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by: Xanthe (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 006 Word Count: 135758
Rating: ADULT
Warning(s): Disturbing Imagery or Content, Other (See Author's Note)
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, First Time, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Pairing(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo
Summary: When Gibbs investigates a minor robbery, he uncovers something much more sinister. The resulting investigation has unexpected and far-reaching consequences.

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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Damage - Part Five: Defences

Ziva glanced around for the hundredth time. It was a beautiful house, full of antique furniture, and the décor was sumptuous. She had never been in a house as exquisitely furnished.

"Quinn sure as hell likes beautiful things," Agent Marley muttered, as he opened up the 18th century Japanese lacquered cabinet in the lounge.

Ziva winced inwardly, not liking to think about whether a twelve year old Tony had once been one of those "beautiful things" Quinn liked so much.

"I do not care how beautiful they are," she snapped at the team of agents she had been assigned. "Go through everything again. Pull out every drawer and look behind and under every item of furniture."

She saw them exchange glances.

"We've been through everything twice now, Officer David," Marley said in a reasonable tone of voice.

"Then we will look again," she replied, her tone and look a fair match for Leroy Jethro Gibbs on a bad day. The agents scuttled to obey her.

She was proud to have been left in charge of this search but annoyed that so far it had proved fruitless. Surely a man such as Quinn, with his proclivities, must have something, somewhere, that showed him for who he was? In Ziva's experience most men kept pornography, but there was none in this house - of any variety.

Quinn was clearly a wealthy man, with a love of fine wines and fine dining judging from what she'd found. He had a closet full of expensively tailored clothes, and his entire house looked like something that might be photographed for one of those glossy lifestyle magazines. Yet there was nothing to show his dark side; no photographs, no magazines, no DVDs. There was nothing on his computer, which Agent Harris had been through three times already at her insistence. Agent Marley had been through the entire contents of the big mahogany desk in his study. He had checked out every single contact in the large, leather-bound, address book Quinn kept in his desk drawer and found no record of him even knowing Matthew Parrish, let alone meeting him for the purpose of sexually abusing children.

"It is just like Parrish's house," she sighed as she walked around the place.

She knew that Gibbs wouldn’t be pleased. There had to be something. She had been entrusted with this task, and she would not fail her partner. If Roy Quinn had anything illegal in his possession, then she *would* find it.

Tony left the hotel foyer with Gibbs walking silently beside him, and then he made a face as he saw McGee sitting on a bench outside, waiting for them.

"I…give us a couple of minutes, Boss," he said, heading for the bench.

McGee turned his head and saw him, and Tony winced as he saw the red marks on McGee's neck. Shit; he must have squeezed pretty hard back there. He sat down beside McGee - who was eyeing him cautiously.

"Tim…look man, I'm sorry about…" Tony gestured with his hand to McGee’s neck.

"Don't worry about it. It's just a bruise," McGee said, shaking his head. He gazed at Tony with big, anxious eyes, and Tony fought down a wave of irritation.

"You've gotta stop looking at me like that, Probie," he said, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees. "It's freaking me out."

"I'm sorry, Tony. I just don't know how to behave around you any more."

"Can't you be like you used to be?"

"I could…but you're not," McGee replied. "And also…I've looked at every single one of those photos, Tony. In detail. It's really hard for me not to remember them when I look at you. Then you do stuff like the way you just freaked out in that hotel room, and the way you were with Parrish in the interrogation room last week, and I don't even know who you are. I look in your eyes, and you're not even in there."

"I won't freak out again," Tony promised him. McGee raised a disbelieving eyebrow. "Well, I don't think I will," Tony grimaced, staring at his own hands. "I…what happened back there helped. I don't think it'll happen again."

"I wouldn't blame you if it did," McGee said quietly. "I can't understand what this must have been like for you, Tony. Uh…are you okay staying with Gibbs? Because if not, you can stay at my place if you'd prefer."

Tony turned to smile at him. "Thanks, Probie. I appreciate that. But I'm fine staying with Gibbs. In fact, I think it's the best place for me right now. He's able to handle all the shit I've been throwing around."

"I'm not sure he'd be my first choice of roomie in your circumstances," McGee said. Tony laughed.

"Oh, you'd be surprised, Tim. Actually, he's been fantastic. I'm not even sure I'd be functioning at this point if it wasn't for him."

"So he actually does have a human side?" McGee raised an eyebrow. Tony gave a soft little chuckle.

"Yeah, he really does - but don't tell anyone, Timmy – he'd hate it if it got out."

McGee grinned at him. They were silent for a few minutes. Tony watched as Gibbs finished stowing away their bags in the car and then pulled out his cell phone and began talking tersely into it.

"So, I've been seeing someone," McGee said, in a conversational tone. Tony turned to look at him incredulously.

"When you say 'someone' do you mean an actual woman, or are we talking about another one of those virtual someones that pass for women in your world, McGeek?" Tony grinned.

"Well, okay, so I haven't actually met her in person, but we met via my online game, and she's really nice," McGee said.

"Okay, I know I'm going to regret this, but tell me about her," Tony sighed.

"Well, she's a mage, and she's got level ten sword-fighting skills, level five powers of healing, and …"

Tony waved his hand in the air. "My eyes are glazing over already, Probie! Did you at least get a picture of her?" he asked, intrigued.

"I did." McGee looked very pleased with himself. He pulled out his wallet and showed Tony a picture of a pretty brunette.

"And you're sure this is actually *her*?" Tony raised an eyebrow.

McGee laughed. "I'm sure, Tony. She's totally cool, and we talk for hours online. Seriously. I think this could really work out this time."

Tony slapped an arm around his shoulder. "Of course it could, Probie," he sighed. "Of course it could."

McGee grinned at him, and they both laughed out loud. Tony appreciated him at least trying to get things back to normal between them. It might take awhile, but it was a start.
Gibbs finished up talking to Ziva on his cell phone and then went over to where Tony and McGee were sitting on a bench outside the hotel entrance, sharing a joke.

"It's time for me to leave," Gibbs said. He saw Tony's eyes flash, and he knew that Tony felt the same as he did. After what had just happened in the hotel room, he didn't want to let Tony out of his sight any more than Tony wanted to be apart from him. "Are you going to be okay, Tony?" he asked quietly.

"I'll be fine, Boss," Tony replied. "The McGeek is entertaining me with stories about his imaginary girlfriend."

"She isn't imaginary, Tony!" McGee protested.

Gibbs glared at them both, and they gazed up at him sheepishly. Gibbs suppressed a grin. It was good to see some semblance of normality returning.

"McGee – remember what I said yesterday," Gibbs said, with a meaningful look at his agent.

"Yes, Boss," McGee replied, as he and Tony got to their feet.

"And Tony – don't give McGee any trouble," Gibbs ordered.

"Aw, would I, Boss?" Tony grinned.

"Yes. Don't." Gibbs fixed him with a sharp stare. Tony grimaced.

"Yes, Boss," he said quickly.

Gibbs put his hand on Tony's neck and pulled him close. "You need me, you call me," he said softly, straight into Tony's ear.

"I will," Tony promised.

Gibbs pressed a kiss to the side of his head, ignoring McGee's startled look, and then released him and turned to go.

It was a wrench, leaving Tony behind with McGee. Then he remembered what Tony had said about Roy Quinn drugging him to make it easier for Marco to rape him, and he got into the car without looking back. He had a job to do.

Ziva closed her cell phone with a wince. She had been right – Gibbs was not happy.

"Agent Marley – we are finished here," she said, looking around at the ransacked house. They had been here for several hours. There was nothing here. She knew that if there had been she *would* have found it. "Get all our agents together and meet me at the van."

"Yes Ma'am! Where are we going?" Marley asked.

"The offices of DQ Enterprises," she replied. "It is time to widen our search."

Roy Quinn finished watching the in-flight movie and settled back in his seat. It had been an excellent vacation, but he was looking forward to going home and getting back to work. He wasn't as young as he'd once been, although he'd definitely enjoyed what he'd been able to buy in Thailand. Things were easier out there. More relaxed. You just had to know where to ask for what you wanted, and you had to be able to afford it, of course. That wasn't a problem for him; he had plenty of money.

He got out his book and opened it. A couple of boys brushed past him on their way to the toilet. Roy pushed his glasses down his nose and gazed at the boys over the top of them. Brothers, he thought. The oldest was about sixteen, big boned and gangly. He was too old to be interesting, but his brother was a few years younger, at that beautiful age Roy loved so much. Not so young as to be irritating, but young enough not to have hair on his body or face. He had silky blond hair, blue eyes, and a little rosebud of a mouth.

Roy smiled at the boy approvingly, and the kid made a face back at him. Roy grunted. Kids these days were a handful. They weren't as innocent as they had once been. Now you had to catch them earlier, before they were corrupted by the internet and the trashy TV shows they showed these days. They weren't as easy to befriend now, either. It had been so much better in the past, when you could get close to a child without anyone reading anything into it. Children themselves were much more aware as well – they knew too much and didn't respect adults any more. It was such a shame.

The plane landed, and Roy was relieved that there wasn't too much of a queue to get through passport control. He handed his passport to the man at the desk. The officer looked at him and back at the picture on his passport.

"Mr. Quinn? I need you to come with me," he said.

"Is there a problem?" Roy asked, surprised.

"No, sir. I just need you to accompany me."

The officer closed his booth and led Roy off to a room over to one side. Roy frowned, wondering what the hell was going on. He entered the room - and then stopped. Standing in front of him was a tall, intimidating man with furious blue eyes.

"Roy Quinn, my name is Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS, and I have a warrant for your arrest," the man said, his voice so hard and low that it was barely more than a growl. Roy's heart skipped a beat.

"You're arresting me? For what? I haven't brought anything illegal back in my luggage!" he protested. "No drugs or anything like that! Do I look like a drug smuggler? I'm the CEO of a successful company, and I was travelling perfectly legally."

Gibbs moved towards him, and Roy took a step back in alarm. This man radiated tightly contained fury, and he moved with all the deadly intent of a predator. Roy hadn't met anyone this intimidating since his years in the Marine Corps. Even Gianni had never scared him this much.

"It isn't a drug bust, Quinn," Gibbs said, removing a set of handcuffs from his pocket. "Read him his rights, O'Brien," he ordered the man standing behind him.

Roy barely registered the words as they were read out. He was too intent on Agent Gibbs, who had invaded his personal space and was now gazing down on him with an expression of furious loathing in his eyes. Roy looked at the floor, unable to meet that scorching stare. He felt like a scared rabbit facing a wolf. He was so terrified he couldn't move. He could feel the heat from Gibbs's body; the rage emanating from him was so tangible he could almost touch it. This Agent Gibbs was like an angry god from one of those temples he'd visited in Thailand.

Roy gathered all his courage and raised his gaze slowly, inch by inch, until he was looking straight into Gibbs's piercing blue eyes. What he saw there made his blood run cold. This man knew him. He knew everything he was, and everything he had ever done. And he hated him. He wanted to tear Roy apart, limb by limb, and only his iron self-control was stopping him.

In a way, Roy felt strangely relieved. It hadn't been an easy life. There had been so much lying, and sneaking around, and it had been a strain living with the perpetual fear of being found out. Now it seemed that the waiting was over, and the past had finally caught up with him. There was no point in resistance or denial; Agent Gibbs already knew him far too well. Now, at last, he could finally relax.

Gibbs turned him around with a flip of his hands, pulled his arms behind his back, and snapped the handcuffs on his wrists – too tightly - making him whimper in pain.

"Which one?" Roy whispered. "Which one of them was it, Agent Gibbs? Which one of my little loves has betrayed me?"

He thought back to all the beautiful little boys he'd enjoyed over the years. There had been so many of them. A succession of pretty little faces danced before him. So, one of them had finally given up their special secret; but which one had it been?

"Anthony DiNozzo," Gibbs growled, in a low, savage voice, straight into his ear.

"Ah." Roy smiled happily. "Tonio. My beautiful Tonio. I'm so glad it was him. It's fitting."

