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Simple Things

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Tony's eyes opened slowly and he stretched, taking stock of his aches and pains. After spending most of a day in the ER, he'd checked himself out against medical advice, knowing he'd sleep better at home—Gibbs' home, their home. Tony's hand wandered over to the other side of the bed, stifling a sigh when he reached only cool, crisp sheets. Jethro had been up for a while.

Tony sat up slowly, hand against his side. He knew where Jethro was—the basement. It was where Gibbs went to figure stuff out. Tony knew Jethro had been very shaken up by what had happened. Being shot wasn't exactly fun for Tony either, but the look in Jethro's eyes had scared him, the intensity of his gaze rocking Tony to the core. It had freaked him out even more than being shot, the pain, the flow of warm blood running down his body.

The thought of going down two flights of stairs was not anything Tony was looking forward to, but he wanted to see his lover, as cranky as Gibbs was likely to be right now. He got out of bed and wandered to the bathroom, staring at himself in the mirror after he washed his hands. Tony knew he was pretty rough looking, his eyes a little sunken, purple shadows under them standing out against his pale skin. Even his golden brown stubble couldn't hide the paleness of his skin underneath.

Tony sighed, splashing some cold water on his face, his body leaning heavily against the counter. He was still feeling weak and tired from the blood loss, though he wouldn't admit that to anyone. He did not want to end up back in a hospital all alone with his thoughts.


Tony jumped, banging his thigh on the counter with a muttered curse. How did Gibbs do that? How did he move so slowly and gracefully through life, startling the crap out of people.

"In here," Tony said, clearing his throat.

Gibbs poked his head into the bathroom, taking in Tony in one long sweep of his eyes. "Get back to bed."

"Boss…" Tony was unable to keep a plaintive note out of his voice, even though he wanted to headslap himself for it.

"Back to bed."

"Downstairs? I'll just sit and watch you work."

"The hell ya will!" Gibbs jerked his head toward the bed and Tony sighed. As Gibbs moved aside to let Tony out the door, he mussed Tony's hair affectionately. Tony only took two steps before he faltered, looking at the bed.


"Yeah?" Gibbs drawled.

"What is…this?" Tony gestured to the grouping of items on the bed as he moved closer.

"Breakfast," Gibbs supplied, lifting a paper bag, "Portable DVD player from your house. Some of your DVDs—didn't know what you wanted so I just grabbed the ones on your desk." Gibbs motioned to Tony's bulging backpack. "And a couple of books and a crossword puzzle for me."

Tony just stared at Gibbs, blinking slowly. "What do you mean?"

"You, bed rest. Ducky's orders." Okay, Tony had expected that. "And you?" he asked, feeling a little vulnerable. "Wouldn't you rather be working on the boat?"

"Nope. Got orders to watch ya."

Great, Gibbs was ordered to deal with him.

"Sorry for screwing up your day," Tony muttered.

"Hey," Gibbs said, coming around the bed to Tony. He lifted the other man's chin until they were staring into each other's eyes. "Almost lost you yesterday," Gibbs said, his voice shaking. Tony had rarely heard this intensity from Gibbs before. "Want to be close to ya today." A little flush crept across his cheekbones and he shrugged.

"Okay," Tony said, feeling a little more agreeable about the whole thing.

"Eat, then get back into the bathroom. I'll clean ya up after you've rested."

"Shower?" Tony knew that was overly hopeful, but he had to ask.

"Maybe, if you let me tape up your bandages so that they don't get wet." Tony's eyes caught on a roll of duct tape and a package of cling wrap.

"I was hoping those were for some new bedroom games," he joked, unable to help himself. "Kind of like Exit to Eden."

When Gibbs only blinked, his hand twitching dangerously, Tony abandoned that line of thought. Who really wanted to think of Rosie O'Donnell at a sex resort, anyway. "So, Boss, what's for breakfast?"

Gibbs shook his head, a slight smirk on his face as he rounded to his side of the bed. "Coffee for me, latte for you." Gibbs was unable to keep the distaste off his face and Tony laughed, shaking his head. "Got some breakfast sandwiches too. You need something better than donuts."

Gibbs handed Tony two sandwiches from the small independent place down the road. They blew McDonald's out of the water. Tony unwrapped the first, taking his coffee and carefully placing it on the nightstand before crawling back into bed. The egg sandwich was still hot, the cheese, veggies, and egg melding together and making his mouth water.

"Looks good."

"I know. Eat it."

Tony took a big bite, watching as Gibbs unwrapped his own and ate it quickly, washing it down with sips of coffee. Gibbs quickly opened his second sandwich and had finished it just as Tony was polishing off his first. "You were hungry."

"Yeah, waited until you were stirring to eat."

"How did you know when I was waking up?" Tony asked between bites of his second sandwich.

"Watched you," Gibbs admitted. From the dark circles under his own eyes, Tony wondered if it hadn't been guarding him all night long.

"I'm okay, Jethro. It was close but…"

"But nothing!" Gibbs' expression turned serious. "Wouldn't have been an issue if you had your vest on. As it was…"

"It's barely more than a flesh wound. And Olivia Brown needed my vest."

Gibbs opened his mouth to speak, sighing and shaking his head instead. He'd done the same thing for Olivia's mother, and he wasn't exactly in a position to argue. At least outside of Tony getting winged, everyone else was okay.

"I know," he finally said, his voice quiet.

"Didn't stop you from worrying," Tony finished with a nod. He understood—he got it. When Gibbs was in the line of fire, he felt exactly the same way, his stomach clenching, his heart racing.

Gibbs nodded, reaching for a pencil and crossword book. "Jack'll be here later."

"Jack?" Tony squeaked out in shock.



"Worried about ya too. He was planning a trip down anyway and just moved it up a couple of days. He's got help to cover the store."

"He's not driving, is he?" Though Jack was in good shape, Tony didn't like the idea of anyone over seventy making that drive.

"Nope. Hitched a ride with a college kid who used to work at the store. Someone coming down here for school. All he's gotta do is pay twenty bucks for gas and provide the snacks." Gibbs rolled his eyes, and Tony couldn't help but smile.

"We'll have to move my stuff back into the guest room."


"Nope?" Tony echoed, blinking at Jethro slowly.

"Time, Tony. Time for him to know."

"You…sure?" Tony asked, feeling very off kilter. This was something they'd discussed and agreed not to do. Not any time soon, anyway.

"Yep." Gibbs' expression was as open as Tony had seen it in a long time. "Almost lost you. Sick of hiding this. When I could have lost it all. Just Jackson for now. Then..." Gibbs shrugged. Tony knew it was a hell of a start.

"Thank you," he whispered, arranging himself on his uninjured side. Tony's head drifted onto Gibbs' shoulder, and the other man shifted, pulling him close.

"Dontcha want to watch one of your DVDs?"

"Rather help you do the crossword. Seven down. First actor to play a character with AIDS on network TV. You know the answer?"

Gibbs shook his head.

"Mark Harmon. He kind of looks like you, but you're a lot hotter. And you carry a gun."

"Didn't know guns were your thing, DiNozzo."

"Me either," Tony replied, settling in. " Guess you're my thing, Jethro. Eight across. Actress who plays Hermoine in Harry Potter. You know the answer to this one?"

"No, DiNozzo."

As Gibbs smiled down at him, Tony realized that both of them were just where they needed to be. Today, it was all about the simple things. And that was just fine with him.