Hello all! So, here I am, posting my last NCIS story. Sorry for the delay, but I've been on a very slow dial-up connection for the past 2 months and half, which made uploading files a very slow task. Now I've again a fast connection, so here I am.
A/N: Star Trek and Star Wars have played a big role in my "career" as fan fiction writer. Even now that I no longer write in those fandoms, I kept getting ideas that are a bit (or a lot) sci-fi like.
This story features one of these ideas…and a very challenging one too, I think. But I like challenging myself, and I had a lot of fun writing this. The plot and first draft were written in just one day, a sure sign my crazy muse was having a ball at it. I hope you too will have fun reading it.
I chose to title it after a famous Phil Collins' song because the lines below perfectly suit the theme of this tale:
And I'll see your true colors
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow
A big, huge Thank You to my terrific betareader Finlaure!
The Civil War age cemetery was silent and deserted as Leroy Jethro Gibbs walked along the neglected gravel-covered paths and the crumbling headstones, the darkness of the moonless night broken only by the light he was shedding.
He loved that place. Loved the silence, the peace and the freedom that isolated area allowed him. He could switch forms there; sure no one would see him. He could really be himself there, and, no matter how gloomy his mood was when he arrived there, it usually improved after he was able to spend some time without the constrains of his human shape.
However, this time, the change made him feel only partially better. And how could it be any different when the most important person in his life, the person he had loved for so many years, the person that had made him sparkle again after the dark years following Shannon and Kelly's deaths was leaving him? Was distancing himself from him, not just physically but emotionally too?
In truth, Gibbs mused as he sat down on the grass with his back resting against a tree trunk, he had always known something like this could happen. Maybe he had even known it would happen sooner or later and this was why, instead of being red with fury or orange with jealousy, he was dull grey with hurt, sadness…and resignation.
Maybe he had always known it wouldn't last, as it had never lasted all the other times he had been involved with humans. What he needed and wanted was different from what they needed and wanted, and sooner or later they all left him, looking for someone who could make them really happy.
But even knowing this, even knowing what had happened time and again in the past, hadn't been enough to prepare Gibbs for the day he would have lost Tony, and now the pain was crushing him—although no one but another member of his kin would ever know it.
Gibbs sighed, as he remembered his first meeting with Tony. It is seemed almost impossible it had been ten years ago… He had been working undercover in a degraded area of Baltimore, after getting a tip about someone using a Navy payroll office to laundry dirty money. He had discovered the guy acting as a courier and his plan called for him to give some signed money to bring to his boss, and then to follow the trail left by the cash, hoping it would lead him to his man.
However his plan had changed when, as he was about to pass the money to the courier, two Baltimore cops had shouted at him to freeze. Thinking quickly, Gibbs had decided getting arrested would do well for his cover just in case he would have needed to stay under for longer than predicted. So he had grabbed his suitcase and ran away, with a BPD officer on his trail. Once they ran away from the main street, he had slowed down and allowed the other man to catch up with him and slam him down to the ground.
The moment he had found himself on his back with that young man straddling him, all his instinctive urge to fight back had ceased, and not because of the gun pointed at him. The guy's living energy and his emotions had washed him like the tide of a flood: strong, powerful, clear…innocent, despite the man's anger at Gibbs' punch to his face…despite the brutality he had to witness doing his job.
Gibbs had all but gasped aloud at the beauty of it. He had let himself be cuffed and followed docile as the officer pulled him toward a car, all the while restraining himself from pressing too close to the younger man.
He had known very well that most humans didn't approve what they called "same-sex" relationships, and since Gibbs' human shape was male, just like the young officer, he had had to be careful not to make a move that could be considered offensive. He hadn't wanted to make the young man angry. While it was true he liked strong human emotions, whatever their nature, he much more preferred them to be positive, as he carried enough darkness of his own.
At the Baltimore PD precinct, after his position had been cleared and he had stopped being a dirtbag in Detective Anthony DiNozzo's eyes, Gibbs had discovered his affinity with the young human went both ways. They were highly compatible, emotionally, personally and professionally. That was why, after the case had ended with a Navy lieutenant's arrest for money laundering and the discovery that DiNozzo's partner was a dirty cop, Gibbs had been very quick to offer a job to the beaten down, betrayed young man.
From that moment on Tony and him had been partners on the job and, at least as far as Gibbs was concerned, in life too. Oh, Gibbs had kept on dating the occasional human female because it was what a human male of his age was supposed to do, and because of a bit of sexual gratification. But none of them had been able to make him feel a hint of the joy Tony stirred in him during their work days.
