Tony stood in the hospital doorway wondering if there was any way he could walk away, was there a way to pretend it all wasn't real?
For years he had been dealing with this demon and trying to make it in to an angel. He knew now that was never going to happen.
He should just walk away but unlike the song playing in his head there was everything left to feel. Leroy was not an angel and never would be, but he loved the man too much to walk away.
This was his hell and there was no way to make it easier. Leroy didn't remember them, he only remembered a wife and a child no one knew he had had. There was a war torn marine before him, but that war had ended a decade ago, replaced by new wars.
He watched his Leroy disappear and their Leroy appear and it was killing him.
His Leroy had fallen and it was no laughing matter, but it seemed he was going to have to pretend he never cared at all.
He was watching as their Leroy shaved his head in a horrible attempt to reconcile the Leroy he saw in the mirror and the Leroy that had moved into his mind. He watched as his Leroy fell into the sink to be washed away.
His heart shattered and he turned away before he did something stupid like scream in agony or worse, take out his government issued weapon of its holster on his hip and shoot himself in the head. A hip his Leroy had gripped and left bruises on only hours before they left for this hellish op. Tony knew he would do what he could to keep those bruises there because it would be the only tangible link to his Leroy.
They had decided to move in together after years of never even leaving a shirt at the others place, they where going to start moving Tony's things after the operation was over… to late now.
Tony was aware of where he was only when the sound level changed around him. He had walked outside and was standing in front of a small water fountain on the hospital grounds. He sat down on a bench and dropped his head into his hands. He wanted to cry, to scream, to rant, to change time.
But he couldn't do any of it. He was to numb, to shattered, if he gave in to any of what he wanted to do he would never be able to put himself together again. God he felt like Humpty Dumpty. A manic giggle escaped, and Tony covered his mouth with his hand before another could escape. His chest hurt, it was so tight, it had only hurt that badly once before, when he had gotten the plague.
A million songs ran through his head…he might always mention movies to everyone but he had a song for every situation more than he had a movie ready. He just didn't share that with everyone.
The fates were cruel, because as Tony was sitting on the bench, he saw their Leroy walk towards him, but stop at a table with a man Tony barley knew. He knew it was Mike Franks. Tony, ever the masochist, watched the scene unfold in front of him and knew he had for certain, his Leroy was forever gone.
Why couldn't he leave? Why couldn't he just walk away? Why couldn't he have never cared at all?
Tony did walk away though, he walked away to his car and drove to the Yard. He went through security on autopilot and went to the bullpen the same way. At his desk he pulled out a letter he had written up years ago but could never make himself get rid of it.
Now he knew why…it had been waiting for this very day.
Printing the letter he set it on his desk, turning he picked up his Mighty Mouse stapler, and then he opened his bottom desk drawer and opened the locked box inside.
Biting the inside of his cheeks he pulled the various metal out and set them on the desk next to the letter. Standing, he stopped and picked up one box, then continued out of the bullpen to the elevator.
He took it to the top floor then took the stairs to the roof. He didn't know if he could do this here or not but it seemed as good of a place as any. This was home after all…well as much of a home as he would ever have now.
Walking to a nice secluded section of the roof, Tony sat down and looked at the box in his hand. That was his Leroy. It was the last Medal of Commendation that NCIS had awarded his Leroy. Of course Leroy being Gibbs he hadn't personally gone to receive the award, Tony had. And he had been humbled to receive it in his partner's stead. But of course no one knew that the partner status was anything but work related.
Opening the box Tony let every good memory wash over him, every caress, every touch, kiss, every glide of skin to skin, every laugh, every argument that ended up with them plastered to each other with sweat. Tony finally let every ounce of pain and anguish out. Giving in Tony screamed in the agony he felt. He pulled the gun from its holster and looked at it. He tried not to give in to the manic laughter that was threatening to take him over again.
Tony turned the gun barrel towards him, and looked deep in to the soul of the weapon. He knew someone would think him crazy for thinking that a gun had a soul but he knew it did. Besides he was crazy with grief.
Staring deep in to the black Tony slowly very slowly pulled the trigger back and waited with held breath for the pain to ratchet up and then stop all together.
But instead there was pain in the back of his head and in his gun hand.
Tony was curled on his side cradling his hand and trying to decide what hurt more, his head, his mind, his heart, his chest or his hand. Hearing Ziva's voice near him only made everything hurt a thousand times more.
No one was supposed to find him yet. No one was supposed to know he was gone until he was gone.
"Oh Tony." Ziva knelt next to him and pulled him up and into her arms. "How could we have all missed it?" Ziva stroked the back of Tony's head were she had kicked it before wrenching his weapon from him hand.
"I can't Ziva, you have to let me…I can't."
"It's alright yedid sheli. We are here to help you. Please don't leave us too."
At that Tony began to sob and Ziva knew she had made everything worse. Well not worse but not better.
Movement to her left caught her attention and she turned slowly to see who was there. Standing on the roof was the source of Tony's pain. Battered and bruised, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, stood looking as lost as ever, maybe more so since he had woken up broken. Ziva had tried to get him to remember her for her own reasons but now she wished even more than he knew who they were.
