Hello there! I don't know if you are as anxious as me about NCIS season finale, but the hiatus before "Baltimore" is very hard to bear. So, I've decided to distract myself by posting this story, which has been sitting on my hard drive for a long while. I know you were probably expecting me to post the sequel to "The Perfect Match" first, but this is longer, more suitable for the long hiatus. I hope you will like this new AU!
The Truth Behind The Mask
By Gunnery Sergeant
A/N: This is an AU where Anthony DiNozzo Sr. is a legitimate businessman and where Tony followed his father's footsteps, thus never becoming a NCIS agent. His personality is slightly different too, mostly due to the strong influence his father has over his life.
Thank you so much to Finlaure, my terrific beta reader.
Tony looked at the pile of boxes stacked against the wall and shook his head. They had stayed there, unopened, since he had moved into the house four years before, but now he needed more room for his creations, so it was time to see what there was in them and decide what to keep and what to thrown away.
He opened the first box on top and found himself staring at an object he had forgotten having even packed. Yet, it was an object that had played a huge role in Tony's life, because it had been in wearing it that he had found the courage to finally be what he was.
Gently, carefully, he took it out of the box to look at it, and he was invaded by the memories of a day of almost five years before, when he had first held it in his hands...
Anthony DiNozzo Jr., Tony just for a few selected friends, Vice President of DiNozzo Enterprises and CEO of the acquisition department, took a box out of his desk drawer, opened it, and stared at its contents, a frown on his handsome face.
The box had arrived after his membership to the Hidden Indiscretions had been approved. Tony had opened it, given a brief look to what there was inside and promptly locked it in his desk drawer.
But now, after ten days of self questioning, second guessing and doubts, he was ready to use it.
It was a mask, made of plastic and dark green silk. It covered nose, cheekbones and cheeks, but left the mouth free. Also, its fastenings were more complex than the masks he had occasionally wore at Halloween, probably to ensure it wouldn't be accidentally dislodged during...vigorous personal activities.
The Hidden Indiscretions was a very selective, private club in Georgetown, whose potential patrons were all vetted out to avoid possible troublemakers. The place had many rules regarding what was allowed or not, but the most important one was that anonymity wasn't an option, it was mandatory.
A patron needed to wear the mask in order to be admitted inside and it was never to be removed while in the club. A person caught trying to take off the mask of another patron would be banned at once, and the same would happen if someone was caught following another costumer outside.
Patrons were also forbidden to give their real name—pretty much granted, giving the use of the mask – and to reveal any detail of their personal life that could lead to them being recognized. That implied the use of non-distinctive clothes. Conversations were allowed, of course, as long as neither party tried to pry for too private details, and it was left to the patrons' decision when to call a halt.
All these rules had been illustrated to him when Tony had submitted his application and he had nodded at them, thinking the club was exactly what he needed. This was a place where no one would know who he was and where he would be able to explore a side of himself that, so far, had always stayed hidden.
Tony didn't know, exactly, when he had discovered he was interested in men. He remembered clearly the time when, watching an explicit sex scene in a movie, he had found himself more interested in ogling the guy's body than the girl's.
That, of course, hadn't meant he had acted on his new knowledge. He was Anthony DiNozzo Jr., the only heir to a multi-billion fortune. His father had expected him to marry and produce the next generation of little DiNozzo's.
There was no way Tony could have disobeyed that unspoken order, because for his entire life, he had done everything he could to make his father proud of him...to make his father love him.
He had studied economy and law even if sports, art and cinema had been his real passions, and graduated among the top five of his courses. He had worked hard in the family company and become the best acquisition manager DiNozzo Enterprises ever had. He had married the women his father had chosen for him, women selected for their connections, both in the financial and political world, and for their potential to produce the sought after heir.
Alas, three wives and three divorces later, that had yet to happen, and Tony was starting to think something was wrong with his little swimmers.
He had tried to breach the topic with his father, before Senior started looking for another wife for his son, but the older man had quickly cut him off.
"No DiNozzo has ever shot blanks, and you won't be the first, Junior. Those wives of yours weren't good enough, but you'll see, we'll find one right for you."
And so it had happened. Tony had gotten engaged Jeanne Benoit, a young doctor and the daughter of a rich French industrialist, and was scheduled to marry her the following summer, which left him eight precious months of freedom. Eight months during which he could try to discover if what he had been missing during his three previous marriages had just been love, which it could be rectified with Jeanne, who was far nicer than any of his ex-wives. Or if the problem was far more serious and connected to the stirring of his body every time he came in contact with a handsome man.
Naturally, being Anthony DiNozzo Jr., he couldn't just step into a gay bar and pick up someone. He was too well known, and he couldn't risk being recognized. There were far too many people ready to blackmail him for his indiscretions or to sell his pictures to the tabloids.
That's why Tony had become a member of Hidden Indiscretions and that was why, tonight, he would wear that mask for the first time and take a step into discovering who he really was and what he wanted.
The place was different from what he had expected—or perhaps not, because he had any idea of what he would find.
Tony had visited a couple of sex clubs during his college days, but the Hidden Indiscretions was nothing like them.
There were no multi-coloured lights, no smoke-filled air, and no people wearing skimpy, revealing clothes or leather harnesses.
Instead the place looked more like a very classy, refined piano-bar. There was a counter with high stools and several booths with tables and benches. Masked waiters served beverages and food, while soft, tasteful music played in the background. A series of doors opened on the far side wall, leading to small private bedrooms.
All in all, it was a nice, comfortable place and Tony relaxed, to the point he discarded his coat and hung it on a wall hanger, alongside many others.
He sat at the counter and ordered a beer, his voice sounding strange to his ears until he realized the mask muffled it.
When his drink arrived, Tony sipped it and looked around, studying the other patrons.
There were about fifteen people that evening, sitting at the tables or dancing on a small platform. There were both women and men and Tony let his eyes wander, watching if someone would catch his interest.
He paid little attention to the faces, since they were all covered by coloured masks, and concentrated on other details. The colour of the skin, the shape of their asses or breasts, their mouths, their hips, the way they moved or gestured with their hands.
His eyes scanned all the patrons, but kept on returning to a blue-masked, grey haired man who was dancing with a red haired woman.
He was tall and lean, and wore a dark grey button up shirt that that was open at the collar, showing an inviting patch of silvery hair on his chest. His black trousers, while not being tight or tailored at all, evidenced the shape of his buttocks and legs, and the slimness of his waist.
There was something very sensual, in the way he moved, especially because Tony was sure it wasn't done on purpose. That man was not trying to arouse anybody; he was just enjoying the beat of the music.
The music ended, and Tony's face fell when the red masked woman walked to the man and wrapped her arm around his waist. They talked for a while, heads bent together and soft laughs escaping their lips, and then they walked toward one of the rooms on the far side wall and disappeared inside.
There, so much for the evening, Tony thought bitterly. The only person sparking some interest in him was already taken. It didn't matter he might have never worked up the courage to ask for the blue-masked man; he simply would have enjoyed watching him dance more.
"Hello, are you looking for company?" A male voice murmured close to his ear. Tony whirled around and found a tall, lanky man with a white mask and dark hair looking down at him with a hopeful smile.
"No, thank you," Tony hurried to say as he shook his head, "I was leaving." And before the other man could add anything, he was down off the stool and out of the club.
So, what do you think? Please let me know, and remember reviews make me update faster!