Pairing: Tony/omc for this part
Warnings: Mention of domestic violence
Part one can be found here:
From part 1
It’s just his life now and there’s no way out , no one who’d believe him if he told them. So he dries himself off, wincing as the towel rubs over bruised flesh then he gets dressed and heads off to work. It’s the middle of the night but no one will question him being there. He’s heard Gibbs say, “Tony does his best work at night.” He snorts a laugh at that then wipes away the blood that trickles from his split lip.
By the time he’s in his car and heading for work, he’s already formulating an explanation for his injuries, relieved he has a few hours for the bruises to fade, for the cuts to scab over. He leaves his car in the parking garage and rides the elevator up to the bullpen, feeling nothing so much as numb.
The bell signals his arrival at his floor and he steps out, already feeling his overstretched nerves beginning to relax now he’s left his lover miles behind.
He tosses his backpack onto the floor next to his desk then sits down, pillowing his head on his crossed arms atop the desk. He’s just beginning to drift off to sleep when a hand smacks the back of his head none too gently and he jerks awake, jolting upright in his chair. A firm hand grasps his jaw, angling his head up till he’s looking into the steely gaze of Jethro Gibbs, his boss.
“What the hell happened to you this time, DiNozzo?” Gibbs asks, his voice an angry counterpoint to the worry in his eyes.
“Got mugged,” Tony tells him.
Gibbs just shakes his head then walks away, back to his own desk. He doesn’t ask Tony any more questions and when Tony finally can’t keep his eyes open and his head droops back down to rest on his arms, the last thing he’s aware of is Gibbs, just watching him.
There was a moment of absolute clarity when Tony DiNozzo met Jason McNeil, an absolute moment of surety that told both of them they were going to be together. Tony had often scoffed at the idea of love at first sight and he didn’t really think that’s what this was. But Jason was attractive and charming and it was obvious he could barely take his eyes off Tony from the first time they were introduced at an NCIS interdepartment Christmas party mixer. So Tony had responded. After all, his love life had been pretty much a barren desert of late, a fact Ziva and McGee seem to take an inordinate amount of scornful interest in, and one that Abby, bless her heart, sympathised over with him. Tony had been commitment-shy ever since his romantic fiasco with Jeanne Benoit and he didn’t think that was going to change any time soon but he was lonely and it had become painfully apparent that the one person he really wanted to give his heart to was completely and utterly straight and, in fact had four broken marriages to prove it. So he gave up on the idea of Leroy Jethro Gibbs ever asking Tony into his bed, let alone his heart, walked across the crowded room and took the drink Jason was holding out to him. When Jason asked him out on a date for the next night, Tony said yes. Within a month Jason had asked him to move in and Tony, casting a half-longing look back at the might have been he was leaving behind, said yes to that too.
It had been smooth sailing for over three months. When Tony came in late from an assignment, it was to find dinner still waiting for him on a candle-bedecked table, Jason lounging on the sofa with a drink and a smile of welcome. The first time Tony got injured after they started living together, Jason was at the hospital when he woke up from the concussion he’d suffered. He took Tony home, hovered around him like a mother hen on speed, kissed and caressed every aching part of Tony’s body that night in bed. Jason worked in Cybercrimes so they rarely crossed paths at work, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as Tony hadn’t actually told any of his team that he and Jason were living together. In fact, he’d kept the lease on his old apartment and still had his mail delivered there. That was what had led to their first argument.
Nine months earlier:
“Hey, you’re home earlier than I thought you would be,” Tony said with a grin, leaning over the back of the couch to plant a sloppy kiss on Jason’s mouth.
Jason turned his head away and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
“What’s wrong?’ Tony asked, unease building up a slow churning in his gut as Jason stood up and walked over to the drinks cabinet where he poured himself anther drink. “Jase?” he said when Jason simply sipped at his drink then turned and put it down on the table.
“You haven’t even told them,” Jason said finally, crossing the room to standing front of Tony, just out of touching range.
“What?” Tony asked though the answer was fairly obvious.
“I’ve told everyone I work with about the wonderful guy I’m living with, the gorgeous man I let move into my apartment because I’m so crazy about him I can’t bear not to see him every day. Then today I had go see the little Goth freak lab girl and she and that Mossad agent were talking about poor Tony’s lovelife, how maybe they should try to set him up with the Director’s new secretary.” Jason stepped closer. “I said I thought you were seeing someone and they laughed, said you hadn’t even had a date in months.” He stared into Tony’s eyes.
“Did you… did you tell them about us?” Tony asked, his mouth dry. Something about the way Jason was reacting had his nerves twanging.
“Oh don’t worry, I didn’t out you, closet boy,” Jason said cuttingly. “I played along, played dumb, told them I’d set you up with my sister.” He stepped forward again and raised his hand and Tony moved back but Jason simply cupped his cheek and pulled him in for a soft kiss. “I was hurt,” he whispered against Tony’s mouth. “Hurt you’re ashamed of being with me, that’s all.”
