A/N: Not particularly important to this story, but this takes place in my "Geekverse" (set up in my story "Geek"). You don't have to read that to read this story, but do need to know that in this 'verse, Tony skipped ahead 3 grades in school.

This is for the nfacommunity First Time Challenge (if I can get it completed in time, anyway…)


Rockette (Part 1 of 3?): Prelude to a Kiss...and Other Stuff

"Why don't you tell her how I lost my virginity?" Tony DiNozzo growled at his Junior Field Agent, Timothy McGee, as they made their way onto the elevator. He scoffed at McGee's pathetic excuse about being tricked. Probie, indeed.

This just illustrated, yet again, why he needed to keep on McGee's case until the kid developed a thicker skin, learned to keep quiet under duress, and for God's sake not let himself get tricked so easily. If Tim caved so easily under "friendly-fire" Tony sincerely worried about what would happen if McGee ever fell into enemy hands and faced interrogation by torture.

Okay, so Tony had to admit that even when the kid did develop those skills, he would probably never tire of the…'lessons'. It's always good to keep such skills honed, he justified. He did look forward to the day that McGee would be able to give almost as well as he took, though. Sure, Tim would never be able to match his skills, but at that point he wouldn't worry about the Probie quite so much.

"I've been meaning to ask you about that, Tony. How does a 15-year-old boy go about meeting a coquette?" Ziva David jibed tartly, reveling at the opportunity to embarrass her coworker by beating him at one of his own games. Her eyes sparked as she silently dared him to answer.

"She means Rockette, Boss," Tim clarified, much to Tony's chagrin.

Rarely had Tony been so glad to be at the receiving end of a Gibbs-Glare-of-Death-#46 ™, as it effectively ended the conversation before it could begin.

As the elevator door slid shut, Tony glared (a DiNozzo-Special#2™) at McGee, though it was mostly to cover his feelings of humiliation. This was not a story he wanted to tell. Not to her and definitely not to Gibbs. Not to anyone, really, but especially not to either of them--or Abby. God, he didn't even want to think of how Abby would react if she ever found out…

He wouldn't be able to lie to any of them as easily as he'd done with McGee. Okay, yes; he lied. Of course he lied! But the point was that he lied to McGee in what was supposed to be strict confidence. It wasn't McGee's place to go spreading private stories to Ziva (and now Gibbs!) of all people. To make things worse now that she smelled blood in the water, she'd needle and push until he admitted the truth. Perhaps she might buy a different lie if he crafted it right.

But Gibbs? Tony doubted that Gibbs actually cared one iota about his loss of virginity story; the marine would just be disappointed with his dishonesty. Was already disappointed, he mentally amended, feeling the weight of Gibbs' gaze. He carefully avoided looking at any of them, hoping that by the time they reached the car Ziva would be ready to move on to a new subject.

Of course, DiNozzos (at least those of the Anthony variety) were usually not that lucky, and today was no different.

All afternoon she kept teasing him. Niggling him with little innuendos and not-so-covertly trying to goad him into revealing the truth. Or at least get him to admit that he'd lied in the first place. Problem was that he couldn't do that. Not in front of Tim, anyway. It wouldn't do to have Probie see him get 'tricked'--that would completely undermine the whole point of the training.

By the end of the day, he was completely frazzled and on the verge of breaking. He actually wanted to tell. God forgive him, he thought that maybe he even needed to talk about it.

But not to Ziva. He didn't think he'd ever be able to face her if she knew.

Not to Abby, either. She'd…she'd be totally Abby. And it would be nice to be Abbyed a little, but…he didn't want her to look at him differently, the way she would once she knew. Certainly not to Probie; McGee had proven that he couldn't hold in a secret. And it wasn't the sort of conversation he could imagine having with kindly--grandfatherly--Ducky. All of them had already left for the day, anyway.

Which left…his eyes drifted to Gibbs' vacant desk.

Oh, Hell, no.

