Author: dinozzoitis aka Violetwarnercobalt
Author's Notes: Written for the tibbs_yuletide advent calendar. A lifetime of thanks goes out to the GREATEST mod ever sinfulslasher who would have single-handedly saved the day and Christmas for me if I was unable to post this due to computer problems. Big round of applause for our mod people! Also this would have been typed up sooner but I have a 5 year old in Christmas attire, rattling her jingle bell earrings playing peek-a-boo with me while I try to type this up lol! *UPDATE* Forgot to add when I posted this that part of the idea, and the title, were inspired by slashfanatic22 so kudos must be given there, especially since it was only meant to be a working title but I never got around to changing it. Also yes, I know the holidays are meant to be happy but seriously who hasn't had some family troubles on at least one Christmas? lol this were inspired by mine this year!
Warning: ummm... slash? oh and probably some swearing... okay more than probably... the f word is dropped as many times as it appears in a Gordon Ramsey episode! cookie for anyone who is actually willing to count the number of times the F word has been used and can tell me! *UPDATED* Apparently this is REALLY Damn depressing so definitely be careful there! There will be a sequel posted as part of the Advent Calendar on the 22nd.
Spoilers: Minor spoilers for the most recent episode False Witness since this is my idea of what could have happened, different to what aired though, as well as spoilers for Broken Arrow and Flesh and Blood... and possibly the last lot of episodes for season 7.
Rating: PG possibly M for language.
Genre/Category: Slash, Romance, Family, Angst, Hurt/Comfort
Word Count: 1900
Disclaimer: I do not own or am in any way affiliated with those that own NCIS, nor am I connected to the shows cast and crew. This is written out of pure enjoyment and absolutely no money is being made from it's creation. Please do not sue. Also I do not own ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ honestly I haven’t seen it yet but will have hopefully by the time this goes up! :D
Summary: There is not a lot Tony wants for Christmas, so why can’t he get it for once in his life?
Don’t Want A Lot For Christmas
His calloused hand lingered mere inches away from the door, unsure what knocking would bring; worried that the person on the other side would need more than the silver haired man could offer, or worse that their past wouldn't even see him step foot over the threshold.
His mind floated away from thoughts of what could happen to the memories of the younger man's behaviour at work the previous few days. Even when tony had been pissed or hurting in the past he had found the energy to make even the smallest, more often than not, self deprecating joke. The past few days he had just been blank, it was as though he was a shell of the man he used to be, there was nothing of the old Tony, the sparkle and laughter was missing from the green eyes Gibbs knew so well and that scared the crap out of him. Tony had been through a hell of a lot without breaking since he’d started at NCIS, and for him to finally snap now went to prove there was something to worry about.
Working up the courage Gibbs sharply rapped on the heavy wood, holding his breath as he listened to any sounds of life from within. when a couple of seconds passed by and nothing happened the older man slipped the well worn silver key DiNozzo had given him years ago; back when there had been something more between them, into the lock, letting himself in.
By no means had the aging ex-marine been expecting a pleasant scene inside of the small apartment, but what he saw when the door swung open not only shocked him but also broke his heart.
There ,seated on the floor in the middle of the living room, amidst a fallen Christmas tree and shattered ornaments, was his ex-lover and senior field agent, eyes red rimmed as though he had spent the last few hours crying, cradling a half empty bottle of Macallan 18.
Things were much worse than he suspected.
“You get robbed DiNozzo?”
Without looking up at the uninvited guest, Tony placed the bottle on the ground beside him and drew his knees up to his chest, burying his aching head in the fabric of his suit pants. When he spoke his voice held the same emotionless and weary tone that had been present all day.
“What are you doing here Gibbs? It’s Christmas don’t you have anywhere else to be?”
Stepping carefully over the shards of coloured glass Gibbs crossed the room, clearing a space on the coffee table he had made with his own hands, and sat in front of the ex-cop.
“Was worried about you, haven’t been yourself lately, needed to come see for myself how you were doing.” he spoke softly, his concern was noticeable, as he reached out a hand and placed it on the other man’s shoulder; a shoulder that Gibbs hadn’t realised had been trembling ever so slightly.
Standing up abruptly, ignoring the wave of dizziness that hit him at change in posture, Tony forcefully removed the hand he once welcomed on his body as though it burned him.
“Worried? You were fucking worried? What gives you the god damn right to break into my apartment and tell me you’re worried?” his voice bounced of the thin walls of the room as his arms flew viciously around with each word.
Before Gibbs could say anything, Tony cut him off, getting right in the older man’s face, voice dropping to a dangerous level.
“You lost the right to worry about me when the shit hit the fan last year and you kicked me to the fucking curb!”
Gibbs blanched, it was true that when the Hernandez/Reynosa stuff came out in the open Gibbs had broken off his year and a half relationship with the Italian, he regretted it now but at the time it seemed like the only way he could protect the younger man from becoming a target of the brother and sister team.
He thought Tony had known that was the reason why, he couldn’t lose another person he loved to that family. Seeing his reaction now it was obvious he hadn’t.
