on oxygen, and will probably be for the rest of the night. We can’t overwhelm him.”

Ziva moved to stand beside the goth. “You should go first Abby,” the former Mossad officer silently commented.

Abby was certainly not going to turn down that offer. Without another word, she followed Gibbs to Tony’s room. Inside, Tony was on the bed with Jason still in his arms. He did still have the oxygen mask around his face. Gibbs did not hesitate to move to Tony’s side. Without a word spoken between the lovers, Tony passed his son to his father. Jason immediately settled in his father’s arms. Gibbs’ eyes were full of warmth as he gazed at his sleeping son. Abby felt very blessed to be witness to such a tender moment.

“Abby, come meet Jason,” Gibbs’ voice was soft as he called the woman over.

Abby moved to stand next to Gibbs and stared at the infant in his arms. Jason was indeed beautiful, and he was the spitting image of Gibbs. If there was any issue on the baby’s paternity, one look at the child’s face would confirm his parentage. Abby’s eyes flicked to Tony, who was already passed out and sound asleep. It was like having Jason in his arms was the only thing keeping him awake.

“You are going to be so loved,” Abby whispered to the sleeping baby, “and I can’t wait to see which one of your parents you take after.” The world better be ready for Jason Dante DiNozzo-Gibbs.

Chapter Text

It was safe to say Jason stole the hearts of the whole NCIS team. Ziva visibly cooed over the newborn infant. Ducky was reluctant to let the baby go from his arms. Even Director Vance and Fornell came by to see Tony and Jason. Of course Fornell brought a bottle of celebratory bourbon for Gibbs, like Jethro did any of the hard work. For two days, Tony was in the hospital with everyone coming to visit in different shifts. The green eyed carrier knew that the peace was destined to shatter.

The day that Tony and Jason were supposed to be discharged, Gibbs and the team caught a hot case. It involved the death of a Navy Captain’s wife, and the captain had high up friends who demanded fast results. Gibbs was supposed to pick up Tony and Jason, but he was three hours late. Finally, Tony had enough and called Ducky. But of course Ducky would not come and pick up their pair; no, the M.E. called Gibbs. Traitor. It was hard to tell who was angrier, Tony or Jethro. “Get in,” the blue eyed male barked.

With a reluctant sigh, Tony helped his boss install the car seat before buckling their son inside. Once when the two men were buckled in, Gibbs turned their car on and drove away. When the hospital was completely gone from the rear view mirror, Jethro finally spoke again, “Why didn’t you call me?”

Green eyes rolled in response. The carrier would not look at his partner. “Why would I? You hardly spoken to me after you kicked me out. Jason and I could have found our own ride home,” Tony shot back.

Ice blue eyes narrowed in fury. However, Jethro was not going to take the bait. How did things go so wrong between them?

With a sigh, Tony shook his head. “Just drop us off at my apartment,” his voice was defeated. He just wanted to go home and sleep; he was still so exhausted from the birth. Besides, Gibbs already proved how little Tony meant to him when he sent him away after Mike Franks death as well as the calls he ignored as they avenged Frank’s murder.

With Tony looking away, he never saw the hurt flash across Gibbs’ face. The blue eyed male did not know how to make things right between him and Tony, and Jethro never thought things would get so bad. “Fine.” Taking a sharp left, Gibbs changed his route toward Tony’s apartment. Neither one of them said a word. Thankfully, little Jason slept through the awkward car ride.

Two weeks later, and both McGee and Ziva were at a loss. They were the ones tasked with finding the temporary replacement for DiNozzo on their team. Every agent that made it past the pair did not pass the final cut with Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. The last one was an old member of Balboa’s team, and she left Gibbs in the interview room crying.

McGee shook his head as she fled the bullpen. “It should not be this hard to find a temporary replacement for Tony,” the male agent complained.

“Gibbs has always been particular,” Ziva added, “I doubt that has changed. Didn’t you mention that it was like this when I stayed in Israel.”

It felt like that time without Ziva was a lifetime ago. “Well yeah, but mostly it was Tony who wanted you back on the team. Gibbs accused Tony of choosing poor candidates, so we wouldn’t have to replace you.”

It warmed Ziva to know how much Tony cared for her. It was true; the two of them did share a special bond. Maybe in a different life they could have been something more to one another. However, that was one possibility that was not going to happen in this lifetime. “Gibbs is the one being difficult,” Ziva agreed, “maybe he just wants Tony back on the team.”

Neither one of them had noticed the elevator ding, and Tony step into the bullpen. He pushed a stroller that doubled as the car seat, and baby Jason still had his eyes closed. The green eyed male smiled as he spotted his teammates alone in the bullpen. Being as quiet as possible, he crept up towards them while listening to their conversation.

“Well don’t you know,” Tony interrupted with a big grin on his face, “I’m irreplaceable.”

Both Tim and Ziva’s eyes widened in surprise before the turned around. Tony was here, and it was obvious he brought the baby with him. Ziva and Tim both smiled widely at their friend and colleague. “Tony, it is good to see you,” she commented as she reached towards him in a friendly hug.

Tony wrapped his arms around Ziva and returned the hug. It felt good to be around human company that could actually speak back to him and hold a conversation. Tony pulled away before sharing a hug with his favorite Probie.

“I see you haven’t learned any humility in your time away from the office,” McGee teased back at the carrier.

Ziva silently cursed as her cell phone went off. “Excuse me,” she spoke to the two men before sneaking off. It was her boyfriend, Ray, so of course she was going to take the call.

The carrier then turned to his Probie before glancing at his infant son. “McGee, can you watch Jason for a minute?” Tony seemed to be a bit on edge.

McGee’s eyes widened in slight panic. “Wait,” he responded, “Why do you need me to watch him?” It was no secret that Timothy McGee was nervous around babies. Kids were different; they were easily distracted. Babies, however, required a lot of attention as well as being incredibly needy.

Green eyes rolled in response. “I’m just gonna hit the head. I will only be gone a moment,” the carrier explained.

The younger male was still wary. He did not seem completely convinced to yes at the moment. “Can’t you just take him with you,” McGee complained.

Tony rolled his eyes. “You’ll be fine McNerves. He is just a baby,” Tony replied before moving the stroller closer to McGee. Then Tony quickly headed off to the men’s room; he really needed to pee.

Taking a deep breath, McGee stared at the young infant. The newborn was dressed in a soft blue onesie with a matching hat. Jason had incredibly bright blue eyes, just like his father. In fact, Jason was the spitting image of Gibbs, right down to the infamous Gibbs stare, which Jason was currently using on the agent. Tim laughed at the thought, but he was also unsettled. The Gibbs glare came natural to Jason.

Abby came out of the elevator and headed toward the bullpen. When she spotted McGee standing by the stroller, she grinned and moved faster. “Is that my sweet godson?” she asked when she was about a foot away from the pair.

Tim turned to his former lover. “He is doing it Abby,” he softly commented to her before glancing back at the newborn.

The bubbly goth raised a curious eyebrow at the man beside her. “What’s he doing Timmy?” she wondered. What could a newborn baby do that could make a full grown man nervous?

Hazel eyes turned back to the woman beside him. “He has almost perfected the Gibbs glare, and he is not even a month old,” Tim stated with a bit of disbelief.

Abby laughed at her companion, and her eyes gazed at the young infant. Jason was indeed glaring at McGee. However, when young Jason turned his eyes toward his godmother, his face transformed into a smile that was much more reminiscent of his mother than his father. “Awe, he has Tony’s smile,” Abby cooed at her godson, “Who is the most adorable baby on the planet?”

McGee rolled his eyes at the newborn’s antics. “Just like Tony to always be smiling and flirting with the ladies,” the field agent muttered.

“He is going to be such a ladies’ man,” Abby agreed before playing peek-a-boo with the newborn.

A minute later, Tony exited the restroom and rushed back to his baby. It was no doubt that Tony was an anxious new mother who did not like to be away from his child for very long. Tony smiled with such warmth when he had his son in his line of sights. “Did someone behave?” Tony asked while inspecting his baby.

Jason’s smile widened at this sight of his mother, and his little arms reached for his favorite person. Tony had no qualms as he pulled his baby from the car seat and into his arms. Tony could not believe he was ever scared of his child; Jason was absolutely perfect and everything Tony loved.

McGee and Abby watched the exchange between mother and child. McGee shook his head and laughed. “Wow, what a momma’s boy,” McGee realized.

Green eyed rolled in response. “Considering I spent six hours pushing him out of me, he should be a momma’s boy,” the new mother retorted.

Abby turned to her favorite carrier and asked, “You ready to go?”

Ziva rounded the corner. Standing beside the female field agent was their team leader. “You already leaving?” Ziva asked Tony.

Tony barely paid any attention to Ziva and the others; instead, his focus was on the blue eyed male who he shared such a personal connection with. “Gibbs,” the green eyed greeted in a rough voice.

Emerald orbs and icy depths stared at one another for a deep breath. None of the other team members dared to utter a single sound; they could sense the tension between the two parents. Gibbs was the one to break away from the stare; he blinked before taking a step closer to his family. Out stretching his arms, Gibbs glanced at his baby before returning his gaze to the carrier in silent permission.

Tony understood right away what Gibbs was asking. Carefully, Tony transferred his son from his arms to Gibbs. Of course, the older male did not need any tips on how to hold their son properly. Jason immediately cooed as he realized who was now holding him. Jethro smiled warmly at his son. His blue eyes held a warmth that was not usually seen by others. Jason’s smile was wide and reached a hand out for his father to hold. Jethro’s smile widened as his son held his index finger in his tiny grip. Already, Jason was so strong; it was not surprising considering who his parents were. The love Gibbs had for his son was indescribable; he never thought he would feel this way again after Kelly.

Reluctantly, Gibbs turned his eyes away from his son and back to the baby’s mother. “You and Abby going to lunch?” the team leader asked.

The carrier nodded his head. He was not unaffected by the sight before him. Tony wanted things to be right between himself and Gibbs, but the carrier did not know how to get there. “Yes,” the green eyed male answered, “but we can come back here for a bit after lunch. I know Ducky will want to see Jason.”

Gibbs nodded his head and carefully placed his son back in the stroller. After buckling in his son, Gibbs added, “Let me know when you get back.” Then the team leader headed back to his desk to return to work.

Abby linked arms with her lunch date. “You ready?” she asked, “I don’t know about you, but I’m starved.”

Tony grabbed onto the stroller. “I could eat,” he replied before heading toward the elevator. For a moment, the tension between himself and his lover was forgotten for the moment. For now, Tony was going to enjoy the company of his favorite forensic scientist.

McGee and Ziva watched Tony and Abby head for the elevator. When the duo entered the elevator, the teammates turned to one another. Both of them had noticed the tension between DiNozzo and Gibbs, which had been truly rare. In fact, both agents do not recall a time where either one of the senior agents were on the outs with one another. In fact, DiNozzo and Gibbs were known to be a legendary duo amongst NCIS. Whatever was going on between the couple was disturbing.

“The tension between those two could be cut with a knife,” McGee whispered to his female team member.

Ziva nodded her head in agreement. “I do hope the two get out of the funk town they’re in,” she agreed with her younger teammate.

Gibbs glanced up to his two team members who were still standing around not working. With narrowed eyes, Gibbs snapped, “Hey, you two! Get back to work! You still haven’t found me a temporary team member.”

McGee and Ziva rushed back to their desks, properly chastised. The last thing either of them needed was an angry Gibbs breathing down their necks. In the next breath, both Tim and Ziva were hard at work.

Abby and Tony headed to their favorite lunch restaurant. Jason had fallen asleep on the ride over, and Tony had his tucked in the booth between the wall and himself. After they ordered food, the bubbly goth got serious. “Alright Anthony DiNozzo Jr,” she spoke in a serious tone, “what is going on with you?”

Different shades of green eyes stared at one another, and Tony was the first to divert his gaze. “I don’t know what you mean Abs,” he responded, “I’m here with you.”

As Abby shook her head, she elaborated, “I meant between you and Gibbs.” One would have to be blind to not notice the obvious issues between the couple. For so long, Abby waited for two favorite men to get over their issues and finally admit to their feelings for one another. She was not going let the pair give up the obvious love they had for one another so easily.

Tony quickly shut his open mouth and turned his head away to the wall. It was not something he wanted to think about, and Abby was not the type of person to let the issue go. “I don’t want to talk to about it,” the carrier internally pouted.

“Too bad,” Abby responded, “now talk.”

For a moment, it seemed as though Tony was going to remain silent. Then he sighed and finally opened up to one of his closest friends. “You were there. You saw him send me away like I was nothing to him but trash that needed to be removed.”

Abby’s heart ached at her friend’s words, and she could feel the pain in his voice. She reached for his hand, but he kept it out of her reach. “Oh Tony, boss man was wrong in treating you like that, but you have to remember that he just found Mike Franks dead in the street. He wasn’t thinking straight.”

Tony shook his head as his eyes remained fixed on the wall beside him. It was easier to swallow his emotions that way. “Whatever Abby,” he muttered while swallowing back the anger.

Biting the inside of her cheek, she wondered, “Has anything else happened?”

He shrugged his shoulders before answering. “He has barely spoken to me since I asked him to drive us home from the hospital. He was still pissed at me that I was going to drive myself to the hospital while in labor until I got in that fender bender that didn’t even damage any car.”

Abby’s mouth dropped open in shock. “You two aren’t living together at the moment?” She was flabbergasted by this revelation. Tony had practically been living at Gibbs’ house for most of the pregnancy.

Perhaps the most terrifying thought for Abby was that Tony maybe did not wish to make any further effort in his relationship with Gibbs. “Don’t you want to be with him?” She practically whispered the concern.

Finally, the carrier turned to his companion. His forest eyes were watery. “Of course I want to be with him,” he immediately responded, “but I don’t know if he wants to be with me. I don’t think he even likes me beyond being an easy hole to fuck.”

The forensic scientist gasped at the vulgar way Tony described his relationship with the silver haired fox. No, Abby was certain that Gibbs loved Tony as much as Tony loved Gibbs. “I’m going to help fix things,” she promised her friends.

Tony turned back to his son to check on his infant. Jason was still sound asleep at the moment. “I don’t think it’s possible,” the carrier replied.

As their server returned to their table with their food, Abby studied her lunch date. There was more going on with Tony at the moment; Abby could feel it in her bones. There was just something about her dear friend that was not right. As a renowned scientist, Abby silently vowed to study her friend and discover the real issue.

While Gibbs took some time in the afternoon to bond with his son, McGee and Ziva finally found a perfect perspective for their team. The perfect temporary replacement literally walked right into the bullpen. Special Agent Cassie Yates was in between assignments, and she was taking the time to drop by and say hello to the MCRT as well as Abby and Ducky. McGee was stoked to see her.

Ziva offered her hand in greeting. “Ziva David.”

The other woman shook the other woman’s hand before introducing herself, “Cassie Yates.”

“Cassie it’s great to see you again!” Tim exclaimed as he hugged his colleague, “Are you still working undercover?”

The beautiful agent shook her head. “Not at the moment,” she answered him, “I’m here to meet with Director Vance on where I can go until I’m ready to get back to the drug fights.”

It suddenly seemed so perfect to the young agent. “Want to work with Gibbs for a month or so?” Gibbs had no issues working with Cassie when Tony got the plague, and Cassie was able to handle working with Gibbs during a time when the team leader was literally on edge.

The dark beauty put a hand on her hip as she eyed her friend. “How is there a position on your team? And where is Agent DiNozzo?”

Ziva answered for her teammate, “Tony is currently on maternity leave.”

Cassie’s dark eyes widened as a look of understanding formed on her features. “Gibbs and Tony finally got over their issues?” she mused aloud. She remembered the way Gibbs acted when DiNozzo got the plague, and romantic feelings had to be involved for Gibbs to be thirsty for blood like that.

Both Tim and Ziva nodded her heads. “It will just be while Tony is on leave,” Ziva reminded the other woman. The former Mossad officer was not planning on replacing her partner anytime soon.

Shrugging her shoulder, Cassie agreed to the offer, “As long as Gibbs is ok with it.”

Forty-five minutes later, Gibbs returned to the bullpen. Tim stood up when he spotted his boss. “Boss, we think we found someone,” Tim stated with obvious excitement.

Gibbs turned to Cassie and looked her up and down. “You’ll do,” he agreed.

Chapter Text

It had been a few days since Cassie had gotten the approval by Director Vance to join the MCRT on a temporary basis. In all honesty, she was exceeding expectations. Cassie was a familiar face among the Navy Yard. Both Ducky and Abby had worked with the NCIS agent in the past, even before the SWAK incident. Pacci trained a competent agent, and she met Gibbs’ standards. The only strange rule was that she was not allowed to use DiNozzo’s desk. It was much like Agent Paula Cassidy’s ban from Kate’s desk when she was temporarily assigned to Gibbs’ team. Even though Tony was not dead and only on maternity leave. Nevertheless, Cassie was a team player, and she accepted the strange rule and sat at the corner desk behind McGee. When in the midst of a hot case, Ziva did not mind sharing her desk with the fellow female agent.

It was during a normal lull in a case when Gibbs got a call from Abby. “Gibbs, I need to see you in my lab,” she ordered through the phone.

Gibbs’ voice had no hint of emotion when he answered, “I’ll be right there.” He hung up his phone and immediately headed for the elevator. Since there was nothing in forensics he was waiting on, the team leader for went his usual pit stop for a Caf-Pow. Besides, by Abby’s tone of voice, it sounded more of a personal call than a professional one. The elevator dinged, and Gibbs stepped inside. He was curious about what Abby wanted to talk to him about.

In a minute, he was walking inside Abby’s lab. There was no music playing, and the forensic scientist was currently sitting behind her desk within her enclosed office. It was obvious that she was waiting for him, and there was an unreadable expression on her normally bright and happily expressive face. Keeping his own face devoid of emotions, Gibbs did not stall before joining her in her office. “You called?” he questioned as soon as he stepped through the door.

Abby pointed to the chair opposite of her. “Please have a seat,” her tone was pleasantly respectful. “I really need to talk to you.”

Concern flooded the field agent. He hoped Abby was not in any trouble; last he checked, she was not seeing anyone at the moment. Usually Abby got in some trouble when it concerned her love life; she was not known for choosing partners who were loving and safe.

“What’s going on?” he asked as soon as he sat down.

Clearing her throat, Abby started to say, “I need to talk to you about Tony.”

There was a dangerous aura around Gibbs as soon as Tony’s name was mentioned. A wave of anger flashed in his bright blue eyes. “I hate to tell you this Abs, but this has nothing to do with you, and you need to stay out of it.” After three divorces, he recognized the familiarity of “marriage counseling”.

Abby shook her head. “Tony is my friend. You are my friend Gibbs,” she responded with a bit of a bite in her tone, “and I’m really worried about him. He has been so off lately.”

Blue eyes turned away from her; Gibbs still did not want to have this conversation. “Is that all you are going to say?” He moved to stand up.

However, Abby was just as fast, and she grabbed his arm before he could step away from his seat. “Do I need to remind you that Tony had YOUR baby?” Green eyes narrowed dangerously.

Gibbs pulled his arm from her grasp, and his eyes narrowed in silent fury. “I don’t need to be reminded,” his voice was low but dangerous.

She crossed her arms across her chest. “I feel like you do and that he is still your responsibility as he takes care of your child. But Tony is in this weird funk, and I am really worried about him. I think it’s something, but he keeps shutting me out. He might let the person he loves in though.”

He was never going to admit it out loud, but Gibbs had noticed the behavior that Abby had mentioned. Tony had been strange since giving birth. But it could all boil down to the adjustment of being a new parent. No matter what, Abby was right. It was Gibbs responsibility to take care of Tony while Tony saw to their son’s needs. “I’ll talk to him,” the team leader finally relented.

A small smile formed on Abby’s lips. “That’s all I ask,” she responded.

With a nod of his head, Gibbs took his leave. He had a job to get back to, and his agents had better start finding a new lead for their current case.

While Gibbs was with Abby, the rest of the team continued the search for their subject. All three field agents were at their assigned desks working hard at the moment. The sounds of fingers striking keys could be heard, and a phone rang. It was Ziva’s line, and she was quick to answer. “Agent David,” she spoke into the phone, “you have him in custody? And you are sure it is our suspect? No, we can pick him up first thing in the morning.” She then hung up the phone.

Turning to McGee and Yates, Ziva informed her teammates, “Local LEOs picked up Anderson on a drunk and disorderly charge. They currently have him in custody, and they agreed to release him into our custody.”

McGee nodded in his head as he sighed in relief. “Gibbs will be happy to hear that we found our suspect,” the male agent commented. All afternoon their team leader had been cranky with no new lead to follow. The three agents received the brunt of Gibbs’ ire, which was always unpleasant.

Cassie stood up and moved to stand in front of McGee’s desk. She crossed her arms over her chest and glanced at the other two agents. “Is it just me, or is Gibbs a little more volatile than usual?” the temporary agent wondered.

Both Ziva and Tim’s eyes turned toward the other woman, and both their eyebrows were raised. McGee rubbed his chin as he thought about his boss’ recent behavior. “I mean Gibbs is usually pretty intense,” the male agent mused aloud.

Ziva was on her feet as she added, “But it has been worst the last couple of weeks.”

Using her investigative skills, Cassie questioned, “When did Tony give birth?” If Tony and Gibbs were together, together, then why has Tony not come to visit his lover? Why has Tony not brought the baby to see its father? Maybe there was more to the story than Cassie realized.

Tim’s hazel eyes were puzzled as he quickly answered, “A few weeks ago.” This line of questioning was bothering the male agent. What was Cassie implying? “Why?”

Cassie leaned against McGee’s desk and crossed her ankles. She had both Tim and Ziva’s full attention. As the temporary team member shrugged her shoulders, she explained to her new teammates, “Maybe there is trouble in paradise. I remember how Gibbs was when Tony was infected with plague, and that man was willing to do anything to find the antidote. Why I always wondered if there was more to their relationship. With Gibbs so angry at the moment, it makes me wonder if the two of them are even together at this point.”

McGee and Ziva’s eyes snapped toward one another. Neither one of them had really spoken to Tony since he had gone on maternity leave. Both of them felt guilty at that realization. Tony was their friend, and the carrier just had a drastic life change. Perhaps the two team members should swallow their pride and reach out to their colleague and friend. No doubt Abby has already done so.

“I never thought about it,” McGee honestly replied.

“Well Tony had Gibbs’ baby right and not someone else’s?” Cassie wanted to double check.

“Jason is definitely Gibbs’ son,” Ziva confirmed.

“Then it has to be something between the two of them,” Cassie determined.

The elevator dinged, and Gibbs stepped out of it. There was no doubt that the team leader’s mood darkened even further. It was like there were dark storm clouds surrounding the blue eyed male. His bright blue eyes zeroed in on his team, and his eyebrows narrowed. “Do I pay you to talk, or do I pay you to do your jobs?” Gibbs snapped at the three agents.

Ziva folded her wrists behind her back as she reported, “We found Anderson. He is in custody on a drunk and disorderly charge. Local LEOs agreed to let us pick him up first thing in the morning.”

It was back to business as usual, and the team took the time to solve their latest case. For the moment, the issues between Gibbs and DiNozzo were put on the back burner. However, they could not stay there forever.

