Two Masters

by: Xanthe (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 004 Word Count: 198504
Rating: ADULT
Warning(s): BDSM, Kink
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Action/Adventure, Angst/Drama, First Time, Hurt/Comfort, Mystery, Romance
Pairing(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo
Summary: Tony decides that he wants more from Gibbs than headslaps. But can Gibbs be persuaded to love again, and is Tony prepared to confront the demons from his past and learn how to trust?

Extract: "You can belong to me, or to the past - but not both. You can't serve two masters."

Author Notes: Dedication: This story is for Nikita, with love.

Thank you to:
nikitariddick, liresius,
flyingnorth, haggitha, taylorgibbs, and bluespirit_star for beta reading and audiencing. You have all been wonderful - thank you so much. Any mistakes are mine.

Explanatory Notes: Many years ago, I wrote a Skinner/Mulder, master/slave serial in The X Files fandom. It was called 24/7, and was one of my most well-known stories at the time. It still gets more hits than most of the other stories on my site.

When I decided to write a 24/7 dom/sub story for Gibbs and Tony, I thought it might be nice to revisit Skinner and Mulder to find out where they're at now. However, this is a Gibbs/DiNozzo story all the way. Walter and Fox will just be dropping by occasionally. You don't need to be familiar with The X Files or 24/7 to read this story. If, however, you are interested in the journey Walter and Fox went on, you can find it on my website at

This story is a somewhat bonkers, kinky soap opera with lots of sex and angst. It's clearly a TOTAL fantasy, and is intentionally "big" in tone, style and characterisation. Some activities have been condensed for dramatic pacing. This story is NOT a "how-to" guide to BDSM.

Chapter One

Tony stared at the glass in his hand. He was drunk - no doubt about it. Pleasantly drunk. Not so drunk that he couldn't walk, but not so sober that he could stop himself doing what he was about to do next.

He put the glass down, got up, and left the bar. It was late, but hell, it was Friday, so he could stay out all night and not risk the full Gibbs death glare that came with staggering into work with a hangover the next day. And Christ, if Gibbs hadn't been such a bastard these past few months then maybe he wouldn't need to do this at all.

"So it's all his fault," Tony told himself, nodding vigorously, and trying not to be aware of the fact that he'd walked to the end of the street and was now standing outside a small, unprepossessing little bar with the name "Murray's" written above the door.

"Murray's." Tony hesitated in the doorway. "Murray…I don't know who the hell you are, but I'm coming in. Or maybe that should be coming out."

He took a deep breath, then pushed open the door and stepped inside. A man was seated at a desk in the small mirrored vestibule within.

"Good evening, sir," the man said politely. "I’m Gary. You are aware that this is a members' only bar, aren't you?"

"Yeah." Tony fumbled around in his pocket and pulled out the laminated card that had been burning a hole in his pants for the past two months. He gave it to the guy who swiped it.

"Mr. Yates? It's been a while since you were last here, sir," Gary said pleasantly, gazing at his computer screen.

"Well, you don't get out much when you're dead," Tony muttered.

"Sorry, sir?" Gary raised an eyebrow.

"Nothing…uh – look, I've kind of forgotten where to go? Like you said – been a while."

"Of course, sir. Just follow the stairs down into the main bar area. Tonight is regular dress but Saturdays are fetish wear only. If you want to book any of the private rooms then just ask – they aren't available on Saturdays as they're used for open displays – but any other night you should be fine."

"Okay. Good. Uh…what kind of fetish wear?" Tony asked, intrigued.

"Here's a leaflet, sir, but pretty much anything goes. Leather, rubber, costume – we hold themed nights on the first Saturday of every month. Tomorrow night it's pirates."

"Pirates?" Tony stared at him, trying hard not to laugh. "As in Captain Jack Sparrow? That kind of pirate?"

"That's right." Gary smiled pleasantly. "We'll set up a whipping post with a rack of cat o’ nine tails next to it for anyone who wants to try out some good, old-fashioned, sea-faring discipline."

Tony gazed at him blankly. Maybe he *had* drunk too much after all. "I know something about sea-faring discipline. Spent a few months handing it out recently. On a big ship. At sea," he added mournfully.

Gary grinned. "Well then – come along tomorrow night, Mr. Yates. I'm sure there will be some unattached sailors looking for a good flogging, and you look like the kind of man who knows how to deliver one." He gave a slightly coquettish wink.

"Uh…I do?" Tony glanced at himself sideways in the mirror. He was dressed in his clubbing clothes – black jeans, loose dark green and black striped shirt, and an expensive black leather jacket. He wasn't sure that he looked like the kind of guy who handed out good floggings. What *did* those kinds of people look like anyway?

"Yes, sir." Gary pointed at his computer screen. "You filled in a questionnaire with your preferences when you joined, Mr. Yates."

"My preferences…?" Tony asked blankly.

"You're a dominant?" Gary glanced at him. "A top? That's what we've got here. Is that wrong, sir? I can always change it…"

"No! Uh…that's fine. Leave it." Tony shrugged. "Dominant. Yes." He thought of Jeanne, laid out naked on his bed, wrists confined in a pair of fluffy pink handcuffs, gazing up at him, so sweetly submissive. "Yeah. Dominant," he muttered.

"My boss likes to make sure we have a good mix of people – too many subs looking for doms or vice versa, and people get disappointed," Gary explained.

"Right. Yeah. Of course. Hadn't thought of it like that," Tony said. Thinking about Jeanne had sobered him up. He gave Gary a nod, paused for a moment, screwing up his courage, and then walked down the red carpeted stairs and into the bar below.

He wasn't sure what he'd expected but the warm, welcoming room he stepped into somehow seemed incongruous after all that talk about floggings. There was a fire burning in a grate in the corner and sturdy dark oak fixtures and fittings. Tony's investigator eyes took in the hooks embedded in the beams at various points around the room though - and the crossed whips on display on the far wall were hard to miss.

A few men and the occasional woman were dotted around the place, dressed perfectly normally. It wasn't exactly bustling, but then it was pretty late. Tony wondered how to start. Did you just go up to people and ask them straight out, or did you wait to be approached? Was it like a regular bar, or were there some strange rules and etiquette that he didn’t know about? Maybe he should have done more research. Months spent trawling through the pages of various bondage websites every night somehow hadn’t equipped him for this.

He didn't know what to do, so he went over to the bar, sat down, and ordered a whisky. The barman was a tough, wiry, older guy with a battered face. He gazed at Tony searchingly as he reached into his jacket, pulled out his wallet, and paid for his drink.

"Don't think I remember you," the barman said. "Have you visited us before?"

"Uh…yeah. I'm Brad Yates," Tony replied, flashing his laminated card at the guy.

The barman nodded thoughtfully and poured Tony his drink. Then he disappeared out the back. Tony gulped down his drink in one go and glanced around some more. One of the guys at a nearby table smiled at him. He panicked and turned away. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. What the hell was he doing here anyway? He was so far out of his comfort zone it was unreal. Gibbs would laugh his ass off if he could see him now. Thinking of Gibbs just made him angry. The barman reappeared, so Tony ordered another whisky. If nothing else, at least he could get even more stinking drunk than he already was.

He nursed his whisky miserably while he looked around again. Maybe he should come back tomorrow evening, but…pirates? Where the hell was he going to get a pirate costume and just how dumb-assed was the whole idea of dressing up like Captain Jack Sparrow anyway? Tony couldn't see himself in dreadlocks. Then there was the whole flogging thing. Had that guy back there mentioned a cat o' nine tails? What did one of those look like? What would it feel like to be stripped to the waist and tied to a whipping post while some guy laid down lines of fire across your shoulders and back? Tony felt his cock respond just to the mental image, and he took another gulp of his whisky to quell it. What the hell was wrong with him?

That guy was smiling at him again. Tony ordered another shot of whisky and then took it and staggered over to a booth in the far corner of the room, so he could sit in the shadows and not be looked at. Maybe he wasn't ready for this. Maybe he'd got this all wrong.

He stared into his drink moodily, struggling with himself for the next half hour. He didn't want this. He shouldn't want this. Christ, he didn't even know what the hell it was he wanted. He had vague, half-formed thoughts and ideas, but the reality…? Who the hell knew?

He had made it through another couple of whiskies when the shadow fell over his table. He looked up into a pair of dark brown eyes.

"Anyone sitting here?" a deep voice asked.

Tony swallowed - hard. The guy standing in front of him was probably his own height but much broader, with heavily muscled shoulders that the soft folds of his expensive sweater did nothing to hide. His impressive chest tapered into a flat belly and slim hips. He had long legs, encased in a pair of plain black chinos. His smooth, bald head and the glasses he wore spoke of a bureaucrat, but he had an aura of authority that belied that. He carried himself with a self-confidence that reminded Tony of…

"You a Marine?" he asked, the drink making him stupid.

The guy raised an eyebrow. "Interesting question."

"Got an interesting answer?" Tony grinned.

The man grunted. "Been a long time since I was in the Corps, but yes, I'm a Marine.”

"Thought so." Tony nodded. "Can always tell. When you work with one for long enough…" He tapped his nose. "And then we're always coming across dead ones as well. So I know all about Marines.”

Mr. Marine shook his head and sat down across from him.

“Didn’t say you could sit there,” Tony said. The guy gave him a look of pure danger, the kind Tony was all too familiar with from eight years working with Gibbs. “Didn’t say you couldn’t, either,” Tony muttered. He finished his whisky and yelled at the barman for a refill.

"You've had enough," his uninvited guest said.

"Yeah. I really have." Tony grinned. "Did anyone ever tell you that you look kinda like Daddy Warbucks from the movie ‘Annie’?”

“Only people who weren’t invested in living,” Mr. Marine replied, deadpan.

Tony grinned. “Okay. I won’t call you ‘Daddy’ then.”

“That’s wise. In a place like this it could be misconstrued.”

Tony laughed. “Who're you?"

"I'm a friend of the owner. He called me – asked me to come over here and talk to you."

"Why?" Tony glanced over to the bar and saw the barman gazing at him steadily as he dried some glasses.

"Well, first off – because you're carrying a knife," Mr. Marine said pleasantly.

"How the hell did he…?" Tony looked down, befuddled. His knife was very well hidden, but obviously the barman had some kind of special observational powers. "Look – I didn't mean anything by it - I’m not looking for trouble!" Tony protested. "It’s just – it’s a rule, you see. Rule Number Nine: Never go anywhere without a knife."

"Do you like living by a set of rules?" Mr. Marine asked.

Tony grinned. "Don't have a choice." Those brown eyes continued to gaze at him, an assessing expression in their dark depths. "Yeah," he muttered. "I like it. His rules anyway. I like his rules."

"That why you're here, Mr…?"

Tony searched his memory for the right name. "Yates!" he said at last, triumphantly.

"No - your real name." Mr. Marine folded his arms across his broad chest, suddenly looking very dangerous. "You see, Brad Yates was a regular here up until a couple of months ago."

"Really?" Tony wondered if he was still sober enough to stand a chance in a fight with this guy. Shit, now would be a really bad time to have to call Gibbs and ask for a rescue. Not *here* of all places. Probably better to take the beating that he felt sure was coming his way than call Gibbs out to this place and explain what the hell he was doing here.

"Yeah. Brad's a nice guy – commander in the Navy, commended for bravery a few times - but he's in his fifties – and you’re not. You're not Brad Yates. So, the question is…"

"Who am I?"

"And where did you get his member's card," Mr. Marine agreed, with an easy nod of his head.

"Okay…I'm sorry. Brad Yates is dead," Tony explained. Mr. Marine's expression darkened. "Hey – that's not my fault!” Tony said hastily. “Natural causes as it turned out, although we didn’t know that at first – cerebral haemorrhage. He ended up on one of our autopsy tables, and we did an investigation. His card was in his pocket, and, well, I might have borrowed it…I admit that. But I'd heard about this place, and I was curious, and he didn't need the damn card any more, and it wasn't evidence…well, not real evidence…I mean…okay, so maybe technically, but…"

Mr. Marine stared at him sternly, looking completely unimpressed by what he was hearing, and Tony winced. Then suddenly, much to his surprise, the other man started to laugh.

"Did I say something funny?" Tony demanded.

Mr. Marine shook his head. "Nope – you just remind me of someone."


"Oh, just someone I know – someone who also allows his curiosity to over-ride all good sense. Someone who gets himself into a lot of trouble that way."

"Am I in trouble?" Tony licked his lips hopefully. This guy was pressing all the right buttons. He was a Marine, just like Gibbs, and he exuded an air of solid authority. He looked more laid back than Gibbs, but he had that same "don't mess with me" aura that Gibbs had. He was older than Gibbs, and God knows Tony didn't even want to think about how much that appealed to him, with all the fucked up daddy shit he had going on.

"Oh yeah," Mr. Marine said. "You sure as hell are – but then I figure you’re used to that. Now, tell me who you are and what the hell you're doing here – and if you lie to me, I promise you that nobody in this city will play with you – ever. Got that straight, boy?"

Tony liked the way he said that word. Boy. Vance sometimes referred to him as Gibbs's ‘boy’, and he loved the way that sounded.

"You have the power to do that? Stop anyone in the city playing with me?" Tony asked, surprised. "I mean, there are other bars and clubs besides this one…"

"Yeah. And I can get you kicked out of all of 'em." Mr. Marine sat back in his chair and stretched out his long legs. "So start talking, boy. Let's see if you're as good as *my* boy at talking your way out of trouble."

Tony felt a slight pang of disappointment at the realisation that this guy already had someone in his life. Just his luck. He realised there was nothing left to be gained by lying, and he recognised that uncompromising look in the other man's eyes. It was like facing Gibbs after a screw-up; you just had to get on with it and tell it straight. Gibbs always knew when he was lying, and he had no doubt that the man sitting opposite had the same weird gift.

"My name is Tony DiNozzo," he said with a contrite smile. "I'm sorry I stole Mr. Yates's card. Like I said, I was curious…but I didn't want to use my own name because…well, because I've never done anything like this before. I don't even know what I'm doing here. I just…there's a guy…”

“Yeah, I figured,” Mr. Marine commented.

Tony ducked his head, gazing morosely into his empty glass. “I fucked up…and I got sent away to sea as a punishment…and now I’m back it’s like he can’t stand to have me around. He doesn’t laugh at the stupid shit I do just to get his attention, and he won't even slap my head when I screw up any more. It's like he's shut down on me. And there was this girl…you figure that too?”

Mr. Marine just gestured with his head for Tony to continue.

“I know, I'm drunk and not making any sense,” Tony babbled. “But I really liked her. Maybe I even loved her…I dunno. But she used to ask me to tie her up and do all this kinky stuff to her, and I'd look down on her and all I could feel was fucking envy, y'know? I just…I wanted that. Not from her…from him – from the guy I was telling you about. But he blames me for Jenny's death, and I did fuck up there, and sometimes I just wish he'd slap me around until he feels better 'cause that'd make me feel better too, but he doesn't. He doesn't know that I spent months at sea drinking too much and thinking about him and how I've screwed everything up. And now I'm back, and he can hardly stand to look at me, and it's been a long time – and I mean a very long time - since I last had sex because I don't want anyone else but him, and you have no idea how big a fucking revelation that is to me."

He ran out of steam and gazed at Mr. Marine pathetically. The other man gazed back at him silently.

"I can't even apologise to him," Tony sighed. "He hates that. Calls it a sign of weakness. Is that a Marine thing by the way or just him? Shit. I think I said too much. I'm very, very drunk."

"Oh yeah. You are," Mr. Marine said quietly.

"Still in trouble?" Tony asked.

"Oh, I suspect you're always in some kind of trouble," Mr. Marine said, with a glint of amusement in his eyes. "I figure that's just the way you like it."

"This boyfriend of yours…I don't see him around." Tony grinned at him suggestively.

"He's out of town. He's a writer. He's away researching something right now."

"He sounds kind of boring." Tony wrinkled up his forehead.

Mr. Marine laughed. "Oh, he's many things, but nobody has ever accused him of being boring."

"You in love with him?" Tony asked mournfully.

"Yeah." Mr. Marine's whole demeanour changed when he spoke about his absent boyfriend; his expression softened and his entire body relaxed. "Yeah. I am.”

“Been together long?”

Mr. Marine shrugged. “About ten years - and he still surprises me all the time. Keeps me on my toes. Never a dull moment when he’s around."

"Great. Just what I wanted to hear. Look…I should go…"

Tony got to his feet - and then immediately fell over. He would have crashed to the ground if Mr. Marine hadn't grabbed his arm in the nick of time. Tony lolled against the big man’s solid chest, and then he leaned over and threw up all over the table.

"Damn it!” Mr. Marine growled. “You're in no state to get yourself home."

"Sorry," Tony belched pathetically. The barman came rushing over, an annoyed expression on his face. "Sorry," Tony said again, helplessly. The room swam around him, and he cursed himself for getting this wasted.

“You okay to clean up, Hammer?” Mr. Marine asked. “I’ll take care of this one – get him home, so he can sleep it off.”

“Sure,” the barman sighed. “Just get him out of here.”

"He the owner?" Tony asked, as Mr. Marine picked up his arm, slung it around his shoulders, and walked him towards the stairs. "You said you know the owner. That him? Is he Murray? No…wait…you called him something else. Hammer? That his real name?"

Mr. Marine paused for a moment, a fleeting expression of sadness in his eyes. "Yes, Hammer’s his real name. And yes he’s the owner. Murray was his boyfriend – and his dom. Murray died a couple of years ago,” he said quietly. “Heart attack. He hadn’t been well for some time. Hammer bought this place after he died to give himself something to focus on – named it after him. Murray was a good friend of mine. I like to help out here when I can. Like tonight."

He dragged Tony up the stairs and out into the street. Tony wasn’t aware of much of what happened next apart from being slung into a car and then driven someplace else. Next thing he knew he was sitting in a beautifully decorated bedroom, and Mr. Marine was kneeling down in front of him, undoing his shoelaces. He removed Tony's shoes and then his socks.

“Bathroom is that way,” his benefactor said, pointing in the direction of an en-suite. “If you want to throw up – do it in there. If you miss, you’ll be clearing it up yourself in the morning.”

“Okay.” Tony nodded solemnly.

Mr. Marine helped him out of his leather jacket and then unbuttoned his shirt and removed it. His hands moved down to Tony’s belt.

"You gonna fuck me, Boss?" Tony asked.

"No, Tony. I'm not going to fuck you," Mr. Marine replied with a chuckle. He undid Tony’s pants.

“Oh. Right.” Tony felt a pang of disappointment. He shifted his hips so the other man could remove his pants.

“And I’m not your boss.”

“No. Sorry.” Tony gazed at him stupidly.

“Has anyone ever fucked you, Tony?”

“No.” Tony shook his head. “Thought if I chased enough skirt I’d be able to pretend I didn’t want it. Didn’t work.” He stared up into a pair of sympathetic brown eyes. “Don't even know your name," he muttered.

"We'll talk in the morning. I'll tell you then. You wouldn't remember it if I told you now in any case," Mr. Marine said, with a roll of his eyes.

He folded Tony’s clothes neatly and put them on a nearby chair. Tony's badge fell to the floor, and his new friend picked it up.

"NCIS? Figures. I suspected you were a fed."

"Yeah?" Tony gazed at him, trying to focus. "Why?"

"Well, I knew you were a cop because of what you said about Yates. And as for being a fed – takes one to know one."

"You're a fed too?" Tony wished he hadn't drunk so much. He had a feeling this was important.

Mr. Marine grinned. "FBI."

"No offence, but I can't stand you bastards," Tony told him solemnly. Mr. Marine laughed and pushed him down on the bed. He pulled a blanket over him. "D'you know a guy called Fornell?" Tony asked.

"Yup. He's one of my people as a matter of fact."

"Oh. Shit." Tony sighed. "You gonna tell him about this? About me?"

"Nope." Mr. Marine shook his head. "He's not the one who needs to know. Get some sleep, Tony. We'll talk in the morning."

"Sounds bad." Tony made a face.

“Yeah. Now sleep."

Mr. Marine grinned at him, and Tony grinned back and then closed his eyes. He was vaguely aware of Mr. Marine moving around the room. A moment later, he felt a hand smoothing his hair and heard the big man sigh loudly.

"You sure as hell are trouble, kid," he murmured. "Question is - what should I do with you? Lost boy like you…I figure you should be returned to your owner, don't you?"

Tony mumbled something incoherent and turned over onto his side. His eyelids flickered, and he watched hazily as Mr. Marine pulled a cell phone out of his pocket and flipped it open. He looked at it for a moment, as if trying to make up his mind about something, and then he dialled a number.

There was a pause. Mr. Marine glanced over at Tony, shaking his head ruefully, and then looked away again as his call was answered.

"Hey – it's Walter Skinner," he said softly. "Sorry to call you so late, but I think I have something here that belongs to you, Jethro..."


Walter Skinner put some coffee onto brew and then sat back and waited. Fifteen minutes later, he buzzed an old friend into the building, and two minutes after that he opened his door to him.

"Gunnery Sergeant Skinner?" A familiar figure stood in the doorway, a little grin on his face.

"Private Gibbs." Skinner opened the door wide to let him in. Gibbs held out his hand, and Skinner took it – but only to pull his old friend into a bear hug. Gibbs gave a little laugh and slapped his back heartily. "You still getting into fights?" Skinner asked when he released him.

"Yeah. You still breaking 'em up?" Gibbs glanced at him from those steely blue eyes of his.

"Not so much these days," Skinner grinned. "Mostly, I sit behind a big desk and send other people out to get their hands dirty."

"I heard – Deputy Director of the FBI." Gibbs made a little motion with his head. "Don't know how you can stand all the paperwork - and the making nice with stupid people."

"Ah – you haven't changed, Jethro," Skinner laughed. "I hope you know that you have quite a reputation in the corridors of power. I've known Secretaries of State go to ground rather than take a call from you."

"I try to avoid them as much as possible too. They should do their jobs and leave me to do mine," Gibbs grunted. "Do I smell coffee?"

"Of course. I started a brew when I knew you were coming over."

Skinner gestured him into the kitchen and motioned with his head for him to sit down. He poured them each a cup and then sat down opposite his guest. Gibbs took a sip and sighed.

"Real Marine coffee," he said in a satisfied tone. "Just how I like it."

"Miss the old days?"

"Sometimes. Don't miss you chewing out my ass on the parade ground and making me scrub bathroom floors with a toothbrush though," Gibbs chuckled.

"Well, you were a stubborn little shit, Jethro. For awhile back there, I wasn't sure if you'd get yourself killed within five minutes of seeing action, end up in Leavenworth, or turn out to be the best damn Marine I ever trained," Skinner shrugged. "I'm glad it turned out to be the latter. Hell, Jethro – you've exceeded all my expectations. So I figure it was worth riding your ass so hard when you were just a punk kid with a hot temper and quick fists."

"Still got both of those," Gibbs grunted. "Just keep ‘em under better control now. Learned that from you, Walter."

"Yeah. The hard way as I recall." Skinner sat back in his chair, remembering how he'd once kept a rebellious Private Leroy Jethro Gibbs standing to attention on the parade ground for a solid six hours before he'd finally seen some kind of submission in those stubborn blue eyes.

"Is there any other way?" Gibbs raised an eyebrow, and Skinner was pretty sure he was remembering the exact same thing.

"Always knew you had the potential to be the best, Jethro – and you haven't proved me wrong," Skinner said softly. "I've followed your career at NCIS – your solve rate is phenomenal. I'm proud of you."

Gibbs actually looked touched by that. Then he cleared his throat and shifted in his chair, looking uncomfortable.

"You said you have something that belongs to me?"

"Yes." Skinner nodded, immediately becoming brisk and businesslike. "Found him in a bar, getting drunk - very drunk. He used a fake ID to get in."

"What kind of a bar?"

"My kind of a bar, Jethro." Skinner folded his arms across his chest. "One of *those* kinds of bars – that's why he needed an ID to get in. Oh – and he was carrying."

"His gun?" Gibbs looked angry.

"No – a knife. Said he had to. That it was a rule. One of your rules." Skinner sat back in his chair and studied Gibbs.

"He mentioned me by name?"

"Hell no! Boy might be stinking drunk, but he's sharp. He didn't tell me he worked at NCIS either; I figured it out – and his badge fell out of his jacket when I was putting him to bed."

"You put him to bed?" Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

"Yes, Jethro. He was wasted, so I put him to bed."

Skinner noticed that Gibbs's knuckles had turned white where he was clenching his fist around his mug of coffee. So that was the way it was.

"Didn't take long to figure out that the man whose rules he liked following had to be you. Never met anyone else with a set of rules they live by," Skinner grinned.

Gibbs just glared at him. "Who did the ID belong to?"

Skinner sighed. "He stole it. From a dead naval commander you had in your autopsy suite."

Gibbs's expression turned thunderous. "He stole evidence from a corpse?"

"That's what he said. I think he's been plucking up the courage to use it ever since."

"Christ. I'll kick his ass so hard he won't know what's hit him," Gibbs growled.

Skinner laughed out loud. "Figured you'd say that. Look, Jethro – that boy is trouble. Anyone can see that just by looking at him. But he's the good kind of trouble, I think. The kind of trouble you were, back when I first knew you – the kind that makes all the discipline and hard work worthwhile. Am I wrong?"

"No. But he's worked under me for eight years, and I've slapped a hell of a lot of good sense into him in that time. I'm surprised he'd do something like this. It's a rookie screw-up," Gibbs growled. "You don't ever tamper with evidence! He knows that!"

"He's desperate," Skinner shrugged. Gibbs looked up, startled. "He knows what he wants, Jethro," Skinner told him quietly. "I think he's wanted it for a very long time. And looking at you, I think you want it too. So, question is – why won't you step up and give you both what you need?"

A flicker of something passed across Gibbs's face. "No. I'm not doing this again, Walter."

"That boy belongs to you, Jethro. He's just waiting to be claimed. Leave him much longer, and you'll see him spinning out of control and pulling more stunts like this. Trust me – I know. I've been there."

"Yeah…" Gibbs glanced around. "Where is Fox, Walter? Out chasing after little green men again?"

"Don't let him hear you calling them that," Skinner grimaced. "Or you'll get the full hour lecture on the fact they aren't green."

"What colour are they then?"

"Grey," Skinner grinned. "I know I'm talking to a sceptic here, but he knows what he's seen, Jethro, and I don't doubt him for a second. He's out of town this week doing research for his new book – he'll be back on Sunday. But we're not talking about him – we're talking about you and that boy in my bed." Skinner leaned back in his chair. "How many men work for you, Jethro? Not the women – the men. How many men have you got on your team?"

Gibbs frowned at the question. "On my immediate team – two. If you count the wider team then four…I guess. What the hell has that got to do with anything?"

"I haven't told you the name of the one snoring his head off in my bedroom right now," Skinner said. "But you know which one it is, don't you?"

If looks could kill, the expression on Gibbs's face would have laid waste to an entire city.

"Y'know – that look didn't scare me when Private Leroy Jethro Gibbs was fighting a losing battle with his Gunnery Sergeant back in boot camp – and it sure as hell doesn't scare me now," Skinner told him. "I saw how you looked when I said he was sleeping in my bed, Jethro. You didn't like it. That boy's yours, and you know it. The longer you let him run off-leash like this, the more likely he is to get into trouble – or get himself hurt."

"He'll be fine," Gibbs shrugged. "He's a grown man, Walter – not a boy. He's my best agent. He can take care of himself."

"Sure." Skinner nodded. "I agree. Fox was about the same age when I took him in, and he was a brilliant agent – the best - but he's still my boy. He always will be, even when we're both old men. And Tony's your boy. You know that, Jethro, in your heart."

Gibbs's eyes flashed when Skinner said Tony's name. Skinner leaned forward.

"What's the problem, Jethro? Why won't you claim him?"

"Is that what he wants?" Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "Does he want what I can give him? Does he really know what it will entail?"

"He's a newbie." Skinner shrugged. "So what? When I took on Fox he'd been around the scene for a few years and learned all kinds of bad habits. We had to work on those. Took about a year of hard work to help him unlearn them. I had to take him down deep, Jethro. Right back to basics. Took him down and built him up again, and we've never been happier since, but Christ – that first year." He shook his head. "It was tough. It'll be easier with Tony. You can train him up from scratch. He's eager to please, and you're good at the training part."

"I don't think he has the first idea what he'd be letting himself in for," Gibbs growled. "He's probably got some stupid damn fantasy in his head – and I don't want to be the one who ruins that for him."

"Who says you'd be ruining it?" Skinner queried. "Way I see it, you'd be fulfilling it."

"You said he's a newbie?" Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah – he mentioned some girl he topped. Said he envied her and wanted that from you. He was pretty clear about it. He knows what he wants, Jethro."

"He doesn't have a damn clue!" Gibbs snapped, thumping his fist down on the table. Skinner stared at him steadily, and Gibbs had the grace to look a little abashed by his outburst. "You mention a girl – the Tony DiNozzo I know has chased more skirt than you can possibly imagine, Walter. He's never given the slightest hint of being bisexual."

"You sure about that?" Skinner asked. "'Cause it seems to me that he's devoted to you to the point of obsession. The way he said he liked following your rules…are you seriously telling me you've never noticed that?"

Gibbs made a gesture of annoyance with his jaw and it clicked, loudly.

"You know. You've known for years." Skinner shook his head wryly. "You are a mean son of a bitch, Jethro, keeping the boy hanging on like this, all this time."

Gibbs leaned forward. "He even been fucked by a guy, Walter?" he asked quietly. "I bet he hasn't. He's not just a newbie, he's Snow fucking White."

“And are you telling me you can just stand by and allow some other guy to be his first?” Skinner demanded. Gibbs’s jaw tightened again.

“I told you – I’m not doing this again, Walter. You know how it was with Jenny – and then with Stan. Training them up, looking out for them, caring about them – and then losing them when it’s time for them to move on. It hurts too damn much.”

“Then keep this one,” Skinner said softly.

“What?” Gibbs looked up, startled, as if that idea hadn’t occurred to him.

“Keep him. The way I kept Fox. Allow this one to share your life, Jethro, the way you never allowed Jenny or Stan to – not really. You were a damn good dom to them both, sure, but you always kept them at arm’s length. They knew it, and you knew it. That’s why they moved on in the end.”

“At least Jenny and Stan both knew what they were getting into. They were both experienced subs when I met them – hell, Jenny knew more than I did! Tony doesn’t know a thing. If we start this, and if he hates it – then I’ve lost him right there. Not just his friendship and trust, but our working relationship too. There’s no coming back from that.”

“And if you don’t start it, you’ll never damn well find out. Christ, Jethro – never took you for such a quitter.”

“Says the man who avoided Fox Mulder for a year before finally taking him on,” Gibbs muttered darkly.

Skinner grinned. “And look how that turned out! Taking on Fox was the best thing I ever did. Way to make my point for me, Jethro!”

“I should go,” Gibbs snapped, getting up.

“Don’t you want to check that he’s okay first?” Skinner got to his feet and jerked his head in the general direction of the bedroom.

“Hell no. I’m sure he’s fine. Won’t be the first time he’s slept off a hangover. Or the last.”

“You sure he’s fine?” Skinner asked. “You sure you can leave without at least checking for yourself?”

He saw the hesitation in Gibbs’s eyes and the flicker of annoyance that crossed his face and stifled a smile. Skinner knew exactly the kind of dom Gibbs was, and there was no way he’d leave here if there was even a hint of doubt in his mind that his boy might be in any kind of danger. Skinner had met plenty of more subtle doms in his time but never any more protective – and possessive – than Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

“Where is he?” Gibbs growled at last.

“This way.”

Skinner led him up the stairs and along the hallway to the bedroom. He opened the door quietly and allowed Gibbs to peer inside.

Tony was a messy sleeper. He was hugging a pillow to his chest, and his legs were entwined in the sheets which he’d kicked back at some point to reveal the fact that he was only wearing boxer shorts. Skinner saw Gibbs’s expression darken.

“Who undressed him?”

“I did.” Skinner gazed at him calmly. He knew that look in Gibbs’s eyes – it wasn’t an expression he’d seen in them in a long time, but he knew what it meant. Gibbs wasn’t happy to find his boy lying half naked in another man’s bed – Gibbs wasn’t happy *at all*. “He was out of it. Asked me if I was going to fuck him – and if I’d wanted to, I could. He was in no state to know what the hell was going on.”

Gibbs’s jaw tightened so much that Skinner was surprised he didn’t hear it snap.

“You wouldn’t have taken advantage of him, Walter,” he growled.

“I wouldn’t, no.” Skinner shrugged. “So it was lucky it was me he met in that bar tonight, wasn’t it? Could have been someone else; someone who didn’t mind taking advantage of the pretty kid with the big smile and tight ass.”

Gibbs turned on him with an expression that was distinctly murderous.

“I’m just saying,” Skinner said softly. “Another time he might not be so lucky. If you don’t claim him, Jethro, someone else will – and he’ll let them, while wishing all the time that it was you. You want that to happen?”

At that moment, Tony turned in his sleep, muttering something. He stretched out, revealing even more naked flesh than before. He had long, solid legs, and a broad chest covered in a thatch of dark hair. He was a beautiful boy – Skinner knew plenty of doms who would love to have a submissive like this in their beds.

Gibbs clenched his hands into fists, and then he turned and walked stiffly away. Skinner closed the door on the sleeping Tony and followed him.

“Jethro!” Skinner caught up with him by the front door. “When he asked me if I was going to fuck him, he called me ‘Boss’.”

Gibbs paused, his hand on the door, his body rigid. Skinner reached out to touch his shoulder, but Gibbs shrugged him off angrily.

“No,” he hissed. “No. I’m not doing this again, Walter. Damn it…haven’t I lost enough people?”

Skinner gave a nod of understanding. “Jethro, I know what’s going on. I know why it didn't work out for you with Jenny or Stan - and I know why all your wives left you too. I know you don't trust yourself to love again. I was there when you lost Shannon and Kelly, remember? Same as you were there for me when I lost Sharon.”

“Then why the hell would you do something this fucking cruel, Walter?”

“Because I know how it feels! And I know that at some point you have to stop punishing yourself for it - for not being able to prevent it, and for not being able to keep them safe. You have to trust yourself to love again, Jethro."

"I can't," Gibbs said hoarsely. "I can't keep losing people, Walter. I can't do it again."

Skinner sighed. "There are no guarantees, but it doesn’t have to happen again, Jethro. Look at me and Fox. He leads about the most dangerous life of anyone I’ve ever known, and yes, maybe one day that’ll kill him. But I’ve had ten years with him – ten years I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t taken a risk in the first place. I wouldn’t change those ten years for anything – not one second of them - not even if I lost him tomorrow.”

There was a stubborn expression in Gibbs’s eyes that Skinner remembered all too well from when Gunnery Sergeant Skinner had faced off against Private Gibbs on the parade ground. Neither of them had been prepared to give up without a fight. Skinner had won that one but not before Gibbs had pushed him to the very limits of his patience. He suspected he’d need a similar amount of patience this time around too.

Skinner opened the door. “Think about it, Jethro,” he said softly. “I’ll keep him safe while you make up your mind.”

“I already have, Walter,” Gibbs growled, stalking out of the door. “I already damn well have.”


Fox Mulder let himself wearily into the apartment, threw his bag on the floor, took off his jacket, letting it drop where it fell, and made for the stairs. He might get spanked for the mess in the morning, but right now he didn't damn well care. He was just glad to have put a few hundred miles between himself and the boondocks – and the creepy in-breds there who'd chased him out of town with pitchforks.

"Which is something that really should only happen in the movies," he muttered to himself. His body ached from all the running, and he just wanted to crawl into the warm circle of his master's arms and relish the comfort of being home.

He undid his shirt as he climbed the stairs and dropped that where it fell too. Then his pants. His master might cut him some slack in the morning, once he explained, but Mulder suspected that if he delivered a heartfelt enough blowjob that would make Skinner mellow enough to ignore the breadcrumb trail of clothes leading from the front door to their bedroom. He kicked off his shoes outside the bedroom door, peeled off his socks, dumped his boxers, and then silently let himself into the bedroom, closing the door behind him, trying his best not to wake his sleeping master.

He slid into the bed, and his master moved and muttered something in his sleep. Mulder grinned and slipped his arms around…a very unfamiliar body.

"Whoa!" Mulder jumped back out of the bed as if he'd been bitten by a snake. He looked around, mystified. A dozen possible explanations leaped into his head, although his first thought was that a shape-shifting alien had taken Skinner's place while he’d been out in the boondocks.

He turned on the lamp and gazed into a pair of sleepy green eyes. The man in his bed was about ten years younger than him, with tousled brown hair and a lazy, hazy smile.

"Who the hell are you?" Mulder demanded.

"Tony," the man replied happily. "S'nice to meet you, thanks v’ry much." His head dropped back down onto the pillow, and he started snoring.

Mulder gazed at him from narrowed eyes. Then he stepped forward, took hold of Tony's hair, and pulled his head back. Tony blinked.

"I'm on it, Boss!" he said blearily. His hands moved involuntarily, as if typing on a keyboard.

"Who the hell are you, and what are you doing in my bed?" Mulder demanded, shaking Tony hard, pulling on his hair.

"Hmmm?" Tony smiled at him.

"Where's Walter?"

Tony frowned, as if trying very hard to concentrate. "Walter? He the big guy? Met him at Murray’s. Gonna fuck me, Boss?"

Mulder glared at him. "You a sub, Tony?" he asked, in a dangerous tone of voice.

Tony smiled happily. "Yeah.”

"And Walter picked you up in Murray’s bar?"

Tony's grin widened. "Yeah," he said again, in a dreamy tone of voice.

"I'm going to fucking kill him." Mulder dropped Tony like a lead weight and looked around the room. "Where the hell is he?" He ran into the en-suite, but there was nobody in there. "Tony? Where the hell is he?" Mulder demanded, but Tony was fast asleep again, his almost naked body wrapped around the pillow he was hugging. Mulder stared down at him angrily, and then he snapped off the light and strode out of the room.

"Walter!" he roared, almost tripping over his own abandoned shoes as he ran along the hallway. "WALTER!"

He tore into the spare room, still yelling, and snapped on the light…to find his master reaching blearily for his glasses that were lying on the nightstand.

"Fox? I thought you weren't due home until Sunday?" Skinner said, in a befuddled tone of voice.

"I wasn't! I came home a couple of days early because the natives wanted to tear me limb from limb, and because I damn well *missed* you, Walter, and then I crawl into bed to find you've got yourself another sub in my absence! What the fuck is going on?"

Skinner sat up in bed and gazed at him calmly. "You done?"

"No, I'm not fucking *done*," Mulder snapped. "I can't believe you did this, Walter. For God's sake, after all we've been through…" He broke off, the enormity of it suddenly hitting him. His legs shook, his knees buckled, and he felt winded. He sat down on the side of the bed, feeling like someone had reached into his body and pulled out his heart.

"Walter?" he whispered.

"Idiot," Skinner said, rolling his eyes.

Mulder gave a shaky little laugh. "There's a really good explanation for this, isn't there?"

"Oh yeah," Skinner grinned. "Come here. You're naked – and it's cold." He pulled Mulder towards him and wrapped the blanket around him. Then he slid his large, capable hands over Mulder's cold skin, holding him close and warming him. "Like I have the patience and energy to take on another slave," Skinner muttered, kissing Mulder's jaw tenderly despite his gruff tone.

"Hey – I come home early, and there's some good-looking young sub asleep in your bed – what the hell am I supposed to think?"

"That clearly I haven't had sex with him because I'm sleeping down the hallway in the spare room?"

"There is that, yeah," Mulder said wryly. "Okay, then who is Tony, why did you pick him up in a bar, and what the hell is he doing in our bed?" Mulder asked, snuggling up close against his master's body for warmth. "Why isn't HE in the spare room, if he has to be here for whatever reason you've taken him in?"

"Because he’s so damn drunk I didn't think he'd remember the way to the bathroom, and he's already thrown up once tonight. Our room is the only one with an en-suite. I figured he was less likely to have an accident in there than in here."

"Oh. Right. That does kind of make sense." Mulder rested his hand on his master's thigh and stroked. "And the reason he's here at all?"

"I was doing a favour for an old friend - two old friends in fact. Hammer called to say that someone had got into the bar using a fake ID. I went to investigate and found Tony. He was too wasted to get home safely. That's where the favour to the *other* old friend came in. I knew a certain Leroy Jethro Gibbs would kick my ass if I allowed his boy to roam around the streets in that condition, so I had no choice but to bring him back here to sleep it off."

Mulder gazed at him, intrigued. "There's someone out there who can kick your ass? Who the hell *is* this Leroy Jethro Gibbs, and when can I meet him?"

Skinner gave a little laugh. "You just missed him as a matter of fact. Christ, what a night!"

“You’re telling me,” Mulder sighed. “Got the shock of my life when I found Tony in our bed.”

Skinner suddenly sat up and looked down on him. “Did you hurt him?”

“Of course not!” Mulder retorted. Skinner raised an eyebrow. “Okay, so I might have pulled on his hair a little, but he’s so out of it I don’t think he noticed.”

“What have I said about establishing all the facts and gathering all the evidence before jumping to conclusions?”

Mulder frowned. “I thought that only applied to conspiracy theories and investigations involving black oil?”

Skinner gave a little bark of laughter and rolled his eyes. Then he settled down beside his slave and gathered him up in his arms again. “Nice to know you still care enough to get jealous, even after ten years.”

“Jealous?” Mulder snorted. “Yeah. Right.”

“You were.”

“Was not.”

Skinner slapped his ass affectionately.

“Gonna spank me?” Mulder asked.

“For being jealous? No. For jumping to ridiculous conclusions and assaulting Tony? Probably,” Skinner told him.

Mulder sighed and rested his chin on his master’s shoulder. “Been awhile since you punished me.”

“Been awhile since you were last a total idiot,” Skinner grinned. “Now…it’s been one hell of a night, and I want to get some sleep. So shut up.”

Mulder closed his eyes happily. He didn’t care about the punishment. He was home, Walter hadn’t cheated on him, and his master’s strong arms were wrapped firmly around his naked body. It really didn’t get any better than this.


Tony groaned and opened an eye. Beside him, on the pillow, two vivid blue eyes gazed back at him curiously.

“Boss?” he muttered.

A white paw came his way and batted at his nose playfully.

“What the fuck?”

He sat up – too quickly – and his stomach roiled. His head was pounding, his vision was blurry, and for a second he thought he was going to throw up. He went back down again with a thud. Then the moment passed and everything came back into focus.

He found himself staring at a cat; a white and grey cat, with big blue eyes. That paw came towards him again, and he turned over to avoid it…only to find himself looking into two yellow eyes instead. Tony gave a little yelp. “Where the hell am I? Planet of the cats?”

This cat was a creamy colour and much smaller than the other one. Both its paws were tucked under its chest, and it was gazing at him with solemn scrutiny.

Tony groaned and sat up again. He had a vague recollection of the events of last night, and he winced. Christ, he’d made a total fool of himself, and now he was in someone else’s bed, in someone else’s apartment, waking up with someone else’s cats watching him. Not that it was the first time this had happened. It was never easy to make your excuses and sidle out of the door with your tail between your legs, hoping against hope that you never saw that person again.

He slid out of the bed and walked across the room to the pile of clothes lying on the chair. His heart gave a little thud when he remembered that he’d taken his NCIS badge to that bar last night. If Mr. Marine had stolen it, then Gibbs would surely kill him – but not before making him go through the entire story, from humiliating beginning to equally humiliating end. Tony heaved a sigh of relief to find that all his belongings were there – including his badge and knife.

He looked around and saw an en-suite bathroom. It didn’t take him long to take a shower and get dressed, and then he took a deep breath, put his hand on the bedroom door, and steeled himself for whatever horrors the new day held.

There was nobody in the hallway, but he could see a flight of stairs, and he could smell coffee somewhere down below. He took another deep breath, wishing his head would stop pounding, and then walked slowly down the stairs like a man going to his certain doom.

He couldn’t remember *everything* about last night, but he was pretty sure that Mr. Marine wasn’t the kind of guy who let you just sneak out. In fact, the man reminded him a hell of a lot of Gibbs, and he couldn’t imagine Gibbs allowing some idiot he’d found using a fake ID in a private members’ bar to just leave without asking him a lot of angry questions first. Especially not if the fake ID belonged to a naval officer. And…oh God, hadn’t Mr. Marine said he was FBI? This just got worse and worse.

He froze, his hand on the banister, his heart racing. Supposing this guy knew Gibbs? He made a face and tiptoed the rest of the way down the stairs. If he was lucky, his benefactor from last night would be in the kitchen making breakfast, and Tony could make a run for the door.

He emerged at the bottom of the stairs into a large living room. There was a kitchen off to one side, and he could hear the sound of clinking cups in there. Good. He began walking towards the door, still on tiptoes…and suddenly came to a surprised halt.

There, standing in the corner of the room, nose pressed to the wall, was a naked man; a naked man with a glowing red ass.

“What the hell…?” Tony was startled into speech by the unexpected sight.

The man glanced over his shoulder, sighed, and then turned back and rested his forehead against the wall with a little whimper.

“I could say the same thing,” a dry voice behind him said. Tony twirled around to see Mr. Marine standing there, wiping his wet hands on a dish towel. “You weren’t going to sneak out on me, were you, Tony? After all I did for you last night?” He raised an eyebrow.

“Uh…no…obviously…” Tony plastered a bright, false smile on his face.

“He so was,” the naked man in the corner said. “He was tiptoeing across the living room on his way to the door.”

“Naughty.” Mr. Marine shook his head. “You.” He pointed at Tony and then at a chair. “Sit.”

Tony did as he was told with a little sigh; like Gibbs, this man was the kind you really didn’t want to piss off.

“You’ve caused me enough trouble for one night,” Mr. Marine told him sternly. “In fact, you’ve caused me more trouble in one night than Fox has in an entire year. I’m not sure if that says more about how well I’ve trained my slave, or more about how much trouble you are, Tony DiNozzo.”

“Your…*slave*?” Tony glanced at the man in the corner of the room and back at Mr. Marine.

“Yup.” Mr. Marine nodded. “Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.”

“Shit.” Tony held on to the edge of the table tightly as the room swam. Then he risked a glance back over at the naked man. “He uh…he…did you…?”

“Spank him? Yes, I did. Oh – and he has something to say to you. Fox?”

The naked man turned his head again. “I’m sorry,” he muttered.

“What the hell for?” Tony frowned.

“I uh…might have tugged on your hair in the night.”

“Oh. Right. Well, maybe. I don’t remember…oh wait…I do remember something.” Tony put his hand up to his hair and smoothed it and then turned back to the big man with a look of alarm. “But…shit – please don’t tell me you punished him for that?”

Mr. Marine shrugged. “What I punish my slave for is between me and him. Now - you look like you need coffee.”

“Thanks…uh…?” Tony winced, racking his brain. “Were we ever introduced?”

“Walter.” The man held out a hand to him. “Walter Skinner.”

Tony shook the hand, frowning as he tried to remember where he’d heard that name before. “Oh shit,” he said, as it suddenly came to him. “You’re the Deputy Director of the FBI, aren’t you?”

Skinner grinned. “Oh yeah. And you are the insubordinate NCIS agent who tried to get into a private members’ bar with a fake ID he stole from a dead naval officer, aren’t you?”

“Oh shit,” Tony said again, burying his face in his hands. “Can today get any worse?”

“In my experience – yes,” Fox said, from his corner. “That’s just me though. Your luck might be better than mine.”

“Or he might not be as much trouble as you are,” Skinner retorted.

“Are you kidding?” Fox snorted. “Look at him! He’s trouble personified.”

“Fox does have a point,” Skinner grinned. He went into the kitchen and returned a few seconds later with a couple of mugs of coffee. He put one in front of Tony and slapped down two headache tablets next to it. Tony swallowed them gratefully. Skinner sat back and watched. “I hope they clear your head, ‘cause you're gonna need all your wits about you for what comes next.”

“Sounds bad,” Tony muttered, taking a deep sip of his coffee. He glanced at the man standing in the corner again. There was something about him; something familiar. If his head wasn't hurting so much, Tony was sure he'd be able to place him.

Skinner leaned forward. "Tell me, Tony, do you have a boss? Someone at NCIS who should know that you stole evidence from a corpse during an investigation?”

Tony stared at him blankly. “Uh…”

“Whatever you do, don’t lie to him,” Fox said helpfully from his corner. “He can always tell.”

Tony closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and then opened them again. “Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs,” he said quietly. “He’s my boss. He’s gonna kick my ass to hell and back for this, but he’s the one you should tell. Or, you know, not, if you wanted to take pity on me.” He gave his best and most charming grin.

Skinner nodded thoughtfully. “Well done, Tony. You just passed the test. You’re trouble, but you’re a good kid at heart, so I’ll help you.”

“You will?” Tony looked into those dark brown eyes and felt more hopeful than he had in months.

“Yes, I will,” Skinner said firmly.

"Aw! Can we all hug now?" Fox butted in, from his position over by the wall.

"You know, the whole point of corner time is for quiet reflection on the wrong-doing that got you sent there in the first place," Skinner shot back at him. "But seeing as that's wasted on you right now, get dressed and get your ass over here where I can keep an eye on you."

Fox gave a whoop and scrambled into action. He got dressed in seconds, in a pair of sweat pants and a tee shirt that were lying on a nearby chair, and then he joined them at the table. He was about to sit down in the chair next to Tony when Skinner gave him a malicious grin and snapped his fingers.

"Not there. If you won't stand quietly in the corner, then you can kneel beside me in deep submission."

Fox glared at him. "In front of the newbie?"

Skinner raised an eyebrow. "You know, it seems to me that I already spanked you pretty hard this morning, but there's plenty more where that came from. My right arm is nowhere near tired."

Fox was by Skinner's side in seconds. He sank to his knees with a sad sigh, and Tony was just starting to feel sorry for him when Fox glanced up, looked straight at him with eyes full of mischief, and winked. Skinner clicked his fingers, and Fox lowered his gaze submissively to the floor.

Skinner took a sip of his coffee and then dropped his bombshell. "So, tell me, Tony, how long have you been in love with Jethro Gibbs?"

Tony choked on his coffee, and Skinner patted him helpfully on the back and then went to the kitchen to get him a glass of water. He returned with a dishcloth as well to wipe away the coffee that Tony had spewed all over the table.

Tony drank the water gratefully and then looked at Skinner through narrowed eyes. "You know, I admit that I was wasted last night, but I don't remember mentioning any names."

"You were, and you didn't," Skinner agreed. "But Jethro and I go back a long way, and from what you were saying, it didn't take me long to figure out that you were his boy."

"Yeah. Well. I'm not." Tony watched as Fox rested his chin on Skinner's thigh and closed his eyes. Skinner moved his hand absently to stroke Fox's hair. Tony's gut clenched in envy. "That's kind of the problem, isn't it?" Tony said with a wry shrug.

"You can't take your eyes off him," Skinner said softly, looking at where Tony was looking. "Is this what you want for yourself, Tony? You want something like Fox has with me?"

Tony cleared his throat. "Yeah. Something like that. I don't pretend to understand the master/slave stuff, or how that even works, but…being his, belonging to Gibbs like Fox belongs to you…that…yeah…that."

Tony gazed stonily at the table. He'd gone to that club last night with only a hazy idea of what it was he wanted. Now, sitting here, seeing Fox with Skinner – it suddenly all slotted into place for him, and now he knew *exactly* what he wanted.

"So, how do you know Gibbs?" Tony asked, looking up again.

"Known him for years. I was his gunnery sergeant back when he was a raw new recruit. They gave me the tough ones - the ones that nobody else could tame. Jethro had already gone through a couple of other gunnies before they threw him in my direction."

Tony gave a smile of pure delight. He loved imagining a young Gibbs testing the resolve of even the toughest gunny.

"He was the most stubborn, infuriating, pig-headed bastard I ever met." Skinner grinned.

"Still is!"

"And the best Marine I ever trained," Skinner added. "We went head to head a few times, but once I finally managed to instil some discipline in him, got that wild temper of his under control and won his respect, he turned out to be one of the most loyal, honourable men I ever had the pleasure to serve with."

"So you're the guy who tamed Gibbs?" Tony gave an awed whistle. "Wow. And you're still alive? I'm impressed."

Skinner laughed. "Oh, I don't think Jethro is the kind of man you ever really tame," he said, shaking his head. "He's feral – you can invite him to sit by your fire, and he'll fight at your side and share his kill with you, but he's a lone wolf at heart."

"Yeah," Tony said quietly. "I know. He doesn't want anyone sharing his den, huh?"

"I'm not so sure about that," Skinner mused. Tony glanced up, surprised. "Even a lone wolf needs a mate," Skinner said with a shrug. "He had one, and a cub too, but he lost them. He's kept the world at bay with that growl of his ever since, and God knows, his bite is even worse than his bark."

"Oh yeah." Tony grinned. "I know all about *that*."

"But he's acquired a pack, whether he likes to acknowledge it or not," Skinner said. "He wants people to look out for, to take care of. And you – you're trouble, but I figure you're the kind of trouble he enjoys."

"Maybe once," Tony sighed. "But not for a long time. Look, Walter, I won't lie to you; I screwed up. He can barely stand to look at me now, and he doesn't…" He paused. Skinner raised an eyebrow. "He doesn't hit me any more," Tony finished with a little grimace. "He used to slap the back of my head all the time – it felt affectionate, felt like he liked me, like I belonged. Then I screwed up, and Jenny died, and he hasn’t slapped me since. Now I don't know where I stand with him. I don't think he likes having me around any more. I got sent away as a punishment – not by him, but he didn't do anything to stop it, and I was the last one he brought home. Kept saying he was working on it, but seemed to me like he was taking his time."

"Tell me about Jenny," Skinner requested.

Tony shook his head. "I can't. Gibbs would kill me."

"Thought she died in a fire," Skinner pressed.

"She died because I screwed up. I was supposed to be protecting her, but I was out having a good time instead." Tony gazed at the table again, unable to meet Skinner's stern brown eyes. Skinner and Gibbs – they weren't the kind of men who tolerated screw-ups. Not when members of the team got killed as a result.

"Look at me, Tony," Skinner said firmly. Tony braced himself and then looked up, fully expecting to see contempt in Skinner’s eyes. It wasn’t there. Skinner's dark brown eyes were stern but compassionate. "You been punishing yourself for that ever since, Tony?" Skinner asked.

Tony bit on his lip, remembering night after night on the Seahawk, when he'd drunk himself quietly into oblivion in his bunk.

"Yeah. Sometimes I just wish he'd do it for me. I know it'd be bad, but I could take it, if it meant I won back his good opinion. If I got things back to how they used to be between us. He used to respect me – I used to deserve his respect. Nowadays, I just say stupid ass things all the time because I know he already thinks I'm a screw up. Nothing I can do to change that. Might as well just go along with it. Be who they expect me to be. Used to think he saw through me, but not any more. Not for a long time. If he does, he doesn't care."

"Did Gibbs ever say that he blames you for what happened to Jenny?" Fox asked, unexpectedly, from his position at Skinner's knee. He glanced up at Skinner who nodded at him to continue. "Just…before Walter took me in, guilt was pretty much my middle name. I blamed myself for a lot of stuff, and when I felt bad about it, I'd spin out of control and start doing stupid things. Walter knows how to bring me down, how to get the pain out. It's not always nice, and other people don't really understand it, but it works for us."

"He's never said it, no - not in so many words, but then Gibbs isn't a great talker. Thing is, Gibbs and Jenny had a thing once. She was special to him," Tony shrugged. "So of course he blames me. I think the two of them would have got back together eventually."

"Bullshit!" Skinner said. Tony looked at him, startled. "Look, I'm not going to talk about Gibbs's personal life, but I will tell you there's no chance he would ever have got back with Jenny," Skinner told him firmly. He glanced at his watch. "Okay. I think we've sat around for long enough. I said I'd help you, Tony, and I will. You got any pets at home? Anything that needs looking after?"

"Nope." Tony shook his head.

"Good – then you're staying here today. And tonight…" He leaned back in his chair and gave a wide grin. "Well, tonight I believe it's Pirate Night at Murray's bar."

"Oh God," Fox sighed. Tony glanced at him; Fox rolled his eyes. "Walter is the perfect master in many respects," Fox confided. "But he has a terrible weakness for dressing up. Which wouldn't be so bad if he didn't also like dressing me up."

Tony couldn't help laughing out loud at that. Skinner grinned happily at his slave.

"No point keeping a slave if you can't dress him up every now and then. Tony – you look like a man who appreciates the finer things in life, judging by those expensive shoes you're wearing," Skinner observed. "So maybe you don't have Fox's reluctance to dress up. Now, I'm going out for awhile, but when I get back we'll pick out some outfits to wear. Fox – while I'm gone, I want you to show Tony some of the items in the playroom. Tell him how it is for you – how our living arrangement works. Don't leave anything out – the bad or the good. Tony needs to make a decision about just how far he wants to go with this."

"How far?" Tony raised an eyebrow. Skinner got to his feet.

"Me and Fox – the only thing that works for us is a 24/7 master/slave relationship, but that's not the only way to do things," he said. "There are other ways. You need to decide what appeals to you most, Tony, and then we can go looking."

"Go looking?" Tony frowned.

"For the right sexually dominant man to give you what you need," Skinner told him. "Isn't that what you were doing at Murray's bar last night? I mean, I presume you didn't expect to bump into Gibbs while you were there? So you must have been looking for someone who'd do instead. You hit on me at one point."

"He did?" Fox narrowed his eyes. Skinner tapped his head reprovingly.

"I turned him down. Plenty of doms wouldn't. Now, can I trust you two not to get into any trouble while I'm gone?" He glared at them with mock severity.

"Hey, I'm a trained federal agent!" Tony protested.

"So was Fox when I first enslaved him, but he's been trouble his entire life." Skinner grinned. "Don't do anything stupid and don't leave the building unless there's some dire emergency like a fire."

"Where are you going?" Fox asked, getting to his feet. Skinner gave Tony an entirely inscrutable glance.

"Out," he replied, bestowing a kiss on his slave's cheek. "And I mean it about the bad parts, Fox. Be honest with Tony. He should get the full disclosure. I won't be around to hear any of it."

Fox grabbed him and kissed him back. "There's nothing I'll say to Tony that I couldn't say to your face, Walter."

Skinner's eyes suddenly blazed with a fierce love behind the spectacles, and Tony felt that stab of envy again. He couldn't imagine Gibbs ever looking at anyone like that, least of all him.


Gibbs returned home, dumped the bag of groceries on the kitchen table, and then froze. Someone was in his house. Nothing had been touched, but he could hear a faint noise emanating from downstairs. He drew his gun and walked silently towards the basement door. He kicked the door open, gun raised, and then he lowered his hand with a sigh.

Walter Skinner was crouching on his boat, the sleeves of his expensive shirt rolled up to his elbows, the sander in his hand, working on the wood grain. He glanced up as Gibbs made his dramatic entrance.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Gibbs demanded.

"You missed a bit." Skinner pointed.

"I didn't miss anything. I just hadn't gotten around to that part yet."

"Nah. You missed it." Skinner grinned at him.

"Anyone else but you would have a bullet through their hand right now for touching my boat," Gibbs growled, running down the stairs into the basement.

"Yeah, and you don't like the idea of anyone touching what belongs to you, do you?" Skinner raised an eyebrow.

Gibbs glared at him. He took the sander off Skinner, threw it onto the workbench, and then examined the area Skinner had been working on. Damn it, Skinner was right – he *had* missed a bit.

"Hey – it was me taught you how to build your first boat," Skinner reminded him. "Back then, you were more into getting your hands covered in grease with those stupid damn wrecks of cars you were always trying to get working again. I showed you how to build something from scratch, with your bare hands, Jethro."

"And now you want me to do it all over again," Gibbs grunted.

Skinner grinned. "Tony isn't a boat, Jethro. I think he'll give you more trouble than this fine young lady here." He slapped the wood heartily. "But the sense of satisfaction will be all the greater for that, my friend."

"I haven't changed my mind, Walter, so if that's why you're here you can just turn around and leave."

"This place feels lonely," Skinner said, glancing around. "Did you ever allow Jenny or Stan to stay over? Bet you didn't. Been a long time since you shared your space with anyone, Jethro."

"No intention of ever doing it again, Walter. Now, I have some groceries to unpack. You can see yourself out – same way you saw yourself in."

He strode towards the stairs and took them two at a time. He was almost at the top when Skinner spoke.

"Why does Tony blame himself for Jenny's death, Jethro?"

Gibbs paused, his shoulders tensing, and then glanced back down. "That what he said?"

"Yes." Skinner gazed up at him steadily. "Seems to think you blame him too. Christ, what the hell happened to you, Jethro? If he screwed up, then you deal with it, work through it with him. You don't just leave him hanging. Didn't I teach you anything?"

Gibbs turned and stomped back down the stairs, his temper flaring. "You don't know a damn thing about this, Walter!"

"I know that kid is beating himself up. I know he's eaten up with guilt inside. I know he's drinking too much, and I know it'll only get worse if you don't handle it."

"Damn it!" Gibbs slammed his fist down onto the work bench. Skinner gazed at him dispassionately. Gibbs grimaced; Skinner was the one person in the world who could face him down and win. Gibbs might not like it, but he'd learned it the hard way, a very long time ago. "You don't understand," Gibbs said quietly. "It's more screwed up than you can imagine."

"How did she die, Jethro?" Skinner asked. "Not the bullshit story I saw on the news – something about a fire? The truth, Jethro; was it Tony's fault?"

Gibbs sighed and ran a hand over his chin. "He was supposed to be protecting her, but she sent him away. She was dealing with the fallout from a mistake she made a long time ago. She didn't want anyone hurt in the crossfire – so she ordered him away."

"She actually made it a direct order?"

"Yeah." Gibbs nodded. "She didn't tell him what was going on – he just assumed she wanted some personal time. Then she was killed in a shoot out. Too complicated to explain, but we had to find a way to cover it up."

"No wonder Fox always believes in his conspiracy theories," Skinner commented dryly.

"No offence, Walter, but I've always thought Fox was a little crazy," Gibbs said, with a glimmer of a grin.

"None taken. I've met that forensics scientist of yours, so I figure we're even in the crazy stakes." Skinner grinned back at him. Then his grin faded. "So, you *do* blame Tony."

"I didn't say that, Walter!" Gibbs protested. Skinner just kept on looking at him, with those brown eyes that had always been able to see through any bullshit. Gibbs sighed. "Look, if it had been me – or you – there's no damn way we'd have cared if it was an order or not, Walter. We would have done our jobs – and Tony's job was to protect Jenny. He screwed the pooch."

"Yeah. He kind of did. And so did you, Jethro."

Gibbs grabbed a bottle of bourbon off the shelf, unscrewed the cap, and took a deep gulp, straight from the bottle. "How d'you figure that?"

"So the kid screwed up – but it was an honest mistake, and he was obeying orders. Now, you can kick his ass all over town for it – you can bawl him out and give him a hard time if he deserves it - but the one thing you don't do, the one thing you never do, is give up on him."

Gibbs slammed the bottle down on the workbench and glared at Skinner. "Who the hell says I've given up on him?"

"He does," Skinner said firmly. Gibbs felt his gut clench. "He says you stopped slapping his head." Skinner raised an amused eyebrow. "Says you're cold towards him these days – distant. Says he was sent away as a punishment, and that you didn't try too hard to get him back."

"My hands were tied!"

"So?" Skinner took a step forward so that he was in Gibbs's face. "That sounds like an excuse, Private, and I don't damn well accept excuses. I remember a young Marine who screwed up once. They were going to throw him out of the Corps, but I saw something in him, so I pleaded with them to give me one more chance with that kid. Hell, I went to the *line* for that kid, and I'm glad I did. He turned out to be the finest Marine I ever trained. But I could have given up on him back then, and neither of us would've ever known what he could become. I didn't give up on you, Jethro – now don't damn well give up on Tony."

"I told you, it's more complicated than that. *He* is more complicated than that."

Gibbs reached for the bottle of bourbon again, but Skinner got there first and grabbed it.

"This isn't going away, Jethro. You handle this, or I swear *I'll* kick *your* ass all over town, because I'm not giving up on you this time, either. You're lonely, and this place feels cold and empty. Now, I know what a stubborn bastard you are – Christ, if anyone knows it's me - but Tony's a good kid, and he deserves someone who'll give him what he needs. If that's not you, then I'll find someone else for him."

Gibbs felt a savage burst of fury at that, and he gave Skinner the kind of glare that stopped most men dead in their tracks. Skinner just raised an eyebrow.

"If you don't claim him someone else will. Won't be what he really wants, because for some reason what that poor kid really wants is you. But he's looking for something and won't stop until he finds it. I'm going to make sure he stays safe while he's looking, and if that means introducing him to the kind of people who can help him, then that's what I'll do."

"Fine." Gibbs shrugged. "I really don't give a damn, Walter."

Skinner gave a wry shake of his head. "Sure you do, Jethro." He pressed the bottle of bourbon into Gibbs's hands. "Sure you do," he repeated softly.

He strode towards the stairs, jogged up them, paused when he got to the top, and glanced back down. "I'm taking him to Murray's bar tonight, Jethro, if you want to show up."

"I don't," Gibbs grunted. "No time for the scene, Walter, as you well know. All that dumb-assed dressing up that you seem to like so much. Bunch of posers in leather, playing at it."

"They're just having fun, and not all of them are playing at it, Jethro, as you well know. Even if they are, there's no law against it. And I really hope you weren't including me in your little tirade."

Gibbs glanced up to see the dangerous glint in Skinner's eyes.

"Hell, I know you're good at what you do, Walter. They appointed you their leader didn’t they? Guardian of the DC S&M scene, or some kind of crap like that?"

Skinner chuckled. "It's a responsibility I take very seriously, old friend, and you're lucky that you *are* an old friend, and that I know what a lonely, miserable bastard you are, so I'm prepared to let your comments pass. As Guardian of the House, I know many of the best doms on the scene, and I'll be very pleased to introduce Tony to them this evening – if you have no objection."

Gibbs glared at him. "Do what the hell you like. Like I said, I really don't give a damn."

Skinner nodded. "You just keep telling yourself that, while you skulk down here in your lonely basement, with only your boat and your bourbon for company. If, however, you feel like taking a chance and claiming someone who desperately wants to belong to you, then you know where to find him. Just don't leave it too long – or someone else might get there first."


Tony wasn't entirely sure that he wanted to be left alone with Fox. Skinner's slave had intense hazel eyes and an eccentric demeanour, and Tony suspected that he was some kind of chaos-magnet. His monotone voice was also misleading – Tony could never tell if he was joking or not.

Fox gestured with his head, and Tony followed him up the stairs and along the hallway. Fox paused outside a door and then pulled a key out of his pocket and opened it. Tony found himself gazing up at an unexpected flight of stairs. Who put stairs behind a locked doorway? It was as if they were going into a completely separate apartment. Fox led him up the stairs.

"So…Walter was your boss at the FBI before he became your…uh…?" Tony hesitated.

"Master?" Fox grinned at him over his shoulder. "Yeah. He was. I was always storming into his office, demanding his attention. Took me a long time to figure out why. You do much of that, Tony?"

"Storming around? With Gibbs? You gotta be joking," Tony winced. "I want to live."

"So you don't go all out to try and get his attention?" Fox glanced down at him again, with a raised eyebrow.

"Uh…well, I didn't say that," Tony grinned. "Just…it's a different kind of attention-seeking."

They reached the top of the stairs, walked along another hallway, and stopped outside another door. Fox reached into his pocket for the keys again.

"Why did you leave the FBI? He didn't make you, did he?" Tony asked.

Fox shook his head. "It's complicated. Walter and I lead complicated lives. There are a lot of people who want me dead, and there are things going on that…well, let's just say that our arrangement - the whole master/slave thing – that's probably the least controversial thing about us." Fox gave a broad grin, and Tony suddenly knew where he recognised him from.

"Shit! You're Fox Mulder, aren't you?"

Fox grinned. "Aw! You guessed. Just how many other people called Fox are there out there anyway?"

"Uh…I just figured it out. You write all those crazy…uh, I mean…interesting books on little green men."

Fox sighed. "Grey," he said in a world-weary tone. "Now, Lost Boy, are you ready? Because it's time for you to enter Neverland."

Tony was about to roll his eyes and say something cutting when Fox swung the door open - and Tony's jaw hit the floor.

He was standing on the threshold of a massive room, filled with all kinds of bizarre apparatus. Fox put a hand on his shoulder and shoved him inside.

They were at the top of a tall apartment block. In front of them was a bank of floor to ceiling windows. Above them, a skylight offered even more light, making the room feel airy and spacious.

"Feels like flying," Tony said, gazing out of the massive windows at the views over the city.

"When Walter has me in the harness and is working on me with those big hands of his, it *does* feel like flying," Fox told him.

Tony gazed around, feeling like a kid in a kinky candy shop. There was a massive, upholstered throne at one end of the room, and a wooden, cross-beamed post over to one side. An elaborate harness hung from hooks in the ceiling, and next to it was a rack full of all kinds of interesting toys.

Tony went over and examined them. There were leather cuffs and various implements of discipline.

"Wow," he muttered. "And I thought my fluffy pink handcuffs were kinky."

"The kind you can buy in any old sex shop? Beginners' equipment," Fox told him with a disdainful shrug. "This stuff is for serious players."

"That's what you are?" Tony asked. "Serious players?"

"That's what you'd call us, I guess. Walter would say we don't play at all. For us, it's real," Fox said. "Okay – Walter also said to give it to you straight, so I will. Being his isn't easy, but not for the reasons you might think. I trust him implicitly to never harm me, to never give me more than I can handle, and to never, ever fuck with my head. Enough people have tried to do that in my life."

Tony nodded. He could empathise with that. He shoved the thoughts of his dysfunctional childhood out of his head.

"The sex is fantastic," Fox told him bluntly. "That's never been a problem. Life is harder - but once I learned he was always going to be there for me, and he was never going to let me get away with my shit, then it all became much easier. The simple truth is that I'm his, and he's mine – I submit to him because I enjoy it and so does he. Our relationship is entirely consensual – I pursued him, in fact, not the other way around. I like what he does to me – and even when he does things I *don't* like, it helps me get into a headspace that I like very much, so there's a point to it. I can talk to him about anything, and I can tell him anything. In fact – that was the hardest part – getting to the point where I trusted him enough to tell him everything that goes on inside my twisted little brain." Fox put his finger against his forehead and twirled it around in a circle.

"You tell him everything?" Tony asked quietly.

"Everything." Fox nodded. "It doesn't work for us any other way, although it took me a long time to realise that. You think you'd have a problem with that?"

"Yes." Tony shrugged.

"Yeah. I thought you would too." Fox grinned at him. "I used to be a profiler, Tony, years ago, back when I was young and thought the worst evil this world had to offer were serial killers. Now I know better of course, but I still have those skills. You're an interesting case study. You hide everything behind that big, easy smile, and the smartass comments. You act like a big kid, but you're intelligent, and you're perceptive - and something happened to you once, a long time ago, something bad, and..." His eyes narrowed. "You still feel guilty about it, don't you?"

Tony gave an easy smile. "Sounds like something a fortune teller would say to get my interest and make me hand over my cash. Ooh, look at my mysterious, unknowable past. Look how cool and deep that makes me sound. Your character analysis flatters me, Fox, but you're way off the mark."

"Oh – and you're good." Those intense hazel eyes flickered in appreciation. "You're really good, Tony. In fact, you're quite the pro. But I've been there, Tony, and I know everything there is to know about guilt."

Tony remembered reading a magazine article about this guy once. Something about his sister being abducted when he was a kid, and how he'd blamed himself for it his entire life.

"You ever find out what happened to her?" he asked, watching carefully to see if the barb hit home. "Your sister – you ever find out?"

Fox didn't even flinch. "Yes, I found out. And I know it wasn't my fault. I was just a kid."

"Walter help you figure that out?"

Fox grinned. "Oh you really *are* good. When did you become such a master in the art of deflection, Tony?"

Tony glanced around the room again. "So, what kind of things do you do here? How does the harness work?"

Fox laughed out loud at the bluntness of that little piece of deflection. "You ever heard the phrase 'be careful what you wish for?' Tony?"

Tony fought down a wave of annoyance. Usually, when he tried to deflect people, they had the good manners to *be* deflected.

"Well duh. Who hasn't?" Tony rolled his eyes.

"You should remember it – because if this Gibbs of yours ever does step up and take you on, then he'll strip you open and lay you bare, and are you sure you're ready for that?"

"Hey – I'm only in this for the kinky sex!" Tony protested. "Not any of this soul-searching crap that you seem to think is involved."

Fox grinned. "Yeah, that's what I thought too – once. Walter soon set me straight about that – took him a year, and a damn hard year it was too. He demanded everything I had, and no matter how hard I tried to hide from him, he always saw right through me. Of course, Gibbs might be a less demanding dom, but if Walter trained him, and I suspect he probably did, then I doubt it."

"Gibbs isn't into this kind of thing at all. Walter knows him because they were in the Corps together – not because they once traded tips on how to hand out a good whipping," Tony said, with a tight smile. "Now, perhaps we could go back to looking at all the hot sex toys?"

"If you want," Fox shrugged. He leaned against one of the far windows and gazed at him inscrutably. "Do you want to be punished for something, Tony?"

Tony grinned. "Sure – isn't that the point?" he said easily.

"Do you want to be punished for something *specifically*?" Fox asked. "For what happened to Jenny? Or for something else? Or maybe it's a bit of both? Is that why you're in this? If so, then I can tell you it doesn't work that way. Seems like it should, I know, but it doesn't." He gave a wry shrug.

"Christ, you only met me a few hours ago. What's with all the psycho-analysing? You don't know the first thing about me," Tony snapped, irritated that despite his best attempts at deflection, Fox kept on returning to the same old theme. He thought Gibbs took the prize for dogged determination, but this guy might even have the edge on him.

Tony turned away and began striding towards the door. If all else failed, running out had always been his backup plan of choice.

"Sure I do. I used to be you, Tony," Fox said quietly behind him.

"You and I aren't even remotely alike," Tony retorted, hesitating, one hand on the door handle. He looked back over his shoulder.

"Agreed." Fox inclined his head. "We have very different personalities. I suspect you're a sensualist, just like Walter. And you're not a rebel – you don't give Gibbs a hard time at work. You do as you're told – in fact, you're eager to please. You rush to it whenever he hands out an order, and you're always trying to anticipate what he wants. I wasn't like that when I worked with Walter. It didn’t come easy to me – my natural inclination is to distrust authority and give it as hard a time as possible. But you're a sub, Tony, and so am I. And while we might be different kinds of subs, with different needs, we both share one fundamental thing."

"And what's that?" Tony opened the door, and stood there, one step away from leaving.

"We both want to belong to someone," Fox said softly. Tony's head jerked up. "Yeah, you can deny the rest as much as you like, but that, my friend, is what led you here, and what will keep you on this path until you find what you want. That's your bottom line, Tony."

Tony hesitated in the open doorway.

"And now you've gone and let the beasts from the hell mouth into the room," Fox sighed.

"The what…?" Tony looked around, startled, and then saw the two cats from earlier. One of them was pacing around the harness with an intent look in its eyes, while the other was sitting happily on the plush, upholstered throne, washing its bottom assiduously.

"They're the devil's spawn," Fox chuckled. "They get me into trouble with Walter whenever they can, but he worships their naughty little asses, so he'll never believe me when I tell him they have an agenda."

"They're just cats." Tony gazed at the cats, bemused.

"And that there – that kind of complacent attitude – is why I go out hunting down little grey men, while you just go out hunting the regular kind of bad guy," Fox told him. "I see the bigger picture, Tony. There are conspiracies *everywhere*, and these cats might look harmless…" He scooped up the white and grey one and kissed it affectionately. "But underneath, they're plotting to take over the world."

"Seriously?" Tony had no idea what to make of this strange man.

Fox laughed at him. "No, idiot, but my motto is 'trust no-one' – even cute furry beings like this one here."

"You trust Walter though," Tony said softly.

Fox stroked the cat gently and then lowered it to the floor and released it. The cat clearly adored him and twined itself around his ankles.

"Yes, Tony. I trust Walter. He's the one exception I made to my rule and thank God I did, because I don't think I'd be alive now if I hadn't. Do you trust Gibbs, Tony?"

"Yes," Tony replied immediately, without even thinking about it. Fox arched an eyebrow.

"You think you do, and in many ways you do, but not completely. Or you wouldn't be so scared of him finding out who you really are. You don’t trust him with *that*."

Tony felt a spike of hostility towards this man, who spoke these truths in such a flat, monotone voice. Fox was clearly crazy – but the kind of crazy that made the rest of the world look insane.

"What are their names?" Tony asked, gesturing with his head towards one of the cats.

"The one with the yellow eyes is Eugene – she's about a year old."

"Isn't Eugene kind of a weird name for a female?"

"I named her after someone I once knew – she reminds me a bit of him - something about the eyes." Fox grinned to himself. "We mostly call her Genie anyway. The other one…" He glanced at the white and grey cat. "He's incredibly nosy – always poking around where he shouldn't. Walter always says he reminds him of me, but I don't see it," Fox shrugged. "We named him after the greatest singer/showman of all time."

"Elvis?" Tony hazarded. “Frank?”

Fox grinned. "It was a close one, but nah. Freddie. 'Bohemian Rhapsody'?" Fox raised an eyebrow. "Besides, he doesn't look like an Elvis."

Tony wondered whether everyone felt disoriented during conversations with Fox Mulder, or if it was just him.

"Freddie's nearly two. We got him when Wanda died," Fox added.

"I know I'm going to regret this, but – who the hell is Wanda?" Tony asked.

Fox grinned, a nostalgic little grin, full of fondness. "She was Walter's cat when I first knew him – he worshipped that little madam, and boy did she know it! She deserved to be worshipped though. Took me awhile to appreciate her in all her divine majesty, but when I did…" Fox shook his head, laughing to himself. "Well, I fell for her too. Broke our hearts when she died. Walter said no other cat was fit to even tread in her pawprints, but he moped around like a bear with a sore head and drove me crazy. So I went out and got Freddie. Then we got Genie to give Freddie someone to play with so he wouldn't drive us *both* crazy." Fox glanced up. "Also, truth is, I'm away a lot, and Walter's the kind of person who needs things to take care of."

"Yeah – I kind of got that from the way he brought me back here last night."

Tony noticed two picture frames hanging on the wall, and he wandered towards them, wondering what they were. They didn't contain pictures – he could see that much – they seemed to contain two typewritten documents. His gut did a little flip when he got close enough to read what they said.

The heading on one was "Slave's Contract" and on the other "Master's Contract". Fox's messy signature was scrawled at the bottom of the first, and Walter's more elegant flourish at the bottom of the other.

"Slave contract? You have a contract? He's your, uh, master?" Tony asked, startled. "I mean, I knew you two guys were kinky as all hell, but it's a formal arrangement?"

"Yes. It had to be," Fox said, coming up behind him and looking at the framed contracts over his shoulder. Tony glanced at him.


"Because of the person I was when he first took me on. I was self-destructing – big time - this was the only way he knew of keeping me alive."

"And now?" Tony asked.

Fox shrugged. "Well, now it's a little less formal – we've kind of settled into what works for us. Sometimes we live the master/slave thing to the hilt and other times it's less intense. It depends on what's going on in the rest of our lives. But I am still, and always will be, his slave, just as he is. and always will be, my master," Fox said fiercely. "Make no mistake about that, Tony."

Tony was surprised by his vehemence. "Ten years together, and it still works?" he asked, noting the date on the contracts.

"Yeah." Fox gave a surprised little shake of his head. "Ten years together, and it *definitely* still works."

He walked over to the rack containing all the interesting toys and rested his hand on a long, black whip.

"You got any more questions, Tony? Because I don't want you telling Walter that I held out on you."

Tony turned to look at him, clearing his throat. "Earlier…" He paused, flushing wildly.

"When I was standing butt naked with a red ass in the corner?" Fox raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah." Tony made a little face. "You enjoy that?"

Fox grinned. "It's complicated, but yes, I do. Kind of. I like the way it feels, knowing he's in control, and all I have to do is accept. I lead a difficult life, Tony. It feels good knowing there are some certainties I can rely on."

"He punished you – did that hurt?"

"Yes." Fox shrugged. "Sometimes it's a good kind of hurt – the kind that turns me on and makes me scream in ecstasy - and sometimes it's just a punishment. But either way, it works for me, Tony, and I enjoy it even when I don’t."

"That makes no sense," Tony frowned, feeling frustrated.

"I know. To be honest, talking about it *doesn't* make any sense. It's like trying to explain water – you can describe it all you like, but until you actually drink it, or bathe in it, it's meaningless. And if you were drowning, you'd describe it differently than if you were dying of thirst. I know what it means to me – all this, all I have with Walter - but what you want, what is right for you, and how you'll feel about it – that's your journey, Tony. You have to take it yourself. Nobody can tell you what it'll be like."

Tony nodded his head in the direction of the whip that Fox was fondling. "Don't you ever ask yourself why you want this?"

Fox shrugged. "Not any more. I used to, a long time ago, but not now. I'm at peace with it now. I know that I want to submit to Walter. I want the thrill that comes from giving myself up to him, and that sensation of total trust that I only get when I surrender to his will. If it were easy, if it wasn't sometimes hard and didn't sometimes hurt, then it'd be meaningless."

Fox pulled the whip out from the rack and then made it snap through the air with a loud crack. Tony jumped. "Close your eyes," Fox ordered.

"Why?" Tony asked suspiciously.

Fox sighed. "Just do it. I won't hurt you."

Tony did as instructed. Fox came over to him and placed his hand on the leather handle of the whip.

"How would you feel if it was his hand on the whip, Tony?" he asked. "How would you feel if you were naked, helpless, completely in thrall to him? Imagine it now. How does it make you feel?"

Tony pictured himself in his mind's eye, kneeling in Gibbs's basement by that stupid damn boat, with Gibbs standing over him, holding the whip.

"Excited," Tony breathed. "Turned on." He imagined Gibbs threading his flat, dextrous fingers through his hair and then pulling his head back. He wondered what it would feel like if Gibbs ran a finger down his exposed throat. His breathing hitched, and he felt a wave of intense longing. "Scared. Happy. Safe." That last word took him by surprise, and his eyes snapped open.

Fox was smiling at him. "You're a sub, Tony. You are totally a sub in here." He patted Tony's chest, over his heart. "And you have the whole beautiful, intense, crazy journey ahead of you. Good luck, my friend – I think you're gonna need it!"


Gibbs packed away his groceries, trying hard not to think about his conversation with Skinner. They were the kind of old friends who could go years without seeing each other and then pick up again as if no time had passed. Skinner knew him. He’d been there for him when Shannon and Kelly had died, and he’d even come to a couple of his weddings. They hadn’t seen each other socially in awhile, but they occasionally ran into each other during the course of their work.

It had been Skinner who had taken Gibbs to his first S&M club after his break-up with Jenny. Gibbs had been surprised when he’d run into Stan there – but after the initial embarrassment of meeting a co-worker in a place like that, they had started playing. While Gibbs was more used to relationships with women, he was surprised to discover how much he enjoyed dominating a man. In fact, the sex with Stan had always been great. If he was honest, he still missed that side of what they’d had, if nothing else.

Gibbs finished packing away the groceries and headed towards the basement – and then hesitated. He went up the stairs instead and into one of the spare rooms. He opened the closet and crouched down in front of the hand-carved wooden chest inside. He'd made it himself, a long time ago, but he hadn't opened it in eight years. Not since Stan had told him he wanted more, and Gibbs had replied that he didn't have anything more to give; this was it – take it or leave it. Stan had been sensible enough to leave it.

Gibbs ran his fingers over the carvings on the chest. After Stan, he’d told himself he wasn’t going to do this again. It had been the right decision then, but was it still the right decision now, all these years later?

Gibbs opened the chest and looked down at the variety of implements and sex toys inside. He picked up a black leather cuff and remembered tying Stan’s wrists behind his back, then slowly fucking his helpless body. Stan had been such an easy sub to dominate, but loving him had never been part of their deal. Tony was a different kind of sub. Gibbs knew that he wouldn’t be able to dominate Tony without loving him; Tony needed to be loved.

Gibbs threw the cuff back into the chest and slammed the lid shut.

He still didn’t have that to give.


Tony gazed at himself in the mirror. He was wearing a pair of tight black leather pants that hugged his ass a little too closely for his liking. He pulled at them ineffectually, wishing they left at least something to the imagination. He wasn't sure if they belonged to Fox or Walter, but whoever it was had slimmer hips and a flatter ass than him. He was also wearing an over-sized cream shirt that laced up at the front.

"If only Abby could see me now," he muttered.

"She'd love it," a voice behind him said, and Tony turned, prepared to fire off a quick retort, and then stopped, his mouth hanging open.

Walter was standing there, in full pirate regalia, including boots that went half-way up his thighs. He was wearing a similar shirt to the one Tony had on, although his was half undone to reveal his broad chest. Over that, he was wearing an old, weathered leather waistcoat. There was a red bandana tied around his bald head and a flogger hanging from his wide black belt. The whole effect was only slightly undermined by his spectacles. Tony gazed at him, dumbstruck, his mouth opening and closing pathetically.

"You had something to say?" Walter asked, an amused glint in his brown eyes.

"Yeah…uh…Fox is a really lucky guy," Tony managed at last. Then he laughed out loud. Walter raised an eyebrow. "Just…can't really see Gibbs ever dressing up like that," Tony explained.

Walter gave a little chuckle. "Nope. Me neither," he agreed. "As for you…you look good, Tony, but you need to loosen up a little – get in the mood. Here – this might help." He came towards Tony, brandishing a dark red strip of cloth which he tied around Tony's head and knotted against his hair.

"Feel kind of stupid," Tony muttered.

"They won't let you in unless you're dressed appropriately for the night's theme. Or naked." Walter shrugged. "Want me to take you in there naked?"

"Uh…no thanks," Tony shuddered.

Walter grinned. "Here – your shirt should hang open more at the top - like this."

He flicked his fingers through the lacings, untying them, and yanked the shirt open to reveal a fair amount of Tony's chest. Tony remembered once doing something similar to Kate when she'd been going out on a work-related date, mussing up her hair and pulling down the straps of her dress to make her look more like…a sex object. Was that what he was now? He gazed at himself in the mirror again. Yeah. That was exactly what he looked like in this outfit. He wondered if any of the doms at the club would be interested in him, and that made his stomach clench in fear and his cock throb hopefully at one and the same time.

"You're with me tonight," Walter said, as if reading his thoughts. He put a hand on Tony's shoulder and gazed at him in the mirror. "Nobody will hit on you without my permission."

"Aw, thanks, Dad," Tony grinned. Walter cuffed the back of his head lightly, and Tony's smile faded.

"Sorry," Walter said softly. "That's what he does, isn't it?"

"Used to," Tony shrugged.

"There's something about you – just kind of begs for it. Don't know how he can resist doing it - or this." Walter moved his hand and tousled Tony's hair.

"Well, he's never been big on that," Tony said, flushing at the sudden sense of pathetic longing he was feeling. "He saves that one for when he's handing out praise, and that's only happened once – to me anyhow."

He ducked his head, unwilling to meet the other man's eyes, not wanting him to see how much it mattered – or how much he wanted it.

"You ready for this, Tony?" Walter asked. "All you have to do is stick beside me. Ask any questions you want – and if you want to try something, it can be arranged."

Tony nodded, gazing at himself silently in the mirror. His own outfit was much tamer than the one Walter was wearing, presumably in deference to his novice status, and he was glad about that. He felt like enough of an idiot as it was. And yet…there was something kind of fun about it too.

"You’re right – Abby *would* love it. Wonder what Gibbs would say?"

"That grouchy bastard? He'd say that you looked like an idiot - but he wouldn't be able to take his eyes off you all the same," Walter winked. "Not in those pants."

Tony flushed wildly again. He'd always taken care, in all his short-lived relationships, to be the one in control. He was the active one, the pursuer. He made all the moves, and the women he chased allowed him to catch them. It felt very different knowing that in this scenario he'd be the one being looked at, appraised, and then…whatever the hell happened after. And, right now, Tony had no idea what that was.

He knew he wanted Gibbs in that way, but he'd only rarely been attracted to other men. Those he had been attracted to had all been of the same type; they had all been men like Gibbs – and like Walter. He was pretty sure he knew why, but he didn't want to think about it too much.

"Time to go – see you downstairs," Walter said.

Tony nodded. "Uh…what should I do with my regular clothes?" he asked, pointing at them. "Have you got a bag I could put them in, so I can take them with me?"

Walter shook his head. "Leave them here. You'll either be coming back here after, or you can come back and collect them another time. Either way, I want to make sure we see you again."

Tony grinned. "Fox was right; you really do like taking care of people – must be part of the whole dad thing you've got going on."

Walter didn't smile back at him. "Did your dad take good care of you, Tony?" he asked unexpectedly.

Tony was about to make one of his usual smart replies when he saw the expression in Walter's eyes. His grin faded. "No," he said quietly.

"Didn't think so. That's the third 'dad' comment you've made since I met you."

He tousled Tony’s hair gently and then left the room. Tony stared after him. Maybe Fox was right. Maybe it was going to be harder than he thought to keep himself hidden. Usually he managed it pretty well, but both Fox and Walter seemed able to see right through him. He wondered if Gibbs did too and had just never said anything, in true Gibbs style.

He pushed that thought away and went downstairs into the living room. He paused beside a massive fish tank, full of brightly coloured tropical fish, and gazed at his dim reflection in the glass. He adjusted the dark red strip of cloth that Walter had tied around his head.

"You're doing this, Tony," he told his reflection. "No running away this time."

Walter and Fox came down the stairs, and he turned, a bright, confident smile plastered on his face. Nothing prepared him for the stab of envy he felt upon seeing the thick black leather collar around Fox's throat; the intensity of his reaction took him totally by surprise.

Fox was wearing a similar outfit to his own, but his shirt was made of a thinner fabric, and Tony could clearly see the outline of nipple rings beneath it. His cock suddenly ached. Fox raised an eyebrow at him, and he realised he was staring.

"Uh…piercings," Tony croaked, pointing. "Abby has some I think…but not…I mean, I don't know if she has them…*there*…or in other uh places…or… I'll shut up now."

Fox grinned. "Walter did them for me – soon after he first enslaved me. He also branded me – but that was much later."

"Walter pierced you himself? Uh…there…" Tony gestured with his hand vaguely in the direction of his own chest area. "Didn't it hurt?" he asked feebly.

"Oh yeah," Fox grinned happily. "Learning how to walk on the end of his nipple leash hurt more though," he added.

Tony put out a hand and held on tight to the end of the fish tank. He had no idea what a nipple leash was, but he could guess. It was all so fucked up and yet all so completely normal too. Fox talked about it like this was the kind of life everyone led. He seemed so at ease with it. Tony wondered if Fox has always felt this way, or if it had taken him some time to get his head around it.

"Okay, boys, let's go," Walter said briskly, grabbing his keys.

Tony stared out of the car window on the drive to the club, wondering if he was caught up in some bizarre, kinky daydream – or nightmare. He wasn't sure which yet. Fox hadn't been wrong in welcoming him to Neverland. Tony felt like he was trapped in a dreamscape – and he wasn't sure if he wanted to wake up or not.

Murray's Bar looked completely different to the previous evening. There were various pirate themed decorations around the place, barrels labelled "rum" stacked up around the bar, and a large stretch of rope rigging against one bare brick wall. The place was heaving with people, and suddenly Tony’s costume didn't seem so ostentatious amongst the colourfully dressed throng – he just blended in.

Walter got them a table that gave them a view of the entire room, and Tony sat down. Walter sat down beside him, and Fox, much to Tony's surprise, knelt beside his master and put his head down.

"We don't get a chance to play in public very often," Walter explained to Tony. "So we make the most of it when we do. Fox wanted to go right down this evening, so I gave him permission. We'll put on a show later."

"What kind of a show?" Tony asked, intrigued.

"Well it is pirate's evening – so I think it has to be a flogging," Walter grinned. "Yes, Fox?" He put his hand in Fox's hair and pulled his slave’s head back so that he was looking at him. "I think these shoulders need a good flogging – yes?"

Fox smiled at him, and there was a dreamy look in his eyes that Tony hadn't seen before.

"Yes, Master," he replied softly.

"Hammer's put up a fine mainsail to tie you to," Walter said, nodding at the large wooden post in the middle of the room, with a sturdy wooden crossbeam studded with hooks. A pair of heavy metal manacles hung ominously from it.

"Are you seriously going to…?" Tony looked at the mainsail and then at Walter. "I mean…it seems kind of barbaric."

Walter laughed. "You think I'd really harm my beloved slave?"

"Uh…I'm not sure how this game is played. Or the rules," Tony pointed out, feeling out of his depth.

"We'll show you," Walter assured him.

He ordered them some drinks – nothing alcoholic, Tony noted, not even for him.

"In case you choose to play later," Walter explained. "Alcohol and drugs are a definite no-no when you're playing. You won't be able to judge how much something hurts if you're off your head, and you'll over-estimate your endurance."

The party got into full swing around them, and Tony watched the proceedings, utterly fascinated. He saw a man being tied to the rigging on the far wall, and another was soon subjecting him to a sound strapping. Tony winced at the sound of leather on skin, but he couldn't stop watching all the same.

A tall, dark man with muscled forearms approached their table, and Walter nodded to allow him to join them. He and Walter chatted for awhile, and Walter clearly knew him. Tony stayed out of their conversation – he was too busy gawping at what was going on around him.

"What did you think of him?" Walter asked when the man left their table a few minutes later.

"Seemed okay," Tony shrugged.

Walter sighed. "As a potential dom, Tony."

"Oh. OH!" Tony flushed. "Uh…I dunno. I wasn't really concentrating."

"Well focus," Walter ordered. "He's very interested in you – you're exactly his type. I've put the word out, so we'll be getting a few visitors."

Tony suddenly felt incredibly threatened. It was one thing to have a stupid private fantasy about Gibbs and another to have strange men eyeing him up like he was a sex toy. Nothing in his past sexual history had prepared him for this. He was torn between finding it a turn on and wanting to run out of the club and never look back.

A shorter man, with big shoulders and a long, wild beard took his place at the table. He grinned at Tony, flashing a few gold teeth in the process. Tony cringed inwardly and nudged Walter's foot with his own under the table. Walter got the message. He chatted with the guy pleasantly for a couple of minutes and then brought the conversation to an end. Goldie gave Tony a gold-mouthed leer and disappeared back into the melee.

"Definitely not," Tony said.

Four more men took their place at the table in turn, and Tony didn't like the look of any of them. He nudged Walter's foot each time. After the last one had gone, Walter turned to Tony with a look of exasperation.

"There are only so many suitable tops on the damn scene in DC you know," he growled.

"I'm sorry!" Tony sighed. "Maybe this isn't right for me. I mean…none of them seem very attractive. Maybe I'm in the wrong place. Maybe I should be looking for someone a bit more…"

"Like Gibbs?" Walter raised an eyebrow.

"I was going to say 'female'," Tony replied, making a face.

Fox moved his head and rested his chin on Walter's thigh. Walter put his hand on his hair and stroked it. Fox made a contented little mewling sound in the back of his throat, and Tony felt his gut ache in envy again.

"Or maybe not," he muttered.

"Hey – Walter!" Hammer waved a hand in their direction. "Time you opened up the floorshow, isn't it?"

Walter grinned and waved back. "Okay," he said to Tony. "Watch – and let me know afterwards whether you want to invite any of those doms back to our table."

He clicked his fingers, and Fox got to his feet. Walter got up too, put a hand on Fox's shoulders, and ushered him over to the mainsail-cum-whipping post in the centre of the room. Tony watched, transfixed, as Fox stood obediently beside the post, eyes down. Walter leaned forward and said something to him, straight into his ear, and Fox shivered.

Walter turned him around, pushed him against the post, grabbed his shirt in both hands, and tore it open from behind, exposing Fox's back and shoulders. Now Tony understood why Fox's shirt was made of a thinner, cheaper material. He had no doubt at all that Walter had planned this moment to get his slave in the mood for whatever was coming next.

Walter took hold of one of Fox's hands and fastened it into one of the manacles, snapping it shut around the wrist. Tony's throat felt suddenly dry. Walter did the same with Fox's other hand, securing him to the post. Then he pulled the remainder of Fox's ripped shirt away, leaving his back and shoulders completely exposed.

Walter grabbed Fox's hair and pulled his head back. "Who do you belong to, slave?" he demanded.

"You, Master," Fox replied.

It should have been cheesy, but somehow it wasn't. Tony felt as if the leather pants he was wearing had suddenly become even tighter. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

"Don't ever forget it."

Walter released him and then took a step back and unhooked the flogger from his belt. The room went quiet. Walter paced for a few seconds, shaking out the flogger as he walked. Then he glanced back at Fox, raised his arm, took a couple of paces forward, and launched the flogger against his slave's shoulders. Tony expected it to leave some kind of mark, but it didn't. Then he realised that it was made of a soft, suede material – it might sting a little, but he doubted it hurt much - if at all.

Walter stepped back and released another stroke, and then he got into a steady rhythm. Tony realised that he was increasing the intensity as he went on – the first few strokes were gentle – a warm-up - but then things got serious, and the strokes were harder. Walter paused and unhooked something else from his belt – something Tony hadn't seen before as it had been hidden beneath the flogger. It was the long leather whip Fox had been fondling in the playroom earlier. Tony winced – this was a different kind of implement altogether.

Walter paused to hook the flogger back to his belt, and then he went over to Fox, grabbed a fistful of his hair again, pulled his head back, and whispered into his ear. Fox looked out of it. His hazel eyes were dreamy and unfocussed, and Tony could tell that he was enjoying every single second of this.

Walter stepped back and released a stroke of the whip. This left a definite red line on Fox's back – not a cut, or a stripe, as Tony had expected, but it definitely left its mark. Walter delivered another stroke, and Fox's body jerked in the manacles. Tony felt his cock harden almost unbearably in his pants. He longed to take Fox's place – to know how it *felt*.

Walter worked Fox expertly with the whip for awhile longer, leaving his back and shoulders red - but without breaking the skin. The whipping reached a crescendo, and Fox gave himself up to it, not holding anything back, yelling and writhing in his bonds. Then, finally, it was done. Over. Fox was hanging limply from the manacles, looking completely spent. The mesmerized audience broke into a round of wild applause, and Walter went back to the post and gently unfastened his slave.

Fox lolled against him, and Walter caught him. He pulled his slave against his chest, grabbed his hair again, pulled his head back, and kissed him hard on the mouth. Fox moaned softly into the kiss, clutching onto Walter for support, and Tony thought that if it was possible to come from just watching a kiss then he could do it, in these borrowed leather pants. There was such a symbiosis between these two men. They were so comfortable with each other and knew each other so well.

They returned to the table, where Fox sank down on his knees beside Walter again and placed his chin on his master’s thigh. Tony examined his back at close quarters and while pretty red, there wasn’t any actual damage.

Walter took a deep gulp of his drink and then turned to Tony.

“Well?” He raised an eyebrow.

“I want to try it,” Tony said hoarsely. “All that, what you and he just did – I want to try it. Tonight.”

“Think you’re ready for it?”

“I have no idea, but I do know these pants feel several sizes too small right now.”

Walter grinned. “Okay – any preference as to which dom you want to take you there?”

Tony glanced at Fox. His hair was sweaty, but the expression on his face was one of total bliss. He was high as a kite, and whatever drug he was on, Tony wanted a taste of it.

“I only top Fox,” Walter added, “In case you were about to ask.”

“Yeah, I figured that out already,” Tony sighed. He glanced around the room. “That first guy,” he said. He hadn’t paid much attention to the guy at the time, but he hadn’t liked any of the others, so he guessed the first guy – the tall, dark one with the brawny forearms - would have to do.

Walter nodded. “Blake? I’ll go talk to him. See if he’s still interested. There’s a queue for the post, so there might be a wait. Give you time to psyche yourself up for it.”

Tony nodded, his leg jigging up and down impatiently under the table. He didn’t want time. He didn’t need any more time. He wanted to get on with this. Walter left the table, and Tony looked at Fox, who gave him a spaced out smile in return.

“That good, huh?” Tony asked.

Fox didn’t reply, but then he didn’t need to – the expression in his eyes said it all.


Gibbs put down his tools and glanced at his watch. It was late, but he knew there was no chance of him getting to bed for a few hours. He was doing a good job of losing himself in the smooth grain of the wood and the smell of the sawdust, but even so, he had to keep himself occupied. If he went to bed and allowed his eyes to close then he knew exactly what kind of images would rise up in his mind.

He scrambled down the side of the boat, reached for the bourbon, and then stopped. He had avoided drinking all night, because he knew that if he started he’d finish the whole damn bottle and probably make inroads into the unopened one next to it as well. All the same, it was tempting. If he got drunk, then he wouldn’t have to think about Tony doing whatever it was he was doing in that damn bar Walter had taken him to this evening.

Gibbs grabbed the bottle and hurled it angrily at the wall where it shattered, leaving a dark trail of bourbon on the paintwork. He winced, annoyed with himself for letting this get to him so much. With a sigh, he reached for his hammer and turned back to the boat. An hour of bashing his pent-up frustration into some defenceless wooden pegs would probably help.

His cell phone rang, and he answered it, frowning as he heard the sound of people talking and laughing in the background.

“Hey, Jethro. You still working on that boat?”

“You call me for a reason, Walter?” Gibbs snapped.

“Yeah. I’m giving you one last chance. How d’you feel about that boy of yours tasting the kiss of another man’s whip?”

His gut suddenly ached. Gibbs wrapped his free arm around his body and gazed at the dark stain on the wall. “You called at this time of night just to ask me that?”

“Yeah. Like I said - one last chance. If you don’t get your ass down here, right now, Jethro, then he might be licking someone else’s boots before morning.”

“For Christ’s sake! Just leave me the hell alone!”

Gibbs closed the phone, and then, in a sudden wild burst of anger, he threw that against the wall too. It shattered and fell down among the broken glass. Gibbs felt winded, and he went down on his haunches and crouched there, staring at the wall.


Tony’s mouth was dry as Walter pushed him towards the whipping post. Suddenly, he wasn’t so sure about this.

“Okay, Tony, here’s how this will go,” Walter said to him. Tony tried very hard to concentrate. It wasn’t easy when he was standing beside the post. Up close, it was bigger, and the manacles looked even more menacing.

Walter grabbed hold of his chin and made him look at him.

“Listen. This is important,” he rapped out. Tony nodded, blinking hard, trying to do as he was told. “Blake won’t use the manacles – you can hold onto the leather straps.” Walter gestured with his head to the straps hanging off the crossbeam.

“But…” Tony began.

Walter gripped his chin harder to shut him up. It worked. “Tony – I’ve been doing scenes with Fox for ten years. I know his body language, I know what he wants, and I know how he responds. You met Blake for the first time a couple of hours ago, and you’ve never done anything like this before. If you want him to stop, then just let go of the strap and raise your hand. He’ll stop. Immediately. You’re in control of this, Tony. Understand?”

“I think so,” Tony said nervously.

Walter’s fingers dug into his chin again. “Do. You. Understand?” he demanded.

“I let go of the strap. I raise my hand. He stops,” Tony repeated, concentrating hard on every word as he spoke.

“Good. Do not endure it just for the sake of it. I’ll be watching you closely. If anything happens that I don’t like, or if I think you’re not handling it well, then I’ll step in and bring it to an end. Got that?”

“Yes.” Tony nodded.

“Then let’s get started.” Walter smiled at him and tousled his hair. “Enjoy it, son,” he said softly. Tony smiled back, his nerves abating slightly.


Gibbs stared at the wall for a long time, and then he finally got to his feet and returned to his boat. He grabbed the sander – the action of sanding down the wood always helped him relax. His shoulders felt so knotted they were sore.

He climbed onto the boat and began gently sanding her down. He tried to lose himself in the action and tried *not* to think about Tony DiNozzo, stretched out, ready and waiting for some other guy to work on his body.

Gibbs felt the smooth grain of the wood under his fingertips and wondered what it would be like to have Tony to work on instead. How would it feel to hold Tony down and slowly explore him? How would it feel to be his first? What would it be like to watch him surrender, to take him on the journey into his own submission? What would it feel like to have Tony writhing, begging and sweating under his touch? He could see Tony in his mind's eye, stretched out, tied, naked, waiting for him.

