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Paradox of Love chapter 6

 First five chapters can be found here - http://emerald-green37.livejournal.com/tag/paradox  



Tony managed to make it half way back to Tim's apartment before he stopped at a gas station and made a mad dash to the restroom to puke. When it was over, he hung onto the sink and forced his breathing to slow back down. He was going to have to tell Tim about this latest development and he didn't have a clue how best to do it. The only thing he knew for sure was that Tim needed to know before Gibbs arrived, which meant that Tony was going to have to be the one to tell him that all of his suffering to protect Gibbs was in vain. The other man had known, possibly from the beginning.


Despite his misgivings, Tony knew he couldn't wait any longer or Tim would believe the decision to choose option one had been made. Tony walked around to the convenience store attached to the gas station and bought a package of gum. It wasn't mouthwash, but it would have to do. He made one more stop on his way back to Tim's apartment, grateful he still had the fake Tony DiNardo ID and a pre-paid credit card.






Tim had packed first thing that morning, but while he was waiting, he checked everything in his bag and repacked it again – twice. Tony's suitcase had clothes for work on Monday so Tim hung them up. He'd made a shopping list of groceries to buy before they arrived at the cabin. First he'd alphabetized it, then he'd sorted it out by departments. He'd changed the bed, folding precision corners that would have made his dad proud. Then he'd cleaned out the refrigerator and washed down the shelves before attacking the grout on the kitchen counters with a toothbrush.


The one thing he couldn't figure out was why he was so out of breath, but then Tony was there and it was all Tim could do to not throw himself at the other man.


"You ready to go?" Tony smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes, and there was a piece of gum in his mouth. Tony never chewed gum unless he needed to cover his breath.




Pulling him closer, Tony kissed his forehead. "It was rougher than I thought. Let's get the hell out of here, okay? We'll talk on the way."


Locking the door behind them, Tim followed Tony down to the parking lot, where he received his first surprise.


"It's a rental." Tony shrugged and opened the passenger door on the Jeep. "If we change our minds about this, then nobody will know what we're driving." Nodding at the logic, Tim tossed his bag into the back and climbed in while Tony circled around to the driver's side, tossing his own bag in.


Instead of talking, Tony cranked up the radio and Tim recognized it as a signal that the other man wasn't ready to talk. After an hour and they were well out of town, Tony signaled and they pulled into a rest stop. Still silent, Tony got out and started walking down a randomly chosen path. Tim scrambled to catch up with him and the two of them finally stopped at a weathered picnic bench.


The two men sat on the table, feet up on the bench, Tim staying there when Tony jumped back down and started to pace. Eventually Tony settled in front of Tim, his elbows resting on Tim's knees as he leaned close. Tim cupped Tony's face in his hands and pulled him closer. "Tony, whatever it is, just tell me."


"He knows what happened that night." The hands dropped from his face.


"You told him?"


"He remembered."


"Oh, God." Tim curled up on himself, resting his forehead on Tony's as he shuddered.


For Tony, once that was out, the rest came easier and the words tumbled out. "He asked if I was there to arrest him, so he knows that you didn't consent. I told him that you wouldn't call it rape and that I know that he's been wanting me for a while. He didn't deny it, in fact he said he's felt that way from the beginning."


Tim let out a sob and started to pull away but Tony grabbed on and held him tight. "I asked him when he started wanting you and that I'd seen him looking, so he couldn't deny it."


Tony paused, but Tim didn't ask even though he'd stilled. "You snuck up on him, kinda like you did with me." He felt Tim's smile against his skin.


"He admitted it to himself when Sarah was in trouble. See, I told you that you're sexy as hell when you're mad." Tony kissed the side of his face before pulling back enough to see Tim's reaction.


"That's why you pick some of the stupidest fights?" His eyes were still haunted, but there was a touch of a smile on Tim's lips.


Tony waggled his eyebrows, helping to break that smile free. "Can't have make-up sex without the fight first, isn't that right?" Taking a deep breath, he turned serious. "Needed you to know all this before we got there and before Gibbs arrives. It's not too late to change your mind."


Tim thought about it for a moment. "In a way it makes it easier."


"Yeah?" Tony wasn't expecting that. "How come?"


Shrugging, Tim ducked his head back down. "It means that I'm not just something he has to put up with to be with you."


"Oh, Timmy." Tony wrapped his arms around Tim and pulled him close. "I'm going to tell you the same thing I told Gibbs. You and me, that's forever. Even when we're old and gray, you're still going to be the center of my world." Tony felt Tim's grip on his shirt tighten and kissed the side of his head. "We can add Gibbs in or not, it won't change anything between us, not where it counts. Okay?"


Tim smiled, looking directly into Tony's eyes for the first time since they'd left the car. "Okay."


"So, are we going to do this?"


"Yeah, let's do this."






