A Peace I've Never Known

Disclaimer: I do not own, hold rights to, or do any work related to NCIS. It's all Donald P. Bellisario's masterpiece and I just play with the characters. None were harmed in the making of this piece of fiction.

Spoilers: Nothing too concrete, just minor things up to but not including Season Six.

Rating: M for sexual content.


The bullpen was quiet, as it usually was in the middle of the night. The team was still busy, working leads for their current case. Ziva doing background; McGee doing phone and bank records; Tony updating the BOLO and sifting through paper trails; Gibbs sitting at his desk drinking coffee, looking like he was doing something important but in reality was merely mulling the case over. The main fluorescents were off; the only lights were made by private desk lamps. Tony speaking quietly into the phone, Ziva and McGee tapping at their respective keyboards, and Gibbs gently rocking back and forth on his mildly squeaky chair were the sounds of this night.

And as things usually went with them, numerous things happened at once:

Ziva let out a loud "A-HA!"

Tony slammed the phone down and stood abruptly from his chair, crying out, "Boss!"

McGee's computer dinged stridently in its annoying mechanical fashion, which made him type even faster.

Everyone started talking at once, which made Gibbs sit up straight, set down his coffee, and whistle loudly.

"McGee, go!" he said, pointing at the youngest of them.

"Boss, Sergeant Schaeffer has been receiving monthly payments of five thousand dollars the first and last of every month. For the past two months it's been slowly drained into an offshore account."

"He also went to school with the supply officer that he swore he never met." Ziva interrupted, "They both went to elementary and junior high together."

"Boss, the supply officer also bought two plane tickets three days ago using an offshore account, probably the same one Schaeffer was dumping his money into. The tickets are one way to Columbia." Tony explained as he grabbed the plasma remote and brought up a picture on the plasma. "He was also seen speaking with a well known Columbian drug lord accountant four days before that."

"Gear up! Ziva, Tony, with me! McGee, keep an eye on Schaeffer's and Mullins' cells and emails. If either of them call or get online from somewhere other than their homes, I want to know!"

Gibbs, Tony, and Ziva were halfway to the elevator when Abby ran into the bullpen, waving a piece of paper and yelling for Gibbs. He stopped and gave her his full attention.

"You were right Gibbs! The DNA is a match to Mullins!"

The elevator announced its arrival and Ziva and Tony got in. Gibbs hurried to join them, calling over his shoulder, "Good work Abs!"

She sighed and walked over to stand in front of McGee's desk.

"They leave you?"

"I'm supposed to monitor Mullins and Schaeffer's cell and internet activity." McGee replied, typing away to bring up the correct tracing programs.

"So what happens if neither of them come on and Gibbs can't find them?"

McGee stopped typing for a minute and gulped. "Gibbs will be pissed and we'll never get to go home tonight."

As it turned out, McGee's prediction never came true. They had caught Schaeffer and Mullins leaving Mullins' place in a pickup with four duffel bags and two fake passports. With the evidence completely against them, Mullins and Schaeffer rolled on each other quicker than you could say, "Drug money." And being the completely guilty parties that they were, there had been a token escape attempt. And true to form, Tony had gotten smacked in the face with an opening truck door. Ziva was not as unlucky and had kicked the truck door right back into Schaeffer's face, injuring and confusing him. Mullins had dodged out of the truck and towards the street, but Gibbs had him down and cuffed before he could clear the driveway.

Gibbs and Ziva took their statements and booked them while Ducky checked Tony out.

"You're lucky that your nose wasn't broken my dear boy." Ducky said as he finished examining Tony's nose.

"Tell me about it Duck." Tony replied in a slightly nasally voice. Some blood had still ran out and dried on his upper lip.

"Yes, well, I'm sure you know the drill by now since there is no concussion and only some mild bruising on your head."

"Eat a healthy meal, take five aspirin, and call you in the morning?" Tony replied with his usual charm, even though he winced through the sentence.

"Good lad. And you might want to wash yourself up again before going back upstairs."

Tony took Ducky's advice and arrived in the bullpen blood free, mostly because he kept his pocket full of Kleenex to stopper any random bleeding. He eased himself into his chair, the ringing in his ears throwing off his balance slightly.

"I see you are still in one piece." Ziva commented as she made her way to her own desk.

"Yeah, no thanks to the stars and tweeting birdies I saw earlier."

"Stars and tweeting birdies?" Ziva asked, turning her attention away from her file folder.

