Note: I'm so sorry for the delay. Here's the last part: I hope you like it and I hope it was worth the wait. Thanks so much for all your comments and reviews! You guys are awesome and I owe you more than you'll ever know.
Director Vance was in and at his desk. Cynthia grinned at them and waved them through with a gleam in her eye that made Tony nervous.
'You think she saw us on Thursday?' Tony asked as Gibbs rapped on the door.
Pushing it open, Gibbs replied softly, 'You think there's anyone who didn't?'
Vance looked up from the paperwork on his desk. 'Special Agent Gibbs, DiNozzo. Take a seat.'
'Director.' Gibbs sat in one of the two seats in front of the large desk.
Tony followed suit. 'Good morning, Director.'
'You think so? Tell me, DiNozzo, what makes you think this is going to be in any way a good morning?' Vance stared at him.
Tony blinked. 'I just meant–'
'Oh, I know what you meant.' Vance leaned forwards and took a fresh toothpick out of the box on his desk. He tapped one end on the desk, then smiled.
Tony suppressed the urge to lean back; it wasn't a nice smile.
'As a matter of fact, I think it's going to be a good morning.' Vance said, still smiling. 'A great one. Would you like to know why?'
Tony glanced at Gibbs, who was sitting straight-backed and stone-faced. 'Not really, but I'm guessing you're going to enlighten us.'
'You guessed right,' Vance said. 'I spoke with Special Agent Gibbs about your... situation. I told him I didn't want it blowing up in the office.'
'About that...' Tony began, but Vance raised a hand and Tony fell silent.
'I'm not going to fire you, either one of you. I'm not putting a reprimand on your files. In fact, I'm going to pretend you two didn't do your best to get arrested for indecent exposure right in my damn bullpen.' Vance glared at Tony, then at Gibbs.
'What do you want from us, Leon?' Gibbs asked impatiently.
Vance's smile grew into a full shark-toothed grin and Tony's heart sank. 'I'm not going to like this, am I?' he murmured.
'Oh, I hope not, DiNozzo. I really hope not, because trust me when I say I never, ever wanted to see you two getting it on.' The director took a moment to savor the moment before continuing. 'In one hour, there will be a sensitivity training seminar. I'm going to make a statement and you two are going to back me up. If you have to, think of it as putting your undercover skills to good use.'
'I thought this one was on cultural and racial sensitivity,' Gibbs frowned.
'Misdirection, obviously,' Vance said dismissively. 'It's going to be on tolerance towards homosexuality and you two are exhibit A.'
'I'm confused,' Tony said. 'I'm pretty sure there are other gay agents within NCIS. Properly gay, not, you know, imprinted.'
'But they don't try sucking face in the bullpen in the middle of the afternoon,' Vance pointed out drily. 'Since you did, you're my object lesson of how agents should react when faced with behavior that does not meet their expectations of societal norms.'
'You swallow a dictionary for breakfast, Leon?' Gibbs asked.
'Oh, that's from the delightful Ms Sciuto,' Leon grinned. 'She and McGee provided me with stills from the security feed and I have a list of people who really need to work on their idea of tolerance in the workplace.'
'So we have to stand there and be smirked at by everyone in the building?' Gibbs scowled. 'Tony's still on medical leave. He doesn't have to be here.'
'Much as I'd love to leave you to it, I'm going with you, boss,' Tony said. 'Besides, smirks are more my area of expertise.'
Vance shook his head. 'You'll both be there and you'll both tell anyone who asks that you were acting on my orders after some people just don't seem to get the message that homophobia is unacceptable in a civilian agency.'
'You– Wow,' Tony's jaw dropped. 'You're covering for us?'
'After talking with your team, Doctor Mallard, Agent Fornell and Doctor Childs, yes. I think it would be for the best for the agency,' Vance stressed the last word. 'Despite your attitude and behavior, your team are happy to keep working with you. They all have your six and I hope you are both suitably thankful.'
'I'm thankful,' Tony said and looked over at Gibbs. 'Really. Are you thankful, boss? I'm sure he's thankful,' he said, turning back to Vance. 'We're extremely thankful.'
'I'm not that thankful, Tony,' Gibbs said, staring at Vance. 'You think I'm going to be ashamed of my relationship with him? You told me to get over myself and I'd say I've done a good job of that. And now you want me to turn around and say it was all, what, a joke? Something to shake up the office? I won't do that.'
Tony stared at Gibbs. 'Really? Because I'd understand if you wanted to. Say it was a joke. Not that I think it was, not at all. I mean–'
'You're mine, Tony. I won't ever be ashamed of that and I won't hide it,' Gibbs said fiercely.
Tony blinked, then a slow smile spread across his face. 'Gotcha.'
Vance leaned back and smiled thinly. 'You have no idea how glad I am to hear you say that, Jethro. And yes, you will, because if you don't, I am going to have to take this further. HR has strict policies in place about workplace romances and about acceptable behavior in the office.
'Now, given your medical condition, which is on your files, you have some leeway,' Vance continued. 'But since I'm guessing you don't want me to have to give a briefing on exactly what imprinting is to everyone in the damn agency, you two were doing me a favor. And if you decided afterwards that you enjoyed it and wanted to take it further, well, you're adults. You can be discreet.'
Gibbs nodded reluctantly. 'We can do discreet.'
'Sure, yes, yeah, we can. Really.' Tony nodded. 'I can be the soul of discretion.'
'I'm certain you will be, both of you,' Vance said. 'I want you to go back to your desks. Make a note of anyone who says anything that could be construed as harassment. Anyone other than you, that is. Give me a list when the seminar starts and I'll take it from there.'
'So just to be clear, you aren't going to punish us for what we did in the bullpen, as long as you can use us to flush out the die-hard gaybashers in the department,' Tony said.
'You have a problem with that, DiNozzo? Gibbs?' Vance asked, eyebrows raised.
'Actually, no. I'd rather work with people who didn't hate my guts for who I happen to be. Well, not more than usual, anyway,' Tony said, remembering the people who had commented offensively and just loud enough to be heard as he and Gibbs had walked through the parking garage on Thursday afternoon. 'And you can put Harry Chase, Ernie Schliemann and Rachel Sousa on that list, although Rachel's probably just mad because I wouldn't put out.'
'She hit on you?' Gibbs asked.
'We went out for sushi one time. Turns out she hates seafood and I don't date women who have a problem saying they'd rather eat someplace else.' Tony took in Gibbs' scowl. 'Hey, it was two years ago! I thought she'd gotten over it.'
'Never underestimate the power of a woman scorned, Tony,' Gibbs said.
'Is that the voice of experience I hear, boss?' Tony grinned cheekily, his smile widening as he watched Gibbs' eyes drop to his mouth.
'Something like that,' Gibbs said, his eyes darkening as the agent licked his lips.
'Uh huh! Take that out of here,' Vance interrupted. 'I will have SecNav send you to the most remote posting he can find if I ever have to see you two getting hot and heavy again. Get out of my office, gentlemen. Now!'
Tony turned his smile on the director. 'Yes, Director. Thank you, Director.' He stood up with something approaching his usual level of bounce and headed out of the office with Gibbs following him. The older man paused in the doorway.
'I know I fucked up. Thanks for not punishing Tony for it.'
Director Vance nodded. 'Don't make me regret it.'
'You know you will.' With a little grin as Vance snorted in amusement, Gibbs closed the door and followed Tony back down into the bullpen.