The young human was a bubble of barely contained energy. He talked a lot, pulled pranks, teased Gibbs, quoted movies, tried to dig into his boss and coworkers' personal lives, told jokes…all things Gibbs loved, even when he had to head-slap Tony to make him shut up and do his work. He loved how spontaneous and contagious Tony's emotions were, and appreciated, more than he could ever say, how brilliant the young man was on the job. Tony was a keen investigator with quick instincts and quick reflexes. A trusted partner to cover his six. A bright mind he could bounce off ideas with. An entertaining companion during long stakeouts, who wasn't put off by Gibbs' grunts or lack of response, but who was also able to turn deadly serious when play time was over.
His will to live was contagious and in his company Gibbs had again found the light he had been missing since Shannon and Kelly's death. He had returned to life and to love again—even if he had never told Tony what he really meant to him. He had been sure his womanizer of senior agent would not appreciate to know his male boss was in love with him. Gibbs had never resented human sexuality and mating behavior's rules as much as he had in the years he had known Tony. He thought his people's nature was simpler, less complicated, but unfortunately, no matter the number of times he had wished Tony was like him, the harsh reality was they belonged to different species, with different rules, and nothing could change it.
And then one evening everything had changed and his world, his certainties had been shaken to the core, although in a positive, wonderful way.
He smiled, as he recalled one of his favorite memories ever…
Gibbs put a big, thick steak on the grill over his fireplace. He seldom cooked on a real fire, but he knew Tony liked 'cowboy style meat', and even if he wasn't a believer of comfort food, he thought the younger man could use some of it for dinner.
As he watched the meat cook, Gibbs thought back to the conversation Tony and he had in MTAC a few hours before.
"Have to break one of your rules, Boss. Number six: 'Never say you're sorry'. I let things get out of control in the hotel room," Tony had begun, as they waited to brief the State Department about the case.
"Yeah. It's covered. Rule Eighteen."
"Oh, yeah: 'It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission'. Am I forgiven?" Tony had asked, turning his hopeful eyes toward him.
"No." At least, not yet. But he would be soon. Gibbs could never stay angry for long with Tony. He liked it too much when the younger human was bubbling with joy and happiness and he didn't like to dampen it. However, what Tony had done that morning could have caused a lot of trouble to NCIS in general and to DiNozzo in particular if Prince Sayif's father, Prince Omar, had arrived only ten minutes earlier. "You've been distracted by your father," he had added after a brief pause.
"It's that obvious?" Tony had joked, but Gibbs had sensed no mirth in him. "He's not the man I thought he was."
"I don't know my father," the older man had offered. That was an understatement. Jackson Gibbs, as he called himself in this current phase of his existence, had been born in 70 AD, under Emperor Vespasian's reign, and there were thousands of things his youngest child didn't know about him.
"No, Boss, my father's always been a mystery to me. Just a wealthy one. It turns out he's broke. He has been for years. His bank accounts are overdrawn, credit cards are frozen, and his property's are foreclosed. The guy's tapped out."
Gibbs had been surprised to hear that, even if he had sensed DiNozzo Sr. had been hiding something, "How'd you find that out?"
"McGee got me into his records. It turns out Senior's been living high on the low for quite some time. I wonder if he was ever as rich as he appeared." Tony had commented and Gibbs had felt his uncertainty. It had been really tough for Tony to realize the father he had put on a pedestal as a child, the man he had always admired for his financial ability, was nothing more than a con man.
Gibbs hadn't commented, so Tony had gone on. "I think the reason he came to town to see me was to confess the charade. But when he figured out that Prince Omar was coming to town, I think he, uh...he saw the chance for one last score. His whole life's one big con."
"What are you going to do about it?" Gibbs had asked, curious.
"End the game."
"Time to do it's when he checks out of the hotel. He's staying in a $1,000-a-night suite. He can't afford it. He's running up a huge tab. I'll get him when he tries to pay the bill."
Their conversation had then ended because the State Department had contacted them to start the debriefing, and even if the topic had not been touched again, Gibbs had kept a close eye on Tony.
The truth about Anthony DiNozzo Sr.'s dealings had shattered one of the few certainties Tony had about his old man, for it basically meant he had been lied to by his Dad since he was a child. That was something no man deserved to discover, and especially not a man like Tony, who had worshipped his father and always tried to make him proud.
