Gibbs stared at his second. His hair was spiked up with bright, blue gel. He was wearing a tight black tee, tight jeans, combat boots and a leather jacket. A chain belt ran through the loops of his jeans and dangled down the side of his left leg. His backpack was on his shoulder and his holster stood out sharply, making the outfit even more surreal.
"What's wrong, boss, it sounded urgent?"
"It is. I've got a dead Marine who's supposed to be on the other side of the world on a classified mission. Grab your gear, we're heading out to the crime scene. You'll want to loose the belt."
Tony nodded. He dropped the belt into the top drawer of his desk. Once his baseball cap was on, he looked a little more like himself. "Do we have a name?" he asked, jogging to catch up with Gibbs before he reached the elevator.
"Got it. What's his specialty?"
Gibbs grunted. Was that lipstick on the young man's face?
"You've got lipstick on."
"Oh, yeah. Forgot about that." Tony fished a tissue out of his backpack and wiped his lips. "Better?"
"I'll borrow some cold cream from Abs' desk when we get back."
Gibbs gave Tony what little information they had on the way to the truck. "Ducky's meeting us there," he finished up. Tony settled in the passenger side of the truck. "So where were you?"
"Clubbing, boss. Didn't you guess?" The young man's grin was infectious and Gibbs found himself smiling.
"That better wash out."
"The blue? Yeah, it's just a gel. You know, Abs and I do have more in common than being able to stand you at your grumpiest."
"She ever get that date out of you?"
"Maybe, but you'll never know."
Gibbs smirked. "I always know, DiNozzo."
"Then you shouldn't ask."
"Good thing you don't dress like that for work. We'd have to get another agent in just to keep the girls away from you."
"Your faith is touching. Hey, did you just imply that you think I'm handsome?"
"I was going more for cute or sexy, at least to most women, but handsome works."
Gibbs felt obscurely honored. He hadn't had anyone who treasured his opinion that much since, well, maybe his third wife while they were dating. DiNozzo squirmed a little, putting on his windbreaker. He flipped down the visor, looking for a mirror. He frowned when he didn't find one.
"Checking your eye-liner?" the older man said sarcastically.
Tony blinked at him. "Am I wearing eye-liner?"
"A little young to lose your memory."
"I couldn't decide. I thought I'd decided no, but I'm not sure." Tony frowned. "Glad I didn't even get a beer."
"You were on call."
"This is supposed to be my weekend off, boss," he countered. "I was supposed to be able to get drunk on Friday night, hopefully score, and be fine when I got to work on Monday."
Gibbs cuffed him gently across the back of the head. "You know better."
"Yeah, may as well give up on the idea of an actual life. Abby warned me, but I didn't believe her. So, who did you abuse before you had me?"
Gibbs' lips quirked up. "I don't smack and tell."
"Too bad." Tony settled into his seat as they rounded another corner at speed. "You're lucky I like roller-coasters." They were shortly at the parking lot where Price had been found.
"Secure the perimeter. I'll start with pictures."
"On it, boss."
"That background done yet, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked across the darkened bullpen.
"Not yet, boss." Tony didn't even look up. He knew the frown that would be on Gibbs' lips and didn't feel like dealing with it. He picked out another word. Gibbs grunted. "It might go faster if you didn't ask me about it every ten minutes."
"Stop it. Being snappish is my job. You are supposed to be the perky one."
"I am not perky," Tony replied. He glared across the room, pointing with his pen. "Take that back."
Gibbs smirked at him. "You need coffee and food."
"Nah, I'll be fine."
"You've got dark circles under your eyes unless that really is eyeliner." Gibbs crossed the room. He lifted Tony's chin with his hand to study his face. The younger man blinked at him.
"And if it is?"
"You need to steal some of that industrial remover Abby uses before it gets into your eyes." Gibbs' palm was strong and warm. Tony turned his cheek into the touch.
"I should probably do that. Unless you want that background first."
"I want you to be able to see to finish the report. Go on."
Tony stifled a yawn as he wandered down to Abby's lab. It was wierd to have it quiet and dark. There was something wrong about being in there without Abby there. He settled at her desk and pulled out the top right hand drawer. He sifted through the flotsam of her personal drawer and found the cold cream. He cleaned off the eye-liner using her mirror, then put them both away. He saw a black velvet journal in there. His fingers itched to pick it up.
"Touch it and she'll kill you," Gibbs said from the doorway.
"Not exactly. Just came to see what's taking so long."
"Have you ever looked in her drawers? It's like an archeological expedition."
"I've been to your apartment."
"I clean up better than this."
Gibbs snorted. "Coffee's brewing. You might want to get up there before anyone else sniffs it out."
"Right." Tony yawned as he passed the older man. A light cuff to the back of the head made his lips curl up. He liked being touched. "Coffee does not make up for a missed night of clubbing, you know."
Gibbs chuckled and followed him out. "Maybe you should give it up."
"Because we're first on the list to call in for the big cases."
Tony sighed and slumped against the back of the elevator. Gibbs stopped the car in the middle. Tony raised his brows. "Problem?"
"Nope." Gibbs gave him a quicksilver grin. He stepped across the small car. He stroked Tony's cheek with his thumb. Tony turned into the touch. "What would make up for a missed night of clubbing?"
The younger man considered. A sly smirk crossed his face. "Maybe a kiss or three or more? That's what I would have gotten if I'd stayed out after all." Gibbs chuckled. He placed a chaste kiss to each cheek. Tony laughed. "You are a bigger tease than I am."
"Had to catch those wives somehow, didn't I?" Gibbs replied. "But that's why I like you. You understand flirting."
"Yeah." Tony grinned. "I catch a lot of girls that way myself."
Gibbs raised a brow. Tony mimed locking his mouth. His boss laughed. "That too," he said reluctantly. "You know, if I weren't in the reserves," he murmured.
"And you weren't my boss."
Tony sighed. "I could change that. I hear there's an opening in Manassass."
"You'd kill yourself out of boredom."
"Besides, this way I can at least say I've bought you breakfast." Gibbs winked. "And I won't give up the reserves until they force me to retire."
Tony snorted. "You won't ever stop being a Marine, Gibbs. And I won't ever stop being me either, so we're even. I get bored easily."
"I've noticed. You go through more women than shirts."
"So I'm a slut." Tony shrugged. "It's fun and I'm careful. And you don't care except that you haven't been getting any since your last wife left."
Gibbs shook his head. "Back to work." He turned the elevator on. "Just be careful. If I lose you, it better be to an accident or a bullet, not a disease."
Gibbs turned away. Tony checked out his ass, just for the fun of it.
"Thanks for giving a damn."
"Hell, I've just about gotten you broken in. Haven't had to hit you with a newspaper in ages."
"I should take offense at that. I'm not a puppy."
"But if I pet you, you'll do almost anything," Gibbs shot back. "And you yap."
"I do not yap! Even if I am a dog, I'm not an ankle nipper."
"Nah, more like a lab."
Tony considered that for a moment. "Still not happy about the dog thing, but I'll accept a lab over a yappy little thing."
Gibbs pushed him in the direction of the breakroom. "Get coffee, then get back to work. Breakfast is coming from the deli."
"Thanks." Their eyes met for a moment and Tony knew Gibbs understood that it was for more than just breakfast. Gibbs gave him another half-smile.