The Second B is for Belonging

(part 2)

By Juli

Originally published March 2005 by Blackfly Press in the zine, Longing to Belong

“Ha! I knew there would be a boat!”

At Tony’s crow of triumph, Gibbs shook his head fondly. He’d had a feeling that Tony had seen through his ploy; the way the younger man had chatted all during their drive – about anything but where they were going – was a clear indication that DiNozzo at least thought he’d solved the mystery. It didn’t really matter. Gibbs hadn’t kept quiet as any sort of test, but merely to serve as a distraction. Whatever his reasoning, it had worked. Tony’s eyes were bright and snapping, his whole body thrumming with enthusiasm. In other words, pretty much back to normal.

And, as much as he hated to admit it, Jethro kind of liked the fact that Tony knew him well enough to figure it out.

“Did anybody say it was a competition, DiNozzo?” He asked gruffly as he pulled the sedan into the marina.

Tony just grinned wider.

Gibbs shook his head again, not bothering to hide his own grin. By the time he’d parked the car, Tony was all but vibrating. “Okay, you were right,” Jethro admitted.

“Well, someone did tell me recently that I was good at my job,” Tony said smugly as he got out and grabbed his duffle bag. “Observation and knowing your target are part of it.”

“Uh-huh,” Jethro said, locking the car after retrieving his own bag.

DiNozzo snickered but managed to stay silent as they walked down the dock and approached the boats. When they finally stopped next to one particular slip, he dropped his bag and whistled in appreciation. After looking briefly at Gibbs for confirmation, he approached the big wooden boat deferentially.

“Heavens to Betsy Ross,” he read the ship’s name as he took off his sunglasses. “Patriotic. I like it.”

“I’m glad you approve,” Gibbs said. He’d bent to pick up Tony’s duffle and moved with practiced ease onto the boat. “Coming aboard?”

Tony followed and Gibbs noted with pleasure how the younger man didn’t hesitate. DiNozzo stumbled a bit as he stepped on deck, his lapse in grace showing he wasn’t entirely familiar with boats smaller than an aircraft carrier. At just over 42 feet, Betsy was bigger than a rowboat, but she wasn’t an ocean liner either and had the typical bobbing motion that occurred with vessels of her size.

Tony, uncharacteristically, was hanging back. His eyes wandered constantly, but it was almost as though he’d been admonished to keep his hands to himself, he was being so careful not to touch.

“It’s okay, you can look around,” Jethro assured him.

DiNozzo immediately reached out and stroked the smooth, sleek finish of the nearest wooden rail. “You helped build this, didn’t you?”

Gibbs grinned. Yes, it was good to have a lover that knew him well.

“Yeah. Gabe, the owner, was my parents’ neighbor.” Gibbs said, surprising Tony by actually providing some background information. “Every summer, I worked with Gabe on his ‘ladies.’ He taught me everything I know about boats.”

“Sounds like a good man,” Tony said quietly.

“He is,” Jethro answered. “I hope to introduce you two someday.”

DiNozzo blinked and then smiled sweetly. “I’d like that.”

Gibbs rewarded that smile with a brief kiss. “You and Betsy get to know each other. If we’re going to push off in the morning, I’ve got some stuff to do.”

“You want some help?”

“Nah,” Jethro shook his head. “I’ll put you to work later. For now, just get used to the boat.”

Gibbs took the bags down the short wooden ladder that led below decks. He stopped and dug a box of Dramamine out of his own bag and set it in an obvious spot in the galley. He’d picked it up at the store along with some other necessities after DiNozzo had gone home to pack, thinking that Tony might need some help being out on the water. After he’d gone to their cabin and tossed the rest of the gear on the bed, he headed back up.

Tony was on his way down. “What kind of boat is this, anyway? I thought it was a sailboat, but looks like the engine’s awfully big for that.”

“It’s a motor sailor,” Jethro explained. “She runs equally well under sail or diesel.”

DiNozzo thought about it a moment and then nodded his head sagely. “Ah. She’s versatile; like a Marine.”

“Exactly,” Gibbs agreed, appreciating the comparison. He kissed Tony again, deeper this time because they were hidden from public view. He felt the younger man lean into it and it was only the necessity of getting chores done that allowed him to pull away. He groaned anyway and DiNozzo gave a throaty chuckle as Gibbs hurried to finish.

His visual check was largely unnecessary, but Gabe had taught Jethro too well to take anything for granted. As Betsy’s skipper during this outing, Gibbs was in charge. With both the welfare of his lover and his boat at stake, Jethro was especially careful. Even so, Gabe had everything kept in such ship-shape that it only took a few moments. He was already on his way back down when Tony’s shout caused him to hurry.


Jethro clattered down the ladder, halfway expecting Tony’s macho pride to make him upset about the motion sickness medicine. Instead, however, DiNozzo was holding up a jar of… spaghetti sauce?

“What?” Gibbs asked.

“Gibbs, my last name is DiNozzo,” Tony said stiffly. “In what universe do you think I would eat spaghetti sauce from a jar?”

The older man relaxed internally. “Tony, look around. Betsy’s a good size boat, but she’s no Pacific Princess.”

“So?” Tony asked testily.

Gibbs explained. “The galley’s only so big, DiNozzo. Not a lot of room for cooking.”

“Oh,” DiNozzo said, glancing around Betsy’s interior. It was cozy, certainly cozier than an apartment, not leaving a lot of room for a spacious cooking area. “I see what you mean. You’re forgiven – as long as you don’t tell my mom that I actually ate Ragu.”

“My lips are sealed,” Jethro promised. “As long as you promise to make me your special spaghetti sauce when we get back in town.”

Tony set the jar down with a thump. “You’re awfully sure that I have a special spaghetti sauce.”

“You said it yourself, your name is DiNozzo,” Gibbs said affably.

Issue closed, Jethro moved up to the forward part of the ship, where the master cabin was located. When he noticed that Tony was following, he started explaining as he went.

“A boat’s not like an apartment, DiNozzo.” He said. “Space is at a premium, so it’s important that everything’s stowed in its place.”

He glanced at Tony and was met with a confident smile.

“Not a problem,” DiNozzo said boldly. “I’ve had lots of practice being neat lately.”

Jethro grunted and continued the tour. “Head’s in the bow, engine room’s accessible through the hatch in the guest cabin. Pilot house is up top and weather radios are located there and in the galley.” He turned long enough to grin at his companion. “And you already know where the galley is.”

By this time, they were in the master cabin. While Tony took a minute to admire the clean lines of the navy-colored bed covering and the classic style of the built-in bureau, Gibbs had moved to their duffle bags and started unpacking his own.

“Rules are simple.” Jethro said as he worked. “I’m the skipper, so my word is law.”

Tony quipped, “In other words, it’s just like at the office.”

“Not really,” Gibbs disagreed. “Here, if you so much as whistle anything about a ‘three hour tour,’ you’ll be swimming home.”

DiNozzo grinned, but didn’t verbally acknowledge the threat. “I’ve done a little bit of sailing. Been awhile, though.”

“Good,” Gibbs nodded. “We’ll go over what you remember tomorrow.”

Tony sighed and turned to his own bag. He lifted out the first layer of clothes and followed Gibbs’ example on where to stow them. Jethro grinned at seeing his underwear in the same drawer as DiNozzo’s. He had no worries about getting them mixed up. The plain white boxers were easily distinguishable from Tony’s more colorful fare.

Soon, Jethro’s usual efficiency meant that his bag was empty of everything… everything except two items. Feeling himself blush, Gibbs pulled out the box of condoms and tube of lubricant and set them tentatively on the bed. He was just too old-fashioned to take this kind of thing cavalierly.

“So, Boss, where do you want these?”

Gibbs looked up to see Tony holding a tube of lubricant in one hand and a box of condoms in another. When the younger man saw that Gibbs had just unpacked the same, he grinned and waggled his eyebrows.