He felt Gibbs's hand tighten on his shoulder, and then he was shoved out of the door. He could feel the intensity of the anger radiating from Gibbs, and knew that he could expect no mercy from this man.

"He was always my favourite you see, Agent Gibbs," he explained, with a fond little sigh. "My Tonio. He was such a special little boy. Of them all, I loved him the most."

Tony sat at his desk, reading through the cold case file for the fifth time. He wasn't taking in any more of it this time than he had the last. He glanced at his watch. Despite the fact he'd given every appearance of not listening when McGee and Gibbs had discussed the day's timetable at the airport this morning, he'd heard every word. Roy's plane had landed a couple of hours ago, and that meant that he was already in Gibbs's custody. It also meant that he knew Tony had betrayed him, finally, after all these years. Tony felt uncomfortable about Gibbs and Roy meeting. They belonged to such different parts of his life. It was like two realities colliding, and he found it hard to get his head around.

Then there was the guilt. He *knew* he didn't owe Roy anything, but even so a little part of him still felt like a traitor. Roy had always made such a big thing about this being their 'special secret', and Tony had been the one to betray it.

And then there was Gibbs, stalking around with vengeance in his heart. He was like a comet flaring across the sky, a portent of angry doom, as cold and hard as ice, leaving a fiery trail in his wake.

And finally there was his father – maybe Ziva was already knocking on the door of DQ Enterprises and waving her warrant in his father's startled face.

Tony stared sightlessly at the file in front of him, rubbing his forehead repeatedly with his pen. Roy, Gibbs, Dad. These three men had all had a major impact on his life in their separate ways, for good or ill, and now they were all lurching towards a head-on collision with each other. His head was exploding just thinking about it.

He heard McGee answer his cell phone and conduct a short, curt conversation. Then he heard McGee make a call. Just one word: "Now". He wondered what the hell that was all about.

Three minutes later, a shadow fell over his desk, and he looked up to find Ducky and Abby standing there.

"Ah, my dear Anthony, you're just the person we need," Ducky said, smiling at him.

"Totally!" Abby agreed.

"You see, we seem to have something of a dispute on our hands, and we require an independent arbiter," Ducky said.

"And that – would be you," Abby butted in.


"Yes, you see, it's on the matter of Italian food, and we all know that you are an expert on that subject," Ducky explained.

"We know that because you tell us all the time," Abby added helpfully.

"Hey – I'm a DiNozzo!" Tony said, wondering what the hell this was all about. "Of course I'm an expert on Italian food."

"And that's why we've come to you," Ducky said.

"Did you have any lunch?" Abby asked, grabbing his hand.

"Me and McGee had a sandwich on the shuttle."

"A sandwich?" Ducky shook his head. "Well, that won't do at all, Anthony! No, the human body requires far more sustenance than that during the day. I'm sure you've heard the adage: 'Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dine like a pauper'."

"Uh…no, I hadn't, but I have now," Tony replied, making his 'I'm freaked out' face at Abby. She grinned.

"You ever been to Carluccio's?" she asked, pulling him up out of his chair.

"The fancy Italian place down the street? Not yet – it only opened last month," Tony said, bemused.

"Exactly!" Ducky beamed. "You see, young Abigail here was kind enough to accompany me there for lunch a couple of weeks ago, and we got into something of a dispute on the relative merits of the calamari versus the spaghetti bolognaise. What we require is for an expert on Italian food…"

"That would be you," Abby said.

"To accompany us there again and give us your judgement on the dishes in question," Ducky finished.

"What now?" Tony asked. "Right now? Isn't it a little late for lunch?"

"Not at all," Ducky told him, plucking his jacket from the back of his chair and helping him into it. "And it's my treat, my dear boy, because you really would be doing us the most tremendous favour."

Tony cast a glance at McGee, who shrugged helplessly. "Doesn't look like you have a choice, Tony."

"You don't," Abby agreed. "So just give in, DiNozzo."

Tony gazed down at his feet, so they wouldn't see the expression in his eyes. He knew exactly what they were doing, and he was grateful for it. Then he plastered on his best Tony face and looked up again, with a bright grin.

"Carluccio's huh?" he said, putting an arm around Abby's shoulder. "Didn't I hear there was a really hot waitress working there?"

DQ Enterprises occupied a large, modern, office building. Ziva got out of the van and glanced up at the glass towers, impressed. She had known that Tony's father was wealthy, and that his company was very successful, but she hadn't expected anything this impressive.

She squared her shoulders, took the warrant out of her pocket, and strode inside. A gaggle of agents followed her.

A receptionist stood up when she saw them, a startled look on her face.

"Can I help you, Ma'am?" she asked politely, her eyes flickering from Ziva to the men behind her, with their NCIS caps and jackets. Ziva gave a satisfied little smile; DQ Enterprises might be impressive, but so was a full muster of NCIS agents.

"We have a warrant to search this place," she said, waving the warrant in the receptionist's face. "Please show me where I can find Roy Quinn's office. We will start there."

"Uh…I…this is…please…let me just…"

Ziva felt a little sorry for the woman, but she didn't have time to waste.

"All your staff are to be gathered in the foyer – they are to stop work immediately."

Ziva gestured with her head at Marley. He took a handful of agents, and they began sweeping through the offices. They didn't want anyone deleting any files, or trying to shred evidence.

"You will show me to Roy Quinn's office – now," Ziva commanded. The receptionist surrendered to her tone and authority, and Ziva felt a sense of satisfaction as she followed the woman down the hallway and into an elevator.

Quinn's office was on the top floor, with a beautiful view. It was as neat and tidy as his house. Ziva had a suspicion that Roy Quinn might have a touch of OCD about him. There were a couple of beautiful paintings hanging on the walls, and all the office furniture was a fine, polished mahogany.

Ziva stepped inside and glanced around. "You will leave now and return to the foyer," she told the receptionist. The woman nodded and scurried away. Ziva ordered one of her agents to begin searching the filing system in the outer office, where Quinn's secretary sat, and instructed another to start investigating the hard drive on his office computer.

Ziva sat down at Quinn's desk and began going through the drawers, systematically. As before, everything was neat and ordered, and there was nothing here she would not have expected to find. She doubted they would find anything here in any case. What kind of man would keep any record of his criminal activities in his office? Surely, if Roy Quinn possessed anything incriminating he would have kept it at home? They had found nothing there – maybe the evidence simply didn't exist.

There was a small filing cabinet with various files containing personal information, such as household insurance and a maid and gardening service. Ziva supposed it was easier for Quinn to deal with these matters at the office than at his home. He probably got his secretary to take care of them.

She went through each one, wishing that Tony was here. He was so good at this kind of thing. He had a nose for it – and he had ideas. He'd see a file and jump to some completely unrelated conclusion which he'd then follow up. Gibbs had chosen his team well. He was like the director of a movie, overseeing and bringing together every aspect of their work, while each team member played their part. They each possessed different talents, and Gibbs knew how to direct them to best effect. Together they were formidable, but they were one person down right now, and Ziva was acutely aware of the loss.

She glanced at the pile of files on the desk and sighed. It would take some time to go through them all, and she wasn't even sure what she was looking for. She wished Tony was here to relieve the tedium of the search. That was another vital function he performed for the team. She hadn’t been aware, until now, of just how much they all relied on his ability to lighten the atmosphere and make them all laugh.

She began working her way through a file containing various invoices, some addressed to Quinn personally, some clearly passing through the company for payment: Utilities, storage, travel plans.

A commotion outside the door caught her attention, and she looked up to find herself face to face with a tall, angry man that she knew immediately was Tony's father. The resemblance was unmistakable. This then, was how Tony would look in thirty years' time, with thinner hair and a heavily lined forehead, but still a solid, broad-shouldered, handsome man.

"My name is Alessandro DiNozzo," he said. "I'm the president of this company, and I'd like to know what the hell is going on here."

He even sounded like Tony, but he lacked that vital spark of charm that Tony possessed. This man was formal, authoritative, and humourless, and Tony was none of those things. She stood up and surveyed him coolly.

"I am Officer Ziva David," she said. "From NCIS."

"I can see where you're damn well from! What I want to know is why you have brought my entire company to a standstill and are going through my CEO's office."

"We have a warrant to search these premises." She handed it to him.

"Looking for what?" he demanded. "I can assure you that my company has always operated within the law. You won't find any evidence of illegal activity here."

"We are not seeking such evidence. There is no accusation of wrongdoing against your company, Mr. DiNozzo. We are investigating Mr. Quinn in a private capacity."

"What the hell…?" DiNozzo shook his head, looking completely confused. "Look, Roy is on vacation at the moment, but he'll be able to clear this up I'm sure. He should be back soon and…"

"We have already arrested Mr. Quinn."

"What?" DiNozzo frowned. "Oh, for God's sake - this is ridiculous! Look - my son works at NCIS. He'll be able to put you straight on this." He drew his cell phone from his pocket and flipped it open. "I'll give him a call, and we'll get this whole thing…"

Ziva put her hand over his and closed his phone. "You will not call Tony," she told him.

He looked at her, startled. His eyes were the same shade of green as Tony's.

"You know my son?"

"Yes, I do." She nodded. "You will not call him."

"Why the hell not?"

Because Gibbs will kill me if you do, she thought to herself wryly. She took out her own cell phone and texted a quick message to McGee.

"I have a question for you," she said when she had finished. She grabbed a file off the desk and leafed through it to find what she was looking for. "These are big, impressive offices, Mr. DiNozzo," she said as she searched.

"Yes they are." He shrugged. "We moved into them a year or so ago – we were expanding fast and needed more space. So? That isn't a crime."

"No, it isn't," she agreed. "I see you own the office building – you are not renting it."

"Can't see the point in handing over a ton of money to someone else every month," he replied, frowning. "I'd rather buy outright."

"I understand." She nodded. There was something solid about this man; something energetic and driven. She liked him, despite herself. He did not remind her of her own father. He wasn't Machiavellian. He wasn't someone who played people off against each other or practised the dark arts of espionage. He was, as he said, an honest businessman who loved his work and his company. She wondered if he also loved his son.

"Do you use the building to capacity?" she asked.

"No – we've got a couple of empty floors," he said. "Roy wanted to rent them out to make extra cash, but I vetoed the idea. I like knowing this entire place is mine." He said that with a certain amount of pride, and she couldn't fault him for it. He had worked hard to build this company, and he was proud of his achievement. "We'll grow into it eventually."

She nodded. "Why then, if there is spare capacity in the building, does Mr. Quinn need to rent a storage unit?" she asked, handing him one of the invoices from the file. DiNozzo took it, frowning.

"I don't know," he said irritably. "Roy takes care of all the back office stuff – I don't get involved. If he needs extra storage, then he needs it."

"And you trust him implicitly," she said, rocking back on her heels and gazing at him searchingly.

"Yes I do!" he snapped. "That man saved my life, and he’s helped me build this company into what it is today. He's a damn good administrator. He's also my best friend, Officer David. You won't find a better man anywhere."

"I wonder if your son would say the same thing."

DiNozzo's eyes flashed. "Of course he would! Just how well do you know my son, Officer David?"

"Better than you, I think."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"When did you last see him?" She answered his question with her own. He frowned.

"He's a busy man, and so am I. We catch up on the phone occasionally."

"When did you last see him?" she repeated. "Does he ever come home?"

"No," DiNozzo ground out eventually, his face twisting in annoyance. "I've visited him a couple of times in DC though, when I’ve been there on business."

"Do you ever wonder why he does not come home?"

"Like I said, he's busy. What are you getting at?"

"I think he does not want to come home because of who he might see here," she told him. "I wonder, does he even think of it as home any more? Home is where your family is, after all, and his family is in DC. I should know – I am part of that family. Now, if you will excuse me – I have a lead to follow up." She took the invoice for the storage unit from the file, folded it, and put it in her pocket. "Goodbye, Mr. DiNozzo," she said, walking towards the door. He stared after her.

