"Why don't you ever get jealous?" Tony demanded, sulking. He crossed his arms and settled across from Gibbs at the kitchen table. He was still faintly drunk from the beers he'd had at the club they'd come home from. "I mean, come on, she was hanging on me and you didn't even blink!"
Gibbs sighed. "You were out to have fun. I wasn't going to interfere with that."
"Doesn't this mean anything to you? Am I just a way to fill the night sometimes?"
The older man shook his head, feeling all of his years. "Tony, you're too important for me to smother. I don't want to push you away."
"But you don't want to hold me either. That's the thing."
"You're sulking because I'm *not* a jealous bastard?"
"You're a bastard, that's for sure. I don't know where I stand with you! Here. At work. In a club. I have no clue what you want from me."
"I want you to love me, damn it!" Gibbs snapped. "If that means letting you go off and dance with any pretty young thing that catches your eye that's what I'll do!"
Tony looked at him, hurt in his eyes, even if it didn't show in the rest of his face. "Is that really what you think of me? That I only want to be with you when I'm bored? That I don't want you to ask me to stay when it's three in the morning and I've finish sucking you off? How the hell have you managed to be a detective with those instincts?"
"Tony, just tell me what you want!"
"I want you to show some freaking emotion! I want to know that when I flirt it pisses you off. That you *care* what I do when I'm not with you. I want you to ask me about what movies I watched Saturday night or if I've gotten that new boxed set. I want you to pay attention!"
Gibbs stared at the young man for a long moment. He sighed. He reached across the table and damn if the thing didn't seem bigger than ever tonight. He put his palm out and Tony covered it. He curled his fingers around his lover's. "I didn't want to scare you off. DiNozzo, you haven't stayed with anyone longer than two weeks for as long as I've known you!"
"Because they weren't you."
"Why do you want me to be jealous?"
Tony looked down and away. "Because no one ever has been. No one's ever thought I was worth the effort. Guess I'm still not."
Gibbs didn't know how to respond to that, but he knew he had to talk fast and now or he'd lose his Tony for good. He pulled on the hand he had trapped. "Look at me, Tony." The green eyes met his. "My last wife, the one who went after me with the seven iron?"
"I accused her of cheating on me and wanting to leave."
"She was cheating on you."
"That's besides the point."
"What was the point, boss?"
"She took the swing at me because I was a jealous bastard. I don't want to walk in one day to have you deck me because I've been pestering about where you've been."
Tony snorted. "We spend something like sixteen hours a day together, 'ro."
"I figured you'd be sick of me. And spending your time off watching me in the basement isn't exactly up to your usual activities."
"You still don't get it do you?" Tony snapped, pulling his hand away.
"Then why don't you explain it!"
"Ask me to help! Ask me to be part of your life, not just warm your bed. You only call me when you have nothing better to do. You barely touch me. I don't want a freaking coming out party, but I want you to at least try to acknowledge me sometimes. At least glare at me or something! We go to a bar and you act like we don't even know each other. I know you're ashamed of me, but Jesus, Gibbs."
Gibbs blinked. He was around the table an instant later. He cuffed Tony across the back of the head. "I am not ashamed of you, but it's both our careers if this gets out. I won't ruin your life by being selfish."
"Then tell me 'no' sometimes."
"Say, 'I want to stay in' or 'Why don't you help me with the boat?' or anything! You act like my freaking driver!"
Gibbs glared at him. Finally, the realization dawned. "You want limits?"
"I want to know where I stand. If I'm just your boy-toy, tell me and I won't try for anything more. But if you love me even a tenth of as much as I love you. If you even damn well like me, tell me."
The former Marine snorted. He was a blind old man. "I do need glasses, don't I? I didn't even notice. You were totally out of control tonight, that's why I talked you in to leaving before midnight, but I didn't think it was about this, us, whatever this is."
"Us. I like that. It's simple."
"Us. We. Those two nice young men with the good clothes." Gibbs remembered great-aunt Olivia with fondness. Tony laughed, which was better than anger and Gibbs opened his arms. The younger man fell into his grip. "No one else, Tony. I want you and no one else. You're mine Tony and I don't feel like sharing anymore. Not even for a good cover. You want a date, you call Abby. She knows better than to go past first base with you."
"Hey, I've gotten to at least third with her. But I'd rather swing for a homer with you."
"You aren't looking for a ring are you?"
"Nah, but if you want to buy me something, you can buy a lock for the front door."
"So I don't have worry about Fornell dropping in on us."
Gibbs chuckled. "Deal. I'll get you a keychain too."
"And I need a hand with the boat pretty much any night of the week."
"Yeah." Gibbs tightened his grip. "And if you flirt with Ziva one more time I'll knock you silly."