"Yeah Ziva. Cartoons? Roadrunner eludes the coyote for the umpteenth time and he falls off a cliff? Elmer Fudd shoots himself instead of Bugs Bunny? Come on, you can't tell me you never watched Sunday morning cartoons!"

"I had more important things to do on Sunday's than watch cartoons."

McGee strode into the bullpen with his own stack of papers. "Tony, Abby said you were attacked. What happened?" he asked as he dropped the papers on his own desk and went to stand in front of Tony's.

"Oh, nothing much Probie; just zigged when I should have zagged."

McGee frowned, and Ziva informed him of the real reason Tony had growing bruises under his eyes.

"Mullins tried to escape, and he hit Tony with a truck door. Which he expertly caught in the face."

Tony glared around McGee's body at the Israeli. "Thanks Zee-va."

McGee took a few extra moments to stare at Tony's face. He actually didn't look too bad at the moment. The bruising under his eyes could be explained away as lack of sleep. But everyone knew that by tomorrow his nose would be swollen and the bruising much darker and deeper. His speech would probably also get more nasally.

Tony opened the bottom drawer of his desk and pulled out a bottle of Aspirin. He scrabbled around inside it some more and then jerked the other one open. He slammed them both closed at once and groaned as the ringing went up an octave.

"Would anyone happen have to some water or something?" he asked.

"Sorry Tony, drank my last one three hours ago." Ziva replied, going through the folder she had brought in with her.

"Uhh, I have half a bottle left." McGee answered, still standing in front of Tony's desk.

"McGee, you're a lifesaver. Now hand it over."

The water bottle was retrieved from McGee's desk to Tony's, where Tony took a couple of Aspirin with it. He set the bottle and his keyboard aside and laid his head down on his desk.

McGee screwed the cap back on the bottle and went back to his desk. When Ziva got up and left he stopped his charade of looking like he was working. Instead he stared at the profile of Tony's prone head. Somehow he always attracted bad luck; getting chained to a killer, that stalker girlfriend, kissing the he-she that murdered Special Agent Pacci, catching the plague, and the whole Jeanne fiasco. There were more of course, but those were the few that came immediately to mind. McGee just didn't understand how one person could have such horrible luck and good enough luck to get out of whatever his bad luck got him into. It was certainly something interesting.

McGee sighed and went back to typing up his report. There was no sense in mooning over Tony. He was fine. Sure, his nose was busted and he probably still had a splitting headache, but Tony was fine. Just fine.

Tim wasn't fine.

Tony was a major distraction, one that McGee wasn't quite sure he could handle any longer. He dated Abby even before he first came to NCIS and during his first few months. Sure she had broken his heart somewhat, but he had bounced back. There was that Redskins cheerleader too; a few women here and there, but nothing too lasting. The point was that Tim McGee was firmly entrenched in the hetero camp.

Or so he thought.

Tony caught him somehow. Through all the teasing and the jokes and McGee's shopping spree of cool clothes and gadgets Tony had baited, hooked, and caught him. Tony had baited him in numerous other ways, even caught him a few times, but it had always been a catch-and-release. This time was for keeps. Tony was going to gut and fry him up for sure if he ever found out that little Timmy McGee had a crush on him.

Unlike the other kinds of bait Tony had thrown out for him, this one couldn't be backtracked in hindsight. McGee couldn't figure out how Tony had done it. No clue. This time he had been completely undetectable and untraceable. The bait, whatever it was, had been subtle.

"Probie-Wan Kenobi, my Force sense is tingling. What's got your tighty-whities in a twist?" Tony called from his place on his desk.

"Nothing Tony." McGee replied, going back to working on his report. "Why don't you go home and get some rest? You look like you need it."

Tony sat up and glared. "You look like you need a few hours every day in a gym, but you don't hear me saying anything about it."

"Actually Tony, you do." McGee replied. "And on that note, I'm leaving."

"Come on McGee, don't take it personal." Tony said.

"I'm not Tony. I've just decided I don't need to take any of your crap when I'm trying to be nice and helpful. I'll see you later."

McGee saved his work and shut down his computer for the night, then collected his coat.

"I'll see you tomorrow Tony. Maybe you'll be a little better behaved after all that medication." he said as he passed Tony's desk and headed for the elevator.

Tony blinked owlishly at McGee's retreating form. He hadn't been any different to McGee; as far as wise cracks went he had been very gentle. Even with a rather bad headache (that was thankfully starting to go down to a dull roar) he realized that something must be wrong to make McGee so sensitive.