"Oh!" She paused when she got to the door. "I forgot – you may try and call Tony now, if you wish, but he will not pick up."

She gave him a tight little smile and left the room. She heard him trying to call Tony again as she walked away, but she knew McGee would have taken care of it, and Tony wouldn't answer. That is what families did – they protected each other.


Gibbs pushed Quinn out of the elevator and into the squad room. He had said nothing to the man for the entire journey and didn't intend to until he got him into the interrogation room where every incriminating thing Quinn said could be taped.

He glanced around the squad room sharply; he'd called McGee when they'd approached the Navy Yard and told him to make sure Tony wouldn't be there when he brought Quinn in. As he had expected, Tony was nowhere to be seen.

"Interrogation room one is all set up, Boss," McGee said, his eyes flickering over Quinn with cool distaste.

"Good. How's my senior field agent?"

"Abby and Ducky took him out. I told them to make sure he'd be gone awhile."

Gibbs gave a curt nod. "Okay, then let's get started. Mr. Quinn says he doesn't want a lawyer present."

McGee raised a surprised eyebrow. "Does he understand the severity of the charges?"

"Apparently." Gibbs shrugged, glancing at Quinn. The man gazed back at him serenely.

"I promised you my full co-operation, Agent Gibbs."

Gibbs gazed at him speculatively; Quinn certainly hadn't made any attempt to deny the charges.

"You scared him that much, Boss?" McGee said, in a whisper, as they walked towards Interrogation.

"I didn't lay a finger on him, McGee."

"Uh…sometimes you don't have to, Boss. You can scare people with a look," McGee muttered.

"Well, I sure as hell hope he's scared," Gibbs said grimly. "He should be."

McGee handed Gibbs a file and then disappeared into the observation room, and Gibbs pushed Quinn into the interrogation room. Only when he'd pushed Quinn down onto the chair did he remove the handcuffs. Then he took his own seat opposite Quinn and looked at him for a long time.

So, this was Roy Quinn, the man who had made Tony's childhood a living nightmare. Gibbs gazed at him. He was of average height, with a round, jolly kind of face. He clearly lived well, judging by his paunch. He was nearly bald, with just a few strands of dark hair swept over the back of his head. Gibbs remembered something Tony had said about Quinn having a certain kind of charisma, and he could see that. There was something infectious about the way his mouth turned up into a permanent little smile, and his brown eyes had a twinkly quality. Gibbs could see how a child might respond to that kind of easygoing charm. There was something of the teddy bear about Quinn. He looked so incredibly harmless.

"Agent Gibbs..." Quinn began, clearly discomfited by the silence and Gibbs's searching gaze.

"Shut up," Gibbs snapped.

Quinn fidgeted anxiously in his chair but didn't say anything. Gibbs waited another few minutes, and then he opened up the file in front of him, pulled out a photograph, and placed it on the table.

"Let's talk about Tony DiNozzo," he said.

Quinn's eyes lit up with a kind of sick glee as he looked at the photo. Gibbs fought down an urge to slam his fist into the man's face. He had known that today would be a challenge, but if Tony could get through it, then he was damn sure he could. He had to control that angry fire within and keep it wrapped in ice. He could do that. It might take very single ounce of his willpower, but he could do it.

"Ah, Tonio…my beautiful Tonio," Quinn said, picking up the photograph. "He really was so beautiful. The most beautiful of them all. He will always have a special place in my heart."

"He says you starting sexually abusing him when he was twelve years old," Gibbs said.

"Abusing him?" Quinn frowned. "Oh, it wasn't like that, Agent Gibbs! I loved him. We shared something very special."

"He was a child," Gibbs growled.

"I know. A lovely child," Quinn sighed. "Such big green eyes, such beautifully soft skin."

Gibbs fought down a savage burst of rage. This was going to be even harder than he'd thought. "Tell me what happened," he ordered curtly.

"Ah…details. I can see you are the kind of man who appreciates the fine details, Agent Gibbs, just like me." Quinn nodded. "Where shall I start? I loved him from the minute I saw him, of course. He was my friend Alessandro's little boy. Just a little lad when I first met him – too young really to be of interest. Then he grew up into this adorable young man." He glanced up at Gibbs, his eyes shining. "I did try to stop myself, Agent Gibbs," he said earnestly. "I told myself that I wouldn't do anything; that I'd admire him from afar and just love him alone in my head at nights."

Gibbs swallowed back his bile and crossed his arms over his chest.

"But then his mother died, and he was so alone. He was very close to his mother; her death hit him hard, and he was such a little lost soul. You would have needed a heart of stone to have resisted! Anyone would!" Quinn shook his head dolefully. "He was such a shy little boy, Agent Gibbs. You had to have known him back then to understand. He used to creep around that big house, looking so solemn and sad. Alessandro is a good man, and a dear friend, but he has never been very good with children. Unlike myself." Quinn beamed at him. "So Tonio was lonely, without anyone to talk to. He didn't make friends easily. He was too shy and serious. I took great pleasure in drawing him out of his shell. Even then, I told myself I'd just be his friend, nothing more." He shook his head again. "But Tonio was so trusting and so loving and…" He made a futile gesture with his hands. "I'm only human, Agent Gibbs."

Gibbs ignored that. "Tonio was your pet name for him?"

"Oh no." Quinn smiled fondly. "Not mine. His mother's. That's what she called him. When she died, there was nobody else to call him that – his father never used it. So, I thought he might find it reassuring if I used it."

Gibbs clenched his fists, slowly, and then unclenched them again. He thought of a lonely boy who had just lost his mother, and how this man had deliberately used her pet name for him in order to ensnare him.

"He says that you took him to a hotel room and raped him."

"I don't believe he said that!" Quinn protested. "No, we made love, Agent Gibbs. We were in love."

"He was twelve years old!"

"You think children can't fall in love?" Quinn asked, with a surprised look. "Society doesn't understand of course, but they can. Tonio loved me with all his heart. He wanted me to make love to him. He used to beg me to touch him."

"Really?" Gibbs said sceptically.

"Oh yes." Quinn nodded. "He just loved being snuggled, and kissed, and petted."

"And did he like being raped, Quinn?"

Quinn's eyes clouded over. "That's such an ugly word, Agent Gibbs, and it isn't what happened."

"You say you loved him," Gibbs growled. "Can you explain to me exactly what kind of love there is in handing over a child to strangers to be raped?"

Quinn shook his head sadly. "Well, I didn't want to do that."

"And yet you did."

Quinn pursed his lips together and looked mulishly at the ceiling.

"Could you identify the man in this photograph, Quinn?" Gibbs pushed the photo towards him.

"No. I really couldn't." Quinn shook his head.

"Do you deny taking the photograph?" Gibbs asked.

"No. I don't deny it."

Gibbs stared at him incredulously. "Mr. Quinn, are you seriously intending to play hardball with me on this?"

Quinn licked his lips nervously. "I…I've co-operated with you fully so far, Agent Gibbs!"

He had as well. There was something almost childlike about his eagerness to furnish Gibbs with all the sordid details of how he'd abused Tony.

"I can only tell you about myself," Quinn said firmly. "Nobody else."

Ah, so that was it. Quinn thought he could somehow give him half the story – the half he chose to give. Even now, Quinn was still trying to play mind games.

"I'm not twelve years old, Quinn," Gibbs said dangerously. "You can't play me!"

He slammed his hand down on the table with a resounding crash, and Quinn jumped, looking visibly scared. Gibbs enjoyed the sight and scent of his fear. He wanted more of it. He wanted to make Quinn as anxious as he'd made Tony all those years ago. He wanted him to be more frightened of him than he'd ever been of anything or anyone in his life.

"I can assure you that I'm not trying to play you, Agent Gibbs," Quinn muttered nervously. He glanced around the room and then leaned across the table and spoke to Gibbs in a conspiratorial whisper. "I'm not an idiot, Gibbs. Alessandro is proud of his son, and I ask after him often. I know all about NCIS. I know that Tonio works here. Is he here now? Is he in the room behind that mirror, watching me? Is my dear Tonio here, Agent Gibbs?"

He looked over Gibbs's shoulder, straight into the mirror.

"I hope he is. I hope he knows how much I love him still. I forgive him for betraying our little secret."

"He isn't there, Quinn," Gibbs said icily.

"Well, I don't suppose you would tell me, even if he was." Quinn grinned at him in a way that was infuriating. "Could I see him, Agent Gibbs? I would so love to see him again."

"What the hell do you think?" Gibbs snapped.

"Do you work with him? Do you know him? Ah, don't answer that! I can see it in your eyes. You know him – you know him well. If you know him, then you must also know how easy he is to love," Quinn said, with a little giggle of glee. "He is, isn't he? Oh, Agent Gibbs, I see from the expression on your face that you know what I mean. How can you despise me for loving him when you love him too, hmm?"

Gibbs considered what it would feel like to put his hands around this man's neck and snap it. He decided that Quinn had been playing him for long enough – it was time to fight back.

"You should know that we've arrested Matthew Parrish," he said. Quinn's eyes flashed in genuine shock. He hadn't expected that.

"I don't know anyone of that name," he said.

"Yes, you do. You introduced him to Tony as 'Luke'. We found a bunch of files on his laptop. These photos were in them." Gibbs gestured at the photographs. "You used to take Tony to this hotel room." He placed some photos they'd taken earlier in the day in front of Quinn. "And then you either raped Tony yourself, or you gave him to other men for them to rape. One of those men was Parrish. Another was a man called Marco. That wasn't his real name though – what was?"

Gibbs could see the naked panic in Quinn’s eyes. He had been prepared to admit to his own crimes, but he wasn't prepared to implicate anyone else.

"What was his name?" Gibbs demanded. Quinn licked his lips nervously. Gibbs leaned across the table and beckoned him forwards. Quinn leaned towards him, his eyes wide and frightened. "Listen," Gibbs said softly, his voice barely more than a whisper. "You might think you're scared of Marco, and you might feel too afraid of him to tell me who he is, but you need to understand something."

"Yes?" Quinn swallowed nervously.

"I used to be in the Marine Corps, just like you. I fought in Desert Storm. I've done Black Ops in Colombia. I was a sniper." Gibbs paused for a moment. "Tony has worked with me for eight years. He's my second in command and one of my closest friends."

He sat back suddenly, leaving Quinn still leaning forward over the table.

"Do I look like the kind of man who doesn't care about his friends?" Gibbs roared, slamming his hand down on the table again, missing Quinn's face by inches. The realisation slowly dawned in Quinn's eyes that however much he might fear Marco, he should fear Leroy Jethro Gibbs far more.

"Gianni," Quinn said quietly. "His name was Gianni Marconi."

"That's better." Gibbs leaned back in his chair. "Now, I think we should start from the beginning, Quinn. Tell me about Gianni Marconi."

Ziva waited while a bored assistant unlocked the door to the storage unit. She had traced the details and found that the unit was registered to DQ Enterprises, and the company had been paying for it for years. It wasn't expensive; Quinn just authorised the invoices whenever they came in, and nobody had ever asked what it was for. It was clever; a storage unit like this in his own name would be the first place anyone would look if they were investigating him, but registered in the company name, it just got swallowed up in the paperwork. She might even have missed it herself if she hadn't had that conversation with Tony's father and been so impressed by how large the DQ offices were.

Ziva entered the unit and looked around. All it contained were two filing cabinets. It was as scrupulously tidy and well organised as the rest of Quinn's life. Ziva tried to open one of the cabinets and found that it was locked.

"Do you have the keys to these?" she asked the assistant.

"Nope. They belong to the client. We just rent out the space. What they put in them is their own business," he replied, chewing on his gum and gazing at her insolently.

"Very well." She gave him a smile of pure steel. "You may go."

He shrugged and lumbered off. She took out her lock pick – silly little locks like these would be easy to break. It only took her ten seconds to get into the first cabinet. She opened the top drawer, and then took a sharp intake of breath as she looked inside.

There was a whole drawer full of files, each one neatly labelled.