Apart from the envelopes dropped on it, Tony's desk was clean and tidy. Someone had cleared away the blankets and picked up his keyboard, even pushed his chair back under his desk. 'You know, boss, I reckon we owe the team dinner,' he said, pulling out his chair. 'Oh, shit.'
'What is it?' Gibbs came back round the desk that he hadn't had chance to sit down at.
'Shit, boss. Literally.' Tony stared at his chair in distaste. The seat was streaked with excrement, but it had been tightly wrapped in layers of saran wrap to prevent the smell from getting out. 'That's just nasty.' He made to push his chair back under his desk, but Gibbs stopped him.
'Let me call Abby.' Tight-lipped, Gibbs used the phone on Tim's desk. 'Abby? I need you up in the bullpen. Someone played a rather nasty prank and I want you to make sure nothing's booby trapped.'
Tony winced. 'I guess I should think about that list, huh?'
'You do that,' Gibbs said, just as Tim arrived. 'McGee, get me a copy of the security feed for the bullpen from last Thursday evening until seven thirty this morning.'
'Uh... Sure, on it, boss,' Tim said, momentarily confused. Then he caught sight of Tony's chair and his jaw dropped. 'Wow! Is that–'
'It looks very much like it, doesn't it?' Tony snapped. 'Unless you want to sniff it to make sure?'
'Not really. Give me two minutes,' Tim said, suddenly all business. He shrugged off his jacket and powered on his PC. While it booted, he studied the two men surreptitiously.
'Something you want to say, McGee?' Gibbs asked, not looking up from his desk, which he was inspecting carefully.
'No boss. Well... Actually, yes there is,' Tim said, looking very much as though he'd surprised himself. 'I, uh, I hope you both had a good weekend.'
It was Tony's turn to be surprised. 'Thanks, McGee; we did. At least, I did, and I'm assuming the bossman here did too,' he added with a hint of uncertainty.
Gibbs glanced over at him with a little smile. 'Oh yeah.'
Tony beamed. 'How about you? Get out there and meet a real girl? Or was it more Elf Lord action?'
Tim drew himself up. 'Actually, I did have a date. With a real woman. And before you ask, no, I'm not telling you anything else.'
'Good for you, McRomeo!'
They were interrupted by Abby's arrival, forensics kit in hand. She trotted over to them in her trademark New Rock platform boots. 'What happened?' she called anxiously. 'Is everyone okay?' She dropped the kit on the floor and hugged Tony. 'Are you all right? Tell me you're okay.'
'I'm okay, Abs,' Tony said, returning the hug one-armed. 'And no one else was hurt either. It's just someone's idea of a sick joke.' Gently, he disentangled her from around him. 'Here.' He nodded at the chair.
Abby gasped, a hand flying to cover her mouth. 'Oh my god! Who would do something like that? That's just awful!'
Tony fought the urge to sigh. 'Like I said, just a sick joke.'
Gibbs came over to join them. 'Abby, McGee's on the security feed. We just need you to check if that really is what we think it is and see if there's anything to identify who it came from. And I'd like you to look these over too.' He drew her attention to the envelopes on Tony's desk. 'Don't want to take any chances.'
Abby nodded and drew herself up. 'You can count on me, Gibbs!' she snapped, suddenly all business. 'I'll find out who did this. And then I'll remind them that you don't play mean jokes on friends of someone who can kill you without leaving any traces.'
'Thanks, Abs,' Tony said, moving back to give her room to work. 'Although you should probably leave the threats to Gibbs. It's practically a calling for him. Ow!' He put his hand up to rub the back of his head.
'Get a chair, DiNozzo,' Gibbs said over his shoulder as he stalked back to his desk.
'Yes, boss. On it, boss,' Tony said happily. He glanced around the bullpen, now starting to fill up, then broke into a grin. Whistling an old show tune, he strolled over to another desk and wheeled out the chair that sat behind it.
'Hey, that's Harry's chair,' someone protested. 'You can't take that!'
'Good morning to you too, Paulson. I don't see Harry sitting in it,' Tony said with a casual shrug. 'If he has a problem, he can come tell me when he gets in.'
'You can count on it,' Paulson warned. 'He wasn't too happy about... about last week.'
'He's just jealous my boyfriend's hotter than his,' Tony said with a cheeky grin.
Paulson snorted. 'Better not let him hear you say that.'
'You're only laughing because it's true.' Tony gave one last dazzling smile and swept the chair round the corner of the dividers. He wheeled it over to Tim's desk and sat down in it, leaning back and putting his feet up on the corner of the desk.
'I'd rather you didn't do that,' Tim said without taking his eyes off the screen.
'Why, afraid I'll get gay cooties on your desk?' Tony asked, wriggling as he fished his phone out of his pocket.
'Nope,' Tim said, fast-forwarding through the footage from Thursday evening. There was a thud as Tony landed on the floor: Tim didn't look round. 'Chase has been complaining his chair's broken for a week. I'd just rather you didn't break anything else because Gibbs has been pissed enough about your last set of injuries.'
Tony sat up and rubbed the back of his head. 'Point taken.' He picked himself up and sat down more gingerly this time. Uncharacteristically quiet, he pretended to play tetris on his phone, but when Abby rolled his chair off towards the elevator, the small pile of envelopes on top of the saran wrap, he gave up and went back to his desk. With a care born of years of field experience, he opened each of his desk drawers in turn and checked the contents.
When he'd placed the last item back in the last drawer, he breathed a sigh of relief.
'No more surprises?' Gibbs asked quietly, looking over at him.
'None that I've found,' Tony said, taking in the sight of the other man, his boss, his friend, his lover, at his desk. When Gibbs raised an eyebrow, he managed a half-smile and looked away to turn his PC on. He could feel the other man's eyes on him as he drummed his fingers on the desk while the computer booted up. Tony fidgeted under Gibbs' scrutiny, trying and failing to set up a rhythm on the edge of the desk. He grabbed a pen and notepad out of his desk drawer and wrote down the three names he'd given the director, together with what he could remember of their comments, then tapped the pen against the pad until Tim cleared his throat pointedly.
'You should try cough syrup,' Tony said acerbically. He logged on and brought up his email, quickly sorting through his full inbox. The majority from his time off he set aside to read later; concentrating on those sent after Thursday's incident in the bullpen. Most of them were good-natured, teasing comments about the blow to his head having knocked all the sense out of him. A couple, from women he'd dated, were more explicit, demanding he go out for lunch with them and tell them details. One made him blush, asking for photos.
Awkwardly, he typed brief replies, poking at the keyboard with one finger. He promised lunch but pointing out that he didn't kiss and tell, especially when the person he'd be telling about was Gibbs. Tony murmured under his breath as he typed. 'And if I'm not flexible enough to do that, Gibbs certainly isn't. Is that even anatomically possible?'
'Is what anatomically possible?' Ziva asked.
'Zeevah!' Tony grinned. 'One of the ladies down in Records was wondering if Gibbs and I had tried a particular position yet.'
Ziva moved round Tony's desk and quickly read the email. Her eyes widening, she blushed. 'No, I do not believe that is physically possible, not unless one of you is double-jointed and the other a hermaphroditic acrobat.'
'As far as I'm aware, none of those apply,' Tony said. 'Although if I had to pick, I think I'd go for being double-jointed.'
'So are you back, then?' Ziva eyed him dubiously. 'You are still in a cast.'
'Nope, I'm just visiting,' Tony said sourly. 'They're making me take another week off.'
'At least,' Gibbs put in. 'And it depends on how well your physiotherapy goes.'
'Like I said, another week,' Tony said firmly. 'Any longer and I won't have to worry about coming back because the boredom will have finished me off.'
