Wishful Thinking

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Author's Notes: Many thanks to Moonbeam, beta reader extraordinaire. Also, this grew a little beyond what I had originally intended, and thus the actual holiday themed bits make up less of the story than planned. Hope it still works for you, Nil!

Tony stopped a few steps inside the doorway and surveyed the room. Gibbs set his bag down on one of the beds and immediately picked up the phone and started dialing.

There were two queen sized beds piled high with pillows and complete with little chocolates. A decent sized TV with game controllers attached faced the beds. A well stocked mini-bar lurked discreetly inside a finished cabinet. The desk in the far corner advertised free wireless internet. The room service menu beckoned invitingly from a small table across opposite the desk. It wasn't the lap of luxury, but a standard room at the Hilton was still a cut above most of the places they stayed, and NCIS was paying for all of it.

Tony dropped his bag. "This sucks," he announced, scowling at the amenities spread out before him.

Gibbs looked up as he set the phone down. "Wake up call's coming at seven a.m."

"Twelve hours too late," Tony muttered, stalking over to the other bed and flopping down on his back.

"It's just a party, DiNozzo," Gibbs said, exasperated.

"It's Abby's Christmas party," Tony shot back indignantly. He pushed himself up on his elbows. "You have been to one of her parties, right?"

"Yes, DiNozzo, I've been," Gibbs said dryly, but Tony wasn't listening.

"A huge turkey, filled with stuffing," Tony said dreamily. "Mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, scalloped potatoes, boats and boats of gravy from scratch, cranberry sauce... I don't know how she manages to make green beans taste like that, but I swear I could eat the whole dish myself." He stared into space longingly for a moment before turning his head to look at Gibbs again. "I never would have figured Abby for such a spectacular cook, but for Christmas she even out does Rose."

"Rose?" Gibbs asked over his shoulder, his back turned to Tony as he rooted around in his bag for something.

Bent over the way he was, Gibbs's slacks clung more closely than usual. Man still has a great ass, Tony thought admiringly. "Our cook, back when I was little. She made the most amazing shortbread."

Tony lifted his gaze in the instant Gibbs turned around, concealing his appreciative regard with the ease of practice. "There'll be plenty of leftovers," Gibbs said, taking the shaving kit in his hands into the bathroom.

"Leftovers are not the same as fresh out of the oven, Gibbs," Tony said, raising his voice a little to make sure he could still be heard. "And eating alone on Boxing Day is not the same as eating with friends and interesting strangers on Christmas."

Gibbs poked his head out of the bathroom. "Interesting strangers?"

Tony snorted. "Don't tell me you knew everyone at Abby's last Christmas party." Gibbs leaned out of sight again, which Tony took to mean he conceded the point. "But no, instead of sucking back eggnog and mulled cider and checking out what some of Abby's friends consider holiday dress, we're stuck in a hotel room in Chicago."

"Suck it up, DiNozzo," Gibbs said, stepping out of the bathroom, apparently finished fussing with his toiletries. "Between the snow storm and all the flights ahead of us that were also cancelled, we'll probably be here at least a day."

Trapped in a nice hotel room with Gibbs, on the NCIS tab, their case solved and no other duties hanging over their heads. Ninety-nine percent of the time this would have been something straight out of Tony's fantasies, but damn it, he'd really been looking forward to that party. Abby had a way of making people feel comfortable, accepted, and that attitude tended to permeate her gatherings, too. Tony didn't feel like he had to put on a performance there. Okay, maybe he liked putting on a show most of the time, but every now and then being able to relax and enjoy good food and the company of friends was just what he needed.

And if there was ever a time I needed it, it's now, Tony thought tiredly. Work was always exhausting, he was used to that, but lately his long held, low simmering attraction to Gibbs was fast approaching a boil and it was getting damn hard to keep a lid on it. First Gibbs had apparently decided to overhaul his wardrobe, because Tony knew he'd have remembered pants that flattered Gibbs's ass like that if he'd seen them before and jackets that were actually tailored properly, displaying Gibbs's strong shoulders, and colors that brought out eyes Tony had already--privately--described as electric.