Tony was lost in his world fill with grief he didn't notice the position change as Ziva adjusted to see Gibbs better.
Ziva watched Gibbs move in front of her and saw the slight recognition of Tony. But it was not nearly what it should have been considering the anguish Tony felt at being forgotten.
Ziva watched Gibbs reach out and brush a lock of hair from Tony's face. This only made Tony sob harder in her arms. Not being the emotional member of the group Ziva wasn't sure how to comfort either person. She was glad she was the first one to find Tony's letter but now she wished she had been the only one to find it.
Why hadn't she shoved it in the desk drawer, thrown it away, anything to protect Tony from this torment?
Jethro sat down on the roof with Ziva and Tony. Things weren't adding up in his head. Worse than he could figure out…there where memories that weren't his but yet they were. There was a memory of telling Tony he had to live with a strange blue light surrounding them. There was a memory of Tony limping out of the elevator, so many memories with Tony. Almost all of them were related to work…almost.
The one that had him all but begging Franks to drive him to the yard to find the blond in his mind, was the reason he was on the roof with the sobbing man in the arms of the Israeli agent who had already demand in tears that he remember them, remember her.
That memory was one were Tony was beneath him with a look of sheer ecstasy that could only come from one act. This memory continued as he leaned in and kissed Tony and Tony kissed him back.
Tony couldn't look, it was still their Leroy. His was still back in that freighter, dead. Tony had to think of his Leroy as dead. He had to grieve or he would be dead to. That was why he had go on to the roof after all.
"Tony, please. I don't know what it is that I don't know."
Ziva felt Tony curl farther into her. She was almost wishing she had been a second to late. He was so much more broken than Gibbs. Finding her voice Ziva spoke for Tony, "I do not think he can withstand your not knowing what you do not know." She tipped her head toward the pistol to her right. The slide was disengaged and the safety now on, but the intent was there for anyone to understand, even someone as out of place and time as Gibbs was at the moment.
Jethro picked up the weapon and slid the slide forward and released the clip. Checking the clip out of habit he found it to be full. He flipped it behind him, satisfied with the amount of time it scrapped across the roof. Then he checked the chamber and once satisfied there wasn't a round left he put it back were he had picked it up from.
He wished he had his memories so he knew how to deal with the man before him. Was this a new thing, a one time thing, and long time thing? Tony had only come in once since he woke up and he had called him Boss. What didn't he know about his own life? His heart? Did he love this man? Did he despise him for what had passed between them?
What didn't he know?
She didn't know what he was asking her. Did he want her to leave, fill in the blanks that were just as blank for her as they were for him.
She shrugged and held Tony's silent form.
"Give us a minute Ziver."
Ziva's heart skipped a beat at the nickname Gibbs had used for her, maybe he remembered more than he thought he remembered.
Stroking Tony's hair again she leaned down and kissed his brow, "I will be just inside the door if you need me, yedid sheli." Ziva slipped out from under Tony, who only curled in on himself more.
Walking away was the hardest thing she had ever done in her life, more so that leaving Israel, which the more she was in America the more she thought she would never see her homeland the same again.
Tony pulled himself up and picked up the box sitting next to him. Neither Leroy or Ziva had noticed it. He opened the box and looked at for a moment. The emotions tied to it were to much. He closed the box with a snap and threw it to the roof top. He got up but shoved Leroy away when he stepped towards him.
"Don't. I can't Boss…" Tony's voice cracked. If they weren't going to let him end it then he had to keep his sanity, so he was going to think of hid Leroy as only dead. Gibbs had to go back to being Boss or Gibbs.
Jethro stood and watched the man he didn't know struggle with everything. He wanted to comfort him but he didn't know how. The Israeli had pointed out the gun, and from the way the man was holding his hand, Jethro was sure she had taken it from him by force.
"When?" Jethro asked.
"Forever. Never." Tony answered.
"I'm trying to make sense of what's up here." Jethro offered.
"I'm not up there, they are."
"You are here, it's I just don't know how much is suppose to be there." As the words tumbled out the man's shoulders slumped more.
Jethro cursed and debated whether to reach for the man or not. When he watched him step closer to the edge he walked silently towards him. As the blond leaned forward, Jethro grabbed his arm and pulled him into his arms. "Don't."
"WHY DO YOU CARE?!"
"BECAUSE I DO!"
"Why?" Tony whispered.
Jethro whispered back, "I don't know."
Tony couldn't stay on this roller coaster. He shoved away from Leroy and sprinted the few steps to the roof top edge, but even battered and old Leroy beat him to it and pulled him back again from the precipice. This time however Leroy pulled him down to the rooftop. "Am I so important to you that you can't live with out me?"
"YES!" Tony screamed at the face that wasn't the man that he loved. "God yes. You and this job are my life. I can't do this job with out you here." Tony sobbed.
Jethro looked down at the man beneath him, looking so much like the man in that memory but looking nothing like him at the same time. "What can I do?"