'In that case, I will make sure there is plenty of paperwork to keep you busy,' Ziva said lightly. 'I would not want you to feel unappreciated.'
Tony pulled a face. 'Good to know.'
'If you don't have anything better to do, I can give you more paperwork too, Ziva,' Gibbs said. 'You have less than an hour to dig up a fresh lead on one of those cold cases.'
'Seminar!' Ziva groaned. 'Shoot me! Please, just a flesh wound. McGee, if you bird me, I will do the same for you.'
'It's wing, Ziva, and if I have to go, you damn well have to go too,' Gibbs said firmly.
Ziva scowled, but returned to her desk and opened a case file, leaving Tony to finish going through his email. With a grimace, Tony printed off the last two and stared at them. He jumped when Gibbs spoke, looking up to find the agent leaning against his desk.
'Got something?' Gibbs asked softly.
'Yeah,' Tony hesitated before handing them over. 'It's not– They aren't pretty.'
'I know.' Gibbs read them, his expression turning flinty. 'Add them to your list. There's no place for people like that in this agency.'
'What is it?' Ziva looked across at them, curiosity shining on her face.
'Couple of death threats, just the usual,' Tony shrugged. 'Well, technically one death threat and one offer to maim that I'm pretty sure I'm going to turn down.'
Ziva gaped at him for a long moment before scowling almost as furiously as Gibbs. 'Give me their names and I will pay them a visit, yes?'
'I'll take care of it,' Gibbs said quietly.
Ziva exchanged a long look with him, then nodded. 'Very well. But if you need it...'
Gibbs grunted. 'I'm going for coffee. Let me know if Abby calls.'
Tony watched him go, then banged his head on his desk. 'You know I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself, right?'
'Absolutely,' Ziva agreed, turning her attention back to the case file on her desk. 'But sometimes it is nice to know there are others who have your back.'
Tony looked her, then over at Tim. 'Yeah,' he agreed, his voice rough. He swallowed and stared at the computer screen, blinking until it came back into focus.
Just as Gibbs returned with coffee for himself and Tony, Tim hissed in triumph.
'Got something, McGee?' Gibbs asked, setting the cup down in front of his senior field agent.
'Yeah, boss,' Tim said, typing away. 'Sunday, twenty-one forty, Paul Frederiks. I'm just burning the footage to disk now. I've also got stills of everyone who left a card on Tony's desk too, just in case.'
'Give Tony the names and I want a copy of everything,' Gibbs said. 'And copy Abby in.' He turned to go, but Tony shot to his feet, managing not to pitch onto the floor in the process.
'Jethro?' Tony put a hand out as if to grab the other man's arm, but hesitated.
'Just going to have a word,' Gibbs said. He took Tony's hand and gave it a squeeze. 'With Abby,' he clarified. 'I'll be back before we have to head into the seminar.' He cocked his head. 'You nervous?'
'Me? Why would I be nervous? There's nothing to be nervous of,' Tony babbled. He smiled, convincingly, he hoped.
Gibbs leaned in and spoke softly in his ear. 'Then you won't mind letting go of my hand.'
'Oh, right. Sure.' Hurriedly, Tony let go, but Gibbs squeezed Tony's hand again before letting go in return and striding over to the elevator.
Tony watched him go, then blinked and took a deep breath. He looked round to find his team mates watching. 'What?'
Tim shook his head busying himself with ejecting the CD from his PC, but Ziva regarded him with her customary steady gaze.
'I think... you are good for each other,' she said without any hint of her usual teasing. 'I was unsure; I thought this could cause problems within the team.'
'So what's changed?' Tony challenged, raising his chin.
'Life is too short to spend it alone and miserable,' Ziva said simply, then added mischievously, 'If you two are miserable together, it saves the rest of the world from having to suffer with you. Besides, what's that saying? Misery loves company? I think you will be very happy being unhappy together.'
'Hah, very funny,' Tony snapped, but Ziva's words eased a little of his discomfort. He dropped onto his appropriated chair, only to find himself on the floor again. An unpleasant laugh came to his ears and he looked up to find Harry Chase leaning against Gibbs' desk.
'Did you know your chair's broken?' Tony asked, ignoring the agent's ugly expression. 'That's a lawsuit just waiting to happen. If you go tell Maureen in Human Resources, she'll have a new chair to you in a day or so.' He wheeled the defective chair over to the smaller man.
'No, you keep it, DiNozzo,' Chase sneered. 'I'd hate to catch something off of it.'
'Broken bones aren't usually catching,' Tony said, smiling pleasantly. 'And last I checked, cooties aren't contagious past the fifth grade. Here.' He pushed the chair at the agent.
'Hey, I said I don't want it back! What are you, deaf and stupid?'
'That's a matter of opinion,' Tony said. 'Why, are you running a sweepstake?'
'Don't fuck with me, DiNozzo,' Chase snarled.
'Not if you were the last man on Earth,' Tony said. 'You aren't my type.'
'No, you prefer fucking your boss,' Chase said, his voice low and ugly. 'How's that working out for you?'
'Are you jealous?' Tony studied the agent, taking in the fury and disgust on his florid face. 'Wow, you are! I didn't know you thought of Gibbs like that. You really should have said something, maybe asked him out for a drink.'
'Why, you–' Chase lunged at him, but Tony pushed the chair into him and he went down in a tangle of metal and plastic.
'Oops, sorry about that,' Tony said apologetically. 'Here, let me help you up.' He offered his hand.
'Get away from me, you cocksucking pervert, or I'll break your other fucking arm,' Chase spat.
'Talk about repressed,' Tony tutted, shaking his head. He stepped back just as a strong arm reached past him and hauled the furious agent to his feet.
'I must be hearing things,' Gibbs said conversationally, his hand fisted in the agent's collar. Ignoring the other man's struggles, he continued. 'Because I'm pretty damn certain no one working for this agency is stupid enough to threaten a fellow agent with physical violence. Not in the bullpen, in front of witnesses. Not on camera. I'm pretty sure no one here would treat a fellow agent with anything less than the professional courtesy they deserve. Right, Tony?'
'Right, boss,' Tony agreed, perching on the corner of his desk. He picked up his coffee and took a sip as Tim and Ziva moved to flank him, shooting identical glares at the agent twisting in Gibbs' grasp.
'Fuck you too, Gibbs,' Chase gasped, his cheeks beginning to turn purple.
'You aren't my type either,' Gibbs said. 'Not that it matters what my type is, right Ziva?'
'I would not speculate as to what your type is,' Ziva said gravely. 'It would not be appropriate.'
'How about you, McGee?'
Tim pursed his lips thoughtfully. 'Definitely not my type. Sorry.'
Tony choked on his coffee and shot an incredulous look at the younger agent, who shrugged and did his best to look innocent.
'Looks like you'll have to take your chair and go find a date elsewhere,' Gibbs said. 'Don't bother my team again or I will break both of your arms.'
'What happened to not making threats?' Chase wheezed.
'Oh, that wasn't a threat, Harry. That was a promise,' Gibbs said. He released the agent, who doubled over, coughing and leaning on his chair for support. The chair collapsed under him again and he ended up back on the floor, cursing.
'Take your piece of shit chair and get out of my area,' Gibbs barked. Still coughing, the hapless agent struggled to his feet. With a wordless snarl, he grabbed the chair and marched off.
'Well?' Gibbs eyed his team.
'I was only giving him his chair back,' Tony protested. 'I didn't do anything to provoke him.'
Tim snorted. 'I think just being alive is enough to provoke him.'
