Title: Bodies in motion
Author: Dhae Knight
Word Count: 1,000
Warnings and/or Spoilers: At least up to the end of season 4... possibly longer.
Challenge #/Challenge Text: #19 – Reverse fandom challenge CSI
Author's Notes: A body in motion remains in motion unless it is acted on by an external force.
Summary: Tony needs a new way to deal. Gibbs is going to help.
Coffee to?: Abby. She seems caffeine-deprived in the poll. ;-)
A body in motion:
He's running. Feet jarring into the pavement, legs pumping fire and his lungs won't hurt until he stop.
Five miles is a matter of course. Ten miles on the good bad days. Zero miles on the bad bad days, when they're too busy to shower, or shave, or breathe.
The smell of asphalt, cooling off, and of wet, green, living things fills his nostrils, his mouth, his lungs to bursting, and still he runs.
Some days it feels like he's been running, like this, since Jeanne.
His feet rattles his brain, and the world bounces around him. It's almost too easy, now. His legs no longer bother him the next day, and he doesn't cough nearly as much.
That punishment is denied him, now, it's sting erased by practice and too frequent use.
And still he runs. To forget, although mostly he ends up thinking. His hammering heart shaking loose body-memories.
The slight wheeze in his breath and the soft sound of jacket-on-jacket joins with the slap of his soles and the chirping of dusk-critters to his own, personal symphony of acquittal.
Tonight there's a note off in his symphony, though. He frowns and filter the familiar tones out, leaving only the steady, even beat of another pair of feet. Another runner.
Cursing internally, he hopes the intruder won't talk. Or, if he can't avoid it, that the person (hopefully female) be pretty.
Remains in motion:
He runs to catch up – but not too quickly. Strides a fraction faster than those of his prey, because he can't compete with those long legs for reach.
He knew Tony was running. Has known for a while, now, by the stamina he's displayed. He's even known (and that shames him, a little) that Tony doesn't run for pleasure or exercise by the edginess he suffers on long, hard cases. He's just never been sure if Tony runs for punishment or escape.
He'd hoped for escape. Hoped it was Tony's way of acting out his itchy feet.
He realizes now, watching Tony run, that it's for punishment.
He's getting too old, he thinks, knees stabbing his brain with every step. Too old to keep up with Tony, and the though almost winds him completely. But he's still stubborn; and while his knees have been wearing down, his will has been strengthening.
He's not giving up.
He will catch Tony!
Unless acted upon:
Seeing a crossroads ahead, lights brighter there, Tony slows down. He'll let his pursuer catch him where he choses.
Adrenaline surges, well-trained; banking the fire in his legs; sharpening his focus. Preparing him to run or fight. He knows his adrenaline, and as long as there's an enemy he can fight, he'll fight.
Anthony DiNozzo doesn't run, he thinks, failing to see the irony in having that thought while his legs are still pumping.
He turns the corner and spins to face his pursuer, but he's miss-calculated. They're too close – so close that they literally collide and have to grab each-other to stay standing.
This is where Tony realizes he should have kept running.
By an outside force:
Gibbs picks the place, and orders coffee. Tony follows like a good little agent. He seethes, and Gibbs pretends to not notice. At least until they're seated.
“You've got to stop this, you know,” he says calmly, and Tony grinds his teeth.
“I do my job. If I didn't, you'd have fired me already.”
That's a fair point, and Gibbs awards him a nod. But it still misses the issue at hand.
“You're gonna have to find a better way of dealing,” he tells Tony, and keeps fiddling with his cup of coffee. Right now, looking at Tony would only exacerbate the situation, and Gibbs isn't looking for an excuse to fire Tony tonight.
“Like what?” Tony spits, slamming his hand hard enough onto the Formica to make the cups shudder. “A boat in a basement with no way out? Is that the best you've got to offer?”
Gibbs takes a measured sip of his coffee, knowing it'll piss Tony off even more to not get an answer straight away. Knowing Tony needs the anger more than sympathy.
“I've got a few ideas,” he says, putting down his coffee, waiting for the expected surprise and curiosity. Tony's not easy to play, so Gibbs pulls out all the knowledge he's gathered of Tony over the years. And one constant is that Tony is as curious as a room full of cats.
“Like what?” This time it's asked softly, interestedly. Nibbling at the bait, Gibbs thinks, and bobs it a little in the water. He looks around, coolly, at the coffee-shop. At the patrons. Then back at Tony.
“Not something we should be talking about here.”
And there. There it is. The gleam in Tony's eyes. The fish taking the bait.
“Then where?” God, Gibbs thinks and hides a shiver. He didn't go out tonight, expecting to finally, finally get this.
He reminds himself he hasn't gotten anything. Yet.
They walk to his car in near-silence, Tony following like he always does.
The drive is mostly silent as well, but when it can no longer be denied that he's driving to Tony's place and not his own, Tony finally breaks and asks.
“Because this isn't about the boat,” Gibbs tells him, and admits only to himself that it's also because it'll be easier for him to walk out if things don't go to plan.
Tony's barely closed the door behind them before Gibbs press up against him and kiss him the way he's wanted to for a while, now. For a long while, if he's completely honest with himself.
When he pulls back, he wants to hold his breath, but he's breathing too hard.
Then Tony smiles. “This could work,” he says.
In the morning they'll have a serious conversation about the rest of it. But for tonight... for tonight it's enough.