Title: Together - 2/8
Summary: After an undercover operation in which Tony is injured, he and Abby end up at Gibbs' house on Christmas Eve. First time Gibbs/Abby/Tony threesome and really just an excuse for some smut and a bit of fun.
Chapter 2 – Too Close
By early evening the case was wrapped and the killer identified... and dead, but it had so nearly all gone to hell.
Along with a few bumps and bruises, Tony was nursing a flesh wound in his arm from a bullet that had come far too close for anyone's liking, when one of the main witnesses in the case turned out to be the killer.
Both DiNozzo and Gibbs had barely arrived at the club by late afternoon when it had all gone down. The woman they'd interviewed in the early stages of the case, the single mom who'd been a key witness earlier in the week, had turned up unexpectedly and it soon became clear by her actions that she was the one they wanted.
Instead of surrendering, the woman had pulled a gun and opened fire, one of her bullets nicking Tony's bicep. In the ensuing exchange of gunfire, Tony had been forced to shoot her to save McGee's life when their Probie had been stranded in the open far from cover.
DiNozzo had no choice.
But it didn't help that Tony had met the woman's ten year old son when they'd interviewed her... the son who was now an orphan.
So watching from the other side of the bullpen, Gibbs knew that at the moment, DiNozzo's strained appearance was more to do with what he'd been forced to do rather than his injuries.
Gibbs understood that Tony would be beating himself up about the fact that it was his bullet that had killed the boy's mother, and all just before Christmas. He was familiar with the way his senior agent's mind worked, probably because he'd have been thinking along the same lines himself if their roles were reversed.
Killing a suspect to protect a team member happened more often than any of them would have liked, but the spectre of a young boy suddenly without his mother, regardless of whether that mother had been a murderer, was never easy thing to live with.
So Gibbs had kept a close eye on DiNozzo ever since the shooting.
Tony had adamantly refused to go to hospital, grumbling that he didn't want to sit in ER for hours on end on Christmas Eve, and that he needed to finish his report anyway. So Ducky had reluctantly agreed to treat him at NCIS, stitching the flesh wound which should heal fairly soon if DiNozzo managed to keep it clean.
It was by no means the most severe injury DiNozzo had suffered in the line of duty but for some reason, it felt worse than it was.
Now, a few hours later, the reports were finished but it was a subdued team that was packing up to leave, the festive decorations and ornament laden tree at odds with the solemnity of everyone's mood.
The forecast for the rest of Christmas Eve wasn't good and everyone who wasn't already on call over the holidays was eager to leave before the weather deteriorated further.
McGee stopped by Tony's desk on his way out, hesitating before venturing, "Thanks, Tony, for... you know."
To everyone who knew him, the smile that broke out on Tony's face was a forced brightness and didn't quite reach his eyes. "It's okay, Probie. You'd have done the same."
"Yeah, I know but I'm sorry you were forced to... you know."
Tony cut him off, breaking eye contact, sighing, "Yeah, me too, McGee... me too."
McGee looked as if he wanted to say more, but instead just nodded, "Take care of yourself, Tony."
"You too, kid," Tony told him softly as he watched McGee head for the elevator.
Ziva was the next to stop by his desk on her way out. "Do not torture yourself, Tony. You had no choice. But you do not need me to tell you that."
Tony huffed, looking away from her all too perceptive gaze, "Yeah, I know Ziva... easier said than done though."
"Will you be alright?" Ziva asked, concern evident in her voice.
"I'll be fine, don't you worry your little ninja head about me."
"Tony..." she shook her head, trailing off, exasperated that after all these years as partners, Tony still found it necessary to don a mask when he was hurting, both physically and emotionally.
But then she coped in the same way.
She just used a different mask.
Tony deflected with words. She did it with silence or brief replies designed to stop further questioning.
But it amounted to the same thing in the end – avoidance.
So she didn't press him any further, but respected his wish not to talk about it. "Goodnight, Tony. I will leave my cell on if you need to talk."
She was halfway to the elevator before she heard the quiet, "Thanks, Ziva."
