Remembering

by

Tags: Ma/Ma, .

Desc: Fan Fiction Story: On Veterans Day, Gibbs remembers and reconnects. NCIS fanfic.

Fanfic 100 prompt "home"

This was his ritual and because the work schedule had been so crazy, he could do it at his leisure instead of a hurried stop before work. He wasn't due back to work until Thursday morning. At oh five hundred he slipped out of bed, showering, then put his dress uniform on. All the while his lover slept, one long leg peeping out from under the mounded blankets. He supposed he could have asked Tony to come along, but he wouldn't know what to say, how to phrase it.

And today was about those lost before he had known Tony. Dave Cameron, who had died in his arms. Joey Newson, Vic Klein, Grant Unger, Lance Patterson, Warren O'Dell, Peter Framingham, Rudy Tabuleri. His friends and brothers in arms lost in the line of duty. They were never far from his thoughts, but the only time he visited all their graves was on Veterans Day.

He went to Dave's grave first. Dave had been on his mind a lot since Col. Ryan had been confused and claimed he was seeing him. Gibbs let out a huge gust of air as he approached the grave, saluting solemnly and standing at attention, his thoughts with the young man who had died far too young.

"Gibbs?" The voice was soft, tentative, but he'd know it anywhere.

"Tony?" Gibbs turned, taking in the other man's gray suit and muted tie. "Too early for you to be here. Did I wake you up?" He didn't know why Tony was there, to the best of his knowledge, none of Tony's close friends had served.

Tony stepped closer, hands jammed in his pockets. "Tell me about them, Jeth. Tell me about Dave and the other guys..."

Gibbs angled a look over at Tony. Even after a year and a half together, his lover could surprise him so easily. "Expected you to enjoy the day off."

"I'm with you," Tony replied simply. "And don't try to get me to leave because I'm staying. Even if you don't want to talk about them, I'm here."

Gibbs nodded, closing his eyes briefly. "Someday, Tony. Some day..."

They made the rounds in silence, but Gibbs knew the silence was a comfortable and unstressed one. Unlike the exes, Tony didn't expect a constant stream of meaningless chatter, even though he rambled almost as much as Ducky at times. When he'd visited all his men, they parted, both going back to their cars and returning home without another word.

The tantalizing aromas of coffee, cinnamon, and fresh baking hit Gibbs' nose once he walked inside. A plate of freshly baked cinnamon rolls sat on the counter and the coffee pot was full. Tony had obviously beaten him home and had set up breakfast. It was a hell of a lot more than the coffee and toast on the run that they usually had. "What would I do without you, Tony?" he asked, wrapping his arms around Tony's waist from behind.

"Be a sad and lonely man. I know this is Veterans Day and I'm supposed to be nice to my vet, but if you don't change out of your dress uniform, you're gonna get molested."

While that had possibilities, Gibbs was hungry. Damn hungry! He was going on eighteen hours with only coffee and adrenaline.

He went upstairs, changing into jeans and a comfortable shirt. Gibbs was planning on working on the boat all day and Tony'd mentioned a war film fest, so casual clothes would do. Tony himself had changed into jeans that molded to his ass like a second skin and a soft button down shirt.

They settled at the table, newspaper folded on the empty chair, three huge rolls on their plate each. "Gonna have to work this off later," Gibbs remarked, giving Tony a gentle smile. Now that his duty was done, Gibbs could begin to relax and make the most of their midweek "weekend".

He had just bitten into the still-warm pastry when the phone rang. At Tony's alarmed look, Gibbs shook his head. "We're not on call. Don't worry," he said, getting up and reaching for the phone.

"Yeah, Gibbs."

"Happy Veterans Day, son."

"Ja—Dad?" He hadn't expected this. He'd called Jack once a week since they'd reunited, but it hadn't even occurred to him to call Jack today. "Yeah ... same to you, Dad. Happy Veterans Day."

Tony looked over in surprise. Gibbs knew that Tony was curious about Jack, but Tony wisely hadn't pushed too hard after they'd gotten back. The question about the rules had shaken Gibbs up, and Tony knew it.

"You got today off work, Leroy? I expected to get that darned answering machine of yours."

"Yeah, got a couple of days off. Went to Arlington this morning."

"Yeah? Well whatcha doing for your days off?" Jack asked, obvious warmth in his voice.

"Workin' on the boat," he replied easily.

"That all? Why don't ya come up here, spend some time with your old man? I'll close up shop early and we can go for a fancy dinner somewhere, my treat. Bring that new car of yours." Even before Gibbs had started thinking about protesting, Jack plunged onward. "Neither of us getting any younger, Leroy. Haven't ever spent a Veterans Day with my boy, the Marine. Make this old soldier happy."

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