Gibbs’ inchoate search for the flower to complete Tony’s puzzle was not going well. He’d found four different flowers (five if you count bamboo) meaning loyalty, but he was not any closer to determining which one was the one Tony was talking about. He hadn’t been willing to message Fornell despite Tony’s note saying that Fornell would have more clues for him.
Gibbs was determined to figure this puzzle out on his own. Of course, without talking to Tony it was hard to rule out any of the four flowers. A number of times he’d almost reached out to Tony via text message, but he couldn’t bring himself to do so when he didn’t have the answer to the puzzle.
Things were so uncertain with Tony, right now. He still didn’t really understand why Tony had rejected his flowers nor why Tony was so pissed at him. He knew this puzzle was a test and that if he failed it there would be no second chance.
It had taken him 3 days to make it through the flower books what with NCIS and it’s cases, but he had finally figured out the options for Tony’s favorite flower were daisy, sunflower, chrysanthemum, violet, and bamboo if you considered it a flower. He hadn’t heard from Tony at all during those 3 days and it scared him. He kept wanting to message Tony just to make sure that he was ok, but he didn’t want to piss Tony off at him even more than he already had.
He kept hoping that he could find the hidden message in the note that would tell him which flower was Tony’s favorite. If he could turn up with Tony’s favorite flower, maybe Tony would forgive him and he could find out why Tony was so pissed at him so that they could move forward together and make a good life for their baby. Gibbs hoped he wasn’t making a mistake in not contacting Tony.
He still thought about Tony every day and every night. Instead of working on his boat every night after work, he spent hours upon hours trying to figure out what Tony’s favorite flower was. He’d finally decided that the violet was too girly for Tony and that his stressing the fact that he was a man meant that a violet would not be Tony’s favorite flower.
Gibbs was still trying to narrow it down between the daisy, sunflower, and chrysanthemum. Plus, there was still the bamboo which he wasn’t sure if Tony would consider a flower or not. Gibbs really hoped that Tony’s favorite flower wasn’t the daisy.
The thing was practically a weed, but he knew that some people liked that flower a lot. Kate considered daisies beneath her, but Ducky appreciated their strength. Gibbs hated the fact that his current flower obsession had come out at work, but fortunately both Kate and McGee knew better than to make a big deal of it with him.
Most bamboo only flowered after an insanely long time, 60-130 years, but there is a kind that flowers annually. This intrigued Gibbs, but somehow he didn’t feel like this was what Tony would consider his favorite flower. That only left the sunflower and chrysanthemum.
Both of them were bold flowers and suitably masculine. Chrysanthemum’s came in many colors some girlier than others, so Gibbs didn’t know what to think of that flower. Technically sunflowers came in many colors now too, but the predominant was still the natural dark yellow color.
Gibbs just couldn’t decide which flower was most likely to be Tony’s favorite flower. On top of that, he still hadn’t heard from Tony and it was approaching 5 days without contact now. Tony wanted his space, but was 5 days too much space?
Was Tony really going to contact him again? Was Tony waiting for him to contact him despite requesting space? Had he already ruined this relationship before they even had a chance to see what it would really be like?
Gibbs had gleaned every bit of information that he could from the books he’d picked up from the library and decided to return them and get some other books hoping that they would provide some additional information that would help him decide between the chrysanthemum and sunflower. Using the list still in his glove box, Gibbs went to a couple other libraries and picked up a couple of additional books. He returned the two he had and took the other two home.
He spent another couple of days perusing those books before he finally felt that he knew which flower was Tony’s favorite. The key piece of information that he’d found was that in Australia Chrysanthemum’s were considered Mother’s Day flowers. Knowing Tony’s aversion to being treated like a female, Gibbs decided that the sunflower must be Tony’s favorite flower.
By now, though, Gibbs hadn’t heard from Tony for over 7 days. He worried that even if he had the right flower that Tony wouldn’t want to see him. He’d been valiantly holding back from texting Fornell, but now he couldn’t help just checking in to make sure that Tony was ok.
“Is Tony ok?” Gibbs texted to Fornell.
“No, but he will be.” Fornell texted back. He was kind of annoyed with Gibbs for how he’d treated Tony. Fornell wanted to make Gibbs pay a bit for messing up so badly.
He’d finally managed to get Tony to tell him what had happened between Gibbs and him. Fornell couldn’t believe Gibbs. Fornell wasn’t that great with relationships, but even he knew that dumping someone else’s kid on someone you’re hoping to date is a no no.
Diane would have had Fornell’s head if he had ever attempted that when she was pregnant with Emily. Frankly, it spoke to Tony’s forgiving nature that he hadn’t just straight up dumped Gibbs. Fornell was kind of surprised that Gibbs hadn’t reached out before.
He knew Tony had told Gibbs to contact him a week ago for hints. Fornell wasn’t sure what to think about the fact that Gibbs hadn’t bothered to reach out until. Of course, Gibbs was only checking up on Tony not asking for hints, so maybe he had already figured out the puzzle.
Fornell for sure wasn’t going to tell Gibbs anything specific about Tony until he knew more about what Gibbs was after. While he considered Gibbs a friend, Tony had been there for Fornell and his family time and time again and Tony had a big place in his heart. Tony had been struggling this week about his and Gibbs’ relationship.
Fornell knew that Tony would eventually make his peace with whatever decision he made, but Fornell definitely wouldn’t say Tony was ok. Especially not since his doctor confined him to desk duty due to being in his third trimester for the pregnancy. Still Fornell wouldn’t reveal anything about what was going on for Tony until he had a better sense for what Gibbs’ deal was.