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They'd barely finished with the paperwork and assorted aftermath of the Israel trip when Vance dumped a dead Lieutenant on the team.

At the scene, Tony had barked at anyone who looked at him cross-eyed while the three of them did the job they'd been accustomed to having four people for. By the time they were ready to call it a day, Tony was wincing every time he moved. Gibbs told McGee to take the truck back and go home. After a ten-minute argument, Gibbs got DiNozzo in the sedan and drove them both back to his place.

It was only nearing eight, but Tony was about to drop. They were both still jet-lagged and they needed dinner. Gibbs helped Tony out of the arm-brace-thing the doctors had him in and then out of his suit and into the shower before putting a frozen pizza in the oven and collapsing into a chair to stare at the walls for a while.

Just as the timer went off, Tony came out in boxers. They sat and ate silently. Gibbs dropped Tony's pills on the side of his plate and for the first time in Gibbs' memory, Tony swallowed them without complaint.

When they were done, they put the dishes in the sink and trudged off to bed. Gibbs was still too wound up, but Tony needed to lie down before he fell down.

It was a cool night, so Gibbs opened the window slightly and then took the quilt from the footboard. He wrapped Tony in the blanket and then put the quilt around him. That he didn't complain about being babied told Gibbs a lot.

One hand wiggled out of the blankets and Tony took hold of Gibbs' wrist. "I know you aren't ready to go to bed yet, but can you stay for a bit?"

Gibbs shifted on the side of the bed until he could rub Tony's back through the blankets as an answer. Not long after, for the first time in ages, Gibbs regretted that not only did he never lock his door, but that that fact was common knowledge.

"Gibbs? Gi-ibbs?!"

Gibbs slapped a hand over his face as he heard heavy boots thunk down the basement stairs.


Tony slowly opened one eye. "Abby?"


As if that were her cue, Abby stuck her head in the door of the bedroom. "Oh, there you are. I was looking for you. Thought you'd be in the basement."

"Yeah, I heard," Gibbs said flatly. He looked back at Tony who was clearly trying to sleep, but had already figured that there was drama potential and was turning on his stomach, trying to hide even further under the blankets.

"Oh, Tony's here," Abby stated the obvious. "Oh. Tony's here," she said again with definite emphasis.

"Abbs, go sit in the living room," Gibbs ordered as he waved her off.

Abby gave Tony a small grin. "Night, Tony," she called as she headed back out.


"Don't you dare, DiNozzo."

Tony bit back the rest of the automatic apology. "This is going to get weird, isn't it?"

Gibbs rolled his eyes. "Look at it this way: this is Abby. She prefers weird."

"And you?" Tony asked pointedly.

"It's Abby. It'll be fine." Gibbs helped Tony settle back into the nest of blankets the two of them had managed to ensconce him in and ran his hand over the top of Tony's head. "I'll deal with her and send her home. I'll be back in a bit."

Tony made a face. This was not how they'd planned to come out.


When Gibbs came into the living room he found that Abby had made her way into the kitchen and grabbed one of Tony's beers.

"You know," Abby started as Gibbs came in and collapsed into an armchair, "When I had a crappy day you let me come and stay with you. So, you know, I get it, and it's totally cool."

Gibbs gave her a make-your-point look.

"But, you made me sleep in the guest room."

"Abbs," Gibbs grunted. He knew she'd figured it out. He highly doubted Abby Scuito of all people would have a problem with him and Tony, but he was tired and he didn't like the idea of Tony being alone, even if he was just down the hall. He'd promised to stay close.

Abby turned and gave him a bright grin. "Please, Gibbs, like I'm the sort to object to… well, much of anything?" She flopped onto the couch.

"Tony's had a pretty 'crappy' couple of days. He needs to be on some pretty strong pain killers –"

"Tony gets stoned on aspirin, I swear. Never mind the good drugs," Abby put in.

"Yeah, and he can barely tie his own shoes, let alone cook or do dishes or whatever. So he's gonna stay here until they take that brace thing off him."

"And if no one notices that it takes him a while to move back out after that?" Abby suggested.

"We're not talking about moving in together, Abbs. This is… this is too new for any of that."

Abby nodded and smiled. "You know, keeping a secret like this… that's got to be worth at least a Caf-Pow, right?"

Gibbs grinned back at her. "You drag Tony out for lunch tomorrow and get him to relax a little before he comes back and I promise, there will be one waiting. You get that credit card number off that receipt from our dead Lieutenant and there will be an extra."

Abby smiled and reached into her shirt and pulled out a folded sheet of paper. "Oh, this credit card number?"

Gibbs took the paper and kissed Abby on the cheek. "It'll be on your desk when you come in tomorrow."

Abby knew her cue to leave when she saw it. As she stood she added, "Better not let Tony see you doing that." She winked at Gibbs.

"Lucky for me he's not jealous type."