“So, I guess we’re prepared,” DiNozzo said cheekily.

“I guess we are,” Jethro shrugged, a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth.

Tony shuffled his feet, suddenly shy. “About what we’re so extravagantly prepared for….”

“Yeah?” Gibbs prompted.

“You willin’ to wait just a little bit longer?”

The good thing about the cozy quarters was that Gibbs could be at Tony’s side in just a step or two. “As long as you need, Tony.”

“It’s not that I need to, really.” DiNozzo shrugged. “It’s just that, everyone else I’ve dated has wanted to jump my bones pretty quick, even the women who were pretending they wanted to be wooed first. I kind of like the idea of going a bit slow.”

“I can do slow, I’m a patient man,” Gibbs said, taking Tony into his arms.

DiNozzo chuckled in disbelief. “Patient, you? Pull the other leg, Boss.”

“I can be patient,” Jethro claimed. “When the situation warrants it.”

“And this situation warrants it?”

“Oooh, yeah,” Gibbs assured him as he hugged him. “It most certainly does.”

“You don’t think it’s silly?” Tony asked. “We’ve already known each other for over two years.”

“Not like this, we haven’t,” Jethro pointed out.

“I won’t make you wait long,” Tony promised.

Gibbs kissed him. “Like I said, as long as you need.”

Before Tony could protest, Jethro took him by the hand. “C’mon, the rest of the unpacking can wait. Let’s go watch the sunset.”

“Oooh… breakin’ the rules already, Boss.” Tony teased. “That’s not a good sign.”

“On the contrary,” Gibbs disagreed, “I think it’s a very good sign.”

Without another word, the two men went out onto the deck to watch the evening sky.

Tony woke up alone. That wasn’t too unusual a state of affairs for him, given the nature of his love life, but a little disappointing, considering who this bed partner had been.

Bed partner….


Whatever feeling of hurt that had been trying to work its way into his heart was replaced by excitement. He’d spent the night with Gibbs. Not only with Gibbs, but in his arms. Even if nothing sexual had happened, it didn’t change the fact that they’d slept together and longer than that nap the day before too. The soft motion rocking the bed reminded him that they were on a boat and had nothing scheduled for the next two weeks except getting to know each other more… intimately.

DiNozzo got out of bed a little more enthusiastically than was his normal habit. A little too enthusiastically, in fact, since he forgot that the ceiling was lower than what he was used to. Luckily, he hit the top of his head and not the back, so he didn’t re-injure himself.

“Damn,” he muttered under his breath, rubbing the spot he’d whacked. “I hope the boat Gibbs is building has better clearance.”

That brought his thoughts around to his bed partner again. Tony’d once again slept naked and, since they were still at the marina, figured it wasn’t a good idea to go up on deck that way. He found a pair of faded blue jeans and pulled them on. Bare-chested and barefoot, he left the cabin in search of Gibbs.

Unfortunately, the rest of the living accommodations were Gibb-less. Tony took a quick look around, paying more attention to detail than he had the evening before. The settee area was more spacious than he would have thought, the upholstered seats and small table appeared to do double duty as an eating and as well as a lounging area. The galley itself was u-shaped and, as Gibbs had pointed out the night before, it wasn’t overly large. If the two tried to cook together, they’d definitely be hip to hip.

Tony grinned at the thought. Full contact cooking didn’t sound like such a bad idea. He tucked the notion away for consideration later.

The galley was a little sparse on gadgets, but appeared to have the necessities covered. It wasn’t like either he or Gibbs was a gourmet anyway. DiNozzo frowned, however, as he noticed one particular device was missing. Not a coffee machine, which was secured to the counter and already had a half-full pot brewed, but a piece of equipment nearly as necessary. Tony glanced over at the settee area but, nope, nothing there either. Not good, not good at all. He’d definitely have to ask his companion about that as soon as possible.

Deciding he needed Gibbs more than food, Tony forewent breakfast and climbed the short ladder to get on deck. It wasn’t hard to find him. All he had to do was follow his nose and the aroma of coffee led him straight to his lover. Gibbs was sitting on the port side of the deck, feet dangling over the side. Without a word, Tony dropped beside him, joining the older man as he watched the sunrise.

“What kind of place,” DiNozzo said in a conversational tone after a few minutes, “Has a coffee pot, but no television?”

“A civilized place,” Gibbs responded. When Tony sighed, he leaned over and kissed him. “How’s your head feeling?”

“It’d be better if the ceiling was two inches higher,” DiNozzo said ruefully, rubbing the sore spot.

“You’re just going to have to work on your ducking skills,” Jethro said with a smile. He transferred his coffee cup to the other hand so he could run his fingers through Tony’s dark hair.

“Mmmmm….” DiNozzo all but purred at the sensation. “You been up long?”

“Two cups,” Jethro answered, holding up his mug.

Tony took it from him and drank deeply before handing it back. When Gibbs didn’t protest, he smiled a little. “Sharing coffee, Boss? I can see this is more than a one night stand.”

Jethro’s expression remained serious. “I told you yesterday that I loved you,” he said quietly. “I’ve got a hell of a lot more than a one night stand in mind. Are we on the same page on that?”

DiNozzo shivered at the other man’s intensity. Gibbs didn’t do anything halfway, even love. Maybe, especially love. Far from being daunting, it was a comforting thought. “Oh, yeah. Definitely same page. I’m thinking more of a forever night stand, if that’s okay by you.”

Gibbs smiled and relaxed. “Works for me.” Holding his mug to the side, he kissed Tony for the second time that morning.

By the time the kiss ended, Tony was smiling. “So, what are we going to do on Betsy, anyway?”

The other man shrugged. “Thought we’d cruise up and down the bay. Nothing too fancy, just relax.”

DiNozzo thought about that idea, nodding his head as he realized it was just what they needed. He’d already noticed that Betsy didn’t have any mirrors, endearing the boat to him. “Sounds nice.”

“We’ll head into shore every few days and get fresh food supplies, fuel up when we need to,” Jethro went on to explain. “Eat at a restaurant when we get tired of cooking for ourselves. I figure we’ll use the engine as much or more than the sail.” He grinned at Tony. “Don’t know about you, but I don’t wanna work that hard.”

Tony made a show of exaggerated shock. “Gibbs? Not wanting to work? Stop the presses!”

Jethro chuckled. “Yes, even I occasionally enjoy being lazy, DiNozzo. I have a feeling I’m gonna like bein’ lazy with you.”

“Kate’ll think I’m a bad influence,” DiNozzo said, delighted at the idea. “So, without a television, what’re we going to do when we’re not sailing?”

Gibbs scratched his head as he thought about it. “Well, there’s always the weather to keep an eye on or we could pick up a couple of fishing licenses when we’re on shore.” He put his coffee mug down and stretched. “And if the pleasure of that pales, there’s always the fine art of knot tying.”

Tony sighed. Was it love that he thought that all of that sounded just grand? Deeply content, he rested his head on Gibbs’ shoulder and waited for the day to begin.

It wasn’t dignified.

There were those who would call it immoral.

For Gibbs, it was a necessity for his immediate sanity.

Jethro Gibbs was masturbating. He was taking a shower in the head and was indulging himself by staying in longer than normal. With grim determination, his hand circled his engorged penis and he stroked it ruthlessly.

Tony didn’t mean to do it, Jethro was utterly positive of that. Tony talked like a tease, but was too compassionate to actually be one. He simply was unaware of the effect his nearness had on Gibbs – and Jethro wanted to keep it that way.

