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Undercover Cover-Up (Sequel to Post Traumatic Stress)
by: BuffyAngel68 (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 004 Word Count: 9622
Warning(s): BDSM, Disturbing Imagery or Content
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Other Male Character
Category(ies): Alternate Universe, Angst/Drama, Crossover, Episode Related, First Time, Hurt/Comfort
Episode(s): 3-08 Under Covers
Crossover Shows: JAG
Summary: Tony's loss of control worries Gibbs and after a disconcerting private talk with the younger man, Jethro makes a call.
Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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By six that night, Jethro was back at Tony's door, waiting patiently for the younger man to answer. When he'd dropped him off earlier that day, DiNozzo had looked and sounded exhausted so Jethro was willing to give him a little leeway. Eventually, Tony opened the door on the chain. Seeing who it was, he momentarily shut it to slide the security device free then swung the door open fully. Jethro took a minute to appreciate the mouthwatering sight of the other man in a sleeveless tank top, loose sweatpants and bare feet before re-focusing on his purpose.
"Boss? What are you doing back here?" Tony asked sleepily.
"Offering a ride... and a chance to get your peace of mind back."
Tony's eyes widened and he retreated as his weary brain made the connection. Jethro stepped into the apartment, but maintained his distance.
"No. Not that. I can't..."
"It works, Tony. You saw that."
"What they put you through..."
"It's not always about absolution. A.J. knows what's been going on the last little while. He gave me what I needed, he'll give you what *you* need. You'll have to trust him to know the difference."
"He... knows about today? You told him?"
"No. That'll be up to you."
Tony hesitated for a long time, looking anywhere but at Gibbs, but at last he spoke the biggest concern filling up his head.
"You and me... since that night we've kissed, touched... but nothing beyond that. I... I don't know if I'm ready for you to see me... au natural. I don't want you to be..."
He halted, censoring the final word of his sentence. Gibbs, intuitive as ever, knew what he wanted to say and quickly reassured him.
"I could never be disappointed in you, no matter what your body looks like."
Tony tossed Gibbs a brief, shining smile.
"You really think he can help me?"
"I'm sure he can."
"Okay. I'm gonna... go get dressed." He replied, moving to head into his bedroom, but turning back at the last minute. "Um, boss. The nickname Ziva keeps calling me..."
"... is just teasing. I know."
"The day you got sick, I wasn't strictly following the unwritten rule."
"Yeah, the one about not looking at other guys in the showers."
Tony grinned and strode off to wash and find fresh clothes.
THE HOUSE: SEVEN P.M.
"Good evening, Mr. Gibbs, Mr. DiNozzo."
"Hello, Steven." Gibbs responded warmly. Steven selected a small blue book embossed with a number 4 and offered it to Gibbs, who accepted the slim leather volume and opened it, skimming to find the page currently in use. After he'd initialed in the next available space he passed the book to Tony. "Right next to mine. Initials only."
Once both men were signed in, Jethro returned the book and pen to Steven, who stowed them back in the niche where they belonged.
"You're expected in room two, sir."
Gibbs tensed slightly and gazed questioningly at the other.
"Hmm. Thank you."
"You're very welcome, sir."
As they walked away hand in hand, Tony wanted badly to ask what was so distressing about room two, but he remembered the rules from their previous visit and stayed silent. A few minutes later, when they'd reached the red door with the gold number, Gibbs turned to face Tony and took his face in both hands.
"I need you to listen close, Tony, okay? Since it's your first time, I don't think he'll punish you if you mess up... but if you pay attention you won't even have to worry. Got it? You focusing?"
"Yeah, b... I mean yes, Jethro. I'm focused."
"Good. The minute we walk in, you drop to your knees, put your chin in your chest and your hands behind your back. Don't speak, don't move. If he lays his hand on the back of your neck, then you can get up. Do what he asks you to do, no matter how strange or embarrassing it might sound. Answer his questions the best you can. Be respectful, be honest... and most of all, try to be open. Help him help you."
"One last thing. No matter what you see when we go in... stay cool."