Gibbs wanted nothing more than take the pain away, but he unfortunately he couldn't. He could just be there; ready to support Tony, and make him understand Gibbs would always be there for him. That he was a certainty Tony could count on.
The front door opened and closed just as Gibbs took the meat off the grill and put it on a plate.
"Hey. Steak, cowboy-style," Tony greeted him, as he entered in the living room carrying a six-pack of beer. "I love it." He put the beer on the coffee table Gibbs had arranged for their dinner and sat down on the couch.
"Your father leave?"
"Yeah. Should be in New York by now."
They took out their knives at the same time, divvied the meat in two plates and started eating, washing it down with the beer.
"So, how'd it go?" Gibbs asked after a couple of minutes...
"He skated again. Guy's amazing," Tony said, with a too bright smile that didn't reach his eyes.
"So, what happened?"
"Ah, his buddy Omar picked up the tab. Bought him an airline ticket to Monte Carlo."
Gibbs didn't believe to it for a moment. "Where'd you get the money, Tony?" he asked with a knowing look.
Tony was clearly taken aback and let out a nervous laugh as he tried his best 'I don't know what you mean' expression. "What?"
Of course it didn't work with Gibbs, and so with a resigned chuckle and an admiring look Tony capitulated. "How do you do it?"
Because I can feel your emotions, Gibbs thought but couldn't say. So he just stared at his companion with a look that said, 'Do I really need to spell it out?'
"Well," Tony answered after a while, "I didn't really need to go on a cruise with my fraternity brothers, did I? Getting a little old for that stuff…."
"Eh, you conned the con man," Gibbs commented, trying to cheer him up a bit. "Runs in the family." A pause as he chewed, then he turned to look squarely at Tony and asked, "Why'd you do it?"
"He's my father," Tony answered simply, as it explained everything—- and in a way it did. In the same way Prince Omar had answered to Gibbs' question about letting Prince Abdalla get away with his crimes with a pained but firm, "He still is my son, Agent Gibbs."
"He is who he is," Tony continued slowly. "I couldn't bust him. Sometimes it's better to keep what you know to yourself."
Gibbs couldn't but agree with that. So he clinked his bottle of beer with Tony's and murmured just, "Amen," giving Tony the approval he knew the younger man had been looking for.
They finished eating in silence, and when the plates were clean, they leant back against the couch, and stared at the dying flames in the fireplace for a while. Tony's mood was subdued, his energy muted. Had he been like Gibbs, his color now would be probably a dull grey, instead of the normal bright golden he always associated with the human's lively personality.
Then suddenly something changed in Tony. Energy zapped along him, as if he had just made up his mind about something, and he turned on the couch to face Gibbs, his emotions now a complete turmoil. Gibbs sensed nervousness, fear, excitement and hope all wrapped together and he wondered, curious, what it was all about.
"Boss?" Tony said.
"Yeah?" he answered, turning to face him.
"Before my Dad left for the airport, he asked me to salute you in his behalf and then he asked me if I saw you as a surrogate father."
Gibbs' eyebrow arched in surprise. He didn't say anything for a few instants, as he wondered what kind of answer he would prefer Tony had given his father. A 'yes' would mean that he had an important role in Tony's life and affections, but would also press home, once for all, that there were no chances for him to ever had a romantic relationship with the human. A 'no', instead, would leave Gibbs with his hopes and dreams…
"What was your answer?" he finally managed to ask.
Tony didn't reply. At least not with words. Instead he bent his head forward, and before Gibbs could understand what was going on, he planted a kiss on his lips. A chaste kiss, but with enough pressure behind it to make absolutely clear what Tony had meant with it.
Then the human had pulled back and looked at Gibbs with wild eyes. The older man had felt the energy coiling in his guest's body, as if Tony was getting ready to bolt.
So Gibbs didn't move and just smiled. Stunned. And happy. But mostly stunned. He had known Tony cared for him, but never, ever, had sensed a hint of arousal or lust directed to him!
"That your answer?" he asked, his voice low and rough.
"Yes. I most certainly don't see you as a surrogate father, Gibbs."
"What you see me as?" Gibbs pressed, as he moved closer.
"I see you as many things. Boss, mentor, friend…and a very hot guy…A man I've wanted for a long time…" Tony replied in a whisper, his eyes never leaving Gibbs'.
"You never made a move…or gave me a hint…" Gibbs asked, truly surprised. How had been Tony able to hide his emotions? Was his clown-frat-boy mask that good?