'Got that video yet?' Gibbs asked mildly, but it was enough to send Tim scurrying back to his desk.
'Here, boss.' Tim waved the plastic case and Tony snatched it from him. 'Hey!'
Tony ignored him and turned to Gibbs. 'Did Abby find anything?'
'Tests are still running on the chair, but there's no trace of anything suspicious in the cards and she has prints that match the agents on McGee's list.' Gibbs handed over the pile of envelopes, each one now carefully slit open. 'Better read them quickly; seminar's starting in a couple of minutes.'
Tony took the envelopes and stared at them blankly for a moment, before offering them back to the older man. 'You look at them yet?'
'Nope. They're addressed to you,' Gibbs said.
Suppressing the unease that flashed through him, Tony said, 'Would you do the honors? It's a little tricky with only one hand.'
'Okay.' Gibbs took the envelopes back and fished out the first card. Wordlessly, he held it out and Tony took it.
Two teddy bears stood on a hilltop, paw-in-paw. Behind them, the setting sun spread garish orange across the card.
'Congratulations!' Tony muttered, flipping the card open. 'About time, glad you finally saw sense, you belong together, thanks for the floor show, Angela, Nora and Rachel.' He put it down on his desk. 'That wasn't too bad.'
'Here.' Gibbs handed over the next card.
This one showed a white calla lily across a dove grey background and bore the words In Deepest Sympathy across the top. Scowling, Tony flipped it open. 'So sorry you drew the short straw, guess you'll just have to watch more porn when you miss breasts, at least Gibbs has the long legs and great ass, don't forget the coffee or you'll be in big trouble, Gerry, Alan, Ray and Jack.' He looked over at the team who weren't making any effort to hide their laughter. 'Funny, guys, very funny.' With a smile, he placed the card beside the first one.
'Not what I was expecting,' Tony said. 'Okay, then.' He took the third card.
It was a piece of white card with a smooth, shiny finish. Embossed in gold was a cross and Jesus died for our sins. Tony turned it over. 'Hate the sin, not the sinner, I'm praying for your soul. Nice to know, but I'd rather whoever left this one was a little more concerned with their own soul instead.'
'Judge not lest you be judged; why do you see the speck in your brother's eye but not the beam in your own?' Gibbs quoted.
'I never took you for a churchgoer,' Tony said.
'My parents made me go,' Gibbs admitted. 'Want the next one?'
'Why not,' Tony said. 'Go for it.' Gibbs pulled out a folded sheet of paper and Tony frowned. 'That doesn't look promising,' he said as he took it. 'Fags don't belong here, leave before something happens to you, you disgust me, burn in hell. At least it's spelled correctly.' He stared at the paper, then handed it back to Gibbs. 'One for the list, then.'
'Abby's flagged up a couple of the names,' Tim said quietly.
Tony looked at Gibbs. 'I think I'm beginning to understand why Vance is so pissed.'
'He's not the only one,' Gibbs said, his expression grim.
'Now why do I get the feeling you're going to be relieving a few people of their ignorance?' Tony asked.
'Probably because I am,' Gibbs admitted. 'Next up?'
'Sure.' Tony took the card. 'Another condolences. I'm getting the impression people think you're some kind of monster. I'd be offended, but I can see how, from the outside, they might think that.' He grinned at Gibbs when the older man looked at him.
'Going to open that?' Gibbs asked, his tone deceptively mild.
'Sorry to hear you lost your marbles, hope they turn up soon. Failing that, hope you're happy. Maybe Gibbs can lend you some of his. Patrice and Cheryl. Remind me never to buy them flowers again, boss.'
'When did you buy them flowers?' Gibbs asked.
Tony shrugged, lopsided. Flippantly, he said, 'You know me, always up for buying flowers for beautiful women.'
'Tony,' Gibbs said impatiently.
Tony looked away. 'When Patrice's deadbeat husband ran off with the next-door neighbour. And when Cheryl's mom passed. I figured it wouldn't cheer them up, but at least they'd have something pretty to look at.' He hunched when Gibbs' hand moved, then relaxed slowly as Gibbs stroked the back of his head.
'Last one,' Gibbs said and handed him the final card.
'Okay, let's see. Good luck in your new job,' Tony read. He flipped the card open. 'Gibbs' new fuck-toy, hope it includes full medical because your ass is going to need it. No name. Tasteful.' He put it with the anonymous letter and the religious card, piling them on top of his list and Tim's CD.
Gibbs frowned. 'McGee, you got that list from Abby?'
'Just printing it off now,' Tim said, getting up and going to the printer. 'Do you want it, or-?'
'Give it to DiNozzo,' Gibbs said. 'We'd better get moving.'
Tony took the printout and added it to his pile, then picked it up and took a deep breath. 'Show time.'
With an air of gloom, the team headed for the large conference room. Tim and Ziva headed in, while Gibbs and Tony hung back outside waiting for the director.
'So?' Vance asked, joining them.
Tony handed over the pile of papers. 'Frederiks covered my chair in shit; the disk has footage from the security feed. Chase is taking this whole thing as some kind of personal insult, probably because he wants Gibbs.'
'Not me, Tony,' Gibbs said, his eyes darkening. 'You.'
Tony stared at Gibbs for a long moment, uncomprehending. Then his eyes widened in surprise. 'Ew! But he can't stand me. Never has.'
'Because you were never interested in him,' Gibbs said. 'Because you were straight. Now you're not and you're still not interested in him.'
'Oh,' Tony said, frowning.
'The rest?' Vance asked impatiently.
'Right.' Tony blinked, focusing on the director. 'Here, one threatening letter, one hate the sinner tract and a pretty tasteless card. All anonymous, but Abby's provided a list of names and she's flagged up the three responsible.'
Vance looked over the papers, then gave a nod. 'Better get in there, both of you. Clearly some attitudes need adjusting.' He shook his head in disgust. 'Stupid sons of bitches.'
'Yeah.' Gibbs snorted. 'I thought people here were supposed to be smarter than that. Come on, DiNozzo.' Together they entered the room, standing together at the back, close to the doors. A moment later, the director entered, striding to the front and turning to face them. A murmur ran through the assembled agents; Director Vance hadn't attended any of the previous seminars.
Vance surveyed the room. It was packed with every agent not currently working an active case. Glaring at them all, he removed his toothpick. 'I know you hate these seminars. I hate these seminars. I hate having to authorize them and I really hate having to come down here to talk to you all about them. These seminars take time away from what you should all be doing: solving cases.
'I'd love to be able to say we can skip it, go on back to work. But some of you–' Vance aimed his glare at half a dozen people, one at a time, 'don't seem to be getting the message. You are entitled to your own private opinions, no matter how wrong-headed and crazy they are. But each and every one of you works here, for the government. And the government says you keep your opinions to your own free time.
'While you are here, while you are on duty, while you represent my agency, you will think and speak and act with courtesy and tolerance to those around you, whether they are black or white, hispanic or asian, male or female, young or old, civilian or military and most especially whether they are gay or straight. From here on out, if I get any complaints from anyone about any of you, you can consider yourself suspended while you think over just how much you want to continue working here.'
The director paused to let the murmuring subside. 'And because I am so royally pissed about having to keep sending you all to these damn seminars just because a few of you won't learn, I asked Special Agents Gibbs and DiNozzo to do me a favor and make my point for me. I didn't think they'd go that far in pursuit of equal rights in the workplace, but I have to admit, they were damned effective in getting you all to face up to any prejudices you somehow still think it's acceptable to express here in my building.'
