Artwork by Jilly James
Tony DiNozzo sat in the driver’s seat of his Mustang, waiting impatiently at a red light. He’d left the Navy Yard only minutes ago and he needed to get to Arlington as quickly as possible. It had already been several hours since Gibbs had watched the Cape Fear explode, killing the entire crew and the approaching SEAL team. It had been the final trigger for the older man, just out of a coma and still heavily amnesiac. He had quit and handed the team over to Tony. Ducky had given Gibbs a ride home but the rest of the team had to remain in the office until their reports were complete, the director insisting just because Gibbs had left was no reason to be sloppy.
Tony knew Gibbs. He knew he might already be too late. The other man was reeling; due to his amnesia, he felt like his beloved wife Shannon and their daughter Kelly had only just been murdered. And to watch the Cape Fear blow up because the bureaucrats were morons and more concerned about possible tourist camera footage than the lives of the sailors and SEAL team was too much. Tony knew Gibbs wasn’t going to stay in the house where he had lived with his family. Not this time. Last time, Mike Franks had given him something to distract him: a job with then NIS, protecting the sailors, marines, and dependents and gaining justice for them. Now, with Gibbs leaving NCIS, there was nothing to hold him in DC.
Tony could sometimes practically read his boss’ mind. Gibbs was getting ready to light out for the Mexican beach where his mentor Franks had been living. He would figure Franks had gotten him through before, why not this time. He would also assume being away from the place where the memories were strongest would help him heal. Tony understood the impetus but Gibbs needed to know he did have a family. Tony himself, Ducky, Abby, McGee, Ziva, even the director to an extent. And there were plenty of others, like Tobias Fornell from the FBI, who would help him through his grief. And his memory issues.
Tony finally pulled back into traffic as the light turned green, hopeful Gibbs had been slowed down by the need to close up the house and pack. Who was he kidding? Gibbs always had a bag ready to go and pretty much the only thing he would do to close up the house would be empty the fridge and put out the trash, then lock up. Gibbs wasn’t thinking about things like selling the house or getting the utilities turned off. He was just running.
Tony could relate. He used to be the master of running away. It never really helped. The pain just followed you. The memories were still there. The people might get left behind, but the emotions that led to the need to bolt didn’t stay with them. they came with you and you were left alone, to deal with it without support.
Tony pulled into the empty driveway of Gibbs’ Arlington home and warily entered the unlocked door. It actually gave him hope, the fact that the door was unlocked, though anywhere else it would worry him. Tony stood inside the entryway and cocked his head, listening for movement. He couldn’t hear anything. It didn’t mean anything, really. Gibbs was always quite stealthy, even when alone. It came from his years as a sniper.
Tony headed to the one place he knew Gibbs loved, and hated, the most in the house: the basement. He made his way down the familiar wooden staircase and passed the bottom two where he had spent so many nights perched, chattering to Gibbs about minutiae, happy just to be in the older man’s presence.
He crossed the room, glancing at the unfinished boat as he went. There were no tools left out, not an unusual sight. Gibbs typically put them away when he finished a job, unless he was called out to an emergency. And while the operation on the Bakir Kamir had turned into an emergency when Pinpin Pula had detonated the bomb in the laundry room, nearly killing Gibbs, it had begun as a planned mission.
There was one thing out of place in the room he knew so well, however. There was a small wooden box set out on one of the counters on the side of the room. The lid was pushed back, a key lay next to it, and a few of the things from inside it were on a bench nearby. Photos.
Tony took a seat on the floor next to the bench and laid the box carefully next to him. He began his perusal by picking up the photos laid out on the bench already. They weren’t pictures of Shannon and Kelly. They weren’t pictures of Diane or Stephanie or Rebecca. They weren’t pictures of Mike Franks or even Jenny Shepard. Every shot was of Tony himself.
The top picture was one he knew he’d given Gibbs himself. It was a shot of a casual Detective DiNozzo from Baltimore. It was taken just a few days before Tony and Gibbs had met. He was in a dark green T-shirt and wearing his double shoulder holster. He was glaring at the camera, unhappy with Danny for joking around when they were trying to solve a murder case. Seconds after the shutter had clicked, Danny had made a joke about a movie they’d gone to see together two weeks before and Tony had cracked up, nearly falling down the steps behind him. Only an instinctive grab for the railing had saved him from an ignominious tumble and possible broken bones, all because Danny and Tony had made a huge joke of Brian falling for Mia. No reputable undercover would fall for the mark’s sister, it was a mistake that would get him fired, if not prosecuted, especially blowing his cover with her. It emotionally compromised the cop to the extreme, even leading to him letting her brother escape in the end. Totally unrealistic.