Tony laughed, nervously. "Self-preservation, Boss. Didn't want you to break my legs."
"Yet you acted now…"
Tony licked his lip, and Gibbs' eyes briefly dropped to observe the movement, before he raised them again.
"I…thought it was a good moment to try… I thought that if you weren't interested, I could chalk all of it to the turmoil my father caused to me in these few days, and we could have forgotten it…"
"But I am interested, Tony…very much so…" Gibbs murmured, as he leant forward, his lips now only a couple of inches away from the human's. When Tony's tongue appeared again, Gibbs couldn't resist a second more, and closed the distance separating them, capturing the human's lips with his own as he had dreamt of doing so many times.
Kisses and caresses were sexual actions his people found as pleasurable as the humans, perhaps even more so, and Gibbs loved to kiss and be kissed. He liked to explore his lovers' mouths, discover their tastes and textures, as his whole being basked in the pleasure the action stirred both in himself and his partner.
He kissed Tony with all the pent-up passion he had accumulated in almost ten years, and the younger man responded with the same ardor, making Gibbs wonder for how long, exactly, Tony had wanted him.
When they finally separated to breath, they found themselves half-sitting, half-reclining on the couch, with Gibbs atop of Tony. They smiled dazedly at each other, as they studied the other's swollen lips and dilated pupils.
"Let's go upstairs," Gibbs murmured. "We'll be more comfortable in bed." He moved to pull back and stand up, but Tony stopped him.
"Wait, Boss. There is something I need to tell you."
Gibbs just nodded, surprised by his companion's sudden tension.
"Uh, I know you're a take charge kinda of guy, but…I don't like backdoor sex," Tony said after a moment of hesitation. "I don't pinch and I don't catch—and it won't change. I'm sorry if it's a problem for you, but-"
"It's not a problem at all," Gibbs interrupted him, as a wave of relief washed over him. He had never liked penetration; to him it was just a cruel mockery of the joining he really wanted to have with his sexual partners. He wanted that complete merging he had only with Shannon, and that, unfortunately, he would never know again until he found another lover among his people.
"Really?" Tony pressed, looking straight into his eyes.
"Really," he confirmed with a smile.
"Then what are we still doing here? Let's go upstairs and make good use of your bed!"
Together, they rose from the couch and climbed the stairs to Gibbs' bedroom. Once there, they kissed again, as their hands started to explore, brushing against clothed muscles and then slipping under the fabric to reach bare skin.
Tony was warm and smelled so good, inviting more touch, and more exploration. Gibbs growled against his lover's lips as clothes came in the way, and Tony seemed to agree with him, because he took a step back and began to disrobe. Gibbs did the same, shedding his clothes in record time, and soon they were again in each other's arms, moaning at the delicious feeling of naked skin brushing against naked skin.
They moved to the bed, where they continued to kiss, and caress and explore. Gibbs enjoyed himself immeasurably. He had dreamed of a moment like this for so many years, and now that it was reality, he wanted to savor it.
Tony's skin was soft, marred by only a few scars, and tanned. He really was as golden as Gibbs thought of him. Golden and dark, where his body hair was thicker, as on his chest and groin.
"Do you plan to just stare, Boss, or do you want to do something?" Tony asked arching his hips and pushing erection against Gibbs' belly.
Gibbs smirked, and bent forward to capture one Tony's nipples with his lips. As he did so, he concentrated on his own body for a moment; until he was sure he too sported an erection, as hard and thick as his lover's. Then he completely focused on Tony's body, intent on discovering all the spots that make the human gasp and his passion mount. He was lucky: his lover seemed to have plenty of hot spots, and Gibbs used his lips, teeth and tongue on every one of them, enjoying the reaction it caused in his partner.
Suddenly, Tony surged up, wrapped his arms around Gibbs, and inverted their positions.
"I wanna play too, Boss," the human murmured with a grin and Gibbs nodded eagerly.
Strong hands with nimble fingers slid down his chest, teasing his nipples and raking the hair there. A wet, skilled mouth nibbled at his neck and collar bone, biting down with just the right amount of pressure, before a hot tongue soothed the slight pain.
"You are gorgeous, Boss…" Tony whispered moving down Gibbs' body, his hands leaving no inch of skin untouched.
"So are you," he replied, his excitement steadily rising as his lover first licked, then puffed air over his chest, making the skin super sensitive. Tony repeated the cycle over and over, lingering in spots that made Gibbs moan and groan with pleasure.