Tony was strong, tough and intelligent beneath the clown's mask that he so often wore…but what was at his core? It would be so sweet to take him right down and find out. Sweet…but dangerous. Tony was complicated. Gibbs had worked with him for long enough to know that most of Tony was hidden. What would he find if he started to dig down? Something dark - he knew that. He'd only seen glimpses of it, but he knew that darkness was there. He had a sixth sense for that kind of secret – he'd carried his own around for long enough to recognise the signs. Did he want to step into that darkness and see what it was that Tony kept hidden behind that mask of his? Did he want to force Tony to show him? Was Tony ready for that?

He and Tony had shared a symbiosis these past eight years. He knew they were doing it, and he suspected that Tony did too. He dominated Tony every day at work, and Tony submitted, and they both knew that it went far deeper than a boss/subordinate kind of relationship. They enjoyed it too much – they played around with it, pushing here, demanding there…

Gibbs disciplined Tony with slaps and looks and his own body sometimes, getting in his space, glaring at him, keeping him in check. And Tony responded more sweetly than if he was actually his sub. He knew how to look at Gibbs with a glint of mischief in his eyes, how to tease, and how to provoke him into the little daily acts of domination that they both craved so much.

And now Tony was finally calling him on it. Now he was demanding that Gibbs stake his claim, or let Tony find someone who would go all the way and not just play at it. And the thought of some other guy getting his hands on the man who had been his de facto sub for all these years was driving Gibbs crazy.

Gibbs swore under his breath and threw the sander down. He jumped off the boat and ran to the stairs, taking them two at a time. He went up to the spare room, opened the closet, and got out the wooden chest. Then he stood there, chest heaving, gazing at the contents.

He wouldn't use anything on Tony that he'd used on Stan, so that ruled out everything except the long, black, expensive leather whip, still wrapped up in its original packaging. Gibbs undid the wrapping around it and shook out the whip. The leather was the finest quality – soft and supple. Even after all these years lying in here, unused, it was as good as new.

Gibbs did an experimental throw through the air. He didn't want to offer Tony something he couldn't deliver. Tony was too important to him for that. If he took him as his sub, then he had to see it through this time, the way he hadn't been prepared to do with Stan.

Was he ready to do that, finally, after all these years?


Blake stepped forward and pointed at the post. Tony flinched. Walter looked at him thoughtfully and then untied the strip of dark red cloth from around his forehead.

“Would you find it easier if I blindfolded you?” he asked. “Might make you relax more, so you can lose yourself in the sensation instead of worrying about how everyone’s looking at you. You can always take it off if you don’t like it.”

Tony nodded. He liked the idea. This way he could pretend…

“Don’t go there,” Walter said, as if reading his mind. “It’s not him, Tony. He's not here. Give Blake a chance.”

Tony nodded again, and Walter gave him a reassuring smile. He turned Tony around and tied the fabric over his eyes. The darkness was a welcome relief; Tony felt himself relaxing immediately.

He felt hands on his shirt, tugging it over his head – he didn’t know if that was Walter or Blake - and then he was stripped naked to his waist. It should have felt embarrassing, or stupid, but it didn’t. The blindfold helped, blocking out his view of the crowded club and the people watching.

Someone pushed him gently but firmly towards the post, and placed his hands on the two leather straps. They were high, and he had to stand close to the post, but he liked the way it felt. His body felt exposed and vulnerable. He wondered how he looked, standing here, arms outstretched, waiting…


The guy in the vestibule glanced up as Gibbs walked in.

"I'm sorry, sir, this is a members' only club. Do you have an invitation for this evening's event?" the man asked politely. Gibbs just glared at him. The man's expression became flustered. "Uh…well…invitations aren't completely necessary on the first Saturday of the month, as it's our big, themed, party evening, so…"

Gibbs raised an impatient eyebrow.

"Okay…but because it's our themed evening, we do ask that guests wear appropriate outfits for the theme – and you're not."

Gibbs opened his jacket, grabbed the handle of the whip which he'd tucked into his pants, and drew it out. The man glanced at it and then back at him.

"Well, it's a little unorthodox, but you seem to have the right…uh…credentials," he squawked. "If you'd like to go down…"

Gibbs pushed past him without saying a word.


Tony hung onto the leather straps for dear life, keeping his eyes tightly closed behind the blindfold. There was silence in the room, and then he heard a rustling sound. He tried to remember what Walter had told him. If he didn't like it, all he had to do was let go of the strap and raise his hand…

Something whistled past his ear, and he heard the sound of leather on skin but felt nothing…then the sensation kicked in a second or two later. It stung a little, but it didn’t really hurt. He wondered what kind of a flogger Blake was using and wished he'd looked before Walter had blindfolded him.

Another whistle, and the flogger fell on his shoulders again. He closed his eyes behind the blindfold, trying to lose himself in the sensation. Blake began flogging him harder and faster, and Tony could tell immediately that he was no Walter Skinner. The flogging wasn’t smooth – it felt a little clumsy, a little stop-start. Sometimes the flogger wrapped awkwardly around his waist, making him gasp, and that jerked him out of his headspace.

He wasn’t sure if he was enjoying it or not. It wasn’t an ordeal, but it wasn’t exactly pleasurable, either. He wished he knew how to reach that high that Fox had clearly been on. Maybe it took time, or practice - or maybe it took a different kind of dom to help get him there.

He wondered if this was how it was supposed to feel. If so, it was kind of disappointing. Maybe the issue of who was holding the whip mattered more than he'd expected. He wondered whether to raise his hand and bring it to an end. It wasn't hurting enough to give him the kind of cathartic satisfaction that came from pain, but it wasn't delivering any pleasure either.

So what the hell was the point?


Gibbs ran down the first set of stairs, reached a landing, turned a corner, and found himself at the top of a flight of stairs leading down into a bar area. He paused to gaze down on the scene below – and all the muscles in his body tensed up immediately in response.

He didn't see the people, or the bizarre clothes some of them were wearing, or anything else. He just saw Tony, stripped to the waist, wearing a pair of sinfully tight black leather pants that moulded to his ass, leaving nothing to the imagination. His body was pressed up against a whipping post, and there was a blindfold around his eyes. And behind him…behind him, some bastard was raising a flogger and preparing to lay a stroke on Tony's exposed back.

In that moment, Gibbs got his answer. Tony had forced his hand, flushed him into the open, and brought him to this crossroads. Gibbs knew that he was going to do this, and do it properly. Tony had given him eight years of silent devotion – now it was time to reward him.

His presence at the top of the stairs caused a stir, and people turned to stare – all except Tony, who was blindfolded - and the man flogging him, who was too engrossed in what he was doing.

Gibbs strode angrily down the stairs, and the crowd parted in front of him to let him through. He went up to the man flogging Tony and grabbed his outstretched arm, forcing him to pause in mid-swing. The guy turned, an angry expression on his face, but Gibbs just dug his fingers into the man's wrist until he gave a little whimper and backed down. Gibbs grabbed the flogger from his hand and threw it onto the floor with a disdainful flick of his fingers.

He saw Walter coming towards him and gazed at him stonily. Walter said a couple of quiet words to his rival, and the man melted back into the crowd. Gibbs turned towards Tony, who was still standing there, locked up in his own little world behind the blindfold. His back was a little pink, but clearly the flogging had just been in the warm-up stage.

Gibbs removed his jacket and handed it Walter.

"If he lets go of the strap and holds up his hand…" Walter began.

"I'll stop. I know." Gibbs nodded, unbuttoning his shirt sleeves and rolling them up to his elbows.

An expectant little buzz went up around the room. Gibbs ignored it. He hated performing to an audience, but Tony wanted to know what this was like, and he wasn't damn well going to disappoint him.

He flicked out the tail of the whip, turned back to where Tony was standing, waiting for him, and then raised his arm.


Tony was dimly aware that the room had gone quiet. He waited patiently, wondering if Blake was changing over to a different kind of whip, the way Walter had after he’d completed his warm up. He wrapped his hands more tightly around the leather straps and clung on for dear life, wondering what the hell was going to happen next.

The next stroke took him completely by surprise. It was definitely delivered by a different implement, but he had no idea what. It was like being stroked by a butter soft strip of leather, and it felt more like a caress than a whip lash. The next one was just as good. He relaxed against the post, opening up his shoulders for more.

Blake’s former clumsiness seemed to have disappeared. Now each stroke was expertly delivered and felt smooth, laid on with well-judged precision. The strokes started slow and predictable, warming his shoulders and back gently, and then the pace picked up. Tony gasped as the blows rained down faster, the tempo rising to a crescendo that took him to the very edge…and then slowly back down again, the pace decreasing.

Then it built up slowly once more. The strokes were harder now, and while Tony thought it might hurt later, when he came down, it didn’t hurt at the moment. It just felt good. His body was buzzing with endorphins, and he had to hold on tight to the leather straps, or he thought he might spin off into space.

His mind was hazy, floating away, and his entire body felt warm and relaxed. A little buzz was going around the room, and he was glad he couldn’t see the people watching him. Right here, right now, there was just him and the man standing behind him, rapping out this hard, beautiful, intoxicating rhythm on his bare skin.

The pace built up to another crescendo, and now it really was starting to hurt. Tony had no intention of raising his hand or stepping away though. This was between him and the man behind him. He felt as if they were dancing, or playing some piece of complicated music together, and he wasn’t going to be the one to break their invisible bond and bring it to an end.

He put his head back and yelled instead, allowing himself to really let go, the way Fox had let go. It felt so good, like punishment and pleasure all rolled into one. He thought of Jenny, and Gibbs, and Jeanne, and his whole damn stupid fuck-up of a life, and allowed the pain to wash it all away.

Soon, he could think of nothing except the savage kiss of the whip on his bare skin, and the commanding presence of the man behind him, making him take it. Then he was done. Spent. His arms felt heavy, and he hung from the leather straps, his head down, moaning softly to himself.

His tormentor seemed to sense that he'd had enough and the pace slowed and then stopped completely. He just dangled there, stupefied, completely out of it. He’d had no idea it could feel like this; that it could be so good, so intense, and so incredibly cathartic all at once.

He felt a hard body press up against his own, and he gave a hoarse shout as a cotton shirt rubbed against his deeply sensitised skin. Two hands closed over each of his, where they were still holding onto the leather straps for dear life. He knew that if he released his grasp he’d fall. His legs felt boneless – they couldn’t hold him up any more.

“You need to let go now, Tony,” a low, familiar voice said in his ear.

“Hmmm?” he gasped hazily.

“Let go. You’ll fall, but I’ve got you.”

He did as he was told, the way he always did when that voice gave him orders. He collapsed immediately, but a pair of strong hands held him up.

They stood there for a long while, until Tony got his breath back. White lights sparked behind his eyes in the darkness of the blindfold, and he was grateful for the support of that hard body against his own.

Then he was being moved, guided towards a chair. He sank onto it, relieved that he didn’t have to try and stand up any more. His body felt strange, disconnected, as if it didn't belong to him. It burned and ached, but it felt so incredibly good.

“Close your eyes – I’m going to remove the blindfold, and everything will seem too bright at first. Keep your eyes closed until you feel ready to open them,” that firm, authoritative voice said to him.

Tony tried to concentrate. There was something he should know, or maybe something he should say - something really obvious. He did as he was told anyway and closed his eyes. He felt fingers in his hair and then the blindfold was undone and removed.

“Keep them closed for a bit longer,” that voice said again. “And here - put your damn shirt on.”

He felt the shirt being slid over his head. His arms were guided into it, as if he was a child, and then the cool fabric settled against his warm, aching body.

“That's better. Can’t stand seeing all these damn idiots gawping at my sub’s body,” the voice said, in a possessive growl.

Tony’s eyes snapped open, and the room spun around him, seeming far too bright.

“Your sub?” Tony asked blearily, and at that exact same moment the room steadied, and he found himself looking into a pair of intense blue eyes.

“My sub,” Gibbs told him firmly. “Unless you’ve got any objections?” He raised an eyebrow.

Tony stared at him, completely and utterly bemused. He had no idea what was happening here. Where had Gibbs come from? What had happened to the other guy? Why was Gibbs looking at him like that? Had he just said…?

“No," he found himself replying. "No objections. Your sub.”

“Good.” Gibbs put his hand in his hair and gently smoothed it away from his sweaty forehead. Tony blinked at him in surprise; this wasn’t the Gibbs he knew so well.

Tony saw the long, soft whip in Gibbs’s hand and glanced back at the whipping post. He was suddenly overwhelmed by the memory of that breathtakingly intimate whipping.

“That…uh…that was you?”

Gibbs nodded. “Most of it. I took over from the idiot who doesn’t know one end of a whip from another. Don’t *ever* let another dom go near you again, Tony. Drives me nuts. Makes me want to kill people.”

“Wouldn’t have had to if I’d thought you were interested,” Tony muttered.

Gibbs slapped the back of his head. “Don’t be an idiot. Now, I’m gonna have a word with Walter, and then I’m taking you home.”

“Home?” Tony was still as high as a kite, and he wasn’t entirely sure what Gibbs meant by that.

“Home. My place. You’re coming back with me, so we can figure out exactly how this is going to work.”

Gibbs looked around to find Walter and then beckoned him over.

"That was quite an entrance," Walter said, with an amused little grin. "Glad you came to your senses in time, Jethro." Gibbs glared at him, and Tony winced.

Fox came over and crouched in front of him. "Hey – you back with us yet?" he asked, with a broad grin.

"Not yet." Tony grinned back at him, feeling hazy and happy despite his confusion over what the hell was going on. Walter and Gibbs were having some kind of tense, stand-off conversation, but Tony couldn't follow what they were saying. "What happened?" he asked Fox. "Where did Gibbs come from?"

Fox chuckled. "Oh, it was good – the best entertainment they've seen around here in a long time. There was you, stretched out half-naked against the post, and Blake…well, he's no Walter Skinner – or Jethro Gibbs, either, come to that." He gave a little wink. "Then Gibbs just appeared at the top of the stairs. Why the hell didn't you tell me the man is such a natural dom? No wonder you have the hots for him. He's not even dressed for the event, but nobody dared turn him away. I think Walter might have warned Hammer that he could be on his way."

Tony glanced up at Gibbs, to see that he was wearing his usual ensemble of jeans and a dark shirt over a white tee shirt. He looked just like he did every day at work – except for the whip dangling incongruously from his hand – the whip he'd just used so expertly on Tony.

"Did Walter give him that?" Tony asked.

Fox shook his head. "No – he was holding it when he came in."

"Gibbs owns a whip?" Tony frowned.

Fox laughed out loud. "Tony, I think you need to get your head around the fact that Gibbs isn't a novice at this. In fact, judging by that extremely expert whipping he just gave you, I'd say he's an old hand - and he's clearly been trained by the best."

"Walter?" Tony glanced up at the two doms again. Their body language was less strained now, but Gibbs still looked kind of pissed. Walter, on the other hand, was about the only person Tony had ever met who seemed unfazed by Gibbs's death stares. He was just standing there, arms folded across his chest, face impassive, as Gibbs talked to him in a low, gruff voice.

"Yeah. Walter. I have a feeling that Gibbs has played hardcore before – and I suspect that Walter was the one who taught him how. Although, I think Gibbs has been out of the game for awhile, judging by a few things Walter's said. Took you to tempt him back in."

"And he's pissed about that. Oh shit. He's gonna kill me," Tony sighed.

"Really? Looked to me more like he wanted to drag you back to his cave by the hair and fuck you into the ground," Fox replied, grinning again.

Tony closed his eyes and swallowed hard at that thought.

"You should have seen him when he first came in," Fox continued. "Keep your eyes closed, and let me paint the scene for you, because this was good. So, he's standing at the top of the stairs, and you…you're stretched out below, and then Gibbs sees you…and boy, the expression on his face – you're lucky you were blindfolded, Tony."

Tony gave a little moan; a pissed-off Gibbs was not a good thing. Fox laughed.

"I wasn't sure if he was gonna grab you and haul you the hell outta here, or stay and finish the whipping. I’m glad he chose to stay – that was one hell of a well-paced whipping and damn good to watch. You're lucky, Tony – you have a lot of those to look forward to."

Tony's eyes snapped open again. "You think?" he muttered feebly. Fox was still grinning at him.

"Oh yeah. You’ve been claimed, Tony. Welcome to your life as a sub."

"Is it too late to run?" Tony glanced around, looking for the exit.

"Oh, I don't think Gibbs is the kind of man you can run from." Fox laughed. Then he leaned forward, and spoke directly into Tony's ear. "I envy you, starting out like this. It's good – if you surrender to it, and don't fight it. I was an idiot – thought I could play Walter in the beginning. Thought I could hide from him. It didn’t work, and it caused us both a lot of pain until I got my head around the fact that I was his, and that was all I really wanted to be." He traced his fingers over a faded scar on his chest as he spoke.

"Christ, Fox…" Tony leaned forward and examined the scar in more detail. "That looks like…he didn't carve his initials into you, did he?" He glanced up at Walter, horrified.

"No." Fox shook his head. "He didn't. Someone else did – to hurt him – to hurt us both. Walter took care of me after, although God knows I didn't deserve it. I was an idiot, and I paid for it, but he stuck by me all the same and never gave up on me. This scar reminds me of that all the time – and the fact that he turned it into something good. Something positive came out of it, in the end."

"Think I'll be so lucky?" Tony asked, glancing up at Gibbs. Gibbs turned, and gazed at him at that exact same moment, and Tony flushed and looked away again, unable to meet his boss's eyes.

"You'll be fine," Fox replied. "Might be some bumps on the road but trust me, the journey will be worth it."

Gibbs finished talking to Walter and turned back towards Tony.

"Oh no…what the hell happens next?" Tony hissed.

Fox grinned. "Well, judging by the way he's looking at you, he's going to haul you off and show you exactly what belonging to Leroy Jethro Gibbs means. Good luck, Tony. You're going to need it!"

He gave a wide, knowing smile, patted Tony's head patronisingly, and then hopped back over to his master's side.

Gibbs crouched down in front of Tony, his gaze assessing. "You still flying?" he asked. "Or are you coming back down now?"

"A bit of both," Tony muttered.

"Think you can walk?"

Tony nodded.

"Good. Then let's go."

Gibbs stood back and watched as Tony got shakily to his feet. Gibbs put a hand under his elbow to steady him, and Tony held onto Gibbs's shoulder as the world swayed around him. Gibbs smelled good – and Tony was suddenly aware of how hard his muscles were beneath his fingers and how close he was. Close enough to… Gibbs's blue eyes were looking at him, as hard and unreadable as ever.

Tony released his grip on Gibbs's shoulder, stood up straight, and then took a couple of deep breaths. Gibbs furled up the long, soft whip in his hand, and Tony stared, unable to take his eyes off it. Gibbs picked up his jacket, hiding the whip beneath it, and then jerked his head at Tony. "Follow me," he said tersely, turning to go.

"Yes, Master," Tony muttered under his breath. Fox heard that and gave him a delighted smile and a thumbs up gesture. Tony made a face at him, and then he took his life in his hands and followed his new dom slowly out of the bar.

The cold night air was like a slap to his face, especially as he was so warm after the whipping. Tony shivered and wrapped his arms around his body. He ran after Gibbs, who was striding far ahead of him. Gibbs reached his car and got in, and Tony got in beside him.

There was silence. Tony grimaced.

"So…look…I was curious. I suppose Walter told you that I stole Commander Yates's card to get in there last night? I know that I'm in all kinds of trouble, but I was just…you didn't have to come down here and do that…I don't know what Walter said to you, but…"

Gibbs turned in his seat and shot him a dark stare. Tony trailed off.

"We'll talk when we get home," Gibbs told him.

"Right…only…I thought I should…"

"What did I just say?" Gibbs asked.

"Uh – that we'd talk when we got home?"

"So why are you still talking?"

Tony bit on his lip. This didn't look good. He nodded and fastened his seatbelt in silence.

The drive back to Gibbs's house seemed to take forever. Tony glanced sideways at his new dom every so often, to see if he could gauge his mood, but it seemed to be an even more intense version of Gibbs's usual 'very pissed off', so that didn't help. Tony wrapped his arms around his body even more tightly, for comfort as much as warmth.

He was both relieved and apprehensive when they reached Gibbs's house. Gibbs still didn't speak to him, and Tony followed on behind, wondering what the hell would happen next. Was Gibbs going to kick his ass for stealing the ID card and for making him go down to the bar to rescue Tony from his own insanity? Or was he going to throw him over the nearest hard surface and fuck him senseless?

What he actually did took Tony completely by surprise. He strode into the living room, turned to Tony, and said; "Take your shirt off."

Tony blinked. "Uh…Why? Back there you wanted me to put it on, and I'm kind of cold, so I’d prefer to keep it on now…"

Gibbs moved so fast that Tony didn't even see him coming. Suddenly he found himself staring into a pair of very close, very pissed off blue eyes.

"It's not a debate, DiNozzo. It's not a damn request, either! You’re my sub, and I just gave you an order. As you’re new I’ll explain it, but I don’t expect to explain myself in future. Back there, I wanted you to put the shirt on because I don't like anyone – and I mean *anyone* - ogling my sub's body. Now we're home, and you took a sound whipping tonight, so I want to see if your back is okay, or if it needs some attention. Now, I repeat – take your shirt off."

Tony swallowed hard and gave a silent nod. He took off the shirt, gingerly, aware that his back was hurting more now that he was cold and the high from the whipping was fading.

Gibbs put a hand on his arm and turned him around so that he could examine his back. Tony felt his cool fingers spidering across his skin, and he flushed. Gibbs didn’t usually touch him in this intimate way, so the caress made him acutely aware that their relationship had changed - radically. It also reminded him of the incredible intimacy of that whipping. He felt as if he’d shared something with Gibbs back there, something dark and powerful, something he wanted to taste again – and soon. Gibbs's fingers were firm but gentle. When he’d finished, he turned Tony around again.

"Skin wasn't broken. Nice to see I haven't lost my touch. You'll feel it more in the morning." He looked straight at Tony and gave a feral kind of smile. "How did it feel?" he asked, his blue eyes suddenly looking very intense. "Back there - my whip on your body. How did it feel? Was it good? Was it what you wanted?"

Tony swallowed down a moan. "No, it wasn't good," he said. Gibbs's eyes flashed. Tony grinned. "It was better than good – it was *incredible*. It was exactly what I wanted. But you know how it was - you were there."

Gibbs gave another one of those feral smiles, looking very pleased with himself. He reached out and brushed Tony's hair with his fingertips. "Yeah. I was there. I'd forgotten what that felt like. The power exchange. You got off on that too, didn't you, Tony? I could tell by the way you were breathing and those little moaning sounds you were making. You were all caught up in it. Felt like it was just you and me, despite all those damn onlookers."

Tony nodded, transfixed by the Gibbs standing in front of him. This new Gibbs seemed to understand the darkness of Tony's desires and be only too happy to fulfil them for him.

"I want more," Tony whispered, his gaze never leaving Gibbs's blue eyes. "Will you give me that? Please? I need it, Gibbs."

"Being whipped?" Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

"Yes. Please. And anything else you want to hand out."

"Anything?" Gibbs asked dangerously.


Gibbs gazed at him for a long time, as if assessing exactly what he meant by that, and then he nodded, and his fingers tangled in Tony's hair again, smoothing it.

"I can do that," he said softly.

The moment passed, and he drew back, glanced down, and frowned. He slid his fingers carefully over the right side of Tony’s torso, and Tony took a sharp intake of breath. He looked down to see some grazed bruising that he hadn't realised was there.

"Wrap marks," Gibbs growled. "But not from my damn whip – must have been that goddamn amateur who got there before me."

He looked furious, and Tony winced at his tone. Gibbs stalked out of the room, muttering a few curses under his breath as he went. Tony wondered whether he was supposed to stay here or follow. He felt really stupid standing here, half-naked, in these ridiculously tight leather pants.

Gibbs returned a second later with a tube of some kind of ointment. He smeared some on his fingers and then touched them gently to Tony’s bruising and rubbed the ointment in.

"Nobody ever touches you again – got that?"

"Uh…I guess," Tony replied, with a shrug.

"No – that's not good enough," Gibbs snapped. "Nobody touches you again – do you understand?"

"Yes. I understand." Tony nodded.

"Good." Gibbs exhaled a deep breath. "Damn it. I knew this would happen. Walter has no idea how I get when I…" He broke off. Tony raised an eyebrow. "When I have a sub," Gibbs finished.

"So you've done this before?" Tony asked quietly. His stomach did a little flip as he wondered who Gibbs had been with before him. Who had he whipped with those expert hands of his? Who had he caressed with that narrow strip of leather? One of his ex-wives? Someone at work? Jenny…?

"Yes, Tony, I've done this before. You haven't though. And I wanted to keep it that way," Gibbs grunted.

"Why?" Tony reached for his shirt again.

"Because I don't think you have any idea what you're letting yourself in for."

Gibbs snatched the shirt out of his hand and tossed it onto the nearby couch. Then he put his hand in Tony's hair and thrust him up against the wall. Tony went, feeling like a rabbit trapped by a wolf.

"I didn't tell you that you could put the shirt back on," Gibbs hissed. His face was close to Tony’s, and he was more intimidating and intense than Tony had ever seen him in their working lives – and that was saying something.

"Uh…I…just thought…" Tony began.

"No. That's just it." Gibbs put a finger over his mouth. Tony swallowed hard. "I don't want you to think. This isn't work, Tony. There are a different set of rules for you to follow here."

Tony groaned. "Not more rules, Boss…"

"Ssh." Gibbs shook the fistful of hair he was holding, and Tony twisted in his grasp. Gibbs pressed his hard body against Tony's semi-naked one. He opened Tony's legs with his knee and pushed up against him, so that their groins were touching. Tony felt himself go hard immediately. Gibbs grinned at him. "That’s a good start. You're my sub now, Tony. In the morning, we're going to talk about exactly what that means, but for now it's late, I'm tired, and you're barely standing. Just understand one thing: your ass belongs to me now."

"Always did, Boss," Tony muttered weakly.

"Well now that's going to take on a whole new meaning."

Gibbs tightened his grasp on Tony's hair, pulled his head forward, and kissed him, hard, on the mouth. Tony gasped, surprised by the unexpected move. Gibbs opened Tony’s lips expertly with his own and slid his tongue between them. Tony let him in, relaxing in his grip. He couldn't move – he was pressed up against the wall by Gibbs’s strong body, and Gibbs's hand was in his hair, holding him tightly in place.

It wasn't so much a kiss as a statement of intent. Gibbs left Tony in no doubt about who was in charge and what was expected of him. It was dangerous, but that made it all the more thrilling. Gibbs demanded control, insisting that Tony yield totally to him, and Tony gave him everything he asked for. Gibbs continued to kiss him long past the point of Tony's surrender, and Tony hung there, shocked and dazed, as Gibbs claimed him with his mouth.

When Gibbs finally released him, Tony just stared at him, too stunned to speak. If he’d had any doubts about Gibbs truly intending to take him as his sub, they disappeared in that instant.

"Looks like we've found a way of shutting you up." Gibbs grinned, patting Tony's cheek affectionately. "One way at least. I have several more. Now – it's late, and you're in no fit state to have the conversation we need to have right now. Follow me."

Tony did as he was told, following on in a haze as Gibbs walked up the stairs. His jaw ached from that raw, powerful kiss, his head stung from where Gibbs had grasped his hair, and his back was sore, but he felt like he was walking on air.

Gibbs grabbed a small, single mattress from one of the other bedrooms, and dragged it along the hallway. He threw it into the main bedroom, and then he threw some blankets and a pillow on top of it.

"You'll sleep there tonight," he ordered. “Where I can keep an eye on you.”

Tony felt a stab of disappointment. "Don't I get to sleep in the bed with you?"

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "Who the hell do you think you are? My fifth wife? You're my sub, Tony, and you'll sleep on the floor until I decide I want you in my bed."

Tony was too tired to argue, and he had a feeling that wasn't a good idea anyway. He peeled himself out of his leather pants, so he was just wearing his boxers, and threw himself down onto the makeshift bed on the floor. He was suddenly exhausted and wanted nothing more than to fall into the welcome oblivion of a deep sleep. He stretched out on his stomach and rested his chin on the back of his arm.

Gibbs disappeared into the en-suite bathroom and returned with a bottle of some kind of green gel. He crouched down next to Tony and applied the gel to Tony's back. Tony gave a little yelp as the cold liquid descended on his warm skin.

"You'll thank me for it in the morning," Gibbs chuckled, as he carefully worked the icy gel into Tony’s tender flesh. "You might be sore for a few days, but I think it was worth it. Yes?"

"Hmmm?" Tony blinked up at him.

Gibbs rolled his eyes. "Forget it. Sleep."

Tony barely heard him. He closed his eyes and was aware of the blanket being pulled up over his body. Then he felt a hand gently smooth his hair.

"Good night, boy," Gibbs said softly. Tony leaned into that gently caressing hand, and he heard a sad little sigh. "Damn you, Tony," Gibbs whispered. "You are going to be far too easy to love."


Gibbs walked slowly back downstairs. He made himself some coffee and went to sit down in the living room. Tony's shirt was still on the back of the couch where he'd thrown it. Gibbs picked it up and inhaled the scent of it, remembering how it had felt to hold Tony against the wall and kiss him. It had been so long since he'd last had a sub that he'd forgotten just how good it felt to have an eager body pressing up against him. He'd forgotten how much it turned him on to dominate a willing partner and feel them submit to him.

He longed to get started on Tony – to strip him naked, explore him body and soul, and make him his own, but he was aware that Tony was a novice. It was like building a boat. You couldn't rush it; you had to start slow and put in the long hours of loving hard work before it started to take shape.

With the pleasures came the responsibilities - and Gibbs was all too well aware of those. He had never trained a sub from scratch before; Jenny had been his initiation into this world, and she'd shown him what she wanted and, in headstrong Jenny style, had moved on when she'd got what she needed from him. Stan had been more steadfast, but he had already been an experienced sub when he and Gibbs first played. Tony was different – and Gibbs wanted to make sure he did this right. He couldn’t afford to screw this up.

Gibbs finished his coffee, grabbed a couple of garbage sacks, and went back upstairs to the spare room. He opened up the wooden trunk in his closet and emptied the contents into the sacks. He wasn't sure why he'd kept this stuff for all these years anyway, but he didn't need it any more. He intended to make a fresh start with Tony; the only thing he'd keep was the whip he'd used tonight to give Tony his first ever whipping. Everything else could go. He didn’t want any reminders of the past. Tony was his blank slate.

He placed the whip in the trunk and took the sacks of garbage downstairs. The act of clearing out made him feel strangely liberated from the past. This wasn't going to be a repeat of Stan, or Jenny, or any of his ex-wives. This was going to be different. Walter had told him to keep Tony, and, after getting a taste of his submission during that long, sweet kiss, Gibbs intended to do just that.

He was about to head back upstairs to the bedroom when he hesitated and turned to the basement instead. He ran down the stairs, went over to his work bench, and opened up the top drawer. Inside was a large, brown envelope. Gibbs drew it out, threw it down on top of the work bench, and then hesitated again. He remembered when Ziva had first joined his team, how she'd come to his basement one evening, holding this envelope.

"You asked me about the dossier I made on you," she said. He glanced at the envelope and shrugged.

"Keep it. I trust you." He turned back to his boat, signalling that the conversation was over. She didn't leave.

"This is not that dossier," she told him. He glanced at her over his shoulder, eyebrows raised. "As you know, I did dossiers on all of you," she said. "You and all of your team."

"I know that. So?" He climbed down off the boat again, gazing at her intently.

"Mossad dossiers are very different to NCIS personnel files. We dig far deeper and go back further. We do a full psychological profile."

"Okay." He frowned at her, wondering where this was going.

"There were only two real items of note in the dossiers I did on your team. What happened to your first wife and daughter was one."

His jaw tightened in annoyance.

"And then there was this. I thought you would like to see the dossier, in case you were not already aware of its contents." She held it out, but he made no move to take it. He just stared at her. "Uh…" she faltered, arm still outstretched."This is…this is by way of letting you know that you can trust me. That I am on your team now, and that I answer to you."

"You sure as hell do," he snapped, still glaring at her.

"I thought…have I got something wrong?" she asked, looking confused.

"I don't spy on members of my team, Ziva!"

"I am sorry. My intention was good. I felt this was information you might like to know. Maybe you know it already, but if not, then I think you should be aware of it, as the team leader. It is an area of potential weakness…it could be used against him…in a psychologically pressured situation…"

"Ziva, we aren't Mossad!" he told her sharply. "We spend most of our time investigating crimes, and I am fully confident of the ability of all the members of my team to do just that."

"Sometimes your work requires more…" she began. He quelled her with a look. "I understand." She withdrew her hand and turned to go.

"Leave it," he ordered. She turned, a question in her eyes. "The dossier – leave it here. I don't want it falling into the wrong hands."

She nodded, her dark hair falling over her face. She offered the brown envelope to him again, but he just jerked his head, tersely, in the direction of the work bench. She placed it there and turned to go once more.


She paused and stood there, waiting, her back still turned to him.

"I don't know what's in this dossier, but whatever the hell it is I don't expect you to mention its contents again – not to me or to anyone else. Whatever you know, I want you to forget it. Understood?"

She glanced at him over her shoulder. "Understood," she said quietly.

He watched as she left the basement, and then he returned to his boat. Only when he'd finished for the night a few hours later, did he finally turn back to his work bench and look at the envelope lying there.

Who was it, he wondered? Which member of his team had something in his past that Mossad felt left him open to exploitation? Ducky? McGee? Tony? Hell – Jimmy? Not Abby – Ziva had said 'he'.

He threw down his hammer, went over to the workbench, and picked up the dossier. There was no name on the outside. He opened the envelope and pulled out the file inside. It was bulky – but then he had no doubt that Mossad's research methods were extremely thorough. He didn't open the file – he just turned it over, saw the picture attached to the front, and felt that muscle in his jaw twitch again.

Of all the people on his team, this was the one person he hadn't wanted it to be, but also the person who surprised him the least. He shoved the dossier back in the envelope without looking at it and then stowed it away at the back of his workbench drawer, behind a couple of old paint brushes.

That had been over three years ago, and he hadn’t touched it since. Now, Gibbs stared down at the envelope, and then he opened it and drew out the file again. Tony smiled up at him from the picture attached to the front.

Gibbs gazed at it for a long time. He had known Tony was hiding something ever since he'd first met him. Ziva seemed to think that it was some kind of weakness that could be exploited by someone who didn't have Tony's best interests at heart. Tony was Gibbs's sub now, and the last thing Gibbs wanted to do was unwittingly trigger something for him. If he knew what the dangers were in advance, then he could avoid them.

Gibbs returned the dossier to the envelope and threw it back in the drawer. Whatever was in that file, he'd give Tony a chance to talk to him about it first. It might take awhile, but Gibbs would prefer to hear it from Tony than read about it in a Mossad dossier. He'd keep the file as a last resort and hope that he never had to open it. He was Tony’s dom; he wanted Tony to trust him and reading up on him wasn’t the best way of going about it. He'd only consider looking at that file if he thought Tony's safety and wellbeing were at stake.

Gibbs left the basement and walked back up the stairs. He undressed in the bathroom and then went silently into the bedroom. Tony was lying where he'd left him, in a messy heap on the mattress on the floor. One of his arms was flung out, and the blanket was scrunched up around his thighs. Gibbs crouched down beside him and pulled the blanket back up so that it was covering him. Then he sat back on his haunches and looked down on his sleeping sub.

"You're mine now, Tony," he said softly. "I just hope you're ready to find out exactly what that means."


Tony sighed and rolled onto his side. He was warm, and he could smell coffee somewhere. His body ached, but it was a sweet ache. He was vaguely aware that he wasn't lying in his bed, but he was too sleepy to figure out where he was. He just knew that he was happy, and that he hadn't felt this way in a very long time. Something good had happened. He didn't know what it was, but that knot in his stomach that had been tightening for months had suddenly loosened. Everything was going to be okay.

At that moment the blanket was ripped away from his body, exposing him to a blast of cold air.

"Hey!" He opened his eyes, confused, and found himself looking at his boss. He blinked.

"Rise and shine, Tony," Gibbs told him, throwing the blanket onto the bed, making it clear, in no uncertain terms, that he wasn't getting it back. "I let you sleep in, but it’s late, and we have a lot to talk about."

Tony was suddenly aware that he was dressed only in his boxers. Gibbs grinned at him wolfishly, and his gaze wandered up and down Tony's body with a look that was frankly assessing. Tony had never seen that particular expression on Gibbs's face before.

"Go take a shower. Then put these on." Gibbs gestured to a pair of grey sweatpants and a tee shirt that were lying on the bed. “No way you're wearing that ridiculous outfit from last night."

"Last night?" The events of the previous night slammed back into his mind so fast that he reeled. He had a hazy memory of holding onto two leather straps, while someone stroked him to ecstasy with a whip. Then he re-lived the shock of finding out that the maestro with the whip had been Gibbs. Finally, he recalled – in vivid detail - being hauled away afterwards and kissed. Ferociously. "Uh…I think I might have been drunk," he said.

"You weren't," Gibbs chuckled. "No way Walter would let you touch a drop of liquor before a whipping. Now get dressed and get your ass downstairs. You've got ten minutes."

He left the room, and Tony slowly got to his feet. His back ached, convincing him that the events of the previous evening definitely hadn't been a dream. He went into the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. His back was still red, and he could see a few marks on it – nothing serious. He actually liked the way that felt – it was the grazing around his waist that was more uncomfortable.

He got into the shower, wondering what was going to happen next. Gibbs didn't look like he was going to give him an out, and, to be honest, he knew that he didn't really want one. This was – finally – going to happen, after all these years of them both flirting with it. Now they were done dipping their toes in the water and had thrown themselves headlong into the deep end.

He slicked back his hair, got dressed in the clothes Gibbs had left for him, and then walked slowly down the stairs.

"That was fourteen minutes," Gibbs said when he arrived in the kitchen. His boss – dom? - was busy frying sausages, bacon and eggs in a pan.

"Uh, was it?" Tony asked with a shrug.

"Yup. I said ten, and when I say ten, I mean ten." Gibbs glanced at him. "Put down four on the chalkboard."

He gestured with his head towards a board hanging from the wall. Tony did as he was told, chalking a '4' on the board, mystified.

"Four what?" Tony asked, ambling back to sit at the kitchen table.

"Four swats, Tony. What the hell did you think it was?" Gibbs said, serving out the food onto plates. He brought them over to the table and shoved one in front of Tony.

Tony looked up at him, frowning. "Uh…four swats?"

Gibbs sat down at the table and began eating. "You can use the chalkboard to start with, but you’ll have to learn to keep a running tally in your head. I'll ask you the total every evening – get it wrong, and I'll add your tally to my tally, and you can take both."

Tony sat there, paralysed, his plate of food untouched in front of him.

Gibbs glanced up. "What?"

"You're talking about…uh…spanking me?"

Gibbs rolled his eyes. "What the hell did you think I was talking about?"

"I dunno…headslaps maybe?"

Gibbs laughed out loud around his mouthful of food. "You'd have one hell of a headache if we did it that way. No – these are swats on your ass, Tony, delivered by my hand, my paddle, my strap, or even my cane. You'll keep a tally throughout the day, and every evening I'll deliver however many you've earned. That's over and above any swats I give you just for fun, or to help you learn faster." He grinned pleasantly across the table and then frowned and gestured with his head towards Tony's plate. "What's wrong with the food?"

"Nothing…just…suddenly not hungry any more," Tony muttered.

"Why did you steal Commander Yates's ID card, Tony?" Gibbs asked him unexpectedly. "Why did you go to that club? What were you looking for?"

"I don't know." Tony shrugged. "I was being an idiot. You know me – that's what I do." He gave Gibbs his shiniest smile, but Gibbs didn't smile back.

"Bullshit," he growled. "Go add another one to the board." He gestured with his head.

"What? That's not fair! I don't know what the rules are!" Tony protested.

"Well, you should know, from working with me these past eight years, that not lying to me is one of 'em," Gibbs retorted. "Every lie you tell me, I’ll make you chalk one up over there. In fact, bring the damn thing over to the table – it'll save you getting up each time."

Tony glared at him. Gibbs glared back. Tony sat there, mutinously. Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

"That's another one."

"For what?"

"Disobedience," Gibbs shrugged. "Last night, you went looking for a dom – and you found one. This morning, you'll find that changes everything, Tony. And I mean, *everything*. Now, if you want to walk out, go right ahead. If you plan on staying, then go get the board and chalk up another two on it."

Tony looked straight into Gibbs's eyes to find them completely uncompromising.

"So – what? It's your way or the highway?" Tony snapped.

Gibbs shook his head. "No. That's why I want to talk to you, and that's why it's important you don't lie to me. That's also three by the way."

"Oh for God's sake – what's the third one for?"

"Keeping me waiting." Gibbs loaded up some bacon and egg on his fork and stuck it in his mouth. Tony sat there, weighing it up. Gibbs glanced at his watch.

"Oh, okay, okay. I'm going – alright?" Tony got to his feet and stomped over to the chalkboard with bad grace. He snagged it off the wall and brought it back, threw it down on the table with a resounding crash, and then rubbed out the previous '4' and wrote in a '7' instead.

"Eight," Gibbs told him. Tony raised a distinctly unimpressed eyebrow. "Attitude," Gibbs clarified. "Were you planning on sitting down at the office tomorrow, Tony? Because you've only been awake half an hour, and you've already earned yourself eight swats. This goes on, and you'll be in triple figures by the end of the day – easy. And trust me, you don't have much experience of this yet, but you're soon gonna learn that my punishment spankings are exactly that – I won't be holding back any."

"I think I've changed my mind about this whole thing," Tony muttered.

"Door's over there." Gibbs nodded his head in the general direction of the front door.

Tony sat there, staring at him. Gibbs finished his breakfast, grinning at him the entire time as he ate. Then he got up, took his plate over to the sink, and threw it in with a clatter. He poured himself a glass of orange juice and drank it straight down, then put the empty glass in the sink.

Finally, he returned to the table, took hold of Tony's face in his hands, and, completely without warning, he kissed him gently on the lips. He tasted of orange juice, and Tony wanted to push him away but his body had other ideas. Instead, he found himself surrendering and allowing Gibbs to push his tongue into his mouth, claiming him as expertly as he had the previous night but in a much less brutal way. Gibbs seemed to know just how long to kiss him to take his breath away, make his knees go weak – and cause his cock to harden. Then he released Tony and looked down on him.

"Did that help you decide?"

"You know it did. Bastard," Tony muttered.

Gibbs grinned and gestured with his head at the chalkboard. "Nine. I don't like being called names by my sub."

Tony sighed. He rubbed out the tally and entered the new one.

"Eat, Tony," Gibbs ordered, gesturing at the plate of rapidly cooling food in front of him. Tony finally took a bite – it tasted damn good, and he realised he was starving so he loaded up his fork with more.

Gibbs sat back in his chair and sipped on his cup of coffee, watching him. "I'm not a complicated dom," Gibbs told him as he ate. "Rules are simple – you've encountered most of 'em already this morning. Let me tell you what I want, Tony, and then you can tell me what you want, and we'll see if this is going to work between us."

Tony nodded, shovelling the food into his mouth.

"If you're mine, you're mine. I'll set the rules, and I'll expect you to obey them. That doesn't mean you don't have a say in any of this. You can ask me to explain anything, and you can tell me if there's anything you don't like. I don't promise to do it any different, but I will bear in mind that you don't like it. I don't play at this though, so if you just want to dick around, or if you think I'll be like one of your girlfriends and you can use me for a couple of months before moving on, then think again."

Tony swallowed down hard. "I wasn't…" he began. Gibbs put up his hand.

"You eat. I'll talk. Then you can have your say."

Tony nodded again.

"I haven't taken a sub in eight years," Gibbs told him. Tony looked up, startled. "I never thought I would again, but you forced my hand."

"You don't want me?" Tony asked, feeling his stomach flip.

“No – precisely the opposite,” Gibbs told him firmly. He leaned forward, gazing at Tony intently. “Tony – you’ve been my sub for eight years – you know it, and I know it. We’ve just never taken it to the next level.”

Tony finished his food and took a sip of his coffee. “Wasn’t sure you knew.”

“That you were playing me? Of course I damn well knew! And I played you back. Hell, I enjoyed the game as much as you did. I liked watching you tease, liked the way you provoked me, and I sure as hell liked slapping your head regularly to keep you in line. We’ve been playing each other for a long time - so long that I'm kind of surprised you finally called me out.”

“You forced my hand too!” Tony said heatedly.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. Tony took a deep breath and continued in a calmer tone of voice.

“You stopped playing, Gibbs. It was our little game – I needed it, hell, I relied on it. Some days it was my only reason for getting up in the morning. Then you left me on that fucking boat, and when you did finally bring me home, you stopped playing. Felt like you didn’t want me around any more. Felt like I didn’t amuse you any more – that you didn’t even *like* me any more. You stopped slapping me – and that was the worst. I needed that physical contact – it was all I ever got from you, and I craved it. When you stopped slapping me - that’s what sent me over the edge. You left me *hanging*, Gibbs. I had to do something to get your attention. If that meant stealing a dead guy’s ID and going to the kind of club I thought could give me what I needed, then I had to do it. You weren’t giving me what I needed any more.”

Gibbs nodded. “You’re right. I stopped playing. Not for the reasons you think though.”

Now it was Tony’s turn to raise an eyebrow.

“It wasn’t my decision to send you away.” Gibbs shrugged.

“But you did fuck all to get me home again…” Tony began angrily. Gibbs raised his hand, glaring at him.

“Let me finish. You got sent away – I didn’t like that, but there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it at first – not until I figured out what the hell Leon was playing at. Then I had a job to do, and I did it as fast as I could, so I could figure out a way to get you back."

"You're saying you missed me?" Tony asked incredulously.

Gibbs rolled his eyes. "Yes, Tony – I'm saying I missed you. You talk about a reason for getting up in the morning – it sure as hell wasn’t easy for me to find one when I was staring across the room at Langer every day and not you.”

“Then why…?” Tony began. Gibbs quelled him with a glare.

“Missing you hurt - bad. Either I left you at sea, or I brought you home. But if you came home, then things had to change – we couldn’t keep playing this game. It was just hurting us both. I thought about it, but in the end I wanted you back too badly. So I brought you home – and kept you at arm’s length. I lost a sub before, Tony – he went off to be an agent afloat too, just like you – only that was his choice. And it was the right damn choice too because I couldn’t give him what he needed.”

“Stan?” Tony felt something inside him snap. “Stan Burley was your sub? Christ, Gibbs – I knew it! I knew you had some damn thing going on with him.” He slammed his hand down on the chalkboard and sent it clattering onto the floor. “That time we went to help him out on that drug case, the two of you looked like all you wanted to do was get a room together. Stan looked like he belonged on his knees, sucking your dick, and the minute you laid eyes on him again you froze me out. Even Kate damn well noticed it. Now I understand why. Stan was the fucking golden boy, and I don’t measure up. I’ve never measured up, have I, Gibbs? Stan was the perfect investigator, the perfect sub, and me – I’m just the guy you play games with at the office – never the guy you fuck.”

“You done?” Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

“No, I’m not fucking done!” Tony roared. “I’m angry, Gibbs. And I don’t care if that means I have to write another fifty on the damn chalkboard. You think I couldn’t be the kind of sub Stan was? You think I could never be as good at my job? You think I couldn’t be as good in bed? You think I could never be to you what he was? Well, you’ve never damn well given me a chance.”

Gibbs sat back in his chair and folded his arms across his chest. “Oh, I know you're nothing like Stan, Tony."

Tony flinched. “Well, I guess that says it all,” he said stiffly, getting up. “I’ll take you up on your offer to leave now, Boss.”

“Never asked Stan to stay, Tony,” Gibbs said quietly. “Never wanted to keep him. Didn't feel that way about him. And he knew it. That’s why he left, in the end.”

Tony hesitated on his way to the kitchen door. Then he turned back, looking at Gibbs questioningly. “And me?” he asked tentatively.

“Want to keep you, Tony. Always have. Now sit.” He nodded his head in the direction of the chair.

Tony went back, slowly, and sat down again. “All these years you couldn’t so much as say you liked me, or that I’d done a good job, and now it turns out that you felt that way about me all this time?” he said numbly.

“Yup.” Gibbs shrugged. “Didn’t say I was happy about it. I fucked up with Stan – rule number twelve exists for a reason. Thought it’d be simpler if I kept you at arm’s length. Had no idea it’d just make it more intense for both of us. You know how the saying goes – ‘treat ‘em mean and keep ‘em keen’. You sure as hell seem to get off on being slapped down, Tony.”

Tony flushed. “Yeah. Well. When it’s you doing the slapping, Boss…” He shot Gibbs a hint of one of his usual bright grins. Gibbs rolled his eyes.

“I enjoyed the little dance of dominance and submission you choreographed for us so expertly, Tony – but there’s a big difference between that and me taking you as my sub. And you always went to such great lengths to convince us all that you’re straight.”

“Didn’t see you parading around with any boyfriends,” Tony muttered.

“Didn’t have any,” Gibbs shrugged. “You were the only one I wanted, and I wasn’t going there so…” He made an empty gesture with his hands. “And what about you? Hell, you couldn’t shut up about all your female conquests – so I figured you just liked playing the sub with me at the office and liked doing something else entirely in your spare time.”

“I topped,” Tony said quietly. Gibbs gave him a surprised look. “I topped my ‘female conquests’ as you call them. Started off with a few light spankings – that’s how I got the 'Spanky' nickname.” He grinned. Gibbs gave a little chuckle. “Didn’t get serious until Jeanne came along – she knew what she wanted, and I was happy to go along with it…until I realised just how envious it was making me. I wanted what I was giving her – and I wanted it from you.” He leaned forward, his face deadly serious. “I denied it for awhile – you’re right, I wasn’t ready to admit what I wanted back then, not at first anyhow. Playing at it with you at the office, flirting with it, skirting around the edges? That was safe. Admitting that I wanted to kneel at your feet and be your fuck toy? Well, that's been harder, as I’m sure you can guess.”

“What changed your mind?” Gibbs asked.

“When Jeanne asked me to choose – and I chose you. I stayed at NCIS for the half-life I had with you, rather than going to her for the real deal. Then I found I wanted more – and then…then I screwed everything up. Jenny died, and I got sent away.” He looked down, morosely, at the empty plate in front of him.

“That wasn’t your fault, Tony,” Gibbs told him. “Jenny’s death wasn’t your fault. She gave you an order, and you obeyed it.”

Tony looked up. “You don’t believe that,” he said quietly. “You know that if she’d given YOU that order to stay away, then you’d have ignored it. I didn’t. I chose to take off and have a good time instead of protecting her, which was what I was being paid to do. I screwed up, Boss, and I deserve to be punished for it. I can take a punishment – I can take anything you want to hand out, however hard, however painful - what I can’t take is you ignoring me.”

“You want to be punished – is that it?” Gibbs asked, his blue eyes intense.

Tony looked down so that Gibbs wouldn’t see what was in his own eyes. “Yes.”

“No,” Gibbs said firmly. Tony looked up in surprise. “My sub – my rules. I decide what you get punished for, Tony.”

“Why? I deserve to be punished. I *should* be punished.”

“Like I said – my sub, my rules. Do you accept that I’m in charge of any punishments you get?”

Tony hesitated.

“Tony – you just wrote a number on that board – that was you accepting my authority on this subject. Are you saying that I'm only in charge when you agree with me?"

Tony chewed on his bottom lip.

“You can’t have it both ways, Tony. Either it’s my decision when and what to punish you for, and you accept that, or it isn’t, and you don’t. Which is it?”

Tony thought about it. “Your decision,” he said finally, sullenly.

“You bet your ass it is!” Gibbs retorted. “I know you’re a newbie, Tony, but have you read up about any of this? Hell, what am I talking about? You’re you – of course you’ve read up. You’ve done your research, haven’t you?”

“Months of nights spent on bondage websites,” Tony admitted with a grin.

“So you know all the theory but none of the practice,” Gibbs grunted. “Tell me what you want, Tony. What’s the attraction for you in being my sub? What do you want from it?”

Tony hesitated.

“None of your bullshit, either,” Gibbs ordered. “The truth, Tony – I’ll know if you’re lying, and we’ll just keep adding to that tally on the chalkboard ‘til I hear the truth.”

“Okay.” Tony wasn’t great at telling the truth about anything personal. He had a whole armoury of tricks at his disposal to help him avoid it, so this was hard. “I want what Fox has with Walter,” he admitted finally. “I want to belong, Gibbs. I want to belong to you. I’ll submit to anything you want to do to me. I don’t care if it hurts – I just want to be yours.”

Gibbs blinked, looking genuinely surprised, and Tony realised that his new dom hadn’t expected that.

“You wanted my honesty,” he said defensively.

“Yes, I did.” Gibbs exhaled a deep breath. “Thank you, Tony. Okay then – you and I are on the same page, because what I want is a sub who's prepared to go on the journey with me. I’ll take you there, Tony, and I promise you it’ll be sweet – but you have to trust me, and you have to be honest with me – and with yourself. That was a damn good start.”

Tony flushed at the praise.

“I can’t tolerate a part-time arrangement,” Gibbs told him. “I tried that before, and it doesn't work for me. If that's a deal breaker for you, then I'll understand – a 24/7 arrangement isn't easy."

"24/7?" Tony raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah. I don't want a few sessions in a playroom or some seedy club bar twice a week. If you’re mine, then I need you to be mine, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year."

"How does that work?" Tony asked, intrigued. This sounded closer to what Fox and Walter had, minus the master and slave contracts that he'd seen in their Playroom, but then he doubted that Gibbs was a contract kind of guy.

"Well, I’ll expect you to be my sub at work as well as at home," Gibbs told him. "So, if I want a blowjob in the elevator, you’ll damn well get down on your knees and give me one.”

Tony’s cock lurched unexpectedly at that thought. Gibbs raised an eyebrow, a little grin tugging at the corners of his mouth.

“Damn it, Gibbs. That’s hot,” Tony hissed.

Gibbs laughed out loud. “Good – I like that my boy gets turned on by the thought of serving me." His laughter faded, and he gazed at Tony intently. "Won't be easy, Tony," he warned. "I'll be a good dom to ya – but I'm pretty sure there will be times when you’ll hate my guts."

"Newsflash for you, Boss – there have been plenty of times I've hated your guts in the past eight years. But for some reason I keep coming back for more. You – and your guts – are kind of addictive."

Gibbs gave a wry grunt at that. "You understand what I'm saying though?" he asked, with a flick of his head. "I want a 24/7 sub. There are no vacations from that role. And I expect everything you've got – no holding back. I'll spank you, whip you, flog you, plug you, gag you, blindfold you, tie you, clamp you, and just about everything else you can imagine.” He leaned forward. “And I’ll fuck you,” he promised, in a low, dark purr of a voice. “If you accept my deal then your body becomes mine, and I'll demand your complete obedience."

Tony felt a little shiver of arousal. Gibbs was staring at him intently, waiting for his answer.

"Yes," Tony said quietly. Gibbs continued staring at him.

"You sure?" he asked. "You really sure, Tony?"

"I'm sure," Tony said firmly. "Like you said, we've been dancing around this for years. I want it for real, Gibbs. I want to know what it's like to do this, to go all the way. God knows I've fantasised about it often enough."

"24/7?" Gibbs asked.

Tony nodded, knowing he didn't want it any other way. "24/7," he agreed.

Gibbs gave a tight little grin. "Okay, then we should lay some ground rules.”

“I thought we already did.” Tony glanced at the chalkboard that was still lying on the floor. “Rule number one: Obey you. Rule number two: Don’t lie to you. Rule number three: Don’t keep you waiting. Rule number four: No attitude. Speaking of which…” He made a face and picked the chalkboard off the floor, then rubbed out the '9' and wrote in a '10'. “I figure you weren’t going to let that little temper tantrum just pass,” he said with a little grimace.

Gibbs’s eyes glowed approvingly. “Oh, I knew you’d be easy to train.”

“Well, you’ve been prepping me for the past eight years, so I figure I know how to please you,” Tony shrugged.

“In some ways,” Gibbs said, with a frankly lascivious grin. “Others you’ll have to learn, and I’m gonna take a hell of a lot of pleasure in the teaching. Okay – you need to pick a safe word.”

Tony glanced up, surprised. “I won’t need one, Boss. I trust you. Whatever you want to do to me is fine.”

“No, it isn’t,” Gibbs retorted. “You’re new at this, Tony. If you were an experienced sub, like Fox, then maybe that’d work, but you’re not – and you have no idea how you’ll react when things get intense.”

Tony gave a nonchalant shrug. “I’ll be fine. I don’t want an out, Gibbs. I want to know you’re in charge, and it’s out of my hands.”

“Oh, I’ll be in charge,” Gibbs assured him grimly. “But it’s been a while since I topped, and I’m out of practice.”

“Didn’t feel that way last night.” Tony rolled his shoulders experimentally and was delighted to feel the slight burn that accompanied the action.

“A safe word isn’t optional, Tony. I won’t lay a finger on you unless you have one, so choose one,” Gibbs said firmly.

Tony glared at him, but he knew there was no arguing with Gibbs.

“Something that’s easy to remember, and you’ll be able to speak clearly in a moment of duress,” Gibbs added.

Tony liked the idea of there being moments of duress. He grinned. “Magnum,” he said promptly. Gibbs rolled his eyes. “What?” Tony laughed. “It’s easy to remember and pretty damn clear!”

“Okay. Magnum it is.”

“When am I supposed to use it?” Tony asked. “I mean…take this…” He gestured towards the chalkboard. “Can I use my safe word if I don’t like taking this punishment?”

“Sure.” Gibbs nodded.

“Really?” Tony gazed at him through narrowed eyes.

“Yup – you use it if anything is too much for you and that includes punishments. I won’t learn your limits if you don’t give me some pointers. But…”

“I knew there’d be a but!”

“BUT…” Gibbs glared at him. “If you use it, then you’d better damn well be prepared to tell me why. I’ll still make you take the punishment, but maybe I’ll do it differently, or delay it until you can handle it.”

“Oookay,” Tony said, feeling a little surprised.


“Didn’t expect you to be so negotiable, that’s all,” Tony shrugged. "You never are at work."

“I told you, this isn’t a one-way thing,” Gibbs said, frowning. “If we’re not both getting off on this then we’re doing somethin’ wrong. Doesn’t mean there won’t be times when it’s painful, or difficult, or neither of us is in the mood – but that’s just life. I’m the dom, Tony – I make up the rules, and I’m pretty damn demanding so there’s no chance this’ll feel like a walk in the park – but then, you don’t want that, do you?” He leaned forward, a quirky little smile on his lips.

“You know me too well,” Tony replied quietly.

“Yeah, I do. Now, enough talking – time to start.” He got up.

Tony looked up at him, alarmed. “Time to start what?”

“Your training, Tony.” Gibbs grinned. “Take off your shirt so I can look at your back.”

Tony guessed he’d have to get used to Gibbs ordering him to remove various items of clothing. He did as he was told, and Gibbs rubbed some more of that cool liquid into his shoulders. Then he turned Tony around and gently applied some of the other ointment to the grazed area around his waist, his jaw tightening as he did so.

“Really pisses you off that some other guy flogged me, doesn’t it?” Tony said, surprised by the look on Gibbs's face.

“I told you what I’m like,” Gibbs growled in reply. “Don’t ever let anyone touch you again. You missed that off your list of rules.”

“Rule number five then,” Tony said. “Nobody touches me but you.” Gibbs gave a terse nod and withdrew his hand from Tony’s ribs. Tony grabbed his wrist and squeezed - hard. “Rule number five applies both ways,” he added firmly. Gibbs quirked an eyebrow at him. “I’m kind of possessive too,” Tony said.

Gibbs grinned. “Wouldn’t have it any other way. Rule number five – nobody touches me but you, Tony. Got it.”

"Good." Tony released his wrist, and Gibbs glanced at his watch.

“We need to get moving. Any more questions?”

“Yes.” Tony nodded, feeling his stomach clench. “When are you going to fuck me?”


Gibbs gazed at his sub for a long moment. The challenge in Tony's eyes turned to a look of apprehension. Gibbs moved forwards, getting into Tony's space, and Tony took an involuntary step backwards.

Gibbs took another step forwards until Tony was pressed up against the fridge. He was still shirtless, and Gibbs could smell his scent and feel the warmth of his skin. It would be so easy to grab him, turn him around, pull his sweatpants down, shove him face first against the fridge, and take him, right here. His cock ached at the thought, but he knew this wasn't the way he wanted to take his sub for the first time.

Tony was staring at him with eyes that were half terrified, half aroused, and Gibbs could feel his sub's cock straining against his sweatpants so he guessed that aroused was winning out.

Gibbs leaned forward and spoke directly into Tony's ear, in a low, hungry tone. "You want that, Tony?"

He could hear Tony swallowing convulsively, and watched, fascinated, as a little vein in Tony's neck fluttered nervously. Gibbs put his fingers in Tony's hair and smoothed it.
"You want me to bend you over the table and fuck you here in the kitchen?" Gibbs whispered, in that same dark voice. Tony's eyes flashed. Gibbs gave him a feral grin and tightened his fingers into a fist in Tony's hair. "That what you want, Tony?" he asked softly. He ran one finger slowly down Tony's naked chest. "Hmm?" Gibbs hissed. "I can't hear you, Tony. Is that what you want, boy?"

"Yes," Tony mumbled, that vein in his neck fluttering wildly. "Yes – that's what I want."

Gibbs gave another feral grin and leaned forward as if he was going to speak into Tony's ear again. Instead, he bit down on the lobe gently, making Tony whimper. Then he released him.

"Well you're gonna have to wait. We have some shopping to do."

"What?" Tony stood there, looking completely dazed.

"Shopping. Put your shirt on – time to go out."

Gibbs grabbed his keys from the kitchen worktop and made for the door. Tony just stood there, like he'd been turned into stone.

"Tony!" Gibbs snapped.

Tony nodded. He pulled his tee shirt on, and then trotted on behind him as Gibbs strode towards the door. He was silent as he got into the car beside Gibbs, and remained silent throughout the journey. Gibbs glanced at him every so often, wondering what was going on in his head. When they finally reached their destination, Tony turned to him.

"You are gonna fuck me one day, right?"

Gibbs grinned. "Oh yeah. I'm definitely gonna fuck you one day, Tony." He patted Tony's cheek. "But I'll say when."

"Why keep me waiting?" Tony asked petulantly.

"You ever been fucked by a man before, Tony?" Gibbs asked. He already knew the answer, but he wanted to hear it from his sub.

"No…but…" Tony began. Gibbs shrugged.

"I'll fuck you – when I'm ready and not before. I have some work to do on you before then."

He got out of the car and slammed the door behind him. Tony scrambled after him as Gibbs strode across the parking lot.

"What kind of work?" Tony asked, an intrigued look on his face.

"You'll see," Gibbs grinned, reaching the store and opening the door.

Tony had been so wrapped up in their conversation that he hadn't noticed where they were headed, and he took a few steps inside and then came to a halt, his mouth opening wide. Gibbs put a hand on his shoulder and steered him towards the interior of the store.

The sales assistant looked up as Gibbs pushed Tony towards her. "Can I help you, sir?" she asked.

"Yeah." Gibbs glanced around at the various items on display. "I have a new sub and an empty toy box. Got a whole list of things to buy. First off – a collar. Plain leather – nothing fancy - with a D-ring on the front."

Tony's eyes were round as saucers as the assistant got out a rack of collars. Gibbs glared at the woman.

"Just because I said nothing fancy doesn't mean cheap," he snapped. "He's gonna be wearing it a lot so only the best quality leather. Go get me something good enough for my sub's neck."

The sales assistant gave him a look almost as wide-eyed as the one Tony was giving him.

"Yes, sir," she said quickly, rushing off to open up a display case. She came back with a beautiful black collar made from butter-soft leather and lined in soft, crimson velvet.

"That's more like it." Gibbs unbuckled it and placed it around Tony's throat. Tony gazed at him from freaked out eyes. Gibbs just grinned at him and buckled it loosely. "How does it feel?" he asked.

"Like I'm a dog? How the hell is it supposed to feel?" Tony hissed. "I have nothing to compare it to, Gibbs."

Gibbs removed the collar and buckled one of the cheap ones around Tony's neck instead. It had hard edges that dug into Tony's skin. Tony made a face.

"Feel the difference?" Gibbs asked. "No sub of mine is wearing something like this." He unbuckled the cheap collar and threw it down on the counter with a look of contempt. The sales assistant and Tony swapped looks of mutual fear. Gibbs grabbed Tony's arm and drew him over to one side. "Does my *sub* have a problem with wearing my collar?" he demanded.

Tony shook his head. "No…just... you're gonna put a collar on me?" he whispered. "Seriously?"

"Seriously." Gibbs nodded. "I like my subs naked and collared. It'll be a good look on you." He patted Tony's cheek again, and Tony swallowed hard, his eyes looking like they were about to pop out on stalks. Gibbs picked up the expensive collar. "So – this one okay for you?" he asked. Tony nodded silently. Gibbs grinned and threw it at the sales assistant. "This one. Now…show me your best paddles – and I mean the best ones."

"Leather or wood, sir?"

"Leather – I'm not paying for a wooden one that I could make myself in ten minutes flat.”

"With holes or without?" The assistant put a selection on the counter.

"Holes?" Tony asked, picking one up.

"Ones with holes go through the air faster – so they land with more force," Gibbs told him.

"Without then?" Tony suggested hopefully.

"With," Gibbs told the sales assistant. Tony pouted. Gibbs almost laughed out loud. The one thing about Tony was that he was fun – always had been. It was going to be a pleasure training him to be a good sub. He suspected he'd be alternately laughing his head off and pulling his hair out, but life with Tony was never, ever going to be boring. He felt more relaxed than he had for years as he looked at his sub. Tony gazed back at him, a surprised look in his eyes.

"What?" Gibbs asked.

"You look weird," Tony replied, making a face. "Kind of smiley. It's freaking me out."

Gibbs laughed and reached out a hand to tousle Tony's hair affectionately, and Tony all but purred as he leaned into the caress. Gibbs thought he could get used to Tony's impression of a cat just waiting to be petted. They'd wasted too many years dancing around the edges of this – it felt so good to finally give into it.

"Cuffs." Gibbs turned back to the sales assistant again. "Same as the collar – nothing fancy, but comfortable and hard-wearing."

She nodded and produced a few sets of nice looking cuffs in double quick time. Gibbs experimented with fastening them around Tony's wrists and ankles, trying on various sets until he was satisfied.

“Now – butt plugs,” Gibbs said. The assistant brought a box of different sized butt plugs to the counter. “Wanna pick one?” Gibbs asked. Tony looked like he’d rather be eviscerated with a meat cleaver, but after mulling it over for a few minutes he eventually pointed at one of the smaller ones in the box. Gibbs laughed out loud. “That's no damn use. I’m a hell of a lot bigger than that, and the point is to stretch you.”

Tony had a severe coughing fit, and Gibbs thumped him helpfully on the back. “Bigger than that?” Tony wheezed, as Gibbs asked the assistant for one of the largest in the box.

“Oh yeah. Much bigger.” Gibbs grinned. He leaned in close to Tony and spoke into his ear. “We’ll get a few in different sizes though, so I can gradually stretch that tight virgin asshole of yours.” He patted Tony’s ass as he spoke, and Tony doubled up in another elaborate coughing fit. Gibbs grinned to himself; playing with Tony was far too much fun.

Gibbs spent the next few minutes investigating harnesses and lengths of chain. Tony wandered off, and Gibbs saw him reaching out a finger towards a rack of canes, a look of morbid curiosity combined with terror on his face.

"Cock gags – different sizes," Gibbs told the sales assistant. "And nipple clamps – the adjustable ones.”

There was a loud crashing sound from over by the canes, and Gibbs swung around to see that the entire rack had fallen over, and Tony was busy trying to gather them all up again. Gibbs sighed. Tony turned towards him, a grimace on his face, his arms full of canes of various lengths, thicknesses, and degrees of severity.

"You want me to chalk up another one on the board when we get back?" Tony asked, wincing theatrically.

"Well, I could add clumsiness, idiocy, and an almost suicidal sense of curiosity to the list of rules, but if I did that you'd never sit down again, DiNozzo," Gibbs told him, with a roll of his eyes. "So no. Here." He handed Tony his keys and nodded to the door. "Go wait for me in the car before you do any more damage. I'll finish up here."

Tony dumped the canes on the counter with an apologetic smile at the sales assistant. She just bestowed a look of abject sympathy on him as he scurried out.

Gibbs bought several more items he thought he'd need and then handed over his credit card to the sales assistant. It was expensive - but worth it. He hadn't realised how much he'd missed this. It was going to feel so good to play again – especially with a sub like Tony. He couldn't wait to get started.

The sales assistant loaded up the bags for him and then handed them over.

"Uh…um…I know this is none of my business but don't be too hard on him, will you?" she whispered. "He's kind of cute."

"Oh, he has the whole kicked puppy look down to a fine art but don't be fooled," Gibbs retorted. "That boy is trouble, and he’s…” he paused, "Mine," he finished, with a grin. “Yeah, he might be trouble, but he’s all mine.”

He grabbed the bags and left the store, that little grin still on his face as he walked back to the car.


Tony wasn't sure he even wanted to know what was in all those bags that Gibbs dumped in the trunk of the car. Part of him was turned on as all hell at the thought of Gibbs trying them out on him, while another part wanted to run away. Just hearing the words “cock gags” and “nipple clamps” had caused him to knock over that rack of canes back there.

Gibbs got in beside him, grinning happily to himself at some private joke. Tony gazed at him, surprised. He was going to have to get used to *this* Gibbs he thought to himself. Not the dour, monosyllabic boss he was familiar with from work, but the guy who pushed him up against fridges and purred in his ear; the guy who told him he'd look good naked and collared; and the guy who seemed to like stroking his hair and *smiling* at him.

"Where are we going?" he asked, as Gibbs took them in the opposite direction to his house.

"Crystal City," Gibbs replied. "To collect some stuff you left there last night."

Last night could have been last century as far as Tony was concerned. Then he remembered the clothes he'd left at Walter's apartment, and he heaved a sigh of relief. At least if they were going there, that would delay the inevitable moment when they got home, and Gibbs delivered that spanking he'd promised – perhaps using one of those implements he'd just bought. Tony wasn't sure how he felt about that. Partly he had a morbid curiosity about how it'd feel, but as this was *Gibbs*, he had a suspicion he'd regret every minute he'd been late getting down the stairs this morning, every act of disobedience, every lie, and every single last thing he'd done to add to that tally on the chalkboard.

Walter answered the door and smiled at them both happily. "Tony." He drew Tony into a warm bear hug. "Jethro." Much to Tony's surprise, he did the same to Gibbs.

"Gunny," Gibbs replied, accepting the hug with a grin.

"You still call him ‘Gunny’?" Tony asked, intrigued.

Gibbs glanced at Walter. “What exactly have you told him?” he demanded with a raised eyebrow.

Walter laughed. “Just the basics - that I was your gunnery sergeant at boot camp – back when you were a hot-tempered eighteen year old, always looking for a fight."

“If you wanted to fill in the details, I’d be very happy to hear them,” Tony grinned.

Gibbs glared at him, but Tony ignored him – no way in hell was he going to pass up an opportunity to hear more details about Gibbs's misspent youth. He had a feeling Skinner had the kind of dirt on Gibbs that Abby and McGee would pay to hear.

"Sure – sit down and have some coffee. Fox!" Walter bellowed. Fox appeared a second later – he had untidy hair and was wearing a pair of glasses that made him look strangely young and innocent.

They sat down at the kitchen table with cups of coffee, and Walter gave him a searching look. "So, Tony – things work out okay?"

Tony glanced at Gibbs and then back at Walter. "Yeah." He flushed. "They did. I should say thanks – I have a feeling you're behind what happened last night."

Walter grinned and slapped his back affectionately. "I just gave Private Gibbs a kick up the ass to make him see sense, same as I always did when he was in my bad boy squad back at boot camp."

"Bad boy squad?" Gibbs rolled his eyes.

"That's what you were – all the ones with potential who couldn't seem to help getting into trouble."

"Walter's job was to break them," Fox said helpfully, dipping a cookie into his coffee and then crunching on it.

"Oh really?" Tony's eyes lit up.

Walter laughed out loud. "My job was to turn them into good Marines," he clarified. "The Corps doesn't like to give up – even on the really hard-ass kids."

Gibbs took a sip of his coffee, looking as if this entire conversation had nothing to do with him.

"And Gibbs was one of the really, really, *really* bad ones?" Tony asked.

Gibbs fixed him with one of his death glares. Tony just grinned at him, figuring he was safe while sitting next to Walter.

"Hell yes! He and I went head to head for weeks until I finally got him to give in. After that, he turned into the best Marine I ever trained, but up to that point it was touch and go."

"Cool." Tony leaned forward. "So, how did you break him?"

Walter glanced at Gibbs who glanced back at him, deadpan. "Want me to tell him, Jethro?" Walter asked, raising an eyebrow. Gibbs shrugged.

"Depends on how badly he wants to know," he replied. "It's five on the chalkboard, Tony – up to you."

"Hey – you said curiosity isn't a rule!" Tony protested.

"It isn't." Gibbs grinned. "Consider it information that comes at a price. Question is whether it’s a price you wanna pay."

Tony thought about it. Five seemed like a lot, but his obsession with all things Gibbs was overwhelming, and the chance to find out a snippet from his new dom’s past was too much for him.

"Spill," he told Walter.

Fox laughed. "Ah, Tony – you and I are more alike than I thought. No way I'd have passed up on that, either – despite the high price you’ll end up paying, my friend."

"Okay then." Walter leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms over his solidly muscled chest. "So, you have to picture what young Leroy Jethro Gibbs was like back then. He was all flashing blue eyes and fast fists. He liked to fight, and he didn't like authority."

"Hasn’t changed much then," Tony muttered. Gibbs shot an unexpected grin in his direction.

"He sure as hell didn't like me,” Walter continued. “He loved being a Marine – I had no doubt about that. He wanted to wear the uniform, and he wanted to wear it with pride, but he couldn’t get his head around the whole idea of the chain of command, and he wouldn't back down in a confrontation."

"Yup. Still the same," Tony grinned.

"So, he and I got into a few arguments. One time, I made him stand to attention on the parade ground for a full six hours before he finally surrendered. Then I made him do a hundred push-ups before I allowed him to go rest," Walter recalled. "But then, just when I thought I was making some progress with him, the little punk went and got into a barrack room brawl. An admiral’s son was hurt, and Jethro was held responsible. He was hauled before the MPs, and for awhile I thought he was going to be beyond saving."

Gibbs took another sip of his coffee, looking supremely calm. Tony frowned.

"I always thought you were a model Marine, Boss."

"I was. Once Walter straightened me out," Gibbs said, with a shrug. "He argued for me to be given one last chance. That's how I ended up on his infamous punishment detail for a month. Spent most of it on my hands and knees scrubbing bathroom floors with a toothbrush – that's when I wasn't doing ten mile runs, or standing to attention on the parade ground for hours on end."

"And every night I had him come to my room and take six swats with my belt," Walter added. "Good, old-fashioned, Marine Corps discipline. Unorthodox - and not something we talk about – but I wasn’t about to let a good kid go bad if I could help it.”

"Every night? For a month?" Tony whistled. "No wonder you got through to him."

"That wasn't what got through to me," Gibbs said quietly.

"Nope." Walter shook his head. "Although I was impressed by how you took it, Jethro. You never once asked me to go easy on you. You never showed up late or gave me attitude. You took every single one of those swats without a word."

"So what did get through to you?" Tony asked.

Gibbs glanced at Walter, who glanced back at him, and they exchanged quiet smiles.

"I found out that Walter had gone to the wall for me," Gibbs told him. "He staked his reputation on pulling me around – if he screwed it up, then they were going to kick him back a rank and mark it down on his record. Once I knew that he believed in me, that he'd do that for me…well, I wasn't gonna let him down. I took everything he threw at me, determined to show him that he hadn't misjudged me."

"And I hadn't," Walter added. "He's the finest Marine I ever trained."

"See – and these poor guys ended up with us insubordinate subs." Fox grinned at Tony. "Must stick in their craw, after having turned out all those well-trained Marines, to end up with such badly behaved civilians on their hand - and not a military tribunal in sight to help them get us to shape up."

"Oh, we have other weapons at our disposal for that," Gibbs said, with a hint of a grin.

"Yeah – he's got a whole car full of weapons downstairs," Tony said mournfully. Walter laughed, and gave Tony’s shoulder a sympathetic squeeze. "Glad he knows how it feels if he's going to be handing it out," Tony added.

"Oh, he knows," Walter chuckled. "He definitely knows."

"Every time I think about losing my temper and lashing out, I remember that punishment detail and how sore my ass was by the end of it," Gibbs said with a shrug. "I learned the hard way how to control my temper – but I'm glad I learned. Otherwise, I think I'd have been killed on a battlefield somewhere, or else rotting in Leavenworth. Walter made me into the man I am today, Tony, and for that, I'm damn grateful. It would have been so easy for him to give up on me, but he saw beneath the mixed-up kid to the man I had the potential to be, inside. "

"And you did the same for other kids just like you when you became a gunny," Walter told him. "So it was worth it. You always take the time and trouble to see what's underneath – and you don't give up on the people with promise and heart." He glanced at Tony as he said that. "Doesn't mean you put up with any bullshit, but you'll stand by the ones who are worth it, even when others would have kicked them out a long time ago."

Tony remembered his short lived time at Peoria, Philadelphia and Baltimore PDs. He’d always screwed up, or his attitude had pissed off his superiors, and he’d been advised to move on.

"You know what I'm talking about, Tony?" Walter asked softly.

Tony glanced up at Gibbs and found his new dom gazing at him with an inscrutable expression on his face. "Yeah," Tony muttered. "I know."

Gibbs had been the only boss who'd seen past his more annoying habits to the person within and found him worth giving a damn about. His devotion to Gibbs dated back to the precise moment when he'd realised that this man wasn't going to give up on him, unlike all the police captains he'd worked under.

Not that Gibbs had ever gone easy on him – because he'd bawled Tony out for every single screw-up – but he'd also made it clear that he was part of the team and here to stay. Tony would follow him to the ends of the earth for being the only person in his life who'd ever believed in him. And it seemed he'd learned how to do that from this big man sitting here.

"Thanks, Walter," Tony said.

"You're welcome, son. You're the one who's going to be taking those five swats though," Walter reminded him, misunderstanding the reason behind his gratitude.

“Yeah – about that…” Tony looked at Gibbs hopefully.

“Don’t even think about it,” Gibbs grunted. “They’re going on the board. Like I said – that kind of information costs.”

Tony gazed at him thoughtfully. “You know, I think that particular piece of information was worth the price.”

Gibbs grinned at him. “You haven’t paid it yet, Tony – you might think differently after.”


They finished their coffee, and Gibbs took their used cups into the kitchen He was itching to get his sub home and move his training onto the next level. Walter followed him into the kitchen.

“So, how’s it going, Jethro?” he asked quietly.

Gibbs shrugged. “Early days.”

“Any regrets? You think I forced your hand on this?” Walter asked, gazing at him searchingly.

“No regrets, and yeah, you did, but it was the right thing to do. As you damn well know.” Gibbs shot a glare in his direction.

Walter gave a tight little smile and ran a thoughtful hand over his jaw. “Jethro – there’s something I have to say. That kid…there’s something there. He’s got some serious shit in his past. Fox and I both picked up on it.” Gibbs glanced up sharply. “I’m sorry – tell me to butt out if you want, but I thought you should know.”

Gibbs sighed. “I already do, Walter.”

“Good. Figured you did – just thought I should say.”

“Not the details – those will have to come from him, when he’s ready. But I know there’s something.”

“Yeah – something pretty big I think. Also – he has some serious daddy issues going on,” Walter added.

Gibbs gave a mirthless laugh. “Hell, Walter, tell me something I don’t know!” His tight grin faded. “What did he say to you?”

“Nothing he thought would give him away.” Walter shrugged. “Just casual bits of conversation I pieced together. You know anything about his father?”

“Beyond the fact that he was an alcoholic and an asshole? Nope.” Gibbs shook his head. “I do know that he screwed Tony up bad, but, like you, that comes from information I’ve pieced together over the years. Tony's never said anything to me about it direct.”

“Think the two are linked? The daddy issues and whatever else is in his past?” Walter asked thoughtfully.

“No idea,” Gibbs shrugged. “Wouldn’t be surprised – but with Tony? Who knows?”

“What are you going to do?”

“Stick with him,” Gibbs said firmly. “Give him what he needs until he trusts me enough to tell me what the hell is going on.”

“And what is it you think he needs?”

“Same thing you gave Fox to pull him around, Walter. A firm hand, a hell of a lot of love, and someone he doesn’t have to hide around.”

“Might take time,” Walter mused. “I have a feeling that kid hides things as easy as breathing, Jethro.”

“Didn’t anyone tell you?” Gibbs patted his arm. “I’m a sniper, Walter. I’m a patient man – I can wait, and watch, and when the time comes I’ll know it. I’ll reach him. Might take a while, but I’m not giving up on him. Never have. Never will.”

“Good. Tony needs someone like you. I’ve only known him a couple of days, but he’s an easy kid to like.”

“Oh yeah.” Gibbs gave another tight grin. “He is.”

"He's hungry for something, Jethro. Love, I think, but maybe something else, too – something darker." Walter shook his head. "He's kind of like a dog that'll take any number of kicks and keep on coming back for more. His greatest fear isn't being hurt – it's being ignored."

Gibbs felt a muscle in his jaw tighten. "I'm not gonna ignore him. And I'm sure as hell not gonna kick him," he growled.

"Someone has," Walter said softly. "And he let them. He'll let you too if that's what you want. I've seen the way he looks at you – there's a blind devotion in his eyes. You could give that kid a hell of a lot of kicks before he'd leave you, Jethro – maybe he never would."

"Christ, Walter!" Gibbs slammed his fist down angrily on the kitchen worktop. "I won't treat him like that. You know that. Discipline and a firm hand are one thing – he needs those – they make him feel safe and wanted, and besides, they turn him on. But I won't abuse him."

"Supposing that's what he wants?" Walter raised an eyebrow. "These boys of ours – they're complicated, Jethro. Fox had his own set of issues – different ones to Tony's for sure - but it took me months to get through to him all the same. I just want to be sure you know what you're taking on."

"Oh, I know," Gibbs muttered grimly.

"Good. Then I think he's in safe hands." Walter slapped Gibbs on the shoulder. "And hell – I have to say, I almost envy you – he's going to be great fun to play with."

Gibbs managed a smile at that, and they returned to the other room. Tony and Fox were discussing something – in robust tones. Fox's dry monotone dominated the conversation, punctuated by humorous little digs from Tony. Walter and Gibbs exchanged amused grins.

Then Tony glanced up, caught Gibbs looking at them, and gave him a smile that was so guileless in its affection, and so intimate, that it took his breath away.

"You ready to go, Boss?"

"Boss?" Fox snorted.

"Hey – you call yours 'Master'. Who's the freaky one here?" Tony demanded. "Uh…you weren't gonna make me call you 'Master' were you, Boss?" he asked with a wince. Gibbs rolled his eyes. “’Sir’ would be okay, I suppose," Tony mused. Then his eyes widened in alarm. "But not, you know, 'My Lord', or anything really dumb like that."

"Tony!" Gibbs snapped, interrupting his sub’s wayward thought process. Tony's head jerked up. "It's 'Boss', 'Gibbs', or - but only if I'm in a really good mood, and you aren’t being too much of an idiot - 'Jethro'. That's it. Got it?"

"Yes." Tony nodded. "Jethro," he added with a sly grin. Gibbs gazed at him through narrowed eyes. "What? You're in a good mood, and I haven't done anything really idiotic in hours," Tony pointed out.

Walter laughed out loud and patted Gibbs's arm again. "Oh yeah. You're really gonna have fun with that one," he chuckled.

"If he doesn't kill me in the process," Gibbs muttered darkly. "Right - we're going." Gibbs jerked his head in the direction of the door. "Thanks for the coffee, Walter. Got your clothes, Tony?"

Tony nodded and picked up the bag Fox had given him.

"We still have those leather pants and the shirt you lent him," Gibbs told Walter. "Tony will get them dry-cleaned, and we'll return them to you soon."

"Oh, you can keep them," Fox said with a wave of his hand. "Those pants were always too big for me – I don't want them any more."

Gibbs cleared his throat. "We'll return them," he said stonily. "No way he’s gonna wear ‘em again. They were too damn tight."

"Yeah – they were kind of snug. I noticed the way guys kept checking out his ass last night," Fox said mischievously, winking at Tony. Gibbs turned, slowly, to bestow a dark glare on Fox.

Walter laughed again. “My apologies for my naughty slave.” He clicked his fingers, and Fox got up without a word, came over, and knelt at his side, head down.

Gibbs watched Tony watching Fox, and noted the envy in his eyes. However much Tony was freaked out by the master/slave nature of Walter and Fox’s relationship, he was also really turned on by Fox’s total submission. Gibbs stored that knowledge away to help him in training his new sub.

Walter turned to him. "It's been good seeing you again, Jethro. We shouldn’t leave it so long next time. Take good care of Tony – and call me if you need anything."

“So long, Walter.” Gibbs cast a glance at Fox to see him sneaking a sly grin in Tony’s direction as they left.

"So…" Tony said, as he got into the car beside Gibbs. "Walter used to kick your ass around back in boot camp, huh?" He gave Gibbs a broad grin. "Man, I'd love to have been a fly on the wall back then."

Gibbs revved the engine and then turned to gaze at Tony. "You know, you look pretty cheerful considering you’re about to get your first taste of my discipline," he said.

Then he sat back and watched, amused, as that grin faded from Tony's face and a look of almost comical panic flashed in his expressive green eyes.

Oh yeah. Walter was right. This was definitely going to be fun.


Tony kept shooting little glances at Gibbs on the journey home but, as usual, his new dom wasn’t giving anything away. Tony wondered how taking Gibbs’s discipline would be any different to that whipping last night. That had been pretty damn good once Gibbs had taken over, and Tony had settled into the mindset. He had known that he could stop it any time he wanted, but then again, Gibbs had told him he could stop this any time he wanted too – although not without caveats.

Tony had no intention of stopping anything. Just because Gibbs had given him a safe word didn’t mean he had to use it. He wanted the edge – the thrill – of knowing that Gibbs was in charge, and that he had to submit. He’d had a taste of that at work all these years and now he wanted to experience it to the full. He didn’t want a safety net.

They pulled up in the driveway, and Gibbs got their bags of shopping out of the trunk, handed a couple of them to Tony, and carried the rest into the house. Tony trailed along behind him, his stomach churning.

Gibbs put down his bags on the coffee table and then strode off in the direction of the kitchen.

“Strip,” he ordered over his shoulder as he left the room.

Tony stood there, uncertainly, wondering if he’d heard correctly. Had Gibbs just ordered him to strip? And did he mean entirely, or was this just another back and shoulders inspection? He was still mulling that over when Gibbs returned to the living room with the chalkboard in his hand and a frown on his forehead.

“Didn’t you hear me, DiNozzo? I said ‘strip’, and when I give an order I expect…”

“Instant obedience. Yes, I know – I know!” Tony said, throwing his bags of shopping down on the couch and pulling his tee shirt over his head in double quick time. “Sorry…just wasn’t sure if you meant it or not.”

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. “When have I ever given you an order and not meant it?”

“Good point, Boss,” Tony agreed, tugging frantically at his shoes, hopping around the room as he did so, trying to get them off his feet.

“So that’s five for the pleasure of hearing Walter’s anecdotes, and one each for slowness and disobedience just now.” Gibbs rubbed out the ’10’ on the chalkboard.

“Oh come on!” Tony protested. “Surely it was either slowness OR disobedience – it wasn’t both!”

“And another one for attitude,” Gibbs said, chalking up the grand total on the board and then holding it up for Tony to see. Tony’s heart sank.

“Eighteen?” He winced. “Ouch. That’s gonna hurt. Are you sure about this, Boss? I mean, as I’m new and all, maybe you could give me a reduction?”

“Nineteen,” Gibbs grinned.

“What! Why?”

“New rule – I really hate wheedling.”

“But if I didn’t know about the rule then how could I break…?”

Gibbs raised an eyebrow, hand poised over the chalkboard.

Tony stopped in mid-sentence and held up his hands in a gesture of surrender. “Nineteen,” he agreed.

“And you’re still not undressed,” Gibbs pointed out.

Tony looked down and then quickly finished off divesting himself of his shoes and socks. That left only his pants. He wasn’t wearing any underwear, and he paused, looked at Gibbs, and flushed. Gibbs gave him the glare he saved for officers who’d failed the men under their command, or the wives of Marines who’d cheated on their husbands while they were fighting in Iraq.

“Time I took a good look at my new sub, Tony,” Gibbs growled. “I want to see what I’ve got to work with.”

That sounded kind of promising – and threatening. Tony nodded. Wasn’t this what he’d wanted? Wasn’t this why he’d stolen that ID and gone to that club? And hadn’t this been behind every teasing stare and challenging flash of his eyes that he’d thrown Gibbs’s way these past eight years?

He tugged down his pants, and his cock immediately sprang free, half hard already. Tony flushed and tried to cover it surreptitiously with his hands while he bundled up his pants and threw them onto the couch.

“Hands by your sides, DiNozzo,” Gibbs said, coming over to stand in front of him. “Stand to attention.”

Tony swallowed hard and did as he was told. Just the proximity of Gibbs was arousing, and the hard, assessing stare he was giving him didn’t help. Tony’s cock hardened even more, and he gave an embarrassed moan.

“When I said stand to attention I didn’t mean it *that* way, but I’m flattered all the same.” Gibbs grinned.

His steely, blue-eyed gaze travelled slowly over every inch of Tony’s body. It lingered on Tony’s cock, but Gibbs’s expression didn’t change, so Tony had no idea if he liked what he saw or not.

Gibbs didn't ask if he could touch, and he didn't hesitate. He just moved in close and placed his hands flat on Tony's chest with that same intent look he always had when working on his boat. Then he proceeded to move his hands slowly and firmly over Tony's body with the confidence of ownership. Tony flushed; he wasn't used to being examined and scrutinised in such an intimate way. Gibbs brushed his fingers over Tony's nipples, and they hardened, involuntarily. Tony bit down on his lip. Gibbs grinned.


"Yeah," Tony said hoarsely.

Gibbs leaned in and took one in his mouth, and Tony gave a startled yelp, surprised by the move, and pushed him away. Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

"Not a good start, DiNozzo. Is your body mine or not?"

"Yes, Boss. Sorry…just…gonna take some time to get my head around that."

"Let's try it again. Hands behind your back – and keep them there until I say you can move."

Tony did as ordered and this time he was ready for it when Gibbs repeated the action. Gibbs's mouth was warm, and he sucked down hard, making Tony's cock go rigid with arousal. Then Gibbs released him – but only to immediately cup Tony's balls in his hand. Tony gasped. Gibbs grinned at him and tugged on them gently.

"Uh…Boss…" Tony whispered faintly, struggling to keep his hands behind his back.

"Ssh, DiNozzo…I'm exploring my new sub's body."

He released his grasp on Tony's balls and ran his hand over Tony's cock. Tony felt himself breaking out into a sweat. It wasn't easy to stand here, hands behind his back, and just submit to the caress, however gentle it was. He wanted to move his hips and rut into Gibbs's hand. He longed to break position, grab his dom, tear his clothes off and get down to some hot action…but he couldn't. He just had to stand here and let his new dom play with him.

Thankfully, Gibbs didn't tease him for too long. He drew back and motioned with his finger.

“Turn. Hands by your sides now.”

Tony obeyed, turning slowly until he was facing the wall. He couldn’t see Gibbs, but he could sure as hell *feel* his gaze upon him, travelling over his back and down to his ass, then remaining fixed on his buttocks for a long time. Tony closed his eyes – this was both agonising and arousing.

“Good,” Gibbs said, and his voice sounded very close.

Next thing Tony knew, a fingertip was being traced down his spine, slowly, one vertebra at a time. He sucked in his breath and held it, and his cock hardened even more. That fingertip ended up at his ass and stroked softly across his buttocks. Tony felt his breathing hitch.

"Nice," Gibbs said softly, and Tony could feel his warm breath on the back of his neck.

"Glad you approve," Tony muttered.

Gibbs slapped his ass, making him yelp in surprise. "Oh yeah. Plenty to work with here," Gibbs said, in an amused tone.

Then suddenly, without warning, Gibbs slid a leg between his knees and pushed him forwards at the same time. Tony’s hands went out automatically and slammed against the wall for support. Gibbs grasped his hips and pulled them back so that his ass was sticking out.

“Discipline will be daily. Every evening,” Gibbs purred into his ear. “Discipline is your responsibility, Tony, so it’s your job to remind me.”

“If I forget?” Tony asked over his shoulder. Gibbs cupped one of his buttocks with his hand and squeezed.

“Don’t,” Gibbs said, in a low, dangerous voice, straight into his ear.

“Got it, Boss.”

“Discipline won't always be spanking, but if it is, then you’ll lay out the implements for me, so I can decide what I want to use. Then you’ll get into position.”


“There are three. This is the first one. Against the wall – butt out, legs wide apart, hands braced. Just like this – got it?”

Tony nodded. “Think so.”

That hand cupping his buttock squeezed more severely. “Don’t *think*, DiNozzo. Be sure.”

“Got it!” Tony said quickly, memorising the position he was in so that he could repeat it.

“Good. Second position.” Gibbs moved so quickly that Tony barely had time to catch his breath. One moment he was standing braced against the wall, and the next Gibbs had pulled him back, flipped him around, and bent him over the back of the couch. “Not like that,” Gibbs said, pushing his head right down so that it was against the cushions. “Like this.” He put his knee between Tony’s legs and pushed them apart again. “Legs always apart. Ass always up. Head always down. Got it?”

“Got it!” Tony said promptly, his voice muffled by the cushions.

“Good.” Tony felt Gibbs’s hand gently stroke his back. “We won’t always be here – sometimes we might be in a hotel, or at the office, so…”

“At the office.” Tony stood up and turned to look at his dom in alarm. Gibbs crossed his arms across his chest and glared at him.

“What part of ‘24/7’ don’t you understand, DiNozzo? This isn’t an arrangement of convenience for you. It’s not just when you want it. You want to be my sub? Then this is how it goes down.”

“You’re gonna make me bend over and take a licking at the office?” Tony asked, still fixated on that.

“Not in front of anyone,” Gibbs replied with a shrug. “Nobody gets to see your bare butt except me. But yeah, we spend a lot of time there, and I’m damn sure there are going to be times when I want to discipline you there.”

“And a headslap won’t do?”

“Oh, the headslaps were always just a poor substitute for what I’ve *really* wanted to do to you all these years, DiNozzo.” Gibbs grinned. “Now I’ve got the real deal, there’s no way they’ll satisfy me. Not that I’ll stop handing ‘em out when you need them – but now I can follow through later with something that I’m sure will make a hell of a lot more impact.”

“But where?” Tony asked helplessly.

“The elevator, the conference room – hell, I’ll even bend you over the hood of your car and discipline you in the parking garage if need be.” Gibbs shrugged. “And there’s the men’s room. Or over my desk late at night when everyone’s gone home. Then there’s those steel tables in Autopsy to bend you over when Ducky’s not around. And there’s always Vance’s office when he’s away on one of his high-powered trips.”

Tony gazed at him, open-mouthed.

“And let’s not forget the back of the van – plenty of room in there – I’ll just lock the door and take care of it.”

“You are really serious about this whole 24/7 thing, aren’t you?” Tony croaked, wishing his cock wasn’t still standing up, ramrod straight, showing just how much his body was turned on by this.

Gibbs moved a step closer, so that Tony could feel the taut heat of his body against his naked skin. “Don’t ever doubt it, DiNozzo. I told you – once you’re mine, you’re mine. I know what I want, and I don’t hold back. But…” His blue eyes were musing. “You’re new to this – and that’s why I’m giving you a week.”

“A week?” Tony frowned. "For what?"

"To be sure this is what you want. I’ll give you a flavour of what it’s gonna be like all week, and then, on Friday, you can choose if you want to stay. If you want to walk away that's fine.” He made a little motion with his head. “Okay, it’ll suck, but I won’t stop ya. If it *is* what you want, then I'll demand your commitment to being as good a damn sub as you are an agent.”

“Not very then?” Tony grinned and hunched his shoulders, waiting for the headslap. Gibbs slapped the side of his ass instead, and Tony yelped.

“Remember you’re naked, I’m in charge, and this is a whole new ball game. So the slaps might not be on your head whenever you’re alone with me from now on. Got it?”

“Got it.” Tony made a face. “But I don’t understand how this week thing is going to work.”

“I’m getting to that.” Gibbs shot him another of his steely glares. “I won’t fuck you until I know you’re going to stay, Tony. I’ll only fuck you once I’ve collared you – and once I fuck you, then you’re mine for good.”

“Already am,” Tony muttered.

Gibbs clicked his fingers, and Tony found himself, inexplicably, sinking to his knees beside him, the way Fox did whenever Walter made that same gesture. He looked up at Gibbs, startled by the reflex action. Gibbs gave a taut little smile and ran his hand through Tony’s hair.

“Yeah. I think you are,” he said softly. “But you have all week to figure out if it’s what you really want. You’ll stay here this week, learning how to be my sub at work and at home. Then, on Friday evening, you can decide if you want it to be permanent.”

“Is this just for me to decide?” Tony asked, his stomach cramping anxiously. “Or is it for you to decide too?” He wasn’t sure he could stand the disappointment of getting to Friday and having Gibbs reject him.

Gibbs pulled Tony’s head back by the hair, and Tony found himself looking into a pair of pissed off looking eyes.

“Just you. I made my decision when I claimed you in that club last night. You’re mine, Tony. I just want you to understand *exactly* what that means before I fuck you. ‘Cause once I do, there’s no looking back. So you need to be sure.”

“I’m sure now,” Tony pouted, his head still pulled back uncomfortably. Gibbs ran a finger down Tony’s exposed neck.

“No, now you’re turned on. But you haven’t felt my discipline yet, and you have no idea what it’ll be like to give up your freedom.”

“I don’t know what the hell kind of freedom you think I’ve had while working for you these past eight years.”

Gibbs laughed out loud. “Oh, Tony, trust me, any demands I’ve made on you at work will seem like a walk in the park compared to what’s coming your way next week.”

As Tony gazed up at him, a warm feeling settled in the pit of his stomach. He wasn’t sure what it was – just that his world suddenly felt full of the kind of safety and certainty that it had been lacking.

A surprised look crept into Gibbs’s eyes, and he lowered his head, captured Tony’s mouth with his own, and kissed him. Tony opened his mouth and returned the kiss eagerly. Then Gibbs drew back and patted his cheek.

"One more thing – when I fuck you I'll want to go bareback, so tomorrow we both get tested."

"I'm clean. I haven't been with anyone for…" Tony sighed, flushing. "Since Jeanne," he muttered. "Been nearly two years, Boss."

Gibbs raised a surprised eyebrow, and Tony winced.

"Yeah. I know. But that whole fucked up relationship screwed with my head. There's been nobody since. You?"

He held his breath – Gibbs wasn't exactly known for volunteering personal information, but Tony thought he had the right to ask on this occasion. Gibbs clearly thought so too, because he nodded tersely.

"Been about two years for me too."

"Colonel Mann?" Tony waggled his eyebrows hopefully, wondering if he was right. Gibbs slapped the back of his head.

"Yeah. And I'm damn sure I'm clean too – but I want to start with a clean slate, so we'll both get tested tomorrow. I know someone who can fast-track the results by Friday."

"So you hate condoms that much, huh, Boss?"

"I like condoms as much as the next guy, DiNozzo – which is not much, but they're a necessary evil. However, when I fuck my *sub*, it'll be different. Part of claiming you is really feeling you, and part of dominating you is making you feel me too. No barriers."

Tony’s cock lurched in response to that little speech. Gibbs's gaze dropped to his sub's groin, and he gave a feral grin. “Time to show you how it’s gonna be. Get up.”

Tony got to his feet and followed Gibbs around to the front of the couch. Gibbs unpacked some of the items he’d bought and laid them out on the coffee table in front of him. Tony’s heart skipped a beat as he surveyed the sleek paddle with the holes drilled into it, and the thick leather strap. At least Gibbs hadn't unpacked the cane that Tony had seen poking out of the top of one of the bags.

“And now for position three.” Gibbs sat on the couch and pointed at his lap.

Tony narrowed his eyes. “Oh come on! You can’t be serious!”

“And that makes a nice round twenty for the board,” Gibbs grinned. “I was wondering if we’d get there.”

“You want me to go over your knee?” Tony protested. “I mean…aren’t I kind of heavy and way too old for that?”


Gibbs waited. Tony stood there, weighing it up. Then, finally, seeing there was no choice for it, he gave a sigh and scrambled awkwardly over Gibbs’s knee.

It felt weird – and yet oddly intimate. He felt too big and clumsy, but the couch supported his body on either side, and his straining cock felt good pressed against Gibbs’s thighs.

“Good. Now, finally, I get a chance to play with my new sub.”

Tony tensed, but all Gibbs did was stroke a gentle hand over his back. Tony relaxed a little. Gibbs continued caressing him, doing no more than stroking him. Tony rested his head on his hands and closed his eyes, wondering how the hell his life had changed so much in the past twenty-four hours that he was now naked and ass up over Gibbs’s knees.

Gibbs’s fingers were soothing. They moved lower and fondled his ass cheeks. It was incredibly intimate, but Tony reminded himself that he was the sub, and Gibbs was his top, and all that was left for him to do was to surrender. As he worked this process through in his head, he felt his body relax even more.

“What’s your safe word, Tony?” Gibbs asked, breaking into his serene mood.

“Hmmm?” Tony raised his head. Gibbs deposited a little smack on one of his butt cheeks. “Oh – uh, it’s Magnum.”

“Good. If anything is too much for you – physically OR emotionally, then use it,” Gibbs told him firmly. “And be prepared to tell me why.”

Tony nodded, but he immediately dismissed the conversation from his mind. He refused to acknowledge that he had a safe word. He hadn’t wanted one, hadn’t asked for one, and he made a choice, here and now, that he’d never use it, either. He wanted this to be *real*, and he wasn’t going to give himself an out.

A second later he almost changed his mind as Gibbs’s hand suddenly smacked down hard on his upturned ass.

“Owwww!” he howled, turning to look over his shoulder.

“What – you were expecting love taps?” Gibbs grinned.

“Nope…just thinking that if that’s only your hand, then I really don’t want to know how any of those other things feel.” Tony gestured with his head towards the strap and paddle.

“Well, that’s a shame, ‘cause you’re gonna find out *exactly* how they feel in just a couple of minutes. Head down.”

Tony did as he was told and gripped onto the couch cushions as another hard smack fell on his naked ass. Another one made him whimper and wriggle, and Gibbs wrapped an arm around his waist, pulled him in close, and then began whacking him in earnest.

Tony had taken bullets and survived a few bad beatings in the course of his working life, but there was something about being in this position that affected him on a much deeper level. For a start, he was very aware that this was something he was submitting to – and that Gibbs was *making* him submit to it. He knew that he could say his safe word, or he could lever himself up off Gibbs’s lap – and that was the hard part. Staying in position and taking it, allowing it to happen, was both the thrill and difficulty.

He remembered how it had felt to spank some of his girlfriends in the past. He’d only ever played at it with them and had certainly never spanked them as intently as Gibbs was spanking him now. He had loved the way they wriggled on his lap and how their bottoms had warmed up under the palm of his hand. That had been different though – he’d never asked them to submit to him – they’d just been having some light-hearted fun. Gibbs was asking for his submission – no, not asking - he was *demanding* it.

Tony did his best to relax and take what his dom was handing out. He was just about succeeding too, when suddenly something much more painful descended on his burning ass cheeks.

“Shit!” he yelped, glancing back to see that Gibbs was using the strap. Tony put his hand back by reflex to deflect the next blow; Gibbs grabbed his wrist, pushed his hand into the small of his back, and held it there.

“Want to say anything to me? You have a word.”

Tony glared at him, eyes blazing defiance. He fought an internal war with himself and then finally surrendered.

"No,” he said quietly. “Nothing to say.”

"Okay then. I'll give you this one for free, but if you ever try and block me again then you'll take penalty swats. Clear?"

"Crystal," Tony muttered. Gibbs shot him an oddly reassuring smile, and Tony turned his head back and lowered his chin onto the couch again.

A second later, another swat sent shockwaves through his ass. Tony wished he’d been counting, so he knew how many more he had to take. It hurt like crazy, and yet a kind of warmth was spreading out from his ass and into his belly, and he couldn’t deny that he liked it.