"Andrew, Ben, Ethan…" She picked up a file and looked inside. Her stomach did a flip as she saw photographs, and what looked like notes. Her jaw tightened as she read the notes. She gave the photographs a cursory glance and then replaced them. She hesitated, her hand hovering over the files. There was no ‘Anthony’.

She closed the drawer and opened the one below it. All the boys' files were in alphabetical order. She closed the second drawer and crouched down in front of the bottom drawer. "Ryan…" She frowned. There was no 'Tony'. There was a 'Tonio' though. She pulled out the file and her heart thudded, almost painfully, in her chest.

There were some photographic negatives, nestled in a protective wrapper. And there was a pack of photographs – quite old photographs, a little faded. A boy she recognised immediately as Tony stared at her from them. She replaced the photos quickly in their envelope and glanced at the notes, which seemed to be in diary form.

"August 14, 1984. Today I kissed him! He's such a sweet little boy, so willing. He kissed me back and told me that he loved me."

She skipped on ahead. "November 3, 1984. Tonio loves being kissed on his soft, pink belly, and tickled on the soles of his feet. When I made love to him, he squealed with happiness."

She shut the file with a snap of her fingers. She could not read any more of that.

She picked the lock on the other filing cabinet and opened it. This one didn't contain files on individual boys; instead, it was full of child pornography. Some of it had clearly been downloaded from the internet, and some of it was envelopes full of loose photos. A few of the envelopes still had little post-it notes attached from whoever had sent them; "You'll like these", "Look at this kid's mouth!" and so on.

Ziva pulled out her cell phone and called Agent Marley.

"I have found what we are looking for," she told him tersely, and then she ordered him to bring the vans over. She put her cell phone away, opened up her bag, pulled out her camera, and began taking photos of the storage locker and each of the filing cabinets.

She came across a file containing a neatly itemised list of contact details. One of the names on the list was Matthew Parrish.

"I served with the Marine Corps in Vietnam," Quinn said, his hands moving anxiously as he spoke. Gibbs noted that they were big, heavy hands, with fingers like fat sausages.

"I know."

"Of course you do." Quinn nodded nervously. "I was injured and sent to a hospital in Saigon. That was where I met Matthew."

"Matthew Parrish?" Gibbs clarified.

"Yes." Quinn nodded again. "Matthew had been injured when his patrol boat was ambushed, and he and I clicked. We became good friends. There was a Navy Hospital Corpsman there called Gianni Marconi. I didn't like him. He was…there was something quite threatening about him. But he was friends with this little local Vietnamese boy. Matthew and I…well, we both used to watch that lovely young boy. He was older than he looked, I think – quite small but probably about fourteen. That's a little older than I like them, Agent Gibbs. My favourite age is…"

"Twelve?" Gibbs raised an eyebrow. Quinn smiled.

"Yes. It's such a beautiful age. They are teetering so enticingly on the brink of puberty – they have these sexual feelings, but they aren't yet fully awakened. I like to be the one to awaken them." He gave a beaming smile, and Gibbs gave him an icy stare in return. He felt dirty just being in the same room as this man, getting this glimpse into the loathsome way his mind worked.

"Go on," Gibbs ordered.

"Well, this boy was so beautiful. He had the most perfect white teeth and such big brown eyes."

Gibbs frowned. He flicked through the file in front of him and found a grainy photograph of a boy with Asian features. Boy 51. The first boy these men had abused.

"This him?"

"Oh yes! That's him," Quinn beamed. "Isn't he lovely? He followed Gianni around everywhere. One day, I noticed Matthew looking at him, and I recognised that look. Gianni recognised it too. We started having these conversations…just little things at first, about the boy, and how much we liked him. Gianni told us that the boy liked us too, and that he'd be happy to spend some time with us, in exchange for money and cigarettes. And that's how it all began. He was a lovely boy." Quinn's smile faded.

"What happened to him?" Gibbs asked, making a note on his pad.

"Well…Gianni promised him that he would take him back home with him, and of course he couldn't. Once the boy realised that wasn't going to happen, he told Gianni that he would go to his CO and let him know what they had been doing together. Of course Gianni couldn't let that happen."

Gibbs stared at Quinn, horrified. "He killed him?"

Quinn's hands moved around nervously. "Well…I can't say that for sure, but one day he came and told us that the problem had been taken care of. We never saw the boy again."

"And you let this man, this child murderer, spend time alone with Tony?" Gibbs asked incredulously, the anger rising inside him again.

"Well, I had to!" Quinn protested. "You see, Gianni had taken some photographs – enough to incriminate both Matthew and myself. When I left the Corps, I assumed that I wouldn't see either of them again, but then…one day Gianni got in contact. I have no idea how he knew where to find me, but somehow he tracked me down. He said he had a new boy, and he asked me if I was interested."

Gibbs gazed at him stonily, his arms folded across his chest.

"I told him I wasn't…but…it had been a long time, and I was lonely. Gianni was so fearless. He wasn't a nice man – I knew that. He wasn't cultured or educated, but he was good at ferreting out the young and…troubled." Quinn gave sad smile. "Life's unfortunates, I call them; boys who have been abandoned or beaten by their parents. Poor boys. Gianni had a knack for finding them. So I caved in." He gave a little sigh. "I went to visit him and the new boy he'd found. This happened a few times, and then he said I had to start contributing to the arrangement. Matthew too. So…we did."

"Was Tony the first boy you groomed for abuse?" Gibbs asked.

"Not the first, no." Quinn gave an apologetic little smile. "And it wasn't abuse, Agent Gibbs. All the boys I slept with were perfectly willing."

"You manipulated them, Quinn. You played mind games on them!”

"No! Really, it wasn't like that. They all enjoyed my company. It took a little time and effort to woo them, I'll admit, but isn't it the same with women? Don't tell me, Agent Gibbs, that you haven't spent some time and money buying a woman meals, taking her on dates, and telling her how beautiful she is in order to get her into bed."

"Oh, trust me, Quinn, it is nothing like the same," Gibbs growled.

"Well, if you say so." Quinn gave him a knowing wink.

"Where can I find Gianni Marconi?" Gibbs asked, refusing to rise to the bait.

"I don't know." Quinn shook his head.

Gibbs shot him a vicious, predatory grin. "Wrong answer."

"Oh, I really don't know," Quinn said hurriedly. "Honestly, Agent Gibbs! I haven't seen or heard anything from Gianni in years. He just disappeared completely a few years ago. I have no idea where he went. He never could hold down a job for very long, and he drank heavily. I did wonder if he'd lost his job and been thrown out of his apartment. Maybe he ended up on the street. Maybe he's dead by now."

"That's not the full story," Gibbs said. Quinn looked nervous. "Come on – you're a wealthy man, Quinn, and from everything you've said Gianni wasn't above a bit of blackmail. How much did you give him?"

"A lot." Quinn licked his lips nervously. "I was happy to do it – I have more than enough money – but Matthew…he doesn't like being crossed, Agent Gibbs. He's something of a control freak to be honest."

"Yeah. I know all about Matthew Parrish – he's a cold bastard." Gibbs leaned forward. "Did he have Gianni killed?"

"Oh no!" Quinn shook his head. "Nothing like that. At least, I don't think so. That doesn't sound like Matthew."

"No, you're right. He prefers scaring people. He likes having power over them." Gibbs leaned back again with a grunt. "So what did happen to Gianni?"

"I think Matthew might have sent some people to frighten him away." Quinn gave a little wince. "You could be right, Agent Gibbs. Matthew does like to have the upper hand. I believe he gets a certain amount of pleasure from it."

"I'll tell you something he definitely got pleasure from – terrifying a child with stories about how he'd kill him and carry his dead body out of a hotel in a suitcase if he wasn't sexually compliant," Gibbs snapped. "And putting his hand around his neck and telling him how easy it would be to snap it, like a matchstick."

Quinn rubbed his podgy fingers over his face, shaking his head. "I don't believe that happened, Agent Gibbs," he protested. "Matthew loves children. He adored Tony."

"He tortured Tony!" Gibbs roared. "Tony was terrified of him. And you – you left Tony alone in a room with Parrish. You allowed him to rape him repeatedly. Tony used to curl up into a ball of fear and physically shake whenever Parrish went near him. What's your justification for that, Quinn?"

Quinn shook his head vehemently. He reminded Gibbs of a child sticking his fingers in his ears and chanting, “La, la, la” over and over again, refusing to hear what he was being told.

"It wasn't like that. Tony liked Matthew a great deal. Matthew bought him presents. Tony liked presents…."

Gibbs decided it was time for a break. There was only so much provocation he could take, and if he spent another minute in this room with this sick, twisted man, he thought he might lose control. He got up.

"Are we done?" Quinn asked, as he walked towards the door.

Gibbs turned without pausing and strode back over to him. Quinn leaned back in his chair, frightened. Gibbs leaned over him, getting into his personal space, as intimidating as he knew how to be, so close that their noses were almost touching.

"Oh no, we're not done, Quinn," he said darkly. "We are a long way from being done." Then he shoved himself away and walked back over to the door.

"Agent Gibbs…" Quinn's voice quavered a little as he spoke. "You say that you've worked with Tony for some years?"

"Yeah." Gibbs paused, one hand on the door, wondering what the hell was coming next.

"You see, I've always wondered - all these years I've wondered - what kind of a man did he turn into? What's he like?"

Gibbs wrenched open the door and then glanced back. "What's he like, Quinn?" he growled, barely able to control his temper. "What's he like? Oh, I'll tell you what he's damn well like. He's what you made him, and I can sum it up in one word: Damaged."

McGee scurried out of the observation room and met Gibbs in the hallway.

"Gianni Marconi," Gibbs spat at him. "I want everything we've got on him on my desk by first thing tomorrow morning."

"On it, Boss!" McGee said.

“Coffee,” Gibbs growled. “I need coffee,” and then he was gone.

McGee didn’t blame him. McGee had already heard Tony's version of events, but hearing it from Quinn's point of view had been something else – like he'd had a ringside seat at some sick and perverted circus. He wondered how on earth Tony had come through it even halfway as sane as he was. So many little details about Tony's personality made much more sense to him now.

McGee placed a security officer outside the door to the interrogation room and returned to the squad room. He wasn’t expecting Gibbs back any time soon. It hadn’t been easy listening to any of Quinn’s testimony, and Gibbs was the kind of man who needed occasional time-outs in order to cool down. He hoped Gibbs wasn’t pounding his fist into any walls, but it wouldn’t surprise him if he was.

McGee called Abby and told her to keep Tony out of the office for another couple of hours. Abby sounded as if she relished the mission, and he suspected that she and Ducky would take Tony to a movie.

McGee settled down to start finding out what he could about Gianni Marconi. It wasn’t easy; the guy had a military service record and a sporadic job history. He had a few minor convictions for petty crime – and then he just seemed to disappear off the radar. McGee dug around for a couple of hours, becoming increasingly frustrated. He didn’t want to be the one to tell Gibbs that one of Tony’s abusers was untraceable. He knew that Gibbs wouldn’t rest until he had brought all these men to justice.

Ziva returned some time later with a posse of agents, each of whom came bearing boxes. The agents piled the boxes on her desk and the surrounding area, and then she dismissed them. McGee suspected that she’d enjoyed her time in charge a little too much.

“This is what you found in Quinn’s storage locker?” he asked, getting up to take a look at the boxes. “Wow – that’s a hell of a lot of evidence. Well done, Ziva.”

He couldn’t help but notice the little spike of pride that flared in her eyes.

“Thank you, McGee.” She took off her NCIS cap and scratched her head. “I would feel happier if I had not seen what these boxes contain though,” she sighed.

“I know the feeling,” he said sympathetically, patting her shoulder. “I had to work my way through all those photographs, remember?”

She nodded and then glanced around. “Where is Tony?”

“Abby and Ducky took him out for a late lunch.”

“A very late lunch,” she grinned, glancing at her watch.

“Well, Gibbs was bringing Quinn back, and he didn’t want Tony anywhere in the building.”

