Best-Kept Secret

Tony opened the door to an embarrassed Kate and a somber Abby. He blinked, but let them into his apartment. Kate looked around in surprise. "It's neater than I expected."

"Well, good old Gunny-Gibbs gave me a tongue lashing about the state of the place last time he picked me up. I am *never* going to face that again. But you're not here to talk about housekeeping. Unless you two just got evicted from your places?" He closed the door behind them, locking it as automatically as Gibbs would have left it unlocked.

"No." Abby shifted from foot to foot. He fixed the two of them with his best Gibbs-glare, but he knew it came out more like worry. Damn, he didn't have time for this, not when he had to make dinner.

"Okay, you can talk to me in the kitchen. I'm making dinner. Have you eaten?"

They shook their heads like twin bobble-head dolls.

"Christ. Fine. Come on. Abby, set the table while we talk. Kate, get the meat on the top shelf out of the refrigerator. Talk to me, ladies." Tony washed his hands and started filling a pan with water. He'd have to improvise. Luckily, his father's housekeeper had taught him how to deal with unexpected guests. "Abby, I need the spice rack from the counter over there." He assembled the quick soup, adding the already cooked meat to it. As soon as he added a little pasta and some more veggies, it would be wonderful. He turned it on and started chopping the veggies. "I'm not hearing anything."

Abby cleared her throat. "Sweetie, you know you're like my best friend, right?"

"Deep as scarification. I remember that slightly disgusting analogy. Better than being a piercing. So?"

"And, well, I'd never divulge any of your secrets, so Kate knowing is totally not my doing."

"Spit it out, Abs, or no chocolate tonight."

Kate took a deep breath. "We think Gibbs is cheating on you."

Tony froze. He set his knife down carefully. He scraped the onions and carrots into the water. When he was finished adding everything to the soup, he put on the cover and turned around. "Abby?" He kept his voice neutral as he'd learned from his father.

"I swear. I didn't tell her. She said she knew the two of you were an item after you got back from seeing Stan."

"We weren't an item then," Tony said quietly.

Abby blinked. "You weren't? But I thought. . . Oh, Tony. I thought you'd told him!"

"You're the one who talked to him aren't you. It's all starting to make a sense. And now, you two busy-bodies, think he's cheating on me and came to break the bad news with what evidence?"

"Photos, credit card slips, and an over-heard phone call," Kate said calmly.

"And you think he's stupid enough to have left that much evidence? You think he wants out of the relationship and is scared to tell me thinking that it will ruin our working relationship?" Tony's voice was soft. He saw Abby rocking a bit on her toes and turned his attention to her. "Abby?"

"It's not that. I think, I think maybe he knew this person before and didn't really break it off with him. I think he," she gulped and looked down at the floor. "I think he likes to play rough and you're too vanilla."

Tony blinked at her. "So you think he goes to a professional?"

"We aren't saying that. I don't think the other guy's a hustler. . . exactly," Kate murmured.

"Do you have a name for me?"

"Joey," Abby said quickly, glaring at Kate who had a mulish expression on her face.

Tony's eyes widened. He couldn't help it, he started to laugh. "Joey Fontaine?" he prompted. "You think he's cheating on me with Joey freaking Fontaine?"

Abby and Kate stared at him. Abby looked mournful. She nodded. "I'm so sorry, Tony, I didn't know you knew him too."

"Know him? I rent the damned apartment for him! Joey. Thanks, I needed that."

"Something I need to know?" Gibbs growled. The two women jumped. Tony looked at him with a grin and a hiccupping laugh.

"They think you're cheating on me with Joey."

"They do, huh?" Gibbs' lips twitched up. "And how do they know this?"

"They say they have photos. They haven't shown them to me yet."

"We'll look at them after dinner."

"Did you bring the bread?"

Gibbs held out the bag. Tony took it and put the loaf on the table. "I'm going to change. Then we can discuss the fact that they not only seem to know we're a couple, but that they've been following me."

Tony sobered as Gibbs stalked out of the room. "I didn't tell them!" he called after the retreating back.


