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Coping Mechanism

by: ObscuredMemory (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 8846
Rating: MATURE
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Abby Sciuto, Ziva David, Timothy McGee, Jenny Shepard, Caitlyn (Kate) Todd
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Character Study, Fluff, Humor, Romance
Pairing(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo, Abby/Tony, Tony/Kate, Tony/Ziva, Tony/McGee, Tony/Jen, Tony/Jeanne
Summary: When they had too much baggage, they unloaded it onto Tony. Now Tony
was trying to figure out what he did when it was too much.
Gibbs/DiNozzo, oneshot.

Author Notes: Warnings: Boy!kisssing, language, sexual situations, angst, fluff, mild BDSM themes.
Pairings: Gibbs/DiNozzo, (mentions of) DiNozzo/Abby, DiNozzo/Kate, DiNozzo/Jenny, DiNozzo/McGee, DiNozzo/Ziva, DiNozzo/Jeanne, Gibbs/Mann
Disclaimer: I disclaim any and all rights to the television show NCIS, its plot, its characters, its producers, the networks it airs on, or any other affiliations of the company. I am making no money in the writing of this story. This is written purely for my own enjoyment - no copyright infringement is intended.

Chapters: 1

It was a sort of poetic injustice that the person with the most baggage on the team was also the person who carried everyone else's.

He wouldn't call himself a baggage cart so much as a...bellhop. And while both were often considered nothing more than a tool to smooth your trip through life along, Tony preferred the latter comparison. Bellhops were normally a lot more attractive than baggage carts. Otherwise either term was sufficient in describing Tony's role.

He was just a tool he didn't find any shame in admitting it. Sure, it wasn't a tidbit he'd stand up and share on any given day, but that was more for the benefit of the people who used him. They excepted a level of discretion and Tony never failed to provide that.

So no, Tony didn't mind being used. That's what it was and he never tried to kid himself into thinking it went past that with any single one of them. They were using him as a means to temporarily take their baggage off of their hands and just enjoy themselves.

He never even asked, why him. Why him of all the people at NCIS? He had a helluva lot of his own baggage, why take on theirs also? It just sort of happened. He never questioned it.

He was simply glad to help. This job took a lot out of a person, and if using someone was all they needed to fill that empty space even temporarily...being the used was the least Tony could do to help them.

It had started with Abby. Then Gibbs. Then Kate. Then McGee. Then Jenny. Then Ziva. He'd been discreet and kept his promise to never speak of their exchanges, but he definitely wasn't surprised that it spread. He would have been almost disappointed if it hadn't!

Abby shares everything with Gibbs, so Tony simply assumed that was how he found out. Tony counted his blessings that Gibbs didn't decide to kick his ass. Abby was a big girl and she made her own choices and sometimes he wondered if Gibbs forgot that.

Gibbs wouldn't have said anything considering that he doesn't say much period. No one but Tony and Abby could really translate those occasional grunts into anything resembling English. When Kate found out it would have been through Abby. Not that it surprised Tony Abby had a tendency to be a bit of a scuttlebutt.

Kate wouldn't have said anything either. She'd probably been too ashamed, and Tony supposed he couldn't blame her. She had a reputation to uphold!

McGee definitely found out via Abby, but Ziva...she could have easily heard it from either of them. McGee wasn't known for his ability to keep secrets. If Tony thought about it, McGee probably wouldn't have said anything for the same reason as Kate. Pride and reputation.

Jenny...Tony really didn't know how she found out. He always had the sneaking suspicion that her and Abs had a 'thing' at one point in time, although that could have easily been his dick thinking. Either way, she probably heard it from Abby, considering she wasn't close enough to anyone else and Gibbs would commit murder before he shared that part of his life.

He didn't really care why or how they found out. It made no difference to him whether someone blabbed or if the user just drew his or her own conclusions. Tony was simply...glad to help. He was more than happy to be there to relieve some of the stress the job put on them.

Tony never even really thought about how taxing it was on him. He knew what he was getting into, allowing himself to be used like that: nothing. It was exactly that nothing. It didn't harm him physically and it made no real difference in his emotional balance. There were no strings and no expectations; it was just a night of him doing what he did best.

It did affect him, however, in the long run. Not because he formed emotional attachments or anything. That would be unprofessional. No, his problem was that while he was temporarily filling that hole in their hearts that their problem caused, he was taking some of that emptiness into himself.

Again, it wasn't as if he really minded. He liked being used because it helped everyone else. It made him feel as if he was earning his keep, even though his spot on the team would remain either way.

Besides, as far as he was concerned, sex was sex. He'd had enough one-night-stands and anonymous fucks to know that emotional involvement was unnecessary. All that really mattered was the release in the end, and he always gave that.

He didn't always get it, but that's what his right hand is for. Whenever he doesn't find that release, whenever the other person leaves before he can get his release, he just jerks off in the shower. To anyone else it would seem unfair, but Tony's release didn't matter to him. They came to him because they wanted release and he was perfectly fine with his (very talented) right hand. Sometimes his left hand joined in, but that was irrelevant.

When it came to his stress-relieving sessions, there was not a lot that surprised him. When they came to him was rarely a shocker there were always days wherein the pressure was placed on one person's shoulders more than anyone else. Not even who came to him was too much of a surprise. Hell, he wasn't even surprised that Gibbs wanted from him what everyone else did! He was too much of a hard-ass to not have played for both teams at least once. Not that Tony really talked much during these sessions he'd just assumed Gibbs had experience because of how well he handled himself. And Tony, of course.