He liked the sensation of surrendering to Gibbs’s undeniable authority. He liked being naked while Gibbs was fully clothed, and the feel of Gibbs’s hard thighs under his body. He liked how Gibbs was holding him close, keeping him in position and spanking him mercilessly, with that same look of grim determination he always got when he was chasing down a lead at work.

Gibbs put the strap down and picked up the paddle. "Get ready," he warned.

Tony closed his eyes tight and clutched onto the couch for all he was worth. The next swat almost took his breath away. Now those initial swats with Gibbs's hand *did* seem like love taps by comparison. He gave a little choking cry and concentrated with all his might on staying in position and taking whatever his dom wanted to hand out.

The minute he made that decision, something seemed to click into place inside his head. Tony felt a kind of serenity sweep through him, and he relaxed against Gibbs's legs, allowing the smacking pain of each sharp swat to flood through him, warming him and sending waves of endorphins through his body. He wasn’t embarrassed about being over Gibbs’s knee now – in fact, he liked it. It was warm, intimate, and close.

He had just adjusted to the hard swats from the paddle when they came to a halt. Tony didn't register their absence for awhile. He lay there, breathing deeply, feeling a little hazy. Then he felt Gibbs's hand gently stroking his hair.

"We done?" Tony managed to gasp out. "That the full amount?"

"Twenty-one." Gibbs nodded. "How did that feel?” he asked quietly, still stroking Tony's hair.

“Hurt. Felt good. You're going to do that to me every day?" Hard though it had been, he didn’t mind. He thought he could start to crave both the intimacy and intensity of Gibbs's discipline.

"Every day," Gibbs confirmed. "Sometimes more than once."

"Right. Okay. Good." Tony grinned hazily. He felt as if his whole body was humming.

Gibbs gave a little laugh. "Oh, Tony – you are a natural born sub." He tightened his hold in Tony's hair and pulled back his head a little so that Tony was looking at him again. "Well done, boy. You took that damn well considering it was your first time."

Tony glowed, the way he always did when Gibbs praised him. Gibbs released his grip and stroked Tony’s hair gently back into place. Tony zoned out a little – taking a spanking might be painful, but he was quickly discovering that the aftermath could be pretty damn good as endorphins flooded through his body.

A second later, he gave a startled squawk as he felt a hand pull his sore buttocks apart and then a cool, slippery finger dipped inside. He wriggled – and was rewarded immediately with a slap to his burning ass that made him yelp.

"Hold still," Gibbs told him firmly, his finger pushing deep inside Tony's ass. Gibbs was being gentle, but it felt intrusive all the same, and Tony clenched around his finger. Gibbs stroked his ass soothingly. "Relax and let me work. This body is mine to work on, remember? Give it up to me, or I'll start chalking up tomorrow's tally on the board."

Tony willed his body to relax and was surprised to find it doing just that. Gibbs slipped another finger inside him and began moving both fingers slowly and rhythmically. It felt pretty good, and Tony's heightened senses started to zing.

Gibbs finger fucked him for a few minutes, and Tony felt himself grow hard. He'd never been opened up in this way before, and it felt amazing. Then Gibbs pushed in deeper, and Tony let out a hoarse shout as something exploded pleasurably inside him. He gripped onto the cushions and began thrusting his hard cock into Gibbs's lap. A second later, a hard swat fell on his sore backside.

"Ow – what was that for?" he demanded over his shoulder.

"You come without permission, and you go straight on punishment detail. Thought I'd warn ya before you got too excited."

Tony tried to get his head around this news. "I can’t come unless you say so?" he gasped, moaning softly as Gibbs rubbed that sweet spot deep inside him again.

"Yup." Gibbs finished finger-fucking him and withdrew his hand. “Not just now – any time.”

Tony gazed blankly at the couch cushions. Did Gibbs really mean that? Did that mean that he wasn't even allowed to jerk himself off? Surely Gibbs didn't mean *that*. Did he?

Tony was about to turn his head and ask, when he felt his buttocks being spread again and next thing he knew something cold and hard was nudging at his entrance. He jerked his head up, and Gibbs immediately pushed it back onto the cushions.

"Head down," Gibbs ordered. “Gonna plug you. Relax."

He played with pressing the lubricated plug against Tony’s hole. It was only when Tony relaxed again that Gibbs pushed the plug in. It burned a little, but Tony was well stretched from the finger-fucking and that sensation soon passed. The plug slid into place, the flared base keeping it in position.

"Keep that in tonight. I'll use a bigger one tomorrow," Gibbs said. "You can wear it all day at the office."

"Oh c’mon!" Tony glared at Gibbs over his shoulder. "You can't make me work with something stuck up my ass all day!"

"Exactly what part of '24/7' didn't you understand?" Gibbs demanded. "You should get used to it, Tony. Gonna keep you plugged all week, so if you decide to stay on Friday you’ll be ready for me to fuck you.”

"What about when I need to use the bathroom?"

“Then you can take it out and put it back in again after.” Gibbs shrugged. He flipped his knee and deposited Tony neatly onto the floor on his hands and knees. "Any more questions?"

"Yeah – the not coming without your permission thing – you didn’t mean forever did you?" Tony asked. Gibbs laughed and patted the side of his face.


"Okay," Tony said slowly, trying to get his head around that. "So…when are you gonna let me come?"

Gibbs shot him a steely look. "Not any time soon."

"What does that mean? Hours? Days? Weeks?" Tony demanded.

"Could be." Gibbs shrugged. "Won't be any time this week, that's for damn sure."

"What?" Tony stared at him, aghast. "Look, Gibbs, I'm a healthy, red-blooded guy. I haven't gone a week without spanking the monkey since I was thirteen years old. Hell, I haven't gone more than a couple of days! And that was only 'cause I was in the hospital with the plague.”

Gibbs grinned. “Then it'll be a new experience for you."

"Not one I want!" Tony complained.

Gibbs's grin turned into a glare. "Tony – maybe I haven't been clear – although I'm pretty sure I have. You're not my boyfriend, or my fuck buddy. You’re my *submissive*. That means your body belongs to me now, and I get to say when – or if – you come."

Tony made a little whining sound in the back of his throat. Gibbs rolled his eyes.

"It's part of the thrill, DiNozzo. Knowing you're not in charge. That's what submission is – you’re the one who said I could do anything to you, and you’d take it."

"I didn't mean this though," Tony protested. "I meant…"

"I know what you meant," Gibbs interrupted roughly. "You meant you'd let me hurt you any which way I liked – but that's not a turn on for me, Tony. Owning your body and dominating you sexually – that is. And using discipline and other little sexual tortures you secretly love – that is too. Hurting you? Really hurting you? No." He shook his head, and then he fixed Tony with his intense blue-eyed stare. "That what you think this is all about, Tony?"

Tony stared back at him.

"That what you want? You want someone to kick you around? If so, then you can leave right now, 'cause that's not what you'll get from me," Gibbs told him firmly.

Tony chewed on his bottom lip. "But what if I deserve…”

Gibbs silenced him with a glare. "No. We talked about this earlier - what you deserve is my decision. Not yours."

Tony wanted to disagree, but Gibbs had already won this argument once, and Tony knew he’d win it again. Gibbs sighed.

"You've got it all mixed up in your head, Tony, but I'm going to help you figure it out. Might take some time. You prepared to submit to me and let me show you how good it can be if we do it my way?"

Tony fought an internal struggle with himself. This - being Gibbs's submissive, giving up control of his body to him, allowing him to take charge – it was incredibly hot. Yet if he wanted this, and he knew he did, then he had to accept that Gibbs would do it his way, and that was the hard part. In the end, the temptation of belonging to Gibbs was too strong. Tony gave in with a nod.

"Okay," he said quietly.

"Good." Gibbs took his face in his hands and dropped a kiss on his mouth. Tony leaned into him eagerly, unable to help himself. Gibbs kissed him firmly for several seconds and then drew back. "Any other questions?" he asked briskly.

"Yes – punishment detail? What the hell is that?" Tony demanded.

Gibbs grinned. "That's what you get if you ever disobey the cardinal rule."

"There's a cardinal rule?" Tony groaned. "In addition to all the other rules?"

"Yup! The cardinal rule is the single most important rule, and it's this: You belong to me. Your body is mine. You don't come without my permission, and you sure as hell don't jerk yourself off unless I order you to. You're mine, body and soul – you *belong* to me - and that's the cardinal rule, Tony. Think you can live with that?"

Tony stared at him pathetically. His cock was standing out in front of him, rock hard.

"I don't know," he sighed at last. "But I want to try."

"Good," Gibbs grinned. "What's your safe word?" he asked unexpectedly.

"Magnum," Tony replied, with a roll of his eyes. Gibbs slapped his head.

"Remember it. I know you’re new to this, but I'm not gonna go easy on you. Anything you can't do, or anything that's too much for you, I expect you to use it. Now – any more questions?" Gibbs asked. Tony thought about it and then shook his head. "Good. I have some work to do – and so do you."

"I do?"

"Yup. Hands behind your back, close your eyes, and open your mouth."

Tony did as he was told, tentatively, wondering if he was finally going to get a glimpse of Gibbs's cock. He had never given oral sex to a guy before, and he wasn't sure he'd be very good at it, but he was eager to take Gibbs into his mouth and do his best.

A second later, something hard and rubbery was pushed into his mouth, and he almost gagged.

"Cock gag," Gibbs told him. "Breathe around it – you'll soon get used to it."

Tony would have liked to argue with him on that point, but he didn't get a chance because next thing he knew Gibbs had fastened the buckle and the cock gag was fixed tightly in place. Tony moved his head from side to side, like a cat trying to remove an unwanted collar.

Gibbs tapped his head firmly. "You can open your eyes."

Tony did so, immediately glaring at his dom. Gibbs just grinned at him.

"As you're gagged you won't be able to use your safe word."

It was all Tony could do not to roll his eyes in exasperation at Gibbs's constant harping on about the safe word he never intended to use.

"So, the non-verbal equivalent is this – three taps with your finger on my leg or arm," Gibbs told him, demonstrating.

Tony nodded. He didn't like the way the cock gag felt in his mouth, but he was damned if he was going to give in and use his word – or whatever the hell the non-verbal equivalent was. He reminded himself again that he was Gibbs's sub, and he’d agreed to give him control over his body, and he felt the warm glow of his own submission starting to flare in his belly again.

"Place is a bit dull," Gibbs told him. "Needs something to brighten it up. Your glowing red ass is it. What?" He grinned as Tony glared at him again. "I said I was gonna put you to work - this is it."

He got to his feet, put out a hand to pull Tony to his, and placed him firmly in the corner, gazing at the wall. Then he stood behind Tony and pushed on the butt plug embedded in his ass, making Tony swallow hard around the gag.

"Good boy. You just stand there and think about what you are."

Gibbs grasped Tony's burning butt cheeks in his hands and squeezed, and Tony gasped, the gag stifling his moan.

"And what you are, is mine," Gibbs purred in his ear. "Here, in the car, at work, out on a case, in the bedroom, in the basement – anywhere. Mine. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Just stand here and think about that."

There wasn’t exactly a lot else to do. Tony was naked, gagged, and staring at a wall. It was about the only thing he *could* think about in this situation. He closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the wall. He heard Gibbs move away and resisted the urge to peek at what he was doing over his shoulder.

Gibbs moved around the room, and Tony thought it sounded as if he was unpacking the stuff they'd bought earlier. He heard him go into the kitchen and then come back out again, and he strained his ears, listening. A second later he felt the hard leather of the strap thwap against his naked backside, making him jerk, and his eyes snap open.

"I told you to think about who and what you are – not listen to what I'm doing," Gibbs growled.

Tony sighed. How the hell had Gibbs known? Then again, he was Gibbs, so of course he'd known.

He rested his forehead against the wall again and tried to do what Gibbs had ordered. He was suddenly very aware of the fact that he was naked, his cock was semi-erect, and his ass was glowing. When he thought about his cock, it made him want to touch it, and the fact that he knew he couldn't just made it harden even more, until it was fully erect.

He longed to jerk off and knowing it was forbidden made him want to scream in frustration. He couldn't even do that because of the solid rubber gag in his mouth. It didn't hurt, but it was so damn uncomfortable. He had to breathe around it and swallow around it and it was just so *there* - constantly intrusive. The more he thought about the gag, the more intrusive it became. He hated the taste of the rubber in his mouth and the press of the phallus against the back of his throat, making him want to retch. He stood there miserably, his body shaking from the effort of not jerking off, not moving his hands and unbuckling the stupid damn gag, and not turning around, throwing the hated thing at Gibbs, and walking out.

A wave of sweat broke over his body. When he'd told Gibbs he could do whatever he liked to him, he’d had no idea that it would be this hard. He could have taken a beating from Gibbs's fists or a kicking much easier than this. This was too damn hard. Gibbs was demanding his submission, and he had naively thought that it would be easy to give it to him – hell, hadn't he given it to him every day at work these past eight years? Only now, he was finding he'd only touched the surface of that submission. True submission, the kind Gibbs was demanding right now, was much harder. Was it just because he was new to this, or would it always be this hard?

"Struggling?" Gibbs said softly in his ear.

Tony jumped – he hadn't heard him come up behind him. He nodded miserably.

"Then stop fighting. Give into it."

Tony wanted to yell at him that he was trying, but the gag made speech impossible, so he thumped his forehead against the wall in frustration instead. A second later, Gibbs's hand slid down and grasped his hard cock. Tony bucked into that welcome hand, loving the feel of it on his erection. Gibbs rested his other hand on Tony's hip, and Tony could feel the rough fabric of his pants rubbing against his own naked buttocks. Then Gibbs kissed his shoulder and began gently sliding his hand along Tony's cock.

God it felt good! Tony panted around the gag, thrusting his hips in time to the movements of Gibbs's hand. He was so close…so near to coming…it was such a welcome relief.

"Cardinal rule," Gibbs whispered in his ear. "You can’t come until I say. Hold it, Tony."

Tony gave a howl of sheer frustration and moved his head like an agitated horse. He tried to yell out a coherent "NO!", but it just sounded like he was a wild animal baying at the moon.

He thought about whether it would be worth breaking the damn rule just for the blessed relief of being able to come, but Gibbs seemed to read his thoughts.

"Punishment detail is tough," he purred into Tony's ear as he worked his hand steadily on his cock. "You'll lose the right to sleep on that mattress – and the right to a pillow and blanket. You'll sleep on the floor and live on basic rations – no coffee and definitely no donuts." Tony gave a little whimper at that. "You'll be disciplined every hour on the hour during the day – and I mean proper discipline – there's no chance you'll be sitting down comfortably while you're on punishment detail. You'll be gagged, and you'll do all the work around the house – wearing nipple clamps. Any down time you'll spend with your nose in the corner, or kneeling with your head on the carpet."

That treacherous hand continued its work, the firm, generous strokes completely at odds with what Gibbs was saying. Gibbs's other hand pressed the butt plug deep into his body, tagging that sweet spot inside and making white lights shoot behind Tony's eyes. Tony whimpered and struggled with himself. God, he wanted to come! He wanted it so much! But he really didn't want to be on punishment detail. It sounded horrible.

"No treats and no petting – unless I'm feeling generous," Gibbs continued. "And the length of your punishment detail will be at my discretion. Could be a day – or a week – or longer, if that's what you deserve."

Tony almost choked on the gag. He could feel every muscle in his body quivering with the effort of not coming. "Good boy," Gibbs said, stroking a hand down over his heaving flanks. "You're doing well. Now…hold that erection for me while you stand here."

He removed his hand, and Tony slumped against the wall, gasping for breath around the gag. He missed that expert hand, but he was glad it was gone. He had been on the brink – it had taken all his strength not to give in and come all over Gibbs's hand.

He stood there, trembling, like a wild colt in the process of being broken, exhausted after his first encounter with his new master. He had been out-ridden and outplayed, and he was suddenly dimly aware of what Gibbs had meant when he'd said that Tony had no idea what he was letting himself in for. Tony hadn't had the first clue that it would be this intense.

Tony gave a choking sigh as he struggled to come to terms with his new status. He was owned. Gibbs owned him now. Gibbs could gag him, and spank him, and thrust a plug up his ass, and forbid him to come, and he had no choice but to obey. He was Gibbs's sub – a pet, plaything, sex toy, and belonging…and he knew, without a shadow of doubt, that he didn’t want it any other way.

He sighed again, more happily this time, and began to relax. He stopped fretting about the hard rubber gag in his mouth and the equally hard rubber plug in his ass. And he stopped thinking about the urgency of his own needs, and his achingly stiff cock.

He belonged to Gibbs. That was all that mattered.


Gibbs went into the kitchen, made himself a cup of coffee, and then returned to the living room. He paused for a moment to enjoy the sight of his new sub's naked body. There was no doubt that Tony was a fine looking man; Gibbs admired the long, solid legs, and round, glowing bottom. He hadn't gone easy on Tony for his first spanking, but he hadn't gone too hard either, and Tony's bottom was a nice shade of pink that would slowly fade over the next few hours. Gibbs allowed his gaze to travel up over Tony's broad shoulders, noting the faint markings from that whipping last night. He also noted the way Tony was standing, head down, trembling, exhausted from his first taste of his own submission.

It had been a long time since Gibbs had taken a sub down, and he'd never trained a novice sub before – he hadn’t realised how good it would feel. He didn't remember feeling like this with either Jenny or Stan. Jenny had been a frustrating sub – she'd been the one who had first opened his eyes to the pleasures of this kind of sexual role-playing, and she'd schooled him to be the top *she* wanted. When he had started to find his feet, and discovered his own sense of what being sexually dominant meant, she'd become frustrated. She’d finally left him when she realised she couldn't manipulate him any more. That was Jenny – always topping from the bottom.

Gibbs sat down on the couch and picked up a file from a pile of paperwork on the coffee table. He opened it and scanned the words on the report.

Stan had been different. He had been the model agent and the model sub. In fact, nothing about Stan had been a challenge. He was just…easy. He had been a beautifully well behaved sub and a good man, but Gibbs had never felt that Stan truly belonged to him. Stan was the kind of sub who would go through his moves for any good top. Gibbs had enjoyed being with him, but it was never personal between them. Not like with Tony. Gibbs had realised that the minute he saw that other dom whipping Tony last night. That had felt so *wrong*. He wondered if it had felt wrong to Tony too.

Gibbs glanced over at his new sub speculatively and saw that Tony's body had relaxed. All the fight and uncertainty had gone out of him, and he looked much less agitated now. Gibbs glanced at the paperwork and then back at Tony again. He'd had no idea, when he brought this work home with him on Friday night, that he'd end up having a new sub to occupy his time instead.

Gibbs tried to concentrate on the report but instead his mind – and gaze – kept going back to Tony. It had been eight years since he’d last had a sub in his life, and he hadn't even realised he was missing it. Yet now that he had Tony standing there, nose pressed against the wall, gag strapped around his head and with that enticingly glowing bottom, Gibbs wondered how the hell he’d lived without it.

He'd had a few minor flings with women over the past few years – just regular flings, nothing kinky. He'd enjoyed the sex, but it hadn't exhilarated him, the way this did. He felt as if something that had been lying dormant inside him had suddenly been awoken, and it was filling him with an excited, vibrant energy.

He forced himself to concentrate on his work again, sipping his coffee as he read through the report. After an hour of silent work, he decided that his sub needed his attention, so he got up and went over to where Tony was standing. Tony must have been lost in a world of his own because he jumped when Gibbs cupped his heated ass cheeks.

"Hey – relax," Gibbs murmured, running his hands over Tony's body possessively. He finished up at his ass and pressed against the plug he'd put in Tony. It was a small one, but Tony wasn't used to being stretched, so Gibbs was sure that his sub was feeling it. He played with the plug, pushing it firmly into Tony's body and twisting it. He loved Tony's reactions - how he tried to stand still and take it while his body trembled at being touched.

God, how he longed to throw Tony down and thrust his cock into this tight hole, but he knew that wasn't an option. He didn't want the disappointment of claiming Tony if this wasn't going to be a permanent arrangement. He would only fuck Tony’s ass after he'd put his collar around his sub’s neck.

"Good boy," he murmured into Tony's ear. "I think you've earned a break. Here."

He unbuckled the gag from Tony's head, removed it carefully from his mouth, and threw it onto the coffee table. Tony gazed at him silently, and Gibbs looked at him in surprise. He had thought Tony would start talking – or complaining – the minute he was released from the gag, but actually he didn't say a word. He looked dreamy and kind of out of it. Gibbs realised that he was still deeply in his sub space.

"So that's how it works with you, huh?" he said quietly. It made sense – Tony was by nature a talkative man. Take that away from him, and it forced him to focus inwards – and Gibbs guessed that wasn't something Tony did that often.

Tony didn't reply to his question – he just continued gazing at him mutely. Gibbs put a hand on his shoulder and ushered him over to the couch. He clicked his fingers, and, gratifyingly, Tony immediately sank down onto his knees beside the couch – and then he put his head down and knelt there quietly, awaiting further orders. Gibbs felt his heart skip a beat; Tony's submission was one hell of a turn on.

"Close your eyes," Gibbs ordered.

Tony did as he was told, and Gibbs fastened a thick leather blindfold over his face and buckled it into place – there was no chance whatsoever that Tony could see around it. Gibbs caressed Tony's jaw lightly with his fingers.

"Gonna use your mouth, Tony. Open up."

Tony obeyed instantly, and his quick response made Gibbs's cock ache. He noted the way his sub's breathing hitched and his cock swelled in anticipation. Tony's eyes were hidden behind the blindfold, but his body language told Gibbs everything he needed to know. Gibbs undid his fly, and his cock sprang out eagerly. He stood in front of Tony and carefully guided his cock into his sub’s open mouth.

Tony was hesitant at first, which Gibbs expected as he'd never performed oral sex on a man before. Gibbs touched the side of his face to reassure him and then pushed his cock all the way into his mouth. Christ, it felt good! Tony's mouth was so warm and welcoming, and he loved the abject surrender in the scenario; Tony on his knees, blindfolded, and Gibbs standing over him, his hard cock thrust between Tony's lips.

"As this is your first time, I won't expect much," Gibbs told him. "I do expect you to learn fast though."

He pulled out a little way and then pushed back in, and Tony put his hands up to steady himself, reaching for Gibbs's hips in the process. Gibbs paused and drew back.

"Hands behind your back," he ordered. "Sit back on your knees. I'll do the work – you just keep your mouth open and take me. When I'm done, I'll come in your mouth, and you'll swallow. Safe gesture still applies – if you can't handle it, tap on my leg three times. Understand?"

Tony didn't reply. Gibbs tapped his head firmly.

"Understand?" he demanded. Tony nodded. "Good. Now, there are times when I'll want you to give me a damn good blowjob, with fancy swirls of your tongue - the full works. Then there are times, like now, when I'll just want to use your mouth. All you have to do stay in position and don’t scrape me with your teeth. You'll have to handle me hitting the back of your throat, and at some point you’ll have to learn how to deep throat, but not now. First time out, just kneel there and learn how to take me."

He fisted his hand in Tony's abundant hair to keep him in place, slid his hard cock into his sub’s mouth again, and began moving between his lips. He went slowly at first, sliding in and then out again with leisurely movements of his hips. He could see Tony choking a little as he went deeper with each inward thrust, but his new sub would have to get used to that.

He took his time, giving Tony a chance to become accustomed to how it felt. Then he sped up the pace, moving his hips faster, allowing his balls to slap the underside of Tony's chin with a satisfying little sound with each thrust. It felt so damn good to be standing here fucking his sub's mouth. Just the fact it was *Tony* he was thrusting into made all the difference. He loved how Tony was trying so hard to stay in position, hands behind his back, mouth open, allowing Gibbs to use him like this. There was something so exhilarating about having a naked, blindfolded, freshly spanked sub on his knees in front of him.

Gibbs gave a groan and released his grip on Tony's hair. He pressed his hands on either side of Tony's face instead, and he began pumping into him in earnest now. Tony's mouth felt so damn good around his aching cock. He felt the dominance flare through his veins as the realisation finally hit home; he had a sub.

He had a sub in his life after so long without. Not just any sub either, but the one sub he'd wanted for years and denied himself for so long. He had a sub to love, to dominate, and to protect. He felt a fierce surge of pride. Tony was his.

Tony was his.

The sense of joy and ownership sent him over the edge, and he came, pulsing out into Tony's mouth. He held Tony firmly in place as he ejaculated, coming harder and for longer than he had in years. He felt like an excited teenager, invincible and high on his own sexual prowess. He stood there for a moment, panting, looking down on his beautiful, blindfolded boy. Tony was swallowing hard - and then, without being asked, he began lapping at Gibbs's spent cock with his tongue to clean it. Gibbs relaxed his hold on Tony's face and stroked his head gently.

"That was good, Tony," he said softly. "Well done."

It was gratifying to see how Tony glowed so visibly upon being praised – but that gratification was tinged with sadness. Gibbs suddenly saw Tony more clearly than he ever had before. There was something so desperately eager to please about Tony, something so clearly reminiscent of the kicked puppy about him. Someone had hurt Tony once, he was sure of it, making this beautiful, funny, strong, independent man fundamentally unsure of himself. He wanted to go and slam his fist into whoever had done that to *his* boy. Gibbs was aware of that powerful protective streak of his kicking in. Whatever had happened to Tony in the past, he was his now, and he'd make damn sure that nobody ever hurt him again.

He withdrew from Tony's mouth, tucked his cock back into his pants, and zipped himself up. Tony knelt there, obediently, waiting for his next instruction. Gibbs kissed him affectionately on the forehead.

"Good boy. You just earned yourself some coffee. Stay there."

He went into the kitchen, made a cup of coffee for himself and his sub and then returned to the living room. He removed the blindfold and handed Tony his coffee.

"I’ve got some more work to do. When I'm done, we'll order takeout. It's late, and you've had a long day, so the choice of takeout is yours."

Tony gazed at him with that same wide-eyed, dreamy gaze, still lost deeply in his own submission. Gibbs tousled his hair affectionately, loving the way Tony leaned into the caress. Then he sat down again, pulled another file onto his lap, and began working.

An hour passed in companionable silence. Tony remained where he was, silently kneeling beside him. When Gibbs was finally done, he glanced at his sub.

"Okay – work's over for the day – and so is your training. You did good, Tony.”

Tony glowed again, and Gibbs gazed at him intently.

"That was a great start, DiNozzo," he said gruffly. "Now – feedback time."

Tony looked confused.

"Speak," Gibbs ordered. "I need to know how this works for you."

Tony opened his mouth and then closed it again with a sigh. Gibbs tapped his forehead firmly.

"Yeah, sub space can be addictive, but you can't stay there forever, Tony. Gotta come out of it now."

Tony cleared his throat. "Feels weird to be…speaking…" he whispered.

Gibbs nodded. Tony had been first gagged and then blindfolded – and both of those clearly worked for him. He decided to build up to a full sensory deprivation scenario with his sub.

"Didn't like the rubber gag." Tony made a face. "Tasted terrible, felt…intrusive."

Gibbs nodded. Tony might not have liked it, but it had definitely helped take him down into his sub space.

"Needed to prepare you for how it'd feel to have something else in your mouth," he said.

Tony grinned at him. "Now *that* did taste good," he said, his eyes glowing. Gibbs grinned back at his obvious enjoyment. "Why did you blindfold me though?" Tony pouted. "I wanted to see that massive, monster cock you boasted about earlier."

Gibbs slapped the back of his head for that, and Tony grinned even more widely. It was good to see him slowly emerging from sub space and getting back to being the smart-mouthed Tony that Gibbs was more familiar with.

"Could feel it though," Tony added. "Felt pretty damn big."

"It is. And you'll get to see it when you're collared – and not before.”

"Doesn't seem fair when you've seen me like this." Tony pouted, gesturing to his own naked body.

Gibbs laughed. "Don't remember promising that my sub's life would be *fair*."

Tony made a face. "Yeah, I'm figuring that out.”

"Anything you found really hard? Any times you felt close to saying your safe word?" Gibbs asked. Tony just grinned at him and winked.

"Hell no! It was all good once I figured out how to give it up and let you take charge. I'm still pissed about the not coming thing though. Maybe you could re-think that?" He looked at Gibbs with that puppy-dog expression of his.

"Forget it, DiNozzo," Gibbs retorted. "I've been able to resist that look for the past eight years, remember?"

Tony gave a pout so pronounced that it was comical, and Gibbs laughed out loud.

They ordered Chinese takeout, and Gibbs allowed Tony to get dressed in his sweatpants and tee shirt again while they ate. It was late, and they were both tired and hungry, so they ate in companionable silence. Then Gibbs decided that his sub deserved a reward. He didn't have a fancy TV, but, despite what his agents thought, he did own a DVD player. It was barely used, and he only had a handful of DVDs to play on it, but he gave Tony the choice of selection. Then they sat down on opposite ends of the couch to watch.

About ten minutes into the movie, Gibbs was aware that Tony suddenly seemed much closer. A few minutes later, he felt Tony's arm pressing against his arm and realised that their thighs were touching. Then, a little while after that, Tony's head came to rest on his shoulder. Gibbs didn't draw attention to Tony's need for closeness, and they sat that way for a long time.

Gibbs was surprised by how good it felt. He couldn't remember either Jenny or Stan making such shy, tentative attempts to elicit his affection. Jenny had just demanded whatever she’d wanted and taken it, and Stan had been a fairly reticent personality.

Sexually dominating his subs was second nature to Gibbs – but he couldn't remember much by way of simple physical closeness before. Maybe the problem was his. Walter had said he’d pushed both Jenny and Stan away by not being prepared to give them his whole self. Today, he had demanded that Tony fully submit to him, and now he realised that if he was going to do this properly then he had to be prepared to give something back.

He moved his arm, slowly, and wrapped it around Tony's shoulders. Tony responded so eagerly that it was almost pathetic. He unfurled and relaxed against Gibbs and then moved his head down, tentatively, glancing at Gibbs all the time from wary eyes. Gibbs moved his hand and settled back, curious as to where this was going. Tony put his feet up on the couch and then lowered his head onto Gibbs's lap, and lay there, stiffly, as if expecting to be pushed away, or maybe laughed at.

Gibbs felt that protective surge again, and he placed his hand gently but firmly on Tony's head and began smoothing his hair. Tony relaxed immediately and gave a contented little sigh. Gibbs gazed down on him, surprised. Tony wanted to be dominated – that much was clear – but he also wanted to be loved. And while he had reached the point where he didn't mind admitting the former, he was much more scared about his need for the latter. Who had made him this way, Gibbs wondered? He continued stroking Tony's hair gently, surprised by how much he was enjoying it. Maybe it was easier for them both to admit to wanting kinky sex than to admit that they also needed love.

Gibbs felt a fierce sense of affection for the man lying in his lap right now. He stroked Tony's shoulder, loving how Tony unfurled against him even more as he caressed him.

Gibbs forgot all his misgivings about taking a sub again after all this time. He forgot all his fears about how this would play out. He forgot the pain of the past – about all the losses he'd endured, and the grief that had almost ripped him apart.

Tony belonged to him now. That was all that mattered.


He was lying in Gibbs's arms, in Gibbs's bed. His dom was kissing the back of his neck and slowly petting him, running his flat, purposeful hands all over his naked body. It felt SO damn good.

"Get up." A voice penetrated his dreams, demanding obedience.

"Hmm?" he muttered, burrowing under the blankets. He didn't want to get up. He wanted to stay here, in the warm cocoon of Gibbs's arms.

"Up." The voice was speaking directly into his ear, tickling him. He batted it away.

"In a minute, Boss," he mumbled. "Busy right now."

A second later the blanket disappeared, he was pushed onto his front by a pair of strong hands, and his bottom was slapped – hard. Once, twice, three times…

"I'm up, I'm up!" he yelped, immediately snapping into wakefulness.

He was lying on the mattress on the floor – he hadn't slept in Gibbs's bed except in his dreams. He had been hopeful that Gibbs would allow him to sleep in the bed after the intimacy of their time on the couch last night, but no. Gibbs had just raised an eyebrow when Tony had tried to get into the bed and had jerked his thumb in the direction of the mattress on the floor instead.

And that was where he'd spent the night, right up until he'd experienced Gibbs's unpleasant morning alarm call. Those slaps continued to rain down on his naked butt, and Tony rolled sideways to escape them. He ended up on his ass and remembered – too late - the butt plug Gibbs had inserted there. He gave another yelp and quickly scrambled to his knees. He looked up and glared at his top. Gibbs was standing over the mattress, fully dressed and ready for work.

"What's rule number one?" Gibbs demanded.

Tony continued glaring at him. "Obey you?" he muttered gracelessly.

Gibbs raised an ominous eyebrow. "And rule number three?"

"Instantly," Tony sighed. "Even in my damn sleep," he muttered under his breath.

"So, that's three for the chalkboard," Gibbs told him. "And it isn't even 6 a.m. yet. Good going, Tony." He held out his hand. Tony glanced at it sourly but eventually took it and allowed Gibbs to pull him to his feet.

"Three? How d'you figure that out?" he complained as he got up.

"One for disobedience, one for slowness, and one for attitude," Gibbs reeled off flatly.

"You already spanked me for the first two," Tony argued, knowing that he should really be keeping his mouth shut at this point, but damn it, that was a really lousy way to wake up. Especially when he’d had to sleep on a mattress on the floor all night instead of in a warm, cosy bed - and with a goddamn butt plug stuck up his ass too. He wondered if Gibbs had treated Stan like this and felt a surge of anger.

"No – I spanked you to wake you up. Punishment is separate," Gibbs told him. "Now, come here."

"Why?" Tony asked cautiously, suddenly aware that he was stark naked and every inch of his naked flesh was available for Gibbs to do something to. He wasn't sure if that was a good thought or a bad one.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow again. Tony hopped over to him immediately.

"You're not a morning person, are you?" Gibbs said, with a wry little shake of his head.

Tony sighed. "No, Boss. I'm really not."

"Wanna start again?"

"I'd really like that," Tony admitted miserably.


Gibbs pulled Tony close and kissed him firmly on the mouth. Tony sighed. This was definitely a better start to the day than the previous one. Gibbs kissed him until he relaxed, and then he released him and pushed him in the direction of the bathroom.

"Go take a shower. You can remove the plug. Then come downstairs – naked – you've got fifteen minutes."

Tony made sure to glance at his watch and note the time, and then he ran for the bathroom, throwing a hurried "Yes, Boss!" over his shoulder.

He took a shower and then stared at himself in the bathroom mirror as he shaved and cleaned his teeth. He remembered how it had felt to have Gibbs hold him like he actually cared about him last night. That hadn't been about sex – it had felt like something deeper and more affectionate. That wasn't anything he'd expected from Gibbs – and now he couldn't get it out of his mind.

He knew Gibbs would laugh at him, tell him he'd gone soft, and possibly even slap the back of his head for it, but he couldn't help wanting more of whatever it was they'd shared on the couch last night.

Had Gibbs ever held Stan like that? He felt that surge of anger again. He knew he was jealous of his predecessor in every single way, but he couldn't seem to help himself. He had met Stan – he knew what the guy was like. He was good looking, smart, witty, great at his job, and no doubt as good a sub as he was as an agent. He probably hadn't made any unreasonable demands for intimacy on Gibbs. He had probably just taken what he was given and never once been needy.

Tony fought down that sense of neediness in himself. Gibbs had made it damn clear that he was a sub and nothing more. Not a boyfriend or even a lover – just a submissive.

That thought made his cock ache, and he considered wrapping his hand around it and bringing himself off. He wanted to – God knows he wanted to – but he didn't have much time, and besides…he didn't know what Gibbs had in store for him in the next hour. If he jacked off, and then Gibbs touched him, and he couldn't get hard again, then Gibbs would know for sure. But fuck it, he wanted some sexual release after all the excitement of yesterday. Gibbs had got off – it wasn’t fair that all Tony got was a bad case of blue balls.

He wrestled with himself and then finally decided against it. Gibbs couldn't watch him every second of the day. There had to be a moment when he could sneak off to the men's room and spend some quality time with his cock, just the two of them.

He finished up and ran down the stairs, reaching the kitchen on the dot of the fifteen minutes Gibbs had given him. There was a cup of coffee and a plate of food waiting for him. Gibbs had already eaten his, judging by the empty plate in front of him. Tony looked at the food and then at Gibbs.

"Problem?" Gibbs asked.

"Just not hungry this early, Boss."

"Okay." Gibbs shrugged. "That saves time. Eat later. Now, listen up, Tony. Just because we're gonna be at work all day, doesn't mean you're not my sub. Are we clear?"

"Clear, Boss," Tony nodded. "Are there any more special rules I need to be aware of?"

Gibbs gave an impatient little jerk of his head. "Nope. But I'll be sure to let you know if you do anything wrong."

"Yeah. Like always," Tony muttered.

He watched as Gibbs opened up a bag lying on the table and drew out two items that made Tony's heart skip a beat. One was a butt plug, slightly bigger than the one he'd worn all night. The other…was some unidentifiable contraption made of strips of leather.

"Uh – what's that, Boss?" Tony pointed.

"This?" Gibbs held it up, a malicious grin on his face. Tony had a feeling he wasn't going to like this. "This is a chastity device, Tony."

Tony held onto the back of the chair as the room seemed to lurch around him.

"You sure you don't want any breakfast?" Gibbs asked. "You look pale. Low blood sugar?"

"Uh no…just…chastity device?" Tony squeaked.

"Yeah – you didn't think I'd just trust you not to disappear into the men's room during the day and jack off, did you?" Gibbs chuckled.

"Well, yeah, I did, as a matter of fact," Tony retorted, with an air of wounded pride. Damnit – how had Gibbs *known*. "Isn't this whole thing about trust?"

"Yup." Gibbs nodded pleasantly. "And when you trust yourself then I'll trust you. Do you trust yourself to obey me on this?"

Tony thought about it and then gave in with a sigh. "No, Boss," he admitted finally.

"Yeah. That’s what I thought. Now get your ass over here." Gibbs beckoned, and Tony walked slowly over to him. When he got there, Gibbs reached out and put his hand on Tony's naked shoulder. Tony stood there, fighting to stay still, his muscles tense.

Gibbs frowned. "Who do you belong to, Tony?"

"You, Boss," Tony said automatically.

"When?" Gibbs was looking at him intently. Tony wondered what the hell that question meant.

"Uh…24 hours a day, seven days a week?" he hazarded.

"Exactly. So why…" Gibbs moved his hand suddenly, and Tony flinched. "…What's going on, Tony?" Gibbs demanded.

"Nothing," Tony shrugged.

"That's another one for the chalkboard. What's rule number two?"

"Don't lie to you," Tony sighed, wondering whether he was ever going to catch a break this morning.

"Then tell me what the hell is going on," Gibbs growled.

"Is this what you did with Stan?" Tony asked, unexpectedly. "Is this how you played it with him? The chalkboard, the not coming thing, the buttplug, the whole weird chastity device – hell, even the fucking mattress on the floor? Is this just a new dog – old tricks kind of thing for you?"

Gibbs went very still, and he suddenly seemed far too close. Tony bit on his lip.

"You done?" Gibbs asked quietly.

"No." Tony decided that he'd already screwed up badly, so he might as well go the whole distance. "Why can't I sleep in the goddamn bed with you? Last night…" he broke off, annoyed with himself.

"Go on," Gibbs ordered.

"Last night on the couch…" Tony felt himself flushing. "That was good. Then you made me sleep on the floor again."

"Anything else?" Gibbs asked, in that same deceptively quiet tone of voice.

"Nope. Now I'm done."

Tony thought his outburst might have lost a little impact in view of the fact that he was standing stark naked in his boss's kitchen while Gibbs was fully clothed and dressed for work. He gazed at his own bare feet, feeling vulnerable and exposed in every way possible.

"Okay. In answer to your question – no, this isn't how I treated Stan. You and Stan are about as different as can be. For a start – Stan didn't stay over. Ever."

Tony's head jerked up in surprise.

"Stan and I played – at a club, and occasionally at Stan's apartment, and sometimes here, but that's it. We played, but Stan never stayed over, and I never stayed over with him, either. It wasn't like that between me and Stan. That was partly the problem."

"Why was it a problem?"

"Because I knew that to work for me it had to be 24/7, and Stan – he actually wanted that, but I wasn't ready for it – at least not with him. That's why it didn't work out between us."

Tony bit on his lip some more. "You ever play with Stan at work?"

"Nope." Gibbs shook his head. "We only ever played in sessions of a couple of hours or so outside work. I won't play with you at work, either, but that's ‘cause I expect the same things from you at work as I do at home. So it's not play."

"Okay." Tony nodded. "You want me to add something to the chalkboard for me being an ass?"

"I'm not done yet. You need to figure out if this is what you really want, Tony. You're in charge of that decision – not me. That's what this week is about. I’m trying to give you a good idea of what it’s gonna be like. Any time you want it to end, you just tell me, and it ends. Or any time something is too hard for you, you use your safe word, and you know I'll stop whatever I'm doing. You do know that, right?"

"Yes, I know that.”

"Good. *Now* you can add one to the board for attitude."

"Just one?" Tony raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah – the rest was being honest which is actually a rule, so I'm not gonna punish you for that," Gibbs told him firmly. "Are we done with this now, DiNozzo?"

“Uh – almost. What about the sleeping in your bed thing?”

“You can sleep in my bed when you’re collared and not before,” Gibbs replied. “And you should be careful what you wish for, Tony.”

“What does that mean?” Tony asked, intrigued.

“You’ll see,” Gibbs grinned. “*Now* are we done?”

"Sure." Tony grinned brightly. Gibbs tousled his hair, and Tony leaned into the caress happily, feeling better than he had since he'd woken up. "And, uh, sorry, Boss. I'm *really* not a morning person."

Gibbs chuckled. "Ya think, DiNozzo?"

He sat down at the kitchen table, pulled Tony close, and then placed a hand on his cock – which sprang immediately to life.

"I really hate the whole not coming thing," Tony sighed.

"I know." Gibbs sounded smug as he said that, and Tony wished he could smack *him* on the back of the head occasionally.

Gibbs threaded Tony's cock into the leather contraption and then fastened it around his balls. Tony's cock strained eagerly at the leather confines, but it wasn't going anywhere – it was completely imprisoned. Gibbs added a tiny padlock and locked it in place.

"Just in case you had one of those not being able to trust yourself moments," he told Tony with a grin as he snapped the padlock shut. Tony just glared at him. "You can piss through the end of it, but there's no way you're gonna get an erection until I take this off," Gibbs informed him, tapping his imprisoned cock firmly.

Tony glanced down at himself. His cock was well and truly encased in the tight leather confines of the device. The only way out, other than using the key, was to hack at it with a knife or pair of scissors, and there was no way Tony was going to allow anything sharp that close to his nether regions. So, he had to resign himself to the fact that when Gibbs said he couldn't come, he really meant it.

He felt a wave of sweat break out over his body as the reality of that thought struck home. His body really did belong to his dom. Gibbs had control over when – and if – he got to come. It wasn't his choice any more. There was something about that idea that turned him on mentally as much as physically. Once he'd fought – and won – that battle with himself, he felt much happier. At least Gibbs had never demanded that degree of control over Stan's body. He'd never strapped Stan into a device like this, or allowed him to sleep on his bedroom floor.

"You and Stan ever…" he began, before he could stop himself. "Uh…you know, just sit on the couch together, like we did last night?"

Gibbs exhaled loudly, sounding exasperated. Tony made another little face.

"No, Tony," Gibbs said, standing up and pulling Tony so close that their noses were almost touching. "I played with Stan, and he was good – the perfect sub – very well trained, but we never cuddled, snuggled, or whatever the hell it was you and I did last night. Now bend over the table."

He pulled on Tony's wrist and flipped him down over the kitchen table, and then he parted Tony's legs with his knee. Next thing Tony knew, another slippery butt plug was being pressed against his hole. He willed himself to relax and allow the damn thing in. It wasn't big, and he was already stretched from wearing one all night. Besides, Stan was the *perfect* sub, and there was no way Tony was going to be the crappy sub by comparison. If Gibbs wanted the perfect damn sub, then that was what he was going to get.

The butt plug slid home neatly, and Gibbs patted Tony's ass.

"Okay. We're done. You're ready. Get dressed – I don't want to be late," he ordered.

"Get dressed in what?" Tony asked blankly. "I don't have any work clothes here."

Gibbs pointed at the clean sweatpants and tee shirt on the chair. "Wear those. I'll drop you off at your apartment on my way to work. You have one hour to get dressed and pack enough work clothes to see you through the week – and any other things you might need. Put them in your car and bring them to work. You won't be going home again this week unless you want out."

Tony nodded. He'd been wondering how this would work, but it seemed that when Gibbs said 24/7, he really did mean it – he wanted Tony with him at all times. That was a good thought. Tony had always flourished with attention – it was being ignored that drove him crazy.

Half an hour later, Gibbs dropped him off at his apartment with a strict injunction that he be at his desk in one hour's time. Tony rushed into his apartment and quickly packed everything he thought he'd need for the week. Then he got dressed in a steel grey suit with a white shirt and a wide, purple tie.

When he was done, he looked at himself in the mirror. Last time he'd gone to work he'd just been a regular guy, but now he was owned by Gibbs. He gazed at himself thoughtfully. He looked the same as ever. Nobody would know that beneath this suit he was wearing a leather chastity device strapped over his cock and balls, neatly padlocked at the front, and completely irremovable except by Gibbs. And nobody could possibly guess that there was a rubber butt plug inserted into his hole.

Nobody else knew, but it was impossible for Tony to forget either of those things. They were so alien, so strange, so intrusive and so different that they kept his new status constantly at the forefront of his mind.

Tony was determined that he was going to do this. He wasn’t going to walk out before the end of the week, and he sure as hell wasn’t going to say his safe word. He was going to earn that collar, take his rightful place in Gibbs’s bed - and do his best to make Gibbs forget all about Stan Burley.


Two Masters: Part Two

Gibbs glanced at his watch and then back at the report he was reading. Tony was cutting it fine; he only had another couple of minutes if he was going to… Gibbs glanced up to see that a cup of coffee had appeared mysteriously on the side of his desk. He looked around and saw that Tony was sitting at his own desk, typing assiduously, eyes fixed on the screen. Gibbs gave a little grin; he knew that his sub was a fast learner, but even so, he was impressed.

He took a sip of the coffee to find that it was exactly as he liked it – not that he’d expected anything less. After eight years working together, Tony knew how he liked his coffee. Gibbs glanced across the room again to find Tony looking at him. Gibbs gave him an approving nod, and Tony turned back to his work with a small, satisfied smile.

They were quiet all morning – the entire team was busy finishing up the paperwork from a case they had completed the previous week. Gibbs noticed Tony shift in his seat every so often, no doubt feeling the butt plug he’d put there. Gibbs wanted him to feel it. He wanted him to be in no doubt that his status had changed, and he had new responsibilities now.

Three hours later, Tony approached his desk holding the file containing his report. Instead of placing it on the desk, Tony crouched down beside him submissively.

“Here’s my report, Boss. Want me to wait here while you read it?” he asked. Gibbs liked the idea of Tony kneeling beside him while he read his report, but he decided it was too conspicuous.

“No – you can go back to your desk and round up all the ancillary reports I asked for.”

Tony nodded and got to his feet briskly. “On it, Boss!”

Gibbs read through Tony’s report slowly, noting that it was the best report Tony had ever presented to him. Clearly, Tony had taken onboard his message about the 24/7 nature of his submission – and he’d probably had the chalkboard in his mind’s eye while he’d been typing up the report.

Gibbs finished reading, got up, and walked towards the elevator. “DiNozzo – with me,” he barked, as he passed Tony’s desk. He saw Ziva and McGee exchange glances.

“I do not think Gibbs was very impressed with your report, Tony,” he overheard Ziva say as Tony got up from his chair.

“When is he ever?” McGee cracked. “Must be really bad if he’s taking you into the elevator to yell at you, Tony.”

“Why thank you, Probie dearest. Your concern for my welfare is duly noted,” Tony threw back at him. Then Gibbs heard him running up behind him.

The elevator doors opened, and they both stepped inside. No sooner had the doors shut than Gibbs turned, took hold of Tony, and pushed him back against the mirrored wall. Then he snapped his hand onto the emergency button, bringing the elevator to a creaking halt and plunging them into semi-darkness.

Gibbs kicked Tony’s legs apart and kept him pinned back against the elevator wall with his body, their groins pressed so close that he could feel the leather strapping around Tony’s cock through his pants.

“Uh…Boss – did I do something wrong?” Tony croaked. “I tried really hard on the report. Was the coffee cold?”

“No. The coffee and the report were both good. This is by way of a reward,” Gibbs purred in Tony’s ear.

He undid Tony’s tie, ripped his fingers through the top buttons of his shirt, and opened it. He put his hand in Tony’s hair, gripping it firmly, and pulled Tony’s head to one side, exposing his neck. Then he leaned in and kissed the soft skin. Tony gave a helpless moan. Gibbs held him in place and sucked down harder. Tony gasped, and his hands came up and grabbed hold of Gibbs’s hips. Gibbs nipped down gently on Tony’s neck, grazing the skin, getting Tony used to the sensation – and then, without warning, he bit down hard. Tony gave a squawk and convulsed beneath him, but Gibbs held him in place while he marked him.

Then he eased off. He sucked gently at the tortured piece of skin, and then licked at it tenderly, before finally releasing his grasp on Tony’s hair. He took a step back and looked at his handiwork. There was a perfect red bite mark on Tony’s neck. It marked him as Gibbs’s property, and Gibbs felt his cock swell at the thought of his sub bearing such a clear symbol of his ownership.


He swung Tony around so that he could look at himself in the mirror. Tony put up his hand to touch the mark, but Gibbs batted it away.

“Don’t touch – just look.” He traced the mark with his fingertips, watching Tony’s face in the mirror the entire time. “You're marked now,” Gibbs purred into Tony’s ear. "That's my mark on my sub."

The look of pleasure on Tony’s face made Gibbs’s cock harden even more. He leaned in and kissed Tony’s neck, sliding his hand down the back of Tony’s pants as he did so. He found the butt plug and pushed on it, watching in the mirror as Tony’s skin flushed a deep pink colour.

“One day, I’ll bring you in here and fuck this tight hole,” Gibbs promised, and he thought he would come from the expression on Tony’s face alone. “But for now…this will have to do.”

He turned Tony around again and pushed him onto his knees in front of him. Then he pulled Tony’s undone tie away from his shirt.

“Close your eyes,” he commanded. Tony obeyed instantly, and Gibbs fastened the tie over his sub’s eyes. Tony looked so good on his knees, with his dom’s bite mark on the side of his neck, blindfolded with his own tie, his hair dishevelled from where Gibbs had grasped it earlier.

“Open your mouth,” Gibbs ordered. Tony did as he was told with a little grin, clearly anticipating what was coming next.

Gibbs opened his fly and pulled his hard cock out of his boxers. He slid it between Tony’s open lips and sank himself deep into that warm, welcoming heat.

Gibbs used him as fast and hard as he had the previous day. Now was not the time to teach Tony the finer points of giving oral sex – now was just about reminding him who he was and rewarding him for his behaviour this morning.

He came with a low growl of pleasure and pumped down Tony’s throat. Tony swallowed gratefully and then licked his cock clean with little darts of his tongue, just as he had the previous day, without needing to be told. Gibbs allowed him this service and then withdrew and tucked his cock away in his pants again.

Then he leaned down and kissed Tony on the lips he’d just so comprehensively fucked. Tony moaned and pressed against him. He was so incredibly and pleasingly submissive. It was all Gibbs could do to tear himself away, but he forced himself to do it. He undid the tie from around Tony’s eyes, and Tony blinked up at him from happy, dreamy eyes.

“Enjoy your reward?” Gibbs asked.

“Yes, Boss,” Tony replied with a wide grin.

“Good. Now go get lunch for the team.” Gibbs pulled some bills out of his wallet and stuffed them into Tony’s jacket pocket. He saw Tony’s eyes flash. “What was that?” he asked.

“What was what?”

“That look when I gave you the money. Oh…” Realisation hit Gibbs, and he grinned. “You got a rent boy fantasy, Tony?”

Tony flushed. “Well I didn’t think I did until just now, Boss!” he complained. “But yeah, now you mention it, I think I do.”

“Good. We’ll play with that another time.” Gibbs patted his cheek affectionately.

He pulled Tony to his feet and hit the elevator switch to get them moving again. Tony started to button up his shirt, but Gibbs stopped him.

“Leave it. I want to see my mark on you whenever I look at you.”

“Boss!” Tony protested. “Ziva and McGee will give me hell if I come back from lunch looking like I just got laid!”

Gibbs grinned and patted his cheek again. “I’m sure you can handle Ziva and McGee, Tony.” He wrapped Tony’s tie around his hand and stuffed it into Tony’s pocket. “No tie. Shirt open so I can see that mark all day. And whenever I do, I’m gonna remember just how good you looked on your knees, blindfolded, marked, and with my cock in your mouth.”

The elevator doors opened, and Gibbs got out. He turned to see Tony standing there, mouth open, looking almost speechless.

“Problem, Tony?”

Tony shook his head. “No, Boss. Shirt open so you can remember what we did just then. I got it. You really are a bastard,” he muttered under his breath.

Gibbs grinned at him and was about to reply when Tony held up his hand.

“Yeah, yeah, I know, one more on the board ‘cause you really hate being called names – even when they’re true,” he added, just as the elevator doors closed on him.

Gibbs was chuckling away to himself as he walked the few steps to Abby’s lab. He felt relaxed and sexually satisfied; having a 24/7 sub definitely had its perks.


Tony returned to the squad room half an hour later bearing a bag of deli sandwiches. The top three buttons of his shirt were undone, and he could *feel* the bite mark on his neck, bright red and so very conspicuous. It might as well have been a neon sign. He was acutely aware of it, and his fingers twitched with the desire to pull his shirt over it. At the same time he liked how it felt – he got a surge of pride every time he thought about how Gibbs had "rewarded" him in the elevator. It had been hot, rough and exciting, and he loved having Gibbs's mark on his skin.

He quietly deposited Ziva's lunch on her desk and did the same for McGee without making his usual jokes. Then he approached Gibbs's desk. His top glanced up, and his gaze went immediately to the mark on Tony's neck. Tony was about to glare at him when he noticed that Gibbs wasn’t amused by his discomfort. Instead, he was looking at the mark with an expression of proud ownership. Tony realised that Gibbs had meant what he said back in the elevator – he really *did* want to look at the mark on Tony's neck and remember how he'd put it there. Tony placed Gibbs's lunch on his desk, and then he slipped silently back to his own desk and unwrapped his sandwich.

Ziva glanced up, looking surprised by the uncharacteristic silence in which lunch had been delivered.

"Thank you, Tony," she said politely, reaching for her sandwich. "I hope it is something edible this time."

"Hey – I thought you liked the peanut butter, chicken and mango combo I bought you last time!"

Her eyes narrowed. "I thought I made my feelings perfectly clear when I spat it out in your waste basket."

Tony took a mouthful of his sandwich and munched on it happily, grinning at her.

"How much do I owe you, Tony?" McGee asked, glancing up from his own work.

"Nothing – lunch was on Gibbs today," Tony said cheerfully.

"Uh, thank you, Boss," McGee said, his eyes wide with surprise in response to Gibbs's rare generosity.

"You all did a good job on the case – and I want the paperwork wrapped up by the end of today," Gibbs replied, barely glancing up from his work.

Tony clicked onto his emails and began reading, munching on his sandwich as he worked. He was so engrossed that he was oblivious to what was going on around him – until he looked up to find Ziva and McGee standing in front of his desk, arms folded across their chests, with dual raised eyebrows.

"What?" Tony demanded around his mouthful of sandwich.

"Is there something you would like to tell us, DiNozzo?" Ziva asked, her gaze fixed, none-too-subtly, on the bite mark on his neck.

"That's quick work even for you, Tony," McGee added, a smug smile on his face. "You were only gone for half an hour."

"Does your new girlfriend work in the deli, Tony?" Ziva asked.

"What makes you think I didn't have it when I came in this morning?" Tony asked, smiling at them pleasantly.

"It is possible – your shirt was buttoned then," Ziva mused. "But I think not. It looks too fresh for that."

"You know, Ziva – I think his new girlfriend is probably a vampire," McGee said, putting his finger up to his own neck and fingering it thoughtfully.

"You might be right, McGee," Ziva nodded. She leaned in close and examined the mark on Tony's neck. "Looks painful," she commented. "I hope she did not suck all your blood, Tony."

"We wouldn't want you fainting at your desk this afternoon," McGee added.

Tony glanced across the room to where Gibbs was sitting, reading through McGee's report. To all intents and purposes, he looked completely disinterested in the conversation currently going on around Tony's desk, but Tony saw the little glimmer of a grin on his lips. Well two could play at that game. If Gibbs was going to have some fun with this, then Tony sure as hell was too.

"Aw, I think the 'all-my-girlfriends-are-virtual’ probie and the 'never-gets-out-much’ Mossad officer are jealous," Tony said, sitting back in his chair and flicking open his shirt even more to completely display the mark. "I'm guessing it's been a while since either of you got laid," he added in his most patronising tone. He put his hands behind his head and grinned at them.

"You know, some of us manage to keep the details of our private lives to ourselves," McGee retorted. "That's why they're called *private* lives, Tony."

"Was she hungry, Tony?" Ziva asked, pointing at the bite mark. "That is a very deep bite. I think she must have been starving."

"Ravenous," McGee agreed.

"Well, it is lunchtime," Tony pointed out.

"And it looks as if *you* were on the menu," Ziva said archly.

Tony laughed. "Can I help it if I'm irresistible? Or if someone found me good enough to eat?" he purred, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.

"That is disgusting." Ziva made a face.

"Aw – you *say* that, but really you want all the juicy details," Tony grinned.

"I do not!" Ziva protested.

"I do," McGee said eagerly.

"McGee! Do not encourage him!" Ziva said reprovingly. Then she perched on the side of Tony's desk, her head on one side, her gaze fixed on the bite mark. "Okay," she sighed. "Tell us everything. Now!"

"Don't leave anything out." McGee sat down on the side of the filing cabinet behind Tony's desk. "What's she like? How old is she? Please tell me she's at least thirty this time, Tony."

"Definitely at least thirty," Tony replied, still grinning. "In fact, she's older than me."

"You're having an affair with an older woman?" Ziva looked astounded. "Wonders will never decease."

"It's cease, Ziva, and hey – I'm not that shallow!" Tony protested.

Ziva and McGee glanced at each other and then burst out laughing.

"Yeah, you really are, Tony," McGee said. "Come on – details."

"Hmmm." Tony steepled his fingers together and glanced over at Gibbs, who had given up any pretence at working and was sitting back in his chair, watching the proceedings with an amused gleam in his eye. That was like a challenge to Tony – and one he accepted with relish. "Well, she's hot," he told his eager audience. "Tall – almost as tall as me. Deep blue eyes – really deep, really blue. Fantastic figure." He shot a little smirk in Gibbs's direction and got a raised eyebrow in return. "And she has these really, really big – and I mean enormous, huge…" He made an extravagant shape in the air. "…hands," he finished with a sly wink. Ziva snorted, and McGee rolled his eyes. "And great legs. Long – very long, leading up to an extremely fine ass."

"Forget about her ass! Does she also have a personality, Tony?" Ziva demanded.

"Sure. I think you'd call it…explosive," Tony grinned, glancing at Gibbs mischievously out of the corner of his eye. "To be honest, she's kind of moody, but I forgive her because she's so incredibly hot."

"Moody?" McGee queried.

"Yeah – expects me to cater to her every whim and gets kind of grouchy if I don't jump to it every time she wants something."

Ziva frowned. "She does not sound very nice."

"She can be." Tony fingered the mark on his neck again. "She's surprising."

"Does she have a name, Tony?" McGee asked.

"Sure," Tony shrugged. "But I like to call her my little snugglebuns." He thought he heard a strangled sound coming from Gibbs's desk. "Or honeybreath. Or sweetiepie."

Ziva arched an eyebrow. "I am surprised you are still alive then," she commented. "If you were my boyfriend, you would be dead before your body hit the floor if you called me any of those things."

"And that, my dear Ziva, is why you and I must never date," Tony told her with a cheerful smile. "That and the fact that we are completely incompatible and have absolutely nothing in common."

Ziva glared at him. "I would rather date McGee than you!" she snapped, and then she turned on her heel and returned to her desk.

"Hey!" McGee said, and then he thought about it. "Was that a compliment or an insult?"

"I think she said she liked you," Tony told him. "You could be in with a chance there, Probie."

"You really think so?" McGee's eyes lit up.

Tony snorted. "Don't be an idiot, Probie. Besides…" He pulled McGee’s head down so that he could speak directly into his ear. "She's Mossad, Probie. They're like praying mantises – they have to kill each other after sex. It's in the Mossad rule book. Something about keeping them combat-ready at all times."

"Really?" McGee looked startled.

Tony gave him a look of disbelief. "No, not really, Probie! C'mon! How can I ever stop treating you like you were born yesterday when you keep behaving like you were born yesterday?"

McGee glared at him and slunk back off to his desk. Tony finished his sandwich and then got up and went to the men's room. He was about to use the urinals when he remembered the chastity device on his cock. He really didn’t want any nosy co-worker catching sight of it, so he went into a stall instead.

He finished up and was washing his hands when someone came in – and next thing he knew, he was being pulled around and then pushed into the stall he’d just vacated. The door was slammed behind him, and he found himself face to face with those very deep, very blue eyes he'd mentioned earlier.

"Snugglebuns?" Gibbs queried. "Honeybreath? *Sweetiepie*?"

"You wouldn't like me calling you any of those things?" Tony asked innocently. "You shoulda said! You never mentioned a rule against terms of endearments, and if it isn't a rule you can't punish me for it."

Gibbs grinned at him and pushed him back against the wall. "Newsflash, Tony; I can punish you for anything I like, any time I like. Now tell me, were you having fun back there?"

Tony gave a wide grin. "Oh yeah!"

"I thought so. So I'm gonna give you the chance to do it all over again."

Gibbs grinned dangerously, and then he pushed Tony's head over in the opposite direction to before, and next thing Tony knew Gibbs's mouth was clamped down hard on his neck again.

"Oh shit," he hissed, putting his hands on Gibbs's hips to steady himself.

Gibbs sucked for a little while, and Tony braced himself for what was coming next. Sure enough, Gibbs bit down, gently at first, and then he sank his teeth in with more force, making Tony squeak. His stupid cock seemed aroused by the whole thing and made a desperate and pointless bid for freedom while Gibbs marked him for the second time in one day.

It was hard to stay still and in place while his top bit him, but Tony managed it somehow. There was something about surrendering to Gibbs that was totally addictive. A dozen vampire movies flashed through his mind, but none of them were as darkly sexual and possessive as what Gibbs was doing to him right now. Then Gibbs released him. He examined the new mark on Tony's neck and then leaned in and licked it in a strangely intimate and affectionate gesture.

Gibbs drew back. "Twice in one day. You're a lucky boy, Tony."

"Yeah. Lucky. I knew there was a word for it," Tony groused.

"Come here."

Gibbs opened the stall door and pushed Tony over to the mirror. He stood behind Tony again and pulled his shirt open at the top so that both marks were fully visible. The new one was the mirror of the first – and they were on either side of his neck, the perfect matching pair. Tony liked the way his top was looking at them – as if he couldn't wait to strip Tony naked and bestow more marks on his bare skin. Tony shivered with arousal. Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

"Just thinking…you could mark me someplace else," Tony admitted.

"Yeah." Gibbs's right hand moved down and patted his ass. "I could."

“Boss – please tell me I don’t have to go back out there and face Ziva and McGee again,” Tony sighed. “They’re never gonna let this drop.”

“You finish all the reports I asked for?”


“Then you don’t have to go back out there and face Ziva and McGee again.”

“I don’t?” Tony grinned at his top in the mirror.

“Hell no. You can spend the rest of the afternoon helping Abby out downstairs.”

“Thank you,” Tony said in a heartfelt tone.

“Of course it’ll cost you,” Gibbs said, a little smirk playing at the corners of his mouth. Tony glared at him.

“How much?” he asked warily.

Gibbs ran his fingertips lightly over the bite marks on Tony’s neck, with a territorial pride that made Tony shiver. “For depriving me of the sight of these all afternoon? Ten on the chalkboard.”

“Ten?” Tony glared at him some more. He hadn’t earned many so far today but his ass was still sore from yesterday, and he had been hoping to get by without adding to the day’s tally too much.

“Ten,” Gibbs repeated firmly. “Your choice, Tony.”

Gibbs pressed a quick kiss to the back of Tony's neck and left the room. Tony stared at himself in the mirror. It was very irritating being Gibbs’s sub, he decided, but he had to admit he was enjoying himself enormously, despite the difficulties. He trailed his fingers along the edge of one of the bite marks. Gibbs was right – they were too damn good to cover up.

In the end, he decided to take the extra swats and went down to Abby's lab for the rest of the afternoon. She took one look at his matching bite marks and gave him a massive smirk.

"Someone got lucky!"

"Yeah. Someone did." He winked at her happily.

She did a double take, staring at him intently.

"What?" he demanded.

"You – you look like I haven't seen you look in ages. You used to look this way after Gibbs head-slapped you. Hey – did Gibbs start head-slapping you again?"

"Kinda," Tony shrugged.

"Good," Abby said, turning back to her computer screen. "Because that whole weird not head-slapping you thing was freaking me out."

"Yeah. And me," Tony grinned.

Abby glanced at him with a big smile. "The bite marks suit you, Tony. It's a good look for you. Hey – did you hook up with a vampire?"

Tony sighed and rolled his eyes. "Not you too, Abs. No, I didn’t hook up with a vampire."

"But you're being topped by someone, right?" she asked. "Someone who knows what they're doing too."

"What?" Tony stared at her.

"Hey – I've played, I've tied guys up, I've topped. I know the signs!" Abby laughed. "I bet if you roll back your sleeves there are cuff marks on your wrists."

Tony peeked surreptitiously under his shirt sleeves. "Nope," he said. Then again, Gibbs hadn't actually tied him up yet.

"Okay – but you definitely have marks on your ass from being spanked," she said cheerfully.

Tony nearly choked. "I do not!" he protested too loudly and too fast, feeling his face flush. Maybe hanging out down here hadn't been such a good idea after all.

"Sure you do!" Abby laughed. "I'm so pleased for you, Tony! I knew that if you could just find the right top you'd be happy."

"What makes you so sure I'm a sub?" Tony asked. Abby laughed uproariously. Tony glared at her. She stopped laughing.

"Oh – sorry – you meant that seriously?"

"I did," he said stiffly.

"Uh. Okay. Well, just that you're about the subbiest guy I ever met, Tony. Not in the sense of being weak – uh-uh - but then the best subs are strong guys, like you. No, in the sense of you always seeming like a guy who needed to find the right kind of top to balance you out and make you feel like you have someone to belong to. When Gibbs was slapping you around it really helped you, but I noticed you've looked kind of like a lost puppy ever since he stopped."

"Well, now he's started again, so that's okay," Tony said swiftly. He glanced around the lab, trying to think of a way to change the subject. "So – can I help you with anything?" he asked eventually.

Abby rolled her eyes. "You hiding, Tony?"

"Yes," he replied bluntly. "It's Ziva and McGee – I don't want them to see…" He pointed his finger in the direction of his marked neck.

"You could just do up your shirt," Abby commented helpfully.

Tony made a face. "No. I really couldn't," he sighed.

Abby stared at him some more. "Oh!" she said eventually. "Your top is totally evil! I like it! Okay – you can help me with this. But don't touch anything unless I say so."

Tony gave her a grateful smile. He’d just earned himself another ten swats with whatever devilish implement Gibbs intended to use on his poor ass this evening, but he thought it was worth it if it meant avoiding McGee and Ziva for the rest of the day.


Gibbs left work at 6 p.m. – the earliest he’d left in years. He found himself whistling as he drove home and smiling benignly at the other drivers on the road. He couldn’t remember when he’d last felt this good. He’d expected Tony’s training to be intensive and possibly difficult, but he hadn't expected it to be this much fun. He’d forgotten how exhilarating it was to spar with Tony, and have Tony give back as good as he got. Gibbs would always be in charge, and Tony would never forget that, but Tony could be so damn funny.

Gibbs realised that he’d dug himself into a dour little world of his own making these past few years. He remembered a time, before Kate had been killed, when he’d joked around with his team and life had seemed less grim and serious. He'd still got the job done but with more of a human face. Back then, he’d handed out head-slaps by the dozen to Tony and laughed at his often amusing responses. For the most part, it had been a game – and one that made them both happy.

Now he felt as if he’d got that old relationship back – only even better. Of course, it had been an easy work day – no cases to solve, just paperwork. There was no way Gibbs would have allowed himself the indulgent pleasures of the day if they’d been working on something more important.

Gibbs drew up at his house, parked the car, and went inside. He had instructed Tony to follow him and sure enough, a few minutes later, he heard Tony’s car outside. He'd left the door open as usual, and Tony sauntered in, looking as bright-eyed and relaxed after their first day at work as dominant and submissive as Gibbs felt.

Tony grinned at him, all jaunty swagger and bright, shiny smile. Gibbs’s gaze fell on the bite marks on his sub’s neck, and his cock swelled at the sight. He crooked his finger to beckon Tony over, and, as eagerly as a bouncy puppy, Tony trotted up to him. When he got close, Gibbs reached out, grabbed the front of his shirt, and pulled him the rest of the way.

He wrapped one hand in Tony’s hair, drew him in with his other hand, and then plundered his mouth in a long, deep kiss. Tony moaned, bucking against Gibbs’s groin hopefully. Gibbs released him, and Tony stood there, gasping pathetically.

“Strip. Now,” Gibbs ordered, removing his own jacket and throwing it onto the couch. Tony obeyed him instantly, and within seconds he was standing in front of his top – naked except for the chastity device wrapped around what was clearly a straining, eager cock.

“Please say you’re gonna take this thing off me, Boss,” Tony begged.

“Sure. I want to see my sub in all his glory,” Gibbs grinned, fishing the key out of his pocket and unlocking the little padlock.

He removed the leather device, and Tony’s cock immediately leapt to attention, hard, needy and leaking. Gibbs grasped it firmly, and Tony gave a moan of pure frustration. He thrust against Gibbs’s hand, rutting into it, desperately seeking release.

“You need to get used to being handled, Tony,” Gibbs said, sliding his hand along Tony’s cock in time to his sub’s thrusts.

“Handled?” Tony gasped, as he moved hips frantically.

“Handled,” Gibbs confirmed. He slid his hand down and cupped Tony’s balls firmly. Tony gave a strangled yelp.

“Boss, please, I swear you’ve gotta let me come, or I’ll go insane,” he begged.

“You can come.” Gibbs shrugged.

“Oh thank God!” Tony immediately slapped his hand down on his cock and began pumping.

“But if you do, you go straight on punishment detail,” Gibbs reminded him.

Tony gave a yell of sheer frustration. “No! C’mon, Boss. Please! C’mon!”

“I’m training you, Tony. You gotta get used to being handled without expecting to get off,” Gibbs told him. “It’s a state of mind – and you’re nowhere near it right now.”

“But I want SEX!” Tony protested. “I want to come. I want to come now. Right now. Right this minute!”

“I know.” Gibbs shrugged. "But you don't get to make that decision any more. I do. And I say no."

Seeing Tony like this was testing his own limits too. He wanted nothing more than to bend Tony over the couch and fuck him into it until they were both boneless and sated, but that wasn't the way to do this.

Gibbs was testing himself as a dom – it had been a while, and he had to find his own sense of sexual power and control again. This was a good way of grounding himself and doing just that.

After his relationship with Jenny had broken down, he'd spent some time with Walter Skinner, and his former gunny had taught him a lot about how to inhabit his top space – amongst other things. He'd learned that he had to master himself before he could master a submissive, and refusing to give in to his own desire to fuck Tony right now was a good way of achieving that mastery. It was hard – he wanted Tony so much – but he knew that by holding back now, and increasing the sense of anticipation for them both, it would be all the sweeter when he finally got to sink himself into his boy's fine, tight ass.

“Your body – this body…” Gibbs ran his hand down Tony’s hip and stroked the warm, soft skin on his flank appreciatively. “Is mine. I can handle it however I like – and you have to learn to accept that. Whether I’m spanking you, kissing you, or jerking you off and telling you that you can’t come.”

He slid his other hand along Tony’s straining erection, and Tony let out a shaky breath.

“What’s the matter, DiNozzo? Can’t take the pace of being my sub?” Gibbs demanded. That worked, as he had known it would. Tony’s eyes flashed, and then he gave in with a groan. He rested his head on Gibbs’s shoulder, surrendering to him.

“I can take it, Gibbs. I told you that you can do anything you want to me, and I meant it. I can take it,” Tony said hoarsely.

“Good boy.”

Gibbs stroked Tony’s flank again, loving the feel of the solid muscle under his fingertips. He allowed Tony the brief seconds of comfort and then drew back.

“Training first – then dinner,” he said. “Stand up straight – I want to examine you.”

Tony stood to attention, eyes straight ahead, hands by his side, his stance Marine-perfect. Gibbs gazed at him approvingly.

“Forgot you went to military academy,” he commented. Tony’s eyes flickered unhappily – and his cock drooped downwards. Gibbs frowned. “Not good times, Tony?”

Tony gave his bright, shiny smile. “Actually they were, Boss,” he replied cheerfully. “They were very good times.”

Gibbs got in close, right into Tony’s space. “What’s rule number two, Tony?”

“Don’t lie to you, Boss,” Tony replied immediately. “But I’m not lying to you! Military academy was cool. Definitely good times.”

Gibbs knew that Tony was telling the truth – so why the reaction when he’d mentioned it?

“Anything you want to tell me, Tony?” he asked quietly.

“Nope.” Tony shook his head, that bright smile still on his face.

Gibbs gazed at him for a long time, but Tony’s expression didn’t change. His gut told him that something was wrong, but he didn't want to push too much too soon. They’d only been in this new relationship for a couple of days – it might take a while before Tony felt comfortable enough to open up to him.

He understood his sub's reticence; it wasn't as if opening up was particularly easy for either of them. Gibbs was making a real effort to be more reachable in this relationship than he had in any other since Shannon, but it wasn't his natural inclination. He wanted this relationship to work though, and he was fully committed to making that happen, however hard it might be.


Gibbs kept one hand on Tony’s flank as he circled him. He observed every tiny thing about his sub’s body. He was a hard dom, but he was conscientious, and he wanted to be aware of even the slightest mark on Tony’s skin, or the smallest area of concern. He fingered Tony’s back, examining the almost faded marks from the whipping he’d given him the other night. Then he crouched down and ran his hands over Tony’s buttocks. He examined them intently, enjoying the sight of those very round, very white, globes of flesh.

“I didn’t use the paddle or the strap hard enough or for long enough to mark you yesterday,” he said.

“Uh, felt pretty hard, Boss.”

“Not hard enough to mark you. And you need to be marked, Tony.”

He felt the tremor pass through Tony’s body as he said that, and he stroked his sub’s bottom gently.

“Has to be done, Tony. Biting’s one thing…but these…” he pinched Tony’s left buttock firmly, and Tony gave a little whimper. “Need something more. Time you found out how the cane feels."

“It is?” Tony swallowed hard. “You sure? ‘Cause, you know, I’m fine with not knowing how that feels.”

Gibbs stood up and patted his sub’s face affectionately. “I’ll mark you after you’ve taken your day’s discipline,” he said.

“After?” Tony protested. “You’re going to cane me as well as use the strap and paddle?”

“Sure. Marking isn’t punishment. Marking is…” Gibbs put his fingers on one of the bite marks on Tony’s neck. “It's more personal. It’s about you and me. It’s about being owned. It’s not about punishment or discipline. I’ll mark you 'cause you’re mine, and I like seeing my marks on your body - and 'cause you need to know they’re there.”

“Really?” Tony looked unconvinced.

Gibbs gave him a wolfish grin. “Oh yeah. You’ll see. Position One.”

Tony blinked. Gibbs raised an eyebrow, and Tony scrambled immediately to get into position as he had been shown the previous day. He put his hands against the wall and thrust his ass out. Gibbs stood behind him and placed his hands on it, smoothing his thumbs over the firm flesh. He reached down, took hold of the butt plug, and removed it slowly and carefully. Tony exhaled in relief when it was gone.

“What’s the day’s tally, Tony?”

“Fifteen, Boss,” Tony replied, glancing at him over his shoulder.

That was what Gibbs made it too. “You’ll take them blindfolded,” Gibbs said, fastening the strip of leather over Tony’s eyes. “I want you to feel each stroke, so I'm gonna take my time.”

“Trust me, Boss, I really do feel each stroke!”

Gibbs grinned and reached for the paddle. He stood beside Tony, put one hand on Tony’s back, and swung back the paddle in readiness.

“What’s your safe word, Tony?” he asked. Tony’s body stiffened slightly under his fingertips, as if he wanted to throw off the hand that Gibbs was resting lightly on his back.

“Magnum,” he replied, after a moment’s beat.

Gibbs decided to let the almost imperceptible hesitation pass. “Count the strokes out loud this time,” he ordered.

He swung forward, making the first stroke firm, but barely more than a warm-up swat. Tony gave a little gasp.

“One,” he said.

Gibbs swung again, taking care to judge Tony’s reactions. He liked spanking his sub, but, just as importantly, he could tell that Tony liked it too. He might not always like the actual physical sensation, but he did like the act of surrender, and he liked the endorphin rush that came with a well applied spanking. Gibbs swung again, stoking the pain levels expertly with each new swat laid onto Tony’s rapidly reddening ass.

Halfway through, Gibbs swapped to the strap. He swung it down with a satisfying thwap, and Tony jumped. Gibbs waited. Nothing. Gibbs tapped Tony’s back with the strap.


“Uh…” Tony frowned.

Gibbs sighed. “If you forget the count, then I *will* make you start from the beginning.”

“Uh…eight!” Tony replied quickly.

Gibbs stroked his back briefly in acknowledgement and then laid down another one on Tony’s red ass. He loved the way Tony’s bottom glowed and warmed up as he worked.

“This looks good,” he told his sub, running a hand over Tony’s burning buttocks. “One day I'm gonna spend a few hours raising some colour on you.”

“A few *hours*? You’ll spend hours just spanking me?” Tony whimpered.

“Sure. We’ll take breaks, but yeah. Start off slow with my hand and build up to something really heavy.”

“Oh God,” Tony moaned, resting his head on his arms where they were pressed against the wall.

Gibbs grinned and swung again. His shoulders were loosening with each swing; it was so damn good to have a sub again!

Gibbs finished the day’s discipline tally, and Tony made to stand up. Gibbs put a hand on him to push him back down. “Not yet.”

He pushed Tony’s legs further apart and then knelt down behind him. He had been enticed by the changing colour of those firm globes of flesh, and even more so by his glimpses of the dark hole between them.

“Hold still,” he ordered, as he pried Tony’s butt cheeks apart. They were hot to the touch, and Gibbs felt his cock harden. God, he wanted to fuck this ass so much! He wanted to slide into all this slick, tight warmth and take Tony, hard and fast, without mercy. That wasn't an option right now – but there was something else he also wanted to do. He slid his tongue between those burning buttocks, and Tony let out a hoarse, incoherent shout. Gibbs drew back.

“I said, hold still,” he growled. “And remember, however good this is – and trust me, it’ll be good – you can’t come.”

“Got it, Boss!” Tony said swiftly, but Gibbs didn’t think he had. Not yet. Right now it was all new to him, and he was still playing at it. Gibbs hoped he really had got it by the time it came to fuck him. He wanted to know, when he finally sank his hard cock into Tony’s tight, virginal hole, that Tony understood what it meant to truly surrender to his dom’s will. He wanted to look into the eyes of a sub who was giving everything up to him, without expecting anything in return.

That was another reason why he had to wait. Tony needed this week, not only to be sure this was what he wanted, but also to learn how it was going to be. Gibbs wouldn’t fuck him until he was sure that lesson had gone home. And once he did fuck him…Gibbs knew it'd be a lifetime commitment for him after that. Once he'd fucked Tony, he'd want to keep him – forever - and he had to be sure that Tony really *got* that. It wasn't just fucking to Gibbs – it meant a hell of a lot more. And he wasn't sure that Tony, with his casual approach to sex and relationships, had really got his head around that yet.

Gibbs held Tony’s warm butt cheeks apart and dipped his tongue into that enticing hole again. He circled it, enjoying the scent of Tony’s inner body and loving the ecstatic moaning sounds his sub was making. He rimmed Tony for a long time, making his sub take the pleasure just as he’d made him take the punishment. Tony’s cock was hard again, and his whole body was quivering with the agony of not being able to come. Gibbs kept him shivering on the brink of that precipice for a long time, before finally drawing back.

He stood up and surveyed his sub approvingly. Tony was resting his forehead on the back of his hands and his body was bathed in a light sheen of sweat. His ass cheeks were still red, and he was moaning pathetically. Gibbs grinned. He’d get Tony ready for his ultimate surrender by the end of this week – it might not be easy, but he’d do it. He wouldn’t accept anything less.

“Well done.” He pulled Tony around, and Tony came into his arms, shuddering and gasping.

“That was just…oh God,” he whimpered.

“You did good.”

“You really aren’t going to let me come any time soon, are you?” Tony asked mournfully.

Gibbs pushed him back and unfastened the blindfold from around his head. “Nope,” he said. “Do you want to know *when* I’m going to let you come, Tony?”

“Damn it, Gibbs, yes!” Tony growled, blinking as he opened his eyes.

“When I’m inside you for the first time – when I’m fucking your ass like there’s no tomorrow and popping your sweet cherry. That’s when I’ll let you come, Tony. And from then on, you’ll only ever get to come when I’m inside you, unless I give you special permission some other time. Got that?”

Tony gazed at him, his mouth open, looking stunned. His cock was ramrod hard, sticking out straight in front of him.

"But don't worry," Gibbs grinned. "I'm gonna be making good use of your tight asshole at least once a day, sometimes more. So that’s how often you’ll get to come."

“Oh shit,” Tony whispered.

Gibbs grinned and patted his face affectionately. “C'mon – time to mark you. Then your day’s training will be over, and we can eat.”

He picked up the cane he’d bought the previous day and examined it carefully. It was good quality – he wouldn’t use anything but the best on his sub. He motioned Tony in the direction of the couch.

“Position two,” he ordered.

Tony walked over to the couch and arranged himself carefully over the back of it. He was bent from the waist, and Gibbs pushed him forward even more so that he presented a better target.

“This is a good position for marking,” Gibbs told him, running his hand over Tony’s still warm ass cheeks. “The angle keeps the ass firm and makes the mark clearer. Legs wider apart – I want the ass muscles held really tight, so you can’t clench.”

Tony did as he was told, and Gibbs adjusted him so that he was exactly in the right position. Then he took hold of the cane. It had been a long time since he’d marked a sub with a cane, but he’d always had a superb aim. He rested the cane on Tony’s buttocks.

“This will hurt,” he warned bluntly. “But it isn’t about the pain. It’s about taking the mark. As it’s not punishment, I won’t hold you in place, and I’ll give you time to get your breath back after each one. I’ll put three welts on you, but I won’t ask you to count.”

Tony shook in anticipation. Gibbs concentrated, and then he drew back his hand and delivered a hard stripe to Tony’s waiting backside.

There was a pause - and then a loud hollering sound. Tony stood up, his face red, his eyes startled.

“No!” he said in a strangled tone. “That was…that was…”

“Yeah. It hurt. I know.” Gibbs pointed back at the couch. “When you’re ready. Unless you want to say your safe word? If so, I’ll stop – and we'll do one a night for the rest of the week – you'll end up taking five instead of three, but it'll be spread out.”

A completely indecipherable expression settled into Tony’s eyes. His entire body convulsed in a shudder, but he looked grimly determined as he bent over the back of the couch again.

“You sure?” Gibbs asked, resting the cane against his ass a second time. The first welt had created a fine line across the centre of Tony’s ass, and he aimed the second one a little lower.

“Yes, I'm sure,” Tony replied, his voice muffled by the couch cushions. His knuckles whitened as Gibbs swung again, but this time he held position, panting to himself and whimpering in the aftermath of the stroke.

“Last one.”

Gibbs decided it would go easier on Tony if he delivered it quickly, before his sub had too much time to think about it, so he brought the cane down fast, marking the skin a little bit lower again. Tony gave a strangled yelp and just lay there, panting, spread-eagled over the back of the couch.

“Good boy,” Gibbs said approvingly.

He took a moment to appreciate the beauty of seeing his marked, shaking boy just standing there, bent over, head down, submitting to him. It took his breath away. Tony looked so *good* marked, and he had taken the marking well.

Gibbs crouched down and licked the welts he’d just made, fascinated by how they felt and tasted under his tongue. Tony stayed in place, his body quivering, but Gibbs felt him begin to relax. Gibbs lapped at the welts soothingly for some time, until Tony’s ragged breathing had returned to normal. Then he drew him up, turned him around, pulled him close, and kissed him. Tony sagged against him, and Gibbs kissed him for a long time, knowing Tony needed the reassurance after the caning.

When he finally released him, Tony looked dazed. “That was intense, Boss.”

“I know, but you did good.” Gibbs tousled his hair affectionately. “Training is going really well.”

“Show me.” Tony glanced over his shoulder. “I have to see them.”

Gibbs led him along the hallway to the mirror at the far end. Tony took a deep intake of breath as he caught sight of the marks on his ass, and his face positively glowed.

“Good?” Gibbs asked, intrigued.

“Yeah. Good,” Tony replied, in a dreamy tone of voice.

Gibbs felt a surge of affection for his sub for learning such a hard lesson this evening. He'd never had a sub respond to him like this before. Jenny had always fought back, making every order a challenge, while Stan had acquiesced to everything without a murmur. Neither of them had responded like Tony, who was taking in each new aspect of his own submission with wonder and excitement. Gibbs pulled his sub close and gently spidered his fingers over the welts on his ass.

“My marks on my sub,” he purred into Tony’s ear. “Like it?”

“Yeah…like it.” Tony grinned. “Hurt like hell, but…damn it, I don’t know why, but I like knowing you put them on me.”

Gibbs ran a possessive hand over his sub’s body. “I know why,” he said, in that same low, throaty growl, straight into Tony’s ear.

“Why?” Tony asked, his face almost buried in Gibbs’s shoulder.

“Because you’re my sub, Tony, and you’re just getting a glimpse of what that really means. Not playing at it – but the deep stuff. It’s about being owned, Tony, about surrender, about taking whatever I hand out just because I’m your dom, and you wanna give it all up to me. It’s about finding out the kind of sub you are – the kind of sub you *really* are - deep inside.”

Tony nuzzled into his neck. “But I already know what kind of sub I am, Boss.”

Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

“I’m yours, Boss. Being your sub – that's not just what I am – it's who I am.”


Tony felt out of it as he pulled on his sweatpants and then perched cautiously on the side of the couch to start eating the pizza that had just been delivered. Gibbs had warned him about how addictive sub space could be, and he was definitely aware of that right now. They ate in silence, both of them still deep into the headspace of the night's training. Tony wasn't sure what he'd expected when he'd first blundered into that S&M bar a few nights ago, but it wasn't this. He'd had no idea that it would feel this *good* for a start. His entire body was humming with wellbeing, and he had a warm, relaxed sensation in the pit of his belly.

They finished eating, and Gibbs stuck a movie in the DVD player. Tony didn't even care what it was. He found himself moving, dream-like, so that he was lying on his side, stretched out full-length on the couch, his head on Gibbs's lap. He had been there a couple of minutes before he remembered that he'd told himself he wasn't going to do this needy, cuddling shit again.

He was about to move when Gibbs's hand came down and began stroking his hair. He battled with it for a moment, but in the end inertia won out. It just felt too good to keep lying here in the warm intimacy of his dom's embrace.

His ass was throbbing, but he liked how that felt. It was a symbol of Gibbs's ownership. His world was hazy and happy. He felt comfortable and at peace for the first time in years.

The movie ended, and, still in silence, they climbed the stairs together. Tony got undressed and cleaned his teeth, and then Gibbs bent him over the end of the bed and inserted a new plug. When he was done, Tony got up and kissed his dom's hand absently, without even knowing he was doing it. Gibbs looked surprised, but then he gave a little grin and tousled Tony's hair.

"Bed," he said, pointing at the mattress. Tony went without a word, still feeling hazy. He was asleep before Gibbs even turned out the light.

Tony woke at dawn. He lay there for a few minutes, wondering why he felt so good, and then he remembered the events of the previous night and smiled. His ass was still smarting, but his body felt relaxed. He'd slept better on this mattress on the floor than he ever had in the comfort of his own bed back in his apartment.

He got up to use the bathroom and then walked quietly back towards his mattress. He paused on the way – Gibbs was fast asleep in the bed, sprawled out on his back, snoring softly. Tony wondered what it would be like to crawl into bed beside him. He stood there for a moment, contemplating it. Could he do it without Gibbs waking? Maybe. But supposing he fell asleep, and Gibbs woke up to find him in the bed? Tony wasn't sure what the penalty for that would be, but, knowing Gibbs as he did, he was pretty sure it'd be severe.

He sighed and returned to his mattress on the floor. As he settled down, he realised that although Gibbs had plugged him the previous night, he hadn't put that God-awful chastity device on him again. The knowledge that his cock was *here*, within reach of his hand, made it spring hopefully to attention.

Tony slid his hand down and grasped it eagerly. He knew how to take care of it quickly and silently – years at boarding school had taught him both skills. There was no reason why Gibbs should ever find out. Tony was good at hiding things; he'd been doing it for most of his life.

He rubbed down hard, and then harder, keeping his breathing as regular as he could so as not to wake or alert Gibbs.

His mind went back to the previous night again. That rimming had been so damn hot. His cock ached at the thought of it. His mind wandered to later, lying with his head on Gibbs's lap, having his hair stroked – Gibbs had praised him for the way he had taken the caning… Damn it, his cock softened in his hand. He tried to focus on what had happened in the elevator and how hot it had been to have Gibbs's cock in his mouth. He was just starting to harden again when he remembered Gibbs telling him that he could only come when he was in his ass from now on. How would it feel to have Gibbs's big, hard cock thrusting into him? He touched the bite marks on his neck again. What would it be like to wear that soft leather collar Gibbs had bought for him? What would it feel like to be collared, and naked, and being fucked by Gibbs? How would it feel to come with Gibbs inside him, riding him hard?

His cock was rigid just from thinking about it…but…but…Tony removed his hand with a growl. He'd spent the past eight years obeying the man implicitly. He liked obeying Gibbs's orders. It made him feel safe and grounded. Gibbs was the centre of his universe, and obeying him had always made Tony happy.

He wanted to come – God knows he wanted it so badly – but would he be able to look his dom in the eye tomorrow if he did? Gibbs was holding out the prospect of being collared, fucked and reaching orgasm as a reward for his behaviour during training this week. If Tony did this, right now, then he'd screw that up. Not that he was a stranger to screwing things up but not on purpose. Not with Gibbs. He always wanted to impress Gibbs and win his approval and praise.

Tony muttered a little curse, the palm of his hand hovering over the hard flesh of his cock. Gibbs had said that being a 24/7 sub wasn't easy, and right now Tony was aware of just how difficult it was. He stared at the ceiling, weighing it up.

Gibbs had said that Tony's body belonged to him now, and Tony loved that idea. If he did this, then he'd be chipping away at the power and control that he had given up so willingly to his dom. Tony *liked* the way surrendering to Gibbs made him feel. If he jerked himself off right now he'd win something but lose a whole lot more.

Tony growled and turned over onto his front. He put both his hands resolutely under his pillow. He wasn't going to do it. He belonged to Gibbs now, and only Gibbs got to say when he could come. It wasn't his choice any more.

Relieved by his decision, he fell asleep again.

Tony was surprised, the next day, when Gibbs inserted a new plug into him and then told him to get dressed.

"No chastity device thing?" Tony raised an eyebrow.

Gibbs gazed at him thoughtfully. "Don't think you need it today, Tony."


Gibbs patted the side of his cheek. "Because I trust you."

"You do? Why?" Tony asked, alarmed. "I mean – I'm me! You know me! I'm not sure you should trust me."

"Well I do," Gibbs shrugged. "Training's gone well, Tony. You're a damn good sub – and I trust you not to come without permission." He moved away to throw his plate and cup into the sink. "Do *you* trust yourself?" he asked, coming back to where Tony was standing. "If not, if you think you'll give into the temptation, then you can ask me to strap you into that thing again, and I will – but it comes from you this time. Not me."

Tony remembered that struggle he'd had with himself in the night. He'd fought that battle and won – he thought he could do so again.

"I trust myself," he said quietly.

"Good." Gibbs grinned at him. "Then go get dressed. I'll see you at work."

Tony took the stairs two at a time, feeling elated. Gibbs trusted him! He might have only been a sub for a few days, but he was good at it. He looked at himself in the full length mirror and did a little naked dance of glee.

"TO-NY, TO-NY," he chanted, moving his hips back and forth. He grinned as he caught sight of the marks on his neck, and then he turned so he could look at the faint red lines on his butt. He gazed at them, fascinated, and then traced one finger along them. "See, Stan – he marked me, and he trusts me," he told the empty room. "I'm gonna make him forget that you ever sucked his dick. I'm gonna be the best damn sub in the whole world. Just watch and learn, Stan-baby. In fact – I'm gonna get through today without one single mark going on that chalkboard, and tonight he's going to be so damn impressed that's he's gonna let me sleep in his bed. Well – maybe."

He winked at himself in the mirror and then got dressed, putting on his favourite navy blue suit with the deep blue shirt and navy blue tie. If there was one thing that came easy to Tony, it was knowing the right clothes to wear to flatter himself to best effect. He pulled on an expensive pair of shoes, threaded his favourite cufflinks through his shirt sleeves, and surveyed himself in the mirror again. He looked good. It wasn't just the expensive cut of his suit and the fact that the colours suited him so well. It was something about him. He looked younger – the years seemed to have fallen away, and there was a happy glow in his eyes. He gazed at himself, surprised by just how good he looked. Yeah, today was going to be good.

Tony had barely arrived at work when the call came in.

"Saddle up, people. Dead officer downtown," Gibbs announced. "Lieutenant Mark Adams. They found him in a park." Tony was on his six before he even passed his desk, eager and ready, like the good little sub he was. Gibbs threw him some keys. "DiNozzo – get the van gassed and ready."

Tony caught the keys and threw them straight back at him. "Did that already, Boss! Took care of it last night before I left. Figured things had been quiet for a few days so something might come up today."

Gibbs caught the keys and shot Tony a swift smile of approval as they all entered the elevator.

"I am trying to think of the right word," Ziva muttered to McGee as the elevator went down to the parking garage. "Is it 'blue' nose?"

"Oh, I'm pretty sure the word you're looking for is 'brown'," McGee muttered back at her.

Tony ignored them. He was in his happy subby bubble. There was no way anyone was going to spoil that.

He hadn’t anticipated Detective Isla Shale. She was the tall, shapely, blue-eyed police detective from Metro homicide who met them at the crime scene. She also had red hair - lots of it, down to her waist - tied back but no less long and red for that. She shook Gibbs's hand, giving him a predatory look that set Tony's teeth on edge.

"Special Agent Gibbs?" Even her voice was sexy. A year ago, Tony would have tried to hit on her, but not now. "Wow! You're something of a legend at Metro. I've heard all the stories about you. Always hoped you'd show up on one of my cases one day, so we could have a pissing contest about jurisdiction."

"Really?" Gibbs grinned at her, and Tony could see his dom visibly melting under her charm offensive.

"Hell yeah!" She laughed out loud, a throaty, sexy kind of sound that Tony knew would go straight to most men’s cocks.

"Naval officer's been murdered," Gibbs shrugged. "Not sure we need to have a pissing contest. Seems like an open and shut case to me. We'll handle it."

"Thing is – your lieutenant isn't the only one who's dead." Shale gestured with her thumb at the crime scene. "We have two corpses. The other one's a civilian. Guy named Charles Lamb."

"Connection?" Gibbs asked.

Shale grinned at him. "They said you don't talk a lot. I like that in a guy. Strong, silent type, huh?"

Even Ziva rolled her eyes at that.

"Connection?" Gibbs asked again, but with a little grin all the same. Tony felt his good mood evaporating.

"Lieutenant Adams and Mr. Lamb both used the same gym. Place called Ironman a few blocks away."

"You figure they knew each other from there?" Gibbs asked.

"Apparently," Shale shrugged. "We've only just started investigating. But hey…why don't you and I share the workload on this?" She put one hand on Gibbs's shoulder and left it there. Gibbs looked at the hand, and then at her, and then he gave another of those little grins.

"Okay – but you get in my way, and I promise you we'll definitely have that pissing contest."

"I'll do my best not to get in your way then," she purred, her hand still resting on his shoulder.

Gibbs shrugged off the hand and walked over to the dead bodies, his team trailing along behind. Tony looked down at the corpses of the two men lying beneath a tree – one of them had been badly beaten and the other looked like he’d been garrotted.

"Ziva – you and McGee handle the crime scene,” Gibbs barked. “DiNozzo!"

Tony turned, slowly, one step short of insolent. "Yeah?" he drawled.

"Get your ass over to the Ironman gym and start asking questions. Find out how well the dead men knew each other, and if anyone knows a motive for killing them."

Tony stood there, glowering at his boss. Great – so Ziva and McGee got to hang around the crime scene, while Gibbs conveniently sent Tony away, leaving him free to get close to the very beautiful, very red-haired Detective Shale.

"Was there something in 'get your ass over to the Ironman gym' that you didn't understand, DiNozzo?" Gibbs barked.

Tony gazed at him sullenly. "Nope. Nothing. Nothing at all," he replied, in a hard tone of voice.

He turned on his heel and began walking. When he looked back, he saw that Isla Shale was leaning in close, laughing girlishly as she filled Gibbs in on her investigation to date. And Gibbs – the bastard – was just standing there, with an amused look on his face as he listened. Tony wanted to go over there, grab his dom by the hair, and put a bite mark or two on *his* neck to remind him who he damn well belonged to.

The Ironman gym was a nice place – shining, clean, modern, and full of state of the art equipment.

"I'm sorry – I'm new – I don't really know any of our clients yet – you need to talk to Jason," the duty manager told him.


"Jason Tulley. He's our top personal trainer – knows all the guys who use the gym."

"It's a men only gym?" Tony glanced around. "No chicks?"

"No – just guys," the duty manager said, looking him in the eye and raising his eyebrow slightly.

"Right. Okay. Gotcha." Tony nodded. "Popular place," he commented, glancing around at all the fit young bodies pumping iron.

"Well you know what they say – no pecs, no sex," the duty manager grinned. "And who doesn't want to get laid?"

Tony glared at him. He hadn't got laid in nearly two years, he hadn't come in days, and his dom was refusing to fuck him because he wasn't convinced he was ready yet. Although that same dom didn't seem to have any such qualms about hitting on some random redhead he'd just met.

"Do *not* talk to me about sex," Tony hissed.

"Uh…okay," the duty manager squeaked. "Uh - Jason's over there." He pointed, clearly glad to hand Tony over to someone else.

Jason was two inches taller than Tony and built like a tank. He had short, spiky blond hair, and muscles growing out of all his other muscles. Tony felt small standing next to him, and there weren't many people who could make him feel that way – although Gibbs managed it all the time despite technically being an inch or so shorter than him.

"Yeah, I knew them both," Jason said, looking visibly shaken by the news of the two men's deaths. "Nice guys. Why would anyone want to kill them?"

"That's what we're trying to find out. I suppose it's possible they killed each other," Tony mused. "We won't know until we do the autopsies."

"Why would they want to kill each other?" Jason asked blankly. Tony had the feeling that the one muscle Jason never exercised was his brain.

"I have no idea," Tony replied. "Tell me about them."

"Well, Charles had been coming here a long time – few years. Mark Adams was new. Only been coming here a few weeks."

"Either of them seeing anyone?" Tony asked. "Anyone from the gym?"

"It's a gym, not a pickup joint."

Tony laughed out loud. "Seriously? Look at this place. It's kind of both." He gestured to the young, beautiful men with their perfect bodies, working out and none-too-subtly eyeing each other up in the process.

"Okay – look – Charles saw a few guys, but like I said, Adams was new, so I have no idea about him," Jason said stiffly.

"Any chance they hooked up with each other?" Tony asked.

Jason glared at him. "I don't fucking know."

"Whoa – you're on kind of a short fuse there, Jason. You take steroids?" Tony asked. "Just - they can make you kinda grouchy."

Jason's face turned red. "No, I don't fucking take steroids."

Tony grinned at him. "Just asking. Well, thanks for your help – if you think of anything else, here's my card."

Tony wandered around and asked a few more questions and then returned to the crime scene. Ducky had arrived and was busy examining the bodies, while Ziva and McGee were equally busy taking photos and bagging up evidence. Gibbs, on the other hand, was just standing there, listening to Isla Shale talk.

Tony barged straight on over to them. "Been to the Ironman gym, Boss," he said, interrupting Shale in mid-sentence. "Asked around the neighbourhood as well. Everyone knew the gym was a gay place – could be Lieutenant Adams and Charles Lamb were victims of a hate crime. They were both working out until late last night. Maybe they came over to the park after, and were making out, and some homophobic bastard saw them and killed them. Oh, I'm sorry, Detective Shale – did I interrupt you? My apologies – I'm sure that whatever you had to say to Agent Gibbs was riveting, but some of us are actually working here."

"DiNozzo!" Gibbs snapped.

"Boss?" Tony stared at him insolently, through narrowed eyes.

"You got any evidence for your hate crime theory?"

"Nope – just conjecture." Tony shrugged.

"Then what the hell are you doing standing there? Go find me some evidence!"

Tony glared at him, but Gibbs turned his back on him pointedly and resumed his conversation with Shale. Tony gave up and stomped over to look at the dead bodies.

"It's such a shame," Ducky was lamenting. "Such fine young men, in the prime of their lives."

"Do you actually know anything useful – like how they were killed, Ducky?" Tony demanded.

Ducky looked up, clearly startled by Tony's unusually snappish tone. "My, my, someone did get out of the wrong side of bed this morning," he said pointedly. "And yes, Anthony, I do know how they were killed. This one was beaten to death." He pointed at Lieutenant Adams. "And he seems to have been laid out in a somewhat ritualistic manner, as if the killer wanted to display him. This one, on the other hand, was tied up, gagged, and then strangled."

"Why did the killer change his MO?" Tony asked. "Think he was disturbed – didn't have time to beat Lamb to death so strangled him instead?"

Ducky shrugged. "I have no idea, Anthony. I just tell you the facts. You are the investigator, my dear boy, and I'm sure you'll reach your own conclusions. In time."

He smiled benignly and then accompanied one of the gurneys back to the van.

Tony turned to see Gibbs still chatting to Shale. What the hell could they have to talk about for so long? His gaze went over to the small crowd that had gathered by the yellow tape they'd used to keep the crime scene clear. He saw the tall, muscular blond guy from the gym standing there, and some devil caught hold of him. Two could play at this game. He walked over there.

"Hey, Jason," he said when he got close. "Sorry about earlier – just doing my job."

"No problem." Jason grinned at him. "I'm sorry too – I guess I was just shocked by what happened to Charles. Poor guy. Had to come down here to see what was going on."

Tony turned and glanced in Gibbs's direction to see that although he was still talking to Shale, his dom's eyes were on him.

"Hey – how much work does it take to get a body like yours?" Tony asked, reaching out to squeeze Jason's biceps appreciatively. Jason grinned even more.

"You thinking about getting in shape, Tony?"

"You don't think I'm in shape?" Tony pulled his shirt up a little way to reveal his abdomen. "How about these?" He sucked his belly in.

"Not bad," Jason replied. "But with a little work I could give you a real six pack."

"Really?" Tony smiled coquettishly. He'd never flirted openly with a guy before. He'd had years of experience with girls though, and he didn't see that it was much different.

"Sure." Jason's eyes were gleaming.

"How about my biceps?" Tony took hold of Jason's hand and placed it on his upper arm. "How do they feel, huh?"

"Like they're about to get hauled off, along with your ass," a voice hissed in his ear, and Gibbs knocked Jason's hand away, grasped Tony’s bicep hard, and dragged him over to the privacy of a clump of trees, away from the crowd. He shoved Tony against one of the trees and glared at him.

"Have you forgotten rule number five, DiNozzo?" he demanded.

"Rule number five? Is that, 'Never be unreachable'? Or is it, 'Always be specific when you lie'?" Tony replied flippantly.

"Neither," Gibbs ground out. "And it's not a work rule, DiNozzo, as you damn well know. Rule number five – nobody touches you but me."

"Well, it's interesting you should mention that, Boss, because I haven't forgotten it, no," Tony snapped. "I think you have though – and that rule works both ways."