"I'm not feeling well enough for this." Tony grumbled to himself.

"Then go home DiNozzo." Gibbs said as he entered the bullpen and made a bee-line for his desk. "You should have left thirty minutes ago."

"I have a report to write Boss." Tony replied, sitting up and moving his keyboard back into the middle of his desk.

"Then you can write it at home. Get out of here." Gibbs curtly stated as he started typing away.

"But Boss—"

"Make like Ziva and McGee and go."

Tony sighed and reluctantly followed Gibbs' orders. He took out his badge and sidearm and put his jacket on.

"Night Boss." Tony called as he walked out of the bullpen. Gibbs made a shooing motion with his hand and put on his reading glasses to read one of the numerous files on his desk.


The rest of the week was quiet, allowing Tony to heal in peace as the large bruise on his face darkened and then started to fade. The team worked on cold cases, occasionally uncovering a little something that could help whoever looked back into the file. Before they knew it was Friday and five o'clock was right around corner, as well their first weekend off in quite a few weeks. Ziva, who had been kicked out of no small number of fighting dojo's for beating the owners, spoke of trying out a boxing club instead. Gibbs didn't talk about any plans, which either meant he was working on the boat all weekend or had plans and wasn't going to talk about them. Tony tossed around the pros and cons of going to a new nightclub that was opening; he was worried if the bruise was still too visible to be successful on the dance floor. Abby had plans for a concert in southern Virginia and had left early, Ducky had promised his mother he would help groom the Corgi's when he got home, and Palmer had a blind date. McGee had been pretty mum the rest of the week, only speaking of cases to the team, and had been caught having heated arguments with Abby only to shut up when someone else entered the lab. It was rather puzzling, but no amount of teasing, taunting, or snooping could drudge up the reason for McGee's sullen mood.

At five on the dot McGee was packed up and gone. Tony and Ziva looked at each other and shrugged; since they still had no idea what was up with him they decided to just let it go for the time being.

Saturday night Tony decided that the bruise was a pale enough yellow and his skin tan enough that in the dark of a nightclub he would be perfectly fine. So he dressed up in a silky dark blue button up, black pants that accentuated his butt and hips, and his most comfortable expensive shoes. By the time head put on his really good cologne and Tony was ready to go his cell phone rang.

"I swear, if we have a case I'm gonna get mad." Tony picked up the phone and answered, "DiNozzo."

"Tony, it's me."

"McGee? We got a case?"

"Uh, no…"

"Then what are you calling me for?" Tony wandered around, putting his wallet in his back pocket and getting his only leather jacket from the closet.

"I, uh, I need help." McGee waffled, his voice tainted by static.

"Help? McKlutzy, what's going on?"

"Well, I…uh, I locked myself out of my apartment."

"You what?" Tony stopped in front of his door, gob smacked. "What happened to your keys?"

"They're in my car."

"Where's your car?"

There was some indistinct mumbling and more static.

"McGee, speak up!"

"I don't know."

"You don't know!"

More mumbling. "My car was stolen."

"WHAT? You let someone steal your Porsche!"

"No, I didn't just let someone steal my Porsche. There was a security system and everything, but the thief got past it and stole my car."

"Okay, okay. Back up. Tell me the whole story." Tony went back into the living room of his apartment and sat down on his couch.

"Well, I went to the gym this afternoon, and when I left I noticed that the Porsche was gone. So I called the police, they filed a report and dropped me off at my apartment. By the time I realized that I had left the keys to the apartment in my car the LEO's were gone and my super is out on vacation."

Tony was speechless; only something this crazy happened on TV. "Are you serious?"

"I wouldn't lie about something this stupid Tony. Could you please just pick my lock?"

"Why didn't you call Ziva, or Gibbs?"

"Because Gibbs would think me incompetent and probably yell at me. I don't want to risk waking Ziva up, because she gets really cranky. And I knew you were awake anyways, and the locksmiths are probably closed and would take three times as long to get the job done as you would and charge me a huge amount."

Tony was silent for a while, not really knowing what to say. It looked like some sort of really bad joke was being played on McGee; even though Tony did find it kind of funny, he also found it in bad taste.

"You're rich McGee, somehow I don't think a locksmith fee would be that beyond you." Tony sighed, "But I'll come over and help you out anyways. Be there in a few."

