Untitled 3

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

The problem with working with your lover was that when you had a really shitty day at work, they'd probably either had an equally shitty day, or they'd been in part responsible for yours. Sometimes both.

Tony hated going home after days that earned him the sharp edge of Gibbs's tongue. He could handle the imapatience and the yelling. He knew what was going on there. But when the anger was real, when there was an edge of disappoint there...he'd get home to his empty apartment and lie there wondering if he'd ever feel the touch of Gibbs's hands again. If there'd ever be another evening when they argued over whether or not going to a movie counted as spending time together.

In the morning it was always better, of course. In the morning he remembered that they'd had much worse shouting matches and come through okay. In the morning he could assure himself that both of them were pretty good at separating work and home.

But he had to go through the night to get to the morning.

Tony was sure they'd had worse days than today, but if so, he was having trouble remembering them at the moment. After a week with no real leads and no remaining suspects, Director Morrow had forced them to put the case aside. One dead Marine. No closure.

They'd all been upset, but Gibbs had been worst of all. He took the deaths of Marines personally. Tony should have known better to say anything about it. All it got him was a shouting match that brough the Director out of his office and ended with Tony's banishment to Abby's lab. He liked helping Abby out, but not like this. Not because Gibbs wanted him out of the way.

By the time he left to go home his temper had cooled and the regret had set in. He just couldn't resist pushing Gibbs's buttons, and now he'd have to spend the rest of the night alone, wondering if he'd gone too far this time.

Tony shut and locked the door behind himself and leaned his forehead against it for a moment, wishing he dared to open it again and go out to his car and drive over Gibbs's place. Instead dropped his backpack on the couch, flung his jacket over the back of a dining table chair and dragged himself into the bathroom. He didn't have the energy for a shower, even if he wanted one. Washing his face and brushing his teeth would just have to do for now.

When Tony got out of the bathroom he realized the bedroom door was closed. He never closed it, not unless he was with Gibbs. Feeling foolish, he nevertheless unholstered his gun and slowly pushed the door open.

Gibbs was laying in his bed, arms folded behind his head. TOny hadn't even realized he'd left the office. He'd thought Gibbs would stay late, going over the shelved case in his own time. But he had to have left early to get here first, because Tony had left the lab precisely on time.

As he holstered his weapon, Gibbs looked across the room at him. Neither of them spoke. Tony shed his clothes and crawled into bed while Gibbs held up the covers for him.

"What are you doing here?" Tony whispered, sliding an arm around Gibbs.

"I'm sorry." Gibbs spoke without looking at him. It both was an answer and wasn't, but it was good enough.

"Yeah, me too," Tony said quietly. He tucked himself close against Gibbs and took a long, deep breath. It would be better in the morning, but this was pretty good, too.