Title: Happy Family
Summary: After six years together and an adopted daughter, it's over. What happens now.
Thanks to Cookie62 for beta reading.
Feedback is always welcomed and appreciated. Hope everyone enjoy the first chapter :)
The sound of the elevator stopping, made Tony look up from his desk. A broad smile spread across his face and his eyes filled with love as the young girl stepped out. The girl's eyes met Tony's and she smiled back as she made her way over to his desk.
"Casey's mom dropped me off." She said falling into Tony's open arms.
"Missed you." Tony closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around her protectively.
"I missed you too Dad."
"I miss you calling me daddy." Tony sighed kissing her forehead.
"I'm too old to call you daddy." She rolled her eyes.
"Sorry I forgot you're almost a teenager now." God, she grew up to fast, where had all the time gone?
"Where's Dad?" She asked glancing over at her other father's desk.
"In a meeting." Tony smiled wearily.
"Ziva and Tim?" She asked noticing the empty bullpen.
"Already gone." He paused. "You ready for this?"
She smirked. "Of course." Hearing a noise her eyes were drawn upwards and she saw her dad coming down the steps from MTAC.
Just like Tony, Gibbs' eyes filled with love and a wide smile played across his lips as he looked down at the young girl. He winked at her making his way down the steps and towards Tony's desk.
He wiggled his finger at her and she grinned as she quickly ran over and hugged him.
"What are you doing here?" He asked dropping a quick kiss to the top of her head.
She rolled her eyes, then glared at him. "Dad's taking me to see the basketball game, remember?"
"Right." Gibbs nodded, trying to pretend like he hadn't forgotten. "Are you staying?"
"Yeah." Her gaze shifted away for a moment then back.
"Behave." Gibbs glanced over at Tony, then back at their daughter.
"Always." She grinned.
"LILY!" Abby screamed running into the bullpen and throwing her arms around the girl.
"Aunt Abby!" Lily screamed back, wrapping her arms tightly around the Goth.
"I heard you were here." Abby squeezed her tightly.
Making his way over to his desk, Gibbs sat down and watched Abby and Lily chatter on about some rock band. Again Gibbs glanced at Tony, then back at the two chatter boxes.
Lily, Tony and his adopted daughter, had suddenly become a beautiful young woman before Gibbs very eyes. They had adopted her when she was six. Back then she was this tiny little mouse of a child with long blond, almost white locks, that hung to the middle of her back. Her eyes, an icy blue that radiated sadness and loneliness, things a child of her age shouldn't have experienced. She had spent years being moved around from foster home to foster home, which is how Gibbs and Tony came upon her. A case brought them to her most recent foster family, the father a Marine, her mother a stay at home mom taking care of four foster kids. From the outside everything looked perfect. Problem was dad was selling military weapons and pissed off a few of the wrong people. He ended up dead in their back yard, his wife and four kids finding him there when they returned from school.
When NCIS arrived, Lily and her foster mother were still standing there looking at the body, the other three kids in the house, sitting on the couch crying. Tony was the one to go to Lily and gently take her hand and lead her away. That one simple action had suddenly made Lily fascinated with Tony. She wouldn't release his hand and if he even tried she would start to sob uncontrollable. Realizing he was defeated, Tony had finally picked Lily up and carried her around during the whole investigation. Comically, he tried to take pictures and mark evidence with a six year tucked against his hip. But it was one defining moment that had changed everything.
Tony sat down at the kitchen table to write a few notes, Lily turned around in his lap moved and looked up at him with her sad little blue eyes she touched his cheek then his nose.
Gibbs, standing a few steps away watched the exchange with interested eyes.
Tony just looked at Lily for a minute then smiled. "You're pretty too."
She smiled shyly. "You're prettier."
Tony laughed and touched her nose. "I don't think so."
She laughed and buried her face in Tony's chest. When she finally drew back and looked at Tony again her fingers were feeling his shirt.
"You're shirt is so soft!" She said completely amazed.
"It should be it costs lots of money." Tony smirked.
"I like pretty clothes."
Tony nodded. "So do I."
"And shoes." She said pulling her leg up and showing Tony her black patent leather shoe.
Gibbs shook his head and chuckled to himself. Oh she'd said exactly the right thing!
"Are those Ferragamo's?" Tony grinned, grabbing her foot and looking at her shoes.
"What?" She laughed.
And that was when it happened. Tony fell in love.
They had only been together five months, five wonderful amazing months, Tony having moved in after just a month of being together. It didn't matter, after a week, Gibbs knew Tony was the one he wanted for the rest of his life. They had been in love with each other for years, long before either of them admitted it, so when they made love that first night it was like finally coming home. When Tony fell in love with Lily and wanted to adopt her, it seemed perfect. Gibbs loved kids, wanted a family again, and he couldn't imagine being more happy than having that family with Tony.
After months of interviews with social services, child services, court dates and favors from friends, Gibbs and Tony official adopted Lily Ava Gibbs-DiNozzo. It amazed him how Tony changed having a child, something he never really seemed to be interested in, yet Lily had turned him into Mr. Mom. And for the first month, Lily only wanted daddy (Tony), she could have cared less about Gibbs. She seemed to tolerate him as part of being with daddy. It wasn't that she hated Gibbs; she was just kind of indifferent to him. Gibbs never took it personally; he knew what she'd been through and understood that right now Tony was stability, security and love, which was what she needed.