Gibbs gave him a look of disbelief. "That's what this is about? Detective Shale?"

"No, it's about the pretty redhead who's all over you, who you keep talking to all the time, and who, apparently, makes you laugh – which is more than any of the rest of us can usually manage, no matter how damn hard we try," Tony growled. "How is it okay that she can touch you…" he thumped his hand onto Gibbs's shoulder, where Shale's hand had been, "But a guy can't touch me in the same way?"

Gibbs's blue eyes suddenly turned dangerous. "Okay – first off, I didn't *invite* Shale to put her hand on me, she just did – and I shook it off pretty damn quick. Secondly, she's making me laugh because she's blatant as all hell - not because I'm interested in her. Thirdly, I'm talking to her about the damn case because I'm gonna dump Metro as soon as I can, and I want all the info I can get out of her before I do."

"Oh." Tony stared at him.

"Yeah. Oh." Gibbs's jaw was tight, and his expression was furious. "You might trust yourself, DiNozzo, but it looks like you don't damn well trust me."

Tony winced and looked down at his own feet. Gibbs's fingers were still pressing hard into his bicep, keeping him shoved up against the tree. Finally, he glanced up again to find Gibbs still glaring at him from those pissed off eyes.

"So, I was hoping to get by without anything going on the chalkboard today, but I'm guessing I fucked that up," Tony said, still feeling angry.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "Ya think, DiNozzo?"

"What is the penalty for breaking rule number five anyhow?" Tony muttered. "I'm thinking it's bad."

Gibbs leaned in close. "You pulled up your shirt and let him look at you, Tony. You know how I feel about people ogling my sub's body. And you got him to put his big paws on you – do you have any idea how that made me feel?"

"Same way I felt when Shale was all over you?" Tony suggested defiantly.

"Difference being, I didn't ask her to do that!" Gibbs growled.

Tony rocked back on his heels, his anger cooling. "Yeah. I know. I'm sorry," he sighed. "Look, I screwed up. What can I say?"

"Nothing." Gibbs took a step back. "I have a case to solve. You – get back to work and don't screw up for the rest of the day. We *will* talk about this tonight."

He finally released his tight grasp on Tony's bicep, and Tony watched him stalk away. That had been bad. Christ, he was such a screw up. His cell phone rang, and he fished it out of his pocket, still berating himself under his breath.

"DiNozzo," he snapped into it.

"Hey – it's Jason. I saw your boss haul you off and bawl you out. That looked heavy, man."

Tony glanced over to see Jason still standing by the tape, waving at him.

"It was fine. I was supposed to be doing my job. I screwed up."

"Looked more personal than that," Jason said. "Want me to take care of him for you?"

"What?" Tony frowned. "What the hell does that mean?"

"I work in a gym, Tony," Jason reminded him. "He looks like the kind of guy who likes to fight. Send him over sometime, and I'll kick his ass in the ring."

Tony laughed out loud, a bitter, mirthless sound. "Trust me, Jason, you wouldn't," he said as he began walking back to the crime scene.

"Hey – I'm bigger than him and a hell of a lot younger," Jason said, in a smug kind of voice. "I'll pound him into the ground for you, Tony."

"No – seriously, you won't," Tony replied. "Nobody's ever beaten Gibbs in a fight."

"Nobody?" Jason sounded incredulous. "Ever?"

"Nope." Tony couldn't help but feel a weird kind of pride as he spoke about his dom. He had no doubt that regardless of how big Jason’s built-up body was, Gibbs could take him down. "Thanks for the offer though."

He closed his phone and returned to where Gibbs was talking to Shale again.

"Talk about tail between your legs, DiNozzo," he muttered, feeling like a whipped puppy. He wondered what would happen when he got home this evening. His ass was still sore from last night, and he really didn't want to take another spanking, but he guessed that decision was up to Gibbs. He'd definitely *earned* one, and if his dom made him take one then he would. He'd screwed up; he deserved to be punished.

They returned to the office to find Vance waiting for them.

"Any progress?" he demanded. Tony glanced at Ziva and McGee – Vance didn't usually involve himself in their murder investigations.

"We only just got back from the crime scene," Gibbs replied. "You'll have my report as soon as I have anything to tell you. Any reason for the interest, Leon?"

Vance sighed. "Lieutenant Adams’s father is an admiral – and a personal friend of SecNav's – so there's pressure on us to do our best work here, Gibbs."

"I *always* do my best work," Gibbs snapped. "No matter who the victim's father is."

Tony winced. This was turning out to be a very bad day – and he really didn't need for Gibbs to be in an even worse mood than he already was.
The rest of the day passed in an agonising crawl. Eventually Ziva left, and then McGee. Ducky called up that he was on his way home, and even Abby finally left. Gibbs remained at his desk, and Tony, by default, had no choice but to remain at his. He didn't dare leave.

Finally, at 9 p.m., with no solid leads on the case after a day's digging, Gibbs sat back and glared across the room at him.

"Go home, DiNozzo," he ordered.

"Home?" Tony bit on his lip. Did that mean his own home or Gibbs's home? Was Gibbs telling him that he didn't want to deal with him tonight? Did that mean no more training? Were they still on course for his big decision at the end of the week - or had he irritated Gibbs enough that the man was giving up on him? "Your place?" Tony clarified, wincing slightly.

Gibbs looked at him as if he'd grown another head. "You had someplace else to be?"

"No. Just…" Tony felt ridiculously relieved. "Wasn't sure if you were cutting me loose, Boss."

Gibbs looked utterly mystified for a second, and then his expression darkened. He got up and stalked over to Tony's desk with terse, angry strides. Tony grimaced, wondering what the hell was going to happen next. Gibbs reached his desk, and then, without warning, slapped the back of his head with a firm, decisive flick of his hand.

"Don't be more of an idiot than you already are, DiNozzo," he snapped. "Go home. Now."

"Yes, Boss! Thank you, Boss!" Tony said, rubbing the sore spot on the back of his head happily. He reached for his bag and ran towards the elevator. Okay, so Gibbs wasn't going to throw him out. That meant the alternative, which was an evening involving some kind of painful punishment, but Tony could handle that much more easily than rejection.

He wasn't sure what to do when he got back to Gibbs's house. They'd eaten takeout at the office earlier in the evening so there was no point ordering any food. It wasn't his place, so he didn't feel comfortable turning on the TV and making himself at home – not least because of the deep shit he knew he was in. He had no idea how long Gibbs would be, either. A part of him wanted his dom to be a long time in coming home, while another part just wanted to get this over and done with.

He didn't turn the light on. He just stood there, in the dark living room, feeling uncertain. He heard a car draw up outside and his stomach flipped. Gibbs walked into the house a few minutes later; he stood in the living room doorway, frowning.

"Tony?" He turned on the light and then looked startled to see Tony. "Why were you standing there in the dark?"

"I really have no idea," Tony sighed.

Gibbs gazed at him, looking perplexed. "You really don't, do you?"

"Nope." Tony shrugged miserably.

"Come here." Gibbs lifted his arm and beckoned with one, crooked index finger.

Tony bit on his lip. Time to face the music. He went quietly over to his dom. He wasn't sure whether Gibbs was going to swing him over the couch, or push him against the wall, but he was pretty sure he was going to be looking at his feet sometime soon while Gibbs blistered his ass for being such an idiot. He went quickly all the same, not caring about the punishment. Gibbs was wrong – he *did* trust him. He trusted him with his body, if nothing else.

To his surprise, Gibbs didn't do either of those things. Instead, he put an arm around Tony, drew him close, and kissed him on the lips. It was a gentler kiss than Tony might have expected in the circumstances, and he pressed up against his top's hard body, feeling some of the day's despair start to dissipate.

Finally, Gibbs released him, but still held him close. "I've wanted to do that all evening."

Tony blinked. "You have? Why?"

"Because you were getting quieter and quieter until I thought you were some kind of zombie-Tony. It was freaking me out."

"Zombie-Tony? Hah! No wonder you were freaked out to find me standing in the dark then, Boss. Wanted to be sure it was still me, and not some brain-eating impostor, huh?" Tony felt some of his usual good spirits returning.

"Oh, I knew it was still you. Nobody but you could have pulled that stunt you did this morning. I've just never seen you that quiet before, even when you've known you're in bad trouble."

"Which I am," Tony said quietly.

Gibbs nodded. "Which you are," he agreed.

"So where do you want me?" Tony asked, his hands going to his belt as he started to undress. "Against the wall? Over the couch?"

Gibbs looked at him thoughtfully. "You think your ass can take another whipping after the past couple of days, DiNozzo?"

"Well…it's sore, and sitting down all afternoon and most of the evening didn't help, but I screwed up, and I figure that’s gonna be more than a couple of swats added to the chalkboard, so…" Tony shrugged and continued undoing his fly. Gibbs's hand fastened over his, stopping him. "What?" Tony frowned. "You said discipline would be daily, and I fucked up."

"Yeah, you did – but I also said discipline wouldn't always be spanking. Anyhow, breaking rule number five is serious - I don't think a spanking really covers it."

Tony felt his gut flip anxiously. "But you said you weren't cutting me loose…" he began.

"And those are the only two options? Christ, and I thought *I* was bad at relationships." Gibbs rolled his eyes.

Tony stared at him, confused.

"So, I either whale on your ass, or I throw you out? No wonder you were so damn keen to get into position," Gibbs grunted. He gazed at Tony thoughtfully. "Who taught you that, Tony?"


“Who taught you that you get sent away, no warning, for just one screw-up? Who taught you to offer yourself up for anything to avoid that happening?" Gibbs asked. "Who taught you that if I'm angry I'm gonna hurt you, but at least that's better than rejection?"

Tony stared at him icily. "Are you going to punish me or not?"

Gibbs glared at him. Tony didn't back down.

Gibbs sighed. "Tony…" He put his hand on Tony's shoulder, but Tony knocked it away.

"No, don't do that. I screwed up. Punish me."

"Then it's okay? If I punish you, then it's okay?"

"You were angry, and you had every right to be." Tony shrugged. "I behaved like an idiot this morning."

"Yeah, you did." Gibbs nodded thoughtfully. "But I'm not gonna spank you."

"Why?" Tony demanded belligerently.

"Because, like I said on Sunday, if we're not both getting off on this then we're doing it wrong. Last couple of nights you've enjoyed the training, haven't you?"

"Yeah. So?" Tony shrugged.

"Well, if I spanked your ass tonight you wouldn't, and I sure as hell wouldn't. I never intended to – it's had enough, and you should be the one pointing that out, not me."

Tony gazed at him helplessly. "I don't understand."

"I know," Gibbs sighed. "And I'm just starting to realise that that's a real problem, Tony."

"So you *are* throwing me out." Tony felt his jaw tighten.

Gibbs gave him a look that could kill people. "Did I say that?" he growled. "No, I'm not damn well throwing you out, boy. Okay. Let's deal with this. You're right, you screwed up today, and I will punish you for that. Strip."

He tossed his keys onto the table, took off his jacket, and then left the room. Tony heard him running up the stairs. He took off his clothes, folded them neatly on the couch, and then he waited. He was confused. Gibbs had said he wasn't going to spank him, but that he would punish him. What the hell did he have in mind? At least it seemed to involve some kind of interaction – and Tony had never had a problem with negative attention, if that was the only kind he was going to get.

Gibbs returned a few minutes later. He had changed into a pair of grey sweats and a grey tee shirt.

"With me. Now," he said, gesturing with his head.

Tony followed him down the stairs and into the basement. Gibbs put his hands on Tony's body and turned him around a couple of times, examining him as he went. His fingers came to rest on the thin red lines on Tony's buttocks.

"You look good wearing my marks, boy," he said throatily. Tony's cock hardened immediately in response to his tone. "Did you forget who you belonged to earlier?" Gibbs purred into Tony's ear. "When you let that guy put his hands on you. When you showed him this…" He ran his hand possessively over Tony's belly.

"No, Boss. I was just trying to make you mad."


"To stop you talking to Shale." Tony shrugged.

"You seriously thought that a couple of days after entering into a serious relationship with you, I'd be out sniffing around for someone else?"

Tony took a deep breath as Gibbs's hand slid over his body. "No. Maybe. I dunno. I just wanted…"

"My attention?" Gibbs suggested.

"Yeah." Tony sagged a little.

"You're mine, and I don't share. Don't ever let someone touch you like that again," Gibbs hissed into his ear. "Seriously, Tony." His voice held a sudden flare of pain. "I mean it. It drives me nuts. I've told you this before."

"I know." Tony felt a twinge of guilt.

"I wasn't particularly possessive with my wives," Gibbs said quietly. "But with my 24/7 sub? I'm in my top headspace around you all the time, and when I see someone else with their hands on you…it hurts, Tony."

Tony looked up, startled by the honesty in Gibbs's voice. "I'm sorry," he said, meaning it.

"I know." Gibbs continued to work his hands over Tony's body, and Tony felt his erection swell. "Close your eyes," Gibbs ordered. Tony complied immediately. "Who do you belong to?" Gibbs asked, as he fondled and stroked.

"You!" Tony gasped, his body responding eagerly.

"I’m glad we’re both agreed on that," Gibbs said wryly. "So, I figure today's screw-up deserves thirty on the chalkboard – don't you?"

"Yeah." Tony nodded. His stomach flipped all the same. Thirty was his highest tally to date, and Gibbs always made his discipline count.

He felt his dom's hands slide up his chest and play with his nipples. God that felt good! Gibbs's fingers tightened around his nipples and squeezed. Tony gave a hoarse shout.

"Thirty what though?" Tony panted. "If you're not gonna spank me?"

"Thirty minutes," Gibbs purred into his ear. He was standing behind Tony, and Tony could feel his cock pressing against his naked ass cheeks through the soft fabric of Gibbs’s sweatpants.

"Thirty minutes?" Tony frowned, confused.

"Yeah. Wearing these."

Tony wasn't sure how he did it, or where they came from, but next thing he knew the tight sensation around his nipples had intensified exponentially. He opened his eyes and looked down to see that Gibbs had placed clamps on his nipples.

Gibbs turned him around. "They're adjustable. I'll start them off relatively tight…" He turned the screw on the one on his left nipple, and Tony gave a yell and held onto his dom's shoulders for support as the claws of the clamp dug into the little nub of flesh. Gibbs moved on to the other one and did the same, screwing it so that it squeezed down hard on his right nipple. "And I'll turn the screw once to tighten them even more every ten minutes. Think you can handle that?" he asked.

His nipples felt like they were enclosed in a vice. Tony didn't see how he could possibly cope with Gibbs tightening the clamps again, but he nodded.

"Yes," he said, in a strangled tone.

"What's your safe word?" Gibbs gazed at him intently.

"Magnum," he replied, without even thinking about it.

"Use it if it gets too much," Gibbs ordered. "I'll still make you take it, but I'll space it out – give you five minutes in them and then a five minute breather until we're done. Okay – stand there, at ease…" Gibbs put him in the corner of the basement, but facing inwards towards the boat. "I'm gonna work on the boat – and you are going to be quiet. Use the time to think about the issue of trust, Tony, 'cause the way you behaved this morning, seemed like you sure as hell didn't trust me."

Tony opened his mouth to refute that, but Gibbs put his finger over his lips.

"Uh-uh. In silence." He leaned in and kissed Tony's mouth…and while he was doing that, his fingers came to rest on the nipple clamps, and he gave a sudden, firm twist. Tony yelled out into the kiss, but Gibbs didn't release either his nipples or his mouth. He just kept on kissing and twisting. Finally, Tony surrendered to both, the torture of his nipples offset by the firm press of Gibbs's lips against his own.

Then Gibbs released him, and Tony stood there, whimpering. God his nipples hurt! He wondered if he could possibly stand thirty minutes of this, but he knew that he had no choice. Gibbs would make him take every single second.

He stood there, shaking slightly, as he watched Gibbs crawl over the boat with his sander, smoothing away at the wood.

Gibbs had told him to think about why he'd ended up here, but he was more interested in trying to figure out the shape of Gibbs's butt through the thin fabric of his sweatpants. He wished he could strip those pants off him and run his hands over his dom's naked ass, but the way things were going right now he thought he'd have a long wait for that. Damn it – when was he ever going to see his dom naked? It didn’t seem fair that Gibbs had seen him naked so often, and Tony had never even got a glimpse of his ass - or that monster cock he’d rammed into Tony’s mouth a couple of times.

He was so lost in this train of thought that he was surprised to see Gibbs suddenly appear in front of him.

"Ten minutes, Tony," he said, and he reached out and turned the screw on the side of the left clamp. The pain in his chest had receded to a dull, throbbing ache, but now it flared up into a full blown blast of agony again. Gibbs did the same to the right nipple, and Tony hung his head, his body shaking from the effort of not putting his hands up there and pulling the damn things off.

"Think you can take it?" Gibbs asked. "Or do you want to say your word?"

Tony's resolve didn't falter. "I can take it," he said firmly, looking up.


Gibbs kissed him again, and this time Tony knew what to expect. Sure enough, Gibbs evilly twisted his fingertips on the clamps, drawing an agonised yell out of him again. He couldn't have resisted crying out, even if he'd tried. The sensation of being kissed while having the clamps twisted was so intense. He was almost sure that he couldn't bear it – and that was when Gibbs released him. His dom returned to his boat and resumed working as if nothing had happened.

Tony stood there, reeling, his nipples throbbing. Ten minutes – which meant he had another twenty to go. Christ, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to take it. But Gibbs was asking him to take it, and there was something intensely satisfying about giving it all up to a dom as powerful as Gibbs.

He thought about what Gibbs had said, about how much Tony's behaviour had hurt him. He’d meant it too – Tony had been startled by just how *much* he’d meant it. Gibbs was such an overpowering presence in his life, and yet always so emotionally distant, that Tony was surprised to find that something as stupid as the morning's flirtation had affected him.

He heard Gibbs coming towards him, and he looked up.

“Want to say your safe word?” Gibbs asked.

“No.” Tony shook his head. “I want to say that I get it now. I didn’t before. I'm sorry, Boss.”

“No more talk of me throwing you out then?” Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

“No.” Tony shook his head.

Gibbs nodded thoughtfully. “Good.” Then he gave a feral grin and reached for the clamps again. Tony actually howled when he turned the screw on each of the nipple clamps for the final time. They were digging in so hard that he hopped from foot to foot for a moment, trying to find a place in his head where he could bear it. Eventually, the worst of the pain receded – but Tony knew what was coming next.

“Ready?” Gibbs asked.

“No,” Tony replied, making a face.

Gibbs grinned and closed in. He kissed Tony hard and twisted the clamps at the same time. Tony convulsed in his arms. Gibbs’s body was hard and unyielding against his own, and he was completely ruthless as he made the punishment really count. Tony was dimly aware that he wouldn’t want it any other way, but that didn’t make it any easier to take.

Then, finally, Gibbs was done. He pulled back, grinned at Tony again, patted his cheek affectionately, and then returned to the boat. Tony stood there, swaying, moaning softly to himself. He had to hold his hands behind his back to stop himself from swiping the clamps away from his chest. His nipples felt like they were being held between a pair of sharp teeth, and the last ten minutes of his punishment felt more like ten hours. He moaned, and sweated, and whimpered under his breath the entire time, trying to pace himself. He hopped from foot to foot again, trying to find a way to deal with it.

Just when he was honestly wasn’t sure he could bear it any more, Gibbs threw down the sander and came back over.

“Okay – thirty minutes, we’re done. Brace yourself.”

“Just get them off me!” Tony begged.

“Hold onto my shoulders.”

“Why?” Tony blinked at him, barely able to think straight. He just wanted the damn things gone.

“Trust me – hold onto my shoulders, and brace yourself,” Gibbs warned.

Tony did as he was told, and a second later he felt Gibbs’s fingers on his chest. This time those fingers were gentle, and they removed the clamps swiftly. Tony’s respite was short lived though – he was just about to breathe a sigh of relief when a wave of the most intense pain flooded through the tortured nipples as the blood returned to the little nubs of flesh.

“Fuck!” he screamed, clinging onto Gibbs’s shoulders.

Yet again, Gibbs was there to hold him up and kiss away the scream. He devoured Tony’s mouth with his own while Tony hollered his agony. He was grateful for Gibbs’s strength, because he was pretty sure his legs wouldn’t have held him up. Gibbs kissed him the entire time, keeping him upright, bracing Tony against his hard, muscular body.

Finally the pain receded, leaving only a dull, nagging ache. Gibbs held him close, running a soothing hand up and down his back.

“It’s okay…ssh, ssh,” he murmured, until finally Tony stopped shaking. Then Gibbs drew back and grinned at him. “What the hell am I gonna do with you, DiNozzo?” he sighed, shaking his head ruefully. “You are just so damn addictive. And even when it’s bad…you’re turned on. Incredible.” He shook his head, his hand resting on Tony’s semi-erect cock where it was jutting out from his body. “C’mon – let’s get you to bed.”

“Your bed?” Tony asked hopefully.

Gibbs gave a little chuckle. “Nope - *your* bed, DiNozzo.”

“Worth a try,” Tony grinned, resting his head on Gibbs’s shoulder as Gibbs walked them both slowly up the stairs, one arm still wrapped firmly around his sub’s body.

“Good to have the real you back, Tony.” Gibbs kissed him again as they reached the top of the stairs. “Didn’t like the zombie version.”

“No more zombie-Tony – scout's honour,” Tony promised solemnly, the stress of the day and the endorphin rush from the nipple torture combining to make him feel both high as a kite and completely exhausted.

“Idiot. Bed.”

Gibbs helped him onto the mattress and drew the blanket over him. Tony closed his eyes, but he was aware of Gibbs standing there, unmoving, looking down on him. Then, finally, Gibbs sighed.

“I hope you trust me with it one, day, Tony, whatever the hell it is. Surely it can't be that bad?"

Tony rolled onto his side, opened his eyes, and stared blankly at the wall.


Tony really wasn't a morning person, but Gibbs was becoming used to his sub's shortness of temper and general moodiness first thing. Tony could easily earn himself full spankings in the first ten minutes of wakefulness alone if Gibbs wasn't careful in how he handled him. He had learned to back off, and having woken Tony on Wednesday morning he retreated downstairs. Tony put in an appearance fifteen minutes later, by which time, after a shower and shave, he was more amiable.

Gibbs examined his sub's body, as he did every morning before breakfast. He thought Tony was getting used to these little routines. Today, he ran his fingers lightly over Tony's still red nipples, noting the way Tony winced even at that feather light touch.

"Hurt?" he asked.

"Only when you touch them," Tony shrugged. "Otherwise they're fine."

That brought out some toppy instinct in Gibbs, and he couldn’t resist lowering his head and taking Tony's left nipple in his mouth, rolling it between his tongue and lips, making Tony gasp and whimper. He did the same to the right one, noticing that however much discomfort he was in, Tony was clearly also enjoying this judging by his semi-erect cock.

Gibbs grinned. "I got you something for that." He reached into his pocket and drew out a leather cock ring. Tony eyed it suspiciously. Gibbs threaded Tony's cock and balls into the ring and fastened it in place, testing the fit with his fingers, while Tony watched him the entire time through narrowed eyes.

"Wear it all day," Gibbs ordered. "It you get erect at any point – which knowing you is a given – then this will help keep you that way for longer."

Tony pouted. "Isn't it bad enough that I'm not allowed to come? Do you have to make it worse by fixing it so that when I get hard I stay that way?" he asked incredulously. "Isn't that just plain torture?"

"Nope. Although I can think of things that *are* plain torture if you'd like me to try them out on you?" Gibbs raised a challenging eyebrow.

"Kind of you, Boss, but no, thank you," Tony said swiftly.

"You should be happy I've given you a training aid," Gibbs told him smoothly. "’Cause I want you to learn to become hard on order – and hold it for as long as I say."

Tony looked aghast. "Seriously? People can actually do that?"

"With training – yeah." Gibbs patted his face. "And training is exactly what you're getting.”

“Who are these people? Sexual gymnasts? Are they in training for the sexual Olympics or something?” Tony mused plaintively.

Gibbs bit back a grin. “You feel any pain, you have my permission to remove the cock ring – otherwise, it stays on.” He pointed at the table. “Bend over."

Tony did as ordered, and Gibbs removed his butt plug. He put some lube on his finger and slid it inside Tony's hole. Tony was more open now, after days of being plugged. But, more to the point, he was becoming used to Gibbs touching his body and slipping his fingers or plugs into it whenever he wanted. In short, he was starting to get his head around the concept that his body now belonged to his dom and not to him any more.

Gibbs wriggled his finger around – Tony was still tight, but Gibbs didn't want to open him up any more. He wanted to save that moment for when he finally pushed his hard cock into this puckered hole. He wanted to be the one who stretched Tony out to his full capacity. Gibbs removed his finger. "No need to wear a plug today."

Tony looked at him over his shoulder. "Really? Why?" he asked, standing up.

"Because you're ready for me to fuck you now," Gibbs told him bluntly.

Tony's cock became fully erect and then stayed that way, trapped within its leather ring.

"Right now?" he asked hoarsely.

"No – I told you I wouldn't fuck you ‘til I collared you. You still have a couple of days to decide if that's what you want. If it is, then I'll fuck you on Friday. But it's your choice, Tony. It has to be what you want."

"Do I look like I don't want it?" Tony pointed to his hard, straining cock.

Gibbs grinned and ghosted his fingers over it, loving the way Tony rutted into his hand, desperate for his touch. "Nope. You look like you'd be happy if I threw you down and took you over the table. But I said I'd give you a week to be sure, and I will. You're new at this – you need to decide if you like it, if you want more of it, or if it's not for you. That's what this week's all about."

"I don't need any more damn time…" Tony began, but Gibbs interrupted him.

"Take the final couple of days to decide, and be really clear about it, Tony. I won't change. This is who I am, so if this is what you want then good, but if not, don't pretend. That would be unfair – on both of us. You need to be really sure – because once I've fucked you, I won't give you up easily after that. You'll be mine then, and I'll fight for you if I have to."

Tony's eyes flickered. "Am I what *you* want?" he asked. "I mean, I know you said you'd made your decision, and this was all about me making mine, but you've had a chance to put me through my paces now. Sure you haven't changed your mind?"

“I told you – I already made my decision. This is about you. You've woken up every day this week with a sore back, or butt, or chest. You've spent days and nights with something stuffed up your ass, and I've asked you to submit to all kinds of painful or intrusive things. If you say yes, there won't be less of that, there’ll be more, ‘cause then I'll *really* put you through your paces. I'm *demanding*, Tony."

"Ya think, Gibbs?" Tony's mouth quirked into a smile.

Gibbs didn't smile back . "Decide, Tony," he said seriously. "Decide if you can handle a 24/7 dom/sub relationship with me. Don't jerk me around. Take it seriously. Really think about it. And if you need more time – ask."

Tony looked surprised by his tone. "I will take it seriously. I do. I am.”

"Good." Gibbs picked up his keys and jacket. "Then I'll see you at work in half an hour. And Tony?" Tony turned towards him. "Wear something casual today."

Tony raised an eyebrow. "You're telling me what to wear?"

"Yes, Tony, I'm telling you what to wear. Wear those blue jeans that hug your ass but not too tight – and the navy blue shirt and brown suede jacket."

"I'm amazed you’ve even noticed the contents of my closet," Tony grinned. "Okay, Boss!" He gave a mock-salute. "Your wish is my command."

Gibbs rolled his eyes, but he couldn't resist pulling his naked sub in close for a kiss anyway. Then he released him, pushed him in the direction of the stairs, and slapped his ass to send him on his way. He grinned at Tony's exaggerated yelp but stayed to watch his bare ass as he ran up the stairs to get dressed.


By the time Tony got into the office, Gibbs was striding around like a bear with a sore head. Tony flattened himself against the wall in alarm as his dom stormed past him on his way up to the director’s office.

“Yikes – the boss got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning,” he said to Ziva - which wasn’t true, because he knew damn well that Gibbs had left for work with a smile on his face.

Ziva glanced up from her work. "Admiral Adams has been demanding to know what progress we have made on finding the man who killed his son. He is extremely upset – which is understandable - but he is pulling rank and demanding that Gibbs update him every hour on the hour.”

“That explains why the boss isn’t his usual sunny self then.” Tony put his bag down on his desk.

Ziva nodded. "Admiral Adams expects a full briefing on all new developments."

“Clearly the admiral doesn’t know Gibbs very well,” Tony grinned, because he could imagine Gibbs’s response to that kind of interference in *his* case.

Ziva sighed. “Unfortunately, because he is an admiral – and also a close personal friend - SecNav is insisting that Gibbs comply.”

Tony winced. “Ouch. Gibbs has gotta be loving that.”

“I believe you saw just how much he is ‘loving’ it.” Ziva glanced up in the direction of Vance’s office.

“Uh…does the admiral know that his son was hanging out in a gay gym?” Tony asked.

“I believe that Gibbs has informed him, but the admiral is insistent that his son was not gay.”

“Ah. Yeah. Denial.” Tony was all too familiar with that.

He sat down at his desk and clicked on his emails. There was one there from Mulder, with the subject header: “Sitting comfortably?” He opened it.

“Tony, I trust you’re *not* sitting comfortably. I don’t think I sat comfortably for a year after Walter enslaved me. Anyway – how’s it going? Want to come alien-hunting with me one day if Gibbs will let you out? And yes, Walter is making me write this. He thinks you need mentoring or some kind of shit like that. So say yes, or he’ll bug me until you do. Mulder.”

Tony chuckled and typed a quick reply. He and Fox didn’t exactly have much in common, but somehow he liked the guy, even if he was completely crazy.

He checked the rest of his emails - and his fingers froze on the keyboard as he saw a name flash up in the headers.

And the subject line: “Fridays”

He sat there for a moment, looking at it with a sense of dread, and then he glanced up in the direction of Vance’s office. “Is Gibbs still up there?” he asked Ziva.

“Yes he is. Why? Are you going to do something naughty?” she asked, with a hint of mischief in her eyes.

“No, Ziva, I’m not going to do something ‘naughty’ because I’m a trained federal agent and not, you know, ten,” he told her. Although he sure as hell *felt* naughty as he clicked on the email.

“You left without saying goodbye. Friday nights aren’t the same without you. Seahawk docks end of next month. Be seeing you…”

“Not if I see you first,” Tony growled under his breath. He clicked on the delete key and watched the email disappear.

“Problem?” Ziva asked.

“No, Ziva – hey look – what’s that?”

He pointed somewhere over her left shoulder, and she turned. He took the opportunity to run for the safety of the men’s room. Knowing Ziva’s proclivity for following him even in here, he went into a stall and locked the door behind him. Then he stood with his back against the door, breathing heavily.

D. Grasso.

Chief Petty Officer Dale Grasso.

He could smell the stench of whisky on his breath as he moved and could hear the harsh rasp of his own breathing. The liquor was slowing him down, and he tripped and stumbled, then sank down onto the floor, laughing to himself. Grasso loomed over him; his breath smelled of stale tobacco and the shit they served in the ship’s cafeteria.

"Christ, you're a fucking loser. A fucking motherfucking piece of shit, DiNozzo!"

Tony laughed some more, and waited for what would, inevitably, happen next…

Tony pushed the memory away and tried to think of Gibbs instead. He thought of the sensitivity in his nipples from Gibbs’s clamps and the binding of the leather ring on his cock. He tried to think of being owned, of belonging to someone. It helped. He got himself back under control, straightened up, and pasted his shiny Tony face back on again. Then he returned to the squad room.

The day didn't bring any breakthroughs on the case, and Tony watched Gibbs become more and more irritable as both SecNav and Admiral Adams rode him hard to find the man who had murdered the admiral’s son.

Tony wished he could help his dom in some way – not that Gibbs needed his help, but he was working his ass off to get some answers, and Tony could see that he was precariously close to the edge.

Gibbs’s mood only deteriorated as the day wore on, until Tony sent Ziva and McGee to take refuge in Abby's lab. Only Tony hung around in the squad room to bear the brunt of his dom's bad temper. He figured that he could handle the pressure better than they could. He had always seen team morale as his responsibility as Gibbs's second in command. Sometimes that called for him to goof around to lighten the tension - and sometimes, like now, it called for him to step in and take one for the team when Gibbs was stressed out.

"Go through the timeline," Gibbs ordered as the evening wore on. Everyone else was long gone, but Tony knew he couldn't leave while Gibbs was still here. He didn't want to in any case.

"Again, Boss?" Tony asked. They'd been through it a dozen times already. Gibbs turned to glare at him, so Tony quickly brought up the details on the plasma. "Okay." He stretched, and his back made a popping sound. "Charles Lamb and Mark Adams arrived within ten minutes of each other." He pointed to the security camera footage showing them arriving at the Ironman gym. "They worked out for a couple of hours until ten p.m."

"Working out that late was usual for them?" Gibbs demanded.

Tony glanced at his notes. "Yeah," he nodded. "Lamb finished first – by a couple of minutes. They both spent about twenty minutes getting showered and changed, and then Lamb left the gym at 22:23 pm." He showed grainy footage of Charles Lamb leaving the gym wearing a baseball cap pulled down over his eyes. "That's the last shot we have of him alive. Adams left five minutes later." He clicked the next image. "And that's it. Ducky puts time of death at about fifteen minutes after they both left the gym."

"Who died first?"

"Adams," Tony confirmed. They'd gone through this several times already, but if Gibbs wanted to go through it again then that's what they'd do. He stifled a yawn, and his back made another popping sound. Gibbs glanced at him.

"Go home," he ordered. Tony felt a wave of relief. He was damn tired, and so was Gibbs by the look of him. Tony didn't think that either of them would be up for much by way of training this evening.

"You coming too?" Tony asked.

Gibbs shook his head, still gazing at the plasma. "Not yet. I'm missing something. If Lamb left first, why was Adams killed first? Why were they even together at that point? Lamb should have been halfway home."

"I have no idea," Tony shrugged. "Maybe they went to the park to have sex?"

"They both lived alone – no room-mates – why the hell would they need to go to the park to have sex?" Gibbs demanded.

"I really have no idea." Tony stared at the plasma helplessly. “Maybe it’s a gay thing?”

Gibbs glared at him. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Tony winced, remembering all the very gay things they’d been doing together all week.

“Nothing,” he sighed. He cricked his neck from side to side, and it cracked, relieving some of the tension in his shoulders.

"I thought I told you to go home."

"I'll go home when you go home," Tony replied defiantly.

"No – you'll go home when I order you to go home," Gibbs retorted. "Which is right now."

Tony nodded. "Okay – but don't be long, or I'll come back here and drag your ass home, whether you like it or not."

Gibbs gave a grin – his first grin in about ten hours. "I'd like to see you try."

"You think I couldn't?" Tony raised an eyebrow.

Gibbs gazed at him thoughtfully for a moment and then nodded. "I think you could, Tony. And thanks. Now go home."

Tony picked up his bag and shouldered himself into his brown suede jacket. Gibbs beckoned him over, and then, without warning, brushed his hands over Tony's sensitive nipples. Tony gave a little howl, but his cock immediately sprang to attention – and, thanks to the cock ring, he knew it'd stay that way for awhile.

"Thank you, Boss," he muttered, glancing down at his tented pants. “Just what I need.” At least there was nobody around to see, but even so, just walking around with such an obvious erection was so damn embarrassing.

"You're welcome, Tony," Gibbs grinned, glancing down at his groin. Tony rolled his eyes and placed his bag strategically in front of him as he walked to the elevator. All the same, he felt more relaxed than he had all day. Whether he liked it or not, Gibbs knew exactly how to play him.

Tony drove home wearily. He wished he could crack this case, not just because it was his job and he took pride in it, but also because he wanted to be useful to his dom for more than sexual favours. He wanted to share the load with him, to be at his side and help out.

He pulled up at the house and went inside, his cock still ramrod hard.

"Damn cock ring," he muttered, but he felt a glow of pride all the same to be wearing it. It had felt like their little secret all day, knowing he was wearing it at his dom's command. If it had been a less stressful day, he was sure that Gibbs would have played with the situation more.

Tony took off his jacket and made himself a coffee, then sat at the kitchen table to drink it. He remembered the conversation he'd had with Gibbs this morning in this room. He’d barely had a chance to think about it all day. Now he wasn't sure he wanted to think about it. What Gibbs was demanding was actually a commitment to a relationship, and Tony had never found that an easy concept. On the other hand, he'd never felt about any of his many girlfriends the way he felt about Gibbs. He actually wanted to commit to Gibbs.

His only nagging doubt was how long it could possibly last before he screwed up so badly that Gibbs threw his worthless ass out. He had no doubt it would happen – but how much worse would it feel if he got really close to Gibbs first? He was already getting too close to the man –Gibbs kept finding ways past his defences. Tony thought of those nights he’d spent lying with his head on Gibbs's lap, zoning out to the feel of Gibbs stroking his hair with those dextrous and surprisingly artistic fingers of his. Damn it, he had to stop letting Gibbs *do* that.

He wondered whether Gibbs was freaked out by the cuddling too. Maybe he wasn’t. Gibbs was a tough bastard, but Tony had caught a glimpse of someone else beneath the gruff exterior recently. He had never thought of Gibbs as a real life, flesh and blood person before. He had always been – well Gibbs. He’d never thought of Gibbs as even human before - superhuman maybe, but not human. Now Tony’s perceptions were changing. Gibbs had a heart - a heart that could be broken - and Tony didn't want to be the one doing the breaking.

But he *wanted* this. He wanted this more than he'd ever wanted anything – and he didn't think he was strong enough to say no. He remembered what Mulder had said about him wanting to belong to Gibbs, and he knew that was true. But then Mulder had also sounded a note of warning about just how hard it would be for him to hide in such a relationship. Was he ready for anyone to look into his soul?

He heard the door slam and looked up in surprise. Half an hour had passed while he'd been pondering, and his coffee was now cold. Gibbs walked in, and Tony was struck by how exhausted he looked.

"Hey," he said. "Why don't you go sit down on the couch? I could do something for you."

Gibbs raised an eyebrow, but Tony just grinned.

"Trust me?" he asked. There it was. That word again. The 'T' word. More dangerous even than the 'L' word. Much more dangerous. Love was simple and uncomplicated in comparison to trust.

"I do," Gibbs replied, turning to go into the living room. Tony grabbed a clean, dry, towel from a pile of laundry on the table and then followed him. Gibbs sat down on the couch, and Tony knelt down in front of him. He pushed Gibbs's legs open and settled down between them. Gibbs raised a questioning eyebrow again.

"Let me do this?" Tony asked. "Stress relief? It's been a long day."

Gibbs nodded. Tony tied the towel over his own eyes and then leaned forward. His fumbling fingers found Gibbs's fly, and he opened it. Gibbs's cock sprang out, already pulsing and half hard. "Hey – looks like I'm not the only one who gets turned on around here, big boy," he commented. A second later he felt the half-hearted slap on the back of his head, and he grinned widely.

Then he leaned down and licked tentatively on the crown of Gibbs's cock. The flesh was warm and solid under his tongue, and he liked how it tasted. He felt Gibbs become fully erect in seconds. He wished he could see his dom's cock – it felt so big and powerful. He wondered what something this big would feel like pounding away in his ass, but that just made his own cock stiffen inside his pants, and, thanks to the cock ring, he knew it would stay that way for awhile.

He covered his teeth with his lips and then moved his mouth down over Gibbs's cock, enjoying the little gasp of pleasure that his dom gave. This wasn't like the previous times he'd had Gibbs's cock in his mouth. On those occasions he'd just knelt there, and Gibbs had fucked his mouth like there was no tomorrow.

This time, Tony was doing his best to please his dom, trying to be a good sub to him after a hard day at work. He wasn't experienced in giving oral sex to a guy, but he knew what he liked when receiving it, so he drew on that.

Tony’s jaw was stretched to the limit as he worked his mouth down over all that firm flesh. He wanted to go further and deeper, but his gag reflex got in the way. He really needed to figure out a way around that if he was going to get really good at this.

He did his best anyway, alternating his moves, licking and sucking enthusiastically with as much finesse as he could muster. He loved the way Gibbs gently stroked his hair as he worked, and his little grunts of pleasure. Being blindfolded helped Tony focus on his dom's response, and he found that he could tell what Gibbs particularly liked by the way his body reacted against his lips and face.

He placed his hands on Gibbs's open thighs and worked harder, throwing himself into it. Gibbs tasted like Gibbs should. He exuded some powerful pheromones that turned Tony on. He loved the warm, dark, earthy scent of the man, and the way his cock felt against his lips and on his tongue.

He could feel Gibbs getting close, and a few seconds later Gibbs grabbed his hair and pumped his come into Tony's mouth. Tony savoured the taste. It was pure, distilled Gibbs, and it didn’t get any better than that. He drank it all down and then licked Gibbs's cock clean. Then he sat back and untied the towel from around his face – to find Gibbs gazing down at him with a look of such unguarded affection that it took Tony by surprise.

"Come here," Gibbs said tiredly. He pulled Tony up onto the couch, and wrapped an arm around him, guiding his head onto his lap. Tony went, berating himself for not being strong enough to refuse. But after the day they'd had, it felt so good to just lie here and be fondled, and petted, and stroked and…loved.

Tony closed his eyes, feeling a rising tide of panic. He was getting in way too deep.


Gibbs knew something was wrong the minute he woke up the next morning. He spent a few minutes trying to figure out what it was, and then rolled over onto his side and gazed down on the mattress beside the bed – to find that it was empty.

“Tony?” He got up and glanced into the bathroom, but that was empty too.

Gibbs stood there for a moment, concentrating on the feel of the house, but he knew instinctively that Tony wasn’t in it. He knew how an empty house felt. His gut clenched fiercely, surprising him. Hadn’t he been here before - so many times? First, after Shannon and Kelly had been killed. Waking up in this house every morning and feeling the emptiness of it – this house that had once been so full of life, laughter and happiness.

Then again, after each of his wives left him. That had hurt less, because he couldn’t honestly say that he missed any of them. This was different. Tony might only have been here a few days, but Gibbs had become used to having him around. It had felt right, and if he was honest it had made him happy – and that wasn’t an emotion he’d felt in a while.

Then again, it had been his decision to make Tony wait, and he didn’t regret it. If this hurt, then it’d hurt even more if Tony walked out after he’d fucked him. Not that there were any guarantees, but Gibbs hadn’t realised how much he wanted this until he was up to his eyeballs in it.

He wondered what was going on in Tony’s head. Tony was like shifting sand, constantly moving and changing, never staying stable underfoot. It just wasn’t possible to be on solid ground when you were with him. Just when you thought you had him figured out, he shifted out of your grasp, and you were left with nothing but grains of sand in your hand.

Gibbs walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. There was a post-it note attached to the coffee jar.

“Had a hunch. See you at work. T.”

Gibbs felt a wave of relief. “Christ, I’m gonna kick your ass into next week when I get my hands on you,” he growled, scrunching up the note in his hand and tossing it angrily into the waste.

It was a wake-up call though. He couldn’t pretend that he wasn’t invested in this. He was. He hadn’t felt like this about anyone since Shannon, and he hadn’t thought he ever would again, either. Tony was just so damn addictive, with his laughing green eyes and highly responsive body. Gibbs loved the way that body felt when he was playing with it, loved the way Tony looked at him when he was loving on him and hurting him just a little at one and the same time. Tony’s eyes would darken with arousal, and he’d push his tongue between his lips, wetting them sinfully, his grin goading Gibbs on.

Gibbs went back upstairs and reached for his cell phone to call his wayward sub – only to be sent straight to voicemail.

“You’d better have a damn good reason for being unreachable, DiNozzo,” he growled into the phone. “Call me.”

He showered and dressed, one eye on the phone the entire time, and then drove into work. There was still no sign of Tony so he tried his cell again – only to go through to voicemail once more.

“DiNozzo!” he yelled into it. “Where the hell are you?”

“I’m right here, Boss,” a voice behind him replied, and Tony sauntered into the squad room with a big grin on his face. “And before you kill me, or, you know, do something even worse…” Tony grimaced. “I bring gifts!” He held aloft a tape.

“Better be the best damn gift ever,” Gibbs growled, grabbing the tape out of his hand and throwing it to a startled McGee.

“Well, it’s certainly got its moments,” Tony said, with a wink. “Get up on the wrong side of bed this morning, Boss?”

Gibbs turned to him, slowly and threateningly. “The only reason you’re still alive right now is because I want to see what’s on the tape,” he said darkly. “Now sit down, and shut up.”

“On it, Boss!” Tony sat down with a grin that said he didn’t think he’d be in trouble for very long.

McGee loaded up the tape onto the plasma, and Gibbs frowned as he gazed at the fuzzy images on the screen.

“What am I looking at?” he demanded.

“Interior of the gym locker room at 22:09 a couple of nights ago,” Tony replied promptly.

“I thought you said there were not any cameras in the locker rooms,” Ziva said, getting up to look at the screen more closely.

“There aren’t – for obvious reasons. People need their privacy. However…that’s official cameras. I found an unofficial camera hidden in the A/C unit.”

Tony nodded his head at the screen just as Charles Lamb emerged from the shower, naked and dripping wet.

“Now, that is a good looking man,” Ziva commented.

“That *was* a good looking man, Ziva,” Tony pointed out. “He’s lying downstairs in Ducky’s refrigerator right now.”

She made a face at him. “Oh – who is that?” she asked, as a second man entered the shot, behind Lamb, his back to the camera. "He is very…muscular. Hmm, he seems familiar…wait…is that…?"

Tony nodded and pointed at the screen, just as the second man turned so that they could see his face. "Yup. That's our other dead guy - Lieutenant Mark Adams - Admiral Adams’s son."

Adams pushed Lamb against the lockers and then sank down in front of him – and swallowed his cock with one smooth slide of his mouth.

"The son who is definitely not gay," Tony smirked.

“Oh. Uh…uh…that’s…explicit…” McGee stammered, his face going bright red.

“Live and learn, Probie!” Tony grinned.

“So Lamb and Adams were having an affair,” Ziva shrugged. “What does that tell us?”

“You’re not asking the right question, Ziva,” Gibbs snapped at her. She gave him a bewildered look. “It isn’t the fact that they were having oral sex in the locker room.” He glanced back at the screen, where Adams was enthusiastically sucking on Lamb’s cock.

“It’s who was spying on them having oral sex in the locker room,” Tony finished for him, pointing to the screen. “And why he was angry enough to then follow them and kill them.”

“Any ideas?” Gibbs asked.

“As a matter of fact…yes!” Tony smiled smugly.

Gibbs resisted an urge to slap the back of his head. Tony had done a good job on this, and he knew an equally good way to reward him for it later.

“Let me set the scene for you,” Tony said, clearly thoroughly enjoying himself. McGee sighed and rolled his eyes, but this was Tony’s moment, and Gibbs was going to let him have it.

“Charles Lamb is an investment banker. He’s wealthy, good-looking, intelligent, sophisticated, and he likes to keep himself in shape. He’s also gay. And kind of slutty,” Tony grinned.

“You would know,” Ziva muttered. Tony ignored her.

“And he likes muscular guys. Big, strong, beefcake kind of guys. They don’t need to have a lot going on up here…” Tony held his finger to his head and twisted. “He doesn’t really give a damn about that as long as they look good. Now, take a look at this.” Tony clicked on his keyboard and a picture of a man came up onscreen. Gibbs frowned at it - the guy seemed familiar, but he couldn’t place him. “This is Jason Tulley two years ago,” Tony explained.

“That guy you were…” Gibbs paused. The word was ‘flirting’, but he wasn’t going to say that in the squad room. “Talking to a couple of days ago?”

“Yup.” Tony had the grace to flush a fetching shade of bright red right up to the tip of his ears. ”Notice anything?”

“He’s in shape, but he isn’t anywhere near as built as he was when we saw him two days ago,” Gibbs commented looking at the picture.

“That’s right. See…Jason developed a thing for Charles Lamb. Lamb was way out of his league, but Jason fell hopelessly in love with him. So he bulked up to be the kind of guy Lamb would look twice at. And he did. So they started an affair.”

“When?” Gibbs demanded.

“Couple of months ago. For Jason, it was serious – but not for Lamb. When Mark Adams came along – younger, just as muscle-bound, and very good-looking, Lamb went after him. Jason became suspicious. He put the camera in the locker room, connected it up so that he could view the footage remotely, in real time – and caught them in the act. But, thing is, Jason bulked up by using steroids, and that made him prone to violent and aggressive outbursts.”

“He followed Lamb when he left the gym that night, tied him to a tree in the park, and gagged him!” McGee exclaimed.

Tony nodded. “That’s right, Detective McProbie! Then he waited for Adams, who would be taking the same route home a few minutes later, and he beat him to a pulp in front of Lamb, to punish Lamb for moving on from him and finding someone new. I don’t think he meant to kill Lieutenant Adams – I think he just meant to deliver a beating - but his rage spilled over, and he couldn’t help himself.”

“And once he’d killed Adams, he had no choice but to kill Lamb too – because he’d witnessed the whole thing,” Gibbs said. “Neat, DiNozzo.”

“Thank you, Boss!” Tony sat back in his chair with a wide grin.

“Got any proof?” Gibbs shot at him.

“Uh…” Tony rocked forwards again. “Uh…well, the tape…”

“It’s a good *story*, DiNozzo. But do we have any proof?” Gibbs snapped.

“No, Boss. I thought about bringing Tulley in for questioning, but then I thought that I should, you know, speak to you about it first.”

“Ya think, DiNozzo?” Gibbs glared at him, making his displeasure at being dumped first thing in the morning eminently clear. He went back to his desk and got his gun and badge. “Tony – with me. Let’s go and find out if this little theory of yours stands up to any scrutiny.”

He could hear Tony trotting along behind him. They got into the elevator together.

“So, are you still mad at me for running out on you this morning?” his sub asked, glancing sideways at him.

“What do you think, DiNozzo?”

“Just…something was niggling me, and once I had that hunch…and, well, you were sleeping like a baby and snoring like an elephant – you do know you snore right? - and so I thought…”

Gibbs reached out and slapped the back of his head firmly.

“Right.” Tony nodded. “You do know. Okay. Anyway, so I thought I’d just go and check it out.”

“Why were you even awake to have a hunch at that time of the morning, Tony?” Gibbs asked. Tony’s expression changed, becoming much more serious.

“I couldn’t sleep,” he admitted. “Too busy thinking. Lot to think about. Big decision to make.”

Gibbs remembered how it had felt to wake up in that empty house this morning, and he felt his gut clench. “Come to any conclusions?” he asked quietly.

Tony turned to look at him, and they gazed at each other for a moment. Then the elevator reached its destination, and the moment passed. Gibbs strode out into the parking garage. Whatever decisions Tony might have made, now wasn’t the right time to talk about them.

The gym was busy when they got there. Jason Tulley took one look at them moving purposefully across the room towards him and took off at a run, which seemed like a pretty guilty thing to do. Gibbs yelled at Tony to run after him, while he went out the back exit and around to the front – just in time to see Tulley bursting out of the front door. Gibbs caught his arm to slow him down, and Tulley turned and aimed a punch at him. Gibbs ducked it, moved in fast, caught the guy a glancing blow on his solar plexus, and then took him down with a hard upper cut to the jaw – just as Tony emerged from the building.

Tony took his handcuffs from his pocket, knelt down beside Tulley, and fastened his hands behind his back.

“Like I said, he’s never been beaten in a fight, Jason,” he told their captive cheerily. “And really, you were never gonna be the first one to take him down.”

“Fuck you!” was all Tulley managed to snarl in reply.

“Why did you do it, Jason?” Tony asked. “I’m thinking you were overdosing on steroids to try and keep in shape for Lamb, and when you saw him with Adams that sent you into a jealous rage. Terrible thing, jealousy. Isn’t it, Boss?” He glanced up at Gibbs, a quirky, self-deprecating smile on his face.

“Sometimes,” Gibbs conceded. “Sometimes it’s just raging insecurity. And lack of trust,” he added. Tony’s eyes flickered in acknowledgement.

Gibbs let Tony perform the interrogation. He’d solved the case, so he deserved the arrest. Tulley wasn’t exactly a hard nut to crack – he was too volatile for that, and too hyped up on steroids – and Tony soon needled him into a full confession. It was all pretty much as Tony had laid out for them in the squad room earlier.

Gibbs reported back to SecNav and got Admiral Adams off his back, and then there was the paperwork to do, so it was late by the time he finally got home.

Tony was already there, sitting in the dark on the couch, staring into space. Gibbs didn’t turn the light on. He sat down beside his sub.

“So…” Gibbs began.

“I need to leave,” Tony interrupted him.

Gibbs felt his gut clench again, for the third time in one day. “Yeah,” he said wearily. He'd been left by three wives, two subs, and various lovers. He knew how the script went. “I know.”

“You’re right.” Tony turned to look at him in the darkness of the room. “It’s a big decision. I was being flippant about it. You deserve more than that. You’ve been upfront with me all the way along. It’s important though. There are…” He hesitated. “Feelings involved,” he said eventually. “Real feelings. You kept telling me we weren’t playing at it, but see, thing is, I was having so much fun it didn’t feel that way to me.”

Gibbs scratched his hand over his jaw, feeling the stubble rasp against his fingertips.

“I’m going home,” Tony told him. “Tonight. I’m going home. I need the thinking time. Alone.”

“Okay.” Gibbs nodded tiredly. “Whatever you need, Tony.”

Tony put a hand on his jaw and then leaned in and kissed him. It was a sweet, tender kiss, light and gentle. Tony drew back.

“I screw up, Gibbs,” he said, his green eyes gleaming. “That’s what I do. All the time. You know that.”

“No.” It was Gibbs’s turn to reach out and grab Tony’s jaw now. He turned Tony’s face back so that he was looking at him. “You didn’t screw up today, Tony. And I wouldn’t have kept you on my team if I thought you were a screw up. You’re not. You just have your…insane moments.”

Tony grinned, his teeth unnaturally white in the darkness. “Insane moments? Yeah. Is that what this week has been? One long insane moment, all set in motion by me using a dead man’s ID to get into a place I didn’t belong?”

“If it was insanity, then I joined you in it,” Gibbs sighed. “Go, Tony. Make your decision.” He already had a pretty good idea what that would be, judging by the tone of their conversation this evening.

“It’s complicated,” Tony told him, as if by way of explanation and yet somehow explaining nothing.

Gibbs shook his head. “No. It really isn’t. It’s simple. It’s about trust, Tony. Go away, think about it – see if you can trust me.”

Tony nodded, and then he got up. “Sorry,” he muttered.

“Never apologise,” Gibbs replied automatically.

“I know.” Tony looked down on him. “Sorry anyway,” he said again, and then he left.

Gibbs went upstairs to get changed and then went straight back down to the basement. He emptied some nails out of a jar, poured himself a whole jarful of bourbon, and swallowed it down in a few gulps. He started walking towards the boat but didn’t make it that far. He turned back, grabbed the bottle of bourbon, and disappeared with it under the boat.

At some point, and he wasn’t sure when, he got his cell phone out, fumbled with it for several interminable minutes, and then waited for a familiar voice to answer.

“You fucking bastard,” he croaked. “I told you I didn’t want to do this again, but you didn’t fucking listen. Told you it was cruel. Christ, how many times...” He shook his head, losing his train of thought.

“Jethro? Is that you?” Walter sounded concerned.

Gibbs laughed out loud. “Who the fuck else would it be? How many fucking people d’you think I can stand to lose, Walter? How many? Huh?”

He took another swig of the bourbon and gazed up at the roof of the boat overhead. He had known this was a mistake. He had told Walter it was a mistake. And it *was* a mistake. He shouldn’t have taken the risk. Shouldn’t have opened up that part of himself that wanted this, shouldn’t have exposed himself to the inevitable disappointment.

He blinked again and hours seemed to pass. He was aware of someone clambering under the boat and then hauling him out on his ass.

“Bed,” Walter told him firmly.

“Fuck you,” he snarled in reply, but Walter was too big and too strong for him to fight when he was this drunk.

“Bed, Private Gibbs. Now!” Walter snapped, pulling Gibbs’s arm over his shoulders and dragging him up the stairs. Gibbs gazed at him blearily, opening his mouth to protest. “Don’t fucking argue with me, son,” Walter told him, in that no-nonsense tone that even several decades later made Gibbs feel like he was back at boot camp again.

He shut up and allowed Walter to half walk, half carry him up to his room and throw him down on the bed.

Gibbs rolled over and gazed blankly at the empty mattress on the floor beside the bed, as empty tonight as it had been this morning. They never did stay. Not the wives, not the lovers, not the subs. Not anyone. They always left eventually, and sometimes he cared more than others.

This time he cared.

Tony sat in the corner of the bar, nursing his glass of coke. He liked this place. It was a dirty, seedy dive, but it was the kind of place where nobody would try to pick you up, talk to you, or start a fight with you. Nobody made eye contact. Nobody asked you any questions. Nobody was even friendly. You just got left alone to sit and think - and sitting and thinking was precisely what he was doing right now. He'd gone to his apartment after leaving Gibbs's house initially, but there were too many distractions there – his jazz CDs, his massive DVD collection - and his right hand and newly free and available cock.

Okay, so he *could* jerk off, and Gibbs wouldn't know - hell, right now it was none of Gibbs's business – but he didn't want to. He felt like he'd entered into some kind of agreement with Gibbs, and until he had given the man his definitive answer he wasn't going to break his side of the bargain. He wasn't sure why that was important – he just knew that it was.

He stared into his coke blankly, trying to figure out what to do. He'd deliberately steered clear of alcohol – that wouldn't help. He might as well be back at his apartment watching a movie if he wanted to practise avoidance. He didn't. He just wanted to be sure that he'd given this his best shot. He had to be clear on what he wanted, and why, and why this wouldn't work. Gibbs deserved that. The guy had been completely honest about what *he* wanted from the minute he first stepped into Murray's Bar last Saturday night. Tony was the one who was struggling with it.

Someone slid into the booth opposite him, and he looked up, annoyed at the intrusion.

"Hey," Mulder said, in his usual monotone.

"How the hell did you know where to find me?" Tony demanded.

"I spent years searching for my sister. I tracked down countless monsters, aliens, super-soldiers, and conspiracies in the process. You, my friend, were child's play by comparison. I barely had to try," Mulder shrugged.

"Did Walter send you?" Tony asked. "Is Gibbs okay?" he added anxiously. “Did something happen to him?”

"Not as far as I know. And no, Walter didn't send me. I just thought it was time that you and I had a little talk."

"Well, I don't want to talk," Tony snapped, glaring at him. “I just want to sit here and have a quiet drink.”

Mulder glanced at his glass, and then, ignoring Tony’s protest, picked it up and took a sip. "Coke?” he grinned, putting the glass back down. “You really are living dangerously tonight, Tony."

"I'm trying to think. Trying to figure out what to do."

"Nah. You're not. Not really. You already know what you want to do – you're just too scared to do it, so you're trying to find reasons not to."

"What the hell would you know about it?"

"I know." Mulder sat back in his seat and surveyed Tony with that strangely disconcerting gaze of his.

"You ever find them?" Tony asked.

Mulder frowned. "Who?"

"The monsters? The aliens? You ever find any of those?"

Mulder laughed. "Hey, Tony – it's me, Mulder! That misdirection shit might work on other people - hell, it might even work on Gibbs for all I know - but it won't work on me."

Tony stared at him. He'd never met anyone like Mulder. Nobody ever called him on the tricks he played the way Mulder did. Gibbs sometimes recognised them and slapped his head to snap him out of it, but even he rarely called him on them in such a direct way.

"First week of my slavery was the hardest," Mulder told him, in a casual tone. "I kept trying to play Walter, and he wouldn't be played. I remember one time I packed my stuff and sat waiting for him to come home so I could tell him I was leaving."

"Really? Why?" Tony found himself sucked into the story despite himself. He took a sip of his coke.

"Why was I leaving?" Mulder frowned. "Y'know, I can't remember. I think it was something to do with Wanda leaving dirty paw prints on the clean laundry."

"What?" Tony spluttered out his mouthful of coke.

Mulder laughed and spread his hands in a gesture of amusement. "I know. I was an idiot back then."

"Why did you decide to stay?"

"Maybe I wasn't a *complete* idiot," Mulder grinned. Then he leaned forward and gazed at Tony earnestly across the table. "Want to know what my life's motto was back then, Tony?"

"Not really, but I have a feeling you're going to tell me anyway."

Mulder inclined his head. "I mentioned it to you once before - my motto was 'Trust No-one', and I really didn't. I didn't trust a damn person, not even my best friend, Dana. But, thing is, I had another motto too, and those two mottos were kind of mutually exclusive and just kept on colliding. I can tell that you're just dying to know what the other one was."

"Oh yeah. Killing myself here waiting for it," Tony muttered into his coke.

"It was 'I Want to Believe'. And I did. I wanted to believe in someone. Never had, my entire life. Never really believed that anyone would be there for me and catch me when I fell. I didn't trust Walter in those early days, but I so wanted to. I wanted to believe in him."

"You think this is what I'm going through with Gibbs?" Tony asked.

"Is it?" Mulder quirked up an eyebrow.

"No. It's like I said to you on Saturday in that playroom of yours - I'm just in this for the kinky sex. I thought that's what this was all about – but it's not. It's about other stuff – stuff that I'm not good at. It's about love, and commitment, and all that shit, and I don't honestly know that I can give him that."

"Don't lie to yourself, Tony." Mulder's gaze was intense, and it was freaking him out.

"I'm not…" he began.

"Bullshit. You are. When Walter picked you up in that bar on Friday night, you were wasted. You'd stolen a dead guy's ID to get in there, and you couldn't stop babbling to Walter about Gibbs and what you wanted to be to him. You're in love with him, Tony, and you've been in love with him for years. So don't tell me you're not any good at love. You're a fucking marathon runner where love is concerned – you can do it tirelessly, for years on end, without any hint of respite, and without ever once demanding anything in return."

"That's different," Tony said with a shrug. "That's easy."

"No, it damn well isn't," Mulder riposted. "Loving someone with that degree of constancy and devotion is hard. I'm shit at it. Walter had to pretty much teach me how to do it. When Walter enslaved me, I just viewed him as someone I could manipulate into giving me what I wanted – it took me a long time to learn how to really love him, the way he deserves. That's not how it is for you with Gibbs."

"How the hell do you know?"

"I know." Mulder leaned back, an infuriatingly smug look on his face. “I understand you, Tony.”

"Look, I'm not you," Tony pointed out bluntly. "Your issues aren't mine, Mulder."

"True." Mulder nodded. "Let me lay yours out for you then, Tony. You've been in love with this guy for years, and now you finally have a chance with him it's scaring you shitless. Not because you're not good at love, or commitment, or any of that crap – but because the closer you get to him the harder it'll be for you to hide from him. You are terrified that at some point you'll screw up, and he'll see who you really are, and then he'll reject you. And you don't think you can handle him rejecting you. In fact, you already know you can't by the way you reacted when he stopped slapping your head. You'd rather keep yourself safe than risk that happening."

Tony drank down the remains of the coke, slowly, hiding behind the glass. When he finished, he had composed himself enough to paint on his best and most deflective smile.

"Thanks, Mulder. Appreciate the pep-talk."

Mulder laughed out loud again. "The happy, shiny Tony face doesn't work with me, either, Tony."

Tony's grin faded, and he stopped pretending altogether. He leaned forward. "Don't try and fuck with my head, Mulder. I don't like it, and I might not be so polite if you don't shut the fuck up."

"Ah. Okay." Mulder leaned back in his seat and put his hands behind his head. "At least that's honest."

"Good. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's late, and tonight's a school night." Tony got up to leave.

"What did you do, Tony?" Mulder asked.

"What?" Tony stiffened.

"What did you do that's so bad you think you can't ever be forgiven? Is it really that bad, or do you just think it is?"

Tony felt as if someone had taken an axe to his legs and chopped them out from under him. He sat back down again with a thud.

"I’m not talking to you about it," he hissed.

"And I'm not the one who needs to know. Why don't you tell Gibbs – let him judge how bad it is?"

"I can't."

"But you don't think you can hide it, either. Not in a close relationship – not in the kind of relationship you're headed for if you don't pull back before it's too late."

Tony gazed blankly at the empty glass on the table in front of him.

"You've been in love with the guy for eight years - can't you trust him enough to know he won't reject you? I mean, whatever you might have once done, he knows you. He knows the person you are now, Tony."

"He knows as much as I want him to know." Tony gave a shaky kind of laugh.

"Ah. I get it. I don't think it’s about him not forgiving you." Mulder leaned forward again. "I think it's about you not being able to forgive yourself."

Tony shook his head, continuing to gaze resolutely at the glass on the table. "You don't know. I can't. I just can't."

"Look, I know all about guilt. When my sister was taken…"

"You didn't do that! You didn't take her!" Tony said, in a heated tone. Then he glanced around with a grimace as some of the other people in the bar turned to look at him. "You didn't do anything," Tony said, in a quieter voice. "You just felt guilty because you couldn't stop it happening – but you didn't actually DO it. You didn't cause it to happen, Mulder."

Mulder sat back, nodding thoughtfully. "Okay. I understand. In the playroom, you said there was something you wanted to be punished for, and I said it didn't work that way. Did you find that out this week, Tony? Did you find the things Gibbs did to you were good, in a way you hadn't expected? Even when they hurt, you got turned on, didn’t you? Maybe it didn't feel enough like punishment – maybe it felt too good for that, huh?"

Tony looked up sharply, wishing this man sitting in front of him wasn't so damn perceptive.

"Yes, it felt good," he agreed. "Hell, I loved every single second of it – even when it was painful, or just damn difficult. He knew just how to play me, Mulder. It felt so *right*. Didn't feel like punishment at all."

"Did you ask him for that? Did you ask him for punishment?"

"Yeah. He refused," Tony shrugged. "Said it was his choice, not mine, and he's right. If I'm his sub, then he's right." He gazed at Mulder for a few seconds and then couldn't help himself. He had to ask. "Did Walter give you a safe word when you and he first got together, Mulder?"

Mulder looked slightly surprised by the question. "No." He shook his head.

Tony felt a surge of anger. "Gibbs did. Why did he do that, Mulder? Why does he think I need some kind of get out of jail free card? Does he think I can't take it? Does he think I can't handle being his sub?"

"Hey – you have to remember that Walter and I were both experienced players when we first hooked up," Mulder explained. "Hell, Walter was the most famous dom in the entire city. He knew what he was doing, and he'd done his research on me. But he had good reason not to give me a safe word. He knew that if he did, I'd have used it to try and manipulate him, to gain power over him, to use him the way I'd used all the other tops I'd played with – to mould him into what I wanted him to be and then move on when I'd used him up. That's what I did back then. I was kind of a shit."

Tony had a feeling that if Walter was here he'd dispute that, but then he also had a feeling that Mulder was pretty hard on himself.

"You're a newbie, Tony – and Gibbs hasn't played in a long time. He's just trying to make sure he gets it right. That doesn't mean he's giving you a get out of jail free card, or whatever weird way you're looking at it. He just doesn't want to hurt you."

"Well, I don't want it." Tony stared at his empty glass moodily.

"Because you want it to feel real? Edgy? Because you want to know that you have no control over any of it?" Mulder queried. "Or because you want him to go too far and really hurt you – so that you can get that punishment you want so much?"

"I don't know. I just know I don't want it."

"Walter did give me a safe word once," Mulder mused. Tony looked up again. "I'd forgotten – but once, when we were playing around with a rape fantasy – he gave me one then. We were role-playing, so it was different to usual, and he wasn't sure he'd be able to judge my reactions as accurately because of that. He was just being a responsible top – the way Gibbs is. Gibbs is a good man. You should trust him."

Ah, there it was, the 't' word again. Tony ran his hands through his hair. "I don't know what to do, Mulder," he admitted. "He's been very clear about what he wants - he wants a 24/7 sub – and he's shown me a taste of what it'll be like, so I can decide if that's what I want to be to him. I have until the end of tomorrow to decide - but I don't know what the hell to do."

"Sure you do." Mulder grinned at him. Tony raised an eyebrow. "You're overcomplicating things here, Tony. He's only asked you to be sure about what you want – he hasn't asked you to be perfect, or not to have made mistakes in the past. He hasn't even asked you not to make any mistakes going forward because you will – because we all do, because we're human. All he's asking you, right now, is this: Do you want to be his 24/7 sub? Do you, Tony? Do you want to be his? Do you want to belong to him?"

Yes. Oh God yes.

Tony gazed at Mulder helplessly. Could it really be that simple?

"Don't think about tomorrow, or next week, or about him finding out whatever it is you're hiding, Tony. Don't think about what you think you deserve, or what you think Gibbs deserves. Do what you want to do – in here." Mulder reached across the table and patted Tony's chest, above his heart. "Think 'I Want to Believe' instead of 'Trust No-One'." He gave a self-deprecating little grin. "It sure as hell worked for me!"

He stood up and looked down on Tony.

"I've gotta get home. I can't tell you what your decision should be, Tony. I'll just say this - if you don't do this, you'll always wonder what might have been – and I think you'll kick yourself for the rest of your life."

"Great. You've been no help at all," Tony told him sourly. Mulder shot him a broad grin.

"You mean I didn't say the things you wanted to hear? That if this is too big and scary then you shouldn't do it? That if you have any doubts it's best to stick to what's safe?" He gave a wry little laugh. "Hell, that's not me, Tony. When I want something, I go for it. That's what I did with Walter, and I've never regretted it for even a second. You never know how long it'll be around, or when it'll get taken away from you – so you gotta grab it while it's there and enjoy it while you can. And if, one day, it all goes wrong – well, at least you'll know you gave it your best shot."

He patted Tony on the shoulder, and then he turned and left the bar. Tony gazed after him. He made it sound so damn easy, but it wasn’t.

With a sigh, he went back over to the bar and ordered another coke.


Gibbs woke the next morning with a pounding headache and a tongue that felt like it was covered in a thick layer of fur. He glanced at the clock on the nightstand: 6 a.m. No matter what time he went to bed, his internal body clock always woke him around 6. He sat up, remembered the events of last night – hazily – and groaned.

There was no sign of Walter, but then he assumed his old gunny had let himself out after putting him to bed. He went to relieve his aching bladder, glanced at himself in the mirror, and winced. He looked like shit. There were dark shadows under his eyes that reminded him of those terrible months after Shannon and Kelly had been killed. This didn't compare to that, but he was surprised that anything could make him feel even halfway as bad again.

Gibbs was a Marine through and through, and he knew there was nothing to be done but suck it up and get on with life, the way he'd done so often before. He took a shower, shaved, scrubbed his mouth with a toothbrush for several minutes until it felt clean again, and then got dressed and went to work.

He grabbed two coffees on the way in, drank one of them before he hit his desk and then started in on the other immediately. By the time he was through his second cup he felt halfway human again. Not that his subordinates would have known that, as he stomped around the squad room handing out assignments and glaring at anyone who came within spitting distance of his desk.

When Tony arrived, twenty minutes late, Gibbs shot him a baleful glare.

"Keeping officers' hours now, DiNozzo?" he growled.

"Sorry, Boss…I didn't realise the time," Tony replied with an apologetic shrug.

“Late night last night?” Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

Tony winced. “Kind of. Yeah.”

Gibbs continued glaring at him. Tony looked tired, but he didn't look as if he'd spent the night getting drunk under a boat. Gibbs wasn't sure what he'd expected; Tony had always been glib and extremely adept at hiding whatever he might be thinking or feeling. Gibbs was the opposite – he might not talk about what he was feeling, but if he was in a bad mood he damn well let it show.

"Maybe a time management class will help you. There's one starting in five minutes in the conference room – if ya think you can get there on time."

"Uh…I'm not down to take that class, Boss!" Tony protested.

“You are now.”

"I mean…I thought…it's just that usually you fix it so that none of us have to take them."

"Well, I didn't think any of you needed ‘em before, but clearly I was wrong," Gibbs snapped.

"Yeah, but you usually say that they're a complete waste of time. And then you kind of chuckle to yourself because it's a joke – you know, time management, waste of time? Yeah, we never think it’s that funny, either. Uh, but you always say that the guy running them is a complete idiot, and you'd like to time how long it takes him to find his ass and pull his own head out from it."

Gibbs raised an eyebrow and treated Tony to his full death glare.

"Time Management class - on it, Boss," Tony sighed, disappearing in the direction of the conference room.

Gibbs turned back to his work, but he couldn't help the little grin that tugged at the corners of his mouth. Tony might never be his sub, but he would always be the smart ass who made him smile. Partly, it was his complete disregard of the trouble he was in – and his willingness to just keep on digging a hole until he was up to his neck in it.

He got a call a couple of hours later – the medical tests they'd had done a few days before had come back clean. Gibbs put the phone down with an ironic little smile. So, the good news was that he could fuck Tony without having to use a condom. The bad news was that he wasn't going to get the chance to fuck Tony at all, so it didn't damn well matter.

Tony returned in the early afternoon, looking like he'd spent several hours being horribly tortured. "Please don't ever do that to me again, Boss," he said as he took his seat.

"Get here on time, and I won't have to," Gibbs retorted.

"It was a living hell."

"No – it wasn't, but I promise you that I can make your life just that if you don't get on with some work. You've already wasted half the day."

"*I* wasted it? You sent me in there!" Tony protested.

"And now you're behind – so catch up," Gibbs told him firmly, getting up to go to Vance's office for a meeting.

He could feel Tony glaring after him, but Gibbs had no intention of allowing his emotions to interfere with his job. He wasn't punishing Tony for their conversation the previous evening. He would have had the same exchange of words with Tony if this had happened any other day – but he had to admit that he was glad that he hadn't had to sit opposite Tony all morning. Feeling as he did right now, that really would have been a kind of torture.

Gibbs left the meeting an hour later and paused at the top of the stairs, looking down on Tony working at his desk below. He wondered if Tony would seek him out to confirm the decision they both knew he’d already made, or whether they'd just avoid the issue, like the crap-at-communicating men they both were. He suspected the latter. Neither of them would ever mention it again. Perhaps that was for the best. They’d tried it, and it hadn’t worked. There wasn’t really anything else to say.

Gibbs returned to his desk and spent the rest of the afternoon working in silence. His team, sensing his mood, all did the same. Every so often, Gibbs glanced over at Tony, but Tony looked exactly the same as usual. There was no sign that today meant anything to him, and Gibbs didn’t catch him shooting any glances in his direction.

Gibbs went into another meeting early in the evening, and it was late by the time he returned – to find that all his team had left for the day. He stood beside Tony’s desk, gazing at it broodingly for a moment. So that was it. Tony had made his decision. Fair enough. He could handle that. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t seen it coming.

Gibbs finished up his paperwork and only when there was nothing else that could conceivably occupy his time, did he finally give up for the night and go home.

The house was in darkness when he got in, and he headed for the stairs to get changed into sweats and go work on the boat for a few hours. He was determined to at least not get drunk this evening. Maybe he’d call Walter and arrange to meet him for a few beers tomorrow night, but not tonight. Tonight he wanted to lick his wounds alone and in silence, the way he always did. He was still a lone wolf at heart. That never changed.

He was halfway up the stairs when he saw the light flickering under the door in the living room. He frowned and walked slowly back down again, wondering what the hell it was. It was too dim to be the overhead light. The flickering made him wonder if the place was on fire, but he couldn’t smell burning.

He put his hand on the living room door, opened it cautiously, and then stood there, with his mouth half open. It took a hell of a lot to shock Leroy Jethro Gibbs into speechlessness, but the tableau in front of him did just that.

The room was lit with dozens of candles, but that wasn’t what caught his eye. His gaze was drawn immediately to the naked man kneeling in the middle of the room, his oiled skin glistening in the candlelight. In front of him, on one of the cushions from the couch, was the collar Gibbs had recently bought.

Tony looked up, straight at him. “The answer’s yes,” he said.


Tony held his breath as Gibbs walked towards him. He'd jerked the guy around enough over the past few days, and he wasn't entirely sure that Gibbs would forgive him for that.

Gibbs stopped in front of him, looking down on him, his expression unreadable.

"One question," he said. Tony tensed, waiting for it. "What the hell are all the candles for?"

Tony grinned, relaxing immediately. "It's a big, dramatic, romantic gesture, Gibbs – entirely in keeping with the importance of the moment."

Now it was Gibbs's turn to grin. "And the being naked and oiled thing?" He raised an eyebrow.

"Just making sure I got your attention. You should get used to that if I'm gonna be your sub."

"Aw hell, Tony, you definitely have my attention right now." Gibbs's sharp-eyed gaze raked over his body, turning Tony on. That gaze lingered on Tony's now semi-erect cock. "You shaved?"

"Yeah. Good? Or not?"

Gibbs's tongue darted out and licked his lower lip as he surveyed Tony's smooth, hairless genitals. Tony's cock hardened even more. Gibbs looked like he was anticipating a good meal.

"It'll do," Gibbs grunted, which Tony guessed was as much of a sign of approval as he was going to get.

Tony shifted back so that his ass was almost resting on the soles of his feet. He picked up the cushion, with the collar resting on top, and held it up for Gibbs.

"Collar me," he said softly. "Please."

Gibbs removed the collar from the cushion, and Tony let the cushion drop to the floor and knelt forward eagerly. Gibbs caressed the collar thoughtfully as he gazed down on Tony.

"You sure about this?" he asked.

Tony's heart skipped a beat. "Yes. I know I've screwed up – a lot - these past few days, but that's because I was having trouble figuring this out. I want this, Gibbs. I want this so much. You have to believe that."

Gibbs continued to gaze at him, the collar hanging from his fingers.

"Look, I can't promise you that I'll get it right, or even that I'll be any good at it," Tony continued desperately. "I can't tell you I won't screw up going forward. I can only tell you that I want this – you – more than anything I've ever wanted."

He tried to pour every single ounce of sincerity into his words, needing Gibbs to see just how much he meant it.

Gibbs reached out, wrapped his hand loosely around Tony's neck, and stroked his thumb over the oiled skin.

"The minute I put this collar on you, everything changes. You'll become mine then, Tony – completely mine. I won't hold back, the way I've been doing all week. You ready for that? You think you can handle that?"

"Yes." Tony nodded. "Hell, I've been handling you and your hard-wired dominance issues for years. This'll just be the payoff."

Gibbs quirked up an eyebrow. Tony grinned. "I've been your unrewarded sub all this time, Gibbs, with no hot sex to offset the constant demands. Now I get to experience the good stuff."

Gibbs smiled, still stroking his thumb rhythmically over Tony's neck. "If you have any doubts, then you should say so now."

"No doubts," Tony said firmly.

Gibbs gazed at him, his blue eyes boring holes into Tony's soul. Then, finally, he seemed convinced of Tony's sincerity, and he removed his hand from Tony's throat and began opening up the collar. Tony reached out and grabbed his wrist, stopping him. Gibbs looked down at him, a question in his eyes.

"No doubts – none at all - about being your 24/7 sub. Plenty of other doubts – or fears, or whatever - about a lot of other shit," Tony said quietly.

Gibbs nodded slowly. "Understood. We'll figure it out, Tony. Together. Now - you ready?"

Tony swallowed hard. "Ready."

Gibbs opened up the collar and reached out towards him, and then Tony felt the soft lining of the collar against his neck. Gibbs flipped the leather tongue through the buckle and spent a moment figuring out the right place to fasten it so that it wasn't too tight or too loose. Finally, he pulled the leather collar shut around Tony's neck and buckled it.

Tony knelt there, wondering why this felt like such a huge deal. The collar was warm and snug, loose enough to be comfortable but tight enough to make its presence constantly felt – he knew he'd never forget it was there. It felt right - as if it belonged there.

Gibbs took a half-step back and gazed down on him again. Tony was surprised by the depth of emotion he saw in his dom's eyes.

"Christ, Tony…that looks so damn good on you," he said in a hoarse tone of voice.

He swept forwards, took Tony's head between his hands, raised his face upwards – and then leaned down and kissed him on the mouth.

If their first kiss in this room, several days ago, had been a statement of intent, then this was Gibbs sealing the deal. His lips were hungry and urgent as he devoured Tony's mouth with his own. He was forceful and passionate, but also tightly controlled, every inch the dom kissing his collared sub for the first time.

Tony tried to stay upright, tried to respond and stay in the kiss, but Gibbs didn’t seem satisfied with that. He wasn't requesting Tony's surrender – he was demanding it. Tony struggled, trying to maintain some semblance of independence and control, but Gibbs fought him for it. Gibbs plundered his mouth ruthlessly with his tongue, making him his own. Then, finally, Tony realised what was going on, what Gibbs was asking of him, and he gave in with a tiny, breathless moan. Gibbs pressed home his advantage, continuing to kiss him until Tony's body relaxed, and Tony stopped thinking and became what he knew he wanted to be: Gibbs's willing sub.

Gibbs kissed him for a little longer, and only when he seemed sure that Tony had submitted to him did he release him. Tony gazed up at him, shocked by how decisively Gibbs had dominated him with just one kiss.

Gibbs gave a tight little grin, and then he leaned forward and spoke directly into Tony's ear, in barely more than a growl.

"Upstairs, boy. First I'm gonna show you what true submission is, and then I'm gonna fuck you so hard you'll see stars."

He helped a still dazed Tony to his feet, and then he glanced around the candlelit room with a devious little grin on his face.

"These were a great idea, Tony," he said, grabbing one of the candles from a shelf. "I know the perfect thing to do with it."

Tony wasn't sure that he liked the sound of that. He watched as Gibbs blew out all the other candles except the one he was holding. Then Gibbs returned to his side, fastened a firm hand around his wrist, and pulled him out of the room and up the stairs. Tony’s heart was racing, and he was acutely aware of the collar around his neck and the hungry press of Gibbs's body beside him. Gibbs had always been a dangerous man, but right now Tony felt like he was in the presence of a deadly predator – and he was the prey.

Gibbs pulled him into the bedroom, pushed him against the wall, and kissed him again. His clothes were rough against Tony's naked skin, and Tony felt his cock start to harden once more as Gibbs held his arms by his sides and kissed him without mercy. Tony didn't struggle this time. He just surrendered and allowed Gibbs to claim him with another dizzying kiss.

Gibbs drew away, leaving Tony hanging there, moaning softly to himself. Gibbs put the candle down on the nightstand, grabbed a bag from his closet, and then turned back to Tony.

"Hands," he said. Tony blinked, confused. "Hands," Gibbs repeated in an irritated tone, holding up a leather cuff.

Tony breathed in sharply and quickly held out both his hands. Gibbs fastened a black leather cuff to each of his wrists and then knelt down and repeated the exercise with his ankles. Tony wondered just what the hell was going to happen to him next. Gibbs seemed to read his thoughts.

"Ssh." He took hold of Tony's face between his hands again and forced Tony to look at him.

"Ummm…" Tony hung there anxiously.

"Ssh," Gibbs said again. "You’re wearing my collar now." He said it in a fierce tone of pride. "What's your safe word?" he demanded.


"Use it if you need to."

Tony nodded, still feeling dazed.

"Bed." Gibbs nodded his head in the direction of the bed. "On your back," he added.

Tony stumbled the few steps over there and collapsed onto it – which was a relief as he wasn't sure his legs would hold him up for much longer.

Gibbs pulled a few more items from his bag and put them on the nightstand. He returned to the bed and got on it, straddling Tony's body.

"Close your eyes," he ordered.

"Gibbs!" Tony protested. "You said I could see. I want to see…" He moved his hands in the direction of Gibbs's belt, pulling on it, wanting to finally get a chance to see the big, pulsing cock he'd already had in his mouth several times.

"Later," Gibbs ordered brusquely. He grabbed Tony's wrists firmly in his hands and pushed them over Tony's head. "Is this obedience? Is it submission?" he demanded roughly.


"You're wearing my collar," Gibbs growled. "You're not a probie any more. You know what I want – I've spent all week teaching you. Tell me what you've learned."

"Uh…" Tony wished he could think clearly, but all he could think about was being naked and totally powerless in Gibbs's grasp. Gibbs had always been highly dominant, but now Tony was aware just how much he'd been reining it in.

"Uh…" Gibbs forced his wrists down into the pillows and leaned over him, forcing him to focus. "Right…uh…rule number one – always obey you. Rule number two – don’t lie to you. Rule number three - don’t keep you waiting. Rule number four - no attitude. Rule number five…" His voice broke. Gibbs was looking down at him like he was about to tear him open with just his teeth and swallow him whole.

"Rule number five…nobody can touch me except you," Tony said hoarsely. "Rule number six – no wheedling."

"And the cardinal rule?"

"The cardinal rule - I belong…I belong to you." He blinked, the realisation suddenly seeping into his consciousness and settling in his stomach, warm and comforting. "I belong to you," he repeated. "I belong – to you." He couldn't keep the note of wonder out of his voice.

"Remember them," Gibbs growled. "Now close your eyes."

Tony did so, immediately and without question this time. Gibbs could do whatever he liked to him. He belonged to Gibbs. Finally, he *belonged*.

He felt Gibbs fastening the blindfold over his eyes, taking him down into blackness. Then he felt Gibbs's hands on his wrists. He couldn't see what Gibbs was doing exactly, but he heard a clinking sound, felt a tugging sensation on the D ring of one of the cuffs, and then his left arm was immobilised above his head. He guessed it had been fastened to the iron bedpost with some kind of chain. The same thing happened to his right arm.

Next, Gibbs pulled Tony's legs so that they were wide apart, and then they too were tied fast. Now he was staked out, totally immobile. Tony tried tugging on his bonds, but Gibbs had been his usual efficient self and there was no chance of escape. Tony wasn't sure if he was scared or reassured by that.

"Submit," a voice whispered in his ear, and he jumped.

"Trying," he muttered feebly.

"You'll submit," Gibbs told him confidently. "I'm gonna take you right down, Tony, break you in, make you give everything up to me. And *then* I'm gonna fuck you. Remember - you can come when my cock is in your ass, but only then. So if you don't get off during that time, too late. Come before then, and I'll punish you - hard. Your body belongs to me now, and it'll do what I want when I want - and it only gets off when I give it permission. Understood?"

"Yes, Boss," Tony whimpered. His cock was now rock hard.

"What's your safe word?"


"Good. Another time I'll gag you, but not tonight. Tonight I want you to focus on the fact your body belongs to me now, so I'm gonna remove another distraction.

Tony felt something being pulled over his head – and then everything went silent. He was aware of some kind of padded material against his ears, cutting out all sound.

His world was transformed. He couldn't see or hear anything, and his arms and legs were securely fastened so that he couldn't move, either.

He was naked, bound, blindfolded, and helpless - and entirely at Gibbs's mercy.


Gibbs took a step back and surveyed his sub. Christ, Tony looked so damn good like this. His oiled body was glistening in the candlelight, long limbs tied to all four corners of the bed. Gibbs took a moment to just enjoy the sight, drinking in the dappled golden brown tones of Tony's skin, and the thick covering of hair on his upper chest, narrowing down to a point leading to his groin…which was completely smooth. Tony's hard cock was standing up, stiff and ready, and his balls were pink and ripe beneath.

Gibbs took a couple of deep breaths. He longed to go down and take Tony's cock in his mouth, but that would have to wait. He wanted to take his time over this.

He undressed slowly, giving his sub plenty of time to get used to his newly helpless state. He wanted Tony to go into himself and really experience his own submission. He finished undressing and stood there, naked, his own cock as hard as Tony's. Then he went over to the nightstand and quietly arranged all the equipment he wanted to use. Finally, he turned back to Tony and surveyed him again.

God, it had been so long since he'd had a sub to play with like this – and he'd never had one tied up naked to his own bed. He'd never allowed it to happen before. Now he had his own collared submissive, willing and trussed up, waiting for him.

His gaze raked over the black leather collar around Tony's throat, and the sight turned him on so much he decided that before anything else he had to fuck Tony's mouth, just to relieve the tension. He was sure that he'd be able to come again later on this evening, while riding Tony's tight ass. He might not be a horny teenager any more, but he had no doubt at all that the presence of his newly collared sub in his bed would be enough to keep his libido ignited all night long. Besides, he needed to concentrate, and he didn't think he'd be able to while he was this hard and turned on.

He knelt on the bed, straddled his sub, and took Tony's face firmly in his hands. Tony jumped, like a startled animal, and Gibbs stroked his hair for a few seconds, gentling him. He wasn't surprised that Tony was jittery. This was all new to him, and he wasn't used to the sensory deprivation or the sense of helplessness that it created. He would take Tony slowly down, until his sub accepted that Gibbs was in charge now, and his own body was no longer within his control.

Gibbs raised Tony's head by placing several pillows under his neck and shoulders, and then he leaned over him, opened Tony's mouth with his thumb, and slid his hard cock between his sub's lips. Tony made a muffled little sound and tried to suck down, but Gibbs didn't want that tonight. He made it clear that he didn't expect Tony to serve him in any other way than by keeping his mouth open and taking what he was given.

Gibbs rocked his thighs back and forth, thrusting forcefully into Tony's mouth. It felt so warm and good around his cock, and the situation was so arousing that Gibbs was soon ready to come. He sank his hand into Tony's hair and thrust faster and harder, his balls pounding against Tony's chin, his cock hitting the back of Tony's throat, making him splutter occasionally.

Gibbs withdrew just before he came, and instead of spurting his come down Tony's throat, he deliberately ejaculated onto his sub's chin and chest instead. The thick, pearly liquid splashed onto Tony's naked body, making Gibbs grin. He'd already marked Tony's neck with his bites and his ass with his cane – now he had marked his body with his come. He'd leave it on his sub all evening – he was sure the lesson wouldn't be lost on Tony.

Tony was the territory he was marking.


Tony lay there, shocked, unable to move as his dom’s warm come cooled on his body. He had no doubt that the move was deliberate on Gibbs's part. It shouldn't be such a turn on, but it was, damn it!

Tony’s breathing was coming in fast, shallow pants, nervy and over-excited. He wasn’t sure where Gibbs was, and he started to panic, thinking that his top might have left the room. He pulled on the cuffs desperately, a handful of work cases coming to mind: a mechanic, tied to the bed by his girlfriend while she went to work on a prototype robotic jeep – and was murdered, never to return. The girl tied to the bed in a hotel room, found by the maid, her boyfriend killed in an accident. It had been her false accusation of rape that had caused Tony to end up at Bethesda with the pneumonic plague. He gave an involuntary cough as he remembered that and pulled frantically on the cuffs, his fears of abandonment spiralling out of control.

"Boss…you there? Boss!"

He felt a steady hand on his hair, stroking firmly. Then the wadding around his right ear was lifted.

“I will never leave you alone when you’re in bondage – understand?” Gibbs said, directly into his ear. Tony shivered, suddenly back in that hospital bed at Bethesda, his breath rasping in his aching lungs. Gibbs was saying something to him. Something important. Tony felt a sharp tap to his head, snapping him out of it. “Do you understand, Tony?” Gibbs repeated imperatively.

“Yes, Boss,” he replied, feeling a sense of peace settle into the pit of his belly, the way it had at Bethesda four years ago. Gibbs was here. He was fine. He was always fine when Gibbs was here. Gibbs wouldn’t leave him – not when he was in bondage.

“What’s your safe word?” Gibbs asked, his warm breath tickling Tony’s ear.


“And if you can’t speak?” Gibbs prompted.

“I knock my hand three times, Boss."

“Show me.”

Tony moved his wrist – the chains were tight but there was a little leeway. He could feel the wall behind him, and he knocked on it three times.

“Remember it.”

Tony nodded, trying to slow his anxious, aroused breathing.

“Ssh.” He felt a hand come to rest, flat, on his chest, over his heart. “Deep breaths. Slower, Tony…that’s it – listen to your own heartbeat…ssh…ssh…ssh…”

Gibbs was speaking in time to the rhythm of Tony’s thudding heart. Tony’s breathing slowed, and he started to feel calmer. He was Gibbs’s sub, tied to Gibbs’s bed – this was his wet dream, and he wanted to enjoy every single second of it. Gibbs’s hand remained there for a little while, until his anxiety waned.

“Good. Ready for more?” Gibbs asked.

“Yes, Boss,” Tony replied. “Please,” he added, trying to keep the pathetic begging tone out of his voice.

“Okay. You get distressed again then use your safe word – that’s what it’s for,” Gibbs told him firmly.

“Got it, Boss.”

A second later, the wadding was replaced over his ear and silence reigned once more.

Tony concentrated on his own heartbeat, the way Gibbs had just taught him. It was the only thing he could hear, and it filled his whole being.

Thud-thud-thud…what would happen next? Thud-thud-thud…where was Gibbs right now? In the room somewhere - he’d promised that – but where? Tony strained every nerve in his body trying to get a fix on his top, but he had no idea where he was. Gibbs could sneak up on him completely soundlessly even when he wasn’t blindfolded, handcuffed and deaf, so there was absolutely no chance that Tony would get a fix on him in this condition.

Tony took a deep breath and concentrated on his heartbeat again. Thud-thud-thud. He was lying here, naked, helpless and totally at Gibbs’s mercy - what was Gibbs going to do to him next?

Something warm fixed itself around his left nipple, and he cried out and almost jumped off the bed. Strong hands stroked his body, calming him, gentling him, and then he felt Gibbs’s lips sucking on his nipple again. It felt so good. Gibbs sucked and licked for awhile and then pulled his warm mouth away. Tony whimpered at the loss. A second later that mouth was sucking his other nipple, sending little tidal waves of arousal straight to Tony’s cock.

“Can’t come…can’t come…” he chanted out loud. He knew Gibbs was able to hear him, but he didn’t care.

Gibbs’s mouth trailed wetly down his body in the direction of his groin.

“Can’t come…can’t come…” Tony repeated, his voice rising in pitch as Gibbs made his way inexorably down towards his genitals. “Can’t…can’t…CAN’T!”

His dom's lips slid over his hard cock, making him scream.

“No…please…please…” Tony whimpered, pulling on his bonds helplessly. He wanted to push Gibbs away, wanted that tormenting mouth to leave his cock alone because he wasn’t sure he could hold on. It felt so good.

“Please, Gibbs…please,” he said hoarsely. “Please, please, please…”

Gibbs’s mouth expertly caressed his aroused flesh, and Tony realised, with a little spike of surprise, that he’d done this before.


If anything was designed to distract him from his own orgasm, it was thoughts of his predecessor. Tony relaxed into the mattress. At least Stan was good for something.

He tried to just lie there and take it, but it was so hard. Gibbs was so good at this. Gibbs’s lips continued their evil work, sending Tony’s arousal soaring again, and Tony clenched his hands into fists.

“Bastard,” he hissed, as Gibbs swallowed him whole into his warm mouth. “Bastard, bastard, bastard…”

Gibbs drew back and lapped at the tip of Tony’s cock with his tongue. Tony wished he wasn’t blindfolded – the thought of actually *seeing* Gibbs giving him head was such an incredible turn on.

Then, thankfully, Gibbs’s mouth was gone. Tony lay there, shaking in the aftermath of his struggle not to come.

“Bastard!” he yelled again at the room. He had a suspicion that he could hear Gibbs laughing even through the wadding over his ears, but that might just have been his imagination.

A second later, something very hot landed on his belly.

“SHIT!” he screamed, shocked by the sudden spike of sensation.

He felt the candle wax drying on his skin and wriggled desperately, wondering where the next drop would fall. Where was Gibbs? If he could figure that out, then maybe he could turn his body to at least protect his most vulnerable areas…

Another droplet fell on his lower abdomen, and he gave a hoarse yell, twisting on the bed. Before he’d had a chance to recover, another fell on his thigh, and then another – this time on his chest.

“No…no, please no more…” he begged. “Please, please…”

He would have given anything for the torment to stop – and anything for it to continue. He was poised along the fault-line of his own opposing needs, each of them as strong as the other. He hated this – and he loved it.

He whimpered pathetically, feeling the sweat break out on his body as he fought his own internal battle. Gibbs seemed to sense his dilemma because he stepped up the pace, showing Tony no mercy. Then again, Tony was dimly aware that the last person you’d ever expect mercy from was Gibbs.

Now those droplets of wax rained down on him – they splattered onto his arms, his legs, and his torso, coming faster and faster, and then…one touched his hard cock, and then another, and another, and he was screaming in earnest now, bucking up off the bed as much as his bonds would allow.

He was panting and pleading, the sweat pouring off him in rivulets… Christ, how could anything hurt so bad and feel so damn good at the same time?

Time slowed, and Tony felt himself going deeper and deeper into his sub space. There was just him and Gibbs. He was Gibbs’s sub – his body was Gibbs’s plaything, and if this was how Gibbs wanted to play with him, then Tony had no choice but to accept.

The fiery torture suddenly stopped. A cool washcloth soothed his skin, wiping off the worst of the wax. He felt one of those firm hands smooth his hair back from his sweaty forehead, and the washcloth was wiped there too. He leaned into the caress, turning his face so that he could touch Gibbs’s hand with his lips and bestow a kiss on it.

Tony felt an overwhelming mix of emotions: gratitude, pleasure, fear, awe…they were all jumbled up together. He had never experienced anything so intense in his life.

He was being played by a master.


Gibbs looked down on his sub with a sense of astonishment. Stan had been a very satisfying sub to play with, and Jenny had been turbulent and exciting – but Tony - he was in a different league entirely. His body was so responsive, and his struggle to surrender so enticing. Playing with him for the past half hour had been exhilarating – but it was that little kiss on his hand that took it beyond playing and touched something deep inside Gibbs.

He left his hand there, and Tony kissed it again. It was such a beautifully submissive gesture.
Unable to help himself, he leaned in and touched his lips to Tony’s, kissing him gently. Tony opened his mouth eagerly, and Gibbs slid his tongue inside. Then he moved his hand, and, without warning, just when Tony was deeply into the kiss, Gibbs squeezed down – hard – on his right nipple. Tony yelled into the kiss, the way he’d done when Gibbs had made him wear his clamps. It felt so good to make him take it – to kiss him hard and pinch his nipple hard at the same time, swallowing his screams.

Gibbs made it count, kissing and pinching for a long time, releasing his hold momentarily only to squeeze down hard again a second later. Tony’s body trembled beneath him in a way that satisfied some deeply dominant instinct in Gibbs.

He drew back and looked down on his sub. Tony’s body was covered in a mixture of oil, sweat, wax, water and semen. His flanks were heaving, and his breath was coming in hard gasps. Gibbs had worked him hard, getting him used to the feel of his new shackles and the fact that he was now owned. He was breaking him in, slowly but surely, but they weren’t there yet.

He ran a finger down Tony’s hairy chest, enjoying the way Tony’s breathing hitched in anticipation as he inched down towards his groin. Tony’s cock had remained hard throughout – even when having hot wax dripped on it. Gibbs was impressed – and pleased that his techniques were working so well.

He liked the mixture of pleasure and pain; soft and hard; good cop and bad cop both wrapped up together in one package. The combination certainly seemed to work on Tony – always had, now that he thought about it.

He squeezed some lube into the palm of his hand and lay down on the bed beside his sub. Tony’s breathing hitched again as he felt the mattress give, and Gibbs soothed him with a kiss to the side of his face.

Then he palmed Tony's hard cock. Tony gave another of those little strangled shouts. Gibbs let him enjoy the pleasure of it for a few seconds, and then he dipped his head and took Tony’s nearest nipple between his teeth and pulled back hard. Tony yelled and thrashed around on the bed while Gibbs worked his cock relentlessly in his hand, tormenting Tony’s nipple at the same time. He bit down harder, making it really count, while giving Tony the best hand job of his life. His sub was now quivering all over with the combination of pleasure and pain, his reactions open and honest. This, at least, was the real Tony – the part of himself that he couldn’t hide, even if he wanted to.

Gibbs continued biting down, listening to Tony whimper, and then he released the tortured nub of flesh and licked it gently instead, warming, soothing and arousing. Tony moaned, his body loosening as the torture ended – and at that point Gibbs moved his hand off his sub’s cock, took hold of his balls, and pulled down hard.

Tony screamed again, his body almost leaving the bed before his bonds yanked him back down. Gibbs kept up the two sensations – the gentle, erotic sucking on Tony’s engorged nipples, combined with the harsh squeezing and tugging on his balls. He continued until he was sure that Tony understood that he couldn’t have one sensation without the other. The pleasure and the pain went together – and Gibbs was the one who got to hand them both out. All Tony had to do was accept.

They were so nearly there now – Tony was so close to true surrender that Gibbs could taste it. Tony was standing on the edge, and Gibbs just needed to tip him over into total submission.

He wouldn’t do that by more sexual torture – Tony had endured enough of that for one evening. No, he’d stand by the paddock fence and lure him over with a carrot instead.

Gibbs unclipped the chains attached to Tony's cuffs, freeing his hands and legs. Then he removed the ear muffs, but not the blindfold.

“Onto your stomach,” he ordered. Tony moved immediately, rolling over onto his belly. “Lift your hips.”

Gibbs pushed a couple of pillows under Tony’s groin. Then he parted Tony’s legs – wide – exposing his asshole. Gibbs sat down on the bed, lubricated his finger, and then put a hand on Tony’s buttocks. Tony was quivering again in anticipation.

Not yet, Gibbs thought to himself. Nearly – but not yet. He slid his finger into Tony’s hole. It was tighter than it had been, but he suspected that was nerves. He stroked his free hand over Tony’s ripe, taut, buttocks. The skin was a pale golden colour, and he could just about make out the faded lines from Tony’s encounter with the cane. Gibbs stroked him gently, stretching his hole with his fingers.

Just when he felt that Tony was starting to bliss out from the sensation, he moved forward, and, without warning, he sank his teeth into Tony’s ass cheek.

Tony clenched the sheets in his hands, whimpering beneath the bite. Gibbs continued to work his fingers into Tony’s hole while he bit down hard on his butt. Then, finally, he drew back and surveyed his handiwork.

“Very nice.” He stroked his fingers over the red indentation. “My marks look good on you, Tony. Now – are you ready for me?”

Tony nodded blearily; Gibbs could see that he was deeply in his sub space.

“Who do you belong to?” Gibbs demanded, one hand continuing to caress the bite mark, the other still buried deep inside Tony’s ass.

“You, Boss,” Tony replied immediately.

“Good. I want you to lie there and think about this hole…” Gibbs wiggled his fingers inside it. “And the fact that it’s mine. When I think you’re ready, I’m gonna fuck you hard. Think you can take me?”

“Yes, Boss. Please,” Tony said, in a voice barely more than a whimper.

“Just lie there and think about the fact that you’re my sub, and your body belongs to me,” Gibbs said, in a low growl. “Think about this hole…” he moved his fingers again. “And about how I’m gonna use it the way it should be used, because it belongs to me now. Understood?”

“Yes, Boss. Yours. Got it.”

“Good.” Gibbs removed his fingers and got up. He was so close. So incredibly close. He felt the blood in his body thrumming with satisfaction. He was deeply in his dominant headspace, and here, lying naked and wanton on his bed, was his sub. His 24/7 sub. The man he’d wanted for eight years and was now, finally, on the verge of making his own, once and for all. His cock got hard again just from thinking about it.

Tony looked magnificent in the dappled candlelight. His legs were stretched out, his ass raised high, his body trembling as he awaited his fate. Gibbs enjoyed the sight, his cock swelling in anticipation as his gaze fell on Tony’s ripe, round, marked buttocks, and the dark, inviting hole between them.

As he looked, Tony lifted his ass up in invitation. This was the moment Gibbs had been waiting for. This was the time of Tony’s total surrender. He was standing in the field, head down, flanks heaving, saddle on his back, waiting to be ridden. And Gibbs sure as hell intended to ride him – and ride him hard.


Tony's breathing quickened – he could *feel* Gibbs's gaze on him, and he quivered in anticipation. Gibbs had slowly taken him further and further into his own submissive headspace, and now his body was humming. He was naked and blindfolded, his legs spread open and his asshole exposed, and all he could think about was taking Gibbs's big cock into his body and being fucked. It was all he wanted. His entire existence seemed to have narrowed down to this one point in time.

He heard Gibbs move towards him and held his breath, waiting to feel his dom's hands on his buttocks, expecting Gibbs to wrench them apart and sink himself straight in – but he didn't. Gibbs stopped beside the bed.

"Turn over," he ordered.

Tony didn't whimper or protest – he was too deep in his sub space for that. He just did as he was told and turned onto his back. His cock was still rock hard and had been for most of the evening.

He felt Gibbs pull the pillows out, and then he rearranged them under Tony's shoulders. He felt the mattress give and then felt Gibbs straddling him again.

Strong hands touched the side of his face. "Removing the blindfold," Gibbs told him, in a low, gruff voice. "So you can see what's gonna fuck you."

Tony sat up eagerly. He'd wanted to see Gibbs's monster cock ever since he'd first taken it in his mouth. It felt large, and he'd imagined that it was dark, pulsing and meaty, but he longed to see it for himself.

