Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 5183
Warning(s): Kink, Other (See Author's Note)
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Ziva David
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Character Study
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: You can't steal what's not there for the taking.
Author Notes: Although not based on a particular episode, several characters and incidents are briefly mentioned. Also, warnings for language and masturbation must be listed.
As much as I hate to admit it, this periodic, late-night, ritualistic visitation has just gotten easier and easier to do over the passing of the years. My feet even seem to know the way without me actually having to think much about it and, really, I‘m not too sure that‘s something I should be proud about. Quickly down the all but deserted sidewalk, silently up to the darkened doorway, and keying open the lock with my spare until it pops open with a hushed snick of sliding metal, I steal, unobserved, into the shadowed foyer of the still apartment, eyes immediately surveying the surrounding area and checking for any sign of irregularity. As far as I can tell there’s none. The high-priced television set against the side wall is turned off, as are the matching table lamps set to each side of the comfortable couch in the living area, but the shades on the street side are partially open and the little bulb over the stove in the kitchen is on and the combined light is throwing just enough illumination throughout the space that I can easily make my way to where I want to be. Hell, even if it was pitch black in here, I’d probably be able to find my way around this apartment by now.
This has become a habit, of sorts, one that soothes my mind…and my soul…and I’m not willing to break this routine until I’m absolutely certain my assistance will never be needed again. And, maybe, not even then. I haven’t decided yet.
I started doing this a long time ago, back before Vivian Blackadder had made it blatantly obvious she wasn’t what I’d wanted on my team, back before Caitlin Todd had traded her tailored, FBI suits for more appropriate NCIS work clothes, and even before I’d realized I had a serious problem maintaining a clear-cut, divided, supervisor/subordinate relationship with those on my assigned team, no matter who they were. Hell, I’d done it for years for those I…cared…about but never so consistently or as urgently as I did now. With Tony DiNozzo.
So, I come here, like a thief in the night, stealing into his personal dwelling space and invading his privacy, making my way unannounced and unnoticed around a short stack of discarded sports magazines, stepping over a laundry basket half full of clean, freshly folded clothes, and down the carpeted hallway toward his bedroom. I know, by now, where to tread to avoid the creaking floorboards that lay beneath the tan Berber and I know there’s an old, slightly deflated basketball waiting to try a trip me up somewhere along the way, but I manage to successfully navigate the short distance without making a sound or having an encounter with a renegade piece of sporting equipment. I allow myself a brief, satisfied grin at the accomplishment and fleetingly wonder about my state of mind. I shouldn’t be doing this but it’s grown into a compulsion now, one I have to follow.
The doorway to the bedroom is partially closed but I can hear the soft, nasally snores and the quiet, intermittent, raspy wheezes from within, so I know Tony’s deeply asleep. Well, he should be. It’s past two o’clock in the morning and, after quickly conferring with Doctor Pitt by phone earlier in the day, the staff at the emergency room we’d been checked out in had decided he’d needed a healthy dose of some strong, weird-sounding antibiotic to make sure there‘d be no infection from his dives into the cold waters of the river. He’d sure had enough job-related shit happen to him in the past and no one was ready to take any chances with risking sickness, especially because of his lungs, but he’d bitched and moaned and pouted until I’d finally been able to make eye contact with him from across the small expanse of the curtained examination room and silently communicated my order for him to just shut the fuck up. He’d clammed up immediately after seeing my withering look, blown out a loud, fairly frustrated-sounding huff…and then had proceeded to cough and hack and wheeze until almost breathless, his face growing tight and pale when he could finally inhale again without choking. The sight and sound of him like that had worried me more than I’d expected and I’d known then I’d be making this secret trek into his home one more time.
I can clearly remember each and every instance I’ve felt compelled to come here, prepared to do silent vigil, though some occasions are more vividly ingrained in my memory than others. After his adventure with that sociopathic little weasel Jeffery White, I was here. After his encounter with that gender-bending killer Amanda Reed…or Lt. Commander Voss…or whoever the hell he/she was pretending to be, I was here. And after he agonized and made the decision to end his questionable relationship with Jeanne Benoit, I was here. Where else would I be when he was hurting so much?
I push the door the rest of the way open with the tips of my fingers but do not enter the room immediately. I know the relative position of the bed, so my eyes track instantly in that general direction, and even though it’s darker in here than in the living room, I can easily see he’s alone. There’s a singular, human-shaped lump under the covers that makes that assumption a no-brainer. I would never cross this threshold if he’d had company but knowing Tony the way I do, especially on night’s like this one, he just wants the comfort and safety of his own place…and he wants his solitude.