They’d been on the Betsy for two days and Tony was thriving. The sun and fresh air had done him a world of good, erasing the strain lines around his eyes and burnishing his skin with the kiss of the sun. He’d even managed to get a reasonable amount of food into the younger man and liked to think that Tony’s face was filling out again. Logically, he knew it had taken DiNozzo longer than two days to strip the weight from his body and would take a similar length to build it back on, but it did Jethro’s heart good to see Tony eat. As for no television, far from being bored on the boat, DiNozzo was in full educational mode. He asked more questions than a three year-old and, not at all surprisingly, was taking to seamanship like an old pro. The headache was history and so was Tony’s flinching when Gibbs growled; the trust was back.

It was also obvious that Tony was enjoying having a lover that was willing to wait. So far, they’d done nothing more than kiss and DiNozzo was becoming more and more comfortable in Jethro’s arms. Bedtimes were both the best and the worst part of the day. Best because they kissed until Tony fell asleep; worst because having Tony in his arms and not consummating their relationship was sheer torture.

Even so, Gibbs didn’t regret his promise. His bungle with Tony over the Ari incident and DiNozzo’s overreaction to it had compromised DiNozzo’s trust in him. This interlude was going a long way to rectifying that and Jethro wouldn’t risk it, not for all the passion in the world.

Not regretting his promise didn’t make it any easier to keep. Just watching Tony get dressed that morning… seeing that bare ass bent over as he reached for something on the floor… pressing up against Tony as they both tried to share the galley duties…

With a groan, Jethro increased the pressure on his cock. He used one hand to stroke up and down the rigid shaft and rubbed the palm of the other against the overly sensitive head. In his mind’s eye, he imagined Tony pulling the meager vinyl curtain aside and joining him. Just the thought of DiNozzo dropping to his knees in front of him was enough to bring Jethro off. With a grunt, he came into his hands, his semen spurting between his fingers and coating the shower wall. He kept his hands moving until he’d milked it all. In Betsy’s almost cramped quarters, privacy was rare. This would be his only outlet until tomorrow’s shower.

No, this promise wasn’t easy to keep, but when he thought of Tony and how he was flourishing with having a lover that didn’t pressure him, Gibbs knew it was more than worth it.

“I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.”

Gibbs looked up as Tony finished his soliloquy. “Very nice. Had me thinking for a minute that I was sharing a boat with Richard Burton.”

Tony hopped down from the top of the pilothouse, where he’d stood for his big scene. He opened his mouth to say something, but a round of applause and giggles from the boat in the next slip startled him. He swiveled and saw several bikini-clad young women ogling him.

One of them lifted a glass in salute. “That was wonderful! I just love Jaws, especially if there’s a big, strong man to hold me during the scary parts. Would you like to come over and recite the rest of it?”

DiNozzo blushed right up to the roots of his sun-lightened hair. “Thanks, ladies, but no. I’ve got plenty of audience over here.” He waved at them and waited until they turned away, still giggling, before he addressed his lover.


Gibbs grinned. “I warned you that sound carries over water.”

“Yeah, well, I’m not likely to forget now,” Tony admitted sheepishly.

It had been a good day. For the first time during their jaunt, they’d put in at a marina. After five days of just the two of them, it had felt odd to be among other people, but that had soon worn off. They’d had to be careful not to kiss or be overly affectionate with one another, however, and it had surprised Tony just how restraining that felt.

Pelican Lake was a small community, but one that was friendly to boaters. The local grocery hadn’t been too over-priced and DiNozzo had been pleased beyond reason when Gibbs had added a box of Captain Crunch to their cart without even asking. He’d wanted to reward the older man right then and there, but the store had too many people in it and he didn’t dare. The town was friendly to boaters but he had no idea how the locals felt about gays.

After stowing the groceries, they’d returned to town, lunching at a neighborhood restaurant. Luckily, it was more of a sports bar and had a television; Tony could catch up on the baseball he’d missed. Jethro had nursed several beers, indulging his partner’s passion for sports.

Remembering it, Tony frowned again as he thought about how he would have liked to shown Gibbs just how much he’d appreciated his understanding. Waiting was well and good, but after being in town where he was unable to display even basic affection, he’d come to realize just how much the two of them were missing….


“Yeah,” the other man answered, not looking up from the navigational charts he’d been studying.

“When you said you wanted to introduce me to Gabe, how did you mean that?”

Gibbs looked up. “I was thinking of something along the lines of ‘Gabe, I’d like you to meet my life partner, Tony DiNozzo.’ Why, did you have something else in mind?”

Tony felt his eyes widen with surprise. “You’d tell him that we’re… together?”

Jethro shrugged. “That was the idea, yes.”

“Didn’t you say he was getting up there in years?” Tony asked. “Aren’t you afraid he’ll have a problem with two guys being together?”

The older man put his charts aside and rose to stand next to Tony. Both men leaned on the deck rail, staring out over the water.

“The only problem I anticipate having with telling Gabe is him making a pass at you,” Gibbs explained.

Tony looked at him in surprise. “Gabe is gay? Isn’t he old?”

Gibbs laughed. “Yes, Gabe is old. Yes, Gabe is gay. He used to say that his boats were the only ladies that he was capable of falling in love with. Homosexuality existed long before Liberace, you know.”

Tony lapsed into silence and it was Gibbs who spoke next.

“I take it that I’ll never be tested about my ability to keep the Ragu a secret?” He asked gently.

DiNozzo shook his head. “Yeah. My folks… they don’t know I’m bi. They’d have a fit if they ever knew I was with another man.”

Gibbs took his hand, underneath the deck rail where it couldn’t be seen by their nosy neighbors. “I figured that was the case. It’s your family, Tony, your call. As for me, Gabe’s the only one I have left that matters and he already knows what I am.”

Tony nodded. “How about work?”

His companion didn’t answer that one right away. “I think it’s a moot point. Some of them already knew we were attracted to one another. They’re bound to have figured this out.”

That was surprising. Tony thought he’d been so careful. “Really? Who?”

“Tom Morrow.”

“The director?” DiNozzo squeaked. “The director knew that I had the hots for my boss?”

Gibbs chuckled ruefully. “More like he knew it was the other way around. Tom and I have known each other for decades.” He watched Tony squirm out of the corner of his eye. “He just about ordered me to take you to bed, you know.”

Speechless, Tony only gulped.

Jethro took pity on him. “It was more because I was being a bastard to everyone than anything else. I think he was afraid the whole department would quit if I didn’t mellow out soon.”

“Who else?” Tony asked, and then answered his own question. “Abby.” He thought back to their conversation in the elevator and it’d been pretty obvious.

Gibbs nodded. “And Ducky.”

DiNozzo expelled a huge sigh. “What about Kate?”

“I don’t think she’s figured it out yet,” Jethro said after a few moments of contemplation. “I think the way you act around attractive women has her fooled.”

“And do we tell her?”

His partner looked at DiNozzo levelly. “What do you think? Can she handle it?”

It was Tony’s turn to think about it. “Yeah, I think we have to. She can handle the reality better than finding out that we’ve hidden something this important from her.” He shuddered. “A profiler doesn’t like to be that wrong. Especially a female one, when it’s about romance.”

Gibbs grinned tightly. “Okay, we’ll tell her when we get back.”

At that moment, Tony’s cell phone began to ring. Up until that day, they’d left the devices in their bags, since out on the bay, they were often out of signal reach anyway. However, they’d each taken their phones into town, in case they went on separate errands and needed to stay in touch. Not being at the beck and call of the cell phone was another thing they’d gotten used to and Tony grimaced as he took his out of his pocket to look at the incoming number.

“Speak of the devil,” he said, looking at Gibbs expectantly. “It’s Kate. Should I answer?”

Jethro shrugged and then grinned. “Have fun.”

Tony grinned back, delighted that they were on the same wavelength. Flipping the phone open, he pressed the appropriate button and brought it up to his mouth. “DiNozzo.”

“Tony, are you all right?” Kate’s voice came across a little scratchy. Obviously, they didn’t have the best connection. “I’ve been trying to reach you for days, but your phone’s been off and you haven’t answered at the apartment.”