During the twenty minute drive to McGee's complex Tony grumbled the whole way. Silver Springs was totally out of Tony's way, the club being in the opposite direction, and he was kind of mad at himself for agreeing to help McGee. Still, much as he liked to make fun of the geek, he was an NCIS team member and the baby of the team. Tony's complex (and sometimes confusing to his own self) honor code made him take the drive all the way out there, and not laugh when he saw McGee on the floor slumped against his apartment door dressed in a pair of jeans and a Johns Hopkins shirt with his gym bag at his side, longer hair covering half his face.

"What a sorry sight." Tony said, grabbing McGee's attention. The other agent got wearily to his feet and sighed, tucking the hair back and out of his face.

"Yeah, I know. It would be nice if you lay off for tonight, I'm not in the mood Tony."

Tony didn't reply, simply knelt where McGee had been sitting and pulled his lock-picking kit out of his jacket pocket. He wasn't as fast as Ziva or Gibbs but he got the job done in a reasonable amount of time. He turned the knob and pushed, letting the door gently swing open. He got up and went in, closing the door behind McGee and watching him move around the apartment. The gym bag was tossed into the bedroom, the shoes toed off by the computer desk, and McGee bent over to remove his socks and disappeared into the bedroom.

"You know you can leave now Tony." McGee called out.

"Just making sure there isn't anything else I can do for you while I'm here. Like open a jar, change a light bulb, tighten a loose screw in a cabinet." Tony replied, going into the kitchen and snooping around in McGee's fridge. "Hey! You actually have beer this time!" Tony moved the milk, jug of juice, bottle of pickles, condiments, and half empty carton of eggs. "It's imported too!" Tony crowed, noticing only a couple of English words on the cans.

"Hey!" McGee yelled. That didn't stop Tony from pulling one of the cans out and examining it.

"Japanese beer? Probie, I'm shocked!"

McGee stormed into the kitchen and made a grab for the beer; he ended up dancing around the small kitchen, chasing after Tony who held the beer above his head. It was like some warped replay of junior high and high school for McGee where the jocks would take his books or money or lunch box and play "Keep Away." Getting quickly frustrated, having his nerves worn away from having his Porsche stolen and needing to call Tony to let him into his own apartment, and tired from the lengthy workout at the gym before that, McGee decided he had had enough.

Stopping and acting like he was defeated, McGee waited until Tony stopped avoiding him and started to think he had won. Moving as if the completed manuscript for his next novel was on fire, McGee punched Tony in the gut like Tony had dared him to half a year ago.

There was a sharp huff as the wind was expelled from Tony's lungs and he doubled over to grab his abdomen. McGee grabbed the still cold beer and stuffed it into the back of the fridge where it belonged. Tony sucked in sharply to replace the air that had suddenly been lost. McGee stood in the kitchen watching Tony gather his breath, triumphant. This was one of the few times that he reigned victorious over Tony.

"Now do you realize how serious I am?" McGee barked as best as his voice could. Unlike Gibbs and Tony, his voice wasn't rough and on the more bass and masculine end of the spectrum. McGee's voice was that of a choir boy, a gentle tenor made for singing hymns on a Sunday morning.

"Geez, think you could have been a little less Ziva and a little more subtle?" Tony wheezed as he straightened and took a few experimental deep breaths.

"I tried but you never give up."

They stood there, at an impasse, with McGee feeling frustrated and anxious and Tony feeling winded and a little sorry. He felt that maybe he had pushed things a little too far tonight.

"Okay McGee. I'm gone. I'll see you Monday, bright and early."

Tony left the kitchen and made for the front door, slightly rubbing his stomach along the way. McGee had definitely gotten better at the whole fighting thing.

"Tony. Tony wait, stop." McGee called as Tony's hand grabbed the doorknob. "Listen, I'm sorry. But what do you expect when you give me hell all the time?" McGee both apologized and explained as he went to stand next to Tony. "I just needed some help and thought you were the best person to call. I wouldn't have bothered if I knew you were busy."

"I wasn't busy Probie, hadn't even left the apartment yet." Tony replied while turning around and leaning back against the door, crossing his arms over his chest. "You know what Gibbs says about apologies."

"I know, I know, they're a sign of weakness. Well, I'm not Gibbs. I was raised to be polite and have manners. Gibbs may be the Boss, but I'm not, and I can't afford or want to forget what my mom taught me."

Tony smirked, "You were a Momma's Boy, weren't you Probie?"