I guess I should feel a little guilty for taking that perceived solitude away but, really, he won’t know the difference when he wakes in the morning…just like he’s never known about any of my other visits. I’ll hide in the shadows and I’ll be perfectly quiet, and when I’ve satisfied my own concerns about his wellbeing, I’ll leave just as stealthily as I entered. He’ll be none the wiser and I‘ll finally have a measure of peace.
There’s an open path to the corner I want, just on the other side of the entryway to the large, walk-in closet, so I silently cross to that position, noticing he’s taken the time to drape the discarded set of scrubs he’d changed into earlier at the hospital over the back of a nearby armchair before getting into bed. Tony’s usually real careful about his clothing but these are just loners from some ER nurse, so I guess I‘m surprised not to see them wadded up carelessly on the floor beside the mattress. I frown and, for the first time, wonder about the location and state of his own wet clothes he’d stripped out of hours ago. I don’t recall hearing him complain or fuss about his sopping shirt or slacks or his ruined shoes any time during the examinations but that could have been because he was more concerned about Maddie Tyler’s condition…and mine.
Christ, if DiNozzo hadn’t been there, we both probably would have drowned inside that car. I’m certain I would have, trapped as I was under the steering wheel, and Maddie had been unconscious, so there’s absolutely no way we would have survived on our own. After pulling us to the surface and manhandling us to the dock, he breathed for us, sharing his air, keeping us both from taking that final step toward death…and all he got to show for his heroic efforts was a prescription for some powerful antibiotic and a set of ugly, green scrubs.
Somehow, that just doesn’t seem fair.
I press my back to into the corner and slide slowly down into a fairly relaxed squat. I know my knees will be screaming and protesting a little later but this position puts me right in the deeper shadow cast by a nearby oak dresser and, if Tony should awaken for some strange reason, he’d probably never see me here. But I can clearly observe him and what I see makes me frown again.
The comforter has been tossed back and the soft, light-colored sheet is tangled and twisted around the lower half of his body, even to the point of snaking around one muscled leg, like a jealous lover holding on tight. The exposed part of the pale limb suddenly twitches, as if it knows it’s being examined, but it quickly settles back into stillness after the ankle flexes once more. He may just be shifting in his slumber…or he could be dreaming of the day’s disturbing events…but, either way, the slight movement pulls the top sheet taut and I’m reminded, again, of his size and his power.
Even in sleep, he’s a big man, a strong man…an attractive man. I purse my lips together tightly and shove that last, errant thought roughly down, burying it back amongst all the other items I’ve carefully labeled ‘things not to be examined too closely’ and filed it away within the darkest recesses of my mind. I’m only here to check on him, to make sure he’s really okay, and to listen and watch…for a while…for any sign of trouble. At least, that’s what I’m pretending to tell myself tonight. Besides, I’ve heard him belch and fart and go through a round or two of vomiting so intense I’d actually thought he’d heave up his intestines before he’d finally succumbed to a restful sleep, and there’d been absolutely nothing remotely attractive about any of those instances, so tonight’s vigil should be a piece of cake.
He shifts again and a small, soft cough erupts, as does a weak sigh, and I quickly hope the antibiotic that ER doc gave him is doing it’s job. The Potomac is not a dirty river, not by any means, but it flows past several research stations and an assortment of factories and God only knows how many people toss all sorts of truly unmentionable and horrendous stuff into the swiftly flowing currents. I can clearly remember Ducky talking about that early summer flood we had back in 1996, which had carried tons of chemicals and pesticides, even alarming levels of mercury and radon, into the D.C. area from points upstream. He’d sent out an urgent memo to all the teams that year, reminding us to take extra care if we found ourselves in situations which brought us in contact with the river’s water, and I think I’d heard something about one of Ralph Anderson’s subordinates developing an angry rash after pulling a fleeing suspect from the area around the Tidal Basin. As I look at Tony, I can only imagine what may have gotten into his system while attempting our rescue.
What I think is going to be another shift turns into a roll and, now, he’s flat on his back, sheet pulled even tighter, and I can’t help thinking he’s got to feel like he’s caught in some trap or snare, even while deep in sleep. But one hand is on the pillow right next to his head, the fingers relaxed and gently curled upward, and the other has come to rest low on his stomach, dangerously close to his groin. All men scratch and adjust, it‘s almost done unconsciously at times, but from what I’ve witnessed during my past nocturnal ‘visits’, Tony seems to do a lot of more adjusting in his sleep than what I‘d consider normal. Maybe it’s to make up for all the times during the day when he can’t indulge in the compulsion but that’s just sheer speculation on my part. Hell, I’ve seen him squirming at his desk, green eyes straying toward Ziva’s position, before dropping a hand quickly to his lap, but it’s sure not the same as having the time to really scratch and roll and adjust to your satisfaction. Not at all.