“Understandable. Has he finished interrogating Quinn?”

“Not yet – he's taking a break,” McGee grimaced. “It isn’t easy listening to that man talk. The inside of his brain must be…” He shook his head, disgusted.

“I know. I have seen a glimpse of it.” Ziva gestured to the boxes.

At that moment a tall, authoritative man exited the elevator and strode into the squad room. Ziva straightened up and stepped forward.

“Ah – Officer David - we meet again. Where is Agent Gibbs?” the man demanded. There was something familiar about him, and McGee stiffened as he realised who he must be.

“I believe he is interrogating a suspect right now, Mr. DiNozzo,” Ziva replied.

“I want to see him,” DiNozzo said. He was a little like Gibbs. Very imposing and sure of himself – he was someone who was used to barking out orders and having them obeyed.

“Agent Gibbs does not like to be disturbed when he is in interrogation," Ziva told him firmly.

“I don’t care what the hell Agent Gibbs *likes*,” DiNozzo snapped. “You weren’t very helpful earlier, Officer David, but I've made a few calls and found out what the charges are. I can tell you, right now, that Roy simply isn't capable of what he's been accused of."

“Really?” McGee raised an eyebrow. “We haven’t met, but I’m Agent McGee. I’m assuming you’re Alessandro DiNozzo? Tony’s father?”

“Yes, I am. Now where the hell is Agent Gibbs?”

McGee exchanged a glance with Ziva. “Officer David is right – he really hates being interrupted in interrogation. Who let you come up here by the way? Security is usually pretty tight and…”

“I know a few people, Agent McGee. I pulled some strings.”

“I bet you did," McGee muttered.

At that moment, the elevator door opened and there was a sound of happy laughter and chatter as Ducky, Abby, and Tony stepped into the squad room. McGee winced at the bad timing. Tony was laughing at something Abby had just said, and then he looked up – and everything seemed to slow down.

McGee saw the exact moment that Tony came face to face with his father. The smile on Tony’s face faded, the colour drained from his face, and he came to a complete standstill. Beside him, Abby and Ducky kept on walking for another couple of paces before realising that something was wrong, and then they turned back, with puzzled frowns.

“Dad,” Tony said quietly.

“Tony – thank God! I've been trying to contact you, but your co-worker prevented it." DiNozzo glared at Ziva, and then turned his attention back to Tony. "Do you know anything about these accusations against Roy?" he asked. "They're talking about him possessing child pornography and abusing children. Do you know anything about that?"

Tony's put up a hand and rubbed his cheek repeatedly, making the skin redden. McGee remembered how his father had slapped him there when he'd tried to tell him about the abuse.

"Yeah," Tony muttered, so quietly that McGee could hardly hear him.

"Then I need you to speak to this Agent Gibbs person and tell him that he's got it wrong."

Tony gave a wry snort and shook his head. "Even if that was the way it worked – and, trust me, if you knew Gibbs you'd know it isn't - I can't do that, Dad."

DiNozzo frowned. "Come on, Tony – there must be something you can do. This is your Uncle Roy we're talking about here – we have to help him. You must know these accusations aren't true."

Tony's entire body was stiff, his face white. "I'm sorry, Dad, but they are true," he said quietly.

DiNozzo was startled. "What makes you so sure?"

"Because I made them, Dad."

There was a shocked silence. McGee looked from Tony to his father and back again, holding his breath. DiNozzo looked as if he was having trouble understanding what was going on.

"What do you mean?" he said eventually, in a confused voice. "Why the hell would you do that, Tony?"

"I tried to tell you about it," Tony said helplessly.

Realisation showed on DiNozzo's face. "You mean…are you talking about what you said to me in my study that time? But that was a lie…you were lying…"

"It wasn't a lie," Tony muttered, his voice almost inaudible.

“What?” DiNozzo barked.

Tony took a deep breath, and spoke more firmly this time. “I said it wasn’t a lie, Dad. Roy abused me when I was a kid."

His father looked around the room. "Is there anywhere private we can go?" he demanded in a taut voice. "I don't know what the hell is going on here, but I want to talk to you without all these onlookers."

"No." Tony shook his head. "I don't want to be alone with you right now, Dad."

"Oh, for God's sake…"

DiNozzo took an angry step forward, and McGee moved between him and Tony instinctively, without even thinking about it. Ziva did the same. Looking back, over his shoulder, he saw that Abby had slipped her hand into Tony’s, and Ducky had placed one hand protectively on Tony’s shoulder. DiNozzo would have to go through four people to get anywhere near Tony.

DiNozzo pulled up short, looking stunned. It was clear that he was completely bemused. None of this tallied with his world view, and he simply couldn’t take it onboard.

"Tony, you're asking me to believe that Roy - Roy of all people – would do something like that to my son?"

"Yes," Tony said simply.

"Do you have proof?" DiNozzo asked. Anger blazed in Tony's eyes.

"You need proof? You’re saying that my word isn't good enough? You don't *believe* me?"

McGee knew how important it was to Tony that he was believed, and, most of all, believed by this man standing here. Gibbs had believed him, implicitly, without question, but his own father either wouldn't or couldn't.

"If you want proof, we have proof, Mr. DiNozzo," Ziva interrupted, in a silkily dangerous tone of voice. "I have just returned from that storage unit Roy Quinn was renting – the one I told you about. Would you like to know what I found there?”

DiNozzo frowned and turned towards her as she walked over to the boxes on her desk. McGee glanced over at Tony and saw his eyes radiating panic.

“Ziva…no,” McGee began, but it was too late. She had opened up one of the boxes and picked up a file with ‘Tonio’ written neatly on the top. McGee made a move to intercept it, but DiNozzo had already wrapped his hand around it. McGee glanced back at Tony with a wince. His knuckles were white where he was squeezing Abby’s hand. Ducky was pulling at his shoulder gently.

“Maybe we should leave, Anthony,” Ducky said, in a kind voice. Tony squared his shoulders.

“No," he said quietly. "No, I think I really need to stay. I've been avoiding this for far too long."

DiNozzo glanced at him and then glanced down at the file. Uncertainty flickered in his eyes, and McGee saw that he was apprehensive about opening it.

“Do you really want to take a look inside, Dad?” Tony asked. “Are you sure you can handle what’s in there?”

"I can’t believe you're lying about something this important, Tony," DiNozzo said, in a shaky voice. "But…Roy? I can't believe that he'd do something like this, either."

“Then I guess it comes down to which one of us you believe in the most. Is it Roy, or is it me? Is it your best friend, the man who saved your life, and helped you build up your business? Or is it your son, who, let's face it, has always been a disappointment to you.”

DiNozzo's eyes flashed. "That's not true, Tony," he protested.

Tony shrugged. "Feels true."

"You shut me out! You never gave me a damn chance!"

"And if you want to know why, then take a look in the damn file!"

DiNozzo hesitated.

“Do it, Dad,” Tony said softly. “See for yourself.”

DiNozzo took a deep breath and then flicked open the file with a determined flourish of his hand. He fished inside an old packet of photos, took one out, and stood there, completely silent, gazing at it. He looked like he’d been turned into stone. Then he made a little sound in the back of his throat and turned towards Tony.

“When were these taken?”

“When I was twelve,” Tony replied quietly.


“In a hotel room…” Tony began, but DiNozzo held up a hand to stop him.

“No…I mean…where was I?” he asked, in a strangulated voice.

“You know, I’ve been asking myself the same question,” an icy voice said behind them, and Gibbs strode into the squad room. McGee felt a wave of the most intense relief. Finally, someone had arrived to take charge of the situation.

“Mr. DiNozzo, I'm Agent Gibbs, come with me. McGee – help Ziva start cataloguing the evidence. Tony…” Gibbs went over to Tony and stood in front of him. “Where do you want to be, Tony?” he asked quietly. “With me, or do you want Abby and Ducky to take you someplace else?”

Tony glanced at his father over Gibbs’s shoulder. The man was still gazing at the photo with a look of horror on his face. And there was something else as well – an appalled kind of sadness. McGee felt sorry for him.

“With you,” Tony said quietly.

Gibbs nodded and turned back to take DiNozzo into a conference room. Tony started to follow him, but his arm remained behind, his hand still tightly gripped by Abby. He came to a halt and glanced at her over his shoulder.

“It’s okay, Abs,” he said. “I’m fine. I’ll be with Gibbs.”

“Okay.” Abby nodded furiously.

“So you can let go,” Tony told her.

“Okay.” Abby nodded again.

“Any time today would do, Abs.” Tony gave her a little grin. Ducky stepped forward and disentangled her hand from Tony’s.

“Come with me, Abigail – you look as if you could do with a nice cup of tea and some of my cousin’s splendid shortbread biscuits,” he told her, leading her off towards the elevator, one arm wrapped around her shoulders.

Tony followed his father and Gibbs into the conference room, feeling shaky. He couldn't bear to look at his father – he didn't want to see what was in his eyes. It reminded him too much of the way his father had looked after his mother had died.

He was glad of Gibbs's hand on his shoulder, pushing him into a chair, of Gibbs's strong, solid, presence, and his ability to dominate an entire room without saying a word.

"Sit down, Mr. DiNozzo," Gibbs said gruffly.

His father sat down at the head of the table, a couple of chairs along from Tony.

"Why didn't you tell me?" he asked, in an anguished voice.

"I tried." Tony rubbed his cheek again. "You wouldn't listen."

"You should have made me listen!"

"You're right. This is all my fault." Tony sat back in his chair and crossed his arms across his chest like a petulant teenager. "For God's sake, Dad! I tried. I was just a kid. You were never easy to talk to, and I didn't know what to say!"

"Roy…" His father shook his head. "I can hardly…Roy?" He looked broken, and Tony's mood changed immediately. He wanted to go over there and put his arms around his father. They had never found a way to be close, but he'd always loved him, and he had never wanted to see him hurt like this. "Roy saved my life," his father whispered, and the sense of betrayal seeped from every word, breaking Tony's heart. "He was my closest friend. I trusted him. I relied on him. And all these years he knew what he'd done to you. Where is he now, Agent Gibbs?" He raised his head and looked at Gibbs.

"In one of my interrogation rooms. Under guard," Gibbs grunted.

"Does he deny it?"

"No." Gibbs shook his head. Tony felt his gut clench knowing Roy was so close, and he wondered what he had said to Gibbs. He wondered if any of what he'd said had changed Gibbs's view of him and that made him feel cold inside. He knew Roy had a way of twisting things, and he was sure Gibbs wouldn't be taken in by that…but all the same, it bothered him. "No, in fact he's been very co-operative. He admits everything he did to Tony."

"Were there other children?" his father asked.

"Yes." Gibbs nodded. "But I think he had better access to Tony, over a longer period, than any of the other boys."

A wince passed over his father's face. "I used to go away on business. I trusted Roy. He was so good to Tony. Roy was married…I never felt there was anything…strange about him." His father glanced at him, and Tony shrugged, helplessly. "Is that when it happened? When I was away?"

Tony nodded.

"And you asked me not to go. Christ, you practically begged me not to go."

His father gazed at him pathetically. He looked like he'd aged twenty years in the past twenty minutes. Tony tried to swallow down the lump in his throat. He hadn't wanted this to happen. He didn't want to see his father looking like this. His father was always such a big, authoritative man; a man of certainties. Tony didn't like being the one who'd stripped those certainties from him.

"I neglected you," his father said.

"No, Dad…" Tony began, and then he paused. “Yeah, you did,” he said quietly.

"I knew I was neglecting you. You and your mother were so close. I looked into your eyes, and all I could see was what I’d lost. I avoided you." His father pinched the bridge of his nose. "I knew that was what I was doing, but I had no idea that Roy was exploiting all my failings in such an evil way."

"Roy Quinn is a ruthless sexual predator who hid his tracks very well," Gibbs said. "He was good at what he did, Mr. DiNozzo. For that, at least, you can't blame yourself."

"Small comfort," his father muttered. Gibbs made a little movement with his jaw, and Tony could see that he felt his father deserved all the misery he was experiencing right now.

