It was all the little things that really showed how close they were. It’s not like it started overnight, of course, but as time went on, little things started to pop up. Like Gibbs keeping baby carrots and ranch dressing in his fridge for anytime Tony got the munchies. Or that suddenly Gibbs’ favorite ice cream seemed to be regularly stocked in Tony’s freezer. And no one could possibly forget the fact that all the laundry seemed to be done and put away before it needed to be (at least, when there wasn‘t a hellish week full of cases). Or the fact that any of their dress shirts ended up perfectly starched and ironed - apparently Gibb’s marine training hadn’t desisted in that way.
It started moving in other directions, too. One day, Gibbs came home and found his favorite picture of his girls sitting on the mantle in a beautifully made frame. On the edges, in beautiful calligraphy, was written ‘Lost, but Never Forgotten‘. It wasn’t something he’d asked for, or even something he’d have done for himself, but Tony thought that it was important for them to be close to him, no matter where he was.
It was even more obvious when he came home and found that his bed had been remade. Still the same blue comforter, but with softer sheets, and a mattress pad that even he had to admit was fantastic. Plus the extra blanket that had appeared was so soft, and so comforting on the few days he still slept alone.
It wasn’t like it was a one way street, either. Tony tended to be a bit more nocturnal, and would watch tv for a bit before finally coming upstairs and joining Gibbs in bed. For some odd reason, his side of the bed was always warm. It took about three months of sneaking around before he discovered that Jethro would start off on his side of the bed, and roll over to his own side when he heard Tony coming in the room.
There were other things, too. Despite his nocturnal tendencies, Tony tended to be an early riser. One day, when Gibbs went to get dressed, he was stopped, then promptly presented with a set of boxers and an undershirt that had clearly just spent time in the dryer.
It wasn’t even about the big things that happened. When Tony had made a comment about the toilet paper resembling that was stocked at work, Gibbs took note. The next time Tony used the bathroom, he found some softer Charmin instead.
Slowly, their lives began to merge. Gibbs tended to do grocery shopping early on Saturday, and then Tony would do basic preparation for the weeks meals so that they didn’t have to wear themselves out after work too much. When Gibbs mentioned he hated peas, they suddenly became hidden in the back of the freezer (seeing as how Tony disagreed). When one of them had a bad day at work, it always seemed as though his favorite meal appeared on the stove that night.
When winter came, it became even more obvious. For as much as Tony joked about Gibbs buying in bulk at Wal-Mart or Sears, even he couldn’t argue with the fact that he never had to hunt for a set of gloves. There was a spare set in the bullpen, his go bag, Gibbs’ go bag, and not to mention several other pairs floating around the work Charger, Gibbs’s charger, the truck, or even Tony’s car. Most of the car sets even had matching hats and scarves.
And then there was the morning routine. Gibbs had always been a fan of preheating his car, but all of a sudden it was more urgent that Tony’s get turned on first, with the heat full blast. Then the truck, or the work car (depending on the day). However, it wasn’t just the cars being preheated. Gibbs had already gone ahead and scraped any snow and frost off the windows. The first time Tony saw what he’d done, he froze and stared. Gibbs had merely stared back at him.
“I told you, I take care of what‘s mine. And after that shit with your lungs, I don‘t want to take any chances.” Normally Tony would have retorted with some type of smart alec comment, but one look into Gibbs’ eyes said it all. It was love, possession, pride, and concern all rolled into one. The sensation was so intense, it felt like he’d been punched in the gut, and all he could do was stare back.
Smiling, Gibbs gave him a soft swat on the cheek, Ziva-style. “See you at work, babe.” With that, he hopped in his truck and sped down the street, leaving Tony standing in shock as a smile slowly spread across his face.
They never had to tell each other that they were in love. It was occasionally said, but the actions truly did speak louder than any words they could ever say to each other.