“Slipshod policing, nah, slips inside and sheaths his baton, yeah, Tony?”
Tony slid down to sit on the top step after his laughter and near fall. “Fuck, Danny, that plotline was idiocy.”
“Well, we can’t all be offered up our mark’s daughter by the mark.”
“That wasn’t me falling for her and asking, D. It wasn’t even about my uc personality falling for her. That was entirely the idea of the don. She was a gift, there was no love there. For her either. She didn’t want to shame her father, it could have gotten her badly hurt, he loved her but if she had made him lose face… no guarantees and she knew it. He was ruthless. And you don’t fall for the mark or the mark’s daughter or the mark’s sister or whatever. That’s sloppy and shows that either the cop was under too long and got too close and went dirty, or the cop has severe emotional issues and shouldn’t be undercover long term in the first place.”
“But she was hot, huh? And the movie needed a romantic plotline for the chicks.”
“The car chases and races were cool but the plot - nope.”
Just two days later Tony had run down a suspect into an alley and tackled him. The man turned out to be NCIS agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, undercover. Tony had really disliked the fed at first but that had soon changed and when things in Baltimore went to hell, Gibbs had offered him a job and Tony had taken it.
The move had entirely changed Tony’s whole life. The transition from cop to Fed wasn’t as huge as it might have been since an NCIS agent was essentially a Navy/Marine detective. They were solving crimes, but more specialized: fewer crimes open at a time per team, and better science toys for forensics. In his personal life, changes had been coming anyway, but the changes had been unexpectedly unpleasant. At least, it started that way.
Tony’s fiancee, Wendy, had been unsure about the move to DC. Always loyal, even to those who didn’t deserve it, Tony had never told her about Danny’s betrayals or that Danny was dirty.
But Wendy understood upward mobility in a profession. She was fairly ruthless herself in that manner.
She had first traded on her relationship with Tony, when he’d been a teen, to get a better job with more responsibilities and better pay, through his father’s contacts. Tony hadn’t known that at the time, or even years later. Looking back at that first relationship, if Senior had been any kind of good father, Wendy would have ended up prosecuted for statutory rape, not bribed to go away. She had been twenty-two when they had met, just out of college, teaching music at a small-time boarding school, lowest on the totem pole. Tony had been thirteen. She had seduced him so easily. He had been so needy and alone, still reeling from the death of his mother and the loss of his father to disinterest and alcohol, being abandoned at a boarding school that was harsh to say the least, and a recent realization about his own sexuality.
But Senior, when approached by Wendy, had paid her (so to speak) to go away and had promptly transferred Tony to Rhode Island Military Academy, an even harsher environment than the previous school. Tony had no idea Wendy had gone to Senior. He’d just assumed their relationship was over because she was so far away. He had loved her, and when they’d met again in Baltimore she had gladly rekindled their relationship, even accepting his ring. She was now a teacher with seniority and tenure at a prestigious prep school, also acting as assistant dean of students. Tony was an up and coming detective, one of the youngest ever to get a gold shield.
The move to DC and NCIS had shaken her but she was game for the idea of marrying a federal agent instead of a cop. NCIS wasn’t as prestigious, or as well known, as the FBI, but it was still better than a local police department. Then she had discovered Tony had been literally disowned by Senior when he was young. It wasn’t just a figure of speech. Senior had cut Tony off from all the money, when he refused to toe the line and join his father in business. It was too much for her and the morning of his wedding he got a “Dear John” letter and package with her ring and an apology inside, but no explanation of the real reason.
I know this is terribly cliche and I’m a total coward but I just can’t marry you. Things haven’t been going well lately, even before the move to DC and I know you realized that. I never should have accepted your ring, we just aren’t meant to be. Not now. I need to get my head on straight and try to be by myself for a while. I’m so sorry for not doing this in person, and for waiting so long to make this decision. Maybe the next time we meet, we’ll make it work. I do love you, Tony, but you just aren’t ready for commitment right now and I can’t be who I’m not just to make things work between us.
