Set after Out Of The Frying Pan.
Tony is thinking about something Gibbs said to him and what it means.
An established relationship story.
Written: March 2011. Word count:
Gibbs knew about Tony and EJ. How he knew, Tony had no idea, but Gibbs knew and he had let Tony know that he knew. 'Lover boy'; with those two simple words, Gibbs had made it clear to Tony that he knew.
Tony wondered what had given him away. It wasn't as if Gibbs had been in the squad room when he'd said too much, too quickly, about EJ's movements, when he'd said stuff he could only have known about by spending time with EJ. But when had Gibbs not being around ever stopped him from knowing what was going on?
Tony had broken Rule #12, except had he? In Gibbs's eyes, did it apply when the people weren't on the same team? Maybe not; after all Gibbs hadn't said anything about Tony's brief fling with Paula. It was strange, in some ways EJ reminded him of Paula.
And it wasn't as if he and EJ were going to stay together. It wasn't as if they were together, not in the sense of dating. They were both game players, they both knew the rules; they both knew how these things went.
EJ and he were good together, very good. They were both experienced lovers, both confident lovers, both knew exactly what they wanted and both knew exactly how much of themselves they were prepared to give. There were no false expectations, no fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, no chance of leading one another on. They both knew the score; they both knew exactly what they were doing and what the outcome would be.
It felt good too, losing himself for some time in her body. Oddly enough the times they were together were the only times he didn't think about what he'd lost by turning down Rota. Maybe that's why he'd found himself spending so many evenings with her. To be able to forget his regret for an hour or two was what he needed.
But as good as it was to lose himself in her, once he was back in his apartment he despised himself. Not for the usual reasons, EJ knew the score; she didn't expect anything from him, she didn't expect a future with him. No, he despised himself because EJ wasn't the person he wanted to be with. He was just using her. She was using him too, he was sure of that, but somehow that didn't make him feel any better about it.
The person he wanted to be with now seemed happy with someone else. He'd waited too long for her to put the past behind her; he'd waited too long to tell her the words he'd said when under the truth drug had been true.
But even if she wasn't happy with someone else, they couldn't be together. That would be breaking Rule #12. And there was no way Gibbs wouldn't know, because Gibbs knew everything. He knew about Tony and EJ.
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