A smattering of laughter rippled through the room and Vance allowed himself a tight smile. 'Schliemann, Chase, Sousa. You can all explain to everyone here just why you thought it was acceptable to make derogatory comments to and about Gibbs and DiNozzo while still on my premises, on my time. Ehrlich, Smith – no, Carl, not Peter – why exactly did you think you could and should send hate mail? Threats like that are a federal offense. And Frederiks, you are in a world of shit. Literally. I want you to tell everyone why you thought you could possibly get away with putting crap on DiNozzo's chair when you work for an agency that has some of the best damn forensics experts in the country!'
Vance was practically shouting by the time he finished and he took a deep breath to calm himself before he could continue. 'How stupid are you, people? You're meant to be solving crimes, not committing them! Out there, on the streets, you face a thousand dangers. Agents have got to be able to count on each other. And when you let your stupid-ass, bigoted prejudices interfere with your judgement, you end up getting yourself or someone else killed. Get over it! Learn to deal with it. So not everyone looks the same as you. Not everyone acts the same as you. Not everyone gets turned on by the same things as you. And thank God for that! Because otherwise some of you would have no chance in hell of ever getting laid!' There was a ripple of amusement, but Vance kept on talking.
'Next time someone shakes you out of your comfort zone, next time someone behaves contrary to your expectations of societal norms, take a moment to ask if your knee-jerk reaction is justified. Is it safe, sane, adult and consensual? Because if it is, you keep your prejudice to yourself.'
'You'd have to be insane to kiss Gibbs,' someone called from the back of the room, and a few people sniggered.
'Yeah, well, if you'd learned from the last five seminars on tolerating homosexuality, I wouldn't have had to resort to drastic measures,' Vance shot back. 'Schliemann! Get up here and explain why you called Gibbs and DiNozzo pansy-assed faggots who shouldn't be allowed to work with normal people. And for the record, if you're claiming to be normal you need to take a good long look at yourself because you are sadly deluded.'
It took an hour for the Director to call each and every person who had insulted or threatened Gibbs and Tony up to the front to explain themselves. One by one, red-faced with humiliation and anger, they faced their colleagues while at the back of the room, Tony and Gibbs stood shoulder to shoulder and heard them out.
Chase was the last one called up and he faced the director with a sneer. 'I'm not ashamed of what I said and I don't care if you say you ordered them to do it. Gibbs and DiNozzo are perverts and they're fucking and that's a violation of regulations. As soon as you've finished this farce I'm putting in a complaint.'
'Who're you going to complain to, Harry?' Vance asked, taking the toothpick from the corner of his mouth. 'SecNav? Who do you think authorized this in the first place? Your attitude and verbal abuse is what's in violation of regulations and you are this close to getting yourself suspended.'
Chase snarled. 'Fuck you, Vance, and fuck your lapdogs too! There are other agencies that'd be glad to have me that don't have a bunch of cocksuckers dictating policy to all the normal people.' He turned and pushed his way through the crowd. As he reached the doors, he lunged at Tony, only to end up slammed against the wall in an armlock that was just the right side of breaking his elbow and dislocating his shoulder.
'I warned you, Harry,' Gibbs said mildly, putting a fraction more pressure onto the agent's arm. Chase howled and Gibbs leaned in and whispered in the agent's ear. 'Next time I see you, we won't have an audience. Leave DiNozzo alone.'
Vance snorted in disgust. 'Harry, get your ass out of my agency! You're fired and I sincerely doubt any other government agency is going to want you and your neanderthal attitudes. Gibbs, let him go. And someone get security to escort Mister Chase off the premises.' He waited until Chase had stormed out of the room, followed by Paulson and another of his former team mates, before calling for quiet.
'People, this is your one warning. This is your opportunity to learn, to grow. If any of you think you can't take that opportunity, speak up now and I'll arrange transfers out because the alternative is that you end up like Chase and I have to fire your sorry asses. You want to be intolerant? Save it for the murderers and thieves and rapists and paedophiles we're dedicated to tracking down. Don't bash each other or I will bash you and I have by far the biggest stick in this room. Learn to live together, people, because I'm not doing another one of these damn seminars! Now get out of here and go catch criminals.'
Gibbs and Tony were first through the doors. 'Some days I don't know whether to hate him or admire him,' Tony said with a sigh.
'Leon? He does what he has to,' Gibbs said, stopping at his desk only long enough to pick up his jacket.
'You going for coffee?' Tony asked, eyeing Gibbs' chair speculatively.
'Leave my chair alone, DiNozzo. You won't be needing one,' Gibbs said firmly.
'I'm taking you home.'
'I'm fine, boss,' Tony protested. 'I can go hang out with Abby. You don't have to babysit me.' He drew himself up, ignoring the ache that spread up his arm and into his shoulder. 'See?'
Gibbs glared at him. 'Tony, the seminar's over. You're on sick leave for a reason and you look like you're about to fall over. I'm taking you home.'
'Lover's tiff?' Ray called. 'Oh wait, you were making out on Vance's orders. So does that mean Tony doesn't get to appreciate your ass, Gibbs?' He laughed, ignoring the glare the older agent shot him.
'You know, it sounds like you're the one who's been doing the appreciating,' Tony said with a smirk. 'Something you want to share, Ray?'
The agent raised his hands in a gesture of placation. 'Hey, I wouldn't dream of poaching on your territory, Tony. And Gibbs is right, you look like shit. You should go home. It's no fun winding you up when you look like a stiff breeze could knock you over.'
'Geez, what is it with you guys?' Tony grumbled. 'I'm back in the office for a couple of hours and you're trying to get rid of me!'
'Yes, well, next time try not nearly dying,' Ziva said. 'It has been quite some morning and if I had the opportunity to go home, I would take it.' She glared at the cold cases piled on her desk.
'Point taken,' Tony sighed. 'Fine. But I'll be back next week so you'd better have something more exciting lined up by then.' He allowed Gibbs to herd him into the elevator, but just before the doors closed, he leaned out.
'Hey guys? For the record, it's an awesome ass!' The doors slid shut to the sound of a headslap. 'Ow!'
Tony had been back at work for three weeks, working desk duty for the first two before finally being allowed back out into the field, not that anything exciting had cropped up. It was Friday night and the team was off duty and not on call until Monday morning. Despite Tony's offer of a team night of beer and pizza, Tim had declined, trying and failing miserably to hide his nerves at going out on a date that didn't involve computers. Ziva had turned him down in favor of actually getting to attend synagogue for once. Even Abby was off out bowling with nuns. So Tony and Gibbs ended up at home, sitting on the couch and eating pizza while watching Total Marine Mayhem! over a couple of beers.
Gibbs pointed out sloppy errors that would have gotten raw recruits chewed out and cleaning the head with a toothbrush for a week; when he shouted at the screen for the eighth time, Tony laughed so hard he made his newly-healed ribs ache and ended up clutching at them, saying, 'Ow, ow, ow,' between bouts of laughter. Gibbs had to check them over, which led to checking of a completely different kind, and that led to Ducky walking in on them as they lay in a naked, sweaty heap, limbs entwined, on the couch.
'Oh my, I do apologize,' Ducky said, flustered. He retreated to the hallway as Gibbs and Tony pulled their clothes back on.
'It's safe to come in,' Tony called. 'I'll just go put the kettle on.' He retreated to the kitchen, but he could still hear the low murmur of voices.
'I thought you were busy,' Gibbs said.