Two days later, the case was solved. It was not Anderson who killed the Navy ROTC officer, but it was his older sister. It turned out that Anderson’s sister was having an affair with the victim, and the victim threatened to reveal their relationship to her husband. It was the kind of case DiNozzo would have been all over, and possibly have predicted the outcome.

Speaking of his wayward lover, it was time for Gibbs to bite the bullet and take the bull by the horns. Yesterday, Jethro had tried calling Tony to check in on him and Jason, but the call went to voicemail. Evidently, Tony was still ignoring Gibbs. Usually, Gibbs had a tendency to avoid emotional problems, but when he was ready to deal with them he did so directly. After completing the paperwork for their latest case, Gibbs sent his team home for the evening. Jethro doubled checked that everything was in order in the team’s reports before heading out himself. Driving like a madman, he headed straight for Tony’s apartment.

It was evening, and Tony placed his empty dinner plates in the sink. He was tired, and Jason was already crying for his mother. Tony was in the same pair of sweats he was wearing yesterday; the carrier did not bother to change in the last twenty-four hours. His apartment was a mess, and he was going to have to find the motivation to clean tomorrow; he could no longer stand the sight of the mess his place was in.

A loud and impatient knock at the door ignited a string of curses from the carrier’s lips. Who the hell was bothering him at eight o’clock at night? He did not order any takeout food, and he was not expecting anyone to visit. The pounding on the door continued, and Tony shouted, “I’m coming!” Still cursing underneath his breath, he opened the door.

Standing on the other side of the door was Gibbs. Tony’s breath caught in his throat at the sight of his lover. Gibbs still had his fist raised to pound against Tony’s front door, and the older man slowly lowered his arm. Swallowing, Tony questioned, “Jethro, what are you doing here?”

Raising an eyebrow, Gibbs took a moment to study the younger man. Tony was always one who prided on his looks, and he always dressed to the ‘T’. However, it was obvious that the carrier was bumming it out tonight in comfort. “You going to invite me in?” Jethro instead asked the other man.

Moving to the side, the green eyed male motioned for Gibbs to enter the apartment. Once when Gibbs was inside, Tony closed the door and stood in the center of the living room. The carrier crossed his arms and again asked, “So what are you doing here?”

“You look like crap,” Jethro stated as he eyed his lover.

Green eyes rolled in response. “Thanks. Sorry I can’t spend my usual time looking my best. I got other things more pressing at the moment.” But Tony did appreciate the motivation to get it together and take care of himself. He had not been feeling like it, but he did need it.

With a grunt, Jethro added, “I’m worried about you.” Tony has been so shut in and distant from everyone, himself and their friends included.

“That why you dropped by, to tell me to shower and change clothes?” the green eyed male snapped.

“No,” Gibbs shook his head as he responded before taking a step closer to the other male, “You are not home, so I have to come here to see you and my son.” The anger for the whole situation was bleeding through his tone. Gibbs did not appreciate the way things were with his family at the moment. He was tired of the whole awkward mess between them. How things are now between them could not last.

Tony’s jade orbs narrowed in silent fury. “Well whose fault is that?” the carrier snapped back in anger.

Jethro took another step forward. “What are you saying?” he seethed.

Shaking his head, the green eyed male took a step forward. “You are the one who sent me away,” he responded, “you can’t be mad at me for not sticking around when I know I’m not welcomed.”

The older male’s mouth opened slightly. Is that what Tony thought? “Tony-” however, Gibbs was interrupted.

Jason wailed loudly to call for his mother. Tony could feel himself begin to leak in response to his son’s need. Taking a deep breath, Tony uttered, “Hold on.” He then went to his son’s nursery, stripping his Ohio State sweatshirt as he did so.

A moment later, Tony returned with baby Jason in his arms. The young infant was already mouthing toward a nipple, and Tony sat down on the couch before the baby could latch on. As soon as Jason had his mouth around his meal source, the baby took deep pulls of milk. Tony may hate the way his body looked at the moment, but he did appreciate being able to provide for his son in such a way.

Gibbs took a moment to observe the intimate act before him. “Jason is one hungry little man,” he commented with a soft smile on his face as Gibbs moved closer to his family. This is what Gibbs was missing, these little family moments that make the world go round.

A smile formed on Tony’s lips as he gazed at his son. “Yeah,” the carrier agreed, “he definitely got my appetite.”

For a few minutes, the fight between the two men was forgotten as they enjoyed the tender family moment. Once when Jason had his fill, his light blue eyes fluttered close as his full stomach lulled him to sleep. Tony could feel his baby’s breaths on his nipple. For a little bit longer, Tony just watched his son. Jason had become his whole world, and the carrier’s heart ached with how much love he had for his baby. Eventually, Tony got to his feet and returned his son to his crib, the same crib his father built by hand.

Tony grabbed for his discarded sweatshirt and pulled it on as he headed back to the living room. A part of him wanted to linger in his son’s nursery, but he could not hold off the inevitable. This conversation between himself and Jethro was long overdue. The carrier took a seat on the couch and waited.

With a sigh, Gibbs took a seat beside his lover. There was so much to be said between them, but neither one of them knew where to begin. “We need to talk.”

The green eyed male nodded his head in agreement. “What are we doing Jethro?” Tony whispered the question.

Rubbing his face, Jethro leaned back on the couch. “Neither one of us are exactly experts when it comes to long term relationships,” the blue eyed male stated.

Tony could not look his lover in the eye. “You pushed me away Jethro,” his voice was still soft, “I love you, but you keep me at arm’s length.”

Words were caught in the other man’s throat. There was so much Gibbs wanted to say, but the words just would not come out. “Tony-” Gibbs wished Tony would understand.

The younger man shook his head. “I will never keep you away from your son,” Tony promised, “but you can’t expect me to wait around for you to get over your issues and actually want to be with me.”

Jethro forced their eyes to meet. “What are you saying?” Gibbs was afraid of his lover’s rejection.

“Look, you either love me or you don’t,” the carrier explained, “but it’s not my job to help you figure it out. But I really don’t expect you to realize you actually care about me.”

“I care a lot for you Tony,” the older male interjected.

Tony continued to question, “Do you? Most days, I just feel like you tolerate me. I’m just made shiny for the fact that I had your son.”

Gibbs stormed to his feet. “How could you think so little of me?” he demanded answers.

The carrier shrugged his shoulders. “Can’t help the way you treat me Jethro.”

The older man shook his head; there was a cold look on his face. “Maybe you don’t know me as well as you think. Perhaps it’s you who has one foot out the door and is looking for an excuse.”

With those words spoken, Gibbs stormed out of the apartment. Both men needed the time to breathe from this encounter before either of them said something they regretted.

Of course Tony felt some immediate regret for his side; he was not trying to put his lover on the defensive. It is just Gibbs still had not clarified his feelings toward the carrier, even though Tony all but begged to hear them.

With a sigh, Tony reached for his phone and called one of the only people he could trust at the moment. The person answered on the third ring. “Tony, are you alright?” Ziva’s voice was full of concern.

Swallowing, Tony answered her, “Gibbs and I got in a big fight. Do you think you can come over? I just need to talk to someone who won’t immediately take his side. I need you to hear me before you say or give me advice.”

“I will be there within the hour,” she promised him before hanging up the phone.

Tossing his phone on the table, Tony glanced around his home. Maybe he should use the time to clean the place up a little. He had the time to kill and the nervous energy to burn. Already the carrier was regretting finally speaking his mind to his lover. What if things between him and Jethro were broken beyond repair?

Chapter Text

Ziva was worried about her friend and colleague after getting his call. She grabbed her overnight bag and immediately headed over to his place. When Tony opened his apartment door, there was no denying the carrier was a mess.

“Thanks for coming,” Tony greeted and motioned for her to come inside the apartment.

Tony needed a friend; one who would be on his side and not immediately defend Gibbs. It was why he chose Ziva over Abby. Abby would want to fix things, and Tony just needed someone on his side. Ziva could be that person. “Sorry for the mess,” he spoke as he organized the blankets on the couch.

The dark haired woman shrugged her shoulders as she glanced around. “It does not bother me, but would you like some help cleaning up?” she offered her services.

For the next half hour, Ziva and Tony cleaned his apartment. She did his dishes while he vaccumed and dusted. She even helped him fold the laundry he finally got around to washing. Overall, his apartment was appearing much more appealing rather than a dirty bomb that exploded.

After putting away the last load of laundry, the two of them sat on the couch. Ziva had made the pair each a mug of Jasmine tea, which she left the last time she was over Tony’s place for dinner party nearly two years ago. The pair were sipping their tea when Ziva finally spoke. “I assume that you did not call me over just to help you clean up.”

The carrier smiled and shook his head. He placed the still steaming mug on the coffee table before shrugging his shoulders. “Nope, but I do appreciate the assist,” he replied while rubbing his tired face.

The Israeli woman took a minute to study her companion. For five years, Tony has been her partner; she had learned all of his idiosyncrasies. He was clearly in distress; his eyes were red still. His hair and clothes were a mess. She wanted to offer him whatever comfort she could.

“What happened Tony?” she pleaded for answers.

With a sigh, the green eyed male leaned further back against the couch. Jade orbs would not gaze at the beauty beside him. It took another minute or so for Tony to finally begin to explain, “Gibbs stopped by here earlier.”

Of course Gibbs… she had a feeling Tony’s upset behavior was related to Gibbs. McGee and Yates were right about noticing something not right between Tony and Gibbs. “I take it that it didn’t go well,” she surmised while pursing her lips and nodding her head.

Green eyes closed as Tony was overcome with emotion. Things between himself and his lover were going so wrong, and the carrier did not know how to fix it anymore. “He came over here, and I told him….” He took a deep breath. “I pushed him away, and what if that was a mistake?”

Ziva was beginning to understand her friend’s concerns, and she confirmed. “You told him how you feel, yes?”

Without uttering a word, Tony nodded his head in answer. Licking his lips, he did finally add, “But what if I should have-” He was, however, interrupted.

“You are entitled to your feelings; never regret that,” Ziva firmly stated, “it’s now on him to think about how his actions make you feel.”

Her words did bring the barest hint of a smile to his lips. Unfortunately, at that moment, Jason began to wail. With a sigh, Tony got to his feet and headed to his son’s nursery. It was probably a dirty diaper. Jason had been fed while Gibbs was here, so the newborn would probably not be hungry again for a couple more hours. Jason sure did have a set of lungs on him, and he was quick to scream or cry out any displeasure he was feeling.

Grabbing his son from his crib, Tony transferred the wailing infant to the changing table. It was a stinky diaper, and Tony quickly changed it. However, his son’s cries did not entirely cease, so Tony cradled his sweet baby boy to his chest as he took a seat in the rocking chair. Singing a soft lullaby, Tony gently rocked his son back to the land of dreams. It did not take long for Jason’s incredibly blue eyes to flutter close as he drifted off to sleep.

Ziva, meanwhile, watched Tony with his child while leaning against the open doorway of the nursery; her arms were folded across her chest. There was a soft smile on her face as she watched her friend interact with his son. “You are so good with him,” she commented in a soft voice.

Tony smiled down at his son’s sleeping face. “I was nervous about being parent. After all, I am known for not being the best with kids. But it really is different when you have your own,” he replied.

The dark haired beauty took two steps inside the nursery. “You are great at anything you set your mind to Tony, never forget that,” she reminded him, “and Jason is lucky to have a mom like you.”

He knew the only thing that would make everything better was having Jethro back with him and raising their son together as they should. Not wanting to dwell on the ‘what ifs’, Tony carefully stood up and placed the sleeping Jason back in his crib. “He is going to be up in a couple hours for his nightly feeding,” Tony explained to his companion, “I don’t know about you, but I want to get some sleep before he is demanding to be fed again.”

Holding in the last bit of encouragement she wanted to share, Ziva nodded her head. “I will sleep on the couch. Goodnight Tony.” She then rounded on her heels and headed back into the living room.

The next morning Ziva left early for work. Tony was up feeding the baby when she left. When she was in the car and well on her way to the Navy Yard, she reached for her phone to dial Abby’s number; the forensic scientist picked up on the fourth ring. “Ziva, it is too early for you to be in the office,” the goth complained over the phone.

The dark haired beauty silently chuckled at the thought of Abby not being a morning person. However, now was not the time to be joking around. “Abby, I need your help,” Ziva began to get serious.

“What’s wrong?” Abby immediately demanded answers.

Ziva bit the inside of her cheek before answering, “It’s Tony. I just left his place. I guess him and Gibbs just got in a big tit, and Tony is not taking it well.”

“You mean tiff, like a fight right?” Abby double check.

“Yes,” Ziva confirmed, “I am very worried about him. He’s a mess.”

There was a slight pause before Abby spoke again, “You think I should take the day and keep an eye on him before he does anything stupid?”

There were so many possibilities that Tony could do in the current state he was in, and Ziva was worried about her friend. “He should not be alone, and I doubt Gibbs will let me call in sick. But since you do not directly report to Gibbs….” Ziva suggested.

“I can definitely take a sick day and spend it with Tony and the baby,” Abby agreed, “Let me go ahead and call it in.” Then Abby ended the call to finish her preparations.

Ziva closed out her phone and focused on the drive to work. She felt infinitely better knowing Tony was not going to be alone today. He may hate being babied, but sometimes desperate times called for desperate measures.

A little while later, Tony was making breakfast for himself. An omelet sounded delicious, which is how Tony ended up in the kitchen putting together a ham and swiss omelet. He had plated his breakfast when there was a knock at his front door. Curious green eyes glanced at his door before he made his way over.

When he opened the door, Abby was standing on the other side with a large grin on her face. In her hand was an oversized bag that was seemingly filled. “Surprise!” she exclaimed before wrapping her arms around the carrier.

Surprised he certainly was. He only hesitated for a second before he returned the hug. When the broke apart, he commented, “I’m just surprised you’re here. Aren’t you supposed to be at work.”

Abby shrugged her shoulders before she let herself in the apartment. “I decided to play hooky. Besides, I figure I could spend the day with my godson and watching movies with you. Sounds much better than going to that stupid seminar today,” she explained.

Green eyes blinked as Tony closed his front door. “Ok…. Well I just made an omelet. I can split it with you and make some hash browns I guess.”

The goth licked her lips in response. “I do love your cooking Tony.”

After breakfast, Abby gathered Jason into her arms and played peek-a-boo with the infant. Jason was having a ball, and he let out the most adorable giggles. While Abby kept Jason amused, Tony took the time to shower and put on some fresh clothes. Then he joined in on the fun.

When Jason seemed to grow tired of the game, Tony commented, “So why are you really here Abby?”

While Jason was amusing himself by stuffing his left foot in his mouth, Abby answered, “Ziva called me.”

Tony rolled his eyes and sighed. “Don’t tell me that this is an intervention,” he prayed to be wrong.

Abby shook her head. “No, of course not,” she immediately responded, “we are just worried about you. You aren’t going to deny that you are a mess.”

The green eyed carrier shook his head. “No, I’m not going to deny it,” he relented in a soft voice.

Leaning further back, the bubbly goth used her arms to hold her in a still seated position. “Gibbs really got you messed up huh?”

Tony laid back down fully, and threw his forearm over his eyes. His feet were planted, and his knees up. “Yeah,” he answered after a breath, “we are not good at the moment.”

Feminine green eyes studied the carrier’s form; there was nothing but sympathy in her eyes. “Talk to me Tony,” she begged, “tell me what’s going on.”

And he did tell her. She knew a lot of what was going on between the two stubborn men, but Tony decided to share all of it with her. “…Then he came here last night. I guess he was trying to make it right or explain himself; I don’t know. I told him to not expect me to wait around while he tries to figure out what he’s feeling about me.”

“Oh Tony,” Abby sighed and wrapped herself around the carrier in comfort. “It’s going to be ok,” she willed him to believe her.

He licked his lips and continued to stare at the ceiling. “I know you think Gibbs and I are magically going to fix things and live happily ever after, but I’m not sure that is even possible at this point,” he admitted.

Abby immediately responded, “I do want the two of you back together. But Tony, your wellbeing is more important. I want you to be happy. Jason needs you to be happy. I would like that with Gibbs, but I understand if that isn’t possible. He isn’t the easiest guy to be in a relationship with.”

Finally, his green eyes turned toward her form. “I just can’t help feel like I just made the biggest mistake of my life,” he admitted in a soft voice.

The goth did not offer comfort in words; instead, she hugged him tightly and just let him lean on her. Things just had to work out; Abby believed this to be true.

For the rest of the day, Abby helped Tony take of Jason. When they weren’t busy, the pair sat on the couch and watched movies. It was a great day overall, and Tony was thankful for her presence. He did not realize that he needed her, but he did. They ordered pizza, and Abby left shortly after that. It was time, and Tony did need the alone time to really think about things. Did Tony need to make more of an effort with Gibbs, or was it about time that the other man started making the same effort as Tony?

Abby’s absence was noticed at work. Gibbs was not too thrilled that she took the day, but he let it go with no active case going on. They were stuck in a HR seminar all day, and it left the team leader grouchy. He would much rather be working a case than listening to a bureaucrat go on and on about some silly policy. In this case, it was a sensitivity training. If his team was not effective, then they would not be in the field; it was as simple as that.

When five o’clock rolled around, Gibbs sent his team home for the night. There was no active case, and it had been a long and boring day. There was no point in keeping the team late. Forty-five minutes later, and Gibbs himself was heading out of the Navy Yard. It was rare for him to leave the office so early. The seasoned agent, however, had a lot on his mind, and he needed time to sort through his thoughts.

As soon as Gibbs got home, he changed into more comfortable clothes before heading down to the basement. He was currently building a high chair for Jason from scratch. The wood work was always calming to the blue eyed male, and it allowed him the opportunity to sort through his thoughts.

Gibbs stared at the half finished high chair while he headed to the wall with his tools. Maybe he could a heavy glass of bourbon. Reaching for the bottle, he placed it down on the bench besides his tools. With a sudden flash of anger, Gibbs knocked the tools to the ground in one sweep of his arm.

It was just everything was going wrong. Mike was dead, and Tony was gone. Jason and Tony were somewhere else and not with Gibbs. As a family man, this was devastating. Not to mention last night did not go so well. Gibbs planned on going to Tony’s place to bury the hatchet, but somehow things are not worse off than they were before. How did this happen?

Placing both hands on the work bench, Gibbs took three deep breaths. Blue eyes closed on the inhale, and opened on the final exhale. There was no denying that Jethro wanted to be with Jason and Tony. Since Baltimore, Gibbs has always been fond of the carrier, and that fondness slowly morphed into something else entirely. Maybe this relationship was doomed like his last three marriages; those were broken beyond repair. But Jethro did not want his relationship with Tony to end.

With a sigh, Gibbs straightened his posture and pulled his palms off the bench. If he wanted to fix things, then he could no longer deny his own feelings. In all honesty, Gibbs was afraid of a truly lasting relationship. After Shannon…. Maybe there was a part of Gibbs that will never get over his first wife. But it was not fair to Tony. Tony deserved to be treated the same as Jethro treated Shannon; Tony was worthy of that kind of love.

If Gibbs were to give it, then he was going to have to finally let go of his issues. Maybe Jethro could finally let go for Tony. If Gibbs were able to do it for anyone, then it would be for the carrier who was the most loyal person Gibbs has ever known. There truly was no one else the blue eyed male would want a family with; not any of his ex-wives or any previous relationships.

Taking a deep breath, Jethro reached for the bottle of bourbon once more. Tossing the cap onto the table, he took a large swig without ever reaching for a glass. He sank down into a seat on the floor and then took another sip of the amber liquid. He had a lot to deal with tonight, and maybe drinking would be the start he needed.

Chapter Text

Gibbs was not the only one to notice something off with his team. McGee was beginning to put the pieces together himself as well. It started with Ziva, who was quiet for the last few days. She hardly spoke to Gibbs aside was necessary to do the job. It was weird for McGee; he always knew Ziva and the boss had a special bond. Both had seen the darkness in the other and never judged. Then Abby called in sick. Anyone who knew Abby knew that the forensic scientist never took an unscheduled day off. It threw almost everyone for a loop.

When Abby returned the next day to work, she would not tell anyone where she was. However, McGee was able to notice something between Abby and Ziva. He found the pair talking quietly in Abby’s lab. When the spotted the other agent, their conversation immediately ceased, and they would not clue McGee in their conversation. The rest of that day, Abby and Ziva would share silent looks with one another before one of them snuck off to be on the phone.

McGee was so tired of all the secrecy. He visited the one person who might give him answers, which is why he made the trip to Autopsy. Jimmy was wiping down one of the tables. McGee smiled and waved at the Assistant ME. “Hey Jimmy,” McGee greeted, “is Ducky in his office?”

Jimmy put down the rag he was using as he looked up to the visitor. With a nod of his head, Jimmy answered, “Oh, hey McGee. Yep, Dr. Mallard is in his office updating some of the files.

Pursing his lips and briefly nodding his head, McGee headed for the second set of double doors. “Thanks Jimmy,” he spoke before heading through the doors and into Ducky’s office.

Ducky had a few files open on his desk as well as his computer up and running. “Ducky,” Tim’s voice was soft as he roused the other man’s attention, “can I talk to you for a minute?”

The medical examiner’s head shot up and he smiled warmly at the younger man. “Ah, Timothy, of course I can spare you a moment,” the doctor greeted back.

Shifting closer to the older doctor, McGee started to explain, “I wanted to see if you noticed anything weird going on with the rest of the team?”

The older male raised a curious eyebrow before he responded, “Strange, what do you mean strange?” Weird behavior was in the eye of the beholder. For example, most of Abby’s mannerisms could be considered strange or weird to someone who did not know her.

McGee moved to lean against the wall as he placed his hands on his hips. “Ziva and Abby are acting all secretive. Gibbs is even more well Gibbs and angry than he normally his.”

Ducky absently rubbed his chin as he thought about his colleague’s observations. “I have noticed Gibbs seem rather distant,” the M.E. agreed with the other agent, “as for Ziva and Abigail, I can’t say I’ve noticed anything.”

Chewing the inside of his cheek, McGee shrugged his shoulders and replied, “They are acting very strange these last couple of days.”

“Perhaps you should talk to them to determine answers rather just speculate,” Ducky offered a thoughtful solution.

There was no way Gibbs was going to open up and share his personal tribulations to the young agent; not to mention McGee was still terrified to confront Gibbs about anything the team leader is going through. McGee did not have that kind of relationship with his boss, and Gibbs was still terrifying to the young agent.

“Maybe,” McGee relented before taking his leave. If he could not talk to Gibbs, then that left only two options. Tim doubted Ziva would be so forthcoming with the truth; Ziva was not close with McGee in that way where she shared her personal secrets. Which only left one option. Abby would eventually McGee in; he just had to ask nicely.

Which is how a little while later McGee found himself stepping off the elevator to Abby’s lab. In the agent’s hand was a beloved Caf-Pow that the bubbly goth always craved. His normally round, hazel eyes were steeled with determination; his steps exuded confidence, which he normally did not feel. When Tim stepped inside the lab, he found Abby alone while wiping down the tables. A soft rock ballad could be heard on the stereo; Abby must be in a mood then.

Clearing his throat, McGee called out, “Abby, can we talk?”

The dark haired woman dropped the rag on the table as her head snapped in McGee’s direction. “What can I do for you Tim?” she asked as she wiped her hands and stepped closer to him.

