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by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 5095
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Summary: After Gibbs and DiNozzo get mysterious letters, they seek answers.
Author Notes: Thanks to Anna and Hilde for the beta.
Blame (or thank) Xanthe for this one! Yesterday, she and I were chatting on Twitter about my work email and she threw out a plot bunny for me. I tried to resist it, but the little bunny made its home with me. This is the result. Partial thanks or blame must fall on Xanthe’s door ;)
In a strange coincidence, cinderella81 wrote a story with a similar plot recently. The two stories are in no way related.
After the third reprimand from Vance, Gibbs had taken to keeping his email open. He got more “spam” than anything else, but having it open at the bottom of his screen wasn’t a problem. McGee had set a sound on the thing, a new mail chime he called it, that didn’t sound like a dying cat or a doorbell, and Gibbs was grateful for that.
The team had wrapped a stolen goods case at twenty two hundred last night and Gibbs had told them to come in late. McGee and Ziva had taken him up on the offer, but Tony was at his desk at oh eight hundred and Gibbs knew Ducky and Abbs were around as well.
Reports still needed to be finished and approved, but for now, Gibbs was glad they had some downtime. They’d caught case after case and he’d found himself wondering if there was a live Petty Officer left in the Navy.
His email sound rang through the room, the short rasp of sanding that never failed to make Gibbs grin, at least internally. He scanned the subject lines of the new messages. Viagra, Viagra, never used it, sure as hell didn’t need it! When all the spam was gone, just one email remained.
Want to know a secret, Special Agent Gibbs? He snorted, figuring that it was more cleaver spam than they usually got. With all the computer geniuses at NCIS, they couldn’t keep this stuff out?
He opened the message. It had been sent just a few minutes ago.
To: LJ Gibbs
From:A Nony Mouse
Subject: Want to know a secret, Special Agent Gibbs?
Gibbs, this isn’t a joke email. Don’t delete this. I have something to say. Tony is secretly in love with you and I’m sick of you not realizing it. He looks forward to your head slaps. Can’t you see how much he wants you, and not only your approval? Open your eyes and you’ll see. And do something about it. Don’t keep him waiting. He won’t wait forever.
A N. Mouse.
Gibbs blinked a few times, reading the email again and again. He looked over at Tony, a small smirk beginning before he yanked his gaze away. He had no idea who had sent the note or why, and he had some investigative work of his own to do. The only one who was completely innocent was Tony himself, who was staring at his computer screen, clicking his mouse every so often, and clearly trying to chase away boredom. His hands hadn’t been near the keyboard in the last fifteen minutes.
“Report done?” Gibbs barked and Tony got that deer in the headlights look he sometimes did, the one that made Gibbs’ stomach clench and made him forget how to breathe for a second.
“N-not yet.” Tony started frantically typing gibberish and Gibbs stood and moved closer. No time like the present to test the head slap theory. He reached over, giving Tony little more than a tap and while Tony winced, his eyes glowed with satisfaction. “Thank you, Boss!”
“Report. You have sixty minutes.”
“On it, Boss!”
"Coffee," Gibbs barked and Tony gulped, nodding, He didn't need to ask Tony if he was coming, Tony just fell into step. "Report?" Gibbs growled and Tony shrugged.
"I can do it after I get some coffee too, Boss," Tony replied good naturedly. "The others aren't due in 'til noon, so I have some breathing room, right?"
"Guess so." Gibbs had to agree with that theory at the very least.
They were silent as they walked to the coffee shop near NCIS. Gibbs picked up his normal and watched as Tony ordered what was pretty tame for him--a plain coffee with one cream. None of that hazelnut crap he seemed to like so much. No multiple packets of sugar.
"Change is good," Tony said enigmatically, wincing as he sipped his coffee. Gibbs just thoughtfully swirled his Jamaican blend and nodded and they walked back to NCIS in companionable silence.
Was it possible that DiNozzo had feelings for him? Could it be? Gibbs knew that Tony had a complex bond with each of the team members. For DiNozzo more than anyone, the team had become a family of sorts, erasing and changing what Tony didn't have as a child and what even a blind man could see that he longed for. Gibbs had always felt that Tony had cast him in the role of father, even though their age difference wasn't that huge. He'd never considered that Tony might be looking at him completely differently.