But that changed, during the second month. It was a Saturday morning, Gibbs was up early working on the boat, Lily and Tony still asleep. He'd heard the pitter patter of little feet making their way down the steps from upstairs, then running down the hall and stopping at the top of the basement steps.
Gibbs continued to run the planer over the beam in front of him, waiting to see what Lily decided. She knew about the boat, had been in the basement countless time, with Tony of course. Although she always seemed interested, and Tony had tried to get her to help him work on it, she never did.
"Why are you building a boat?" Lily asked from the top of the steps.
"So we can all go sailing." Gibbs answered continuing to work.
"Where we going?" She asked taking a step down.
"Where would you like to go?"
"Hawaii." She answered jumping down a couple more steps.
"Hawaii sounds good." Gibbs nodded.
"Does Daddy like Hawaii?" A few more steps closer to the bottom.
"Yeah, he does."
"Do you?" She asked reaching the concrete floor.
Gibbs thought about his answer a moment. "I'll be happy sailing anywhere with you two."
Glancing over, he saw Lily smile.
Lily walked over and stood beside Gibbs, looking up at him with those enchanting blue eyes. Eyes that had lost some of the sadness and loneliness, but with slight glimmers of it still evident.
"Daddy and you are boyfriends." She said it as a statement not as a question.
"You love him?" That was said as a question.
"How much?" She asked now walking around a beam of the boat.
"A lot." Gibbs smiled at her.
"This much?" She said stopping and spreading her arms open wide.
"More." Gibbs said leaning forward and smiling.
"Really?" Her eyes went wide.
"Yeah." Gibbs nodded.
"Do you love me?" She looked at the floor.
"Why?" She asked looking up at him again.
"Because you're our little girl." Gibbs smiled and winked at her. "And because you're cute."
She tipped her head sideways and looked at him as if contemplating the honesty of his statements.
Gibbs chuckled to himself, the look reminded him of Abby.
"Do you only love me because Daddy loves me?" She started walking around the beam again.
"Did you want me to be your daughter too?" Still she walked circles around the beam.
"Yeah I did."
"So I get to have two daddies?"
"If you want." Gibbs nodded feeling the emotion squeezing at his heart.
She stopped and looked up at Gibbs. "I never had one daddy, two is even better."
He chuckled. "Yeah it is. Until you wanna start dating."
She laughed. "I'm too young to date!"
"Remember that when you're twenty and Daddy tells you that you're still too young." Gibbs smirked.
"Daddy said I can't date till I'm forty." She grinned.
"That sounds about right." Gibbs laughed.
"I'm hungry." She sighed, grabbing Gibbs' hand trying to pull him towards the stairs. When he didn't budge she turned around and pulled harder. Again he didn't move and she laughed.
"Where you trying to take me?"
"The kitchen." She pulled with all her strength and Gibbs moved causing her to almost fall backwards, but he grabbed her with both hands and tossed her over his shoulder.
"Okay the kitchen it is." He said running up the basement stairs as she giggled.
After that, Gibbs became Dad and Tony was Daddy. And their family was perfect. The sadness and loneliness left Lily's eyes completely and she flourished. Over the next six years she grew from that tiny mousy child into a pretty, outgoing, independent, funny little girl. Then into a strong willed, opinionated, beautiful young lady of twelve. Her white blond hair had turned to a dusty ash. The board straight strands almost always in a ponytail that hung to the small of her back. She was tall and lean still stuck in that boyish frame stage between girl and young woman. Her blue eyes now sparkled with love and onerousness.
She loved sports of any kind and played basketball, soccer, and volleyball. Although as she got older and her time more valuable to her, her focus now seemed to be on basketball, much to Tony's delight. And she was smart, smarter than both of them put together. Honors classes, straight A's, for the most part and already hell bent on being a...Gibbs hated to even think about it, A lawyer! In the JAG Corp. He was never sure if he should be proud or scared.
As she grew up, Lily constantly told them how perfect her life was and how she never thought she would have a life like this. And the last six years had been perfect, not only for her, but for Tony and Gibbs as well. Until it all came crashing down...for all of them.
Gibbs had thrown Tony out, two months ago, and still felt no remorse for his actions. Tony was now living in a two bedroom apartment across town, while Gibbs and Lily stayed in the house. They were civil to each other for their daughter; well Gibbs was civil because of her. Tony was hoping for a reconciliation, but Gibbs still couldn't see past the anger. The only thing that kept his anger in check was their daughter. If it wasn't for Lily, Tony would be on an Antarctic ship as Agent Afloat for the rest of his career at NCIS. But for his daughter's sake, Gibbs tolerated the fact that he still had to work with Tony. Again, Gibbs cursed himself for disregarding rule twelve and putting himself in this situation.
Gibbs was pulled from his thoughts as Lily came around his desk to hug him.
"We gotta go." Lily hugged Gibbs tightly.
"Have fun." Gibbs smiled. "You need some money?"
She rolled her eyes. "Do I ever turn down money?"
He pulled out his wallet and handed her a twenty.
"Thanks Dad." She grabbed it and kissed his cheek. "I'll call you tomorrow when we're on the way home."
"Yeah." Gibbs smiled as she ran to Tony's side.