“Is something wrong?” DiNozzo asked, faintly concerned. Kate sounded anxious.

“You tell me – I’ve been worried about you,” Kate responded. “The way you’ve been acting the last couple of months and then the way you tore out of here after poor McGee wouldn’t let you into your computer. Are you all right?”

Tony relaxed, giving Gibbs the thumbs-up sign that everything was all right at home. “I’m fine. Decided to take a little vacation, that’s all.”

“Where? You aren’t alone, are you?”

DiNozzo answered her second question first. “As a matter of fact, I’m not alone. I’ve got this sexy blue-eyed companion I picked up before we left the marina….”

Gibbs laughed and sat back in his chair, obviously having figured out where Tony was going in the conversation and approving of it wholeheartedly.

“Marina? Tony, are you on a boat?”

Tony leaned against the rail, enjoying himself thoroughly. “Yup. The only problem is, I’m not allowed to drive it.”

“Steer, DiNozzo.” Gibbs called out. “When you’re on a boat, it’s called ‘steering.’”

“Oh, yeah. Thanks, babe,” Tony said. “Steering.”

There was a strangled silence on the other end of the line and Tony had to bite his lip to keep from laughing. “Kate, you still there?”

“Tony, was that Gibbs’ voice?” She asked.


“Gibbs, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, is your sexy blue-eyed companion?” Kate continued. “You’re on vacation with our boss. On a boat – and he lets you live after calling him ‘babe’?”

“That’s about it in a nutshell,” DiNozzo agreed. “You’re just lucky you called when you did. You know, ‘When the boat’s a’rockin’, don’t come knockin’’ and all that.”

More silence and then, finally, “Tony, that’s not funny.”

“No, it’s not. It’s the truth.” DiNozzo countered. He covered the mouthpiece of the phone with his hand and started tapping on it. “What’s that, Kate? I think we’re losing the connection. If you can still hear me, ask Abby. She can fill you in on the details.”

With that, he pushed the button that ended the call and then, with satisfaction, completely turned the phone off. When he looked up, Gibbs was grinning at him.

“You enjoyed that, didn’t you?” The older man asked.

“Oooooh, yeah,” Tony said smugly. “I don’t think she’ll be teasing me about kissing a he/she anymore, that’s for sure.”

Gibbs nodded at him. “Nicely done.”


Tony sauntered over the few steps from the rail to the chair the older man sat at. He leaned down incredibly close to whisper into Jethro’s ear, “What say you take those charts of yours and find us a place we can get to tonight. I think we’ll be wanting to make some noises that we don’t want the neighbors to hear.”

Just in case Gibbs didn’t get the point, Tony took the lobe of the older man’s ear in his teeth and nibbled gently. He felt Jethro shift in his seat and grinned expectantly as he saw the growing bulge in the other man’s pants.

The trip into town had shown Tony that he craved more contact with this man. Intimate contact. Although he’d loved the security of knowing that Gibbs wouldn’t pressure him, it was time for more.

The wait was officially over.

With the incentive Tony had given him, Jethro found an appropriate spot quickly enough. He’d sailed these waters enough to know of an out of the way place. They were still on the bay, but close enough to shore that they didn’t have to worry too much about being in a traffic area. Even so, he set the appropriate lights that would let a passing vessel know that they were there and to avoid hitting them.

Then he went below decks and joined his lover.

Tony was just finishing cleaning up from dinner. They’d finally used the hated jar of Ragu and DiNozzo had made the best of it. The younger man had teased by holding up a piece of spaghetti pasta and tilting his head back, making a show of slurping it down. Then, with just an inch or two hanging out of his mouth, he would lock eyes with Gibbs and draw it in slowly, the suction he was using causing his cheeks to hollow out.

After the third noodle had disappeared that way, Jethro had gulped down the rest of his food and fled to the deck, murmuring something about getting Betsy bedded down for the night. Tony’s throaty chuckle had followed him and Gibbs had practically flown through his chores. He could be patient, as he’d proven with Tony’s desire to wait, but now the waiting was over.

DiNozzo had obviously heard him come down the ladder, because he tossed the towel aside and moved to face Gibbs. Even before he was fully turned around, Jethro was on him, pinning Tony to the counter with his body.

“You got your chores done mighty quick,” Tony said, voice light but a little breathless.

“You gave me reason to,” Gibbs growled. He placed one hand to either side of Tony’s hips, immobilizing him against the counter. “Something about the wait being over.”

“Oh, yeah, definitely over,” DiNozzo said with feeling. Far from trying to get away from Jethro, he wrapped his arms around the older man’s neck and pulled him closer. “You were right, though, you can be patient. I love that about you. Thank you.”

Gibbs nuzzled the side of Tony’s neck. Now that he had permission to explore, he wanted to taste every inch of Tony. “I love you too and you’re welcome.”

With that, the two men kissed. They’d kissed before, but nothing like they were kissing now. Their other kisses had been full of anticipation for what was to come and this was the kiss that began the fulfillment of that promise. Gibbs’ tongue invaded Tony’s mouth and DiNozzo let it, moaning softly. Jethro moaned too; he’d had his tongue inside Tony’s mouth before but now it held a special urgency. If simply getting his tongue inside Tony’s mouth felt this good, what would it feel like when his cock was deep within his lover?

“Oh, God,” Gibbs pulled back and rested his head against Tony’s forehead. “You are incredible.”

“Right back at you, big guy,” Tony responded. Gibbs was pleased to hear the younger man breathing hard. It was nice to know that he wasn’t the only one feeling the effects of waiting – or the fact that it was now over.

“Come here, let’s do this right,” Gibbs said, offering Tony his hand. DiNozzo took it with a surprisingly shy smile and let Jethro lead him to their cabin. “Watch your head.”

“Believe me, my head’s the last thing on my mind right now,” Tony said.

Gibbs turned when he was inside the cabin, walking backwards and kissing Tony every step of the way to the bed. The two men stopped there by unspoken mutual consent.

“I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” Tony quipped.

Jethro reached up and cupped the other man’s face. “DiNozzo, you’ve slept nude in my arms for almost a week. There’s no reason to be nervous now - I’ve seen everything you’ve got.”

“Not like this,” Tony said unsteadily.

Gibbs considered and then nodded. “Not like this,” he agreed.

Working in an oddly mirror fashion, both men slowly took their shirts off. Each had a well-defined chest, although Gibbs was a little hairier than DiNozzo. They drank in the sight of one another and then, still not speaking, slowly took their pants off and tossed them aside before toeing off their socks. Each man’s underwear was already tented and slightly damp from an erection, but that was where the similarity ended. Tony was wearing red, knit briefs that hugged every inch, whereas Gibbs’ were boxers that were loose everywhere - except where they strained over his stiffening cock. Obviously, the younger man had recovered enough that ‘performance’ was no longer an issue.

Panting and flushed, Tony hooked his thumbs in the elastic of his briefs. Gibbs did the same. Slowly and carefully, each slid their last garment down, freeing their cocks. Tony’s slapped against his lean belly while Gibbs’ stuck straight out. Both were rigid with need.

“Come here,” Gibbs repeated after they’d stared at each other for a few moments.

Offering his hand to Tony again, he gently laid down on the bed with the other man. The couple stretched out on the mattress, stroking each other’s faces almost reverently. Since Tony was still being uncharacteristically shy, Gibbs made the first move, leaning forward and kissing DiNozzo deeply.

DiNozzo’s reaction was almost immediate. He moaned softly and pressed close, almost whimpering as their groins crushed against one another. Gibbs threw one leg over Tony’s, bringing them together even more. Their mouths slid together as the kiss grew hotter and Gibbs let his lips slide off Tony’s, leaving him free to trail kisses down the length of DiNozzo’s neck.

