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Pairing: Gibbs/Dinozzo (established relationship)
Disclaimer: Don't own, just having a bit of fun.
Summary: Its a painful thing to realize the one you love no longer needs you.
Author's note: Answer to the Cuddlefic Challenge posted by taylorgibbs over at the NCISchat YahooGroup.
Gibbs sighed as he glanced over at the clock on the nightstand.
He'd been lying awake for over an hour, his overactive mind preventing him from falling asleep and staying there.
But then again, it isn't everyday you realize that someone you love more than life no longer needs you.
He'd been with Tony off and on for five of the nine years they'd been working together. It had started out innocent enough. Just two guys blowing off steam when the need got too great and neither had anyone else to turn to. The relationship had gone on like that for a long while. And it worked for them. They didn't make any grand confessions of love or anything, but the intimacy they shared off the job, helped them work together seamlessly on the job.
That bomb, and Gibbs subsequent memory loss, had nearly ruined everything. But they'd worked through a lot after Gibbs' memory had returned, and the second half of their relationship was a lot more stable. They were no longer simply blowing off steam. They had talked a lot of things out, and in the end they'd mutually decided to give a real relationship a try. And things had been going great since then. Sure, they'd had their bumps and hiccups along the way; but their bond had never been stronger.
Still, Gibbs hadn't ever really considered the fact that Tony might not need him one day. His lover had grown over the years, there was no doubt about that. He still projected the frat boy persona on occasion, but everyone that knew him well, knew it was all an act. But other than that, Tony had definitely changed. They all had. But it was more profound for Tony. At least it was for Gibbs. Gone was the insecure attention-seeking kid he'd instinctively recruited for his team. In his place stood a calm, confident, and self assured man, tempered by the pain of loss and strengthened by the renewed sense of self that one must gain in a job like theirs if they want to last.
Tony didn't need Gibbs the way he had before. He didn't turn to Gibbs for approval for every little thing. A compliment from Gibbs, while cherished and appreciated, wasn't going to make or break him. Hell, soon Tony would have his own little team of minions to mold and shape into fine agents.
Sighing again, Gibbs shook his head. That's what this was about. Director Vance had decided Tony needed his own team. Gibbs had wanted to balk at the idea of Tony not being on his team, but the lack of response and gleam of hope in Tony's eyes had stopped him. He knew then and there that he couldn't ask Tony to pass up a chance like this. Not again. The first time he hadn't been privy to the offer before it was declined; but this time he was. And he knew that Tony not only deserved this opportunity, he wanted it.
The rational part of him understood that Tony didn't want to leave him. But matters of the heart were hardly rational. And Gibbs couldn't help but feel like Tony having his own team would tear them apart. If Gibbs was no longer Tony's Boss, maybe Tony would also realize that he didn't need Gibbs like he used to, if at all.
Looking down at the man curled up over his chest, fast asleep, Gibbs felt an unfamiliar pain swell in his chest. It had been a long time since he'd truly doubted his place in anyone's life, probably not since Shannon, and it most definitely wasn't a pleasant feeling.
Looking over at the clock once more, Gibbs saw it read 4:02 AM. 'Good thing we're off today' he thought with a deprecating smile.
"Y're thinkin' too loud."
Kissing Tony's forehead, Gibbs smiled at the blurry eyes looking up at him. "Sorry. Go back to sleep."
"Can't. Wha's wrong?"
"Liar." Gibbs watched as Tony sat up in the bed and reached to turn on the bedside lamp. "It's about the offer, isn't it?"
Unable to lie with Tony staring at him, no longer having the cover of darkness to hide his eyes, Gibbs shrugged.
"Jethro, talk to me. I thought you were okay with this."
Rubbing a hand over his face, Gibbs looked over at his lover again. Deciding he wasn't gonna lie about this, knowing it would only hurt Tony if he did, Gibbs took a deep breath, "I am okay with this Tony. You deserve your own team. I know Jen offered you a team when I was hurt, and I know you turned it down and I know why. I would never ask you to turn the chance down again."
"There is no but, Tony."
"Yes there is. If me having my own team isn't the issue, and I know the location isn't the issue since we'll be working in the same building; something else is bothering you. 'Nothing' doesn't have you lying awake at 4:11 in the middle of the morning. So spill."
Knowing it was gonna sound stupid, and hating himself for it, Gibbs turned away from Tony, sitting on the side of the bed with his back facing his lover, "I don't like knowing you don't need me anymore. I mean, I've known it for a while now, but this whole team business just makes it more....I don't know. It just makes it MORE."
Gibbs startled slightly as he felt Tony slide in close behind him, arms going around his waist, head resting on his shoulder. "You're an idiot, you know."
"Yeah, I know. Still, that's the way I feel."
"I don't mean about that." Kissing the side of Gibbs' neck, smirking at the slight shudder of arousal that went through Gibbs' body, Tony continued, "How could you possibly think I don't need you Jethro? I love you. I couldn't do any of this without you."
Turning slightly, Gibbs kissed Tony softly on the lips, "Sure you could."
"No, I couldn't." Tony sighed, "Look, when Jenny offered me that job I knew I couldn't take it. I used the whole explosion and amnesia thing as a good cover, but the truth is I was scared shitless. I knew I couldn't do the job without you there with me. Okay, not true. I could do the job, but not to the best of my abilities. Maybe I don't turn to you for advice and all as much as I used to. That's because you've taught me to rely on my own instincts and to go with my gut. But I, me, Anthony Dinozzo; we all need you, Gibbs. The real you. The one that no one else gets to see. The man who sings old Beatles tunes in the shower, off-key I might add. The man who helped little Billy Fuentes build a tree-house six years ago, and still takes him camping at least twice a year. The man who wouldn't give up on me, and wouldn't let me give up on myself, when I lay dying from the Plague. Jethro, I love you more than I can express, even if I had Ducky's way with words. And whatever the future holds, with NCIS or without, I will always need you. Got it?"
Smiling, that rare smile that Tony loved so much, Gibbs shook his head. "Got it."
"Good. Now come back to bed." Tony moved to his side of the bed, and turned off the bedside lamp.
Settling against the pillows, Gibbs rolled his eyes as Tony curled up over him, resting his head on his chest. "You know Tony, sometimes I think you only want me because you're too cheap to buy a body pillow."
"Damn right. Could never get those things fluffed the way I want them. Now hush, pillows don't talk."
Smiling, Gibbs did as told, and soon was snoring softly right along with Tony.
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