Dinner was stilted. Gibbs kept his face solemn and avoided looking at his lover, afraid they'd both start laughing and spoil the game. Kate picked at her bread, shredding it into her soup. Abby ate quietly, if enthusiastically. She tried to keep the conversation moving, but it didn't work. Tony kept shutting her down with one word answers and solutions. She glared at him, knowing that he was teasing her, but unable to out-maneuver him in a verbal game. Talking was Tony's forte. Gibbs didn't bother to contribute anything but a glower to the conversation. Eventually, the table was cleared and Tony served coffee for his guests. He made tea for himself.

"Where is this evidence?" Tony prompted. Abby pulled an envelope from behind her back. She unfolded the photos that had been printed on plain paper. She passed them over to Tony. He glance through them. Gibbs had to admire his poker face. It didn't look like a blank mask. He looked faintly hurt, but not terribly upset. He passed the photos to Gibbs. "He's not cheating on me," Tony informed them.

Gibbs glanced at the first three photos. "I should fire you both for incompetence."

That startled the women. "Why?" Kate demanded.

"Did you completely miss the fact that my car is in every shot?"

Kate grabbed the sheaf of pictures. She looked at the cars, frowning. "Where?"

Gibbs chuckled. "In Joey's parking space."

Abby closed her eyes and dropped her forehead onto the table. "You use the apartment as neutral ground?" she hazarded. "You're both friends with the cute little freak?"

"You think Joey's cute, huh?" Tony asked, a smirk on his face. "He doesn't have any ink."

"Yes, he does," Gibbs contradicted. Tony frowned at him. Then, his face heated.

"I forgot about that."

Gibbs frowned at him. "How do you forget something like that?"


"I'm impressed, a multi-syllable word," Kate snarked.

Tony flipped her off. "Still, you think he's cute? You have a picture of him? Or just a description?"

Abby blushed. She pulled out her wallet, the chain clinking as she did. She pulled out a photo and handed it over. "He's sort of my type. If he weren't a hustler of course."

"Escort," Tony corrected. "Hustlers don't make as good of a salary."

"He charges me hustler rates," Gibbs murmured.

"You're a special case," Tony shot back.

"He's soaking you for rent," Gibbs pointed out. "You planning to pimp him out for it?"

"Anything for a buck," Tony replied. He looked at the photo carefully. "Yeah, that's Joey. You seen this one, Katie?"

"Don't call me 'Katie'." She glared at Tony as she took the photo. "Abby's right, he's a freak."

"I think they should meet him, don't you?" The older man prompted his lover. Tony looked at him for a moment, then a wicked smile danced across his face.

"I don't know. I sort of like keeping him." Tony's voice was bored. "It's a family tradition. At least I won't have any children from the relationship."

"Family tradition?" Kate's voice was sharp. "Keeping a boy-toy?"

"Keeping a concubine. Well, a catamite in this case," Tony said, voice taking on the cadence of the class he was born to. "Papa had three. One of whom was my mother. He actually did make an honest woman of her and acknowledged me, but still, he's been keeping women for ages. I think I'll keep Joey for awhile yet."

"That doesn't mean they can't meet him," Gibbs countered.

"One should never mix business with pleasure. That's your rule isn't it?" Tony purred, eyes glinting dangerously. "You wouldn't like it if he showed up at the office. And if we introduce Abby to him, who knows what trouble will ensue." The younger man leaned across the table, voice dropping into a low rumble, "I've put a lot of energy into keeping him since Philly; I won't lose him on a whim."

"This isn't a whim. This just makes sense. They've been spying on us and if we close them out they'll continue to spy on us."

Tony pouted, but gave him a barely perceptible nod. "This weekend then. You take them. I don't want him associating them with being my friends."

"Fine. Call him. I want him awake when we get there. I'll pick you up Saturday morning," Gibbs informed the women. "Be ready by 830. I'll pick Abby up first. Now, I think it's time for you to get out of here." Gibbs ushered them out. "And if you bring this up to anyone, I'll fire both of you."