Tony only found out a year later from an old frat brother who had met her in a bar and got her talking when she was drunk. Too bad for her she hadn't known about his incredibly healthy trust fund from his mother, untouchable by Senior, or his later inheritance from one of his maternal uncles. Her loss.
Tony was standing in his tuxedo, less than an hour away from leaving for the church, the photographer at his home to take “getting ready” shots. Wendy’s idea, since she didn’t want ones of her in her dishabille but she loved Tony in his. There was a shot from that roll of film here in his hand, of him shooting the cuffs of his tux and staring into the distance. Tony had sent the photographer away, called the minister and informed him of the change in plans, and instinctively, lit out for Gibbs’ house.
Tony had arrived while Gibbs was still half-dressed, getting ready to leave for the church and his best man duties. That honor would have gone to Danny but all things considered Tony wasn’t about to grant his former partner that much trust. And none of his frat brothers were really as close as they used to be.
“What ya doin’ here, DiNozzo? Ain’t got cold feet, do ya?”
Tony had looked at him with despair in his eyes. “I’m not the one with blocks of ice trying to walk, Boss. She - Wendy - she’s not coming. She sent me a letter. It said ‘Dear Tony’ but it was ‘Dear John’. I don’t understand. She’s not coming.”
Gibbs had taken one look at his face, pushed him into a chair and come back with a tumbler of rotgut bourbon. Slowly, the entire story had poured from his mouth, even to their first meeting and relationship. Gibbs had actually commiserated with him over the loss of his fiancee and explained, somewhat out of character for the taciturn man, that his own third divorce had become final five days before. That explained his incredibly bad mood over the past week and Tony had reached out compassionately to pat him on the shoulder. Gibbs’ eyes had met his own, and they had leaned toward one another, and before Tony had known what had happened, their clothes were on the floor and he was being fucked like there was no tomorrow.
It had been amazing. Tony was no stranger to male on male sex. He had realized he was bisexual before he was even a teen. He had hidden it, but he’d known. And in college he had carefully explored that side of his sexuality. He’d done so from deep in the closet but he’d done it nonetheless, and had realized he actually preferred sex with men. He liked having sex with women but would rather be the one getting fucked than doing the fucking. Which wasn't to say he was an exclusive bottom, even with other men. But no one was truly one note, sexually, and Tony was no exception.
As a cop, Tony had learned to be very quiet about his preferences, and thus his playboy mask had been born. He’d been a bit of a player in college, but that had been more of a reaction to the freedom of the situation and the fraternity atmosphere, not to mention being a big athlete. He hadn’t played it up, though. It had just been what it was. After his graduation from the Peoria police academy, his strategy had been dating short term, lots of one night stands (even if most of them were just stories), driving two and a half hours to Chicago when he was interested in hooking up with a man. When he’d transferred to Philadelphia, he drove to New York, and the same when he was in Baltimore, until he’d met Wendy. Tony never cheated on anyone he was dating seriously. And though he knew some men didn’t consider it cheating to sleep with a man while married to or exclusive with a woman, Tony disagreed. Once he and Wendy got back together, Tony was monogamous to her.
And now, she had dumped him cruelly and Tony had had mind blowing (pun totally intended) sex with his newly divorced (for the third time), former-Marine boss. It had changed their relationship but not at work, at least not noticeably. They never snuck off to supply closets or the elevator for quickies. They weren’t so unprofessional as to pull over on the way to or from crime scenes for a quick grope. There were no nooners. But Gibbs mellowed and their working partnership gelled into a perfect partnership. They were able to read each other with perfect clarity and their close rate soared, whether they were working as a two man team or had a third, like Vivian Blackadder.
They weren’t exclusive. They weren’t even really in a relationship. It was knocking boots, scratching an itch, sort of friends-with-benefits but more than that. Tony would have been happy to be exclusive but he knew Gibbs didn’t want that, so he didn’t push even when his admiration and attraction morphed into romantic love. He took what Gibbs gave him and was happy for it. He understood Gibbs’ skittishness, plus he knew Gibbs actually preferred sex with women, like Tony preferred sex with men. So he never gave the other man a hard time when a new redhead would come along. He would back off and wait for Gibbs to come to him. He never took liberties. He never called him anything other than Gibbs, even in bed. He never assumed he was welcome to stay the night unless Gibbs specified. He never pressured Gibbs to go out with him in public. Their relationship was completely on the QT and Tony was fine with what he had.
