Chapter 2: What Gibbs Knew

Rule 12 was real. It had been broken before, would be broken again, but that didn't matter. Rules were made to be followed as if they would never be broken, even after they were. That was the only way to go on. Gibbs would never have sought Tony out to end his own pain. For that matter, he didn't seek Tony out when the other man was in pain; he respected a man's right to his own pain, his own self determination, too much to do that. That case with the German bomb maker made Tony aware of Gibbs' very real belief that one's pain was one's own. When Tony asked if he or Gibbs should do something for Kate, Gibbs has responded with a question of his own. "You ever make a mistake, Tony?" And when Tony admitted it, after trying reflexively to deflect with a joke, Gibbs continued, asking if anything anyone had ever said had helped. Tony didn't answer, but of course, the boss was right.

Gibbs famous, almost superhuman, ability to eat his own pain, to just...withstand and wait it out, in the basement, or even on the job, face relaxed, eyes intent, but his body taut under the loose clothing, was just sheer, terrifyingly tensile, unrelenting, bull-headed stubbornness. He knew that it was right not to give in, so he just...didn't. Not to his own. Not to Kate's. Not to Tony's. But when he had caused Tony's pain...

That first time they came together, Tony, uncharacteristically surprised and driven by his own pain, had caused Gibbs'. The second time, it was Gibbs who had struck the blow.

The next day, Tony didn't allow himself to think much about it. To give what had happened between them consideration was to give it too much weight. It was just that once, after all. Tony had worked for Gibbs for more than two years, well past the time that he usually...changed jobs. Gibbs knew his name, had never called him Steve like he had Stan Burley, although for the first year he hadn't called him much at all. And Tony, for his part, always seemed to know what Gibbs wanted. Hell, yeah, the first year, Gibbs had to be specific but Tony suspected from the minute he started working for the man, that he was a bastard the same way Tony was a bastard. He didn't have to learn how to stare down a suspect, or assume the worst about everyone, to resist any latent urges to mercy, it came naturally, just as it did for Gibbs. He was fascinated by Gibbs from the very beginning, and understood Gibbs in many ways better than he understood himself.

On the drive to work that next day, Tony could admit to a pang of worry. He was up early, made sure he was at work ahead of Gibbs, but as the day wore on, and the boss didn't seem any different, he stopped worrying about it, even though he wasn't really worrying about it much at all. Hardly crossed his mind. Plus Tony didn't feel any different. They were guys. It was just sex.

And that seemed to be true.

A few weeks later, at the end of a difficult case, one which happened to end on a Friday, Tony found himself standing in front of Gibbs home, uncertain. He didn't feel like sex—what the hell was wrong with him—or at least, no more than usual. But he was unsettled by the case, didn't know how Gibbs had figured certain things out, seemed to have known before the evidence was even processed. It was a puzzle. He liked puzzles. But he hadn't been invited. Shrugging, he approached and knocked. A few minutes later, Gibbs opened the door.

Gibbs just waited, didn't say anything.

Tony asked the question that was on his mind.

"Can I see the boat?"

A long beat later, Gibbs pushed the door at him, forcefully enough that Tony danced back and to the side to slip in. An hour later, having sat on the steps drinking a—rather unclean—jar containing an inch of bourbon, Tony felt...better. After announcing that he was meeting up with friends at a bar soon, he cheerfully took himself off, satisfied with the grunt he got from Gibbs. Gibbs smiled slightly and shook his head. So that was alright then.

Nothing bothered Gibbs. Everything bothered Tony, or at least seemed to, by how big a deal he made of everything from a paper cut to the change in the location of the donut cart. And yet, Tony didn't seem bothered by what a bastard Gibbs was; in fact, he was indiscriminate in his acceptance of Gibbs' attention. Approbation or criticism was all the same, it seemed. As Gibbs barked orders and slapped the back of his head and mocked him with all the things that Tony said that weren't meant for him to hear and yet he did. Gibbs, for his part, did seem especially attuned to Tony, to catch everything he said so consistently.

Then one day, in the middle of one case, Gibbs didn't hear anything. He heard nothing where there should have been something.

"Cat got your tongue, Dinozzo?"

"What, boss?" came the abstracted reply.

"DiNozzo. Speak."

And Tony, a little confused, repeated his summary of the case so far, adding a few minor details glened in the last hour.

"That it?" Gibbs glared even more fiercely than usual.

"That's all, boss." But Tony didn't make eye contact.

"DiNozzo. Go talk to the victim's wife again." Instinct had him sending Tony back to the wife of the deceased, the interview that marked the beginning of DiNozzo's silence.

And from the way Tony stilled, Gibbs knew he had guessed right. Tony's lips tightened minutely and Gibbs wondered if he was actually going to refuse.

"On it, boss." Almost no hesitation, really, but when the case was over, Gibbs watched Tony pack up and head out much more rapidly than usual, and without any of the end of case banter with Kate or Abby. He slipped into the elevator before Tony knew he was behind him.

They rode down in silence.

"Something eating you?"

"Nope." Tony rocked on his heels, staring up at the ceiling.

Gibbs had run out of conversational gambits. He asked the question, had his answer, but couldn't shake the feeling that something he had done had caused Tony's unusual behavior. But he wasn't going to badger the younger man. He would say something or not. God knows, he seemed to feel free to show up in his basement. He'd come by if he wanted to.

