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In Sickness

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"Shoot." Tony pouted as he stared at the broken object in the sink.

"Honey! I broke your favorite mug! That blue one with the yellow panda-face!"

He started to collect the shards but his hands were still shaky and he managed to cut himself in the process.

"Ow! You bit me!" Tony huffed at the blueberry pie colored mug puzzle. The mug had always made him hungry. Too bad Gibbs had some weird attachment to it or he'd gladly get rid of it. The jigsawed panda stared back malevolently but Tony didn't care. Gibbs never cared if he broke something, he'd just fix it with his magic touch. Too bad he couldn't fix Tony.

Gibbs was probably in the basement. He had been there a lot. Some days he couldn't look at Tony. He'd just flee and spend all day there. He sure liked looking at wood. Tony sighed. He was jealous of lumber.

"Muffin! ...Creamcake!" He shouted.

No answer.

He managed to get down the stairs gracefully enough only to find the place empty and Gibbsless.

"Oh joy." Now he had to climb back up again.

He felt shaky all over so instead he lay down on the couch they had brought down from the living room when Tony had moved in with all his stuff. He'd just wait for Gibbs, the man couldn't stay away long, not from Lumber.

~*~

"Lumber... Bill Lumber, nice to meet you."

"Gibbs, just Gibbs." Gibbs winked and eyed Lumber like he was prime rib... - of a boat that was - shaking Lumber's hand in an infuriatingly sensuous way.

Lumber raised a blue-yellow panda mug to his lips and seemed pleased. Then he turned to Tony.

"So, Tony... What's happening?"

"Huh?" Tony stuttered.

"Say, could you get me those TPS reports by Monday? Yeah... That would be great."

"I'd love to have coffee with ya while Tony works on those TPS reports..." Gibbs purred in Lumber's ear.

~*~

"Nooo... No TPS... Gibbs." Tony mumbled and cried in his sleep.

"Tony, wake up. It's just a dream."

"Mmmhuh?"

Gibbs was there, his thigh pressed against him. It felt good.

"You were having some kind of nightmare." Gibbs was petting his hair, looking so weary underneath the concern.

"I'm sorry." Tony said, blinking. He really was.

"Why?"

"You're sad. It's because of me... I never wanted to make you sad." Tony wiped his damp eyes and then reached out to touch Gibbs' face, smoothing the tension he saw there.

"No... Tony. I've been selfish. Hiding. None of this is your fault."

"Look, Jethro. You've had enough pain, I'm only adding to it. Maybe it'd be best..." Tony's voice cracked and the rest of the sentence died in his throat. Could he really say it? It would crush him if Gibbs agreed. Not that he would, would he?

*SMACK!*

"Sorry." Tony gave a small chagrined smile. No, he would never.

"If I spend too much time here, you tell me. Don't want another divorce. Or a nine iron to the head. And I'll do my best to... We'll do okay." Gibbs stroked his arm and smiled that soft smile that made everything seem softer. Tony mirrored it.

"I broke your mug, and then Gary Cole stole it and flirted with you. Do you want me to glue it back together?" Tony yawned.

"Nah, I'll do it. You're only good at gluing things to McGee."

"Hey! I resemble that remark." They both grinned.

"Ya make me happy Tony, always." Gibbs emphasized that last word and kissed Tony sweetly. It was his way of saying I'm sorry, and Tony accepted the apology.

"How about you help me upstairs to the bedroom and we'll see."