The blindfold was unbuckled, then removed, and Tony opened his eyes to see Gibbs throwing it onto the floor.

"Eyes up here," Gibbs ordered, gesturing to his face.

Tony met his dom's gaze - and then did a double take: Gibbs didn't look anything like he did at work every day. There was something terrifyingly in the moment about him. He was never the kind of guy who would take any shit from anyone, but right now he was at his most dangerous. His every movement was tautly controlled, full of pent-up sexual energy. His blue eyes were steely and more focussed than Tony had ever seen them – and all that control, sexual energy and focus were directed straight at Tony.

Gibbs was completely naked – Tony didn’t dare allow his gaze to drop too low, but what he could see of his dom’s chest was pretty damn good. Gibbs had a strong pair of shoulders, and his chest was covered in fine silver grey curls of hair. His upper arms were toned rather than solidly muscled, but Tony knew that was deceptive; Gibbs felt like he was built of pure steel, and he was the strongest guy Tony knew.

Gibbs pushed Tony back into the pillows and then loomed over him. He put his hands on the wall behind Tony, capturing him within the prison of his arms. Tony gazed up at him, spellbound. Gibbs angled his head down and kissed Tony on the lips. Tony felt like some kind of helpless animal being nuzzled by a vicious wolf prior to being eaten.

Tony surrendered to being kissed until he was boneless and breathless. He was deeply aware of Gibbs's naked body pressed against his own and of Gibbs's erection digging into his belly.

Gibbs drew back. "Give me your hand."

Tony had no idea what was going to happen next, but he obeyed immediately, without question, still keeping his gaze locked on his dom's face.

Gibbs reached for something on the night stand. He took hold of Tony's wrist, turned his palm face up, and squeezed something wet and slippery onto his hand. Then he placed Tony's lube-covered hand on his hard cock.

"Get me ready for you," he ordered.

Tony didn't need any further prompting. He moved his hand up and down that thick, hard shaft, relishing the feel of smooth skin stretched tight over what felt like pure iron.

Gibbs grinned down on him as he worked, their gazes still locked. Tony didn't dare look away, even for a second. He moved his hand rhythmically, using the knowledge of what he liked doing to himself to make it as good as possible for Gibbs. It seemed to be working – a little vein started thrumming in Gibbs's forehead, and his breathing was coming faster and harder.
Tony grinned back at him, enjoying the connection, and Gibbs laughed and leaned in for another kiss.

When he drew back, he pulled out of Tony's hand.

"Good boy. You've done well tonight, Tony. You ready to be fucked now?"

"Yes, Boss." Tony barely breathed the words.

Gibbs rose up on his knees in front of him, and Tony got his first sight of his dom's cock. It wasn't how he'd expected – he'd expected it to be a blunt instrument maybe, meaty but not especially pretty – but he was surprised. Like Gibbs's artistic, creative hands, his cock seemed at odds with the character of the man. It was long and thick – Tony had been right about that – but it was also surprisingly beautiful. It jutted out, vigorous and strong, from the wiry hair at Gibbs’s groin. It was cut, very smooth, and it had an almost elegant curve to it. None of that took away from its promise of raw power.

"Take a good look," Gibbs told him. "Keeping it happy is pretty much in your job description from now on, DiNozzo."

"Yes, Boss." Tony couldn't do anything other than grin at that. “Sounds like my kind of job description!”

Gibbs didn’t give him even a glimmer of a smile in return; the look on his face was intent and predatory. “I want you on your back when I fuck you, 'cause I want to see the expression in your eyes when it goes in. I want to see the surrender, Tony, so don't hold back."

"No, Boss." Tony didn't think he could if he tried.

"Other times, I'll put you against the wall, or over the back of the couch, or the kitchen table, or on your hands and knees, and take you from behind – but first time, I want to see you."

Gibbs slid down the bed, and Tony forced himself to lie back and relax against the piled pillows.

"Remember – you can come any time you like while I'm in you – but don't leave it too long because once I'm done, it's too late," Gibbs warned him.

Tony nodded. Thank God! It had been a very long week, and Tony hadn't gone this long without either jerking off or having sex since he was a teenager.

Gibbs positioned himself between Tony's open legs and placed his hands under Tony's buttocks. Then he pulled them apart, stretching Tony impossibly wide. Finally, he nudged his hard cock against Tony's hole. Tony tensed in anticipation.

"Stop that," Gibbs ordered, tapping his hip.

"Yes, Boss," Tony said immediately.

Gibbs took Tony's hard cock in his hand and played with it gently, and eventually Tony calmed down and relaxed again. That was when Gibbs moved – pushing forwards without warning, thrusting his cock into the tight ring of muscle in Tony's ass. Tony gave a startled shout, taken by surprise, but by then it was too late and the tip of his dom's cock was already lodged inside him. It felt completely different to the butt plug – it was thicker for a start - but also it felt much nicer. It was warm, pulsing skin, instead of cool, impersonal rubber.

Tony took a few deep breaths. It felt like he was being split in two, but he didn't dislike the sensation. It was hard to take, but it was also strangely satisfying. He realised Gibbs was looking down at him, one eyebrow quirked, watching his reaction intently. Tony relaxed back into the pillows.

"More please, Boss," he said softly. "I'm yours – fuck me."

Gibbs didn't need any more encouragement. He reached out, took one of Tony's hands in his own, and pushed it back up the bed. As he did so he surged forward, pushing his stiff, thick cock deep into Tony's body, burying himself in him up to the hilt. Tony’s eyes watered, and he tried to twist, to push Gibbs off him. It all felt too much – he couldn’t take it.

"Please…oh God…please…"

That massive cock was filling him completely, stretching him more than he thought he could stand, and Gibbs was now lying on top of him, one hand still twined in Tony's, pushing it into the pillows. Gibbs's blue eyes were close now – pinning him down with their intensity.

"Take it…ssh, relax…just take it," Gibbs murmured, squeezing Tony’s hand reassuringly. Tony tried, but it was so hard. He could feel the sweat trickling into his eyes and blinked it away.

"So big…fuck…" Tony shifted his hips, and felt Gibbs's weight settling on him more comfortably. He breathed in, surprised to find the sensation becoming more bearable with each passing second.

“You’ll get used to it,” Gibbs told him, lying on him, unmoving, while Tony tried to adjust to the weight and feel of him.

Gibbs lay there for a long time, until gradually Tony became accustomed to the sensation of having that massive cock lodged deep inside his ass. Tony was sure that he could actually feel it pulsing inside him – he'd had no idea it would be this intense.

As he lay there, Gibbs leaned in and kissed him again, and Tony opened up eagerly. He wasn't sure he could handle Gibbs and his monster cock, but he wanted to. The kiss helped – it was reassuring and calming.

Then Gibbs drew back, and Tony began whimpering in anticipation.

“No…please…don’t move…” he begged, but Gibbs ignored him. He inched his hips back and then slowly, smoothly, slid them forward again.

It was an unbelievable sensation. Tony’s hole was burning from the intrusion, but he was aware of a little tingling of pleasure too. Gibbs moved again, riding him with long, effortless, carefully timed thrusts that made Tony envy the man's control.

"Christ…you feel so damn good," Gibbs hissed, looking down on him. "I'm gonna dream about doing this when we're sitting at work next week – I'm gonna fantasise about riding this hot, tight, sweet ass."

Tony glowed with pleasure. It still hurt, having something this big in him, but that little tingle of pleasure was spiking more frequently now, sparking into life with every deep, inward thrust.

Gibbs was still going slowly, moving his hips with precision, holding Tony pinned down beneath him as he rode him.

"More, Tony," Gibbs told him. "I want to go faster and harder, and you need to open up more to make that easy."

"I can't give you any more than this!" Tony replied hoarsely. “You've got me stretched as wide as I go!”

Gibbs glared at him. "No – you’re still holding back. Surrender to me, Tony," he demanded, with another smooth thrust of his hips. "Cause I'm only playing at the moment – in a minute it's gonna get serious. I want to ride you into this mattress so submit. Let it happen."

Tony gazed up at him blankly. He had no idea what more Gibbs wanted from him. He tried to relax, willing all the muscles in his body to loosen. He was transfixed by the sight of Gibbs moving above him, by the veins standing out on either side of his neck, the sweat on his forehead, and, most of all, by the intensity in those blue eyes as they demanded his surrender.

He was hit by the sudden realisation that they were here, doing this. After eight years of playing around at being dominant and submissive at work, now they were really living it. He'd been tied, teased, and tormented all evening, and now his dom was asking that he take the final step, and give in completely.

Tony allowed himself to relax back in the pillows. He was Gibbs's sub. His dom wanted to ride him hard and fast, and Tony had to surrender. Whenever Gibbs demanded his best at work, Tony always gave it to him. This was no different.

He felt his body suddenly release, and he knew then that he *had* been holding back, trying to keep some control in all this, and that just wasn't possible with a dom like Gibbs. Gibbs sensed the change immediately, and his face split into a grin.

"That's it, Tony – more, more, give it up to me – give it all up…"

Tony felt something click into place his head. He was the submissive – all he had to do was *submit* - and allow Gibbs his rightful place in his life – and in his body. Then, suddenly, it was so easy. Gibbs moved up a gear, pushing into him harder and faster, and Tony's body somehow stretched to accommodate the force of his dom's thrusts.

Gibbs's eyes glowed. "Submit…that's it…that's good…you’re mine now, Tony. Mine," he insisted fiercely as he rode Tony hard. He didn't hold back, either – he still exhibited that same degree of control, but now it was as targeted as a missile. He was Tony's dom, and he was claiming his submissive for the first time.

Tony was no longer capable of coherent thought – he was just sensation, mesmerised by the fierce look of ownership in Gibbs's blue eyes. He belonged to Gibbs – body and soul. He was owned by this man riding him so hard – and it felt amazing. Stars exploded in his head, and he looked up at Gibbs in astonishment.

"Good?" Gibbs looked amused.

"Fantastic," Tony breathed. Gibbs angled in hard again and another wave of fireworks went off inside Tony's body, sending sparks of pleasure flying up his nerve endings. "Oh my God!" he yelled.

"Anything you want to do before I'm done?" Gibbs asked. Tony stared at him - what did he mean? “Hell, you’re out of it. I'll make it simple for you.”

Gibbs wrapped his hand around Tony’s hard cock which pulsed immediately into life. Gibbs fisted Tony's cock in time to his own deep inward thrusts, making Tony gasp as the friction took him over the edge. Next thing he knew he was coming - and coming and coming and coming - in one burst after another.

Gibbs didn't stop – he took Tony's orgasm in his stride and continued riding him long after Tony had finished recovering from his first wave of pleasure. Tony lay there, watching his dom fucking him. He felt hazy and disconnected. He could see droplets of sweat running down Gibb's neck and gazed at them as if from a great distance, fascinated. Several mini-shockwaves of intense pleasure followed on from his orgasm; Tony lay there and enjoyed every single one of them while Gibbs continued to thrust into him, harder and faster than ever now.

Then Gibbs gave a mighty growl and his body convulsed as he shot his load deep inside Tony's ass. He slowed, sweat beading his brow and lacing the little curls of hair on his chest, making them glitter in the candlelight.

He hung there, breathing heavily, gazing down on Tony with a brooding, inscrutable look. Tony gazed up at him, transfixed. Then Gibbs moved his head and captured Tony's mouth in a deep kiss of victory. Tony offered up everything in that kiss, surrendering completely to his dom's will. Gibbs had conquered him and made him his own, and now he was enjoying his moment of triumph. Gibbs kissed him for a long time; forceful, dominant, and yet strangely tender.

Then, at last, he drew back. He pulled slowly out of Tony's body, and Tony gave a gasp of combined discomfort and loss. He could feel Gibbs's come seeping out of his now stretched hole as he lay there, legs still wide open, feeling totally and comprehensively fucked.

Gibbs was gone for awhile. He returned with a wash cloth, and next thing Tony knew he was being cleaned up. The dried come on his chest, the fresh come in his ass and on his thighs, the remains of the candle wax, the sweat…Gibbs wiped them all off his skin, smoothly and efficiently. Tony must have zoned out again because next thing he knew, Gibbs was nudging him.

“How d’you feel?”

“Mmmmm,” Tony replied.

“Sore?” Gibbs asked.

Tony tried to think about it. His ass felt like a battering ram had been stuck up it, but his entire body was thrumming with wellbeing. He did feel sore, but he also felt a happiness that went soul deep.

“Yeah.” He smiled up at Gibbs. “Sore. But great. You fucked me, Boss!”

Gibbs laughed out loud. “Oh yeah, Tony. I fucked you good.”

“Earth move for you too?” Tony yawned.

“Hell yeah!” Tony closed his eyes, still smiling. Gibbs nudged him again. "You have a choice to make, Tony.”

"Wha…?" Tony gazed at him blearily.

"You can sleep in my bed, or you can sleep on the mattress on the floor."

"Bed please," Tony muttered, moving over to give Gibbs room to get in beside him. That one had been a no-brainer.

Gibbs chuckled. "Not so fast. There are conditions."

"Mmmm?" Tony blinked at him.

Gibbs took his head between his hands, making him concentrate. "You can sleep in my bed whenever you want, but when you do, you sleep in bondage."

Tony frowned, wondering what he meant. Gibbs picked up a length of chain, fastened it to the collar around Tony's neck, and then to the bedpost. Then he clipped Tony's wrist cuffs together and attached them to the bedpost by the chain as well. It was loose and fairly comfortable, but Tony could see he wouldn't have much freedom to move. His hands were tied together and the short length of the chain meant he pretty much had to lie on his side and keep them resting on the pillow.

"I won't lock you in – if you need to go to the bathroom, or if there's an emergency, you can just unclip them," Gibbs said, demonstrating. "But if you sleep in my bed then you sleep in chains. I won't chain your legs – might want to push them apart in the night and fuck you."

Gibbs grinned, and Tony grinned back at him tiredly. “Fuck me,” he repeated stupidly. "Sounds good.” He felt his eyes closing again, and then he snapped them open in surprise as Gibbs tapped the top of his head – hard.

"You listening to me?" Gibbs demanded. "I'm not just talking about tonight – any time you want to sleep in my bed then you're in bondage. Got it?"

"Got it, Boss." Tony nodded lazily, yawning again.

"Still want to sleep in my bed tonight?"

Tony looked at him as if he was insane. "Hell yes!"

Gibbs rolled his eyes, but there was a little grin tugging at the corners of his mouth all the same. "Just so we're clear."

He got into the bed beside Tony and pulled the sheets over them both. Tony was facing away from him, and he couldn’t move into any other position in his bondage – there wasn't enough give in the chains. A second later he felt Gibbs slide up close behind him – so close that he could feel Gibbs’s cock nestling against his butt cheeks. Gibbs’s hand came to rest, protectively, on his hip, and he could feel Gibbs’s chin on his shoulder and the warmth of Gibbs’s breath on the back of his neck. Gibbs kissed him there, and Tony smiled happily and snuggled back against his dom.

“Think I love you, Boss,” he said sleepily.

There was silence behind him, and he realised that this was the first time he’d used the word ‘love’. He could have kicked himself. It was way too soon to start talking this way. He knew how much he always hated it when some girl he’d only slept with a couple of times began telling him how much she loved him. Christ, why had it been so hard for him to say it to Jeanne, when it slipped out so easy with Gibbs? He tensed, waiting for Gibbs to move away.

Gibbs didn’t move away though. Instead, he slid his hand down to rest on Tony’s belly and pulled him back tight against his own body. Then he opened up Tony’s butt cheeks and just rested his soft cock between them. It felt so good. So close. Not that Tony could have pulled away if he’d wanted to – but he didn’t want to.

“Sorry, Boss. Shouldn’t have got sappy with you there,” he said.

He felt a slap on the back of his head. “Never say you’re sorry,” Gibbs reminded him.

Tony gave a half grin. “Yeah. Sign of weakness. I know. Letting you tie me up and fuck me isn’t though?” he asked uncertainly

“You kidding? Not many people could take what I threw at you tonight, Tony. That makes you strong, not weak,” Gibbs told him firmly. That made Tony smile some more.

“Okay. Wasn’t sure what it made me – letting you do all that stuff to me and enjoying it so much.” Tony yawned again, feeling beyond exhausted.

Gibbs’s hand tightened against his belly.

“I’ll tell you what it makes you,” he said, straight into Tony’s ear, in a low, fierce voice. Tony hovered on the brink of sleep. “It makes you mine, Tony. My collared, fucked sub. No going back now. You’re all mine.”


Gibbs's internal body clock woke him at 6 a.m. as usual. He was aware of a sense of completion and wellbeing that he hadn't felt in years. He was holding a warm body in his arms – the warm body of his 24/7 sub. He felt an immediate surge of pleasure. It had been a tough week, but somehow they'd managed to jump over all the hurdles to end up here, like this.

Gibbs gently disengaged himself from Tony's body and went into the en suite bathroom to piss. He caught sight of himself in the mirror and stopped, surprised. He never usually paid much attention to his reflection, but on this occasion he couldn't help but notice how different he looked. He gazed at himself for a long while, trying to pin down what it was – and then he realised: He looked happy. He was relaxed – the tension of eighteen years of loneliness had disappeared from the set of his shoulders and the lines around his eyes.

He relieved himself and then returned to the bedroom. Daylight was flooding in around the edges of the drapes, and he paused by the bed to look at the man lying there. Tony was resting on his side. His hair was a mess, sticking up in a mass of endearingly tousled points. His hands were resting on the pillow – there wasn't anywhere else they could go, as they were tied together and chained to the bedpost. There was a soft black collar wrapped around his throat – and that, also, was attached to the bedpost. Gibbs felt his cock harden immediately. Tony was his. He was wearing his collar, bound in his chains, and he was lying naked in his bed – and it was such a damn turn on.

Gibbs had always known he wanted a 24/7 sub – Jenny and Stan had just been a taste of the lifestyle, but he hadn't had a 24/7 relationship with either of them. As a result, he'd never felt that he truly owned either of them. Tony was the real deal.

Gibbs got back into the bed and picked up the tube of lubricant on the nightstand. He squeezed some onto his finger and then slid back into position behind Tony again. He moved his sub's leg forward, exposing his asshole, and then gently slid his finger inside. Tony was still quite loose after being so well stretched a few hours before. He also clearly had the ability to sleep like the dead as well because he didn't wake up as Gibbs fingered him.

Gibbs removed his finger and pushed back the sheets so he could take a good look at Tony's hole. It was a little red, but there was no tearing – he'd prepped his sub too well for that. Gibbs decided that his sub might as well get used to the kind of wake-up call he'd be experiencing from now on.

Gibbs smoothed some lubricant onto his hard cock and then moved in close behind Tony again. He gently spread his sub's butt cheeks and snubbed his cock against his entrance. Still Tony slept on. Gibbs wondered what it would take to wake him.

"Guess we're about to find out," he murmured, resting one hand on Tony's hip and pulling him back at the same time as thrusting forwards. Tony came to with a bleary "whaaa?" as Gibbs breached the muscle in his ass and surged forward in one smooth, easy motion, until he was buried balls-deep in his sub's hole.

"Morning, Tony." Gibbs rested his chin on Tony's shoulder.

"That's - oh Christ…you're in me,” Tony whimpered. He moved his hands and the chains rattled.

"Trying to get away from me?" Gibbs grinned. "Won't be easy – you're tied to the bed."

"No…just…that's one hell of a wake up call, Boss!"

"Get used to it. I prefer it to the alarm clock," Gibbs said, bestowing a little kiss on Tony's shoulder. Then he sucked on the skin, before sinking his teeth in - just hard enough to leave a mark. Tony made a little mewling sound in the back of his throat. "My sub have a problem with his dom's attention?" Gibbs asked.

"No, Boss. Always pretty much lived for your attention."

Gibbs grinned – that was definitely the truth. "Well, you've got it. Hope it's not a case of be careful what you wish for." He moved his hand down to Tony's groin to find that his sub was already half hard. "Remember the rules," Gibbs said. He could almost hear the cogs whirring in Tony's sleepy brain.

"Uh…obey you instantly? Don't let anyone touch me but you?" Tony hazarded. Gibbs rolled his eyes and moved his hand up to snag one of Tony's nipples. Tony gave a little yelp.

"You can come when I'm in you – and not any other time. And right now, I'm in you – in case you hadn't noticed."

"On it, Boss!" Tony said, sounding suddenly very cheerful. Then: "Uh…Boss?"


"Don't suppose you'd consider untying my hands, so I can jerk off?"

Gibbs laughed. "Nope. I'm gonna go nice and slow though. See if you can get off without any help from my hand or yours."

"Boss!" Tony protested. "Haven't been able to do that since I was eighteen and came in my pants watching Marion Bailey roller skating in an itty bitty pair of tight shorts and a bikini top!"

"Then you'll have to hold it until I fuck you again," Gibbs said reasonably.

"Supposing you have my hands tied then too?"

"Then you'll have to learn how to come without anyone touching your dick, DiNozzo!"

"But, Boss!" Tony whined.

"Tony – you're my sub. Count yourself damn lucky if I let you come at all," Gibbs told him firmly.

Tony groaned and thumped his head dramatically on the pillow.

"Aw – poor sub." Gibbs grinned. Really, playing with Tony was far too much fun.

He decided that it was time to have even more fun. He grasped Tony's hip hard and began thrusting into him. He went slowly, the way he'd promised. Tony's hole was so beautifully warm and tight around his hard cock, and it milked him so perfectly, but it was early, and he wanted to take his time. Last night had been so intense and passionate, and Tony had surrendered so sweetly that first time. This morning it was necessary to reinforce the lesson – Tony was his sub, and Gibbs would demand his surrender every time he fucked him, not just the first time.

He could feel Tony trying to rub his cock against the mattress to gain some friction, and he kept his thrusts slow and leisurely – he wanted to give Tony every chance to come if he could.

Tony was panting now, making desperate movements with his hips, but Gibbs thought he'd given him enough time. He loved the sweaty scent of Tony as he rode him and the feel of all that smooth, solid flesh against his body. He loved the sound his balls made as they slapped against Tony's ass, and the way Tony quivered and mewled as he gathered pace, riding him hard. He came with a growl – and heard Tony give a little whine.

"You done? Please say you're not done!" Tony panted.

"I'm done." Gibbs kissed the back of his sub's neck, just above the collar. Then he withdrew and got out of the bed.

He went around to Tony's side of the bed and unclipped his cuffs from each other and removed them, leaving the cuffs hanging from the chains attached to the bedpost. Then he unclipped Tony's collar, freeing him.

Tony turned onto his back and lay there, moaning softly, his hard cock sticking straight up from his body in a way that was almost comical.

"Please, Boss!" Tony begged. "Please let me just…" He moved his hand down towards his cock, but Gibbs intercepted it.

"You know the rules, Tony. Your body belongs to me now. Don't worry though…" He gave another feral grin. "Somehow I doubt I'll be able to keep away from that sweet ass of yours now I've had a taste of it. So you'll get another shot at coming pretty damn soon."

Tony looked up at him pathetically, and Gibbs roared with laughter.

Tony's eyes narrowed in annoyance. "You sure about that?" he asked. "I mean, do you have the stamina, Boss? You're not as young as well, me – you think you'll be able to get it up again any time s…"

Gibbs didn't give him a chance to finish that sentence. He reached out, grabbed Tony's arm, flipped him onto his belly, and bestowed several hard spanks on his ass. Tony wriggled under his hand – which Gibbs found entirely too enjoyable. He spanked him for a few seconds before releasing him. Tony rolled over and gazed at him with sparkling eyes, looking energised by the impromptu spanking.

"So…taunting you about your sexual prowess – should I add that to the rules?"

"Nope." Gibbs shook his head, grinning at his sub. "I don't mind you doing it – but you might wanna bear in mind the likely consequences if you do."

"Got it, Boss!" Tony grinned back at him.

"C'mon, DiNozzo. Get in the shower. I want to examine you properly."

"Examine me?" Tony rolled off the bed and then gave a theatrical wince. "Wow…everything's sore."

"Yeah, well, last night was pretty intense. That's why I want to examine you – see what you're fit for today."

"I'm fit for anything you want to do to me, Gibbs."

"We'll see." Gibbs pushed him into the en-suite and then reached up to remove his collar.

Tony put his hands on Gibbs's wrists, stopping him. "You're taking it off?" he asked anxiously.

"So it doesn't get wet in the shower, Tony," Gibbs explained. "No other reason."

"Oh. Right." Tony released a deep breath. "Okay then. You're gonna put it back on again after, right?"

Gibbs nodded. "Yes, Tony – you'll be wearing it all weekend. And nothing else."

"Nothing else?" Tony raised an intrigued eyebrow.

"Nope. We won't be going out. We won't be doing anything – except more training and a hell of a lot more fucking." Gibbs patted Tony's cheek affectionately. "Gonna bend you over every available surface and fuck you every which way, Tony. Unless you think I'm too old to get it up more than once a day?" He raised a challenging eyebrow.

"No, Boss!" Tony said promptly. "Your cock is not only super-sized, it's also supersonic and has superhuman powers of recovery. I think on some level I've always known this," he mused.

Gibbs rolled his eyes and pointed at the shower. "Idiot. Get in."

"Yes, Boss." Tony hopped into the shower, and Gibbs followed him. It was a big shower – certainly big enough for two tall, broad-shouldered men. "So what's your secret?" Tony asked curiously as Gibbs got in behind him. Gibbs frowned, wondering what the hell his smart-mouthed sub was babbling on about now. "Is it Viagra?" Tony continued. "'Cause I'm just saying, there's nothing to be ashamed of if it is…"

He didn't get a chance to finish that sentence, either, as Gibbs swung him against the wall and delivered a few more hard spanks to his still glowing ass cheeks.

"Not Viagra then," Tony said when Gibbs had finished. He glanced over his shoulder at Gibbs and gave him a cheeky grin, and it was then that it hit Gibbs.

"Christ, I think we've found a way of doing it."

"Doing what?"

"Making you cheerful first thing in the morning. Usually you're so damn moody. I'm gonna have to fuck you awake as often as possible if it means we avoid your surly grunts and tantrums first thing."

Tony laughed. "Now, you talk about fucking me awake like it's a *bad* thing, but you and me both know it isn't…whoa!"

His fingers scrabbled against the tiled wall as Gibbs opened his warm, glowing buttocks and crouched down to get a good look at the interior. He'd been right earlier – Tony definitely wasn't torn, although he was probably a little sore.

"How does this feel?" he asked, sliding his finger into Tony's hole. Tony's breathing hitched.

"It's fine, Boss."

Gibbs withdrew his finger and slapped his butt. "No it isn't. It's sore. Has to be, because I didn't go easy on you last night - or this morning."

Tony sighed. "It is kinda sore, yeah," he admitted.

"Gonna have to be honest with me, Tony, or I might end up hurting you without realising it."

"Yes, Boss." Tony nodded. "Wasn't really lying though - when you're in me it feels so good that the soreness goes away. Christ – all these years I had no idea how good that would feel. If more men knew, they'd go gay overnight."

Gibbs turned on the shower and directed the warm flow of water onto Tony's hole. Tony relaxed against the wall, sighing happily. Gibbs reached for the soap and gently cleaned Tony out, and then he bent down again and inserted his tongue into the puckered opening. Tony gasped and mewled.

"Can I come if your tongue's in me?" he panted. "I mean, you said I could come when you're in me and that's almost the same thing - right?"


Gibbs continued his work, ignoring Tony's sigh of disappointment. He rimmed his sub happily, enjoying the warm flow of water that was caressing them both. When he'd finished, he got out of the shower briefly and retrieved some medicated cream from the bathroom cupboard. He returned to the shower and gently applied the cream to Tony's hole.

"This will take care of the soreness – just give it a couple of hours," he said soothing it in.

When he was done, he examined Tony's body, inch by inch. He spent a long time on the task, enjoying handling his sub's fine body.

He ran his hands over Tony's back, which was smooth and unmarked, the stripes from last weekend's whipping having completely disappeared. He gently caressed the bite mark on Tony's ass cheek with his fingertips, feeling a glow of pride in seeing it there – especially as the cane marks were almost completely gone now.

Then he slid his hands down Tony's long, solid legs. His sub was pretty hairy – especially on his upper chest and lower legs – but his crotch and ass were both pleasingly smooth.

"Gonna keep you shaved," Gibbs said approvingly. "It's a good look on you."

He swung Tony around and examined his front. The wrap marks on his torso were gone, and the two bite marks on his neck had almost disappeared too. Gibbs rested his fingers where they'd been.

"Need to mark you again," he said. Tony gazed at him, a mixture of fear and longing evident in his eyes. "Have to keep you marked, DiNozzo," Gibbs explained. "You’re my sub – I like seeing my marks on you, and it's good for you too – helps you remember you're owned."

"Yes, Boss," Tony said, in a faint kind of voice. Gibbs noticed his cock was rock hard again. "Don't always like the marking but like the way it feels having the marks," Tony explained, glancing down at it.

"Yeah. I know."

Gibbs soaped his hands and ran them over Tony's chest. There were a few stray patches of wax he hadn't managed to wipe off the previous night, and he took care of those. He spent a long time soaping Tony's nipples, enjoying the way they hardened into points under his caress. Then he ran his hands over Tony's broad, golden chest and down into his sub's shaven crotch.

He cleaned Tony's cock thoroughly, relishing the sensation of having all that hard flesh in his hand. He washed his sub's balls carefully as well, pulling on them gently, enjoying Tony's little squawks. He didn't intend to always spend so much time in the shower with his sub, but he knew the next two days were crucial to Tony's training – and his sub had to get used to the degree of authority and control his dom had over his body.

"I can wash myself, Boss," Tony told him, as if reading his thoughts.

"Who does your body belong to, Tony?"

"You, Boss," Tony replied automatically.

"Then I'll do what I want to it," Gibbs told him firmly.

"Yes, Boss." Tony nodded. "Just feels weird, someone else doing this."

"Get used to it, Tony. You're mine now."

Tony leaned back against the shower wall with another little moan, his cock still standing out hard and proud in front of him. "Could you not say the hot things, Boss?" he sighed. "Only I'm kind of dying here." He nodded at his cock.

Gibbs grinned at him, and then he crouched down and took Tony's cock whole into his mouth. Tony gave a hoarse shout and clutched at Gibbs's hair desperately.

"No! Please…BOSS!"

Gibbs didn't torment him for too long – just long enough to make sure the message went home. Then he got up, finished in the shower, and got out, leaving Tony still leaning back against the shower wall, moaning softly to himself. Gibbs flung him a towel.

"Finish up, make the bed, and then get your ass downstairs. You've got ten."

"Yes, Boss," Tony whimpered. "Boss?" he said, as Gibbs reached the door. Gibbs turned back with a raised eyebrow. "You got any anti-Viagra?" Tony asked, gazing down at his hard cock pathetically.

Gibbs was still laughing even by the time he'd got dressed and arrived downstairs in the kitchen five minutes later.


Tony shaved and cleaned his teeth, looking at himself in the mirror. His body ached in a dozen different ways, but somehow he felt *good*. He felt alive. His eyes were glowing, and he felt like he could run a marathon and still have enough energy left over for another vigorous bout of fucking with Gibbs.

"Fucking." He grinned happily around a mouthful of toothpaste. "Guess you're not a virgin any more, Anthony." He got a stupid smile on his face whenever he thought about taking Gibbs's monster cock into his body. There had been times when he'd doubted that anything that big would fit inside him, but Gibbs had spent the week preparing him well, and his body had definitely enjoyed the experience.

"All these years dancing around each other when we could have been fucking instead," Tony sighed regretfully.

He finished up and went back into the bedroom to make the bed, as ordered. He glanced down at the mattress on the floor with disdain.

"Won't be needing you again," he said happily.

He fingered the chains on the bedpost thoughtfully. Sleeping in bondage should have been at best annoying and at worst unpleasantly restrictive, but he'd had no problem with it. In fact, he'd actively enjoyed it. There was something about being naked, bound, helpless and entirely at Gibbs's mercy that was a complete turn on. Tony saw his collar lying on the nightstand, and he picked it up and took it with him.

He was whistling to himself as he trotted down the stairs. Gibbs was going to keep him naked and fuck him and play with him all weekend. Life really didn’t get much better than this.

"Well, not without donuts," Tony said as he entered the kitchen.

"Donuts?" Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

"Just wondering how this could be any more perfect, Boss!"

Gibbs shot him a smile. "No regrets then, Tony? You think you made the right choice?"

"Think? Nope." Tony shook his head. "I know it, Boss!" He passed Gibbs on his way to the table and pressed a kiss on his dom's cheek. "Here." He gave Gibbs his collar. "You forgot this."

Gibbs rolled his eyes. "You really like wearing it, huh?"

"What do you think?" Tony got down on his knees and looked up at his dom expectantly. "Love how it feels to be collared, Boss," he said quietly. "Had no idea it would mean so much."

Gibbs grunted, but Tony thought he looked pretty pleased. He wrapped the collar around Tony's throat and buckled it. Tony closed his eyes, remembering the previous night and the feeling of being collared for the first time. He didn't know how one strip of leather could have made such a profound impression on his psyche, but it had. Gibbs took his head between his hands, leaned down, and bestowed a kiss on his forehead.

"Now eat something – idiot."

Tony opened his eyes, laughing, but he didn't miss the expression of surprised fondness on his dom's face.

After breakfast, Gibbs took him down into the basement. Tony sighed – personally he found Gibbs's obsession with building boats pretty damn boring, but it was an important part of his dom's life, so he guessed he'd have to learn to live with it.

Gibbs didn't start work on the boat though. Instead, he rifled through his work bench and sorted through a selection of screws and hooks. When he'd found what he was looking for, he grabbed his hammer and went over to the wall.

"Whatya doing, Boss?" Tony asked, puzzled, as Gibbs began banging something into the wall, at about waist height.

"What does it look like?" Gibbs didn't pause his hammering to answer the question.

Tony frowned. "Kinda like you're putting a hook in the wall but in a really weird place. I mean, it's not exactly high enough to hang a coat from, and…oh…!" Realisation kicked in.

"C'mere." Gibbs gestured with his head, and Tony went over to the wall. Gibbs grabbed a length of chain from the workbench, clipped it to Tony's collar, and fastened the other end to the wall.

Then he picked up an old, sawdust-covered cushion from the armchair in the far corner of the basement, threw it on the floor, and pointed to it.


Tony raised an eyebrow.

"Or you could stand," Gibbs shrugged. "But we're gonna be down here all morning, so you might want to make yourself comfortable."

"All morning?" Tony asked, crestfallen. "No more hot sex then?"

Gibbs grinned. "Well, I'm getting kinda old, Tony, and I dunno that I'll be able to get it up again any time soon. You, on the other hand, are gonna stay hard for me all morning. You shouldn't have any problem with that though, being, you know, so much younger than me." He patted Tony's face cheerfully.

Tony rolled his eyes; he should have known he'd pay for those comments. He sank down onto the cushion as instructed, resigned to his fate. Gibbs glanced down at his semi-erect cock, and Tony found it hardening under the scrutiny - which at least took care of that little problem.

"That's better, Tony. Now sit there and keep it up. If I look over and it's drooping, I'll chalk it up on the board."

Tony gave a theatrical sigh, but actually he relished the challenge. Gibbs looked down on him.

"Chain gives you enough slack to walk around – not far, but just enough. If you need to stretch, then just get up and do it. If you need to use the bathroom, then unclip yourself and go – make sure you're back within four minutes, or that'll go on the chalkboard too."

Tony sat back against the wall and concentrated his attention on his cock. He loved the impromptu hand spankings Gibbs had given him in the bedroom and shower this morning, but wanted to keep the stroke tally down in his formal discipline sessions as much as possible. Luckily, his cock was happy to help him out on this one, and it didn't take much to keep it bobbing happily.

Tony glanced over at Gibbs and realised that his dom had moved the unfinished boat against the far wall and was busy working on something else. Something new. Something involving fresh timbers.

"Uh…what you working on there, Boss?"

"You'll see," Gibbs replied. He leaned forward, and Tony savoured the sight of his ass filling out his grey sweatpants.

Tony was happy to sit and watch his dom moving around the basement as the new thing – whatever it was – began to take shape in front of him. Tony thought that maybe it was some kind of sail for the boat – it was pretty tall, and it looked like there was a cross beam. He wasn't an expert on boats, but he could imagine that was what it was.

It took Gibbs a couple of hours, and then he took a step back and surveyed his handiwork happily.

"Looks good, Boss!" Tony said cheerily, head on one side as he tried to work out how the hell it would fit on the boat.

Gibbs laughed. "You have no idea what this is, do you?"

"Nope," Tony admitted. "Some kind of sail thing for the boat?"

Gibbs snorted, looking highly amused. "Not exactly. Wait here. I'll get something that might help you figure it out."

He disappeared for a few minutes and returned with a couple of sets of leather cuffs – not the ones Tony had worn in the night, which had been light and soft, like a second skin. These cuffs were thicker, harder, and more heavy duty. Gibbs also brought a few lengths of chain with him. Tony wondered just how many lengths of chain Gibbs had *bought* at that shop last weekend.

Gibbs attached the cuffs to the structure, and Tony felt his belly flip.

"Uh…is that…?"

"A whipping post? Yup." Gibbs grinned. "Well, technically speaking, it's a St Andrew's Cross."

It was a more elaborate structure than the one at Murray's and more expertly crafted too – but not as sophisticated as the one he'd seen in Skinner's playroom.

Tony's belly flipped again as he stared at it. It was made in the shape of a large 'X', with two crossbeams and a heavy footrest to prevent it falling over under a person’s weight. Gibbs had fastened the cuffs at wrist and ankle height, but there were also hooks on the thing at various other points, presumably to attach chains to his collar and around his waist.

"Of all the doms in the world, I have to fall for the one who can actually make stuff like this with his bare hands," Tony muttered. He had to admit that the cross looked pretty exciting though. Even more exciting was the fact that Gibbs had made it himself. Tony wasn't sure why having such a capable dom was a turn on, but it was.

"Let’s see how sturdy it is," Gibbs said, unclipping him from the wall. He led Tony over to the cross and pushed him face first against it, then fastened the cuffs around his wrists and ankles, locking him in place.

"Uh…you're not going to actually try it out right now, are you, Boss?"

"Sure I am, Tony." Gibbs ran a hand over Tony's naked back and down to his ass – and squeezed. "I could flog you…" Tony shivered as he felt Gibbs's warm lips trail down his spine. "Or I could whip you…" Tony swallowed hard, his mouth having suddenly gone completely dry. "Or…I could just concentrate on spanking this ass…" Gibbs cupped Tony's butt cheeks with his hands and began kneading. "Yeah…I think we'll raise some colour in these cheeks – they're looking far too pale, Tony. Need to work on them before fucking you again. I like fucking a nice hot ass."

Tony's cock gave a little convulsion. "But I haven't earned any swats on the chalkboard yet, Boss!" he protested.

"I know, Tony." Gibbs continued fondling his sub's bottom. "But like I told you before, I can spank you any time I like – no reason required. Besides, those swats are for punishment. This will be for pleasure."

"Pleasure for whom exactly?" Tony demanded.

Gibbs laughed. "Well, definitely for me. As for you – I'll warm you up, build it up like I did last weekend at the club. You enjoyed that one, didn't you?"

"Yes, Boss," Tony said softly. He had. Gibbs had known just how to stoke him up and take him flying.

“Then relax – wuss.” Gibbs squeezed hard, making Tony whimper again, and then he moved away. He returned with a selection of implements. “Gonna have to make a rack to keep these in,” Gibbs mused as he laid the implements out on the work bench. “Okay, let's start. I’ll go nice and slow, Tony, take my time. Oh, and feel free to scream if you want. Place is pretty soundproof. Nobody will hear you.”

“Gee, thanks, Boss,” Tony said sarcastically, tugging experimentally on one of the cuffs. It held firm.

Gibbs took a handful of his hair and pulled his head back. “What’s your safe word?”


“Use it if you can’t handle it.”

“I will, Boss.”

Gibbs paused. His hand tightened into a fist in Tony's hair. “You sure about that, Tony?”

“Yes, Boss. I’ll use my safe word if I can’t handle it. Promise.”

Gibbs gazed at him thoughtfully for a moment, and Tony held his breath, then Gibbs nodded, seemingly convinced. He released Tony and took a step back. Tony craned his head and saw Gibbs pick up the paddle. He braced himself against the cross, steeling himself for the first blow…which fell gently on his ass, barely more than a tap. Tony gave a little yelp in expectation that it had hurt – but in reality it hadn’t done more than caress.

“Hurt that much, huh?” Gibbs snorted.

“Sorry, Boss. Thought you were going to swat me harder than that.” Tony grinned apologetically over his shoulder.

“Stop second guessing it, Tony – none of this is in your control. Give it up to me.”

Tony tried to follow his dom’s orders, but it wasn’t easy – he could feel his butt cheeks clenching in anticipation of the next blow. When it came, it was as sweet and gentle as the first. Tony started to relax.

Gibbs was true to his word. He delivered an expert spanking, as skilful as the whipping he’d given Tony at Murray’s Bar. He started gently and built up gradually, slowly stoking the fire that was starting to burn in Tony’s ass.

He used the paddle for a long time, and then he switched to the strap. This was a harsher implement, and he used it to lay on some stronger, more painful strokes, but because Tony's butt had been warmed up, and because Gibbs was so skilled, Tony found himself able to take them without any trouble.

Gibbs built up to a crescendo, then slowed down, then started all over again, laying on the strokes like a maestro. Tony relaxed more and more, hanging in his bonds, allowing them to keep him upright. He was barely able to distinguish between individual strokes now because his ass was a mass of burning sensation. He was aware that on some level it hurt, but the line between pain and pleasure was so blurred that it didn’t feel like pain. The endorphins were raging through his body, taking him higher and higher, and Gibbs seemed to know just how to play him, taking him closer and closer to the edge…nudging him further than he thought he could go…until suddenly he’d stepped off the ledge and was flying through the air.

It felt so good. His body was thrumming, his cock was hard and aching, and he was flying like a bird. He could see Gibbs far below, strapping him in earnest, his right arm moving fast, but Tony couldn’t feel anything over than a generalised, glowing warmth. He was giddy, dizzy, flying higher, and higher, and higher, until…

Gibbs’s arm slowed, and then he stopped completely. Tony hung there, lost in the sensation. He felt Gibbs come up behind him, and then he felt his dom kissing the back of his neck and nuzzling his hair, caressing him gently while he floated back down to earth.

He wasn’t sure how long they stood like that, but eventually Gibbs undid the cuffs, and Tony fell helplessly into his dom’s arms. Gibbs held him up until Tony felt as if he was standing on solid ground again. Then Gibbs drew back. Tony gazed at him dreamily. Gibbs’s eyes really were a most unnatural shade of deep blue. He didn’t think he’d ever seen a shade like it. They were beautiful.

“Did you give me drugs, Boss?” he asked, swaying slightly.

Gibbs laughed and put a hand under his elbow. “No, Tony. Just gave you a natural high. Now can you see the difference between punishment and flying?”

“Mmmmm.” Tony grinned at him stupidly. He leaned in and kissed Gibbs on the mouth. “Thank you, Boss,” he murmured hazily afterwards. “Love you.”

He could have kicked himself for making that mistake again, but Gibbs didn’t seem to read too much into it. He just grinned and tousled Tony’s hair affectionately. Then he took a leash out of his pocket and clipped it to Tony's collar; he tangled his fist in the leash and pulled his sub in the direction of the stairs.

“C’mon on, Tony. Time for lunch.”


Gibbs didn't release his grip on Tony's leash as he led him up the stairs and into the kitchen. Tony was still on a post-spanking high, lost in his sub space, and Gibbs didn't want to let him out of his sight right now.

Gibbs was also deeply in his own top space. He felt powerful, invincible, and totally in charge. He hadn't felt this energised in years. He was naturally dominant and expressed that in his everyday life, but there was always a part of himself that he had to rein back in. Being a 24/7 dom gave him a chance to really unleash that side of himself, and the sense of freedom was heady.

It helped to have a sub he was so compatible with. He'd learned a hell of a lot playing with Jenny and Stan and had gradually come to understand the kind of dom he was, and what he wanted from a sub. He'd come to the realisation that he needed a sub he would call his own – a 24/7 sub who could handle him and all his dominant intensity. Someone he didn't have to hold back with – someone who relished his dominance and didn't fear it or try to fight it. Neither of his two previous subs had been able to really give him that, and Gibbs had long ago come to the conclusion that there probably wasn't a sub out there who *could*.

Tony was a revelation to him. Gibbs wasn't sure why – it was obvious from the way they'd been playing at it for so long that these roles suited them. The long years of dancing around each other at work had made it easy for them to slip into these roles in their private lives. But even so, Gibbs hadn't expected it to be this natural, this simple, and this fulfilling. Tony might be a newbie, but he gave it up like a seasoned pro. Every time Gibbs demanded his surrender, Tony offered it to him so sweetly.

Gibbs glanced around the kitchen – it was clear he was going to have to bang in a hell of a lot more hooks all over the house. When he was in this kind of top space, he wanted to keep Tony close by and in bondage the whole time. He settled, in the end, for clipping Tony's chain to the towel rail. It wasn't perfect, but it just about worked.

"Ass out," he ordered, pushing Tony so that his face was against the wall.

Tony did as he was told, and Gibbs retrieved the lube from his pocket and slicked some onto his fingers. Then he spread the burning halves of Tony's ass and slid his fingers inside. He felt Tony tense a little, but he thought his sub was gradually getting used to the way Gibbs didn't ask, or hesitate; he treated Tony's body like he owned it – which he did.

Tony had tightened up a little since earlier, but he was still much looser than he had been. Gibbs slid the lubricant inside him; he could tell Tony was expecting him to immediately fuck him, but he wasn't ready yet. He had other plans for that. He finished up and then put the lube on the shelf next to where Tony was standing.

“That’s the last time I’m gonna lube you during the day,” he told his sub. “From now on, I expect you to keep yourself lubed and ready for whenever I want to fuck you. Only exception is first thing in the morning, before you get up. That’s the only time I’ll lube you. Now, keep your face to the wall," he ordered. "I want to see that glowing red ass while I work."

He squeezed the ass in question, loving Tony's little squawk and loving even more the way that heated flesh felt in his hands. His cock started to show some interest, and he grinned to himself. He'd gone two years without sex, and now he wanted it every five minutes. Then again, with a sub as beautifully responsive as Tony that was hardly surprising.

Gibbs made them both some sandwiches, put them on the kitchen table, and then unclipped Tony's chain from the rail. Tony moved to sit down at his usual place, but Gibbs shook his head, pointing at the floor instead. Tony looked startled at this new aspect of his training.

"Kneel beside me – I'll feed you," Gibbs told him. "Your ass will probably thank me for it."

Tony continued to give him with that big-eyed look, so Gibbs clicked his fingers impatiently. Tony sank immediately to his knees. That was so gratifying – it was some kind of in-built response his sub had – he hadn't even had to teach him that one.

Gibbs felt his cock stirring again in anticipation. He grabbed hold of Tony's trailing leash, wrapped it firmly in his hand, and then pulled Tony forwards and kissed him on the mouth. He was completely in his dominant headspace as he claimed his sub's lips, pushing them open, sinking his tongue into his mouth, and kissing him hard. Tony surrendered without any resistance at all, and Gibbs wondered if it was this easy because they were so compatible.

He released Tony and took a bite of his sandwich, grinning down at his sub. He didn't want to talk – and he could see that Tony didn't, either. His sub had a hazy, dreamy look in his eyes and was clearly still flying.

Gibbs knew Tony didn't like sharing food, so he held out a fresh sandwich to him. Tony took a bite, gazing up at his dom with that faraway look as he chewed. Gibbs felt his cock stirring again, and he opened his legs to get more comfortable, turning towards Tony as he did so. Tony was at crotch height, and his gaze fell on the bulge in Gibbs's pants. He glanced up at Gibbs with a questioning look in his eyes, and Gibbs answered it with a feral smile.

Gibbs continued to feed them both until they were done, keeping his hand wrapped in Tony's leash the entire time. He loved the power he could feel coursing through his veins as he fed his sub. It felt so intoxicating to have Tony at his mercy like this, and to know that Tony was as turned on by his dominance as he was turned on by Tony's submission. Tony complemented him so perfectly – each of them needing what the other could give.

Gibbs didn't take his eyes off his sub as they ate, and when they were done he gave Tony a drink and allowed him a moment to just kneel there. He could feel his cock straining against his sweatpants, but still he didn't say a word. He just sat there, legs wide apart, gazing down on Tony with that feral grin plastered to his face, considering what he was going to do next, and how much he was going to enjoy it.

Tony was uncharacteristically silent in response. He looked up at Gibbs, maintaining eye contact all the time, looking like a mouse trapped between a cat's paws, waiting for him to pounce.

Gibbs kept him waiting. He wanted his sub completely on edge. He could see that Tony's cock was hard again and felt a tiny twinge of sympathy for Tony's condition. To be that hard, for that long, with no chance of coming – well, that had to be hard for a guy. But at least Tony was obedient, and his body was starting to get the message about who owned it now.

They were silent for a long time, Tony kneeling there, and Gibbs sitting open-legged in his chair, his fist wrapped around Tony's leash, his gaze unfaltering as he looked down on his sub.

Then, without warning, Gibbs moved. He pulled on Tony's leash, forcing his sub to his feet. At the same time, he reached out with one arm and cleared the table, sending the plates and cups clattering to the floor. Gibbs didn't give a damn about them. The only thing he cared about right now was fucking his sub's red hot ass.

He grabbed Tony and swung him down onto the table on his back. Tony went with a little cry of surprise. Gibbs tore off his own tee shirt, and then took hold of Tony's legs and pushed them up, into the air, holding them wide apart.

"Just the right height," he said, grinning as he looked down on his startled sub. Tony was now lying on the table on his back, his legs open wide and resting on Gibbs's shoulders.

Gibbs removed his sweatpants, eager to release his aching cock. Then he spread Tony's warm buttocks, positioned his cock in Tony's hole, and entered him – hard. Tony gave another cry of surprise as Gibbs pushed into him with one mighty thrust, right up to the hilt. He pushed Tony's legs right back with his shoulders, and ended up looking down into his sub's wide green eyes.

God it felt good – but then it always felt good being inside Tony. His hole was stretched, tight and hot, around Gibbs's cock. Gibbs kept his hands on Tony's ass, loving the warmth of the newly spanked skin under his fingers.

He moved his hips back, watching Tony gasp at the sensation, and then he slammed back in. This wasn't a lazy fuck like this morning – this one was about pure dominance. He had just spent the morning pouring all his feelings for his new sub into building that post downstairs, and then he'd taken his time spanking him into the stratosphere. Now was the culmination of that – now it was time to claim his sub again and fuck him hard.

He slammed his hips back again, and he guessed he'd hit Tony's prostate because he saw a spike of pleasure in his eyes. Gibbs gave another grin; he removed his hands from Tony's butt cheeks and teased his nipples with his fingers instead.

Tony was gazing up at him like a gazelle gazing at a lion. That look was such a turn on. Gibbs thrust in again – and squeezed down hard on Tony's nipples with his fingers at the same time. He knew the combination of pleasure and pain worked for Tony from how he'd reacted the previous evening, and he was right. Tony's pupils dilated visibly as Gibbs squeezed hard on his nipples and hit his prostate at the same time with each inward thrust. He released Tony's nipples each time he withdrew and pinched them tightly each time he thrust back in again.

Tony was gasping, panting, and pleading with him, but Gibbs didn't think for a moment that he wanted him to stop. Even apart from the fact Tony hadn't said his safe word; it was obvious just from looking at him that Tony was having the time of his life.

Gibbs stepped up the pace, fucking Tony hard. Now he was going too fast to release his grip on Tony's nipples between thrusts. Now he just kept them held in a vice-like grip, as hard and unyielding as any clamp. Tony was screaming and moaning; the sweat was pouring off him, and his cock was rock hard. He put his hand down to rub it, but Gibbs shook his head.

"No hands. Don't want you touching yourself when I'm fucking you unless I say so. I like being the one who does that."

"Then do it!"

Gibbs shook his head. "Not yet. Come without being touched if you can – otherwise you'll just have to wait and see if I'll help you out."

"I hate you!" Tony yelled.

Gibbs laughed, and just kept on fucking him while Tony gazed up at him with that look of stunned pleasure on his face the entire time.

Gibbs took himself right to the edge of climax and then slowed back down again, remaining hard. Tony gave him a confused look as he withdrew, clearly surprised that he hadn't climaxed.

Tony mewled as Gibbs removed his harsh grip on his nipples, and Gibbs used the moment to his advantage. He grabbed Tony's leash and pulled him off the table, putting a hand under his arm to keep him steady.

He pushed him into the living room and threw him down over the back of the couch. He took a brief moment to admire how good Tony looked sprawled there, his legs wide open and his spanked buttocks glowing. The opening between them was dark, glistening, and inviting, enticing him to resume where he'd left off.

He did just that, sliding into Tony in one swift, long stroke. Tony's hands scrabbled for purchase on the worn cushions of the couch as Gibbs rode him relentlessly. Gibbs felt invincible as he thrust into his sub's body – showing it who it belonged to and subjecting it to his total mastery.

Tony was rubbing himself against the back of the couch, but Gibbs had no objection to that – if Tony got off then that was fine by him, as long as he stayed within the rules. His sub deserved it.

He loved looking down on Tony's smooth, golden back and loved the feel of Tony's firm skin under his fingertips. He kept a firm hold on Tony's hips, and gazed, transfixed, at the sight of his own cock sliding into and out of Tony's body in rhythmic thrusts. Tony was gibbering away beneath him, but Gibbs was lost inside his own top space. He had a strong, attractive sub to fuck, and Tony was taking it so beautifully.

Gibbs fought a battle with himself and won, stopping himself once again on the brink of completion and forcing himself back down. He could feel the sweat dripping down his face and onto Tony's back. He paused while still lodged deep inside Tony's body, giving himself time to recover. Then he slid out and pulled Tony up from the couch.

He swung an arm around his sub and pulled Tony in close, so that his naked body was pressed against his own. He could feel both their hard cocks pulsing together.

"You didn't come yet…?" Tony gasped. "Christ – you really are superhuman, Gibbs."

"Want to spend a long time inside you today, Tony," Gibbs hissed, lacing his hands behind Tony's back and keeping him pressed against him. "You're such a fucking turn on. Want to make good use of you."

Tony's face split into a broad grin. "You're doing that, Boss," he said, thrusting against Gibbs hopelessly. "Please let me get off too," he whispered. "I'm so close…every time you fuck me, it feels like I'm gonna explode. It's so good."

"It's gonna get better. I can keep this up for a lot longer. Think you can handle that?" Gibbs asked, looking into Tony's shining green eyes.

"I can handle it," Tony grinned. “Any time.”

"That what you think, boy?" Gibbs grinned back at him. "We'll see. What's your safe word?"

"Magnum, Boss."

"Okay – you remember that 'cause I'm a long way from being done with you."

His gaze moved from Tony's eyes to his enticingly full lips, and he angled his head in and claimed a deep kiss from them. Tony pushed up against him eagerly, but Gibbs held him in check. *He* was in charge, and his sub would learn who controlled him.

He pushed Tony back as he kissed him, one step at a time, until Tony had his shoulders pressed against the wall. Then Gibbs held his face in place and plundered his mouth in earnest. After several minutes of kissing, he dropped his hands down to Tony's hips. Then, without warning, in mid-kiss, he lifted Tony off his feet. Tony gave a startled shout as Gibbs shoved him up against the wall and held him there. Then Gibbs skewered him in place with his hard cock, entering him again with a powerful thrust.

Tony gave him a look of total astonishment, clearly shocked that Gibbs was strong enough to force him into this position and fuck him like this. Gibbs didn't care. He felt invincible right now – hell, having Tony as a sub was enough to make any dom feel superhuman.

He fucked Tony harder now, one shade short of brutal, loving the sounds of Tony's grunts as he fucked him into the wall. Tony's strong shoulders were braced against the hard surface, and Tony wrapped his legs around Gibbs's back as they fucked. They grinned at each other, insanely excited. This was more exhilarating than anything Gibbs had done with any other sexual partner, and he was pretty sure that Tony felt the same way.

He felt his breathing coming in hard pants and was glad he kept himself fit or there was no way he'd be able to do this. He slowed down again. Tony whimpered as the pace dropped, but Gibbs didn't want to finish this off here. He had someplace else in mind. He withdrew and lowered Tony to the ground, then grabbed his sub again and propelled him over to the couch.

This time he pushed Tony down on his back, so that he was lying full-length on the couch, legs wide open, waiting for him. Gibbs paused for the moment to enjoy the view. Tony's cock was leaking pre-come, and his hole was slick with Gibbs's own pre-come. It was too inviting; Gibbs longed to be buried in it up to the hilt again.

He moved down so that he was on top of Tony, entered him again in one smooth thrust, and then came to rest, fully inserted in his sub's body, with Tony's face directly beneath his. Gibbs loved the feel of his sub's hard, compliant body under his own. He smoothed Tony's hair away from his sweaty forehead and kissed him again.

Now he went slowly, each inward thrust drawing a little panting moan from Tony. He deliberately rubbed his body over Tony's hard cock with each stroke, giving Tony the friction he so desperately craved. They became locked into a rhythm, and Gibbs fucked Tony deep and slow, kissing his sub the entire time. He bit down lightly on that full lower lip and slid his tongue into Tony's mouth, exploring it thoroughly. Tony couldn't move – he was trapped under Gibbs's body. All he could do was lie there and let Gibbs fuck him into the couch.

Gibbs took his time, wanting to prolong this amazing fuck for as long as possible. Tony's mouth, Tony's body, Tony's warm tight hole, the scent of Tony, the taste of him, and the sight of him…Gibbs wanted to savour them all. Tony's body was his to explore, his to tame, and his to fuck. It belonged to him, and it opened up to his demands so sweetly.

The rest of the world ceased to exist. There was just him and his submissive. Gibbs moved languidly inside Tony, mastering him completely, taking his pleasure in him. Gibbs had never tested himself like this before. He had never tried to stay so hard, for so long, with this degree of stimulation. He felt himself reaching a new level of dominance. Now *he* was flying, completely lost in the sensation of making love to his sub.

"Come with me, Tony. Come for me – now…come…" He gave another couple of long, slow thrusts, his naked body sliding over Tony's cock. Tony's eyes were glowing in amazed pleasure.

"Please…oh…please…" he whimpered incoherently.

Gibbs felt Tony's come spurt out onto both their bellies, warm and sticky. At that precise moment, Gibbs allowed himself to go over the edge too, and he shot his load with a bellowing shout. Gibbs wasn't sure if it was a result of the length of time they had been making love, or his own sense of heady dominance, but he came longer and harder than he ever had before. He spurted out, over and over again, deep inside Tony's body, growling out his orgasm throughout, head back, roaring loudly like a victorious lion.

Then it was over. He rested his head on Tony's chest, hearing the harsh rasping sound of his own breathing. Tony rested his hands on Gibbs's back, still moaning softly to himself.

Gibbs wasn't sure how long they lay there, his cock still buried deep inside Tony's hole. It could have been hours, but he didn't want to move. This had been so incredible that he wanted to stay in the moment for as long as possible. He guessed that Tony felt the same way, judging by how he was looking at him with a combination of awe and adoration etched on his features. Gibbs was sure the expression on his own face was pretty similar.

"That was…" Tony sighed.

"I know."

"I've never…"

"Me neither."

"Didn't know it was…"


"Can't believe it."




“God I love you, Jethro…” A wince passed across Tony’s face. "Sorry…shouldn’t keep saying that…sappy stuff…"

Gibbs held his head firmly, making Tony look at him. "You can say it all you want, Tony. It's okay."

"Never found it easy to say to anyone before, even Jeanne. Always felt kinda dumb - sappy and needy – but around you it just keeps slipping out, and I don't mean it to but…"

Gibbs silenced him by pressing his mouth to Tony's lips and kissing him slowly, gently, and deeply, hoping the action conveyed more than words could ever say.


Two Masters: Part Three

Tony was so wrung out from that marathon sex session that the rest of the day passed in a kind of a haze. He was dimly aware of them taking a long, slow shower, and of Gibbs getting dressed again. Then he followed Gibbs around the house while his dom banged in hooks seemingly everywhere - in ceilings and walls in every room in the house. Tony thought he remembered eating a Chinese takeout on the couch in front of a DVD. Then he just stretched out, exhausted, his head in Gibbs's lap, gazing blankly at the TV screen.

Gibbs stroked his hair, and Tony looked up at him, still in a kind of shock. He'd never known sex like he'd experienced today. It was as if Gibbs had fucked him all the way down to his soul. His body ached all over. He could feel the scratches on his back from where Gibbs had fucked him against the wall, and the bruise marks on his hips from where Gibbs had fucked him over the back of the couch. His nipples were sore, his ass was tender from the spanking, and his hole ached from being so well stretched – but he loved every single ache and pain.

He didn't protest when Gibbs dragged him off to bed at some far too early hour. He just got into the bed and offered up his hands for Gibbs to buckle his wrists into the soft leather cuffs that hung from the bed post.

Gibbs clipped his collar to the chain that was also attached to the bed post, and Tony rolled onto his side in his bondage, feeling like he was exactly where he wanted to be.

He felt Gibbs get into the bed behind him. Then the lights were turned off, and Gibbs pressed up against him in the darkness.

His dom held him close, and Tony closed his eyes. This shouldn't feel so good. He couldn't get his head around it. Surely this couldn't end well? Usually whenever the word 'love' was raised in any relationship he'd been in, it was the beginning of the end. Tony had never been comfortable either offering the sentiment or hearing it – so why was this so different? He wasn't sure, and he was too tired to think about it, so he just closed his eyes and fell fast asleep.

He slept for ten hours straight and was woken by the now familiar sensation of Gibbs opening up his butt cheeks and sliding his hard cock between them. He hissed a little as Gibbs went in – all that fucking had loosened him up, but it had also rubbed him sore in places too. The burn soon went away though, and he lay there, feeling boneless and content as Gibbs fucked him lazily into consciousness.

Tony didn't care that his hands were bound, and he couldn't reach his cock to bring himself off. There was something so peaceful about allowing Gibbs to pump into him while he just enjoyed the ride.

They passed Sunday much like the previous day, and Tony realised he had spent pretty much the whole weekend his own sub space. He was loving it so much that he didn't want it to end, and he started to feel anxious about what would happen when they went back to work the next day.

After lunch, Gibbs took Tony down into the basement and clipped him to the wall again. Tony watched as Gibbs began work on some new project.

"You're quiet," his dom said a couple of hours later. “Usually you like to talk at me when I’m working.” He stepped back to survey his handiwork. Tony had no idea what this one was – it looked nothing like anything you'd need on a boat, but it was also nothing like the St Andrew's Cross, either.

"Hmmm," Tony replied. "What *is* that you're working on there, Boss?"

"Spanking bench."

"How many things do you need to tie me to just to spank my ass?"

Gibbs grinned at him. "Helps to have some variety. Besides, I like making stuff for you."

Tony hadn't viewed it that way. "How does it work?"

Gibbs beckoned him over, and Tony unclipped himself and approached the new device apprehensively.

"You place your knees here…" Gibbs helped him put his knees onto two little shelves, and then propelled his body forward so that it was resting on the beam. This had the effect of raising his ass high in the air and forcing his head down. "I'll add some restraints so you can't move. Good thing about this one is that when I'm done spanking you, I can fuck you while you're still tied to it," Gibbs pointed out.

Tony gave a shiver of anticipatory pleasure at that thought.

"But not now," Gibbs laughed, hauling him back. "It's not finished for a start, and I don't have the materials to finish it, either. It needs padding or it'll be uncomfortable – to say nothing of the splinters."

"Hmmm." Tony gazed at the bench, lost in thought. Gibbs tapped his forehead.

"What's going on, Tony?"

"Nothing," Tony shrugged, walking back towards his cushion on the floor and his now familiar bondage.

He was startled, a second later, when a firm arm went around his waist, and an equally firm hand began laying swats on his ass. Gibbs spanked him – hard - a few times, then released him and swung him around. Tony rubbed his sore ass.

"What was that for?"

"What's rule number two?" Gibbs demanded.

"Don't lie to you," Tony muttered.

"Then don't damn well lie to me. Now what's going on?"

"I was just thinking about work. How's that gonna be now, Gibbs?"

Gibbs raised a confused eyebrow. "No different to how it was last week, Tony."

"But…" Tony wasn't sure he could explain it. Gibbs might have spent the week training him, but nothing could ever have prepared him for how he felt now that Gibbs had collared him and fucked him. It changed *everything* in some deep, subtle way that he couldn't put into words.

"I just…what we've been doing…it's…" He floundered. Last week he felt as if he'd just been playing at it, but now it had become real. He had no idea if he could go back to being work Tony again after being *this* Tony. "How can I be your sub at work and not be your sub like *this*," he said at last, gesturing at his naked body, the chain on the wall, and the half-finished spanking bench. "I want to be this all the time, and that's not gonna happen."

"You'll be fine," Gibbs grinned at him. "You're deep in your own sub space this weekend, Tony, but you'll come up again when you get back to work. Habit and routine will kick in. Just remember that I own your ass now, and if I want to fuck you in the elevator, or the van, or the men's room, then I will."

"Trust me, that's not the problem," Tony said, with a wry grin. "The fucking is definitely never a problem. But you said that once you fucked me, you wouldn't give me up easily, and you said this was a 24/7 deal…" Tony trailed off.

"So?" Gibbs frowned.

"Does that mean I live here now?" Tony asked. "Or are you gonna send me back to my apartment? I mean, I'm running low on clothes and…"

Gibbs silenced him with a glare. "Tony – when I said 24/7 I meant it, and there's no way in hell I'd tolerate having to *phone* my sub in the middle of the night when I want to feel his mouth around my cock. So yeah, you're living here now. You have a problem with that?"

Tony heaved a sigh of relief. "No. Just…usually people date for awhile before moving in together."

Gibbs shrugged. "So? That's people – not us. What we have is different. You're my sub – no point keeping a 24/7 sub if you can't fuck him when you're in the mood."

Tony chewed on his lip, gazing at his dom thoughtfully.

"What now?" Gibbs sighed.

"Just…me and you, we're both commitment-phobes…" he began. Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "Oh come on – you so are! I don't care how many damn times you've been married, there's a reason why they all left you."

He was surprised to see the little wince cross Gibbs's face. He thought he knew all the man's sensitivities by now – and God knows there weren't many – but he was wrong.

"They did all leave you, didn't they?" Tony asked quietly. "You didn't leave them."

"Nope. I didn't leave them." Gibbs shook his head moodily.

"And Stan?"

"Yeah – he left too. They all left, and they were right to leave. And yeah, they left because I didn't commit to any of them – no matter how many rings I pushed on fingers. I wasn't ever really in any of those relationships."

"Because of…" Tony hesitated. This was the most vulnerable of Gibbs's sensitivities – and the only one that truly mattered to his dom. He knew that. "Shannon and Kelly?" he asked tentatively.

Gibbs stared at him. He looked as if he was struggling with the answer to that one.

"I'm not prying," Tony said hastily. "Just…it seems to me that if you and I…if what we have here is real…I need to know that I'm not like one of your ex-wives, or Stan. I need to know you're as in this as I am."

Gibbs shook his head, laughing softly. "Hell, Tony, you don't even need to ask that question," he said ruefully. "What I've got with you is more real than anything I've had in eighteen years. You and me – commitment isn't an issue here. Not for me anyway. You?"

"No." Tony shook his head thoughtfully. "Seems weird to say it, but no. I've never lived with anyone else, Boss – not as anything more than a roomie. This should be freaking me out, but it isn't. I just needed to know where I stood."

"Yeah – you did, and it's right you asked. We'll figure it out at work as we go along. As for your clothes - we'll go over to your place tomorrow evening and get everything you need."

"What happens to my apartment? I mean, this has all been pretty quick, and…"

"Just leave it," Gibbs shrugged. "No need for you to make any big decisions now. You move in here – you live here – and we'll see how it goes. I know this is all new, and you might feel happier knowing you have a bolthole."

"Hope I won't need one." Tony grinned.

Gibbs was serious as he moved in close though. "Don't want to pressure you, Tony. I want my sub to be here so I can fuck him, but I know that's a lot to handle. I know *I* can be a lot to handle. You ever need space, you tell me, and we'll figure something out."

"Oh, I don't think the fucking is going to be the problem, Jethro," Tony said quietly. "The problem is gonna be me and my never-ending ability to screw things up."

"Hey – I've been divorced three times – don't talk to me about screwing things up," Gibbs grinned. "Let's just take it one day at a time. Yes?"

"Yes, Boss!"

Tony surrendered happily as Gibbs pulled him close and kissed him. Then Gibbs released him and returned to his half-finished wood-working project.

“Hey Jethro!” Tony called him back. “For the record – I’ve never had any trouble handling you."

"Is that so?" Gibbs raised an amused eyebrow.

"Yeah, I've been handling you for eight years,” Tony smirked.

Gibbs laughed. “And doing a damn good job of it too, Tony."


Gibbs went easy on his sub for the rest of the weekend, as they were both wiped out by all the truly fantastic sex. Gibbs was astonished by how easy it had been. He'd expected more problems, especially as Tony was a newbie, but it had all been so simple.

He hadn't anticipated that the sex would be so good, or that he'd like having Tony around as much as he did. He'd expected Tony would be high maintenance, but he wasn't. Gibbs was starting to realise just how much Tony had always put on a performance simply to get his attention. Now that he had it, he was much more laid-back.

Gibbs didn't have any of Tony's anxieties about going back to work. He didn't over-think situations, the way Tony did; there was no point looking for problems where none existed.

They were both so exhausted that they went to bed early. Gibbs finished up in the bathroom and returned to the bedroom to find that his sub was already fast asleep. Gibbs's heart skipped a beat. He had a beautiful, naked, collared submissive tied up in his bed. If someone had told him about this a couple of weeks ago, he'd have slapped them upside the head.

He got in beside Tony, wrapped his arms around him, and held him tight. Tony was dead to the world and didn't even murmur. Gibbs kissed the back of his sub's neck, thinking about Tony's various declarations of love. Gibbs had never found it easy to say those words, even to Shannon. He felt the emotion, but the words always got stuck in the back of his throat. They seemed too big to say, but too small to sum up how he felt.

He kissed his sub's shoulder. "Love you too, Tony," he muttered.

He was glad that Tony wasn't awake, so he couldn't hear how paltry the words sounded.


Tony didn't want to get up the next morning. He didn't want to leave the hazy peace of sub space behind and return to work. He lay in bed, still in his bondage, enjoying the last few moments before he had to put this amazing weekend behind him.

Gibbs had fucked him awake as usual, and his thighs were sticky with the semen that was gently seeping out of his ass. He liked the way his hole still throbbed from taking his dom's big cock, and the sense of sexual satisfaction thrumming through his veins.

Gibbs was singing loudly and tunelessly in the shower. Tony closed his eyes and dozed off to the sound. He didn't want to move. He didn't want to venture back into a world where he had to be anything other than Gibbs's naked, compliant sub.

Gibbs returned to the bedroom a few minutes later, drying himself. Tony rolled onto his side and watched his dom getting dressed. Gibbs finished up and glanced at him.

“I’m leaving. You should get your lazy ass moving, or you’ll be late," he said, bending over to kiss Tony's hair.

"Like I'd dare. My boss has this weird time management obsession." Tony grinned.

"Yeah, and also he doesn't like excuses.” Gibbs glared down at him meaningfully.

"So you don’t think he’d go for; ‘I'm late 'cause my dom was taking so long fucking me into the mattress this morning’?" Tony smiled sweetly.

Gibbs rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Well, I don’t know, Tony. But you’re the one who keeps boasting that you can handle this bastard boss of yours, so if you want to go ahead and try that one out then be my guest.”

Tony groaned. “On it, Boss.” He sat up and began unclipping his collar from the chain tethering him to the bed. “Hey – Boss!” He called Gibbs back as he got to the door. “Can I wear my collar to work?”

Gibbs shook his head. “Nope. Too obvious.”

“But Abby wears a different collar every day!” Tony protested.

“Abby’s a Goth – she’s always had eccentric dress tastes. You haven't. Besides, the collar's private – it's between you and me, nobody else."

“But Boss…”

“I said no, Tony. Now, get your ass up and get dressed because I can promise you something a hell of a lot worse than a time management class if you’re late this time.”

“Yes, Boss,” Tony sighed.

He showered, shaved, cleaned his teeth, and then surveyed the collar on the nightstand regretfully. A thought occurred to him: Gibbs’s objections had been to do with the collar showing – but supposing he could fix it so that it didn’t?

He pulled out his sharpest suit – the grey pinstripe with the waistcoat – and the high collared white shirt and extravagantly full grey silk tie that he liked to wear with it. This was his special occasion outfit – it was the one he’d worn to work the day he’d hoped to go up to Stillwater with Gibbs to meet his dad. Okay, so Gibbs hadn’t let him go on that trip that day, but Tony hadn’t known that when he got dressed.

Tony buckled his black leather collar around his throat, relieved to have it back where it belonged, and then he pulled on his white shirt and buttoned it up. It was tight, but it did cover the collar completely. You could just about make out the outline of the collar through his shirt, but when he knotted the grey silk tie over it you couldn’t see it at all.

“Hey presto!” Tony pulled on the rest of his outfit and admired himself in the mirror. “Not bad, Anthony,” he mused. At least this way he got to wear the collar *and* look pretty damn fine into the bargain. He looked at himself intently. He was different now. He might look the same, but when he went in to work today it would be as a collared sub. His whole life had changed in the course of one weekend.

He arrived at work with two minutes to spare – to find that Gibbs had already gone into a meeting with Vance. He had, however, left a long list of tasks on Tony’s desk which he wanted completed by the time he returned.

Tony worked on them for a couple of hours and then took the elevator down to Abby’s lab, whistling to himself as he went. Abby turned to glance at him as he entered, turned back to her work station, and then twirled around again and did a double take.

“Oh my God!” she breathed.

“What?” Tony put his hand up to touch his tie. She couldn’t possibly see the collar underneath his shirt, could she?

“You, Tony!” She stared at him, a curious expression on her face. “Did you have plastic surgery over the weekend?”

“What? No!”

“You sure?” She came over and peered at him suspiciously.

“Definitely! I spent the weekend doing something much more fun than that.” He winked at her, and she laughed out loud.

“So that’s it! I knew it was something! You’ve been having hot sex all weekend, haven’t you, Tony?”

“Yes, Abby, I have.” He didn’t even try to hide the smug expression on his face.

“Not just hot sex – the best sex of your entire life! Nobody looks that good unless it was really incredible, mind-blowing, swinging-from-the-chandelier type sex!”

“There were no chandeliers.” He grinned. “But you’re right about all the rest.”

“Tony!” She launched herself at him for a hug. “I’m so happy for you! It’s about time you found someone who’s right for you. You’re too nice to be alone. Well, annoying too, but mainly nice. Oh…wait…what’s this…?” She traced her fingers around the collar of his shirt and prodded at it. “Are you wearing a collar, Tony?”

“Well yeah – that’s my shirt collar,” he deflected quickly. “So – are you nearly done with the evidence for the McElroy case? ‘Cause that’s due in court soon and...”

Abby thumped his arm. “No, are you wearing a collar *under* your shirt collar, Mister? I think you are. Here, let’s see it.” She began tugging at his tie.

Tony gave in with a sigh – he knew Abby, and he knew there was no way she was going to let this one pass. “Okay – but you have to promise you won’t tell anyone.”

“Oh right – who am I gonna tell? Gibbs?” Abby smirked.

Tony grimaced. “Don't tell *anyone* – but definitely not Gibbs.” He pulled his tie open and undid the top buttons of his shirt so she could see the collar.

“Oh man, that’s one beautiful collar. Your top must really love you, Tony! Feel the leather…it’s so soft!” She ran her fingers over it appreciatively. “Now, don’t deny that you have marks on your wrists from the handcuffs *this* time,” she said reprovingly.

Tony pulled up one of his shirt sleeves a fraction and glanced at the faint red mark on it. Abby grinned.

“Knew it! Wow – this chick must be GOOD if she’s got you wearing her collar to work. What’s the penalty for taking it off, Tony? As bad as the penalty for buttoning up your shirt that time to hide those bite marks?”

“Uh…no. I mean…that is, I’m not supposed to be wearing the collar to work, Abs,” Tony confided.

“And if your top finds out she’s gonna have your ass, isn’t she?” Abby asked sympathetically.

Tony winced. “Let's not even talk about it.”

Abby raised an eyebrow. “Yikes, Tony, you really do like living dangerously.”

“I know,” he sighed.

“I love it!” Abby clapped her hands together excitedly. “You wanted to wear her collar so much that you risked it? Wow! She’s got you looking ten years younger and acting like the most lovestruck of subs – she must be one hell of a good top, Tony.”

“She is.” Tony grinned. “She really is.”

“Who is what, DiNozzo?” a voice said behind him, and he quickly buttoned up his shirt and straightened his tie.

“Uh, nobody…nothing, Boss!” he said hastily, shooting a glance at Abby. She nodded and zipped her fingers across her lips. “Just…talking to Abby about the McElroy case. It was on your list of things for me to check up on.”

Gibbs sauntered past him and then stopped, and, like Abby, did a double take. Tony held his breath. He was sure the collar wasn’t visible, but even so, Gibbs had eyes like a hawk.

“You going to a wedding, DiNozzo?” Gibbs asked, looking him up and down.

“No, Boss.”

“Celebrating some other occasion?” Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

Tony grinned at him. “Just happy to be alive, Boss. It’s a fine day,” he said, beaming at his dom. Gibbs rolled his eyes and turned back to Abby, handing her a caf-pow.

“So where are we on the McElroy case?” he asked her. “It’s going to court in a couple of weeks, and I want the forensics to be watertight. The entire case hangs on your evidence, Abby.”

“I know, and I’ve gone over everything, like, fifty times, Gibbs!”

“Well – make it fifty-one.” He leaned over and kissed her cheek. If it had been anyone else but Abby, Tony knew he’d have felt a surge of jealousy. But it was impossible to be jealous of Gibbs’s relationship with Abby. She was like the grown-up daughter that Kelly had never had the chance to be, and he knew that Gibbs loved her in exactly that way.

Abby made a face. “I hate it when I have to wear that stupid court suit.”

“I know – but take a leaf out of Tony’s book – he seems to love dressing up. C’mon, DiNozzo, we have work to do.”

He made an impatient gesture with his head and began walking in the direction of the elevator. Tony waggled his eyebrows at Abby and then ran to catch up.

“Hey, Gibbs!” Abby called after them. Gibbs turned. “Did you have plastic surgery over the weekend?” she asked.

Gibbs looked completely and utterly bemused. “What?”

“Nothing. Maybe I’ve been drinking too many caf-pows.” She put the drink down as if it was poison. “Or maybe there's some kind of rejuvenating element in the Navy Yard water. I should run some tests,” she mused to herself, already oblivious to their presence.

Tony grinned and followed Gibbs into the elevator. It had barely started to lurch upwards when Gibbs slammed his hand on the emergency stop button and turned to Tony with a look of intent in his eyes.

Tony took a step back, and then another, until he was pressed up against the wall of the elevator. Gibbs couldn't possibly see the collar showing under his shirt – could he? Gibbs gave him one of his predatory grins, then reached out, grabbed Tony’s tie, and pulled him towards him. Tony gave a squeak of terror, certain that Gibbs knew about the collar - but then Gibbs flipped him around and thrust him face forwards against the mirror.

“I want you to watch me fucking you,” he said, nuzzling the hair on the back of Tony’s head. Tony breathed a sigh of relief. Gibbs reached around and undid his belt, then his fly. He yanked Tony's pants and boxers down forcefully, releasing his hardening cock. “Hope you remembered to keep yourself lubed for me,” Gibbs purred in his ear.

“I did, Boss!"

Tony placed his hands on the mirror to brace himself, and then he watched their reflections as Gibbs undid his own fly. A second later, he felt that monster cock being pushed into his hole, and he gave a little panting gasp. He was getting used to taking it into his body, but even so, it still made his eyes water a little as it went in.

He could see the look of pleasure and concentration on Gibbs’s face reflected in the mirror as he sheathed himself completely in Tony's body. Tony was even more fascinated by his own reflection. He was moaning softly, looking more wanton and sexual than he was used to seeing himself. This must be how Gibbs saw him, and his cock swelled in appreciation at that thought.

He watched as Gibbs began fucking him with slow, even thrusts that hit his prostate every single time. He didn’t think he’d ever get used to all the fireworks that went off in his nerve-endings when Gibbs fucked him like this. Gibbs always seemed to know how to angle his big cock in order to set off the sparks in Tony's body. Tony desperately wanted to take his own leaking cock in his hand, but he knew that was forbidden.

“Please, Boss!” he begged, and then he nearly laughed out loud as he saw himself in the mirror, pleading so pathetically. Christ, he looked an idiot! No wonder Gibbs found him so amusing half the time. His face was flushed, there were little beads of swear forming along his hairline, and he was licking his lips eagerly as Gibbs picked up his pace. "Please…please…please…” Tony whimpered frantically.

Gibbs looked straight at him in the mirror. “Yeah, Tony? You want something?”

“You gotta let me…please touch me!” Tony begged. “Please, please touch me! Bring me off, Boss…I’m dying here…Touch me…touch me…touch me…please...”

It was almost comical to watch himself begging, and Gibbs’s reaction in the mirror. Gibbs continued his effortless thrusting, and then, just when Tony thought it was too late, he felt his top’s firm hand wrap around his cock. Tony gave a hoarse shout of pleasure and started bucking eagerly into that hand. Gibbs rode him hard, caressing his cock equally hard at the same time. Tony couldn’t believe how debauched he looked as he writhed in sexual ecstasy under Gibbs’s forceful touch.

Then he was coming – he’d never watched himself come before, and he gazed at himself in fascination. His face was contorting, and his mouth was opening and closing but no sound was coming out. Then it was over. He came in Gibbs's hand and then slumped forward and rested his head against the cool surface of the mirror. Gibbs pumped into him a few more times, and then he reached his own orgasm, making that low, familiar roar of pleasure.

They stood there, panting together for a minute or two, and then Gibbs withdrew. He tucked himself back into his pants and zipped up, then reached down and pulled Tony’s pants and boxers up for him. Tony fastened his fly, his hands shaking in the aftermath of his orgasm. Shit - that had been hot. Gibbs took a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped Tony's come off his hand. Then he glanced around the elevator to make sure that it was clean.

Tony finished zipping himself up and resumed his place at Gibbs’s side, staring up at the numbers above the elevator door. They both looked completely innocent, like nothing had just happened. If it wasn’t for the grin on Gibbs’s face, and the happy glow in Tony’s eyes, there would be no clue at all.

“Oh – just one more thing, Tony.” Gibbs turned to glance at him.

“Hmmm?” Tony was still lost in a post-orgasmic haze.

Gibbs moved so fast that Tony didn’t have a chance to stop him. He swiped Tony's tie open and undid the top few buttons of his shirt, revealing his collar.

“Y’know, I could have sworn I told you not to wear this.” Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

Tony made a face. “Sorry, Boss. I just, that is, I thought that…oh damnit – I’m busted. I have no excuse. How the hell did you know?” he asked, as he did up his shirt and knotted his tie again. “Did you see it when you were fucking me?”

Gibbs grinned. “Nope – knew the minute I walked into Abby’s lab and saw you wearing that fancy outfit."

"The collar doesn't show, Boss – I made sure of that. Look – see." He half turned and gestured at himself in the mirrored elevator wall.

"Yeah – you're a smart boy – you can’t see the collar under it," Gibbs agreed. He snapped his hand back on the emergency button, and the elevator lurched back into life.

“But you’re gonna punish me for disobeying you anyway, aren’t you?” Tony sighed.

Gibbs shot him one of his completely feral grins. “Oh yeah. You bet your ass I am. I’ll see you in interrogation room one at three p.m.”

“Three? That’s hours away!” Tony didn't like the idea of having to wait that long to find out what his punishment would be.

“I know.” The doors opened, and Gibbs turned to glance at him before he got out. “It’ll give you a nice long time to sit and think about your fate.”

And with that he strode away, chuckling to himself.

Tony made a face after him, but he was grinning to himself as he walked back to his desk. He was being kept well fucked, and he was loving every single second of it. There was something about Gibbs's sexual dominance that turned him on like crazy, and his own sexual submission came as easy to him as breathing. Surely it shouldn’t be *this* easy?

He sat down at his desk, clicked onto his emails – and froze.

The name leapt out at him: D. Grasso. And the subject line was "Five Weeks".

"No reply to my last email. Don’t think you can ignore me. I’ll be back in five weeks. You won’t be able to ignore me then.”

Tony glanced over at Gibbs, who was sitting at his desk reading through some paperwork. He could print out the email, take it over there, ask Gibbs to go into the conference room and explain the whole damn thing to his dom – but he wasn't ready to do that. Christ, what kind of basket case would Gibbs think he'd taken on if he told him about that whole fucked up deal with Grasso? What he had with Gibbs was too new and too good for him to screw it up so soon after it had started.

Tony clicked on the 'delete' button. Five weeks – that was a long time. He'd figure out a way to deal with it by then.


Gibbs entered interrogation room one on the dot of three p.m. to find Tony standing there, staring at himself in the mirror, tracing his hand over his shirt collar and peering at it intently.

"You can't see it," Gibbs told him, shutting the door behind him and locking it in one smooth move. Tony whirled around to face him, a guilty expression on his face.

"I know. That's what I told you! I just wanted to find a way to wear it, Boss. So really, you should reward me for my ingenuity, rather than punish me." Tony gave him his brightest and most winning smile.

Gibbs snorted. "Yeah - because I've totally given you the impression that I'm one of those indulgent doms who doesn't give a damn about his sub obeying him. Oh wait – remind me again – what's rule number one?"

"Always obey you, Boss," Tony sighed.

"Yup." Gibbs walked over to him and held out his hand. "Now give."

"But it doesn't *show*!" Tony protested. Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "Yes, Boss," Tony sighed. He undid his shirt, unbuckled the collar from around his neck, and handed it over to his dom.

"It's not about the semantics of whether it shows or not," Gibbs told him. "It's about obedience."

He sat down at the interrogation table, his back to the mirror, and gestured with his head that Tony sit opposite him.

"You're going to interrogate me?" Tony asked, sitting down as ordered.

"Yes." Gibbs put the collar on the table between them.

"Just because I wanted to wear my collar to the office?"


"Uh…is anyone watching this?" Tony glanced at the camera to make sure the light wasn't on.

"Don't be an idiot." Gibbs rolled his eyes. "The door to the observation room is locked – as is this one."

Tony's gaze darted towards the door and then back towards Gibbs.

"So what's going on?" Gibbs asked. "Seriously, Tony – the one thing you've never had a problem with all these years is obedience."

Tony shrugged. "Just like wearing the collar."

Gibbs sat back in his chair, crossed his arms over his chest, and gazed at him steadily. Tony gazed back, a hint of defiance in those green eyes. Gibbs grinned.

"Nah. That's not it."

Tony flushed. He glanced at the collar sitting between them on the table and then up at Gibbs again.

"I *do* like wearing the collar," he insisted. "This is new to me, Gibbs, and we’ve only had a couple of days of it – I mean, doing it properly anyway – and you don't know what it means to me to wear the damn thing. After eight years…then what happened over the weekend. That was big. Intense. I didn't want it to end."

"Didn’t end." Gibbs shrugged. "I told you, what we have is 24/7, and whether you're wearing the collar or not doesn't make a damn bit of difference."

"I know – but what I didn't know was how it would feel to wear it – how it would make me feel."

"And how do you feel, Tony?"

Tony looked uncomfortable, but Gibbs figured that his sub had seen enough interrogations to know that he didn't stand a hope in hell of holding out against Leroy Jethro Gibbs in this room.

"Like I belong," Tony said quietly.

"You do belong." Gibbs shrugged. "You belong to me. The collar doesn't make that so – it is so. Although it looks damn good on you, especially when it's all you're wearing." He gave a leering grin at that thought. Tony flushed even more wildly.

"I know," he said eventually.

"Yeah. I figured you did. So it isn't about that – like I said."

Tony raised an eyebrow. "You seem to have all the answers. You gonna tell me what it IS about then?"

"Yup. Like I said, obedience has never been a problem for you – you've always followed any order I've ever given you. Sometimes I've thought I could tell you to jump off a cliff and you would. So, if you're going to disobey me then it's a deliberate act, designed to elicit a deliberate reaction."

Gibbs sat back and gazed at Tony.

"You think I want you to punish me?" Tony asked uncertainly, chewing on his lip.

Gibbs shook his head. "No - I think you wanted my attention, and you were afraid you weren't gonna get it now we're back at work, so you engineered it so that you would. And you and I both know that you don't give a damn whether the attention is negative or positive. You prefer the positive, but you'll take the negative over nothing at all."

"I didn't know you'd figure out I was wearing the damn collar!" Tony protested. "I didn't want you to figure it out."

Gibbs reached out, plucked the collar off the table, and put it in his pocket.

"If I hadn't, you'd have found a way to make me notice it at some point during the day." He leaned across the table and grinned at his sub. "It's been eight years, Tony – and this little dance we've been doing all that time wasn't choreographed by me. You always set the pace and led the way, although I don't deny that I've been a willing participant."

It was Tony's turn to sit back in his chair now, a stunned expression on his face. Gibbs could see he knew that he'd been out-manoeuvred, and that he hadn't expected his dom to see through his antics quite so easily. Why would he? Gibbs had never called him on it before.

"And I was always happy to let you," Gibbs chuckled. "Only difference is – we're not dancin' around it any more. It's for real now, and the rules have changed. You're mine now, Tony – and I'll set the pace and lead the way from now on. So if you need anything, you have to tell me rather than playing around to provoke a reaction. Got that?"

Tony swallowed hard. "Got it," he said faintly.

"Not that I want to cramp your style." Gibbs grinned. "You're always fun when you're playing, and I have no objection to reeling you back in when you go too far. Like today. So, as long as you understand that the consequences will be a damn sight more painful than a headslap, then go for it." This time his grin was more of a challenge than anything else.

"And what are the consequences?" Tony asked with a little grimace. "Although I think I know."

"Yeah. You do." Gibbs got up. "And for what it's worth – you *have* my attention, Tony. 24/7 remember? It works both ways."

The expression in Tony's eyes took him by surprise, although it shouldn't have – he knew Tony's insecurities all too well. He leaned down, put a finger under Tony's chin, lifted his face, and kissed him gently on the lips. Then he stood back.

"Okay. Let's deal with this. Get up, Tony."

Tony got to his feet, a look of nervous anticipation on his face.

"This won't be like it was on Saturday," Gibbs warned him. "No warm-ups, no stoking it up to give you the high and make it feel painless – just flat, hard punishment. You get the good stuff when you follow the rules – and the bad stuff when you don't."

"Yes, Boss. Where do you want me?"

"Over the table." Gibbs gestured with his head. "Facing the mirror. You watched yourself being fucked earlier - now you can watch yourself being punished."

Tony nodded grimly and began bending over.

Gibbs snorted. "For the record, Tony – I only ever punish on bare skin."

Tony grimaced. He pushed himself upright and fumbled with his belt and fly. Then he shoved his pants and boxers down to his ankles and leaned forward over the table again. His hands went automatically to the sides, and he held on tight.

Gibbs moved in behind him and nudged his legs further apart – more to reinforce his own dominance than because Tony wasn't correctly positioned. He made sure to press his clothed body against Tony's naked butt, enjoying the way Tony shivered at the contact.

Then he moved around to the front of the table. He waited until Tony lifted his head to watch him, and then he began slowly – very slowly – unbuttoning one of his shirt sleeves and folding it back to the elbow. Tony watched, transfixed. Gibbs moved onto his other shirt sleeve and did the same. Then he moved his hands to his belt, pleased to see Tony swallowing apprehensively as the implications of that sank in.

Gibbs unbuckled his belt and drew it out from its loops in a fast motion that made a little whooshing sound. Tony swallowed again, but Gibbs didn't miss the dilation of his pupils; Tony might be scared, but he was also excited.

Gibbs decided that his sub needed to really understand what punishment meant. So he placed the belt on the table, right under Tony's nose.

"Think about why you're here, and think about how my belt will feel like on your bare ass," he instructed. "When you've thought about it enough, I'll come back and give you the punishment you've earned."

Tony looked up in alarm. "You're leaving me in here? Like this?"

"I'll lock the door." Gibbs shrugged. "Don't break position. And Tony?" Tony glanced up at him. "Use the time wisely," Gibbs advised.

Then he left the room. He locked the door behind him and went into the observation room next door, locking that too. He was pretty sure that Tony would obey him *this* time, but he had no intention of leaving his sub completely alone in that vulnerable state.

He was the dom, and he took that responsibility very seriously. He was flexing muscles he hadn't used in a very long time – and he was getting the opportunity to really go for it, rather than having to hold himself back as he'd always done before. It was so rewarding with a sub as exciting and responsive as Tony though.

Tony might not like it right now - but Gibbs was giving him exactly what he needed.


The edge of the interrogation room table was hard, digging into his thighs. Tony eased up a bit and rested his elbows on the table. He was acutely aware of two things: his bare bottom, exposed and ready for punishment, and the implement right in front of his nose that would deliver that punishment.

Gibbs's belt was so close he could smell the leather, warmed as it was by Gibbs's recent body heat. It was an old belt – soft and comfortable. It wasn't sleek, and it didn't come with a designer label like so many of Tony's belts. That didn't make it any less an offensive weapon though. Tony could see dozens of tiny cracks in the leather and could tell by the faded brown colour that this was a well-worn belt. He wondered how long Gibbs had owned it, and if he'd worn it in the Corps. Was it *that* old? Maybe. That made him think of Gibbs in a Marine Corps dress uniform, and his cock hardened appreciatively at the thought.

He pushed it away. He had a feeling that he wouldn't feel remotely turned on after this punishment. Gibbs had been pretty clear on the difference between punishment and play – and Tony knew that he could expect no mercy after his disobedience today. He clenched his ass tightly in anticipation. This was going to hurt.

He wished he could stand up, but Gibbs had ordered him not to, and he didn't dare disobey his dom – not considering what had led him to this position in the first place. He wondered if Gibbs was in the observation room next door, watching, and was pretty sure he was. He glanced up at the mirror and managed to squeeze out an insouciant grin for his dom. Gibbs might be in charge, and Tony might be in deep shit, but he was still *Tony* after all.

He shifted, feeling the cool breeze from the air conditioning unit wafting across his bare buttocks. The belt in front of him was such an innocuous little object, sitting there, but soon he knew it would strike a blaze across his ass that would make him welcome that cool breeze.

All this over one small act of disobedience – and yet it meant so much more. Curiously, Tony wasn't upset to be in this position right now. He was Gibbs's sub, and he would have been more upset if Gibbs hadn't taken the time to sweat the small stuff. He might be dreading the punishment that was shortly to come his way, but he was glad Gibbs was enforcing his dominance.

Any dom/sub relationship depended on the willing participation of both partners. They had created a set of rules they both wanted to live by. They didn't have to – they wanted to – and it might not always be convenient, comfortable, or even nice, but Tony wouldn't have had it any other way.

Tony lowered his head, resting his cheek sideways on the table, offering himself up to his dom's will. However hard it was, it felt good inside. It felt right. He was ready. He had disobeyed his dom, and now he was willing to accept the penalty.

The door opened a few seconds later, and he heard it being closed and locked again. Then he saw Gibbs pick up the belt.

He felt Gibbs's hand on his back, pushing his shirt further up his body, and then he felt the belt resting on his naked bottom.

There was a long pause – so long that it almost took Tony to breaking point. He wanted to yell at Gibbs to get on with it and put him out of his misery. The palms of his hands were sweating and his buttocks were clenching in anticipation.

Then there was a sudden movement, a whooshing noise, and the sound of leather hitting skin with a hard crack. He couldn't feel anything at first, but then the pain ripped through him in a blaze of heat.


"What's your safe word?" Gibbs asked.

Tony lifted his head and looked at himself blankly in the mirror ahead.

"Uh…" He tried to collect his thoughts as the after-shock of that first stroke continued to make itself felt. "Um…Magnum," he said at last. "You're going to let me use it? Even for this?"

"Yes, Tony. Even for this. I've told you before," Gibbs said firmly. "Not that you'll get out of being punished – just that we'll do it differently. Might take longer, but if you can't get through this in one go, then I want you to use your safe word. Got it?"

"Yes, Boss." Tony blinked at himself in the mirror. His face was red, and he looked stunned by the pain of that first stroke. "How many are you going to give me, Boss?" he asked, wondering how many he could take, or if he could find a way of pacing himself.

"Oh, I'll just keep going until I think we're done," Gibbs told him unhelpfully. "Or until you say your safe word."

Tony wasn't sure if it was better or worse not to know how many he had to take. He rested his face back on the table again with a resigned sigh. The next stroke was just as agonising as the first, and he wanted to put his hand back to rub away the terrible sting. That wasn't an option though. Gibbs threw down another stroke, making Tony gasp. Then he felt Gibbs's hand in his hair, pulling his head back.

"Watch," Gibbs ordered, and Tony did, fascinated by the sight of himself, lying half-naked and prone over the table, with his dom standing behind him. Gibbs looked implacable as he stood there, one hand holding Tony in place while he laid on the strokes with his other hand with perfect precision.

He covered Tony's ass repeatedly with strong, hard strokes, until Tony was writhing and whimpering. Then, without warning, he moved onto Tony's thighs, laying on a hard stroke that literally took Tony's breath away. Tony half stood up, unable to control himself, and then caught sight of himself in the mirror again. His face was red and there was sweat beading his forehead.

Gibbs paused. "Want to say your word, Tony?"

Tony gazed at himself in the mirror, thinking very seriously about the question. This was so hard! He would give anything for the onslaught to stop, but at the same time he knew that it wasn't more than he could take. Hell, he'd taken far worse in his time, albeit in a different way.

"No, Boss," he whispered, hanging there anyway, halfway between standing and bending, wanting to prolong the respite for as long as he could.

"Then get back down," Gibbs ordered. "I'm not done yet."

Tony fought an internal struggle as he gazed at himself in the mirror. He could see the thoughts buzzing through his mind. He had to force himself back down, because he was the sub, and Gibbs was the dom, and unless he said his safe word this was the only way it could be. He dimly remembered Mulder telling him that it wouldn't always be easy, and he guessed this was one of those times his fellow sub was talking about. It *wasn't* easy to accept Gibbs's punishment, but it was the foundation their relationship was built upon. He liked Gibbs's dominance over him – it excited him, turned him on, and he craved it. In return, all he had to do was submit.

*All* he had to do – and yet it was so hard. He saw Gibbs watching him struggle with himself, a curious look in his eyes, as if he was unsure which way it would go, and what Tony would do next.

"Tony," Gibbs said quietly. "You either say your safe word, and we talk about it, or you bend over and take the rest of your punishment. What's it gonna be?"

Tony took a deep breath, gripped the sides of the table firmly with his hands, lowered his head, rested his cheek on the surface of the table, and closed his eyes. He was willingly giving himself up to Gibbs's domination because it was what he wanted, however hard it was.

He breathed through the pain as the next few strokes whacked down hard across his upper thighs. He was sobbing quietly into the table, but he wasn't struggling with himself any more. Gibbs was right – he had wanted his attention, even if it was negative, and he sure as hell had that negative attention right now.

Then, suddenly, the hard strokes stopped. He lay there, watching, as Gibbs looped his belt back into place and fastened it. Then he unfolded his shirt sleeves and buttoned them at the wrists again. Tony felt his breathing coming in loud, laboured gasps as he tried to recover from what had been the hardest spanking Gibbs had ever given him.

He felt his dom's hands on his boxers and pants, and then they were gently pulled up his legs. He gave a hoarse cry as his boxers made contact with his sore bottom. Gibbs guided him up so that he was standing and fastened his pants for him. Then he looked straight into Tony's eyes.

"Okay?" he asked softly. Tony couldn't speak. He just stood there, shell-shocked. Gibbs put a hand on his shoulder and squeezed affectionately. "Not what you wanted, but what you needed – yes?"

Tony's breathing hitched, and he nodded. "Yes," he sighed. "How did you know?"

"Eight years." Gibbs shrugged. "C'mere."

He pulled Tony close and held his shaking body against his own warm, solid one. Tony thought the punishment was worth it for this moment alone. Gibbs smelled so familiar and so reassuring. Tony rested his cheek on his dom's shoulder.

"Really hurt," he muttered.

"I know."

Gibbs's hands made soothing patterns on his back. He held Tony until his ragged breathing steadied, nuzzling Tony's jaw with his lips the entire time. Then, when Tony had calmed down, he eased him away, turned his face towards him, and kissed him gently on the mouth.

Tony felt his body starting to thrum with the now familiar sensation of endorphins flowing through his bloodstream. It might have been a punishment, but he could feel the high starting to kick in all the same.

"There's always an upside." Gibbs grinned, looking at him intently when he released him.

"Yeah." Tony grinned back, stupidly.

"I need to get back to work. You can do my filing."

Tony sighed. "Okay, Boss," he agreed reluctantly. He didn't like filing, but at least it was a standing up job. He didn't think he'd be sitting easily any time soon. He watched as Gibbs walked towards the door, and then he remembered something. "Boss…"

Gibbs turned, one eyebrow raised questioningly.

"I should have told you this before. Probably thought I could get away with it and that's why I didn't." Tony gave a rueful grin.

"What is it, Tony?"

Tony took a deep breath. "It's Abby. She knows I'm subbing to someone – although she hasn't figured out it's you yet. And…" He made a face. "She knows about the collar. She was hugging me earlier and felt it. I showed it to her. So…you were right about me not wearing the collar under my shirt today. I was the idiot who thought I could get away with it."

He looked at Gibbs in trepidation.

"You want me to bend over the table again?" he asked, his hands going to his fly.

"No." Gibbs shook his head, forestalling him.

"But I screwed up…"

"Yeah – but I already punished you for that." Gibbs gazed at him, a curious expression on his face. "How do you feel about her knowing, Tony?"

"Uh…well, it's Abby, so…I don't mind…but…" he hesitated.

"Go on," Gibbs prompted. "I noticed last week that you let McGee and Ziva think your new relationship was with a woman."

"Yeah. It's not that I'm ashamed of you - or us - or anything, Boss – wouldn't have worn the collar today if I was. It's just that…I suppose I'd like a little more time before we come out to everyone. It's still so new. I want time to get used to it before I have to start explaining it to anyone else."

Gibbs nodded. "I feel the same way."

"You do?" Tony felt a wave of relief.

"Yeah. So, we keep it between ourselves for now. Yes?"

"Yes." Tony nodded.

"And Tony?"

Tony looked up at his dom.

"I'm not ashamed of you, or us, either. Feels like the best thing I've done in eighteen years. I just want the privacy to enjoy it without any additional pressures."

Tony smiled, understanding the reference to eighteen years immediately. He was tired, wrung out, and his ass hurt like crazy, but none of those things mattered right now.

Gibbs strode over to the door and unlocked it. “With me, DiNozzo. We have work to do.”

“On your six, Boss!” Tony said happily, following on behind.


There was something soothing about having Tony doing his filing for the rest of the afternoon. Maybe it was because Tony was uncharacteristically silent and serene while he worked – causing Ziva and McGee to exchange startled glances across the room. Gibbs ignored them. He assumed they thought he was making Tony do the filing as a punishment for some misdemeanour – if only they knew that the punishment was over and had been a much more intimate and painful affair. Gibbs was being merciful in giving Tony the filing – it would be excruciating for Tony to sit at his desk all afternoon after such a hard spanking.

When he had cause to pass by where Tony was working, Gibbs paused and spoke to him, making sure to touch his shoulder or arm every time. A sub like Tony needed reassurance after being punished, and Gibbs knew from experience how well Tony responded to even the smallest of affectionate gestures.

After work, he drove over to Tony's apartment to find the front door ajar, and his sub already there. Tony was standing beside the bed which was covered to groaning point with suits, shirts, sweaters and other items of clothing. Tony turned when Gibbs walked into the room and pointed at the bed in despair.

"Not sure what to bring, Boss. I can't bring it all – there's no way you have room for all this stuff at your place."

"Christ, Tony, how many suits does one guy need?"

Tony grinned at him. "More than three, Boss – which is all I've seen hanging in your closet."

"Weddings, funerals, and court," Gibbs grunted. "No need for more than three."

Tony looked at him as if he'd just said something sacrilegious. "I can see I'm gonna have to take you out shopping, Boss."

"Over my dead body," Gibbs growled. "Shopping for clothes comes in at around number 197 on my list of fun things to do – just above getting married."

