Beholden - Pregnant Tony Version
Gibbs blinked at the text from Fornell. It read simply, “Be careful. Don’t screw this up.”
He had no idea what that was about and felt pretty proud of himself for the peace offering he’d sent to Tony. He went about his day with a bit of a smile on his face. Bishop and McGee exchanged glances at the happy Gibbs.
A smiling Gibbs wasn’t normal. Neither of them were quite sure what to do with it especially not when half way through the day a delivery of flowers immediately turned the smile into a frown and then a growl and snarl. McGee and Bishop stayed out of Gibbs way.
The note that came with the flowers read, “Just because you’re the father of my child, doesn’t mean I’m beholden to like you or have a relationship with you. I asked for space. I’m pretty sure I was clear about that. If you can’t respect my request for space, at least figure out a gift that is more meaningful than flower bouquets that are only useful for charming girls and weddings and I am not a girl nor are we getting married, yet. If you really want to make a good impression on me, I have a test for you. Try and figure out my favorite flower and only get me one. Don’t go overboard. Hint - It’s a flower meaning loyalty. If you need more clues, I have made it Fornell’s punishment to dole out any additionals hints.”
Gibbs didn’t know what to make of that note and reacted purely on instinct as he let his anger take hold, growling as he headed for the bathroom where he proceeded to punch a wall. It did nothing to make him feel better. It did make both McGee and Bishop’s eyes widen as they spotted the blood on his knuckles as he returned.
McGee surreptitiously texted Ducky to let him know that Gibbs had injured his hand. Both Bishop and McGee eyed the flowers curiously as they were obviously related to Gibbs' mood. However, neither of them would snoop until they were sure Gibbs would not return quickly.
As Ducky bandaged Gibbs up, Gibbs' thoughts wandered. He couldn’t figure out what Tony wanted. Why were the flower bouquets he’d sent so insulting? Also, what the hell was up with Tony’s test to figure out his favorite flower?
How the hell was he supposed to figure out a favorite flower when the guy wouldn’t even talk to him, right now? Also, how was it a punishment to Fornell to make him help Gibbs out? Gibbs couldn’t help wondering just what Fornell had done to piss Tony off.
He badly wanted to understand what Tony wanted and needed from him. Right now, he was just confused. Still, Tony had given him a test and he wouldn’t fail it.
Starting tonight, he would start researching flowers. He wanted to research them now, but didn’t want for the note to become public knowledge. Plus, Abby had other teams to work with and McGee would ask too many questions if he were to give him a task related to this.
He also wanted to tread lightly as he had a feeling that how he handled this test would greatly affect his relationship with DiNozzo. Truthfully this was more work than he’d put into any relationship since Shannon and it was very different from what he had to do with Shannon. He’d never been afraid of hard work and had spent every spare minute he had while in the Marines writing letters to Shannon in an attempt to get to know her better and woo her.
His 3 ex-wives had never warranted that amount of work. Frankly, he just hadn’t cared that much for them. They had been there and that had been enough for him, though not enough to make the relationships last.
He hadn’t cared at the time, though. Even now, he wasn’t sure why he cared with Tony. Sure, part of it was the idea of his kid, but it was more than that. He wouldn’t have been willing to try any test his ex-wives had put forth even if they had been pregnant with his kid.
He couldn’t explain it, but his gut was saying this relationship was worth the battle. It had said that about Shannon, too, and he’d never once regretted marrying Shannon, unlike his ex-wives. Gibbs was going to trust in his gut this time as well.
His gut had never let him down before. It was telling him that he needed to do more than just pass Tony’s test. He needed to figure out a way in to Tony’s heart.
He knew Tony had more at stake than he did. After all, Tony was the one carrying the baby and had to think not only of himself, but of what impact this might have on the baby. Gibbs thought about the baby too, but he knew himself.
Tony didn’t, not really. Heck, he probably had mostly heard the FBI’s whining about NCIS taking control of their investigations and stealing evidence out from underneath them. McGee told him that Fornell’s face had been priceless when he realized that it was McGee in the body bag instead of the dead lieutenant during that case where they first met Kate.
Gibbs doubted that Tony had heard anything good about him, at least not from his FBI cohorts. Still he wasn’t one to brag about himself and didn’t have the first idea of how to go about counteracting the rumors. Especially since, aside from their initial date, his plans had seemed to just make things worse as far as Tony was concerned.