The hand wrapping around his erection snapped Gibbs' out of his dazed, complacent state, and he reacted to it by grabbing Tony's shoulders and rolling him on the side, until the human was lying under him.
Tony chuckled at the fast move and said, "You do really like to be in charge, uh, Boss? Well, no wonder there. I'm surprised you let me have my way with you for so long..."
Gibbs just grinned and captured his lover's mouth in a kiss, as his right hand slipped between their bodies to wrap around Tony's cock.
He began to stroke the throbbing, hot flesh slowly, as Tony arched up, and dug his fingers in his shoulders, hard enough to leave bruises.
As Tony's pre-come made the stroking easier, Gibbs sped up his movements over his lover's cock. He used his other hand to gently pull at Tony's balls, in a way he knew human males found very pleasurable.
For his entire life Gibbs had been praised by his human partners, especially by the women, because he liked foreplay and always took care his bed mates came before chasing for his own pleasure. But while it was true it was in his nature to be a generous lover, it was also true he had very strong personal reasons to make sure his partners were well satisfied...
Gibbs wanted Tony to come as hard as possible because it was the only way he had to achieve a climax without a merging with his lover.
The stimulation of his human form's genitals did nothing for him. His cock and balls were no different from other parts of his body. But the energy humans generated when their bodies contracted and then released during their orgasm was so powerful that, if Gibbs was in close contact with them when they came, it was able to trigger his own climax. And so he pressed close to Tony, using all the knowledge he had gained in many years to stroke him to orgasm. When his lover finally came with a shout, Gibbs closed his eyes and eagerly waited for the avalanche that would overwhelm him in within a few seconds.
A strong, tingling sensation ran along his limbs, making him tremble, as pure, passionate living energy travelled along his nerves, flooding his body in crackling waves until they reached his core. Gibbs stiffened and cried out in pleasure as he enjoyed the most blissful handful of seconds he had in a very long time…
Gibbs returned to present, the echo of the emotions he had felt that night slowly fading away. It had happened fourteen months before, and the time elapsed since then had been the best of his life since the loss of his mate and youngling.
He had been happy - at least as much as he could be happy without being able to fully get what he wanted or give all of himself to his lover- and he had treasured every single minute he had had Tony's whole energy and emotions focused on him.
Tony had never said "I love you"—not that Gibbs had done it either, although he thought it all the time. They had never said they were together nor had some kind of relationship. Gibbs was sure Tony thought they were just 'friends with benefits', two men helping each other to keep the loneliness at bay and having a good time together until they found a woman to love and build a life with.
And just as Tony thought would happen, and Gibbs had known would happen—and here his musings made a complete circle and returned to the starting point— a woman had arrived to ruin everything.
Special Agent EJ Barrett.
Blond, petite, blue-eyed, feisty, smart, attractive…human.
She was the whole package…and Tony had been attracted to her as moth to a flame from the moment he had first laid his eyes on her five days before.
Gibbs had known, of course. Tony's emotions for Barrett had been strong and clear, his fascination for her so palpable everyone in the squad room, except perhaps McGee, had seen and felt it.
But not even knowing what a powerful pull she had over his lover had prepared Gibbs for the pain he felt that very morning, when he had walked toward his desk and Tony, for the first time in the many years they had known each other, had avoided looking at him in the eye as he passed by.
Gibbs' mental barriers had been invested by a barrage of mixed emotions coming from the other man: worry, guilt, nervousness, lust, attraction, contentment, fascination. The first three directed to him, the others to Agent Barrett, who smiled at Tony every time she could.
He had known right then the two humans had slept together—and had felt devastated. He had said nothing at all, just looked at Tony when the man had finally found the courage to raise his eyes and nodded with his head, making his agent realize he knew and understood.
And now, a little more than fifteen hours later, Gibbs was here, in this secluded cemetery, sitting against a tree in his true form. The deeper, more intimate contact with the nature surrounding him made it easier to release his emotions, allowing him to regain some of his balance.
His team, the humans that worked with him and he was proud to call friends expected a certain behavior by the human male they knew as Leroy Jethro Gibbs, and he would take all the necessary steps to be what they wanted and needed him to be…What he had always been, an abrasive, sarcastic, no-nonsense former Marine. None of them would ever know that beneath his 'second B for bastard attitude' was an Energoid who was mourning the loss of his mate.
A/N: "Energoid" has the same "g" of "goat". So it is Ener-go-id, not Ener-gio-id. As for what an Energoid is…well, you'll need to read the rest of the story.
Let me know what you think!