Gibbs pulled up in front of the apartment building and took Joey's spot. Kate glanced around to make sure Tony's car was nowhere to be seen. It wasn't. Abby followed Gibbs up the stairs, almost skipping. She was wearing the shortest skirt Kate had ever seen her in and a red shirt under her black long-sleeved shirt. Her boots were knee-length. Kate herself had chosen to go with jeans and a white-shirt. She didn't know what the etiquette for meeting a boy-toy was. Gibbs unlocked the door without knocking. The scent of coffee was in the air.

"That you, LJ?" The voice held a soft, Southern drawl. The man she assumed was Joey poked his head out from the back room. "Ah, Christ, LJ, Tony didn't tell me you were bringing breeders."

Automatically, she started cataloging differences. Joey's jaw was different from Tony's, more full. His lips were neatly painted with shimmering gloss. He wore rose colored John Lennon glasses. He had a gold chain earring that trailed up his ear to a clip near the top. His hair was gelled into spikes and tinted with red gel. He wore a wristful of metal-link bracelets. His tee-shirt was tight and drew the eye down to his tight leather pants. He was wearing combat boots with a chain over the top.

"See something you like, bitch?" he drawled as she completed her perusal. He put a hand on his hip. "LJ?" he queried again. "You know I don't do twats."

"They wanted to meet you."

"Well, the younger ho has some potential, but the preppy's gotta go."

Gibbs crossed the room in a few steps and wrapped a hand in the hair at the back of Joey's head. He twisted, exposing the young man's neck. "I think you're forgetting something," Gibbs growled. Joey shivered in his grip. "What are you forgetting, boy?"

Joey swallowed hard. His pants didn't hide the arousal that pressed against the fabric. "I ain't forgetting anything."

"You need a lesson in respect. Coffee for our guests." He threw the young man towards the kitchen. "Have a seat, ladies." Abby plopped down on the couch. Kate chose one of the wingback chairs. Gibbs looked at them. "Don't give him an inch," he informed them. "He just likes to press buttons."

"I ain't deaf you know," Joey called from the kitchen.

"Don't test me today, boy."

He returned with three mugs of coffee, sugar, and creamer on a tray. He put them on the coffee table, then sprawled in the oversized leather chair that was kitty-corner to Kate's chair. He put one leg up on the arm, showing off his arousal. He spread his arms, taking possession of the chair completely. He glared at the women. He was wearing eye-shadow, she could see as the glasses slipped down his nose. He pushed them up with his middle-finger. Gibbs watched him for a moment. He took out his hand-cuffs. He cuffed the wrist laying along the back, then attached the other end to the old-fashioned radiator. Joey watched with passive amusement. Gibbs kissed him on the top of the head, then took his coffee. He sat down next to Abby. "Okay, so the cunts have met me. Now what?"

"Now, we'll have a civilized conversation over coffee."

Joey snorted. "Get on with it. I've got a bunch of old queens to charm tonight. I don't have time for this shit."

"You have the time if I say you do."

The young man settled back into the chair. He adjusted his cock un-self-consciously. Kate felt the blush heating her cheeks. Abby bounced over to sit on the side of his chair. He looked up at her, baring his throat. A simple silver chain, at odds with the rest of his jewelry adorned his throat. She settled her skirt. "You don't play with girls?" She pouted at him.

"Sorry, honey, you're missing equipment," he informed her, voice sweet as honey.

"Tony didn't want you to meet them."

"D's always been high-strung. He don't want me meeting my clients either. Possessive bastard." Joey shrugged. The handcuff rattled as he moved it. "Why did you want the cunts to meet me?"

"They think I'm cheating on Tony."

"How sweet. So?"

"I want to know how you missed them staking out the apartment."

Joey shifted in his seat. "I don't get out much?"

"Pull the other one, slut."

"Security's not my thing. That's what you're supposed to do." Joey waved away the question. He ignored Abby's presence as he slid down further into the leather cushions. He seemed well aware of his effect on the other members of the room. The rest of the conversation was filled with blatant innuendo and insults. Kate couldn't take the teasing any longer and walked towards the front door. Joey's snide laughter made her stop and turn with eyes blazing.