I think most women don’t understand the force behind that particular need. Cait Todd sure didn’t seem to get it but, growing up with a couple of older brothers in her family home, she should have. I know she snapped at Tony once, when he’d gotten too relaxed around her and made the mistake of adjusting himself while in her close proximity, so maybe her brothers tormented her more than a bit with their constant, joint handling of their dicks…like all good brothers should. The thought brings a real smile to my face because whether Cait or Tony would have even admitted it to anyone, much less themselves, their sibling-like affection was truly obvious. Well, it was to me.
My mind must have wandered a bit because I’m not really sure how long I’ve been here, wedged into this dark, tight corner, but I suddenly feel like there’s someone else in Tony’s apartment now. Abby would probably call it my ’radar’ or ’sixth sense’ or something equally mystical but, somehow, I just know I’m no longer the only one here. I cock my head slightly to one side and hold perfectly still, concentrating on my growing apprehension. This could be really bad. I might be able to explain my presence here as merely my need to check on one of my agents but hunkering and hiding in the shadows like some stalker probably wouldn’t be very convincing to anyone, no matter who they were. And if, by chance, this new, stealthy invader is actually a thief or someone here to do Tony harm, this could also be really messy.
Even though my eyesight isn’t what it once was, my hearing’s just fine, so I’m able to detect the soft brush of footsteps against the pile of Tony’s carpeting, just outside his bedroom. My gun is at my waist but, in this awkward position, I’ll have one hell of a time clearing it, levering up from this problematic crouch, and getting into a defendable stance. If I move now, I may…
…there’s someone at the open doorway, someone small and slim and…
Well, crap. It’s just Ziva. What the hell is she doing here at this time of night?
Just as I begin to relax and think about rising, she takes several quiet, careful steps directly toward Tony’s sleeping form, so totally engrossed in her silent examination that she doesn’t even sense my presence in the room. She should, even though I’m all but invisible, because this is just the type of training I know she’s had in the past. Surely she had to be questioning the unlocked front door. This is not like her, not at all, and I have to wonder what in the hell is going on.
She moves right up close, her knees almost touching the edge of the mattress, and she bends forward slightly at the waist. I can’t see her expression from this distance, so I don’t know if she’s looking at him with anger or pity or hate. Or love. That last thought makes my gut spasm and clench and I have to use all my willpower not to change the way I’m breathing. I suddenly want her to move away from him. Far away.
Tony shifts again, a bit restlessly this time, and the hand near his groin smoothes and twitches lower, long fingers digging at the flesh trapped under the sheet. Ziva freezes but doesn’t retreat, her head angling just a bit so I know she’s looking directly at his movements. The fingers on the pillow near his head now uncurl and begin to trek south, too, brushing across his chest in a sleepy, uncoordinated gesture, before dipping under the edge of the sheet that’s binding his hips. Tony sighs and coughs, turning his head away from Ziva’s position, and stills. I’m extremely relieved his actions don’t seem to indicate they’re going to escalate into something she doesn’t have the right to witness. Those things are private.
A fit of rough coughing suddenly shakes Tony’s body and Ziva angles and backpedals until she’s flat against the wall right next to his night stand, her figure a stiff swath of darkness against the lighter tone of the paint. If she glances up now and looks close enough, she’ll be able to see me because we’re basically facing each other across the wide expanse of the king-sized bed. But she doesn’t. Like me, she seems genuinely concerned about Tony’s health and, just when I think she’s going step back to the bed to offer some assistance, he’s shifting and tugging at the twisted sheets and obviously trying to find a better position. The coverings are pulled free and kicked awkwardly downward, leaving most of his naked body exposed to the cool, night air and our hot, wandering eyes. Only his big feet are still tented under the sheet and, as absurd as it sounds, somehow, that makes him look even more exposed. How is that possible?
My God, he’s so fucking beautiful, even in these less-than-perfect conditions, and I can see the desire sparkling clearly in Ziva‘s dark eyes. There’s a flicker of reflected light low on her face and I suddenly realize she just moistened her lips with her tongue. My skins prickles with alarm. Her covetous expression angers me and, before I can consider the consequences of my actions, I shove up from my position and stand, catching her totally unaware. The surprise is instantaneous and evident. She jerks back and a knife immediately appears in one of her small, capable hands but, before she can do me any damage, a flicker of recognition appears. She slowly lowers the blade and we stare at each other through the darkened room, each hiding our true feelings from the other.
