Set after Short Fuse.
Gibbs makes Fornell an offer.
An established relationship story.
Written: October 2010. Word count: 500.
Gibbs pushed his plate away, wiped his mouth, leaned back in his chair and watched Fornell finish his pasta. "That was good." Gibbs meant it.
Fornell glanced at him and frowned slightly. "Are you feeling all right?" he asked.
Gibbs rolled his eyes. "Can't I give you a compliment without you second guessing me?" His tone was sharper than he'd intended, so he wasn't surprised to see Fornell's eyes widen a little.
For a moment they sat in silence just looking at one another. It was Gibbs who finally broke it. "Is your EAD the only reason you came over?"
Fornell shrugged. "Could be."
Gibbs sighed. "Ah, Tobias," he said, now leaning forward and briefly touching Fornell's hand. "Don't play games; we're too old for them."
Fornell grinned. "Speak for yourself," he said, standing up and picking up the plates. "I'll wash, you can dry." He headed into the kitchen.
Gibbs followed him. "I'm younger than you." He grabbed a tea-towel and leaned against the fridge watching Fornell fill the sink with water. "You going to wear your apron?" he asked, snagging it from where Fornell had dumped it and holding it out.
Fornell just cast him a withering look and started to dump the plates into the sink. "Did you iron my shirt?" Fornell asked, plunging his hands into the soapy water.
"What do you think?"
Fornell turned and looked at him. For a moment Gibbs couldn't quite fathom out what the look meant. Then Fornell turned back to the sink. "That you iron better than I do," he said, pulling one plate out of the water, swilling it under the faucet and holding it out to Gibbs.
Gibbs took it. "You cook better that me." He dried the plate.
"That wouldn’t be hard; you only cook one thing."
"Haven't noticed you complaining before."
"I'm not complaining now, Jethro. I'm just saying."
"Anything else you want to say?"
Fornell shrugged. "Maybe." He washed another plate, swilled it and handed it to Gibbs.
"What's 'maybe'? Well, Tobias?"
Fornell looked over his shoulder. "You're the one who said we're too old for games." He paused; then said, "How long have we been lovers?"
Gibbs frowned. "Age causing memory loss, is it, Tobias?"
Fornell sighed. "It was a rhetorical question, Jethro."
"Don't like those."
"What do you like?" Gibbs just looked at him. "How about me?"
"What? Look, Jethro, we've been doing this for more than enough years now. We get on. We work; I don't know why at times but we do. I cook; you iron. We - Ah, forget it." Fornell threw down the dish-mop and headed out of the kitchen.
Gibbs caught his arm. "You suggesting we try living together?"
Fornell was silent for a while. Then he nodded. "Yeah."
Gibbs looked at Fornell. "When do you want to move in?"
Fornell blinked. "Just like that?"
Gibbs shrugged. "Well, you're not getting any younger, are you?"
"Bastard?" Fornell grinned. "Take that as a yes then." Fornell's smile broadened.
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