"It will probably be around one tomorrow." Tony looking at Gibbs, eyes full of sadness but trying to hid it. "I'll send you some pictures of us at the game.
Gibbs nodded then started flipping through a file on his desk.
"We better get going." Tony smiled returning his focus to Lily.
When he heard the elevator doors close, Gibbs looked up and realized Abby was still standing there.
Abby stared at him, her sad puppy dog eyes pouting as was her lip.
"Don't start!" Gibbs snapped.
"He loves you and he's hurting."
"Loving me is debatable and as for him hurting." Gibbs voice was suddenly full of venom. "Good."
"I know you still love him." Abby sighed.
"Abby." Gibbs again tried to reign in his anger. "We're not talking about this again."
"Lily is hurting, doesn't that matter?" Abby put her hands on her hips.
"And who's fault is that?" Gibbs glared at Abby daring her to try and blame this on him.
"He screwed up, but he didn't-"
"ENOUGH!" Gibbs yelled and slammed his hand down on his desk. The action causing Abby to jump and take a step back. Taking a deep breath, Gibbs ran his hands down his face. She wasn't the one that deserved his anger. He lowered his voice again. "Abby."
"I know." She nodded wringing her hands. The anger wasn't meant for her, she just happened to be in his immediate line of fine. And she was pushing him, when she knew not to pull a tiger's tail, especially a wounded tiger.
Gibbs made his way over to her, embracing her and placing a kiss on the top of her head. "Just be there for Lily okay?"
She nodded, clutching at the sides of his coat. "Always."
Stepping back, Gibbs smiled. "Thanks."
"I love her." Abby smiled sadly. "And I'm her godmother. I take that very seriously."
"I know you do." Gibbs snickered. She'd cried for days when they asked her to be Lily's godmother.
"And I love you." She paused. "And Tony."
Gibbs sighed. "Abby."
"Right shutting up."
Gibbs dropped down on the couch, put his head back and closed his eyes. These were the nights he hated. The nights where Lily was with Tony, the house was silent and there was only the emptiness. This was what it was like before...before Tony, before Lily, when he was alone. The time when the house was just a house, and not a home. When he believed he would never find someone that he could love and that could love him. Tony had changed all that.
Tony was...everything Gibbs wanted and needed. Tony said he felt the same, and Gibbs believed him. Even though neither of them had ever been with a man, it didn't matter, they loved each other. Their first night together had been a tender night of exploration and discovery, something completely different than either of them had ever experienced. Each night after that became more passionate, more demanding, more confident, until there was nothing but an all-consuming fire. He'd never wanted to make love to someone as much as he wanted to make love to Tony. All it took was a look, a slight touch, or a single word from Tony and he would take the younger man relentlessly. And Tony begged him to never stop. They would make love for hours and still Tony would plead for more. But it was more than sex.
They would spend Sunday mornings just lying on the couch, him reading the paper, Tony's feet in Gibbs' lap as Tony did something on the computer. Then Tony would get bored, put his laptop on the table and stare at Gibbs. Ignoring the stare, Gibbs would just wait and eventually, Tony would grab the paper, toss it aside and wrestle Gibbs down onto the couch. They would laugh, every time, as if it were the first time. Then they would fall asleep, talk, or just lay there in each others arms.
Gibbs got up and made his way to the kitchen. Grabbing the Bourbon from his hiding place in one of the top cabinets, he poured a large shot and swallowed it in one gulp. Pouring another, he took the glass and bottle and returned to the couch.
The front door opened and Gibbs chuckled when he saw the man walk in.
"You always know when I open the good stuff."
"Well, you do it so rarely." Fornell smirked. "What's the occasion?"
Gibbs shrugged. "Don't have one."
"Guess Lily's with DiNotzo."
Gibbs nodded, smiling to himself. Fornell had actually started calling Tony by his first name but had reverted to DiNotzo after the break up. It was Fornell's way of showing his solidarity to Gibbs.
"So that's what this is about." Fornell sighed, grabbing a mug from the kitchen, then dropping down on the couch next to Gibbs.
"Just wanted a drink."
"Yeah, I remember what it was like." Fornell poured himself a drink. "When I first moved into the apartment after the divorce. All alone, Emily living with her mom."
Gibbs swirled the bourbon in his glass. "Yeah."
"I got shit faced every night that first week." Fornell chuckled. "I was sick for two weeks after that."
Gibbs laughed. "Not as easy to recover after a week of drinking."
"Not at our age." Fornell downed his drink, smiling at how smooth it was compared to Gibbs normal rot gut.
"Does it get easier?" Gibbs asked.
"Nope." Fornell shook his head. "You just deal with it better."
"Right." Gibbs ran his hands through his hair. "It was different with Shannon and Kelly."
Fornell glanced at Gibbs, rare that this subject came up.
"They were gone and I could mourn them." Gibbs sighed. "Tony's not here, but he's still in my life. I have to see him almost every day. I have to work with him, talk to him, and try to parent with him. It's exhausting."
"You never had to deal with the ex's after the divorce." Fornell blew out a long breath. "Well, unless the alimony check was late."
Gibbs chuckled. "Exactly."
"You hate 'em for awhile, dislike them after that." Fornell shrugged. "Then realize how can you hate someone that gave you the best thing to ever happen to you"
"Wouldn't change a thing with Diane, because I got Emily."