Tony stretched to the side, inviting more of the nibbling and Gibbs happily obliged. While he was busy feasting on DiNozzo’s skin, Tony’s hands were doing their own roaming. At first, he clutched at Jethro’s back but then he moved to stroke across Gibbs’ shoulders and down his chest. Tony rubbed his palms against the taut nubs of Jethro’s nipples, causing Gibbs to moan and bite down harder on his neck. When Tony gasped, Jethro kissed the spot, lingering with his tongue.

“Now I know what an ear of corn feels like,” DiNozzo laughed. “All that nibbling….”

Gibbs snorted. “If you’ve got enough breath to make jokes, then I’m not doing somethin’ right.”

“Oh, I think you’re doing just fine - oh. Ooooh.”

Tony’s voice trailed off. Gibbs had taken advantage of his distraction to move his hands and take hold of Tony’s erection.

“Speechless,” Gibbs said smugly. “Just the way I like it.”

The older man fisted Tony’s cock for a few strokes, leaving DiNozzo unable to do anything but clutch his shoulders and hang on for the ride.

“Jethro, you’ve got to stop,” DiNozzo finally gasped.

Gibbs was so surprised that he ceased his activity. “What did you just call me?”

Tony’d recovered enough breath to smile and kiss the other man lightly. “Considering where you’ve got your hand, it seems a little formal to call you ‘Gibbs’ or ‘Boss.’ Do you mind?”

Jethro kissed him intensely, restarting his stroking of Tony’s penis at the same time. “Mind? I’ve been waiting years for that.”

“Seriously, Jethro, you’ve got to stop,” DiNozzo repeated. In contrast to his words, his body was arching into the touch and Tony was biting his lip as he fought for control. “I’m not gonna last long and I wanted us to get off together.”

“That’s okay,” Gibbs crooned. “The good thing about us old men is that we can last a long time. I want you to feel good; I’ll still be ready when you’re up for round two.”

His fingers dipped to play with the sac containing Tony’s balls and DiNozzo gave up protesting. Gibbs enjoyed watching the sensations play across his lover’s face; Tony was very responsive to stimulation. That wasn’t exactly a surprise, but it certainly was a delight.

Eager to bring the younger man to climax, Jethro changed his grip to contain both of their erections. Having the additional friction of another cock, along with the rough caress of a calloused hand, was enough to break Tony’s meager control. With a long drawn-out moan, he came, bathing Gibbs’ hand and both their stomachs with his cum.

Gibbs slowly wound down his stroking, watching Tony’s face as the younger man went through stages of bliss. Finally, he let go of his lover’s softening cock and put his hand on Tony’s hip, kissing him impudently on the chin.

“I love you,” Tony whispered. “That was… better than I’d ever imagined.”

“It was just a hand job,” Gibbs pointed out. He tried to go on to say that it was only the beginning, when Tony interrupted him.

“Yeah, but it was your hand,” DiNozzo said. “That’s different.”

His words made Gibbs feel ten feet tall.

“That was just the appetizer,” he promised the younger man.

Jethro kissed Tony’s nose quickly and just managed to dodge Tony’s attempt to hijack his mouth. Instead, he got up and moved as quickly as he could, given his unfulfilled condition, to the head. There he wet a washcloth and came back to Tony, intending to clean them both off. Tony just lay there and watched him approach, eyes half-lidded in the aftermath of what Jethro hoped was only his first orgasm.

“Hey!” DiNozzo jumped as he felt the touch of the cool cloth. “That’s cold!”

Gibbs finished and dropped the offending square of fabric to the floor dramatically before crawling across the bed to get right into Tony’s face. “Would you really have wanted me to take the time to warm up the water?”

“Ah… no,” DiNozzo said. He slid down on his pillow, accepting Gibbs weight as the older man pressed down.

“Good answer,” Jethro murmured before capturing Tony’s mouth in another kiss. When they pulled apart, he leaned forward to whisper in DiNozzo’s ear. “You still want to take care of something for me?”

“Oh, yeah,” Tony smiled. He started to wiggle out from underneath Gibbs, his eyes fixed on his lover’s cock, but Jethro stopped him.

“Nah-uh,” Gibbs said. He wrapped his arms around Tony and let his hands slide lower to cup DiNozzo’s ass, his fingers gently stroking between the firm cheeks. “This is where I want to be tonight.”

He watched Tony’s expression carefully and so witnessed the younger man’s eyes dilate as his words sank in.

“I think that can be arranged,” DiNozzo purred.

“Good man,” Gibbs murmured, kissing and nipping his way across Tony’s chest. As the younger man arched into the touch, he moved his hands under his back, encouraging DiNozzo to turn over.

Tony settled against the bedspread, instinctively lifting his ass in the air as Jethro began to stroke it. His cock was already beginning to become interested in the proceedings, despite the orgasm he’d experienced only minutes before.

“Jethro….” Tony moaned after several minutes of nothing but Gibbs kneading and stroking his cheeks.

“Hmmmmm,” Gibbs responded absently.

“I never said that I was patient,” DiNozzo whined. “C’mon already.”

Jethro slapped him lightly on the butt. “I always had the feeling you were a pushy bottom”

But, in spite of his complaint, Gibbs bent down and kissed his way up Tony’s spine. When he reached the base of the younger man’s neck, he bit lightly before gladly bestowing the kiss that DiNozzo twisted his head searching for.

Jethro reluctantly abandoned Tony’s lips and reached for the built-in bedside table. Since they’d had dual sets of condoms and lube, they’d stashed one of each there. He reached in and tumbled both out, grabbing the tube and returning to Tony before his lover could protest his absence.

Gibbs squeezed out a generous dollop of lube on his finger and, after blowing on it to warm it slightly, he returned to his new favorite place on Earth. Parting Tony’s ass cheeks with one hand, he slid the other between, finding the puckered opening to his lover’s body for the first time. Using the lubed finger, he began massaging around the delicate opening, grinning fiercely as DiNozzo gasped in response and pushed against him.

“Like that, do you?” Gibbs asked smugly.

“Oh, God, yes,” Tony gasped.

Gibbs wanted to take it slow, but DiNozzo kept pushing against him, seemingly trying to get him to insert something instead of just massaging around the outside. Finally, Jethro sat on the bed and braced himself against the wall. Once he was positioned, he pulled Tony across his lap.

“What are you doing?” Tony protested. By the tone of his voice, he was startled by the older man’s move.

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to spank you,” Jethro reassured him. “Just want to make sure you’re ready before we move on.”

Tony squirmed a bit, obviously trying to get comfortable. He opened his mouth like he was going to protest further, but not a sound came out. By that alone, Gibbs could pinpoint the exact moment that the younger agent realized his cock, which was stiffening up nicely by the feel of it, was cocooned in Gibbs’ lap.

Smiling, Gibbs got down to business. He started with his kneading again, loving how the firm flesh of Tony’s ass felt in his hands. Beginning to feel the strain himself, he moved on, re-lubing his finger before initiating the anal massage for a second time. Once he felt Tony relax against him, Jethro pushed the slick digit inside. The reaction was almost immediate. Tony moaned and arched further, only Gibbs’ hand on the small of his back keeping him in Jethro’s lap. As for Gibbs, his control was hard won. His cock wanted, badly, to be where his finger was and was starting to make its need known.

Gibbs ignored the throbbing of his own erection as much as he could. Instead, he concentrated on the heat surrounding his finger, letting his universe narrow down to that few specific inches. He discovered a simple cause and effect. If he swiveled his finger just like that, Tony would gasp. If he thrust it just so, Tony would whimper.

Interested to see what new and interesting noises Tony would make if he used two fingers, Gibbs withdrew from DiNozzo’s ass. Coating a second finger, he quickly returned, noting that Tony was panting heavily – and spreading to give him more access.