McGee blushed, unconsciously giving away the truth. No matter how much he had matured since becoming a field agent at NCIS, some things never changed.

"Ah, it's all good McGoo. Don't worry about it; it really wasn't a problem to come over. Hope they find your Porsche and it's all in one piece. You might want to get your locks changed too."

Maybe it was that expensive cologne that Tony put on prior to leaving, or maybe it was the aggravations of the day that finally got to McGee. He couldn't stand staring at Tony, all dressed up and ready to go pick up girls at the new hip night club. He couldn't bear to think of some barely legal buxom blond rubbing herself all over Tony, clumsily flirting with him and gaining his attention only through her looks and body language. It set his teeth on edge, ready to resume the childhood grinding that had made him wear a special retainer for two years.

"Tony, do you want to try it?" McGee asked, hesitant but trying to come off as confident. He knew Tony would see through it but hoped that Tony would recognize the balls it took for him to place the question.

An eyebrow went up, curious but not suspicious.

"Try what?"

"One of those beers. They're called Sapporo. Abby talked me into trying them one day. They're not too bad." McGee shrugged, not pressuring, but not backing down either.

Tony's head tilted to one side, then the other, measuring McGee up and weighing the pros and cons.

"Sure, why not?" Tony twitched his jacket off his shoulders, eased it down his arms, and put it on the coat rack by the door. McGee had moved into the kitchen and pulled two of the cans of Japanese beer out of the fridge. He pulled two clean glasses out of a cabinet and filled them halfway with ice before pouring the beer into them. He left the kitchen and handed one to Tony, keeping the other in his right hand.

Tony saluted McGee with his glass and then took a drink. He licked his lips and made an exaggerated smacking noise.

"Not all that bad Probie. Not bad at all." Tony smirked and took another swallow. "Good choice. I think I'll have to thank Abby next time I see her."

At some point they started a conversation that didn't completely involve ragging on one another and seated themselves comfortably on the couch. Tony had taken off his shoes and kicked them under the small coffee table in the space that had been designated as the living room by dint of being on the other side of McGee's shelves and not overloaded with piles of electronics. McGee was down to three fourths of his beer while Tony was nearly halfway through his second. The beer allowed them to speak somewhat freely about their romantic lives. After going through cars, animals, work, and food (not necessarily in that order of course) it all came back to their personal relationships.

"Jeanne was a girl that I could have married." Tony unexpectedly said out of the blue. McGee hadn't even tried to touch that subject with Tony in a long while, let alone tonight. "Might have even had a kid or two with her. She was a girl to live the American dream with." He paused to take a drink. "Two story house, white picket fence, dog, mini van, and two and a half kids." he mused to the air in front of him.

McGee was hesitant to ask questions to get Tony to open up more, but he really wanted to know. It never came to that, since the beer seemed to have loosened Tony enough to be open with McGee.

"We would have been fairly happy with each other. Not sure about utter marital bliss or anything, but we would have been happy enough. Content even."

McGee was asking before he could stop himself, "Why merely happy or just content? Ziva said you really loved her."

Tony glanced sideways at McGee and snorted. "Says the woman that fell in love with a dead guy." He lay back into the couch and sighed, "As far as women go, yeah, I loved her. But there are different kinds of love Probie, and the kind of love I had for Jeanne was half wishful thinking, half a dream, and half reality."

"Tony, that's one hundred fifty percent." McGee couldn't help but rationalize.

"So you see why it only might have worked out? Sure, we could have lived up the suburban lifestyle, but that might have worn on us. Well, me. She wanted kids and a family and all that stuff. I don't think I would really mind a pet or maybe a kid." Tony paused to take another hearty drink, licking the remnants from his lips thoughtfully. "Not too sure about a kid. They almost never like me and I don't think I'd make all that great a dad. I'd have to think on that one. But anyways, suburbia isn't for me exactly. I never liked the picturesque-ness of it or the implications of perfection and marital bliss." he shook his head and threw back the last of the beer in his glass.

McGee was puzzled, and kind of like Abby he had to solve any puzzles he came across; the difference between them was that he was not utterly reckless about it.

"If that isn't the kind of love you wanted, then what kind are you looking for?" McGee asked.

Tony leaned forward and put the empty glass on the table. He settled back into his seat and turned his head to look at McGee.