"Remember me and not them." Tony said the words and had no regrets.
Jethro swallowed hard. Could he forget his girls for this man? This man he didn't know. They told him his girls were gone, almost a decade gone. How long had he been with this man? Dearing to ask the question again that had driven Tony to the root edge Jethro asked again, "When?"
Tony turned away from Leroy; he couldn't look at him and tell him about their life. "Five years. Just after I started."
"Forever," Jethro answered.
Tony didn't respond. Jethro looked at him again and tried to will something to come back to him. Their first kiss, the first time the made love. Anything.
"Besides Ziva, who knows?"
"No one. She didn't know until she came up here."
Tony wanted to die with each second. Why could his plague spontaneously regenerate and take him. What was making everything worse was to keep Tony still Leroy had him pinned to the rooftop by sitting on him, a position entirely to familiar.
"If you're going to leave me and take everything good in my life, just let me go," Tony pleaded. In a moment of pure insanity Tony sang the chorus to the song that had popped into his head the second he saw their Leroy.
"Just walk away make it easy on yourself
Just walk away please release me from this hell
Just walk away there's just nothing left to feel
Just walk away pretend that none of this is real."
Jethro hurt as Tony sang the lyrics to a song he didn't know, but he could hear the torment in the man's voice. He wanted to take it away but he just didn't know how.
"It's called Walk Away. The band's name is Five Finger Death Punch. Very appropriate right now, don't cha think?"
Jethro knew what the man wanted him to do but he couldn't and that was killing him as much as it appeared to be killing Tony.
"I want to remember you, us. I want to know what day it is, but its not there. But I don't think it will ever come back if you do this." Jethro gestured to the edge.
"Leroy I cant's stay here. I can't do this, live this life without you."
"What if there is a better life out there, than with a broken Marine who can't remember…"
Tony did the one thing that he could think of he pulled their Leroy down to him and kissed him. When their Leroy didn't change to his Leroy he shoved the man off and ran to the opposite side of the roof.
The fates hated him because three steps from the other edge Ziva stood arms open. When he pivoted to move past her block she pivoted as well and took him down. But as soon as she was down she was up dragging Tony with her. She pulled him from the rooftop to the stairwell and before he could think to jump the railing she had him over her shoulder and down the flight and into one of the empty rooms.
"This must stop Tony. You are not this man. You are stronger than this. If Gibbs had died you would be grieving but you would be strong."
"I'm tired Ziva, I'm tired of being strong."
Ziva dragged Tony from the room to the elevator, and punched the button for Abby's lab. Once there she went directly to Abby's futon. Pulling out Ziva pushed Tony down on to the mattress, once there she pulled the blanket over him and then lay next to him. "Sleep, there is no need to be strong now." Softly Ziva began to hum a lullaby her mother had sung to her and her siblings.
With in minutes, exhaustion took over and Tony was asleep and Ziva watched over him.
When Abby came rushing in Ziva motioned for her silence. Abby turned her head to the side and tried to process what she was seeing. She stepped forward and knelt next to her friends. She wanted to sign, to ask what was going on, but Ziva couldn't read sign. Instead she shrugged and pointed at Tony. Ziva shook her head and kept stroking his hair.
Another sound drew her attention to the doorway and again saw Gibbs standing there looking awful.
Abby heard him and turned. Stifling a squeal she bolted towards the man who was more father than co-worker.
He paused at the rib-crushing hug but returned it with a pat on the shoulder.
Signing to Abby, Jethro asked how long Ziva and Tony had been in her lab? Abby answered that she didn't know and she didn't know why they where even there. When she asked if Gibbs knew she didn't get an answer back.
Jethro didn't know if the group not knowing about he and Tony was something Tony had wanted, that they had wanted or if it was a work mandate. He couldn't tell her without knowing why she didn't know.
Tony began shifting in his sleep, mumbling, whimpering. Ziva tried to calm him, she began humming again, but that seemed to only add to Tony's agitation.
Jethro walked over to Tony and ran a soothing hand over Tony's back. That stilled the sleeping man but only for a moment. Then the shifting turned to thrashing, and the thrashing turned into Tony sitting up straight, screaming. Jethro had a flash of this happening before. He pulled Tony into his arms and hugged him.
"I'm here. I'm here."
"No your not. You're not mine. You're theirs." Tony's voice broke.
Leaning back, Jethro looked at Tony and asked, "Can't I be both?"
Looking deep into Leroy's eyes, tony let one tear slid down his cheek, "No, you don't remember me."
"I want to, can you give me time?" Jethro asked.
Pushing up and away from the man who wasn't his anymore, he said, "No I have to, I have to just walk away."
Tony stopped at the door way without turning around, "Please don't follow me. I promise I will not..." Tony's voice caught and he swallowed past the tightness in his throat. "It's up there. I promise."
Tony walked through the door and Abby tried rushed to the door but Ziva stopped her.
"Abby he needs time."
"What is going on? Gibbs what? Gibbs?" Abby was in tears, not sobs but the silent tears that fall on their own.
Jethro shook his head, he couldn't answer her.
