Deja Vu
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Resisting the urge to rub his injured arm, Tony locked his apartment door, grabbed a beer from the fridge and retreated to the couch.

It had been a bad day.

It wasn't the injury itself - Tony had been shot before and this was just a minor flesh wound - but things were different now. More different than he'd thought they'd be.

Ziva had lied about his injury. A splinter? Did he look like the kind of guy who'd have a bandage on his arm for a splinter?! Apart from the insult to his manly pride, well...Kate would never have done that.

As for that whole 'having everyone over to dinner apart from him', Tony wasn't even going to go there. He'd covered it up well enough, he thought, by joking that now she'd have to have him over to dinner alone, but he really didn't want to have dinner with Ziva. Especially not alone. Not unless he could take Abby along to test everything for poison first.

Tony dragged his mind away from the thought of everyone except him having dinner at Ziva's... Not that he minded, of course. They could have dinner when and where they liked. But Kate would never have excluded him like that.

Anyway, where was he? Oh yeah, sitting on his couch about to enjoy his beer.

"I bet you were going to drink with your meds too."

Tony gave a half-smile as the memory surfaced. Kate. Kate with a crock pot of soup - who'd have thought of that? He'd mocked her as she heated the soup, and she'd given as good as she'd got, telling him that it was his own fault he hadn't got out of the way of that bullet, and she bet he was going to drink a beer with his meds, and it was a good thing she'd come over to check up on him, or Gibbs would have, and then he would have shot Tony for being stupid, and, "Do you know how much paperwork that would create, DiNozzo?"

So he'd shut up, accepted the soup, the coffee and the cushion she'd gently pushed under his arm. He'd smiled, let her think she'd won the argument, then secretly hugged the warm feelings to himself when she'd gone.


"Oh, Kate." Putting the beer on the coffee table, he leaned back in his seat and rubbed at his eyes. He was tired, that was all. Being shot at by bad guys took it out of you.

"DiNozzo!" Hard on the heels of that came a massive thud at the door. It sounded like Gibbs had kicked it.

Tony wandered over to the door, then glanced back at his beer, wondering if he was having a hallucination; he certainly hadn't drunk enough for this. "Boss?"

"Who else? Open the damned door."

He pulled open the door and stared at Gibbs who was holding Kate's crock pot in his arms.


Gibbs stalked past him. "How much have you had to drink?"

Tony blinked. He hadn't even had the one. Or a mouthful of the one. He'd been too busy remembering getting nagged by Kate.

"Go sit down before you fall down."

As he was pushed towards the couch, Gibbs's hand reached out and snagged the beer bottle.

"It's only a flesh wound."

Gibbs stopped mid-step and Tony hurriedly backed off to the couch and sat down.

"Monty Python quotes now?"

"It was an accident," Tony offered quickly.

"Good, or I'd have to shoot you. And do you know how much paperwork that would create?"

"I' a suspicion." Kate had told him. In triplicate.

"Well, keep it in mind. I don't like paperwork." Leaving the crock pot to warm up, Gibbs returned came and sat on the coffee table, his intent stare making Tony uncomfortable. "What did the medic say?"

"It's only..." Tony bit the words off, then finally added, "Flesh wound."

"Hmm, let's see."

Tony eased his shirt off one shoulder, wincing when he moved his arm, then let Gibbs turn his arm back and forth gently, blue eyes focussed on the bandage.

"Through and through?" Gibbs asked, sounding almost distracted.

Tony shook his head. "A scrape." As Gibbs continued to peer at the bandage, Tony added, unable to help himself, "It's a bandage, boss."

Gibbs didn't even look up but his hand unerringly made contact with the back of Tony's head. "I'm looking to see if it's oozing, DiNozzo."

He let go and stood up, leaving Tony to gaze doubtfully at his bandage. Oozing?

"Let's get your shirt back on." Despite the brusque tone of Gibbs's voice, his hands were careful in easing Tony's shirt back up the shoulder and into place. "The soup should be hot enough now." He headed over to the kitchen area. "Did the medic say you could drink with your meds?"

It was like déjà vu. For a second, Tony wondered if Kate and Gibbs had compared notes before -

"No, boss."

"No surprise. They don't tell me to drink when I get shot either."

Tony debated asking Gibbs if he followed their orders, but decided not to. He had already been shot once that day, after all.

"Eat that."

He carefully accepted the tray with the bowl of soup on it, then watched as Gibbs - Gibbs - made coffee. For him. In his kitchen.

Swallowing a mouthful of thick, warm soup, Tony decided he must be in hospital, mad with delirium. There was no way Gibbs was in his kitchen, making coffee, after serving him soup from Kate's crock pot.

He had to admit the soup was good though.

"My mother's recipe."

Tony choked on his soup. Please God he hadn't been talking out loud.

"You looked like you were enjoying it."

"It's good. Reminds me of Kate's...." He looked down into the soup again.

"I gave her the recipe."

So it was the same soup. Weird. Tony had never thought of Gibbs as 'domesticated' in any way. But here he was, with soup and a crock pot.

"You gonna be okay?"

Tony looked up. "Yeah. I'll be fine."

"Good. You won't get sick leave for a scraped arm, even though it was from a bullet."

"No? I was thinkin' of going to the Bahamas."

"You can do that. But Director Shepard will come after you."

Tony grinned.

"And no, she won't wear a bikini."

Tony stopped grinning. Had Gibbs taken up mind-reading lately?

"So I'll see you tomorrow."

Moving the tray to one side, Tony followed him to the door. "Thanks, boss."

"Get some sleep."

The door shut behind him, and Tony locked it, then returned to the couch. Smiling, he picked up his coffee and nursed the warm cup in his hands.

Things had changed. But some things had stayed the same too.

Leaning back, he hugged the warm feelings to himself, and thought maybe things wouldn't be too bad after all.

The end.