“I can’t take the hidden secrets anymore,” McGee admitted, “It’s time to tell me the truth.”

Pale, feminine cheeks reddened in response. “What hidden secrets are you talking about?” she wondered with a curious look in her eyes.

“There is something going on. I know Gibbs is somehow involved, and I know you and Ziva are keeping secrets,” the light haired male revealed.

It seemed as though there was a flash of disappointment on the forensic scientist’s face before she schooled her features into a blank expression that hid all emotions she was feeling. Although Abby loved to gossip, she would never betray a friend’s trust. “I’m sorry Tim,” she would not look him in the eye as she hid the truth.

McGee shook his head in frustration. “Why won’t anyone tell me what is going on!” he demanded.

Neither one of them heard the elevator ding as a newcomer made their arrival. It was Ziva. She stood back in the doorway before entering to gauge the situation. When she heard McGee’s frustrated outburst, she decided to make her presence known. Stepping into the lab fully, the former Mossad officer came to the goth’s aid. “It is a personal matter McGee,” Ziva stated.

Both Abby and Tim turned to the youngest member of Gibbs’ team. Abby appeared to be relieved with Ziva hear to break the tension, while McGee seemed to grow more frustrated. McGee responded, “I figure that much. But why am I the only one left out of the loop?”

Ziva closed the gap between herself and the male federal agent. All eyes were drawn to the dangerous and deadly agent. There was a hint of a soft smile on the exotic beauty’s face. “I’m sorry McGee, but this is really none of our business and has nothing to do with work,” she tried to explain.

Tim was completely exasperated. He was no closer to finding out the truth than he was at the beginning of the work day. Enough was enough. McGee was tired of being the odd man out. He was the last to know about Gibbs and Tony’s relationship, and now he was being kept out of the loop again. McGee was so tired of feeling like the red headed step child.

“I wish Tony was here and back from maternity leave. He would not be keeping things from me like this. I miss things being normal around this place,” he complained while rolling his eyes at the women’s antics.

Tony would no doubt make endless fun of Tim given the chance, but McGee also realized that DiNozzo always looked out for the younger agent. Tony never let his Probie out of the loop for too long. No matter how annoying Tony could be, he did always look out for everyone on his team.

At the sound of Tony’s name, both Abby and Ziva turned their eyes away from the male agent standing in the forensic lab. It took McGee a long moment for him to catch on what the two women were hiding. It had something to do with Tony.

“What’s going on with Tony?” McGee demanded answers.

“It’s nothing,” Abby lied. She still did not feel comfortable sharing Tony’s business.

“Just let it go for now,” Ziva pleaded with her teammate, “trust us McGee. It will work out in the end.”

McGee bit his bottom lip. He did not want to let it go, but he did trust his friends and colleagues. “Ok,” the man relented, “but you will let me in what’s going on when you can?”

Ziva moved to stand in front of her friend. She placed a comforting hand on Tim’s shoulder and spoke, “We will promise. Just remember this is what’s best for Tony.”

With a sigh, McGee headed out of the lab to get back to work. There was no doubt that Gibbs would be looking for him.

Just their luck, the MCRT caught a murder case. Thankfully, the case was not one that led to all hours at the office. They were at the part of the investigation where they were waiting for results that were out of their hands, so the team left the office at a relatively normal hour.

Cassie joined McGee and Ziva for a late bite to eat. The three of them went to the local diner not too far from the Navy Yard while they reviewed the facts of the case. Were they on the right trail for a suspect? Cassie could not help but theorize they were missing something. The money unaccounted for in the victim’s bank account had to lead to something, and Cassie was sure it was something nefarious.

“Maybe we should look at the girlfriend’s financials to find any hint of the missing money,” the temporary team member recommended.

“I can sift through her financials first thing when I get there,” McGee agreed with the woman’s ideas.

“We can always bring her in for questioning too,” Ziva added her two cents in.

The other woman smiled at the thought. “I would love to see your interrogation techniques,” Cassie added.

The grin on Ziva’s face widened even further. “I’m always good at making people talk,” Ziva admitted.

“Without getting hurt,” McGee added for good measure.

Cassie burst into laughter at McGee’s insinuation. She was all too familiar with Ziva’s reputation. The Israeli woman most certainly had a notorious reputation within NCIS. Even though this assignment was not permanent, Agent Yates was having the time of her life. It was true; the MCRT was really a family more than a team. She was going to miss them when Tony returned from maternity leave.

When Gibbs sent the team home, he left not much later than the team. Within an hour after the rest of the team left, the team leader was in his own car heading home. When he was halfway through his drive, he went ahead and ordered some Chinese food. There was no way Gibbs was going to cook tonight.

Ten minutes after arriving home, Gibbs was dressed in a comfortable pair of sweats and collecting his dinner at the front door. On his way to his kitchen table, Gibbs grabbed some paper plates and plastic utensils. He ate in silence as he lost himself in his thoughts. In his mind, he replayed his last encounter with Tony. How did the two of them come out of the conversation angrier at the other than before?

A knock at the door brought the former Marine out of his thoughts. “It’s open,” he grunted before cleaning up his dinner.

A minute later, Ducky walked into Gibbs’ kitchen. “Ah Jethro, it’s good to see you,” Ducky greeted as he took off his coat and place on the back of the chair opposite of the silver haired fox.

“What can I do for you Duck?” Gibbs wondered as he grabbed a beer from the fridge and sat back down at the table, “not usual for you to stop by.”

Before sitting down, the M.E. grabbed a beer from the fridge for himself. “Well I must admit, I did come here to discuss an issue with you,” the Scott admitted.

With a grunt, Gibbs commented, “Usually how it goes.” He took a sip of his beer as he waited for his friend to get to the point.

“McGee came to see me today concerning some strange behavior,” the medical examiner began to explain.

“What do you mean?” the blue eyed male immediately responded.

“Well you have been much more quick tempered as of late. Everyone has noticed, and it is starting to affect the team,” Ducky continued.

Gibbs’ face was blank, but he replied, “And you have your opinions on this.”

“I know that things between you and Anthony have been tense as of late, and I assume things have not gotten better.”

For a moment, Jethro said nothing in reply. Then he closed his eyes and shook his head before taking a quick swig of his beer. As he shook his head, the MCRT team leader admitted, “No, things between me and Tony are not good at the moment.”

This might be Ducky’s only chance to get Gibbs to open up. “What happened between the two of you?” Ducky questioned, “The two of you were so happy, then suddenly you were barely speaking to one another.”

In a soft voice, Gibbs confessed, “I screwed up Duck. I pushed Tony away, and now I don’t know how to get him back.” For Gibbs was still struggling in admitting out loud that he longed to have Tony back with him.

“Anthony is not one to hold grudges though. No one understands you better than he does,” the M.E. protested.

Gibbs rubbed his face and sighed. “He has a real bad case of baby blues; we are all worried about him.”

That was concerning to the medical expert. “Oh dear,” Ducky muttered, “that does make a new mother act irrational. Is it bad enough to need medical help?” If baby blues was truly severe, it could actually be postpartum depression.

The silver haired male shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I don’t think it’s that bad, but I know Ziva and Abby are looking out for Tony.”

For a long moment neither one of the men said another word. Ducky took the time to ponder the situation. Abby and Ziva will take good care of Tony, but Gibbs should be the one doing it. “Perhaps when Tony’s hormones settle, he may be willing to bury the hatchet,” Ducky thought out loud.

All Gibbs could feel was misery at the moment. “I don’t know if that is possible to be honest. I don’t know how to fix things between us,” he admitted to his friend.

Ducky placed a comforting hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Admitting what you did wrong is the first step my dear friend,” the Scott promised his friend.

One thing was true in Ducky’s words; when one hits rock bottom, the only way to go is up.

Chapter Text

Three weeks later brought a lot of change. Cassie Yates switched back to the undercover work she spent most of years at NCIS with. There was a tough case involving the kidnapping of a Navy officer’s child, and Cassie realized that she was better suited to the undercover drug ring. She left the team on good terms; it was not like she had a permanent home there after all. Gibbs even paid her a compliment as he wished her luck before rejoining her old unit. A part of Cassie was going to miss the members of MCRT; they were one of a kind who can really get into a person’s heart.

With those three weeks passed, it also announced the return of the team’s senior field agent. Tony’s maternity leave had come to an end, and it was time to go back to work. Tony woke up early as he got ready for the day. Not only did he have to get ready, but he also had to get Jason ready for the day. On his kitchen island, Tony double checked Jason’s diaper bag. The carrier’s anxiety was running high at the moment. He was anxious to head back to work and not be with his baby boy throughout the day. Jason was not going to be with his mother; instead, the baby was going to be taken care of by complete strangers. Yes, NCIS had a daycare for employees with trained professionals, but this was Tony’s first and sweet child. He was not ready to leave the nest just yet.

Sadly, Tony had to go back to work or risk losing pay at this point. His maternity leave and medical leave were up, and he risked going unpaid. Therefore, rather reluctantly, Tony slung the diaper bag over his shoulder before grabbing his own wallet and keys. Gathering his sweet baby boy in his arms, the carrier finally left the apartment.

He could do this; work was something Tony excelled at naturally. It would be great to see the team again; Tony hardly spent time with his friends and coworkers. Work did not slow down for the MCRT unit, and Tony himself was focused on adjusting to life as a new parent. The only other nerve wracking part of returning to work was Gibbs. The two had not spoken to one another since that night Gibbs showed up at Tony’s apartment. Tony was nervous seeing his boss and whatever he was to him again. Their talk did not exactly end well, and Tony was unsure of where the two stood in terms of their relationship. No doubt that Gibbs was already done with him. The carrier was unsure if he could work beside his baby’s father every day and not be in a relationship. Maybe it was time to look at switching teams. However, that thought filled Tony with dread. He loved his job, and he loved his team. They made a difference and did good work. There had to be some way this could all work out in the end. Tony did not want to the one to have to leave. Maybe somehow or someway, he and Gibbs could move past this hard phase.

At the Navy Yard, McGee was one of the early arrivals. There was no doubt Gibbs was here already, but at least the published author beat Ziva in. Today was a day that McGee was looking forward to. Today was Tony’s first day back from maternity leave, and Tim was excited to have his teammate back with them. Cassie left last week, so they were a man down, which meant more work for Tim and Ziva. But now that Tony was coming back, things were finally going to get back to normal.

Ever since Tony had his baby, things had been so off and strange. It was weird not having Tony in the office bugging them constantly with his juvenile antics. It was like when Tony was recovering from the plague, McGee just missed having Tony around. Although incredibly annoying, Tony was one of those people who were irreplaceable. He was someone that always had his team’s back, and he did make the job fun in his own way. Gibbs was an absolute nightmare these past few weeks. Cranky did not even begin to cover a way to describe the boss’ demeanor. His already short temper was at an all time high, and he definitely snapped at the members of his team. It took a long time for Tim to finally realize that Gibbs was similarly cranky when Tony was out with the plague. In Gibbs’ own way, he missed having his senior field agent around. Tim did not even want to attempt to unpack Gibbs’ feelings now that the young agent realized Tony and Gibbs were more than just partners in the field. McGee was unsure if he ever wanted to understand how those two got together.

As McGee arrived at the bullpen, he realized that there was someone at Tony’s desk. His hazel eyes brightened with excitement, glad to see Tony. “Welcome back,” McGee greeted as he stopped in front of DiNozzo’s desk.

But it was not Tony sitting in the chair. No, sitting at Tony’s desk was Abby. McGee was surprised and equally curious as to what the forensic scientist was doing here. “Abby?” he questioned curiously.

Abby grinned at her former flame. “McGee!” she greeted so enthusiastically, like she always did. She crossed her arms on top of Tony’s desk and focused solely on the man before her.

McGee raised a curious eyebrow. “What are you doing here Abby?” he wondered as he shifted his weight from one foot in front of the other.

The forensic scientist waved to desk before her. On his monitor was an adorable ‘Welcome Back’ sign, and on his desk was a framed photo of Tony and Jason from the hospital. “I wanted to do something nice for Tony’s first day back,” she explained, “but I’m not done.”

Of course Abby would want to do something nice for Tony. McGee smiled and moved closer to the woman who stole his heart. Tony would love the sentiment behind Abby’s actions. “Do you need any help?” he offered her his services.

The smile on Abby’s face widened, and he pointed to the bag at her feet. “All of this needs to go up,” she informed him.

Heading down the stairs from MTAC was the one and only Leroy Jethro Gibbs. In his hands was his usual morning cup of coffee, and he appeared a lot less moody than he had been for the past few weeks. Even Gibbs was excited for Tony’s return. The blue eyed male eyed Abby and McGee at Tony’s desk, and moved silently toward them.

Both Abby and McGee jumped when they noticed the boss’ presence. “Gibbs, you startled me!” Abby chastised as she placed a hand over her heart.

Gibbs took a moment to study the additions Abby added to his senior field agent’s desk. He raised an amused eyebrow before focusing on the bubbly goth. “I’m surprised this is all you’re doing Abs. Both you and Tony do like your grand gestures,” the silver haired fox commented.

“Well, I figured you wouldn’t let me do all that I wanted,” she shared her reasoning.

Gibbs leaned over and placed a soft kiss on her cheek. “Tony is not going to be here for another hour. Go for it.”

Abby was bouncing on her feet before she wrapped her arms around one of her favorite people. “Thanks Gibbs! I hope Tony likes it,” she responded.

As the blue eyed male pulled away from her embrace, he replied, “I don’t doubt it.” Tony loved the extravagant, just like Abby; it was probably one of the reasons the two got along so well. They were both one for a flair of the dramatics.

The forensic scientist watched the bossman take his leave. She could not help but feel a sense of hope from Gibbs’ gesture. He wanted a big celebration for Tony’s return. It had to mean something. Perhaps things between Tony and Gibbs were not as bleak as both she and Tony thought. Maybe there was still a fighting chance to get the two back together again.

Just like Gibbs said, DiNozzo arrived at the bullpen an hour later. He had just dropped Jason off at daycare, and already the carrier was so forlorn. He did not want to be separated from his son, and he pulled the emergency switch in the elevator to take some time to collect himself. How bad would it look if he was already an emotional mess before even starting the work day! Tony took two deep breaths to the calm the emotional storm flooding his system. Jason was fine and safe; there was no safer place for him to be than the Navy Yard. At five o’clock, Tony was going to pick Jason up from daycare, and it was easy to focus that he will see his son again soon. Turning off the emergency switch, Tony headed off to the lion’s den.

As soon as he rounded the corner, there was a chorus shout of ‘SURPRISE’. The green eyed male stopped dead in his tracks and did a double take. Everyone was in the bullpen: Abby, Ziva, McGee, Ducky, Palmer, and Gibbs at his desk. They were all standing in the center with big smiles on their faces. At Tony’s desk was a large ‘Welcome Back’ sign, and on the plasma was a collage of pictures of Tony with the team and with Jason. “We missed you!” Abby shouted as she rushed toward the green eyed male and threw her arms around his shoulders.

The carrier’s throat was choked full of emotion, and he tried to swallow it down. He hugged the goth back tightly. When she pulled away, he finally tried to speak. “You guys didn’t have to do all this,” he spoke.

Abby punched him in the shoulder good naturedly. “Of course we did!” she insisted, “It’s your first day back in over three months. It’s a big deal.”

Wow, Tony could not believe it has been three months since he was put on medical leave. It did not feel like that long, but it was. “Well thank you. I know it must have been so hard without me here to guide you all,” he teased in good nature.

McGee rolled his eyes as well as Ziva. “I think we were all more productive without you dragging our hats around,” Ziva teased right back.

Ah Ziva, still not too good with those English idioms. “I think you mean heels,” Tony corrected her.

Brown eyes rolled in response. “Whatever,” she replied, “you know what I mean.”

Suddenly, Gibbs’ phone rang, and he was quick to answer the call. “Gibbs. Yeah, ok…. Where?” He was brief and concise before ending the call.

He then turned to the rest of the team. “We got a dead body in Shenandoah National Park. Gear up and let’s head out,” he ordered the team.

Ducky and Palmer quickly made their exit as they prepared the corner’s van for the trip. Meanwhile, McGee, Ziva, and Tony quickly grabbed their backpacks. Tony was jittery with some excitement. “Alright, first case back!” he exclaimed as he grabbed his belongings. He could do this; it was not that difficult to get back into old routines.

The crime scene was analyzed, and the evidence was bagged and tagged. A Marine staff sergeant was stabbed to death while he spent the weekend at the park camping. Whoever killed the Marine, left the knife behind. Rather dumb decision, but it aided the investigators in their search. McGee was the one tasked with bringing all the evidence to Abby’s lab. Gibbs was already gone, doing who knows what. It left Tony and Ziva alone in the elevator.

Ziva was quick to notice Tony’s brooding. He was one to fill silence with insensate movie quotes or immature jokes. Today, Tony was quite. His green eyes were usually full of mirth and keen observation, but today they were a bit dull. He was laser focused like usual while investigating the crime scene, but now Tony was so muted.

Deciding to take action, the former Mossad officer pulled the emergency switch and turned to her partner. “You’re awfully quiet,” she shared her observations.

Tony shrugged his shoulders, and he kept his gaze forward without turning to the woman beside him. “Why does it matter?” he responded.

She placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. “I’m worried about you,” she elaborated, “I know it must be hard coming back.”

The carrier released the tension from his shoulders as he sighed. “I know it’s weak of me to say, but I just miss him,” he admitted.

It did not take a genius to put two and two together, and Ziva understood who Tony was talking about. “You spent every moment together for the past two months, and you grew him in your womb. There is nothing to be ashamed about. I bet most mothers feel this way when returning to work,” Ziva shared her thoughts.

Finally, he turned his head to look at her. “But, he is in the building. I don’t need to see him for another hour before his feeding.”

“Who says you can’t go a little early?” she replied, “I’m sure he will be so excited to see you. Go. I will run down the victim’s military history.” Ziva then pulled the emergency switch.

There was a big smile on Tony’s face. “Thank you Ziva,” he spoke.

The two parted ways after getting off the elevator, and Tony was quick to head over to the daycare. The woman working the front did not even seem all that surprised to see Tony walking in. “Agent DiNozzo,” she greeted in a friendly tone, “Here to see Jason?”

Tony nodded his head and answered, “Yeah. You don’t mind right?”

The woman smiled and replied, “Of course not. You are not his only visitor today.”

At first, Tony did not even process her words. It was only when he walked through the doorway that it hit him. Who else was down here visiting his son? His anxiety was through the roof as he thought about all the worst case scenarios.

He got his answer as he spotted his son. Jason was currently in the arms of his father, who sat in the rocking chair in the corner. The carrier sighed in relief as the anxiety drained out of him. No one was going to try and steal his baby boy away. It was just Jethro, who apparently had the same idea as Tony. Even though Tony wanted to give the two their privacy, the mother needed to be close to his son as well. Besides, the green eyed male could not avoid Jethro forever.

“Seems like I’m not the only one who had the idea to sneak here and see Jason,” Tony spoke in lieu of a greeting as he approached Gibbs and their son.

Blue eyes turned toward the carrier. Gibbs tensed before relaxing after realizing there was no reason for either one of them to be fighting. “Wanted to see him,” the team leader explained himself.

Tony crouched down beside the chair, and his eyes focused on the child in Gibbs’ arms. “Same. Never realized it was going to be this hard being without him all day,” the green eyed male agreed with his love.

There was a soft smile of Jethro’s face as Jason squeezed his father’s hand. “I hardly get to see him, and I still love him so much,” he admitted out loud.

The carrier’s heart thumped heavily in his chest. Green eyes watered. “I never meant to keep you from him. I tell him about you during the day, and I still have your red Marine sweatshirt. Jason loves to sleep with it,” the carrier revealed.

Finally, Jethro turned his gaze to the carrier that still had a solid place in his heart. “I know Tony,” Jethro’s voice was soft, “I don’t blame you.”

Even with things still unresolved, Tony still smiled and scooted a little bit closer to his family. “He is the spitting image of you,” he commented while returning his gaze to his sweet baby boy.

Jason smiled at having both of his parents’ attentions on him, as it should be. Gibbs let out an amused chuckle. “But he has your smile… I’m glad. You have a great smile,” Jethro replied.

For a little while, neither one of them said another word. When it came time to feed Jason, Jethro allowed Tony to take the seat and handed Jason into his capable hands. However, Jethro remained with the pair. It was not uncomfortable to have Jethro with them as Tony fed their son. It felt… right. Everything felt comfortable and right at the moment for both men.

Chapter Text

The next few weeks had been a vast improvement for Tony and the team as a whole. It did not take too long to develop and grow comfortable in a new routine. In all honesty, it was taking two routines and combining them. Tony would wake up every morning and take care of himself and Jason. Then the carrier would drive to the Navy Yard and drop Jason off at daycare. Work throughout the day and stop to feed Jason every few hours. Then he would pick up Jason and go home. Depending on the case, Tony may work at home before going to bed. If there was no need to work at home, Tony would drive over to Gibbs’ home so Jason could spend time with his father. Then Tony would take himself and his son home, go to bed. Then it was a new day, and the routine started all over again.

One of the best things was taking Jason over to his father’s house. Tony looked forward to those nights. Jethro was such a good dad, and he was so natural with Jason. Gibbs did not hesitate to change a dirty diaper or make funny faces to amuse the young baby. The carrier was suddenly reminded of the fact that it was not the first time Leroy Jethro Gibbs was made into a father. He already went through this once with Kelly, the daughter Gibbs loved and lost so many years ago.

By having Jason, Tony understood so much better the pain Gibbs endured. Obviously, the carrier did not lose his son, but he understood the constant fear for a child. Tony would do anything to protect his precious baby boy; he would die for his son. Since laying eyes on Jason for the first time, the new mother had the ingrained fear of losing his son. Even though he never lost a child, Tony now fully understood how the loss can truly break a person better than before having children. It made the green eyed male see his love in a whole new light; Tony was better understanding the inner workings that made Gibbs… well Gibbs.

It was one such night that found Tony and Jason in Gibbs’ living room. Tony had just finished Jason’s bedtime feed, and already the infant was sound asleep in his mother’s arms. Tony gazed at his son with a warm smile on his lips. Beside him, Jethro was on the couch eyeing his son with fondness in his ice blue orbs. With a sigh, Tony shifted his eyes to the man sitting beside him. “I guess we should probably go for the night,” Tony spoke in a soft whisper.

“You could always stay the night Tony,” Gibbs immediately responded in an equal whisper, “there is plenty of room for the both of you. You’re both tired.”

Spending the night here… such a tempting offer. Tony could feel his heart flutter in his chest as hope blossomed within it. Maybe he was not over things as much as he thought it was. Before he could say yes, Tony needed time to think about he actually wanted from Gibbs. It would not be fair to Jethro otherwise. “Raincheck,” the green eyed male instead offered.

Disappointment flashed in Jethro’s icy orbs; Tony certainly thought he saw that emotion flash in the other man’s eyes. With barely an audible side, Jethro reluctantly nodded his head. “Alright,” he relented before getting to his feet.

Tony hated the distance between the two of them; it felt so wrong. Did Tony miss something? Why did it feel so wrong? With more questions than answers, Tony got to his feet as well and headed out the door. He needed to think tonight about what he wanted exactly from Jethro. The two of them could not stay in this in between phase forever. It was time to make some hard decisions.