Don't get him wrong he enjoyed their sessions. Fuck, he'd have one every night with any of them! They were all great in bed and responsive as hell. He did it for them, however, not himself. He could get sex anywhere if that was why he did this.

That was another thing, and it was a little weird. Not in comparison to other things they all did, but in general. Once Tony became the bellhop of NCIS, he'd toned down the different-woman-every-night shtick. He toned it down even more since Jeanne, but that was for obvious reasons. Actually, since her, Tony hadn't slept with anyone outside of work. It was the matter of familiarity, he supposed.

He'd been called a slut for doing this. Kate called him that in a joking manner, but the, he didn't mind it. If helping six different people whose lives are hard as fuck to live get a sexual release that made them forget their problems for a little while made him a slut, then he accepted the term with pride.

Of the six, Gibbs had definitely come to him the most. It was understandable, because Gibbs went through more shit than everyone except maybe Tony. Then Abby, but that was really only because she'd been coming to him for more than nine years. Then it was Jenny, then Ziva, then Kate, then McGee. He helped each of them exactly how they needed to be helped.

Tony thought of himself as a high-class escort. The kind that you have to go through channels, agencies and madams to get a hold of. The kind that would normally charge about five grand per appointment and could easily clean out any of his clients' bank accounts within weeks.

Of course, they never paid him and he never collected. That was a whole different level of demeaning. No, he would never accept money for sex. Especially not from his teammates. If any of them had offered, Tony would have probably stopped all together. Their agreement was as altruistic on his part as he believed an arrangement of their calibre could get. All he wanted out of them in return for giving them release was the knowledge that he gave them release. Which was actually the point, wasn't it?

Why compare himself to a person who sells themselves and their services if he wasn't getting paid and didn't want to be? Because the principle was the same. When hiring an escort, you don't pay for the sex. The sex is normally just a bonus. If you only wanted sex, there were plenty of street walkers who would do you for a fix. You hire an escort to work out all the kinks you have both sexually and emotionally, stuff that you don't or can't ask of anyone else. Essentially, an escort was a hired friend, someone to talk to when things got rough or you just needed a bit of a break from the ever-piercing sting of reality.

That's what Tony was. He was a break from everything. He'd take them away from their problems and stress for however long they needed him to no expectations and no strings attached.

They were his...what was the term used among call-girls? Clientele. He did love that term and it just sort He knew each of them better than they knew him (except maybe Gibbs) and he knew exactly what each of them liked. He played to that every time they came to and for him.

He did have limits and rules, however. There were Gibbs' Rules, there were Tony's Rules, and then there were Tony's Stress-Relief Rules. Gibbs' Rules were, by far, the most important, but inside the bedroom (or wherever the user wants him) Tony's Stress-Relief Rules trumped all.

Rule Number One no emotional attachment. This was firm and unwavering because they could not afford it. Yeah, he was physically attracted to them in their own ways, and they most definitely found him attractive (because he was), but that's as far as it went. It was like anonymous sex without the anonymity. It was a lot safer.

Rule Number Two condoms are a must. It wasn't that he didn't trust his friends. He did and he'd rather take a bullet than say otherwise. It's just that you never really know, right? Better safe than sorry. The only exception was for oral sex. The risk was still there but it was low enough for Tony to overlook. He still got tested yearly, for safety's sake.

Rule Number Three no, absolutely no, spanking. They weren't even allow to suggest it unless it was them doing it unto Tony. He could take it, he just refused to dish it out. He wasn't good at administering punishment, and it frankly sickened him. It brought back foul memories of the few times in which his father was sober enough to find his belt. He couldn't spank, but he could be spanked.

Rule Number Four don't do anything you don't want to do. This was just as firm as all the other rules. If they didn't want to help Tony get off, then they didn't. If they didn't want penetration or oral sex, then there would be none. The hour or however long they spent with Tony was all theirs, and Tony was simply a tool, a bellhop, to help them along. The guilt was unnecessary because there was simply no cause for it the night wasn't about him.

And Rule Number Five never ask about his activities with other members of NCIS. That was sort of a given, because it was really none of their damn business what their coworkers liked in bed. Don't ask, don't tell.

Anything outside of those five rules was allowed. They were five, relatively simple rules to follow. Everything else was really up to them. Sure, Tony did have a few more limits in the BDSM category, but he hadn't needed to address those and only would when they came up. He probably wouldn't need to because his kinkiest client was now dead. The night was theirs to do with as they please with whatever variables appealed to them.

Kissing was one variable. Although kissing was often seen as something intimate, something only shared between lovers and not fuck buddies, Tony didn't really mind either way. They could kiss him or they could keep their lips as far from his mouth as possible. It was up to them.

Personally, Tony loved to kiss. He could spend hours just kissing. He'd done that with Jeanne once, although it did hurt his chest to think about that day. They'd just sat on the couch and kissed until they fell asleep, nothing sexual following it. It was a nice, albeit false, stretch of calm.

Abby liked to kiss. Not during during she was a little ball of fire, all teeth and hands. Afterwards, while basking in the afterglow, she loved some nice, tender kisses to wind it all down.

