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Not a waste of time

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Gibbs looked over at his senior agent walking next to him and couldn't help but to wonder for the umpteenth time if Tony was indeed all right as he had claimed the previous fifty times Gibbs had asked him. It was uncanny to see his lover so quiet. Gibbs knew he should've listened to his gut this morning. He had a bad feeling about this whole outing and should've called it off. He looked over his shoulder as he heard Abby laugh and felt a pang of regret at the thought of calling it off. It was Abby's birthday and she wanted the team to spend it at the zoo with her. Ziva has never been to the zoo and Tim indicated that he's not been here in ages. Gibbs himself couldn't remember the last time he set foot in any zoo. He looked at Tony again and couldn't help but to remember Tony's reaction to the news. He became quiet and just sat quietly behind his desk while Abby, Tim and Ziva chatted excitedly about the outing. Only when Abby turned to him did he smile. Gibbs had noticed that Tony wasn't really as excited as he led Abby on to believe, but he had written it down to fatigue. They had a draining week. Now he regretted not figuring out what had Tony bothered about coming to the zoo.

Noting that the rest of the team peeled off to the monkeys, Ducky in tow, Gibbs grabbed hold of Tony's hand and pulled him to the side.

"Jethro?" Tony asked softly.

"What's wrong, tell me." Gibbs pulled Tony down next to him on one of the shaded benches.

Tony shook his head, then leaned back, resting his head on Gibbs' shoulder. "Nothing."

Gibbs snorted. "You want to try that again?"

"I've never been to the zoo before." Tony whispered the words.

Gibbs frowned. "Never?"

Tony shook his head. "Never. Senior said it was a waste of time."

"And now, how do you feel about it?" Gibbs kissed Tony on the temple.

Tony leaned away and a genuine smile appeared on his face. "I think it's amazing."

"Then why does it look like you're not enjoying it?"

Tony swallowed. "Because I don't want to wake up and find out it was only a dream."

Gibbs growled and pulled Tony back to his side. "Then, if you wake up, tell me, and I'll bring you back. Any day, any time."

"Promise?" Tony whispered.

"I promise, Tony." Gibbs pulled Tony to his feet and interlinked their hands. "Let's go and see what our own monkeys are up to." Silently, he promised himself to bring Tony back to the zoo, even before Tony asked to come again.

Tony laughed at the monkey comment and melted against Gibbs as the other man kissed him hard. Together they made their way to the monkey enclosure to catch up with the rest of the team and to enjoy the rest of the day at the zoo.

The End