The next morning, Tony walked into work with a shit eating grin on his handsome face. There was a skip in his step, and it seemed as though the heavy weight on his shoulders was finally lifted. The carrier thought long and hard last night before drifting off into the land of dreams. Things were so different today than they were when Franks died. First off, Tony’s body was not overwhelmed with hormones as he prepared to bring his son into this world, and Tony was over his baby blues. Finally, the carrier was thinking clearly and logically; he knew what he wanted and was willing to finally go out and seek it.

His positive and giddy mood was easily picked up by others. Ziva was already at her desk when Tony rounded the corner from the elevator. She raised an eyebrow as she watched him whistle a tune as he dropped his bag and sat down at his desk. “Someone is in a rather pleasant mood,” she commented with a curious eyebrow.

McGee turned his head and studied the carrier sitting at the desk beside him. The younger male was in complete agreement with his female colleague. “Yeah, you are like the cat that ate the canary,” McGee agreed.

Tony leaned back in his chair and crossed his hands behind his skull. The smile never wavered from his lips. “Nothing can ruin the mood I’m in,” the carrier began to explain.

Ziva got to her feet and moved across the bullpen; she was shameless as she sat on the edge of her partner’s desk. Her dark orbs studied the carrier like she was about to start an interrogation. “Care to explain,” she kindly demanded answers from him.

After all of her support, Tony was not going to lie to her. “Things have been really good,” he stated as he relaxed his arms and moved them down to the arms of the chair, “Especially with Gibbs. We’ve been spending a lot of time together these last couple of weeks.”

She just barely beat McGee in asking, “You think the two of you are going to get back together fully?” She was probably the only one besides Abby who knew the full story between the animosity between Tony and Gibbs.

Tony’s smiled warmed and widened. He really hoped so; it was what he wanted. “I want us to, and I don’t know…. I think he does too.”

Ziva lightly punched her partner in the shoulder. “I’m glad to hear it. What made you have this change of heart?” she wondered.

The green eyed male leaned in closer to her. “Jason and I were at his house last night. It was late, and he asked me to spend the night. It has to mean something, right?” Tony kept his voice soft and quiet.

“Gibbs is always direct in his actions and words,” the former Mossad Officer agreed, “I am happy and wish you the best.”

“Same,” McGee quickly added. He did not fully get what Tony and Gibbs saw in one another, but the younger agent wished nothing but happiness for his teammates.

“Thanks,” Tony was so unbelievably happy at the moment.

The moment was broken by Gibbs storming in and announcing, “Gear up! We got a dead reservist in Arlington.”

Although Tony would like nothing more than to talk to Jethro and share last night’s revelation, the carrier knew that conversation was going to have to wait until they were alone and not working. Soon….

The case was a messy one. The team had to determine if Dr. Robert Banks killed himself or if he was indeed murder. The case got even more crazy with the revelation of PsyOps. Secret government mission always made things rather complicated. Not to mention, the MCRT did not always play well with others. No doubt that there will be a “liaison” to make sure nothing classified of PsyOps was leaked.

The “liaison” from PsyOps was Dr. Samantha Ryan, who has history with Director Vance. Her making Director Vance nervous, no matter how much fun that was to witness, was not the issue. No, everyone, especially Tony, noticed the sparks fly between Dr. Ryan and Gibbs. Of course Dr. Ryan was a red head and exactly Gibbs’ type. Besides the usual hair color to spark his interests, she was intelligent, quick witted, and somehow involved in the military; she had that attitude that hinted that she did not take crap from others.

Tony was silently seething every time he spotted Gibbs and Dr. Ryan together. He was reminded of when Gibbs was first introduced to Col. Hollis Mann. Ziva said it right, they were seeing the future fourth ex Mrs. Gibbs. After investigating that bombing together, it was not long before those two were sleeping together. How long before Gibbs took Dr. Ryan to his bed?

When Dr. Ryan left Tony, Gibbs, and Ziva alone, the green eyed male had no reservations when he questioned his boss, “You and Dr. Ryan seemed to getting along REAL well….”

The team leader shook his head, not understanding his senior field agent’s words. “We are working the case,” Gibbs answered absentmindedly.

The green eyed male shifted closer to the other male. “Are you sure it’s just official business? Because it looked to me like the two of you were undressing each other with your eyes,” Tony immediately responded.

Gibbs glared at the green eyed male in front of him; Jethro was not liking Tony’s attitude one bit. The former Marine had no qualms in getting in the carrier’s face. “Go help McGee find us a lead,” the team leader snapped with an angry glare of his icy orbs.

Jade orbs were equally lit with an inner fire. “Fine!” Tony yelled back before storming off. He did not want to witness Gibbs flirting with anyone else anyways. Maybe Tony was wrong about wanting to fix his relationship with Gibbs.

Blue eyes then turned to his remaining team member. Ziva’s eyes were wide, and her mouth was open in shock from what she just witnessed. Icy orbs were still flaming with anger. “You got something to say as well?” he demanded.

Ziva shook her head and swallowed. She had never seen Tony truly jealous before, but his jealous did not come out of the left field. “I do, but I know now is not the time,” she answered truthfully.

Closing his eyes, Gibbs took a deep breath and released some of the tension he was feeling. Where the hell did Tony get acting like that? “Good, then let’s go,” Gibbs ordered his agent.

With reluctance, Ziva followed their fearless leader hoping that things could not get any worse.

The case of Dr. Robert Banks was solved. His daughter, Amber, wanted his life insurance money, so she convinced her lover Brian Mitchell to murder Dr. Banks. Money really does turn people into horrid, ugly monsters. Gibbs and the team were sickened by the daughter and her actions. She deserved to spend the rest of her life behind bars for her actions, and Gibbs hoped that she never got the chance of parole.

That night, Tony did not bring Jason over to his place. Ever since that confrontation in the garage, there has been such a rift between the two of them. Gibbs did not understand what was going through the carrier’s thick skull. Yes, Gibbs found Dr. Samantha Ryan attractive, but that did not mean anything. Jethro was sure that Tony found other men and women attractive over the course of their years together. After all, Tony always appreciated human beauty.

Besides, Jethro was still unsure where Tony stood with their relationship. With the amount of time they had been spending together, the blue eyed male was hoping that Tony was ready to come back to Gibbs and put all his chips in their relationship. The other night, Jethro even offered the olive branch of mending their relationship by making the offer to spend the night. However, Tony turned him down. Jethro had to believe that Tony did not want to try and mend things between them. If that were the case, then it did not explain the carrier’s giddy mood the next day. Gibbs never admitted to being good at reading the emotions of his romantic partners. Tony was the one better suited at that.

It was about four in the morning when Gibbs was woken up by his phone ringing. Not even bothering to check the caller id, Gibbs answered, “Yeah Gibbs.” He wiped his face as he sat up; he was still exhausted.

“It’s me Samantha Ryan,” came Sam’s voice over the phone, “I just wanted to thank you again for finding out the truth about what happened to Bob.”

“And you called me in the middle of the night just to say thank you?” Gibbs responded.

“You have a real gift for making people feel safe Jethro,” Sam commented.

Even though she could not see him, he raised a curious eyebrow at her words. “That it?” he wondered.

“Actually, I’m craving some breakfast,” she spoke in a rather flirtatious tone.

“I know a twenty-four hour diner nearby. You asking me out on a date?” Gibbs replied.

“It's the middle of the night, Agent Gibbs -- you tell me,” Dr. Ryan was not so subtle.

For a moment, Gibbs did not say a word. His thoughts were filled with Tony. Jethro felt such guilt, but at the same time he was not sure if he should be feeling guilty.

Dr. Ryan took his silence as an easy let down. “Oh, I’m sorry-” she tried to back track to keep her dignity.

“Not right now is good. Another time?” Gibbs replied with second option. He could not start anything with her until he talked to Tony first.

“Alright, let me know when your calendar opens up,” she stated before ending the call.

Jethro leaned back; he could not avoid Tony and their issues any more. It was time the two of them talked once and for all.

At a decent hour, Jethro made the journey to Tony’s apartment. It was still early, but Tony and Jason should be awake getting ready for the day. The blue eyed male took a deep breath before knocking on Tony’s door.

It took a minute for Tony to answer the door. He was clearly in the middle of dressing for the day when Jethro knocked. His dress shirt was not buttoned and untucked in his pants. The carrier seemed surprised to see Gibbs here so early. “Everything ok Jethro?” Tony asked while leaning against the door frame.

Blue eyes stared into forest green orbs. “We need to talk,” Jethro got straight to the point, “can we talk inside?”

Tony moved to the side and motioned for the other male to come inside the apartment. When Gibbs entered the apartment, his eyes glanced around for their son. The carrier quickly realized Gibbs’ actions. “Jason is still in his crib. We had a rough night last night. Jason would not let me put him down. Kept screaming and crying; just got him down three hours ago,” Tony explained. He wanted Jason to get as much as sleep as possible now, or else he was going to be dealing with a cranky baby all day.

Gibbs took a seat on Tony’s couch. “Have a seat,” the older man stated.

The carrier raised his eyebrows and took a seat. “Wow, must be serious then,” Tony commented.

When Tony took a seat, Gibbs finally opened up to the carrier. “Dr. Samantha Ryan asked me out on a date.”

The green eyed male’s face was blank and showed no emotion. However, inside he was roiling. Why was he not surprised by this turn of events? “Can’t say I’m surprised,” Tony commented while trying to keep the bitterness out of his voice.

Jethro hated when Tony got like this; the former Marine could never read Tony in this shut down state. “Before I gave her an answer, I wanted to talk to you first,” Gibbs elaborated.

Tony should have known that Gibbs would want to move on to someone more of his tastes. After all, how often did Tony see Gibbs date a carrier and not a red headed woman? Now that Tony had their baby, his usefulness ran out.

Getting to his feet, the green eyed male turned away from his now former lover. “Why should I care? It’s not like we’re really together anymore. If you want to go out with her, then go for it. I don’t see why I should stop you,” the carrier swallowed the pain in his voice.

The older man was beyond frustration. Did Tony not understand? Jethro was not going to play these games anymore. “Fine then,” Gibbs snapped before storming out of the apartment. Neither one of them could admit the truth to one another.

The sound of the door slamming woke Jason from his slumber. He wailed as he was awakened rather rudely. As Tony soothed his son, he wiped the silent tears from his eyes. Did he just lose Jethro forever?

Abby rushed over to Tony’s that night. She did not even bother knocking before heading inside. “Tony, you are not going to believe it!” the bubbly goth exclaimed as she shut the door behind her.

She scanned the apartment and did not immediately see her rock. “Tony?” she called out.

“In here!” came Tony’s voice from Jason’s nursery.

She headed toward his voice and found him sitting in the rocking chair he used when feeding Jason. The baby was not in his mother’s arms, but on the play mat across from his crib. Abby moved right into Tony’s person, climbed into his lap, and wrapped her arms around his neck in a comforting hug.

Tony was surprised by Abby’s actions. “What’s the matter Abby?” Tony wondered.

“Gibbs is on a date with that psychologist lady!” she stated before burying her face in his neck.

Realization filled the carrier. He hated the news too. “I know Abs,” Tony whispered as he sought comfort in her embrace.

She pushed her head up to stare into his features. “Are you ok?” she asked. If she was this upset by the news, she could not imagine how he was feeling.

He thought about lying to her to make her feel better, but then he will still be just as miserable. Truthfully, he imagined this is what rock bottom felt like. “No Abs, I’m not ok,” he answered her truthfully, “He came and talked to me, and I think I messed up. It’s all my fault. I told him to go for it if he wanted to. It’s not like he is ever going to really let me in anyways. I will always be someone he just keeps around to amuse now and then.” In Tony’s mind, Gibbs never even really loved Tony in the first place, and Tony doubted that would change anytime soon. No matter how much he wanted to believe otherwise.

At first, the forensic scientist did not know what to say. How could Tony just push Gibbs away like that? But she knew she was not really angry at the carrier. Tony was one who locked down when emotions got really rough. Instead, she took a moment to study her second favorite man. Abby chose not to say anything about the tears on Tony’s cheeks. No, Tony did not need the reminder. Instead, she offered silent comfort in the only way she knew how. How did things end up so bad?

Chapter Text

It has been just shy of three weeks since the team met Dr. Ryan and solved the case involving the death of Dr. Robert Banks. It had been a very long nineteen days, and everyone was on edge. Tim, Ziva, Abby, and even Ducky felt heightened tension between the MCRT team leader and his second in command. Hell, Director Vance kept his distance as well, no doubt sensing the animosity between Gibbs and DiNozzo. No one knew how long it was going to last, or how it was going to end.

In the same nineteen days, Gibbs and Dr. Samantha Ryan continued to see one another. She showed up one night to pick him up for a date. Both Ziva and McGee agreed this was probably the worst night. Tony was absolutely miserable and irritable to others when he saw the two together.

When Tony walked back into the bullpen and saw the two together, the carrier was filled with the green-eyed monster known as jealousy. His eyes narrowed and he commented as he walked back to his desk, “Dr. Ryan nice to see you again. I guess Gibbs found himself another red head to keep him company. Sure does love them.”

Both Ziva and McGee stared at the scene before them with open mouth shock. Neither one of them could believe Tony just said that, and they then turned their focus to Gibbs. Their boss was visibly seething as he stared down the carrier. If looks could kill….

Dr. Ryan was equal parts offended and shocked as well. She had not spent much time with Gibbs’ senior field agent, but she understood that there was something between Gibbs and the carrier. Every time she asked in the last couple of weeks, Jethro refused to speak about Tony. He would tell her to drop it. With the obvious animosity DiNozzo displayed toward her just now, Dr. Ryan turned toward her boyfriend.

Gibbs and DiNozzo glared at one another in silence. Neither one of them moved nor blinked as though they were playing the classic game ‘Uncle’. When Dr. Ryan called Jethro’s name again, Gibbs was the first one to turn away from the stare down. Tony seemed disappointed when he lost the icy stare from the blue eyed male.

“Let’s go,” Jethro whispered to the red head in his arms. As they headed for the elevator, Gibbs turned back toward the carrier who was so important to him. “I’ll deal with you later,” Jethro threateningly whispered to the mother of his son.

Tony swallowed and finally appeared aghast for his actions. His green eyes lowered as he swallowed down his emotions. The carrier could not help it; he hated seeing the two of them together. She was everything Tony was not. She was probably exactly what Gibbs wanted in a life partner, who was most certainly not Tony. No, the green eyed male was not going to get his dream happily ever after.

When Gibbs and Dr. Ryan got on the elevator, McGee and Ziva crowded the carrier at his desk. “Tony,” McGee called, “what the hell?”

Instead of answering verbally, the senior field agent shrugged his shoulders. He was still infuriated seeing Jethro and that woman together. In truth though, it was never going to be easy to see Jethro with anyone else.

Ziva shook her head and ‘tsked’ her partner. “Jealousy is not a good look for you Tony,” she observed as she crossed her arms across her chest.

Green eyes turned to chocolate orbs. Both set of eyes were narrowed as they studied one another. Like usual, Tony was the one who turned away first. “I’m not jealous,” Tony weakly lied.

McGee sighed out of frustration of the whole mess between DiNozzo and Gibbs. “I don’t understand what the problem is between you and Gibbs. I thought the two of you were together. What the hell happened?”

Slamming his palms down on his desk, the carrier got to his feet. Tony opened his mouth to speak, but no words escaped his throat. A second later, he closed his mouth before grabbing his things and heading out. “I have to grab Jason,” Tony explained as he walked toward the elevator.

When the elevator doors closed behind him, Tim and Ziva turned toward one another. “This is going to end in disaster,” McGee stated before he headed back toward his desk.

Ziva nodded her head in agreement as she too returned to her desk. “Both of them are quite stubborn,” she agreed with her teammate.

McGee’s hazel eyes searched for any answers on the woman’s person. “You think there is anything we can do to help things along?” Tim wondered as he grabbed his things.

“I think this can only be solved by Tony and Gibbs whenever they are ready to talk to one another,” Ziva explained. She understood how the communication failed between the two lovers.

Tony and Gibbs were not going to solve anything until they finally spoke to one another, and eventually that will happen. Ziva was certain. Everyone in NCIS was waiting anxiously for that moment.

Jethro and Samantha ended up at a Mexican restaurant. When they were given their appetizer, Dr. Ryan’s phone rang. “Hey, how are you? Yeah, I’ll be home late. Be good alright.” She then hung up her cell and placed her phone back in her purse.

Gibbs stared at her with questioning eyes. She lasted only a moment before she broke down and explained, “That was my son. We always check in with one another. Try to have an open and honest relationship. Do you have any children?”

In the past, Jethro never would have shared his secret of Shannon and Kelly. After his last coma though, Gibbs was trying to be more open; he learned it was not healthy to keep his feelings bottled and shoved away. It was a dishonor to their memory. To be a good father to Jason, Jethro needed to heal. “Had a daughter,” he answered truthfully, “also have a son too.”

When she heard about his daughter, Samantha reached forward and held his hand in hers. “I’m sorry for your loss,” she offered her condolences. Then the rest of his words finally processed in her brain. “You have a son?” she double checked.

The blue eyed male nodded his head once in confirmation. “Name’s Jason,” Gibbs revealed.

Dr. Samantha Ryan was a highly intelligent woman, so it was easy for her to connect the dots. “Is Jason your son with Tony?” She recognized that Tony was a carrier who recently gave birth, and it would explain the animosity between the two.

Jethro turned away from the red head. Once again, his thoughts were filled with the carrier who had such a hold on him. Tony was almost always in his thoughts; sometimes the Marine wished he could get the carrier out of his mind.

The red head swallowed and turned her head away. “I’ll take that as a yes,” she spoke as she collected herself.

“Don’t ask me about it. I don’t want to talk about Tony when I’m with you,” he responded. Jethro needed to separate the two.

Even though Samantha wanted to protest, she decided to drop the issue and enjoy her time with this man. It was too soon in the relationship to demand answers about his ex. After all, she had not told him anything about her ex-husband.

A few days later, the MCRT caught a new case. It was a joint task force with the federal prosecutors. A Naval officer is the key witness in an FBI case. NCIS has been asked to lead the witness’ protection. Gibbs and his team were currently waiting in the conference room for the lead prosecutor to arrive. Gibbs and McGee were on one side of the table; McGee reviewing the details of the case with the team. Tony and Ziva were on the other side; Gibbs and DiNozzo avoided sharing eye contact with one another. Tony still could not stand the sight of his baby daddy and not picture Jethro and his new red head together. Why was DiNozzo the one alone and miserable?

When McGee was done reviewing the case, Director Vance entered the conference room. He was not alone. Beside the Director was an extremely tall and handsome man. The stranger had to be six and a half feet tall; broad and strong in posture. It was clear whoever this man was kept in shape; his muscles were still somewhat visible even under his three-piece blue suit. Olive skin was well tanned, which spoke of Mediterranean origins. Moving up to his face, the new arrival had sharp and strong features. He had a chiseled jaw with strong cheek bones. His lips made the perfect Cupid’s bow. His eyes were this amber brown with some specs of green in the hue. His hair was silky black; brushed back in a professional manner. His raven locks just went passed his ears. There was no doubt this man was attractive, and two people in the room definitely fell under the man’s spell.

The stranger’s amber orbs turned to a particular person. When amber locked onto jade, the stranger licked his lips as his pupil’s dilated with desire. There was an instant connection between the two.

“Gibbs, I would like to introduce you and your team to federal prosecutor David Jenkins. You will all be working together,” Director Vance introduced, “Jenkins, I want you to meet team leader Special Agent Gibbs and his team.”

When Vance said his name, Gibbs stood up and shook the prosecutor’s hand. The team leader motioned for his subordinates to follow in his lead. McGee was the first to be on his feet and offer his hand. “Special Agent McGee, nice to meet you.”

Jenkins shook the offered hand. “Nice to meet both of you,” he spoke before turning to the other two members on the other side of the table.

Both Ziva and Tony raced to greet the handsome man first. Ziva beat her partner to the punch. She offered her hand and eyed the handsome man up and down. “Ziva David,” she greeted with a hint of a purr in her voice.

The federal prosecutor smiled awkwardly and returned her greeting. Then he paused a moment and took a moment to eye the final member he had yet to be introduced to. A flirtatious smiled appeared on Jenkins’ lips as he eyed the green-eyed male. “And you are?” the prosecutor wondered.

There was a flirtatious smile on the carrier’s lips. Licking his lips, Tony offered his hand as he greeted, “Call me Tony. Tony DiNozzo.”

“Pleasure to meet you Tony,” Jenkins purred, “Please call me David.”

Awkward for everyone else, the two just spent a moment staring at one another. Ziva and McGee glanced at one another. They were not oblivious to the obvious flirting going on between their teammate and the prosecutor. It was just shocking to see Tony openly flirt with someone who was not Gibbs.

Meanwhile, Gibbs was absolutely seething at what he was witnessing. Why the hell was Tony flirting with this man at work! Did Tony not have a modicum of professionalism?

Director Vance’s eyes swept the room, and he recognized the issues. Clearing his throat, he grabbed everyone’s attentions. “Jenkins, please have a seat. Now, let’s go over the plan,” the director ordered.

Tony took his seat and motioned for David to sit beside him. David gladly took the offer, and Ziva was forced to sit opposite of the Director. Her dark eyes scanned the other side of the table; Gibbs was glaring murderously at his senior field agent. Whatever game Tony was playing was most certainly not going to end well.

It was agreed that Tony and Ziva were going to be the ones physically with their witness. McGee and Gibbs were going to run things back at the office. Officer Thomas Wright was set to give his testimony in two days. Fornell was the lead on the investigation, so Gibbs went to his old friend for information.

The former Marine met with the federal agent in their usual park. Fornell was waiting on their usual park bench. “Jethro,” Tobias greeted with a small smile on his face.

Gibbs handed the second cup of coffee in his hands to his friend as he took the seat beside Fornell. Both men each took a sip of their favored caffeinated beverage before either one of them spoke. “I assume that you are the one who brought NCIS in on this,” Jethro commented while keeping his icy gaze forward.

Fornell rested his coffee on top of his knee. “FBI was a bit overworked on this one. Figured you like taking care of your own,” Tobias responded with a slight shrug of his shoulders.

Jethro was not going to say it out loud, but Tobias had him there. “What can you tell me about the federal prosecutor on the case?” Fornell could give Gibbs the dirt on Jenkins, so Jethro could better understand the man’s intentions with DiNozzo. After all, both Gibbs and DiNozzo had Jason to think about before acting so recklessly.

Tobias turned his head to face his friend. Gibbs was a man of few words, but those few he did speak did speak volumes. Seems like Gibbs had it out for the prosecutor for some weird reason; Fornell could not wait to find out why. “David Jenkins?” the FBI agent double checked.

Ice blue eyes narrowed. His lip remained silent as he waited for his answers.

The FBI agent was loving this! He hid his smile before sharing, “I don’t know him personally, but I have worked with him a handful of times. Good guy. Solid prosecutor who has a great success rate on cases.” Fornell did not mind Jenkins prosecuting Fornell’s cases.

Finally, the root of the problem was revealed when Gibbs further interrogated, “And what about socially?” There had to be something wrong with Jenkins.