Gibbs glanced at him. "Tony – do you want to tell your father the rest of it, or do you want me to do that?" he asked.

Tony felt his mouth go dry. "Is there any need? I mean…isn't this enough?"

“He should know it all, Tony. It’ll come out anyway, eventually - better to tell him now.”

"What more is there?" his father asked.

Gibbs's jaw tightened grimly. Tony couldn't bear to look at either of them, and he gazed down at his own hands where they were resting on the table.

"We're investigating a pedophile ring," Gibbs said tersely. There was a long silence. Tony looked up to see the utter incomprehension in his father's eyes.

"It wasn't just Roy, Dad," he explained. "He gave me to two other men."

His father got up and was halfway to the door when Gibbs intercepted him.

"Where is he, Agent Gibbs?" he demanded, in a voice that was half-way between a growl and a whimper. "I will kill him. I swear that I'll kill him with my bare hands!"

Gibbs shook his head. "Trust me, if that was an option, I'd have done it myself," he said grimly. "He will go to prison, Mr. DiNozzo. I promise you that."

"And these other men?"

"One of them is already in custody. The other…we'll find him too. They will pay for what they did to Tony. None of them will escape justice. Whatever form it might take," Gibbs muttered in a grim undertone.

"I failed you, Tony," his father said, standing there, next to Gibbs. He looked shaken to his core and utterly and completely broken. "I failed you in every respect."

"No, Dad…"

"I'm your father! My first duty towards you was to protect you – to keep you safe. I failed you."

Tony saw the spark flash in Gibbs's eyes, and he winced. Now was not a great time to have Gibbs remember Kelly.

"Yeah, you did." Gibbs said bluntly. "You failed him, and you'll have to find a way to live with that, Mr. DiNozzo."

"How?" His father looked completely out of his depth, and Tony couldn't remember a time when he'd ever looked like that. Gibbs shrugged.

"It isn't easy. I should know," he muttered. He put a hand on his father's shoulder, and his expression softened. "But Tony's gonna need you in the coming months. There will be the trials – I don’t know yet whether Tony will need to give evidence or not, but either way, he'll need all the help he can get. Don't fail him again."

His father put a shaky hand through his hair. "Of course. Anything I can do…" He took a series of deep breaths. "Look, Tony, I must be able to help in some more practical way. You know I've always been adamant about you earning your own money, but I’d like to at least help out financially…"

"No," Tony said, surprising himself with the force of his own voice.

His father seemed surprised as well. He looked at Tony, his expression confused, as if he thought Tony had misunderstood. "I'm talking about a considerable amount," his father said. "You wouldn't ever have to work again unless you wanted to."

"No," Tony said again, just as firmly. "I got paid, Dad. I fucking well got paid - in roller skates, and sneakers, and all that shit Roy used to buy me back then. He gave me presents to help me keep my mouth shut – and, sometimes, to help persuade me to open it," he added, with a twisted little smile.

His father flinched, visibly. Even Gibbs gave a little wince. Tony knew he was probably going too far, but he couldn't help himself.

"I don't want your money to make it okay. I don't want to get paid for it all over again. It happened. It's not something you can make better with money, or presents, or any of that shit. It wasn't okay. It was never okay. It never can be okay."

"I just want to do something to help," his father said despairingly.

"There isn't anything you can do, Dad," Tony replied. "I wish there was. I honestly wish there was, but there isn't."

"Your friend, Officer David, she said you stopped coming home because of Roy. Is that true?"

"Yes." Tony nodded. "I had to take care of myself, Dad – nobody else did," he said, knowing he was hurting his father but saying it anyway because it was true. "I had to get myself out because otherwise…I don't know what would have happened."

"That's why you asked to go to boarding school?"


"And that's why you changed? You were such a shy, sensitive child, but it seemed like you changed overnight. All the girls, the parties, the fast cars…"

"I guess." Tony shrugged. "I don't know. I don't know how I'd have turned out if it hadn't happened – who the hell can know that? Don't think I haven't asked myself, but I don't know."

"Will you at least allow me to visit you, and - maybe you'll consider coming home again one day?" his father asked.

Tony glanced at Gibbs, and then at his father. "Okay. Maybe…but you have to accept me for who I am."

"Of course. That's not a problem." His father looked puzzled.

Tony gazed at him thoughtfully. "And if I brought a guy home – would that be a problem?"

His father frowned. "A guy?"

"A boyfriend?" Tony prompted.

"You're not gay. All the women…" His father shook his head. "What are you saying? I don't understand."

"I'm not pretending any more, Dad, and I'm not hiding any more – I've done enough of that. I don't know if Roy screwed with my sexuality, but I do know that I've slept with almost as many men as women. I guess that makes me bisexual, and right now I'm in a relationship with a man. At least…I think I am." He cast a wry look at Gibbs. "It certainly feels that way, but what the hell would I know? I've never had a real relationship before. Yet another thing that Roy probably screwed up for me. I'm all screwed up in here, Dad." He put a finger to his head and twisted. "And who knows how much of it is down to Roy and his pervert friends, and how much of it is just regular screwed up, the way everyone is."

"After what you've been through, do you think I care about any of that?" his father asked quietly.

"I don't know. Do you?" Tony asked. "I don't suppose having a bisexual son is what you want, any more than having the fucked-up, abused son is what you want. But hell, the womanising, wastrel son wasn't what you wanted, either. Let's face it, Dad – I have *never* been what you wanted."

"I won't judge you." His father made a helpless gesture with his hands. "I failed you as a father – I can hardly lecture you about failing me as a son."

Tony gazed at him with a new sense of hope. This wasn’t what he had expected of his father.

"If you mean that, then maybe…maybe we can salvage something from this whole mess, Dad."

"I hope so." His father nodded. "Are you going to be okay?" His eyes flickered to Tony's bandaged hand. "With all this going on? Are you okay? Do you need anything?" He paused. "Do you need me?"

"I'm fine," Tony said, with a faint hint of a smile. "I've got my friends."

"Ah, yes – your friends." His father managed a faint smile in return. "I think I've met them. Judging by how they defended you earlier, at least I know that you're in safe hands."

Tony glanced at Gibbs again and got a brief flicker of a smile from him too.

"Yeah, I am," Tony said meaningfully, still looking at Gibbs. He got up and went over to his father. "Are you going to be okay too?" he asked. "I feel like I've destroyed your entire life with this. The business, Roy…"

"Tony…you're my son," his father said helplessly. "Compared to what happened to you, none of that matters."

They looked at each other for a long time. Then his father cleared his throat. "Well, I should…" He gestured with his head towards the door.

"Yeah." Tony shrugged.

His father didn't move. "I'm sorry," he said quietly. "I'm so sorry, Tony."

He reached out and patted Tony's shoulder clumsily. Tony batted his arm aside and pulled him into an awkward hug. "Yeah, I'm sorry too, Dad," he muttered into his father's ear.
Gibbs escorted Tony's father down to the foyer. He looked shaken to the core, and Gibbs's earlier antipathy towards him faded. He still blamed him at least partially for Tony's ordeal, but the man had been genuinely shocked and horrified by what had happened to his son and had tried to offer Tony an olive branch.

"You going to get home okay?" he asked. DiNozzo nodded.

"I'll be fine." He looked Gibbs in the eye. "You don't think much of me do you, Agent Gibbs?"

Gibbs shrugged. "We all make mistakes," he said. "You and me – ours are harder to live with. The hard part – for you – starts now, and it's a long, hard path. I know. I've walked it."

DiNozzo gave him a searching look. "What happened to you?" he asked quietly.

"Let's just say that I couldn't protect my daughter any more than you protected your son. Maybe it was a different kind of failure – but I felt it just as hard. At least you have a chance to make it up to Tony – I never got a chance to make it up to my child. Don’t waste that chance, Mr. DiNozzo. If you do, you’ll lose him forever."

DiNozzo nodded, slowly. "I’ll do my best. He doesn't want me around right now – and I don't blame him. Will you protect him, Agent Gibbs? I know it's a couple of decades too late, but…I need to know that someone is looking out for him."

"I'll do that." Gibbs nodded.

"And when – if - he finally comes home – is it you who will be coming with him, like he said? I saw the way he looked at you back there."

Gibbs gave a curt nod. "Yeah. It'll be me."

DiNozzo grabbed his arm. "Don't let him down, Agent Gibbs."

Gibbs glared at him. "I won't."

DiNozzo let go of his arm with a grunt and turned to go.

"Mr. DiNozzo!" Gibbs called him back. "If you were tempted to take the law into your own hands in respect of Roy Quinn – don't. I recognise that look in your eyes," Gibbs said quietly. "But trust me, there are others better placed than you to ensure justice is served."

"Like you?" DiNozzo asked, with a raised eyebrow.

"Quinn will go to prison for a long time. I'll make sure of that," Gibbs told him grimly. "If, for any reason, he doesn't, I'll take care of that as well. Understood? Tony is my responsibility now – not yours."

DiNozzo gazed at him for a long time and then nodded. "I understand. Take good care of him for me, Gibbs," he said, and then he turned and left.

"Always," Gibbs growled at his retreating back.

Gibbs watched him until he'd gone; a tall man, who had walked into this building proud and certain and left it broken and betrayed. Gibbs didn't think he'd ever get over it, but then again, he didn't think he deserved to.

Gibbs returned to the squad room and ordered Ziva to give him a brief update. He glanced at the boxes of files she had brought back with her, with a flicker of distaste.

"Go through everything in these and see if there are any current contact details for Gianni Marconi," he commanded. She nodded and scurried away. Gibbs felt a certain satisfaction knowing he had both Parrish and Quinn safely locked up in custody, but he also knew he wouldn't be completely happy until he had found Marconi and brought him to justice too. And if those files revealed the identities of any other pedophiles, then Gibbs would track them down as well. He wouldn't stop until the job was done.

"McGee – put Quinn on ice for me," he ordered. "I don't feel like having the pleasure of that S.O.B's company again today. I'll pick up where I left off tomorrow."

"Okay, Boss," McGee said. "I don't blame you. You going somewhere?"

"Yeah," Gibbs said grimly. "Home."

It had been a long day, and he thought Tony had been through enough, with first that meltdown in the hotel room, then Quinn's arrest, and now that emotionally draining conversation with his father.

It wasn't easy juggling the case and Tony, but he'd done enough work for today, and Tony needed him more right now. Gibbs was looking forward to another evening on the couch and a hell of a lot more kissing. Tony needed some loving.

He returned to the conference room, shut the door behind him, and paused. Tony was standing by the window, looking out, his forehead resting on his arm. He looked exhausted, but his shoulders had lost that hunched look they'd had for days.

"Hey," Gibbs said softly.

"Hey." Tony didn't move.

"You okay?"

"Yeah." Tony nodded slowly. Then he pushed himself away from the window and turned around to face Gibbs. "Yeah, I really am. I feel…fine." He looked surprised. "Kind of light-headed. Giddy. Like there’s been something pressing on me all this time, weighing me down, but now it's gone."

"Good." Gibbs went to stand in front of him. He put his hands on Tony's shoulders. "It's been one hell of a day, but you took everything that was thrown at you, and you didn't once quit, or give up, or cave in. I’m damn proud of you, Tony."

Tony's eyes glowed in response to the praise. "You think I should have taken the money though, right?" he grinned.

"Hell yeah! I've always wanted to be a kept man."

"Liar," Tony laughed. "You'd damn well hate it."

"Yeah, I damn well would."

Gibbs put his hand around the back of Tony's neck, pulled him in, and kissed him hard on the mouth. Tony gave a sweetly satisfying little sigh and leaned into him. Gibbs wrapped his arms around Tony and held him close, his hands cupping Tony's ass. Tony slid both his arms around Gibbs's waist and held on tight, opening up his mouth to accept Gibbs's demanding tongue. Gibbs kissed him forcefully for a long time – until he felt Tony's body relax completely against his and heard Tony's soft moan. Then he pulled back a little.