Tony looked intrigued. "You have a list of fun things to do?"

Gibbs grinned; his boy was irrepressible – which was just the way he liked him. Being around Tony had been top of his list of fun things for years - Tony could make anything fun.

"If you hurry this along, then we might have time to do a couple of the top items on the list before we hit the sack," Gibbs said, glancing at the massive mound of clothes on the bed.

"Really? Then consider me incentivised!" Tony gave him a lascivious wink and began picking up various items, folding them neatly and putting them in a packing case.

"You don't need both of those." Gibbs pointed at the two suits Tony was busy packing. They were both navy blue, and they both looked identical to Gibbs.

Tony gazed up at him, aghast. "You can't make me choose between the Armani and the Versace, Boss. That would be cruel."

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. Tony sighed.

"Yes, Boss," he said mournfully, discarding one of the suits.

Gibbs suspected it was a good thing he was here, or the whole operation would have taken five times as long and resulted in Tony bringing five times as much. As it was, Gibbs sorted through all the clothes on the bed, discarded anything that looked like duplicates of anything else, dumped the resulting items into one of the open packing cases lying on the floor, and zipped it up. Then he moved on to the next case.

"Don't believe in folding stuff, huh, Boss?" Tony said, wincing as Gibbs crushed one of his suits into the case.

"It's a fifteen minute journey, DiNozzo. And I have an iron. You're coming to live at my place, not Outer Mongolia. If you want anything else, you can always swing by and pick it up another time." He finished packing and turned to see Tony carefully folding various items of underwear.

"Leave those," he ordered. Tony glanced up at him with a questioning look. "You're gonna be naked most of the time when we're alone, and shorts under your work clothes will just slow me down when I wanna get my hands on your ass." Gibbs shrugged. "So you won't be wearing any from now on."

Tony paused in folding the garments, his mouth slightly agape at this news. "You don't want me to wear underwear?" he queried breathlessly. "Ever?"

"Yup. I'll enjoy looking at you in the office and knowing you're naked under those fancy-assed suits of yours. And the fewer layers between me and your ass the better when I want to fuck you."

Tony continued staring at him. Then he threw the underwear back in a nearby drawer, stood up, and grabbed a case.

"We're done," he said. "Let's get moving."

"Something I said?" Gibbs raised an amused eyebrow.

"Hell, Boss, you can't just stand there and talk about fucking me and not expect me to get turned on." Tony nodded his head in the direction of the very promising bulge in his pants.

Gibbs chuckled as he picked up a couple of the cases. Tony reached for a box full of DVDs and then charged towards the front door, with barely a glance back as he left his apartment.

"You still okay with this?" Gibbs asked, as they loaded the stuff into the car. "It's a big change, Tony."

Tony shrugged. "Like you said – the apartment's still here, and a 24/7 arrangement doesn't work so well if we're not sleeping in the same room at night. I'm cool with it. Doesn't feel like it did when Jeanne wanted me to look at cottages with roses around the door or any of that shit. Feels…" He paused, frowning.


"More real somehow. Less about the big, scary words like 'commitment' and, you know, 'marriage'. I'm with you on that one, Boss – that's pretty low down on my list of fun things to do too."

"But it is a commitment," Gibbs pointed out. "I'm not a short-term kind of guy, Tony. No pressure – like I said, we'll take it one day at a time and see how it pans out – but you gotta know what my expectations are, and that I take it seriously."

"I know." Tony nodded. "And I take it seriously too, Boss. I have no idea why it doesn't scare me like it always did before – maybe because it was always wrong before but this feels right. Or maybe because all the hot sex has fried my brain. I dunno." He grinned at Gibbs. "Talking of which - c'mon, let's go back to your place, so we can do some more of that."


Tony lugged a couple of heavy cases up the stairs, following on behind his dom. He was surprised when Gibbs turned left, instead of right, at the top of the stairs.

"Where we going, Boss?"

"Spare room."

Tony's heart flipped. "You’re not going to make me…"

Gibbs turned to him with a sigh. "No, you're not sleeping in there, Tony. It's where we're going to dump all your stuff. It's clearly not all gonna fit in my closet, so you can use the closet and drawer space in the spare room. Makes sense."

Tony liked the sound of this arrangement. Gibbs didn't have a lot of clothes but even so, Tony had already pretty much filled up the closet in the main bedroom with the first set of clothes he'd brought over.

Gibbs opened the closet in the spare room to reveal a completely empty rail which would provide plenty of space for all his stuff. At the bottom of the closet was a large wooden chest. Tony crouched down to look at it, intrigued.

"What's in here?" He fingered the carved lid. It was an elegant piece of work, beautifully done.

"You'll find out later," Gibbs said. "Now get this stuff unpacked. You've got half an hour."

"And then what?" Tony glanced up at him, still crouching by the wooden chest.

"You'll find out in half an hour," Gibbs said, deadpan. He walked over to the door, paused, and looked back. "Oh – and Tony? Don't try and open the chest."

"I wasn't going…" Tony began. Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "No, Boss," Tony said, flushing, because that was exactly what he'd been going to do. Not now though. His ass was still sore from earlier, and there was no way he was risking another punishment tonight.

He hurried to get all his stuff stashed away and was just about finished when Gibbs returned half an hour later – carrying two cups.

"You brought me coffee?" Tony reached out a hand to take one of the cups.

"Nope." Gibbs batted his hand away and put the cups down on top of the dresser. "I brought *me* coffee."

"And you brought me…ice cubes?" Tony glanced into the other cup.

Gibbs grinned. "I did, Tony, yes. Now strip."

Tony didn't hesitate – his hands went automatically to his tie, and he began undressing. Gibbs sat down on the side of the bed and took a sip of his coffee, watching as Tony took off his clothes. When he was naked, Gibbs beckoned him over to stand between his open legs. Tony's cock immediately showed some interest, but Gibbs ignored it as it rose to half mast.

Gibbs looked over his sub's body with that intent look he always got when examining a dead body at crime scenes – which wasn't such a good thought so Tony pushed it away. Then Gibbs made a twirling motion with his finger, and Tony turned around so that his ass was facing his dom.

He felt Gibbs's fingers stroke it lightly – and he tensed. The skin felt incredibly tender from its recent encounter with Gibbs's belt.

"Still feels hot," Gibbs commented. "But I know a good way to cool it down."

Tony had a suspicion that he was soon going to find out exactly why Gibbs had brought those ice cubes with him.

"Go over to the chest," Gibbs ordered. Tony did as he was told, and Gibbs opened the nightstand drawer and tossed Tony the small key that was in there. Tony caught it expertly and then gave his top a questioning look. "You can open it now," Gibbs said, taking another sip of his coffee.

Tony crouched down, unlocked the box with the key, and then opened the heavy wooden lid. Inside, in neatly ordered piles, were all the sex toys Gibbs had bought at that shop.

"These are your responsibility now, Tony," Gibbs told him. "You make sure they're washed properly after use and put back in there. If I go looking for something, and it's not there, then that goes up on the chalkboard. Got it?"

"Got it, Boss." Tony gazed down on the toys with appreciation.

"Choose one," Gibbs said. "And I'll use it on you tonight. Just one – I'll choose the other things I want to play with."

Tony sorted through the contents of the box eagerly. He considered the adjustable nipple clamps. He knew they hurt, but he also liked the kind of pain they produced – and he especially liked what Gibbs did with that pain, and how he stoked it up. He fondled a set of anal beads – they looked interesting, and he'd never experienced them before. He rejected the paddles, straps, floggers, whips, and (shudder) the canes. His ass was in no state to handle any more punishment this evening. He paused on various items of bondage, including a leg spreader and the cock gag, before moving on to the variety of butt plugs, dildos, and vibrators that were nestled at the bottom of the chest.

He decided to go for something simple for tonight – and handed Gibbs the vibrator. Gibbs took it without comment and put it on the nightstand. Tony sat back on his haunches and ran his hand over the wooden chest.

"Nice – bet the store you bought it from had no idea you'd be using it for this kinda stuff," he joked.

"Didn't buy it from a store," Gibbs told him. "Made it."

Tony looked up in surprise.

"I don't just make boats, Tony."

"Yeah – the St Andrew's Cross and the spanking bench kinda clued me in to that. When did you make it?"

Gibbs gave him an inscrutable look, as if he knew where this conversation was heading, which was weird because Tony sure as hell didn't.

"A few years back."

Realisation kicked in, belatedly.

"For Stan? For the toys you used on him?" Tony felt an irrational surge of anger. He stood up, his jaw tightening. "Christ, Gibbs! Did you use any of this stuff on him?" He picked up the vibrator on the night stand. "This? 'Cause if you used this on him, then I don't fucking want you using it on me." He threw the vibrator on the bed.

Gibbs gazed at him impassively. "I cleared it out the night I brought you back from Murray's Bar," he said. "Threw the whole lot out. I'd never use anything on you that I'd used on anyone else, Tony."

"What about that whip you used on me that night at Murray’s?" Tony asked, heatedly.

"Never used until that night." Gibbs shrugged. "Still in its wrapper. It's the only thing I kept from my time with Stan."

"Oh. Right. Okay then." Tony bit on his lip.

"Feel like an idiot now?" Gibbs asked him, one eyebrow quirked upwards.

"Oh hell, Gibbs, I pretty much always feel like an idiot," Tony sighed. "It's Stan. I know he's a nice guy, and I know you had a thing with him before you even met me and there's nothing wrong with that but…"

"But?" Gibbs leaned back on the bed.

"But I still feel like he's competition. He's the golden boy, the perfect sub who got everything right."


"And if he came back tomorrow then you'd dump me and take him back," Tony admitted.

Gibbs didn't reply. He just remained there, sitting on the bed, leaning back, watching his sub.

"Aren't you going to say something?" Tony asked.

"Nope." Gibbs shook his head. "I already told you how it was with me and Stan. I never moved him in, or gave him a collar, or asked him to be my 24/7 sub. You know all that. No point me saying it again. You just have to learn to believe it - and I figure that'll take time. Nothing I say will speed it up."

Tony felt more of an idiot than ever now. "Sorry," he muttered.

Gibbs shrugged. "You'll get there, Tony. One day. Now come here."

He got up off the bed, reached into his pocket, and drew out Tony's collar. Tony's eyes lit up.

"You can wear this when we're alone together – but you don't wear it to work again unless I give my express permission. Understand?"

"Yes, Boss."

Gibbs fastened the collar around his neck. It felt like an old friend; warm and snug, back where it belonged.

"And like I said – the toy box is your responsibility now, DiNozzo – so I figure you should keep the key." Gibbs held up the small metal key. Tony reached for it, but Gibbs palmed it. "You can't wear the collar to work – but I don't see any reason why you can't wear this key."

He pulled a long, narrow strip of black leather from his pocket, threaded the key through it, and tied a knot at the end. Then he slipped the looped leather necklace over Tony's head. It hung down low – it wouldn't even be visible under an open-neck shirt.

"Yes?" Gibbs was looking at him intently. “Will that be enough to remind you who you belong to when you’re at work?”

"Yes, Boss. Thank you, Boss," Tony told him, fingering the key. It was perfect. The cool metal of the key, nestled amongst his chest hair, would provide a little kick when he was at work. Not as much of a kick as wearing Gibbs's collar, but it'd do.

Gibbs grabbed his chin and kissed him, and Tony wrapped his arms around his dom and kissed him back, relishing the feel of Gibbs's clothed body against his own naked skin. Gibbs's kisses were usually pretty forceful and this one was no exception. He kissed Tony until he was breathless and then drew away.

"Go stand in front of the mirror – under the hook," he ordered. There was a free-standing mirror in the corner of the room and a hook fixed into the ceiling in front of it. Tony did as he was told, shivering in anticipation, wondering what was coming next.

He gazed at himself in the mirror. The black collar was fastened firmly around his throat and the leather thong with the key on the end hung much lower. He liked how they both looked on him. He heard Gibbs sorting through the toy box, and then his dom came over and threw a couple of wrist cuffs at him.

"Put them on.”

Tony did as he was told and then looked at his reflection again. Collared and cuffed, he looked every inch the sub now. His cock clearly liked the look, as it was now hard and sticking out hopefully in front of him.

While he buckled on the cuffs, Gibbs crouched down and fastened a leg spreader between his ankles, forcing his legs wide apart.

Gibbs stood up, fastened Tony's wrist cuffs together, ran a chain through them, and connected it to the hook in the ceiling. Then he pulled on it so that Tony's arms were suspended high above his head. Now Tony could see himself in total bondage, completely at his dom's mercy. His arms were bound and his body was helpless – and exposed to whatever Gibbs wanted to do to it. Gibbs seemed to sense his thoughts because he gave one of those feral grins.

"Gonna make you watch," he growled. "Just like in the elevator and the interrogation room. I want you to see your own submission, Tony." He took hold of Tony's chin and made him look straight at the mirror. "What are you?"

"Your sub, Boss," Tony replied, gazing at himself. He was bound tight, his legs spread wide, making him acutely aware of how open and vulnerable his hole was. "Yours."

"Damn right you are. And what can I do to you?"

"Whatever you want, Boss," Tony replied, his cock swelling and aching. He could feel himself sinking down into sub space, and it felt warm and welcoming, like diving beneath a blanket on a cold night.

"Good. Watch me own you, Tony. Watch every single whimper and scream."

He moved away, but Tony didn't see where he was going – he was too intent on looking at himself, trussed up, ready and waiting.

Gibbs moved into his line of vision again, holding a cup. He scooped up a handful of ice cubes and warmed them in his hand, rubbing the hard edges off them. Tony braced himself.

Next thing he knew those cold cubes were being pressed against his hot ass cheeks - and it felt so good. He gave a happy sigh and relaxed in his bonds.

"You like this?" Gibbs asked as he rubbed the icy cubes against Tony’s sore skin.

"Yes, Boss."

"How about this?" Gibbs slid one of the ice cubes between Tony's buttocks, and Tony gave a strangled yelp as he felt it press against his hole.

"I dunno…feels cold there," Tony whimpered.

He watched the expressions on his own face as Gibbs played with the cube, holding it against his hole, teasing him with it – and then, without warning, Gibbs pushed it into his body. Tony saw himself contort, his face scrunching up and his arms flexing pointlessly in their bonds as the freezing intruder entered his body.

Gibbs kissed the back of his neck. "Want to say your word?"

"No, Boss." Tony shook his head. He could feel the ice cube, lodged inside his hole, and knew that he was powerless to remove it – and that turned him on.

Gibbs ran another cube over Tony's burning ass cheeks, soothing them, and then, as before, he slid it into Tony's hole. Tony hung there, whimpering. Another one followed, and then another, until the ice cold was freezing him from the inside out.

"Let's keep ‘em there," Gibbs told him, in a voice of pure evil. Tony watched in a state of nervous apprehension as Gibbs picked up a small butt plug from the bed, covered it in lube, and then pushed it into his hole, forcing the ice cubes deeper into his body.

"No…please…" Tony begged, but Gibbs didn't listen to begging. Never had, never would.

Now Tony was acutely aware of the juxtaposition of his own burning ass cheeks and the freezing cold cubes melting inside him, held in place by the butt plug. He could feel ice water seeping out of his buttocks and dripping down his thighs.

"You wanted me to use this?" Gibbs held up the vibrator. Tony nodded eagerly; that looked much less threatening. Gibbs grinned and thrust the vibrator into the cup of ice cubes. Tony could tell by the clinking sound that there were still several in there, and he groaned. "While we wait for that to cool down, I know something else we can do," Gibbs told him, with an evil grin.

He picked up an ice cube, put it in his mouth, and swirled it around. Tony watched the bulge in his dom's cheek, fascinated, wondering what he was going to do next. He soon found out. Gibbs suddenly leaned down, grasped Tony's hips firmly in his hands, and swallowed his cock whole in his mouth – with the ice cube still in it.

Tony shrieked as all that coldness made contact with his hard cock. Then he screamed as Gibbs worked his cock against the cube he was holding in his mouth. Half Tony's cock was pressed against the ice, while the other half was being warmed by Gibbs’s mouth; the sensation was indescribable.

Gibbs sucked him for awhile, and then he stood back and spat out what was left of the cube into his hand. He ran the cube along Tony's cock, making Tony whimper. Just when he thought he was getting used to it, and he could handle it, Gibbs took a step back, gave another of those truly evil grins, and took a gulp of his coffee. He swirled it around in his mouth and then swallowed it. Tony gazed at him, horrified, realising what he was going to do.

"No…no…noooooooo!" he yelled, as Gibbs dipped his head and swallowed his cock whole a second time. The sensation of the warm interior of Gibbs's mouth against his cold cock made Tony scream in earnest. It felt so intense – and he ached with the desire to come.

Gibbs sucked him for a little while, warming Tony's freezing flesh in his mouth, and then he moved back.

"How ya doing, DiNozzo?" He grinned at his sub.

"I…I…" Tony just hung from his bonds, speechless. "You…you're…"

"You're welcome.” Gibbs patted his cheek affectionately. “Now…this should be nice and cold."

He removed the vibrator from where it was nestled among the ice cubes and turned it on. Then he held the cold, buzzing device against one of Tony's nipples, making him squeal and try to twist away from it.

"Stop that." Gibbs slapped his ass reprovingly. "Who do you belong to, Tony?"

"Y…you, Boss."

"Then take what I hand out."

Tony forced himself to stay in position as Gibbs moved that freezing cold vibrator over his nipples, making them stand up in hard points. Then Gibbs stuck the vibrator back into the cup of ice cubes.

"Want to cool it down again. Have something else planned for it," Gibbs told him. “But while we wait…”

He scooped another one of the ice cubes from the cup and placed it on one of Tony's nipples. He held it in there – and, at the same time, leaned in and took Tony’s other nipple into his mouth. It was a special kind of torture; Tony held as still as he could while Gibbs alternated the ice cubes and his own warm mouth on Tony’s nipples. He waited until the ice had thoroughly frozen one nipple before switching around and warming it up while simultaneously cooling the other.

Tony was deeply into his sub space now, and he’d been played with in this excruciatingly arousing way for so long that he was starting to zone out.

Gibbs toyed with him until Tony's arms were tired and aching from having been bound above his head for so long, and he slumped against his bonds wearily. The ice cubes inside his body were now melting in earnest, cold water flowing freely out of his hole and down his thighs.

Tony gazed at himself blearily in the mirror, watching Gibbs’s head as it moved against his chest. Oh God…he couldn’t hang on…he needed to come, and he needed to move his aching arms, and he needed…he wasn’t sure what he needed. He just knew that he loved being the object of Gibbs's totally focussed attention.

Gibbs finished tormenting his nipples and stepped back. He ran the back of his hand gently over Tony’s cheek and leaned in for a kiss. Tony opened up eagerly, moaning as Gibbs kissed him.

Gibbs pulled back, went around behind him, and removed the butt plug. He eased what was left of the ice cubes out of Tony’s hole, and Tony breathed a sigh of relief.

Gibbs put a strong arm around his body and held him up while he released his wrists from the hook in the ceiling. Tony slumped down onto his dom with a sigh, grateful to be allowed out from at least part of his bondage.

Gibbs helped him onto the bed, placing him on his front on a pile of pillows that forced his ass high into the air. His legs were still held wide open by the spreader bar – exposing his hole.

He felt the mattress give behind him, and then the sensation of Gibbs's warm breath on his buttocks, and he gave a sigh of pleasure as Gibbs dipped his tongue into his hole. It felt hot after the ice cubes, and he loosened up as Gibbs rimmed him expertly. He longed to come, but he knew that wasn't an option until Gibbs chose to sink his hard cock into him.

The rimming was fantastic, the warmth so welcome after the intensity of the cold, and Tony felt himself thawing out. He relaxed against the mattress, feeling hazy and happy.

Gibbs finished rimming him, and Tony watched his dom go over to the nightstand and remove the vibrator from the ice cubes. Gibbs held it up with a grin and returned to the bed with it.

"No, Boss…no, no, no," Tony whimpered, but Gibbs took no notice. He lubed the vibrator and then inserted the tip into Tony's hole. "NO!" Tony shrieked. It was so cold after the soothing warmth of Gibbs's expert tongue. Gibbs worked the vibrator deep inside Tony's body, chilling him all over again, and then he turned it on to full speed and began fucking Tony with it, slowly. It purred and buzzed in Tony's body, freezing him and making him tingle with pleasure at the same time. Gibbs pushed it back and forth relentlessly, until Tony was moaning incoherently.

Just when Tony thought he couldn't take any more, Gibbs removed the cold, hard vibrator and replaced it with something so beautifully familiar and welcome that Tony could have cried.

Gibbs entered his pulsing cock into Tony's frozen hole with one powerful thrust. It was warm and powerful where the vibrator had been freezing and mechanical. It heated Tony's icy flesh from the inside out, and he screamed his pleasure uncontrollably as his body slowly, achingly, began to warm up.

Gibbs fucked him hard, his hands heavy on Tony’s hips, and now he was hitting Tony’s prostate with each inward thrust. Tony pushed his own hard cock into the pillows, allowing the friction to work its magic, and before long he was coming in one long pulse after another, white lights exploding in his head.

He was dimly aware of Gibbs still riding him, and then he felt a surge of warmth as Gibbs shot his load deep into his body. Gibbs moved down on top of him, his warm cock still lodged inside him, and rested there for a moment, kissing the back of Tony’s neck, just above his collar.

Then he withdrew, and Tony whimpered at the loss of all that warmth. He felt hands on his ankles, unfastening the spreader bar, and then, at last, he was released. He moved his legs experimentally, relieving the minor cramps that had set in, and then turned over to look at his dom. Gibbs sat down beside him on the bed and stroked his hair back from his head.

“Good?” he asked.

“Evil,” Tony replied. “And good,” he added, with a tired grin. Gibbs laughed out loud and pressed a kiss to Tony’s temple.

“Glad to hear it. Clean up and put the toys away. I’m gonna go order takeout. There’s no way I’m going to bed on an empty stomach. Come down when you’re done.”

Tony had forgotten they hadn’t eaten. Gibbs left the room, and Tony remained on the bed, gazing dreamily at the ceiling. He couldn’t believe how good that had been. He re-lived the whole thing in his head, savouring it – and wondered whether he could persuade Gibbs to do it all over again tomorrow night.

He finally forced himself up and began tidying the room. He wiped down the cuffs and leg spreader and replaced them in the wooden chest in the closet, and then he took the vibrator along to the bathroom and washed it thoroughly. He cleaned himself up too while he was at it, relishing the soothing warmth of warm water after so much coldness.

He returned the vibrator to the wooden chest and then stripped off the pillow cases and threw them into the laundry hamper. He tidied away the lube into the toy box too and closed the lid. He felt a little surge of pleasure as he removed the leather thong from around his neck and locked the toy box with the key.

He replaced the thong around his neck so that the key was nestled against his chest again, and then he wearily turned out the light and left the spare room. He walked down the stairs – still naked - and found Gibbs sitting on the couch in the living room. His dom was watching the news on TV with boxes of Chinese takeout on the coffee table in front of him.

Gibbs glanced up and patted the seat next to him on the couch, and Tony sat down with a weary sigh. He was hungry, but he honestly felt too tired to eat. Gibbs seemed to sense that. He twisted his fork in the noodles and then held it out to Tony. Tony ate without protest. The noodles felt so warm going down – he hadn’t even realised that he was hungry.

He sat there and let Gibbs feed him for the next ten minutes, too wrung out to feed himself. When Gibbs was done feeding them both, he sat back on the couch, and Tony crawled into his lap without even thinking about it. He zoned out to the happy sensation of his dom's warm thighs beneath his head, and his gentle fingers combing through his hair.


Walter Skinner sat with one hand wrapped around a beer and the other wrapped around his slave’s shoulders at Murray’s Bar.

“Think they got held up?” Fox asked him, glancing at his watch. Skinner grinned at him.

“Oh yeah,” he said, with a wink. “How long’s it been? Two weeks since I fished Jethro out from under his boat, while you gave Tony that much needed kick up the ass? Two weeks into *our* relationship, I could hardly keep my hands off you.”

“Still can’t.” Fox glanced meaningfully at the hand on his shoulder. Skinner grinned again. He moved his hand and tousled his slave’s hair.

At that moment, there was movement at the top of the stairs, and the two men they had been waiting for appeared.

“Oh my God,” Fox breathed, gazing at them.

“Oh yeah. They *definitely* got held up,” Skinner snorted. He got to his feet and waved. “Over here, Jethro.”

Tony and Gibbs walked down the stairs together, side by side, their steps in perfect sync. Skinner couldn’t help smiling to himself; they walked like a couple who were having lots of great sex. There was something about how their hips almost touched with each stride, the loose set of their shoulders, and that indefinable glow on their faces.

“Wow – you look fantastic,” Fox commented when they got close.

They did. Gibbs was wearing a pair of classy black chinos and a vivid blue shirt that matched the colour of his eyes. Skinner had never known Gibbs to give a damn about his clothes, so he suspected the outfit was all Tony’s doing. Tony looked as well groomed as always, in fashionable blue jeans and a loose green shirt that was open at the neck.

“Thanks – I took his measurements while he slept and went out and bought him the clothes,” Tony told them as they all shook hands.

“Apparently my Sears sales items aren’t good enough for my sub,” Gibbs grunted.

“Hey – if I’m gonna be seen out with you in a place like this, I want people envying me my good taste in tops,” Tony grinned. “And you scrub up pretty well, Boss.”

Gibbs slapped the back of his head without missing a beat, and Tony’s grin widened. Skinner gave a little smile – he knew just how much those head-slaps meant to Tony.

“Actually, I wasn’t talking about the clothes,” Fox said.

“Fox is about as interested in clothes as you are, Jethro.” Skinner sighed. “He wouldn’t have noticed if you’d walked in here stark naked.”

“I might have noticed that.” Fox grinned. “And it makes no difference if I’m interested in clothes or not, seeing as how my master gets to dress me up in whatever the hell he likes.”

Skinner laughed. “Hey – take a seat,” he said, waving his hand at the empty chairs opposite. “What d’you want to drink?”

They placed their orders, and Skinner dispatched Fox to the bar to get the round of drinks. Gibbs sent Tony with him – and Skinner had no doubt that was an intentional move on his part.

“So, how are things going?” he asked Gibbs when they were alone. “Pretty well I’d say looking at the pair of you tonight. You guys even leave the house these past couple of weeks?” He raised an amused eyebrow.

“Still have a job to do, Walter,” Gibbs grunted.

“Yeah – you have two jobs now though. The day job at NCIS, and the other job keeping that sub of yours well fucked. ‘Cause trust me, that’s one well fucked sub.”

Gibbs gave him his death glare, but Skinner ignored it as usual. Leroy Jethro Gibbs didn’t scare him – although he knew that the man scared the rest of the world. That wasn’t such a bad thing. Walter Skinner knew exactly what Gibbs was capable of, and how right people were to be afraid of him. He wondered how Tony was handling a top as intense and frankly terrifying as Gibbs could be on a bad day. Then again, Tony had been handling Gibbs for eight years and had survived thus far. He was probably one of the few people in the world who *could* handle Gibbs.

Gibbs’s death glare turned into a tight little grin as he glanced over at his sub, who was standing at the bar chatting to Fox.

“Yeah,” Gibbs muttered at last. “Christ, Walter – it’s either a famine or a feast. Went a long time with nothing at all and now…” His grin widened, and he looked like the kid he’d been when Skinner first met him. “Now I feel like a teenager again.”

Skinner laughed. “I hope that doesn’t mean you’re gonna start acting like you did back in boot camp all over again,” he said, with a wink. It was Gibbs’s turn to laugh now.

“Wouldn’t dare, Walter. There’s no way I ever want another taste of your belt.”

“So it’s good?” Skinner took a sip of his beer, gazing at Gibbs searchingly.

“Oh yeah. It’s good. *He’s* good,” Gibbs replied. “I always knew there was something there – some kind of attraction, chemistry, whatever the hell you wanna call it. But I had no idea we’d be this compatible.”

“I did,” Walter shrugged. Gibbs raised an eyebrow. “What? It was obvious, just looking at the pair of you, pining away for each other like damn idiots,” Skinner grinned. “Anyone could see that when you two finally got together the result was gonna be pretty explosive.”

“Yeah,” Gibbs chuckled. “Explosive is the right word for it.” He leaned across the table. “But it’s been so damn easy, Walter - once we finally stopped dancing around each other and got down to it. It’s been a pretty smooth ride. Knowing he was a newbie – hell not just to the submission thing but also to men – I thought he’d have more trouble with it.”

“And he hasn’t?”

“Not as far as I can see. He’s taken to it like a duck to water. I never knew Tony DiNozzo would be able to go from womanising frat boy to gay submissive without even blinking, but he has.”

“I think you need to give the boy more credit for knowing what he wants,” Skinner said, glancing over at the bar, where Tony and Fox were deep in their own conversation. He was glad about that. Tony didn’t have any submissive friends on the scene, and Skinner thought he needed some kind of mentor. Fox could be unpredictable and off the wall, but Skinner had no doubt that any advice he gave Tony would be both useful and sincere. “What he’s wanted for a very long time,” Skinner added.

“Was it like this with you and Fox?”

“Hell no! Most of the first year was a struggle if I’m honest,” Skinner admitted. “A fantastic struggle, and one I relished, but there were times when I’d have been tearing my hair out in despair if I had any.” He gave a self-deprecating grin. “But Fox is a very different personality to Tony – and you’re a very different personality to me, Jethro.”

“Just keep waiting for the other shoe to drop,” Gibbs grunted. “Can’t be this easy forever.”

“You find out what it is he’s hiding?” Skinner asked.

Gibbs glanced up sharply. “Nope. Whatever it is he thinks it’s big, but whether it is or not – I have no idea because he never even gets close to letting me in.”

“That what’s bothering you?” Skinner asked.

Gibbs glared at him again, but Skinner knew how Gibbs used that glare to get people to back off when they asked anything too personal. He had no intention of backing off, so he just sat back with a raised eyebrow.

“Something’s bothering you, Jethro – and it isn’t how damn easy or how good it’s been since you claimed that boy.”

He studied Gibbs intently. His friend liked to keep himself all locked up, but Skinner had always been able to see beneath the surface. As a kid, Gibbs had always allowed the heat of his emotions to over-ride all good sense. He’d had to learn how to master his wild streak the hard way. Tony was a different kind of man entirely. He hid things like he’d been hiding them all his life. Maybe he had - Skinner hadn’t got an entirely good handle on the kid yet. But Gibbs had been one of his Marines – Gibbs was *family* - and Skinner knew him inside out.

“He never says his safe word,” Gibbs confided at last.

Skinner frowned. Gibbs looked up, straight at him. His blue eyes were usually steely, the forbidding expression in them designed to keep people out. But right now he had his guard down, and Skinner could see that he was genuinely concerned.

“Maybe you haven’t done anything that’s made him feel like he needs to say it.”

“Maybe.” Gibbs shrugged. “I can read him well. I know when he’s at the edge, and I’ve never given him more than I think he can handle – but…” He shook his head. “I think he’d take it if I did. I think I could shove him right off the edge and put him in freefall, and he’d take it without saying that word. Question is – why?”

“Because he doesn’t want a safe word?” Skinner suggested. “He wants to surrender to you, Jethro. He doesn’t want to know that he has any control over what you do to him. He wants the thrill. Hell, that’s not unusual. Lot of subs feel that way.”

“I guess,” Gibbs conceded, but his shoulders were hunched.

“You think it’s more than that?”

“I don’t know – because I can’t get under the surface. I get close sometimes, but then he slips away from me. That’s Tony – he’s always been kind of slippery.”

Skinner grunted. Gibbs was a direct kind of guy. He might be intensely private, and solitary to the point of paranoia, but he wasn’t a complicated man. His sub was though – Skinner had no doubt about that. Tony was all kinds of complicated.

“You can’t trust him then?”

Gibbs gave him a dour kind of look. “Hell yeah – I can trust him, Walter. I can trust him not to cheat on me, I can trust him to be a willing, obedient sub, and I can trust him to have my six in any given life or death situation. But can I trust him not to let me hurt him? No – I don’t think I can.”

“Because he *wants* to be hurt,” Skinner said softly.

“Yeah. Or at least he wants something I won’t give him. Something dark. Right now, we’re in the honeymoon period – but there’s a side of him that hasn’t gone away. It’s just in cold storage right now while I keep him distracted with other stuff.”

“Then you wait.” Skinner sat back in his chair. “You wait, Jethro. You wait for him to trust you enough to tell you what’s going on. That’s all you can do.”

“No – it isn’t.” Gibbs gazed at him intently.

“What d'you mean?”

“I have a dossier on him – haven’t opened it,” Gibbs said quickly as Skinner reacted to that statement. “Had it for a few years, and I’ve never been tempted to open it. I didn’t ask for it – I just came by it. I know there are some answers in there, but…”

“But you’re worried you’ll ruin any trust you’ve built up between you if you read it?”

“Yeah. I want him to tell me himself – I don’t want to find out about it from any damn file.”

“Then give him time,” Skinner advised. “It’s only been a few weeks, Jethro. Give him some more time.”

“And what if he lets me put him in a situation of real distress in the meantime, and all because I don’t know what’s going on with him?”

Skinner shook his head. “You’ll just have to watch him closely, Jethro – and trust that famous gut of yours.”

“Yeah. I guess that's all I can do.”

Gibbs leaned back in his chair. He glanced over towards the bar, and Skinner saw the look of naked vulnerability in his eyes. He doubted anyone else would have seen it but him. Gibbs’s gaze was fixed on his sub – and it told Skinner everything Gibbs would never say.

Skinner wondered if Tony knew. Probably not. Gibbs never liked telling anyone how he felt – Skinner was pretty sure that was why both Jenny and Stan had left him, to say nothing of his three wives.

Skinner suspected that the kid standing over there by the bar had absolutely no idea just how hopelessly in love with him his dom was.


"So – how's it going?" Fox asked, as they waited for their drinks.

Tony grinned at him. "Oh it's good. Very good." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively.

"Yeah – I can see that. You look like a different person. Being submissive makes you happy, huh?"

Tony considered that for a moment. If anyone else had asked it, he thought it would have made his hackles rise, but this was Fox he was talking to – a man who called his lover "Master". And a man, also, who was about as independent-spirited as anyone he'd ever met. Nobody would ever call Fox Mulder weak or needy – his need for sexual submission clearly didn't diminish the strength of his personality.

"Yes, it does," he replied honestly. "But then again, submitting to Gibbs is easy. I've been doing it since I met him. The sex part just makes it fun. I already know how to be his sub – I've been that for years in a way."

"You struggling with any of it?" Fox pulled on that full lower lip of his.

Tony shook his head. "Nope. I'm not saying it's always easy, but you warned me about that."

"Which bits aren't easy?"

Tony sighed. This was typical Fox – always wanting to know the things that Tony didn't necessarily want to tell him.

"Taking punishment." Tony winced inwardly as he remembered the spanking he'd received a couple of weeks previously in the interrogation room. Man, that one had hurt. He hadn't sat comfortably for days. Luckily for him, Gibbs had gone easy on him for a few days afterwards, so he'd had time to recover.

"Really?" Fox continued tugging thoughtfully on his bottom lip. "Wouldn't have thought punishment would be a problem for you, Tony. Thought it was what you wanted."

Tony was saved from having to come up with a suitably deflective answer to that question by the sound of his cell phone ringing. He gave Fox an apologetic smile and fished his phone out of his pocket. He glanced at the caller ID – he didn't know the number, but he would prefer to talk to just about anyone in the world except Fox Mulder right now, so he answered the call.


"Hey, motherfucker."

Tony's stomach did a flip as he heard the old, familiar voice. The irony wasn't wasted on him though. Chief Petty Officer Dale Grasso was the one person in the world he wanted to talk to even less than he wanted to talk to Fox Mulder.

"I think you have the wrong number," he said smoothly. He made a face at Fox and pointed to the phone, rolling his eyes.

"You didn't answer any of my emails, motherfucker, so I thought I'd call. Took me some time to track down your cell phone number...but it's worth it to hear your whiny-assed voice again."

"Well, I can't help you. You're speaking to the wrong person."

"I’ll be back in three weeks, DiNozzo."

"Sorry I don't know who that is."

"You ran out on me. That pissed me off. I liked our little arrangement. I'm comin' to get you, DiNozzo.”

"I don't fucking think so," Tony said, more forcefully than he'd intended. He saw Fox raise an eyebrow and turned away to try and get some privacy.

"I don't give up so easy. You and me – we have some unfinished business to take care of."

Tony felt himself grow cold inside. "Yeah, well, good luck finding someone who can help you. You sure as hell need it. *Motherfucker*."

He snapped the phone shut and turned back with his bright, shiny smile plastered into place.

"Wrong number," he said cheerfully.

Fox laughed out loud. "Yeah. Right. Sounded more like a wake-up call to me, Tony."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

Fox shrugged. "Voice from the past maybe?"

"No. Like I said – wrong number," Tony replied firmly.

"And does Gibbs know about this wrong number of yours?" Fox's hazel eyes were glowing intently. He had this really irritating habit of being able to get under Tony's skin, and he never failed to pick up on all the things that everyone else missed.

Tony changed tack, turning deadly serious. "No – and he doesn't need to. This is nothing to do with him."

Fox shrugged. "Sure. Right." He leaned in. "Gibbs is your *master*, Tony.”

“I don’t call him that…” Tony began.

Fox laughed. “You might not use the word, but that’s what he damn well is, Tony. And if I kept a call like that a secret from Walter, he'd string me up by the balls and whip my ass until I hollered for mercy."

"You've been with Walter for ten years – it's different," Tony snapped.

"No – it really isn't. If this had happened to me on day two of my slavery, then Walter would have reacted the exact same way."

"I can handle this by myself. It's my mess – I'll figure it out. Nothing for you to get involved with," Tony told him, in a low, urgent tone. "Nothing for you to tell Gibbs about, either – understand?"

Fox gave him a hard stare. "Tony – there's no question of me telling Gibbs shit. You're the one who should do that. Give the guy some respect. You're in his life, and he's in yours. That means you have to damn well make room for him."

"Like I said – this is nothing. I can handle it. It's just a little…" Tony hesitated. "Local difficulty."

"Were you seeing someone before Gibbs, Tony?" Fox asked. "Is that who that guy is?"

"No." Tony shook his head. "There was nobody before Gibbs. There has never been any guy except Gibbs. Ever."

Fox nodded thoughtfully. "I believe you. But then who is that guy – and why is he hassling you?"

Tony wondered how much of the conversation Fox had overhead. "He's nothing. Seriously."

Fox sighed. "Look, Tony, I've been where you are right now, and it didn't end well." His hand went unconsciously to his chest as he said that, and Tony saw him fingering the outline of his scar through the thin fabric of his shirt. "I nearly fucked things up for good between me and Walter because I didn't trust him. Took me a long time to earn back his trust after that – because he HAD trusted me, poor damn idiot." Fox glanced over to the table in the corner, where their Walter and Gibbs were engaged in an intense-looking conversation.

"You don't know Gibbs," Tony said. "I could tell him about this guy, but if I do, it doesn't end there. It leads on to a whole lot of other questions – questions I don't want to answer. And Gibbs isn't someone who lets things lie. So if I don't answer them, he'll find out another way."

"Right." Fox nodded. "So this is the tip of the iceberg, huh? If Gibbs knows about this stalker person you've somehow acquired, then it opens up a whole can of worms for you, does it?"

"Yes." Tony nodded. "It does. And it's not a can I want opened any time soon." Or ever.

"Interesting." Fox gazed at him musingly. Then he sighed. "Okay, Tony. You play this your way. Let me just say this: You're wrong. No matter what it is that you're hiding, Gibbs *will* find out, one day. If you're lucky, he'll hang on in there and stick with you while you both figure it out – but you can bet it won't be pretty, and you'll pay for lying to him."

"And if I'm not lucky?" Tony raised an eyebrow.

"Then Gibbs will throw your sorry ass out onto the street and have nothing to do with you ever again," Fox said with a shrug. "And I think that's pretty much your worst nightmare, Tony. Rejection, abandonment - they press all your buttons, don't they? You'd rather he kicked you like a dog but kept you tied up at his side than that he threw you out. So think about it."

He leaned forward and patted Tony's arm. "C'mon – time to take these drinks back to the table. Our masters will be thirsty, and we don't want to piss them off, do we?"


Gibbs was surprised by how much he enjoyed spending an evening out with his sub. He wasn't usually a very sociable man. He'd spent the past few years working all hours, and any down time he got to himself he spent on his boat. He occasionally went to a bar for the sole purpose of getting drunk, but he didn't use it as an opportunity to talk to people. He was used to his own company. Tony was different though. Tony *was* a sociable person, and Gibbs knew they had to strike a balance between evenings spent working on the boat and evenings spent going out with friends. The evenings spent having sex were a given.

Tony could make any social situation go with a swing, and Gibbs enjoyed taking a back seat and watching his sub shine with a series of amusing and frankly implausible stories. Fox was a good match for Tony in the implausible stories stakes, and Gibbs and Walter were soon laughing heartily at tales of spring breaks gone wrong, and alien bounty hunters who turned up in the most unlikely of places. Gibbs was never sure how to take Fox, but when Walter's unusual sub relaxed he could be almost as much fun as Tony.

They were having such a good time in the bar that Gibbs didn't hear his cell phone ringing just before midnight. He did feel the vibration though. He reached into his pocket and glanced at the caller display, wondering who was calling him this late on a Saturday evening. His heart skipped a beat when he saw the name: Abby.

He flipped open the phone, his body tensing in anticipation of some kind of trouble. Tony sensed the change in his body language immediately and stopped talking in mid-sentence, turning towards him with a questioning look in his eyes.

"Abs…" Gibbs answered the call, but he didn't get any further than that as a torrent of words assaulted him. Abby's voice was high and frightened, and he could only make out every third or fourth word.

"…came back…been here…apartment…Gibbs, oh Gibbs!...shit…oh God, what did I tread in…?" He heard the sound of crunching glass.

"Abby!" he bellowed into the phone. There was a startled silence.

"Sorry, Gibbs. I just…" She sounded close to tears.

"Where are you?"

"At my place, like I said. I just got in…"

"Stay there. We'll be there in ten," Gibbs told her firmly. He snapped the phone shut and got to his feet. "We have to go," he told a startled Walter and Fox, and then he was off, running towards the staircase. He didn't even have to look around to know that Tony was behind him, matching him stride for stride.

Gibbs ran up the stairs and out into the parking lot without pausing. Tony jumped into the car beside him, and Gibbs drove them towards Abby's place at a breakneck pace. For once, Tony didn't comment on his driving – he just clung onto the passenger side of the car. Gibbs hadn't consumed anything stronger than coke all evening, but he knew he was driving as if he'd downed a dozen whiskies.

"What did Abby say?" Tony asked as Gibbs tore along the highway. "What's happening? Is she okay, Boss?"

He sounded worried. Gibbs knew that Tony felt the same way about Abby as he did. She meant more to them than any other member of the team, even Ducky. Abby was, quite simply, special, and they both loved her fiercely.

"She's upset. I couldn't figure out what was going on, but it didn't sound good. I don't think she's in any harm, but…" Gibbs slammed his foot down even harder on the accelerator, and the rest of that sentence remained hanging between them.

He pulled up outside Abby's apartment with a screech of brakes, and he and Tony were both out of the car the second he turned off the engine. They ran into the apartment complex and up the two flights of stairs to Abby's apartment…and then paused. Her apartment door was hanging half off its hinges. Gibbs put up his hand, and he and Tony both drew their guns at the same time.

"Abby – you there?" Gibbs called, pushing open the ruined door cautiously with his foot.

"Gibbs!" A second later a blur of black and red jumped into his arms, and he held Abby close, relieved beyond belief that she was alive and well. He hugged her for a few seconds, glancing at Tony over her bushy black hair, which was free of its normal pigtails.

Tony located the light switch and turned it on – and Gibbs winced. Abby's apartment had been trashed. Her TV set had been smashed to smithereens and there was glass all over the floor. The sofa was upturned, and the contents of her fridge seemed to have been strewn everywhere.

"Abby – what the hell happened here?" Gibbs asked, holding her at arm's length so that he could look into her mascara-stained eyes.

"I was so scared, Gibbs," she whispered. "I just got back – I was at a party, and I'd had a really good time…I met this really nice guy and…anyway…" She pulled herself together as she caught the expression in his eyes. "It was just a normal Saturday night out. I came home – alone," she said firmly. "And I walked in to find this." She gestured around the room with her hand. "I was scared that whoever did it was still here! I turned off the light and hid behind the door and called you straight away."

"Burglary?" Tony asked, looking around the place.

"Tony!" Abby seemed to see him for the first time. She launched herself into his arms, and he held her as tight as Gibbs had, kissing her hair gently as she sobbed into his shoulder.

"Uh, Gibbs thought he might need back up so he brought me along," Tony said. It sounded lame to Gibbs, but Abby was clearly too distraught to think anything of it.

Gibbs took the opportunity to look around the place himself. His gun still drawn, he kicked open each door cautiously. All the rooms were trashed, but the place was at least empty. He holstered his gun and returned to the living room.

"It's okay, Abby – there's nobody here," he told her softly. "Might have been better if you'd run back out into the street than stayed in here though if you were scared whoever did this might still be here."

"But you told me to stay here! And I was too scared to move anyway," she admitted, her entire body shaking. She disengaged herself from Tony and turned back to him. "And I knew you were on your way, Gibbs, and that everything would be okay when you got here."

Gibbs thought it was lucky they'd been at the bar – if he'd come from his house it would have taken an extra fifteen or so minutes to get here, and he didn't like to think of Abby crouching behind the door in terror for that length of time.

"Boss!" Tony called from the direction of the bedroom. "I’ve found something."

Gibbs took hold of Abby's hand and walked her into the bedroom with him. Her famous coffin bed was standing on a plinth in the centre of the room, same as always, but Gibbs didn't like the expression on Tony's face as he looked into the coffin.

"In here, Boss." Tony gestured with his head at the interior of the coffin.

Gibbs walked over to the coffin, still holding Abby's hand, and he heard her breathing hitch as she looked inside.

There was a skeleton in the coffin – Gibbs recognised it immediately as the piece of "art" that Abby usually kept hanging from the bookcase in her living room. It had been dressed, ghoulishly, in one of her black tee shirts and a plaid skirt. Its bony legs had been placed inside a pair of Abby's big, black, leather boots. There was even a spiky collar fastened loosely around its neck.

There was a piece of paper lying on the skeleton's tee shirt – right above where a real life person's heart would be. The paper was held in place by the sharp point of a kitchen knife which was embedded in the coffin-shaped mattress. On it was some writing:

Next time, the dead body lying in a coffin will be yours, Abigail Sciuto


Within half an hour, Abby’s apartment was full of people. She clung onto Gibbs’s hand as he walked from room to room, directing his agents to take photos and sweep the room for prints and any kind of evidence. Abby might have been a forensics expert, but she wasn’t a crime scene expert, so she allowed Gibbs, McGee, Ziva and Tony to do their jobs. The one thing she couldn't do was let go of Gibbs's hand. Not yet. And he didn't seem to mind. His fingers were warm and firm wrapped around hers, and she knew he'd let her hold on for as long as she needed.

“DiNozzo!” Gibbs called his second in command over. “You’re in charge of the crime scene. We’re gonna take this first box of evidence back to NCIS and start working on it.” He gestured to the box of evidence sitting on the table, which included the note that had been in the coffin.

“Right, Boss.”

“We’re going to NCIS now? In the middle of the night?” Abby asked.

Gibbs turned to glance at her. “Someone has made a death threat against you, Abs. No telling what might have happened if you’d stayed home tonight instead of going to that party. Sooner we start analysing the evidence, sooner we can figure out who is trying to get you.”

She nodded, her eyes big and scared, glad of his solid, reassuring presence beside her.

“It’s okay, Abby,” Gibbs told her gently, squeezing her hand. “Nobody is going to get near you. You know that, don’t you? Me or Tony – or both of us - will be with you at all times.”

“Yes, Gibbs.” She nodded, squeezing his hand in return.

“Good – then let’s get moving.”

He strode towards the door, and she scurried along beside him, still clutching his hand like a frightened child.

“DiNozzo – when you’re done here, call for clean up and get your ass back to NCIS with the rest of the evidence,” Gibbs snapped.

Tony nodded – Abby gave him a scared smile, and he gave her his big, bright Tony grin in return, and then made a thumbs up sign in a clear attempt to reassure her. It worked.

“Oh – Tony – if you find any…uh, stuff, you know, private stuff…just um…well, don’t look at it,” she told him. His grin broadened into something more suggestive.

“What kind of stuff, Abs?”

“DiNozzo,” Gibbs said, in a warning tone. Tony’s smile vanished instantly.

“On it, Boss!”

Abby felt a little better after that exchange.


It was nearly 4 a.m. by the time Tony returned to NCIS with the last of the evidence. He had sent Ziva and McGee home – no point them all staying up. He found Abby in her lab. She looked terrible; her face was even paler than usual, and her mascara had run down her cheeks. Her hair was a sticky mess from where she'd been running her tear-stained fingers through it all evening.

“Hey – how you doing?” He put a gentle hand on her shoulder and squeezed. She smiled at him.

“I’m fine, Tony. But look at you! I didn’t notice earlier, but you’re all dressed up. Sorry if I spoiled your evening.”

“Nah.” Tony shrugged. “It’s fine. Just…you know, out for a few beers with some friends.”

“I think the bossman might have been on a date when I called,” she whispered, glancing furtively at where Gibbs was sitting at her work station behind the glass dividing doors, flicking through some of the evidence in the box they’d brought back earlier.

“What makes you say that?” Tony put his head on one side and surveyed their boss with mock-curiosity.

“Because he’s just as dressed up as you, Tony! And Gibbs never dresses up like that. Whoever she is, she’s got really good taste in clothes too – because there is no way the bossman bought that shirt himself.”

Tony couldn’t help laughing out loud at that. “You could be right, Abs.”

“Dare you to ask him about it,” Abby said, her face brightening.

“You’re on!” he said, a grin creasing his face at the hint of mischief. He figured he could handle the head-slap – or worse – that would come his way if it got her smiling again; and he so desperately wanted her smiling again.

Gibbs glanced up at that moment and saw him through the glass dividing door. He flipped whatever he was looking at back into the box and stepped into the main area of the lab.

“What did you find, DiNozzo?”

“Nothing really, Boss. We swept for prints, like you said, but I’m betting the ones we found will turn out to belong to Abby or her friends.”

Gibbs looked pretty grumpy as he peered into the boxes Tony had brought with him.

“I called for clean up like you said, Boss. So it should be nice and shiny and ready for you when you go home again, Abby.”

Abby gazed at him with those luminous eyes, and he winced. That had been the wrong thing to say. Of course she was scared of going home again after what had just happened!

“Uh – so, Boss…were you on a hot date?” Tony grinned, nodding at Gibbs’s blue shirt. Gibbs turned slowly towards him, one eyebrow raised, his face set in its death glare expression. “Uh…because…usually you don’t dress like that – not that there’s anything wrong with the way you usually dress – y’know, all those Sears sale items are just fine for work – but you don’t usually…” Gibbs’s death glare deepened. Tony trailed off and pointed his finger sideways at Abby. “She made me ask, Boss! It was a dare!”

“Tony!” Abby bashed his arm with her fist, and he winced theatrically. Then her eyes sparkled again as she looked at Gibbs. “*Were* you on a hot date, Bossman?”

“Yes, as you’re so interested, I was,” Gibbs replied, glancing at Tony with a deadpan expression. Tony grinned at him. Gibbs reached out and slapped the back of his head soundly. “And that’s for being unable to resist a dare, DiNozzo.”

“Yes, Boss. Thank you, Boss. Won’t happen again, Boss.”

Tony gave Abby a delighted grin, and they exchanged a surreptitious high five behind Gibbs’s back. Tony was relieved to see that she was starting to look more like the old Abby again.

“Okay – so we need to figure out who would want to make a death threat against you, Abby,” Gibbs said.

“It could be McElroy,” Tony replied, clicking his fingers in the air. “Aren’t you due to start giving evidence against him in court next week, Abby?”

She nodded. “Yes – on Monday.”

“We already know that McElroy’s a bastard, Boss. He’s been up on charges at least half a dozen times before, and he always gets off. Nobody’s been able to pin anything on him, but it’s rumoured he’s intimidated a few jury members – and even a couple of expert witnesses. And Abby’s evidence is particularly incriminating. He could be trying to scare her off testifying.”

“Sounds plausible, but nothing a judge will sign off on without more evidence. Did you come up with any prints on the note or knife?” Gibbs asked Abby.

She shook her head. “Nothing, Gibbs.”

“Okay.” Gibbs looked at them both. “I think we’re done here for tonight. It’s late, and you look wiped, Abby. We'll figure it out – but for now, we could all use some rest so let's go home.”

Abby’s eyes were wide and scared as she looked at Gibbs. “Go home…?”

“Not your place, Abs. No way I'm letting you go back there until this is resolved.” Gibbs shook his head firmly. “No – you’re coming home with me. You’ll be staying at my house under close protection detail until we figure out what the hell's going on here.”

She threw herself at him and hugged him tight. “I was hoping you’d say that, Gibbs! I’m so scared!”

“I know, Abs – but we won’t let anything happen to you,” Gibbs told her, glancing at Tony over her shoulder.

“Okay then, should I go…?” Tony pointed uncertainly at the door. He didn’t want to go back to his own apartment, but he wasn’t sure what Gibbs had in mind. Having Abby stay with them would cramp their style, but Tony didn’t care about that if it kept her safe.

“You’re coming with us, DiNozzo,” Gibbs told him firmly, much to Tony’s relief. He raised an eyebrow at Gibbs who was still being consumed in an Abby bear hug. “I want to keep Abby safe around the clock, and two of us will be better than one while we still don’t know what we’re facing.”

“Where will we all sleep?” Abby asked, finally releasing Gibbs and glancing at Tony. “Just – there are only two bedrooms in your house, Gibbs – well, there *are* three, but one of them hasn’t got a bed in it – just planks of wood and stuff.” She grinned at him.

“We’ll figure something out.” Gibbs shrugged. “You can have the spare room, Abby.”

She gave a happy smile, and Tony’s heart thudded painfully in his chest. He exchanged a glance with Gibbs and knew exactly what his dom was thinking. Abby was special to them – and neither of them wanted to think about what might have happened if she’d been at home this evening when whoever was gunning for her had dropped by.


Abby groaned and stretched – and was surprised when she didn't feel the hard, wooden edge of her coffin. She came to with a start as the events of the previous evening came rushing back to her. She was at Gibbs's house, in Gibbs's spare room. She had crawled into bed at around 5 a.m. in her panties and tee shirt; she didn't have a change of clothes – she didn't even have a toothbrush - but she'd been so tired and wrung out that she didn't care. She'd fallen asleep immediately. Now it must be nearly noon judging by the sunlight flooding in around the drapes.

She got up and went to the bathroom, sighing when she saw her reflection in the mirror. God, she looked like crap! She washed her face and wiped toothpaste around her mouth which was the best she could manage without a toothbrush. It helped a little.

She wasn't sure what to do next, but then she smelled coffee, so she followed her nose down the stairs and into the kitchen. She found Tony standing there, in a bathrobe, pouring two mugs of coffee.

"Ah – just in time, M'lady," he told her, with a mock bow in her direction. "Consider me your personal butler for the day." He handed her a cup of coffee, and she took a sip with a happy sigh.

"Oh man, that's good. Thanks, Tony. Where's the bossman?" She glanced around as if she expected Gibbs to materialise from one of the kitchen cupboards.

"He went back to the office a couple of hours ago."

"Really? Already? Feels like we just came from there."

Tony shrugged. "Yeah, well, you know Gibbs. He thinks anything more than four hours sleep is for pansies – or, you know, officers." He grinned at her. "Besides, his favourite is in trouble – and there's no way Gibbs can sleep easy knowing someone out there is trying to hurt you, Abs."

She chewed on her lip, not wanting to think about that. "I'm sorry, Tony," she sighed.

"For what?" He raised an eyebrow and took a sip of his own coffee.

"For ruining your night and making you sleep on Gibbs's couch last night." She glanced through the open kitchen door into the living room next door. The couch was old and worn but kind of comfy-looking all the same. "He did give you pillows and blankets and stuff, didn't he?" she asked anxiously, seeing no evidence of them on the couch.

"Relax. It was fine."

He kissed her cheek and then led her into the living room. He sat down on the couch, and she sat down beside him. She nestled against him for warmth, wishing she had a bathrobe or something to wrap around her. The house was chilly, and she knew from experience that Gibbs didn't seem to believe in central heating. Luckily, Tony was one of those men who radiated body heat, so she snuggled up to him like he was her own personal furnace.

"Hey – did Gibbs lend you his bathrobe?" she asked, tugging on Tony's sleeve. "Or wait – did you steal it after he left? Does he *know* you're wearing his bathrobe? Hmmm." That led her immediately onto another thought. "I'm surprised Gibbs even OWNS a bathrobe. Somehow I can't see him wearing one – and definitely not a fancy one like that."

"You think he lives in old wood-working sweats or grungy work stuff?" Tony grinned.

"Well, he's Gibbs – so yes!" She settled down beside him again, and he raised his arm so she could tuck herself under it.

"While we're on the subject of appropriate clothing – Gibbs better not come back and see us like this." Tony nodded at her scantily clad form. Abby laughed. "Hey – it's okay for you!" Tony protested. "It's me he'll cut up into pieces so small that not even Ducky will be able to stick them back together again."

Abby giggled again, and then her good mood faded as she remembered why she was here. Last night had been so horrible, and she couldn't shake the queasy feeling in the pit of her stomach.

"Gibbs thinks of you like a daughter, Abs." Tony squeezed her gently. "That's why, whoever this guy is, he won't get close to you. Gibbs won't let it happen."

"He couldn't save Kelly…" Abby began. Tony squeezed her again.

"Which is precisely why he won't let it happen again. He knows he won't survive it happening twice. You're too important to him. And to me."

She glanced up at him and saw the sincerity radiating from his eyes. Tony was frequently nosy, often annoying, and usually hid his true self behind a variety of idiotic pranks and jokes. However, Abby knew very well that the man inside cared deeply about the people in his life and would do anything for them. She had never been fooled by the mask he wore, as she knew so many other people were. Even Ziva and McGee often failed to see the big heart he tried – and succeeded – in hiding. She sometimes wanted to slap them and remind them that Tony's deeds always spoke louder than his words.

He might tease them mercilessly and drive them to distraction with his antics, but it was Tony who had been there for McGee when he'd shot an off-duty police officer. It was Tony who had stepped up to take the brunt of a bomb blast for McGee and Kate the very day he'd returned from work after his bout with the plague. It was Tony who had taken a beating during an undercover op with Ziva and still come up with a plan to save her life – knowing it probably meant sacrificing his own in the process. Abby sometimes wondered how Ziva and McGee managed to forget all these things. Working with Tony could be annoying, but at least it was never dull – and he would always have your six.

She smiled at him and then noticed that his bathrobe had fallen open to the waist, revealing a leather thong hanging around his neck. There was a little key dangling on the end of it.

"Hey – what's this?" She fingered it gently. "You don't usually wear any jewellery, Tony."

"Not exactly jewellery, Abs," he said, flushing slightly. Realisation kicked in, and she grinned.

"It's from her, isn't it? The hot mystery top who has you totally under her thumb! What does the key open?" she asked curiously. He flushed a much deeper shade of red.

"My heart," he told her smoothly, capturing her hand in his and removing it from the key hanging around his neck.

"It's the key to your heart? Oh man! That is so romantic! You're totally in love with this chick, aren't you?"

She gazed at him thoughtfully. In all the time she'd known him, she'd never seen him in love – not really. She knew he'd fallen for Jeanne, but as he'd been undercover at the time she'd never been entirely convinced that was really love. It had always seemed more of a fantasy kind of love to her - a 'what might have been if I was someone else' kind of deal for Tony. Tony had commitment issues up to his eyeballs – so she was intrigued as to what kind of woman had succeeded where so many others failed.

"Yeah, I am," he admitted. "Don't tell anyone though, Abs. It'll ruin my reputation as a player."

She snorted. "Yeah. Right. But…Tony - is she good enough for you, this chick? Does she *get* you?" She suddenly felt anxious. This was the first time he'd ever been in love like this – she couldn't bear the thought of him genuinely giving his heart to someone and then being hurt. It was too horrible to contemplate. Tony seemed to sense her anxiety.

"It's okay, Abs. She totally gets me. Nobody else ever got me like this." He smiled down at her, and he seemed so relaxed about it, and so totally convinced, that she felt reassured.

"Good. She must hate me for dragging you away from her last night." She made a face.

"Oh, she understands. Like I said – she gets me – and I get her – so she totally understands. Now – d'you want breakfast? Gibbs muttered something about bagels before he left. They look about three days old, but they're probably okay."

"Or we could go out and grab something," Abby suggested.

Tony shook his head. "No, Abs. The house is secure, but you're not going out anywhere without two agents at all times. You're on close protection detail, remember."

She sat up suddenly, her earlier queasiness returning. She leaned over and patted his bathrobe pocket – on the opposite side to where she was sitting. His eyes flickered.

"I take it that's your gun, and not, you know, that you're really pleased to see me," she sighed.

He gave her a tight little smile. "Go take a shower, Abby. Then let's both get dressed and eat something before Gibbs comes back, finds us still lounging around like this, and slaps me stupid."

She laughed. "Hey – does Gibbs know he has to ask your new top's permission before whacking you around from now on?"

Tony gave a little snort. "Yeah, right, like Gibbs would give a damn about that. Now go!"

She ran off up the stairs, still giggling to herself.


Gibbs returned home to find Abby and Tony sitting at the kitchen table, up and dressed. Tony had a large pad of paper in front of him and was busy writing on it.

"Gibbs!" Abby threw herself at him and enveloped him in her usual bear hug. "Tony was just making me go through a list of anyone who might want to hurt me."

"Not a very long list." Gibbs glanced at it over Tony's shoulder. "Or maybe you only just scuttled to it the minute I walked through the door?"

They both gave him seraphic smiles, which only served to convince him that he was right.

"Be honest about the list, Abby." Gibbs gestured with his head at it.

"Gibbs! Of course I'll be honest!" Abby protested. "I always am!"

He raised an eyebrow. "No, you're not," he said meaningfully. "Michael?" he reminded her. "Any more deadbeat boyfriends out there that we should know about?"

He saw the deadly serious look on Tony's face - they'd both been disappointed in her failure to confide in them over the whole Michael fiasco. Abby had the grace to look chagrined.

"No, Gibbs. I haven't dated anyone in a while. Hard to trust guys again after that whole thing with Michael."

"Any luck at your end, Boss?" Tony asked.

"Nope." Gibbs shook his head. "McElroy's trial started last week, and Legal won’t let me bring him in for questioning without more evidence. We have no clear link between him and what happened at Abby's apartment last night. We'll keep working it though. Tony – I want you to be Abby's personal bodyguard throughout the court case – you can have access to a rota of agents – I want two NCIS agents with her at all times, and I want *you* to always be one of them."

"Yes, Boss."

"I'll keep McGee and Ziva working on the death threat with me back at NCIS. You keep me informed of *anything* that happens. Now – are you ready, Abby?"

"For what?" she frowned.

"I figure you'll need to go get some stuff from your place – unless you want to give evidence in court tomorrow looking like that?" He surveyed her black leather pants, skeleton tee shirt, and multiple black studded necklaces and belts with a raised eyebrow.

She grinned. "I take your point, Bossman!"


They exited the house in unison, Tony and Gibbs shrouding her from the sight of anyone who might be watching. Abby shivered: this was *serious*.

Tony unlocked the car and got into the driver's seat. Abby started to get in beside him, but Gibbs pulled her arm and gestured her into the back.

"Person being protected always rides in the back, Abby," he told her as she got in.

"Why?" she asked blankly.

"Harder for someone to take a shot through the car windows," Tony explained, gesturing with his hand. She could see his point. If she was sitting next to him in the passenger seat, then someone could target her from head on. She presented a much harder target sitting in the back.

She shivered again as Gibbs got in beside her. She was already scared but felt even more freaked out by how seriously the two men in her life were taking it. Gibbs was like a second father to her, and Tony was like the annoying big brother she'd never had.

She mulled over the conversation about Michael. Much as she loved Gibbs and Tony, she could never date either of them. They were dangerous men – much more dangerous in their own way than Michael had ever been – and while she loved them both dearly, she suspected they'd make lousy boyfriends. Tony's commitment issues and roving eye, and Gibbs's shattered heart and inability to let people in, meant they both came with too much baggage. She hoped there was someone out there for them though. Tony certainly seemed to think he'd found the right person, and Gibbs had admitted he'd been on a hot date last night so maybe there was someone for him too.

They drew up outside her apartment complex, and Gibbs inspected the perimeter before allowing her out. They started walking inside – but Abby noticed Tony wasn't with them. She glanced back.

"He's staying in the car, Abs. Someone always has to stay with the car – if it's left alone at any point, then someone could get in and plant a bomb," Gibbs told her.

"A bomb?" She tried to process that. "You really think someone would do that? I mean, I thought this was someone just trying to scare me..."

He silenced her with a look of pure ice. "Abby, someone dressed up that skeleton in your clothes, put it in the coffin, stuck a kitchen knife through the ribs, and left a note on it, saying you'd be next," he growled. "You think there's any way I'm not gonna take that seriously?"

When he put it like that…Abby felt herself shaking again. Gibbs put an arm around her, but she noticed that he kept his hand resting on his gun butt as they walked up the stairs.

Her apartment looked dazzling. "Wow – I should hire those guys as a maid service," she joked. "My place never usually looks this clean. How did you get them to come out so soon anyway? Usually it takes a few days."

"DiNozzo's doing." Gibbs shrugged. "He can be pretty hard-assed when he tries."

"Oh yeah. I know." She'd seen several people under-estimate him - and live to regret it. Tony's goofy exterior often fooled people into thinking he was an idiot – and they got the shock of their lives when he suddenly turned deadly serious.

She gathered up some clothes and toiletries, stuffed them into a bag, took a sad look around, and then turned and left with Gibbs by her side.

When they got back to Gibbs's house, she took her bag upstairs and unpacked in the spare room. She opened the closet and found that it was already nearly full to bursting with clothes – mainly an array of exquisitely tailored suits.

"Wow, Bossman – if you've got all this nice stuff, how come you never wear it?" she whistled, fingering the sleeve of one particularly beautiful suit.

She hung up her court suit with a grimace – God she hated that thing! She threw her court shoes down into the bottom of the closet - where they hit something. She crouched down and saw that it was a large, hand-carved, wooden chest. She ran her hand over it – it was beautiful work. She knew immediately that Gibbs had made it – it had his hallmark of practicality combined with elegant simplicity. She wondered what was in it. She knew she shouldn't look but her natural curiosity got the better of her, so she tried to lift the lid – only to find that it was locked.

"Hmm, hinkey," she muttered to herself. "A closet full of smart suits he never wears and a locked chest. What does it all mean, Bossman?"

She spent the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening going through a list of people who might want to kill her. Gibbs had brought back a box full of her old case files, and they went through each one, case by case.

Gibbs was as relentless and thorough as ever and as the evening wore on her head started to ache. It was such a depressing way to spend a day. She thought it was entirely possible that Gibbs would make her stay up all night, until they'd been through every single case file in exhausting detail.

Abby felt herself going quiet. She was anxious about having to give evidence in court the next day. She hated court enough as it was, and now there was another layer of pressure on her. She didn't want to walk into that courtroom and sit opposite the man who was probably trying to kill her. She gazed into space as Gibbs took yet another file from the box.

"Abby!" he rapped out, and she came to, realising he'd asked her something.

"Uh?" She looked at him blankly, and he made an impatient gesture with his hand.

"Concentrate, Abby! I asked if…"

"You know," Tony interrupted smoothly. "I think we're done for the night. How about I call for take out, and we watch a movie?"

"We're not done. I'll say when we're done," Gibbs growled.

Tony turned to gaze at him thoughtfully. Then he gestured with his head towards the living room. "Can I have a word, Jethro?"

Abby was startled; she didn't think she'd ever heard Tony call their boss that before. It seemed to startle Gibbs too, because he gave a little grunt but acceded to Tony's request.

She watched, weary beyond belief, as they went into the next door room. She could see Tony talking rapidly to Gibbs in a low, earnest voice. Gibbs crossed his arms over his chest, looking furious, but that didn't stop Tony. She tuned into their conversation.

"We've done enough for today. Look at her - she's exhausted."

"We're all damn well tired, Tony! But I have to find out who is trying to hurt her."

"I know." Tony's tone was placating. "But she's already scared. You growling at her doesn't help."

"She had a death threat! I don't care if she's dead on her feet – better that than dead for real."

"You're freaking her out!"

"I'm trying to protect her!"

"By working her into the ground?" Tony raised an eyebrow. "Just because you lost Kelly, doesn't mean you're going to lose Abby too, Jethro. Now cut her some slack."

Abby took a sharp intake of breath. Gibbs looked like he was about to snap Tony's head off. Tony held his ground, his gaze firm. Then, suddenly, all the tension seemed to go out of Gibbs, and he deflated like a balloon. He ran his hand through his hair with a weary sigh.

"You're right, Tony," he grunted. "Always know I can rely on you to get in my face when I need it."

Tony smiled, and Abby felt as if she was intruding on an intimate moment. Tony rested his hand lightly on Gibbs's arm and squeezed. They shared a look and then the moment was over. Tony removed his hand and returned to the kitchen.

"So, Abby – what d'you wanna eat?" he asked. "Pizza, Chinese, pizza, Thai, pizza, Indian, or, you know, pizza? Not that I want to influence your choice at all, Abs." He shot her his most charming grin, and she laughed, the queasiness in her stomach subsiding.

They ate the pizza sitting on the couch in front of "Stardust", a movie that Gibbs claimed not to remotely understand, but which she and Tony giggled through. Gibbs sat in the middle on the couch, and it was a tight squeeze fitting them all on.

Abby did what she had with Tony earlier and snuggled into Gibbs. She loved the warm, solid scent of him. He always smelled of safety to her – of sawdust and coffee and something utterly dependable. No matter how dangerous he was, and how scared of him everyone else was, she knew that he would always protect her. He put an arm around her and let her nestle in close.

She got up when the film ended and said good night to them both. She was dreading going to court the next day and wanted to get to bed and hopefully get some sleep, although she didn’t *feel* like sleeping at all.

She paused in the doorway and glanced back. Tony and Gibbs were still sitting on the couch, side by side, shoulders touching, and there was something puzzling about their body language – something she couldn't wrap her tired brain around. She dismissed it and went upstairs to bed.

Much to her own surprise, she was so worn out that she fell asleep immediately and slept straight through until 5 a.m. when her cell phone bleeped. She lifted her head blearily, wondering who could be sending her a text message at this time of night. She sat up in bed, turned on the light, reached for her phone, and clicked on the message without even thinking.

"I see you've gone into hiding. Afraid? You should be. I'm coming to get you, Abigail Sciuto."

She jumped out of bed. He knew where she was! When he said he was coming to get her, did he mean right now? Was he already in the house – or even standing outside her bedroom door at this very moment? Who the hell was this bastard, and why was he trying to scare her like this?

She grabbed her hairbrush to use as a weapon and cautiously pulled open the bedroom door. There was nobody there. She ran down the hallway towards the one person she knew would always keep her safe, no matter what.

"Gibbs!" she yelled, running into his bedroom, still clutching the cell phone.

She paused, frozen in shock. Gibbs was half out of bed, reaching for his gun – and he wasn't alone. Behind him, on the other side of the bed, the side furthest from the door, was someone else.


Tony's head was lifted in sleepy shock, and he was blinking blearily. He was wearing black leather cuffs on his wrists - and they were attached by a chain to the headboard. He was also wearing the black collar she'd seen around his neck a couple of weeks ago, and that, also, was attached to the headboard.

Abby stared, a dozen different things running through her mind at the same time.

Gibbs was Tony's 'hot top'. Gibbs was the one who 'got' Tony, the one Tony was so crazy in love with.


It should have been shocking, but somehow it wasn't, and she wasn't sure why. In fact, there was something almost ordinary about it. It felt so *right*, as if it was the way the world should be.

Everything fell into place; the suits in the closet belonged to Tony. That fancy bathrobe he'd been wearing also belonged to Tony. Then there was the presence of that mysterious locked chest in the closet – she suddenly knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that the key she'd seen hanging around Tony's neck opened it. And there hadn't been any pillows and blankets on the couch because Tony was sleeping here, in Gibbs's bed, where he so clearly belonged.

Then time speeded up again, and Gibbs had turned on the light and was by her side, gun in hand. Tony unclipped himself from his bondage in a matter of seconds, with an ease that spoke of frequent practice, and then he was by her side too, also holding a gun. She was relieved that they were both wearing boxers and tee shirts, or she thought she'd have expired on the spot and saved her mystery stalker the effort of killing her.

"Abby?" Gibbs grabbed her arm. "What is it? Are you okay?"

"He sent me a text message," she said, handing him the cell phone with trembling fingers. Gibbs grabbed it, and his jaw tightened as he read the message.

"Tony – check the outside agents," he rapped out.

Tony was pulling on a pair of sweats and some sneakers, and he seemed to have lost the cuffs and collar somewhere along the way.

"On it, Boss," he said, disappearing out of the door.

"Outside agents? What outside agents?" Abby asked blankly.

"The ones I assigned to watch the house when we're in it," Gibbs told her tersely. He pulled on his jeans, a shirt, and a pair of boots and then threw her Tony's bathrobe. Looking down, she realised she was dressed only in her panties and tee shirt, and she flushed and pulled on the bathrobe. "Downstairs. With me. Now," Gibbs ordered, leading the way.


Gibbs took Abby into the living room, sat her down on the couch, and then went over to the window. He twitched aside one of the drapes and looked out to see Tony leaning into a car parked in the street.

"How come you didn't tell me about the outside agents?" Abby asked.

"Tony's call. He said you were freaked out enough as it was."

Gibbs had been sure the outside agents were just a precautionary measure, but he wasn't taking any chances with Abby's safety. There was no way he'd have let Tony sleep in bondage if it weren't for the fact that Abby had three other agents assigned to her – the two outside and himself.

"When did you get the text?" he demanded, returning to where she was sitting on the couch.

"About five minutes ago – I ran straight in to tell you, Gibbs."

Gibbs examined the text again. "No specific threats about the court case, but that doesn't mean it's not McElroy. Sending a text like this on the morning you're due to give evidence against him is a good way of scaring you off."

"He can't damn well scare me off!" she said hotly. "I spent weeks on that forensic evidence, Gibbs. No way he's gonna stop me presenting it in court."

"Then I guess that bastard doesn't know Abby Sciuto very well if he thinks he can try." Gibbs grinned.

At that moment Tony returned to the house. "All's quiet. Reynolds and Smith say nothing suspicious has happened all night. Could just be a scare tactic, Boss."

Gibbs threw him Abby's cell phone, and Tony caught it easily, one-handed. "Get McGee up - see if he can find out where the text came from."

"On it, Boss." Tony disappeared again. Abby watched him go. Then she turned back to Gibbs.

"He looked good in your collar, Bossman," she said. Gibbs's jaw tightened. "Uh…sorry." She clapped her hand over her mouth. "I always say these really inappropriate things in life or death situations. Like that time when Ari was shooting at me, and for some reason I totally started admiring Tony's butt, and…" she trailed off as she saw the expression on Gibbs's face.

"This gonna be a problem for you, Abs?"

"What kind of problem?" she asked blankly.

Gibbs made an impatient motion with his head. "DiNozzo and me."

"What – you mean you being his top?" she frowned. "Why would that be a problem? I was kinda surprised, but only for maybe a second because you two guys totally rock together. I always thought you and Stan looked kinda hot together too, but that's nothing compared to the total hotness that's been between you and Tony all these years. It was dumb of me to think that Tony was being topped by some chick. I mean, firstly, there's no way Tony would ever let a woman top him – he's always gotta be in control around the ladies – and secondly, there's no way Tony would let *anyone* top him but you." She ran out of steam and sat looking at him expectantly.

"Uh-huh," was all he found to say.

Abby grinned. "So I'm right?"

He gazed at her, startled. He had no idea that they were both so transparent. Then again, Abby was Abby, and she saw things nobody else did. "Uh-huh," he said again.

"I won't tell anyone."

"It's not your secret to keep, Abby. I won't put that on you."

"Well, I won't tell anyone all the same. I figure it's still pretty new, and you guys need some time to see how it pans out, so…" she shrugged.

At that moment, Tony returned to the room. "No luck on the text. Burn phone. Probably been dumped by now. Can't even get a fix on where the text came from. What next, Boss?"

Gibbs glanced at the sunlight starting to creep in around the drapes. "Next – we help Abby keep that appointment in court."


Abby walked into the courthouse a few hours later with her head held high. She might be scared shitless, but she wasn't going to let anyone see that. Gibbs and Tony flanked her, and she knew that as long as they were nearby she'd be safe.

They saw McElroy talking to his lawyer in the hallway, and Abby faltered, her steps slowing. Gibbs put a hand on her shoulder. McElroy and his lawyer walked towards them, and she took a panicky intake of breath. Gibbs squeezed her shoulder hard for reassurance. McElroy started grinning at her as he got close, a slow, threatening kind of grin. He didn't say a word – he just inclined his head sardonically at her as he walked by.

Abby released a deep breath, her heart racing.

"Think that's him, Boss?" Tony asked, as they all stood there, watching McElroy disappear into the courtroom. "Is he the one who's been threatening Abby?"

"It's him," Gibbs grunted. "I can feel it in my gut."

Abby gave evidence for the next three days. Gibbs escalated her protection, moving her to a different safe house every night, just to be sure, but either he or Tony was with her at all times.

"You do know we have this really big thing to talk about, don't you?" Abby said to Tony as they sat in the safe house after her first day in court. Tony glanced at the agent standing guard by the door and then glanced back at her warningly.

"When this is all over, Abby, I promise to answer all your questions."

"All of them?" She raised a teasing eyebrow.

"Well…most of 'em." He grinned back. "For now…" He zipped his finger over his mouth and she nodded her agreement.

"I hate this," she sighed.

"I know." He gave her a sympathetic look. "All the moving around, the escorts, the different house every night, the constant surveillance..."

"Oh not that!" she laughed. "That's all kinda fun - like being in the movies or something. No – I hate this." She gestured at the court suit she was still wearing. It was duck egg blue and ugly as all hell. "I miss wearing my real clothes," she said mournfully. "My boots, my rings – my *stuff*, Tony."

Tony grinned. "You miss wearing your collar too?"

"Sure." She waggled her eyebrows at him. "Don't you?"

And they both burst out laughing.


Tony was with Abby every day she was in court. Gibbs dropped by frequently, but he spent most of his time at NCIS, looking for evidence that McElroy had tried to scare off NCIS's expert witness.

Tony missed his dom intensely, but they were both too pre-occupied to do more than exchange the occasional smile in passing – although Gibbs managed to sneak in a head-slap every time they met, which made Tony feel better.

Being threatened seemed to bring out Abby's fighting spirit, and Tony watched in admiration as she presented the forensic evidence against McElroy with devastating accuracy in court. Then she answered the defence lawyer's hectoring questions without hesitation, completely confident in her findings. Tony almost wanted to burst into applause when she was done, and the judge allowed her to leave the witness stand for the last time.

A few hours later, they were in court to watch McElroy being convicted – in no small part due to Abby's evidence.

"We did it! We won!" Abby whooped, throwing herself at him and jumping into his arms. He hugged her tight, and they did a stupid little victory dance in the courtroom hallway. Then they walked towards the parking garage together, her hand tucked into his arm.

She was talking non-stop through sheer relief. "I'm free! I can go home! And you and I need to have a long overdue chat, Mister," she said, with mock severity, thumping his arm. "But do you know what I'm gonna do first?"

"Get drunk?" he suggested. "Leap into bed with Ziva? If so, can I watch?" He gave her a sly wink.

She thumped him again. "No – this!" She took off her shoes and dumped them in the trash as they walked past. "They were killing me! I can't wait to get into my boots!"

They went down into the parking garage, her barefoot, both of them still laughing, and Tony dismissed Reynolds and Smith who had stayed with the car. Tony got in, and Abby got in beside him, still talking. Tony drove off with Reynolds and Smith following on behind in their car.

"First we're going back to NCIS – I told McGee to have champagne ready to celebrate – and then I'm gonna go sit in my lab and just *fondle* things because you have no idea how much I've missed my babies! Major Mass-Spec, and Bert, and everyone! And I'm gonna get changed out of this horrible suit and get into something normal. And you, Tony, are going to tell me what kind of a dom Gibbs is, and whether he lets you get away with anything, and…"

"He's Gibbs, Abs! Do you seriously think he lets me get away with anything?" Tony raised an eyebrow.

"And how you two first got it on and all that stuff," she said without pausing. "And then…"

Tony turned to glance at her and saw the red dot on her head. Time slowed down. He swerved the car to one side, pushing her down with his hand at the same time, and at that moment the windscreen shattered and suddenly there was glass everywhere. At first, all he could hear was the sound of screeching brakes, and then the wrenching of tearing metal, and then, finally, a loud bang as the car rolled over, hit something, and came to rest by the side of the road.

Then there was just a shocking silence.

"Abby!" Tony rolled over, looking for her desperately in the wreckage of the car. She was lying on her side next to him, her eyes closed, blood pouring from her head, staining that duck egg blue suit a dark shade of crimson. "ABBY!"

His legs were trapped, but somehow he managed to wrench them free. He could smell burning, and he had no idea if the shooter was still nearby. If he was, they were sitting targets. He had to get Abby out of the car.

He had no idea if she was dead or alive, and he couldn't give himself time to think about it. He kicked what was left of the glass out of the side window, slid out, then reached back in, grabbed her, and pulled her out after him. He picked her up and carried her away from the car, stumbling as he half-ran, half-walked, desperate to get her to the safety and cover of the trees by the side of the road before the car blew up.

He placed her on the grass and shielded her as he scanned the surrounding area for whoever had shot at them. Then there was a massive roaring bang and their car exploded in flames behind him. He threw himself on top of Abby, feeling the searing heat on his back as he protected her body with his own.

"Abby…" He patted her face desperately, but she was as cold and white as ice. "Abby!"

He heard footsteps and reached for his gun, turning…to see Reynolds and Smith running towards them.

"DiNozzo? Are you okay?" Reynolds yelled, while Smith reached for his cell phone and called for back up and paramedics.

"Sniper," Tony panted. "Got a shot at us. Abby's hurt…don't know how bad…don't know if it's from the crash or if he got a bullet in her…"

He stroked Abby's dark hair away from her face, her blood pooling on his fingertips.

"Abby?" he whispered.


Gibbs strode into the hospital waiting room, and his heart did a little flip as he saw Tony sitting there, leaning forwards, arms resting on his knees. His sub looked up, saw him, and got to his feet. He stood to attention as Gibbs came over to him, and he wouldn't meet Gibbs's gaze. His eyes were flat, dull and…guilty. He looked just like he had after Jenny had been killed.

"Sit rep," Gibbs rapped out, standing in front of him, too close, getting into his space. He knew it was the best way to handle Tony in this kind of situation.

"Abby's still in the ER – I don't know how she's doing because nobody will tell me anything. Wasn't an accident though, Boss. We took fire – at least one bullet, maybe more. Not sure if she got hit, or if she was injured when the car went over."

Gibbs listened intently, using the opportunity to assess Tony's condition at the same time.
His sub had some minor cuts on his face and hands, and his shirt was torn and covered in blood that Gibbs suspected wasn't his, but apart from that he looked unharmed.

Gibbs moved his hand up to Tony's head, but Tony flinched and ducked away as if expecting a blow. Gibbs tried again, moving his hand more slowly so that Tony could see it coming. This time, Tony held still and allowed Gibbs to roll back his eyelids and check for any sign of head trauma.

Gibbs dropped his hand and scrutinised his sub. Tony was deeply distressed – no doubt about it. Gibbs's over-riding impulse was to hustle Tony home, examine every inch of him to make sure he was okay, and then chain him to the bed and never let him out of his sight again. He fought the impulse down – he had a job to do.

"It's my fault, Boss," Tony told him, still unable to meet his gaze, staring at a point just over his left shoulder. "Abby's fighting for her life in there because of me. I screwed up again. It's all my fault."

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "How?"

"I was stupid. I didn't follow close protection protocol – I let Abby sit next to me in the car. I was so sure McElroy was our perp that when he was sent down, I thought the danger was over." He shook his head. "That sniper, whoever he was, had a clear shot at her, Boss. I saw the red dot on her head, and I pushed her down but then the window shattered, and I lost control of the car…It was all my own damn fault."

"DiNozzo!" Gibbs rapped out. Tony winced at his tone of voice. "I'll let you know where I'm assigning blame when I get all the facts. Until then, don't piss me off by speculating."

Tony bit on his lip. "Yes, Boss."

"Go back to NCIS and write up your report," Gibbs ordered. There was no point Tony staying at the hospital waiting for news of Abby – Tony handled difficult situations by doing things, not sitting around twiddling his thumbs. His sub was a lot like him in that respect. "When you're done, call me, and I'll give you new orders. Clear?"

"Yes, Boss." Tony started walking towards the door without hesitation.

"DiNozzo!" Gibbs called him back. Tony paused, looking at his feet, still unable to meet Gibbs's gaze. Gibbs grasped Tony's jaw firmly, forcing Tony to look straight at him. "I'm glad you're alive, Tony," he said softly. Then, in a harder voice, "Because you don't damn well have my permission to die. New rule. Understand?"

"Rule number seven, Boss. Not to die without your permission. Got it." Tony managed a faint smile, but Gibbs thought he needed to hear it.

"And get Ducky to look at those cuts." Gibbs gestured to the lacerations on Tony's hands and the side of his face. Tony nodded and left the room. Gibbs followed him – but only to grab hold of one of the medical personnel and force her to go check on Abby.

A few minutes later, a doctor appeared in the waiting room.

"Special Agent Gibbs? You were asking about Ms Sciuto's condition?"

"She okay?"

"Are you a family member?" the man asked, with a frown, looking down at the clipboard he was holding.

"I'm down as her next of kin, along with her mom," Gibbs replied brusquely. "Now tell me how she's doing."

"She's going to be fine. She has a concussion, and she's lost a lot of blood, but we stitched up the head injury – it probably looked worse than it is."

"Was there a bullet?" Gibbs demanded.

The doctor looked bewildered. "No bullet, Agent Gibbs. Her injuries are consistent with a car accident. She's got some minor lacerations and a badly bruised wrist, but I'd say she was lucky."

Gibbs allowed himself just a moment to let the relief wash through him. Then he was back to business again. "Can I see her?"

The doctor nodded and led him down the hallway to a room. Abby was lying on the bed, looking deathly pale, a bandage wrapped around her head.

Gibbs paused in the doorway. There had been no hospital bed for Kelly. She'd died instantly in that car wreck all those years ago. They had told him not to see the body when he arrived home from Iraq, but he had wanted to. He'd needed to know that it really was her, and that she really was gone. Last time he'd seen her, she'd run after him, tears in her eyes, begging him not to go. He'd smiled to cheer her up and waved goodbye. He hadn't known that was the last thing she would ever ask of him. Damn it, *he* had been the one going into combat. He was the one who should have died, not his family.

They had been right to tell him not to look at the body. He'd seen plenty of dead bodies in combat, but nothing prepared him for seeing her, looking like a mangled doll. She'd been badly smashed up in that car wreck – too badly for him to believe she was "sleeping", or "at rest" or any of that crap people spouted. She looked exactly like what she was – dead.

Abby didn't look dead. She looked pale, and tired, and hurt, but he could see her chest rising and falling, and the faint pink tinge on her cheeks. Gibbs sat down in the chair beside her bed and took her hand in his own. She moved her head, and her eyelids fluttered open.

"Hey, Bossman…" she whispered.

"Hey Abs. What you got for me?" he asked gently, with a little grin. She smiled too, in response to the familiar question.

"Jus' a conc'ss'n," she muttered, squeezing his hand. "No need f'you t'worry, Gibbs."

"Is that so?" He raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah." She grinned at him, her pale green eyes hazy from the pain meds. "Where's Tony? He okay?"

"He's fine. I sent him back to the office to write up his report."

"Meanie," she muttered.

"Yeah," he chuckled. "I am."

"Saved my life," she whispered. "Tony – saved me. Pulled me outta car 'fore it 'sploded."

He squeezed her hand again. It seemed that she and Tony had very different versions of what had happened.

"Abs – I need to find out who did this to you. I've called for your mom, and she's on her way. I'm going to leave you to get some rest now, but I'll come back later.”

"Mmmm," she muttered, her eyelids closing. He leaned over and kissed her forehead gently, but she was already fast asleep by the time he left the room.


Tony had just finished writing up his report when Gibbs called.

"She's fine," Gibbs told him before he even had a chance to open his mouth. "She has a concussion, but she wasn't hit by the bullet."

"Then it could still be in the car," Tony said quickly. "We need to bring it in and…"

"I'm already on it, DiNozzo!" Gibbs told him firmly. "Tell McGee to get the evidence garage ready for it. I want him and Ziva crawling all over the wreckage to see what they can find."

"What about me?" Tony asked helplessly. "What do you want me to do?"

"You finished that report?"


"Then leave it on my desk and go home."

Tony frowned. "Home?"

"Go back to the house and get some rest, Tony. I'll be there when I'm done."

"But Abby…"

"She's sleeping. You can see her soon."

"She's really fine?" Tony asked quietly.

"Yes. I posted a couple of agents outside her door, just in case that bastard comes back to finish the job, but my guess is he's already on the run."

"I don't want to go home, Boss. There must be something I can do. I could help Ziva and Tim…"

"Tony, there is no way I'm letting you work on the wreck of the car that you were driving! I've given you your orders – go home and get some rest. What's rule number one?"

"Obey you," Tony said reluctantly.

"Then do it. I don't have time to argue." And with that, Gibbs ended the call.

Tony didn't remember the drive home. He was on auto-pilot. Gibbs's house was in darkness when he got there, and he didn't turn on the lights. He walked into the living room, sank down on the floor with his back against the wall, and sat there, staring into space.

Gibbs had told him to get some rest, and he wanted to obey Gibbs, but he couldn’t do that. He couldn't do that because if he closed his eyes, for even a second, he saw them.
He saw Abby, lying on that grass verge, so white and cold and still. His fault. And he saw Jenny, hazel eyes wide open, lying dead in a pool of her own blood. His fault. And he knew that if he kept his eyes closed for even a fraction of a second longer then he'd see someone else. Also his fault.

"Always your fucking fault, DiNozzo."

He drew his knees up to his chest, rested his chin on them, and kept his eyes wide open as he sat there in the dark.


Gibbs was bone weary by the time he finally got home, many hours later. He walked into the living room, flicked on the light…and stopped. Tony was sitting on the floor with his back against the wall, his arms wrapped around his legs. He glanced up when Gibbs came in, blinking rapidly in response to the sudden burst of light. Gibbs sighed. He had hoped that Tony would be lying fast asleep in bed, but instead he could see that Tony's penchant for sitting on his own in the dark had asserted itself again.

"Thought I told you to get some rest, Tony," he said in a gentle tone.

"Am, Boss. Just resting here," Tony replied.

"That's not resting - as you damn well know." He crouched down in front of Tony and finally was able to do what he'd wanted to do all day – caress his sub. He reached out to stroke his sub's hair, but Tony jerked away from him. "You okay?" Gibbs asked, frowning.

"Me? I'm fine. How's Abby?"

"She's fine too. I just came from the hospital. She's sleeping like a baby. Her mom just arrived – she's built some kind of shrine in the room with candles, flowers, cards, and cake."


"Must be a Sciuto thing." Gibbs shrugged. "How long you been sitting there like that?" Tony didn't reply. "Since you got home?"


Gibbs rocked back on his heels and surveyed his sub. This was a crisis – no doubt about it – and while he was usually pretty good in a crisis, this one was outside his usual remit.

"We found the perp," he said.

Tony's head shot up. "Who was it?"

"Guy named Luke Thurle."

"Thurle – wasn't he in one of those files we went through?"

Gibbs nodded. "Released from prison a couple of weeks ago. Blames Abby's forensics for putting him there. Still claims he's innocent – says she tampered with the evidence, that she's some kind of devil-worshipper out to get him. Guy's a fruitcake."

"You found him? You brought him in?"

"Yeah – the idiot was seen firing the gun then driving off in a hurry. We got a call, went to his place, and found the gun. I interrogated the bastard myself. Ballistics match the bullet we pulled from the car with the gun we found in his house. It was definitely him."

"Nothing to do with McElroy then?"

"Nope." Gibbs shook his head.

"Shit. We got it wrong, Boss."

"Yes. We did." Gibbs gazed at his sub intently. "All of us, DiNozzo, not just you. I got it wrong – felt in my gut that it was McElroy and allowed you and Abby to believe it too - but I was wrong."

"But if I hadn't let Abby…" Tony began.

"Back half of the car is all crushed," Gibbs interrupted him. "If she'd been sitting in the back she'd be dead."

"If she'd been sitting in the back he wouldn't have had a clear shot at her, so he might not have pulled the trigger at all," Tony retorted.

"Spoke to Reynolds and Smith. They were right behind you on the road. They say you reacted fast, got Abby to safety, did all the right things."

Tony gazed at him blankly.

"You got her out of the car before it blew, Tony!" Gibbs said forcefully.

"But I screwed up," Tony repeated insistently.

"Yes, you did," Gibbs replied, because Tony could see through bullshit, and he needed his boss – his dom – to be honest with him. "And so did Abby – she knew the rules about where to sit. And Smith and Reynolds fucked up too – they didn't stop you. And I screwed up, Tony – I was going after the wrong guy."

"No. I was the lead protection officer on duty. I screwed this up, like I screwed up with Jenny. You know I screwed up with Jenny, Boss."

"Yeah." Gibbs nodded. "You did. But Jenny knew what she was doing. She didn't allow you to protect her – she sent you away. And d'you know why she did that?"

Tony shook his head.

"Because she knew she screwed the pooch years ago, and it had come back to bite her. She didn't want it biting you, or Ziva, or me. She got you out of the way on purpose to keep you out of the firing line. She died, but that was a success as far as Jenny was concerned. Hard for us to live with, but she got what she wanted – she kept us safe."

Tony dropped his gaze.

"There's plenty of blame to go around, Tony. Today, and when Jenny died. You can have a share of it, but you can't claim it all."

Tony stared moodily at the ground. Gibbs stroked his cheek gently, but Tony moved his head away. Gibbs sighed – it looked like Tony wasn't ready to forgive himself just yet, and he didn't want anybody being nice to him right now.

His sub looked beat – his face was pale and there were dark rings under those haunted green eyes. Gibbs didn't think he stood a hope in hell of getting Tony to sleep unless he could make it an order that Tony had to obey. Clearly, it was time to get tough.

Gibbs stood up. "Strip," he said, taking off his jacket and throwing it on the couch. He turned back to see Tony sitting there, gazing at him with a shocked expression on his face. "I said, strip," Gibbs snapped.

"You want me naked?" Tony queried in a disbelieving tone. "Now?"

"Yup. See, my sub was in a serious accident, and as his body belongs to me I want to check it for damage. And I don't expect to have to explain my orders. So strip. Now!" He snapped that last word out hard. If Tony wasn't going to respond to him as his boss or his lover, then he'd damn well make sure he responded to him as his dom.

Tony got up slowly. He undid his shirt and eased himself out of it with a wince, then removed the rest of his clothes. Gibbs beckoned him over, and Tony came, wearily.

Gibbs grasped Tony's chin and turned his face to one side so he could examine the cuts and bruises on it. "Did you get Ducky to look at these like I ordered?"


"What's rule number one?"

"Obey you," Tony muttered unwillingly.

"There will *always* be punishment for disobedience, Tony."

Tony's green eyes were sullen. "So fucking spank me. I don't care."

"Punishment doesn't always mean spanking," Gibbs reminded him. "And drop the attitude, DiNozzo."

The sharp words acted like a head-slap, jolting Tony out of himself. "Sorry, Boss."

"Who's in charge here, Tony?"

Tony gazed at him mulishly. "You are," he said finally.

"Damn straight! Now stop fighting me and give it up, Tony."

Tony's shoulders sagged slightly, and Gibbs knew he was winning, slowly but surely.

"Turn around." He put a hand on Tony's shoulder and turned him – and his jaw tightened angrily at the sight of his sub's back. It was puffy and red in places, and when he put his hand on it he could feel the heat. "You got burned here, Tony. Did you get any medical treatment at the hospital?"

"No, Boss." Tony shook his head. "Didn't ask for any. Didn't realise I was injured."

Gibbs pressed his fingers gently against Tony's reddened back. "You can't feel this?"

A flicker of a wince crossed Tony's face. "Yes, Boss. I can now. Just…didn't feel it earlier. Must have happened when the car exploded. Had my back to it. Was trying to shield Abby."

Gibbs took a good look at Tony's back. It wasn't serious, but it had to hurt. He went into the kitchen and got a bowl of water and his medical kit.

He returned to the living room, opened the kit, and fished out a tube of gel. It was the kind of heavy duty, medicated, skin cream he'd used on combat burns in Iraq, so he knew it would work on Tony's injury. It contained a good dose of antiseptic and a light anaesthetic, and he could testify to its pain-killing properties himself. He soothed it into the burned skin gently, taking his time.

Tony was shivering slightly which wasn't a good sign. Gibbs suspected it was a post-traumatic response, but Tony's feelings of guilt clearly weren't helping. Something didn't feel right though. Tony was a trained agent, and he'd been in worse situations. He'd definitely had some near-death experiences before, and he'd rescued team members he cared about from them too. Christ, Tony hadn't reacted like this when Kate had been killed, so what was going on here?

Something specific about this incident had clearly triggered something for him – but Gibbs didn’t know what. There was no point in asking Tony about it right now though; his sub was dead on his feet. What he needed was rest and someone to take care of him – and Gibbs would make sure that he got both.

Gibbs washed Tony's cuts and patted them dry, applying ointment and dressings where required. When he was done, he ran his hands over every inch of his sub's body, examining it in minute detail. Tony shifted restlessly.

“Stop that,” Gibbs ordered sharply. “As I can’t trust you to *know* if you’re injured anywhere, I’m just gonna have to check you out until I’m satisfied. Now stand still.”

“I’m fine,” Tony muttered.

“Not your call,” Gibbs snapped.

Gibbs resumed his examination, taking his time. He noticed how Tony gradually began to relax as he worked on him. Words were useless with Tony right now, but this method of taking his sub down was proving to be extremely effective. Tony always had responded to his touch; whether it was head-slaps, or atta boys, or just straightforward kisses - he had always been able to reach Tony better through touch than words.

"Hold still, boy," he said, running his hands firmly over Tony's ribs. Tony gave a little gasp. "That hurt?" Gibbs pressed the spot again, with two fingers, watching Tony's face. A little flicker of pain creased Tony's features. "Don't think they're broken – could be cracked or just bruised," Gibbs said, continuing to press around the sore ribs. He moved on and found some bruises on Tony's upper arm and an extremely sore looking patch on his ankle, where half the skin was scraped away.

"Legs were trapped in the car," Tony told him. "Had to pull hard to get free, so I could get Abby out."

Gibbs treated the injury and then stood up, a grim look on his face.

"I'm not happy about this, Tony," he growled. Tony blinked. "Your body belongs to me, and you haven't taken very good care of it. If you are *ever* hurt, I expect you seek medical attention. Got it?"

Tony nodded. "Yes, Boss. Sorry, Boss."

Gibbs thought they were getting there. He could feel Tony sinking down into his sub space with each growled order and terse command. If Tony wouldn't accept kindness right now, he would at least accept tough love – and Gibbs had no problem handing that out.

"With me," he said, turning on his heel and walking out the door and up the stairs. They got to the bedroom, and he plucked Tony’s collar off the nightstand and buckled it around Tony’s neck. Tony gave an almost imperceptible little sigh as it was fastened into place. It was only then that he seemed to finally give in and accept the comfortable familiarity of his role as Gibbs’s sub.

"Gonna punish you - like I promised," Gibbs told him as he fastened Tony's wrist and ankle cuffs onto his sub, taking care to avoid his injuries, buckling them loosely.

Tony nodded, his eyes glazed with exhaustion.

"You'll sleep in tight bondage tonight," Gibbs said, gesturing with his head at the bed. "Much tighter than usual. Get in."

Tony slipped into bed and settled down onto his side. Gibbs noticed that he was still shivering.

He fastened Tony's hands together, and then his ankles. Then he looped a piece of chain between the two and fastened that to the headboard. It wasn't very tight, but he didn't think Tony would notice that in the condition he was in right now. Then, finally, he padlocked the chains into place.

"You don't get to clip yourself in and out of your bondage tonight," he said, tapping Tony's head to make sure he was listening. "I've locked you in – if you need to piss, or move around, or you have a problem – any problem - then wake me."

Tony nodded. Gibbs tapped his head again.

"Do *not* just lie there if you need something. Wake me," he ordered.

"Yes, Boss," Tony said quietly.

"Good." Gibbs put his cell phone on the night stand next to Tony, within reach of his bound hands. "I will not leave you alone when you're locked in bondage – the phone is just a precaution." He didn't feel he needed to spell that one out. "You don't get to leave the bed without my permission. Now sleep."

He got undressed and slipped into the bed beside Tony. He noticed that Tony's eyes were wide open, and his sub was staring glassily at the wall. He was also trembling again. Gibbs suspected the trembling was caused by the effort it was taking for Tony to keep his eyes open. His body was exhausted and desperately needed sleep, but for some reason he wouldn't close his eyes.

Gibbs turned off the light and then moved over so that his chest was against Tony's back. He wrapped his arm firmly around Tony's waist.

"Close your eyes," he ordered.

"Can't, Boss." Tony's trembling intensified.

"It’s an order, DiNozzo!" he rapped out. "Not a request. You really want to disobey me on this?"

The breath left Tony's body with a sigh, and Gibbs saw his eyelids flutter shut. They opened again almost immediately. Gibbs tapped the back of Tony's head.

"You will sleep," he said firmly. The chains clinked as Tony moved his legs. Gibbs ran his hand down Tony's body, stilling him. "You are mine, and you will do as you are told," he growled into Tony's ear. He continued to slide his hand confidently over Tony's body, making it clear to his sub who owned him. "Your body is mine – you can't touch it right now, and you sure as hell can't stop me touching it," he said, in a low, commanding tone, straight into Tony's ear. "It belongs to me, and it will obey me. Now sleep."

"Yes, Boss."

Gibbs felt all the fight leave Tony's body as his sub finally surrendered to him. Tony closed his eyes, and Gibbs kept on reminding him that he was there, that Tony belonged to him, and that he had no choice but to obey his orders. He was tied to the bed, and Gibbs wasn't going to let him go any time soon; the only option was sleep. There was no other choice.

The repetition – and the stroking that accompanied it – seemed to work. Tony's breathing slowed and deepened as sleep claimed his weary body at long last.

Gibbs moved his hand to gently stroke his sub's hair. Now he was finally able to give in to the impulse he'd had all day to hold Tony close. He pressed a gentle kiss to Tony's shoulder, and another, and then another. He had wanted to be gentle with his sub, to hold him and take care of him, but instead he'd had to play the hard dom just to get him to rest. He had never seen his sub like this before, or experienced a Tony this lost and scared.

"Christ, Tony," he sighed into his sub's thick, soft hair. "What the hell happened to you?"


Tony blinked. He was lying on his side in bed, and he was aware that his back hurt, his ankle ached, and he could feel dozens of throbbing pains throughout his body – there were little cuts and bruises everywhere. The events of the previous day came flooding back in, and he remembered why he hurt – and why he *should* damn well hurt. It was the least he deserved, in the circumstances. He’d got off lightly compared to Abby. He moved his leg and heard the clinking of chains.

“Hey. You with us finally?”

Tony turned his head to see Gibbs sitting on the bed beside him, fully clothed, a file open on his lap. He was wearing his glasses and peering down at Tony over the top of them.

“Yeah. How’s…” Tony swallowed – his mouth was incredibly dry. “Abby?” he finished in a croak.

“She’s fine. I called the hospital, and she’s doing well. They’re going to keep her in another couple of days for observation, but they’re not worried about her.”

“You speak to her?” Tony asked anxiously. “She okay? I mean, really okay?”

“Yeah. She sounded just like Abby. She’s fine, Tony. No need to worry about her.”

“Can I see her?”