Ziva had no problems with it though. "Tony and Gibbs have been together."
Abby turned and looked at the woman as if she had grown three heads. "Wh..ho..I..uh..go..oh."
Jethro wasn't sure how he was suppose to react. He...he just didn't. The op had gone south in so many ways. The ship was gone, so many unneeded deaths, he couldn't keep then and now straight. He couldn't do this. Whatever this was. He saw Abby turn to him, the tears still streaming. Her makeup following the tracks of the tears making her look like some sad gothic clown.
She stepped towards him and pulled him in to a soft hug.
The emotions were there. Everything he felt for her. She had taken Kel...he couldn't finish that though. He couldn't finish her name.
Ziva knew he remembered more than he knew. He was using the nicknames he had given them. Why couldn't he remember Tony.
"You have to fix it."
"I don't know what's broken Abs. I don't know...
"He does not know what it is he does not know Abby." Ziva finished for Gibbs when his voice trailed off.
"You have to find Tony and remember what it is you dont remember."
"Gibbs what do you remember?" Ziva asked. She watched Gibbs face turn red and his eyes became very dark.
"I think now is not a time for um privacey." Ziva said softly.
Gibbs turned an ever brighter shade of red, and cleared his throat. He nodded and ran a tired hand over his face. "Everything is tied to here. To the but one memory." His voice getting softer with each word. Shaking his head, he tried again, "There is one. I am, I see him. He's..." Jethro looks down remembering the feelings inside him. The feelings of being inside him. His voice is tight and scratchy, "We're making love. The look on his face is," Jethro swallows again, "He's coming and he looks so happy." Jethor's voice cracks and he starts to shake.
Sinking to the floor Abby and Ziva both keep him from actually falling to the floor and hurting himself more. Ziva pulls him into her arms like she did with Tony.
"I made him happy and I can't remember him. Ziva, why can't I remember him? Why can I only remember her? I don't want to forget her, but she's gone." His voice craking again and a sob wrenches itself from Jethro. "She's gone Ziva...oh god she's gone. My Kelly, their gone."
Ziva rocks the man in her arms, trying anything to comfort him. His loss so fresh from a decade old agony. "Why can't I remember him? Ziva, why? I don't want to live with that again." Softly, so softly she almost didn't hear it, "I won't live with that again."
Ziva hugged Gibbs tighter, "We will fix it. We will find Tony. You will remember, you will love him again." Wiping away her own tears for these two men, she swallows away more emotions and shakes her hair behind her. "Come, we will look for Tony and he will tell you everything and you will remember. Or I will kick you and make you remember." Ziva stood and held her had down to Gibbs.
Jethro takes it and pulls himself up.
"I think I need to hear the song he was singing."
Ziva's brows met in the middle, "Song?"
"He sang song on the roof when I stopped hi..."
Abby had listened the whole time understanding but not understanding. Now she heard something she couldn't have heard and gasped, shaking her head.
"Abby?" Ziva looked at her friend and knew what was wrong. Pulling the girl into her arms, "We where there. He did not."
"We have to find him. What if he...That was the promise he made?"
Ziva nodded. Looking back at Gibbs she asked, "What did he sing to you?"
Jethro sighed and tried to remember, his head hurt from all of this. Pulling the lines from his faulty memory he said them, knowing he could never add the emotion Tony had,
" Just walk away make it easy on yourself
Just walk away please release me from this hell
Just walk away there's just nothing left to feel
Just walk away pretend that none of this is none of this is."
Abby squeaked and ran to her computer pulling up and finding the song. Playing the song she watched Gibbs and he learned to understand the song as Tony did.
Ziva had learned a few things watching McGee and tracing where a cell phone was, was one of them. She used Abby's lab computer and found that Tony was on the move. He was going to the one place she had hoped he would go. He was going to Gibb's house.
Walking back into the office she tapped Gibb's on the shoulder. "I know where he is going."
Gibbs nodded and kissed Abby on the cheek and then walked into the hall, Ziva followed quickly and called to Abby, "I will call you when we find him."
Abby sank into her chair and prayed hard that when they did he hadn't done anything stupid.
All the way to his house Jethro ran the song through his mind.
"I'm sorry for the demon I've become."
He had become a demon. This was the most evil form of torture he could think of. And had just left a war...no no he hadn't just left a war full of torture. that had been a life time ago.
"You should be sorry for the angel you are not."
He didn't think Tony was an angel but he doubted the man had much to be sorry for not being one.
"I apologize for the cruel things that I did."
He wanted nothing more than to apologize for anything and everything.
"But I don't regret one single word I said."
How could he when he didn't remember them.
"Just walk away make it easy on yourself."
Maybe it would be easier but he would never forgive himself if something happened to this man because of his amnesia.
"Just walk away please release me from this hell."
Jethro knew that Tony's hell had started the moment he woke up to his own hell. Maybe they could find a way out together.
"Just walk away there's just nothing left to feel."
He didn't believe that line at all. If there was nothing left to feel Tony wouldn't have tried three times to kill himself.
"Just walk away pretend that none of this is real."