Tobias rubbed his jaw. “I don’t know much about him outside work,” he answered truthfully, “Not married, and no serious relationship as far as I am aware.” Tobias did not remember seeing any picture of any sort of significant other in Jenkins’ office.

Gibbs took another sip of his coffee. “Doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one,” the NCIS agent retorted. It was like the former sniper was looking for information that would prove that Jenkins was no good.

Now Fornell was really intrigued. Gibbs would only get this way if…. “Who is Jenkins flirting with?” Tobias wondered, “Ziva? Abby? One of your exes? DiNozzo?” If Jenkins was putting the moves on DiNozzo… God help them all.

Cursing underneath his breath, Gibbs got to his feet. Swallowing the last of his coffee, Gibbs tossed the now empty cup in the closest trash can. “He better be good,” the former Marine commented before walking away.

When Gibbs was just out of sight, Fornell laughed aloud. “This is going to be interesting,” he spoke before finishing his own coffee.

Ziva sighed when she heard a knock on the safe house door. Checking in with Tony, she was cautious as she approached the door. “It’s me Jenkins,” the prosecutor called from the other side of the door.

The former Mossad officer confirmed his identity using the peephole before opening the door. Jenkins smiled the doorway and held up a brown paper bag. “I brought lunch,” he spoke as he looked in on the apartment. There was an ulterior motive for his visit, more than preparing his witness testimony.

At that moment, Tony popped his head around the corner. “Did I hear someone say lunch?” the Italian male asked.

The smile on David’s face widened when his amber eyes landed on the carrier. “Tony,” David greeted enthusiastically, “I hope you like cheesesteak subs.” He then handed the bag to the carrier.

Tony licked his lips and peeked into the bag. “Love them ever since working in Philly. Thank you. Care to sit down?” Tony responded.

“Love to,” David replied as he joined the carrier at the little two seat table.

Ziva eyed the situation with some caution. “Officer Wright is in the bedroom. I know he is ready to go over his testimony with you and get this whole mess over with.”

However, David and Tony completely ignored her; they only had eyes for one another. “I will after I eat,” Jenkins spoke before clearing his throat. “so Tony, you always want to be in law enforcement?”

“Pretty much,” Tony responded with a shrug of his shoulders, “You always want to be a lawyer?”

David leaned back in his seat; his body posture was open. “I would say so. My favorite movie growing up was To Kill a Mockingbird, and I wanted to be just like Atticus,” David explained.

Waggling his eyebrows, the carrier leaned closer to the other male. “To Kill a Mockingbird, that’s a classic. Explains your penchant for three-piece suits,” the carrier observed.

The lawyer laughed as he padded his lapel. “Gregory Peck is the epitome of cool. I grew up wanting to be like him and maybe getting my lovely lead as a dangerous but beautiful rebel like James Dean or Liz Taylor.”

Green eyes widened. David preferred carriers to women? “You love movies?” Tony may have been more excited by the man’s hobbies than his romantic preferences.

Jenkins nodded his head. “I grew up in Hell’s Kitchen poor, but my Nana always had movies for me and my siblings to watch when my parents were at work,” the lawyer shared.

Tony was not so subtle as he eyed the male across from him. “Well you certainly turned out right as rain,” the carrier flirted.

David was not so subtle as he flirted back, “Swoon- I’ll catch you.”

Ziva visibly gagged as she watched the two men openly flirt with one another. Thankfully, the Wright took the stand tomorrow. Then she would not have to witness this anymore. When Jenkins left the safe house though, her and Tony were going to have a long talk about his actions.

The next day, the trial went off without a hitch. Officer Wright gave his testimony, which definitely tipped the scales of the trial to the prosecutors’ side. The U.S. Marshalls were going to assess if Wright needed further protection, but everyone doubted it was necessary.

The MCRT were currently writing up their reports on the case. Gibbs and DiNozzo had barely spoken one word to each other since David Jenkins entered the picture. Jason was currently with his Auntie Abs as his parents finished their paperwork.

It was evening, but not too late when David Jenkins returned to the Navy Yard. He needed to see the carrier who worked with NCIS one more time. Getting off the elevator, the lawyer headed to the bullpen toward Gibbs’ team. His amber eyes lit up when he spotted the object of his desire. “Tony,” David called.

Every member of Gibbs’ team turned toward the lawyer. There was a confused look on the green eyed male’s face as he stood up. “David, what are you doing here?” Tony wondered.

David moved closer to the beautiful carrier. “Had to see you again,” Jenkin’s cheeks were flaming with embarrassment, “Would you like to go on a date with me sometime?”

Both Ziva and McGee’s heads snapped toward their team leader. Even Tony was guilty at looking at the man who had stolen his heart so many years ago. The former Marine’s face was blank as he got to his feet. Ice met forest green, and neither one of them said a word. A second later, Gibbs was storming out of the bull pen and towards the elevator. His silence was deafening.

Tony swallowed and blinked away his disappointment. It hurt to realize how little Jethro actually cared about the carrier. Turning back to the lawyer, Tony answered, “I’d love to.”

Chapter Text

Another couple of weeks went by, and things continued to get worse. Tony went to dinner with David Jenkins the following night after the case wrapped up. But it did not end there. No, the two continued to see one another. After every date the pair went on, the lawyer always sent the carrier a bouquet of flowers at work. Whenever Ziva spotted some flowers being delivered, she could not help but tease her partner.

“Somebody had a good date last night. I assume they are from David like the others,” she teased in good fun.

Tony’s cheeks were red and he read the card attached to the bouquet. “Thanks for helping me not burn down my apartment. I promise not to make Italian anymore to impress you!” – David.

It seemed like the man was too good to be true. No man should be that kind, considerate, and handsome. Furthermore, why was this man interested in Tony? Yes, Tony was undoubtedly good looking and good in bed, but he was unworthy of such a perfect man. David even knew about Jason, and that did not scare the lawyer away. In fact, David was looking forward to meeting Tony’s son. It was almost too perfect.

Putting the flowers on top of the filing cabinet, DiNozzo turned back to his female colleague. “As good looking as he is, he sure can’t cook,” the green eyed male revealed.

Ziva shifted to sit on the edge of Tony’s desk. “I think it’s getting serious between the two of you,” she commented as she crossed her arms across her chest.

The senior field agent propped himself against the filing cabinet. It was just them and McGee currently in the bullpen; no Gibbs in sight at the moment. It put the carrier at ease; Tony could not talk about David anywhere near Jethro. Everything involving Jethro was still so muddled.

Leaning in closer to his partner, Tony admitted, “He wants to take me out Friday. Plans to do the whole nine yards. Dinner, romance, and everything. Asked me to get a sitter for Jason.”

The dark haired woman waggled her eyebrows. “Wow, must be a special night. Have the two of you….” She let the implication speak for itself.

Green eyes scanned the bullpen before Tony spoke again. His voice was soft and barely above a whisper. “No, we haven’t. There hasn’t been anyone since….” Tony knew that if he said Gibbs’ name, then he would most certainly appear.

Ziva’s eyes widened in shock. She was initially surprised that Tony and David had not slept together, but then she really thought about it. Tony was so completely different when he was with Gibbs; Ziva had never seen the carrier happier. She realized she was not so surprised Tony abstaining from sex. If the green eyed male slept with someone else, then it was like closing the door to Gibbs.

“Well Tony,” she responded after a long moment, “do whatever makes you happy.” If Tony was ready to move on, then he found the right guy to move on to.

Before Tony could add more to the conversation, the elevator dinged, and Gibbs stepped into the bullpen. His trusty coffee in hand, and the former Marine sniper moved with purpose. His ice blue eyes scanned the members of his team as he rounded the corner. His eyes narrowed when he spotted the fresh bouquet of flowers by Tony’s desk. Jealousy fueled the team leader; Tony was still seeing that lawyer. Jethro was still unhappy seeing Tony in the arms of another person.

“Flirt on your own time DiNozzo!” Gibbs snapped at his second in command, “Gear up. We got a dead body in Shenandoah National Park.” The team leader did not stop and wait to see if his team were following his commands.

The smile on the green eyed male’s face quickly vanished. Gibbs always had a way of ruining things for the carrier. With a sigh and a roll of his jade orbs, Tony grabbed his bag and followed their “fearless” leader. The carrier was ready for Friday night, which was two days away, because the carrier needed to the break to forget about his heartache for just a little bit.

For the next few hours, the team worked the crime scene before heading back to the Navy Yard. A corpse in Navy blues was unearthed in Shenandoah National Park. Until Ducky and Abby could discern the victim’s identity, there was not much for the team to do at the moment. It was already after six at night, and they were at a stalemate. The daycare kept calling Tony to pick up Jason for the night. Gibbs decided that they worked enough for tonight; they would pick up the case in the morning.

When Tony picked up his son for the night, he returned to the bullpen to gather his belongings. Ziva was already gone for the night, and McGee was waiting on Abby. The pair had plans for the evening apparently. Gibbs was also there, but the team leader was not alone. No, standing in front of Gibbs’ desk was Dr. Sam Ryan. Tony’s jade orbs narrowed at the sight of her. What the hell was she doing here?

Samantha held her raincoat in her arms as she waited for Jethro to gather his things. “Are you ready to go?” she asked her companion.

Gibbs opened his desk to grab his badge and gun. After putting them on his person, he answered, “Yep. Let’s go.”

Tony stood in the middle of the bullpen with Jason cooing in his shoulder. The infant was clearly attempting to get his mother’s attention, which he had not had in hours. The green eyed male’s face was a cross between shock and contempt as he stared at his former flame and the woman who took his love.

“Dr. Ryan, wasn’t expecting you here,” Tony commented as he schooled his features into a blank expression.

The psychiatrist turned to fully face the carrier who she knew held animosity toward her; at the same time, Jethro moved to stand beside the red head. Samantha’s eyes widened when she realized Tony was not alone. “Is that Jason?” she asked as she pointed to the stroller.

His overprotective mama bear instincts went into overdrive, and Tony shifted to stand in front of the stroller and keep his son away from prying eyes. “Yes, and we are just leaving,” Tony snapped at the red head.

“Tony,” Gibbs called in a chastising voice. Tony’s behavior was completely out of line.

Green eyes turned to his former lover, and for a moment, neither one of them said a word. Gibbs’ stare down was hard and unrelenting. Finally, Tony diverted his eyes, and moved aside. Once again, Gibbs proved how little the carrier mattered to him.

“Sorry,” Tony spoke, though his tone was not very apologetic, “Just grabbing my things and leaving. Have a great night Gibbs and Dr. Ryan.” He then grabbed his things from his desk before heading toward the elevator.

When he pressed the down button, Tony turned back toward the desks. Ice blue eyes were staring down the carrier. Forest green eyes watered. The male carrier knew his behavior was completely out of line, but he also could not apologize. He was never going to be ok with seeing Gibbs with someone else.

The elevator doors opened, and Tony reluctantly got inside. As soon as the elevator doors closed, Tony’s phone dinged with the notification of a new text message. Grabbing his phone from his pocket, he checked the message. It was from David.

‘Hope you had a great day today. Stuck in the office late tonight. Can’t wait for Friday!’

The message lessened the frown on the carrier’s face. Sending a response back to his current beau, Tony returned his phone to his pocket and glanced back at his baby boy. Those Gibbs blue eyes stared back at him.

“I guess I should happy that at least someone finds me attractive and wants to spend time with me,” mother commented to his son, even though Jason could not understand him.

Releasing a shaky breath, Tony smiled at his boy. David Jenkins wanted to be with Tony, and he was a great guy. Why could Tony not get his heart to invest in the lawyer though?

Jethro and Samantha grabbed some dinner and then headed back to Gibbs’ house. Each of them grabbed a couple of beers before heading down to the basement. “Thanks again for taking me out. Parker has been in such a mood these last few days. School has really gotten to him,” Samantha spoke as she sat down on the steps.

The NCIS agent smiled at her before opening his own beer and taking a long sip. He then placed the beer on the work bench and focused on his date. “Sorry about earlier. Tony was….” Jethro did not even know where to start with DiNozzo.

Dr. Ryan waved him off. “You don’t know need to apologize for his behavior,” she immediately responded.

Then she got to her feet and moved close to his personal space. She forced their eyes to meet. “But we do need to talk though Jethro.”

Shifting his weight to be more comfortable, he asked her, “What do you want to talk about?”

She placed her hand in his and rubbed circles into the back of his palm; however, her eyes never left his. “Spending time with you has been a joy,” Samantha began to explain, “I care about you, and you make me feel things that I haven’t felt in a long time.”

Being divorced three times made Jethro an expert in these types of conversations. “But….” Jethro sensed there was a ‘but’ coming.

A sad smile formed on her lips. “But,” she emphasized the word ‘but’ before continuing, “I am not so sure you feel the way same way.”

One would have to be blind to not be able to see the lingering feelings between Gibbs and DiNozzo. For a while, Dr. Ryan thought it was just Tony who had not let go of his feelings, but she was wrong. When Gibbs told her about Jenkins and him flirting with Tony, Dr. Ryan’s eyes had been opened. Then tonight, she could not help but wonder if Jethro would rather be going home with Tony and their son than her.

Jethro turned his head away from her as he took a heavy, deep breath. This was a conversation the two of them could not avoid. “You’re right, there is someone else,” Gibbs finally admitted.

Samantha’s hand went from his hand to caressing his left cheek. There was a sadness in her eyes, but she accepted what was happening. They were not forever, but it had been fun while it lasted. She was not going to regret meeting Jethro at all.

“You and Tony are lucky to have one another. I really hope the two of you work past whatever issues you guys have. Jason deserves to have both of his parents. And let’s face it, the two of you were meant for each other,” she stated in a soft voice.

His lips shook as he inched closer to her. “Sam…” Jethro whispered.

However, Samantha shook her head and brought their lips together in a soft kiss. “Don’t apologize. This is not your fault. Sometimes relationships don’t work out. And you taught me that it’s ok to open myself up again. For that I will always be grateful.”

The pair of them shared one last brief peck on the lips before Samantha Ryan turned and pulled away from him. Both had a soft, sad smile on their lips. Jethro watched her head up the stairs and made her exit.

When he heard the front door closed, Jethro reached for his beer and chugged the rest of it in one go. Well, this was not how he thought his night was going to go. A part of Gibbs was not too upset by these turn of events. Still, what was Gibbs going to do now?

It was already Friday and close to the end of the workday. Tony was counting down the minutes until it was time to leave. Ever since Dr. Ryan showed up, Gibbs has made it his personal mission to make Tony’s life miserable at work. Guess who did all of the uncomfortable grunt work on this case? That’s right; it was Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo. If Gibbs was so pissed at Tony, then he should just say it. Of course, that would imply that Gibbs was good at communicating. If he was able to communicate, maybe the two of them would still be together at this point.

At four thirty, Tony’s phone rang. He had thirty minutes before David was picking Tony up from work for their special date tonight. No doubt that tonight would be the night the two of them would finally have sex. In all honesty, Tony was super nervous about being with David so intimately.

“Agent DiNozzo,” Tony greeted into the phone.

“Hi Mr. DiNozzo, it’s Krystal,” came a feminine voice through the receiver, “I know I was supposed to come over and take care of Jason while you went out tonight, but my grandma was just rushed to the hospital, and we are still here. I don’t think I will be able to make it tonight.”

Tony wanted to curse, but he held it in by biting his tongue. There was no way that he was going to find a baby sitter last minute. McGee and Abby were going to a concert. Ziva was sneaking out this weekend to see CI-Ray. Who was going to watch Jason?

“It’s alright Krystal,” the special agent spoke into the phone, “hope your grandmother gets better.” He then said goodbye to his babysitter before hanging up the phone.

With nothing else to do, Tony headed downstairs to pick up Jason from daycare. It sucked that he was going to have to cancel, but Tony was never angry to spend time with his little man. Jason was everything to the carrier.

Thirty minutes later, David Jenkins was walking out of the elevator. He was dressed in smart suit, and he smelled of an expensive and fragrant cologne. There was a huge smile on his handsome face as he neared his date’s desk. His smile deepened when he spotted Tony at his desk. “Tony,” David greeted warmly, “you ready to go?”

The green eyed carrier turned toward the lawyer, but the NCIS agent was not smiling. He was rocking Jason’s stroller back and forth while he sat at his desk. The only other person still in the bullpen was Gibbs.

David was not an idiot. He stopped in front of his boyfriend’s desk and stared into the carrier’s forest green orbs. “What’s wrong?” the taller male wondered.

Tony rubbed his face before explaining, “The babysitter just bailed on me. I know that you had this special night planned, but I have no one to watch Jason.” The only thing Tony could think of is to postpone tonight until Tony could find appropriate childcare.

The dark haired male scratched the side of his cheek close to his ear. His eyes glanced back and forth between Tony, Jason, and Gibbs. An idea suddenly popped in the lawyer’s mind. “Why doesn’t Gibbs watch him for the night,” David suggested, “I’m sure he would not mind having his son for the night.”

Both DiNozzo and Gibbs blinked in surprise. Neither one of them were expecting that suggestion. It made it obvious that Gibbs was paying attention to what Tony was doing. The blue eyed male was secretly pleased that Tony’s “special date” was canceled.

The carrier’s eyes shot toward his child’s father; his eyes pleading for Gibbs to say something. If Gibbs said no, then maybe the door was not completely shut on their relationship. Maybe the two of them gave up too quickly, and there was still something to fight for. Tony needed Jethro to fight for him.

There was no doubt about it; Gibbs wanted to refuse to take Jason for the night. Tony would not be leaving with David, and they definitely would not be having a night of romance. But Gibbs was being selfish. Tony seemed happy with Jenkins, and there was this desperate look in Tony’s at this very moment. No, Jethro could not be selfish; he already ruined Tony’s life once. He would not do it again.

“I can take him for the night,” Jethro finally answered before moving toward his son.

Neither one of the other men noticed the flash of disappointment across DiNozzo’s face. When Jethro grabbed the stroller, Tony got to his feet. “You’re sure you’re ok with taking Jason for the night?” Tony hoped that Jethro would change his answer.

“Go out tonight. I got Jason,” Gibbs spoke to the carrier.

David was grinning; he solved the issue for the night. “Alright, well you ready to go then Tony?” Jenkins asked as he reached for Tony’s things.

Reluctantly, Tony got to his feet and took David’s offered hand. As the two walked toward the elevator, Tony looked back on his son and Gibbs. Why wasn’t Gibbs stopping him?

The MCRT were on call this weekend, which meant that the team arrived at the Navy Yard at the usual time. Tim, Ziva, and Gibbs were already at their desks, but there was no sign of Tony. Gibbs had dropped Jason off at daycare forty-five minutes ago. The team leader sat at his desk and glared at his team while he was filled with impatience. Tony was supposed to arrive at work an hour ago, but there was no sign of his senior field agent. No call either. Where the hell was DiNozzo?

Slamming his hand on his desk, Gibbs got to his feet. “McGee, find DiNozzo!” Gibbs barked the order at the younger man. He then grabbed his things before heading toward the elevator.

McGee and Ziva jumped at their boss’ actions. “Ok boss,” Tim agreed as Gibbs passed his desk.

When Gibbs was at the elevator, Tim used his computer skills to track Tony’s phone. Ziva stood up and moved closer to her teammate.

“Do you have Tony’s location?” she asked her friend.

Tim nodded his head. He was surprised by Tony’s location. “He’s across the street from the Navy Yard,” the skilled agent revealed.

The former Mossad agent chewed on her bottom lip. “Let me go and figure out what’s going on,” she offered.

“Ok. You know what’s going on with him more than me,” McGee agreed.

Ziva did not even grab her belongings before heading off to the elevator. She was worried for her partner and friend. Something had happened; she could feel it in her bones.

Seven minutes later, the former Mossad officer was crossing the street from the Navy Yard. About a hundred yards from her position was a park bench, which had one current occupant. Ziva sighed in relief when she spotted Tony. “Tony, what the hell is going on?” she demanded answers.

When she was about a foot away from him, Ziva was able to take in his appearance. Frankly, the green eyed male looked like crap. His clothes were the same ones he wore yesterday, and his eyes were red rimmed. The dark haired woman slid beside her partner, and asked in a much softer voice. “What happened?”

Green eyes finally turned to the woman beside him. He wiped his face before admitting, “I slept with David last night.” Tony could not stop feeling so awful and dirty for what happened last night.

Her brown eyes were puzzled. “And it was bad?” she wondered.

Tony shook his head. “It was good,” he answered while still not revealing the worst part.

Ziva did not want to have to fight and pull the answers out of her friend. “Tell me Tony,” she requested.

With a sigh, the carrier admitted. “David was absolutely perfect. Such a gentleman. I was the one who screwed up. When we were in bed together, I couldn’t stop thinking about Gibbs.” How he would rather have Gibbs hands on his; Gibbs’ lips kissing him…

Understanding filled the Israeli woman. “Oh Tony.”

Fresh tears watered the carrier’s emerald orbs. “I still love him, and I want him. What is wrong with me Ziva?” Tony was an awful human being. Here he was with this perfect man, and the green eyed carrier could not stop thinking about his ex and how much he would rather be with Gibbs than David.

Ziva did not know how to answer him, but she could offer small comfort by just sitting with Tony and being there for him while he found the answers he needed.

Chapter Text

Ever since that stunt where Tony did not show up for work, Gibbs has been even more grouchy toward the carrier than ever. The green eyed male took it in stride, and he just focused on the job. The Italian male chose not to fight back nor call Gibbs out on his disrespectful behavior. Tony knew he and Gibbs could not keep up this behavior; something was going to change. The green eyed carrier was nervous to discover how their relationship was going to change again.

Both Abby and Ziva wanted to speak to Gibbs on Tony’s account, but the senior field agent refused and begged them to stay out of it. This was a problem between Gibbs and DiNozzo; only they could resolve the issue. Abby and Ziva reluctantly agreed with the carrier’s reasoning, and for the moment they let it go. They would not forever though. However, they were not the only ones who had issues with the way Gibbs was currently treating his senior field agent.

No, McGee was done with the tension amongst the team. After the latest tongue lashing Gibbs unleashed on his senior field agent, McGee jumped to his feet. All eyes turned to the youngest man on the team. Tim’s hazel eyes were narrowed as he glared at his boss. Ice blue eyes stared right back. “You got something to say to me McGee?” Gibbs demanded answers.

“I don’t like the way you are treating Tony,” McGee admitted with a harsh tone.

Both Tony and Ziva’s mouths dropped open; never would they have imagined that McGee will be the one to step up and confront the boss man.

The anger never left the icy of the team leader. Silently, the former sniper stood up and moved to stand in front of the young agent’s desk. “Really,” Gibbs responded in a foreboding tone.

McGee swallowed his fear and replied, “I do. Ever since Tony came back from maternity leave, things have been off. I kept hoping that things would settle again, but they just keep getting worse. It’s affecting everyone.” Tim was tired of walking egg shells around Gibbs and DiNozzo.

Tony was honored by McGee’s actions. No matter what, Tim would always be DiNozzo’s Probie, his responsibility. However, McGee not be ready to go to war with one Leroy Jethro Gibbs, but Tony was ready to step in for his Probie. Jumping to his feet, the green eyed federal agent did just that. “Hey boss, why don’t you go out for coffee, and we will get things under control here,” DiNozzo offered as a peace treaty.