“NO! Just no! You’re so worried about me right? Did you ever think for one moment that maybe you were the cause of my change in behaviour? That it’s YOUR fault my life is so fucking screwed up?”
He honestly wasn’t sure how to reply to that, he didn’t understand how this had gotten as far as it had.
“You need to understand I was doing what I thought was right at the time... I was trying to protect you, I couldn’t lose you like I lost Shannon and Kelly...”
The laugh sent shivers down the older man’s spine, it was a sound he had never heard from Tony “You think that’ what this is about? you think that after all these months I finally snapped because you broke my heart?”
Gibbs paused again, he had broken one of his own rules by assuming this was all about the break up, that Tony was so messed up over him that even after all this time it would still hurt.
“Well you thought wrong, yeah it still fucking hurts that you threw us away to protect me, hurts even worse that you haven’t done one fucking thing to try and get us back together after Paloma was killed and her brother was sent away, but that is not what this is about.”
“Okay this isn’t about us but it is my fault?” now he was really confused, he could see the pain Tony was in, it had been obvious for the past couple of days, but if it wasn’t about their break up or that they hadn’t gotten back together, what had Gibbs done wrong?
“You gave me hope you fucking bastard! For the first time in years I had the slightest piece of hope that he would be there for me and like always it was ripped out from under me and it’s your fault for making me believe in the first place!”
The signs all finally fell into place, the bottle of Macallan 18, the destroyed Christmas decorations, the utter devastation in the younger man’s eyes
“You were meant to spend Christmas with your dad weren’t you...”
The still half full bottle of single malt that went flying across the room, shattering on impact with the far wall, was unexpected and the normally unflappable Gibbs jump as glass and amber liquid rained down on the hardwood floor
"You were the one who told me to give things a try with him! You were the one who told him to work harder for me! You fucking pushed us together and here I am, once again that poor fucking kid who has to spend Christmas all by himself because his father is off trying to make a fast buck or rolling around in bed with the first female he finds with a trust fund!"
Gibbs let him continue, he could see Tony needed to get it all out in the open, needed to get the years worth of neglect and pent up emotions off of his chest.
"I was fine when he wasn't there when i graduated high school! I was fine when he couldn't make it to a single one of my college games! Hell, I was fucking fine when I was in Bethesda, struggling for each breath because of the plague, unable to get a hold of him! I had been fucking fine all these fucking years until you decided that since you were making amends with your father I should do the same with mine! Well you know what you fucked up Gibbs! The almighty Leroy Jethro Gibbs was wrong!"
Tony stormed over to the table Gibbs had previously been sat on and picked something up, waving it around in the air in a blur "I am the fool that is left here waiting, watching a stupid fucking movie year after year because we watched it the only year I can remember spending Christmas with my father!"
Opening the DVD case in his hand, one which Gibbs didn’t have to see to know was It’s A Wonderful Life, Tony ripped out the disc, letting the case fall to the floor as he snapped the shiny circle in half, flicking the two halves across the room to where the bottle had smashed.
“Because of you I had let myself believe that he’d changed! I fucking trusted you and you let me down worse than he did! You made me believe he could change! You fucking bastard I trusted you and once again you let me down!”
As Gibbs took a step towards the vulnerable man, trying to calm him down before he hurt himself, Tony stumbled and almost fell over the sofa in his attempt to get away.
“Okay, okay Tony just calm down, I won’t come any closer.”
“Story of your fucking life isn’t it! You don’t get closer to anyone than you have to, no matter who it fucking hurts!” he had stopped moving again, Gibbs didn’t think anything had scared him as much as the lost look in Tony’s eyes “It was the story of my fucking life too! Until I let you into my life! I finally trusted someone for the first time in my life and not only did you break my heart but you fucking destroyed my trust!”
If the senior agent could get his hands on the older DiNozzo he knew he would kill the bastard. He had thought that his agent’s father would change, that he wanted to have a relationship with his only child; something Gibbs would give anything to have with Kelly, but he was wrong and once again it was Tony who paid the price.
Startled from his thoughts by another loud smash, Gibbs practically ran the few steps to where Tony stood above a shattered frame. He watched as the younger man dropped to his knees, picking up the broken object, eyes welling up as he stared into the photo; a younger version of Tony and his father inside.
“I had Abby fix up the copy of the photo he sent me and I had it framed, he said he looked at it every morning. I thought he would like one for his bedside table or his desk... couldn’t even be bothered coming to pick it up... said he had a business deal and he would call me when he could... his in DC and he couldn’t even find five minutes to see me...”
Tony’s body started trembling with the effort to keep his emotions in check “He left me alone again...”
Gibbs couldn’t sit back and watch the man he loved fall apart any longer, being pulled him into Gibbs’ strong arms Tony finally let his guard down, the tears started free flowing.
“Why doesn’t he love me?” he managed to choke out around sobs.
Gibbs heart broke again, answering as he pressed his lips into the soft hair “I wish I could answer that...”
The two sat there for a long time, rocking back and forth as Tony cried, clutching the shattered frame to his chest, not caring about the broken glass tearing at his flesh.