On the bed, Tony groans, one leg bending and sliding slightly upward against the cooling sheets, his thighs spreading open and all but inviting us to look our fill. My eyes quickly dart back and forth between Tony and Ziva. I want to stay focused on him but instinct is telling me to keep her in my sights, too. God, I want her to leave, now, so I jerk my head back toward the open doorway, silently ordering her to go, but she shakes her head and stubbornly holds her ground, defying me with every ounce of her will. Obstinate bitch. Why is she even here?
Then another dark thought appears and it sets my teeth right on edge. What if this is not the first time she’s done this? What if she indulges in her own bit of ‘visiting’ and we’ve just never been here at the same time? I rapidly think back to all the occasions in the recent past when I can distinctly remember her asking questions about Tony, about his health, about his extra cell phone, and about those instances when he’d suddenly disappear from the office without telling anyone where he was going. We know, now, what Shepard had involved him in but, back then, she’d tried to brush her inquiries off as nothing more than genuine concern for her partner. Now, I can clearly see her feelings went much deeper than that.
My anger soars. Just who the hell does she think she is?
One of his hands has found it’s way to his dick and Tony moans low in the back of his throat. It’s quiet and sensual and sends a spike of lust straight to my own cock. His hips shift and spread a bit more and I realize this has already escalated far past the point of no return. Ziva won’t leave, and I won’t leave if she’s not going to leave, so it looks like we’re all here for the long haul.
As much as I’m adverse to looking away from Ziva, my eyes are naturally drawn to Tony’s hand. I don’t think he’s fully awake or totally asleep…maybe just floating on that hazy cusp somewhere between the two worlds…but his body seems honed in to the corporeal side all the same. He’s getting harder by the moment, his fingertips idly grazing the sensitive skin along the underside of his filling dick. I’ve seen him hard before, more times than he’s even aware of, but he’s never observed what his arousal does to me. Never.
And he won’t see it now.
Ziva sudden moves slightly forward again and I’m startled…and outraged…by her boldness. How dare she? She needs to back away, not move any closer, so I instinctively take another step forward, putting me dangerously close to the foot of the bed. I’ve never attempted to get this close to Tony during any of my past visits but I’ll be damned if I’ll allow her to disturb the routine I’ve so diligently maintained and all but perfected. She’s the outsider, she’s the interloper. She. Doesn’t. Belong. Here.
There’s another all but silent moan and I tear my stare away from Ziva, again focusing fully on the bed. Tony’s restless and aroused, his dick arching up and laying flat against the seductively warm-looking flesh of his belly, the palm of his right hand curved protectively over the length. He mumbles something I can’t understand, something incoherent, and huffs out a soft, ragged sigh, shifting and twitching a bit, almost as if he’s in pain. Another short, dry cough erupts before he settles again but I think I can now see the slight glitter of perspiration dotting his forehead and chest. Maybe he’s got a low fever or maybe his body is just reacting to the temperature of the room but, either way, it makes his skin fairly glow in the surrounding dimness.
I don’t know how or when I moved but my knees are now touching the edge of the mattress. I can see his face more clearly, even through the relative darkness. His eyes are closed, the full lashes resting against the tender, bruised-looking skin covering the sockets, but I can see movement under his lids, like he’s deep within REM. He possesses such a wealth of expressions, always has, so to see him like this, his face fairly relaxed and void of most emotion, always unnerves me a bit. It’s hard to catch him unawares when he’s up and moving around, almost like he guards himself from everyone purposefully. I’ve often wondered if it was all just an elaborate act for our benefit, like he was concerned we wouldn’t like him or accept him for what he was truly is. I’d hate to think that’s how he feels but I guess I do the same thing, too. It’s much easier to hide certain aspects of your past or your personality away because, sometimes, the truth can be very ugly.
His head shifts slightly on the pillow and the hand on his dick is moving, slowly but purposefully, his forefinger skimming back and forth over the small opening in the flared head. I know how this can feel, especially if the skin on the pad is rough or calloused from working on a boat or having put in time on the firing range, so my nuts stir at the sight and the memory. Tony’s a good shot, he has to be, and I imagine there’s enough thickness on the end of his finger to rasp just the right amount of delicious friction over that sensitive little hole. The appearance of a shiny bead of pre-come confirms my suspicions. Tony instinctively catches it up and smoothes it around and over the soft, responsive head and, then, he toys with the small slit, pushing at it, gently but firmly, as if he was almost trying to get the tip of his finger inside.