Gibbs didn’t think of Tony quite the same way. While some might have thought Gibbs viewed the team as his family, they would have been completely wrong. There was no way for this team leader to do that effectively. Any mention of family would have brought up Gibbs’ own family issues and he couldn’t do that. Not to a field team where he could lose any one of his men at any time.
Even from the beginning, Gibbs had dealt with Tony as a mentor, teaching him the ropes in preparation for the time when Gibbs retired. Yes, there was attraction there--hell, it was lust. But Gibbs could deal with lust; he had before with Jenny. It didn't impact how he did his job. Gibbs sighed, hiding the sound by taking a long sip. Could he do this again, bearing in mind the consequences of Rule Twelve?
Everyone thought Rule Twelve was a Gibbs invention, but in reality Mike Franks had established that one, even if it didn't have a number until Gibbs took it on as one of his. They'd been working as a two-man team for over four years when Beth Arronson from legal caught Mike's eye. He'd gone headlong into a relationship with her, only to have her cry sexual harassment when things hadn't gone so well. Knowing Mike, Gibbs assumed that Beth probably had a decent case against Franks. But she'd never pursued it, though Gibbs understood that the whole mess had gone into Mike's permanent file. It probably would have impacted his chances for advancement, but then the Khobar Towers mess happened and everything got screwed to hell anyway.
The day after they'd broken up, Mike sporting a puffy lip and black eye, he'd started raging to Gibbs about never dating a coworker. And Gibbs hadn't listened. He and Jenny had been good--a summer romance that lasted longer because of their circumstances. Stan and Ducky had turned a blind eye, probably just happy that Gibbs wasn't barking his way across Europe at them. But Gibbs had always known that he and Jenny weren't a forever kind of pairing. Just like everything else, she'd had a use for him and once that use had been met, he hadn't been worth keeping any more. Sure, he'd been bitter about it, but then Stephanie had turned his head. She was the one who had suffered; he never should have married her on the rebound from Jenny.
But Tony was miles apart from the redheads in Gibbs' past. He was more like Gibbs than anyone Gibbs knew. The only person who had ever been able to see that was Ducky.
And Tony was male, but that wasn't a factor for Gibbs. Gibbs had been involved with guys before. Granted, he hadn't been out and looking for a long time, but before he'd married Shannon he'd done a lot of experimenting, figuring out who he was and what he needed and wanted from a relationship. There had been sexual involvements with guys--and even a few drinking "dates". Gibbs was comfortable with who he was and he'd never needed a label for it. He'd been faithful to his wives--even if they hadn't been faithful back--and that was what was most important to him.
He glanced at Tony, taking a casual look. DiNozzo had matured a lot in the last few years, his looks changing from an overgrown man in his twenties to a self-assured guy pushing forty. It was a good look on Tony, the fine lines, the few threads of gray in his hair making him look a little more imposing. He was quickly becoming a man who people didn't want to cross in interrogations, even if Tony wasn't convinced of that yet. He would be in time.
"Penny for your thoughts," Tony said, his voice casual, his manner relaxed. That was another thing Gibbs had noticed; Tony's energy level seemed to finally be stabilizing. He was still in constant motion, but the movements were a little more casual, a little more centered.
"Not worth it," Gibbs retorted, gentling his comment with a wink. He'd been working a lot more with Tony, preferring to let Ziva and McGee investigate together more recently. Ziva had good instincts and McGee seemed to be learning a lot about reaction times from her. Gibbs had to admit that he preferred this mix better too. Of all the agents he'd ever worked with, he was most comfortable having Tony on his six.
"Oh...” Tony shrugged but gave Gibbs a smile back as they walked into the building. Once Tony might have been pressing for answers but for now he was content to just let it be...and Gibbs appreciated that.
"You sore?" Gibbs asked as they entered the elevator.
Tony flexed his shoulder and shrugged. "I'm fine. A little stiff." Tony had to run down the suspect, driving him against the wall with his bad shoulder, the one he'd injured playing football. He'd been holding it very awkwardly last night and Gibbs wanted to make sure it didn't lock up again, as it had in the past.
