Head to Head Combat Challenge
Rated: FR13 for violence

A/N: Tony and Gibbs go for a training spar. But it ends up turning into something serious. Set after Agent Afloat.

The Smell Of Blood

Gibbs led Tony into the Gym's boxing ring. It was the first time in a long time that Gibbs had been able to have a training session with his Senior Field Agent. He had hoped that Tony's time as Agent Afloat didn't turn him soft. "You ready?" Gibbs asked him.

"Don't worry about me," Tony smiled. These were the kind of moments he missed. He loved the training sessions. He stood in the middle of the ring and waited for Gibbs to begin.

"So you've been keeping up with training?" Gibbs asked.

"Yep," Tony smiled a little sadistically. Of course he hadn't been keeping with his regular training regime. But he had picked up some stuff on the ship.

"Good," Gibbs responded. He waited for a moment before letting go with a few quick jabs. They were easily blocked. That showed that Tony hadn't suffered from what they called 'ring rust.' "Pretty good, DiNozzo," he remembered how Tony said he had done some boxing and Gibbs took him down with his marine training.

"You'll find I'm just full of surprises," Tony smirked.

Gibbs immediately locked Tony into a grappling position and attempted to take him down. This was something he had done before, but it seemed Tony wasn't going to allow it to happen this time. He shoved his boss against the ropes and as Gibbs rebounded, Tony let loose with a right hook. That took Gibbs by surprise. Only for a second though.

Tony shrugged his shoulders. He was proud of him self for getting at least one good punch in. This time Gibbs was able to drag Tony to the ground and held his fist in position, ready to strike. "What are you waiting for?" Tony asked. There was no interruption. He took the pause as an opportunity and managed to flip Gibbs over his head and landed with a sickening thud and the canvas shook.

"You've learned some new moves," Gibbs said as Tony waited for him to get to his feet.

"You can thank Wrestlemania for that one," Tony smiled again. He was starting to get a little cocky. He punched his gloves together and began jogging on the spot a little.

Gibbs rolled his eyes. It seemed his Senior Field Agent was out to prove that he had learned some new things. But he was jumping up and down on the spot and it was starting to look silly. He took a swing at Tony who'd only just managed to block it and added cat-like sound effects to go with it. "What?" Gibbs took a step back. "If you're not going to take this seriously DiNozzo," he commented.

"I am taking it seriously," Tony retorted. "It's Bruce Lee's Way Of The Dragon… A bit of Jeet Kune Do… Way Of The Intercepting Fist," Tony smiled.

Gibbs thought if the younger man was making jokes, then training wasn't serious enough. There was a time for mucking around and a time for seriousness… This was a time for seriousness. Tony didn't see the fist coming until it struck him in the jaw. He didn't have time to block the gut shot either. Tony winced as he took a step back. "Ok," Tony murmured… He was no Bruce Lee.

"Had enough, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked. "Any other style you want to show me? A bit of Judo, Karate? What?" He always knew that years of training to fight and actually fighting had honed his skills pretty good.

"How about free-style dancing?" Tony asked. The boss gave a quizzical look. Tony suddenly locked his arm around one of Gibbs' arms and began striking at the head. He saw some blood beneath Gibbs' eye.

Gibbs had to throw Tony off him and into the corner. He could feel the pain radiating from his cheek. The Senior Field Agent was relentless though. Gibbs shoved Tony down. Fun and games were over. Tony felt him self knocked against the turnbuckles. He felt his body shudder on the impact and was unable to stop the flurry of blows and slumped to the canvas.

That allowed time for Tony to gather his senses. He had been momentarily dazed by the attack. He went straight for Gibbs' bad knee. Gibbs wasn't one who let his pain be known, but a loud hiss escaped his lips. Tony jumped to his feet and punched his gloves together in a hungry fashion. He wanted more right now. "Had enough, Boss?" He asked. It was in the same tone that his Boss used.

Gibbs stood up and was no longer willing to hold back. Tony felt the blow to the temple and he almost went down. For a split second he felt stunned… That was all it took for Gibbs to take even further advantage of the situation. Tony had to grab onto something to maintain his balance.

Boxing went out of Tony's window. It was self preservation that ran through his body. In a fight he wouldn't normally use his legs, but a former marine was out to hurt him so he kicked Gibbs in the stomach. Before Gibbs could maintain his balance, Tony went straight for the middle of the face. Blood came out of Gibbs' nose which only succeeded in ticking him off. Gibbs tackled Tony to the ground, intent on making the young man's nose bleed to… He wanted Tony to taste it. More than that, Gibbs wanted him to suffer. Neither of them was about to give the other the upper hand. Blood or no blood, there was no giving up. There was no chance in hell either of them was going to concede defeat. They both tasted blood and they both smelled it.

Tony felt himself being lifted to his feet and dragged away. He was surprised to see Ziva dragging Gibbs to the other side of the ring. "Let me go!" Tony tried to fight the grip. He was breathing heavily from the fight but he wanted at it still.

"What is going on?" Ziva asked.

"Training session," Gibbs responded as the grip was released. "Right, DiNozzo?" He didn't look at his Senior Field Agent.

"Yes," Tony finally relaxed and had his gloves removed. "Training session," he repeated what Gibbs had said.

"Yeah right," McGee said disbelievingly. He handed Tony a towel for his nose.

Tony shrugged his shoulders. He was sore and waited for the others to leave the ring. They did so after they were sure the fight was over. Tony smiled as Gibbs approached him but he made sure he was ready for anything.

"You want to talk about it DiNozzo?" Gibbs stared at him.

"I think we said all that we needed to say," Tony didn't look away. "You?" He asked.

"Beer?" Gibbs asked.

"Yep," Tony answered.