Fuck. I’ve never seen him do this before and I have to trap and kill a sudden and unexpected gasp of excitement from rising up out of my chest. I know what it feels like to have an agile, wet tongue playing around down there but I’ve never tried it myself or had a partner attempt to insert something inside. Maybe this is something he did with…
No. I won’t even think her name. Not now. She’s gone and he’s here and, if I can help it, I’ll do whatever I can do to make sure he doesn’t leave.
Tony rolls his head a bit from side to side and his breathing is starting to come faster and in little gasps and puffs of painful-sounding pleasure. He’s frowning now, his eyes squeezed tightly together, and the other hand snakes downward to join the one on his dick. It plays over the length for only a moment before slipping past, heading directly for his sac. Those long, slim fingers pet and roll and fondle with an expert’s touch, pressing with just a bit of pressure along the seam dividing the nuts housed within. And then, a finger slides lower.
A small, almost-silent sound escapes from Ziva’s position and my eyes fly to her location. What I see surprises me. She’s fairly swaying on her feet, the slight back and forth movement a great indicator of how affected she is by what she’s witnessing, as does the tightly clenched fist she’s pressing against the center of her chest. Her nipples are hard and peaked under the fabric of her dark shirt and her eyes are deep, glassy pools of arousal. I can see the desire and the need and the want…
…and I wonder if she can see the same things reflected in mine. I quickly look away from her.
Tony’s already begun to set up a steady rhythm by the time my gaze returns and I watch, spellbound, as his hand slides up and down his hard, hot dick. He pants…and then coughs…but maintains the pace, twisting and shifting his hips a bit on the sheet. He digs his heels into the mattress just a little, tipping his pelvis, and giving me a clear shot of the darker crease of his ass. Jesus…
The gasps and puffs are turning into quiet, rough groans and pants. He still coughs intermittently but the soft, dry hack is overshadowed by the sounds of his arousal. The tip of his dick shines with a continuous coating of pre-come and I’m almost hypnotized by the way it appears and disappears rhythmically into the hollowed tunnel of his grasp, like a lusciously, ripe plum awaiting a taste. My mouth waters at the sight.
The hand near his nuts suddenly pulls away and his fingers are digging into the sheet next to his hip, the blunt nails making soft scratching sounds on the cotton. He’s panting through an open mouth, drawing oxygen in quickly, and I’m mesmerized by the rise and fall of his chest…and by the continuing motion of his right hand.
Abruptly, the clenching, trembling hand shoots downward in an uncoordinated fumble and he’s coming, body spasming tight, arching into the sensations, his groans and moans turning into recognizable words and names.
No, not names. A name. Just one.
“Jeanne,” he groans one, final time, his voice weak and breathless and breaking and filled with so much longing it all but turns my heart to ice.
Fuck. I take a stumbling step back, as does Ziva, and I know if I look directly at her now I’ll see what’s surely reflected clearly on my own face: shock and loss and a healthy dose of disbelief.
Tony’s rolling sluggishly to one side, his broad, smooth back and tight, firm ass angling toward Ziva, and his left hand is carelessly smearing shining trails of come across the sheet like it doesn‘t matter. I guess it doesn‘t because he’s curling inward, now, arms and legs pulling roughly into a loose fetal position, and his shoulders are…his shoulders are shaking, just as if…
Oh, no…not this. Please.
He’s crying. Tony is crying, ever so quietly, but he is definitely crying. His soft, ragged sobs tear at my cold heart, thawing it like summer sunshine on a sheet of ice. He misses her, that woman…Jeanne…and I didn’t even consider that possibility. How could I have not seen the signs?
I squeeze my suddenly aching eyes tightly together and gather my splintering emotions inward, shoving them, one by one, back into the dark recesses of my soul. I have to stop doing this. I have to. I’m not doing Tony or myself any good. I’ve only been deluding myself, masquerading these secret, night-time, one-sided encounters as ‘welfare visits’, when all along I know I was harboring my own private desires. What kind of man am I?
When I finally manage to open them again, my gaze shifts immediate toward Ziva’s location but she’s already gone, her silent withdrawal never detected. I feel like I should leave, too, and give Tony the solitude he so sorely deserves, but I just can’t force my feet into motion. Not yet. He may still need me. At least, I’d like to believe he might.
I slink back to my corner and wait. It doesn’t take long for his sadness to bleed away and for sleep to finally come, lulling him fully within it’s tender embrace. It’s what he needs more than anything, I think…just a good night’s rest. That and something I realize I can’t give him: his heart’s desire.
So, I leave his home as silently as I arrived, locking the door behind me, and stepping out into the night. But unlike most thieves, I leave empty-handed. There is nothing here for me tonight, nothing substantial to steal away, nothing I can covet and take as my own. All I can do is step forward and move on…alone.