Ice blue eyes turned to the carrier who drove the former Marine crazy, and for a moment the two men stared at one another hoping to get their point across. Without saying a word, Gibbs headed for the elevator for a cup of coffee, agreeing to DiNozzo’s terms. All three team members sighed in relief when their boss got on the elevator; they barely missed stepping on that landmine.

When the elevator doors closed behind Gibbs, Tony turned toward his Probie. “What the hell were you thinking McGenius?” Tony yelled for answers in a contradictory soft voice.

The aforementioned agent shrugged his shoulders before taking his seat at his desk. “I am tired of him treating you like crap Tony. I don’t understand why you don’t call him out on it,” McGee attempted to explain.

Ziva huffed out a laughed. “I think he likes Gibbs pulling hair,” Ziva mused aloud, “Tony thinks Gibbs is jealous.”

“It’s pulling pigtails Agent David,” the carrier corrected, “and no I don’t!”

There was a thoughtful expression on McGee’s boyish face. “Now that you mention it,” the younger man responded, “if you aren’t going to say anything… maybe you do like having Gibbs’ attention any way you can get it.”

Green eyes rolled in annoyance. As he made his way back to his desk, Tony replied, “Gibbs is going to be back in less than ten minutes, and if we don’t have something for him, it will be all our asses.”

With the threat of an all-out Gibbs assault, the three members of the MCRT dove right back into work. They would have something for Gibbs when he returned, and hopefully, things would start getting better between Gibbs and DiNozzo. Because something had to give at this point.

Things did not get better though. In fact, when they had their suspect, Tony lost the man in a classic foot chase in Georgetown. The former Marine was not pleased, for they had to go on a manhunt to find him. It was early in the evening as Gibbs reamed his senior field agent a new one. If Tony wanted to get back in his boss’ good graces, then the Italian male was going to have to find their suspect before Gibbs got back to work the next day. At least Gibbs was taking Jason for the night; it was going to be a long night for the carrier.

Neither one of Jason’s parents noticed David Jenkins step off the elevator. The federal prosecutor was at the Navy Yard to surprise his carrier boyfriend. When David saw his beautiful jade eyed boyfriend, a beautiful smile graced the federal prosecutor’s lips. That smile, however, vanished when Jenkins’ ears picked up Gibbs’ verbal lashing toward the carrier.

“Find him or you will be out of a job!” the team leader ordered before storming away to control his emotions.

When David was sure that Gibbs was nowhere near the vicinity, David made his way to his lover’s desk. Tony was typing away at his computer, and there was such a saddened expression on his handsome face. All David longed for was to make everything for the carrier. Tony deserved to be treated like the treasure he was, and David knew he could be that person for the beautiful and handsome carrier.

“Hey,” David greeted his lover as he moved to stand beside Tony, who was still seated in his chair.

Tony turned his head and attempted a half assed smile at his current beau. “Hey yourself,” the green eyed federal agent greeted back.

Looking around, Jenkins grabbed Ziva’s chair and shifted it to Tony’s desk. “How are you?” the taller male began the conversation.

The Italian American shrugged his shoulders. He had a feeling David witnessed Gibbs’ outburst toward the senior field agent. “I let our suspect get away,” the carrier admitted while keeping his gaze on the bolo he just sent out to local LEOs. Tony hated when Jethro was disappointed with his work, so Tony was going to do everything he can to get back into Jethro’s good graces.

“I heard,” David replied as he leaned closer to the carrier that stole his heart, “I need to talk to you about that.” The lawyer was tired of bearing witness to Gibbs’ mistreatment toward the carrier that birthed their son.

Sighing, Tony sensed this conversation was coming… no matter how much he wanted to avoid it. Why could no one understand whatever was going on between himself and Gibbs was no one else’s business but them? “What do you want to talk about?”

David reached to hold his lover’s hand in his. “It’s Gibbs,” the lawyer began to explain.

Tony was thankfully saved by his phone ringing. “DiNozzo,” the federal agent spoke through the phone, “You do? In custody…. I can pick him up anytime? Great thanks! I will be there soon.” He then hung up the phone.

“Local LEOs picked up our suspect,” Tony explained to his boyfriend, “I gotta go pick him up and bring him here.”

“But what about-” David tried to explain.

However, Tony silenced the dark haired male with a quick kiss on the lips. “How about I meet you at your place later? I shouldn’t be too late. Going to grab our suspect and bring him here and keep him on ice until Gibbs is ready to break him in interrogation. Speaking of… I better call him and let him know we got him.”

In all honesty, David was not happy with these turn of events. Gibbs was always Tony’s second priority, right behind Jason. Jason was completely understandable, but Gibbs was not. The two were not even together anymore, but Tony would always come running whenever the other man would call. David was tired of playing second to his lover’s ex. “Alright,” David relented with a sigh of frustration.

The federal agent stood up and grabbed his badge and gun before turning back to his current beau. “I’m sorry,” the carrier apologized, “why don’t you open a nice bottle of wine, and we can celebrate bringing the suspect in.” Tony kissed the other man’s jaw and lips.

“I’ll be waiting up for you,” David promised. Tonight they were going to have this conversation, and hopefully the two will take a step forward in the future of their relationship.

“It’s a date,” Tony promised before grabbing his jacket and heading for the elevator. As soon as he was standing in front of the doors, he was reaching for his phone and dialing Jethro’s number.

“Hey, it’s me. Found our suspect and brining him in. He will be ready for interrogation for you when you get here in the morning. How’s Jason?”

Those were the last things David overheard his lover speak into the phone before getting into the elevator. Jenkins hoped that picking up the suspect would not take his lover too long.

Two and half hours later, Tony was walking up the stairs toward David’s apartment. The green eyed carrier stopped in front of the door and took a deep breath. There was no denying that he was nervous for whatever was waiting for him on the other side of the door. Tony was not an idiot, and he realized David was not Gibbs’ biggest fan. Tony was unsure where this conversation was going to go. David might not like the answer if he demands Tony choose between David or Gibbs. After all, Jason needed his father.

Reminding himself that he was a federal agent who faced danger all the time, Tony steeled his nerves as he bit the bullet and knocked on the door. In less than a minute, David was answering the door. “Tony, I’m glad you made it!” David then pulled the carrier into his arms and locked their lips in a deep kiss.

When they broke apart, David led the pair inside the apartment. Their first stop was to the kitchen where David poured the pair each a glass of merlot. Tony quickly downed half of his glass before he remembered himself; he would much rather have a glass of bourbon that could double as paint thinner. The stuff really grows on a person the more you are around it, much like the owner. David was not the kind of person to chug wine like beer. Besides, Tony was not allowed to drink more than that; he was still breastfeeding after all.

The pair took their wine to the living room couch. The carrier sighed in relief as he kicked his shoes off and rested them on the ottoman; it had been a long day after all. Meanwhile, David took a sip of his wine as he worked the nerve to continue the conversation he tried to start back at the Navy Yard. “Gibbs happy with you again?” David wondered with a bit of bite in his tone.

Tony nodded his head absentmindedly. “Yep, Gibbs plans to get there first thing in the morning to interrogate in our suspect. I am going to watch Jason in the morning until the daycare opens,” the carrier shared the game plan for tomorrow.

David took another sip of his wine. “You know Gibbs is completely out of line with the way he treats you at work,” the lawyer finally admitted aloud.

The green eyed male shrugged his shoulders. “Gibbs has always been a hard ass; he was like that ever since I’ve known him. He demands the best out of you, and he makes you the best agent you can be,” the federal agent attempted to explain.

The federal prosecutor shook his head; he was still not satisfied by his lover’s partial answer. “Are you going to lie to my face and say that he doesn’t treat you any different than the rest of the team?” The anger was much more visible now in David’s voice.

Tony rolled his eyes and shook his head. He shifted in his seat as he put some space between himself and the taller male. “What do you want me to say?” Tony demanded answers from his boyfriend.

The taller male was not a fan of the added space between them, and he inched closer to his wayward lover. “I can’t stand the way he treats you. I know he has to be part of your life because of Jason, but he is toxic, especially at work.”

There was a puzzled expression on the carrier’s face. “Are you suggesting that I quit my job to avoid Gibbs?” Tony was shocked it had come to this point, but he was not going to deny that he thought about this question once or twice since coming back to work.

David reached forward to hold the carrier’s hand. “I heard about an opening with the state police, and I tossed your name to the board. I know you were a cop before, and this is a great position. You will be leading your own team, and you will get to choose your hours better, which will be good for Jason,” the lawyer explained.

Tony’s mouth was opened in complete shock; no words left his throat. David got him a job offering without even telling him; Tony did not even know where to begin with all of this. “You what?” Tony uttered.

“They love you over there, and they want you to join their ranks. Are you so shocked that your reputation proceeds you?” David continued to sell the new job opportunity, “And you will still be close enough for Jason to have set times and days to be with his dad.”

The carrier was so done at the moment. Shaking his head, he jumped to his feet to unleash his emotions. “You can’t just get me a new job! I happen to love my current job and was not looking for a new one! What gives you the right?!?”

Not one to back away from a fight, David was on his feet as well to defend his actions. “Tony, I love you, and I think we have something special here. But we can’t have a future if you are still clinging to the past. I will admit that I am jealous of the time you spend with Gibbs, but I did not act because of my jealousy. I think you need a fresh start.”

A sense of calm flooded the green eyed male. His gaze was locked on the taller male. “No, but it seems like you want to control my life,” the carrier snapped back.

For a long moment neither one of the men said another word. Tony knew what he had to do, but it was not going to be easy. “Listen David, this is not going to work out,” Tony finally revealed the truth.

David knew this was coming based on Tony’s response to the new job, but it did not hurt any less. “Because you are still in love with Gibbs,” Jenkins accused the shorter male.

“I control who is a part of my life, and I choose how I live my life. No one else gets to dictate it,” the carrier responded.

“You still haven’t denied it though,” David continued to needle.

Tony was done though. He headed for the door before looking back over his shoulder and replying, “I thought you were different. And the truth of the matter is that Gibbs will always be a better man than you!” Tony emphasized his point by slamming the door behind him. He could not get away from David fast enough.

It was a calm night at Gibbs’ home. He had Jason for the evening, and his son was easy going tonight. Gibbs had already put the infant down for bed before retiring to the basement for the evening. Jethro had the baby monitor beside his bottle of bourbon to monitor his son. Meanwhile, Gibbs had already started a new boat down in his basement. With a glass of the tough amber fluid already downed, Gibbs lost himself in the woodwork process. He stopped thinking of Tony and Tony being with that federal prosecutor. No doubt that Jenkins fellow wanted to start a family with Gibbs’ Tony, give Jason a new little brother. Gibbs’ stomach roiled at the very thought. In truth, the former Marine was still not ready to see Tony move on from their relationship; even though Gibbs had no right to dictate how Tony lived his life.

Eventually Jethro was able to stop thinking about the carrier that plagued his thoughts the longer he worked on the new boat. If Gibbs could change things between them then he would, but it was too late. Tony found someone who can make him happy; someone much better than Gibbs.

Even though he was no longer a sniper, Jethro’s instincts were sharp as hell. His ears picked up the sound of his front door opening and closing. Based on the fact that there was no knock, Gibbs instantaneously realized that it was someone who has been over many times in the past, which was a short list. Gibbs would have his answer soon; he could hear footsteps coming down the steps.

Gibbs was surprised to see it was Tony coming down the stairs. It feels like a lifetime since Tony was a common face around the house. Just by gazing at the carrier, Gibbs could tell the younger man was upset. Tossing his wood working tools to the work bench, Gibbs turned his body to fully face the carrier. “Tony,” he called in a soft voice.

Tony reached the bottom of the stairs before promptly taking a seat. He was still so full of emotion since leaving David’s place. The green eyed male could not explain why he headed straight here instead of going back home. Maybe it was to be close to Jason, or maybe Tony needed Gibbs more than he was willing to admit. “Hey,” Tony greeted back in weak voice.

Hesitantly, Jethro moved closer to the other male. “What are you doing here?” he wondered.

The carrier shrugged his shoulders as he kept his gaze diverted. “I honestly don’t know,” Tony answered truthfully.

“Shouldn’t you be with your boyfriend?” Gibbs tried his best to keep his jealousy out of his voice, but those trained on Gibbs speak could pick up on it.

Tony let out a humorless laugh. “Funny story about that….” Tony paused to rub his face. If he could not be open and honest with Jethro, his baby’s father, then who could he be honest with? “David got me a job offer with the state police.”

Jethro’s face was completely devoid of all emotion. This was the conversation he had been dreading for a while now. “I know,” the former Marine admitted.

Green eyes widened in surprise as his head snapped in the other man’s direction. “You knew?!?” Tony could not believe it.

“Yeah, they called me as your current boss as a reference,” Gibbs explained.

All of the dots finally connected in the carrier’s mind. Gibbs’ behavior and the time frame. “You really thought I was going to leave?” Tony stated in disbelief.

This time it was Jethro’s turn to turn away from the other male. “What reason did you give me otherwise? I mean you and David seemed so happy, so I had to assume you were looking to start over completely,” Jethro admitted the truth.

All this time, Gibbs was being such a hard ass because he thought Tony was looking for a new job, which could not be farther from the truth. Which means, Jethro had been jealous. If Jethro was jealous…. “I broke up with David,” Tony revealed while standing up.

Gibbs was now the one stunned. “Why?” Gibbs responded, “I thought he was Mr. Perfect and everything you ever wanted?”

Tony shook his head as he closed the distance between himself and his baby’s father. “He was far from perfect. You know the only reason he got me that job was to keep me away from you,” Tony replied.

The tension between the two men was mounting. Gibbs moved an inch closer, and now there was barely any space between the two of them. “Really,” the former sniper muttered.

Biting his bottom lip, the carrier shared, “Too bad that will never happen. You know I really tried to find my happiness elsewhere. But you know what I thought about every time I was with him?”

There was no doubt what the answer was going to be, but Gibbs still needed to ask. “What’s that?”

Tony wrapped his arms around Jethro’s neck and pressed his body against his. “You. I love you Jethro. If I had a choice, it would be with you and Jason and us being an actual family together.”

There was no hesitation as the two men brought their lips together in a passionate embrace. Soon tongues were dancing, and hands squeezed flesh. Jethro was the one to break this kiss after a long moment. It was time to be honest as well. “I love you Tony, and I want it all. No take backs, no quitting. I want the whole package.”

It was everything Tony longed to hear from the man that completely stole away his heart. With a huge smile on his face, the carrier brought their lips together in another kiss; this one more expressive of the emotions they felt. “Jason asleep?” Tony asked when their lips separated.

Jethro nudged his head in the direction of the baby monitor. “Been asleep for over an hour,” the blue eyed male explained.

There was a naughty grin on the carrier’s face. “Then we have time for…” Tony then stripped himself of his shirts.

Gibbs was always fond of Tony’s sexual tenacity, always found it endearing. “You are still so breathtaking,” the older man commented as he took his time studying his half naked companion.

Tony blushed at the compliment. He then reached over and stripped Gibbs of his sweatshirt. “I missed you looking at me this way,” Tony admitted before peppering his lover’s necks with kisses.

After that, it was easy for Gibbs to take control of the situation. As he enjoyed having the carrier’s lips on him, Jethro quickly divested his lover of his last remaining clothes. He then paused to take in his lover’s naked form. Jethro would never tire of seeing Tony.

The carrier himself was not shy or nervous. A sense of right filled both of them as Tony moved in and brought their lips together once more. As the passion between the two of them increased, so did Gibbs’ need to dominate over the carrier. He pushed his submissive lover against the workbench after Tony unbuttoned Gibbs’ jeans.

From this moment, Jethro’s hands wandered as he reacquainted himself with the carrier’s body. Like riding a bike, the two never forget the other’s pleasure spots. In a moment, Jethro had Tony a panting mess as he teased the carrier’s folds.

“Please,” Tony begged. It had been too long since the two connected in such a way.

Gibbs ignored Tony’s pleas as he continued to finger the carrier’s wet heat. Tony was spreading his legs further to give his lover more access. The younger man’s cock was rock hard and leaking, and his hand reached for his aching member. As soon as his hand wrapped around the base, Jethro smacked the green eyed male hard on the ass. “Nuh uh,” Gibbs uttered as he pushed Tony’s hand away from his cock, “Don’t you remember you come on my cock alone.”

Tony’s eyes closed as he pictured the very first time the two of them got together. It was right here in Gibbs’ basement and in a very similar position. With Tony distracted by memories, Gibbs pushed down Tony’s chest, so the carrier was bent over the workbench.

The younger man smiled as he realized what position he was in. “Just like our first time then,” the carrier teased his lover.

Jethro did not say anything. Instead, the older man lined up his throbbing member with Tony’s wet hole. The green eyed male gasped as his lover slowly entered him, and green eyes nearly rolled into the back of his head at the intense pleasure. It felt like Tony was made for Gibbs; it never felt so perfect.

After waiting so long, neither one of them were going to last. As Jethro pumped in and out of his lover, he played with his lover’s balls. Tony was panting and thrusting back wildly. When he felt his lover’s hand on his balls, it finally tipped the submissive lover over the edge, and he was shouting in his release. Feeling Tony’s channel tighten and spasm around his member sent the blue eyed male over the edge. Jethro missed Tony; the sex was unbelievably, indescribably good.

The two men were catching their breaths after their love making. Tony finally straightened his posture, which stretched his aching back muscles. “Still prefer to do it in a bed,” Tony reminded his lover.

Gibbs grunted as he reached for a rag, which he tossed to the younger male. Tony used it to wipe off the mess between his legs before cleaning up the mess of his own release. As soon as he was finished, Jason’s cries could be heard through the baby monitor. Tony turned to Gibbs, and both men laughed together at the same time.

“At least he waited until we finished,” Tony joked with his lover.

It did not matter that Jason was up at the moment, for everything was as it should be now.

Chapter Text

Today was already a great day, and it was still early in the morning. Tony woke up to the sound of Jethro’s alarm, and his lover’s arm still wrapped around his waist. Before even opening his eyes, Tony was smiling. Last night was not a dream. He and Jethro finally admitted their feelings toward one another; Jethro said the big ‘L’ word. The two rounds of mind blowing sex were a huge plus. If Tony dared to move a single muscle, he would be able to feel the good ache that results to a great night with lots of orgasms.

Green eyes slowly opened as the other male in the bed reached over to turn off the alarm clock. A moment later, the carrier left lips against the back of the neck. Tony closed his eyes and smiled as he enjoyed the attention his lover was bestowing upon him. “You know Jason will be up any minute,” the carrier reminded his lover. They did not have time to start something.

“I know,” Gibbs responded. His hand seemed to contradict his words as his hand caressed his lover’s abdomen before slowly reaching lower and lower.

Tony was already half hard. The carrier rolled over and brought their lips together for a proper kiss. “Don’t start something you can’t finish,” he stated when their lips broke apart.

Of course, Jason took that moment to let his parents know he was awake and ready for his breakfast with a loud wail. Tony raised a knowing eyebrow, and Jethro laughed. With a quick peck of the lips, both men climbed out of bed and threw some pants on to start their day. “Go take care of Jason, I’ll throw something together for breakfast,” the blue eyed male stated before heading downstairs.

With no point in putting on a shirt for the moment, Tony headed out of the room to feed Jason. When the carrier stepped into his son’s bedroom, he took a moment to study his precious baby boy. Jason’s face was distorted in clear unhappiness, but no tears leaked from his ice blue eyes. Tony shook his head as he reached for his baby. “Just like your daddy,” the green eyed male commented before heading down to the dining room for some place comfortable.

Jethro was standing in front of the stove cooking the two of them some scrambled eggs. When they were ready, he plated them and turned around. His breath caught at the sight before him. Tony was feeding Jason, who was still in his mother’s arms. This was everything the former Marine wanted, his family with him. “He gets his appetite from you,” Jethro commented as he placed their plates on the table.

Nodding his head, Tony smiled without taking his eyes off his son. “But he definitely got his attitude from you,” the carrier countered.

Gibbs grunted; he was not going to deny the fact. “I’m glad you came last night,” the blue eyed male spoke in all honesty.

Finally, those forest green eyes turned to him. “Me too.”

Of course both Tony and Jethro ended up leaving late for work. The pair drove into work together, and Tony got off the elevator first to drop off Jason at daycare. A minute later, the elevators doors opened, and Gibbs stepped into the bullpen. Both Ziva and McGee were already at their desks. The two both looked up when they spotted their boss coming around the corner. In fact, Tim stood up before commenting, “You’re late boss. You’re never late.” McGee was not going to rat out that Tony was even more late arriving to work; Tony needed a break from being Gibbs’ punching bag.

Ice blue eyes glared at the young man. He owed no explanation to his subordinates on his tardiness. “You want to say that again Elf Lord,” the team leader threatened.

Realizing his mistake, McGee quickly corrected himself, “I mean I was about to call you and Tony.” Crap, Tim just let it slip that Tony still had not arrived at work yet.

“Don’t bother, I’m here,” came DiNozzo’s voice from around the corner. In his hands was a cup of coffee, which he handed to Gibbs.

Gibbs voice was soft as he asked the carrier. “Jason ok at daycare?”

The green eyed male nodded his head. “Not happy to be there, but he usually is like that half the time.”

Tony then headed to his desk and put away his belongings. “So what is on the schedule for today?”

Gibbs took a sip of his coffee before explaining. “Time to get a confession,” he spoke before heading off to interrogation.

When Gibbs was out of sight, Ziva headed over to her partner’s desk. “David called you three times this morning,” she commented when she was standing in front of the carrier.

The green eyed male’s nose crinkled in annoyance. “That’s nice,” he responded while keeping his eyes on his computer as he booted it up.

Ziva raised a curious eyebrow. “Did the two of you get into a fight?” she wondered.

Finally, Tony turned his gaze to her. “I don’t want to talk about it,” in a tone that left no room for argument. In fact, the senior field agent stood up and headed toward the observation room to watch Gibbs work his magic.

Both McGee and Ziva shared a look with one another. Tim shrugged his shoulders, and Ziva headed back to her own computer. “They both arrived late today,” McGee reminded the former Mossad officer.

Ziva leaned her chin on her palms as she eyed her fellow teammate. “You think it’s related?” she replied.

“I mean Tony did hand Gibbs his coffee,” McGee mused aloud. Something was going on between Tony and Gibbs.

“I don’t know,” she responded, “Maybe they decided to work on their professional relationship.”

“We could always do a little investigating of our own,” McGee offered with a mischievous grin on his handsome face.

“I like the way you think Tim,” the dark haired beauty responded.

Like a dog with a bone, Gibbs got a confession from their suspect, and it was case closed. It took two hours to do the proper paperwork when finishing a case, and the three teammates were curious to how Gibbs planned the rest of the work day. After Tony submitted his fixed report, Gibbs stood up from his desk. “Change into gym clothes and meet me in ten minutes,” he ordered his team.

“Boss, I’ll be late. Gotta go downstairs and swing by to feed Jason,” the senior field agent reminded his boss.

“When you finish DiNozzo, come join us,” Gibbs replied before heading away from desk. The former Marine hated to be chained to his desk and the annoying technology that went with it.

Ziva appeared eager to hit the gym while she reached into her gym bag for a pair of workout clothes. Tim was the complete opposite, and he had a look of dread on his boyish face. “You’re lucky,” Tim commented to the carrier as they both reached for their clothes.

