The pizza warmed his hand even as tendrils of scent tantalized his nose. Snugging his coat tight, Tony trotted down the sidewalk, swooping the pizza protectively as he dodged the occasional pedestrian. After getting out of work late, he had run down to his favorite pizzeria a few blocks over. It was a perfect day to pick it up himself rather than opt for delivery, with the crisp Fall air overlaid by a slightly balmy breeze. By the time he returned to his apartment, Gibbs should have let himself in and begun packing up the last few remaining things they needed to move to Gibbs' house by the first of the month.

Tony grinned in anticipation. He had essentially moved in months before but his apartment had always been there as a safety net as well as an unspoken symbol of the ambiguity of their relationship. Now, with only his bed and a few essential sundries left there, they were making a major step personally along with a bold statement to the rest of the world. Even after a long day chasing down leads, Tony felt energized. His long, athletic strides ate up the cobblestones while he enjoyed the full moon and festive air of a holiday he typically detested.

A small group of teenagers in costume, bumping and needling each other on the narrow sidewalk as they compared pillowcases filled with spoils of a long night of trick-or-treating, crowded to one side to allow him to pass. Striding by, Tony watched over his shoulder as his mind wandered to Halloweens past and the innocence of youth. It was too late for the little hobgoblins to be out but parties could be heard from a few nearby restaurants and he could see the occasional person out and about enjoying the evening in this neighborhood of tidy townhouses and brownstones.

Rounding the corner, his skin started to tingle. His senses snapped to full alert. As the hair on the back of his neck rose, Tony slowed his steps. He cocked his head uncertainly and surreptitiously surveyed the area while his free hand drifted to ghost over his holster. The sparest sound drew his attention to a nearby alley. He was not sure what it was.

A mere whisper.

A siren's song.

Carefully depositing the pizza box atop a nearby trash can, Tony crept down the deserted alley. As he neared the corner of the building, he flattened himself against it, rested one hand solidly on his Sig, and leaned forward to sneak a quick peek.

Before he could react, a hand snatched out and grabbed him by the back of the neck, dragging him around the brick corner of the building and into the shadows. Tony barely registered who or what his attacker was before he was lifted off his feet and slammed into the brick face with a grunt of protest. His futile attempts to strike back only served to excite the man, who became more frenzied with each passing moment, seemingly feeding off Tony's panic. Tony turned his face away in disgust as the fetid gusts of breath washed over him at a nearly hysterical pace.

When he turned his head to butt the man, Tony found himself caught fast in the man's glowing red eyes.

He could not turn away.

Could not move.

All sense of self-preservation left him. Fight or flight gave over to mindless submission.

Tony fell into the enchantment.

With a smile which displayed every single elongated tooth, the creature bent to feed.

Tony was abruptly wrenched into the air as the creature spun with a screech. Let loose from the creature's grip, he flew lifelessly across the alley, landing in a heap within a boarded up alcove. With the spell broken, he shakily crawled to his hands and knees and, supporting himself by the wall, peered around the corner and into the darkness.

Far into the shadows in the eerily still night air, two silhouettes were embroiled in a nearly silent fight, locked in battle. From his vantage point, Tony was enthralled by the pure power they exuded. While all of his cop's instincts told him to jump into the fray to break it up, something far more visceral held him tightly rooted to the spot yet unable to look away from the master class in hand to hand combat all performed with deadly precision and understated intensity. Captivated, Tony watched the deadly dance with a mixture of awe and dread.

One of the men slipped on a cobblestone with a breathy oath, his leg twisting awkwardly. Seizing upon his opponent's misstep, the taller shadow slipped around behind to catch the other in a brutal headlock. Tony held his breath as the slighter man struggled mightily against the bulky arm wrapped around his throat. Suddenly, with an unnatural twist of his body, the man freed himself with a blow which had the other howling into the night sky.

Tony's skin crawled at the inhuman sound. Gripping the bricks tightly, he could feel the sharp edges digging painfully into his fingers but paid it no mind, he was so mesmerized by the ruthless battle before him. The two men continued to parry blows until the slighter shadow slammed the other into a wall with his hands on his throat. Tony's body grew taut with anticipation. With the weakening motions of the trapped man, he could sense the battle's end approaching. Could taste the tantalizing scent of victory. The men grappled until, with a soundless puff, the figure against the wall disappeared into a burst of ash, leaving the air hanging with the scent of sweat, pheromones, and death.

His eyes wide with astonishment, Tony gasped in surprise. The sound echoed down the long back alley, reverberating over the city's muted din.

His head snapping up, the victor whirled towards the noise, his brilliant blue eyes glowing in the darkened alleyway. Searching. A shaft of light from a passing car far in the distance cast a soft glint off the exposed fangs. The smell of brimstone tantalized Tony's nostrils as a primal urge to run overtook him. The shadow stalked towards Tony, his movements sinuous and powerful despite the ever so slight limp.