Then they'd been assigned a string of cases that seemed to naturally split the team into pairs--Gibbs and Tony, Ziva and McGee. It didn't make sense on the surface of it; surely it was better to divide up the senior agents, spread that experience around a little, rather than concentrating them? But then, Ziva's physical, confrontational approach seemed to balance McGee's more cerebral style pretty well. The division certainly hadn't hurt their solve rate. Just Tony's self control.

It didn't help that Gibbs had gotten even more prone to touching them than he had been before. The man had always been inclined to administer correction with a slap upside the head or reassurance with a pat on the cheek or a hand on the arm, but lately Tony could have sworn Gibbs was finding excuses to touch him. If Tony didn't know better...

But you do know better, Tony reminded himself, staring at the ceiling as Gibbs unpacked his laptop and set it up on the room's desk, presumably to start his report on the case they'd just closed. Maybe he is a little more touchy-feely than he used to be, but he loosened up a lot after he finally came to terms with Kelly and Shannon's deaths. He's been getting easier with all of us for more than a year now. It's just more of the same.

A familiar, guilty regret touched Tony at that thought. He couldn't begrudge Gibbs his growing peace and, occasionally, even flashes of contentment, but...for years Tony had imagined giving that to Gibbs himself. He'd never believed he and Gibbs would ever actually hook up, but he'd been able to make the man smile and even laugh sometimes. He'd thought that maybe, eventually, they might develop the sort of friendship Gibbs has with Ducky, where he relaxed and let his guard down a little. Ducky had been pissed at Gibbs when he got back from Mexico, but you didn't throw away a friendship as long standing as theirs lightly. Ducky had just wanted to make him pay for his abandonment, to rub in how much Gibbs needed friends. These days they were almost back to the way it had been before.

So Gibbs had his friend and his...his closure, Tony guessed, and his occasional contentment, and he didnít need Tony to make wiseass remarks to make him smile anymore. It was just one more thing Tony lost, along with his place as team leader.

Damn it, I really needed that party. Tony rubbed a hand over his face and pushed himself up off the bed. He crouched by his bag and rummaged through it, looking for shorts, tank top, and running shoes. Finding them, he ducked into the bathroom to change and grab a towel. When he got out, Gibbs looked up, his expression freezing for an almost unnoticeable moment. Tony frowned and gestured over his shoulder at the door. "I'm going to go down to the gym," he said, pausing a little, half expecting Gibbs to object. But instead Gibbs just nodded shortly and turned his attention back to his computer screen.

Tony shrugged internally and jogged down the hall to the elevator, which took him into the hotel's basement, where the gym was. Strictly speaking, it wasn't a gym, just a room full of exercise machines and a rack of free weights, but it was the closest Tony was going to get to a real gym, so it'd do.

He got himself a drink from the water cooler with the help of a little paper cup that didn't hold more than two gulps and therefore had to be refilled three times. When he was done Tony crumpled the cup into a little ball, stepped up onto one of the treadmills and turned, tossing the little scrap of waxed paper towards the trash basket. It went in cleanly and Tony grinned before turning to the treadmill's controls and setting up for a good, hard run. Hard enough to make him sweat and watch the timer and wish he'd brought his water bottle with him, because when he ran that hard he could stop thinking and just enjoy the burn of his muscles and the hit of endorphins, when they came.

By the time the beeper went off on the treadmill and it switched into "Cool Down" mode, Tony's tank top was soaked through with sweat, his shorts weren't much better, and he actually felt pretty good. "Nothing like getting the blood pumping," he said, grinning at his reflection in the gym's mirrors. He rubbed the sweat off of his face with the towel and slung it over his shoulder while he retrieved another waxed paper cup and downed several more gulps of water.

Tossing out the cup, Tony left the gym behind and headed back to their hotel room. He pulled open the door, stepped inside, and paused there, wondering for a moment if he was in the right room. There was Christmas music playing. Your card key worked, idiot, Tony reminded himself. Of course it's the right room. So he took the last couple of steps down the short hallway into the main body of the room and paused, blinking at the sight before him.