'I was going to attend a concert, but thanks to an electrical fault in the hall, it's been cancelled. I should have called to let you know,' Ducky replied. 'I won't stay long. Actually, I wanted to see how things are working out for you both.'
'You mean, do I still need my head slapped?' Tony could hear the amusement in Gibbs' voice. 'I hope not.'
'I'm very glad to hear it, Jethro. Anthony looks... Well, if you will forgive an old man a little poetic license, Anthony has blossomed. And if I may say so, you appear far more relaxed.'
'What do you want me to say, Duck? You were right?'
'How about I'm happy?'
Gibbs sighed. 'I am. Happier than I thought I'd ever be, than I thought I'd any right to be.'
'Oh, Jethro, you and Anthony, above all, deserve some happiness in your lives.'
Swallowing past the tightness in his throat, Tony moved away from the door and busied himself with making a cup of tea for Ducky and pouring the last of the coffee for Gibbs, re-entering the living room just in time to hear Ducky ask, 'So you haven't tried anal sex yet? That's a shame; I hear it's quite an experience.'
Gibbs glared at the ME and Tony choked. 'Ducky! You can't say things like that!' Tony spluttered. He handed over the cup of tea and passed Gibbs his coffee. 'Just– No!'
'If you can't discuss it like an adult, how do you expect ever to be able to do the deed, as it were?' Ducky asked, his eyes twinkling.
'I can discuss it,' Tony said defensively. 'But not with you! I– we're–'
'We'll get there in our own good time, Ducky,' Gibbs said warningly. 'And I'm sure you didn't come here just to ask about our sex life.'
Tony moaned and grabbed a cushion. Holding it over his face, he said, 'I could go out. Upstairs. Anywhere away from here.'
Gibbs patted him on the knee. 'You could, but where would the fun be in that?'
'I hate you!'
'I hate you too. Ducky?'
The ME was regarding them with amusement. 'I don't believe I have anything to worry about as far as your sex life is concerned. Or indeed the rest of your relationship. I spoke to Doctor Burlman this afternoon. The details of your sessions with him are, of course, confidential, but he was able to reassure me that you don't need any further counseling. I informed Director Vance and he told me to mention something about a remote posting?'
Gibbs snorted. 'Figures.'
'Oh, I nearly forgot to say, Doctor Childs called just before I left for the evening. He's accepted a job with the FBI, working with his former colleague, Doctor Potts.'
'Really? That's great,' Tony said, emerging from behind his cushion. 'Finally getting to do more research into imprinting, huh? I bet he's in science geek heaven.'
'He did sound rather excited, yes,' Ducky smiled. 'He said he'd email you the latest research, as long as you promise not to show it around.'
'It's not like we're going around telling everyone,' Tony said, picking up his beer. He took a sip and swallowed, before adding, 'And after Vance's seminar, no one cares enough to risk gossiping anyway.'
'Oh, they'll be back to running a pool on who's sleeping with whom in no time, I dare say,' Ducky said.
'They're already betting on who dates that new IT tech first,' Gibbs said.
'Malory? I thought she was seeing Timothy,' Ducky said, surprised.
'McGee's dating the really hot computer geek? Wow, I don't know whether to be amazed or get him a cheerleading squad,' Tony said, grinning.
'Leave him be,' Gibbs said.
'Why? Worried I'll hit on the geek-ess?' Tony asked mischievously.
Gibbs snorted. 'Hardly. I figured you prefered fewer headslaps.'
Tony frowned. 'Not sure I follow you there, Jethro.'
Gibbs smiled. 'If he's busy dating, he's not thinking up new ways to wind you up, which makes you wind me up, which–'
'Which makes you headslap me, I get it. Fine, I won't torment him. Too much.'
Gibbs reached a hand out and tapped the back of Tony's head.
'Okay, okay,' Tony laughed and the other two joined in.
They chatted for a while longer until finally Ducky stood up. 'Pleasant as this has been, it's getting late. I'm afraid I shall have to leave you to it. Enjoy your weekend, won't you? I look forward to seeing you bright and early on Monday.'
'You too, Ducky,' Tony said. 'Thanks for stopping by.'
The ME put on his coat and paused at the door. 'If i may say so, domesticity rather suits you both.'
Gibbs rolled his eyes. 'Good night, Duck.' He closed the door behind the ME and turned to find Tony grinning at him. 'What?'
'I think he just called us whipped,' Tony said.
Gibbs stared at him, eyebrows raised. 'Whipped?' he asked, his tone deceptively silky.
'Absolutely,' Tony said blithely as the older man stalked towards him. 'Completely and utterly. A lost cause.'
Gibbs put one hand on the back of the couch and leaned in. 'You sure about that, DiNozzo?'
Tony licked his lips. 'Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's what he said.' His voice was breathy, his gaze fixed on the other man's mouth.
'Good,' Gibbs murmured, and closed the distance between them. He took Tony's lips in a kiss that was achingly sweet. Distantly, Tony heard a whimper, then realised it came from him. He reached up, running his fingers over the short, soft hairs on the back of Gibbs' head, whimpering again in frustration when the older man refused to deepen the kiss.
At last, Gibbs broke away, his blue eyes dancing with amusement. 'Something you wanted?'
'Bed. Now,' Tony demanded, surging to his feet. He grabbed the other man's wrist and Gibbs let himself be towed towards the door.
'But I was going to clear away the mess,' he said, deadpan.
'Fuck the mess!' Tony growled impatiently. 'No, wait, don't fuck the mess, fuck me. Come on, Jethro! We might be domesticated, but the day you pick a couple of bottles and an empty pizza box over hot wild monkey loving is the day I chain you to the bed until you remember just how awesome I am.' He pulled Gibbs into their bedroom, only stopping when Gibbs tugged back.
'Shut up.' Gibbs pulled Tony to him, wrapping his arms around the taller man in a tight embrace, fitting them together from shoulders to knees as he kissed him thoroughly, their mouths hot and greedy. Tony's hands worked their way under his t-shirt, smoothing their way up his back, pulling him even closer. His own moved down to Tony's ass, squeezing and cupping the taut muscle, holding him in place as he rolled his hips forward, rubbing his erection against Tony's.
Tony broke away with a gasp. 'God, you drive me crazy, Jethro!' He bit the side of the other man's neck, pressing his tongue to the smooth flesh and savoring the taste. Gibbs growled and, with one smooth flip, had Tony stretched out under him on the bed.
'Clothes off,' Gibbs rasped, nipping at Tony's jawline. The younger man's hands found the edge of Gibbs' t-shirt and tugged it up until Gibbs had to pull back. Seconds later, they were both naked, clothes flung to the floor. 'Move up,' Gibbs said and Tony scooted up the bed until he was sprawled across the pillows at the top.
'This far enough?' Tony asked, a hint of amusement dancing in his lust-darkened eyes.
'Perfect,' Gibbs said, looking him over. He wet his lips and bent his head, touching the tip of his tongue to the head of Tony's cock.
Gibbs could hear the surprise in Tony's voice. He looked up at the younger man, wanton, aroused, his for the taking. 'Dreamed about this, Tony. Been thinking about it all day, tasting you, taking you in my mouth, sucking you.'
Tony stared at him for a moment, then he spoke, his voice rough with arousal. 'Then what are you waiting for?'
Gibbs huffed a laugh, his breath making Tony's cock twitch and harden even more. The younger man moaned as Gibbs licked the head of his cock, then wrapped a callused hand around the shaft. Licking his lips, Gibbs ducked his head and took Tony in his mouth, getting used to the way the smooth skin felt against his tongue, the way the heavy flesh filled his mouth. He tightened his lips around the hot shaft and sucked experimentally. With a shout, Tony bucked, driving his cock further into Gibbs' mouth. Hastily, the older man shifted, pinning Tony down with an arm across his toned abdomen, before sucking again.
