A/N: NavyNCISFF Episode Challenge for "The Immortals". This is an experiment in writing, not a relationship that I myself believe in. I would appreciate it if those who hate this type of story so vehemently simply don't read it.

The Second Time Around

By Lizabeth S. Tucker

Another long flight home for the team found Kate snoring gently in the back of the military plane while Tony and Gibbs sat nearby, sharing identical grins at the unladylike sound.

"I wish I had a video camera."

Gibbs laughed. "She'd claim you faked the sound."

Tony considered that and nodded in reluctant agreement. "Yeah, she probably would."

The thrumming of the plane's motors made any conversation private as long as their voices were kept slightly below normal level. Gibbs pulled out a newspaper with a crossword puzzle and clicked open his pen. "So, DiNozzo, how did you convince the base store to sell you a sword?"

"Charm."

"Uh huh."

"And about $600 in cash."

"You wore a uniform?"

Gibbs' voice thickened, a roughness that sent shivers up Tony's spine. "Oh yeah. Had my hair slicked back, my uniform starched to immaculate wrinkle free blue, my shoes shiny enough to act as a mirror."

"Wish I'd seen that," Gibbs said regretfully.

Tony smiled. "Well, about that. I kinda brought it back with me."

"Really?"

"I promised to have it dry-cleaned and shipped back to the base along with some local Maryland microbrewed beer." Tony leaned over and took Gibbs' pen, filling in 35 down. "I might be persuaded to model it before I send it off to be cleaned." He placed the pen against his mouth, the end just barely entering his well-formed lips.

Gibbs reached over and slowly took the pen from Tony's hand, his fingers rubbing gently against the younger man's fingers. "I think I might be willing to persuade you."

Tony's smile was as bright as the sun, his green eyes warming as he stared at his boss. "I look forward to it."

April 2009