Kate didn't kiss. She was all business, just like every other aspect of her life. She liked her neck to be bit occasionally, but no kissing. Tony didn't really like to think of her anymore in sexual situations because he felt like a smudge on her reputation. Her death brought a lot into perspective, like just how brother-sister they were. Sex with your sister, despite the jokes Tony made, was definitely pushing limits. To be honest, thinking of Kate and sex in the same sentence was weird.

Jenny liked to kiss. She liked to bite, kiss and suck and...well, Tony could definitely see what Gibbs saw in her, if he was just thinking about her mouth. When she kissed it was with the air of authority she did everything else with she was in charge and there were no two ways about it. It was a little weird to be thinking of her in a sexual way now that she was dead, but not as weird as it was with Kate. The weirdest part was the thought of sleeping with Gibbs' ex, but he'd overlooked that long ago.

Ziva didn't kiss. It was too personal, too intimate for her. Despite what anyone at the office thought, him and Ziva just weren't a good match. They had chemistry in the bedroom but they could just never work on an emotional level. That wasn't to say the sex wasn't hot.

Gibbs kissed. That had been one of the few things that ever really managed to surprise Tony while in the stress-relief business. No one's kinks or preferences ever really shocked him, but Gibbs managed to go and screw over his perfect record. Not only did Gibbs kiss, but he kissed well. It explained the four wives part, but it definitely didn't explain the three exes. Hell, if Tony didn't know that he was the best out there, he might be insecure about his kissing title because Gibbs was just that good. He kissed before, during, and after, although the after kisses were normally just a kiss on the forehead or shoulderblade and there were rarely more than two.

McGee didn't kiss, which was a damn good thing because things were weird enough with him. McGee didn't even really seek Tony out when he was under stress Tony always had to offer, which he hated to do. He felt like he was pressuring McGee. He didn't feel as bad afterwards, however, when McGee flushed a brilliant (and rather flattering) shade of pink and thanked him. That made it more worth his while.

So they were all different in that sense, and kissing was only one variable. Another was talking and vocalisations. Some of his 'clientele' preferred it when Tony kept his mouth shut and just did the job while others didn't mind hearing his voice. Other vocalisations, such as moans, were also an option. If they didn't want Tony to be vocal, he wouldn't. He was naturally vocal, but he could tone it down if the situation begged it.

Their vocalisation was whatever they wanted. Tony didn't need to hear their moans and gasps to know they enjoyed what he did. He still got the sounds that reassured him unnecessarily. He wasn't complaining he liked vocal lovers, fuck buddies, whatever.

He didn't even care what they said. He drew the line at insulting him, because honestly he got enough of that growing up and at work. He didn't need to hear derogatory comments anywhere else. Other than that he was flexible. Literally and well as figuratively, of course. If they wanted to moan someone's name out that wasn't his, Tony didn't give a shit.

Kate was one who didn't want to hear his voice. It ruined the illusion that she'd created for herself, and Tony wouldn't have expected anything different from her. She liked moans, however. Tony never heard his name and never expected to. The moan of Gibbs' name that had once occurred hadn't even surprised him, but Kate did remind him of his discretion afterwards. He simply reminded her that what she wanted was no one else's business.

McGee also didn't want to hear Tony. He didn't state it specifically (because he's far too polite), but Tony knew he wasn't the person McGee wanted to go down on him. So Tony kept the noises to a minimum and didn't even flinch when McGee groaned out Abby's name instead of his. He probably would have been uncomfortable if Tim said his name, actually. Besides, it's not like his infatuation with Abby was a secret.

Ziva didn't care either way on a normal basis (if you could call any of their arrangements normal), but she did occasionally want Tony silent. Otherwise, she mind as so long as Tony never said her name. She never once said Tony's name, which he was fine with. He'd nearly lost it when he heard Michael's name, but he pressed down against his annoyance. Ziva could have easily just been doing that to get a rise out of him, and he wouldn't give her that satisfaction. He'd definitely given her other satisfaction.

Jenny had liked to hear him. No she loved it. She took a lot of her pleasure from knowing that she was in charge, and the sounds she drew from Tony were just fuel on her authoritative fire. She liked to hear her name spilling from desperate lips. He did hear his name from her the majority of the time, although he had heard Gibbs' name on one occasion. A common occurrence among his coworkers, he found. It didn't annoy him. Hell, if it were the other way around he probably would have been saying Gibbs' name also. Not that that tidbit was public knowledge or even something he allowed himself to acknowledge when with the man. Jenny had tried to explain the gasp of, "Jethro!" but Tony insisted it didn't matter. She shoved him gently and proceeded to explain anyway. Tony reminded her of a younger Gibbs, apparently, and sometimes the two just merged in her mind. Tony took it as a compliment and assured Jenny that it was the highest praise she could give him. She'd called him insane. He didn't doubt it.

Abby was the most insecure about Tony's 'all for you, none for me' policy. She thought it was hurting Tony, but it honestly wasn't. She didn't mind that he was vocal, because she was really just as vocal. She called his name and McGee's name in almost equal proportions, which pleased Tony to no end. Not hearing his name, of course. McGee's nameAbby and McGee would get together again he had no doubt about it.

