“How could you?” Gibbs bellowed.
“Calm down, Jethro. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” Tony took a deep breath, using his hands in a calming motion to encourage Gibbs to do the same.
“You told me you weren’t seeing him anymore.”
“I’m not,” Tony calmly responded, keeping his voice level through sheer force of will.
“I saw you.”
“Oh yeah, did you stick around to see how it ended?” Tony raised an eyebrow, annoyed with Gibbs’ untrue accusations.
“I saw enough.”
“Meaning you saw us talking close and made assumptions about what you saw?” Tony replied, sarcasm dripping off every word. “Isn’t that against one of your rules?”
Gibbs huffed as the red haze started to clear in front of his eyes. Maybe he had misjudged Tony. Tony certainly wasn’t reacting like someone who was guilty of adultery. “You know, I don’t like him. He’s too far over the line.”
“I know. I don’t like that either. It’s why we broke up, as you’re well aware.”
Gibbs grunted. He hated admitting he was wrong, but he knew he needed to apologize to his partner. ”I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions.”
Tony stared at Gibbs, letting the silence stretch out so long that both of them startled as the wind soughed against Gibbs’ house. “And…?” Tony trailed off, hoping that Gibbs would realize what he was hinting at.
Gibbs glared at Tony. “I should have trusted you.”
“Damn right, you should have, but we’ll get back to that. Here.” Tony thrust a package into Gibbs’ hand.
Puzzled, Gibbs glanced at the package and then back at Tony. “What’s this?”
“Open it and find out.”
”Tony,” Gibbs gasped.
“Happy Birthday, Jethro.”
“Where did you get this?”
Gibbs stared down at his grandfather’s dog tags. He didn’t know what to think about the fact that Kort had been the one to find them. Both Jackson and he had thought them lost forever.
“Don’t worry. There’s no taint on them. Kort made sure that he bought them legally for me.”
Gibbs took a deep breath, swallowing his pride. “Tell him thanks, Tony. You can’t know what this means to me. Grandpa Gibbs was the only Marine in the family besides me.”
Tony dove in for a deep kiss. “I know. Happy Birthday, Amore Mio.”