Trust and Tenderness

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Author's Notes: Thanks go out to James, who let me play in her world.

This series is set in the same universe as the Horses of Different Colors series by James Walkswithwind and Wolfling, which you can find at -- I have, however, written it with the intention that it will still make complete sense to people who haven't read that series.

THANKS: To rebecca for betaing this for me.

Tony lay stretched out on the bed, his body tangled up with Gibbs's, though both of them were still fully clothed. They kissed lazily, long, slick caresses that reminded Tony that sometimes just making out, just holding each other and feeling that warmth and presence was the best part of being with someone.

Of course, today he had more involved plans than that.

Pulling back from the endless kisses, Tony put a hand on Gibbs's shoulder to stop him from following Tony's mouth. "Wait a second," Tony said, his pulse suddenly fluttering with nervousness.

"Problem?" Gibbs asked, concern automatically rising to the fore.

"No, I'm fine," Tony said, resisting the urge to roll his eyes. It was just a couple of weeks after his encounter with a couple of rattlesnakes and Gibbs still had a powerful tendency to hover protectively. "I, uh, just want us to try something."

"In bed?"

"Yeah," Tony replied, feeling a little more secure. Gibbs was going to like this. He knew Gibbs was going to like this...once Tony convinced him to try it, anyway. That would be the tricky part.

Sure enough, Gibbs was frowning. "Are you sure this is the right time to be experimenting? You're still on medical leave."

This time Tony did roll his eyes. "Only for a week and yes, I'm sure. Let me go for a second, okay?"

Still frowning, Gibbs released him, propping his head up on his hand instead. Tony rolled over towards the edge of the bed and reached underneath for the bag he'd stashed there after he'd gotten out of physical therapy for the day and before Gibbs had gotten home from work. He found it after just a moment and rolled back towards Gibbs. Tony pushed himself up to sit cross-legged on the bed. He held the opaque silver bag in his hands for a moment before taking a breath and upending it, letting the contents spill onto the bed between him and Gibbs.

Just three items: a pair of wide black leather wrist cuffs, each closed with a heavy brushed steel buckle, each thickly lined with a soft fabric, each with a sturdy D-ring sewn into the leather so that they could be tied together--or to something else. The third item was a simple clip.

Tony kept his eyes on the cuffs, not so much because he was afraid of how Gibbs would react, how he was reacting now, but because...well...they were gorgeous.

When he'd started looking for something like this Tony had thought he'd have to have something custom made. As much as he'd experimented with sex before Gibbs, and he swore he'd tried damn near everything at least a couple of times, Tony had never seriously gotten into the bondage thing. It was...too intense. When he'd played it had just been a game, nothing serious, just fun. The toys he'd used had served their purpose, but they'd been cheap. Why invest money in a little romp?

But once he started looking for something really high quality, he was startled at the variety he found. There had been a lot of cuffs he'd liked, a lot of types that had made him more than a little eager to try them out, but this pair... Tony had known the second he laid eyes on them that they were the ones he wanted.

They were wider than the others he'd seen and the leather tongue for the buckle was sewn down all the way around, making a kind of flat ridge in the center of the cuffs. The brushed texture of the steel meant it was almost matte, more subtle that the more common, bright, reflective buckles.

One of Gibbs's hands came into Tony's field of view. He picked up one of the two cuffs and held it, his thumb rubbing over edge of the central ridge of leather. "Tony..."

"Don't tell me you don't want this," Tony said suddenly, head snapping up to look at Gibbs. "I know you do. I can tell from the way you hold my wrists when we're together. I can tell from the way you pin me down and ask me over and over again who I belong to. You want this." Even if he never would have asked for it himself. The stubborn bastard still thought that one day there'd be just a little too much strangeness for Tony to take.

Gibbs sat up, but he didn't speak immediately. Instead he examined the cuffs, tugging on the leather of the buckle tongue and running his fingers over the stitching, rubbing the lining and checking over the clips as if the quality of the things would determine his answer. Tony felt suddenly ridiculously relieved that he'd spent as much on them as he had.