Jethro started the massage again, his two slick fingers circling the puckered opening as though it were a dance. He dipped one fingertip inside, but just for a moment, before going back to his manipulation of the outer ring.

“Don’t tease,” Tony moaned.

Gibbs shook his head, even though he knew Tony couldn’t see him. “Not teasin’, babe. You’re awfully tight. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”

DiNozzo hid his face against the bedspread. “Yeah.”

“That’s what I thought,” Jethro answered.

He both inserted fingers, first to just one knuckle and then, as Tony’s body accommodated him, slowing working the rest inside. With two fingers penetrating, the narrow passage felt twice as warm and Gibbs felt himself start to sweat. Tony squirmed on his lap and Jethro used his free hand to rub comforting circles on his back.

“Good?” He asked the younger man.

“More,” DiNozzo said succinctly, trying to thrust back onto Gibbs hand.

“Okay, okay,” Jethro chuckled. If there was one thing he could always count on Tony for, it was enthusiasm.

Instead of adding a third finger, however, Gibbs started working the ones he had inside Tony. The swiveling and thrusting still garnered breathy reactions, but he took advantage of having two digits within and really began stretching the other man. He alternated between scissoring the fingers and twisting them, opening his lover up as much as possible for what was to come.

Before long, Tony’s body was moving with him, pushing back onto Gibbs’ fingers despite Jethro’s hand pressing down on his back. With trembling fingers, Gibbs withdrew, his hands shaking a little as he lubed up a third digit. He let all three fingers rest a moment against the opening he’d been stretching and then slowly pushed in.

Tony cried out softly and his undulations ceased. Gibbs started rubbing the other man’s back again, slightly concerned.

“You okay?” He asked when DiNozzo remained silent.

“Yeah,” Tony answered. “It’s just, like I said, been a while.”

It strained muscles he forgot he had, but Jethro leaned down to kiss Tony. “It’s going to be worth it,” he promised.

“I know.” Tony said simply.

Gibbs was awed anew at Tony’s trust in him. As agonizing as this last week of waiting had sometimes been, at least it had allowed the hurt of the last months to fade away. Having regained Tony’s trust, Jethro had every intention of being worthy of it.

He moved his fingers gently until he felt Tony relax against their intrusion. There wasn’t as much room to swivel, but it probably wasn’t necessary anyway. Tony was as ready as he was going to get.

Jethro slid his fingers out of Tony’s body and, anticipating the younger man’s protest, slapped DiNozzo lightly on the ass.

“Lift up a little,” Gibbs grunted.

Tony obeyed and Jethro wiggled his legs out from underneath the younger man. He’d meant to put a couple of pillows underneath DiNozzo, but Tony lifted his ass in the air, making it unnecessary.

“I guess I don’t need to ask if you’re ready,” Gibbs chuckled.

“Hell, yes,” Tony claimed.

Jethro believed him. He kept his eyes fixed on his lover’s ass as he sheathed his erection in a condom and slicked the covered length with more lube. As he waited, Tony looked over his shoulder as if to make sure that Gibbs was still there.

With a soft growl at seeing that pleading glance, Gibbs left off his preparations and moved behind his lover. He rubbed his slippery fingers across Tony’s ass, kneading it one last time prior to possessing it.

“Please,” Tony moaned, pushing against the older man.

Gibbs spread Tony’s ass cheeks and positioned his cock at the prepared opening. He rubbed the mushroom-shaped head of it against DiNozzo’s rectum a couple of times, then before DiNozzo could complain about another delay, slowly pushed it inside as he mounted the younger man.

The heat of Tony’s body had felt good on his fingers, but it was nothing to how it felt surrounding the tip of his erection. Only Tony’s gasp and the stiffening of the body beneath him kept Jethro from plunging completely inside and riding swiftly to completion.

“You okay?” Jethro asked. He spared one hand to rub circles on Tony’s lower back.

“Like I said,” DiNozzo ground out between pants. “It’s been a while.”

Gibbs body was screaming at him to claim his mate; his mind was concerned with making the experience good for both of them.

“And like I said, I can be a patient man,” Jethro soothed.

The older man maintained a soothing patter of words, along with one hand stroking Tony’s back in encouragement. He slipped further inside as he felt his lover’s body acclimate to penetration, stopping frequently to give Tony time to adjust. After what felt like forever, but in reality was only a few minutes, he felt the warm globes of Tony’s ass ground against his crotch. Gibbs was fully inside.

Jethro draped himself across Tony’s back, stilling his body’s desire to piston his hips. Instead, he reached around for DiNozzo’s cock, pleased to find it almost as full and hard as his own. Tony needed his hands to support both their weight, so Gibbs took time to stroke his lover to full stiffness.

“Okay?” He asked Tony.

DiNozzo nodded, but Gibbs could see him worrying his lower lip with his teeth.

“You sure?” He insisted.

“God, yes,” Tony responded. He awkwardly twisted his head so he could look at Jethro. “It’s just… you’re inside me. You are inside me. I never thought….” He gulped and shifted underneath Gibbs, unable to complete the thought.

“And it’s only the beginning,” Gibbs promised.

With a sharp nip to the back of Tony’s neck, which caused the younger man’s body to ripple around Gibb’s cock in the most delightful way, Jethro straightened. Still aware enough to remember that the body he was joined to hadn’t mated in this way in some time; he withdrew slowly, reversing direction at the last minute to slide back deeply inside with an equally languid glide.

“Oh, God,” Tony moaned. He lowered his head and spread his legs wider, giving himself up to the sensations Gibbs’ slow thrusting was creating.

Jethro kept up the deliberate movement, feeling Tony catch fire beneath him and begin to move in a delicious countermovement. Only then did he begin to speed up his thrusts, shifting his grip to DiNozzo’s hips. By the time he was slamming himself inside, both of them were moaning and Tony had his head pillowed in his arms, giving maximum lift to his buttocks.

Gibbs knew he wouldn’t last long and, hoping to bring them to completion together, he swiveled his hips as he thrust in, hoping to find that sweet spot that would help. When Tony cried out sharply and bucked wildly beneath him, he’d knew he’d found it.

Grinning fiercely, Jethro made sure to bang against DiNozzo’s prostate with every thrust. He could see Tony fisting his own cock and knew it wouldn’t be long. At least, he hoped it wouldn’t; he wasn’t sure how long he could hold off orgasm himself.

As it turned out, he didn’t have to for very long at all.

Tony had gone beyond the ability to form words and, with an inarticulate keening, the younger man finally reached the pinnacle. The hot splash of semen against his thighs hardly penetrated Gibbs’ awareness. Instead, all of his consciousness was centered on the way the glorious body surrounding him clenched and rippled. With a cry of triumph, Gibbs let himself go, clutching Tony’s hips as he thrust in as far as he could. He felt his cock pulse inside of his lover as his body erupted and the world around him lost focus as he was caught up in his orgasm.

When Gibbs came back to himself, it was to find that he’d collapsed on top of Tony, both of them lying puddled on the bed. His world rocked and, for a minute, Jethro thought it was him, but then he remembered that he was on a boat. Even Betsy, it seemed, hadn’t been immune to the force of his coming together with Tony.

“If the boat’s a-rockin’,” he murmured against DiNozzo’s neck with a chuckle. Now that they’d made love, he felt lighter than air.

Tony stirred beneath him. “Don’t you even think of moving.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Gibbs assured him. He ran a hand down Tony’s sweaty torso. “You okay?”


Gibbs didn’t have to see the smile to know it was on the younger man’s face.

“Here, let’s move to our sides,” Jethro encouraged. “I’m too heavy for this.”

Tony grabbed Gibbs’ hand before the older man could get the leverage to move them. “No, you’re perfect. Waited too long to have you inside me….”

Jethro gave up. If Tony ever knew how much control he had in their relationship, Gibbs was in for a hard time. “Okay, but gravity’s going to take care of it at some point anyway.”