Watching the exchanges from near the stairwell, Abby's heart ached at how strained Tony looked, his usual exuberance understandably dimmed.
He was now wearing a casual sweatshirt and jeans, his suit ruined – both by the bullet hole in his jacket and the amount of blood that had soaked into the sleeve that she suspected not even dry cleaning could remove.
Abby just wanted to wrap her arms round him but wasn't sure if Tony would welcome it.
He looked beyond exhausted.
Suddenly becoming aware of the warmth of someone invading her personal space, as well as the familiar and comforting scent of sawdust and coffee, Abby didn't need to look round to know who it was behind her. "Is he okay, Gibbs?"
"Not yet but he will be. We'll make sure he is."
It had been a close call... too damn close.
When he'd seen Tony go down, Gibbs thought his heart would stop. It had taken all his willpower and training to control his paralysing fear until it was safe to approach his downed senior field agent.
As he'd reached his side, all Gibbs could see was the blood spreading through the sleeve of DiNozzo's jacket. He almost welcomed the groan and the grimace of pain on the younger man's face as Tony rolled over, hand gripping his arm because at least it meant DiNozzo was still breathing.
Danger on the job was something they faced every day, but it never made it any easier to nearly lose one of his team... especially when it was Tony. This was only equalled by the gut wrenching fear he'd experienced on the few occasions when Abby had been in trouble.
What he felt for Abby and Tony went far beyond concern and affection for a team member... however much he might try and squash those feelings.
It was days like this that allowed them to burrow their way to the surface again.
So now Gibbs hovered... wanting to make sure that Tony came back to his house that night rather than go home to an empty apartment.
Ducky had pronounced the wound superficial but like Gibbs, he was more concerned about Tony's mental state and had agreed with Gibbs that Tony shouldn't be alone, tonight of all nights.
Now all Gibbs had to do was convince DiNozzo of that.
Spying Abby standing nearby, Gibbs could see he wasn't the only one hovering.
If he was lucky, he might be able to persuade Abby to come with them too. And Tony was more likely to agree to go back to Gibbs' house if Abby was also going to be there. Gibbs told himself that this was all under the pretext of taking care of Tony, rather than an excuse to have them both with him.
If he repeated it to himself enough times, he might even believe it.
He was shaken out of his thoughts by Abby's husky voice.
"So what game face do you think we'll get from our chameleon tonight, Gibbs?"
"You mean other than the 'I'm fine' one," he suggested, wryly, glancing at her delicate profile.
He saw her acknowledge that with a rueful smile and a tilt of the head as she continued to watch DiNozzo. "Yeah, other than that one."
"And the 'don't wanna talk about it' one too I guess." He watched Tony packing up, not missing the wince the younger man tried to hide as he stretched for something in a lower drawer.
"Yeah, very likely, and shortly followed by the guilt, I should think."
Gibbs glanced at her, not surprised by her perception. She and Tony were very close and she could read him as easily as Gibbs could. "Yeah, Abbs... that too."
Abby turned to look at him, momentarily startled from her worry about Tony, as she saw him back in his familiar polo shirt and jacket. "Aaaww, you lost the suit, Gibbs."
Gibbs didn't reply directly, not wanting to admit that he'd changed out of the suit when it became covered in Tony's blood when he'd helped staunch the copious bleeding. Flesh wounds could bleed like a bitch.
He shrugged, "Op's over... no need to keep wearing it." He eyed her as she turned her gaze back in DiNozzo's direction and sought to change the subject. "Weather's closing in, Abbs. You leaving soon?"
It was already snowing outside and more was forecast for later this evening. With winds increasing, power cuts were also a very real possibility.
Abby hesitated, eyes skittering away from his gaze, "Umm, no, not yet, Gibbs."
"Abby, your hearse'll never make it in this," he reminded her.
"Umm, actually I wasn't going home yet," she admitted, biting her lip.
"Why not?" persisted Gibbs, eyes narrowing at her continued evasion.