This line of the song was the only line that did seem real. Nothing had felt right since he woke up.
"Could you forgive me if I told you that I cared?"
Jethro knew he needed to talk to this man. Needed to tell him there was nothing to forgive.
"Would you be sorry if I swore that I'd be there?"
Jethro didn't know if he would be sorry if the man was there. But he doubted it after five years.
"Please forgive me for laughing when you fall."
This was where the song changed and sounded more like self protection than anything else, hurt them before they hurt you.
"I'm so sorry but I never cared at all."
Jethro sighed and wished for Tony's sake that he hadn't. At least then he wouldn't be so shattered. But that seemed more selfish than anything else.
"Just walk away make it easy on yourself
Just walk away please release me from this hell
Just walk away there's just nothing left to feel
Just walk away pretend that none of this is none of this is."
"Just walk away make it easy on us both."
Jethro doubted it would be easier on them both. I would have been if he had never seen the note. Would have been if he had left as soon as the ship was destroyed.
"Just walk away there was never any hope."
No there was no hope if he did walk away.
"Just walk away you already know the deal."
And here was the whole problem. He didn't know the deal.
"Just walk away, pretend that none of this was, none of this was real."
He knew this was all real and he knew he had to do something.
Chapter 3: could be his
Standing in the basement, Tony wanted to scream at the world, from rooftop to basement but not the way he wanted. Sliding to the floor Tony looked at the boat in front of him. He knew about Shannon and Kelly. Ler- Gibbs, had told him about them once. After about a month together Tony had asked about the room that was never opened, the door locked.
He knew Gibbs was divorced, he just wonderer if he still loved her and had kept her things there. The answer was a growling snarl about minding his own business with an instant soft apology.
What the world didn't know was Leroy apologizes, Gibbs doesn't.
Leroy told him about his wife and his daughter and asked not to talk about them again because it hurt to much.
Tony agreed immediately not wanting anything to come between the first relationship he'd ever given a shit about. The secrecy was all for work and nothing to do with shame about their feelings.
But they had gotten to the point where they didn't care anymore. They had reached the point were they wanted to wake up to each other and fall asleep in each others arms.
Now the ghosts had taken his Leroy and left him with a ghost of his own. He understood the pain Leroy had lived with for years and it had only been days. How had his Leroy learned to live again? Could he learn to live again with his Leroy walking around? Well not his Leroy and that was the problem wasn't it.
He heard the third stair creak, it only creaked when two people were here, one the third and fifth step, he knew this because while they had never slept together or left anything at the others house, he knew this house.
"I'm leaving. I had to say goodbye to what was before I could try to face what will be."
"Don't." Ler-Gibbs voice spoke. It was the soft voice he used when it was only them. The voice he used when they were making love.
Tony's heart clenched in his chest. He couldn't do this. No matter what he had told Ziva he couldn't live in the shadow of a ghost.
"Please let me take the demon away and try to find the angel. I want to try. I don't want you to walk away. And I know you have cared and I want to remember. I can't do that with out you."
A tear Tony didn't know he still had rolled down his cheek.
"I can't Gibbs. You're theirs again. If you ever were mine to start with..." Tony added sadly. Was Leroy ever his or had he had the ghost the whole time.
"I can be yours. I can try. I want to try."
"Why you don't remember. In your head your straight and married. Why do you want to try?"
"Because five years can't be wrong. Because there had to be something about you that me not want to be straight. I was never with a man before Shannon. I..." Gibbs stopped, had he been with a man after their deaths? He didn't know, maybe this was an old hat for him.
Tony saw the question flitter across Leroy's face. He even knew the question. Was Tony his first man? Tony turned to the bench behind him and grabbed the bottle of bourbon. He didn't bother with the jar and drank straight from the bottle.
He heard the click of the door close and knew Ziva had left him...them to their torment.
Tony turned to Leroy stepped into his space and spoke, "I'm the only man you've ever been with. Your the only man I've ever bottomed for and you will be the only man." Tony took a large drink of bourbon reached for Leroy and pulled him into a kiss. This was Tony's favorite way to drink bourbon. He tried to drink his bourbon like this at least once a week.
He hoped their custom would remind Leroy of him and tied not to be shattered when it didn't work. Leroy accepted the kiss and the liquor but there was no spark of passion or of recognition.
Gibbs accepted the kiss hoping his life would click back into place but it didn't and it scared him. He stood there letting Tony kiss him and didn't know how to respond. Not knowing what else to do Gibbs put his hands on Tony's hips. He was startled with Tony broke the kiss and hiss in pain.
"Where you hurt to?" Gibbs asked trying to lift Tony's shirt to look for injuries.
Tony stepped back before Leroy could find the bruises. "No I'm fine. I wasn't hurt in the explosion." He tried to reach for Leroy again got try distracting him with another kiss but when he did he was spun around and pinned chest to boat hands over his head and legs spread just far enough to keep his balance.
Gibbs heard the sharp intake of breath and the groan that sounded more like a whimper of need that a groan of frustration at being put off balance and restrained.