The elevator came to a stop. The doors swished open. Tony exited and walked a few steps before spinning around, walking backwards.

"Aren't you getting out?" He called out to Gibbs, wondering that the man was still in the metal box.

Gibbs just shook his head and shrugged, smiling a little. "Nah." And the doors closed.

When Tony got home, pizza in hand, Gibbs' car was parked in front of his apartment complex. He was still angry-well, not really angry, Gibbs couldn't have known that the woman knew his father, had talked about seeing Tony as a boy once, making an appearance at a party and wasn't he the little gentleman, so polite and well spoken. Tony was upset beyond what the comment should have meant to him, not even entirely certain himself what was bugging him but knowing that it got worse when Gibbs sent him back, even though the woman didn't repeat her story. There was nothing more to be gained by talking about it though, and Tony felt a flicker of hurt—no anger—at the thought that Gibbs, of all people, was going to make him talk about it.

Gibbs had only been here a few times, to pick him up, had never come inside. He wasn't sitting in the car, though, and sure enough when Tony came out of the stairwell, hefting his backpack and balancing the pizza still, Tony could see Gibbs leaning next to the door to his apartment. Blue eyes met green and they might as well be in the bullpen, for all the emotion in the act. Tony half expected him to bellow, "Grab your gear, DiNozzo!" Tony didn't comment on the other man's presence, just opened the door and let Gibbs come in behind him as he would. He didn't know why the man was here, but he was sure he'd find out when Gibbs was good and ready.

For some reason, Tony came to a halt a few feet beyond the door, in the hallway, letting the backpack slide off his shoulder and swinging it gently to land on the floor against the wall. The apartment was just as he left it this morning. He knew that in the kitchen there was a bowl and a mug in the sink, dirty but rinsed, and that otherwise, everything was neat and picked up. The late afternoon sunlight streamed through one of the small windows to make bright stripes on the piano. He could feel Gibbs behind him, close behind, and then the older man took the pizza and tossed it to land on the floor even as he kicked the door shut.

Tony jumped a little at the sound and then again when he felt Gibbs hands on the back of his arms, above the elbows, on bare skin since he had stripped down to his undershirt in the car. But, with the feel of those rough palms sliding up his arms, sliding under the sleeves of his t-shirt, Tony weakened and helplessly leaned back against Gibbs, whose mouth was hot on his neck, not quite where Tony wanted him, or Gibbs either apparently, because Gibbs turned him so that his mouth was lower, licking into the hollow, the almost desperate suction against his throat had his blood pumping strong against the older man's lips.

Neither made a sound beyond harsh grunts and heavy breathing. Nor did they make it past the front hallway, not yet anyway. Tony found all their clothes there, later, when he looked for them. Once again, it was Tony who dropped to his knees, suddenly overcome with the memory of Gibbs' cock in his mouth, and wanting, wanting that again. Wanting the response he could wring from the other man's body, and when he got it, it was as sweet as he remembered. The feel of Gibbs coming down his throat made him grind himself hard against the other man's leg. He swallowed quickly and pressed even harder against Gibbs to prolong the other man's orgasm and catch it all, shuddering at the feel of the rough palms against his face and head. Gibbs pulled him up by the hand and turned him so Tony was tucked into the other man's body and Gibbs' rough palm now stroked Tony expertly. From their position, it was like Gibbs was jacking himself off. But Tony could feel Gibbs still half hard dick behind him, pressing between his ass cheeks. Tony arched backwards, until Gibbs cheek pressed against his, the bones of their faces shifting against one another, a sharp hurt in all the pleasure. Gibbs' hand on his cock was relentless and his other hand stroked up Tony's naked chest to tweak and twist one of his nipples and Tony swallowed his moan as he bucked, hard, and came, even harder, high up on his belly.

Tony would have taken a woman's hand, pulled her into the apartment with him, drawn her into his bedroom. If he did that sort of thing, which he didn't. He preferred to take women somewhere other than his apartment. But here and now, he just knew he wanted more, needed more, and Gibbs was a man, and ...well, Gibbs, and he wasn't going to hold hands with Gibbs. So he just walked into the increasing twilight of the apartment, hoping Gibbs would follow. And he did.

But now they were in his bedroom, on the bed and Gibbs pushed Tony down and climbed on top of him and all the touching was rough and hard-edged, coarse but unbelievably satisfying comfort. And Tony wasn't in the habit of being with men, and even though he had a little experience, it wasn't like he kept a supply of lube or had had anal sex in years and while the thought of taking Gibbs caused heat to flash through him like lightning, it wasn't really...likely, now was it? So Tony found himself on his side, facing the older man, and he couldn't decide where to look. It seemed that he couldn't look away for more than a few seconds from the sight of their bare cocks rubbing together, and yet the glazed blue eyes of the other man… he had never seen Gibbs like this. For his part, Tony could feel Gibbs' eyes on his face, his lips. So when hips rolling and thrusting against each other, they came again, together this time, Tony was not even surprised when Gibbs' mouth took his and although they were equals in the act, Gibbs mouth on his felt like an order, like the power the other man had over him.

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