Gibbs had told him right off the bat that he loved vocal partners in bed. No precursor to his words or anything. Tony had grinned at him and said he loved to be vocal and that they'd get along great. He was fairly sure that Gibbs actually got off on Tony's pleasure sometimes, although he couldn't be sure. With Gibbs, and Tony knew he shouldn't have been so happy about it, there was never anyone else's name incorporated. That had been nearly as surprising as the kissing thing. Gibbs only moaned Tony's name, and Tony returned that favour more willingly than he should have done.

Then there was the extremely important variable of what they liked in bed. The interests were varied, although not particularly surprising. Tony was compliant to their wants and needs and they all thanked him for that.

Abby, sweet little Abby, liked it rough. She liked little foreplay and a lot of rough, animalistic fucking. She liked to take it on her hands and knees because that was the best angle to get at her g-spot. She liked to be talked dirty to, and Tony always reserved his dirtiest bedroom voice for her. She liked to be fucked, to state it simply. Nothing particularly fancy but still extremely satisfying for her. Tony knew it first hand.

Abby also liked to give blowjobs and fuck was she good at it. Not as good as Tony (or Gibbs), but she was definitely good. It made Tony wonder where sweet little Abby learned to give head like that. Tony knew many girls didn't like reciprocating oral sex, but Abby certainly did.

She also liked to tie Tony up. Being tied up? Not her thing. She liked having the power over alpha-males. She liked to have total control over Tony and his ability to move. She liked to be able to do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. It was like being the Director of NCIS, in a way (burn!).

Gibbs...oh God, Gibbs. He shouldn't have been choosing favourites but Tony couldn't help it. Gibbs in bed brought the 'ex' factor back into question because damn that man knew how to navigate the human body. His wants were the most varied. Rather bipolar, as Tony once told him. When you got down to it (like Tony often did), however, it was fairly basic. Tony was never a major fan of BDSM, although he did see the appeal, and Gibbs never pushed that avenue very much. He hadn't done anything more hardcore than handcuffing Tony to the headboard, which he hadn't done until Tony assured him that he didn't mind.

He put all his heart into sex and Tony expected no less. It was always thorough and oh-so deep. Tony felt like Gibbs was fucking his mind and sanity. And his prostate, of course. He never missed that. Gibbs should have been a doctor because his knowledge of anatomy was beyond believable levels.

More often than not, Tony came away from their experience with fingertip bruises and hickeys that rained from his neck to his navel. And just as often, Gibbs left with the same types of bruises. Tony figured out himself that Gibbs liked to mark and be marked without stooping to Ziva's level of violence.

Usually, Gibbs liked to top. Sometimes it was rough and fast, sometimes it was slow and almost romantic, although that was Tony's disobedient and wishful mind thinking. They had fucked in the bed, kitchen, bathroom, shower, Gibbs' basement (sorry boat), the elevator at work, and in the back of the Charger. That last one shouldn't have happened, but it did. The second last one was probably a bad idea too, in retrospect.

Sometimes, Gibbs wanted to bottom. That sent Tony's mind a-reeling because the idea of Gibbs giving up control had him hard in an instant. He still liked being fucked better, but it was a close draw. In those situations, Tony did whatever Gibbs asked of him, and God was that man tight. Also, the sounds he made...hearing them made Tony feel like the luckiest man alive. Maybe he was.

Sometimes their meetings were nothing more than reciprocated blowjobs. But damn did Gibbs know how to use his mouth. If Tony didn't already know that he was the King in the particular area, he may have nominated Gibbs for the title.

...Moving on.

Kate liked it slow and thorough. She liked to come multiple times and always did. Her nipples had been the most sensitive part of her body besides her clit, and Tony could always get her to come at least three times by the combined stimulation. She also (naughty Catholic schoolgirl) loved it when Tony went down on her. She'd been surprised to learn his mouth was good for things other than talking. They always had sex in a bed, usually Tony's.

McGee...well, he was a little awkward. All they had done was Tony had sucked off him a few times after or during tough cases. McGee had blushingly praised his lack of gag reflex, which made Tony grin like the cheshire cat. There was a handjob in a conference room also, but it was mostly just the odd blowjob whenever he needed it. They never did any more than that and McGee probably had no idea Tony was willing to do more.

Jenny had been...a handful. Not that he didn't enjoy sex with her she was just a lot kinkier than he'd ever imagined. She'd spanked him one two separate occasions, which he enjoyed more than he should have, but mostly stuck to her authority games. She liked being in charge, and Tony was always viciously marked with her fingerprints and teethmarks afterwards. It was passionate and rough and just what she needed. They'd had sex in his bed, his shower, and...on her desk, but that was only once. No twice. The second time they had to stop because Gibbs almost walked in on them. After that, they vowed to keep it in the bedroom.

Ziva was...rough. Rough as hell. She bit, scratched and liked to be fucked even harder than Abby did. Nothing particularly kinky besides the roughness. When they finished, Tony's back was covered in blood-red scratches from her nails and bruises from where her heels hit his back as he thrust into her.

Another major variable was the post-coital/post-orgasm behaviour. It should have been a touchy subject but it wasn't. If they left, they left satisfied. If they stayed, they stayed equally as satisfied. Sometimes they wanted to crash on Tony's spare bed, sometimes they wanted to crash in bed with him. Sometimes they wanted to have a shower, with or without Tony. Sometimes they wanted to cuddle. So long as nothing more than friendship was behind the cuddles, Tony was into it. Sometimes they helped Tony finish, sometimes they didn't. He didn't care either way.