Gibbs had cleared off the hotel's little desk and pulled it far enough away from the wall to fit a chair on either side of it. Spread out on the table was an actual Christmas dinner, complete with turkey--slices, not whole, not in a hotel--cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes with gravy, some kind of glazed carrots, and what looked like honest-to-God plum pudding. The music was coming from the TV, loud enough to fill the silence but quiet enough to speak over.

Gibbs was still wearing his slacks and dress shirt and Tony was suddenly sharply aware that he was standing there in slightly ratty, sweat soaked exercise clothes. "Is there a dress code for dinner?" he asked, raising his eyebrows, "or is the maitre d' going to kick me out?"

Gibbs looked up from his laptop and smiled. On top of the post-exercise high, that smile made Tony feel a little light-headed. "No dress code, Tony," he said, "but you might want to shower."

Shower. Right. Stinking like sweat would definitely ruin the mood. If there was a mood to ruin. Tony quickly slipped into the bathroom, shut the door, and started the shower running before he could say or do something stupid. He stripped off his clothes and got under the shower, gasping a little because it hadn't quite warmed up yet. He didn't want to be late. Not that he could be late, but the food could get cold.

Closing his eyes as he shampooed his hair with the help of the tiny complimentary hotel bottle--he'd left his in his bag and he wasn't about to go back for it--Tony took a deep breath and slowly let it out. "He ordered dinner," Tony told himself. "It's Christmas day. Room service probably didn't have anything else."

Because a hotel attached to O'Hare doesn't get any visitors who don't celebrate Christmas, a little voice in the back of his head said wryly.

Tony squashed the voice down and finished showering quickly. Which was when he realized he hadn't brought fresh clothing into the bathroom with him. He hadn't planned to, originally. What was the point in getting dressed just to undress and go to bed? But Gibbs was sitting out there with dinner and Tony had even forgotten the boxers he'd meant to sleep in.

He eyed the robe hanging on the back of the door. Dash out wrapped in a towel, grab clothes, and dash back to change, or use the robe and pretend not to care that he was eating dinner with Gibbs while practically naked? Retrieving clothing would be an obvious give away that dinner was making him uncomfortable. He could be cool in the robe. Really. Maintaining the facade won, even if Gibbs wouldn't have known quite why Tony was uncomfortable.

So he strolled out into the room wrapped in the terrycloth robe and slid into one of the two seats as casually as possible. Underneath the facade, Tony could feel his heart pounding along a little faster than usual. It's just dinner, he reminded himself. Just dinner. But as he pulled his chair close to the improvised table, Tony couldn't subdue the nervous clench in his stomach.

Gibbs set the laptop aside and joined him. They ate in silence for a moment. The turkey was a little dry, but the cranberry sauce covered that pretty well, and the eggnog was good--Tony suspected Gibbs had snuck in a dash of rum from the mini-bar--and...it was Christmas dinner with Gibbs. It was like a little slice of one of Tony's more domestic fantasies had dropped into his real life, and maybe Gibbs was just doing it to put a lid on Tony's complaining, but still... "Thanks," Tony said quietly.

Gibbs shrugged a little. "It's not up to Abby's standards, but it's better than nothing."

There was nothing wry in his voice, nothing that supported the idea that this was just a pacifying gesture, and Tony laughed a little and shook his head. "I can't get used to that," he admitted, still eating, though more slowly now that they were talking.

"Get used to what?" Gibbs asked, frowning, his fork dangling from one hand while he concentrated on Tony.

"You being nice." For once that didn't earn him a full strength glare, just a slight deepening of the frown. Tony shrugged helplessly. "Makes me think there's something else going on."

Gibbs snorted. "Strictly speaking," he said dryly, "there is something else going on."

Tony blinked. "There is?"

The look Gibbs fixed on him was amused and, oddly, a bit irritated. "I never thought that you of all people would fail to pick up on this."

"Pick up on what?" Tony demanded, bewildered and a little irritated himself by now, food forgotten for the moment.