"Well, I might hide my money in an offshore account that she didn't know about."
"Right." Gibbs laughed.
Grabbing the Bourbon bottle, Fornell refilled both their glasses
"All I have right now is hate and anger." Gibbs took a drink.
"But you still love him?" Fornell knew the answer to that already.
"Yeah." Gibbs shook his head. "Why I don't know."
"Yes you do." Fornell leaned back.
Gibbs stared down at his drink.
"He's a good man and he loves you." Fornell held up his hand. "No matter what happened."
"When did you because a DiNotzo supporter?" Gibbs snickered.
"We're bastards, hard to deal with, a bitch to live with." Fornell chuckled. "And even harder to love."
"You get that line from Diane?" Gibbs rolled his eyes.
"Was there a reason you came here?" Gibbs asked needing a change of subject.
"Emily wanted me to ask if Lily wanted to stay over next Friday after school." Fornell smiled.
"I'm sure she will." Gibbs paused. "I'll ask her tomorrow."
"You could stay over too."
Gibbs eyebrow went up.
Fornell rolled his eyes at Gibbs innuendo. "You know what I mean."
"I'll be fine." Gibbs chuckled.
Suddenly a song burst through the air.
"Let's have some fun, this beat is sick. I wanna take a ride on your disco stick. Don't think too much just bust that stick. I wanna take a ride on your disco stick."
Gibbs grabbed his phone from the table.
"Gotta be DiNotzo." Fornell laughed.
"Yeah." Gibbs rolled his eyes. Tony and Lily had made that Tony's ring tone. He smiled as he saw the picture.
"When did you get the new phone?" Fornell looked surprised by the very stylish new phone.
"Lily made me get it." Gibbs said as he stared at the picture. Lily was standing there in her Washington Wizards Jersey, hands in the air screaming with glee. Evidently the Wizards were winning. The phone rang again and Gibbs moved to the next picture. This one was a close up of Tony and Lily giving the thumbs up, mouths open as if screaming. Gibbs smirked. Yeah the Wizards were winning.
"Wizards winning?" Fornell asked, knowing that Tony and Lily, had to be at the game. They went to every Wizard's home game, normally with Gibbs as well.
"They're winning." Gibbs showed Fornell the picture and the phone rang yet again. This time it was a text message, from Lily's phone.
Love you dad. Miss you.
Gibbs shook his head as if he could shake off the overwhelming emotion that surged through him.
Fornell didn't need to see the text to know what it said. He'd gotten plenty of texts like that from Emily when he'd first gotten divorced.
"Is your pride really worth all this?"
Gibbs glared at Fornell.
Fornell put up his hands. "Fine."
Gibbs looked at the carving for a moment, then put it back down, he was just about to pick up the phone and check the time when it rang. He smirked as the song My Little Girl by Tim McGraw filled the air. That was the ring tone she'd picked for herself.
"Hi dad, whatcha doing?" She always asked that, even though she knew he was in the basement working on something.
"Is it okay if I stay with Dad again tonight? We're gonna meet Aunt Abby for lunch then see a movie."
"Sure." Gibbs would never deny her spending time with Tony, but still she always asked as if his answer would be anything other than yes.
He sighed hating to hear the sadness in her voice. "Miss you too. Hey!"
"Emily wants to know if you wanna stay over next Friday?"
"Can you survive without me two Fridays in a row?"
It was meant to sound like a joke, but Gibbs could hear the concern in the question.
"I'll be just fine." Gibbs chuckled. "I'll end up working late."
He could sense the eye roll through the phone.
"Go, have fun. I'll let Emily know."
"Thanks Dad." She paused. "Love you see you tomorrow."
"Love you too." Gibbs ended the call and dropped the phone down on the table. Woodworking and Bourbon again tonight.
"What's going on next Friday?" Tony asked having heard part of the conversation.
"Emily wants me to stay over." Lily stared at the phone.
"That'll be cool."
"Yeah." Lily nodded leaning her head against the passenger window.
"What's wrong?" Tony asked glancing at her then back at the road.
"Nothing." She shrugged picking at the plastic case on her phone.
"Your dad will be okay. He wants you to have fun."
"I know." She paused. "I just hate him sitting at home alone."
Tony's hands tightened around the steering wheel as his stomach clenched and he felt sick.
"I'm sorry you have to go through this."
She nodded and sighed. "Me too."
"Lil I didn't mean-"
"I'm good." She forced a smile and looked at her dad.
Tony nodded staring out at the road ahead of him. She wasn't alright, but she was dealing, trying to accept it. The three of them had talked when it all happened. He and Gibbs, expressing their love, telling her it had nothing to do with her, that it was about them. They didn't tell her what happened, but Tony had, the first night she stayed at the apartment. She was angry at first not speaking to him the rest of the night. The next day she had questions, questions that were sincere, deep, personal, and insightful far past her age. He had tried to answer them all honestly and without making anyone sound at fault. She seemed to accept his answers, hugging him and moving on from there.
He wondered if she had a similar talk with Gibbs, because he was sure if she had, Gibbs had put all the blame on Tony.
Cup of coffee in hand, Gibbs was about to head back to the basement when he heard a knock at the door.
"Yeah." Gibbs barked opening the door. Every muscle in his body tensed as he stared into the familiar green eyes.