"Well, the heat's out in my apartment... again," she admitted, reluctantly, "and I can't go back there for a few days as they can't get an engineer out till after Christmas."
He resisted the urge to roll his eyes, "And you were planning on telling me this... when?"
"Well, I wasn't. Don't glare at me, Gibbs. You've all had enough on your mind this week with this op. It's okay, really," she tried to assure him but saw by his expression that he wasn't buying it. "I was gonna stay here overnight on my futon and after church tomorrow, I thought I could catch up on some work when the building's nice and quiet."
Abby may have loved all things related to Christmas but she generally spent the day itself alone, or helping out at the homeless shelter after going to church. With both her parents dead and her brother and his new family down in New Orleans, there was little incentive to spend it alone in her apartment.
That's why she tended to decorate her lab so elaborately rather than bother with her apartment.
"You need a break, Abbs. Vance took us off rotation till Monday." He nudged her shoulder. "Come to my house and keep Tony company."
Abby glanced at him, startled, "Oh, I didn't know Tony was staying with you for Christmas."
"Neither does he yet... until I tell him he is," he smirked.
Apart from his injuries, Gibbs didn't want the younger man to be left alone over Christmas in his current mental state. Despite his stories, it was unlikely Tony would have any plans for Christmas Day and was likely to be spending it as alone as Abby and Gibbs nearly always did.
"You gonna order him to," teased Abby.
He grinned at her, enjoying the mischievous sparkle in those cat-green eyes, "If I have to."
"You sure you want company... especially at this time of year?" She knew Gibbs didn't find Christmas an easy time, for obvious reasons.
"Yeah, I'm sure. You comin'?" When she still hesitated, he added, "please?"
Abby rolled her eyes... She never could resist Gibbs saying please. "Okay, okay, and you're right. Tony shouldn't be alone right now, so yeah, I'd like that, Gibbs... very much, as long as you're sure it's okay?"
She got a rare full on grin as he turned and strode towards Tony's desk.
"DiNozzo, grab your gear."
Tony jumped, startled, looking up as Gibbs rounded the corner, "Boss?"
"You ready to go?" When Tony nodded, Gibbs went on, taking in the sadness lurking deep in Tony's green eyes as he stood up. "Get your go-bag from your car. We're headin' home."
"Am I stuttering, DiNozzo? You, me, Abby, my house... now."
"Abbs?" Tony looked over at Abby as she came round the corner of his desk, approaching at less than her usual breakneck speed.
"That's right, Tony." Abby wrapped her arms round Tony gently and was relieved when he returned the hug, mustering up a smile.
"Look, Boss, I appreciate the invite, really I do but I'd rather be alone tonight. I'm okay to drive or I can catch a cab to my apartment."
Before Gibbs could respond, Abby went on. "You know Ducky'll be happier if there's someone with you tonight and I've been shanghai'd too. My master plan of working through Christmas and catching right up with all my work has been shot down... and by a sniper no less."
She glanced over to Gibbs to share a small smile, before hooking her arm through Tony's good arm as she coaxed, "If it snows any more, you can help me build a Marine snowman in Gibbs' front yard tomorrow and we can make snow angels. Come on, Tony, keep me... us... company?"
It took a stronger man than Tony felt at the moment to resist an Abby pout combined with pleading green eyes.
He was just so tired, Tony wanted nothing more than to curl up on his couch with a bottle and get wasted, and lose himself in a movie marathon where he didn't have to think... didn't have to feel.
He supposed he could do that just as easily at Gibbs' house as at his own apartment.
Well, all except for the movie marathon bit. He suspected that the not thinking and feeling part might be a lot harder too... although Gibbs' bourbon usually took care of that.
DiNozzo looked from one to the other, before giving in, "Okay, Abbs... thanks, Boss."
Gibbs bit back a grin as he collected his coat and gun while Abby efficiently swept DiNozzo up as he grabbed his stuff. She kept up the constant flow of chatter as they walked to the elevator.
"Can we just stop at the lab so I can grab my bag and your presents and then we're good to go."