Instead of answering, Gibbs leaned down and retrieved something from where it had been hidden beneath one of the covers that room service dishes always came with. When he straightened up, he plunked two candles, completely with short candlesticks, down on the table, struck a match, and lit them. "Obvious enough for you?" he demanded, leaning forward on folded arms.

Tony stared at the lit candles. Lit candles, which officially made this a candlelit dinner. "Oh." Suddenly the last couple of months made a hell of a lot more sense. "I thought it was just wishful thinking, that you were just loosening up more." Tony fought down a blush. "I thought I was just imagining that you were paying more attention to me than to Ziva and McGee."

"Wishful thinking?" Gibbs asked intently.

Tony shrugged and took a long drink of his eggnog, hoping that Gibbs had spiked it with rum. "Why now?" he asked. This can't be real. How could this be real?

Gibbs hesitated for a long moment before he answered, his words coming very slowly. "I haven't been good for anything more than an extremely casual relationship before now. I've seen how trying to mix casual encounters and work can screw up a good partnership. And you were my subordinate, which made everything twice as touchy."

"I was your subordinate?" Tony asked, mouth gone dry, his stomach twisting in an entirely new way. "Past tense?"

"You haven't been fired," Gibbs reassured him dryly. "But you've led a team now, with no back up and no one waiting in the wings to take the reins back. If there's anything besides a lack of available positions holding you back, it's only your own comfort with the role, not your ability."

Tony couldn't control the grin, or the slight flush of embarrassment. "Thanks, boss."

"We're off the clock, Tony," Gibbs pointed out.

Off the clock. On their own time. Tony was alone with Gibbs in a hotel room with absolutely no chance of being disturbed until morning, and Gibbs had just pretty much admitted he'd been trying to seduce him. Tony should have been doing a victory dance, or at least getting around the table to see if he could get that seduction thing going somewhere. Instead, he just sat there, blinking at Gibbs.

"Tony?" Gibbs said, frowning. "Is something wrong?"

Get with the program, dumb ass! Tony scolded himself. Gibbs. Seduction scene. This is a good thing, remember? "No," he said aloud. "I just, uh, kind of gave up on anything like this happening," he said sheepishly. "Six years is a long time to wait." And yet here he was, still waiting. There were a hundred patterns Tony could have slipped into at this moment if he'd been with a woman, but this was Gibbs.

Gibbs set his jaw, as if bracing for bad news. "Does that mean you stopped waiting?"

Realization dawned. He's nervous. Suddenly Tony's next move didn't seem quite so hedged with potential disaster. "No," he said quietly. Tony pushed himself up out of his chair and circled around the table. Gibbs pushed away from the table a little so that he could turn to face Tony, but didn't rise to meet him. Tony rested one hand on the back of Gibbs's chair, his fingers just brushing Gibbs's shoulder. "Just means I needed a little longer to figure out my next move."

Tony leaned down and Gibbs tilted his face up to meet him and then they were kissing. It was light, exploratory, but when Gibbs's hand settled on Tony's cheek Tony shivered and carefully deepened the caress. After a long moment they parted. Tony straightened up and Gibbs rose with him, their bodies pressing together when Tony failed to step back to make room for him.

"You need a minute to figure out where to go from here?" Gibbs asked, smirking a little.

There was a slight tug on the belt of the bathrobe Tony wore. "Looks like you have some ideas of your own," he shot back.

Gibbs chuckled. "I might have made a few plans." The tugging grew firmer and then the loose knot slipped and the robe fell open. Tony caught his breath as warm hands slid over his hips and settled in the small of his back, fingers drifting teasingly towards his ass but not quite touching.

The expression in Gibbs's eyes made Tony's heart turn over in his chest. "Gibbs..." he whispered, not sure what he was trying to say. Gibbs was still looking at him and Tony's heart was pounding and his mouth was dry and Gibbs was here, with him, touching him. It was a fantasy come to life, only...which one? "What do we do now?" Tony blurted out loud and then winced at himelf, because that was pretty obvious. "No, I mean, I know what we do now, I mean, I have done this before-- Well, not quite this, but I've done guys before, only you're not the same. I mean, you're a guy, but--"

Gibbs kissed him. It was gentle but certain and his arms pulled Tony firmly against his body. This, Tony thought fuzzily, sliding his arms around Gibbs in return, is a much nicer way of shutting me up.

