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Title: Without a Word
Summary: Life changes often happen without a word.
Jethro sighed as he stood outside Tony's apartment door. Not for the first time in recent months, he felt old, and it wasn't because of his increasing age. When he and Tony had started whatever this was, it had been fun and light and no strings attached on either side. Tony continued to see his women and Jethro had the occasional overnight with old lovers, though neither seemed to happen as often as before. Sex with Tony was more than hot; it often strayed into mind-blowing, so it wasn't like he had to go looking.
To his surprise, work hadn't suffered. It had, in fact, gotten better than ever with their deeper connection. Jethro had found himself waiting for Tony to act out in some fashion, to do something that let others know they were sleeping together, but it hadn't happened. He'd also been expecting the younger agent to start wanting to branch out, to get his own team. God knew Tony was more than good enough to have one. Jethro kept his ear to the ground, but nothing seemed to be in the works to that affect.
His hand rose and he leaned on the door, both wanting to see Tony and not. The sad fact of the matter was that Jethro wanted more. Even with all the memories that crowded his mind and heart the closer they got, despite the secrets he kept, Jethro wanted them to be exclusive. He wanted to be able to just show up and not have to explain why. He wanted Tony in his bed every night and he wanted Tony to want that too.
The door opened unexpectedly, causing him to stumble a little before catching himself. Looking at Tony showed that the bruising was just as bad as when the others had escorted him from the building, though the swollen lip had gone down a bit. He looked exhausted and Jethro hurt just seeing him. "You look like crap, DiNozzo."
"Thanks, Boss. You coming in, or are you going to warm the doorstep all night?" Tony retorted.
Tony turned and left him there, so Jethro didn't really have a choice except to go in. He closed and locked the door behind him automatically, checking it before facing the other man to say gruffly, "Just making sure you got here okay."
"Because two trained agents and two scientists could somehow not get me here?"
Ignoring the amusement in Tony's voice, Jethro asked, "You take any meds?"
At that, Tony gave him a rueful look and answered, "They were being so helpful I didn't want to bother them by stopping at the drug store."
Jethro snorted, reaching into his pocked and tossing a small paper bag on the sofa. "I figured."
Tony half-smiled before reaching down to pick it up, groaning and holding his side on the way back up as he said, "Remind me not to do that again any time soon. Which, ah, brings to mind the fact that I'm not really up for anything tonight, Gibbs. Since you come bearing drugs, you knew that, but you're still here. What's up?"
A simple question with far-too-complicated answers. Settling for the short-term, Jethro replied, "I thought I would keep you company."
Tony's eyebrows rose, but he only said, "Okay, well, feel free. I'm going to take these and attempt to sleep."
Jethro watched him go to the kitchen and walked over to the bathroom. He hadn't brought his bag in case of rejection, but it was in the car so he would just duck down in the morning. In the meantime, he pulled out his toothbrush and noted in some surprise that the extra toothbrushes were gone from the drawer. He took a closer look around and discovered that were extra razors in his brand and his brand of soap, too. Tony had definitely stocked up at some point in the recent past.
He took care of business all around and left the bathroom for the bedroom. The rest of the apartment was dark but he'd been there often enough for that not to be a problem. Tony already lay in the bed on his back, but slightly turned, which told him that ribs were involved and the other man likely resting on another pillow for support. Climbing into the bed, he spooned up behind Tony and changed places with the pillow.
Tony didn't look at him, but his tone was uncertain as he asked, "You sure, Gibbs?"
Resting his arm low over Tony's hips so as not to put pressure on any bruises, Jethro pressed his lips to the back of his lover's throat and answered, "Yeah, Tony, I'm sure."
That seemed to settle something in Tony's mind and the younger man sighed slowly, his head resting in the crook of Jethro's shoulder. The arm would be asleep and useless by morning, but he didn't even care. Declarations were being made without a word and Jethro would take that over a little discomfort any day.
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