Kate was a little touchy on this topic, when she'd been alive to endure it. After sex with her was always awkward, but only because she made it that way. Half the time she left, half the time they ate something together and then she left. She only stayed over three or four times and always in his spare room. The only time he came with her was when they fucked, which actually didn't happen all that much. It was mostly his mouth and his fingers. He had usually jerked off in the shower later to an image that was not her.

McGee was really awkward after Tony blew him. Since Tony always swallowed (something Gibbs had actually commended him on, which is why Tony just never stopped), McGee stuttered and blushed and wouldn't meet Tony's eyes for a few hours, but he had eventually adjusted. Tony never got off there and never really expected to. It was just a given. It was good enough to see the embarrassment and satisfaction on his face that made up for everything.

Ziva always showered with him, leaving more marks on his body, but didn't always let him reach his own completion before she left. Most men in that situation would have been annoyed, but it had been one of Tony's rules and he didn't mind not coming by their hand. There was only one hand he really wanted to come for, but since he'd never get that exclusive relationship he didn't kid himself. She either left or crashed in his spare room.

Jenny always let him come. Always. She enjoyed the look on his face and the sounds he made, apparently. She didn't normally stay, but that was because of her busy schedule. Totally understandable. She did stay a few times, fell asleep next to Tony, but had to run out rather early to do all of her Director-ish things, like screw Gibbs over and run life-destroying undercover operations.

Abby was the same as Jenny. Since she was the most insecure about Tony's rules, she always let him come. Tony let her let him because it was Abby and Abs was just...different. Abby always stayed. Always. They usually got redressed and cuddled on the couch or the bed, either watching a movie or falling asleep.

Gibbs was as unpredictable here as he was everywhere else in life. Sometimes he left, but he always apologised for it, no matter how many times Tony told him that anything he wanted was up to him. Usually, however, Gibbs stayed. They showered or ordered food before flicking through the channels to find some sort of game or extremely criticisable movie. If they didn't do that, they just collapsed on the bed next to each other and fell asleep.

The one thing was that Tony always came for Gibbs. Always. He insisted that Gibbs didn't need to get Tony off if he didn't want to, but Gibbs had insisted that he wanted to. And Tony believed him too the look of excitement and accomplishment (and his wishful mind said possessiveness) on his face when Tony came was too much for him to turn down.

Tony wondered if it was strange or unhealthy that they all (except McGee) had at least one set of clean clothes in Tony's apartment. He supposed it was just strange, because Gibbs and Abby stayed the night a lot and spare clothes were handy. Then again, both Jenny and Kate's spare clothes were still sitting in the bottom of his spare dresser. That was unhealthy.

There were plenty of other variables and they were all different but, overall, every one of them followed his rules. There was no one that ever broke his rules. That wasn't quite true. There was one person who'd been pushing the boundaries of rules number one and four more and more recently and it was beginning to make him uncomfortable.


Yes, he was breaking his own rules and he hated himself for it. He made the damn rules, he should be able to follow them!

The problem with rule number four was usually surrounding Gibbs. Not that he didn't want to have sex with Gibbs he did, more than he should have. His problem was that Gibbs chose really weird times to ask for stress relief. Obviously he asked after a stressful day for him, like when he and Maddie almost drowned, but he also came over on days that had been stressful for Tony.

After the whole debacle with Jeffrey White, for example. That had been taxing on Gibbs, sure, but it had been a lot worse for Tony. So when Gibbs showed up at his door smelling vaguely of bourbon, Tony didn't really know what to think. He wasn't exactly in the mood, but he'd let Gibbs in anyway.

Another example was after Tony nearly died in that car explosion. Yeah, he was a lot more hurt than Gibbs could ever have been, because he was the one who got dumped. And he knew Gibbs was dating Lt. Col. Mann at the time, but Tony was so tired and so tearful that he couldn't really bring himself to care. Gibbs fucked him and made sure Tony knew that the next time he scared him like that, he'd kill him himself.

Another more recent example was after Tony's father had dropped by and screwed him up. After the dinner at Gibbs' house, he tugged Tony upstairs and let Tony fuck him into the sheets. He reminded Gibbs of Rule Number Four and Gibbs just cuffed him and said he never did anything he didn't want to do.

Every one of those times, when Gibbs came over after Tony's tough day, Tony hadn't really wanted to do anything except sleep (or cry, depending on the situation). The only thing that kept him from slamming the door in Gibbs' face was the knowledge that he was helping him. That's all that really mattered.

There again, once they actually got down to it, Tony stopped minding. It was always different with Gibbs. It shouldn't have been, of course, because rules were rules and this was just sex, but it never felt like it did with everyone else. He knew it was a bad idea to consider their situation any different from his and Abby's or Jenny's but he really couldn't help it.

It was all Gibbs' fault, of course. Sure, Jenny and Abby both liked to kiss, but they didn't kiss. Gibbs did. Gibbs was the only person Tony knew who could make you feel like you were having your soul touched when he kissed you. It was all lips and tongue and teeth and it was just blissful. One time, after their second round of sex after the whole Trent Kort trying to kill him and ex-wife screwing Gibbs over once again disasters, Gibbs kissed him for what had to be an hour. That was really hard on Tony. That wasn't to say he didn't enjoy it it was just different and reminded him too much of Jeanne. It had taken him hours to fall asleep after that, even with Gibbs' arm thrown over his waist.