"According to the Greeks there are three different kinds of love. Or four. Either way, I can only remember two of them, eros and filios. Kind of obvious what they both mean; one is purely lust and the other is brotherly love. I've had a ton of eros and my frat brothers fill out the filios."

McGee stared at Tony, totally caught up in his answer. Tony was like a hypnotist when he wanted to be; grabbing you with his voice and holding you with his eyes. It made McGee both weak in the knees and flush in the face.

"I want a love that will always be there for me. Someone that loves me back for who I am, not just despite but because of my flaws." Tony's eyes burned in his face, the usually light grey green a dark sea green and just as stormy. "I want a love that I can satisfy and be satisfied by. I want a love that will stay true to me, not because I ask, but because they want to. Is that too much to ask Tim?"

McGee's mouth tried to go back to its stuttering ways, but he wouldn't let it.

"No Tony, I don't think it is."

"You see, that's what I used to think. I mean, doesn't everyone want a love like that? And then I realized how easily people settle for much less than what they want and how romance novel it is of me to expect something like that."

Tony's eyes closed, hiding the intensity they had gained as Tony's speech grew in vehemence, and he turned his face to the opposite wall again.


The other agent didn't move a muscle. All the fight seemed to have drained out of him with the words and Tony appeared to have melted into the couch.

"Tony, there are plenty of people out there who want the same exact thing. It's just that they are rarely blond twenty somethings that go out to a club every weekend." McGee tried to console. His beer sat forgotten on the table as he turned his body towards the other man and reached a hand out, laying it on Tony's right shoulder. The touch got Tony to open his eyes to half mast, but nothing more.

"What would you know about it McGee?" he quietly asked.

"After my first novel sold, I tried looking for that kind of thing at clubs too. I doubt I went to the same clubs that you've been to, but the same basic principle applies. I even tried it online, but no one I found was what I looked for." McGee searched what he could see of Tony's eyes for some sort of comprehension or understanding. "The point is Tony, there are people just like you out there. You need to keep searching, but not in all the wrong places."

Tony shifted, the shoulder slipping out from under McGee's hand and pressing into the couch as Tony brought his right leg onto the cushions and fully faced the man next to him with eyes completely open.

"And I suppose you're one of those people McGee?"

The blush was almost a reflex action and in the old days a stutter would have immediately followed.

Instead McGee straightened his spine and mirrored Tony's position on the couch. "Yes, Tony, I am. That's the main reason why Abby and I didn't work out. I wanted something permanent and she didn't."

They stared at one another, letting the words that were said sink in and digest.

Tony tentatively reached out, letting his hand rest on the cushion close to McGee's knee. He let the tips of his fingers brush against the knee of McGee's worn jeans. McGee countered by laying his own hand on the cushion next to Tony's, brushing his thumb against Tony's in a light caress. McGee felt heat crawl up the back of his neck and settle in his gut along with a healthy dose of nerves. Tony stayed in his slumped position, but his eyes were just as intense and dark and seemed to bore a hole into McGee.

"It's worth a try, isn't it Tony?" McGee softly asked.

"You know me Probie; I'll try just about anything once." Tony replied smokily as he leaned forward, bracing himself as he hovered in front of McGee and tasting the geek's unsteady exhalations.

McGee licked his lips as his eyes darted between Tony's eyes and mouth. He felt like he should have something witty or sexy to say but his brain was rapidly failing him in the communication department. The only words that were ready to be said were a toss-up between, "Oh God, please kiss me Tony." and "Don't let this be another fantastic wet dream." The first could be appropriate for the occasion but make McGee feel like a total loser while the other was definitely way too embarrassing to be mentioned, let alone thought of at a nearly perfect moment like this.

"Tim, you're thinking too much again." Tony said and then kissed him.

McGee's eyes immediately slammed shut as the sensation of Tony's mouth on him flooded his nerves. They were certainly a lot softer than they looked (like that one time Tony had chapped lips and couldn't help but lick them until Gibbs let him run to a gas station to buy chapstick and both before and after McGee couldn't help but gaze at those lips) and a lot better tasting than any junk food (even Clownie Cakes and Frito's with nacho cheese) or expensive dinner (Thom E. Gemcity had been wined and dined after the explosive success of his first novel, not to mention the few nice dates he took a couple of very gorgeous women on) he had ever tasted. It was all the bliss and flavor explosion of Chocolate Suicide without the calories or chocolate. It was a kiss with Anthony DiNozzo, a guy that McGee used to wake up mornings and pray that the worst thing Tony would do to him is glue his fingers to his keyboard or make fun of his looks. The guy that was very and explicitly vocal about every single woman he ever dated.