Tony shrugged his shoulders and grinned. “If I’m really lucky, I won’t be paired up with the boss man for no doubt hand-to-hand combat training.”

“You’d rather get paired up with Ziva?” the younger man’s tone was a bit incredulous.

The green eyed carrier took a step closer to the younger man. “Nah,” Tony responded, “I could always get the chance to beat up a certain probie.” Tony laughed as he walked toward the elevator to tend to his son.

Tim glared at the other male. Now, Tim was silently praying that Gibbs paired Tony with the dangerous woman who completed their team.

When Tony arrived at the gym twenty-five minutes later, Ziva was at the punching bag working out some serious aggression on the inanimate object. Both Gibbs and McGee were in the ring, and the boss man was quick to toss the young man in a quick take-down maneuver. The carrier laughed as the Probie was thrown down onto his back without Gibbs barely even breaking a sweat. Blue eyes then turned to the newcomer. “DiNozzo, work with David,” the blue eyed male barked.

Ziva stopped her assault on the punching bag and glared at the green eyed male. Tony swallowed and slowly made his way to the former Mossad officer. She quickly tossed him some fingerless punching gloves. Once when he had them on, she started her assault. A flurry of punches and kicks came in rapid succession; Tony could barely block them all. Ziva managed to a land a solid kick into the carrier’s side, which caused him to swallow his breath. She knew he was never going to be a threat to her.

“Care to tell me what is going on with David?” the dark haired woman demanded answers.

Tony quickly realized the precarious situation he was in. “Not really,” he avoided answering her question as he straightened his posture.

Not liking his answer, Ziva was quick to return to her physical assault. He was able to block her high strikes, but she was able to take him off his feet with a leg sweep. When he was down, she was quick to pin him to the ground. “Why are you avoiding the issue?” she demanded answers.

Green eyes narrowed as he leveled her gaze with one of his own. “Why is it any of your business?” he countered.

Her grip on his wrists loosened. “After everything, you want ask me that?” There was a hint of pain in her voice.

Tony quickly realized his error. Ziva, like Abby, had been nothing but supportive these last few months. Both women had become Tony’s rocks as he worked through his emotional issues. Closing his eyes, the green eyed carrier took a deep breath. “David got me a job with the state police,” he admitted the truth.

Ziva pushed herself away from the prone male. There was a look of betrayal on her features. “You’re leaving us?” she accused. How dare Tony leave them?!? He could not leave. She could not imagine NCIS without him.

He sat up and quickly added, “No, I’m not leaving. I don’t want to leave. It caused a big fight between me and David, and we broke up.”

She was never going to voice out loud, but Ziva knew Tony and David’s relationship was doomed from the start. After what Tony admitted to her on that park bench, it reaffirmed her suspicions. It was a matter of time before their relationship crashed and burned. “I’m sorry Tony,” she apologized, even though she was not as sorry for the two breaking things off between them.

Tony shrugged his shoulders as he attempted to be nonchalant. “He gave me an ultimatum that I couldn’t choose from or make him happy,” he added.

Neither one of them noticed McGee and Gibbs watching them. “Hey, get down to the shooting range!” Gibbs yelled at the pair.

Ziva helped Tony to his feet, and they were both quick to follow Gibbs’ orders. The conversation was put on hold for the moment, though Tony planned to drop it completely. Besides, he was not ready to tell her that he was not too upset by the break up. If he did, then he would have to explain to her what happened with Jethro. For now, he wanted to keep this just between the two of them.

After an hour at the shooting range, the MCRT returned to the bullpen. It was nearing the end of the work day, and they had already showered and changed back into their regular work clothes. However, the four of them were surprised when they realized there was a guest standing between Tony and Ziva’s desks. Tony especially was surprised, and he recognized the visitor immediately. “Dad,” the green eyed male called, “what are you doing here?”

Anthony DiNozzo Senior turned around to face his son and smiled. “Junior,” the father greeted enthusiastically, “it’s good to see you.”

Tony was frozen in place; there was so much he had not told his father. Meanwhile, McGee sent a quick text to Abby to let her know of the ongoing situation. At the same time, Gibbs quietly maneuvered to his desk. His phone was ringing, and he was not going to leave it unanswered.

“How long are you here?” the younger DiNozzo nervously asked.

Senior took a few steps closer to his only child. “I’m not in town long,” the father answered, “but I thought we could have a nice dinner together and catch up. Hardly heard from you this past year.”

There were a lot of things Senior did not know about his son. Tony never told his dad about his developing relationship with Gibbs, and the child that resulted from that union. Senior had no idea that he was a grandfather. How was Tony supposed to tell him? His carrier status was always a sore spot; it was not easy growing up and not being a hundred percent man like his father.

Tony was saved for the moment, by an excited squeal. A second later, an excited Abby came barreling through the bullpen and straight into Senior as she pulled him into a bear hug. “It’s so good to see you!” Abby excitedly exclaimed.

When she pulled away from the older DiNozzo, she questioned, “Are you here to see Jason?”

No one in the bull pen noticed Gibbs hang up his phone before silently creeping toward the elevator. He was already in the elevator before Tony even opened his mouth to speak.

There was a confused look on Senior’s face. “Jason, who is Jason?” the elder man asked.

All eyes turned toward the younger of the two DiNozzos. The green eyed carrier rubbed the back of his head and he opened and closed his mouth to try to get him out of the hole he buried himself in. “You see; Jason is….” Tony was at a loss for words. He was not ready to tell his dad that he had a baby and did not tell him. Besides, growing up, Senior was not exactly supportive to his son being a carrier.

Now Senior understood that his son was a carrier and therefore batted for both teams. Maybe there was someone special in his son’s life? “Is this Jason someone you are seeing?” the father wondered. Ever since reconnecting with his son a couple of years ago, Anthony DiNozzo Sr. was working to be more open minded and supportive of his son’s life choices. Even if Senior wished his son would settle down with a woman instead of a man.

A look of horror crossed the younger DiNozzo’s face. “Oh god no,” the green eyed male muttered with a shake of his head.

Senior’s eyes were still sharp, and he quickly noticed a bruise near his son’s collar bone. “Is that a hickey Junior?” Senior asked as he pointed to the aforementioned bruise.

Again, all eyes were on the nervous carrier. Both Ziva and Tim were ashamed of themselves for not noticing the hickey earlier. Then again, Tony made sure to wear sweats when working out today. He was back in his button down shirt again, but he forwent the tie in the afternoon, which meant to the top button was free.

“You see Jason is-” Tony attempted to explain before being interrupted.

“Right here,” came Gibbs’ voice.

In his arms was their son. As soon as Jason’s blue eyes spotted his mother’s form, he was reaching for Tony. Without a word, Tony gathered his son in his arms and raised a questioning eyebrow at his lover.

“They tried calling you. Seems like Jason bit another boy at daycare,” Gibbs explained.

Green eyes rolled before staring down his young son. “You did what now?” the mother asked his son, even though he knew his son would not respond.

Senior’s mouth was hanging open. Was that a baby in his son’s arms? “Is that…” Senior uttered in pure shock. “Is he your son?”

Swallowing, Tony focused his attention back to his father. “Dad, I want you to meet Jason, your grandson,” Tony introduced the family members.

Without a word, Senior took his grandson into his arms and held him close to his chest. The older man’s eyes were wide as he took in the sight of his grandson. “Hello Jason. I’m your grandad,” Senior introduced himself to the baby. In an instant, Jason stole another heart for Senior was already besotted by his grandson. He had been waiting for Junior to settle down and give his old man some grandkids to spoil.

As Jason’s eyes stared down the new person in his life, Senior turned back to his son. “I didn’t know you were seeing anyone serious,” the older DiNozzo spoke, “who is Jason’s mother?”

Tony bit his bottom lip nervously. It was time for the moment of truth. “I am,” the carrier explained, “I gave birth to Jason.”

It did not really upset Senior to find out that Tony bore his own child. His grandson was still amazing, and Senior wanted to get to know the child. “Then who is the baby’s father?” the aging father demanded answers.

Green eyes turned to his lover. Gibbs at the moment was staring down Senior without a hint of fear. “Gibbs is Jason’s father,” Tony answered.

Senior’s mouth dropped open, and he stared at the man who gave him so much parenting crap. Never in a million years did the older DiNozzo think Gibbs and Junior would find themselves in that sort of relationship. “Seems like I missed out a lot this past year,” the older DiNozzo commented. The older DiNozzo could still hardly believe it. His son and Gibbs….

Gibbs grunted; it barely scratched the surface on the year they all had.

Chapter Text

After the shock of Senior’s arrival and finding about Jason, the MCRT team was ready to go home for the night. It was close to the end of the work day, which made it an easy decision. Jason had already been kicked out of daycare, and he would not be allowed back until Tony smoothed things over with the woman who runs the daycare in the Navy Yard. Gibbs had a feeling that he and Tony will be having to run interference at the daycare many more times as Jason gets older. Even in his few short months on this Earth, Jason already proved to be independent and strong willed; he did take after both of his parents after all.

Leaving work, Gibbs drove himself, Tony, Jason, and Senior to Tony’s apartment. It seemed like the best idea to head to Tony’s rather than Gibbs’ own home; Tony’s place was neutral territory. No one spoke a word on the drive over. Both Tony and Jethro shared a look with one another on the ride home; this was going to be so much fun.

At least Senior was completely enamored with baby Jason. The two of them were in the back seat of Gibbs’ truck. If Jason needed anything, Senior was the one who tended to the young boy. It made Tony smile to see his dad so eager to be around Jason; if only Senior was like this when his own son was so young.

When they arrived at Tony’s apartment, Tony changed into a more comfortable set of clothes. Meanwhile, it was Jethro’s job to change their son. Jason was silent, and he observed those around him. Senior was standing beside Jethro seemingly at a loss for what to do.

“You want a drink?” Jethro asked when he finished changing his son.

“I could go for something strong,” the elder DiNozzo responded.

Gibbs handed Jason to his grandfather before heading to the kitchen. When Gibbs pulled a couple of beers from the fridge, Tony stepped into the kitchen. The carrier smiled at his lover before leaning forward and stealing a kiss. “Think you can keep Dad and Jason occupied while I cook us some dinner?” Tony asked with raised eyebrow and an amused smile on his lips.

Grunting, Jethro refrained from rolling his eyes. “I’ll manage,” the blue eyed male responded before heading out of the kitchen.

Senior was on the couch with Jason in his lap. Gibbs grabbed a toy from his son’s play pen, and he handed it to the older male. Senior thanked Gibbs before handing the toy to his grandson. It was a weird caterpillar rattle ring, and Jason immediately shoved the toy in his mouth. Senior laughed at his grandson’s antics.

While Senior played with his grandson, Jethro took a seat on the couch beside the other DiNozzo. The former Marine took the moment to observe Senior and Jason. Tony always longed for a better relationship with his father; maybe with Jason’s help it could happen.

While keeping his eyes on grandson, Senior spoke to Gibbs. “Ever since coming back into Junior’s life these past couple of years, I’ve been ready for him to settle down. To have a family and make me a grandfather.”

Ice blue eyes were focused on the tiny human in Senior’s lap. Jethro loved his son immensely. “Well you got your wish,” the former Marine commented before taking a sip of his beer.

A soft smile formed on Senior lips. “Right about that,” he muttered, “I’m excited about Jason. I look forward to getting to know him and watch him grow up if I’m allowed of course.”

Finally, Gibbs’ eyes turned toward the older man beside him. Did Senior assume that Jethro and Tony were going to keep Jason away from his grandfather? “I think that’s up to you,” the blue eyed male finally spoke, “you have to be involved in order to be involved.” Senior could not be absent for so much of Jason’s life and still expect to have a meaningful relationship with his grandchild.

Jason dropped his toy and immediately began pouting. Jethro was quick to grab the toy and hand it back to his son. Once Jason was satisfied, Gibbs handed the other beer in his hand to Tony’s father. Maneuvering Jason, Senior took a long drag of the beer before placing it on the coffee table away from the baby.

“Speaking of being involved,” Senior steered the conversation as he readjusted Jason in his arms.

Gibbs’ face was blank, but he had a feeling he knew where this conversation was going, but the former sniper was ready for it.

Senior turned to fully face the man sitting beside him. “How long have you and Junior been…?” It was hard for the older DiNozzo to finish his thought.

Both Tony and Jethro agreed they were never really going to share when their relationship evolved from friends and coworkers into lovers. Except to maybe Jason. But Senior was family, and he deserved to know the truth.

“Since Tony came back from being an Agent Afloat. Three years,” Gibbs answered truthfully.

It was clear that DiNozzo was doing the math in his head. His eyes widened, and his mouth dropped open in shock. “The two of you were together when I came into town and when you gave me that talking to,” the older man realized.

Jethro nodded his head in confirmation. “Tony did not want you to know then,” he tried to explain their reasoning. It was left unsaid that Tony did not trust his father with the knowledge of his relationship with Gibbs. Senior was not always supportive of Junior’s dalliances in the past.

A look of shame appeared on Senior’s face. It was his own fault Junior kept him at arm’s length. However, it was not time to dwell in the past. Senior was here now, and Tony did not slam the door in his dad’s face. “Can’t say I blame him,” the older DiNozzo relented, “but I want that to be just a bad memory in the past.”

For a long moment, neither one of the men said another word. Jason seemed to sense the tension between the two men, and he relaxed in his grandfather’s lap. Eventually, Senior opened his mouth to speak, but he struggled with what to say. “Do you love him?” Senior had to know the answer.

Gibbs wiped away a bit of drool from his son’s chin before his eyes stared down his lover’s father. “I do,” the blue eyed male answered in all honesty, “I love him.”

Senior could sense how much Gibbs loved his son. It was evident in the way the two interacted, in the way they looked at one another, and in the way Jethro treated their son. Even though Tony found himself settled with a man, Junior could not have picked a better one. “Can’t say that I was expecting this, but I know you will take care of my boy,” Senior spoke.

Gibbs reached for his son to take in his arms. Jason dropped his toy and cooed as he realized he was wrapped in his father’s arms. Rocking back and forth on his heels, Gibbs kissed his son’s cheek. Turning back to the older DiNozzo, Jethro added, “I will for as long as he will have me,” the former Marine vowed.

The future was always going to be uncertain, but Jethro was sure that he was going to do everything in his power to provide a good life for Tony and their son. Jethro was going to love Tony and make a good life for them. Gibbs only hoped that it was not going to be just a phase.

It was at that moment when Tony walked into the room. The carrier could sense the obvious tension in the living room, and his eyes widened slightly. “Dinner is ready,” he spoke when the two men paid no mind to Tony’s presence.

Jethro grabbed Jason from Senior as the pair got to their feet. Both men were silent as they followed Tony into the kitchen. Tony was back at the stove, and he plated tonight’s dinner. “Hope you two are in the mood for carbonara,” the green eyed carrier commented as he handed his father and lover their plates.

When Tony got his own plate, he headed to the table to join the others. As soon as Tony sat down, Jethro handed Jason over to his mother. When Jason was settled into Tony’s arms, the baby patted Tony’s chest repeatedly as he smacked his lips together. Tony rolled his eyes at his son’s antics. “Yeah, yeah… I get it; you’re hungry. Hold on little one,” the carrier muttered as he adjusted his son in his grip to roll up his shirt.

Both Jethro and Senior watched as Jason immediately latched on to his meal. After Tony was sure that Jason was settled and secured in his arms, he picked up his fork and began eating awkwardly with one arm. After a while, Tony learned how to maneuver around while feeding Jason simultaneously.

Senior’s cheeks had blushed, and he diverted his gaze from his son and grandson. He would not look at the pair while Jason was getting his dinner. There were some things Senior was never going to get used to, and this was one of those things.

“So tell me a little about what’s been going since I last visited,” Senior suddenly requests after clearing his throat.

Tony’s fork freezes halfway to his mouth, and his eyes plead at his lover. Gibbs just stares blankly back. “What do you want to know?” Tony asks before finally taking his bite of dinner.

The older DiNozzo would still not look in his son’s direction. “Gibbs told me earlier that the two of you have been together for a couple of years now, and the two of you have a child together. So how come the two of you don’t live together?” Senior demanded answers.

The green eyed male nearly choked on his food. Jason sensed the tension in his mother, and the child whined. Tony rocked his son in his arms, and Jason immediately settled once more. Green eyes then turned to his lover, and Tony silently pleaded with his lover to handle this question. Gibbs could not leave his lover out to dry.

With a sigh, Gibbs explained, “Finding out Tony was pregnant was a bit of a surprise. After Jason was born, the two of us separated for a bit in order for us to figure out what we wanted in this relationship.”

Senior was still so focused on the blue eyed male across from him. “And now?” Senior was waiting on a proposal for his son. The least Gibbs could do for Tony is make an honest man out of him.

Dropping his fork on his plate, Tony bit the bullet for this question. “That’s something Jethro and I still need to discuss Dad,” Tony stated.

“Well I would not take too long to figure it out,” Senior grumbled before focusing on finishing his dinner.

After a pause, Tony interrupted the silence by asking his dad, “So how long are you in town for?” Tony was not sure if he could handle his dad staying for longer than a night or two.

Finally, Senior turned his gaze to his son. “I leave tomorrow. Off to Europe to work out some trades,” the father answered his son, “You that desperate to get rid of me?”

Sighing, Tony shook his head. “Course not Dad. Just curious is all,” Tony answered while slightly pouting. Family dinners….

Later on that night, Tony was ready for bed. With his second bedroom turned into a nursery, Senior had to sleep on the couch. Old man was not too thrilled about that; next time he was getting an expensive hotel room. Meanwhile, Tony had gotten Jason finally down to sleep, and he was dragging his tired body into the bedroom.

Jethro was already in bed reading a case file. Tony smiled at the sight of his lover bare chested with his reading glasses on. It gave the carrier the energy to strip himself down to his boxers. Then the carrier collapsed onto the bed with a sigh.

The blue eyed male snorted in amusement. “Took you a while,” the former Marine commented, “Jason finally go down to sleep?”

Tony rolled over so that he was laying on his side while facing his lover beside him. “Yeah. Didn’t want to be put down. Had to nurse him a little bit to get him to go down. He should be good for a few hours though,” Tony answered as he shifted closer to his lover.

Gibbs watched his lover twist and turn to get comfortable; it was clear there was something on the carrier’s mind. Tony always needed a nudge to get him to open up when he was nervous. “What’s on your mind Tony?” the former Marine wondered in a soft voice.

The carrier sighed, and the tension seemed to ease out of his posture. “Do you think it’s time I finally weaned Jason?” Tony asked his lover, “I mean Dad would not even look at me and Jason at dinner.” It slightly bothered the carrier; he was already uncomfortable with his body as it was.

Jethro knew that he had to be careful with his words. Tony was still sensitive about his figure, and Gibbs had no right to tell his lover what he could and could not do with his own body. “That’s completely up to you. If you want to switch to formula, then I’ll back you up. Just remember that your body will never completely go back to what it was before you had Jason,” Jethro reminded his lover.

Tony rolled onto his back and rubbed his face. “I know,” the carrier responded, “I’ll think about it. Jason still really seems to like it.” It was always a struggle to balance his own needs and those of his son. Maybe Tony was going to have to wait it out until Jason was ready to be weaned on his own.

For a long moment, the two lovers were enveloped in a comfortable silence. Tony rolled back onto his side and watched his lover. Gibbs was still analyzing the case file in his hands. It still shocked the carrier that the two of them were in such a good place in their relationship. It almost felt like a dream, and any moment Tony was going to wake up and be miserable once more.

“Jethro,” Tony called after a long moment. He was ready to have a serious conversation right now.

Like he sensed it as well, Jethro put the case file and his reading glasses on the nightstand beside him. He then turned to fully face his lover and replied, “Yes?”

Tony bit his bottom lip; his jade orbs would not stare Gibbs in the face. “Were you serious earlier?” he finally wondered as his hand reached out to caress his lover’s arm closest to him.

“What do you mean?” Jethro asked for clarification.

Forest green orbs finally focused on ice blue glaciers. “When you talked to my dad about us,” Tony began to explain, “How you felt about me and our relationship.”

Before Jethro opened his mouth to speak, his hand reached forward to caress the side of the carrier’s cheek. “Absolutely,” the former Marine reassured his lover.

The two leaned toward the other and shared a deep kiss, which spoke more emotion than either one of them could communicate with their words. It felt so right being together again like this.

When Tony pulled away from the older man’s lips, he spoke. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” Jethro immediately responded.

Tony then snuggled into his lover’s side. It felt so good to have Gibbs’ hand caress his side and abdomen. “I want us to share one place together,” Tony admitted while closing his eyes, “no more going back and forth to each other’s places.”

Jethro had been waiting for Tony to say that to him for a long time; even before the pair separated. “I think you and Jason should move into my house,” Jethro agreed with his lover.

The carrier leaned on his side to turn his head back to his lover. “Only if I can bring the piano. That stays with me,” the younger man countered.

Gibbs laughed and pressed a soft kiss on his lover’s lips. “We will find a place for it,” the former Marine relented. Anything to get Tony and Jason with him permanently.

Chapter Text

"There! Right there! Oh...." the carrier broke out into a moan.

At the current moment, Tony was moving up and down as he circled his hips in a figure eight. His hands rested on his lover’s naked chest. Jethro’s bright eyes stared at the submissive male. Tony’s head was thrown back, and his eyes closed as he lost himself in the physical and pleasurable sensations. There was no other way to describe it; Tony was breathtakingly beautiful in throes of passion. The former Marine sniper would never tire of silently taking in moment like this, of Tony in such a state like so.

Tony let out another moan as Jethro’s member continued to hit that spot inside of him. The green eyed carrier was getting closer and closer to achieving his orgasm. His nails dug into his lover’s pectoral muscles as he continued to ride his Gibbs into the sunset.

Jethro’s right hand slowly trailed up his lover’s thigh to his hip. From there it continued its path up his chest, giving his lover’s breasts a brief squeeze, which caused his lover to gasp at the sensation. The barest hint of a smirk graced the blue eyed male’s lips. Tony may not like saying it, but his chest was a bigger erogenous zone since giving birth. The older man’s hand then continued upward, and it stopped at its main destination. Gripping the carrier lightly by the back of the neck, Jethro pushed his lover’s upper body down to bring their lips together in a passionate kiss that was more tongue and teeth. Mostly it was oxygen that was shared between the two lover’s lips; true kisses were always hard in the middle of sex, much like words. Though Tony was one who could talk through anything.

“If you don’t want Jason or your dad to finish the finale, you better hurry it up,” Jethro warned his lover in breathy voice.

The green eyed male pouted. What a buzzkill! Still, Tony was still totally engrossed in the moment to get totally distracted. Following his lover’s orders, the carrier sped up his movements. At this point, Tony was chasing both his own and Jethro’s orgasms. The green eyed male’s right hand slowly reached for his own hard and aching member. Biting his bottom lip, Tony stroked his leaking cock twice before he was tipped over the edge. He shot his seed over his lover’s abdomen and moaned as the pleasurable waves consumed him.

Gibbs was not fairing any better. Feeling the carrier’s walls constrict around his member was beyond pleasing. Using his strength, Jethro pushed up his hips to fuck the carrier through his own orgasm; there was no pattern or rhythm to Gibbs’ thrust. He was chasing his own orgasm now. A couple of minutes later, the former Marine’s hips stuttered as he shot his seed, which was trapped inside the protective barrier. A light groan escaped his lips as Jethro shut his eyes to enjoy the sensations flooding his body. Nothing started a morning off right than sex.