“I’m not,” Tony whispered guiltily. “I just… I haven’t actually come out to anyone yet, not even my family.”
Jason pulled away and sauntered across the room, back to the drinks cabinet where he poured himself another shot of Scotch. “Considering what I’ve heard of your family, that doesn’t surprise me but you’re always saying these people are your friends, more family than your real family.” He held an empty glass up to Tony then shrugged when Tony shook his head at the offer of a drink. “I’d’ve thought they’d just be glad you’re finally happy.”
And wasn’t that a snag, Tony wondered as he watched Jason gulp down his drink, because he wasn’t all that sure that he was happy after all. He thought he loved Jason but there was still that small hole in his heart whenever he knew Jethro Gibbs was dating someone, or he saw a woman eye his boss over with lascivious eyes. It was jealousy, he knew that, but it was misplaced. Gibbs didn’t want Tony in love with him and maybe it was time Tony did what his grandmother had always told him that people sometimes had to do. Settle for what he could have instead of pining after what he couldn’t. “I’ll tell them if you want me to,” he said finally, steeling himself to do it while hoping deep down inside that Jason would say it didn’t matter, that Tony didn’t have to do that to prove his love.
But Jason smiled broadly, the first real smile Tony had seen on his face since he’d got home. “You know those dinner parties David gives after you guys finish up a case? Invite me along to the next one as your date.”
“Um, nobody takes anyone with them,” Tony said hesitantly. “It’s kind of just a team night.”
“Fine!” The word snapped out as quickly as the glass that flew past Tony’s ear and smashed against the wall, causing tiny slivers of glass to fly into his cheek.
Tony reached up a hand to touch his face then looked a little dazedly at the blood on his fingertips.
Jason was at his side in seconds, dabbing at his face with the handkerchief that was ever present in his jacket pocket. “Sweetheart, I’m sorry. Damn my temper. God, Tony, honey, I’m sorry. Forgive me?”
“It’s fine,” Tony replied automatically. And it was. It was just a bit of flying glass after all. He’d been injured much worse on the job. “I want to tell them,” he said as Jason led him over to the couch and then rushed off to the kitchen to bring back the first aid kit. He waited till Jason had fussed over the tiny cuts, making sure there was no glass left behind.
Jason taped the last butterfly into place then kissed each small laceration gently and sweetly. “Are you sure?” he asked, holding Tony’s gaze with his own.
“Yeah, I think it’s time I stopped pretending to be something I’m not.”
“Okay, if that’s what you really want.” Jason pulled him to his feet and towed him over to the bedroom. “Let me show you how sorry I really am for hurting you.”
The next morning at work, Tony pulled Ziva and McGee aside and blurted out his news about Jason. Ziva had arched her elegant eyebrows but then just gave a small smile, nodded, and went back to her desk. McGee shook his hand as if Tony had just told him he gotten engaged instead telling him he was gay then wished him all the best and walked away over to the elevator. Tony figured that meant he probably didn’t need to tell Abby personally though he’d make a token announcement to her, and Ducky and Jimmy when he got them alone. He took a deep breath and peered out into the office area where Gibbs had just arrived at his desk. Mentally going over the 101 ways he could phrase something like this to his boss, Tony walked slowly over to him and stood in front of the desk, waiting till Gibbs looked up and arched an interrogatory eyebrow at him.
“Well?” Gibbs asked as Tony mentally rehearsed way number 102 of how to tell the man you’re secretly in love with and who just happens to be your straight as a ruler boss that you’re not only gay but sleeping with the head of another department. “This got something to do with what happened to your face, DiNozzo?” Gibbs asked.
Tony fingered the small butterfly bandages and lied as facilely as he’d ever had to do when he was undercover. “Nah, cut myself shaving.”
“Mmmhmm.” It was patently obvious Gibbs didn’t believe him for a minute so Tony ploughed ahead anyway. “Um, see, I met someone and now I’m living with them and I probably should have told you before because we’re kind of co workers… Well, not really, he works for Cybercrimes but-“
“Um, yeah. Mind if I ask how you knew?” Tony wondered if he’d be better off not knowing but curiosity won out.
Gibbs shrugged and turned to his computer. “It’s my job to know stuff like that.” He flicked a glance back up at Tony. “As long as it doesn’t interfere with your work for this team, I don’t care who you sleep with.”
That stung even though Tony had realistically told himself months ago that it was true. After all, Gibbs hadn’t cared that Tony had slept with Jeanne Benoit; he was just pissed off that Tony had been working hand in glove with the Director on a job Gibbs hadn’t been able to give permission for. Realizing Gibbs was waiting for him to say something, Tony said belatedly, “It won’t, Boss.”
“Good. Maybe you should go back to using your electric razor while you’re at it.”
“Yeah, probably be a good idea.” Tony walked back to his desk and sat down, turning on his own computer and calling up the file of their latest case. Gibbs was watching him contemplatively and that made Tony nervous so he turned his chair so he was side-on to Gibbs’ desk and got to work.