The figure which coalesced in front of him from out of the shadows took on a familiar form. The lean, classic lines, the athletic bounce, the silver hair and the mesmerizing blue eyes. At the sight of the twin fangs, Tony's heart raced. Almost as if in a dream, Tony stepped away from the wall to stand, enthralled, before him. Gibbs' eyes flared as he licked his lips seductively. He sized up his second as if looking at him for the first time. Predator and prey.

Tony swallowed convulsively. "Gibbs?"

"You shouldn't know about this," he observed huskily.

"What are you? Who was that?"

"It doesn't matter who that was," Gibbs answered dismissively. "It'll never harm anyone else. You okay, DiNozzo?"

"Well, yeah, I'm just peachy, Boss. I just saw my partner turn somebody into… What the Hell was that?" Tony flailed his arms wide in exasperation. "What the fuck, Gibbs?!"

"Tony…" Gibbs stepped closer only for Tony to match him, stride for stride, away.

Shaking his head, Tony edged towards the alley leading towards the street. Childhood nightmares reared in his mind's eye. Vampires teasing from just outside his vision. Darting close and then racing away. Peeking around the drapes of the ornate canopy bed. Taunting him by the candlelight his mother so adored for its period ambiance.

After a moment's hesitation, with a regretful glance, Tony ran.

Tony awoke with a gasp, fighting his way out of Gibbs' embrace to scoot free, his feet scrambling for purchase as he pushed off the bed. A hand flashed out to capture a wrist, halting his flight and leaving him perched on the edge of the bed.

Gibbs' tousled head rose from the pillow to eye him blearily. "Wha's amatter?" he slurred sleepily

"What..? How'd you get here?" Tony gathered blankets around himself with his free hand.

His brow furrowed, Gibbs leaned up onto one elbow. He started to answer, rethought, started again and then checked himself. Cocking his head to one side with a crook of a smile, he shrugged. "What the Hell are you talking about?"

Feeling a bit foolish, Tony crept closer. He scratched the back of his neck, kneading at the odd soreness there as he surveyed his rumpled lover. "I could swear," he muttered to himself. Meeting Gibbs' eyes he admitted, "Musta been a nightmare. It was weird."

Pulling him down to rejoin him, Gibbs chuckled, "Yeah? What about?"

Quelling the disquiet which seemed reluctant to release him, Tony allowed himself to be drawn back under the covers. Gibbs' hands slowly travelled his body in reassuring circles.

"Well, for starters, you were some kinda badass vampire or, I dunno, something."

Gibbs cocked an eyebrow at him. Dropping a kiss to one eyelid, he rolled around the thought, "A badass vampire. I could live with that."

Tony shivered, only for Gibbs to pull him into a protective hug.

"I guess it could be kinda hot if it were your thing," Tony admitted into his lover's shoulder.

"Vampires not your thing?"

Pressing a hand flat on Gibbs' chest, he reared back to look him in the eyes. "Come on, Gibbs! You know how I feel about them. That might be one of Abby's kinks, not mine. I gotta admit," he leered at the older man, "you were sex on a stick the way you kicked that monster's ass and then..."

At his hesitation, Gibbs tweaked a rounded buttcheek with a grin and then pulled the younger man down on top of himself. They shifted around before settling comfortably.

"I'm not usually sex on a stick?" he teased.

"I dunno. I mean, yeah, usually you've got that whole commanding presence thing going on. Makes me want to drop to my knees every time you do it. You know what I'm talking about. This was unreal! Your eyes were glowing and it was just…" He deflated. "I can't explain it. Talking about it makes it sound stupid."

"Hey. Hey! It was just a nightmare. What did I tell you about pepperoni before bedtime?"

Smiling shyly, Tony slipped a hand between them to guide Gibbs' hand to his awakening cock. "You prefer Italian sausage, Boss?" Trying to dispel the awkward situation, he waggled his eyebrows suggestively.

A gentle stroke to the back of the head followed by a squeeze with the other hand silenced him. "What did I tell you about calling me Boss in bed, DiNozzo?"

"I think you like it. You know you love bossing me around, Gibbs."

"Well, how about you go back to sleep then?" Gibbs suggested decisively as he snuggled even further under the covers, snaking his arm around to pull Tony along with him.

With a jaw-cracking yawn, Tony readily obeyed. Lying back, he stared up at the ceiling. "It just seemed so real. Ya know?"

"Mm-hunh," Gibbs agreed from deep within their nest.

With a dissatisfied frown, Tony closed his eyes and soon was fast asleep.

Feeling the breaths in the precious body next to him even out with a soft rumble, Gibbs opened his eyes. Leaning up onto his elbow, ever so delicately, Gibbs' tongue snaked out to seal the twin punctures on Tony's neck. His lover whimpered softly at the gentle rasp before burrowing his head into the crook of Gibbs' neck.

He had made him forget and that was the extent of the mind powers he would ever use on his lover. Gibbs had yearned for a bond such as this for far too long to corrupt that dream. The bloodgift would mark and protect his partner, now that he had the scent of his kind upon him. Perhaps one day he would explain it to Tony. Not today, however, when the veil between both worlds became thin and shades passed freely. Not today.