NOT KNOWING HOW
A sequel to What Should He Do?
Decision made, Tony goes to see Gibbs.
A Gibbs & DiNozzo centric gen story.
Written: March: 2011. Word count: 500.
Tony parked his car outside Gibbs's house, grabbed the box he had carefully wedged on the floor behind the driver's seat and made his way to Gibbs's front door. He rang the bell and waited.
The outside light came on and Gibbs opened the door. "DiNozzo?"
Gibbs stared at him. "You made your decision?"
Tony nodded. "Yeah," he glanced away from Gibbs.
Tony looked back at Gibbs. "What do you think?"
"That you'd be an idiot to say no." That was Gibbs: honest and blunt.
Tony gave him a wry grin. "I always thought you thought I was an idiot."
The corners of Gibbs's lips twitched. "Nah," he said and then added, "least not all of the time."
"Just most of it?" Tony quipped.
"What do you think?"
Tony didn't answer Gibbs. Instead he glanced away again, not knowing how to say the words he wanted to say. Not knowing how to say 'thank you' to the man he had if not worshipped then at least looked up to in a way he'd never looked up to anyone before. Not knowing how to say 'thank you' for the last ten years. Not knowing how to say 'I'll miss you, boss'. Not knowing how to say 'take care, watch your six'. Not knowing how to tell Gibbs to look after the rest of the team. Not knowing how to say 'goodbye'. Not knowing how to say anything. Tim, Jimmy, Ziva, Abby, even Ducky he could hug, he could tell them he'd miss them, tell them to take care; Vance he could thank. But Gibbs?
So instead he didn't say the things he wanted to say. Instead he just handed the box he held to Gibbs.
Gibbs automatically took it. "What's this, DiNozzo?"
Gibbs rolled his eyes. "Can see that, DiNozzo. Why are you giving them to me?"
"They're for you and the team. See, I've labeled them." He reached into the box and pulled out the first perfectly wrapped (the store had a gift wrapping service) gift. "See this one is for Abby. And this one," he put Abby's gift back and pulled out another one, "is for Ducky. And this," he pulled out a third gift, "is -"
"Yeah, got it, DiNozzo. Just wondered -" Then Gibbs fell silent and stared, really stared, at Tony, scrutinizing him carefully. Tony stood as still as he could, not wanting to shift from foot to foot or fiddle with the keys in his pocket. Not wanting to move. So barely even breathing, he met the steady stare, hoping that his own was saying the words he couldn't.
Finally, after what seemed like an hour, Gibbs nodded once and shifted the box into one arm and held out his hand. "Don't screw up, DiNozzo," he said.
Tony swallowed hard as he took Gibbs's hand. He was glad that was all Gibbs had to say. "I won't, boss." And with those three words, he turned on his heel and headed back to his car.
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