"Is this something I've done to you before? Have I taken you against the boat? Have I pulled these pants down and fisted you 'till you came in my hand?" Gibbs asked trying to distract Tony the way he had tried to distract Gibbs. Gibbs followed his gut and popped the button on the sinfully soft slack Tony had on and heard the sigh as they fell past the mans hips.
"This is something I've done before." Gibbs let go of Tony's hand and the remained above his head. Gibbs slid his hands down Tony's arms to his sides. "Tell me how many times I've held you against this boat and made you scream my name?" Gibbs found what he was searching for, his fingers outlined on Tony's hips. He felt Tony's hips roll backwards his ass pressing into Gibbs uncomfortably tight pants. "How many times Anthony?" The question was growled into Tony's ear. Tony's whimper had Gibbs digging into the bruises, "tell me."
Tony's mind wanted to shatter, well it had already shattered but the pieces has stained in a Tony snapped form, now they wanted to lose their form.
He couldn't answer Leroy, he didn't know how many times they had fucked and made live like this.
"Do you want this?" Leroy asked in his ear, his had on Tony's aching cock, and his cock pressed into Tony's cleft.
"My body want to feel you inside me again, my heart wants your arms wrapped around my chest, my mind wants to find a safe place to hide and learn to breath again."
"Should we appease two,out of the three and see if the third doesn't catch up?"
Tony wanted to cry, fuck it Tony was crying, streams of tears rolled down his cheeks, "I can't Gibbs. God I want you so badly I might come just from your breath on my neck, but I can't. You don't remember me, us, I won't be the other woman while you're still grieving for Shannon and Kelly."
"Pretty sure no woman ever felt like this in my hand." Gibbs said stroking Tony's leaking cock. He heard Tony stifle an moan and took the control from Tony he began stoking Tony quickly, he added a twist at the tip and slipped another hand forward rolling Tony's balls in his hand. "I'm betting this how you like to jerked off, because I know these moves but I know they aren't what I like. I think your more the first one in my life and less the other woman than we both think." Gibbs knew what he was doing was wrong, he should have stopped when Tony said no, but he needed to feel this, to know if something would come back to him.
He felt Tony's balls pull up tight in his hands and felt,the first warm liquid pulse of his hand a second later. He felt something a twinkle of a memory, he left it float about for now and he used Tony's come to stretch him and found it didn't take much as a moment later his cock slid into Tony's ass both men moaning at the feeling.
Gibbs reached down and put his hands back on the bruises he had found, "Is this the way we made love the last time Tony?"
"You seemed confused, I thought was my job at the moment." Gibbs didn't move, his fingers playing over the bruises.
"This is the position but we were both angry, there was little making love and more fucking the other into submission." Tony whispered. Their last act as a couple had been angry sweaty grappling sex that had ended up with him plastered against the boat, his hands above his head, like now, but with a thread of rope, still coiled on the floor on the other side of the boat. Leroy's breath escaped him as a memory flooded back. "The rope is on the other side of the boat."
Tony stilled and nodded.
"That a kink you have? Being tied up?"
Tony swallowed and nodded once. "Only with you." Tony whispered, another thing that he would loose if Leroy didn't remember him.
Gibbs let go of Tony's hips and wrapped his arms around his chest. "Please give me time to remember you. Please? Don't go. Maybe it will be better, maybe it won't, but please let me try first "
Tony shivered at the tone of Leroy's voice. His or theirs he didn't know but how could he leave now? Leroy was so broken. Feeling his arms around him was enough for his mind to give a little. When Leroy started to move Tony gave in all the way. He had always been a sucker for heart break anyways.
"I can't promise not to break your heart, but I can promise I will try." Gibbs felt the tears on Tony's cheeks and he lean his cheek again the man's. "I promise I won't walk away."
Tony came again to the sound of the promise in his ear and the kiss on his cheek.
Maybe just maybe he and his marine could put each other back together.
Chapter 4: dreams
Leroy guided an exhausted Tony to bed. He didn't have enough answers to say their bed but he left that for now.
Tony was asleep before Leroy could finish pulling the blanket over his hips. Leroy stopped and looked at the bruises. He sat on the edge of the bed and wondered at the strength it would have taken to leave them. They were deep enough to cause Tony pain, they were a dark ugly purple. He wanted to take them away, to erase the anger that had to have been present for him to have caused them. But at the same time he he couldn't do anything to remove the last night he remembered Tony.
Leroy got up and sat down in the chair next to the window. Shannon had sat in this chair so many times with Kelly. His heart stuttered at their memories. That was all they were, memories.
He leaned back and let the tears slid down his cheeks, closing his eyes he dropped into an exhausted sleep as deep as the man a few feet from him.
"Leroy, I can't believe you. How could you?"
"Daddy why would you?"
"You have to go back."
Gibbs was standing in a field of grass that didn't seem to stop. Before him were his girls. He smiled and reached for them both.
"Oh no you don't mister." Shannon said side stepping his grasp pulling Kelly with her.
Gibbs heart fell, she didn't love him anymore.