"Get a massage or something. Charge it to NCIS." Gibbs knew that it was uncharacteristic of him, but he couldn't help saying it.
"I'll do that," Tony said slowly, nodding. The look in his green eyes was suspicious and Gibbs didn't blame him for wondering what was going on. Hell, Gibbs didn’t even know, but this camaraderie felt right and he wasn’t sure he wanted it to end yet. At least the rest of the team wouldn’t be in for a couple of hours.
“Take it easy on the report,” Gibbs added. “They’re not even in yet. Just don’t let Vance catch ya goofing off.”
“Okay, Boss,” Tony said, working his lip between his teeth. “Boss?” he added after a short pause. “Is everything okay? You’re not nice unless someone’s died or something.”
“Nice?” Gibbs asked, unable to stop from smirking. “I can be nice.”
“Don’t like it,” Tony muttered, and Gibbs thought he heard something that might have been “senile” and “talk to Ducky.” His hand itched to deliver another head slap but he held off for now.
Tony couldn't believe what Gibbs was saying. It was true, Bossman was never nice. It just wasn't natural. Tony drank his coffee, not daring to say another word as they arrived back at their floor and he went to his desk. He wasn't so concerned he'd ignore what Gibbs said, but he had to get a read on this from someone else, someone who could be a little more objective. Little being the operative word.
Tony sat back down, closing the computer game he’d been playing and opening his email program. He'd email Abby; see if she had any ideas or reasons why Gibbs might be acting this way. Nobody had died that they knew of, so that wasn't the reason why. The team had done well, so this wasn't some sort of pity thing. He took another sip of coffee and almost spit it out as a realization hit him.
Could Gibbs have gotten married again? Were there any more redheads in his age range that he could go through?
No, Gibbs wouldn't marry again! The whole idea was crazy, but so was a nice Gibbs. It was unnatural.
Tony let his email load as he wondered what to say to Abby and he clicked through the spam, he saw a subject line that caught his eye. He opened up the email and started reading.
To: AD DiNozzo
From:A Nony Mouse
Subject: Want to know a secret, Special Agent DiNozzo?
Tony, this isn’t a joke. You need to know something, Gibbs is secretly in love with you and I’m sick of you not realizing it. Every head slap is a substitute kiss and the only way he can express affection at work. Can’t you see how much he wants you? Open your eyes and you’ll see. And do something about it. Don’t keep him waiting. He won’t wait forever.
A N. Mouse.
Tony’s eyes widened as he read the message, and then read it again. He looked around the room, head swiveling from side to side, nostrils flaring. He was aware that he made a very high-pitched sound—maybe even a squeak—but he couldn’t stop it from coming out.
Gibbs looked over at him, a small smirk on his face, and Tony gulped hard. A shaft of pure arousal lodged in his belly and he allowed himself to feel hope, stupid as that was. This was just a prank, someone was playing games at his expense yet again. He bet if he loaded McGee’s and Ziva’s mail, there would be the same thing there. There had to be!
Tony lurched to his feet, lunging for McGee’s computer.
“DiNozzo?” Gibbs asked, concerned.
“Just need to look for something, Boss. Technical stuff. Technobabble. Geek stuff. McGeek stuff. You know…” Tony trailed off, clicking McGee’s email program and typing in his password. Tony knew it by heart.
“DiNozzo, what the hell ya doing?” Gibbs’ voice was sharper now and Tony would have been happy that normal Gibbs was back, except for the email, which, oh hell, he’d left open on his computer! What if Gibbs went over there?
Tony lunged back to his desk, closing the email and the entire program before scrambling back to McGee’s. Even though Gibbs’ eyes were boring into him, Tony didn’t dare look up. He read each subject line twice just to make sure, but there was nothing like the letter he’d received.
“Dammit,” Tony muttered, realizing he’d been kneeling at McGee’s desk. As he stood, Gibbs came to his feet in a graceful motion.
“DiNozzo, with me,” he barked, striding for the elevator, coffee in hand.
Tony let out another squeak and followed him.
As soon as Tony was in the elevator, Gibbs punched a button for a lower floor and then flicked a switch. Tony tried looking at Gibbs’ ear, but the man moved until they were eye to eye. All the oxygen felt like it was sucked right out of the elevator as Gibbs invaded his personal space, his sport coat brushing against Tony’s pants, his body heat radiating toward Tony and making his cock painfully hard in an instant.