“Mine,” Tony mumbled and Jethro realized he was more than half asleep. “Gravity can’t have you.”

Gibbs watched as DiNozzo nuzzled the covers, his eyes closing as his breathing slowed with the evenness of sleep. Unwilling to disappoint Tony even though he wouldn’t be aware of it, Jethro settled down on top of his lover, waiting for nature to expel him from his lover’s body. As if in sympathy with the sated men, Betsy’s rocking slowly calmed.

“I think you’ve got her wrapped around your little finger too,” Jethro said.

Tony slept on and, despite his desire to stay awake and contemplate the fate that brought this man into his arms, Gibbs soon did the same.

“I know why you like the water so much.”

It was late afternoon and both men were feeling lazy. After their first night together, full of loving exploration, they’d slept later than either man normally did. Not feeling particularly ambitious, they’d not taken Betsy out far – just far enough to ensure their continued privacy.

Alone except for the water, the couple sat on deck in the shade of the pilothouse. Gibbs sat with his back against its wooden slats and Tony sat in his arms, his back to Jethro’s chest. Both men were dressed only in jeans; leaving their torsos and feet bare. Gibbs was taking advantage of that situation by slowly sucking a sizeable hickey on the skin between Tony’s neck and shoulder.

DiNozzo lay quietly in Jethro’s arms, staring off into the distance as his lover marked him. He tilted his head to the side to give Jethro access, his hand idly stroking Gibbs’ thigh.

Tony couldn’t remember ever feeling so content and secure.


Jethro’s quiet question broke DiNozzo’s reverie. He hadn’t realized he’d made that comment out loud.

“The water,” Gibbs reminded him. “Why do I like it so much?”

Tony rolled his head so he could look into the older man’s face. When he saw the amused and genuinely curious expression there, he couldn’t help but smile back. Just because he could, DiNozzo reached up and kissed his lover before answering.

“You like it because it’s uncompromising,” he explained. “But if you know what you’re doing and treat it with respect, you can… well… not conquer it exactly, but make sure it doesn’t conquer you.” He smiled sheepishly. “If that makes sense.”

Jethro smiled back. “I think I may have hired the wrong person to be the team’s profiler. That’s a pretty astute observation, Special Agent DiNozzo.”

“Well, you are my favorite thing to observe, Special Agent Gibbs.” Tony blushed as he responded, pleased with the compliment.

At that exquisitely romantic moment, when the two men were staring deep into one another’s eyes, hearts swelling with the love they’d only recently been able to express….

Tony’s stomach growled.

Jethro laughed, but DiNozzo wasn’t amused.

“Spoilsport,” he muttered as he looked down at the offending stomach.

“Come on,” Gibbs said as he carefully untangled himself from his lover. “Let’s get you fed.”

Tony frowned even as he obligingly slid off Jethro’s lap. “What kind of name is Gibbs anyway?”

Jethro stood and offered a hand to Tony, eyebrows raised as he tried to follow the other man’s abrupt change of subject. “Gibbs is an American name. Why?”

DiNozzo let himself be pulled to his feet. “Because the way you keep shoving food at me, you’d think you were Italian.”

Jethro didn’t directly answer. Instead, he ran his hand along Tony’s side, kissing the younger man as the caress caused him to shiver.

Abruptly, Gibbs pulled away and stepped towards the hatch that led to the lower part of the boat. “If you’re a good boy and clean your plate, DiNozzo, I’ll let you drive tonight.”

Tony was slow to follow, in more ways than one. “It’s not called ‘driving’ on a boat, Boss.” He smiled, inordinately pleased at himself.

Gibbs was partway down the ladder, but he stopped to grin at his lover. “Wasn’t talkin’ about the boat, DiNozzo.”

His silver head had disappeared down the hatch before Tony figured out the import of Jethro’s word choice. He gulped, thinking about being inside Gibbs’ body….

Suddenly, Tony couldn’t get to the galley fast enough.

“Wait for me,” he called out as he hurried after the older man. “I think I just found my appetite.”

“And what if I get too Captain Bly?”

The couple were snuggled together in the settee area, mugs full of hot chocolate and coffee, respectively, on the table. They’d finally run out of luck when it came to the weather, this their final full day on Betsy. The boat would be turned over to Gabe’s marina the next afternoon and the couple were savoring their last hours on the bay. A gentle smattering of rain tapped against the deck and they’d retreated to the lower level to stay dry. A first a shared crossword puzzle served as a diversion, but with a return to the office imminent, conversation had turned to how they were going to handle it.

“I could always call you ‘sir.’” Tony offered. “You hate that.”

Gibbs thought about it for a minute. “Yeah, that ought to snap me out of it.”

“And if I get too out of line, just whap me upside the head.” DiNozzo suggested.

“I do that anyway,” Jethro said.

“That’s the beauty of it,” Tony said with a grin. “No one will think anything’s any different.”

Gibbs pulled Tony closer. “As long as you know that everything’s different.”

“I know,” DiNozzo assured him, snuggling his head underneath Jethro’s chin. “Trust me, I know.”

The two men lapsed into silence, serenaded by the sound of the rain.

“I wish we could be like this all the time,” Tony said. He kissed the underside of Jetho’s chin before struggling out of his arms and sitting up. “But we can’t.”

“Not at work,” Gibbs said, hearing the shade of regret in his own voice.

“Not at work,” DiNozzo agreed. “And after these two weeks, that’s going to be hard, so…” His voice trailed off as he suddenly found the sleeve of Jethro’s sweater to be fascinating.

“So….” Gibbs gently probed. “What, Tony?”

“This is going to sound stupid,” Tony admitted, “But when I need something more, at the office, I’ll just call you ‘Boss’ and, when I do, you’ll know I’m saying that I love you.”

Jethro blinked. “But you call me ‘Boss’ all the time.”

“Yeah.” Tony shrugged.

Gibbs swallowed, his throat suddenly tight. “When I need a little something more,” he said roughly, “I’ll just find a way to brush against your most recent hickey.”

Jethro put action to his words. He reached out and stroked the remnants of the first mark he’d put on Tony. It had mostly faded, leaving only a slight blush to DiNozzo’s skin. That didn’t matter. Both men remembered and that was enough to make each man shiver.

“What if I don’t have a recent hickey?” Tony challenged unsteadily.

Gibbs grinned. “Well, then I drag you off to the nearest supply closet and give you one.”

DiNozzo licked his lips. “Sounds like a plan to me.”

“Good,” Jethro said. He sat up and started crawling across the settee towards DiNozzo.

“Boss, what’re you doing?”

“Seems to me that hickey’s getting kind of pale,” Jethro said smugly. “We can’t have that; we’re back in the office the day after tomorrow. Time to freshen it up.”

“Just don’t put one where Kate can see, okay?” Tony asked. “She’d never let me hear the end of it.”

Gibbs just grinned wickedly as he climbed on top of Tony.


The crossword puzzle never did get finished.

It wasn’t the lightning that woke Tony, it was the emptiness of the bed. Still, half-asleep, Tony patted the spot where he expected Jethro to be. At least it was still warm, so the older man hadn’t been gone long. Thinking perhaps Gibbs was in the head, DiNozzo decided to wait to welcome him back.

Tony didn’t have any trouble staying awake. They were tied up in Betsy’s slip at her home marina, but the boat still bobbed and dipped enthusiastically. DiNozzo gulped. The whole reason they’d put in at the marina was the probability of thunderstorms. Even with bad weather on the horizon, they’d decided to stay on the boat, both of them reluctant to leave their love nest.

He was beginning to regret that decision now.

Just as he was about to give up and go looking for his wandering lover, Jethro came back. In other circumstances, Tony would have enjoyed watching a nude Gibbs prowl across the room. Unfortunately, he was too worried to enjoy it. The older man smiled when he saw that Tony was awake and lost no time in slipping under the covers.