It was over embarrassingly quickly; Tony whimpered and cried out as Gibbs bobbed up and down, sucking hard. His cock, a shaft of hot steel under velvet, grew impossibly harder, wider, then with one last cry, Tony was coming in spurts into the older man's mouth. Gibbs swallowed, letting the taste wash through him, holding Tony in place as he softened, then giving one last little suck to the tip before letting him go.
'Wow,' Tony breathed, one arm flung across his eyes. 'That was incredible.' He shifted his arm and looked down at Gibbs. 'Was that... Are you okay?'
Gibbs licked his lips and swallowed. 'Yeah, that was... surprisingly hot,' he confessed. 'Could do with a coffee, though.'
Tony laughed and pulled his lover up until they could kiss. 'Doesn't taste too bad,' he teased, going in for another kiss. Above him, Gibbs growled, rolling his hips and thrusting against Tony. The younger man wrapped his arms and legs around Gibbs, holding him tightly and kissing him until the older man thrust hard and stilled, cum spilling warm across Tony's groin.
'You know, blow jobs have one advantage,' Tony said once they had cleaned up and lay tangled together under the comforter.
'What's that?' Gibbs pressed a kiss to Tony's forehead.
'You don't have to worry about the mess,' Tony said with a smile.
'Good point,' Gibbs said. 'Go to sleep.'
Tony yawned and snuggled closer, pillowing his head on the older man's shoulder. 'Mmm. Have to give it a go,' he murmured. And in the morning, Gibbs woke to a spectacular blow job, the sight of Tony's mouth wrapped around his cock sucking enthusiastically enough to send him over the edge. He lay there panting as Tony jerked himself off, needing only a few strokes to follow him into coming.
'I could get used to this early morning rise and shine, spit and polish,' Tony grinned, crawling back up the bed to flop against the pillows. 'Hoorah!'
Gibbs couldn't find it in him to glare. 'If you make any more boot camp jokes, I'm going to have to kill Ziva for giving you that DVD.'
'You don't mean that,' Tony sighed contentedly. 'Besides, it's a great wake up call.'
'Can't argue with you there,' Gibbs agreed and tugged Tony closer. 'Best wake up call ever.'
Tony was sitting between Gibbs and Vance, waiting for the jury to return. At the end of the row sat Fornell and a couple of his agents. The courtroom smelled of furniture polish and the stale sweat of inadequate ventilation. 'What's taking them so long?' he muttered, fidgeting in his seat. 'I thought they were ready to bring in their verdict.'
Gibbs laid a hand on Tony's knee, stilling him. 'They're just giving everyone a chance to get back in here,' he said. 'Won't be long now.'
'There's no way he's getting off,' Vance said firmly from Tony's other side. 'Not with all these witnesses.'
'Sure, I know that,' Tony said, trying to sound confident. 'But–'
'But nothing, Tony,' Gibbs said, giving his knee a squeeze. 'He's going down. Here they come.'
One by one, the jury filed back into the room and took their places. It had been a long and complex trial; Vorash's attack on Tony only one of a long list of charges the gangster faced. One by one, each charge was read out as the jury gave their verdict.
Vance hissed in triumph as Vorash was found guilty of the attempted murder of Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo. Tony sighed in relief and leaned against Gibbs as the older man's hand tightened on his knee.
'You know it'll be hard to go undercover after this,' Tony said. The case had been high profile, broadcast on the national news as well as the court channel. Tony's testimony hadn't taken long to give, but with his charm and photogenic good looks, he'd made it onto the evening news on several channels. Fan mail was still arriving for him at the NCIS headquarters, much to everyone's amusement.
'Ducky made it very clear neither of you can go undercover without the other. And even then, it's a bad idea,' Vance said.
Gibbs grunted. 'Probably. Come on, DiNozzo.'
'You don't want to wait for the sentencing?' Vance asked.
Gibbs shook his head. 'He's going down. And we have better things to do.' Together, they stood and made their way out of the courtroom, leaving the director behind.
'Did Fornell just wink at you?' Tony asked as they strode out into the cool hallway. 'Because that's just disturbing.'
Gibbs allowed himself a little smile. 'Jealous, DiNozzo?' Together they jogged down the steps and out into the warm afternoon sunshine.
'Nope,' Tony said. 'Just a little freaked out.'
'Another imprinted pair transferred into his team last week,' Gibbs said as they made their way to the car.
'Really? Wow, word must be getting around,' Tony said, climbing in and hastily buckling up.
'They're rolling the blood test out as part of the FBI's standard annual physical,' Gibbs said, pulling out of the parking lot with his usual reckless abandon. 'Childs thinks there's probably more pairs out there.'
'What are they going to do with the results?' Tony asked. 'Transfer them all to Fornell's division?'
Gibbs shook his head. 'I don't know, but at least if anything happens, it'll be on their records, maybe give the agency some leeway in dealing with them.'
'You mean if one gets injured and the other–'
'Hunts down the guilty party and shoots them in the head,' Gibbs said drily. 'Maybe.'
'That's a little extreme,' Tony protested.
Gibbs looked at him for a long moment before turning his eyes back to the road. 'No it isn't,' he said quietly. 'What the hell do you think I'd have done to Vorash if he'd walked away?'
Tony blinked. 'Oh.' They drove in silence for a few minutes before Tony looked around and frowned. 'Jethro, I hate to say it, but this isn't the way back to the Yard.'
'And we aren't going back to work because...?'
'As I told Vance, we've got better things to do,' Gibbs said impatiently.
'Yeah, Tony, we do.' Gibbs pulled up outside his house. 'Come on, Tony. We have some celebrating to do.'
'Right, okay.' Tony scrambled out of the car and followed his lover into the house. 'What did you have in mind?'
'Go shower,' Gibbs said.
'I had one this morning,' Tony protested. 'What's going on, Jethro?'
Gibbs squeezed Tony's shoulder and kissed him, soft and chaste. 'Trust me?'
'Always,' Tony said. Bemused, he headed upstairs and stripped, hanging up his suit and tie before stuffing the shirt into the laundry hamper. While the shower warmed up, he used the loo and brushed his teeth, then climbed into the shower and washed himself quickly but thoroughly. Dry, with damp hair sticking up in tufts, he ran a hand over his chin and decided to grab a quick shave.
Stepping out into the bedroom, Tony stopped in surprise. Late afternoon sunlight streamed into the room, pooling on the bed, which was covered by two giant towels. Leaning against the headboard, Gibbs was waiting for him, naked.
'Uh, not that I don't appreciate afternoon sex, but the towels have me wondering,' Tony said, crossing the room to sit beside his lover.
'I thought maybe you'd like a back rub, get rid of some of that tension,' Gibbs said gruffly.
Tony glanced over at the bedside table, where a small bottle of oil sat on a saucer. 'And?' he asked quietly, looking back at the older man.
Gibbs held his gaze, but flushed faintly. 'And I was hoping maybe we could try something different.'
Tony's eyebrows raised in surprise. 'You want to fuck me?'
'I want to try, Tony,' Gibbs admitted. 'Between Abby's reference material and Ducky's anatomy lectures, I want to see if I can make it as good for you as people say it can be.'
'Wow, that's a big step.' Tony laughed nervously and ran a hand through his hair, making it stand up even further.