Tony let out another one of those embarrassing squeaks. It was as if he was a tender little bunny waiting to be devoured by the salivating wolf or…or…
The imagery slammed into Tony’s psyche then, of a predator and prey, of Gibbs stalking, measuring movements, waiting for the right moment to pounce, to devour.
Tony wanted like hell to be devoured by Gibbs. From the cock up. The same cock that was saluting, and begging, and if history was any gage, was leaking as well.
Gibbs was steadily backing Tony up bit by bit until he was against the wall of the elevator, the cold metal pressed against his back. What would happen now that Gibbs had him trapped? Would he…?
Gibbs pulled in a deep breath, a sound that could have been a groan or growl sounding deep in his throat.
“I know, DiNozzo. My place, nineteen hundred. Bring food.” He leaned in close, almost so close their noses touched before he pulled away as if nothing had happened, flicking the switch.
Tony sagged against the wall of the elevator. He had no idea what Gibbs knew, but Tony himself knew one thing. Gibbs wanted him! His cock gave a little jerk as the elevator stopped and Tony wondered how the hell he was going to hide his hard-on.
“Gibbs!” he tried frantically. “Can I have your coffee for a second!” Gibbs turned, arching a brow. He never looked down but Tony knew that Gibbs knew just how hard he was.
“Keep it. Knock yourself out,” Gibbs muttered, handing over the coffee. They’d touched a lot, brushed fingers every day, but this time their connection was electric. Tony knew it, and it was clear Gibbs felt it too, his eyes widening before he got himself back under control.
Gibbs had no damned idea why Tony wanted his coffee, but he handed it over without question. There were only a few sips left anyway and what had just happened had shaken him to the core.
They’d been on the knife edge of something when the sharp scent of Tony’s arousal had hit him, and Gibbs hadn’t been able to pull back, some part of him wanting to dominate the younger man in a new way, another part of him barely holding his own arousal at bay.
There was a connection between them and now that Gibbs knew, it was as if a dam had opened. Tony hadn’t even questioned how he knew, just asked for the coffee. Gibbs pulled in a breath, trying to center himself. He was expected to be calm, cool, and in control at the office and he had to try.
“Gibbs! Gibbs!” Abby said, bouncing from foot to foot as he walked toward his desk. He winced inwardly. Normally, Abby’s enthusiasm made him smile, but today it was a distraction.
“Hey, Abbs,” he said, automatically kissing her cheek.
“So what a case, huh? You broke that wide open. How is your day going? Anything special happening?”
Gibbs arched a brow, wondering what she wanted and if she had any idea about the e-mail. Or even if she’d sent it. “Fine.”
“Good! Well, anyway…hey where is everyone? I know I saw Tony’s car this morning, but no Mini Me for Ziva—can you believe she drives a Mini Cooper? That’s so not a Ziva car and—“
“Abbs, what is it?” Gibbs asked, being excessively patient.
“Oh! Okay. Yeah, well anyway. The Fall Fair is this weekend at the church and um…could you come by and help us set up? Mr. Kendrick just had back surgery and Father Russell is at a retreat and nobody else knows how to assemble some of the stuff. Tab A and Slot B. Come on now. It might as well just be Tab A into Tab A. So, do you think you could help? Sister Rosita promised to make some of your favorite chicken soup and…I mean…if you’re not busy or anything. You’re not busy, right? I checked the schedule and you’re not on call this weekend. Are you um…gonna be busy…you know…with a woman?”
Gibbs had been so focused watching Tony return to his desk, the coffee cup clenched in his fists, that Gibbs had just let Abby finally peter to a stop.
“A woman?” he repeated, still processing what she said.
“Yeah, you know. Women…like as in dates. Men usually go on them, but I know you skip that and go to the ring and vows and…”
“Can you make it? Saturday morning, like six am?”
“I’ll be there,” Gibbs promised.
“What about you, Tony? Hey, you okay? You had a tough night last night. Let me look at your shoulder.”
“I’m fine, Abby,” Tony insisted. “And I’ll be there too.”
“Ooh! Are you bringing a date?”