"Um Lily forgot her-"
"Swimsuit." Gibbs finished the sentence.
"Come in." Gibbs nodded inside. "I'll go grab it."
Standing just inside the door, Tony waited as Gibbs headed upstairs. He hated all of this. Having to knock, standing here by the door like some stranger in his own home, and most of all hating the way Gibbs treated him so coldly.
"Here you go." Gibbs handed Tony the suit.
"She loves the pool." Tony chuckled. It was one of the reasons he had picked the apartment.
"Lily's with Abby. They're doing their nails." Tony smiled. "Hope you're okay with black."
There was no reply.
"So Lily is staying with Fornell and Emily next Friday."
"Yeah." Gibbs paused. "It's not your weekend."
"I know." Tony sighed. "I was just making conversation."
"I have things to do."
"Of course you do." Tony rolled his eyes. "You always have something to do besides talk to me."
"I don't have to talk to you anymore, unless it involves our daughter or work."
"And how's that different from the last eight months we were together." Tony glared.
"Get out!" Gibbs growled.
"Are you ever going to stop hating me?"
"Why should I?"
"Because it wasn't all my fault!" Tony snapped back. He was angry too, even if he didn't show it as much as Gibbs.
"Don't even." Gibbs glared at Tony and shook his head.
"What? Tell you how you forgot about me long before I screwed up." Tony said, voice raised. "That you weren't here."
"I was right here!" Gibbs howled.
"You were here for Lily." Tony barked. "But with me you were physically here but that was it."
"What the hell does that mean?"
"You came home every night, talked to Lily, but the minute she was upstairs or in bed." Tony shrugged. "That was it. You were in the basement or reading a book, anything so you didn't have to talk to me."
"That's not true." Gibbs stared at Tony.
"Yes it is." Tony nodded. "You barely said two words to me most nights. Well-"
"Unless you wanted to have sex." Tony folded his arms across his chest. "Then maybe four words."
"At least I wanted you."
"That is not fair." Tony snapped.
"Yes it is, sex with me because a chore for you." Gibbs paused. "What was it? Did I just not turn you on any more?"
"Sex was not a chore. And I wanted you, I still want you." Tony felt his heart race as the blood pumped loudly through his veins. "God, Jethro I love you."
"You have a funny way of showing it."
"Why because I got tired of you fucking me, rolling over and not talking to me the rest of the night?" Tony rolled his eyes. "When was the last time you said you love me?"
"Tony." Gibbs chuckled. "Are you serious?"
"Eight and a half months ago." Tony sighed. "Which is also the last time you actually made love to me."
"That's not true." Gibbs shook his head as the anger boiled inside him.
"Yes it is." Tony snickered. "You fucked me after that but you didn't make love to me."
"Jesus Tony." Gibbs rolled his eyes. "When did you suddenly become a girl?"
"When did you become a complete asshole?" Tony yelled.
"Evidently eight and a half months ago." Gibbs yelled back.
"I could have been anybody lying in that bed with you." Tony bellowed. "You wouldn't have cared. I was a means to an end."
"You think that little of yourself?" Gibbs smirked.
"No." Tony's eye locked on Gibbs. "I think that little of you."
Gibbs eyes widened, then his face hardened.
"I just wanted you to be present, to care, to want to actually be with me." Tony ran his hands down his face. "I wanted you to want me like you use to."
"Do you remember what it was like?" Tony's eye closed momentarily and he took a step towards Gibbs. "Not just the sex, but just being together, laughing, talking. Do you remember any of that?"
Again, no reply.
Tony took another step closer, only inches from Gibbs.
"Remember that day when Lily was at camp." Tony sighed. "We were on the couch, laughing about something stupid. And we fell off the couch onto the floor and it just made us laugh harder."
Licking his lips, Gibbs fingers dug into the flesh of his palm.
For the first time in a long time, Tony sensed the true desire and want in Gibbs. The heat radiated from his body, his eyes were slightly dilated and his hand was clenched into a fist at his side.
"And then we laughed and made love, over and over again." Tony shook his head. "You told me no one had ever made you laugh the way I did or made you as happy."
"And I meant it." Gibbs voice was cold but honest.
"I know." Tony smiled. "I just don't know when I stopped making you happy."
"You never stopped."
"Yes I did." Tony paused. "The only person that made you laugh was Lily and she was the only thing making you happy."
"That's not true." Gibbs brow furrowed. He was happier with Tony than he had ever been.
"Yes it is." Tony touched Gibbs' cheek. "Whether you believe it or not."
"Why didn't you talk to me?" For a brief moment some of the anger left Gibbs' voice.
Tony laughed. "I tried Jethro, you just weren't listening."
"So you decided to do what you did to get my attention, make me listen?"
"Jethro that was a mistake." Tony took a deep breath. "A mistake I apologized for over and over again."
"Yeah I remember." The thought still made the bile rise in Gibbs' throat.
"I was honest with you, I told you what happened." Tony ran his hands through his hair. He was so tired of apologizing and rehashing this. "I didn't sleep with him."
"And that's supposed to make me feel better?" Gibbs laughed an angry laugh.
"No. It's not." Tony rocked from side to side. "But it should mean something."
"That I love you, that I couldn't do that to you. To us, our family."
Gibbs grabbed Tony's arm jerking him forward. "No you just kissed him, let him put his hands all over you." He fought back the sick felling. "And you had your hands all over him. And you did it because you loved me and our family."
"It wasn't like that." Tony whispered refusing to think about that night. It hurt to much.
"I saw the tape." Gibbs growled.
"What?" Tony's face instantly registered concern and fear.
"The club had security cameras inside and out." Gibbs gritted his teeth as the images on the tape played across his mind. "And I saw you with him. I watched it, every minute of it."
"Why would you do that?"
"Did you really think I was going to believe anything you said to me that night?" Gibbs let Tony's arm fall from his grasp and took a step back. "You told me you kissed him, that you walked away after it happened, and came home."
"And I did." Tony abruptly thought back to that night at the club. Had he really had his hands all over the man? He wasn't drunk that night, he remember everything, unfortunately. But was he remembering it wrong, trying to make himself feel better about it. Telling Gibbs it had just been a kiss.
"Six minutes, thirty eight seconds."
Tony again looked confused.
"That's how long I had to see you with your hands on another man." Gibbs glared at Tony. "Six minutes and thirty eight seconds."
The green eyes stared at the floor, unable and unwilling to accept the heartache and anger emanating from the blue eyes. Tony wanted the love back, the need, the desire.
"I'm sorry." Tony mumbled softly. "It didn't mean anything."
"Exactly!" Gibbs couldn't keep the trembling out of his voice. "You threw us away for nothing."
Tony slowly nodded, his eyes gradually drifting back up to meet Gibbs. "I guess I did. But that night, when you threw me out, that was the first time in months that you acted like you actually cared about me."
"I'm not saying that excuses anything." Tony knew there was no excuse. "But it's sad that it took me kissing someone else to make you realize what you had."
"I did." Gibbs nodded. "I realized I had a lying unloyal bastard."
"Funny." Tony chuckled. "I realized the same thing."
Gibbs eyes fumed with anger.
"You said you'd never take me for granted, you'd always put me first, that you'd fucked up enough and learned from your past mistakes." Tony shook his head. "And what did you do. The same thing you always do."
"Probably because I got the same thing from you that I always got with all my other relationships." Gibbs had gone through this before. "I wasn't enough, so you got what you needed somewhere else."
"That was not-" Tony's phone buzzed to life as the familiar song of Lily's ring blared out. Pulling the phone from his hip, Tony answered trying to make his voice sound calm. "Hey sweetie."
"Dad what's taking so long?" She asked a hint of worry in her voice. "We're gonna be late for the movie."
"I'm leaving now." Tony smiled as he spoke, believing that would take the sadness from his voice.
"You two okay?" She knew all too well that her dads could barely stand to be in the same room together.
"Fine." Tony answered. "Be there in just a little bit." He hung up.
Gibbs had already walked away and was sitting on the couch. There was no reason to say any more, Tony knew that Gibbs had already shut down, the conversation was done. He made sure to slam the door as he left.
Elbow's on his knee's, Gibbs leaned forward and put his head in his hands. Round what, three or four? They'd had this fight before, not on this level, not with as much anger and honesty, but it was the same fight. Each blaming the other, neither completely right, and Gibbs again, not accepting he had made mistakes.
He still couldn't see past that night, couldn't believe he had made his own mistakes, couldn't comprehend that he could have done something to push Tony to betray him. Instead, there was only anger and rage still consuming him as it had that night months ago...
Lily was staying with a friend from school. Tony and Abby had gone for drinks after work, nothing unusual. Gibbs had declined, like so many nights, instead coming home and working on the boat. He hadn't even realized how late it had gotten until he woke up, after having fallen asleep on the boat. Looking at his phone, it was already after one am and Tony wasn't home. He knew Tony wasn't home because he could always sense the younger man's presence. Heading upstairs he was just about to step into the living room when the front door opened.
Tony stepped in, quietly closing the door behind him, he jumped when he looked up seeing Gibbs in the archway of the living room.
"Hey." Tony forced a smile.
"It's late." Gibbs said not angry, but surprised.
"Yeah." Tony nodded, falling back against the front door.
Gibbs glanced at Tony, then walked through the living room and into the kitchen. Pouring a cup of coffee, he took a couple sips letting the warm liquid coat his throat. He drank coffee all day and night, it no longer had any affect on his sleep pattern. But then he didn't sleep a lot anyway.
Gibbs turned around, Tony was standing in the middle of the kitchen, his arms across his chest, his hands rubbing over his arms as if chilled.
"Yeah." Gibbs leaned back against the counter.
"I-" The one word, then Tony stopped.
"You drunk?" Gibbs rolled his eyes, it wouldn't be the first time. Abby and Tony sometimes let their drinking get out of control.
"I wish I was." Tony shuffled his feet.
"It's late." Gibbs said annoyed.
"I need to tell you something?" Tony managed to choke out.
"What?" Gibbs sighed.
Tony's gaze locked on Gibbs, but he couldn't speak.
Pushing off the cabinet, Gibbs shook his head. He didn't have time for this. Coffee in hand, he walked past Tony, the younger man finally spoke.
"I kissed someone."
Gibbs stopped in mid step, turning around and looking at Tony. "You kissed someone?"
"Someone?" Gibbs was still calm.
"Another man." Tony's body shivered and his voice cracked.
"Is this a joke?" It had to be Gibbs chuckled to himself.