"Crap. I was hangin' in there until you said that... I knew you looked weird when Steven said we were headed for this room. Do I get to know?"
"In about thirty seconds, yeah. We've waited too long as it is. We need to get inside."
Tony nodded quickly, steeling himself for whatever he might be about to face, and Jethro knocked. The door was opened a minute or so later by a tall dark-haired man Tony instantly recognized.
"First names, remember? It's Harmon. C'mon in."
Tony paused for a moment, his mind racing as he contemplated what he faced, but Jethro's warm, comforting hand on the small of his back got him moving. A step or two beyond the threshold, he knelt and positioned himself as he'd been instructed, suppressing the urge to examine his surroundings and concentrating instead on the voices of the others.
"Jethro. Good to see you again." A.J. said, greeting his friend with a firm handshake.
"Yeah... good to see you too."
"No it's not."
Jethro's head came up and he shot A.J. a curious look, confused by the smile gracing the other man's lips. "You're worried about the man you love. You're also worried about what I have planned for him. Right now, you'd rather be seeing anybody *but* me."
Jethro's chin dropped again.
"I know you'll take care of him. That's not it. I just wish he didn't need this..."
"You couldn't have prevented any of what's happened to him, Jethro, and beating yourself up won't change the past. Besides, you know what your tendency toward extreme self-flagellation will lead to."
"Another night of you yelling at me?"
A.J. briefly gazed at Tony then looked at Gibbs again.
"You told him what to do?"
"Outside, just before we came in."
"He listens well. That's promising. I will take care of him, Jethro... just like you would. What I won't do is treat him like he's a china doll. You need to understand that and not get in my way. If you can't deal with that restriction you can't be here."
"Alright. Time we get started, then. Stay here."
Jethro nodded as A.J. strolled over to where Tony knelt and began to walk slowly around him. He stopped at the younger man's back and gently readjusted the position of his hands before continuing around to stand on his left side. At a light touch on the nape of the neck, Tony rose gracefully to his feet, but kept his eyes down just in case. "You can look at me, Anthony."
Tony's gaze came up readily but out of the corner of his eye he saw something he didn't want to believe was real and instinctively his eyes slid past their intended target and up. "Anthony. Pay attention."
Once his young subject's eyes had snapped back to the front, A.J. answered his unspoken questions. "Yes, that's for harnessing and suspending someone in the air. No, you don't get to know if I'm planning on using it with you. Harmon, would you take Anthony into the dressing room and show him what to do?"
Tony followed reluctantly, suddenly uncertain and fearful without Jethro by his side. He looked back, even as he walked toward the smaller chamber set into the back wall of the larger room, but a soft voice close to his ear brought his attention back to his escort.
"Don't worry, he's not going anywhere. He would never leave you to face your first session alone."
Startled, Tony shot Harm a mildly suspicious look.
"You learn to read minds since I saw you last?"
"I wish. I've just been where you are, that's all. Not that long ago, either. It's only my third time here. All my other training has been conducted... somewhere else."
As they approached the door of the dressing room, Tony halted and through the gentle hand he'd laid on the other man's elbow, Harm felt him begin to tremble. "What?"
"I... I just realized that going in there.... I mean... I kinda prepared myself for Gibbs to see me naked, but..."
"You can do this. I know it's not easy, but it's not supposed to be. Think of it this way. Take that feeling of ' God, how much more exposed and vulnerable can I get? ' and turn it into ' How vulnerable can I let myself be? ' "
"I don't know. I haven't exactly had much practice."
"You trust Jethro?"
"More than I've ever trusted anybody."
"He scares the living hell out of me."
Harm laughed softly.
"Me too, sometimes. Answer the question."
"I trust him."
"How vulnerable can you let yourself be, Anthony? What are you willing to do... in order to feel like you're back in control again?"
Tony swallowed hard and forced the words out.
"Whatever it takes."
"One more time, a little louder. Don't yell, just say it so we can both hear it this time."
"I'll do whatever it takes."
"Okay. Then let's go get you ready."