“A date?” Tony asked. Gibbs had to force himself to squelch the growl that wanted to burst out.
“I’m not seeing anyone, Abby.”
“Oh! Well maybe that’ll change soon. You need someone. Byeeee!”
Gibbs watched as she clomped back toward the elevators, mentally shaking his head at her antics. She’d given him valuable intel, though. Tony wasn’t seeing anyone. Not a huge surprise, but one Gibbs welcomed anyway.
Tony tried like hell to ignore Gibbs for the rest of the day, spending it writing his report. No report had ever gotten the attention this one had, and at five fifty, he placed it on Gibbs’ desk, signing it with a flourish.
“All done?” Gibbs asked, looking at Tony from behind the rims of his reading glasses. On some men, they would have made them look older, but on Gibbs, they just gave him a sophisticated edge, making the Sears wardrobe and bad haircut somehow look a little upscale.
“All done,” Tony repeated. He hadn’t been able to stop thinking about their encounter in the elevator, and the sexual tension he’d felt rushing through them. He also couldn’t forget that damned letter and wondered who wrote it.
Abby was the easy choice, but Tony knew her well enough to know that she couldn’t deadpan that. She would have given him some indication, a smile or a wink, or a knowing look. Even if she hadn’t tried, her body language would have let on something.
It wasn’t McGee or Ziva. They would have pranked him, but not with Gibbs. That was way too dangerous. It couldn’t be Ducky; if Ducky had though it, he would have told them. At length. With as many stories as possible. It had to be someone who knew them really well, but who…
“Everybody go home,” Gibbs announced, startling Tony out of his thoughts. Ziva and McGee shut down their computers and grabbed their stuff, probably happy to be leaving after such a quiet day. When they were gone, Gibbs tapped the report with his index finger. “My place, an hour. Food.”
“On it, Boss,” Tony said, rushing to grab his stuff. He raced to the elevator, worrying about how he’d survive another encounter there, but he didn’t have to worry. Gibbs hadn’t left his desk yet, but was watching. In those glasses, he should have been less dangerous, but Tony had the same feeling as before, of being the meal for a hungry hunter.
“Oh, God,” he muttered, hitting the ground floor button. When the door opened on the second, he automatically moved aside, but smiled when Palmer and Ducky walked in, calling out a goodnight to Abby. Since there hadn’t been any bodies, he hadn’t seen the ME and Autopsy Gremlin lately, but they must have been working on something with Abby.
“Oh, good evening, Tony,” Ducky greeted. “Are you doing well? I was delighted to hear that you’d closed the case.” Ducky clasped Tony’s shoulder gently and released it.
“I’m okay,” Tony moved his shoulder experimentally and nodded.
“Good. Good. Have an exciting evening planned?”
“I…um…no. Just dinner with a friend.”
“Ah, very well then. I’m cooking tonight for young Mr. Palmer here. He’s painfully thin and I could use the company.” Palmer blushed and gave Tony an embarrassed grin and he wondered just how close Palmer and Ducky were. Since Ducky’s mother had died, they’d been spending a lot of time together.
“Oh…” Tony nodded, not sure of what to say. Fortunately, he was saved when the elevator hit the ground floor. “Bye!”
“Have a good night, Anthony.”
“You guys too,” Tony said as Palmer waved.
He had a lot to do and only a little time to do it in. Tony was sure he broke all land-speed records getting home. He showered, changed into a more casual button down and less dressy shoes, and grabbed some steaks from the fridge. He wasn’t sure what Gibbs knew, but if the elevator incident was any indication, it was going to end up with more hunter and prey stuff, and maybe Tony could lure him with some raw meat. And potatoes. He grabbed a couple of those as well.
Tony chuckled self-consciously at the way his imagination was going. The elevator thing was just that—a thing unrelated to anything else. Just like them being asked if they were a couple and Gibbs’ smirk at that was a thing, just like Gibbs hard-on when they were doing hand-to-hand combat training last month was a thing, just like the way Gibbs sometimes looked at Tony’s lips when he talked was a thing. It didn’t mean anything beyond the moment. They were just two highly sexed guys who weren’t getting any. A hand was no substitute for a warm body moving closer, of someone scenting you.