Anthony DiNozzo. McGee was kissing Tony and loving every single nanosecond of it.

He moaned down in his throat, hoping that it wouldn't be too early in the kiss to make Tony feel like he was easy or something.

Tony's tongue darted out and licked the seam of McGee's lips before he pulled away. Both men were panting, flushed, and very desirous of the other in front of them.

"Don't worry about anything McGee. We'll just see where this takes us and talk about it later." Tony whispered, giving McGee bedroom eyes as he stared at the others moistly parted pouty lips. Tony's thoughts were mostly on how kissable those lips were and wondering how good they would look touching other parts of his anatomy.

McGee just nodded, not really caring at this point whether Tony was going to pull a love 'em and leave 'em even though the idea sat at the back of his brain. He was determined to follow this through, to finally get what his overly fertile imagination had been sending him in dreams and envisioning at work in the most inappropriate times. Maybe this was just a thing that he needed to get out of his system. But even at his most optimistic McGee knew himself too well to even try to argue that falsity to himself.

Tony leaned over him again, joining their mouths, and McGee naturally fell backwards, tugging on Tony's expensive silk shirt to pull him along. Their knees knocked a couple of times as they arranged themselves and McGee ended up cradling Tony's hips with his thighs as their groins aligned and made contact. They both groaned and thrust instinctively into each other, their bodies coming to immediate attention and taking great notice of what they were doing. Tony let his weight rest on his elbows as his hands carded through McGee's long, soft strawberry colored hair. McGee kept his own hands busy tugging determinedly at the shirt that kept slipping away from him, trying to pull it out of the contoured pants that Tony sported. When that was finally accomplished he ran his hands up and down Tony's back, feeling whole muscle groups ripple and work to keep Tony's full weight off him. The pads of his fingers, callused by keyboards and typewriter keys and wiring, stroked the knotty vertebra of Tony's spine through the thin layer of skin over it as they continued to make out on the couch.

At some point they started to perspire; a thin film of it lined McGee's forehead and slowly slid down into his temples, while the back of Tony's neck began to stick to the silk of his shirt and small rivulets would occasionally meet McGee's hands on his spine.

Their mouths split with gasping breaths while the rest of their bodies continued to rhythmically rub and caress one another.

"Tim, if this is going to happen we need to get your bed." Tony rasped as he nuzzled McGee's ear and temple, licking at the sweat and nibbling on the earlobe and outer shell.

"O-Okay." McGee exhaled, shuddering under Tony's attention and holding the hips between his thighs in an unyielding grip, bringing their bodies into even tighter contact.

"That means we have to let go a little and get up." Tony said, some humor coloring his voice.

McGee laughed; it sounded shaky and uncertain to his own ears while Tony thought it sounded low and sexy.

"You first." McGee replied.

There was a moment where neither did anything; then McGee relaxed his legs, allowing Tony to stand and help McGee to his feet. McGee hunched slightly and tried to discretely adjust his pants and Tony, being less discrete and wearing tighter pants, took off his belt and dropped it on the floor as well as undoing his pants. McGee averted his eyes, trying not to look at the prominent bulge framed by the open lapels of Tony's pants. Tony caught him looking (of course) and only smiled to himself as he wrapped his arms around McGee's waist from behind and hooked his chin over a shoulder.

"Bedroom." he repeated into an ear with a burning red tip. It was barely discernible from the hair that it peeked out of.

Somehow they made it into the bedroom without Tony having to remove his arms around McGee's waist. McGee sat on the bed and watched as Tony stripped himself, making a show of it as the buttons on the shirt were teased out of their holes and the shirt itself lay across the back of an armchair and the pants shimmied out of. He toed his socks off and kicked them into the pile of his pants while he tantalizingly rolled the waistband of his underwear down. When the trail of hair met the head of his cock the boxer briefs were yanked down and dropped on top of the pants and socks. McGee gasped audibly, though softly, but it was plainly heard in the quiet bedroom. Tony didn't stand and enjoy the admiration as McGee's eyes darted from the defined pectorals, muscled but not quite six-pack abs, and hard penis, but took the few steps towards the bed and pushed McGee onto his back. He sat astride the thighs that had just a minute before been embracing him and inched the soft grey shirt up McGee's body. Every inch was worshipped first through caresses of both hand and mouth before the next inch was revealed, keeping McGee aroused and holding at bay any nerves or doubts that might have tried to break through. By the time the shirt finally came off McGee was panting and the thighs under Tony's butt were quivering along with the organ between them.