Tony shook his head. "It was just a kiss. I walked away after it happened and came home."
Gibbs stomach knotted, the bile rose in his throat and he felt like he wanted to vomit.
"You kiss him?"
"It was a mistake. We were just talking and-"
"Talking?" Gibbs voice had dropped as the anger quickly started to seep in.
"Talking." Gibbs nodded. "And what you felt compelled to kiss him."
"I'm sorry." Tony took a step towards Gibbs reaching out to touch him, but Gibbs stepped back. "Nothing happened. I promise."
"Nothing except you kissing him?" Gibbs swallowed hard trying to stop the retching feeling.
"Jethro." Tony reached out again, this time capturing Gibbs' hand and holding it to his chest. "It meant nothing, it means nothing. I love you."
Gently, Gibbs pulled his hand from Tony's and stood there a moment.
Tony jumped when Gibbs' hand suddenly clutched at the back of his neck and jerked him forward.
"Did you want him to fuck you?" Gibbs blue eyes had turned almost black with anger and jealousy.
Tony took a breath."No." His eyes closed, there was hesitation, he knew it and he knew Gibbs heard it. But the hesitation wasn't because he was lying, but he knew Gibbs wouldn't see it that way.
"Like I'm supposed to believe you." Gibbs jerked his hand from Tony's neck.
"Get out." The words came out like a snake spitting venom.
"Jethro, it was just a kiss!" Tony snapped.
"Right." Gibbs snickered. "And you would understand, if it was me telling you this?"
"I'd let you explain, listen to why it happened?"
"And what's your excuse?"
"I miss you!" Tony bit back the emotion.
"I'm right here. Where the hell are you?" Gibbs yelled.
"You're not here, you barely talk to me, barely look at me." Tony screamed. "You were annoyed with me the minute I walked in. Why because I actually needed to have a conversation with you! What the hell is so important that you can't give me five minutes of your attention. The goddamn boat!"
"You have my attention now. Is that what you wanted?"
"YES! I want you to give a damn. I want you to care about me again." Tony pulled at his hair. "I wanna know you still love me, because I don't think you do. I think you tolerate me!"
Gibbs laughed angrily. "I have always loved you. But not any more. Get what you need for tonight and get out."
"Jethro, don't do this. Let's talk about this."
"I have nothing to say." Gibbs shook his head. "I'll have Lily call you when she gets home tomorrow."
"We owe it to her to talk about this!"
"No. You owe it to her to tell her-" Gibbs pointed at Tony as he growled. "You destroyed this family."
Tony stepped toe to toe with Gibbs. "This family was in shambles long before this."
Turning on his heels, Tony grabbed his jacket and walked out the door, slamming it so hard the house shook.
"Damn it!" Gibbs screamed throwing the coffee cup across the kitchen and watching it smash against the wall.
The next morning, Gibbs had called Tony, told him to come home, they needed to talk. Tony had taken it as a sign that Gibbs had calmed down and wanted to work it out. That couldn't have been farther from the truth.
"Jethro?" Tony called out as he walked in.
Tony followed Gibbs voice into the living room. "Hi."
"Lily will be home in a couple hours." Gibbs said coldly.
"We need to discuss what to tell her."
"Tell her?" Tony asked.
"About you moving out."
Tony felt the cold chill of Gibbs whole demeanor.
"Jethro please." Tony sighed breathlessly.
"This is about Lily and that's all." Gibbs paused. "That's the only reason we're talking. She's staying here. Her life is here. You're not disrupting her life any more than you already have."
Tony felt the worlds like a fist to the chest and the air rushed out of his lungs. He sank down onto the couch trying desperately to catch his breath. This was really happening, no discussion, no explanations, no trying to work it out, just it's over. Why did he expect anything else from Gibbs. Gibbs was a jealous man and a man that required trust and loyalty above everything else. And Tony had betrayed all of that.
For most of the conversation, Tony simply nodded in response, never even looking up at Gibbs. Gibbs was angry but he was still a rational man, nothing he was saying was unreasonable or unacceptable.
"And all Lily needs to know is, it isn't working between us."
Tony actually looked up, shocked that Gibbs hadn't demanded him to take the blame, since he had requested that last night.
"This is about her. Not you." Gibbs clenched his jaw. "And even though I'd love nothing more than for her to know the truth. I won't break her heart like that, this is going to be hard enough as it is."
"She's going to push for a detailed explanation." Tony finally spoke. "If not now, then when she has each of us alone."
"You can say whatever you want to her, I can't control that." Gibbs paused struggling still to keep the anger in check. "But I'll never speak negatively about you to her. You're her father and she loves you."
"And you know I would never do that to you either." Tony smiled slighted. I lov-"
"Unless you need to talk to me about Lily or work. I don't want to hear from you. No calls and no stopping by." Gibbs folded his arms across his chest, needing the added protection for his breaking heart. "I want all your stuff out of here in a month. When you come here for Lily, I expect you to knock. This isn't your home any more."
"I'm home!" Lily hollered as she barreled into the house. "Hey I have tons of homework to do. I should-"
Gibbs knew she sensed the mood of the room, she was intuitive.
"What's wrong?" Her blue eyes questioned.
"We need to talk." Gibbs smiled, but again, she would know it was fake.