For years things continued along in this vein. Tony and Gibbs would spend time together outside of work, sometimes having sex, sometimes just Tony sitting on the steps while Gibbs worked on the boat, sometimes having cowboy steaks and watching a game, or pizza and a movie. Then Chris Pacci had been killed, and Tony ended up making out with his killer. It had apparently shaken Gibbs deeply because that night, after the killer was dead and the reports were written, the two of them had gone to Gibbs’ house. Tony was expecting a private reaming out over his idiocy. Instead, Gibbs picked up an Italian dinner, set the table with candles and good china.
“That was really good lasagna, Gibbs. Never had it from Lucia’s, just parmigiana and pastas. I’ll have to remember that.”
Gibbs had smiled, almost shyly. “Glad ya liked it, Tony. Don’t forget the dessert. It’s supposed to be the best tiramisu in the area, won awards and crap.”
They had eaten the truly decadent dessert that had deserved all of its accolades and when Tony made to stand up, Gibbs waved him back to his seat. “Just stay there, Tony. I need to say something and just sit there and listen.”
“You going to tell me why you suddenly used candles and china, Gibbs? I’m a sure thing, you know that, no need for the romancing.”
Gibbs had stood up and walked close to Tony, who had prepared for a head slap. Instead, Gibbs lowered himself to one knee and reached into his suitcoat pocket. “Seeing Pacci, alone and dead in that elevator, and then you being so - you and getting up close and personal with Reed and when I realized that Reed was Voss and you were there, coulda been killed and I couldn't have stopped it and I’d have been alone again. I’m stupid about the feelings stuff, Tony, ya know that. I don’t talk, I brood, I yell, ya call me a functional mute and it ain’t far off. I don’t see me changing much but you’ve put up with me this long andI ain’t chased ya away. This is one of the longest relationships I’ve ever had and when I thought I was gonna lose you, I realized how much I care about ya. I - Damnit, Tony, I love ya. I know I don’t show it very well, but it’s true. Anthony DiNozzo, Tony, will you marry me?” Gibbs had opened the box in his hand and revealed a set of male wedding rings, polished platinum.
Tony had nearly fallen out of his chair before leaping on Gibbs and kissing him. “Yes!”
Tony saw another picture in the box, cut in half, the other half being of Amanda Reed, taken during the stakeout of her house when Tony had approached her. Tony was standing at the bottom of the steps to her house, flirting with her to try to get close so he could get information on Pacci’s potential killer, not knowing she was the killer in the midst of gender reassignment. Tony didn’t know how Gibbs had been able to get the picture. It was a printout of a frame of a video, and Gibbs didn’t have the technical skill for that. It was possible, Tony supposed, Gibbs had conned McGee or Abby into printing it out, saying he needed it for the case file. After all, he wouldn’t have told them he wanted it for his private collection of pictures of his husband.
Shortly after Chris Pacci’s funeral, Tony and Gibbs had gotten a flight to Canada and gotten married. No one saw anything different afterward, since they had never brought their personal relationship to work with them, though they had occasionally carried office issues to the house. They didn’t wear their rings in public, though they each had a gift from the other they wore at all times. Tony’s was a belt buckle knife and he bought a ZT striped blade Gibbs carried everywhere. Both were engraved with their initials and their wedding date: AJ 42904. Tony had joked at least it would make it easier for Gibbs to recall their anniversary. And Tony’s gift had saved his life about a week after they’d gotten married, when he’d used it to help free the Marine, Bill Atlas, and get them both out of the cell, in order to escape a serial killer in the sewers.
The whole getting married thing really made him worry about the observational skills of his team though. Both of them had forgotten to take off their rings at one time or another and no one ever even mentioned it or teased about it or made even a passing reference to them wearing what appeared to be wedding rings on their left hands, occasionally. He could understand McGee, Kate, and later, Ziva, not confronting Gibbs on the matter, but they never jumped on Tony, either. And neither Abby nor Ducky would be shy with either of them.