"Oh I love you alright. I love you enough to kick your ass from here to Elysium."
Gibbs shook his head, he didn't understand. Was he dead, or was this more torment his own mind had created for him?
Shannon watched the man she loved drop to his knees and sink into himself. He couldn't comprehend where he was. The living never could and by the time they did their time was gone. Shannon sat down next to Jethro and pulled him into her lap. "Shush, I know you don't understand, I know you're scared, tired, hurt, angry, confused, and alone. But what you are not is dead. This is a sort of visiting room. We can come here and see loved one's occasionally. You would never answer the invite before now."
Kelly came over and laid her head on her daddy's leg. "I miss you Daddy. I like Tony though. He makes you smile and laugh like Mommy use to."
Shannon smoothed down the longer hair and kissed the large abrasion on his left eyebrow.
"We can hear each of your thoughts. Time is different here, waiting here isn't like for the living. I want you to go back and remember Tony. I want you to let him love you."
"Why? I want to stay here with you."
"You can't Jethro. He needs you more than we will ever need you. He is so much more broken than you ever wore Jethro. He has never known what it is like to be whole. You knew and could remember the ghost of that memory and were teaching it to him. Each time the shattered pieces of his heart and soul fused to make a single piece the memory became less of a ghost for you. His soul is shattered again and his heart is ready to re-shatter. He needs you."
"Daddy, don't make Tony cry anymore please. I can't make him laugh in his dreams when he's sad about you. I'm not big enough to chase away the mean thoughts," Kelly asked.
Gibbs looked at his little girl, he sat up and she climbed the rest of the way into his lap. "What do you mean Kellybelly?"
Kelly giggled at her nickname only Daddy used, "I get to play with Tony when he's asleep. We go ride elephants and shrink down till were small and ride robins, and silly things." Her face was light up with a beauty that made his heart ache. Then it changed, she became so small and sad, like a tiny doll broken, "But when he's sad about you he doesn't want to play and the mean thoughts come and make him play their bad games. They make him see the Jeffrey man, and Mr. Atlas. They make him remember his mommy's gone, and how mean his daddy was." Kelly played with the pocket on the scrubs he still wore. "They make him watch Kate, Daddy. I don't like that game, it makes him really sad. Sometimes they make it you and I scream at the mean thoughts but they just laugh at me because I'm not big enough to make them go away. I will be someday but I can't yet." Kelly looked up in to her dad's eyes with a determination that only a child can know.
"She can someday Jethro, she grows here, not in size and age, but in imagination and spirit. Those things still live here." Shannon explained, "She will always be our little girl but she will be able to protect Tony from his own mind soon. The mean thoughts are how she can explain what you both live with." Shannon touched Jethro's temple. "You let so much in to help the world that you can't always keep it at bay. We help you both. I try to keep you from remembering the pain and anger. I try to only remind you of the love, but in a way that will let you move on."
"Shan…it's so hard without you."
"You're not without me, Jethro. I'm always there, waiting for you to sleep."
"Is that the only time I can see you?"
Shannon smiled softly, "Its better this way. Go back to Tony and remember him." She reached for him and kissed him, her hands on each temple.
Leroy woke in the chair, his heart beating a rhythm only found in raves, his head spinning, tears streaming down his cheeks and a nose bleed and gasping for breath.
He was finally able to calm his breathing and heart down, and his head stopped reeling. He stumbled to the bathroom and waited for the blood to stop dripping, then cleaned himself up.
Returning to the bedroom, flashes of memories stirred. Their first kiss, it had been soft and yielding for as long as it took for their lips to touch, but then it became heavy and determined. By the end of the night both had lost their remaining virginity to the other and broken a lamp, two beer bottles, and shredded Tony's favorite pair of silk boxers.
Tony stirred but still slept. Leroy walked to his closet and pulled out a small wooden box from the corner. He sat on the bed and waited for Tony to wake.
Tony woke by degrees…he woke to the ache in his hip, to the sleep of Leroy's pillow, to the sound of Leroy's breathing. Rolling over he found Leroy watching him. He waited to see if it was his Leroy or theirs.
Leroy open a box in his lap, he pulled out a piece of fabric, and held it reverently. "I kept this from the first night we made love." He picked up a small crystal out the box next, "this to. We broke the lamp. You wanted be over the back of that damn chair."
"It tipped and knocked over the table and the lamp broke." Tony finished.
"When we got up here, I couldn't wait to see you naked, I pulled your boxers off, you yelled at me and-"
"I tried to leave."
"But I wouldn't let you. I pinned you to that wall and made you come on my hand." Jethro looked at the wall between the closet and the door to the hall. "Then I pulled you on to the bed and used your tie to keep you in bed while I fucked us blind."
Tony's hands were shaking. He hadn't known Leroy had kept mementos of that night. The look was almost his Leroy, but there was still ruminates of theirs.
"Do you ride elephants in your dreams?"
The question threw Tony for a loop. "What?"
"Do you ride elephants in your dreams, do you ride robins?"
Tony shook his head but answered, "Yes. I have for years."