Later that morning, Senior left shortly after breakfast. With Anthony DiNozzo Sr., everything was a whirlwind. The older male already had his bag packed when Tony came out with Jason in his arms. It threw the carrier for a loop, and Gibbs was already brewing coffee. Coffee… Tony was ready for the days when he could survive on caffeine again.

“When I’m in Nice, I’ll call you Junior,” Senior informed his son.

Then Senior grabbed his grandson from the carrier’s arms and blew raspberries on the baby’s belly. Senior was going to miss spending time and getting to know his grandson. Turning back to his own son, the older DiNozzo requested, “Please send me pictures and updates on Jason.”

Tony nodded his head, totally serious. “Of course Dad,” the green eyed carrier immediately responded, “Do you want to stay for a little bit? I can get dressed and drive you to the airport? It’s no trouble for me.”

Senior waved his son off. Shaking his head, the older DiNozzo responded, “I already called a car to pick me up, and it’s on its way. Besides, you have Jason to take care of and work to worry about me.”

The younger DiNozzo bit the inside of his cheek as he felt a little bit of disappointment. There was always going to be a part of Tony that will long for a better relationship with his father. It seemed that Senior always had one foot in the door. “Ok Dad,” Tony muttered.

As Tony watched his Dad leave the apartment, Jethro moved to stand beside his lover and place a hand on the carrier’s shoulder. Jethro understood Tony’s emotions regarding his father, and Jethro planned to be there and support the mother of his child.

Tony turned his head and smiled at his lover. “Thanks,” he softly spoke.

Still a functioning mute, Jethro turned back around and headed toward the kitchen without saying another word. However, Tony was not bothered by this; everything felt right at the moment. And soon, Tony, Jethro, and Jason will be living under one roof as they should have been all along. The future was bright, and the carrier was looking forward to where it would take them next.

“How about pancakes for breakfast?” Tony suggested as he followed his lover into the kitchen.

Neither Tony nor Jethro were late to work. Tony took Jason to daycare, like usual. Only this time, the carrier had to use all his charms with the daycare director to allow Jason back in. After all, how often did babies bite each other, like Jason did the other night? Tony was guessing it was a regular occurrence. Therefore, there was no reason to kick the youngest Gibbs out of the program.

It may have been a while, but DiNozzo’s flirting skills were like riding a bicycle. His charm never went away, and it was in full force as he headed down to the daycare. It was no secret in the past that the daycare director ogled the carrier Very Special Agent, so DiNozzo put on his most charming smile as he entered. It was hardly difficult to get the director to allow Jason back inside. She had a weakness for anyone who was a good parent it seemed. In no time, Tony was dropping a pouting Jason off before heading to the bullpen.

When the green eyed carrier stepped out of the elevator, he was whistling an upbeat tune. There was a big smile on the carrier’s soft lips, and there was just a positive vibe about him. Others noticed it as well.

Both Tim and Ziva were already at their desks, and the boss man was nowhere in sight; he was probably on a coffee run at this point. Both agents turned toward the senior field agent when they heard him approaching. “You are in a good mood,” Ziva shared her opinion aloud.

Green eyes turned to the former Mossad officer. “Don’t you know it. Morning started it off right….” The carrier then proceeded to break into song as he dropped his things at his desk and taking his seat.

McGee raised a curious eyebrow at the male stationed beside him. The younger man turned his body to fully face the carrier. “You haven’t been like this since…” McGee actually struggled with remembering the last time Tony acted in such a demeanor.

Ziva, meanwhile, closed the gap between herself and her partner. She stood beside the senior field agent’s desk and got right into his personal space. Pulling aside his collar, she pointed out, “Is that a second hickey I see?”

The grin on DiNozzo’s face was absolutely lecherous. Pulling his body away from the woman, he retorted, “Why it is Agent David. Your investigative skills are getting better.”

The Israeli woman raised an eyebrow; her dark eyes full of amused mirth. “I assume you had company then,” she guessed. She was starting to suspect who Tony spent the night with last night.

“Wasn’t your dad here?” McGee had a look of disgust on his face as he asked his question.

Tony licked his lips as he leaned back in his chair. “Why we chose to have a great roll in the morning and not last night Probie,” the senior field agent revealed.

“I assume then you worked things out with David then,” Ziva continued to interrogate as he folded her arms across her chest.

The carrier frowned at the mention of his ex. “David and I are not anything anymore,” Tony wanted to drive that point home. There was no way he was giving up what he had now for anyone else.

“Better not be,” Gibbs’ voice came seemingly out of nowhere.

All three agents jumped when they heard their boss’ voice. They turned toward him, and Gibbs crossed the bullpen. He stopped at DiNozzo’s desk and dropped a sheet of paper on his desk. Tony read the document before asking, “Change of address form?”

Gibbs nodded his head as he took his seat. His blue eyes remained focused on his lover. They already had this discussion. At the same time, both McGee and Ziva were staring at one another as well as the other two men on their team.

There was a puzzled expression on the carrier’s face. They only talked about this last night. “How fast do expect me to be out of my place?” the green eyed male wondered.

There was an unreadable expression on the former sniper’s face. “How fast can you hire movers to take care of everything?” was Jethro’s response.

Shrugging his shoulders, Tony thought aloud, “Guess I can call them.”

“Are the two of you back together?” McGee interrupted.

The younger agent’s mouth was opened wide as he processed the scene before them. The comradery was back between the boss and his right hand agent, which has not been seen since Tony came back from maternity leave. There was no PDA between DiNozzo and Gibbs, but there was still an air of comfort that could only be found between two people in love.

Before Tony dialed the number on his phone, he turned his head in the Probie’s direction. “Does that explain my morning to you?” the carrier teased with wink.

McGee balked at the implications. Tony was bragging about great morning sex earlier. Now McGee realized that sex involved Gibbs. Tim shuddered at the thought; he never wanted to imagine his boss in any sort of intimate situation.

Ziva, on the other hand, was thrilled that things were sorted out between her two friends. The two of them deserved to be happy, and they finally got over their issues and realized they were each other’s source of happily ever after. “Congratulations,” Ziva offered sincerely.

Gibbs turned to his female agent. The two of them had a unique bond, as the two of them understood the darker nature of one another. Gibbs nodded his head, accepting the woman’s kind words for what they were.

“Just wait until Abby hears about this,” Tim muttered. At least he was not the last to know this time around.

Before the forensic scientist could be brought in on the news, Gibbs’ phone rang with news of a new case. In less than a minute, the members of MCRT grabbed their bags and heading toward the elevator. It was time to solve another case.

The improvements between DiNozzo and Gibbs’ relationship was noticeable to anyone who knew the two stubborn federal agents. Ducky was bold enough to comment about it when Gibbs came down to the morgue to get the details on the autopsy. The Scotsman was thrilled when Jethro confirmed he and Tony had worked things out and were giving their relationship another go. Ducky brought up the benefits for Jason, but Jethro was quick to interrupt that it was not just Jason that kept the pair together. No, it was love; something the former Marine had not felt since Shannon. Tony was Gibbs’ second chance at happiness, and Jethro was not going to squander this gift.

It took a few days to solve the case, but when it did Tony was already moved into Jethro’s home permanently. Any furniture the carrier was not bringing over was donated to local shelters and refurbished stores. To celebrate their new lives, the pair decided to invite the team over for a barbeque that weekend.

Everyone invited arrived Gibbs’ home that Saturday. Abby, McGee, Ziva, Ducky, and Jimmy were there along with Fornell as well. Tony was taking Abby, McGee, and Ziva around the house to show off the changes he brought. Ducky, Jimmy, and Tobias stayed with Gibbs outside as he manned the grill.

The first stop on Tony’s tour was the revamped study. Anyone who had been to Gibbs’ place before remembered his study being his dumping ground. Mostly it was old boxes that the former Marine had not touched in years. Now though, a grand piano stood in the center of the room, and the books on the bookshelves have doubled. “Gibbs let you bring that over?” Tim commented as he pointed to the piano.

“Of course,” Tony immediately responded, “I’m going to teach Jason how to play on it.”

“I think it’s so sweet how the house has both your personalities now,” Abby stated as the four of them left the room.

In the living room, Tony’s T.V. was now mounted to the wall. On each side of the television were two bookcases filled with DVDs. The couch had been moved to face the T.V., which was not too far away from the fire place either. The set up was perfect for a night in with a movie or just to sit cozy together with a fire going. After all, both Tony and Jethro were still fond of their cowboy steak dinners.

Tony led the others back outside to rejoin the others. Jethro had a beer in his hand and stood beside Fornell as the pair checked on the food cooking on the grill. Jason was currently being held by the M.E., who made funny faces at the baby, which caused the young Gibbs to erupt in giggles. Tony smiled and immediately headed towards Ducky and his son. “Ah, Anthony,” Ducky greeted before handing the boy to his mother.

Tony gathered Jason in his arms and placed a wet kiss on his son’s cheek. “Thanks for coming Ducky,” the carrier spoke as he sat down beside the older male.

“It’s nice to see you three together and happy,” Ducky responded, “I’m glad things worked out for the both of you. You really do bring out the best in one another.”

The carrier’s cheeks reddened at the compliment. “Me too. For a while, I was scared it was never going to happen.”

Green eyes then scanned around the back yard. He spotted the Probie and Abby whispering to one another. It had been years since the two were officially together, but the spark had yet to leave either one of them. The comfort between Tim and Abby reminded the carrier of his own relationship with Gibbs. Tim just needed to man up now and make his move.

Getting to his feet, Tony intruded on the Probie. With the hand not holding his son, Tony reached into his pocket for a set of keys that he threw in the younger man’s direction. Tim had just barely managed to catch them before looking at the carrier with confusion in his eyes.

“What’s this?” Tim wondered.

“The keys to my apartment. Make me a decent offer, and it’s yours,” the green eyed male explained.

Tim was left speechless. Tony’s place was beyond amazing. “You got it,” the younger man finally responded when he regained the ability to speak.

Smiling, Tony added, “Figured you might need the extra space for a fresh start at things.” His eyes then briefly glanced at the bubbly goth, hinting at Tim’s not so secret feelings.

McGee understood what the other man was implying, and his eyes darted to the ground as his cheeks reddened. He will one day finally get the courage to express his feelings to the woman who stole his heart so many years ago. It was great to know that his friends and coworkers supported his dream.

“Whose hungry?” Gibbs asked as he took the burgers and hot dogs off the grill and onto a plate.

The group joined together as they ate their food. Tony and Jethro were sitting side by side as Abby held onto her godson. Ducky and Palmer were engrossed in a discussion about the origins of a barbeque.

Ziva had been observing the others around her. Her eyes stilled at Tony and Gibbs. “Now that the two of you are living together, will there be wedding bells in the future?” she asked without shame.

Tony choked on his food and quickly reached for his drink. After clearing his throat, he answered, “Well uh, I don’t think the both of us are exactly the marrying type. No offense Jethro, but you don’t have the best track record. Not to say the two of us are going to break up though….” Why was he blindsided with such a question?

Jethro decided to save his lover from any further embarrassment. “We haven’t talked about it yet. But we’ll see where things take us.”

Tony nodded his head enthusiastically in agreement. Trust the functional mute to use his words properly and give the best answer possible.

“You know Tony, that would make you the fifth Mrs. Gibbs if that happens,” Tim teased his friend.

The carrier glared at the Probie. Everyone else laughed at Tim’s words. Tony did not stay angry long, and he too joined in the fun. His laughter died away when he felt Jethro’s hand slid into his underneath the table. Green and blue eyes gazed at one another. One thing was certain for the carrier, Leroy Jethro Gibbs was and still is Tony’s future.

Later that night, Tony was in the bathroom with Jason. The carrier was humming a soft tune as he bathed his son. Jason was relaxed as he played with his toys that were designed for the bathtub. Jethro stood in the open doorway and took a moment to take in the scene before him. It was perfectly domestic, and the former Marine was never going to grow tired to being witness to his lover and child bonding.

As Tony rinsed the soap off of Jason, Jethro fully entered the bathroom. Tony did not turn his head to greet him, but he did comment, “It is great to be home.” Home. What a word. It filled his heart with such joy to call this place home with his family.

Gibbs grunted in agreement before passing Tony Jason’s small towel.

While drying his son off, Tony mused aloud, “And everyone knows, and there are no more secrets. Everything is finally perfect.”

“Well there is one person I’ve been wanting to meet Jason,” Jethro countered his lover.

The green eyed carrier raised a curious eyebrow. He had a feeling he knew who his lover was talking about. “Oh yeah?” the carrier responded.

“Yeah,” Jethro muttered before bringing their lips together in a kiss.

Chapter Text

It seemed like in no time the holidays were around the corner. Thanksgiving was only a week and a half away. Tony could barely contain his excitement. It was safe to say that the carrier was excited for the holidays this year. After all, this was Jason’s first Thanksgiving. The green eyed carrier wanted everything perfect for the upcoming festivities.

“Think we should invite the team over?” Tony asked as he ate his breakfast.

Sitting across from the carrier was his lover. Jason was still upstairs, sound asleep. The lovers planned to enjoy their time alone together before Jason monopolized their time. For once the two of them were able to sit down and eat their breakfast without any interruptions.

Jethro took a bite of his omelet before responding, “No.”

Green eyes blinked in response. Leave it Jethro to give such a long winded response. “Why not?” the carrier near whined, “It’s Jason’s first Thanksgiving. Maybe we can get Ducky to do the turkey like when we all went to his place. I can make pie. You can do the potatoes. We can get Tim, Ziva, and Abby to all bring sides.”

Ice blue eyes stared down at the carrier. “We already have plans Tony,” Jethro continued to give vague answers.

There was a puzzled expression on the carrier’s face. “We do?” Tony wondered, “Since when? And with who?”

Before Gibbs could open his mouth and explain anything, Jason’s cries could be heard. “I’ll go get him,” Jethro spoke, “you finish your breakfast before he is ready for his.”

Tony was not going to turn down the free pass to changing his son’s dirty diaper. “Ok,” Tony muttered before digging back into his breakfast.

When Jethro was up the stairs, Tony’s mind returned to their earlier conversation. Did Jethro admit to planning their son’s first Thanksgiving without him… Jason’s mother. Tony was not sure if he should feel flattered or offended.

As soon as he was done with his breakfast, Jethro was coming down the stairs with a talkative Jason in his arms. Jason was not speaking real words yet, but it was only a matter of time. Tony was certain to get Jason to say ‘Mama’ as his first word. Of course, Jethro was secretly training his son the word ‘Dada’, but the former Marine would be just as happy if Tony won this fight.

Tony took his son from Jethro, and he headed back toward the stairs to get them both ready. “Go ahead and finish breakfast. I got this from here,” Tony spoke before heading back up to his son’s room.

Jethro could hear Tony talking to their son up the stairs. “You hungry little man? Can you say Mama for me, and I’ll not complain when you chomp down? Go on, say ‘Mama’.” The former Marine shook his head at his lover antics.

For the next few days, Tony completely forgot about the breakfast conversation he and Gibbs shared. It was not until Ducky invited the team to his home for the Scotts’ annual Thanksgiving soiree. Of course Ducky invited Tony, Gibbs, and Jason, but Gibbs declined the offer for himself and his family.

“Sorry, Duck, can’t make it this year,” Jethro commented as he handed his friend back the invitation.

“Do you already have plans Jethro?” Ducky questioned.

Getting to his feet, Gibbs reached for his empty coffee cup, which he tossed into the trash. “We do.” Gibbs was still not going to reveal anything about his secret plans.

Tony’s green eyes narrowed at his boss and lover. Chewing on his bottom lip, the carrier pondered, “You ever going to let me know about these plans of yours?”

Of course Gibbs did not answer. Instead, he headed toward the elevator for a much needed refill for his coffee. He was planning on surprising his family, and nothing was going to ruin the surprise.

Sighing, Tony lowered his head in exasperation. He loved Jethro more than anything, but Gibbs’ need to keep things close to the chest was still unbelievably frustrating. Still, they were compromising, and Tony was going to suck it up and enjoy the surprise in the end.

McGee moved closer to the carrier’s desk. “Wait, you don’t know what you are doing for the holiday?” the younger agent was surprised by this fact.

The only way to describe the look on the carrier’s face was bitchy. “Obviously, McObvious! Or else I wouldn’t be asking Gibbs, would I?” The sarcasm was thick in the carrier’s tone.

Ziva leaned back in her chair as she agent the agent across from her. “Maybe Gibbs is going to propose,” she mused aloud.

Green eyes turned to the deadly female agent and rolled in response. “I don’t know why you are so obsessed with us getting married Zi-va,” Tony purposefully over pronouncing her name just to annoy her.

The former Mossad officer smiled and raised her hands in defeat. “It’s not me that’s so obsessed,” she responded with amusement in her tone.

“That would be Abby,” McGee finished for his female teammate.

Ziva nodded her head. “I believe she has planned out your entire wedding.”

Tony raised an eyebrow, and his face was concerned. There was nothing more terrifying than an obsessed Abby with a mission. It was actually sweet of Tim and Ziva to keep Abby’s enthusiasm reach the small family of three. “Thanks for that,” Tony said in all honesty.

The MCRT were currently doing threat assessments, which made the work days long and tedious. Each one of the agents would much rather be working a case than the endless amount of paper work they were currently sifting through. The one benefit to not working an active case though were the hours. The team arrived at work at a normal hour, and they left the Navy Yard at a decent hour.

Two days after Ducky formally invited the team to Thanksgiving dinner, Gibbs sent the team home early. Tony, Ziva, and Tim were surprised by Gibbs’ order. It was only four in the afternoon; Gibbs never let them out that early. Tim and Ziva shared a look with one another before they quickly gathered their belongings and headed home.

The green eyed carrier turned to his boss and lover. “Boss?”

Gibbs’ ice blue eyes turned to his lover. “Go get Jason from daycare. I should be finished up when you get back,” Gibbs stated in a soft voice.

Feeling as though something was up, Tony swallowed his complaints and followed orders. He headed to the elevator; it was not a hardship to pick up Jason. Tony was always excited to pick up his son and spend time with him. From the moment Tony learned he was pregnant, he swore he was not going to turn out like his father. Tony did not feel like he was tooting his own horn by thinking he was a great parent to his son.

After picking up Jason, Jethro drove his family home. When they entered the house though, something was off. Tony took a deep inhale, and he recognized the scent of home cooking. “Jethro?” Tony questioned in a whisper.

His question was answered a moment later. “About time the two of you got home!” came the deep voice belonging only to a Gibbs.

Jackson Gibbs stepped through the kitchen doorway wearing a red checkered apron that Tony bought Jethro as a joke a year ago. There was a smile on the elder Gibbs’ face. Which was the exact opposite of the carrier. Tony had a shocked expression on his dashing face, and Jethro was completely amused by his lover’s reaction.

“Jackson,” Tony uttered in surprise, “I didn’t know you were coming.” Tony shifted his stance as he adjusted the car carrier in his grip. The carrier suddenly felt guilty for never taking the time to introduce Jackson Gibbs to his newest grandchild; the elder Gibbs was certainly in for a surprise.

The elder Gibbs wiped his hands on the apron before stepping closer to his son. “I assume Leroy wanted to surprise you for the holiday,” Jackson surmised as his eyes trained onto the car seat in the carrier’s hands. “Now, let me see me my grandson.”

Tony moved to place the car seat on the coffee table in the living room. “He is asleep since he didn’t take a nap at daycare. Only person I know who can sleep through Jethro’s driving,” Tony explained as he stepped away from his son, putting him in his grandfather’s view.

There was a look of awe on Jackson’s face as he finally gazed upon his grandson for the very first time. “He’s beautiful,” the senior male commented with a smile on his face, “certainly has the Gibbs family genes.”

There was a proud look on Jethro’s face; he had been waiting a long time for this moment. Meanwhile, the carrier was still so confused. A failure on his part, Tony never informed Jackson about Jason. “Wait, you know about Jason?” How did Jackson know?

Jackson’s dark eyes turned to his son. “Leroy told me. Would send me pictures of Jason and updates whenever we talked,” the older Gibbs explained.

Green eyes turned to his lover with exasperated eyes. “Did he now?” Tony responded in slight annoyance, “would have been nice if he told me that.” At least now Tony could let go of the guilt of not keeping Jackson in the loop.

Jethro turned his head to his lover and replied in an equally unamused tone, “Well we weren’t exactly talking and sharing everything for a while there.” Gibbs did not want to dwell on that time; they both agreed to move on and focus on their future.

Of course at that moment, Jason’s blue eyes, which matched his father’s, blinked open. He let out an unhappy wail as his arms reached out for someone to hold him. Tony immediately answered his son’s request and pulled his son out of the car seat. Turning to Jackson, whose eyes were still focused on Jason, Tony wondered, “Do you want to hold him?”

“Please,” Jackson responded as he took Jason from his mother.

In all honesty, Jackson never thought he would have another grandchild after the tragedy that befell Kelly and Shannon. Even though his son remarried three times, none of them had seemed to really matter to Leroy. Unlike Tony, who actually understood the enigmatic ways of Leroy and accepted his son for all his flaws and quirks. When Jackson first met Tony back in Stillwater, the older man understood the carrier was someone important to his son. When he handed the Challenger keys to Leroy, Jackson questioned Leroy’s relationship with the carrier. A father always knew, and Leroy did not lie to him; he confessed to being in a relationship with Tony. It made Jackson happy to know there was someone special in his son’s life. And to think, a grandson was created out of the love. Jackson could not wait to spoil his grandson.

“Are you here for the holiday?” Tony wondered as took off his jacket.

Jackson nodded his head in confirmation. “I am more than happy to cook a Thanksgiving feast for us,” the older man explained.

“Thank you, but you don’t have to do that,” Tony replied.

“Nonsense,” Jackson responded, “You two are still working. And I don’t expect either one of you know how to make a proper Thanksgiving dinner.”

Well, Jackson were right on both accounts. “I’m glad you’re here,” Tony stated honestly.

There was such warmth in Jackson Gibbs’ eyes. “Me too. Dinner should be ready. How about we move this to the kitchen.”

When they were all seated and eating dinner, Tony took a moment to turn to his lover. “This the surprise you’ve been planning?” Tony asked in a low voice.

Jethro nodded his head and reached for his lover’s hand. “It’s Jason’s first Thanksgiving after all. Had to make it a special one.”

The smile on Tony’s face was absolutely breathtaking, and it reminded Jethro why he fell in love with the carrier in the first place. “I love you,” Tony stated.

There was an equally breathtaking smile on the former Marine’s lips. “Love you too.”

Jackson sat back down at the table and raised his glass to toast. “To family. May we be together for all the good, the bad, and the ugly because nothing is stronger than the bonds of love and family.”

Both Tony and Jethro raised their glasses and toasted in merriment. Tony could not believe where life has taken him. He and Jethro created a beautiful life and were so happy. Never in a million years did the carrier think he would ever settle down, but Jethro was his happily ever after. Maybe one day they would make it official with rings and new last names, or maybe they never risk changing the perfect moment. The truth was that Tony did not care how his future went, so long as he and Jethro were raising Jason together.