"Okay." She dropped her backpack and slipped down into the chair by the couch. "What is it?"
"I, I'm moving out." Tony stammered trying not to let the emotion take over.
"What?" She laughed. "Come on. That's not funny."
"Lily." Tony touched her knee. "I'm not joking."
She glanced at her other dad then back at Tony. "Why?"
Sitting on the coffee table in front of her, Gibbs sighed. "Things just aren't working out between us."
"What happened?" Again she glanced back and forth between them.
"We just can't be together right now." Tony tried to explain.
"Right now, so you just need a break?"
Gibbs sensed the hopefulness in her voice. "No."
"This is for good, like a divorce?"
"Yeah." Gibbs nodded.
She looked at Tony as if her other dad would give her the answer she so desperately wanted.
"Yeah, honey." Tony touched her cheek seeing the fear and sadness filling her eyes.
"Daddy." The stability of her voice crumbled as she begged her daddy to change his answer, to make this all go away. She jerked back and looked at Gibbs.
"I'm sorry baby." Gibbs said it with conviction and honesty.
Tony dropped down on his knees beside the chair and she felt into his arms, burying her face in his chest. He was instantly transported back to the moment he had fallen in love with her. That tiny little girl sitting in his lap telling him he was pretty. And the sadness and loneliness in her eyes that they had worked so hard to remove would now rush back in.
Lily turned her head, laying it on Tony's chest and looking over at Gibbs. She reached out clutching at his hand. Gibbs held her hand tightly, wanting to reassure her, help her in some small way, but he knew, nothing could make this better.
When Lily finally stopped crying they moved from sadness to endless questions. Where was she going to live. When would she see this dad and that dad? Would they still both come see her basketball games? And on and on and on, until finally anger set in. How could they do this to her and she hated them. She ran up to her room and stayed there for almost two hours. Tony and Gibbs simply sat in silence waiting for her to work through it. When she came back down stairs she pleaded and begged them not to do this, to try and work it out. Again, they tried to explain, to help her understand, but you can't make anyone understand how their perfect world is now being shattered into a million pieces, through no fault of theirs.
Over the next few weeks, the rational side of her started asking more poignant questions. Gibbs tried to be honest with his answers, but he refused to answer the who's fault was it question, other than to say it just wasn't working. It was after her first weekend at Tony's that she returned home and Gibbs was forced to discuss the question.
Gibbs had heard the car, heard Lily saying goodbye to Tony and finally heard the door close behind her as she entered the house.
"Hey." Gibbs smiled up at her from his seat on the couch.
"I know what happened."
"With what?" Gibbs prayed she wasn't talking about his relationship with Tony.
"Dad told me." She sat down on the far end of the couch as if trying to keep as much distance as possible between the two of them.
"Okay." Gibbs nodded not sure how to approach this. He had no idea how honest or how much Tony had told her.
"Don't you wanna say anything?"
"No." Gibbs pulled a leg up under him and turned to her. "But it seems like you want me to say something."
"He kissed someone else." She said it so matter of factly.
All Gibbs could do was nod, the anger and rage still so raw inside him, that he struggled to not let it control how this conversation would play out.
"Do you hate him?" She asked then bit her lower lip, fearful of the answer.
Gibbs sighed trying to choose his words carefully, when all he really wanted to say was yes.
"It's a difficult situation."
"That's your nice way of saying yes." She said picking at the arm of the chair. "You're trying to not say anything bad about Dad."
Gibbs chuckled. "You're too smart for your own good?"
"I know." Lily smiled as she glanced at her dad. "Dad said the same thing."
"It was wrong what he did." She actually looked at Gibbs. "I know that."
Gibbs didn't agree or disagree with her.
"He didn't have sex with him." Lily stated.
"Lily!" Gibbs groaned he still wasn't comfortable with the sex talk.
"I know about sex dad." Lily grinned. "We've had that talk, remember. And I've had health class."
"Did your Dad tell you that?" Gibbs asked annoyed and angry.
Gibbs eyebrow went up. "You asked?"
"When he told me about the kiss. I asked if it was just a kiss or if they had sex." She pulled her legs up and sat Indian style, looking at Gibbs.
"Of course you would ask that." Gibbs smirked.
"You don't believe him."
"Lily." Gibbs ran his hands down his face.
"I understand you not believing him." Again she looked away, this time staring at her feet. "But Dad wouldn't lie to me. He didn't have to tell me what happened but he wanted to be honest with me."
"I know he did. He loves you."
She played with the shoe lace on her tennis shoes.
"Say what you want to say." Gibbs put his finger under her chin and pulled her face up, then winked at her.
She jumped up. "Nothing."
"Hey." Gibbs grabbed her arm. "Lily you can say whatever you need to say. You have a right to your feelings about all this."
"You're both stupid." She pulled her arm out of his grasp. "Dad for what he did and you for not being willing to talk it out."
"I'm going upstairs. I have homework." Before she even finished the sentence she was halfway up the stairs.
After that, the questions stopped, and she rarely talked about the split, at least not to him. Maybe she talked to Tony about it, he didn't ask. He did make sure she knew if she needed to talk, he was there. Her reply was always, I know.
Gibbs sprawled out on the couch as the memory of it all faded away. He just wanted to sleep and forget the argument with Tony. Actually he wanted to forget about Tony completely, even if it was just for a few hours.