Sure, everyone else let him come at least some of the time, but Gibbs wanted him to come. Tony was pretty sure that his orgasm was a large part of Gibbs' pleasure. Gibbs got off on Tony's pleasure. Which, aside from making very little sense to him, was totally hot.

And sure, Abby stayed and Jenny had stayed once in a while, but Gibbs stayed. When Jenny was there, it was just a place to crash. When Abby was there, she stayed because she felt it was polite. Gibbs stayed because he wanted to. Abby always said she wanted to stay, but Tony never quite managed to believe her. She was never there in her full capacity. With Gibbs there was that ever-standing air of ease and camaraderie. After the sex it was never awkward, like they'd done it a thousand times.

All right, so they had done it a lot, but the point was that even the first few times there had been no awkwardness whatsoever. Gibbs thanked him, Tony told him not to thank him, and they just relaxed together like no sex had even happened. It was absolutely crazy. And Tony wouldn't have traded it for anything. Well, almost anything.

Leave it to Gibbs to do every fucking thing different from everyone else. Would it kill him to, for once, not be himself?

No it wasn't Gibbs fault that Tony constantly broke Rule Four for him. Tony had willingly taken on this job and he loved to help them. He was just annoyed that he found it so easy to break his own rules.

Tony's problem with the first rule was that he'd made rule number one more for his benefit than anyone else's. He was trying not to encourage himself, because his attraction couldn't head anywhere good.

What was really, really sad, however, was that he made up these rules almost ten years ago when Abby first came to him for sex and he'd been pushing the limits of rule one since then. Not with her, of course, but with someone he'd wished would never come to him for sex. It happened anyway, of course.

It was hard. Hard to casually fuck the person that you were harbouring feelings for when your own first rule was to not harbour those goddamn feelings. It was supposed to be just sex, and with everyone else it was.

Yeah. He was in love with Gibbs. Fuck him.

He opened his eyes and exhaled sharply. It all came back to that in the end, didn't it? He works around it and tries not to think about it and ends up right back where he fucking started. He was in love with Gibbs and had been for more than five goddamn years. He'd had feelings for him closer to ten years. He knew it would all come back to this, so why did he think along this line in the first place?

Yeah, Tony did occasionally like to go over the sessions in his head to get a better understanding of his coworkers, but that wasn't why he was lying on his back on the floor of his living room at three in the morning, staring up at the ceiling, while he considered every sexual encounter he'd shared with his coworkers.

Tony was trying to figure out what he did when it was too much.

It was all Gibbs' fault (again), of course. He was the only person on the face of the earth who could make Tony lie on his hardwood floors for hours on end. After their last relief session, which was triggered by a case wherein the dead Petty Officer bore too much of a resemblance to Shannon, Gibbs kissed him on the shoulder and thanked him. Unexpectedly, because Gibbs never did anything that was expected of him, Tony was pulled into a hug and thanked again. Gibbs pulled away and let out a low chuckle that sent a jolt of pleasure straight to Tony's cock. He then commented on how Tony let everyone take their stress out on him. Tony replied that he couldn't say one way or another. Gibbs said that it didn't matter; he knew what Tony did for them all.

That wasn't what had Tony on the floor, however. Gibbs knows everything, so he had to know that Tony fucked anyone on the team who needed it. He had to go ahead and muse out loud, "It makes me wonder what you do when it's too much." He thanked Tony again and apologised because he needed to go back to the office to finish his report for the case.

It didn't strike him as important and he'd brushed it aside at the time. He was small, insignificant, in the scale. Now, one week after Gibbs asked him, Tony was left to think about it. The case had been hard on him because it was about a dead NCIS agent who was killed by his undercover lover when she found out it was all a lie. It had been rough on Tony and he went home alone, so tempted to cry himself to sleep like he'd done when Jeanne had dumped him (after Gibbs had fallen asleep, of course), or just sob like he had done when Gibbs left to Mexico. He'd laid down on the floor for reasons that he still couldn't pinpoint hours later and thought about Gibbs' emotionally taxing question.

What did Anthony DiNozzo do when everything became too much for him?

And he'd come to the conclusion that he didn't do anything. He didn't do anything because he didn't need to. Because Anthony DiNozzo never let anything become too much for him. He never let cases hit him too hard and he never let anyone in enough anymore to have them burn him too badly.

The problem was that today he had. Today their case had finally tipped the scales of the infamous Tony control and he had no fucking idea how to handle it.

He handled everything he took on everyone's problems and pushed his own to the back of his mind because he could and because he wanted to help them. Now he was the one who needed help and he had no idea how or where to get it.

Which is why, when his doorbell rang, he wondered if this was his answer. If fate was telling him something. Maybe his coping mechanism when times were tough was to help others cope. He had no idea who was at the door or why they'd be coming to him, but he never really asked questions. This case had only been hard on him, so whatever their reason for coming over had to be outside of work.

Tony pulled himself off of the floor, only vaguely wondering why someone would appear on his doorstep at 0337 in the morning. He told his 'clientele' that they could come by any time, but most of them gave him prior warning. None of them came at these hours unless they'd just gotten off a case or dumped. It didn't matter he was awake and too keyed-up to go to sleep. Tony was in boxers and didn't bother to pull on anything else. If it was a coworker, there was nothing else they'd want and it was easier if he was already mostly naked. Just in case it wasn't a coworker, Tony had a knife in his key bowl.