When Gibbs finally looked up from his examination and met Tony's eyes his expression was intent and serious, but underneath it all Tony could see the power of the centaur lurking, that sense of strength and presence that Gibbs normally kept so carefully leashed because humans--most humans--didn't react too well to the kind of authority a stallion had over his herd. Tony's mouth went dry and his body flushed with heat.

"Don't do this just because I want it," Gibbs said firmly. "And don't think you can try it out just to see what it's like and give it up later, either."

Tony could feel his heart rate pick up. "If you're trying to talk me out of this, it's kind of backfiring on you," he said, a little shakily.

"You never did know when you were getting in over your head," Gibbs murmured, his eyes moving over Tony's body like a physical caress.

"I don't think I am," Tony said. He'd been riding the slow swell of arousal since they first lay down together. Now, with Gibbs looking at him like that, his cock began to stir in earnest. "But this is worth the chance."

Gibbs was turning one of the cuffs over and over in his hands. He raised his eyes and caught Tony's gaze. "Strip," he commanded, eyes glittering. Tony grabbed the bottom of his t-shirt, prepared to yank it up over his head. "Stop," Gibbs said suddenly.

Tony froze.

"Slowly. Strip for me slowly."

Blushing, unaccountably embarrassed, Tony moderated his movements, drawing the t-shirt up over his head slowly. The material dragged over his skin, almost a caress in itself. Tony drew the shirt off of his arms just as carefully and dropped it over the edge of the bed. Pausing for a long moment, Tony gave Gibbs the chance to just look at him before he moved his hands down to the button of his jeans.

He had to lie down to pull the zipper all the way down. He couldn't see Gibbs now, not unless he craned his neck, but Tony could feel the centaur's gaze on his body. Watching. Lifting his hips, taking his weight on shoulders and heels, Tony eased his jeans down to his thighs. An extended shimmy got them from there to his knees, far enough for Tony to use his feet to kick and push them off the rest of the way.

Tony paused again before sliding his hands into his boxers and easing them down over his steadily rising cock. He sat up again when he had them down to his thighs, his gaze fixed on Gibbs, and didn't look away even as he let the underwear fall over the side of the bed.

Gibbs watched intently, his lips parted a little, the cuff still held in his hands. "Come here," he said when Tony was done.

He was hardly far away, but Tony crawled a little closer and sat back on his heels in front of Gibbs.

Gibbs didn't ask. He just picked up Tony's wrist and wrapped the leather cuff around it, buckling it snugly.

Tony had to bite back a moan. Of course he'd tried them on before he bought them. He'd had to make sure that they fit, that they were comfortable, that he really did like them. But there was a difference between awkwardly bracing his wrist against his body, fumbling with the buckle, and feeling Gibbs just wrap the cuff around him. Tony could hardly believe he could get so hard so fast. By the time Gibbs finished fastening the second cuff Tony's cock was throbbing with a degree of need that made him breathless.

Gibbs, still clothed, shifted onto his own knees before taking Tony's leather-wrapped wrists in his hands and pushing Tony's arms around behind his back. As Tony's wrists settled into the small of his back Gibbs leaned in and kissed him. Tony moaned softly and found his mouth possessed by Gibbs, owned by tongue and lips and the invisible movement of breath between their bodies.

Lost in the kiss, Tony barely noticed the pull on his wrists, the faint *snick* of metal against metal. Gibbs's hands moved to his ass, holding him, kneading firmly. Tony automatically tried to move his hands to hold onto Gibbs, to steady himself, and came up against the restraints with a jerk. He gasped, interrupting the kiss, and shuddered all over.

Gibbs gave him a little tug and Tony fell forward against him. He turned his head, tucking his face into the curve of Gibbs's throat. Tony knew he was shaking, but he was also so hard his whole body was aching.

"Relax," Gibbs murmured, putting his arms around Tony and rubbing his back with one hand. "Relax now. There's just me. Just me, my Tony."

Slowly the shaking receded back to wherever it had come from. Tony found himself mouthing Gibbs's throat, sliding his tongue along the skin and tasting Gibbs. One of Gibbs's hands slid down to cup his ass again and Tony realized he was rubbing against Gibbs.

No sooner had he become aware of it than Gibbs eased him back. Tony wanted to protest, but the words were slow in coming and then there were hands on his lips, silencing him. "Don't speak," Gibbs ordered. Tony nodded silently and watched as Gibbs left the bed briefly to shed his own clothing.

Tony watched avidly, but he didn't get much of a chance to admire Gibbs's lean body. Gibbs climbed back onto the bed immediately and pushed Tony down onto his back. He'd hardly registered how uncomfortable it was to lie on his bound wrists before Gibbs rolled him over onto his belly. Tony couldn't help grinding down against the comforter, the shocks of pleasure to his cock making him pant.

"Stop," Gibbs said sharply. Tony stilled. "You're not to speak and you're not to come until I say. Understand?"

A thrill ran through Tony. He nodded mutely.

Gibbs's hands ran over Tony's body, exploring, as if this were their first time all over again. Tony's eyes drifted closed without his really intending it, but he didn't bother opening them again. There was only the comforter to look at and there was so much to feel. Gibbs's hands stroking his neck, rubbing his shoulders, stroking down his arms, kneading his ass and thighs. Tony felt a tension he hadn't even known was there draining out of his muscles, as if this were a massage. He drifted in the darkness behind his eyelids, losing himself in Gibbs's touches.

Callused hands pushed Tony's thighs apart and spread the cheeks of his ass. Floating, lost somewhere in his head where there was only the touch of Gibbs's hands, Tony hardly even noticed. Then Gibbs's tongue, hot and wet, touched Tony's hole and he moaned loudly, a shock of pleasure coursing through him.

Gibbs didn't miss a beat, just kept licking and sucking at Tony's hole, his breath hot against the skin Tony's ass. Writhing under Gibbs's hands and mouth, Tony spread his legs as far as they would go and struggled not to grind against the bed. Gibbs's tongue pushed into his hole a little and Tony's moans turned into sobs. He bit first his lips and then the comforter to keep himself from begging. His nerves were on fire. Gibbs's tongue slid inside and Tony cried out wordlessly, hips lifting off the bed. Strong hands pinned him down and Tony shouted again, but Gibbs wouldn't let up. He just kept going, eagerly fucking Tony's hole with his tongue while his hands squeezed and rubbed the cheeks of Tony's ass.

Tony keened helplessly. Gibbs had never kept it up so long without giving Tony something else, something that could actually get him off. He wanted to beg but couldn't, wanted to grind himself to completion against the mattress but couldn't. He could only sob and spread his legs, begging with his body.

Suddenly Gibbs was gone, even his weight leaving the bed. Tony hadn't even caught his breath before he was back. A couple of touches to his wrists and Tony found his arms falling free. The dull ache which had crept into his shoulders abruptly eased. "On your knees," Gibbs ordered, his voice shockingly rough. "Grab onto the headboard."

Tony scrambled to obey and watched as Gibbs threaded something, a tie maybe, through the clips on each wrist and then knotted it securely around a post in the headboard. Tony dropped his head and closed his eyes again, focusing on the sense of Gibbs moving next to him, on the dip of the bed as Gibbs climbed back onto it.

Abruptly two slick fingers probed at Tony's ass and slid inside. He gasped at the sudden invasion but relaxed quickly. "That's my Tony," Gibbs said, his voice warm and rough. "Just about ready for me aren't you?" Tony nodded silently, pushing back onto Gibbs's fingers. Gibbs chuckled softly and twisted his fingers a little, forcing a shudder of pleasure out of Tony's body.

Gibbs didn't seem to be in any rush to move things along. One hand explored Tony's body, tweaking his nipples and stroking over his spine, while the other worked his ass, fingers sliding in and out of his hole in a slow easy rhythm that soon had Tony undulating to meet it.

"Mine," Gibbs said, as if to himself, voice thick with satisfaction. "All mine."

The statement didn't require an answer, but Tony found himself nodding anyway. Gibbs's. Always Gibbs's. Despite the need that burned through him and the throbbing of his cock, Tony sighed in sudden contentment.

A moment later Gibbs's body covered his and Tony's sighs became moans as Gibbs mounted him, his thick cock stretching Tony's body open and sliding inside. Where he belonged. Tony founded himself surrounded by Gibbs, filled by him. He moaned again, his voice stuttering a little when Gibbs started to move.

Tony held still, knees spread for balance, and took the deep, hard thrusts as Gibbs gave them. Gibbs's cock was hot and slick inside of him. Just the strokes of the shaft pushing into Tony's hole were enough to make him groan in ecstasy. So good. So good. Tony resisted the urge to move, to push back against Gibbs, to twist until those thrusts found his sweet spot. Too soon. It was too soon to end this.

Gibbs eased himself down to lay across Tony's back, thrusting more shallowly now. Tony dragged himself out of the sea of sensation, wondering what he was doing. Gibbs shifted his head, nuzzling at Tony's armpit, inhaling deeply. Strange...though a shiver of pleasure ran through Tony.

"Mine," Gibbs repeated, muttering to himself.

He can smell it, Tony realized with a shock. He shuddered heavily and held back from coming only by a hair. Gibbs didn't just like the way he smelled. He'd said it before and Tony hadn't understood:

You smell like you're mine. You smell like a centaur who's acknowledged their herd stallion.

Gibbs could tell by Tony's scent that he belonged to Gibbs.

Tony shuddered again and would have gone limp in his bonds if not for the fact that he was holding Gibbs up. Gibbs, who was nuzzling and licking under Tony's arm, where the scent was strong. Tony moaned loudly and couldn't stop himself from squeezing down hard on Gibbs's cock.

Gibbs gasped and thrust in hard and instinctively. He took one last breath and pulled away, moving his hands to grip the headboard next to Tony's. Tony braced himself just in time; Gibbs started fucking him hard, his hips pounding into Tony's ass. Tony panted as Gibbs rode him, his whole body surging back and forth with the force of Gibbs's thrusts.

God, he hadn't even known Gibbs was holding back until tonight, but he must have been because Tony had never felt this strength before. It rolled over him, overwhelming. Gibbs moved in him and over him and all Tony could do was give himself up, letting his body twist and shudder and buck in response. He was riding the edge, so close to coming that it hurt, just waiting.

"Come for me, my Tony," Gibbs said finally. Tony felt his body seize up in response, orgasm tearing through him, leaving him weak in the aftermath.

Gibbs was still thrusting into him, holding onto Tony's limp body and burying himself deep inside, owning him. At last he came, grinding into Tony's hole, his face buried against Tony's shoulder blade.

He was still only for a moment. Soon he withdrew carefully, unknotted the tie from around the headboard and released Tony's wrists. Tony wasted no time in crawling into Gibbs's arms. They closed around him, holding him tightly.

Eventually Tony scraped himself together and pulled back until he could look at Gibbs comfortably, though the centaur didn't entirely let go of him. "You needed that as much as I did," Gibbs observed.

"Yeah," Tony admitted.

"Why didn't you say something?"

Embarrassed, Tony dropped his eyes. "I didn't know." It wasn't like they hadn't had sex since he'd gotten out of the hospital. He'd thought he'd been doing fine at reconnecting with Gibbs.

"And here you thought you were being all self-sacrificing and giving me what I needed," Gibbs said.

"Hey!" Tony protested, his head coming up again. He reached out and poked Gibbs in the chest. "There was no self-sacrificing going on. I was thinking about this even before--" He broke off suddenly and glared at Gibbs, who had started snickering. "Bastard. You could have said something yourself, you know."

"I was waiting for you to be ready," Gibbs said simply.

Tony opened his mouth to protest that he was fine already, his sick leave almost over. But he remembered suddenly how intense it had been, how different, just knowing that he was bound, realizing how much he was owned, and he shut his mouth again. Maybe the state of his body hadn't had much to do with it.

He'd wanted this, he still wanted it, but...Gibbs had been right. You never did know when you were getting in over your head, he'd said. Tony hadn't known what he was asking for, not really.

Fortunately, he'd been right, too. It was worth it.