“Not today.” Gibbs shook his head. “She’s got a full quota of visitors today – Ziva and McGee this morning, Ducky and Jimmy this afternoon, and her mom is with her. Also, you’re gonna be in bondage all day, and I wasn’t planning on letting you get dressed, so unless you want to go to the hospital naked and wearing chains…” Gibbs let that hang with a shrug.

“Right.” Tony nodded.

Sweet-natured and forgiving though she was, he was sure Abby wouldn’t want to see him right now in any case. Besides, this was probably part of whatever punishment Gibbs had in store for him today for the total screw-up that had almost cost Abby her life. Tony wasn’t looking forward to that punishment, whatever form it took, but he deserved it – no doubt about that. He remembered how Gibbs had once punished McGee for failing to protect Abby by making him kneel at his desk. This was much bigger than that, so Tony was expecting an exponentially bigger punishment. Sore knees and a certain element of humiliation didn’t really cover this situation.

“I told ya to get Ducky to look at your injuries, and you didn’t. So I obviously can’t trust you to take care of yourself,” Gibbs said to him. “You were in a serious car accident yesterday - you have burns on your back, and cuts and bruises all over. You’re gonna be chained to either the bed or the couch for the day, so I can make sure you get some rest.”

“Yes, Boss,” Tony said quietly, without protest. “What time is it anyway?” He glanced at the bright rays of sunshine stealing in around the sides of the drapes.

“Nearly noon.” Gibbs went over to the drapes and opened them, letting the sunlight come flooding in.

“Shouldn’t we be at the office?”

“Nope. You’re on medical leave, and I’m working from home.” Gibbs nodded in the direction of the files on the bed. “I’m processing the paperwork and reports on Thurle. You can help me later.”

Gibbs returned to the bed and unlocked Tony from his bondage. “You have fifteen minutes in the bathroom – then get your ass out here.”

Tony swung his legs over the side of the bed, wincing as he became aware of a dozen different aches in his body.

“Shit…” he hissed as he stood up, his back protesting the movement.

“Like I said – serious car accident. You can keep going on the adrenaline, but the next day always hurts like a bitch,” Gibbs chuckled. “You probably wrenched a dozen muscles without even realising it.”

Tony felt like an old man as he walked slowly to the bathroom. Gibbs was right – he felt like he’d been hit by a truck. He pissed, showered, cleaned his teeth and shaved and emerged exactly fifteen minutes later feeling a bit more human.

Gibbs was waiting for him in the bedroom, his medical kit open on the bed. He examined Tony again, every inch of him, just like he had the previous night. There was something nice about it. Tony couldn’t remember anyone ever treating him with such careful precision before, like he mattered. In other circumstances he’d have enjoyed it, but not today. Not after he’d almost killed Abby through his own stupidity. Gibbs should be throwing him over the damn spanking bench in the basement and whaling on his ass, not running gentle fingers over his bruises and rubbing soothing lotion into his burned back. It was just wrong. He only submitted to it because he had no choice, but he was glad when it was over.

Gibbs fastened his cuffs and collar back on him, and then Tony followed his dom downstairs on the end of Gibbs’s leash. There was something reassuringly restrictive about it. Gibbs ordered him to sit on the couch in the living room and then chained his right wrist to his right ankle, and his left wrist to his left ankle. They were long chains, giving him a full range of movement, but it was, nonetheless, bondage. Gibbs fastened his leash to a hook in the wall beside the couch, securing it with a padlock.

“You don’t think for yourself today, Tony,” Gibbs told him. “You’re in bondage all day. You’ll do exactly what I say, when I say. If you want to use the bathroom, or if you want anything to eat or drink, then you ask me.”

Tony nodded. He wished it felt more like punishment, but in reality it just felt reassuring. He was so tired – he didn’t want to have to think. It was nice to be able to opt out and let Gibbs take control.

“It’s restrictive because I want to make sure your body gets a chance to rest and recover,” Gibbs told him, crouching down in front of him, a puzzled look in his eyes as if he was expecting some other kind of reaction from Tony. A protest maybe?

“It’s okay. I get it. You want to get me well so you can punish me,” Tony said.

Gibbs straightened up, slowly, an assessing look in his eyes. “Punish you for what, Tony?”

“For screwing up and nearly getting Abby killed."

Gibbs ran a hand over his chin and gazed down on Tony thoughtfully. “I’m not gonna punish you for that, Tony."

“But I screwed up – big time.”

“Yeah, you did screw up, Tony. But did you break any of the rules?”


“The rules – recite them,” Gibbs ordered.

“Rule number one: Obey you. Rule number two: Don’t lie to you. Rule number three: Don’t keep you waiting. Rule number four: No attitude. Rule number five: Nobody touches me but you. Rule number six: No wheedling. Rule number seven: Don’t die without your permission. Cardinal rule: I’m yours,” Tony fired off. He didn’t see how they were relevant right now. This was much bigger than the rules.

“And where does it say anything about not screwing up?” Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

“Oh come on!” Tony protested. “I made a mistake that almost cost Abby her life. I deserve to be punished, Gibbs. You have to punish me.”

“The hell I do!” Gibbs retorted. He sat down on the coffee table in front of Tony and leaned forward to gaze at him intently. “Yes, you made a mistake, Tony, but so did I, and so did Abby – and we’re all having to live with that. I won’t punish you for it.”

“You should. You must.”

“Don’t tell me what I *must* do with my own damn sub!” Gibbs responded angrily. “Who is in charge here, Tony?”

Tony stared at him mutely.

“DiNozzo!” Gibbs rapped out. “Who is in charge here?”

“You are,” Tony replied reluctantly.

“Who decides on your punishment? Who decides what you get punished for, what the punishment is, how long it lasts, and how hard it is?” Gibbs demanded.

“You do.”

“Is any of this your choice?”


“Then we’re clear,” Gibbs said firmly, getting up.

“Are you going to throw me out then?” Tony asked.

Gibbs looked stumped. “What?”

Tony looked straight at his dom. "It's *Abby*, Gibbs. I know what she means to you, and I don't expect you to forgive me for almost getting her killed."

Gibbs stood in front of him, his hands clenched into fists. Tony tensed, expecting the inevitable blow – hell, he’d expected it long before now.

“Do you remember what I said, during that first week, about how it’d be if I took you on?” Gibbs asked, in a deceptively quiet tone of voice.

“You said a lot of things back then, Boss."

“Yeah, but the one thing I told you to be really clear about was that once I'd fucked you I wouldn't give you up easily after that. 'Cause you’d be mine, and I'd fight for you if I had to."


“So – tell me – have I ever been the kind of man who gives up this easy?” Gibbs asked in a deceptively soft tone of voice.

“No, Boss. I guess not. I suppose I just thought…”

“No, Tony, you didn’t ‘just think’ – you aren’t thinking at all!" Gibbs roared. "You’re being an idiot. You’re mine, and there’s no way that I’m throwing you out. I’m not done with you yet, boy.”

Tony stared at him, stunned by his vehemence. “But if you’re not going to punish me, and if you’re not going to throw me out, then what *are* you going to do?”

“So we’re back to your two dead-end options again, are we?” Gibbs growled. "Okay. I will do something. Not either of those two things though; something you'll find much harder to accept. You won't like it, but I'll make you take it, and you will take it, because you're my sub. Wanna argue with me about that?"

Tony shook his head. "No, Boss. Whatever it is, I’ll take it. I promise."

This was much more familiar ground. Whatever Gibbs did, Tony could handle it. However much it hurt and however painful it was. Just as long as Gibbs didn't throw him out.

"Good. Then start work on this while I get you something to eat.” Gibbs threw a file into his lap and then strode into the kitchen.

Tony watched him go, wearily. He wished he could get his hands on some alcohol right now, but that wasn’t a possibility in his current state of bondage and with Gibbs watching him like a hawk.

What the hell did Gibbs have in mind that was going to be so hard? It was a relief to know that he had no choice. Gibbs would make him take whatever he wanted to hand out – so Tony would. No way out. No safe word. No escape. He doubted Gibbs would let him use his safe word for this in any case.

Whatever it was, Tony could take it. He'd make himself take it.


Gibbs went into the kitchen and paced angrily. What the hell was going on in Tony’s mind? Whatever it was, Gibbs didn’t like the glimpse he was getting into it. Sure, he’d always known that Tony had some kind of weird fragility that he was trying to hide – Gibbs had known that for years, long before he had taken Tony as his sub, and definitely before Ziva had handed him that dossier. He’d been aware of it since about the first day he met Tony, but he’d never tried to look into it because it hadn’t been any of his damn business before. As long as it didn’t interfere with Tony’s work, then it was fine. He had enough sore spots in his own personal life to be able to respect other people’s. He’d have kicked Tony’s ass if he’d ever once asked him about Shannon and Kelly, and it worked both ways.

That was before he took Tony as his sub. Gibbs didn’t think he had the option of letting it slide any more. For a start, Tony had nowhere to hide now. He couldn’t just slink off home, do whatever it was he did to cope, and then re-appear a couple of days later with a bright, idiotic smile pasted to his face and his happy, shiny Tony persona back in place. Now that they were living together, Gibbs was getting to see a side of his sub that had always been kept well hidden – and it was proving to be pretty damn revealing.

Tony clearly needed something from him right now, and he'd do his best to figure out what.
He had decided not to allow Tony to visit Abby today for two reasons; firstly, because he wanted Tony to get some rest; and secondly, because he suspected that seeing Abby with that big bandage around her head would only put Tony in a worse state of mind.

Tony might *want* punishment, but Gibbs had a feeling that he *needed* something else – and that was a healthy dose of affection. Unfortunately, Gibbs suspected that affection was going to be the hardest thing in the world for Tony to accept right now.

He took Tony some breakfast and coffee and then sat down on the couch beside him and picked up his paperwork. He had Tony do all the really dull stuff – filling out the forms, cross-referencing previous reports, checking back on the precise quotes from what had been said in interrogation. It was always long, boring work processing a perp, but Gibbs thought it was a good way of distracting Tony.

After a few hours of hard work, Gibbs glanced at his sub to see that he looked exhausted. Gibbs knew from experience that you could keep going for hours after a bad trauma, but the minute you allowed yourself to come down from it, and really relax, then you crashed. Tony hadn’t looked too bad when he’d first woken up, but now he looked like shit again.

Gibbs threw the files onto the coffee table and unlocked Tony from the wall.

“Time for you to sleep,” he said, putting out a hand to touch Tony’s head. Tony flinched, and Gibbs sighed. This flinching was becoming a theme, and it was starting to piss him off. He wondered if Tony was really expecting him to slam his fist into his face – and if he was, why? He’d never done anything like that, and he never would. Tony had to know that.

“Don’t,” he said, in a warning tone. “You’re my sub – I can touch you if I want.”

Tony looked surprised, but he nodded all the same. “Sorry, Boss.”

Gibbs sat back down on the couch beside Tony, put his hand on Tony’s head, and pulled him down into his lap. They’d rested like this dozens of times before, but this time Tony was stiff as Gibbs stroked his hair.

“Relax,” he ordered.

“Relaxing, Boss,” Tony said quickly, but it took a long time for the tension to dissipate from his shoulders. When it finally did, he still remained with his eyes resolutely open.

“What happens when you close your eyes Tony?” Gibbs asked quietly.

“Everything goes dark, Boss,” Tony joked.

Gibbs tapped his head firmly. “Don’t bullshit me, boy. Why is it a problem for you to close your eyes? What do you see?”

“See Abby, Boss,” Tony admitted, still staring straight ahead.

“See her like she was in the car?” Gibbs had known enough men with PTSD to be familiar with those kinds of flashbacks.

“Yeah.” Tony shuddered. “She’s lying on her side, eyes closed, blood…” He trailed off. “There was a lot of blood, Boss.”

“I know.”

“She was so pale. Thought she was dead for awhile until I felt the pulse. Then I thought she’d die before the paramedics arrived. Wondered how I’d ever be able to face you again if that happened. Know she’s like a daughter to you, Boss, and you already lost Kelly. Didn’t think you could stand to lose Abby too. And for it all to be my fault…”

Gibbs sighed and gently stroked Tony’s thick hair. “Firstly, you screwed up, yeah, but it’s not like it was *all* your fault. Secondly, Abby’s not dead. Don’t torture yourself with ‘what ifs’, Tony. It goes nowhere. I should know.”

Tony glanced up at him, a question in his eyes. Gibbs fought with himself for awhile, struggling with his own reluctance to open up, but he couldn’t expect Tony to share if he didn’t give him anything back in return, so he forced himself on.

“Spent about three years after Shannon and Kelly died torturing myself with how I could have stopped it. Kelly begged me not to leave that last day. I just laughed - told her it’d be okay, I’d write to her, and I’d be home soon.”

Tony was gazing at him with a look of rapt attention, and Gibbs knew that however hard it was he had to just plough on and get the job done.

“Never did see her alive again – but I kept thinking – suppose she was trying to tell me something that day? I should have damn well listened. If I had, she’d still be alive.”

“And her daddy would have been tried for going AWOL,” Tony pointed out. “That's not who you are, Boss. You’d never have deserted.”

“I know. Doesn’t mean I didn’t think about it every day and curse myself for being a stupid, stubborn, pig-headed bastard who didn’t listen to his little girl when she was telling him the most important thing he ever had to hear.” Don’t go, Daddy. Don’t go. He rubbed a hand across his eyes. “She died. And I regretted it every day for three years until I realised there was no rewind button. I didn’t get to live in a world in which she lived. Wish it had been me who died, not her. Would have gladly taken her place. She had her whole life ahead of her.”

“How did you learn to live with it, Boss?” Tony asked quietly, and there was an intent look in his eyes. “You said it took three years – does that mean you've found a way, or are there still bad days?”

Gibbs didn’t think they’d ever had a conversation this personal. It was easier to do all kinds of intimate things to each other’s bodies than open up and talk like this. He didn’t find it easy, but he had to admit it did seem to be helping.

“Yeah, Tony. There are still bad days.” He looked down on his sub. “For you too?” Tony went very still. Then he nodded. “You gonna talk to me about it?” Gibbs asked softly.

Tony blinked a couple of times and then shook his head. Gibbs thought that maybe that was enough progress for one day.

“Abby’s fine, Tony, and you have to get some rest. Close your eyes.”

Gibbs thought about blindfolding his sub – Tony responded well to sensory deprivation – but he didn’t want to lock him in with the unpleasant images and leave him with no escape. Tony closed his eyes, but they flickered open again a few seconds later. Gibbs tapped his head.

“I told you Abby’s fine, Tony. Don’t think about her in the car again.”


“Who?” Gibbs frowned.

“Jenny. What happened with Abby brought that up again. Know you were close to her, Boss.”

Gibbs thought there was something in the way Tony seemed at least as concerned about Gibbs’s reaction to losing Abby and Jenny as his own distress. Gibbs just couldn’t get a handle on what it was.

“Jenny had cancer, Tony. You know that. She chose to die in that diner instead of letting the cancer take her. I kinda respect that. You should too. Now close your eyes and get some sleep.” A thought occurred to him. “You know, when I was injured in combat the first time, I was confined to the house for a few weeks after they let me out of the hospital. Couldn’t go anywhere, or do anything - weak as a kitten. Pissed me off. I was a shitty patient; Shannon got sick of me pretty quick.”

“Yeah, I can imagine.” Tony grinned. Gibbs tapped his head.

“I hated having to sleep in the middle of the day, but I needed the rest. Shannon said I was irritating the hell out of her – cutting into her reading time – she loved reading. Started out as kind of a joke, a way to kill two birds with one stone, but she began reading to me. Something about her voice and the kind of boring books she liked too, I guess. Used to help me relax and switch off enough to get to sleep.”

“You’re gonna read to me, Boss?” Tony asked incredulously.

“You ever read a book in your life?” Gibbs grinned down on him.

Tony grinned back. “Sure – read 'The Godfather' when I was eleven – one of the kids passed it around at boarding school. Everyone knew you had to read page 27 – that’s where all the good stuff was. Everything I know about sex I learned from page 27 of 'The Godfather'.”

Gibbs rolled his eyes. “Figures.”

He eased Tony’s head to one side, got off the couch, and went over to his bookshelves. He leafed through the books until he came to one of Shannon’s old favourites. He grinned; this one would do. It had always sent him to sleep pretty damn fast, back in the old days.

He returned to the couch, pulled Tony back into position, and opened the book.

“'Great Expectations?'” Tony read the title off the spine. “Charles Dickens?” he winced. “Sounds a bit heavy, Boss.”

“It’s either this or one of those period romances where everyone is polite and dances a lot, and the feisty heroine holds out for three hundred pages before marrying some wealthy guy with a stick up his ass,” Gibbs growled at him.

“When you put it like that…” Tony put his head down again.

Gibbs opened the book and cleared his throat. He wondered just how much of an idiot he’d feel reading out loud, but the point was to lull Tony to sleep, so he figured it was worth making an ass of himself.

He started reading and the years fell away. He remembered lying here, on this couch, his leg in plaster up to the hip, an irritable growl on his lips that faded when Shannon pulled up the rocker beside him and began to read.

She had a beautiful voice, full of expression, and she’d put on all the different character voices, bringing the book vividly to life. Gibbs had no intention of going that far – but looking down he saw he didn’t need to, because Tony’s breathing had slowed and deepened, and he was fast asleep.

Gibbs carried on reading out loud anyway. The book was much better than he remembered, and he started to enjoy it. Maybe he’d been too young to appreciate it back then, although he’d loved having Shannon read it to him. Then again, he’d have loved it if Shannon had read the phone book to him. The fact she was taking the time to do it, and the love and warmth in her voice as she read – those were the things that mattered.

He carried on reading out loud, stroking Tony’s hair repeatedly the whole time. It felt as if something had started to mend – something that had been a long time broken.


Tony was stiff when he woke. It was dark outside, but a lamp was glowing on the side table, and at some point Gibbs must have slid out from under him, as Tony could hear him moving around in the kitchen. Tony couldn’t believe how long he’d slept and how tired he’d been.

“You awake? Good.”

Gibbs returned to the living room with a tray full of food. Tony eyed it suspiciously. Usually they ordered take out, but Gibbs seemed to have actually cooked a meal – involving what appeared to be copious amounts of vegetables.

“Eat. It won’t kill you,” Gibbs chuckled, seeing the look on his face.

Tony sat up and ate slowly, wondering when Gibbs was going to do that thing he’d told him about. The thing he’d find hard to take. So far, Gibbs had just been kinda nice to him – which wasn’t *Gibbs*, and wasn’t what Tony deserved right now, so he was confused. He suspected that whatever “it” was, would take place after they’d eaten.

He therefore wasn’t surprised when Gibbs returned to the living room after he’d cleared their plates away and gestured with his head in the direction of the back yard.

“With me.”

So this was it. Finally. Tony had no idea what it could be. He gave Gibbs a grim nod and got up and followed his dom to the back door. Maybe Gibbs intended for him to sleep out here tonight. It was cold – but then again Gibbs had told him he wouldn’t like it, and he definitely didn’t like the idea of spending a night outdoors, naked, at this time of year.

"Here." Gibbs removed Tony's wrist and ankle cuffs and chains, much to Tony's surprise, leaving him in just his collar, with the leash hanging from it. Then Gibbs surprised Tony even more by stripping off his own clothes and leaving them in a pile by the door. Tony stood there, uncertainly, wondering what the hell was going on. Gibbs gestured with his head towards the yard. "Follow me."

“Is the yard secluded?” Tony hesitated in the doorway, aware of his own nudity.

Gibbs grinned. “Nobody can see ya. Or me.”

Gibbs walked out into the yard, and Tony followed him around the corner of the house to a…hot tub. There was a head of steam rising up out of it, and it looked warm and inviting. Tony looked at it, and then at Gibbs, as if his dom had gone insane.

“You have a hot tub? You? That doesn’t compute, Boss. It’s kind of like McGee having a hot girlfriend. You and hot tubs really don’t go together.

Gibbs laughed. “Made it myself. Get in.”

He climbed into the tub and gazed at Tony expectantly.

“Wasn’t a request, Tony. I want to play with my sub.”

Tony was even more confused now. He climbed into the tub and gave a satisfied groan as the warm water soothed his aching muscles. Gibbs fastened Tony’s leash to the handle of the tub, meaning that Tony was effectively tied in place. Then he straddled Tony and began gently playing with his body.

He swept his fingers over Tony’s chest, teasing his nipples lightly. Then he leaned down and kissed Tony’s collar bone.

“What are you doing?” Tony asked, gasping as Gibbs went lower and sucked a nipple gently into his mouth.

“Playing with you. Like I said.”

Tony stiffened. Gibbs drew back, one eyebrow raised.

“Your body belongs to me, Tony. I can play with it if I want,” he said in a silky voice.



“It’s nice,” Tony blurted.

“Good. I want it to be nice.”

Gibbs returned to his gentle sucking. Tony felt a wave of rebellion. He put his hands up and pushed against Gibbs’s shoulders, forcing him back. Gibbs's raised eyebrow looked more dangerous this time.

“Why are you doing this to me?” Tony asked pathetically.

“Doing what, Tony?”

“Being nice. Talking to me, holding me, stroking me – hell, *reading* to me so I could get to sleep and now…now this? Why?”

Gibbs took hold of his chin and looked at him. “I told you this wouldn’t be easy, Tony, and you promised me your obedience.”

“This? This is it? This is the thing?” Tony asked in disbelief.

“Yeah – it’s been the thing all day, Tony.”


“You wanted it to hurt? Not gonna happen.” Gibbs shook his head. “This is what I’m gonna make you take. Think you can handle it?”

Tony stared at him in mute horror. Why was Gibbs being this way now, when Tony deserved to be yelled at and kicked around for screwing up? It didn’t make any sense.

“Don’t do this, Boss,” he begged.

“My call,” Gibbs shrugged. “You could have died in that car wreck yesterday, Tony. And this is what I wanna do to you because I'm pretty damn happy that you're alive.”

He tilted Tony’s chin and claimed a sweet kiss from Tony’s stunned mouth. Tony couldn’t fight him. He never could fight Gibbs. And he *had* promised that he’d take whatever his dom wanted to hand out – he’d just never imagined it would be *this*.

Gibbs kissed him for a long time, until Tony couldn’t think straight any more. He couldn’t go anywhere, because he was tied to the damn hot tub; all he could do was sit here, in the warm water, and accept his dom’s gentle, loving caresses.

Gibbs tangled his fingers in Tony’s chest hair and then slid them lower, taking hold of Tony’s cock. “Get hard for me, Tony.”

He fisted Tony’s cock as he said that, and Tony moaned, unable to resist how good that felt. Gibbs knew how to move his hand expertly along Tony’s shaft, and all that warm water swirling around made it feel even better.

He was soon fully erect, and Gibbs continued to stroke him with long, languid movements of his hand. There was something powerfully dominant about Gibbs as he worked. He hovered over Tony, kissing his mouth repeatedly as he gently but firmly stroked his cock. Tony began to shiver – and it wasn’t from cold. Nobody had ever treated him this way before. When he screwed up, he got slapped down, and that was the way it should be. Why was Gibbs – Gibbs of all people – being nice to him? It wasn’t as if the guy had a reputation for being nice; everyone knew what a bastard he was.

Gibbs released his cock, but only so that he could run his fingers over Tony’s body instead. He seemed to find every sore spot Tony possessed, digging in just enough to make Tony wince.

“Muscles got pulled in the car crash. Need to work on them,” Gibbs informed him. “Get out.”

He untied Tony and pulled him back into the house by his leash. Tony saw a pile of towels by the door that he hadn’t noticed earlier. Gibbs wrapped him up in one, snagged one for himself, and then led Tony up the stairs and into the bedroom.

He dried Tony and then gestured to the bed. “Get on it. On your front.”

Tony did as he was told, in a kind of daze. Gibbs found a bottle of some kind of oil in the nightstand drawer. He opened it and sniffed it cautiously.

“One of the ex-wives left it hanging around, but it smells okay. Might as well make use of it.” He grinned.

He straddled Tony on the bed and poured some oil into his hands, warming them. Then he placed them gently on Tony’s back. He worked slowly, avoiding the worst of Tony's burns, and Tony felt his sore muscles gradually begin to loosen. He buried his face in his pillow. He wasn’t sure how much of all this gentle loving care he could take, and he began to tremble in earnest.

“Tony – what’s going on?” Gibbs asked as he worked him with those gently soothing fingers.

“Dunno,” Tony muttered. He raised his head. “Please, Boss. I can’t take much more of this.”

“It hurting?”

“No. It's not that.”

"Does it feel good?"

Tony closed his eyes. "Yes." It did. It was tender and kind, gentle and relaxing. It soothed and calmed him, making him feel loved, and he wished he didn't like it so much.

“Want to say your safe word, Tony?” Gibbs asked.

Did he? It was the closest he’d ever come to it. “No,” he whispered into the pillow.

He willed himself to just enjoy the attention that he knew he didn’t deserve. He felt Gibbs’s hands on his buttocks, parting them, and then he felt those skilful fingers slip inside him. His treacherous cock hardened again as Gibbs oiled and stretched his hole. Gibbs turned him onto his back and straddled him again. He took another handful of the oil and lubed his own hard cock, keeping eye contact with Tony the entire time.

“Please, Boss, please don’t be nice to me like this,” Tony begged.

“You’re my sub, and I want to make love to you,” Gibbs replied. "You know the word to use if you want me to stop."

He parted Tony’s legs and settled down between them, then gently opened his buttocks and snubbed his cock into Tony’s entrance. The oil made it slip in easily, and Tony gave a gasp of pleasure as Gibbs inserted himself fully with a little push. Gibbs rested his arms on the bed on either side of Tony's shoulders and lowered his head to kiss him gently, his cock fully inserted in Tony’s body. It felt so good. Too good.

Gibbs drew back, moving his hips slowly, and then he slid just as slowly back in again. It was lazy and gentle, tender and sweet. Gibbs kissed Tony on every inward stroke and kept eye contact every time he slid back out.

“Why?” Tony gasped, gazing up at him. “Why are you doing this to me, Boss?”

“Because you’re mine, and I want you to relax and feel happy.”

Tony looked at him blankly as Gibbs continued his tender love-making.

“Boss…please,” he whimpered, as Gibbs took his cock in his oiled hand and began stroking him towards climax.

“Come for me, Tony,” Gibbs urged. “Come for me, boy.”

Tony spurted out over Gibbs’s hand with a helpless shout of pleasure. Gibbs grinned down on him and claimed another kiss, then moved faster in Tony’s body until he too came, with a little gasp of satisfaction. He pulled out, settled down beside his sub, and drew the sheets over them both.

Tony rolled onto his side so that he was facing his dom.

“I don’t understand,” he said.

“Yeah. I know. That’s the problem, Tony.”

“I know you. I know what a hard-assed bastard you are. Why did you do this to me today? Why? Why were you so nice to me? Why didn’t you give me what I deserve?”

Gibbs gently stroked the wet ends of Tony’s hair away from his face.

"Who says I didn't, Tony?"


Gibbs woke the next morning with his usual morning hard-on. His sub was still asleep, but Gibbs didn't intend to let him sleep in again this morning. He had a plan for today, and it depended on him taking Tony deep into his sub space to make it work.

He ran his hands over Tony's naked butt and moved Tony's leg forward to gain better access to his sub's hole. Then he rubbed lubricant on his hard cock and pushed himself into Tony's body.

Gibbs loved this part of their morning ritual, rousing a sleeping Tony to wakefulness. Tony sighed and muttered something – after several weeks as Gibbs's sub he was getting used to being woken like this, and Gibbs knew how much he loved it. Being woken in this way seemed to cure him of his morning surliness.

Gibbs started out slow, giving Tony time to wake up – he wasn't always so merciful. Sometimes he rolled over and entered his sub hard and fast, taking Tony from fast asleep to wide awake in three seconds flat. He always liked the hoarse shout of befuddled surprise Tony gave when that happened.

Today he took his time. He ran his hand over Tony's chest and fondled his right nipple gently, making Tony gasp and his eyelids flutter open. Then he moved his hand down to Tony's cock, which was already half hard. Gibbs grinned and kissed his sub's shoulder.

"Your training's had to take a back seat this past week because of the Abby situation," he whispered in Tony's ear. "Time to get things back on track. You can touch yourself." He reached up to unlock Tony's hands from their bondage. "Come while I'm in you or not at all. I'll race you."

He took hold of Tony's hips and began pumping into him with firm thrusts. Tony gave a little squeal and moved his hand down to begin frantically rubbing his cock. Gibbs fucked him vigorously, making Tony pant and moan with each inward stroke. Gibbs felt himself on the verge of coming and glanced over Tony's shoulder – his sub was still moving his hand desperately along his cock, trying to reach his own climax.

"Too late, Tony," Gibbs chuckled, thrusting another couple of times and then ejaculating deep in Tony's body with a satisfied sigh.

"Boss…please…just a couple more strokes…" Tony begged, still moving his hand rapidly.

"Sure – keep going – but if you come now then you're on punishment detail," Gibbs reminded him.

"But you're still IN me," Tony protested.

Gibbs laughed. "Semantics, boy." He pulled out, and Tony gave a groan of annoyance and banged his head back on the pillow in frustration, his hand stilling on his cock.

"Thought I'd work on you today," Gibbs told him, patting his ass affectionately. "Play with you a bit."

"Now?" Tony asked, his tone half anxious and half aroused.

Gibbs laughed. "We'll take a shower, have something to eat, and then I'll work on you 'til lunchtime. After that, we can go see Abby if you want?"

"Really?" Tony rolled over and looked at him hopefully, but Gibbs didn't miss the spike of anxiety in his eyes.

Gibbs kissed his mouth. "Yup. And if you're good while I work on ya, I might let you come later."

Tony grinned, and Gibbs slapped his ass. He was pleased to see how rested Tony was looking; his face had lost its pallor and the dark shadows under his eyes had faded. The shadows *in* his eyes had also receded, but Gibbs was pretty sure they hadn't gone for good. He hoped that a morning spent in intensive submission might get Tony in a good enough headspace to handle visiting Abby later.

They took a shower together, and Gibbs checked over Tony's injuries to find that they were healing fine – he was certainly well enough to be gently played with. They ate breakfast, and then Gibbs took his sub down to the basement. He pulled out the spanking bench he'd made, which he'd finished off with some plush leather upholstery, making it comfortable for Tony to be strapped to for long periods of time.

He blindfolded Tony first – that always helped Tony go down into sub space. Then he made Tony put his knees on the padded shelves, and he bent him forwards so that his torso was resting on the bench. He put a cushion under Tony's chest and angled his head sideways so that he could breathe easily. Then he pulled his cuffed wrists in front of him and fastened them to the sides of the bench. Finally, he tilted the bench forwards, so that Tony's ass was lifted into the air.

This left Tony in a position of abject but entirely comfortable bondage. His knees were apart, stretching his buttocks and making his hole open and accessible. His weight was resting on his chest and knees, and with his hands tied he was completely vulnerable.

Gibbs squeezed a good dollop of lubricant onto his index finger and then slipped it into Tony's hole. Tony tensed as the cool liquid made contact with his skin, so Gibbs slapped his ass lightly.

"Relax," he ordered.

"Sorry – you took me by surprise – wish I could see what you're doing back there, Boss."

"You don't need to see it," Gibbs told him firmly. "You have no control over any of this, boy."

"No, Boss."

Gibbs grinned – he could see Tony going down into his sub space already.

Gibbs retrieved the items he'd brought down earlier and laid them on the workbench. He had something in mind that he hoped would keep Tony pre-occupied during his visit to Abby later and prevent him slipping back into his guilt-ridden mindset of the past couple of days.

He picked up a thick butt plug and went over to Tony. "Mouth open," he ordered. Tony did as he was told, and Gibbs slowly fed the big butt plug into his mouth, stretching out his jaw in the process. "This is what you're gonna take in your ass."

Tony looked up at him again, an expression of arousal on his face that was evident even despite the fact that he was blindfolded with a big butt plug stuck in his mouth.

"We'll work up to it," Gibbs assured him. "You'll wear it all afternoon. You've been talkin’ back too much. Need to remember who you belong to. The plug will keep you focussed."

He removed the plug, and Tony gasped for air. Gibbs tousled his hair affectionately.

"You sure that thing will fit inside me, Boss?" Tony asked.

"Oh yeah - it'll fit," Gibbs insisted. "I'll get you ready for it. By the time I'm done, you'll be able to take it."

Gibbs went back over to the workbench, picked up a vibrator, and covered it in lube. Then he returned to his sub.

"What's your safe word, Tony?"


"Say it if you need to."

He opened Tony's buttocks and slid the vibrator gently into his hole, pushing it in all the way. Then he turned it on. Tony relaxed, making a little humming noise of pleasure in the back of his throat.

Gibbs looked down on him with a surge of pride. It was so damn *good* to play with a sub who relished his own submission like this. He glanced over at the butt plug on the workbench. Tony had no idea what he had in store for him, but Gibbs hoped it would help keep his sub's mind off the worries of the previous day.


Tony sighed contentedly as the vibrator purred away in his ass. He preferred the feel of his dom's warm cock, but this was pretty damn good. He could feel himself drifting off into that sweet place inside his own mind. He was tied and blindfolded, his ass raised up for his dom's attention.

Gibbs slid the vibrator in and out of his ass, and Tony relaxed even more. The vibrator stimulated his nerve endings, making him sigh in pleasure. He wanted to rub his hard cock against the plush leather surface of the spanking bench, but the way he was tied made it impossible.

He was completely zoned out by the time Gibbs removed it. Then he felt his dom’s warm tongue sliding into his hole, and he zoned out even more. He felt boneless, completely lost in the fantastic sensation.
The events of the past few days started to recede in his mind. When Gibbs was doing things like *this* to him, it was all he could think about. He was moaning softly to himself, floating happily on a cloud of relaxed arousal, when Gibbs finished with his tongue and slid his fingers back into him. Two…three…four…Tony moved his head blearily.

“Not gonna fist me are you, Boss?” he asked.

“Not today. Why – think you’d like that?” Gibbs’s voice was a low, throaty growl.

“Head says no…cock says yes.” Tony grinned.

“I’ll remember that.”

Gibbs continued to work his fingers into Tony’s hole, stretching him out. Then they were gone – and Tony sighed happily as they were replaced by the familiar feel of his dom’s cock. Gibbs entered him easily and fucked him slowly, taking his time. He caressed his sub throughout, stroking his bound body, making Tony quiver and hum with pleasure. Tony was acutely aware of his own submission. Blindfolded, tied, ass up – all he could do was lie here and enjoy. He didn’t know if he’d get to come. He wasn’t sure he cared. This felt so good.

Gibbs fucked him for a long time, and then came, deep in Tony’s body. He withdrew and tapped Tony’s ass cheek.

“Hold it,” he said.

Tony frowned. “Hold what?”

“What I left inside you. That big plug is gonna keep it there for the rest of the day.”

Tony grinned and clenched his ass cheeks together. “That’s really kinky, Boss.”

“Well yeah. I know that, DiNozzo.” He heard Gibbs move away and then return. "Okay, now get ready for the plug," Gibbs told him, his voice right by his ear now. He stroked Tony's hair. "You'll wear this plug all day to remind you who you belong to."

"I know who I belong to." Tony grinned up at him.

"Well, I figure a reminder won't hurt. Open up."

He tapped Tony’s ass again, and Tony felt the tip of the plug against his loosened hole. It went in slowly, stretching him wider and wider as it slid in. Then Gibbs pushed it in the last bit of the way, and Tony felt the flared base slot into place. It wasn't as hard to take as he'd feared, although it felt big, filling him completely. He loved that it was trapping Gibbs's come deep inside his body, and that it would hold it there all day.

"Gonna let you up now," Gibbs said, undoing Tony's bonds.

He helped Tony off the spanking bench but immediately tied him with his hands over his head, his back against the wall. Tony's cock hardened again.

"You've been good – so I'm gonna give you another chance to come," Gibbs told him. "Any time you want, Tony."

Tony heard him kneel in front of him, and then he gave a hoarse shout as he felt Gibbs's warm mouth envelop his hard cock.

"Oh fuck!" he sighed, as his dom's lips sucked down expertly. Gibbs knew how to tease, how to swirl his tongue around the head of Tony's cock, and how to make it feel so damn good. Tony tried to hold on, just to prolong the fantastic experience, but he couldn't. He shouted and roared out his orgasm, pumping into Gibbs's mouth and down his throat, and then hung there, in his bonds, utterly spent.

He heard Gibbs get up and then the blindfold was removed. Tony blinked; Gibbs was smiling at him. "One more thing, and we're good to go." Gibbs held up two little items of metal nipple jewellery. "They don't hurt – they're just decorative - but I want you to wear 'em for the rest of the day."

The nipple decorations were in the shape of two little starbursts. Gibbs fastened them carefully onto Tony's nipples, and Tony looked down on them, surprised by how much he liked the look. Gibbs was right – they didn't hurt - they pinched slightly to stay in place though, and he knew he'd be aware of their cool metal caress all day.

"Good boy." Gibbs kissed him, and Tony leaned eagerly into the kiss, enjoying the feel of his top's fully clothed body against his own naked one, and the way it felt to be hanging here, helpless, completely at Gibbs's mercy.

Gibbs drew back with another one of those dry chuckles. "You're such a damn sub, Tony," he said, reaching out to release him from his bonds.

"Yeah, and you're a b…" Tony stopped himself in time. "A total dom," he finished lamely.

"Oh yeah. I am." Gibbs grinned again, looking very pleased with himself. "Now go and get dressed." He jerked his head in the direction of the stairs. Tony started walking slowly towards them, every step making the plug's presence keenly felt. "And Tony?" Tony stopped and glanced back. "I want you to wear the plug for the rest of the day, but if you feel you can't, or you need to say your safe word, then tell me. Clear?"

"As crystal, Boss," Tony said crisply.

He walked slowly up the stairs, aware of the big plug in his ass and the fact that it was holding his dom's come inside him, and the cool metal of the starburst nipple decorations. He didn't think he'd be able to concentrate on anything else all day. They were all he could think about.


They drove to the hospital, stopping off on the way to buy a bouquet of black roses. Gibbs grinned as Tony got out of the car at the hospital – his sub looked beautiful, in jeans and a loose shirt, but he was walking kind of stiffly, so Gibbs was pretty sure he was feeling that plug.

Abby was sitting up in bed when they arrived, looking considerably better than she had the last time Gibbs had seen her. Tony paused in the doorway, gazing at her. The big white bandage around her head and her pale face made her eyes seem particularly luminous, and for a moment Gibbs wasn't sure if Tony was going to get through this. He rested a hand on his sub's ass, pushing discreetly against the plug. It seemed to help focus Tony because his face lit up into a grin, and he bounded into the room and over to Abby's bedside.

Abby signed an introduction to her mom, and Gibbs exchanged polite small talk with Gloria with his hands, while keeping one eye on Tony.

"Hey – you look fantastic!" Tony said, handing Abby the bouquet of flowers.

"You like the turban look?" she grinned at him, gesturing to the bandage on her head.

"Oh yeah. You look like one of those glamorous movie stars from the 40's," he joked. "Like Joan Crawford in 'The Women'."

She reached out and gently touched one of the cuts on the side of his face. He jerked his head away and then covered up the move with a bright grin.

"Just a few cuts. I'm not the one doing all the attention-seeking lying around in a hospital bed," he told her, with a big DiNozzo wink.

"Yeah right! You're just the dumb schmuck who crashed the damn car!" She grinned back happily, and Gibbs relaxed, watching them trade banter.

"So how long will you be off work?" Tony asked, leaning over and dropping a kiss on her cheek.

"I dunno – 'til my hair grows back maybe."

"They shaved your head?" The DiNozzo mask froze for a second.

"Well yeah!" Abby grinned. "I'm cool about it – I've had pigtails for years, so it was time for a change. I thought I might wear it shaved for awhile, see if I like it."

"Like Demi Moore in 'GI Jane'? Could be a good look on you!" Tony joked, the mask sliding back into place again as he threw out the movie references.

"Or, I could let it grow back in and have this really short crop," Abby grinned. "A pixie look. You know, like Jenny used to have?"

Gibbs sighed inwardly. Talking about Jenny wasn't a good idea right now.

"It might be better if I had *some* hair if I wanted to hide the scar, although I'm not sure I do really…" Abby continued, babbling on regardless.

"Scar?" Tony interrupted, in a tight voice.

"In my hairline," she grinned. "I think it's cool – I've always wanted a really dramatic scar. There used to be this kid at high school who had this wicked scar all the way up his arm and people were always asking him about it – he made loads of friends through that scar."

Tony looked as if he was frozen into place. Gibbs made an excuse to Gloria and went over and touched his sub's ass again, pressing against the butt plug. Tony jumped, and the grin returned to his face.

"So – are they feeding you okay in here, Abs?" he asked in a bright voice. "Want me to smuggle in some pizza?"

"Would you? I am SO sick of jello!" Abby replied gratefully.

That seemed to get the conversation back on track. Tony went into a routine about the different combination of pizza toppings he could get for Abby, some of which sounded revolting, and soon he and Abby were giggling happily together.

Gibbs heaved a sigh of relief – it looked as if his methods of focussing Tony on something other than Abby's condition were working.

"Hey – I need to go file the case papers back at NCIS," Gibbs told his sub. "You wanna come with me, or spend a couple of hours with Abby?"

"He'll stay with me," Abby told him on Tony's behalf. "Mom needs a break, and Tony promised me some *details* about something, " she said, with a sweet, knowing grin in his direction.

Gibbs rolled his eyes. He had a fair idea that those details might involve various aspects of his sex life, but Tony looked happy to stay so he didn't argue. Gibbs leaned forward to kiss Abby goodbye, brushing his arm carelessly across Tony's nipples, reminding him of the decorations he'd placed there.

"Be good," Gibbs said meaningfully. Tony gave him a mock salute.

"Always, Boss," he replied, with a nonchalant wink in Abby's direction that implied he had no intention of being anything of the kind.

Gibbs slapped the back of his head, kissed Abby's cheek, signed a goodbye to Gloria, and left.

When Gibbs picked up his sub from the hospital a few hours later, he found him as bright and cheerful as when he'd left him, so he figured that the time spent with Abby had really helped. Hopefully, the message had now been driven home, loud and clear, that she was going to be fine.

Tony was wincing a little as he walked into the living room. Gibbs turned to him with a grin.

"That butt plug bothering you, Tony?"

"Getting dry, Boss," Tony said with a little grimace. "Could use a little lube if you want me to keep wearing it."

"Oh, I think it can come out now." It had done what he'd intended it to do and kept Tony preoccupied all afternoon. "C'mere." He sat down on the sofa and beckoned Tony over, pointing between his knees.

Tony knelt obediently between his legs, and Gibbs began unbuttoning his shirt. Usually he ordered Tony to strip, but occasionally he liked undressing his sub himself, and right now he wanted to keep Tony in his submissive headspace.

"Oh, almost forgot," Tony said, reaching into his jeans pocket, taking out his cell phone, and waving it in the air. "Friend of mine called – Matt Tyler. One of my old frat brothers." He gave a broad wink at that. "We usually hook up with the other guys and go drinking every weekend, but I've been blowing them off since you and I took up, and they're wondering where the hell I am. They're going out tonight, and they want me to go along. Matt kind of wasn't taking no for an answer, so I said I would. Is that okay?"

He gazed at Gibbs from shining green eyes that looked half pleading, half amused at asking permission for something he used to do without a second thought.

Gibbs paused in unbuttoning Tony's shirt and thought about it for a moment. They'd been living in each other's pockets since he'd taken Tony as his 24/7 sub, and while he liked having this degree of control over his sub's life, he didn't think it was healthy long-term. He was also missing the quiet solitude of his basement – he hadn't worked on the boat in weeks. He didn't mind that – working on Tony was much more fun – but a night spent reconnecting with his old hobby did sound inviting. There was also the fact that Tony had just been involved in a serious car accident – he wanted his sub to get over it and for that spark of mischief to return to his eyes. It was Saturday night after all – it wasn't a school night.

"Okay. Be back by midnight and don't pick anyone up," he warned.

Tony laughed out loud. "Yeah, right, Boss. Like I'd dare, knowing you're waiting at home with all those evil implements at your disposal. Besides – rule number five. You know I wouldn't break that one, right?"

Gibbs didn't remind him that he already had, just a few weeks ago, when he'd pulled up his shirt and let Jason Tulley touch his abs.

"You'd better not," he grunted.

He finished unbuttoning his sub's shirt and stripped it off him, revealing his decorated nipples.

"These hurt at all?" He ran his fingers lightly over the starbursts.

"Nah – just nip a little. I like how they look though, Boss!"

"Good." Gibbs grinned at him. He wrapped his legs around Tony's body to hold him in place. "Hands behind your back," he ordered. Tony threw his cell phone down onto the coffee table behind him and obeyed the command, his eyes holding Gibbs's gaze in rapt attention, already sparkling with arousal. Gibbs was turned on by how turned on his sub was, and he felt his cock twitch approvingly inside his pants.

He removed the little starbursts and threw them down on the coffee table next to Tony's cell phone. Then he leaned forward and kissed Tony's mouth firmly. At the same time he pinched Tony's newly released nipples lightly, making Tony shout into the kiss. He swallowed down the protest, holding Tony still between his legs, forcing him to submit. Tony moaned and shuddered, leaning in against him.

Only when Gibbs felt the sigh of his surrender did he release his hold on his sub's nipples. Tony moved his hands up to rub the tender nubs of flesh, but Gibbs grabbed them before they got there.

"I didn't say you could move your hands," he growled.

"No, Boss," Tony shuddered gazing up at him helplessly.

"I'm not done yet."

Gibbs lowered his head, took one of Tony's nipples in his mouth, and sucked it gently. Tony squirmed and sighed happily. Gibbs sucked down harder and then moved on to the other nipple, warming and soothing it until Tony was a quivering, moaning wreck between his legs. Gibbs liked the little noises his sub made. He whimpered so enticingly – it made Gibbs's cock harden even more.

He released his sub and tousled his hair affectionately. Tony looked so beautiful when he was being played with. His eyes always glowed a particularly intense shade of green, and he was never shy about moaning and sighing – and those sounds were music to Gibbs's ears when he was in his dominant mindset.

"Stand up and lose the jeans."

Tony did as ordered. Gibbs circled him slowly, enjoying the sight of his sub's naked body. He was also checking his condition at the same time. His cuts and grazes were healing fine and the burns on his back were already much improved.

"Bend over and grab your ankles," he ordered.

Tony glanced at him in surprise. This wasn't one of the positions Gibbs had taught his sub, but he was in the mood for it tonight. Gibbs raised an eyebrow, and Tony hastily bent over and took hold of his ankles.

"Oh that's good," Gibbs purred. "You look damn fine like this, boy." He ran his hand over Tony's naked, exposed butt, liking the feel of all that solid, pale flesh under his fingers. He took hold of the protruding end of the plug. "Hold on tight," he warned.

He placed one hand on Tony's back to brace him, and then he removed the plug with a firm tug. Tony gave a strangled little yelp but didn't break position. Gibbs examined his hole – he could still feel the evidence of his earlier use of his sub and that turned him on.

He retrieved a tube of lubricant from the cupboard and returned to where Tony was bent over double. He squeezed a generous dollop of the cool lubricant onto his fingers and then rubbed it carefully into Tony's hole, enjoying how easily it opened up to him now after hours of being stretched by the plug.

"Now, stay in that position while I fuck you. You can come while I'm in you – if you can," Gibbs chuckled, because he doubted Tony would manage it in this position.

He undid his fly, grasped Tony's hips firmly in his hands, and slid his cock easily into Tony's hole. Gibbs liked this angle – Tony was bent over almost double, his hands wrapped around his ankles, and he was at a perfect height to be well fucked. Gibbs thrust into him slowly, enjoying the feel of all the surrendered flesh beneath him. Tony was in the most abject position, and Gibbs liked the way his balls slapped against his sub's warm flesh with each inward thrust.

Tony wasn't able to touch his own cock, and Gibbs had no intention of doing it for him. He didn't think it would do Tony any harm to remember that his dom's pleasure came first, and that there would be occasions when he didn't get to orgasm.

Gibbs rode his sub in a leisurely way for several minutes before speeding up and finally shooting his load into him with a roar of satisfaction. He withdrew, tucked his cock away in his pants, and then allowed Tony to straighten up. He was surprised to see the sticky come on Tony's belly where his sub had ejaculated, and he laughed out loud.

"Y'know, anyone would think that turned you on, Tony."

"It was evil. In fact, you've been particularly evil all day," Tony griped.

"Clearly that's the way you like me," Gibbs grinned, with a meaningful glance at his sub's sticky belly. "Now go get cleaned up for your evening with the frat boys."

He enjoyed watching Tony's naked body as he ran towards the stairs, his cock swinging happily.

Gibbs gave a chuckle and went to grab himself a beer. Tony came back down half an hour later, freshly showered and wearing a pair of tight black jeans and a loose green shirt.

"I'm off now, Boss!" he called, grabbing his keys from the shelf and looking around for his cell phone.

"Not like that," Gibbs told him. Tony glanced at him questioningly. "Those jeans are too tight – you can see *everything* as you're not wearing any underwear."

"And whose fault is that?" Tony arched an eyebrow.

"Go change the jeans," Gibbs ordered. "And wear the blue shirt."

"Why? Does this shirt show my nipples or something?" Tony looked down at it questioningly.

"Nope. The shirt looks fine." Gibbs shrugged.

"So, you're just ordering me to change it because you're my dom, and you can?"

Gibbs stared him down. "That's about it, Tony, yeah."

"Right." Tony stood there, uncertainly. "You really mean it?"

"Yup!" Gibbs nodded. "Hey – I'm allowing my sub to go out for the evening, DiNozzo. Didn't say you'd have it all on your own terms. Go change the jeans *and* the shirt."

"Ah, okay – you're exercising your power and authority over me in a mindless way simply to prove to me that I must bend to your evil will. Got it, Boss!" Tony gave him a cheeky grin and then ran back up the stairs again before Gibbs could slap his head.

Gibbs returned to the living room to pick up his beer, chuckling to himself. It looked like Tony was back to being his usual smart-mouthed self, and Gibbs was damn pleased about that.

Tony flurried into the living room three minutes later, wearing a pair of loose, faded, old blue jeans and the blue shirt, as ordered.

"Happy now?" he asked, doing a little jig in front of Gibbs so that his top could see that his orders had been obeyed.

"Not yet. Come here." Gibbs beckoned him over. Tony came, his shoulders hunched up around his neck, clearly expecting a head-slap. Gibbs just grabbed him and kissed him instead. "Have a good night, DiNozzo. Don't be late home."

"No, Dad," Tony grinned. His smile faltered momentarily, and Gibbs was reminded of that conversation he'd had with Walter about Tony's daddy issues. Then the smile was pasted back on Tony's face, as bright and shiny as before. "Don't wait up for me, Jethro," he said, and then he cheekily pinched Gibbs's ass and made a run for the door before Gibbs had a chance to deliver a well-deserved swat to his backside.

Gibbs went upstairs, still grinning to himself at the sheer joy of having *Tony* back. The past week had been tough, and it'd been a while since they'd had some fun and really played. Taking Tony down into his sub space today had been a gamble, but it was one that had clearly paid off.

Gibbs took a long, hot shower, then changed into a comfortable pair of old sweats and went downstairs. He ordered take out and sat and watched the news while he ate it. It was nearly ten before he decided it was time to head towards the basement.

He had just reached the living room door when he heard the ring of a cell phone. It wasn't his ring tone, so he hesitated, disoriented for a moment. Then he realised that Tony had left his phone behind amidst the distraction of changing his clothes.

The ringing stopped – and then started again a few seconds later. Gibbs picked it up and glanced at the caller display, but he didn't recognise the number. Thinking it might be urgent, he snapped the phone open and answered it.

"Hey, Motherfucker," a voice answered. "Miss me?"

"Who the hell is this?" Gibbs growled.

"You know who this is, DiNozzo. Don’t be any more of a stupid shit than you already are. You've got two weeks, loser – then I’m comin’ to get you.”

"Is that so?" Gibbs asked, in a steely voice.

There was silence, then a click, and the call ended. Gibbs glared at the cell phone. What the hell had *that* been about? Who was that man? He had called Tony by name so it clearly wasn't a wrong number. Gibbs didn't like the implicit threat in his words, or the way he'd spoken to *his* sub. His gut told him that something was badly wrong, and he needed to find out what it was – now.

He flicked through the address book on Tony's phone until he came to an entry for Matt Tyler, and then he dialled the number. A few rings later, a man's voice answered.

"Hey, Tony! How you doing, buddy? Long time no speak."

Gibbs frowned. "Is this Matt Tyler?"

"Uh…yeah. Who is this?"

"Leroy Jethro Gibbs," he replied tersely.

"Oh man – Tony's boss? Is he okay? He hasn't been hurt, has he?"

"Not yet," Gibbs growled, his fingers itching to get hold of the sub who had clearly lied to him about where he was going this evening. "Tony left his cell phone behind. He mentioned something about meeting his old frat brothers tonight, so I thought I'd see if I could track him down and tell him I have his phone."

"Meeting the frat brothers?" Matt sounded puzzled. “I live in Hawaii now! Long way to go for a night out! We meet up once a year - the guys come down here for a long weekend over Spring Break, or we meet at Eric's over in California – none of us even live in the same state any more, so it's a big deal getting us all together."

"I see." Gibbs perched against the back of the couch. "So you don't know any of the guys Tony could be meeting up with for a drink tonight?"


"And you guys don't meet up and go out drinking every Saturday night?"

"No. Hell, Gibbs, we're all getting kind of old for that these days. I'm married – got twin daughters, born last Christmas, and the other guys are all settled too. And Tony…he talked the talk, but it's a long time since I've seen him walk the walk. First there was that Jeanne chick, and then he…well, to be honest, we've all been kind of worried about him. We know something bad happened at work, although he never told us the details. He went kind of quiet on us, and then he went away to sea, and beyond the occasional email he hasn't been in touch since."

"Thanks, Matt. I must have misheard him."

Gibbs threw the cell phone down on the couch angrily. He had no way of contacting Tony - no way of even knowing where he'd gone this evening. This had gone from bad to worse in ten short minutes. First, the call from that guy making what sounded like some kind of threat against Tony, and now the realisation that Tony had lied to him about where he was going this evening. What the hell *else* had Tony lied about?

Tony hid things as easy as breathing – and lying to keep things hidden was second nature to him. Now Gibbs remembered just how shiny and bright the DiNozzo mask had been since they got back from the hospital.

"Damn it!" he roared, thumping his fist angrily against the back of the couch.

He'd been fooled, as so many people often were, by the Tony DiNozzo smoke and mirrors act. Shame on Tony for fooling him, but shame on *him* for being fooled. After eight years, he should know Tony better than this. He'd been so relieved that Tony was being himself again that he hadn't seen that he was getting the fake Tony and not the real one. Maybe he'd never had the real Tony. Maybe he'd never even got *close* to having the real Tony.

Tony had always been elusive – just when you thought you knew him, he slipped away from you. Who the hell *knew* who the real Tony was, and what he was trying so hard to hide?

Gibbs wondered if Tony's disappearance had anything to do with the sinister caller, but that bastard had said he'd be back in two weeks, and he'd see Tony then, so clearly Tony hadn't been going out to meet him this evening.

Gibbs realised, with a growl of frustration, that there was nothing more he could do. Tony was gone for the evening, and Gibbs would just have to wait until his errant sub came home.

But then he'd want answers – and they'd better be damn good ones.


Tony swung open the front door and walked unsteadily along the hallway. He paused outside the basement door and glanced at his watch. He grinned; two minutes to midnight. Gibbs couldn't fault him for his timekeeping. Down in the belly of the basement, he could hear the soft rasp of sander on wood. It was an old, familiar sound, and he loved how warm and safe it made him feel.

He opened the basement door and lurched forwards to grab the handrail.

"Hey Boss!" he called. "I'm home…on time." He pointed to his watch triumphantly and then half walked, half fell down the stairs.

Gibbs glanced up as Tony staggered the last few steps and dropped onto his ass on the second to bottom stair.

"Have a good evening?" Gibbs asked, returning to his work, gently sanding down the ribs of the boat. Tony loved watching him work.

"Yeah. Great." Tony nodded vigorously. "I'm drunk," he added, with a little belch.

"I can see that." Gibbs moved his hands forward forcefully, and the sander made a little humming sound. "How was Matt?"

"Fine. Great. He's a good guy." Tony nodded again.

"How many of you were there?" Gibbs asked, barely sparing him a look as he concentrated on the boat.

"'bout eight," Tony shrugged. "Frat brothers," he added. "Good guys. All of 'em. Known 'em for years."

"It's great you all live in DC," Gibbs commented. "Makes it easier for you to get together."

"Yeah. Great." Tony nodded. He got up and lurched over to Gibbs. "Don' I get a kiss?" he asked, leaning forward.

A hand shot out and hit his chest hard, and next thing he knew he had been shoved up against the wall.

"Oh, I don't think so," Gibbs said dangerously. He was pressed up close, his muscles hard and unyielding. Tony stared into a pair of furious blue eyes.

"You know," he said softly, reality puncturing his inebriated state.

"Yeah. I know," Gibbs snapped. "You left your cell phone behind. I called Matt. In Hawaii."

Tony had the grace to wince. "Sorry 'bout that."

"Where the hell were you tonight, Tony?"

"I needed a goddamn drink!" Tony growled. "And I knew you wouldn't let me just go out fucking drinking by myself."

"So it was easier to lie to me?"

"Yes. It was easier to lie to you," Tony admitted. He hated the dull, disappointed expression that crept into Gibbs's eyes when he said that. "Hell, you know me, Gibbs. I told you I'd let you down. You *knew* that when you took me on."

Gibbs loosened the pressure on Tony's chest, but he didn't pull away.

"Someone called for you," he said, his steely gaze never leaving Tony's face.


"Didn't leave his name. Nice guy. Called ya 'motherfucker'. Wanted to remind you that he'd be back in a couple of weeks."

"Oh." Tony bit on his lip.

"Who is he, Tony?"


Gibbs increased the pressure on Tony's chest again, keeping him immobilised against the wall.

"Who is he, Tony?" he repeated.

"Let me rephrase that – nobody you need to know about," Tony replied, in a cold tone.

The expression in Gibbs's eyes changed, hardening. "That really the way you wanna play this, Tony?" he asked, in a deceptively soft voice.

Tony sighed. "It's nothing. Just a guy I pissed off when I was an agent afloat. He gets drunk sometimes and calls me to blow off steam."

"What's his name?"

"I don't remember," Tony lied. Gibbs raised a disbelieving eyebrow. "Look, if I tell you, then you'll go after him with a baseball bat, and he's really nothing. He's harmless."

"Didn't sound that way. He made a threat against you."

"So?" Tony shrugged, looking away. "Like I said, I can handle him…"

Gibbs grabbed his jaw and made him look at him. "He made a threat against *my* sub," he hissed. "He's not just yours to handle, DiNozzo. That makes him mine too."

Tony blinked. "Okay…I understand. Listen – the guy's a bully. He runs a flight deck crew on the Seahawk. I thought he was beating up on his men, so I did an investigation."

"And?" Gibbs's fingers were digging into his skin.

"And nothing. I told the skipper, showed him what I'd found, but he said this flight deck chief was just hard on his men - he hadn't crossed a line." Tony shrugged.

"You disagreed?"

Tony took a deep breath. "Yes. The skipper seemed to think I was some namby-pamby, soft-assed civilian who didn't understand the rough and tumble of military discipline." Tony gave a derisory little snort. "I tried to tell him that after years working under Leroy Jethro Gibbs I sure as hell knew the meaning of military discipline, and that in my considered opinion this crossed the line, but he wouldn't listen to me."

"So what did you do?"

"I took the chief petty officer to one side and told him that if he hurt any of his men again then I'd break his fucking legs. What the hell else *could* I do? Skipper wasn't any help. Doc hated me because I blew his prescription racket. Nobody had my six on that damn boat, Boss. You weren't fucking there. You don't know what it was like. I did my best. I tried to help his men."

"And you made an enemy in the process." Gibbs finally released him and took a step back.

"Yeah. He hates my guts. Calls me to remind me that the Seahawk will be home soon, and that when it docks he'll come after me. That's all. He doesn't mean it. He's drunk. Like I said, I can handle it."

"And like I said, it isn't just yours to handle any more. You're *my* sub, Tony. You should have told me about this. How often has he been calling you?"

"Every week or so for the past few weeks," Tony admitted.

"And you thought you'd keep this to yourself?" Gibbs looked furious.

"I didn't know it was important."

"Some guy calls you regularly to threaten you, and you don't think it's *important*?" Gibbs asked incredulously.

Tony blinked in surprise. "I guess I'm not used to having anyone in my life who gives a damn," he said quietly. "Nobody ever has before, Boss. I've always handled everything alone. I'm sorry I didn't tell you. I figured it'd go away, and if it didn't – well, I'd take care of it."

Gibbs's expression softened. "Okay. That, at least, I can understand. Tell me who this guy is. If he’s a serving naval officer, and if he’s making threats against you, then we can have him up on charges.”

“No!” Tony snapped. Gibbs’s eyes flashed. “No,” Tony repeated in a softer tone. “It’s more complicated than that, and it’s really nothing. This guy…he’s just drunk. It’s nothing.”

Gibbs didn’t look convinced. Tony decided it was time to change the subject.

"You should punish me," he said. Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "For lying to you about where I was going this evening. I went to a bar I know. It's kind of an old dive, but they let you sit there and drink yourself stupid. I didn't meet anyone there. I just sat there and got drunk. You should punish me for it."

"That what you want, Tony?" Gibbs put his head on one side and gazed at him thoughtfully.

"Not what I want. What has to happen," Tony told him. He leaned forward and shoved Gibbs's shoulder angrily. "You need to punish me, Gibbs. I'm a fucking screw-up!"

Gibbs stood there, unmoving. Tony thumped his shoulder again, harder this time.

"Oh c'mon! You're fucking angry, Boss. I know you are. A minute ago you wanted to pound your fist into my face. I could feel it in your body. You still do. You want to let rip and kick out. You should do that. I can take it. You'll feel better if you do."

Gibbs reached out a hand, grabbed hold of his shirt collar, and pulled him close.

"Want me to punch you, Tony? Want me to knock you to the floor and then kick you around a bit?"

"Yeah. It'll make you feel better about me lying to you. Just do it, Gibbs! C'mon, what kind of a pussy are you?" he taunted. "Just go with it. Let it out – all the anger and pain. I can take it."

"Oh, I just bet you can," Gibbs growled. He yanked on Tony's collar, pulling him half off his feet, and raised his fist.

"That's it," Tony goaded. "Punch me. Do it! C'mon! I won't fight back."

Gibbs lowered his fist and dropped Tony back onto his feet again. "You honestly think I'd ever punch you?" he asked quietly. "Seriously, Tony? You think I'd lose control like that? You think I'd drop you to the floor and kick you around the place? You think that's the kind of man I am?"

Tony had the sickening realisation that Gibbs had seen right through him from the beginning and had never even been close to losing control, let alone seriously taking a swing at him.

Gibbs reached out and gently touched Tony's face with the back of his hand, stroking softly. Tony pulled away angrily.

"Why, Tony?" Gibbs demanded. "Why would you think I'd do that? Why would you *want* me to do that?"

"She's going to be fucking scarred for life," Tony snapped at him. "They shaved off her *hair*, Gibbs. Her pigtails are gone…" He felt the words choke him. "She's sitting in that fucking hospital bed being fucking brave as hell when she came this close to being killed, and it's all my fucking fault, and you won't even fucking punish me like I deserve. No wonder I had to go out and get drunk on my ass tonight."

"That's what all this is about?" Gibbs asked. "Me refusing to punish you?"

Tony wrapped his arms around his body and gazed at his dom from sullen eyes. "Yeah," he muttered. "I'm sorry I lied to you, Gibbs, but I really needed that fucking drink."

Gibbs nodded slowly. "It's late, and you're too damn drunk to be having this conversation. And I'm too damn angry to be having it with you!" he snapped when Tony opened his mouth to protest. "Go to bed. Sleep it off. We'll talk in the morning."

"Great. Fine. Fucking fine. Whatever."

Tony began stomping up the stairs. He heard Gibbs behind him, following him up into the bedroom. Tony took off his clothes and left them in an untidy heap on the floor, then crawled into the bed. A second later he felt himself being hauled out again by the scruff of his neck.

"Not there," Gibbs growled. "If you sleep in my bed then you sleep in bondage, and you're too damn drunk for that to be safe tonight. You can sleep it off on the floor."

He threw a pillow onto the floor and tossed a blanket on top of it. Tony glared at him for a moment, but he was too tired and too drunk to argue. He threw himself down onto the floor, turned his back on Gibbs, pulled the blanket over his head, and closed his eyes.


Gibbs stood in the bedroom, his hands on his hips, glaring down on his sub for awhile, but Tony just lay there with his back to him, unmoving. Eventually Gibbs turned and left the room, pausing only to kick aside the heap of clothes that Tony had left on the floor.

He pounded down the stairs and back into the basement, went over to the workbench, opened the top drawer, and pulled out the big, brown envelope. He opened it up and drew out the file inside. Tony's face smiled up at him from the photo on the cover, his green eyes happy and shiny, and his wide grin as bright and deceptive as always.

Gibbs was about to open the file when he hesitated. Was this the right move? His head told him that it was, but his gut wasn't so sure.

He stood there for a moment, trying to decide, and then shoved the file back into the envelope.

“Damn!” he growled, thumping down his fist on the work bench.

He reached for his cell phone and called the one person he trusted to give him the kind of honest, impartial advice he needed right now.


There weren't many people for whom Walter Skinner would tear himself away from his slave's warm body at 1 a.m. on a Sunday morning, but Leroy Jethro Gibbs was definitely on the list.

The door was open, as always, so Walter walked right on in. He found Gibbs sitting in the kitchen, his hand clasped firmly around a mug of coffee.

"Hey." Walter sat down at the table opposite his old friend. "Bad huh?" His gaze raked over Gibbs's tensely muscled shoulders, and he took in the deep, dark anger in his eyes.

In front of him, on the kitchen table, was a large brown envelope.

"Tony's dossier?" Walter asked, jerking his head towards it. Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "Well, they put the 'I' into FBI for a reason, and I am Deputy Director over there," Walter chuckled. "Not that it takes a trained investigator to figure this one out. You opened it?"

"Nope." Gibbs shook his head.

"That why you called me?"

"Yup. Want some coffee?"

Walter nodded, and Gibbs got up and poured him a mug of coffee. He handed it to Walter wordlessly.

"What happened?" Walter asked, taking a sip.

He sat back and listened as Gibbs filled him in on the events of the past week.

"Well you said it was all a bit too easy," he grunted, when Gibbs had finished.

"Yeah – I knew it was going too well. Some kind of crisis had to happen, and I guess this is it."

Walter leaned forward. "The boy feels guilty," he said.

Gibbs rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I'd figured that one out, Gunny!" he snapped, in an exasperated tone. "There's an 'I' in NCIS too – stands for the same damn thing!"

"He blames himself for Abby's accident – sounds as if he's got at least some reason to as well," Walter said, ignoring the outburst.

"Yeah – he does. But me and Abby have to take a share of that blame too."

"Well, she's taken enough punishment – and you, you don't have the luxury of it," Walter told him bluntly. "Your punishment is dealing with the fallout. That's always how it is for us, Jethro. You know that. You and me – we're always the ones who have to take the ultimate responsibility. Your punishment is having Abby in the hospital and a sub who is spiralling out of control. That's your part of this mess, Jethro."

Gibbs glared at him.

"What? You didn't call me over to have me sugar-coat this, Jethro. You wanted to hear it straight and that's exactly how I'm telling it."

"Yeah. I know," Gibbs grunted. "Question is – what do I do now?"

"Why won't you punish him?" Walter asked curiously. "If that's what he wants so much? Why not just do it?"

"Feels wrong," Gibbs replied, with a terse little shake of his head. "In my gut. Feels kinda unhealthy. He fucked up, but he's only human. We all fuck up sometimes. And it's not part of our relationship – I don't mind punishing him for stuff we've laid ground rules about, but if we bring in every aspect of our lives and make that punishable too…" He shook his head. "I don't want that."

"I can understand that, but he's feeling guilty," Walter pointed out. "And when he feels guilt to the extent that he's goading you into taking a swing at him – well, wouldn't it be better just to punish him for it and then tell him it's over?"

"I don't think it's that simple. I think there's a helluva lot of guilt there. I’m not even sure it’d *be* over for him, even if I did punish him. I’m not sure that’s how he works."

"Maybe." Walter nodded. He considered it for a moment, weighing up his options, and then he exhaled sharply and ploughed on. "Look, Jethro, there's something I don't usually talk about, but it's relevant, so I'm going to tell you. It's confidential, but I know I can trust you, of all people, not to tell anyone."

Gibbs gave a curt nod of agreement.

"I have a lot of responsibilities," Walter began. "Both in my job, and because I have a 24/7 slave too – he's a job all by himself." He gave a little grunt. "Always was, always will be. Nobody could ever call Fox low maintenance."

"No arguments from me on that score," Gibbs replied with a wry grin. "Tony's not like Fox though. He has his moments, and he's got a smart mouth on him, but he's always been obedient and eager to please. In fact, he's been pretty damn easy to handle up until now."

"Because he's hiding from you – hiding who he really is, the way he always *has*," Walter pointed out.

"Yeah." Gibbs slammed his fist down on the envelope on the table in front of him. "Damn it! I should have *seen* that. I know what he's like for Christ's sake."

"So you fucked up. Like you said, we all do that sometimes. Me too." Walter gave a self-deprecating grin. "Which brings me back to what I was saying about responsibilities. Sometimes, Jethro – not often, and not for a long time now – but sometimes, I get this need for release."

"What kind of release?"

"Physical punishment. I used to go to a good friend of mine, a dominatrix called Elaine. She took care of it. It was always my call – nobody topped me, or tied me in place. I said when I'd had enough and it stopped then - immediately. It wasn't a scene – it was just a kind of catharsis. Can't tell you why I needed it, or why it worked, but it always did."

Gibbs was looking at him in surprise. Walter grinned.

"Hey, Jethro – we're not all such natural born doms as you," he said softly. "And we all have our own ways of dealing with stress. You have that damn boat of yours, and Tony has…well, by the sounds of it he has alcohol, he has sex, and he has you. Now he's asking you to do this for him."

"I won't use him as a punching bag, Walter," Gibbs snapped.

"Of course not! They're our boys, Jethro. We love 'em, despite all the headaches they give us. No, I'm talking about giving him what worked for me. Tell him that you're doing this for him – that it's in his control, and that you're just facilitating what he needs."

"You think that'd work?"

"I have no idea." Walter shrugged. "But if it doesn't – well, then you'll have run out of options, and you'll know what you have to do." He picked up the big brown envelope on the table and held it up.

Gibbs reached out and took it with a grunt. "Yeah, Walter. If it doesn't work, then I know what I have to do."


Two Masters: Part Four

Tony opened his eyes and immediately wished he hadn't. His head was pounding and the daylight seeping in around the edge of the drapes felt bright and jarring. He moved onto his side, wondering why the bed felt so hard beneath him. Then he remembered a jumbled up, chaotic version of what had happened the previous night, and he broke out into a sweat.

Shit, he'd screwed this one up. No matter how often Gibbs told him it was never a choice between kicking him out and punishing him hard, Tony couldn't quite get his head around the fact that there might be any other options. He was pretty damn sure there wasn't this time.

He glanced over at the bed, but it was empty – it didn't even look like it had been occupied all night, but then Gibbs was notorious for making his bed the minute he left it in the morning so that didn't necessarily mean anything.

Tony got up, slowly, and made his way gingerly into the bathroom. He looked at himself in the bathroom mirror and winced. He looked like exactly what he was – someone with a bad hangover who'd fucked up so much these past few days that there wasn't much hope of any kind of redemption.

He took a shower, shaved, and cleaned his teeth, which at least got rid of the disgusting morning-after feel in his mouth.

He pulled on a pair of sweat pants and tugged a plain black tee shirt over his head. Then, finally, he took a deep breath, squared his shoulders, and set off slowly down the stairs to face what he was pretty sure would be the most unpleasant conversation of his life.

He found Gibbs sitting in the kitchen, wearing the same soft sweats he had been wearing the previous evening, holding a mug of coffee and reading through the Sunday papers.

"Hey." Tony stood in the doorway, unsure what to do.

Gibbs glanced up. "Hey," he said, in a voice that gave nothing away. He moved his foot and kicked the chair opposite him away from the table. "Sit," he ordered, gesturing towards it.

Tony edged forwards and sat down cautiously in the chair. Gibbs nudged a glass of water and a couple of headache pills across the table towards him.

"How did you guess?" Tony asked with a self-deprecating grin, swallowing the tablets gratefully.

"Considering how drunk you were last night, wasn't hard," Gibbs grunted.

Tony nodded. "So…first off, I'm sorry," he said, needing to get that out of the way before this all got too heavy. "I was a shit last night, and you didn't deserve that."

"What are you referring to specifically?" Gibbs asked, leaning back in his chair, one hand wrapped around his mug of coffee. "The fact you lied to me about where you were going, the fact you didn't tell me about some guy who has been threatening you for the past few weeks, or the fact that you were so drunk you thought you could taunt me into taking a swing at you?"

"All of it," Tony said firmly. “I’m sorry for all of it.”

"Yeah, I think you are." Gibbs nodded. "And I think you'd do it all again tomorrow if you were in the same kind of headspace again."

Tony thought about summoning up his most abject Tony DiNozzo mask and wearing it so convincingly that Gibbs would be sure to believe in his sincerity, but his dom seemed to see right through him.

"Don't do it, Tony," Gibbs said softly. "Don't. Just don't."

"Okay," Tony sighed. "I won't. You're right - I'd do it all again tomorrow, Gibbs. And I'd regret it, just like I regret it today, but I can't promise you I won't do it anyway."

"Yeah. I know." Gibbs put down his coffee and leaned back in his chair.

"So where do we go from here?" Tony wasn't used to being this exposed in front of anyone. He was always able to deflect and hide – he was a master at it. Only he couldn't do that right now. Gibbs wouldn't let him, and he didn't have the heart for it in any case.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "Well, usually round about now you ask me if I'm gonna throw you out or beat up on your ass. Those are the only two options you can ever see."

Tony nodded. "Do you have any others?"

"Yeah. First off – I'm not giving up on you that easy, Tony. I took you as my sub knowing full well what you're like, and I have every intention of keeping you."

Tony felt an enormous and unexpected sense of relief. "Thank you," he said. "I don't think I deserve that, but thank you."

"Secondly – I'm gonna ask you some questions, and I want your honest answers."

"Right." Tony shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "Kind of like an interrogation?"

"If you like." Gibbs shrugged.

Tony bit on his lip. Gibbs was a master of interrogations – Tony would have to be at the top of his game if he was going to hold his own against his dom. He wished his head wasn't pounding so much. The meds were starting to work, but he needed his wits about him if he was going to go head to head with Gibbs and stand any chance of winning.

"Okay then." Tony sat back in his chair and waited.

"Your dad ever spank you, Tony?" Gibbs asked unexpectedly.

"Yes." Tony nodded. "A few times – I was kind of a naughty kid, Boss, as you can imagine. Can't say, looking back, that I didn't deserve it. All my friends got spanked too. I'm guessing your dad put you over his knee a few times as well."

"Yeah. He did." Gibbs nodded, gazing at Tony thoughtfully. "Your dad ever punch you, or kick you around, Tony?"

"No," Tony replied firmly. "No, Gibbs. He used to fall down drunk sometimes, but he wasn't like that. He's a good man. Okay, so we're not close, but he's a good man in his own way. He didn't spank me any more or any harder than any of my friends' dads did, and he didn't beat up on me."

"What about your mom?" Gibbs asked. "She ever hit you?"

Tony felt his body tense up. "No," he said quietly. "She was like me – you know, the fun-loving type. She left the discipline to my dad – it wasn’t her thing at all. She used to take me out shopping and dress me up in crazy-ass clothes just for the fun of it. We'd laugh our heads off in the store changing rooms. She'd dress me up and show me off to her friends. She was good fun. She wasn't like most people's moms. She'd take me off on adventures. We'd drive off in her car, and she'd get lost, and we'd end up in the middle of nowhere. Some kind of crazy shit always happened with her. She was that kind of person."

He realised he might have said too much, and he shut up. Gibbs was still gazing at him intently, the way he did with suspects in the interrogation room.

"You ever get into any trouble at boarding school, Tony?"

"Plenty." Tony nodded. "Like I said, I was a naughty kid. My mom taught me how to have fun and so…I always chased the fun in any situation."

"Did the principal ever use corporal punishment on you?"

"Yeah. I got paddled a few times." Tony shrugged. "It was never hot back then the way it is when you do it though, Boss." He gave Gibbs a cheeky grin which Gibbs completely ignored.

"Anyone at school ever kick you around?" Gibbs asked. "Bully you? Beat up on you?"

"No," Tony said, with a shake of his head. "Look, what the hell is this about, Gibbs?"

"Just trying to judge how you view physical punishment."


"To decide whether to go ahead and give you what you want. One last question…"

Gibbs leaned forward. Tony braced himself. He knew that this one was the important one, regardless of what had gone before, and how he answered it would be crucial to whatever his dom had in store for him. When the question came though, it wasn't at all what he expected.

"Did you lie to me in any of the answers you just gave?" Gibbs asked.

Tony gazed at him steadily, his heart beating a little too fast in his chest. Gibbs's piercing gaze was unrelenting, and Tony found he couldn't look away.

"Yes," he replied honestly.

Gibbs sat back in his chair with a gruff little shake of his head. "Believe it or not, that's actually progress," he grunted. "Thank you, Tony."

"Just once," Tony clarified. "That's all. I only lied once."

"Can you tell me which question you lied about?"

Tony shook his head. "No."

There was a long silence.

"I could make you," Gibbs said at last.

"I know," Tony replied.

"I won't."

"I know that too," Tony said softly.

"I can't trust you, Tony, because you won't open up to me."

"I know. I'm sorry." Tony gazed at him despairingly. "If I could, I would, I promise. And if I could with anyone, it'd be with you. But…it's all locked up inside. I don't know how to explain it, but…I can barely tolerate having it in my head – I can't drag it out into the daylight and have it exposed."

"Why not?"

"Because, Gibbs, I can't even look at it myself – I never do. I *can't*. It's not the fact of anyone else hearing it or knowing it – it's me. It'll tear me apart. I can't…I just can't."

"If you don't handle it, it'll always be there."

"Yeah. I know. You think I don’t know that!" Tony growled. "I can't do it, Gibbs."

Gibbs leaned forward. "One day, I might make you, Tony."

Tony felt his heart flip. "Not yet. Please. Give me more time," he requested softly.

Gibbs sat back in his chair again. He began tapping the fingers of his right hand on the table, playing out a little rhythm. Tony just sat there, looking at him, awaiting his fate.

"Okay," Gibbs said finally. "Here's what I can give you, and here's what I want from you. I will punish you, Tony, if that's what you want. I'll punish you for what happened to Abby."

"How?" Tony asked eagerly.

"Well, I won't damn well punch you or kick you around, so if that's what you want then forget it. I won't lose my temper with you, and I sure as hell won't lose control," Gibbs growled. "I will give you the choice of how it's done. I won't tie you, and you'll choose the implement and how many you take. It'll all be in your control. I'll do it for you, but that's it."

Tony bit on his lip again. "And what do you want from me?"

"Your honesty," Gibbs said firmly. "I know that's not your strong suit, but I need you to tell me when to stop. That's all. Can you do that?"

Tony nodded. "Yes. That's a bargain I can accept. Thank you, Boss." He sat up straight in his chair. "When?" he asked. "Now? Today?"

"No," Gibbs said sharply. "You're in no shape to take anything like that right now. You were in a car accident a couple of days ago. Also, I want to give you time to change your mind. So you have until Friday. If you still want to go ahead on Friday night, then I'll do it. That'll give you the weekend to recover before going back to work, because I'm guessing this'll be a hard one."

He was right about that. Tony wasn't looking forward to this, but if it helped quell that aching sensation in the pit of his stomach, if it got those damn images out of his mind, and if he felt he'd *paid* for his screw up, the way he deserved, then it would be worth it.

"If you decide you don't need it on Friday, then that's fine by me," Gibbs told him firmly. "This is all totally your choice and in your control. Clear?"

"Clear." Tony nodded. He glanced around the room. "I'm starving – are there any bagels, Boss?"

"Tony." Gibbs's tone was hard. Tony turned back to him. "I mean it – you fuck this up, and I *will* make you face whatever it is you're hiding. Do you understand?"

Tony's heart flipped again. "Yes, Gibbs," he said quietly. "I understand."


It was a long week. Gibbs allowed Tony back into his bed, and they resumed making love on a regular basis, but Gibbs didn't feel like continuing Tony's training while Friday was hanging over them.

They caught a big case at work which meant they didn't have much free time anyway, and Gibbs spent most of Monday yelling at Abby's useless temporary replacement who didn't seem to have a clue what was required of him. Gibbs became so exasperated that Tony stepped in and took over the task, keeping the new guy out of Gibbs's firing line.

Tony didn't put a foot wrong at work all week. He was back to his old self, joking around, pulling pranks, and nosing into Ziva and McGee's personal lives, while at the same time doing his job with a quiet competence that most people missed. Gibbs didn't miss it – but then he never had.

They didn't talk about what had happened again. They were both so tired when they got home late each evening that all they did was order take out and slump on the sofa while they ate it, watching the news or one of Tony's DVDs.

When they were done eating, Tony edged up against Gibbs, and Gibbs allowed him to lie down next to him and put his head on his lap. He wordlessly stroked Tony's hair, wondering all the time what the hell went on in Tony's head. Tony seemed to require the comfort of being close to Gibbs, without being able to ask for it, and for that entire week, every night, that's what Gibbs gave him.

They managed to wrap up the case by Friday afternoon, so Gibbs sent the rest of the team home. Then he turned to his sub.

"Go home too, Tony. You have some thinking to do."

"What will you do?" Tony asked, shoving some papers into a file and slinging it into his desk drawer.

"I'll finish up here, and then I'll come home. Be there," Gibbs warned.

"I will."

"And know what you want," Gibbs added sharply.

Tony grabbed his backpack and left the office without saying another word. When he'd gone, Gibbs turned back to filing his report. He wasn't looking forward to this. It was one thing to spank Tony for their mutual pleasure, as part of their sex roles, but another to deliver this kind of hard punishment. He could do it, sure, but that didn't mean he had to like it. Although it was what Tony seemed to think he wanted, Gibbs wasn't convinced, in his gut, that it was what he *needed*. Without knowing what was behind Tony's underlying sense of guilt, he couldn't be sure that he was doing the right thing - and that bothered him.

He finished off shortly before seven and left the office. With any luck, Tony would have decided he didn't need this, and then perhaps they could put the whole sorry business behind them and move on.

Gibbs found Tony sitting on the couch in the dark waiting for him when he got home. Gibbs snapped on the light, took off his jacket, and threw it over the back of a nearby chair. Then he turned to his waiting sub.

"So – what's it going to be?"

Tony's face was grimly determined. He stood up, and Gibbs noticed that he'd changed into a pair of sweatpants and a tee shirt.

"I want to do this," he said quietly.

"Yeah, I thought you’d say that." Gibbs gave a terse jerk of his head. "Okay then, Tony. Follow me. Let's get this over with."


Tony followed his dom out of the living room – and then, much to his surprise, Gibbs began walking up the stairs.

"We're not going to the basement?" Tony asked.


Gibbs took them along to the second spare bedroom, and Tony hesitated in the doorway. This room had always been a storage area, mainly holding spare supplies of wood and other carpentry equipment. Now it seemed to have been cleared. He wasn't sure when Gibbs had done this, but now the room contained the spanking bench that had previously been in the basement. Beside it was a hand-made wooden rack, containing all the disciplinary implements that had previously been stored in the toy box.

"Okay." Gibbs closed the door behind him. "This is your show now, Tony. You tell me how it should go down."

Tony looked around, uncertain now that the moment had arrived. It was much easier leaving it all up to Gibbs. He wasn't used to having input, let alone having to stage-manage the whole event.

"Uhhh…" He had spent the past couple of hours thinking about this, but now it was actually happening, he wasn't sure. He didn't like having this kind of responsibility. It felt wrong, the way it felt wrong on the rare occasions Gibbs had allowed him to run a case they were working. Gibbs was so much the boss, both at work and at home, that it was hard to accept that he'd created an environment, in this room, where that responsibility fell to Tony.

Gibbs just stood there, his face completely blank, waiting for instruction. Tony went over to the wooden rack and examined the implements on display. His stomach began churning with anxiety.

“I’m not sure…” he began helplessly.

"I told you, Tony – this is your show. I'll do what you ask, but you have to tell me what you want."

"I know that!" Tony snapped irritably. "Sorry…" He turned to face Gibbs, immediately apologetic. "I'm just…this is new to me, Boss."

"This is neutral territory, Tony. It isn't a room we've played in before. This, here, is where you can be whoever you need to be."

Now Tony understood the significance of the space Gibbs had cleared – he just wasn't sure he could handle all that it meant. He gave a helpless shrug.

"Come here." Gibbs beckoned, and Tony went over to him. Gibbs grasped his chin in his hand, making him look into his eyes. "You screwed up, and you want to be punished for that – yes?"

"Yes," Tony agreed.

"Okay. I agree that you screwed up, but I don't think you need to be punished, Tony. I think you've punished yourself enough. But I promised I'd do this, and I will. What I won't do is take it out of your hands. It's yours – not mine. I'm just helping you out. I'm not going to make this easy for you by taking the responsibility away. You want this – you make it happen."

Tony nodded grimly. "Fine. I understand."

He pulled away from Gibbs and returned to the rack of implements. He ran his hand over them, touching each of them in turn. He paused when he got to the cane. This hurt the most – he hated how it felt. That was a good reason to choose it, but he hesitated because he wasn't sure how much he could endure of this particular implement – and he needed this to last long enough to work. He moved on, and in the end it came down to a choice between the strap and the paddle.

He was aware of Gibbs behind him, leaning against the wall, taking no part in the proceedings. That, of and by itself, felt weird. Gibbs always called the shots where punishment was concerned, and it felt almost sacrilegious to be touching these implements so freely in his dom's presence.

The paddle hurt, but the strap…the strap was more flexible. He thought he'd be able to take more from the strap, so he picked that up, and went back over to his dom.

"This," he said, handing it to Gibbs. Gibbs looked at it for a moment, and then he took it out of Tony's hand. Tony stood there. Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

"Well? Where d'you want to be? Over the bench? Against the wall? Over my knee? What?"

"The bench," Tony said firmly. The bench was sturdy, well made, and comfortable. He didn't want to be distracted by having to hold himself in place, or by any discomfort in his leg muscles. There would be enough discomfort, of a different kind, and that was what he wanted to feel.

Gibbs put the strap down on the window ledge and began unbuttoning his shirt sleeves. Tony stood there, watching him. Usually, he got a thrill from seeing Gibbs slowly turn back his sleeves to the elbow, but not this time. This occasion felt flat and serious.

Gibbs finished and picked up the strap again. Then he turned back to Tony.

"What next?" he asked. "You gonna stay dressed, or get naked, or what?"

Tony stripped his tee shirt off and then toed off his sneakers and shucked off his pants. He stood there, naked, screwing up his courage to see this through. He wanted this. He could feel the aching need for it in his belly, but it was so damn hard.

"It's easier when you tell me what to do," he said to Gibbs.

"Well, yeah, Tony, I guess it is. This time you know you're doing it to yourself," Gibbs grunted. "But you've been doing it to yourself in your head for a long time now. Maybe it's better this way – get it out, take the punishment, and then move on."

"Yeah." Tony nodded.

“If you can move on. Think you can, Tony?” Gibbs looked at him searchingly.

Tony hesitated. “Yes,” he replied eventually, but he was by no means certain.

"Unless you've changed your mind?" Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

"No," Tony said sharply. "I haven't."

He went over to the spanking bench and got himself into position. Gibbs didn't touch him. He didn't help him get his knees in place, and he didn't stroke him or pet him, the way he usually did. He just remained where he was, watching.

When Tony was finally settled, Gibbs walked over to the bench.

"How many, Tony?" he asked.

"I'll let you know when I'm done," Tony replied, glancing over his shoulder at his dom.

"Then I need to know how you'll tell me that. Will you use your safe word?"


"What is it?" Gibbs asked.

Tony sighed inwardly. "Magnum," he replied. God knows, Gibbs asked him what the damn word was often enough.

"When you say that word, I'll stop. Yes?" Gibbs clarified.

"Yes – for God's sake! It's not rocket science, Gibbs!" Tony exploded. Then he bit on his lip. "Sorry. Again," he sighed. "I'm jumpy, Gibbs. I don't know how this'll pan out. I'm not sure…I've never done anything like this before."

"You've done something else though, to handle the guilt, haven't you?" Gibbs asked.

"What do you mean?" Tony glanced up at him.

"You've let someone kick you around, beat up on you – yes?" Gibbs raised an eyebrow. “The only part I can’t figure out is whether you let them do it for your sake or theirs; maybe it was a bit of both.”

Tony didn't reply. He put his head back down and held on tight. "Do it," he ordered.


"What?" Tony growled.

"Where d'you want me to deliver the strokes? Your back? Your butt? Your thighs?"

"Anywhere between my shoulders and the backs of my knees.”

"Remember your side of the bargain," Gibbs told him. "You use your safe word when it's time to stop. You let me know when you feel you've been punished enough."

"Yes. I'll use my safe word when I want you to stop," Tony told him through gritted teeth. He put his head down again and waited.

A second later, the first stroke fell on his ass. It wasn't a warm-up stroke. This wasn't an erotic spanking, designed to stoke up the endorphins and make him fly. It was flat, hard and painful. It was, he realised, exactly what he'd asked for – a punishment.

He closed his eyes and let the image of Abby lying unconscious in the wreckage of the car seep into his mind. He could see the blood soaking her dark hair, could smell the gas all around them.

He backtracked to them leaving the courthouse. He saw her dumping her shoes in the trash and tucking her hand through his arm. He saw them both getting in the car together. He remembered thinking he should tell her to sit in the back, but the danger was over, wasn't it? He stayed there, in that moment, and took the punishment for his stupid damn mistake that had almost cost her her life and left her permanently scarred.

The strokes came down steadily. Gibbs didn't say a word. He didn't help him through it, the way he usually did. He didn't stroke him, or praise him, or tell him he had no choice but to take it. He didn't *make* him take it – Tony was left in no doubt that the only person making him take this was himself.

He could feel his flesh heating up with each new stroke. His shoulders ached under the onslaught, and now Gibbs moved lower, avoiding his lower back and the sensitive kidney area, and moving onto his butt. Tony gasped as the blows rained down on his buttocks. He panted with the effort of taking them, and then screamed as they continued, each one stinging and burning him.

He buried his head in his arms, screaming down into the surface of the spanking bench, using every single ounce of his own determination not to say his safe word. It was so hard to stay in position and suffer this, knowing that nobody was making him do it. He didn't have the comfort and reassurance of Gibbs's usual implacable commands. He wasn't tied. There was just him and the leather strap beating down on his skin.

He moved beyond Abby and saw Jenny, her dead hazel eyes staring up at him. He was supposed to be protecting her, but he'd screwed that up.

"Idiot," he berated himself. "Stupid damn idiot."

Why the fuck had he followed her orders? Why had he cared more about renting that stupid car and hanging out in LA than doing his job? He seemed to make the same mistakes over and over again.

He could hear himself screaming in the distance, and it felt comforting. His thighs were flaring with pain, and he welcomed it. He floated back to a different kind of pain, a very long time ago, but just as well-deserved.

Then, all of a sudden, he'd gone back even further, and he was lying on his side on the road, gazing at his misshapen, broken arm, and the blood that was spewing out everywhere, mixing with the shards of glass on the ground. And beside him…beside him…

He sobbed helplessly into his own arms. It hurt. God it hurt. And it *should* hurt. Yet no matter painful it was, it couldn’t match the hurt inside.

Tony bit down hard on his own arm. There was no way he could ever say his safe word and end this - because no amount of punishment could ever be enough.

The sound of leather on skin stopped. It took him a little while to even notice. Then he felt a gentle hand stroking his hair.

"Tony, can you hear me?" a voice asked.

He didn't reply. A pair of firm hands pulled him to his feet. God, how he ached! He felt as if his body was on fire. He felt one of his arms being slung over a set of sturdy shoulders, and he was walked out of the room, along the hallway, and into the main bedroom. He was gently guided onto the bed, face down.

He felt some kind of cool gel being soothed into his burning skin, and he shivered.

"Ssh. You're okay. It's okay." A sheet was pulled over his body. He looked up and saw Gibbs, looking down at him.

"Fuck it. I screwed it up, didn't I?" he muttered.

"Yeah." Gibbs sat down on the bed beside him. "Did you ever intend to say your safe word, Tony?"

"Yes…at the beginning, going into it, I thought I would…but when it came to it…"

"You couldn't?"

"No. I couldn't. I'm sorry."

Gibbs leaned over and kissed his face. "Ssh. Don't worry about it now. We'll handle it. I'll handle it."

"How?" Tony asked helplessly. Everything seemed so incredibly fucked up. He didn't have a clue how the situation could be salvaged.

"Leave it to me. It's out of your hands now. Get some sleep," Gibbs ordered. Tony whimpered as his dom got up off the mattress. "It's okay. I'm just taking off my shoes." Gibbs did that and then sat back down on the bed, beside his sub. "I'll stay here until you're asleep," he promised.

Tony nudged himself over, every single tiny movement sending flares of pain through his body. He rested his head on Gibbs's lap, and Gibbs began combing his fingers through his hair. It felt so good, the way it always did. He knew he shouldn't need this, and God knows he didn't deserve it. He was surprised Gibbs kept letting him do it, but he couldn't stop himself.

He closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep, with Gibbs's hand still gently stroking his hair.


Gibbs waited until his sub was asleep, and then he moved Tony’s head aside, placed it gently on the pillow, and got up. His sub was covered in strap marks, from the top of his shoulders to the back of his knees.

It had been a tough call, but the realisation had slowly dawned on Gibbs that Tony wasn't going to honour his side of the bargain. Gibbs had been very sure going into this that he wouldn't step outside his comfort zone. Tony had taken a hard strapping, but Gibbs hadn't crossed his own self-imposed line. He'd gone right up to that line, giving Tony every chance to say his word, but nothing would have induced him to cross it.

Maybe he should feel angry and betrayed right now, but he didn't. Tony was so obviously struggling with something pretty big – it was impossible not to feel sorry for him, and to want to help him in some way.

Gibbs walked down the stairs and opened the basement door. He went slowly down the basement stairs and over to the workbench. He took out the brown envelope from the drawer and pulled out the file inside.

This time he didn’t hesitate, as he’d done so often before. This time he opened the file.

He sat down on the workbench, turned on the lamp, and began to read. He read for an hour. When he'd finished, he threw the folder onto the worktop with a sigh.

"Yeah, that pretty much explains it," he muttered to himself. There were gaps, sure, but he could fill them in for himself. He put the file away, turned off the lamp, and walked back upstairs. Tomorrow, he'd make a few calls and check a few details – and then he had to decide what to do next.

He returned to the bedroom, got undressed, crawled into the bed beside his sleeping sub, and pulled Tony into his arms. He held him gently against his own body, mindful of his sore skin, and Tony muttered something in his sleep and nestled in as if by instinct. Gibbs buried his face in his sub's hair, enjoying the familiar scent of him, needing to hold him close and keep him safe after what he'd just read.

"I'm not giving up on you, Tony," he said softly. "We'll figure this out, somehow."


Tony awoke the next day to find himself lying wrapped up in his dom's arms. Usually he was in bondage, facing away from Gibbs, but today he was chest to chest with him, his chin resting on Gibbs's shoulder, their bodies pressed closely together, and Gibbs's hand was wrapped loosely around his waist.

He knew without moving that he hurt. He couldn't blame anyone but himself for that, and a part of him even welcomed the pain. He'd asked for it, and he'd deserved it. He knew that he'd made a bad mistake in not calling an end to it though. Gibbs had displayed a hell of a lot of patience in dealing with him these past couple of weeks, but that had to be wearing thin right now.

Tony knew that he was running out of time. There was no way a man like Gibbs would allow this to just go away. There were hard questions to be answered and hard truths to be faced.

A part of him wanted to just roll out of this bed and leave, but another part, that weak, needy part that he despised, couldn't face the thought of disentangling himself from the warmth and security of his dom's arms. Gibbs got him, the way nobody else ever had, his entire life. He couldn't leave. He belonged here. Gibbs might kick him out one day, but he couldn’t imagine ever leaving of his own free will.

He was suddenly aware of a pair of blue eyes looking at him, and he made a face.

"Hey, Boss…didn't realise you were awake," he muttered sheepishly.

"Clearly. It's interesting – watching you when you don't know you're being watched. Nice to see you without the mask, Tony."

There was something different about his dom. Gibbs wasn't angry – he didn't even seem disappointed by what had happened last night. There was a kind of weary sadness to him, but under that was the usual Gibbs steel. He looked like a man who had come to some kind of decision.

"How ya feeling?" Gibbs asked.

Tony made a face. "Like everything hurts," he replied honestly.

"I'd be surprised if it didn't. Did you get any kind of catharsis from that last night, Tony?"

Tony thought about it. "Not really," he admitted at last.

"Yeah, that's what I thought. So from now on, we go back to doing it my way. I'm in charge of your punishments again because frankly, you're really crap at it."

Tony grinned, aware of a warm glow of relief in his belly. He preferred things this way.

"Yes, Boss!"

Gibbs leaned in and kissed his lips. "I'm back in control now, Tony," he said firmly.

"So what happens next?" Tony's stomach flipped as he voiced the question. He wasn't sure that he wanted to know the answer.

"That's not up to you. Today, you're just gonna do what you're damn well told."

"Yes, Boss," Tony replied quietly, feeling a surge of relief at that news.

They took a shower together, and Gibbs washed Tony gently - which was a good thing, because Tony could barely lift his arms above his shoulders, let alone wash his own hair. Afterwards, Gibbs patted him dry and then applied that soothing gel that Tony had become so familiar with. He dressed Tony in a pair of light, loose sweatpants and a tee shirt and then took him downstairs.

It was a quiet day. Tony lay on the couch, on his stomach, watching one DVD after another, trying not to move too much, while Gibbs sat at the table, working on some files he'd brought home.

Every so often, Gibbs left the room. Tony could hear him on the phone out in the hallway, making calls, but he couldn't decipher what they were about.

Gibbs made him lunch and brought him coffee throughout the day. He didn't say much, and he didn't encourage Tony to talk, either. Tony was glad about that. There was really only one thing for them to talk about, and it wasn't anything he wanted to discuss right now.

Gibbs fed him frequent painkillers and rubbed that gel into his back, buttocks and thighs every few hours. Tony slept intermittently, zonked out on the painkillers.

They went to bed early, and Gibbs slipped in beside Tony and pressed dozens of light kisses over every inch of his body before gently, oh so gently, making love to his sub. Afterwards, Tony rolled over and rested his chin on his dom's shoulder again. Gibbs wrapped his hands loosely around his body, holding him close. Neither of them said a word.

It was the calm before the storm. Something was going to happen – Tony knew that.

He just wasn't sure what.


After breakfast the following day, Gibbs beckoned Tony over. His sub came eagerly. He was still moving slowly, but he looked a hell of a lot better than he had the previous day. Gibbs would have preferred another day or two before doing this, but they were back at work tomorrow so that wasn't an option.

Tony glanced at the collar and cuffs lying on the kitchen table, and Gibbs saw the gleam of anticipation in his eyes.

"You want me to get undressed, Boss?" he asked, gesturing to his sweatpants and tee shirt.

Gibbs shook his head. "Nope." He buckled the collar around Tony's neck. "Hands," he ordered. Tony held out his hands, and Gibbs fastened the cuffs on his wrists. "With me." Gibbs walked down into the basement, his sub at his heels. "Here." Gibbs pointed at the beanbag on the floor, against the wall. Tony raised a questioning eyebrow. "You can sit down, crouch, or stand if your ass isn't up to that. Up to you," Gibbs said with a shrug.

Tony gave him a perplexed look, but he crouched down and gingerly settled himself on the beanbag.

Gibbs attached a chain to his sub's collar and then fastened it to the wall. He likewise chained his sub's cuffs to the wall too. He made sure the chains were tight – he deliberately fastened them so that Tony couldn't move around much. He wanted it to be restrictive.

Then Gibbs padlocked the chains into place. He was aware of Tony's puzzled eyes following his every move; Gibbs rarely locked him into bondage like this, and if he did, he usually insisted that his sub was naked beforehand.

"What's going on, Boss?" Tony asked.

"Nothing. I'm gonna work on the boat. You're gonna watch," Gibbs told him, making sure that Tony saw him putting the key to the padlock in the pocket of his jeans.

Satisfied that Tony was secured in place and couldn't escape, he turned and went over to his workbench. He opened up a fresh container of wood and drew out a plank. He examined it carefully, and then he took it over to the boat and rested it against the side. He climbed up onto the curved prow and began measuring, taking his time, making sure he got it right.

An hour passed. Over by the wall, Tony began whistling under his breath.

"Bored, DiNozzo?" Gibbs glanced over to him.

"Well, yeah, kind of. I figured that was the point." Tony shrugged, a little wince passing across his face as the movement hurt his shoulders.

"Want me to tell you a story?" Gibbs asked.

Tony grinned. "You gonna read to me again, Boss?"

"Nope." Gibbs shook his head. "Different kind of story. Up to you.” He shrugged, returning to his measuring.

Tony sighed. "Okay, Boss, tell me a story." He said it in a pained tone, like he was indulging his dom.

"Right." Gibbs jumped down from the boat, retrieved the wood, and then climbed back up again, holding it. "It's a story about two kids," he said.

"Brothers?" Tony asked.

"Nope." Gibbs shook his head. "They don't know each other – not yet, not when the story starts. They lead very different lives, but maybe in some ways they aren't so different. I don't know. I'll leave you to be the judge of that. So, this first kid, he comes from a pretty poor family. There isn't much, but there's always just about enough."

He held the plank of wood in place and examined it critically to make sure it was straight.

"The kid is happy – but his folks aren’t. They aren't getting along, and after a long time trying to patch things up, they separate. The kid goes to live with his mom, but back then not many folks got divorced, so he was the only one in his class at school with parents who didn't live together. He felt pretty angry about that. He was particularly angry with his dad, who he blamed the most for his parents’ marriage breaking down."

"Why? His dad sleeping around?" Tony asked, looking intrigued.

Gibbs sighed, and ran a hand over his chin. "He certainly had an eye for the ladies so maybe. I don’t know. He did start seeing another woman soon after he separated from the kid's mom so…well, who knows when that started?" He shrugged. "When the kid found out, he got even angrier – he'd thought there was a chance his mom and dad could get back together, and they could all be happy again."

"How old was this kid?"

"Eleven. Still young enough to believe in happy endings." Gibbs grinned. "But it didn't happen. Soon after that, his mom started getting thinner and thinner, and she was coughing a lot, and after a short illness, she died."

Tony's head shot up. "She died?"

"Yeah. Cancer. She'd always been a heavy smoker," Gibbs replied, with a little shake of his head. He fixed the plank in place then picked up his sander and began smoothing it.

"What happened to the kid?" Tony was gazing at him intently.

"He went to live with his dad – but he was angrier than ever now. He was angry with his mom for dying, and angry with his dad because on some level he blamed him and not the cigarettes for his mom's death. But mainly he was just an angry little kid, and he stayed that way for a long time."

"Sounds kind of unforgiving," Tony muttered.

"Yeah." Gibbs gave a little laugh. "Yeah, he sure as hell can be."

"What happened to him?"

"He grew up and went looking for his own happy ending. He found it…and then he lost it.” Gibbs shrugged. "So he went looking for it again, and again, and again – but always in the wrong places. He gave up on it for a long time. Then, one day, it crept up on him unexpectedly - long after he'd stopped looking - and took him by surprise."

He put down the sander, scrambled off the boat, and went over to his workbench. He picked up his hammer and some sturdy wooden pegs and went back over to the boat again.

"Meanwhile, the other kid is growing up someplace else, leading a very different kind of life."

Gibbs banged a couple of the pegs into place.

"His folks are wealthy – they live in a big house, and this kid's mom showers him with love. She takes him everywhere – he's her only child, and she likes showing him off to all her friends. He's a cute kid, kinda pretty for a boy, and he adores his mom. The kid's bright and precocious, and he and his mom are close. Maybe too close – the kid's dad thinks that his son is becoming too much of a momma's boy, and that he needs to be toughened up. Maybe he's even a bit jealous of the close bond between the kid and his mom.”