It was a long time before they crawled into one of the beds together. They were too busy kissing and touching, undressing Gibbs slowly while the robe hung from Tony's shoulders, one push away from baring him completely. When they did stretch out together they lay on their sides, arms and legs twined together, and fell back into slow, warm, endless kisses.

Tony was awash in sensation, saturated with it. There was the taste of Gibbs and the scent of him, sweat and Old Spice, and the heat of their bodies pressed together and the wet sounds of their kisses and the hush hush of skin sliding on skin... Tony sank into it, hardly aware of the ache of his cock.

But if he was hardly aware of his own, the hot, slick touch of Gibbs's against his belly was something else. Eventually Tony broke the kiss and disrupted their embrace.

"Hey," Gibbs protested, but he cut himself off when Tony pushed on his hip, rolling him onto his back, and slid down to check out Gibbs's cock.

The scent of musk almost overwhelmed Tony. He inhaled deeply, feeling his groin tighten and his heart speed up a little. God, that was good.

"You going to do anything, or just sit there and look at it?"

Tony grinned up at Gibbs and deliberately held his gaze as he leaned down and licked. Gibbs moaned, his head falling back on the pillow, hands clenching briefly at his sides.

The gaze broken, Tony let his eyes slide shut as he bent his attention to his task. The saltbitter taste of come made his mouth water and he swallowed convulsively, prompting a choked sound from Gibbs and a little jerk of his hips. Tony wrapped his hand around the base of Gibbs's cock and let himself go, lips sealed tight around the hot shaft, his tongue teasing the head until Gibbs was gasping profanity.

Tony ignored the increasingly creative cursing and the hands that found their way to his shoulders, savoring instead the thick heat of Gibbs filling his mouth and the barely-restrained tension in Gibbs's hips and thighs. He'd imagined this so many times, had dreamed of it and jerked off to it and--once or twice--closed his eyes and pictured it with someone else, but he'd gotten so many details wrong. Not just the taste and the scent that he'd known he had no real basis for, but even the tone of Gibbs's voice, the feeling of the hands gripping his shoulders, and his own urgency. God, Tony had never been this turned on just from kissing and sucking. It was all he could do not to grind into the bedspread until he came. Just the weight of his own body pressing his dick into the bed was almost too much.

Finally Tony had to let go and raise his head, gasping for control more than for breath. He knelt up, away from the temptation to just rub himself off, and ran his hands up and down Gibbs's thighs to let him know he hadn't gone anywhere.

"Tony?" Gibbs asked. His voice was hoarse and a little breathless and the sound of it when straight to Tony's cock.

"It's okay," Tony said. He dropped down to hands and knees and crawled up to give Gibbs a kiss. "Just didn't want you to come yet."

Gibbs grinned and ran his hands up the backs of Tony's thighs to cup his ass. "Got other plans for me, huh?"

Tony laughed and leaned down for another kiss. "Love to," he said roughly, "but I'm a little short on supplies."

"Check the drawer," Gibbs suggested, inclining his head towards the bedside table.

"Gibbs, this is a hotel," Tony reminded him.

"Check it," Gibbs insisted. Tony could see a smirk lurking about his lips.

Suddenly suspicious, he leaned over and pulled the drawer open. A box of condoms and a tube of lube, both unopened, rested directly on top of the Gideon Bible. Tony snorted his laughter even as he retrieved them. "Feeling pretty confident?" he asked as he tore open of the little packets and rolled the condom onto Gibbs.

"Just being...prepared..." Gibbs trailed off as he watched Tony slick his fingers, reach around, and push them into himself. "Jesus Christ," Gibbs muttered as Tony worked himself open. His hands gripped Tony's hips, helping to holding him steady.