But the only one who’d ever remarked on it in any way was Jimmy Palmer. He had come up to Tony one day at a crime scene and looked like he tripped, grabbing onto Tony’s hand to stay upright. In reality, he had pretended to trip and when he grabbed Tony’s left hand he had spun the ring a little with his fingers. Then he had let go and stood up straight, glanced over his shoulder at Gibbs, turned back to Tony and winked and grinned. Tony had smiled at him and slyly slipped the ring off and into his pocket. The autopsy intern never said a word about what he believed or had seen and surmised, not to either of them or anyone else, as far as Tony could tell. Gibbs had been wary but decided while the young man could use more backbone, he was a stand-up guy.
As Tony looked at a picture taken of himself behind the President’s desk on Air Force One, he mused on the oddity that was his marriage. He never slipped up on what to call his husband in public because even after their marriage (just as he hadn’t while they were still only sleeping together but not exclusive), he never called him anything but Gibbs. Or rarely, at least.
Gibbs hated the name Leroy. Tony always wanted to giggle and hum the Beverly Hillbillies theme when he said Jethro. Gibbs had told him LJ was the man he had been named after and he could never answer to it himself. For a while Tony had tried nicknames, like Jet or Jeth or Lee. But they had never flowed easily and Jet always made Gibbs sad and Lee typically brought a brief grimace to his face. And Tony disliked how Jeth sounded.
One night while they were in the basement and Tony was playing around with his husband’s names trying to find a way to not use his nickname, Gibbs had revealed Shannon had always called him Jet, unless she was mad, when she called him Jethro. Tony had known long before Gibbs proposed about his two lost girls. After being burned by Danny, Tony had been wary of trusting his own impressions and so had run an in-depth background check on his potential new boss before he finished FLETC. As he had worked with Gibbs, he’d realized he didn’t discuss his dead family at all and a few months before Kate had joined the team, he realized no one at NCIS even knew about them, except presumably Morrow.
All of the agents who’d been around when Gibbs had become Mike Franks’ probie, and thus who had knowledge of where he had come from and why he had joined NCIS, since the case that had killed his family had also taken the life of an agent on protective detail, had either retired or moved to different offices. Even Ducky hadn’t been at NCIS when Shannon and Kelly had been killed. So, other than the director at the time, no one knew Gibbs had been married four times, not three. He only ever said he had three ex-wives, which wasn’t a lie. And Tony understood about pains you wanted to stay in the past. So he never brought it up and tried to steer others away from probing into Gibbs’ past.
After they married, Tony revealed to his husband what he knew and told Gibbs he was fine with Gibbs still loving Shannon. He encouraged him to talk about Shannon and Kelly when he felt the urge, and to put up photos or mementos. Unlike several of Gibbs’ ex-wives, Tony wasn’t threatened by the Gibbs girls.
Now, after the explosion and Gibbs turning up amnesiac, everyone knew about his first wife and his only child. Tony knew Gibbs would hate that once he regained his memories. The older man would worry they were pitying him or thinking he was broken. He was, of course. But since he’d met Tony, Gibbs had been slowly healing. At least before the coma and the accompanying traumatic amnesia.
Gibbs would always be a bastard to people. He had admitted to Tony, a bit ruefully, he had learned to be a bastard and a hardass as a teen. He had perfected the skills in the Corps and after his family died, he had lost any desire to hold back around others. It made him feel better to annoy and anger other people. Tony had understood once again. He was a master at getting other people upset, quite deliberately. He used different tools than Gibbs, but he was just as proficient. And of course, every therapist worth their license understood schadenfreude.
Tony stopped his shuffling through the photos on a shot of himself standing outside, the sun behind him, not looking at the camera because he was laughing too hard. He was dressed in a brown leather jacket over a white T-shirt and jeans, with Gibbs’ dog-tags hanging around his neck. It had been taken during a long weekend about six months earlier. It was the first time they’d taken such a vacation since they’d gotten married, and they referred to it as their belated honeymoon.
It was just a quick trip to Chesapeake Bay. They stayed in a quaint little bed and breakfast, getting a good off-season rate. They walked along the beach and toured the little town during the day, and spent the nights in front of a roaring fire in their bedroom, cuddling and just appreciating the opportunity to be together without the pressure of being on-call or having an open case. It was a rare thing. They had plenty of sex but the more important point to Tony had been the calm, sweet times.