At the last town before the turn off for the cabin, they stopped for breakfast. The little diner, Betty and Gary's Grub, was a place Tim had discovered years ago. With the peeling paint on the outside and only ten booths on the inside, most tourists passed it on by, missing some of the best food along the way.


Betty greeted them as they walked in the door. "Morning, boys, your usual?"


Tony smiled and nodded as they threaded their way through to a table in the back. She left a couple of cups and a pot of coffee on the table and fifteen minutes later two huge plates of food were delivered. They were silent while they ate. Tim cut off a chunk of his omelet for Tony who replaced it with a wedge of the cinnamon roll French toast from his own plate, snagging a scoop of the seasoned potatoes as he did. Betty just rolled her eyes when she went by.


After breakfast Tony and Tim walked across the street to the small grocery store and it was Tony's turn to roll his eyes. Food was more expensive here than at the chain store by McGee's apartment, but the younger man liked to support the local economy. It was familiar territory, Tony would complain about the extra expense and then drop a couple of bills in the jar for the local high school's grad night. Tim would smile and pretend not to notice.


It was another twenty minute drive from there, the road getting narrower and curvier as they got further from civilization. Several hundred plots of land were out here, varying in size. The one Tim had inherited from his mother's uncle was only about five acres, which made it one of the smallest, but the creek that flowed along one edge more than made up for the size. Tony had his doubts the first time Tim had brought him out here to show him the run down log cabin, but now, after time and sweat, he loved the place as much as Tim did. He stopped in the spot they'd leveled for parking. "Okay, much nicer drive in this instead of my car."


"You suggesting that I sell the Porsche and get something with 4WD?" Tim grinned at the look of horror on Tony's face. They kept it a secret from everyone, but Tony drove the Porsche almost as much as Tim did.


Tony thought quickly. "Maybe I'll trade my car in for one. That would freak everyone out." Tim had to agree.


"Tony DiNozzo going through a mid-life crisis. That would set off a panic."


"Funny." But Tony was smiling when he climbed out of the Jeep. What do you say we put everything away real quick and take a walk?"


"Sounds good."


With a bit of planning, it took just one trip to get everything into the cabin. Tony tossed their duffel bags into the bedroom and opened the windows to air the place out while Tim put the food away. Ten minutes later, they were on their walk, a small backpack thrown over Tony's shoulder.


As was their routine, they walked the boundary of the property first, checking for any breaks in the fence lines to the north and west. Natural breaks and the creek protected the rest of the property line and Tim, like his great-uncle before him, refused to block either the view or the path of the local wildlife. They ended up at what Tony called their 'loving tree' a large oak about twenty feet above the creek. Massive roots and a depression in the ground between them make the perfect spot to waste away the hours.


Tony pulled an old blanket out of his backpack and he and Tim spread it out with the ease of familiarity, getting it just right before they settled down. Tony used the backpack as a pillow and Tim sat wedged in between his legs. Shoes were kicked off and fingers interwoven as they watched a family of beaver building a dam on the other side of the creek.


"Some days I wish we could stay out here forever."


"Yeah?" Tony nuzzled the side of Tim's neck. "This coming from the man that goes into withdrawals on day three with no computer?"


It was an old, familiar argument and they both knew it. "You could keep me distracted." Tim felt the lips against his skin turn up into a smile.


"Oh, I could, could I?" Tony rolled them, tossing the backpack to the side.






Gibbs couldn't avoid it any longer and slowly picked up the pieces of broken glass from the basement floor. Distracted, one piece sliced his thumb and he swore under his breath. He watched the blood well up on his skin and slowly sank down on the steps, wondering how badly he'd hurt McGee that night and if he'd ever learn the full truth. Part of him already knew, the faint traces of blood on the blanket he'd been wrapped up in didn't match to any injury on him. How many times had he fantasized about one or both of the younger men under his command, but now the question was, had he destroyed it all before he'd ever had a chance? Despite the offer, he really doubted it would be that simple.



This entry was originally posted at http://emerald-green37.dreamwidth.org/22884.html. Please comment there using OpenID.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 22nd, 2013 04:59 am (UTC)
Such a good chapter. The cabin with the creek and perfect tree for cuddling sounds so idyllic and amazing. Poor Tony! I felt bad that he had to be the one to tell McGee the truth about his night with Gibbs.
May. 22nd, 2013 05:55 am (UTC)
Yep, but he stepped up to the plate and put Tim and his needs first. That's going to mean a lot to McGee in the long run.
Jan. 8th, 2014 02:50 am (UTC)
I'm in love with this Tony. So protective of Tim and strong.

Gibbs has a long way to go to redeem himself in my mind. I hope he mans up and does what he needs to do.
Jan. 9th, 2014 08:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks. At least Gibbs knows how badly he screwed up. That's always a start.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )