Reference Material

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Author's Notes: Not betaed, because I was already late enough for my own creative-works-athon. Argh. I'm a little concerned I didn't hit the right note here, given how long its been since I've written second season era fic, and Kate in particular. This fic really needed a beta, but...yeah. Deadlines. *sighs*

This story uses second season canon, which means that there never was a Shannon or a Kelly and there never will be a Jeanne or what's-her-name.


The expression of the face balks account, But the expression of a well-made man appears not only in his face, It is in his limbs and joints also, it is curiously in the joints of his hips and wrists, It is in his walk, the carriage of his neck, the flex of his waist and knees, dress does not hide him, ~Walt Whitman, "I Sing the Body Electric"


After three years, Tony figured he could be forgiven for forgetting that he'd left one of the binders out on the dining table that morning. He had, after all, been called into work an hour earlier than expected, resulting in a sudden frantic rush to get the essentials together before he ran out the door. At least, he could be forgiven if there was anyone to do the forgiving except himself.

"Tony!" Kate's startled voice called out from the living area. "I didn't know you were an artist."

Freezing with one hand on the fridge door and two bottles of beer in the other, Tony closed his eyes and silently cursed himself. Christ, but this was going to be embarrassing. Letting the fridge door swing shut, Tony took a deep breath and strolled casually back into the living area.

"I'm not." He held out one of the bottles, but Kate didn't notice. Her attention was fixed on the binder, a small frown growing on her lips as she slowly turned the pages. Tony set the bottle down on the table next to her with a deliberate thunk. The sound got Kate to look up, at least. Tony twisted the cap off of his own beer and tried his best to appear as if he wasn't silently wishing he could crawl into a hole somewhere and drag that damned binder in after him.

"Tony," Kate said, trying to catch his gaze. He avoided her eyes. "All these drawings are of Gibbs."

"I know," Tony said uncomfortably. He took a long sip from his own beer and tried to be casual. "Listen, it isn't anything weird. Okay, maybe it's a little weird, but not creepy weird, I swear."

"So what is it, then?" Kate asked, raising her eyebrows and tapping the page that lay open before her.

Tony took another drink, trying to think of the right words. "Reference material," he said at last.

"Okay, now I'm completely lost." Kate said sharply. "Reference material? Even if you were the reference material type--which you aren't--I don't see how this," she flipped quickly through half a dozen more pages, all featuring sketches of Gibbs, "counts."

Tony ran his free hand through his hair. This was not going well. "You know what Gibbs is like," he said finally. "You never know what's going through his head, what he thinks of the job you're doing, when he's confident and when he's just bullshitting, right?"

"Right," Kate said, motioning briskly for him to go on.

"Right," Tony repeated, feeling on slightly firmer ground. "He's never going to tell us anything. It's our job to figure it out. So I thought, if he's not going to talk, maybe I needed to learn to listen." Kate frowned. Tony sighed and rolled his eyes. "Body language, Kate. Not even Gibbs has perfect control of his body language. I thought if I could learn to read him, I'd have a leg up."

"That almost makes sense," Kate allowed. "But it still doesn't explain these." She tapped the open binder again.

"Sure it does," Tony insisted. "Gibbs might not have perfect control of his body language, but it's still pretty good. The cues--the real ones--are subtle, you know? So even when I started catching them, I didn't necessarily recognize them when they came around again. I figured visual aids would help, so I started taking pictures." Tony came around to her side of the table and reached past her to tap the lower right hand corner of the sketch the binder happened to be open to. A small note there read 'Amused (at our expense...again)'. "Every bit of body language in this binder is labeled with what it signals."

"You said you started taking pictures," Kate observed. "These aren't pictures."

"I didn't always have a camera at hand and a reason to be snapping photographs," Tony said wryly. "So I started drawing from memory. You should see my first sketches. They're pretty awful."

Kate shot him an odd look and flipped back to the front of the binder. Tony fought down a blush when he realized what she had to be seeing--the sketches at the beginning of this binder were all pretty good. "I don't keep them in chronological order," he said, looking away from Kate and taking another pull from his beer. "They're organized by what they mean."

"And yet I don't see any badly done drawings here," Kate said leadingly. "Or any photos." Tony didn't say anything, just fiddled with his beer bottle. "Tony. You have more, don't you?"

Tony grimaced. "Yeah," he admitted, darting a glance at her without raising his head.

Kate braced a hand on her hip. "Okay, spill," she said briskly. "How many?"

"It's not important how many!" Tony protested. He consciously restrained himself from looking at the shelf where the other binders lived.

Kate raised an eyebrow. "If you don't tell me how many, I'll tell Gibbs you've got them."

Tony blanched. "Three binders," he said reluctantly. "Including that one."

Kate stared at him and then sat down heavily in one of the dining table chairs. "Three binders full?" she asked, though the expression on her face told Tony she already knew the answer. He nodded anyway. "Tony, you have three binders full of clandestine photographs and sketches of our boss. How is that not creepy?"

"I told you why I've got them!" Tony protested. He pulled out a chair and sat down so that he was on a level with Kate. "And it's not like I'm following him around or spying on him when he's alone."

Flipping through the binder on the table again, Kate shook her head. "It's just not normal for anyone to pay this much attention to their boss."

"Gibbs demands a lot of attention," Tony said dryly.

"Yeah, but this is a borderline obsession," Kate argued, looking up at Tony and waving her hand at the binder.

Tony made an inarticulate, frustrated noise. "It's not an obsession, Kate! I just want to learn what makes him tick, how he thinks. I," Tony paused, struggling to articulate the frustration that had started him on his study and the fascination that had ensued. "I want to be able to read him, so that I can be ready when he needs something from me. I want to know how to tell when he's happy with something, because God knows it's easy enough to tell when he's pissed. I want...," Tony groped for words. "I want to be someone he counts on to back him up, someone he trusts to know the playbook and to follow his lead." Tony trailed off and shrugged helplessly, unable to quite explain properly.

Kate was watching him with an unreadable expression on her face. "I take it back," she said eventually. "You're not obsessed. You're head over heels in love."

"What?" Tony blurted, stunned.

"Did you even hear what you were saying?" Kate asked. "You want to be this to Gibbs, you want to be that to Gibbs--"

"Professionally!" Tony said uneasily.

Kate was examining his sketches again, taking much more time over each of them. "You tell yourself that," she said, "but I think you put a lot more into these than concern for your career." She turned the binder around and pushed it across the table to him. "I mean, look at the sheer detail here, Tony. How much time did you spend on this one?"

Pulling the binder closer, Tony realized she'd picked one of his favorites. It was of Gibbs on the phone, leaning back in his desk chair, a triumphant expression on his face, one corner of his mouth slightly turned up at the corner. The note penciled into the bottom right hand corner of the sketch read Triumphant...and a little darkly gratified. I sure wouldn't want to be the petty officer we're after. Tony couldn't remember what case they'd been working, but he remembered looking up and catching sight of Gibbs looking like that. He'd ducked into the bathroom to rough out the sketch before the memory grew fuzzy. Two days later, the first chance Tony had to work on the sketch in private, he'd spent all night getting it perfect. The angle of Gibbs's mouth, the faint lines around his eyes, the exact right amount of shading to get the color of his hair across, the set of his jaw, the light in his eyes...

Tony caught himself rubbing his thumb across the sketch and froze. He didn't dare look up at Kate, instead fixing his gaze on the sketch and concentrating on not blushing.

"Tony?" Kate said quietly.

"Yeah?" He didn't look up.

"You didn't realize, did you?"

It was stupid, but he really hadn't. "No," he said, grimacing. God, he was an idiot.

"Hey." Kate reached out and touched his arm. Tony forced himself to look up her. "I will never understand your taste, but I'm not going to freak out on you."

Tony made himself smile. "You'll never understand? And here I could have sworn that something sparked between you and Gibbs when you first met."

"Sure, before I got to know the man," Kate said dryly. Her eyes sparkled suddenly. "I promise, no competition from me."

The thought of the two of them vying for Gibbs's affection was enough to startle Tony into a laugh. "You'd have no chance even if you tried," he said, grinning. "I am a master of seduction."

Kate snorted loudly. "So, master of seduction," she said sarcastically, "what are you going to do now?" She nodded at the binder to clarify.

Tony blinked and glanced down at the binder quickly. "Do? What do you mean, do?"

Kate rolled her eyes. "What are you going to do about Gibbs?" Tony just looked at her blankly. "Now that you know how you feel?" Kate prompted.

Oh. Tony shrugged. "Nothing."

"Nothing? Nothing? How can you say 'nothing'?" Kate asked incredulously. "You're in love."

"He isn't," Tony shot back. "Just forget about it, okay?"

"How do you know he isn't?" Kate said, folding her arms across his chest.

"What, you think I haven't been watching closely enough?" Tony tilted the binder up in illustration.

"Hey, you didn't even know how you felt until five minutes ago!"

"I wasn't watching me." Although maybe he should have been. Tony sighed and took a long drink from his beer. He grimaced; it had gotten warm. "I know what Gibbs thinks of me, Kate. I'm a decent enough investigator to be worth training, but I'm also an immature pain in the ass in need of a good, strong leash." Tony grinned momentarily at the mental image that prompted, then shrugged. "I like my life right now. I'm not stupid enough to fuck with that."

Kate sighed and started to take a sip of her own beer, only to spit it back into the bottle. "This conversation is getting too depressing to be accompanied by warm beer," she said, and held the bottle out to Tony.

"Hey, you know where the fridge is," Tony said, not moving.

Kate raised her eyebrows. "Yes, but I'm the guest." She continued to hold out the bottle.

Tony stood and took it out of her hand. "I'm going to remind you of this the next time I'm at your place."

"There hasn't been a first time and there won't been a next time," Kate said smugly.

On his way to the kitchen, Tony grinned to himself and thought of the address scribbled down in his wallet.


Kate locked the door of her apartment behind her, glanced around the empty living area guiltily, and pulled three sheets of plastic-encased paper out of the back of her pants. She hadn't really been thinking about what she was doing when she did it. But Tony was in the kitchen and there wasn't much time and Kate knew she'd never have another chance and you couldn't let an opportunity slip by, right? Snatching the sketches had practically been automatic.

Spreading them out on her dining table, Kate kept glancing back at the drawings while she hung up her jacket and put away her gun and holster and toed off her shoes. Somewhat more comfortable, she returned to the table, hands on her hips, and contemplated the drawings.

"Well?" She asked the pictures aloud. "Now that I've got you, what am I going to do with you?"

They didn't answer.

Kate shook her head at herself and went to run a bath. Up to her neck in bubbles, her muscles relaxing in the heat, Kate's thoughts went back to the drawings. Gibbs. And Tony. In a weird way, it made sense that Tony would fall for Gibbs. Tony would never admit to it, but he was dedicated to the job and Kate knew he admired Gibbs's tenaciousness when it came to cases. Tony and Gibbs laughed at the same things. And there was a sense of solidity, of permanence about Gibbs that Kate could see appealing to a guy like Tony, who'd been bounced from precinct to precinct and one night stand to one night stand.

Now that she knew how Tony felt, Kate had to wonder how she'd missed it before. Tony was so intensely eager to please Gibbs. The slightest word of praise--intentional or not--made him light up like a Christmas tree. He was always pushing to be first with Gibbs. First to give him the information he needed, first to get to the crime scene with him, first to be called upon, first to be asked after. She had put it down to ego, but now that she thought about it, he didn't act like that with anybody but Gibbs, did he?

And Gibbs, the bastard, encouraged it. Always holding back, making Tony work for it, and then, whenever it seemed like Tony was going to give up concede defeat, doling out just enough encouragement to revive his hopes, stoke his engines, and get him going again.

Kate's eyes snapped open, sudden awareness overriding the relaxing heat of the bath. "Oh, you really are a bastard," she told the absent Gibbs, because he had to know exactly what he was doing. His timing was too good for it to be accidental. He liked it, the asshole. He liked the attention, the devotion, the sheer energy Tony put into pleasing him. He actually put a lot of his own energy into managing Tony, into--what had Tony said?--putting him on a good, strong leash.

Funny, that. Tony had thought that that was most of the reason Gibbs wouldn't want him, but Gibbs was doing it already. He put more effort into Tony than into her and McGee combined and never really seemed to mind, no matter how much he growled about it. In fact, Kate had caught him smiling a little as he watched Tony, waiting for an excuse to put the breaks on... Kate's thoughts trailed off. Was he waiting for an excuse...or just watching?

Was it possible that Gibbs was in love with Tony, too?

For a moment Kate had to stop and rearrange her thoughts. Redheads aside, she just wasn't used to connecting Gibbs to warmer emotions. Anger, frustration, triumph, sometimes concern, guilt, contempt--lots of contempt, impatience, all of those were Gibbs emotions. But love?

"Don't be stupid," Kate muttered to herself. "The man's not a robot, and you know he cares about Abby. And Ducky."

Still, just the thought of Gibbs falling for anyone, especially someone like Tony, with his excessive energy and his awful and irrepressible sense of humor was...was... Actually, it made way too much sense. Gibbs could use someone to bring some life into his life. Kate could see him welcoming all that warmth and enthusiasm. There was enough hardness in Gibbs's world without bringing more into it.

So why hadn't he done anything about it? There was Rule 12, but Kate didn't think that would stop him for a minute if he really cared about Tony. They were Gibbs's rules, after all. He made them, he could break them when it suited him, and he had. But never unless it was really important.

Kate paused mentally. Maybe that was it. Tony's track record with relationships wasn't too good and it was obvious, with three ex-wives, that Gibbs was the marrying kind. He wouldn't risk losing Tony and ruining both their careers unless he was sure that the potential reward was worth it. A single encounter wasn't going to do it for him, and neither would a casual relationship, or even a serious but brief relationship. Gibbs would want the whole enchilada, but he had no reason to believe it was on the table.

Kate smiled suddenly.


Tony was at his desk, reading the latest memos and updates from the Director--some of them a more than a week old, but really, who read memos when you had a hot case?--when Gibbs arrived. Or, more likely, returned, coffee cup in hand, and sat down at his desk. Tony kept most of his attention on his computer screen, but not all of it. A part of him was always automatically monitoring Gibbs.

After his conversation with Kate the night before, that part was just a little bigger than usual. In love with Gibbs. Maybe Tony should have found the thought alarming, unsettling, but if he was honest with himself he was more...well, relieved. No matter how often he told himself he was just trying to be a better agent, something always had felt a little bit off about that explanation. On top of which, he'd been beginning to suspect that he was incapable of forming a real attachment to another person. Okay, playing the field was fun, lots of fun, but you couldn't play the field forever, and if there was one thing Tony wasn't looking forward to, it was being alone.

Not that he expected to set up house with Gibbs, but knowing that he could fall in love with someone, that another person could be that important to him, let something relax inside of Tony. He felt oddly accomplished.

There was motion at Gibbs's desk and Tony directed a little more of his attention over there, just in case. Gibbs was holding up a sheet of paper. It was protected by one of those plastic sheets that you could clip into a binder, kind of like the ones Tony used to--

Tony froze.

Not kind of like. It was exactly like the ones that Tony used to protect his drawings of Gibbs. And the paper inside was exactly like the artist's paper Tony used. Tony's eyes flew over to Kate. Her head was bent, eyes fixed on a file on her desk, very carefully not looking at either Tony or Gibbs.

His heart pounding, Tony looked blindly at his computer screen, took a deep breath, and glanced over at Gibbs's desk. Now he was holding up two of the sheets, glancing from one to the other and frowning at both of them. After a moment he looked back down at his desk and Tony guessed that he had a third sketch there. Silently, Tony thanked God that he hadn't signed any of them. The captions provided some clues, though.

Clues. Fingerprints. Tony's gaze flew back to his monitor and he bit back a moan of despair. He hadn't exactly been careful about wiping down the paper. Or the plastic. Please, let Gibbs not bother checking for prints...

Gibbs stood, gathered up the three drawings, and headed for the elevator. He had to be going to the lab. There was no other reason for him to take the sketches with him. When Tony was sure Gibbs was gone, he let his head thump down onto his desk. Then he thumped his head against the desk again.

"How could you possibly think giving him those was a good idea?" he asked, voice muffled between his face and the desktop.

Footsteps told him Kate had come out from behind her station and crossed over to his. "He feels the same way, Tony. I'm sure of it," she said quietly.

Tony lifted his head and glared at her. "You're sure? You're sure?" he hissed. "Kate, this is my life we're talking about here! What is he doesn't feel the same? What if he does, but he decides that the drawings are creepy and stalkerish? I could be fired over this. Or at least transferred. Gibbs already puts up with an incredible amount of shit from me. He's the first person who thought I was a good enough investigator to be worth it. Or did you think I bounced around between precincts because I had itchy feet?"

The certainty in Kate's expression didn't waver. "That's just it, Tony. He does put up with your crap. He puts so much energy into you!"

"Gibbs puts as much energy into something as he needs to to get the result he wants," Tony bit out. "You and McGee demand less, so you get less. The fact that I demand more doesn't mean he's--" Tony broke off and glanced around the squad room. "Well. You know."

Kate started to look a little uncertain. "But Tony, he could really use someone like you in his life. He needs--"

"Even if you're right," Tony cut her off, "and I'm not saying you are, but even if you were, what he 'needs' and what he 'could use' don't necessarily have anything to do with what he wants." Tony slumped back into his chair. "If I'm very lucky, he'll find the whole thing very entertaining, mock me for a couple of months, and forget about it."

"Tony, I'm sure it'll be fine," Kate said, but there was an edge of guilt in her voice now.

"I find that so reassuring," Tony said bleakly.

Gibbs was down in the lab for less than an hour. It made sense. The sketches were obviously done by someone who worked with Gibbs regularly and it wouldn't take long to lift the prints and run them against the local NCIS database. But when he got back, drawings in hand, he didn't so much as look at either Tony or Kate. He just settled into his desk and went to work like nothing had happened.

By the end of the day, Tony was beginning to hope that any fingerprints he'd left behind had been smeared into uselessness by the act of sliding the paper into the plastic sleeve. He actually started to relax as the four of them gathered their things and started to head for home. McGee left first, then Kate. Tony slipped on his jacket, picked up his bag, stepped away from his desk--


Tony's heart rate spiked. "Yeah, boss?" he said casually, half turning back towards Gibbs.

While Tony watched, Gibbs picked up the drawings off his desk and slid them into one of the pockets of the leather case he used to take NCIS files home with him. He looked up and caught Tony's eye. "You're with me."

Tony's mouth went dry. "My car--"

"Will be safe in the NCIS garage overnight."

That wasn't what Tony had meant--how was he supposed to get to his place later? or into work in the morning?--but he wasn't about to argue any more. He just swallowed, nodded, and hoped that Gibbs was willing to give Tony a ride home, rather than just not caring if Tony was inconvenienced.

Neither of them spoke on the way to Gibbs's house. Tony spent the ride alternately trying to come up with a believable but innocuous explanation for the drawings and trying to convince himself that the fact that Gibbs was taking him to his home meant that he wasn't going to fire him. Ream him out royally, but not fire him. Surely he'd just have done that at headquarters.

By the time Gibbs pulled into his garage and led Tony into his home Tony was so jittery he was almost physically vibrating. He followed Gibbs into the living room, where Gibbs shed his jacket and shoes calmly before reaching into the leather case and withdrawing the sketches. He turned them towards Tony, the set of three fanned out just enough to see that they were all of Gibbs. Of course.

Tony swallowed heavily, shoved his hands into his pockets, and shrugged as casually as he could. "I thought I could use a few visual aids, okay? You're not the easiest guy to read." Tony didn't really expect Gibbs to buy the explanation, not when Kate hadn't, but it was worth a shot.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "If that's all these are, then why were you so terrified on the way over here?"

"I wasn't terrified!" Tony protested automatically.

Snorting, Gibbs turned and dropped the drawings on his coffee table. "Yeah, you were," he said. Tony expected him to move away, then, to put some distance between them or get a drink--God knew Tony could use a drink--but he didn't. Instead Gibbs fixed his gaze on Tony and stepped up close to him, right on the edge of his personal space.

Tony felt nervous sweat just beginning to prickle his skin. "Can't we just forget about those?" Tony asked weakly, waving a hand in the direction of the sketches. "I mean, they're just drawings, right? You pretend you never saw them and I'll pretend I never drew them, and everything can go back to normal."

Gibbs tilted his head and watched Tony with a strange expression. He lifted a hand and rested it lightly on Tony's hip, so lightly that Tony could only feel a ghost of sensation there.

It captured his attention completely.

"Do you really want everything to go back to normal?" Gibbs asked, a note of challenge in his quiet tones.

Tony struggled to think past the sharp, overwhelming awareness of that touch on his hip. Gibbs had asked him something. Something important. Did he want everything to go back to normal? Well, what was the alternative? Tony blinked and looked into Gibbs's steady gaze and had to contain a shiver.

"No," he whispered.

Gibbs smiled slightly and let his hand rest more firmly on Tony's hip, holding him now. Tony wetted his lips nervously and raised a hand, his fingers just brushing the base of Gibbs's neck as he leaned in, his lips meeting Gibbs's halfway.

This kiss was firm and slow, deepening gradually, letting them ease into the heat of it. The slick touch of Gibbs's tongue, when it came, was almost a shock. Tony found himself startled into a gasp, a moan as that gasp let Gibbs move deeper, a soft hum of pleasure as the caress went on.

They drew apart just as slowly, emerging from the kiss rather than breaking it off. "Tony," Gibbs said, and Tony was distantly surprised to realize that Gibbs's voice had gone rough.

"Yeah?" he managed, not too smooth himself.

"You damn well better tell me now if this is some sort of twisted curiosity on your part." Gibbs's voice took on an edge of harshness.

Tony let his hand rest more firmly against the curve of Gibbs's neck and drew him in for another kiss, murmuring, "Definitely not just curiosity," in the instant before their lips met.

The second kiss was a little faster, a little hungrier, and Tony felt heat stirring in him, spreading through his body. He eased closer to Gibbs, wanting more contact. As if he'd only been waiting for that encouragement, Gibbs's hand slipped from Tony's hip to the small of his back and then he was pulling their bodies together.

Tony felt like he was drowning in discovery. He'd never imagined this, never even knew he wanted it until the night before, but with his body pressed up against Gibbs's and the taste of the man in his mouth, Tony had to wonder why he'd never imagined it. It was better than any kiss he'd ever had before. It was Gibbs who was kissing him, Gibbs who wanted him, who was pulling his body close like that.

If kissing Gibbs was this good, Tony could hardly imagine what the sex was going to be like. But hey, why imagine? Tony managed to break the kiss. "You wanna move this to the bedroom?"

Gibbs's eyes were dark and intent. "Yeah. I do."

Tony found himself grinning--like an idiot, because really, had he expected another answer?--and took Gibbs's hand and turned to lead him down the hall to the bedroom. At which point he stopped, because he didn't know where the bedroom was. When he turned back to Gibbs, the man was smirking, but he just slipped past Tony and pulled him down the hall.

When they arrived in the bedroom, Tony set about removing that smirk from Gibbs's face--or at least putting a better smirk there--by removing his clothes. Gibbs got with that program pretty fast and then they were naked and Tony...stalled, because he really hadn't even gotten to the kissing in his head, never mind the getting naked.

It wasn't like he'd never been with a guy before, but this was Gibbs and--


Tony blinked at Gibbs, realizing he'd drifted a bit, which was so not flattering, given the circumstances. "Sorry," he said, mortified.

Gibbs chuckled and climbed onto the bed, pulling Tony up after him and nudging him down onto his back. Lying there, one arm over his head, looking up at Gibbs, who'd propped himself up on one elbow, Tony felt way more comfortable than he thought he probably should.

"So," Gibbs said, "is the nervous virgin act for my benefit, or do you just really enjoy it?"

"Nervous virgin?" Tony repeated, affronted. He pushed up off the bed and bowled Gibbs over, sliding into place across Gibbs's hips easily, his hands planted on either side of Gibbs's head. "I'm not a nervous virgin," Tony said firmly.

"Well, I didn't think so," Gibbs commented, sliding his hands up Tony's thighs and exploring his hips and chest and moving around to stroke his ass, "but the stopping and starting kind of made me wonder."

Tony glared down at him and let himself slide down until their bodies were pressed together full length, but he didn't notice if that got the smirk off of Gibbs's face, because God, Gibbs's skin was hot against his, and there was the hard ridge of his cock pressing into the crease of Tony's hip. Tony's eyes closed involuntarily and he could hear his own breath catch, could feel the tightness of it in his chest as he rocked slowly against Gibbs, sweet, simple friction swamping his thoughts.

Gibbs's hands brushed by Tony's hips and settled on the curve of his ass and Tony moaned and pushed up into the touch, forcing Gibbs to pull him down again to grind them together. Prying his eyes open, Tony discovered that Gibbs wasn't smirking after all. His eyes were dark and intense, his skin was flushed, and his mouth was open just a little. It was like an invitation to a kiss, so Tony leaned down and accepted it eagerly.

The kiss broke with a soft, wet sound. "Tony," Gibbs said, voice thick but intent.

"Yeah?" Tony asked breathlessly.

Gibbs held his eyes. "I want to fuck you."

A surge of pure want slammed through Tony. "Okay," he managed, his voice strangled.

Gibbs didn't ask him if he was sure, just pushed him onto his back again and slid in between his thighs. Tony stared up at Gibbs while he retrieved condoms and lube from the bedside table, drinking in the broad chest, nipples tight with desire, and Gibbs's expression, intent and focused. Focused on Tony, wanting him.

Tony struggled to keep his eyes open as Gibbs pushed slick fingers inside him. He didn't want to miss a second of Gibbs concentrating completely on him, but the stretch and burn of his body opening sparked such waves of sensation that every moment was a struggle not to just abandon himself to it.

Then there was a hot, blunt touch against him and Tony caught his breath and let it out in one long, aching moan as Gibbs slid slowly inside of him. He filled Tony, so completely that it hurt, but God, so good. His eyes had closed and Tony whimpered in frustration, but Gibbs's lips brushed his ear and he murmured, "You don't need to memorize me, Tony. I'm not going anywhere."

Tony forced his eyes open long enough to absorb the utter seriousness of Gibbs's expression, and then he just let go and sank back into sharp-edged pleasure and tight, aching need. Gibbs moved and Tony cried out, his whole body rippling with sensation.

Nothing existed except Gibbs's hands, strong and hard, gripping his thighs, and Gibbs's cock buried inside Tony's body. Every thrust tore a moan from Tony until he was doing nothing but moaning as Gibbs fucked him, Gibbs's breaths escaping in loud gasps of effort, his hands growing wet with sweat where he touched Tony.

Hot and slick and God, Tony needed. He reached down and wrapped a hand around his cock and oh fuck, that was good, just a little more... Tony's hand was pulled firmly away and his eyes snapped open. "Gibbs!"

Gibbs didn't respond, just replaced Tony's hand with his own. Tony let his head drop back against the bed again, moaning helplessly, his hips jerking unevenly into the touch.

"Come on," Gibbs muttered, his hand tightening, sending a wave of pleasure coursing through Tony. "Come for me."

Tony let out a low, harsh, keening noise at that, the coil of aching need in him twisting even tighter and fuck, but he needed it, needed to come, his entire body was wound up for it, trembling.

"Come on," Gibbs demanded harshly. His hips slammed into Tony's ass, hard and uncontrolled, and then he was coming, face twisted with pleasure, and something broke inside of Tony. His climax tore through him, leaving him limp, every muscle shaking with exertion as if he'd been clenching his entire body. His thighs were a hair away from spasming, but before they could bunch into tight, painful knots, Gibbs pulled back and slowly eased Tony's legs down onto the bed.

They lay side by side for a long moment, catching their breath while the sweat cooled on their skin. "I'm going to have to thank Kate," Tony said reluctantly, and turned his head to look at Gibbs.

Gibbs turned his own head to meet the look. "Don't," he said, grinning suddenly. "In fact, come into work tomorrow looking depressed and tired, like you've been up all night."

Tony stared for a moment, then broke down laughing so hard the bed started shaking. "That's cruel, Gibbs," he managed eventually, still grinning.

"Serve her right for being so goddamned arrogant," Gibbs said.

"Mmmm. It's a plan," Tony agreed. "But I'm going to need some help with that looking like I've been up all night bit."

"I think I can help with that," Gibbs murmured.

And he did.