He sits at his bedside thinking of all the things that he should have said and done. What a fucking fool he’d been. What was the purpose of hiding his feelings? What was gained by his silence? As far as he was concerned he was a damned stubborn idiot and was pretty sure there were a few other people that would second that thought.
His eyes never leaving the unnaturally still body before him; all he could think about was how it should have been. Regrets, they were such a waste. He’d started praying to any deity he thought would listen, made deals and promises if only he could look into those eyes and say what he should have said years ago if he hadn’t been such a God damned fool and chicken.
He looked down at their joined hands thinking how right they looked, how perfectly their fingers intertwined. Why did he have to make everything so damned difficult? Because he was a stubborn ass, that’s why.
He was so damned tired, everyone had tried to get him to leave and come back. But he couldn’t, what if that was the moment his eyes opened, what if he missed the chance to open his damn mouth and say the words. No, he couldn’t leave. He knew the rest of the team would figure it out if they already hadn’t, but there was no way he was going to hide it anymore, and frankly he was too tired to even try and attempt it.
He had to wake up there was no alternative; I need to have a chance, just one more chance. Dear God I promise I won’t waste it. He bowed his head down, closed his eyes and whispered, “Please.”
If he had opened his eyes he would have seen the ethereal figures surrounding the bed, and would have recognized all but two of the woman. His simple heartfelt plea was heard and granted. The five women and one child filled the room with love for the two men, and thankful that he was finally ready to accept the love that was there.
It was certainly not how any of them had hoped they would have found the love for each other, for their journey had not been an easy one. But the ones in the room knew the bonds that bound the two men together, the bonds that had grown, strengthened and evolved over the years and turned into something bigger than the both of them.
If he had opened his eyes he would have seen the one person outside the door that had prayed for the same miracle and the smile on her face as she witnessed it being granted. It seemed fitting that she witness it, her prayer being as true and pure as his own.
As the figures started to fade, each sending their own silent messages to the two men before them, the man who’d lain so deathly still started to stir, his eyes struggled to open, and the first thing he managed to focus on were their joined hands.
He started to wonder if he wasn’t dreaming, when he found himself looking into the blue eyes he knew so well.
It took Gibbs a moment to come back to reality, and realize that Tony had woken up. Before he lost his courage, wasted more time or made any other excuses he spoke. His voice barely able to contain the emotion he felt. “Thank God Tony.” He grabbed the hand he was holding tighter. “I’m not wasting any more time.” He implored Tony with his eyes to understand and silently added another prayer, please don’t let me be wrong about this.
“I love you.” He took a deep breath to steady himself before he continued. “I have for quite a while, too damned stubborn and pigheaded to tell you.”
Tony looked at the man beside him, thanking God for this chance. “I love you too.” The world could have come to an end at that moment, for the two of them were lost in each other before sleep finally overtaking the two of them. Their hands still intertwined, peace settling over them and smiles on both their faces.
Abby strangely silent and contained watched it all and as they slept she slipped away a smile on her face as she offered her own thank you to the heavens for her prayers being answered.