A few minutes later Tony's clothes were neatly folded on a shelf in the small space and his shoes were carefully lined up on the floor underneath. As they stepped out side by side, Harm turned slightly, grasped Tony's hands and held them firmly. "No covering yourself. Think about what we said before. Vulnerable is good."
"You lied. You can read minds."
"The first time I stepped out in front of A.J and Clay, my hands dropped right down over my groin. I remember wishing for a loincloth, a dish-towel, anything not to be naked. As soon as they saw me, they tied my hands behind my back and I spent an hour listening to them explain why shame and embarrassment weren't what this place was about."
"Message received. Hands at my sides. God, I don't know if I can handle this."
"A.J. is strict, but he's a good man. All he wants to do is help. His methods get a little extreme sometimes, but he'd never step over the line and let you get hurt. This is all about putting the wheel back in your hands. Let him try."
Tensely, Tony nodded again and the pair moved forward, halting a yard or two from where Jethro and A.J. were standing.
"You kneel again. Hands behind your back, the way he placed them earlier. Knees apart a couple inches, but not so much it strains your hips. Oh, and keep your eyes up this time. Be attentive, but don't try to second guess him. It's his biggest pet peeve and his favorite excuse for handing out correction."
Tony paled as he remembered what Clay had told him about that word and what he had seen happen to Jethro when he continued to refuse the help being offered to him.
"I don't want correction, do I?"
"No. You really don't."
"Right. Uhh... keeping the knees apart..."
"Anthony, stop. You're psyching yourself out."
"I'm trying not to. I swear I am..."
"I know. Answer one question for me?"
"Do you need help to start healing?"
"I... yeah. I think maybe I do."
"Then let go of your fear. Let us give you what you need."
The echoes of Jethro's earlier entreaty resounded briefly in Tony's head and he sent his thoughts back over the past few weeks. He sifted through the hours and days since his illness and Kate's untimely death and slowly realized how much harder he was now working to keep his usual mask of normality from slipping.
"Okay." He finally murmured. "Okay. No matter what happens... no matter what he wants, I can do this. I have to do something..." Tony continued, dropping to his knees and presenting himself the way Harm had instructed. The other man gently touched Tony's shoulder and spoke to him encouragingly.
"You are. You're accepting help. Hang in, okay? I have to go get ready too, but A.J will be with you soon."
Tony grinned tightly, but didn't respond. A few minutes later, Harm was back, having also stripped out of his clothes. As he knelt at Tony's side, A.J. ended his conversation with Jethro and approached. Again, he circled Tony slowly, but this time he seemed satisfied and made no adjustments. He stopped in front of the younger man and tipped his chin up with two fingers, raising Tony's eyes to meet his.
"Tell me why you're here."
"I... I've been really stressed out... and I'm not handling it as well as I usually do."
Staring up into A.J.'s intense, compelling eyes, Tony instantly knew that he would not be allowed to hide behind the evasions and illusions he'd depended on all his life. Abruptly, he felt even more naked than he had a moment before, as if the older man wanted Tony's soul exposed as well. The realization caused fear to blossom in his belly and his mouth to go dry. He tried to speak again, but couldn't manage it. A.J. watched him struggle for a long moment, then spoke to his protégé. "Harmon."
Rabb quickly rose to his feet and replied.
"We'll need something from the cabinet."
The other man returned shortly with his choice, a cock ring and ball harness, and handed it to his mentor before kneeling once again. A.J. crouched with the item in hand and held it up so Tony couldn't miss seeing it. "I know you remember this, Anthony. You learned how to use it properly the last time you were here. This one is a bit more involved, but it has the same purpose. You get one more chance to give me the real answer before this goes on."
"I'll tell you anything... just don't scream at me... please."
"I don't plan on it. You're not Jethro. Yelling won't work for you. That doesn't mean I won't apply some of the same physical persuasion if you and I reach an impasse."
"God... what do you want?"
"Honesty. Why are you here, Anthony?"
"I... I lost control with a suspect... I kicked him, put him in the hospital."
"Good. Very good. Now we can really get started..."
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