"You're an asshole, Joey, and I don't see why they put up with it."

"I'm a good fuck," he sneered at her.

"I warned you he'd try to push your buttons," Gibbs said, amused at her discomfort. "Come on, I'll take you home." He herded the women toward the door.

"Hey! LJ! Aren't you forgetting something?" Joey rattled his cuffs.


Kate saw his jaw drop. He snapped his lips shut. "Bastard," he snarled.

"I'll be back. Let's go. I can't leave him alone for too long. Who knows what he'd do to the radiator."

Kate stalked down the stairs. Abby shook her head. "I was right. You so need to get a collar on him."

Gibbs gave a huff of a laugh.


Gibbs wasn't sure what he'd find when he got back to the "Joey's" apartment. He opened the door cautiously. "You are so fucking lucky that I always keep my keys on me."

"They're your cuffs," Gibbs replied.

"You really need to fire both of them, boss. Kate I expected, but Abby? Shit, your best friend really should be able to see through some make-up and a clothes change."

"We'll see if she did later. Kate's going to be thoroughly disgusted for days. You were a little over-the-top."

"No such thing." A small pile of cotton and the tinted glasses were on the coffee tray. Tony rubbed his jaw. "I really hate the cotton. I need to invest in some plastic or something. Something that won't make my tongue dry."

"I didn't think you'd use it."

"They know me. I had to make it different. They probably think you're fucking my cousin or something." Tony rolled his eyes. "You better not fuck up this cover. I've been maintaining Joey's contacts since Philly!"

"It won't hurt. It might help." Gibbs smirked at his lover. "Besides, you're hot when you're lying."

"I am hot all of the time," Tony said with a smirk.

"You didn't change."

"You left me hot, bothered and cuffed to the radiator. Do you know how hard it is to get the keys out of my back pocket?"

"No harder than me keeping character when you referred to Abby as a 'ho'. You do that again and I'll let her have you."

"Right. Like you'd do that. Besides, I don't do female Doms."

"You really have someplace to go tonight?"

"Charity event downtown. I have to go because the DiNozzo Foundation contributed and I'm on the board. My tux is in the closet. You want to come?"

"DiNozzo," Gibbs snapped.

"Right. Right. So, you want to help me get out of these pants?"

The older man smirked. "Does that mean into you?"

"Well, that depends on you, doesn't it?"

Gibbs raised a brow. Tony glared at him. The older man started to laugh. "You don't do things by half-measures, do you?" he said fondly.

Tony looked up at him and batted mascara and eye-liner enhanced lashes at him. "What's the point?"

Gibbs smirked. He crossed the room and caught Tony by the back of the neck. "In that case. Bedroom. Now, boy."

"You can even call me Joey when you come and I won't get pissed," Tony informed him. He twisted against the grip that held his head. Gibbs' grip forced his head forward, eyes down. Tony bit his lip. Gibbs gave him a minute to dredge up Joey's personality again, then pushed forward. Sulking now, Tony gave in.

The bedroom was neatly maintained and Gibbs smirked at that. It seemed he'd finally gotten through to his lover. He pushed Tony towards the bed with a shove that sent him stumbling. He glared up through his lashes, but didn't say anything. Gibbs located the lube and condoms and set them on the table. Tony sprawled on the bed, holding himself up with his elbows. "Gonna give me a show, old man?" he drawled. Gibbs didn't reply, simple stripped off his shirt and opened his jeans before stepping forward and between his lover's leather-clad legs.

He kissed him firmly tasting tea, sugar, cinnamon, and lipgloss overlaying his lover's natural flavor. Their tongues fought for a moment before Tony subsided, giving in with a moan. He arched up into Gibbs' body. He moved a hand towards the front of his pants. Gibbs caught it. He pulled back. "No," was all he said. He stripped the wrist of its bracelets letting each one drop onto the carpet. The younger man moved restlessly, but Gibbs didn't speed up.

"LJ, hurry up."

Gibbs put a finger over the glossed lips. He let the young man suck on it while he worked the buttons of the leather pants open. He palmed the hard length he revealed. His lover arched into the touch.