'We don't have to if you don't want to,' Gibbs said earnestly. 'I really do want to give you that back rub. You've been favoring your left shoulder again.'
Tony huffed out a sigh. 'Okay, back rub. And then we'll see. I'll... I do trust you, Jethro. And I've got to admit, I'm a little curious. Well, okay, a lot curious. So... go for it and if I start freaking out, I'll let you know, all right?'
Gibbs nodded and a little of the tension in his shoulders drained away.
'You look like you need that back rub about as much as I do,' Tony said, lying down on his front.
'Maybe later,' Gibbs said, arranging pillows under Tony's chest until he could breathe comfortably without resting his forehead on his arms or suffocating himself on the mattress.
Tony closed his eyes and heard the snick of the bottle cap being opened, then the slick sound of Gibbs rubbing oiled palms together. When they came to rest on his back, he sighed in relief; they were warm, the heat soaking into his tense muscles. Slowly and firmly, Gibbs began to stroke along the major muscle groups, coaxing them to relax, little by little. Tony lost track of time as Gibbs did his best to turn him into a boneless puddle.
At last, Gibbs made him turn over and drink a glass of water. 'Don't want you getting dehydrated,' he said, holding the glass until he was certain Tony had a firm grip on it. 'How do you feel?'
'Mmm, good,' Tony said with a goofy smile. 'You can do that more often.'
Gibbs laughed. 'Whenever you need it, Tony. Ready for more?'
Tony waggled his eyebrows and gave a comical leer. 'Hell, yes!' He looked down at where his cock lay, half-hard on his thigh. It twitched and Gibbs laughed.
'Okay.' He fished lube and a condom out of the drawer and placed them within reach on the bed, then took the empty glass and set it on the bedside table. Tony lay there, an expression of such love and trust on his face that Gibbs had to lean in and close his eyes, kiss Tony until the younger man was fully hard and moaning underneath him.
Drawing back, he opened the lube and squeezed a little onto his fingers. Tony watched, dark-eyed, as Gibbs reached between his legs found Tony's entrance. He circled it gently with one fingertip, then pushed against the muscle. Tony's breathing grew shallower and Gibbs rubbed a circle low on his belly to help him relax again as the fingertip breached the ring of muscle and slid inside.
'Open sesame,' Tony muttered and Gibbs let out a surprised bark of laughter. Tony grinned and the serious atmosphere dissipated. 'Going to get a move on?'
'Just enjoying the view,' Gibbs said, taking hold of Tony's cock as he pushed further inside. It was hotter than he'd expected, tight and so velvet-smooth, the close channel soft around his finger. Tony wriggled his hips and pushed up into Gibbs' fist.
'Please, Jethro,' he whined. 'Do something!'
'I don't want to hurt you,' Gibbs said, but he pulled his finger back and pushed in again, faster this time. 'Feel okay?'
'A little weird,' Tony confessed. 'But keep going.'
Instead, Gibbs pulled out altogether and spread more lube on his fingers. He pushed two against Tony's entrance, pausing as Tony tensed around them, taking deep breaths.
'Want to stop?' Gibbs asked.
'I won't break! Move, damn it!' Tony cursed. 'You waiting for a written invitation?'
Gibbs pushed again and Tony bore down. Gibbs' fingers slid inside Tony as the ring of muscle relaxed. He crooked them, feeling a fingertip brush over a bump. Tony cried out, his hips snapping up. His flagging erection shot back to full hardness.
'Fuck!' Tony gasped. 'Do that again.'
Gibbs obliged and Tony whined, writhing under him, clenching hard around his hand. Gibbs set up a rhythm, fucking Tony with his fingers, caught up in the feel of Tony surrounding his fingers, in the way Tony relaxed again and moved with him, hard and leaking and clearly loving it. The rich golden sunlight gleamed on tanned skin that covered a lean, muscled physique. He looked wanton, debauched, and it suited him. Unable to hold back any longer, Gibbs leaned forward and kissed him, matching the rhythm of his fingers with the tongue he thrust into Tony's mouth.
Tony tugged at Gibbs' ear, making him break off. 'Fuck me, Jethro. Come on,' he moaned breathlessly.
Gibbs pulled his fingers free, wiping them on the towel. He grabbed the condom and tore the packet open, quickly rolling the latex down his shaft. He slicked more lube over it, then took hold of his shaft, positioning the head at Tony's entrance.
'I heard it's easier if we do this with you on your front,' he rasped.
Tony shook his head. 'I want to see you. I need it, I need to kiss you.'
Gibbs nodded and pushed in, startled all over again by the heat surrounding him. Even through the thin barrier, he could feel how Tony's channel gripped him, tighter than anything he'd felt before. He had to stop, take a couple of deep breaths that matched Tony's as he fought to not come there and then. But soon, too soon, Tony was moving under him, urging him on.
'Move, please, God, just do it!' Tony panted. 'Please!'
Gibbs rolled his hips, pushing in all the way, feeling Tony relax around him, squirming at the unexpected fullness. 'Okay?' Gibbs asked one last time.
'Fuck, yes!' Tony grinned up at him, sweat beading on his forehead. 'You feel amazing, so good.'
Gibbs bent his head and kissed the younger man as he pulled back and began to thrust. Tony wrapped one leg around Gibbs' waist, lifted the other until Gibbs slid an arm behind his knee, holding him in place. Open, helpless, Tony arched underneath the older man, panting as Gibbs fucked him harder, faster, until Gibbs hit that spot again and Tony let out a hoarse yell and came. As Tony rippled around him, Gibbs thrust as deep as he could go and, with a shout of his own, he pulsed into the condom.
Panting, Gibbs released Tony's leg and rested, trembling, on his elbows. Sweat dripped from his nose onto Tony's cheek and the younger man made a face.
'You made me get a shower because...?' he asked with a shaky chuckle.
Gibbs huffed a laugh, then groaned as his cock twitched inside his lover. 'Seemed like a good idea at the time,' he said, then proceeded to kiss Tony until at last he had to stop in order to pull out. As Gibbs took hold of the condom and withdrew carefully, Tony winced.
'You okay?' Gibbs asked, wrapping the condom in a tissue and tossing it into the wastebin.
'Never better,' Tony said. 'C'mere.' He held his arms out, but Gibbs shook his head.
'Give me a minute.' On shaky legs, Gibbs made his way to the bathroom where he wet a washcloth and wiped himself down, then rinsed it and took it through to do the same for Tony. When they were both clean, he made Tony move so that he could get rid of the towels, then he lay down beside his lover and pulled the comforter over them.
Tony wriggled until he lay half over Gibbs, a leg flung over the older man's and an arm across his chest. His other shoulder was tucked under Gibbs' arm, his head pillowed on the ex-marine's shoulder.
'You done making me your teddy bear?' Gibbs asked, amused.
'Mm, yeah. You know no one would ever believe me if I told them?' Tony said sleepily.
'What, that I'm your teddy bear?' Gibbs raised an eyebrow but couldn't quite summon his usual glare.
'That you hold me like you're never letting go,' Tony murmured, his eyes sliding shut.
Gibbs kissed his forehead. 'That's because I'm not,' he said softly. 'Never letting you go now I've got you.'
'Mmm.' Tony snuffled, going limp as he fell asleep.
For a while, Gibbs lay there, enjoying the warm weight of his lover draped across him, then he hugged Tony carefully, thanking whatever higher powers were out there that this remarkable, incredible man had been bound to him forever. Right on the edge of sleep, Gibbs thought that he might not have got what he wanted, but thanks to a quirk of biology, he'd been given all that he'd ever need.