He glanced through the peephole. Huh. Gibbs. Well, the man was never particularly predictable, was he? Tony unchained the door and unbolted it before opening it wide. He nearly laughed at the irony. He was unlocking his door to greet Mr. Who-needs-a-lock.

He pulled open the door and got a clearer view of his boss. He opened his mouth, prepared to ask how he wanted it to go, when he felt something being shoved into his hand. He looked down. Coffee. Huh. He took a long drink, not even bothering to feel surprised when he found that it was perfect. Of course it was, it was from Gibbs. Just enough cream and sugar. Some hazelnut creamer would have been nice, but it would have also been pushing it. He momentarily considered asking just to rile him, but the unwelcome thought of a heads up prevented the question.

"Wow, uh, thanks Boss. Not sure I should have caffeine at three in the morning, but the gesture was nice." Tony stepped aside and plastered a grin on his face. Gibbs grunted and pushed past him into Tony's kitchen.

"You say that like you were planning to sleep."

Ah. So that's how Gibbs wanted it tonight. Non-stop and rough. Tony supposed it might help him forget too, although he really wasn't in the mood. He watched as Gibbs hung his jacket on the back of one of Tony's chairs and sat on his kitchen counter. Huh. This wasn't normally what they did for rough and non-stop sex. Whatever. It was Gibbs' part. Tony finished locking his door before he addressed the man sitting on his counter. The same counter they'd fucked on only a week prior. Tony found it easier to talk when he didn't think of himself bent over the table, of course.

"So, how do you want to do this, Boss?"

There was a bark of laughter. Tony was exhausted and not exactly happy, so the laughter only annoyed him. He forced himself to relax because Gibbs needed to work out stress and Tony liked to help him.

"I'm not here for sex, Tony," Gibbs said, his tone surprisingly gentle. Great. That wasn't good. The last time Gibbs was anything even resembling gentle was after Tony's dad had dropped by, and even then it was in his 'suck it up, DiNozzo,' way. This was gentler than that. Come to think of it, it was sort of like the post-Kate period. Ick. He didn't want to go through that again the death or the nice version of Gibbs. He called that rather demonic occurrence 'Bizarro Gibbs'.

He patted the spot out counter next to him, and Tony shuffled over, after a moment, to take the spot. He pulled himself onto the counter and slid a little closer to Gibbs than was strictly necessary if he wasn't here for sex. The man shuffled even closer so their thighs were touching. Tony almost snorted. Not here for sex his ass. Maybe Gibbs' ass, depending on what mood the man was in.

Tony took a thoughtful drink of his coffee. Maybe he should just play along, feed Gibbs' delusion or whatever this sudden gentleness and denial was. He shook his head that was stupid. He was a big boy, he would just ask about it.

"Let's say, hypothetically, that you aren't here for sex, like you say you aren't. Why would you be here?" he asked. This was ridiculous and rather roundabout, if Gibbs' laugh was any indicator, but Tony didn't want to tackle the problem. Screw 'big boy,' Gibbs was intimidating as hell.

Tony thought it over himself while Gibbs seemed to consider his approach. Maybe he was here for a blowjob or handjob maybe he didn't classify those as sex? Maybe he was here for food. Yeah, he got out of the office late and was hungry, but didn't want to buy something.

That sounded lame even to Tony and he'd thought it up. It was pushed out of his head not long after and he tried again. Maybe Gibbs had dropped by the twenty-four hour Starbucks by GWU and mistakenly ordered two coffees? No, Gibbs never got anything to do with coffee wrong. He didn't get much wrong period, for that matter. Maybe the tired barista charged him for one and gave him two, and Gibbs thought, what the hell. I'll share with Tony, he's had a bad day.

"I've been talking to Abby."

Tony didn't even try to pretend he didn't know what Gibbs was talking about. Fuck fuck fuck he was fucking dead. Abby was the only person who knew that Tony didn't want anyone but Gibbs and...fuck whatever happened to discretion? He knew he should never have told her, what was he thinking?

Tony tried to school his expression into something less panicked, although he knew it hadn't worked. Gibbs saw the panic, and for some reason grabbed Tony's hand. Tony froze. Just sex, just sex, just sex, he chanted internally. It was just sex, stress-relief, for Gibbs.

"And?" he managed to ask. It came out rather squeaky and Tony wondered when he'd turned into a mouse.

"Tony, I have to break one of your rules."

Tony gripped the counter beneath him. No. God, no. No. This...couldn't be happening. Gibbs had no reason to break one of his rules, especially not the one Tony was thinking about.

No, he had to be breaking something else. Like...Number Four. That was plausible, right? He didn't want to stop their very handy arrangement, but he felt he didn't have much of a choice now that he knew what Tony felt for him. Yeah. That was it.

"Which one?" Now that he had established that he had indeed been turned into a mouse, Tony had to figure out why someone would choose a mouse of all creatures for him at this moment.

For the first time, there was a flash of nervousness in Gibbs' eyes. Why was he nervous? Was he going to tell Tony that they weren't going to have sex anymore because he'd...fallen in love with some beautiful redhead and was going to marry her tomorrow and that their sexual relations could not continue? All right, so he was pushing it, but it couldn't be what Tony thought (and wanted) it to be.

"Number one."