No. So, that wasn't a possibility, either. Gibbs wouldn't treat him any different; probably wouldn't look at him different or anything. But the marine also probably wouldn't respect him anymore. Of course that would imply that the man even respected him. But if Gibbs knew…well, odds were he wouldn't earn that respect any time soon. Perhaps ever. Despite what he might tell anyone else, losing his virginity was not among the proud moments of his life. Ironically, it was one of those moments that he wished he could erase from his memory entirely. Or at least tuck it back into the deep recesses of his mind again, where it wouldn't bother him anymore. Maybe if he went downtown tonight and picked up some cute little blon--

"Something on your mind, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked from directly behind him, causing him to jump ever so slightly in his seat.

Tony forced a grin and looked up . "Nope. Head's empty as always, Boss," he joked self-depreciatingly. His grin faded as Gibbs simply raised an eyebrow in response. "It's nothing, really."

"Uh huh," Gibbs uttered, not believing, but not pressing. At least not obviously.

"Just something stupid," Tony amended.

Gibbs nodded as though in agreement and Tony felt his face flushing, knowing that he was being tested by one of Gibbs' own special 'interrogation' techniques.

A couple minutes later he found himself faced with another one of them. When Gibbs walked away, he thought the danger had passed, but then Gibbs had returned with a small flask and his own coffee mug, which he set down on Tony's desk. Tony watched numbly as Gibbs unscrewed the cap and poured a small amount in the mug. He looked at it warily for a few moments, hesitant to take it. If he was going to talk, he would need a few ounces of liquid courage. But if he drank, he'd pretty much be committing himself to talking. He weighed his options for what felt to him to be an eternity while Gibbs patiently waited. And then, with a deep breath, he reached toward the mug.

He was completely thrown when Gibbs slapped his hand away. "You make it a habit out of drinking from other people's glasses, DiNozzo?" his boss scolded him, though he swore he could see an amused glint in the older man's eyes. There was something about the inanity of the moment that made him a lot more confident about what he was about to do.

Still, some liquid courage would certainly help him get started. He reached into his drawer to pull out his Ohio State U mug, which he held out for Gibbs to grace with a finger of bourbon. He watched in a slight daze as Gibbs didn't stop at the expected amount but continued to pour until the flask ran dry around the 4 finger mark.

He took a large gulp, wincing inwardly as he felt the burn as the liquid flowed down his throat. He closed his eyes and set the mug down. He probably shouldn't drink, he realized. This conversation was probably going to depress him as it was.

"A Rockette, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked quietly and Tony opened his eyes to gauge just how much the man was making fun of him. Except all he saw in his bosses' eyes was concern.

He chuckled a little. "Hey, sounds impressive, doesn't it?" he replied, a bitter smile forming on his lips. "They're hot. Sex symbols and all. Flex-i-ble," he added with a lecherous tone that fooled neither of them. His gaze drifted back to his mug, and he paradoxically sobered as he stared at the amber fluid.

"Tony?"

"This may come as a shock to you, Boss," he started slowly, "but I wasn't exactly a popular kid." He smiled wryly, figuring that Gibbs probably already had that little factoid figured out long ago, despite his best attempts to keep that secret close to his chest. "I mean, come on. How could I be? I was the weird kid whose mom dressed him up in sailor suits. And then I was the weird little genius kid in a class with kids who were three years older than him…whose mom dressed him up in sailor suits." He began to actually giggle at the image he knew Gibbs was probably getting in his head.

"Tony," Gibbs called gently, as he watched his Senior Field Agent slowly losing his grip. Tony's laughter stopped abruptly and he looked up from the mug, exposing his too-bright eyes, glittering with tears he did his best not to shed.

"I was always athletic and I loved sports. Football, basketball, baseball…and I was good at them. Really good!" His smile was momentarily more genuine until he forced himself to continue. "At least I was until you compared me to these guys who were older and practically twice my size. So of course I was always picked last for any team. And that's if I was even picked at all. If there was an odd number, you can bet I was the one who got left out every time. Hell, my gym teacher usually even picked me to do the 'honor' of being a damn scorekeeper instead of actually playing in the game."

He was stalling, and they both knew it.

"If things were bad at school--and they were--they were a hundred times worse at home." He swallowed hard, his eyes drifting back to the mug. "After mom died…"