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The Snow Globe

Chapter Text

Chapter 6

It was late Christmas night and the fire in the fireplace was burning brightly keeping the room warm in contrast to the thickly falling snow outside. Being in the warm house with the cold environment outside seemed almost odd to Tony in comparison to the last few days of being constantly frozen while indoors. Now, Tony reveled in the blanket of warmth that covered him from the fire, the new zippered pullover Jack had given him and the look in Jethro's eyes as they played chess. Upon that thought, he tried – but failed – to stifle the smile that again took control of his lips. Tony was positive that he looked like a grinning loon at this point and was surprised Jack hadn't commented. It had all started on their drive to Stillwater.

After he and Jethro had left the shop yesterday, they'd swung back to Tony's apartment and dropped off his car. Together, they drove towards Stillwater in Jethro's truck. Along the way, Tony related everything that had occurred with regards to the snow globe. In return, Jethro had been surprisingly forthcoming about the dream he'd had. Moments later, Jethro pulled the truck over onto the shoulder, took off his seatbelt and launched himself at Tony. Fierce and possessive kisses initially stole Tony's breath away before he got with the program and returned Jethro's ardor with his own equally passionate response.

"Can't bear the thought of losing you," Gibbs panted when things slowed down. He ran his work-roughened hand over Tony's face in a gesture that was as tender as his earlier kisses had been demanding.

Tony, equally breathless, said, "You won't, Jethro. If I have anything to do with it, I swear you won't. I love you."

Gibbs nodded. "Love you, too. Don't know if I can keep my hands off you for the next few days, though," he admitted ruefully after several more tender presses of his lips to Tony's.

"So maybe we go home a couple days early," Tony had suggested and Jethro agreed. They both then proceeded to wipe away the condensation that had formed on all the windows before they could get back on the road.

Ever since their arrival, however, Tony had guiltily wondered if maybe they could leave even sooner. He felt himself blush lightly at how desperately he needed Jethro's touch but forced himself to concentrate on his next move instead.

Eventually, Tony sighed as he realized that his only plausible move would sacrifice his one remaining saxophone. The move would, however, take out Gibbs' string bass. Tony pushed the saxophone into place and then smiled when Gibbs frowned. Even though he'd probably still lose, Tony contented himself with the knowledge that he was playing his best game yet against Gibbs.

"Want some more cocoa, Tony?" Jack asked from the kitchen.

Tony would have loved to have said yes, but he was too full from dinner and the cinnamon roll he'd had as dessert. He smiled at Jack while declining the offer, feeling as though he'd never be hungry again. He was still amazed at how good the rolls were that Jack had whipped up that morning after making the dough in his new bread machine. He smiled in pleasure at the memory of Jack's face when he'd opened his gift. Between the excited smile Jack had given him and the love he'd seen in Jethro's eyes, Tony had felt warmed through and through. He was still smiling when Jethro delivered checkmate twenty minutes later.

Both men retired to the couch after their game, each taking an end seat. Jack ambled out of the kitchen a few moments later and sat in the recliner with a sigh. Tony looked at the men that made up his family and then thought of Abby, Tim, Ducky and Jimmy, his extended family, and smiled knowing he'd never feel alone again. The family of men sat quietly for awhile, the only sound the hissing and crackling of the fire as they relaxed after their long day together. Being slightly overheated from his earlier proximity to the fire, Tony shivered slightly so he snuggled further into the corner of the couch.

In moments, Jethro was up and opening the cedar chest that Tony knew held the extra crocheted afghans Jethro's mother had made. With a few quick moves that were no less gentle for their efficiency, Jethro had Tony covered from neck to toe. Tony smiled in thanks, feeling warmer just from the look in Jethro's eyes. He was startled from his thought by Jack's sudden cough.

"Well, I'm going to bed so, for God's sake, Leroy, go on and get close to that boy before you get the notion to leave early or some other foolish thing."

Protests of "Dad!" and "Jack!" rang out simultaneously.

Jack laughed and reached into the pocket of his cardigan. "It doesn't take a mind-reader to know what's going on here, so let's cut to the chase. I approve," he said before tossing something to Jethro who caught it automatically. "Now you two stay warm and I'll see you in the morning. I set the bread-maker on delay for some cinnamon raisin bread for breakfast. Good night."

Tony choked out a good night around a shocked laugh as he watched Jack make his way upstairs. Turning to Jethro, he looked at what his hopefully soon-to-be lover held in his hands and found himself laughing again as Jethro held up the small sprig of mistletoe.

"Come on, Jethro, warm me up," he said while holding up one corner of the afghan. Jethro quickly complied by sliding in behind Tony.

"Never let you get cold again," Jethro said quietly, his breath warm on Tony's cheek as he wrapped his arms securely around him.

Tony leaned forward to taste Jethro's lips, the simple act enough to start a fire building up deep in his core and he knew it was true.

The End