Tony was quiet. Gibbs glanced over to find him sitting there, very still, green eyes fixed on him as he worked.

“Anyway, the kid's dad is distant with the kid, kind of formal, keeping him at arm’s length. The kid wants his father's attention, so he does something pretty naughty to get it. His dad is furious and decides it’s time to send him away to boarding school. The kid's ten – kinda young to be sent away from home - but his dad thinks it'll toughen him up. It'll get him away from his mom and give him a chance to grow up. Maybe it’ll stop him goofing around and being such a pain in the ass."

Gibbs picked up a couple more wooden pegs and began hammering them into place.

"So, the kid doesn't like being sent away, but he's a sociable boy, and he makes friends easily. He even kind of likes boarding school. He misses his mom though – and at first she writes all the time, and he can call her every Friday night. But she's busy – her husband's business is going through a rocky patch, and she has to do a lot of socialising and entertaining to help him bring in work. And the kid is a long way from home, wondering why the presents and letters have dried up, wondering if his folks remember him, and wondering what the hell he did that was so damn wrong that he got sent away in the first place."

Tony moved his hand, and the chain fastening his cuffs to the wall clinked. Tony tugged on it, as if testing it, his movements jerky. Then he dropped his hand in frustration as he realised he was well and truly locked into place and wasn't going anywhere.

"You don't like the story, Tony?" Gibbs asked.

"I know how it ends," Tony told him sullenly.

Gibbs nodded thoughtfully. He reached for his sander again and began smoothing down the wood, working slowly, calmly.

"So, this kid…he hates being ignored. He can stand just about anything but being ignored. And when this kid wants attention – well, he knows one sure fire way of getting it. It’s a way that's always worked in the past; he does something that will get him noticed. So, one day, he steals the principal's car and takes it for a joyride."

Gibbs paused and wiped a hand across his forehead, rubbing a combination of sweat and sawdust away. He gave a little laugh.

"Gotta admire this kid – he's got guts, and he's not afraid of being punished if it gets him what he wants – which is attention from the people he loves. So, he takes this car out, and inevitably he drives it into a ditch. He’s fine, but he gets dragged back up to the school by the police. And the principal, unsurprisingly, decides to expel him."

Gibbs glanced over at Tony again, to see that his sub's jaw was set in a tight line.

"You can stop now," Tony told him. "I know the rest – and it looks as if you do too."

"I do," Gibbs confirmed.

"How long have you known?"

"Only since Friday night – after you broke that promise you made to me."

"Christ – how did you find out so quickly? Do you have a file on me or something?" Tony looked more furious than Gibbs had ever seen him.

"A dossier. Ziva gave it to me when she first joined the team, but I didn't open it until Friday night," Gibbs told him. "I wanted to see if you'd tell me first, but when you blew it on Friday you left me no other choice, Tony."

"Fuck it!" Tony roared, pulling against his chains angrily. "Ziva knows? She knows too?"

"I told her to forget whatever she'd read in that file, but yeah, she knows." Gibbs shrugged. "I made a few calls yesterday to check the facts, but they're pretty much what Mossad uncovered."

"Unlock these damn chains," Tony hissed. "Let me out of here."

Gibbs shook his head. "I'm not done yet. So…the principal calls the kid's folks and asks them to come and collect him from the school. The kid's mom arrives the following day, and she's really upset. She's angry and disappointed in the kid. It's a difficult time for the family – the kid's dad recently lost a lot of money in a lawsuit, the business isn't doing so well, and the last thing she needs is the kid acting up like this."

"You can give the kid a name," Tony said tightly. "We know who he is. We know the first kid was you, and we know the second kid is me."

"Yeah. We do. So, Tony's mom picks him up from the school, and he's so happy to see her that he doesn't give a damn if she's upset with him. Hell, it's a price worth paying. He figures she'll calm down in a few days and then things can go back to the way they used to be between them. His dad – well, he might be tougher to win around, but even if they send him to another boarding school that'll take a while to arrange, so he has some time with his mom. Tony thinks that maybe they can do some of the stuff they used to do – hang out together, go shopping, have lunch with her friends, go on road trips – have fun. He doesn't know that things are kinda bad at home and that the family is under stress, because they haven’t told him any of that. He doesn't even know that his mom is drinking too much – she and his dad have always been drinkers, same way my mom was a smoker."

"She wasn't drunk when she got in the car," Tony said hotly. "I know that. She wasn't drunk then."

"No. She wasn't. She was angry though, wasn't she? She was angry with you for pulling a stunt like that precisely when she didn’t have the time to deal with you."

Tony didn't reply. His shoulders were hunched, and he looked as if he was going to throw up.

"I don't know exactly what happened – only you know that – but I read the police report and the statement you gave at the time," Gibbs continued. "You and your mom got into an argument. You were petulant – you didn't mind your dad being angry with you but not your mom. You and she had always been partners in crime. She never got angry with you – never had before. Not like this. Suddenly, your plan to get yourself expelled doesn't seem like such a good one. You hadn't anticipated that she'd be this mad with you, and you’re hurt that she isn’t pleased to see you. You say some pretty mean things to her. You get into a big fight, both of you yelling at each other in the car...and she gets distracted and loses control. The car goes off the road – nobody else is involved, and the conditions on the road were good that day – but she loses concentration because you're fighting so hard, and the car skids off the road, bangs into a tree, rolls over a few times, and crashes back onto the road again."

Tony's eyes were closed, and he was breathing heavily. Gibbs waited for a moment, and then he continued.

"You're thrown clear, but you’ve been banged up pretty bad. Your left arm is broken in several places. You're bleeding, and you're crying because you're in so much pain. You're just a kid, and you hurt, and you want your mom. You can see her, lying in the road alongside you. She's not moving, but her eyes are open. At first you think she can see you, so you call out to her, try to tell her that you're okay, but then you realise that…"


Gibbs stopped. It was the word he'd been waiting for all these weeks, but there was no victory in finally hearing it. Tony looked pale, and he was tugging repeatedly on the chains securing him to the wall.

Gibbs jumped off the boat, took the key out of his pocket, and went over to his sub. He crouched down in front of him.

"It wasn't your fault, Tony. It was an accident," he said softly. "I lost my mom too at the same age. I know how it feels – that's why I told you my story first."

"I said the damn word," Tony snapped. "I fucking said it, Gibbs. Magnum – now get me the hell out of these chains."

Gibbs quickly removed the padlock, and Tony pulled himself free and lurched to his feet. Gibbs reached out a hand to steady him, but Tony shook it off and ran towards the stairs, looking like he was going to be sick.

Gibbs sighed. He hadn't been sure how this would pan out, but he'd suspected it wouldn't go well. Clearly he'd been right. He’d spoken to Tony’s old school principal the previous day and had managed to get in touch with his mom’s sister, who had been very helpful in filling in the details of Tony’s mental state – all the little things that weren’t included in the more factual Mossad report. He had been able to fill in the rest of the gaps himself – and judging by Tony’s reaction he’d been pretty spot on.

Gibbs climbed the stairs after his sub and got to the top just in time to hear the front door slamming. Then he heard the sound of a car screeching away. He thumped his fist against the wall in annoyance. He didn't want to follow Tony, in case he inadvertently caused another accident. He didn't want Tony feeling like he was cornered right now.

He noticed something lying on the floor by the front door and went over to it. His heart sank as he crouched down and picked it up.

It was Tony's collar.


His apartment was cold, and it smelled strange, which was hardly surprising as he hadn't been back here in weeks. It was a relief to be here now though, in its comforting emptiness. He had always liked being alone – he had spent more time alone here than his co-workers would ever have imagined when he was playing the part of footloose bachelor with a steady stream of girlfriends. What nobody knew was that he never allowed those girlfriends to stay over, if he could help it. When the sex was finished, so were they.

Tony turned on the heating, selected one of his favourite jazz albums, and allowed the familiar lazy, haunting tunes to soothe him.

The light was flashing on his answering machine. He hit the button, more out of habit than anything else. There were only a handful of messages. One was from his cleaning lady, wondering if he wanted her to continue cleaning for him as there was so little to do these days.

The next one was from his dry cleaner, asking if he was ever going to come in and pick up his grey Armani suit. He'd almost forgotten about that suit – he'd got blood on it a couple of months ago. His dry cleaner was always joking with him about the amount of wear and tear his suits took. "Wouldn't it make more sense not to wear fancy suits in your line of work?" she would mutter darkly as she surveyed yet another wrecked suit. He had once dressed more casually at work, back in the old days, when things had been simpler. God knows, it wasn't as if Gibbs set any standards for sartorial elegance in the office.

But since coming back from the Seahawk, he'd needed a new layer of protection. The suits worked well for that. The suits had become another layer in the Tony DiNozzo mask that he'd been carefully building up over the years. They were expensive, tailored and smart. People were so dazzled by the exterior that there was no need for them to look beneath the shiny surface. He didn't want them to have to work too hard to think they'd figured out Tony DiNozzo. He gave them exactly what they expected, and only a couple of people had ever questioned that. Fox Mulder had been one, and Gibbs was the other. Gibbs had always seen through him to a certain extent - he'd just never called him on it. Until now.

The next message was from his aunt. She said she was calling to catch up, but there was a worried tone in her voice. He checked the timestamp – her message had been left yesterday.

There was one final message, terse and to the point.

"Tony. Call me."

Gibbs. He'd left it just a few minutes ago.

"Fuck you, Gibbs." Tony erased all the messages with a sharp jab of his finger. "And fuck rule number one," he told the answering machine. It felt wrong to disobey that terse injunction all the same. How many weeks had he been jumping to it every time Gibbs threw an order at him?

"Hell, not just weeks, Anthony. Years. Eight years as Gibbs's unofficial sub, and you can't even make it to eight weeks as the real thing – and even that still makes it one of your longest relationships," he muttered to himself ruefully as he walked into the kitchen. "You always knew it'd fall apart. They always do. No surprises there."

It didn't usually hurt though. Usually he just felt relieved.

There was nothing in the fridge – not even a few beers. He considered calling for take out, but he wasn't hungry. And he hurt - inside and out. He ached.

He returned to the living room, opened up his wet bar, and located the bottle of fine, smooth whisky that would blaze a fiery trail down his throat and take him happily to oblivion. He didn't need a glass; the bottle would do just fine.

He took a mouthful of the liquor and then eased himself down on the couch. He lay there, face down, allowing the silence, the drink, and the music to soothe him. Christ, he was tired.

His first few weeks as Gibbs's sub had been so sublimely wonderful that it had lulled him into a false sense of security. He should have known that nothing that good could last for long. And sure enough, the past couple of weeks had been a train wreck as he'd lurched from one crisis to another, fucking everything up as he went along.

Being with Gibbs 24/7 meant that he had no access to his usual coping mechanisms. He hadn't been able to come back here, lie low, lick his wounds for a few days, and then emerge with his happy, shiny Tony mask firmly back in place.

He could do that now. Might take a while to polish up the mask, but he could do it. He'd had plenty of experience after all.


Gibbs spent the day on his boat. He wished he could lose himself in the familiar grain of the wood, but his gut was taut with anxiety for his missing sub. He kept his cell phone out, but nobody called.

Tony hadn't taken his cell phone. Hell, Tony hadn't taken anything except the clothes on his back and his keys. Gibbs wasn't sure where Tony had gone, but without money or clothes, Gibbs suspected he'd end up back at his old apartment. There weren't a whole lot of options open to him.

Gibbs left one message for Tony on his home answering machine – he didn't see the point in leaving any more. If Tony didn't want to be contacted, then it was best to leave him be – for now anyway. If he wasn't at work tomorrow, Gibbs would have his ass, but he'd give him tonight. Tony just needed some time and space to figure this out.

Gibbs kept glancing at the basement door as he worked, hoping for his sub's return. He wasn't sure what they'd say to each other exactly, but at least it'd be a start.

Tony didn't show though. Finally, at 1 a.m., Gibbs threw down his sander and accepted the inevitable; his sub had gone and wasn't coming back – not tonight at least.

He’d been left before, many times, and he’d let them all leave because he didn’t care enough to convince them to stay.

This was different. Tony was his – and there was no damn way Gibbs was giving up on him.


Tony got into work early the next day. The last thing he wanted was to give Gibbs an excuse to interact with him any more than was strictly necessary.

"See, this is why Rule Number Twelve is such a good idea," he muttered to himself as he walked into the empty squad room. "Because if you date a co-worker you have to *see* them every day at work, even when you don't want to."

He could have gone awol. He'd considered it, but he knew Gibbs would track him down wherever he went. The man was like a bloodhound. It was better to just come into work, act like everything was fine, and keep his dom at arm's length until he'd figured out a way to handle this. He'd been so tired yesterday that it had been easy to spend the day dozing, drinking, and not thinking about what happened next. It'd be harder today, but he could do it.

"Hey, I'm the great Tony DiNozzo. Avoiding reality is one of my special gifts," he told himself, sitting down cautiously at his desk and turning on his computer. His body still ached, but it was a less severe ache now. He only had himself to blame. He'd wanted that punishment so much, but it hadn't done what he'd thought it'd do. It hadn't been enough. What could ever be enough?

Ziva arrived a few minutes later. She looked happy. Glowing. Tony was pretty sure she had a new boyfriend - but he wasn't asking, and she wasn't telling. He felt a stab of envy in his gut.

McGee arrived next, hurrying, falling over his own feet in his haste to get to his desk. It was an unofficial rule in the department that if you arrived after Gibbs then you were late. This was tricky, as nobody knew exactly when Gibbs would arrive. Tony had flouted this unofficial rule a few times since becoming Gibbs's sub but not today. Today that would have been suicidal.

"Busy weekend, Probie?" Tony raised an eyebrow. "Been up all hours defeating hordes of rampaging orps again?"

"They're orcs, Tony," McGee told him in an irritated tone of voice. "As you well know."

"Whatever." Tony grinned at him.

Ah yes, this was good. This was what he needed - the soothing tones of mindless banter with his co-workers. No need to think or remember anything. No need to consider just how fucked up his relationship with Gibbs was right now. No need to think about what had happened in the basement yesterday. There was just the easy back and forth of a long-standing working relationship. He could play the role of irritating co-worker in his sleep – it was familiar, easy, and just what he wanted right now.

He heard the elevator ping, and his stomach flipped queasily. He looked down at his work, pretending to be studiously occupied. A second later, a shadow fell over his desk.

"DiNozzo - didn't you get my message?"

He looked up. Slowly. Gibbs was standing there, blue eyes boring into him. Damn the man for being able to see into his soul like this. Tony didn't like it.

"Oh, hey, Boss. What message was that?" Tony gave his easy Tony smile, bright, shiny and utterly insincere.

"The one I left on your answering machine yesterday. Telling you to call me."

"Ah. Right. No. Didn't get it," Tony lied.

Gibbs gazed at him inscrutably, the lie standing between them, as clear as day.

"Something important?" Tony raised an eyebrow, challenging his dom to continue with this line of questioning.

Gibbs settled back on his heels, a distinctly un-amused grin distorting the corners of his mouth. "This really the way you want to play this?" his eyes asked.

Tony kept on smiling at him, his happy, beaming face making his reply clear: "Oh yeah. This *really* is the way I want to play this."

Gibbs gave a little grunt of acknowledgement. "Yeah – you left your cell phone lying around. I wanted to give it back to you."

He took the phone out of his pocket, grabbed Tony's hand, placed the phone in his palm, and folded Tony's fingers around it. Gibbs's hand felt warm on his skin, his touch electric and familiar.

"You shouldn't be so careless with your belongings," Gibbs said, his eyes fixed meaningfully on Tony's neck, where his collar had once been.

"You're right," Tony said softly. "Not like you, huh, Boss? 'Cause you're always really careful with what belongs to you."

Gibbs's fingers tightened on his hand, and he looked as if he was going to explode. Tony continued smiling up at him, seemingly innocent. Nobody listening to them would have guessed the tension that lay between them. Then Gibbs relaxed.

"Yeah. I am, Tony," he replied. "I take good care of what's mine. I think you know that though."

Tony's heart skipped a beat. He gazed up at Gibbs helplessly. Gibbs gazed back at him, his eyes radiating the sincerity of his words. There was a depth of compassion in that blue-eyed gaze that Tony couldn't bear to see. He was acutely aware of the way Gibbs's fingers were lingering on his hand, stroking softly, and he couldn't handle it. He yanked his hand away, muttering something about needing to check on Abby's useless replacement in the lab. Then he made a run for the elevator, threw himself inside, and slammed his hand on the emergency switch the minute it started moving.

Damn Gibbs for not yelling at him. Damn him for looking at him like that, with concern, understanding and affection. Damn him for not tearing Tony a new one for running out on him, leaving his collar behind, and not returning his call. Tony didn't want his sympathy or concern. He didn't want to be understood, and he didn't want anyone's pity.

He slammed his hand against the elevator wall a few times until he started feeling a little better. Then he composed himself, pasted his happy, shiny Tony face back on, and flipped the elevator switch again.

Luckily, Mondays were always busy for Gibbs, so Tony managed to avoid him quite successfully for most of the day as his dom went in and out of various meetings with Vance.
He was aware of Gibbs's gaze falling on him every so often, when his boss was leaning on the rail outside MTAC, or passing by his desk on his way to the elevator or the head. Gibbs didn't speak to him though, or try to get him on his own.

Tony managed to slip out of the office later that evening without being alone with Gibbs all day. He wondered if Gibbs would drop by his apartment and was fully prepared to not answer the door, but his dom didn't show. It looked as if Gibbs was giving him some breathing space, for which Tony was profoundly grateful.

There was only so much avoidance they could do though. Most of his clothes were at Gibbs's place, and he worked with the man every day. Tony didn't want to handle this, but he felt like throwing up at the thought of addressing it. He couldn't bring himself to even think about what had happened in the basement.

He was pretty pleased with himself when he managed to avoid being alone with Gibbs for nearly three days. Tony began to wonder whether he could sneak into Gibbs's house and steal back his clothes. Then they could pretend that the past few weeks hadn't happened.

He got into the elevator, mulling over the issue of how to retrieve his possessions from Gibbs's place without actually talking to the man. A second later, he heard an almost silent footfall behind him, and someone got into the elevator just before the door closed. Tony turned, cursing under his breath, knowing exactly who it was. Gibbs was staring at him, one eyebrow raised, as the elevator began to glide downwards.

"What? You hadn't figured out that I was *allowing* you to avoid me these past few days?" Gibbs asked. He flicked the emergency stop button and the elevator came to a grinding halt.

Tony sighed. "I thought I was just doing a good job of staying out of your way."

"I was giving you some space." Gibbs edged closer, moving silently, a deadly predator cornering his prey.

Tony took a step back, and then another, until his back hit the mirrored elevator wall. ""Yeah. Right. Space. I can see that," he said sarcastically.

He could feel the heat of Gibbs's body, sense the tautness of his dom's muscles, and smell his familiar, enticing scent.

"So, I was thinking of dropping by for my clothes," Tony said, trying hard to stay in control of the situation. That wasn't easy when he was backed up against the wall by a man whose sexual dominance had mesmerised him for years.

Gibbs shook his head. "No," he said firmly.

"No?" Tony raised an eyebrow. "It's over, Gibbs."

"No, it isn't. I've just been allowing you a long leash." Gibbs shrugged. "But not for much longer, Tony. You have until the end of the week – then I'll rope you back in, whether you like it or not."

"I told you it's over," Tony repeated in a hard tone.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "Because you'd rather keep running and hiding than turn around and face it?"

Tony's jaw tightened. "You don't know shit."

"I know there's more," Gibbs snapped in reply. "You're kind of like an onion, Tony. You peel off one layer, and there's another one beneath. Then, just when you think you're done peeling, you realise you've barely even started. How many people ever see even a fraction of what you are? How many people catch even a glimpse of what's under the pretty surface, huh?" He flicked at Tony's newly cleaned, grey Armani suit.

Tony gazed at him stonily. "Drop it, Gibbs."

"No." Gibbs moved his hand and gently caressed Tony's cheek. Tony tried to turn away, but he didn't have the strength. "I told you once that if I fucked you, and if I collared you, that you'd be mine, and I don't give up on what's mine, Tony. And I don't think you want me to. Not really."

He held Tony's jaw lightly in his hand and then moved in and dropped a gentle little kiss on Tony's mouth. Tony balled his hands into fists in an effort not to respond, but he couldn’t bring himself to push Gibbs away. He liked the feel of those soft, insistent lips too much. Gibbs drew back.

"If I come back…" Tony began. Gibbs raised an eyebrow, making it clear that the 'if' was redundant. "We could put this behind us, right?" Tony suggested. "Never talk about it again?"

Gibbs gave a little grunt of a laugh, shaking his head. "Yeah. Right."

"I mean it," Tony said firmly. "I don't want to talk about it."

"You can't have it both ways, Tony. You can belong to me, or to the past - but not both. You can't serve two masters."

"It's two different things," Tony snapped.

"No. It isn't. Can't have a repeat of the past couple of weeks, Tony," Gibbs told him flatly. "I need to understand every single bit of how my sub ticks if I'm gonna handle you properly."

"I'm not a fucking horse," Tony growled. "I don't need 'handling'."

Gibbs grinned. "Yeah, you do."

"You already know everything there is to know about me – thanks to Ms. Mossad out there." Tony flicked his head derisively. "There's nothing more to know; nothing more to say; nothing more to talk about. That's it. That's all there is."

Gibbs snorted. "Yeah. Right. Tell me, Tony, what was it I did in the past eight years that made you think I'm a total idiot?"

Tony glared at him. Gibbs leaned in close again, and Tony felt his entire body react to his dom's proximity. He broke out into a sweat, his cock hardened, and he had to fight hard to control his overwhelming impulse to go down on his knees in front of Gibbs, where he belonged. And Gibbs – the bastard - knew the effect he was having.

"I'm taking you down, Tony," Gibbs promised. "You belong to me, and I'll fight for you. Even if it's your own demons I have to fight. And you know me – I fight to win." He reached out and flicked the switch and the elevator lurched into motion. "You have until Friday on the long leash, Tony – after that, the short leash is back."

The doors opened, and Gibbs left the elevator without looking back. Tony watched him go. He didn't know if he felt relieved or cornered – or both.

He was Tony DiNozzo – deflection, deception, and avoidance were his finely honed
weapons of choice. And now he was pitting them against a master – a man who had never yet been beaten in a fight. Tony didn't rate his own chances very highly. However good he was, Gibbs was better.

And Tony, who had always been so adept at concealment, was now running out of places to hide.


Gibbs watched Tony for the next couple of days, but gave him his space, as he'd promised. He hoped that Tony would make the first move, but if he didn't, Gibbs had no qualms about reeling him in. He was engaged in a battle for possession of his sub's soul, and it wasn't a battle he intended to lose. Tony belonged to him, pure and simple, and Gibbs would do whatever it took.

Tony was uncharacteristically silent for most of the day on Friday. He kept shooting surreptitious glances at Gibbs as he worked, but for the most part he said nothing. Even McGee and Ziva noticed, and they kept exchanging surprised looks as a multitude of teasing opportunities went by unexploited by their usually mocking co-worker.

Gibbs sent them all home on time for once, leaving just him and Tony alone in the office, gazing at each other warily across the room.

Gibbs got up. "I'm going to spend the evening at Murray's Bar," he said quietly. "Neutral territory. You have until eleven to show up."

"And if I don't?" Tony raised a challenging eyebrow.

"Then I'll come and get you."


Gibbs got to Murray's bar at eight and ordered a coke. He didn't want to get drunk tonight. He glanced at his watch, wondering when Tony would show up. He had no doubt at all that his errant sub *would* show up – but, knowing Tony, he'd leave it until 10:58.

His cell phone rang, and he glanced at the display, feeling a surge of annoyance when he saw it wasn't Tony. He didn't recognise the number, but he picked up anyway.

"Gibbs," he snapped, glancing up at the stairs to see if Tony had put in an appearance.


He frowned. That was an old, familiar voice – but one he hadn't heard in a long time. "Stan? That you?"

"Yes, it's me. I really need to see you. You busy?"

"Right now?" Gibbs grimaced, glancing up at the stairs again. "Can't it wait?"

There was a moment's hesitation. "No, I don't think so," Stan replied. "See, it's about Tony DiNozzo."


Tony looked at the clock ticking away on his computer: 20:37. He ran a hand through his hair, making it stick up in messy points. He didn't want to do this. He didn't want to have this particular conversation with his dom, his boss, his lover – hell, whatever it was Gibbs was to him these days. Mulder had been right, he realised ruefully, that day back in the playroom at Crystal City. Mulder had told him he wouldn't be able to hide from Gibbs.

"Should'a listened," Tony muttered.


How long could he leave it? He knew that Gibbs would be true to his word, and if he didn't show up his dom wouldn't hesitate to track him down. If Tony pushed him into that then he was pretty damn sure that Gibbs would be pissed off – and nobody liked a pissed off Gibbs.

He sat back in his chair and closed his eyes. He was immediately a child again, lying on the road, screaming in pain, gazing into his mother's dead green eyes. Gibbs would want to know everything. There was no way he'd settle for hearing half the story. Once he'd opened Tony up a tiny bit, he'd want him opened up all the way. He'd gut him like a fish, leaving Tony gasping and exposed. He'd want to know what had happened after…

Tony opened his eyes and slammed his hand onto his computer keyboard.

"You're gonna have a long wait, Gibbs."


Gibbs watched as Stan made his way down the stairs and into the main seating area of Murray's bar. His old sub was looking good; he was lean and tanned, and he attracted a few lingering looks as he jogged down the stairs.

Stan paused at the bottom, saw Gibbs, and his face broke into an anxious kind of half-smile. Gibbs frowned; whatever it was that Stan had to tell him, he had a feeling he wasn't going to like it.

He stood up as Stan drew close and pulled his old sub into a hug. He didn't usually do hugs, but his time with Tony had given him a vague sense of guilt about how it had ended between him and Stan. Tony had been so easy to love, but he'd never been able to give Stan even a tiny piece of his heart. Gibbs drew back and nodded his head at the bottle of beer on the table.

"See you haven't forgotten what I like to drink," Stan said, with a little grin, sitting down opposite him.

"Nope. You're looking well, Stan," Gibbs said gruffly.

"You too." Stan gave a strained little grin.

Gibbs sighed inwardly. Stan had always been a fantastic sub and a willing, hard-working subordinate at NCIS. What was lacking - what had always been lacking, he now realised - was his ability to take Gibbs. He was like McGee – he was happy to roll over and show Gibbs his belly, but he lived in perpetual anxiety of him too, and that was wearying. Tony wasn't like that. Gibbs was surprised to realise that Tony had been right, all those weeks ago, when he'd said he could handle him. He could. He was tough inside, however much he liked to fool the world with the shiny idiot persona. And he *got* Gibbs, like nobody else ever had -except Shannon.

"Surprised to see you in a place like this," Stan commented, glancing around. "You never liked the scene much when we were…" He left the sentence hanging.

"Still don't. I was waiting for someone," Gibbs replied.

Stan's eyes widened as he took in the implications of that. "Oh. Right…okay. Because this is a members' only kind of place, so I was wondering."

"I figured it was the kind of place you'd be a member of," Gibbs grunted.

Stan grinned. "I am – just surprised you are."

"I'm not. I know a friend of the owner. He's…accommodating."

"Right," Stan said slowly.

"Let's not waste time on the small talk, Stan," Gibbs said abruptly, taking a sip of his coke. "You said you wanted to see me about DiNozzo?"

"Yeah…" Stan took a deep gulp of his beer. "Look…I wasn't sure what to do about this, but…I thought it was something you should know. I like DiNozzo – only met him once, but I liked him. Thought he had the hots for you though, Boss."

He grinned at Gibbs. Gibbs grunted. He saw no reason to let Stan know how close to the mark he was there. Stan swallowed hard, clearly sensing Gibbs's tension.

"Okay…look, you know I took over as agent afloat from Tony on the Seahawk?"

Gibbs shook his head, surprised. "No. I didn't know that, Stan."

"We docked this morning, so I'm on leave now. I kept my old apartment and it feels good to be back in DC, but I'm surprised I haven't missed it more. I guess I just like being an agent afloat." Stan gave that gentle, easy smile of his. "It's a hell of a lot less stress than working with you, Boss."

Gibbs grinned. "Tony called it being the only cop in a city of 5,000. That's not a low-stress environment, Stan."

"Compared to working for you, Boss, it's like a spa retreat." Stan grinned back. "Anyway, Tony…he had kind of a unique style as agent afloat."

Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

"He didn't take any shit, Boss. He didn't turn a blind eye for an easy life like some agents afloat I've known. You trained him well."

"Yeah. I know." Gibbs took another sip of his coke. "Trained you well too, Stan."

"Yeah, but Tony's got a cop's nose, and he never lets anything lie – not the important stuff anyway. Made him a lot of enemies."

Gibbs stared at Stan, eyes narrowing. "You referring to one flight deck chief in particular?"

Stan leaned forward. "You know about Grasso?" he asked eagerly, looking relieved.

"No." Gibbs shook his head. "All I know is that Tony had some kind of a problem with him, and now the guy calls him when he’s drunk and talks shit at him."

"Grasso calls him?" Stan looked troubled by that news.

Now it was Gibbs's turn to lean forward. "Tell me what's been happening, Stan. All of it. Don't leave anything out."


Tony rubbed his forehead morosely. He had a pounding headache, partly from the pressure of deciding what to do next, and partly because the cleaner had entered the squad room fifteen minutes ago and was now vacuuming the place noisily.

He glanced at his computer screen again. 22:03. Gibbs had given him until 23:00, which meant that he was running out of time. What was it Gibbs had said? He could belong to him or to the past, but he couldn't serve two masters?

Tony gazed across the room at Gibbs's empty desk. Damn it, he was so tired of running from this. Gibbs had been in his life for eight years, and he'd loved the man for pretty much all that time. Now they were lovers, and Gibbs seemed to satisfy some aching need inside him that he hadn't even realised was there. The sex was pretty damn good too.

He wanted to be Gibbs's sub. Hell, he loved being Gibbs's sub. He ran a finger over the empty expanse of his neck. He missed wearing Gibbs's collar. He missed sleeping in bondage, with Gibbs's arm wrapped around him. He missed lying in Gibbs's bed and feeling warm and safe because Gibbs was pressed up close behind him. He missed waking up to the feel of Gibbs's hard cock sliding into him. He missed the bite marks, the spankings, and all the exquisite sexual tortures that aroused him more than he'd ever have thought possible.

Most of all though, he missed lying on Gibbs's couch, with his head on Gibbs's lap, and the feel of his dom's fingers as they gently stroked through his hair. He missed that so much it made him ache. He had come this far – wasn't it time to take the final step, and give Gibbs his total trust? Hadn't he been holding out on the man for long enough?

The cleaner finished vacuuming, and Tony sat back in his chair with a grateful sigh. Maybe now he'd be able to think more clearly.

His cell phone rang, and he picked up eagerly, thinking it was probably Gibbs calling to ask him when he was going to show. He was therefore taken by surprise when a familiar voice spoke in his ear.

"Hey, motherfucker. I'm home! Miss me?"

"Fuck off, Grasso," Tony snapped.

"Aw – I think you missed me. I think you missed the Friday nights we used to spend together."

"Yeah – 'cause it was so much fucking fun."

"You showed up every week – I think you liked it."

“You know why I showed up – and it had nothing the hell to do with liking it.”

"C’mon - we both know there’s something sick inside you, DiNozzo – something sick and fucked up and useless. That part of you liked it."

"What do you want, Grasso?" Tony growled.

"You. It's Friday night, and I'm at this gym where my little bro works. It’s late, and the place is shut. Little bro’s given me the keys, and I’ve got the place all to myself. I’ll text you the address.”

"Don’t fucking bother, Grasso. I won’t be coming.”

"You sure about that?" Grasso chuckled. "'Cause you left without saying goodbye. Seems to me like we have some unfinished business, DiNozzo."

"I was glad to get the hell away from that ship – and from you."

"Well, now you get the chance to show me just how much you hate my guts. No ship, no rules, nobody to interfere…just you and me. You got the balls for that, DiNozzo?"

The phone clicked, and Tony snapped it shut angrily. He shoved it into his pocket and grabbed his bag. He wasn’t going back to that. That fucked up deal with Grasso was in his past. There was only one person in his future – and he was waiting for him in a bar. They'd find a way to work this through somehow. It might be painful, and he knew he wouldn't like it, but if Gibbs hadn't given up on him then he wasn't ready to give up on himself.

He glanced at his watch. If he hurried, he might just get there in time.


Stan sat back in his seat. He looked nervous – Gibbs wondered what the hell was coming next.

"I'm not trying to get Tony into trouble," Stan told him.

"Oh, Tony doesn't need any help getting himself into trouble," Gibbs muttered darkly.

"I wasn't sure I should even tell you this, but then I figured you ought to know. Tony left a lot of notes for his successor. He didn't know it'd be me, but I was grateful to him for the intel. There was one person in particular that he wanted me to keep a close eye on - Chief Petty Officer Dale Grasso."

"He told me he thought the guy was bullying his men – that he'd raised it with the skipper but been knocked back."

Stan nodded. “Last week, Petty Officer Lewin came to see me. Lewin is on Grasso's crew. They're good lads – they work hard, and Grasso makes sure they are the best, fittest and fastest crew on the flight deck.”

"You think Grasso crossed a line in how he handled them? Tony did." Gibbs gazed at Stan searchingly.

"Crossed a line? Hell yes! Lewin told me that Grasso makes his crew do a fitness regime every day. He oversees it, and whoever performs the worst during the week gets the honour of sparring with Grasso on Friday night in a gym on the lower decks."

"Sparring?" Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

"He calls it that, but in reality he makes them take a good, old-fashioned beating. It was Lewin's turn last week, and he was terrified. Grasso is a bastard – he fights mean and his crew aren't supposed to learn anything from the experience. There are never any witnesses – people know to steer clear of that particular gym at that particular time. He’s careful – he never leaves any marks on the face – but he gives them a damn good kicking."

"How the hell was this able to go on?" Gibbs growled angrily. "Why didn't anyone stop it?"

"Tony tried to – but, like I said, the skipper didn't want that boat rocked – literally – and Grasso is smart. Nobody ever caught him in the act. And I’m sure that if they did, he'd just say it was a bit of friendly sparring and bruises were inevitable – but trust me, this was a systematic campaign of bullying against his men.”

Gibbs felt his jaw tighten. He nodded at Stan to continue.

“I questioned Petty Officer Lewin, and he said that Grasso stopped beating up on his men for a period of time during Tony's tenure as agent afloat. Once Tony left, the beatings started again. Lewin couldn't handle it any more – that's why he came to me last week to tell me the whole story."

"Tony told me that he'd warned Grasso off. Threatened to break the bastard's legs if he continued bullying his men," Gibbs said, finishing his coke. "I'm guessing that once Tony left, Grasso felt free to go back to his old ways."

"Oh, it's worse than that," Stan said softly. "Grasso's Friday night sessions never stopped, Boss."


Gary, the doorman, let him into the bar, even without a member's card. Tony figured Walter must have had a word with the management, or else Gibbs had told Gary to expect him. He walked down the stairs and paused for a moment on the landing, looking for his dom.

The place was busy, and it took him a moment to locate Gibbs. Then his gaze honed in on Gibbs's familiar taut shoulders and silver hair. He was about to run down the stairs when he realised that his dom wasn't alone. There was a man sitting opposite him, and he and Gibbs were engaged in an intense conversation. Their heads were so close together that they were almost touching, and there was an air of easy intimacy about them. Who the hell was this guy? Tony's stomach did a jealous flip as he recognised the blond hair and chiselled jaw of Gibbs's companion: Stan.

"What the fuck…?" Tony felt liked he'd been punched in the gut. Gibbs had told him to meet him here because it was 'neutral territory', but had somehow forgotten to mention that he'd be inviting his old boyfriend to the reunion. Stan the golden boy. Stan the perfect ex-sub who never fucked up. Stan who sure as hell never said his safe word and then walked out on his dom, leaving his collar behind on the door mat.

"Fuck you, Gibbs," Tony growled under his breath. It had taken him all his courage to come here tonight – and for what? To find this?

He turned and walked shakily back up the steps, out of the bar, and onto the street.

"FUCK!" he yelled, banging his fist against the brick exterior wall. "Fuck you, Gibbs. Christ, I should never have fucking believed in you."

He slammed his fist into the wall again then leaned against it, panting. He was dimly aware of the sound of his cell phone ringing. If it was Gibbs… He reached into his pocket and looked at the caller ID. Not Gibbs. He answered the call.

"You chickening out on me, DiNozzo?" Grasso asked. "Figures. You're the same weak sack of shit you always were."

Tony stared at the wall sullenly. Then he gave a bitter little laugh. Really, where else was he going to go? At least this way he got to slam his fist into something other than a brick wall.

"Screw you, asshole," he snapped into the phone. "I'm on my way."


Gibbs frowned. "I don't understand. You just said that the beatings stopped while Tony was agent afloat."

"No, I said that Grasso stopped beating his *men*. But he needed someone to beat up on.”

Gibbs stared at him. "What are you saying, Stan?"

"Tony felt like he’d let Grasso’s men down. Petty Officer Lewin was too scared to make a formal complaint against Grasso back then, but he begged Tony for help. And Tony said he’d take care of it.”

“Shit.” Gibbs had a feeling he knew where this was going now.

Stan leaned forward. "Tony did some kind of deal with Grasso, Boss. From then on he was Grasso’s Friday night sparring partner. It seemed to keep Grasso happy – I'm guessing Tony was a more challenging opponent than his terrified men. Still, I've no doubt Tony took a few beatings in the process – Grasso likes to win."

Gibbs felt a surge of protective anger. He wanted to believe it wasn't true, but it sounded all too likely. He remembered the many times Tony had taken the brunt of his own bad temper. Ziva and McGee would sometimes disappear when Gibbs was on the warpath over a case, leaving just Tony, with his wide grin and inane chatter, deflecting Gibbs for all that he was worth, taking the heat off the rest of them. And hadn’t it been Tony who had taken over the handling of Abby's useless replacement when Gibbs had felt like throttling the guy?

He thought of the many times Tony had placed himself in danger to save one of his team, from taking the full force of a bomb blast for Kate and McGee, to rescuing Gibbs himself when he'd been trapped in a car at the bottom of a river.

"Damn it! Damn Tony and his endless fucking need to take one for the team!" he growled, banging his fist down on the table. "Christ, I'm gonna kill him when I get my hands on him."


The gym was a small dive in a rough part of town. Tony pulled up in the parking lot and slammed the car door shut behind him. This was stupid. He knew that, but he also didn’t seem to care right now.

Grasso was right about the place being empty – they wouldn't be interrupted. Not that they ever had been before, back on the ship. One of Grasso's men had always stood watch outside the door, and the crew, by and large, knew to avoid the place. Grasso had a reputation for throwing his weight around, and nobody liked to mess with the man.

Tony paused outside the gym door. He remembered the first time he'd done this. He'd been upset and angry about being sent away from Gibbs and his team. He had also been lonely. He'd needed to bond with someone – and the boys on Grasso's flight crew had become his new team. They needed him – and nobody else had needed him on that hellhole of a ship.

Tony couldn't stand by and let those boys be bullied by Grasso. At least he was a veteran of close combat training with Gibbs. He knew how to fight hard and mean – he stood a chance with Grasso. His plan had been to whip Grasso's ass so hard that the bastard wouldn't touch his crew again.

"Yeah, and that plan was one total, giant failure, DiNozzo," he muttered to himself.

He’d fought hard, but Grasso had the edge on him. He'd gone down fighting though – he thought Gibbs would have been proud of him. Grasso seemed to find him more fun to kick around than his own men, and he'd challenged Tony to come back the following week and take some more – if he had the balls.

After that, it had become a regular weekly occurrence. Sometimes Tony showed up drunk – it dulled the pain and made the whole thing pass in a haze. There was something about Tony’s willingness to offer himself up repeatedly for their version of fight club that seemed to fascinate Grasso. Tony had been feeling so guilty about Jenny's death back then, and Grasso had sensed that in him – and exploited it ruthlessly. He seemed to know how to reach straight into Tony's guilt and twist it to his own needs. In the end, the whole thing had become so fucked up that Tony wasn’t sure why he was doing it any more.

The gym door was unlocked. Tony pulled it open and stepped inside.

Grasso was waiting for him. He was a big man, taller than Tony, standing at around six feet five, and he was built like the side of a barn. He was busy working on a punching bag when Tony entered the room, but he looked up, a smile creasing his features at the prospect of a more interesting opponent.

"Hey, motherfucker! I knew you’d come. You’re a sick fuck, DiNozzo – I think you actually like getting your ass kicked.”

"Dale." Tony inclined his head sardonically. He knew Grasso hated being called by his first name. "You missed me then, judging by all the pathetic emails and phone calls."

"I missed kicking you around until you whine like a beaten dog."

"Your men not filling that need for you?" Tony raised an eyebrow.

"They're a bunch of pussies. They fold too easily. Besides, none of them cries like you do, DiNozzo. I always liked that sound."

Tony took off his jacket and threw it down to one side. He tore off his tie and dropped that on top. Then he unbuttoned his shirt and threw that onto the pile of clothing.

"Before we start…" Grasso got out a bottle of whisky and put it on top of Tony's discarded clothes. "Thought you might be thirsty."

"You mean you want an easy fight." Tony raised an eyebrow.

"I don't need you to be drunk to take you down, motherfucker," Grasso growled. "I just like the way the liquor makes you cry for your mommy."

Tony felt his jaw tighten.

"Go ahead. Take a sip. You know you will before we're done. Everyone knew you're a drunk," Grasso grinned. "You used to drink yourself to sleep in your bunk, didn't you, DiNozzo? Homesick were you? Poor little momma's boy."

Tony stepped forward and took a swing at him, but Grasso was ready for him and blocked. He elbowed Tony in the ribs and then kneed him in the groin. Tony rolled sideways and got to his feet, fighting for breath. There were no rules in this fight. Grasso would fight dirty – and so would Tony.

"Nice to see you're still the same fucking loser you always were, DiNozzo," Grasso taunted.

"Nice to see you're still the same knuckle-headed bozo you always were, Chief Petty Officer Asshole," Tony replied. "Do you know that's what your men call you behind your back? Grasso – asshole. Kind of fitting, don't you think?"

He grinned pleasantly and deflected a pounding blow Grasso aimed at his ribs. A follow-up punch to his jaw sent him reeling sideways, and he went down onto the floor. He looked up at Grasso in shock; Grasso winked at him.

“We’re not on the Seahawk now, DiNozzo – that changes things," he said, with an ugly grin. "Your face isn't off-limits now. You have no idea how much I've wanted to pound my fist into that pretty-boy face of yours, DiNozzo. After tonight you won't be so pretty."

Tony reached up a hand to touch his split lip and felt the blood dripping down his chin. He got to his feet, feeling a surge of anger as the pain kicked in. He threw himself at Grasso and landed several hard, brutal punches. This felt better than pounding his fist into a brick wall. This felt much better.

Grasso would win eventually. He always did. And Tony would take the beating because on some level, he knew he deserved it. But first…first he got to fight out his anger and pain. He thought of Gibbs's betrayal, thought of him leaning across the table in the bar, talking to Stan in that intense, intimate way. Those thoughts drove him crazy, and he redoubled his attack, burying his fists into Grasso's midriff over and over again.

Grasso laughed out loud and blocked him, then cuffed him sideways, sending him flying. Tony lay on his back on the floor, blinking blearily as Grasso came towards him.

"You're feisty tonight, DiNozzo. I like it. It’ll make it all the sweeter when you finally beg for mercy."

"In your dreams, asshole. I never beg," Tony said, in a tone of derision.

Grasso gave him a macabre grin. "Nah – but you do scream."


“Did you say Grasso has been calling Tony?” Stan asked.

Gibbs frowned. “Yeah. Think I should be worried?”

Stan pulled on his lower lip thoughtfully. “Maybe. That guy's got one hell of a mean streak. He's a bully – and he's got some kind of weird obsession with Tony. I don't think anyone's ever stood up to him before, the way Tony did. And nobody ever went into a fight with him willingly – and kept on coming back for more. He talks about Tony all the time – nothing complimentary, but he can't stop going on about him. It's kind of creepy. And if he's been calling him, then yeah, I think you should be worried.”

Gibbs reached for his cell phone. “I'll call Tony and warn him."

He glanced at his watch. It was past eleven now, and Tony still hadn't showed. He had been so sure that Tony wouldn't let him down. Things might have been strained between them this last week, but he'd seen something in Tony's eyes that told him not to give up hope. Had he been wrong?

Tony’s number rang a few times, but it wasn’t picked up. Eventually it went to voicemail. Gibbs snapped his phone shut with a growl.

"Idiot. He knew I'd want to talk to him."

"Did he know you were meeting me here tonight then?" Stan asked with a puzzled frown.

"No – Tony was who I was waiting for when you called."

"Here? In a fetish bar?" Stan looked startled. Then realisation set in. "Oh…you and Tony?" A little spark of sadness flared in his eyes but was soon muted. "Kind of makes sense," he sighed. "Is it good between you, Boss?"

"Yeah. It is." Gibbs gave Stan an almost apologetic smile. "I finally figured out what I wanted, Stan."

"Well, I always knew it wasn't me. That's why I left."

"Yeah." Gibbs made a little gesture of acknowledgement with his head. "Tony gets me, Stan. And he can handle me."

"Then he deserves you, Boss. Nobody else could handle you." Stan grinned. "I know I never managed it. So – where is he? You said you were meeting him here?"

"I told him to be here by eleven. We had something pretty big to discuss. I was sure he'd show." Gibbs frowned. "Oh shit…" He glanced towards the stairs. "Maybe he did."


"When you and me were talking." Gibbs got up.

Stan got up too. "So why didn't he come over?" he asked, looking puzzled.

"Because you were here. He kind of has a thing about you, Stan."

"About me? Why?"

"Just…one of Tony's many insecurities." Gibbs made for the stairs at a run. He had a bad feeling about this. "Gary – have you seen Tony this evening?" he asked the doorman when he reached the upper landing.

"Yes, Mr. Gibbs. He came in about half an hour ago. Didn't stay long – left straight away looking kind of pissed off."

Gibbs cursed under his breath. "Did you see where he went?"

"No, sir." Gary shook his head nervously. He and Stan exchanged the kind of anxious looks that irritated Gibbs. They were both so apprehensive of his anger. That made him even more desperate to find Tony. Tony was strong; he would stand up to Gibbs if he needed it, or joke him out of a bad mood. Tony wasn't afraid to get in his face and risk his displeasure like these two subs here. He needed Tony. Christ, he *loved* Tony, and he wanted to get hold of him, right now, and figure out all that had gone wrong between them.

Where the hell would he have gone? To his apartment? Maybe…but Gibbs's gut discounted that idea. It seemed to think that Tony would have gone somewhere much more dangerous. But where?


Tony laughed out loud as Grasso thudded a hard punch into his solar plexus.

"D'you want a drink, loser?" Grasso stood over him, offering him the bottle. It was tempting. Tony gazed at it blearily, blood running down his face.

"Just like old times, huh?" He squinted up at Grasso from his half-closed eye.

"Almost." Grasso waved the bottle impatiently in front of his face. "Sometimes you showed up drunk."

"Yeah." Tony reached out and took the bottle. "Sometimes I did."

Tony wondered why Grasso wanted him to get drunk. He’d never brought along liquor before. Was it just because he liked kicking him and calling him names when Tony crawled around in a drunken stupor on the floor? Or was there another reason?

Tony threw the bottle back onto his pile of clothes and got slowly to his feet again. He didn’t want to get drunk. He wasn't done yet.

There was a rage roaring inside him that was nowhere near being quenched. When he'd done this before, it had been for many different, complex, and often contradictory reasons. Tonight was different – tonight was about something else. He wasn't even sure what, as he launched himself at Grasso. He just knew that he hurt and wanted to be hurt in equal measure, and Grasso was the means by which to make it happen.


Gibbs went through the options in his head. Tony would have been feeling mad, jealous, insecure, pissed off as all hell. Where would he go when he was feeling like that? Gibbs turned to see Stan looking at him anxiously, and that was when the thought hit him.

“Damn it - he wouldn’t…”

Yeah. He would.

Gibbs grabbed his cell phone again and called McGee. “I need a location for the GPS in Tony’s cell phone,” he snapped. “And fast!”

Stan was staring at him, looking confused.

“Do you have any idea where Grasso might be right now?” Gibbs asked, pacing anxiously. He just hoped that Tony had his cell phone switched on. He hadn’t picked up earlier, but he could have just been ignoring the call – or not in a position to answer it.

“I think he stays with his brother here in DC when he's on leave. Why? You think he’s gone after Tony?”

“No.” Gibbs shook his head. “I think he's thrown down a challenge that Tony might just be stupid enough to accept.”


“I’ve been thinking,” Grasso said, as they circled each other warily.

“Must be a new experience for you." Tony threw a punch – but Grasso ducked out of the way.

“I bet nobody knows you’re here,” Grasso said, landing a glancing blow to Tony’s jaw.

Tony felt himself go cold. Was this Grasso trying to put him off his game? Or was something more sinister going on? The guy was a psycho – who the hell knew what he’d do?

“I had a good thing going until you screwed it up, DiNozzo,” Grasso told him. “The new agent afloat has been on my case for months because of you – I can’t fucking piss without him watching me. And he's trying to persuade that snivelling little shit Lewin to make a formal complaint against me.”

“Aw, I’m sorry I made it harder for you to be such a fucking bully,” Tony snapped.

Grasso's expression turned murderous. "Fuck you, DiNozzo," he snarled, and then he came at Tony, swinging punch after punch.

Tony suddenly realised that this was serious. Grasso had a grudge against him, and with no witnesses, and no prospect of any kind of interruption, the bastard was fighting harder and meaner than ever before.

It was now chillingly apparent to Tony that if he lost this fight he wouldn't just be crawling home on his hands and knees with a bloody nose.

The stakes had suddenly become much higher.


“I’ll find Grasso’s address,” Stan said, pulling out his cell phone.

How long would that take? Gibbs just hoped that Tony’s cell phone was switched on, and McGee would be able to get him the answer he needed. Otherwise, he had a horrible feeling that they’d be too late.

Gibbs’s cell phone rang, and he picked up, impatiently.

“McGee? What you got for me?”


Tony fought hard. He’d trained with Gibbs – he knew how to fight with the best of them. All he could hear was the sound of his own laboured breathing as he moved, darted, punched and parried. He was starting to feel tired. His arms ached, and he could feel the blood running down his face from a cut above his left eye, which was bleeding copiously. He could barely see a thing out of that eye, and he could feel how swollen it was.

Then he made a mistake. He moved too fast and tripped – and Grasso got a leg behind his knees and sent him reeling over backwards. Tony landed on his ass on the floor and before he had a chance to get back up again, Grasso had grabbed a handful of his hair.

Grasso pulled him up bodily by the hair and then raised his fist. There was a twisted grin on his face.

“Would anyone even miss a whiny-assed loser like you?” Grasso taunted. “You never had any friends on the Seahawk, and I figure you don't have any on dry land, either. Does anyone give a damn if you live or die, DiNozzo?”

Tony blinked the sweat out of his one good eye, trying to see. So this was it. Christ, he’d really fucked up this time.

At that moment, he heard a bellow of sheer rage from over by the door. There was a blur of motion, and then Grasso was yanked backwards, away from him, causing Tony to fall to the ground. He heard the sound of fist meeting flesh, over and over again, and Grasso’s grunts of surprised pain. Then the punching sound stopped.

“*I* give a damn,” a familiar voice said.


Gibbs looked down on Grasso – the man was doubled up, stumbling around and clutching his belly where Gibbs had landed several hard blows. Gibbs wasn’t done with him yet though.

“This is for your men,” he snapped, delivering a savage uppercut to Grasso’s jaw. Grasso almost went over backwards but somehow managed to stay upright, shaking his head blearily.

“And this is for touching what's mine.” Gibbs drew back his fist and then delivered a brutal punch that sent Grasso reeling. He was a big man, and he hit the floor with a gratifying thud. Satisfied that his opponent wouldn’t be getting up again any time soon, Gibbs left him in Stan’s custody and went over to his sub.

Tony was battered and bloody. Gibbs crouched down beside him and looked him over intently. He had a bleeding cut over one eye; the area around the eye was swollen and puffy, and the eye itself almost closed. He also had a split lip and several bruises on his face and torso.

"Were you having fun, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked sourly.

"Not really, Boss," Tony croaked, looking up at him, panting heavily, one hand clutching his ribs.

"Yeah. That's what I thought." Gibbs reached out a gentle hand to touch Tony's bruised face. Tony caught the hand in his own, stopping him.

"Why are you here?" he rasped belligerently.

“Told you I'd reel you in - and not a moment too soon by the look of it." He sat back on his heels and surveyed his sub's injuries with a meaningful shake of his head.

"How did you know where to find me?"

"When you didn't show up at the bar I got McGee to trace the GPS in your cell phone. I figured something was wrong because Stan told me…"

“What the hell does *he* know about anything?” Tony interrupted.

“He took over from you as agent afloat on the Seahawk, and he thought I should know about your fight nights with Grasso. That’s what we were talking about when you saw us in the bar this evening."

"Oh." Tony looked nonplussed. "So…you weren't…uh…"

"Interviewing him as a replacement for you in my bed? Yeah. Right," Gibbs snorted. "You're an idiot, DiNozzo."

"I know." Tony stared at him moodily. “So, you know about Grasso?”

“I know you tried to protect his men by letting him beat up on you every week for a couple of months,” Gibbs snapped. “I can just about understand that. What I don’t understand is why the hell you let him beat up on you tonight.”

“I was angry. And…” Tony shrugged. “It seemed like a good idea at the time. So…I guess I’m in trouble for this?" He tried to get to his feet and gave a gasp of pain. Gibbs put a hand under his arm to steady him and then pulled him the rest of the way up.

"Hell yes!" he retorted. “You're in big trouble, boy.”

“Don’t remember it being in the rules,” Tony said petulantly. “What is it? Some new rule? Rule number eight – don’t get into fights you can’t win?”

“No. It’s an existing rule.” He took hold of Tony’s arm and slung it over his shoulder.

Tony gave him an uncertain look. “Can’t place it.”

"Damn it, it’s rule number five, DiNozzo,” Gibbs said in an exasperated tone. “Nobody touches you but me.”

"Oh come on! That wasn't touching! Well, not that kind of touching anyway…"

Gibbs silenced him with a glare, and Tony bit down on his already split lip. He glanced over at Grasso, who was lying dazed on the floor with Stan's cuffs on his wrists.

"Still never been beaten in a fight, huh, Boss?" Tony managed a faint grin as Gibbs deposited him on a chair in the corner of the gym. "Thought Grasso might have given you more trouble, but I guess not."

"You wore him out before I got to him. Also, I was kinda pissed." Gibbs picked up Tony's shirt from the pile on the floor and started to help him into it. "Really not happy about you being half naked in front of anyone, DiNozzo."

"For Chrissakes! It was a fight thing, not a sex thing," Tony said irritably.

"You don't get it." Gibbs grabbed his head and made him look at him. "Nobody gets to look at you half naked, Tony, and nobody *ever* gets to hurt you. Nobody gets to lay a goddamn finger on you! I thought I'd made all this clear."

Tony looked startled by his vehemence. "Didn't get my head around the not hurting me bit," he muttered. "Besides…I wasn't sure where we stood any more."

"That’s no goddamn excuse! I told you where we stood, Tony. You're mine – that's it."

He finished helping Tony back into his shirt and began buttoning it up for him.

"You're on punishment detail until further notice," he said as he worked. Tony glared at him mutinously. “Got a problem with that, DiNozzo? Want to argue with me about it?” Gibbs asked dangerously.

“All I want to damn well argue about is what you were doing in that bar with Stan,” Tony snapped.

“I *told* you. He called me this evening while I was waiting for you. He’d figured out what had gone down between you and Grasso, and he thought I should know. That’s it.”

“You sure? ‘Cause the two of you looked pretty damn cosy. You sure you don’t wanna take up with the golden boy again?” Tony demanded.

Gibbs reached out and slapped the back of his head. Tony had the grace to look a little abashed. He lowered his head and looked up at Gibbs through the eyelashes of his good eye.

“Okay. Fine,” he muttered. “Whatever. Just, I see you getting up close with the sub who got away – what the hell am I supposed to think?”

“You are sailing really close to the wind right now, DiNozzo,” Gibbs growled. “Snap out of it.”

Tony swiped away the trickle of blood running down his jaw with the back of his hand. Then he looked up again, and finally Gibbs saw a hint of contrition in his eyes.

"Sorry, Boss. So…back on the short leash again, huh?" Tony asked with a little sigh.

"So short you'll be asking my permission to damn well piss," Gibbs told him tersely. “Like I said, you’re on punishment detail until further notice. I'll tell you what that entails tomorrow. For now – let's get you home."

He helped Tony into his jacket and then went over to Stan.

"See that bastard is busted for what he did to his men," he said, shooting Grasso a derisory glance. "Find some way of nailing him – get Lewin to testify - but don't drag Tony into this. I'll take care of him," Gibbs said grimly.

Stan’s gaze flickered over to where Tony was sitting. "Poor guy. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes right now."

Gibbs gave a wry grin and patted Stan's shoulder. "Yeah, but you'd never put yourself in his position, Stan."

"He make you happy, Boss?" Stan asked softly.

Gibbs glanced back at Tony. "Yeah, Stan. He really does. When he's not pissing me off.” Then he grinned again. “And sometimes even then,” he added with a wry shrug.

Stan smiled. "I'm pleased for you. Okay if I have a few words with him, Boss?”

“Sure.” Gibbs nodded, and Stan went over to where Tony was sitting.

“Wanted to say thanks, DiNozzo,” he said, crouching down in front of Tony.

“For what?” Tony growled, stiffening. Gibbs rolled his eyes; Stan really was Tony’s bete noir.

“Leaving me all those notes. Best handover files I ever had coming onboard a new ship as agent afloat,” Stan told him serenely, ignoring Tony’s attitude. “Also – for taming him.” Stan gave a little grin and a backward nod in Gibbs’s direction. “You did something I never could, Tony. Hell, I don’t suppose there are many subs in the world who could handle the boss. You must be something pretty special.”

Tony gazed at him with a look of stupefaction on his face. Gibbs couldn’t stop himself grinning at the sight.

“Not really. I screw up all the time,” Tony muttered. “Like tonight for example.”

“Yeah, well, I’m sure the boss will punish you for that, and frankly I think you deserve it. But I wanted to thank you also on behalf of those guys on Grasso’s flight crew. What you did for them took guts, Tony, and I know they appreciate it. Lewin hero-worships you like nothing I’ve ever seen.” He glanced at Tony and then back at Gibbs. “Well, almost like nothing I’ve ever seen.” He grinned. “The way you look at the boss comes close.”

“You telling me you don’t look at him the same way?” Tony asked grouchily.

“No.” Stan shook his head. “I left him, Tony, not the other way around. And for awhile I regretted it, I’ll admit that. Maybe I even still regretted it - until tonight.”

“What changed tonight?”

“Saw him with you. Could never compete with that.” Stan patted Tony’s arm. “So long, Tony. And don’t worry about Grasso – I’ll make sure that bastard gets what’s coming to him.”

He got up, returned to his prisoner, hauled Grasso to his feet, and pushed him towards the door.

“So long, Boss. Tony.” He waved his hand at them and then left.

Tony watched him go. “Nice guy,” he said to Gibbs. “Always liked him.” He gave his dom a wide, self-deprecating grin.

Gibbs gave a snort of amusement at the obvious lie and went back over to where Tony was sitting. "Come on. We're going home."

"You sure? I mean, d’you still want me now I'm not pretty any more, Boss?" Tony asked, as Gibbs helped him to his feet.

Gibbs laughed out loud. "Who the hell ever told you that you were pretty, DiNozzo?"

Tony gave a little chuckle, clutching his ribs painfully. "Don't make me laugh, Boss," he implored, as Gibbs put an arm around his waist to help him walk.

"Oh, you won't be laughing when I get you home, Tony. Trust me."

Tony leaned in close, and Gibbs held onto him tightly.

"I'm learning how to do that, Boss," Tony said quietly. "I'm kind of a slow study on this one. It's hard for me."

They swayed there for a moment, alone in the room. Gibbs kissed Tony's forehead gently.

"Yeah. I know," he said softly, holding his sub close. "But you're getting there, Tony. You're getting there."


Gibbs didn't say a word the entire journey home, and Tony was too exhausted to say anything. He stared out of the window wondering what 'punishment detail' would entail exactly. Gibbs had told him about it several weeks ago, but he couldn't remember all the details. He did know he hadn't liked the sound of it. He had a feeling the next few days were going to be anything but pleasant.

First they had to deal with the reasons behind their temporary break-up and then there was the issue of him breaking rule number five. Gibbs seemed really pissed off about that for some reason. Tony wasn't sure why - it wasn't as if he'd run off and had sex with another dom. Tony didn't think he agreed with Gibbs's interpretation of rule number five.

They pulled up at the house, and Gibbs helped him out of the car and into the living room, where he deposited him on the couch. Tony watched him punch a speed dial number on his cell phone.

"Kinda late to be calling someone, Boss," he ventured.

Gibbs glared at him. Tony bit down on his lip and tasted blood.

"Ducky – it's me," Gibbs said into the phone. "I need a consult. Yeah, I know it's late, but it's DiNozzo."

Tony winced. Gibbs finished up the conversation and snapped his phone shut. Then he sat down on the coffee table opposite Tony and put a firm hand on his jaw, turning his face so that he could examine his injured eye in more detail.

"Can you see anything out of that?" he asked. Tony shook his head. "Thought not. It's swollen shut, although hopefully the eye itself isn't damaged. It's bad, but I've seen worse."

"Really? When?" Tony asked, glad that Gibbs was talking to him again.

"Iraq," Gibbs replied tersely, and that ended that conversation effectively.

Ducky arrived, all bustling good humour and brisk efficiency even while he complained about being dragged out of bed this late on a Friday night.

"Saturday morning now!" he exclaimed, glancing at his watch as Gibbs ushered him into the living room. He took one look at Tony and gave a cheerful smile. "My word, Anthony, you have been in the wars! What on earth happened?"

"He's been an idiot," Gibbs replied, before Tony could reply.

"Ah - a fight over a young lady's attentions no doubt!" Ducky said, opening up his battered brown medical bag. "Well, not to worry, Tony, we'll have you right as rain in no time." He set about prodding Tony uncomfortably for the next twenty minutes.

Tony watched as Gibbs went over to the window and twitched aside the drapes. He stood there, looking glacial, while Ducky went about his business. When he was done, Ducky sat back and surveyed Tony with a sympathetic smile. "You'll live!" he pronounced happily.

"I'm not so sure about that, Ducky," Tony hissed, nodding his head in Gibbs's direction. "Have you seen the expression on his face?"

"Ah, my dear boy, I simply meant that you'd survive your injuries," Ducky said ruefully. "Whether you'll survive his displeasure, I couldn't say. He doesn't look best pleased. What in heaven's name did you do, Anthony?"

"I kind of screwed up." Tony made a face. "Again," he added.

Ducky patted his arm reassuringly. "Ah well, we all do that occasionally, Tony. And it's not as if Jethro hasn't made his share of screw-ups," he said in a louder voice. Gibbs turned to look at them, the death-glare on his face.

"Not helping, Ducky!" Tony said in a strangled tone.

"Jethro – I'm a tad concerned about possible concussion, and also about the state of that eye," Ducky said, brisk and businesslike. "Tony really needs to be under constant supervision for the next 48 hours. I know that might be awkward, and I'm happy to volunteer for the daytime shifts, but…"

"He'll be staying here, Duck. With me," Gibbs said impatiently. "I'll keep him under supervision, trust me. He won't be going anywhere."

Tony grimaced, and Ducky shot him a sympathetic smile.

"I really do think that's for the best, Tony," he said. "Just in case any complications develop. I'm sure you'll be fine, but it's best to be on the safe side. Jethro – you'll need to wake him every two hours to ask him some basic questions and be sure he's compos mentis."

"Every two hours. Understood." Gibbs nodded curtly, and Tony wished the ground would open up and swallow him. Not only had he caused all this mayhem, but now his condition meant that Gibbs had get up every two hours in the night to check on him. He had a feeling that his punishment detail had just got exponentially worse.

"Tony's being very stoic about it, but he's in a fair bit of pain, so I'm leaving some heavy duty pain killers." Ducky waved them in the air and then put them on the coffee table. Gibbs looked at them expressionlessly, and then at Tony, and Tony thought the pain he was in right now was the least of his problems.

"He'll need rest for a few days," Ducky added.

"Oh, he'll get it," Gibbs said grimly. "I'll make damn sure of that."

"Here's some topical cream for the cuts and bruises." Ducky left that on the table too. "Call me if you notice anything unusual, or if he deteriorates in any way."

Ducky got up and began gathering his things. Tony gazed at him mournfully, wishing he could stay. He was dreading being left alone with his dom right now. Ducky seemed to sense his mood because he patted him reassuringly on the shoulder.

"You'll be fine, Tony," he said, with a benign smile. "I have no doubt that Jethro will make an eminently efficient nurse – if a little lacking in the bedside manner department."

Gibbs escorted the amiable doctor to the door, while Tony waited in trepidation for his dom's return. When Gibbs came back, he got a glass of water and handed it wordlessly to Tony, along with a couple of painkillers.

"Painkillers make me really woozy, Boss, and the pain really isn't that bad…" Tony began. Gibbs fixed him with his death glare again. Tony swallowed the pills obediently. “We gonna talk about what happened?” Tony asked. “Because okay, I accept the punishment detail because we both know I screwed up. I just don’t see how it’s breaking rule number five. I wouldn’t cheat on you, Boss. You know that, right?”

“You really don’t get it, do you?” Gibbs gave his sub a look of intense exasperation.

“No,” Tony said petulantly. “Look, I get that I took my shirt off – I get that much, and I get why you’re pissed about that - but it wasn’t so that he could ogle my body. Trust me, Grasso really wasn’t interested in me in that way.”

“You let him touch you, Tony.”

“I let him hit me,” Tony frowned. “That’s something else.”

“You treated this body – my property – like it wasn’t worth anything to me. And it is,” Gibbs told him, touching a finger to his chest. “And so is the person inside. Isn’t that the point of rule number five, Tony?”

Tony gazed at his dom helplessly. “I guess…when you put it that way…” Maybe Gibbs did have a point after all. He blinked, trying to clear his head.

"Bed," Gibbs ordered. He helped Tony to his feet, slung his arm over his shoulder, and they walked slowly and wearily up the stairs to the bedroom. Gibbs dropped Tony's arm when they got inside, and Tony glanced around.

"Shall I just…" He pointed at the floor. Gibbs turned to give him a questioning stare. "Just…you said before that when I was on punishment detail I didn't get a mattress, pillow or blanket," Tony recalled, with a wince. He wasn't happy about the prospect of long nights spent on the hard floor, but he wanted to show Gibbs that he knew he'd screwed up. He was willing to take whatever his dom handed out.

"Yeah – that's the default setting each morning," Gibbs said. "But if you stick to all the rules, and if I think you've made progress during the course of each day, then you can earn back the mattress, blanket, and pillow by bedtime. That starts tomorrow though. Tonight, I have to wake up every two hours to check on you – so you'll sleep in the bed where I can keep an eye on you. That's for my convenience, not yours. Understood?"

He stood in front of Tony, gazing at him from steely eyes.

"Yes, Boss," Tony said quietly. He started to hobble, slowly, in the direction of the bathroom.

"Where the hell are you going?" Gibbs demanded.

"Uh – to piss, clean my teeth…" Tony paused, confused. "That not allowed?"

"Tony – when I said earlier that you needed my permission to piss, I meant it. You're not just on a short leash, DiNozzo – you're on punishment detail. That means you ask for everything – for food, water, to use the bathroom. Everything."

Tony nodded, slowly, recognising that this was less about causing him embarrassment and discomfort than Gibbs re-asserting his authority over him. It actually felt kind of restful. It was a relief to know that he wasn't going to be allowed to make any decisions for himself in the foreseeable future. It wasn't as if he'd been doing that great a job of it recently anyway.

"Yes, Boss," he said obediently. "So…uh…can I?" He gestured with his head in the direction of the bathroom, and Gibbs nodded curtly.

When he returned to the bedroom, Gibbs helped him undress and then pointed to the side of the bed.


Tony did as ordered, and Gibbs reached for something on the nightstand. Tony's stomach did a sudden flip; it was his collar. Gibbs held it up.

"You want to wear this again, Tony?"

Tony swallowed hard. "If you'll let me, yes."

"Once it's on, only *I* get to say when it comes off," Gibbs told him meaningfully.

Tony nodded. "I can live with that, Boss."

"Can you?" Gibbs rocked back on his heels and looked at his sub thoughtfully. "See, thing is, you can't be my 24/7 sub just when you choose to be, DiNozzo. If the going gets tough again, like it did last Sunday, then I have to know that you'll commit to staying and figuring it out."

Tony gazed at the collar mutely. That was one hell of a big commitment. Could he do it? He longed to feel the leather around his neck again, but Gibbs was asking a lot from him.

"If you'd stayed last weekend, instead of taking off your collar and running out on me, then tonight wouldn't have happened." Gibbs ran a gentle finger over his bruised face.

"I know."

"The collar saves you from yourself. That's why I need to know, before I put it back on ya."
Gibbs’s gaze was searching. "Not asking you to be perfect, Tony. Just to stick with it, even when it's tough."

Tony looked up at his dom from his one good eye. "I want to wear the collar so much, Boss."

"Comes with obligations, Tony." Gibbs held it up. "Need a commitment from you this time. I know that doesn't come easy for ya, but it's the only way."

Tony gazed at the collar helplessly, wanting it, needing it, but knowing he wouldn't lie to get it. Gibbs would never trust him again if he did.

"If you wear it, you'll commit to being my 24/7 sub, and to answering all my questions honestly, without holding back. You don't get to hide from me any more, Tony. Not ever again. If you accept the collar, you have to agree to that."

"That's not easy, Jethro," Tony said quietly.

"Nothin' good ever is, Tony."

"I’ve kept myself safe this way for a long time. It’s worked for me.”

Gibbs looked at his bruised face with a meaningfully arched eyebrow. "This is the third crisis you’ve had in as many weeks, Tony, and the third weekend I’ll spend nursing you. You're not exactly doing a great job with the keeping yourself safe thing."

"That's because I didn't have my normal defences, Gibbs!" Tony protested. "You stripped them away. I needed to go to ground and be alone, so I could find a way to block it out. You made me face myself instead."

"Had to happen one day, Tony. Could be a hell of a lot better for you, going forward, if you’ll accept the collar and the conditions that come with it. Less lonely. Less painful too, in the long term. Hard in the short term though. I accept that, and I’ll help you through it, but it’ll be tough. No doubt about it."

"Will I still get a safe word?" Tony asked.

"Will you use it?" Gibbs raised an eyebrow.


"Then you can have a safe word. Got some trust to rebuild here though, Tony."

"I know." Tony bit on his lip again, tasting the familiar, salty tang of his own blood.

"Why did you do that tonight, Tony?" Gibbs demanded. "Why did you go to that gym? You knew Grasso would kick your ass in a fight – you knew that from experience."

"Yeah." Tony nodded. "I knew."

"The other times I could understand. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm still pissed about it. We'll talk about your insatiable need to take one for the team some other time. But that wasn't why you went there tonight. What were you looking for tonight, Tony?"

"I don't know. I wasn't exactly thinking straight. I saw you with Stan, and I got mad." Tony shrugged.

"With me? With Stan? Who did you get mad at, Tony?"

Tony gazed at him blankly. He'd never thought about who he was angry with. He'd just assumed…

"With myself," he said quietly, realisation kicking in. "For screwing it up with you so much that you'd go back to Stan. You were the only good thing I ever really had - and I fucked it up."

"So you wanted to punish yourself again?" Gibbs sighed.

"Yeah. I guess. I never saw it that clearly before."

"If you wear the collar, you’ll have to agree, once and for all, to let me decide what punishments you're due. It's a hell of a lot safer in my hands," Gibbs said wryly.

"Yeah," Tony agreed, with a little wince. "I think you're right there, Boss." He felt like all the fight had gone out of him as he finally accepted that one basic fact. He'd always struggled with it before - it had been one of the hardest aspects of his submission. "Been punishing myself for years though, Boss. Hard habit to break."

"Yeah – but if you accept this collar, then you agree to give me the responsibility for your punishments. That means you won't get to punish yourself any more, Tony," Gibbs told him firmly. Tony stared at him helplessly. "You can ask me if you feel you need to be punished for something. You can explain it to me, so I can understand, but you have to accept my decision. If I say no, then that's it. My word is final.”

Tony shook his head. "I don’t know if I can do that. That's really hard, Boss."

"Yeah, it is. But d'you know what else is hard? Finding some bastard beating up on your sub – now that's damn hard. Do you know how that felt, Tony?" Gibbs demanded. "And knowing that you'd gone there willingly, knowing what he'd do to you? Do you know how that made me feel?"

Tony blinked his good eye, feeling a wave of deep and unexpected sadness.

"Sorry, Boss," he whispered throatily. He was exhausted and drained beyond belief, and he realised that he'd reached rock bottom. All this struggling had got him nowhere, and he was so tired of it. He looked up at Gibbs again. "Collar me, Jethro," he requested softly. "I accept your terms. Just…collar me again. Please?"

Gibbs looked at him from steely eyes, their blue depths piercing him to his core. Tony sat there meekly, taking the full force of that stare, gazing up at his dom in abject submission. He wasn't hiding any more. He was completely spent.

Gibbs didn't say a word. He seemed to see the truth in Tony's eyes and accepted it without question.

He stepped forward and fastened the collar around Tony's neck, caressing Tony’s throat as he buckled the strip of leather in place. Tony closed his eyes, gratefully accepting the collar and all the obligations that came with it. It felt warm, snug and familiar around his neck, and he gave a shuddering sigh of relief to feel it there again.

"Sleep," Gibbs said gruffly. "No bondage tonight – not while you're on pain meds. Wouldn't be safe."

He helped Tony to lie down, and then he got into the bed beside him. Gibbs turned off the light and reached out and took his sub in his arms. Tony went easily into his embrace, coming to rest against Gibbs's solidly muscled body. He rested his chin on Gibbs's shoulder and relaxed as Gibbs placed his hand on his butt and stroked it firmly. It wasn't sexual – it was just calmly reassuring.

Tony closed his eyes. God how he'd missed the gentle comfort of sleeping in this bed, next to this man. He'd missed wearing this collar, and being held by these firm, capable hands. He was so damn glad that he was back here, in Gibbs's bed, where he belonged.


Gibbs set his internal body clock to wake him in two hours – this was a trick he'd somehow acquired in the Corps. As a sniper, he'd often found himself holed up behind enemy lines, grabbing sleep on the run. It wasn't safe to set his watch alarm – any kind of noise could give his position away - so he'd learned to wake himself, on cue, at the appointed time.

He woke after two hours to find Tony had moved in his sleep and was now lying, in a foetal position, on his own side of the bed. Gibbs pulled back the blankets and smacked his sub's ass lightly – once on each butt cheek.

Tony made a startled noise and turned, blinking blearily. "Whaaaa?"

"What's my name?" Gibbs demanded, leaning over his sub.

"Uh…" Tony gazed at him blankly. "Your name? Your name is 'Boss', Boss," he mumbled. Gibbs rolled his eyes and slapped his ass again. "Oh…uh…Leroy Jethro Gibbs," Tony said hurriedly, snapping into wakefulness.

Gibbs fired off a couple more basic questions, which Tony answered promptly and correctly. His sub looked tired, but his eyes were focussed and alert.

"I'm fine…can we go back to sleep now?" Tony asked, his eyelids drooping. He moved towards Gibbs and snuggled against him.

"How many fingers am I holding up?" Gibbs asked, holding up four.

Tony didn't open his eyes. "Three," he muttered.

Gibbs smacked his ass harder than before, four times. "How many swats was that?"

"Ow. Four." Tony nuzzled into his neck, making it impossible to remain remotely annoyed with him. Gibbs settled back down beside him. "You gonna fuck me now?" Tony muttered sleepily.

"What?" Gibbs asked incredulously. "You're thinking about sex after taking a beating like that a few hours ago?"

"Mmmm." Tony's lips found his in the darkness. "Been a week, Boss. Didn't come all week. Horny." He pressed himself against Gibbs. "Missed being in this bed. Missed you inside me. Missed you."

"You didn't come all week?" Gibbs queried, surprised.

"Nope. Wanted to stick to the rules, even though I walked out and left the collar behind, Boss. Can't come 'less you're inside me. Want you inside me, Boss."

Gibbs gave a startled hiss as Tony's hand found his cock and began to stroke. Gibbs grabbed his hand and pushed it away.

"Ya need sleep more than sex. Oh don't worry," he added, as Tony began a bleary protest, "I'll fuck you in the morning. I'll be riding your ass hard for the next few days, boy."

"Mmmm…good," Tony muttered and within seconds he was fast asleep again. Gibbs grinned and pulled his sub close, holding his sleeping body tight.

"Missed you too, Tony," he whispered, dropping a kiss on Tony's hair.


It seemed to Tony like every time he dropped off to sleep, he was woken up by Gibbs smacking his ass and shouting questions at him. This seemed to go on all night.

Then it was morning, and Gibbs was sliding his lubed fingers into him, stretching him gently. They were soon replaced by the sweet, arousing glide of his dom’s cock. God it felt good! It had been a week since Gibbs had last fucked him, and he'd missed it. He lay there, blinking drowsily, enjoying the sensation of that hard, throbbing cock sinking into his hole. Gibbs held his hips loosely and thrust into him lazily. Tony sighed happily and slid his hand down towards his own hardening cock. Gibbs pushed it away.

"You're on punishment detail, so there's no chance of you coming any time soon," Gibbs told him firmly. "Subs who are being punished don't get to come."

Tony gave a little whimper, but he moved his hand away from his cock obediently. He felt content. He was back in Gibbs's bed, and Gibbs was making it clear who was in charge. All he had to do was accept. It was actually kind of relaxing.

Gibbs fucked him slowly, taking his time, and Tony found it fascinating to just lie there, taking it, knowing there was no chance that he'd get off himself. It made him focus on other things. He was acutely aware of Gibbs's warm breath on the back of his neck, of Gibbs's thumb, pressed into his thigh, and of Gibbs's mouth, which occasionally ghosted kisses on his shoulder. Most of all, he was aware of the long, slow glide of Gibbs's large cock as it thrust into his body and then pulled back out, snagging his prostate with each lazy thrust. He could feel the heavy slap of Gibbs's balls against his butt and smell the scent of his dom's arousal.

Gibbs came with a little growl of pleasure and then lay there, panting. Tony closed his eyes, enjoying the intimacy of lying here, with Gibbs's come in his ass, and Gibbs's spent cock still lodged inside him. He didn't want the day to start. He had a feeling he wasn't going to like today very much. Gibbs pulled out and got up.

"Up and in the shower, Tony."

Tony went into the bathroom and then stopped short, gazing at himself in the mirror. He looked like a monster. His face was swollen, his left eye was puffy and badly bruised, and he had a split lip. There were cuts and bruises all over his jaw and several nasty bruises on his torso. He gazed at himself in absolute shock. Gibbs appeared in the mirror behind him.

"Now d'you see why I was so pissed off last night, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked quietly.

"Didn't realise I looked this bad," Tony muttered in reply. "Surprised you could bear to fuck me, Boss."

"Nothing wrong with your ass," Gibbs grinned, pinching it. Tony managed a faint smile at that.

Gibbs removed his collar, but only so that they could take a shower. Afterwards, he fastened it back on again – along with wrist and ankle cuffs.

"No clothes today," Gibbs told him. "Hell, not much of anything today."

"Yeah. I figured," Tony said quietly. Seeing himself in the mirror had brought him up short. His earlier elation at being back in his dom's bed faded as he realised the enormity of what he'd done, and what he'd be facing in the next few days. Injured or not, there was no way Gibbs would go easy on him.

He was right. Gibbs took him downstairs and made him kneel in the kitchen. He fastened Tony's leash to the hook in the wall, tying him securely into place. Then he added a blindfold. Tony accepted the darkness – in fact he welcomed it, settling down into himself.

He heard Gibbs making breakfast, then heard his dom sit down and the scrape of cutlery on plate as he ate. Tony suddenly felt ravenous – he hadn't eaten anything the previous evening, and the smell of the eggs and bacon Gibbs was eating made his mouth water.

Gibbs finished his meal, and then he unfastened Tony and made him kneel beside him at the table, still blindfolded.

"Open up," Gibbs instructed, and Tony felt a fork press against his lips. He opened his mouth eagerly, expecting to taste the eggs and bacon he'd smelled…and nearly choked as he found himself chewing on a piece of raw carrot instead.

"Boss?" He nearly spat the food out.

"Basic rations, Tony. Raw fruit and vegetables, and bread and cheese. That's it."

"No donuts then?" Tony asked around his mouthful of carrot.

Gibbs laughed. "Definitely no donuts, boy," he replied, pressing a piece of apple into his sub's mouth. "No takeout, no pizza and no TV either, in addition to the no coming. This is a punishment detail, DiNozzo. You don't get to do any fun stuff."

"No, Boss." Tony sighed and settled back on his heels as he crunched slowly on the apple.

"What's rule number five, Tony?" Gibbs asked unexpectedly.

"Nobody touches me but you, Boss."

"Yeah. That's right." Tony felt his dom's fingers trailing gently over his bruised face. "Don't ever let someone hurt you like this again, boy. Understand me?"

"Yes, Boss."

"This body belongs to me - and the only marks I want to see on it are mine."

"Yes, Boss," Tony agreed, as Gibbs pressed some bread into his mouth.

"And I will never, ever put these kinds of marks on you, Tony," Gibbs said softly, his fingers spidering over Tony's puffy cheekbone. "I'll never beat you with my fists, or kick you. I will never do that to you. Do you understand that?"

"I guess." Tony sat back on his heels, his shoulders hunched.

"But someone did," Gibbs said. "Someone kicked you around, and made you think that was okay. Maybe they made you think you deserved it, or maybe you already felt like you deserved it. Either way, someone put the idea into your head that you could be punched and kicked around and it didn't matter. Who was it?"

The bread tasted like cardboard. Tony swallowed it down.

"Tony?" Gibbs's tone was insistent.

"Magnum," Tony said hoarsely.

"Okay." Gibbs caressed his hair gently. "We'll try again later."

He pressed a glass of water to Tony's mouth, and Tony drank obediently.

"I miss coffee, Boss," he sighed mournfully afterwards.

"Yeah, I figured you would," Gibbs chuckled. He gave Tony a couple more painkillers, and then he led him into the living room. He made him kneel on a cushion and tied him to a hook in the wall.

"I'm gonna work. This is a modified punishment detail because of your physical condition. So it's one hour kneeling followed by one hour resting," Gibbs explained. "Blindfold stays on. Any time you wanna talk, go ahead. Any time you need to use the bathroom, or you want something to eat or drink, then ask. I'm gonna spank you every hour. I'll keep it light, but you'll feel it."

The cushion was comfortable and the room was pleasantly warm. Gibbs sat down on the couch beside him, and Tony heard him rustling around, getting out files. There was a long silence.

The painkillers took the edge off the throbbing in his face. Tony leaned against Gibbs's thigh, wondering if that was allowed. Gibbs didn't push him back or move away, so he guessed it was. It felt good. Tony closed his eyes behind the blindfold and drifted off. Gibbs's brand of tough love should have felt restrictive, demeaning and uncomfortable, but instead it just made him feel safe and content. He nestled in even closer and rested his chin on Gibbs's thigh, and his dom's hand came to rest on his head, stroking gently.

Tony supposed an hour must have passed, although it felt like just a few minutes. Then Gibbs got up and guided Tony so that he was face down on the couch.

Tony buried his face in the cushions and braced himself. Gibbs laid a couple of swats on his ass with his hand – it was barely more than a light tap, but Tony liked the way it gently warmed his butt. Mostly he just liked that Gibbs was spanking him again. He'd missed it.

As the day wore on, the tension of the past few weeks seemed to fade. Tony zoned out in the hourly spankings, the blindfold, and the basic rations. He lost himself in the bondage and in sitting beside his dom, with his chin resting on Gibbs's knee, doing nothing except dozing while Gibbs worked. He relished every single light slap on his ass and every gentle stroke of fingers through his hair. His tight muscles started to relax, and he felt better than he had since Abby's accident.

"It was all going so well up 'til then," he muttered, and then he knelt up straight, surprised by the fact that he'd said that out loud.

"Til when?" Gibbs asked.


"Well, yeah. It was, DiNozzo." He heard Gibbs sit back on the couch and the popping sound as his dom moved his shoulders and stretched. "But you screwed up, I screwed up, and she screwed up. Accept it and move on."

"Yes, Boss." Suddenly, it really did seem that simple. "Christ, I've been such an idiot!"

Gibbs's hand came to rest on his hair. "Yeah, well, the accident reminded you of what happened with your mom, Tony. Nobody could have expected you to react well to that. Just wish I'd known so I could'a handled it better at the time."

Tony leaned forward and rested his chin on Gibbs's knee again.

"What happened after you went home, Tony?" Gibbs asked.

"Nothin'. I drank a lot," Tony muttered. "Oh, and I picked up my suit from the dry cleaner. You know - the shiny grey Armani…Ow!" He sat up as Gibbs slapped the back of his head.

"Not when you went back to your apartment last week. When you went home as a kid. After the accident."

Tony leaned against his dom again.

"I was in the hospital for a few days. I hated it in there. Everyone felt sorry for me, and I couldn't sleep at night. I wanted my mom. Dad visited a couple of times, but he never had much to say. We just used to stare at each other. Then they let me out. Dad came to pick me up."

The blindfold seemed to make it easier to talk. Deprived of any other visual stimulation, he could see the memory vividly in his mind's eye.

His father hadn’t said a word to him all the way home. When they got there, Tony couldn’t believe it was the same place. How could it look the same and smell the same now that his mom was dead? Hadn’t that changed everything?

"It's late. Go to your room," his father said. "I'll come up and see you before you go to bed."

He walked slowly upstairs to his room. It was dark outside, but he didn't want to turn on the light. He didn't want to see his room looking just the same as it had when he'd last been here – when she'd still been alive.

He sat down on the side of the bed and let the darkness swallow him whole. It felt restful. He didn't have to face himself in the dark. He didn't have to see himself in mirrors and windows. He didn't have to look himself in the eye and see his own guilt reflected back. He could be anonymous in the dark.

He was aware of the house all around him. It felt so big and silent. Usually she made it come alive, with her laughter and sense of fun. Now he saw that her death *had* changed everything. The house might look the same, but it no longer had a heart. He had wanted to come home so much while he’d been at boarding school, and now he wanted nothing more than to go back to the dormitory he’d shared with all those other boys. He wanted to forget this hollow house, with its empty, echoing hallways. He didn’t belong here any more.

His father didn't come up. When it got late, Tony went to bed. He missed the way his mom used to come into his room at bedtime and sit down beside him. She’d tell him all about her day, laughing as she sipped her dry martini. She used to mimic all her friends – she had an amazing ear for mimicry and would have him in fits of laughter. Then she’d lean over and kiss his cheek, and he’d smell her familiar perfume.

He had never once gone to bed in this house without her visiting him to say goodnight. It had always been his favourite part of the day, lying in bed, chatting to her, and laughing. They used to laugh so much. She would be in her element, dressed for dinner – usually there were guests, so she’d be wearing a beautiful gown that showed off her elegant figure. She’d linger with him, reluctant to go down to dinner because he was making her laugh so much. But eventually she’d tear herself away, scolding him for keeping her from her guests.

Tony spent half the night staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep any better at home than he had at the hospital. Eventually, at around two a.m., he gave up. He pulled on his bathrobe and tip-toed down the stairs to his father’s study. He stood outside for ages, hesitating. Finally, he took his life in his hands and pushed open the door.

His father was lying slumped on the stiffly upholstered brown couch by the big fireplace. There was an empty bottle of brandy at his feet. He was so drunk that he’d passed out and was snoring loudly.

Tony stood there for a long time. Then he tiptoed over to the couch and sat down beside his father. His father stank of liquor and was muttering to himself in his sleep, but he didn't wake up. Tony edged closer and closer until he was nestled up beside him. Then he took hold of his father’s arm and pulled it so that it was around his own shoulders.

Then, finally, he fell asleep. In the morning, he woke up to find that his father was still lying there – still drunk and still dead to the world.

Tony crept out of the study and went back upstairs to his room. His father never even knew he’d been there.


Gibbs was glad that Tony was blindfolded, so his sub couldn’t see the expression on his face as Tony falteringly told him his story. He thought of the nights Tony had hesitantly insinuated himself onto his lap to be held and suddenly saw that endearing little habit in a whole new light. He rubbed a hand over his stubbled chin, wishing that he’d known all this a long time ago.

He wondered whether now was the time to push for more, or whether to leave it and allow Tony to get there in his own time. Only he wasn’t sure Tony would, without prompting. Hell, Tony had spent his entire life avoiding this particular issue. He was only talking about it now because Gibbs had stripped away all his defences and taken him down. There was still more though. Gibbs was pretty sure he knew what it was, but he needed Tony to tell him.

He put aside the file that was open on his lap and then turned back to his kneeling sub. He gently touched Tony's bruised face with his fingertips. Christ, this all made total sense now.

“So tell me, Tony,” he said softly. “When did your father start using you as a punching bag?”

There was silence. He knew that if Tony hadn't been wearing the blindfold he’d have freaked out. The blindfold, and the strict disciplinary regime Gibbs had imposed, were working to make him feel safe right now. It might seem restrictive – maybe even cruel – to an outsider. However, Gibbs had no doubt that it was giving Tony the peace of mind he’d been unable to achieve ever since Abby’s accident.

Gibbs waited, wondering whether Tony would say his safe word. He watched Tony struggle with himself as he knelt there, naked, chained, collared and blindfolded. He watched as Tony tried to deny the truth he'd been hiding for so long – and failed.

Tony swallowed hard and lowered his head. “It wasn’t like that," he whispered.

“What was it like?” Gibbs asked, keeping in constant physical contact with his sub to reassure him, his knee pressed against Tony’s chest, his hand stroking Tony’s hair.

Tony was silent for a long time, frozen into place. Gibbs could be a patient man though, when he tried. He might bark orders at work and send his team scurrying to do his bidding, but he had once been a sniper. He knew how to wait, silently, for hours on end if need be.

He needed those skills now. Time ticked by as Gibbs waited. He didn’t want to rush this. It had been a long time coming – it was never going to trip out easily.

When Tony did eventually start to talk, it came out of the blue, almost taking him by surprise.

“Dad’s business was failing. He worked all hours to save it. When he came home, he was tired and stressed out. He…you have to understand how much he loved my mom. She was beautiful, funny, and smart – she was special.”

“Just like her son,” Gibbs thought to himself.

“Dad was inconsolable. He missed her so much, and he was working so hard. I had his drink ready for him every night when he came home. I knew he blamed me for her death and…”

“How do you know that?” Gibbs asked quietly.

“Because he told me.”


“Every night.” Tony shrugged. “He used to drink for a few hours in his study, and then he’d come up to my room in the middle of the night and tell me that he was ashamed of me. I'd been a bad son before the accident, but he disowned me completely now I'd killed my mom. He said I shouldn't ever count on him for anything – he had to feed and house me by law, but that was it. He was done with me. He wished every day that it'd been me who died in that accident and not her. They’d have had more kids if I’d died. She was irreplaceable; I was not.”

Gibbs fought down the growing sense of anger. So many things about Tony’s personality suddenly slotted effortlessly into place. Tony was silent for a moment.

"Go on," Gibbs urged softly. "What else happened, Tony?"

"If I stayed quiet, he usually just yelled at me for awhile and then went away again."

“And if you didn't stay quiet?”

“Then he hit me.” Tony shrugged. "But you know me – when have I ever managed to stay quiet?” Tony gave a strained, unconvincing version of his usual bright, shiny Tony grin. Gibbs waited. Tony’s grin faded. “It was okay. It was just a few slaps.”

“No, it wasn’t,” Gibbs said tersely. “He didn’t just slap you. He punched you and kicked you. He beat up on you, didn’t he?”

There was silence. Tony’s body was stiff. His head was angled upwards, as if he was gazing into space behind the blindfold. He held himself that way for a long time, and then, finally, he bowed his head.


Gibbs looked down on his sub sadly. There – at last - was the truth. He put a gentle hand on Tony’s head and stroked his hair. Tony just knelt there, swaying a little. He looked lost. They were silent for a long time, before Tony spoke again.

“He needed it, Gibbs. He was in a bad way. He needed to let it out. I was there. I could do that for him. It was the least I could do after…after what I'd done.”

“So you felt you deserved it?”

Tony hesitated, and then he nodded. “Yes.”

“Which brings us to your recurring need to take one for the team.”

Tony looked up again. “The team’s my family, Gibbs. Can’t lose any one of you because of something I did or didn’t do. Not again.”

“And it’s always your responsibility, huh?”

Gibbs already knew the answer. Tony had been blamed for his mom’s death, every night, night after night, by his alcoholic father. It was hardly surprising he blamed himself, and on some level considered his own wellbeing less important than those around him.

“You don’t understand! My dad loved my mom so much. You don’t understand what it was like for him to lose her.”

“Bullshit!” Gibbs said forcefully. “I lost my wife too, Tony, and trust me, if Kelly had survived I’d have been *grateful* that I hadn’t lost them both. I wouldn’t have gone to her room every night to beat the shit out of her for not being her mom. I would have held her close and thanked God that she was still with me.”

Tony didn’t seem to have an answer for that. He just knelt there, still swaying, looking totally shattered. He had spent his life trying to atone for one terrible event. But what could ever be enough to atone for the loss of such a beautiful, vibrant, much-loved person? In Tony’s mind, Gibbs was pretty damn sure that nothing ever could.

“I could tell you that it wasn’t your fault, but you wouldn’t believe me, would you?” Gibbs asked quietly.

Tony shook his head.

“Then all I can do is tell you that you’re mine, and that whatever you once did, or whatever you think about yourself, I don’t blame you. Not for your mother’s death, or what happened to Jenny, or Abby’s accident. I think you've been punished enough."

Tony didn’t reply. His head was raised, as if he was staring off into space behind the blindfold. He was trembling slightly, but Gibbs didn’t think that was because he was cold.

“And you promised me, when you took that collar, that I was in charge of your punishments – and you wouldn’t punish yourself any more. Now I’m calling you on that. Can you do it, Tony?”

“Hardest thing you ever asked me, Boss,” Tony muttered.

“I know. Just give it up to me though, Tony. Like you’ve given everything else up to me since I took you as my sub. Think you can do that? Think you can let me take it on, so you can leave it behind?”

“Don’t know how that works, Boss.” Tony was trembling in earnest now.

Gibbs leaned forward. “Oh it’s easy,” he growled into Tony’s ear. “You’re mine, boy, and I’m giving you an order. Give it up to me, Tony. Give it all up to me. I’ll take care of it.”

“How?” Tony’s voice was barely more than a whisper.

“You don’t need to know. You just need to accept.”

He ran his hands over Tony’s trembling body, keeping his caress firm, as if he was gentling a frightened horse.

“You want to obey me, don’t you, boy?” Gibbs asked, working his hands on Tony's skin with expert precision. This wasn’t about sex – this was about ownership. Tony’s muscles felt taut, and he soothed them firmly, insisting that they relax.

“I don’t know that I can,” Tony said hoarsely.

“You can,” Gibbs insisted. “You just have to do one thing.”

“What?” Tony shivered.

Gibbs leaned forward again. “Trust me,” he said simply.

There was silence. Gibbs knew this issue had been between them all along. Trust. It was the one thing Tony found so hard – and, after hearing his story, Gibbs wasn’t surprised.

“Want to,” Tony whispered.

“Then do it,” Gibbs said firmly. “You’re mine, Tony. I’ll never give up on you. Easier if you just surrender now, give in and trust me. You want to. You’ve wanted someone to trust ever since you lost your mom and found your dad wasn't there for you. That’s why you've hung around at NCIS so long instead of moving on. You want to believe in someone. You want to believe in me.”

Tony gave a little grin. “Reminds me of something Mulder said to me, weeks ago, when I was trying to decide whether to become your sub or not. Always comes back to that, huh?”

“Always does, Tony. Can't promise to make it easy for ya, just like this isn’t easy – but if you trust me, I’ll walk with you out of the darkness. I’ll bring you home – and you’ve been looking for a home for a long time, haven’t you, Tony?”

A visible sweat broke out on Tony’s body. He was tempted – Gibbs could see that – but could he do it?

“Yeah, I want it,” Tony said, and there was a note of intense yearning in his voice.

“Home’s right here, waiting for ya,” Gibbs told him. “You’re so close to it, Tony.”

He tipped Tony’s head back and lowered his mouth to claim his sub's lips in a sweet, loving kiss. Tony made a little sound in the back of his throat, but Gibbs ignored him. He kissed Tony persuasively, holding his face tight the entire time.

Then it happened. He felt the exact moment when Tony finally broke. He felt all the resistance leave Tony’s body, and felt his sub – his beautiful, troubled sub – surrender totally and without reserve to his will.

He had won. He had fought Tony for possession of his own soul and emerged victorious. Now he had to take care never to abuse this trust that had been so incredibly hard won.

He released his hold on his sub’s face and placed his fingers on Tony’s blindfold.

“Time to face the world again,” he said quietly. “Ready, Tony?”

Tony nodded, and Gibbs carefully untied the blindfold and removed it. Tony blinked as he came back to himself after the intensity of the day.

Gibbs wasn’t sure what his sub was going to do now that he wasn't able to hide behind the blindfold any more. He was taken by surprise when Tony moved onto the couch beside him and lay down. Then, with much greater confidence than he'd ever shown before, he nestled in close, resting his head on Gibbs’s lap like it belonged there.

Gibbs moved his hand so that it came to rest on his sub's hair.

“Welcome home, Tony."


Tony wasn’t sure if punishment detail was over, because although Gibbs still fed him by hand, he allowed him take out instead of the boring food he'd made him eat all day.

After they were done eating, Tony lay with his head on Gibbs's lap while Gibbs read out loud to him again. He was surprised to find he didn't miss the TV or his extensive DVD collection. This was much more restful, and God knows he needed the rest.

Later, they went upstairs, and Tony hesitated again.

"Did I do enough to win back the mattress, pillow and blanket?" he asked, thinking back over the day's events. He thought he'd done pretty much everything Gibbs had asked, although there were only so many raw carrots a guy could eat, so he'd baulked a little there.

"You won't ever be sleeping on the floor again," Gibbs told him firmly.

"Have you changed the rules?" Tony asked blankly.

Gibbs pulled him close and kissed him. "Yeah, DiNozzo, I changed the rules."


"'Cause before, I didn't know you so well. Now I do. I still own your ass, but making you sleep anywhere 'cept in the bed would make me more of a bastard than I ever wanna be."

"You're still a bastard though, right?" Tony grinned.

"Hell yeah!" Gibbs grinned back. "Also, I want you next to me, so that I can roll over and fuck you whenever I'm in the mood."

"You in the mood now?" Tony grinned lasciviously at him. "I think you are." He pressed up against Gibbs, feeling his dom's cock hardening through his sweatpants.

"Oh yeah. I'm in the mood."

Gibbs pulled him even closer, and his lips roved over Tony's face, leaving little kisses wherever they paused. He slid his hands down Tony's arms and then held them behind Tony's back while he continued to trail wet kisses over his sub's skin. Tony hung there, immobilised. He always enjoyed the feel of Gibbs's fully clothed body against his own when he was naked. He liked how it felt to be this available for his dom. Gibbs owned him, body, heart, mind and soul. Tony had never fully surrendered to him on all those levels before – but he did now.

He could feel Gibbs's warm, aroused breath on his naked skin as his dom pushed him down on the bed. He gasped as his dom's blunt fingertips roved over his body with total confidence, claiming him.

Gibbs straddled him, and Tony pushed at his dom's tee shirt urgently, wanting to touch bare skin. Gibbs slapped his fingers away and removed the tee shirt himself, then threw it onto the floor. Tony gazed up at his dom hungrily. Gibbs's body was a source of endless fascination for Tony. His dom had a washboard stomach, and his chest was covered in a light smattering of salt and pepper coloured curls of hair.

Gibbs grinned down on him. He took hold of Tony's arms and pushed them above his head, pressing his sub down into the pillows, and then he kissed him again.

Tony opened up. He had never before felt his submission as deeply as he did right now. He was mesmerised by his top, entranced by him, and totally within his thrall. He belonged to this man here and always would. It was such a relief to have a place where he could finally be himself, and where he didn't have to hide. Gibbs had taken away all his hiding places but not without offering him something else in return - something much better.

The moment felt hazy and unreal. Tony was aware of Gibbs touching his body, always firm but strangely gentle too, taking care of his bruised skin. Gibbs was never hesitant or unsure where Tony's body was concerned; it belonged to him, and he knew how to make good use of it.

Gibbs slid off his sweatpants, releasing his beautiful, hard cock, and then straddled his sub again.

"Suck me," he ordered, pressing the head of his cock against Tony's lips. Tony opened up eagerly, longing to feel that hard flesh in his mouth. "Slowly," Gibbs warned. "Don't want you opening up that cut in your lip."

Tony slowed down as ordered and enjoyed the long, easy glide of Gibbs's cock between his lips. He felt so completely and lovingly dominated. He liked the feel of Gibbs's fingers pressing his wrists into the mattress, and Gibbs's cock lazily fucking his mouth. His dom withdrew, and Tony moaned his protest.

Gibbs chuckled. "Want to come in your ass, boy, not down your throat – not this time."

He moved down, kissing and sucking Tony's skin along the way. There was a pause, and then he pushed open Tony's legs and slipped his lubed fingers into his hole. It didn't take long to prep him; he was already relaxed and welcoming.

Gibbs pulled his buttocks apart gently and pressed his cock against Tony’s hole. He went in easily, gliding right in, up to the hilt, in one effortless thrust. Gibbs lowered his weight down, so that he was almost resting on Tony's chest, and looked into his sub's eyes as he moved his hips back and then forward again. Tony couldn't look away. He could only look up as he surrendered to his dom, pinned into place by the force of that blue-eyed gaze.

Gibbs didn’t touch his sub’s cock, and Tony made no move to reach for it, either. He wasn't interested in his own arousal – he just wanted to offer himself up to Gibbs, for his pleasure.

Gibbs held Tony still beneath him, as he slowly but forcefully took what he wanted from his sub. Tony could feel his prostate being stimulated with each inward stroke, and his own arousal built inside him, but still he didn't move.

Tony wasn't sure how long his dom made love to him in this way, fucking him so slowly, looking into his eyes as he moved inside him, taking his time. It felt so intimate and loving – and he was more aware of his own submission and Gibbs's dominance than at any other point in their relationship. Then, at last, Gibbs moved the pace along, thrusting more forcefully, and his body convulsed as he came with a loud growl.

He hung there for a moment, blinking, still looking down on his sub, then sank down onto Tony's body and kissed his sub tenderly. Tony wrapped his arms around Gibbs's back, holding him there, enjoying the connection.

After several minutes Gibbs withdrew – and then, without warning, he moved down and took his sub's cock into his mouth. Tony gasped, his fingers scrabbling at the sheets in surprise. Gibbs worked his lips over Tony's hard flesh, sucking expertly, and before long Tony was coming in his dom's mouth. He watched, blinking incredulously, as Gibbs swallowed every single drop. Then Gibbs wiped his hand over his mouth and returned to Tony's side. He dropped down beside Tony, grinning at his sub as he pulled him into his arms.

"You let me come!" Tony exclaimed.

Gibbs laughed out loud. "Well yeah, DiNozzo. I noticed." He licked his lips in a way that was positively obscene.

"But…why?" Tony asked, in a befuddled, post-orgasmic haze.

"'Cause you didn't ask, or try to get yourself off. And because you gave me everything today, Tony – and I know how hard that was for you. And because you gave me everything in bed tonight too – and making love to you has never been sweeter than it was just now. And also – 'cause you're mine – and I want to keep you well fucked and happy."

"That's a lot of reasons," Tony grinned, rolling onto his side and resting his chin on Gibbs's shoulder. "Mmm, well fucked and happy," he muttered, and within seconds he was fast asleep.