"Put your hands behind your head."

"God." Tony complied, eyes dilated with arousal.


Tony whined in the back of his throat, but didn't move as Gibbs left him. The older man stripped off his shoes, socks and jeans. He didn't move back to the bed immediately, just watching the unconscious small movements of his lover. They'd both known this game would end up like this. Even if it had taken longer to drive Kate and Abby away, or if they'd figured out the truth, they'd have ended up in this small, well-equipped hustler's room. Knowing that, Gibbs also knew that his lover had put in a butt-plug. It was the only time Tony indulged in toys. It was one of the lines that helped him differentiate himself from his oldest standing undercover personality. This morning, Gibbs had free reign. His orders would be complied with, his kinks catered to, and his cock sheathed in hot flesh regardless of Tony's initial resistance.

He stripped the leather pants down carefully, kissing and licking at the exposed skin. He kissed the tattoo on the inside of Tony's right thigh. "LJG" was surrounded by a heart. It was simple and small. It took the place of a ring. Tony was his unconditionally. "Please, LJ, get on with it. I'm dying here." The accent was still honey-Southern. Gibbs smirked.

"Relax, boy. I plan on taking my time. And don't you dare move those hands or I'll cuff you to the headboard." That threat was guaranteed to make Tony act up. Like clockwork, he ignored the rule to pull off his tee-shirt and drop it over the edge of the bed. "I warned you." Gibbs caught him by his hair and dragged him towards the headboard. A gasp of surprise reminded him that Tony hadn't been to the apartment since Gibbs had installed the straps that now hung discretely behind the bed. He collected one of the leather-lined metal cuffs and buckled it on tightly. Tony fought him as he dragged his other wrist towards its prison. He actually had to pin the boy's arm with his knee before he could fasten the cuff on. Once on he let Tony learn the strength and limits of his bonds.

Tony arched up, exposing his throat, putting his cock on display. "Please, LJ, I ain't going to last."

"So come," Gibbs shrugged. "I'll still fuck you."

That got him a low groan. He smirked at his lover. He toyed with the plug, watching Tony squirm in response. It wasn't large, but it did the trick. He left it in place in order to prep himself. "I ever tell you that you're a fucking tease?"

"No, if I were a tease, I'd leave you like this for the rest of the day." Tony's green eyes popped open at that suggestion. He bit his lip. His eyes immediately locked onto Gibbs' hand. Soon enough, Gibbs' cock was sheathed and lubed. He pulled the plug out slowly. "I should just leave you plugged and jerk off. You've been a little shit all morning. It'd teach you a lesson about teasing."

Tony groaned. "No, please, I'll be sweetness and light. You'll see, LJ." The drawl was still in effect and Gibbs was impressed as always at Tony's ability to keep in character. He pulled the plug free finally and replaced it with his cock. He gave Tony a moment to adjust. He relished the feeling of heat around his cock. He pressed in slowly, ignoring his lovers whispered threats and breathless begging for more. "Finally," Tony breathed and Gibbs was fully seated. The older man looked down at his lover and smirked. He moved his hips in little circles, not thrusting, just moving. His lover pulled against the bindings that held him to the bed. "Move, you bastard."

"Calm down, kiddo," he chided, voice gruff with his own need. "Make me come too soon and you'll just have to stay like that until I get it up again."

Tony whined. Gibbs brushed a thumb over the pink lips, smearing what was left of the gloss until it looked like a smear of pre-come decorating the young man's face. When he thought he could control himself, he moved. He set a dangerously slow pace. He tilted up just enough to make Tony arch and come. He rode out the sensation of the hot flesh clamping around his cock. Tony collapsed back and Gibbs took his time, thrusting in and out. He enjoyed the welcoming warmth of orgasm-sated muscles. Then, he thrust deep, holding his lovers hips tightly enough to bruise as he came. He collapsed across the hard-body beneath him, breath stirring the soft hair on Tony's chest.


"Gibbs, I swear to God, if you don't unlock these fucking cuffs, I am going to have to kill you," Tony growled. Gibbs blinked at him. The blue eyes took a moment to focus.