Tony groaned, forcing his thoughts away from Gibbs. There was no way he wanted to arrive with a hard-on. That’d be announcing his bisexuality to everyone.
Not that Tony had any illusions that Gibbs didn’t know. He was Gibbs and he knew everything. Even though Tony was very careful and hadn’t even casually dated anyone in years, he knew that Gibbs would have figured it out. Gibbs had a way of pulling the smallest detail out of thin air. There were times that Tony was completely convinced that there was something supernatural about it. Nobody could read people that well and nobody had that uncanny ability to discover the hidden secrets.
Tony just hoped Gibbs didn’t know just how into him he was. It was one thing knowing Gibbs wanted him, but another thing entirely to confess that he’d wanted Gibbs almost since they’d met. The more he’d gotten to know about Gibbs, the more interested he’d become, until Tony finally realized that if he was going to be with a guy again, Gibbs was it for him.
But Gibbs was so damned het it was painful, so Tony had forced down his thoughts and hopes, forging a tight relationship and connection with the older man. He’d take whatever bond Gibbs wanted—whatever attention Gibbs was willing to give. He never would have expected that Gibbs wanted him too. Not like that. Not with the words “in love” being put into an email. And now that Tony knew, he just didn’t think they could go back to the way it was. He wasn’t that kind of guy.
Tony came out of his thoughts to realize he’d driven to Gibbs’ place on autopilot, his hands clenching the steering wheel. He released it, shaking out the tension in his shoulders and arms before he grabbed the food and knocked on the door to Casa Gibbs.
Gibbs had been pacing for the last fifteen minutes. He had no idea what he was gonna do when DiNozzo arrived. Was he going to come right out and talk about it bluntly or be civilized and eat dinner first? Or was he going to pin DiNozzo to the wall and grind against him when he walked in? All of them appealed to Gibbs on certain levels. One thing he was sure of was that things had changed. Whoever sent those emails had set something into motion and Gibbs sure as hell wasn’t gonna stop it.
He stopped pacing as he heard Tony’s car glide to a stop, holding his breath as the car door closed and he could hear Tony’s feet crunching on the autumn leaves. When Tony knocked on the door that he always knew was open, Gibbs chuckled. “It’s open like always.”
Tony came inside slowly, almost shyly, and Gibbs watched him move. He had a shallow baking dish in his hands, and Gibbs jerked his head toward the kitchen, knowing Tony would take the unspoken order and run with it.
He was silent until Tony had the oven set and the potatoes ready to go into the microwave, but the silence was even starting to get to him. It wasn’t like Tony to be this quiet. Gibbs hopped up on the counter, looking into Tony’s eyes.
“Got something to ask you.”
Tony’s eyes widened and he sucked in a surprised breath. “Yeah? Me too, actually, Boss.”
“Go first,” Gibbs urged.
“No, you, Boss.”
Gibbs shook his head, but when it became clear that Tony wasn’t gonna break first, Gibbs opened his mouth to speak.
“Were ya ever gonna tell me that you’re—“ He stopped himself, realizing Tony was talking too.
“in love with me?” Tony finished.
They just blinked at each other for a minute, Gibbs’ jaw clenching and unclenching, Tony’s mouth open slightly, another of those little squeaks coming out.
“Can you repeat that?” Tony asked finally, his voice shaking, his eyes almost too bright.
“You ever gonna tell me that you’re in love with me?” Gibbs asked in a husky voice.
“Thought that was what you said,” Tony said, his mouth working for a few seconds. “Were you?”
“You’re in love with me?” Gibbs asked, needing verbal confirmation.
“Is that a problem?” Tony asked. He was still protecting himself, not saying the words, but it was enough. Hell, it was more than enough for now.
Gibbs shook his head.
“Were you ever going to tell me, Boss?”
“Telling you now,” Gibbs whispered, moving closer. “No more talking, DiNozzo. The rest can wait. Everything else can wait. C’mere, DiNozzo.”
“You gonna kiss me?” Tony asked, grinning wide when Gibbs’ hand came into contact with the back of his head.
“You gonna shut up so that I can?”
Or is it?
If you want to see more, tell me. If there is enough interest, I’ll definitely consider writing a sequel.
MTAC - NCIS Fic