Tony had to look down because fuck this wasn't how it was supposed to happen. Gibbs was supposed to stop this, break it off, tell Tony that he should learn to follow his own rules. He blinked back the tears that were welling in the corners of his eyes. Happy tears. God, Gibbs wanted him, and not just his body.

"Boss," his voice came out wet and croaky (so he was a frog now?) and he must have sounded utterly pathetic, but he didn't care because Gibbs wanted him! "I need to break one of your rules. Rule Eighteen."

He looked at Gibbs out of the corner of his eyes (the corner not filled with tears) and saw the slight annoyance. No impatience. Like he had any right to be impatient when it was Tony who'd waited forever. There was also confusion.

"Better to ask forgiveness than permission?" Gibbs asked, sounding exasperated. Tony grinned as the tears threatened to push past his eyelids. Leave it to Gibbs to make something sound twice as ridiculous as it was.

"Yeah. Permission to kiss you?"

Then, Gibbs' confusion and irritation melted away to be replaced by a jaw-cracking grin Tony had never seen him wear. Tony met his eyes straight on, ignoring the fact Gibbs probably thought it was stupid of Tony to be so emotional.

"Jesus, Tony! You never have to ask."

Tony grabbed his face softly, like he was afraid to ruin the moment. Gibbs didn't look impatient anymore and he curled his hand around Tony's neck. Tony pulled him close and into what he saw to be their first real kiss. The other countless ones shared were just...practise. Practise runs leading up to this.

And God was it perfect. It was soft and sweet and gentle, and it was wet and tasted like salt, but that was probably Tony's joyful tears. Gibbs opened up his mouth and let Tony in, just like he'd done for ten years in his own way. Tony opened up and let Gibbs in, and the man kissed him right down to his soul it was so intense. He would have snickered at the thought of Gibbs turning him from frog to Prince if his mouth wasn't otherwise pleasantly occupied.

There was nothing particularly heated or sexual about the kiss, and Tony finally believed that he hadn't come for sex. It was tender and reassuring and...God why did their tongues curl together so perfectly?

He closed his eyes and let himself absorb the situation. Gibbs. Gibbs was kissing him. Kissing him because he wanted Tony in more capacities than he already had him. His lips and words were sincere and as heartfelt as Gibbs could get without sounding un-Gibbs-like and Tony wondered why he was so damn lucky. What did he ever do to deserve this?

Tony pulled away only when he realised he needed to breath and his nose wasn't working so well. He captured Gibbs' bottom lip momentarily between his teeth as he drew away, trying to prolong the moment. He exhaled and finally opened his eyes, seeking Gibbs'. Watery green eyes met slightly watery blue eyes.

And for some reason Tony wasn't surprised.

Gibbs smiled again and Tony hoped to high hell that he'd be able to make that smile appear for the rest of his life. "Come on. Let's get some shuteye." He tugged on Tony's hand and they jumped off the counter in a synchronisation that was so poetic Tony laughed out loud. He was giddy, riding a high that he hoped he'd never come down from. A high that had nothing to do with the coffee.

Gibbs pulled him towards the bedroom gently, still grinning like a maniac. Tony giggled and knew he was wearing a matching and equally as idiotic smile.

"You brought me coffee. How am I supposed to sleep?" Tony asked, giggling slightly when Gibbs pushed him onto the bed. Gibbs undressed quickly and crawled in next to him under the covers, and all Tony could think was, fucking hell, maybe karma does exist.

That was his only real explanation: karma. He'd asked himself what he'd done to deserve this and everything sort of fit. He'd helped his friends in the only way he really could and he'd helped them with every fibre of his being. Now he was getting what he'd always wanted and it was so right.

"Decaf," he growled out, already sleepy. He pulled Tony's warm body even closer. Tony curled against the firm body behind him and laughed. Of course. Gibbs planned every second of their conversation. Maybe he'd even written it. Although it was a little difficult to think of Gibbs and decaf in the same sentence.

"Ugh, my breath is going to be disgusting tomorrow," Tony remarked, trying to emphasise the fact that Gibbs' breath would also be disgusting.

"Do I look like I care, DiNozzo?"

Tony turned over and captured Gibbs in a kiss that promised more, promised that Tony would never sleep with anyone else. Maybe it even promised forever.

And Gibbs kissed him back, promising much more, promising that Tony wasn't a tool, promising him that they'd get as close to forever as they damn well could.

He pulled away rather reluctantly. "No, I guess you don't." Gibbs just grinned at him again.

Tony turned over and curled backwards into Gibbs. He let his eyes close peacefully, once again taking in his situation. Gibbs had come over whilst Tony was in the middle of struggling over his feelings for him, indirectly proclaimed his (completely requited) love, and had known without asking that Tony would break off his arrangements with Ziva, McGee and Abby. Oh, and that Tony needed to send Abby at least a hundred black roses.

He knew he should have been more surprised, but he wasn't. This answered his mostly unasked question of why him. Why he was the one to carry everyone else's baggage along with his own. It was him because this was the only way he'd ever get what he'd wanted all along. It was him because no one else would have been able to handle the burden. It was him because when Tony did break, he knew he'd fall into Gibbs' arms.

Tony smiled as he heard Gibbs' breathing even out and knew the man had fallen asleep. It must have been a trait of Marines: crash when you can as quick as you can. Tony let sleep flood over himself as well because now he knew what Anthony DiNozzo did when it was too much.

He'd found his coping mechanism.

Chapters: 1

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