He chuckled. "Sorry, baby." He patted Tony's shoulder, but made no move to free the cuffs.

"Now, Gibbs. Not when you feel like it. Now."


"Gibbs," Tony hissed out the word. He hated being restrained. He allowed it here, in this room, on this bed, but not after they finished. It was Jet's kink and he was willing to give into it, especially when he was playing Joey, but not afterwards. It brought back memories he wished he didn't have. "Jet?" he tried plaintive this time. He knew Gibbs would never hurt him. That he'd be protected. That he was safe, but he couldn't stand the sensation. Gibbs stroked him, trying to gentle him. "God damn it! Let me loose!"

"Not until you calm down," Gibbs replied. His voice was even. "Five minutes. Talk to me for five minutes, no obfuscations and then it'll be over, okay?" he soothed.

Tony felt his jaw clench. "No, not okay. Take them off."

"Do you trust me, Tony?"

"Yes," he said without hesitation.

"Then give me five minutes."


"Because I'm curious."

Tony groaned. He collapsed into the pillows. They smelled of sweat and sex and not-so-cheap makeup. Gibbs was in a mood and he was stuck with him. If he didn't love the man so much, he'd just shoot him. "Fine. Five minutes. Not one second more."

Gibbs disposed of the condom and settled down next to Tony's tense body. "Tell me what they feel like."


"The cuffs, what do they feel like?"

"They're stiff, but not uncomfortable exactly," Tony said, voice quiet. "I don't have enough flexibility in my hand to touch the buckles. The cuffs are too high. Even if they weren't locked on, I wouldn't be able to get them off without using my teeth. I can feel the metal through the leather. It has no give to it. And every time I try to move my hands, I can feel the tension in the strap that's holding them to the bed. I don't know why I agreed to let you get them."

"The others didn't hold you."


"How does it make you feel?"


"How does being restrained make you feel? Remember, you never lie to me."

"Christ, Gibbs, you don't ask for much do you." Tony yanked hard on the cuff holding his right wrist. It didn't give. "I hate it. I hate not being able to move. I hate not being able to touch."

"What do you feel?"

"Angry," Tony snapped. "Right now, I want to stalk out of the goddamned room and slam the door and maybe throw a few glasses just to hear them shatter."


Gibbs was quiet waiting for an answer. Tony closed his eyes and let the word dangle between them. "Scared," he said finally. "Fucking terrified. I can't reach you. Shit, if something happened, I wouldn't able to do anything about it. You could be hurt or killed or kidnapped and I wouldn't be able to do a goddamned thing. I'd just have to watch." He shivered.

"Nothing's going to happen here," Gibbs said quietly. "And you know there's a knife taped to the back of the headboard within reach. That's not what you're scared of."

Tony shivered. He couldn't be asking that. He couldn't know.

"I need to know what your captain in Peoria didn't tell me."

Tony squeezed his eyes shut. "Don't ask me. Please, Jethro. Don't ask me that."

"What happened during the Wilder case?"

"Bastard. I'll tell you, but only if you take these cuffs off right now."

"I still have two minutes on the clock."

"I was bait. Prostitution. We'd caught a few high-ranking councilmen and a few businessmen. It was a cheap deal. They supported a better budget for the police and somehow the citations got lost. They sold out. When I questioned it, I was told to shut up and keep playing the whore, since I was so good at it. So the operation continued. What I didn't know was that it wasn't Vice's operation anymore. I wasn't bait for a honey trap. I was bait for a killer. Actually a pair of them. God, Gibbs they were so normal."

Tony took a breath to calm his heart. "I wasn't even on duty. They'd followed me to the van. I changed in the van and hopped out wearing my jeans and a sweatshirt and baseball cap. I didn't wear more than lip gloss back then. I didn't need it."

"Still don't," Gibbs assured him. The comment made him smile.