Tony paused in his undressing of McGee to reacquaint himself with the pouty lips under those bright eyes. Even after all this time Tony still associated McGee with innocence and purity.

"Have you ever done this before?"

McGee bit his bottom lip, the lip that Tony had just finished lavishing with attention, and wondered how exactly he should answer the rather open question.

"What exactly do you mean?"

"How far have you gone with another guy? And how far do you want to go tonight?"

McGee released his hold on the comforter below him and grasped Tony's thighs. They were more defined than his own, probably a lot stronger too since Tony ran every day, and he could easily pick out individual stripes of muscle.

"I, uh, got another guy off. Uhm, jacked him off. Never given a blowjob or, uh, been penetrated."

Tony was rather surprised, "And how long were you with Abby?"

McGee snorted and pressed urgently up into Tony, the questioning doing nothing to hinder his arousal or help get him off.

"I'm game for anything you're willing to give Tony." McGee honestly answered.

"Got it." Tony replied. "And in that case, we'll go easy on you your first time."

Tony plunged in for another kiss, shifting them both on their sides while they were engaged, and then palmed the front of McGee's jeans. He jerked into Tony's hands, pressing his hardness into the palm and gasping into the kiss as his hands death gripped Tony's forearms. As Tony gripped and traced the size of McGee, McGee ripped his mouth from Tony to gasp in air with his wide open mouth. Tony chuckled and leaned in, mouthing McGee's Adams apple.

"Definitely need to get you off first Tim, or else we won't get very far at all." Tony murmured into the baby soft skin of McGee's neck.

That night would have exceeded McGee's expectations if he had the courage to make any expectations. Tony was as considerate as McGee had ever seen him (which was rather a relief) and he lay sated cuddled into Tony's chest happy as a clam. He was quite ready to drop off into sleep but didn't want to leave Tony, who for some reason was still rather aware.

"What's wrong Tony?" McGee asked, craning his neck to look Tony in the face.

Tony met McGee's look and smiled; it was kind of goofy, but honest in its quirkiness.

"Not a damn thing Tim. Not a damn thing."

McGee leaned back to take some of the strain off his neck, making it easier to look up at Tony. The new position had him bringing his thigh to cover Tony's sated crotch and tease the sensitive flesh with his soft thigh and sparse strawberry hair.

"You sure?"

"Yep." Tony sighed, relaxing into McGee's Wal-Mart brand cotton sheets. "I think you're on to something."

"On to something?"

"Yeah. But I'll let you know when I wake up tomorrow morning."

McGee was grateful that tomorrow was a Sunday. Even the thought of going to work after something as earth shattering as this made him weak in the knees.

"Why's that?"

"The happier I am, the more peaceful my sleep is. I've noticed in my life that there is definitely a direct correlation between the two." The arm around McGee's shoulders moved from the center of McGee's shoulder blades to the slightly shorter hair at the nape of McGee's neck. "Not to bring someone else into your bed Tim, but when I slept with Jeanne, the best I could hope for was no nightmares and not kicking her out."

Tony shifted down some to better look McGee in the eye.

"I have the strangest feeling that not only will I not kick you out of your own bed, but I'll sleep like a baby."

McGee felt a minute pricking at the back of his eyes and gently kissed Tony. By now their mouths were intimately knowledgeable with each other and moved with grace and ease.

"You're welcome here any time Tony." McGee replied, putting his heart out on a limb.

"I think I'd like that a lot Tim. A whole lot." Tony said, his other hand coming down under the covers to rest on the thigh that lay over his genitals. He stroked from hip to knee and back again in a continuous motion, enjoying the feel of male skin under his calloused palm. It had been a while since his last male lover, the whole pseudo-military government employer notwithstanding.

McGee smiled happily and snuggled deeper into Tony's embrace, palming the obliques that had flexed so prettily while Tony thrust into him and left that glorious ache in his body. He didn't know yet if Tony was as caught up in him as he was in Tony, but now he had the hope that Tony could be there at some point. And that was a peaceful thought indeed.


All together now: "AWWWWW!"

Okay, cheese and fluff and romance aside, it wasn't half bad, right guys? Right? Guys? Helllllooooooooo. Is this thing on?