He just left. He didn't even say goodbye. He just… Left. Tony let out an exasperated sigh, running his hands over his face in defeat. His phone buzzed excitedly from the wall and Tony's eyes lit up, hoping it was Gibbs. He crossed the room and flipped the cell open, ignoring the caller ID.

"Tony!" Abby screamed.

"… Hey, Abby."

"Geez, don't sound so excited to hear my voice. Where's Gibbs?"


"Gone? What? Why?"

"I don't know…"

"Tony, are you okay? After work today and the call with Gibbs a few minutes ago, I'm worried about you. Both of you. Spill it already." Abby demanded.

Another sigh, "… I… I k-…"


"I kissed Gibbs!" Tony gave in.

"… What?"

"Gibbs. I kissed him. Then he punched me."

"And he came over to your house…"

"To apologize. To my face."


"And my lips. And my hands. And, oh god, my neck." Tony moaned into the phone, remembering their tryst.

"You guys had sex?" Abby almost couldn't believe the words as they left her mouth.

"… No. You called. And, then Gibbs left," Tony bit his lip, "Abby, I don't know what to do."

Abby's heart went out to Tony. He sounded so helpless. He was used to doing the leaving and when Gibbs pulled that card, it obviously hurt him.

"Tony, you need to let him know how you feel. You need to go after him."

"You think so?"

"I know so." Abby reassured with an unseen smile.

"Thank you, Abby."

"Don't thank me, Tony. Just don't screw this up." Abby replied lightly, the line going dead shortly thereafter.

Tony pulled on his lost clothes, some running shoes, and a warm jacket. He looked over his still-messy apartment before shutting the door on everything he knew.


He walked quickly down the sidewalk. Who knows where Jethro was by now? Tony could only hope he had left for home. He looked down at his feet; left foot, right foot, left foot… He checked his watch, reading out twenty-three forty-four. Still no Jethro. It was dark; too dark. Tony kept walking.

"Is that…?" Tony thought to himself. In the distance, a figure shuffled away, stopping occasionally to shoot a quick glance in Tony's direction. It had to be Gibbs.

"Gibbs!" Tony yelled, the person in front of him only hurrying along quicker.

"Leroy Jethro Gibbs!"

That stopped him.

As Tony caught up, the light of a flickering streetlight shining upon them both, a blank and unreadable stare greeted him. Tony returned with his classic grin, hoping to shake the stoic from his boss. When that did nothing, Tony hung his head, scratching at the sidewalk with his shoe. The silence was starting to become unbearable when Jethro spoke.

"I don't love you."

Tony thought hard about what to say, taking Abby's advice into account. He didn't want to screw this up, and if he said just one thing wrong, it would ruin it all. And, this time he really would be turning in his resignation.

"It's funny, Jethro, because things like this don't always start off as love. Hell, they don't always turn into love, either. It's just you and it's just me. And, in this moment, we're just us."

"'Us', huh?"

"Us." Tony gave a trying smile.

"I can handle us." Gibbs shrugged complacently. He continued walking, Tony falling into step next to him.

"Do you want to start over?"

Gibbs raised an eyebrow to Tony, who in return stuck his hand out, "Hi, I'm Anthony DiNozzo and I find you extremely attractive."

Gibbs smiled, shaking Tony's hand comically, "Jethro Gibbs, Anthony. And, you're not so bad yourself."