"I was walking home. They pulled over and asked for directions. I was giving them directions when she jammed the needle into my arm. She told me it was Thorazine. All I know is that everything got fuzzy. Her husband bundled me into the backseat of the car. When I finally woke up, I was chained to their bed. They'd seen me hustling. They had everything, even my badge. They didn't care, Gibbs. I was their toy for three weeks before Homicide found me and arrested them. They didn't kill me right away because I gave them a thrill they'd never had. I could be other boys for them. That's where Joey was born. That's where I learned to keep an accent even when I was being fucked. Now, unlock these fucking cuffs!"

Gibbs freed him. He pulled him into a hug and held him until he stopped shaking. "You should have told me before, Tony. Damn it, I should have figured it out when you first brought up Joey and told me about building your personas."

"No, Jethro, no. I don't mind. I enjoy being someone else. I just, I can't do the same things when I'm just me. Joey enjoys playing games and toys and all that. Me? I get creeped out talking to Abby sometimes. And she's really considerate."

Gibbs lifted Tony's chin. He looked watery and Tony realized that he was crying.

"Ah, crap." He scrubbed at his eyes. "I like making you feel good. I like playing for you. Hell, I like the work it takes to maintain the different covers. Anything but being restrained. Promise me, Jethro, never again."

"Never again, Tony." Gibbs tightened his grip. They laid there for a moment and Tony was grateful for the comfort of his lover's heartbeat. "Joey on the other hand. . ."

Tony couldn't help but laugh. "Joey, was made for it," he stated. He kissed Gibbs hard. "You don't mind that I have to be someone else for it?"

Gibbs smirked. "You're never anyone but you to me. I've never made that mistake."

Tony smiled. "Yeah, you're the first one who's ever recognized me undercover. Thanks for not blowing it."

"I'd never get you killed Tony."

"I know."

"What time's that dinner?"

"Seven. Means I have to be there at about seven-fifteen. I'll start getting ready at four." Tony glanced at the clock. "How did it get this late?" he demanded. "I have to get my tux shirt from the cleaners and get this red crap out of my hair."

Gibbs kissed him soundly. "Let's take a shower. I'll help you with the gel, you get to take care of the make-up. I'll run to the dry cleaner's while you head back to your apartment. Your car around the corner?"

"Yeah. I didn't want the girls to see it."


Gibbs looked up from his book to see the dashing, daring, tux-clad Tony DiNozzo slink through his front door. "Next time you are coming with me," Tony said flatly. "If I had to deal with one more old society bitch who wanted me to marry her daughter, I'd have shot someone." Tony stalked over to Gibbs' chair and straddled his legs. "All I could think about during the never-ending pompous speech-making machines' blathering was how I wanted to be here, with you." He kissed Gibbs soundly, taking pains to map every millimeter of his mouth with a possessive tongue. "You know, I should convince Ducky to go. He'd have them all dazed and confused. Maybe that would shut the self-righteous bastards up."

Gibbs took off his reading glasses and set them and his book on the table. "Did you eat?"

"If a rubber chicken meal counts, yeah, I ate. If you mean did I eat food, then, no, I didn't. I'm starving."

"There's leftovers."

"From where?"

"China Garden."

"I'm on it." He gave Gibbs the sweetest kiss he could. "I didn't mean to freak out on you this morning."

Gibbs' arms wrapped around him. "You didn't freak out."

"Yes, I did. You're just too besotted to see it."

"Besotted? You need to stop talking to Ducky."

"I like talking to Ducky." Tony let Gibbs hold him for a moment. "He treats me like I'm smart. He doesn't talk over my head or shoot me little looks that say 'you'll never understand this so stop trying.'"

Gibbs' attention snapped to his face. "Who does that?"

Tony blinked. He felt a flush creep onto his face. "Don't worry about it. It's not a big deal. I'm used to it. I'm a jock."

The older man studied him for a moment. "Abby," he said decisively. "I never realized it bothered you."

"It doesn't usually. I've just been forced to sit through lecture after lecture about how I'm wasting myself by being in law enforcement rather than the family business. The Foundation was my baby, but all those stuffed shirts think my father came up with it. It drives me crazy." Tony got to his feet and put out a hand. "Come on. At least sit with me while I eat."


NCIS Bedroom