"I think it's time to go home," Gibbs murmured.

"You finished for the day?" Tony raised an eyebrow. “Kind of early for you."

"Yeah, I know, but something more interesting just came up," Gibbs grinned. Tony raised a confused eyebrow, and Gibbs glanced down. "I don't think that's your damn cell phone digging into my thigh, DiNozzo!"

Tony's eyes flashed excitedly, and he gave a holler of sheer joy. "Oh yeah! Little Anthony is back in business!" he whooped. Gibbs rolled his eyes. "I gotta get you home, Gibbs. I gotta get you home right now," Tony said, grabbing his arm and pulling him over to the door. "I wonder why it came back now? But then again, who the hell cares? Will it go away again? Don't answer that…we gotta put it to good use…"

Gibbs pulled him back. "Slow down, Tony."

"Slow down?" Tony raised an incredulous eyebrow. "Slow down? Gibbs, you have no idea how many fantasies I've had about you over the years. You have no idea how often I've sat at my desk, hiding a massive hard-on, staring at you across the room, fantasising about running over there and ripping your pants off your ass. You have no idea how many lonely nights my right hand and Little Anthony have spent together, just dreaming about you…Slow down, he says? No way, Gibbs – no fucking way!"

He put his hand on the door and then turned to face Gibbs, his eyes narrowing dangerously.

"Don't tell me you're still not ready," he growled.

Gibbs grinned. "I told you – I'll be ready when you are, and you seem pretty ready."

Tony came back over to him and grabbed his face in his hands. "Ready? I am this close - this close - to shoving you onto that table and tearing your clothes off you. Do not make me wait, Gibbs."

He pulled away, wrenched open the door, and strode outside like a man walking on air.

"Probie!" he yelled, as he ran into the squad room. "Call that girl and ask her for a date – a real date, not some weird cyber-date."

McGee gazed at him in surprise. "Is he okay?" he asked Gibbs, who was following on behind.

"Oh yeah," Gibbs grinned. "He's fine. Trust me."

"Zeevah!" Tony grabbed her and swung her around. "Don't let Gibbs make you stay here all night. Get Eli to take you somewhere nice – get him to spoil you – you deserve it."

"Uh…very well, Tony, I will do that," she replied. "Are you sure he is okay?" she mouthed at Gibbs.

"He will be," Gibbs said, with a roll of his eyes. "DiNozzo!"

"Yes, Boss!" Tony almost careened into Gibbs in the course of his exuberant dance around the squad room. Gibbs tightened a hand around his wrist.

"My car. Now," Gibbs ordered, in a low tone, straight into Tony's ear.

"On it, Boss!" Tony ran over to the elevator at full speed. Gibbs followed on behind at a more sedate pace. He paused and glanced at his team, who were sitting at their desks, their mouths wide open in surprise.

"Well you heard him," Gibbs shrugged. "It's been a tough few days, and I know you've been putting in the hours. Go have some fun, people. I want you back here first thing tomorrow morning."

"Yes, Boss," they said in unison.

"And McGee, Ziva - good work," Gibbs growled, before setting off in pursuit of Tony.

Tony sat in the passenger seat, banging his bandaged hand impatiently on the window as Gibbs drove them – no, that should that be *inched* them – home.

“Oh c’mon!” Tony protested after five minutes of slow crawling. “You choose now, in all the time I’ve known you, to obey the goddamn speed limit?”

Gibbs gave him a sideways glare. “Tony, it’s been a long day, and I’m tired. I don’t want to cause an accident.”

“The only accident you’ll cause is the one in my pants,” Tony hissed, “If you don’t damn well speed up.”

“What’s the matter, DiNozzo? You think I can’t get you hot and hard again when we get home?” Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

“Don’t say the words ‘hot and hard’ like that, Gibbs,” Tony pouted. “It’s not fair. I’m only human.”

“Stop banging your hand against the window. If I have to take you back to the ER to have your stitches re-done, then I promise you that I’ll do something you find *really* unfair.”

Tony glared at him some more, but Gibbs did have a point about his hand. It was starting to ache – but then again so was another part of his anatomy.

Gibbs drew up in the driveway – finally! - and got out of the car, and Tony followed him into the house, kicked the door shut behind them, and then grabbed hold of Gibbs and pushed him against the hallway wall. The blood was coursing through his body, pounding in his hard cock, and he felt more alive than he had for days.

He kissed Gibbs hard on the mouth, running his hands eagerly over his body. Gibbs allowed him one kiss and then pushed him back against the opposite wall. Tony went with a soft thud, and then Gibbs was on him, kissing him back with a matching passion. Tony reached down and cupped Gibbs’s ass cheeks in his hands, kneading them firmly. This felt so good that he thought he might be losing the capacity to think. He had to get Gibbs undressed – and soon.

He grabbed the lapels of Gibbs’s jacket and pushed him back against the opposite wall again. Then he leaned in close, so that he was looking straight into a pair of intense blue eyes.

He knew what he wanted to do to Gibbs, but he doubted that was on offer. Gibbs had been pretty clear about the fact he liked to go on top, and Tony couldn’t really see him as a natural bottom. On the other hand, he’d fucked plenty of tough guys who he’d thought weren’t natural bottoms, and he’d taken great pleasure in reducing each and every one of them to whimpering wrecks. Tony was good at sex, and he damn well knew it. If Gibbs would let him, he could show him the kind of time he’d never had with anyone before. If he wouldn’t…well there were other things they could do – but none of them involved Tony allowing anyone to fuck him, not even Gibbs.

“So, how do you want to play this?” Tony asked, aware that his voice seemed to have been transformed into a low, throaty growl.

Gibbs took hold of his head between his hands and gazed at him. “Oh…I think we’ll do this your way,” he said softly.

Tony didn’t really register that. He figured that first time out Gibbs would want to keep it light, and hell, just having Gibbs naked against his own naked body, and being able to touch him, and stroke him, and make him come was enough for Tony.

“That’s fine. That's okay. That’s enough…” Tony whispered, nuzzling at Gibbs’s neck eagerly.

“Tony.” Gibbs grabbed his head again and forced him to look at him. “I said we’ll do this your way,” he repeated. Tony must have looked as surprised as he felt, because Gibbs gave a little chuckle of amusement.

“You’ll let me…?” Tony stared at him, bemused. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t fantasised about this for years, but he had never thought that Gibbs would ever let him do it.

“Sure. I trust you.” Gibbs gave him a quirky little grin and patted the side of his face.

Tony felt like all his Christmases had come at once. He reached out and gently stroked Gibbs’s hair, leaning into him.

“Thank you. I’ll make it good – I promise. I’m really, really good at this. You’ll love it.”

He didn’t wait to hear Gibbs’s response. He grabbed hold of Gibbs’s hand and led him impatiently up the stairs, pausing to push him against the banisters every third step and claim yet more deep kisses.

He was aware of Gibbs letting him have his head and do things his way, as he’d promised. He remembered what Gibbs had said in the shower a few days ago, about how sometimes he’d let Tony think he was in charge. This had to be one of those occasions because, however much he seemed to be surrendering, Tony knew that Gibbs could reassert control in the blink of an eye. Tony also knew that he’d always let him – but right here, right now, Gibbs was giving it up to him. That turned Tony on like nothing else, and he pulled Gibbs into the bedroom and pushed him down onto the bed.

He straddled Gibbs and then paused, looking down on him. He wanted to savour this moment. He’d never felt more turned on, and it was such a relief to feel his hard cock pressing against the front of his pants. In his darkest moments, he’d honestly wondered if he’d ever get his libido back. Now, he was on top of Gibbs, looking down on him, and about to do something he'd only dreamed about for the past eight years.

He didn’t want to rush this. He hadn’t lied – he was a damn good lay – and he wanted Gibbs to have the best he could offer. He leaned forward and kissed Gibbs on the mouth again and then dropped a series of little kisses onto the fading yellow bruises on Gibbs's jaw. He worked his way down Gibbs’s neck to his shirt and then drew back. Gibbs was looking at him with an amused expression on his face, but Tony saw that he was also curious – and turned on, judging by the dark arousal in his eyes.

Tony slid a finger under Gibbs’s shirt and began to undo the buttons, never taking his eyes off Gibbs as he worked. He wished Gibbs didn’t always wear tee shirts under his shirts. He wanted to get straight at naked skin, but he also wanted to get the maximum amount of eroticism from this moment. He didn’t want Gibbs to be disappointed by any aspect of his performance.

He undressed Gibbs slowly, like opening up a long-awaited parcel, taking his time, always going back to deliver little kisses to Gibbs’s mouth, or to suck on his neck, or nibble at his earlobes. Gibbs let him work, gazing up at him the whole time, that curious expression always in his eyes.

Tony opened Gibbs’s shirt and then reached for his pants.

“Now that’s not your cell phone,” he purred, as he felt a very promising hardness. Gibbs rolled his eyes in exasperated amusement.

“You got me, DiNozzo. That’s definitely not my cell phone.”

Tony grinned exuberantly, delighted that he had the power to turn Gibbs on in this way. He undid Gibbs’s pants and then lifted up so that he could slide them down Gibbs’s legs, along with his boxers. He almost didn’t want to finish the job, because he was so desperate to get back to Gibbs’s straining erection. But he also wanted Gibbs totally naked, so he pulled off his boots and socks and threw them all into an untidy heap on the floor along with his pants and boxers.

Then he straddled him again, and gazed at Gibbs's beautiful erect cock, his hand almost tingling at the thought of holding it. He moved his left hand towards it, irritated by the bandage on his right, and needing the skin-on-skin contact. Gibbs gave a little shuddery grunt as Tony wrapped his hand around it. Tony loved how it felt – all that thick, warm hardness, covered in soft skin, pulsing powerfully between his fingers.

“God that feels good,” Tony murmured, sliding his hand up and down the shaft. He leaned forward and kissed Gibbs while he moved his hand and felt Gibbs gasping into his mouth with each stroke. Tony thought he could come just from this, and it would be enough, but he also knew what else was on offer so he held back, wanting to have it all.

Gibbs moved his hands to grasp Tony’s hips, and Tony pushed them away. He slid Gibbs’s tee shirt up his body with his bandaged hand, revealing Gibbs's hard bare chest, covered in silver curls of hair. Tony started at his belly button and nuzzled his way up to one of Gibbs's nipples - and then sucked down expertly. Gibbs gave a little moan, and his hand came up to grab Tony’s shoulder. Tony shook it off and moved on to Gibbs’s other nipple, sucking and licking as he went. Gibbs arched up into him as Tony worked his nipple with his mouth and his hard cock with his hand.

Gibbs slipped a hand down the back of Tony’s pants, and Tony moved sideways, dislodging it. He could feel his own cock leaking, and he needed to get them both naked as soon as possible. He drew back and undressed at lightning speed and then turned back to the bed to find that Gibbs had divested himself of his shirt and tee shirt. Tony pouted a little, because he’d wanted to do that himself, but then he forgot about it as he greedily drank in the sight of all that enticing bare flesh.

He straddled Gibbs again, intercepting Gibbs’s hand just as it came up to touch his bare hip. He took hold of both Gibbs’s arms and pushed them up, so that they were above his head, where he could keep them out of the way. He was aware of just a moment of resistance and then felt Gibbs give, and allow him to do what he wanted. He grinned and leaned his body forward, deliberately trapping both their cocks between their bellies. Gibbs gave another gasp, and Tony captured it with his mouth, moving his hips rhythmically so that both their cocks were stimulated.

He looked down on Gibbs as he moved, saw how aroused he was by the action, and grinned again, his eyes glazing over slightly. This was something he was good at. He knew all the moves, and he intended to use every single one of them on Gibbs. This was his playground, his arena, and he knew how to…

He was jolted out of this reverie by Gibbs suddenly pushing up and rolling them both over, so that Tony was now on his back, and Gibbs was on top. Gibbs gripped his head between his hands, and Tony struggled to focus back in the moment.

“Once more with feeling?” Gibbs told him, with a raised eyebrow.