Tony grinned but didn't bother to return the obvious quip, concentrating on getting himself ready instead. It was almost hard to believe he was really here, with Gibbs, but the sounds and smells and the taste still lingering on his lips were too sharp for a dream and he'd never imagined Gibbs looking at him quite like that, hot and desperate and impatient--

Suddenly Gibbs reached up and gripped Tony's arms, holding onto him as he rolled them over, dislodging Tony's fingers with a not-quite-painful pop. They came to rest with Tony sprawled on his back and Gibbs firmly planted between his thighs. "You were taking too damned long," Gibbs growled.

Laughing, Tony pulled his knees up, giving Gibbs space. "Guess I--" Tony broke off, gasping at the first touch of Gibbs's cock.

Gibbs paused. "You ready?"

Tony let out a tight, short laugh. "Yeah, I'm good, just been waiting a long time."

Gibbs's response was to push forward, slow but steady. Tony sucked in air in short little gasps, losing it just as fast to involuntary moans. His body burned as he was stretched, but it was good, so good, just enough pain to make it all more tangible. When Gibbs finally stopped, buried all the way inside, he rested his forehead against Tony's and they just breathed together for a long moment.

"God, you feel good," Tony managed at last, his voice tight even to his own ears.

"I haven't even moved yet," Gibbs said.

Tony laughed breathlessly. "It's you. After years of wanting, it's you. I don't need you to move."

Gibbs's gaze took on a dangerous light. "You sure about that?" he asked. And then, deliberately, he rolled his hips.

Tony whimpered. He found his hands curled around Gibbs's biceps without even really thinking about it. "Please..." he moaned. His whole body felt wound up tight, like a bowstring. "Please."

"Shhh," Gibbs breathed as he began to move. He was slow, gentle, despite his comment about impatience. "You don't have to beg, Tony," he murmured. "I want this just as much as you do."

Tony could only gasp for breath, his body moving to meet Gibbs's thorough, steady thrusts. He clenched his eyes shut, then pried them open again, fixing his gaze on Gibbs's face.

"Shhh," Gibbs murmured again. "Not going anywhere."

Tony moved one hand from Gibbs's arm to the back of his head and pulled him down into another kiss, deep and desperate. Gibbs gentled it, made it tender. Every time Tony grew frantic, almost panicked, Gibbs eased them back into that slow rhythm, until he was shaking from holding back.

It was Tony's soft strokes over Gibbs's back and shoulders, sliding down to his ass and cupping the cheeks for a moment before moving back again, fingers spread wide to cover as much as they could, that finally broke Gibbs's control. He buried his face in the curve of Tony's neck as he came. Tony wrapped his arms around Gibbs as he shuddered through his climax and held them close together.

Gibbs hardly shifted off of Tony before he wrapped his fingers around Tony's cock and brought him to his own completion with strokes just as thorough and gentle as those Gibbs had used to take him. Tony turned on his side and pressed close to Gibbs when he was done, draping an arm over his waist and ignoring the faint desire to shower.

Gibbs's chest vibrated against Tony's cheek when he spoke, quietly. "I'm sorry it took me so long. But I don't think this would have worked if we'd tried sooner."

Tony pulled back just enough to meet Gibbs's gaze. "This was worth waiting for," he said simply.

Smiling, Gibbs kissed him softly. "Worth missing Abby's Christmas party for?" he asked, eyes twinkling.

"Hey!" Tony said, pulling away from Gibbs and crawling out of bed. "We still have Christmas dinner to finish!" He stood over the table and picked up a slice of cranberry smeared turkey, stuffing it into his mouth. Gibbs's laughter returned Tony's attention to the bed, where Gibbs was laying on his back, laughing at, to all appearances, the ceiling. "What?" Tony demanded, swallowing.

Gibbs propped himself up on one elbow and waved at Tony. "I guess the honeymoon is over when turkey trumps lying around in bed with me," he said, grinning.

Tony's face went hot with embarrassment. "Maybe I just need to keep my strength up."

Gibbs left the bed and pulled Tony into an embrace and kissed him briefly. "Maybe you and I need to shower and finish our Christmas dinner," he said.

The embarrassment slowly faded. "Yeah," Tony murmured, kissing back.

Definitely worth missing Abby's Christmas party for.