Now, Tony feared those times would never happen again. He knew Gibbs inside out and the last time he’d seen him, he still had amnesia. He obviously recalled some things or he wouldn’t have been able to deliver the info about Pinpin Pula but his memory was mostly Swiss cheese, and it was glaringly obvious. His attempt at a cover and making a joke of it had been flat and untrue to even a five year old. Tony had pretended to buy it but he hadn't. He didn’t know if the others had believed Gibbs; he hoped they hadn’t. Or Tony would worry even more about their abilities to read people, an essential skill in their profession. Tony tilted his head back and blinked hard several times.
Gibbs quite clearly knew the names of his team, but wasn’t sure when he walked in which one was Tony DiNozzo and which one was Tim McGee. Abby was unmistakable, Ducky had already visited, and Ziva had snuck into the hospital and jarred his memory free as much as possible. But if you didn’t know or remember much beyond the names, Tony and McGee were pretty interchangeable.
And with Gibbs in the midst of a runner, the likelihood of it all coming back was low. They always said being around the familiar would help trigger memories. There would be nothing familiar about the Mexican beach other than Mike Franks himself. And he had lit out for his own retirement before Tony had joined NCIS.
Tony wasn’t sure how he was going to cope. Gibbs’ wedding ring was on a chain around Tony’s neck at present. He had put it there while his husband was in the coma. He was Gibbs’ medical proxy but hadn’t exactly been in a position to be there with him constantly. Since no one knew they were married, he had no excuse not to lead the investigation into the bombing of the Bakir Kamir. So Tony had taken the only thing he could, the ring Gibbs didn’t wear at work anyway, and placed it and his own next to his heart on a long chain. Tony felt for them as he worried.
There was no one to try to jar Gibbs’ recall of his marriage to Tony. Not in Mexico. Not even in DC, other than Tony himself. And he wasn’t sure how to do that (if he had the opportunity) without outing them, inadvertently, to the others. And if Gibbs never remembered their interactions beyond the professional, which he could jar loose with a thorough reading of case files, then Tony would be alone again, abandoned by the most important person in his life. Tony raised his hand to his face and covered his eyes, wiping away the moisture he wouldn’t allow to fall.
Tony sighed and gathered up all the photos and replaced them in the box, leaving a picture of himself leaning against a pillar, dressed in a windbreaker and jeans, on top. He closed the lid as he rose to his feet and then snapped the lock closed. He took the key and threaded it around the chain on his neck with the rings and climbed the basement steps to the main floor.
As he gazed around the foyer, Tony’s steps stuttered to a halt and he gulped. “Hi, boss.”
Gibbs stared at him, his reddened face impassive. “DiNozzo.”
“I - We finished up the reports on the case, boss.”
Gibbs shook his head. “Not your boss now, Tony.”
“You’re really retiring? Not just a long break? A sabbatical? A medical leave?”
“I need to get my head together. I know you know I’m still all holes up there.”
“Yeah. I could tell.” Tony grimaced.
Gibbs grinned. “I know you call me a functional mute, Tony, but you’re really stealing my role tonight.”
Tony looked at him, confused and worried. “Gibbs?”
Gibbs walked up to him. “I may not remember every detail, Tony, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember anything . Things were gradually coming back, a little returning every time I slept. Then Ziva jarred enough loose to fast forward it, I guess. I remember you, Tony. I came across a key in my bedside drawer and when I found the box, the photos helped. I know we’re married, Tony. I know I love you. I just - I can’t be here right now. It feels like they just died all over again and I need, I need to get into the right headspace. I don’t want to lose what we have. But I need space. I need to grieve. I think I never have.”
Tony sighed. “No, not properly. Not in a healthy or legal way. You’ve been trying since we got married but it isn’t an easy thing for you. For more than the obvious reasons. But I love you more than I can even find words for, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, and I will never abandon you if there is any choice in the matter. You go do what you need to do. You find what peace you can with Franks in Mexico, you work on remembering the details of your life. I’ll be here waiting when you’re ready to come back. I’ll keep the team together and keep things ready for your return. I’ll shuffle things around in the system. I may not be McGee but I can hack the basics. I’ll bury the retirement paperwork and put in for you to have medical leave and then a sabbatical with all your unused vacation time. When you’re ready, the team will be waiting for you to come home to us.”
Gibbs stepped right into Tony’s space and grabbed him around the neck, bringing their foreheads together. "I won't come home to the team, Tony. I'll come home to you ."