"Before or after we met?" Leroy didn't know why he needed to know this right now, but he needed to know how long Kelly had been looking out for Tony's mean thoughts.
"I don't remember a year or two before we met. Uh two I had just moved to Baltimore when it started." He looked up from his hands to find Leroy crying silently. He pulled the man into his arms. "What is it, why do my silly dreams mean anything to you?"
"It's Kelly, she's been watching you in your sleep since before we met. I fell asleep earlier. I thought I was asleep…then I thought my mind was fucking me over again. Shannon and Kelly were there in a field, a huge open field. They wouldn't let me touch them, they kept yelling at me. Then Shannon held me in her lap and told me that I needed to remember you. That you needed me more than them. She said that I needed to show you how to love, how to be whole. That even though I only knew a ghost of a memory I still could show you."
Leroy swallowed past the pain of his little girl, "Then Kelly asked me to not let you be sad anymore because she couldn't keep away the mean thoughts, that she wasn't big enough. She said you have nightmare of White and Atlas."
Tony nodded but didn't say anything. His dreams ranged from silly and inane to dark and death.
"She said that when she could pay with you, you rode on elephants or became so small you could ride on robins. Then Shannon kissed me and sent me back. She put her hands here," putting Tony's hands on each temple just to have an excuse to touch the man again, "when I woke I was crying, couldn't breathe and had a bloody nose. And I remembered our first kiss."
Jethro set the box to the side and leaned in and kissed Tony, softly and yielding.
Tony kept the kiss just like that, but pulled Leroy back till they were laying down.
"I thought we needed a new first kiss."
"I think I like both our first kisses. Our first first kiss led me to find out you like silk ties around your wrists as much as around your throat." Leroy reached into his pillow case and pulled one free.
Tony's eyes dilated and he gasped. "You remember?"
"That I keep a blood red tie in my pillow case so that when everything is just right I can tie you to the bed and make love to you for hours till you come just from me asking you to? Yes I remember that. Do I remember what year you graduated college, no not yet." Leroy said lopping the silk around Tony's hands. "I think I need a refresher though. I want to make sure I get this right." Leroy kissed Tony again, pushing his hands towards the top of the bed to the small clip that was hidden so well you had to know it was there to find it.
Slipping the tie through it, Tony heard the metal click and whimpered. Leroy felt the surge of precum on his hip. "Yes that one little sound makes you want to writhe. Makes you want to come." Leroy trailed his fingers through the pool and smeared it on Tony's cock, receiving another flow. Gathering it up as well Leroy pushed Tony's legs wide with his knees and pushed one finger in Tony's ass. "I remember that you never need me to go slow on the first two. That you're always open that much for me."
Tony groaned at the feeling of Leroy's playing his body. He had always known how to make his body sing.
"I remember being able to fuck you in seconds, inside the front door. Against the front door, the boat, the stairs, the counter, the table, the shower." With each memory came a twist of Leroy's hand in his ass. Those few words had him hot and relaxed enough for Leroy to slip in two more fingers. "I remember how on a hard day I can shove you against the nearest hard surface and have you coming in your pants."
Pulling his had free he heard Tony cry out at the loss of sensation, his body shifting to get it to return. What he got was so much better.
Leroy shifted and slid into Tony until his balls rested against the back of the man's ass and he felt Tony's brush against his pelvis.
Both men moaned, "Tony is this what you wanted me to remember, how to make you scream, how to make you shake?"
"Yes…not only this, I would have been able to go one if you never touched me again if you just remembered that I existed." Tony sobbed.
"But you would have wept over the loss of this?" Leroy stated and pulled free to slide home again over and over again.
"God so many nights. So many night would have found me trying to make myself come to the memories."
"It's never right without you. Please…please you can't leave me." Tony tried to sit up and pull Leroy to him to hold him here but he couldn't with his hands clipped to the bed.
Leroy came down to Tony, "I can't promise anything, you know that." Leroy touched his healing face, "But I promise to never make you grieve for me alone again. Never alone again." He whispered his promise into Tony's ear adding a kiss. "You are so close, if I ask you now will you come for me? Will you give everything to me and let me watch your face?"
"Yes god yes Leroy please please I want to come I can't without you."
"Come for me Antony. Let me see that beautiful face."
At the mention of the name Leroy only used on nights like this, his secret name that was only his Leroy knew he came and cried out. The cry was so deep he felt it in his soul.
"Yes that face Antony, that one." Leroy matched the face of tortured bliss to the memory fragment that had started this whole ordeal. "Oh I love you. I swear to any god worthy of listening I will never leave you again, they will have to tear me away kicking and screaming with the last breath of me soul." Leroy kissed Tony slowly and ever so carefully showing him exactly how much he loved him.
"Leroy…they won't have to drag you because if anyone takes you I promise to follow right behind you." Tony swore as he fell into another deep sleep.
"Keep him safe Kell, keep him safe from the mean thoughts and I'll try and keep him safe from the mean people. Good night Shannon." Leroy laid his head on Tony's chest and fell asleep to the sound of a heart that beat only for him.