“What?” Tony frowned.

“The technique is great, DiNozzo, but I won’t be another notch on your bedpost. You make love to *me*. I told you before – I’m not a distraction.”

“I’m not doing that!” Tony protested, struggling against Gibbs’s arms. He realised that he’d been right earlier about Gibbs allowing him to take control. Gibbs could take it back whenever he damn well wanted, and they both knew it.

“Prove it,” Gibbs said, relaxing his grip.

Tony launched himself back up, feeling annoyed. He didn’t want to screw this up. Gibbs was right; he had a kind of formula. He had a way of kissing, licking, sucking, biting and moving…and he was treating Gibbs just like he'd treated all the guys he’d picked up in the past.

He sat down on the side of the bed and buried his face in his hands, his cock drooping.

“Hey…I told you, sex isn’t something you do to people, or have done to you,” Gibbs said, wrapping an arm around his shoulders.

He bestowed a little kiss on the back of Tony’s neck. Tony wriggled away from it. Gibbs slid a hand down towards Tony’s cock, and Tony grabbed his wrist, stopping him before he got there.

“Ah…I thought so.” Gibbs drew back. “Is this the way it always is, Tony?”

“What the hell do you mean?”

“I mean - you get what you want, and you give your partners what they want, and everyone gets off, but you don’t like anyone touching you, do you?”

Tony frowned. “It isn’t like that. I like it just fine…But I…” He shook his head.

“You told me once that you never lose control during sex. You can’t afford to, can you?”

Tony slid both his hands through his hair and gazed blankly at his own knees. Gibbs sat down beside him and rested one hand lightly on his shoulder.

“I’m not sure what people are going to do when they touch me during sex,” Tony said miserably. “I prefer to be the one making all the moves. I don’t like it if they do something unexpected. This one guy stuck his finger up my ass when I was busy fucking him…I freaked out and gave him a black eye and neither of us got off that night. I have to be careful. I don’t want to end up hurting anyone.”

“You won’t hurt me,” Gibbs said confidently.

“I don’t know that,” Tony admitted, shame-faced. “You saw me with McGee earlier – I had my hand around his throat, and that was just because he touched my shoulder…”

“Yeah, but you were stuck in a memory back then. That’s not going to happen now.”

“But supposing I do something like that to you?” Tony asked helplessly.

“Not gonna happen.” Gibbs shook his head.

“How do you know?”

“Tony – back in that hotel room you responded immediately when I ordered you to drop McGee. And besides, I’m not McGee; I could take you in a fight, no matter where your head was when it happened. You won’t hurt me.”

“You don’t know that. I can’t *risk* that,” Tony hissed, gazing at him miserably. “Shit, Gibbs…I’ve been all over the place these past few days. Who the hell knows what might trigger something?” He dropped his eyes, unable to meet Gibbs’s hard gaze.

“Tony…it won’t happen,” Gibbs told him firmly, gripping his chin and making him look at him. “It won’t happen because I trust you - and you trust me.”

“Not enough to let you fuck me. Not enough to even let you touch me,” Tony pointed out.

“I couldn’t fuck you yet anyway, Tony.” Gibbs said with a shrug. “I have too many images in my mind right now to be comfortable with that. It was always going to be this way.”

“Yeah, Boy 43 strikes again, huh?” Tony shook his head. "Damn it!” he roared, smashing his fist into the nightstand. Then he winced at the flare of pain and sucked on the side of his hand to relieve it.

“You want to end up with both hands in bandages?” Gibbs queried, and then he laughed out loud. Tony gave a little grin in return, abashed by his own outburst. Gibbs tousled his hair affectionately. "Now…you promised me that you’d show me a good time – how about you make good on that?”

He took hold of Tony’s hand and placed it on his own cock, which was now semi-erect but responded eagerly when Tony grasped it. It was a wide, solid, meaty cock and Tony felt a tingle of arousal. His own cock began to harden again in response. He grinned, and pushed Gibbs back onto the bed again.

This time Gibbs let him have his way, and surrendered control easily. He allowed Tony to cover his body with dozens of little kisses and caress every inch of him. He turned onto his front when Tony flipped him, and Tony spent several long, entirely pleasurable minutes caressing his firm, plump ass. Who knew Gibbs had been hiding an ass this tasty beneath those jeans and shirts?

Tony pulled his ass cheeks apart and dipped a tongue eagerly between them. He couldn’t give blowjobs, because the feeling of choking and suffocation always overwhelmed him, but he loved rimming. Gibbs made a series of throaty little sounds as Tony slid his tongue into him, and Tony glowed with pleasure. This was the hottest thing he’d ever done in his life.

His cock was now so hard that he needed to move things on. He pulled away and glanced around, aware that he probably should have thought of this before.

“Nightstand drawer,” Gibbs growled.

Tony grinned as he opened it and found the condoms and lubricant inside. “You must have been a boy scout,” he teased.

Gibbs glared at him. “Just figured we’d need them at some point.” Then he turned over onto his back. “I want to watch.”

Tony nodded. He usually preferred taking his partners from behind. Every single man he’d fucked these past eight years had been a poor substitute for Gibbs, and it had been easier to fantasise that it was Gibbs he was fucking if they were on their hands and knees, and he couldn’t see their faces. But now that he had the real deal, he wanted to look into his eyes and know that it really *was* Leroy Jethro Gibbs he was inside.

He lubed his fingers and then lay down beside Gibbs and slipped one of them inside him. He sensed Gibbs’s initial hesitation and could feel him making a conscious effort to relax.

“Easy,” Tony whispered, using his free hand to stroke Gibbs’s chest. He hadn’t asked Gibbs if he had ever bottomed before – just because it wasn’t his preference didn’t mean he’d never done it. And yet, Tony couldn’t imagine that he’d ever let anyone in before. Gibbs wasn’t exactly famous for letting people in emotionally, and Tony doubted that he had physically, either. He felt kind of giddy at the idea that he might be his first, and that it was only him that Gibbs trusted enough to do this.

Tony slid his finger in and out expertly, moving his body against Gibbs’s as he worked. He moved up for a kiss every so often and was gratified when Gibbs slowly began to unravel and relax against him. A second finger was allowed in without any resistance, and Tony saw Gibbs’s eyes start to darken with arousal again. The third finger was a tighter fit, and Tony didn’t want to rush anything. He stroked Gibbs's cock firmly as he finger-fucked him, pausing to kiss him frequently, and Gibbs responded as Tony had hoped, opening up, his body becoming increasingly boneless under Tony’s caresses.

“Y’know, if you’re gonna do this, now would be a good time,” Gibbs growled suddenly. “’Cause I don’t know how much longer I can hold on here, DiNozzo.”

“On it, Boss!” Tony grinned.

He removed his hand and reached for the condoms. He peeled one onto his rock hard cock, slathered on some lubricant, and moved over, so that he was between Gibbs’s thighs.

He was unable to resist leaning in for another kiss, and then he spread Gibbs’s buttocks with his hands, snubbed his cock into his entrance, and slid forward. He heard Gibbs give a little growl, but he was a marine through and through, and if it hurt he wasn’t about to show it. Tony hoped it didn’t. He locked gazes with Gibbs, smiling at him stupidly, and rocked forward, inching in cautiously, feeling no resistance. Gibbs’s body was open and welcoming.

Gibbs felt so damn good – there was so much heat and intensity, and his blue eyes were unwavering as they gazed up at him. Tony buried himself deep inside him, gasping as the tight pressure of Gibbs's body sent little shockwaves of pleasure through all the nerve-endings in his cock.

He paused when he was lodged as far inside Gibbs's body as he thought he could go, and looked down on the man beneath him. Gibbs looked up at him, that curious expression back in his eyes, along with something else. There was an expression of such total trust and affection there, that Tony felt a lump rise in his throat. He had never thought he'd see that particular expression in Gibbs's eyes, and he was suddenly aware that this was as big a deal for Gibbs as it was for him. He leaned down and kissed Gibbs gently on the mouth in recognition of that fact. Then he drew back, to find that Gibbs was still gazing up at him.

"More," Gibbs murmured, and he opened his legs wider and moved his hips so that Tony could ease himself in even further. It felt so good that he had to blink a few times to adjust. He hung there, gazing down on Gibbs in disbelief. He was here, doing this. He was here, making love to Leroy Jethro Gibbs - and he was damn well going to wring a scream of pleasure from Gibbs’s lips if it was the last thing he did.

He moved his hips back and then thrust forward, just gently. Gibbs gave an almost grudging grunt - but Tony caught the spike of pleasure in his eyes.

“Feels good, huh?” he grinned smugly, moving his hips again – more forcefully this time. Gibbs glared at him.

“Just keep moving, DiNozzo,” he growled.

“Anything you say, Boss!”

He took Gibbs’s cock in his hand and began stroking it in time to the smooth thrusts of his hips. His own cock was sending ripples of pleasure through him at the intensity of the friction – and his heart was pounding at the sight of Gibbs lying beneath him, looking up at him.

Gibbs never once tried to touch him. He just let Tony take the floor and do this his way. Sex had never been this good with anyone else. The knowledge that it was Gibbs he was making love to; Gibbs who was beneath him, letting him in; and Gibbs whose hard cock he was stroking made all the difference.

Tony loved the sound Gibbs was making – part growl, part gasp - and he loved the feel of his body around his cock, milking him. Most of all, he loved how Gibbs was looking up at him, his eyes shining with that heady combination of love and trust.

Tony felt Gibbs’s body convulse beneath him, and then Gibbs’s come erupted over his hand, and he gave that hoarse shout of pleasure that Tony had been hoping to wring from him.

Tony thrust again; once, twice, and then he was coming too.

“Oh shit…Boss! Gibbs! Jethro!” he yelled, and then he collapsed onto Gibbs in a boneless, sweaty heap.

“I think you covered all your bases there, Tony,” Gibbs grinned. "But, for future reference, Jethro works better for me in the bedroom."

"Jethro." Tony grinned back, stupidly, contentedly, and then angled up his face for a kiss. Gibbs obliged. He wrapped his arms cautiously around Tony’s naked back, but Tony felt fine with that. He liked being held by Gibbs, and this felt perfectly safe. Gibbs was right – he trusted him.

They lay there for a little while, happy and exhausted, and then Tony propped himself up on his elbows and looked down into Gibbs’s eyes.

“Was that okay?” he asked, as anxious about his performance in the bedroom as he always was about his performance at work. He just couldn’t help wanting to impress Gibbs, whatever he was doing.

“Hell yeah!”

“That the first time you…” Tony gestured with his head.

“Yup.” Gibbs nodded. “Not the last though.”

Tony gave a delighted smile. Then he moved his hips so he could withdraw. He tied off the condom and threw it in the trash and then got back into the bed beside Gibbs, lying so that they were face to face.

Gibbs wrapped an arm around him, his hand warm and heavy on Tony's hip, and kissed him.

“Y’know, I never got the big deal about kissing before,” Tony murmured.

“And now?” Gibbs went back in for another long, slow, leisurely kiss. Tony sighed and melted into the embrace.

“Now…I think I like it almost as much as sex,” Tony replied, when he came up for air.

He meant it. He didn’t usually like his sexual conquests to stay around after sex, and he had never liked any kind of post-coital intimacy or cuddling before now. It was different with Gibbs. He didn’t just enjoy it with Gibbs; he actively craved it.

“I want to try it,” Tony said suddenly.

“Try what?”

“The touching thing.” Tony bit on his lip. “I don’t want what they did to me to define me, Jethro. I don’t want them to keep screwing things up for me. I want you to be able to touch me during sex without me freaking out, and I want you to fuck me. I watched you just now and it looked so damn good. I want to know what that feels like to be fucked by someone you love, and who loves you.”

“You will,” Gibbs said.

“That simple huh?” Tony made a face. Gibbs’s hand stroked slowly, gently, cautiously along his naked thigh.

“No,” Gibbs replied bluntly. “It’ll take time, but you’ll get there. One day.”


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