“What are we watching?”
Gibbs readily looked up from the television he was only half paying attention to. Tony stood in the entrance to his living room, his hair still rumpled from bed. Gibbs smiled at the sight. Tony didn’t often let himself be seen in less than pristine condition; it was a perk of being the younger man’s lover that he got to see him less than perfectly coifed. Being grubby was a form of vulnerability for Tony and Gibbs appreciated what it said about how much Tony cared for him that he was comfortable looking that way in Gibbs’ presence.
“Baseball.” Gibbs watched as a barefoot Tony, clad in soft sleep pants and worn t-shirt, crossed the room. Without saying anything, he shifted on the couch to accommodate Tony joining him.
Tony crawled onto the sofa, forming his longer body to Gibbs’ and ending with his head on the older man’s chest. “Perfect.”
It was unclear if Tony was referring to the game or the snuggle. Gibbs didn’t really care. He bent his head enough to place a chaste kiss on the part of Tony that was easiest to reach; his hair.
“I didn’t wake you, did I?” Gibbs asked. He’d awakened earlier than Tony and had tried to exit the bed as quietly as he could; Tony needed his rest.
“Nah,” Tony’s hair tickled Gibbs’ nose as he shook his head. “I’m good.”
Given Tony’s continued boneless posture, he was clearly less than completely awake. Gibbs didn’t call him on it, craving the contact himself. After the harrowing nature of their last case, he hadn’t really wanted to leave the comfort of Tony’s sleeping presence and had only gotten up for fear of waking the other man with his restlessness.
“Here, eat.” Gibbs stretched over to the coffee table to pick up a paper plate he’d set there earlier. Tony made a small noise of protest as his living mattress moved, but obediently picked up the half sandwich when it was offered. Gibbs hadn’t really been hungry, but knew he had to eat, so had managed to force down part of his breakfast. Tony wasn’t enthusiastic either, but took a bite. With his head pillowed on his chest, Gibbs could feel the younger man’s jaw move as he chewed.
“Who’s playin’?” Tony asked, after taking a noisy swallow.
Gibbs picked up the half-full glass of milk that was also on the table and handed it to his partner. It was another sign of trust that Tony drank out of it, even though Gibbs’ lips had already touched the glass. Tony didn’t share food or eating utensils with just anyone.
“Don’t know.” Gibbs responded to Tony’s question. “Don’t care.”
Tony’s soft laugh was laced with exhaustion. “Those are the best kind of games.”
It didn’t take Tony long to finish his snack and he settled more deeply against Gibbs’. Gibbs raised his hand and started stroking his lover’s hair. He hoped he could get Tony to sleep more. The last few weeks had been a bitch for both of them. Tony needed the rest and, as for Gibbs, simply holding Tony in his arms was a great way to recharge his batteries.
“He was out by a mile,” Tony waved a lazy hand at the TV. “That ref needs glasses.”
Baseball, in Gibbs’ opinion, was a game best watched in person; when you were right there, whether at a stadium or a small local park, the strategy of the play was more intimate. The game wasn’t the whole thing, though. The sunshine, scent of beer and peanuts, the energy of the other fans, all contributed to baseball being the ultimate pastime.
Gibbs had to admit, however, that watching the game at home had an advantage that being there in person would never have. At the ballpark, Gibbs couldn’t hold Tony and pet him while the action took place. He couldn’t listen as Tony’s comments become more infrequent or feel his body grew heavier in Gibbs’ arms as Tony fell back asleep. At the ballpark, Gibbs couldn’t hunker down into the soft pillows of his well-broken in couch and let the dual lullabies of Tony’s snore and the television announcer lull him into dreams.
Right as he drifted off, Gibbs thought it was possible that he might never go to the ballpark again.