“Is it getting bad?” DiNozzo asked.

“Nah, it’s nothing,” Gibbs reassured him. “I checked the radio. The storm mostly went east of us. Just the tip of it’s brushing the bay and the weather service isn’t even issuing a wind alert for this area.”

Just then another wave rocked the boat, causing Tony to grab on to Jethro for support.

“That didn’t feel like nothing,” Tony said.

Gibbs settled into his pillow. “It’s just a little chop. Being tied to the dock makes it feel worse. It’s nothing to be afraid of.”

“Afraid?” Tony lifted up enough to glare at Gibbs. “I’m not afraid, I’m just being cautious.”

The boat lurched again in the rough water, sending DiNozzo back into Gibbs’ arms.

“Cautious, huh?” Jethro commented.

Tony blushed as he realized he was clutching on to Gibbs again. “Well, yeah, we are still in hurricane season.”

“I know the weather, Tony, and there’s nothing to worry about.” Jethro assured him. “Trust me.”

“I do trust you,” Tony protested. “It’s the weather I don’t trust.”

DiNozzo was half-afraid that his comment had offended his lover. He needn’t have worried. Instead of being repulsed, Gibbs pulled him closer and started nibbling on his neck.

“What are you doing? Tony was a little startled.

“I think you need a little distraction,” Gibbs murmured.

DiNozzo yelped as another wave made the boat shudder. “And you think this is the best time to do that?”

Gibbs did one of those quick movements of his, which ended up with him crouched over Tony. “Oh, this is the best time for this.” He flashed one of his most boyish smiles at the younger man. “Trust me.”

DiNozzo couldn’t help but react to that smile. “I always trust you.”

“Good,” Jethro murmured.

Gibbs descended on his lover. What skin his lips missed, his hands caressed. Even though they’d already made love once earlier in the evening, Tony found himself easily drawn into Jethro’s passion. The lightning flickered intermittently through the porthole and painted their skin brightly, but the phenomenon had lost its sense of danger. Similarly, the rocking of the boat only became part of how Gibbs’ body was rocking Tony’s world and not something to worry about.

By the time Jethro was encouraging him to roll to his side, Tony had all but forgotten about the storm. In the eternity that he waited for Gibbs to put on a condom, though, his awareness of it came back as the waves caused the bed to shudder.


“Don’t worry, babe, I got you,” Gibbs was suddenly at Tony’s back, rubbing his shoulders.

The touch soothed Tony and he pressed back against the older man, moaning when he felt the hot length of Jethro’s erection slide between his cheeks. Jethro ran a lazy hand along DiNozzo’s hip; the older man certainly didn’t seem to be in a hurry. DiNozzo could feel Gibbs position his cock at his opening, but he didn’t push in, despite Tony already being stretched from their earlier lovemaking session.

“What are you waiting for?” DiNozzo gasped.

In the next moment, he found out.

The boat surged up again from a big wave and, as it did, Jethro pressed his cock home. He penetrated Tony slowly but deeply, sliding all the way inside in one fluid motion.

“Oh, God,” Tony gasped. The instant fullness was welcome, but unexpected.

“Easy, babe,” Gibbs crooned. He wrapped his arms around Tony’s waist and DiNozzo grabbed onto them, clutching Jethro’s hands and pulling them closer.

Another wave rocked the boat and, as it ebbed, Jethro withdrew most of the way; another slow motion that enflamed DiNozzo’s every nerve.

“Worth waiting for?” Jethro asked.

As an answer, Tony swiveled just enough in Gibbs arms to twist awkwardly to kiss the other man. He couldn’t hold the position long, though, and by the time the next wave hit, he’d relinquished the kiss to allow for deeper penetration.

Their coupling took its rhythm from the water. Gibbs thrust and withdrew with each surge and ebb until Tony no longer knew who was fucking him, Jethro or the waves. Since this was their second tryst for the night, neither man was in much of a hurry and they lay on the bed for what seemed like hours, both bodies and hearts joined.

“Please, Jethro,” Tony eventually gasped. The storm was long forgotten – all DiNozzo was aware of was the slow build up of sensation until his body was begging for release.

“You got it,” Gibbs responded.

He dropped their joined hands and wrapped them around Tony’s straining erection. One stroke, then two, and Tony finally came. His seed erupted over both of their hands and the younger man sighed as his back arched, too deep in sensation to do anything more. With a groan, Gibbs joined him, thrusting deep and letting the spasming of Tony’s body around his cock milk his own release.

Tony felt Jethro bury his face in the hair at the back of his neck and he was glad to know he wasn’t the only one deeply affected by their joining.

“Jethro… that was incredible,” he gasped.

“Still worried about the storm?” Gibbs asked, running a hand along DiNozzo’s hip.

Tony laughed, still a bit breathless from their activities. “Storm? What storm?”

“Good boy,” Jethro murmured.

DiNozzo wiggled, pleased that Gibbs hadn’t tried to withdraw. Who said old dogs couldn’t learn new tricks? “Any more storms headed our way?”

Tony felt rather than saw Jethro shake his head. “Nope.”

“That’s too bad,” Tony sighed.

Gibbs laughed and lightly slapped him on the hip. “That’s a change of heart. I must have been a pretty good distraction”

“You know the answer to that,” DiNozzo said with a tired grin. “How long will it be until your boat is done?”

Gibbs nibbled on his ear. “I don’t know. Why?”

“Because I wouldn’t mind a repeat,” Tony admitted. “Could you get it done faster if I helped?”

Jethro nuzzled behind DiNozzo’s ear. “I don’t know about faster, but it’d be more fun. Besides, I’m sure Gabe would be willing to loan us Betsy until we get finished.”

“Good,” Tony sighed.

DiNozzo yawned again and Jethro tightened his arms around the young man. The strength of the waves was waning and they’d subsided to a level that merely made the boat bob rhythmically in the water. Exhausted by satiation, the lovers let it rock them to sleep.

Gibbs didn’t want to admit it, but he was worried. Not about his relationship with Tony – that felt more solid than anything ever had in his life. Jethro was confident that he and his lover could maintain their working relationship on a professional level.

Well, as professional as DiNozzo ever got, anyway.

It was the rest of his team he worried about. A little competition was a good thing, but if the others worried that he’d start playing favorites with Tony now that they were lovers, well, it could get ugly.

“You’re awfully quiet.”

Jethro looked at his companion and shrugged. “It’s not like I can chat about what I did my last night before coming back to work.”

Tony blushed. After leaving Betsy with the marina staff, they’d gone first to DiNozzo’s apartment to pack some of his things and then on to Gibbs’ house. In between, they’d managed to ‘christen’ the beds in both places. A most productive night but not exactly something they could talk about at the office, even if was just the two of them on the elevator.

“Don’t worry, Boss,” Tony said as the doors began to open. “I have a feeling everything’s going to be just fine.”

Gibbs barely suppressed a yelp. Apparently, Tony had learned a thing or two about distractions. His use of the word ‘Boss’ and what he knew Tony meant by it had diverted Jethro’s attention for just a split second. Just long enough for DiNozzo to pinch him firmly on the ass.

So it was that, as they walked into the office the first time since becoming lovers, DiNozzo was smirking and Gibbs glaring.

“Well, it’s about time!” A female voice greeted them.

“It’s nice to see you too, Kate,” DiNozzo quipped. “My two week leave was lovely, thank you so much for asking. And how are you?”

Kate stood at her desk, hands on her hips. “Can it, DiNozzo. Some of us have been working while you’ve been off.”

“Ah, as sweet talking as ever, I see,” Tony said with satisfaction. He plopped his backpack down by his desk and sat in his chair, immediately sending it twirling. “Admit it, Kate, you missed me.”

“She probably didn’t have time to miss anybody, DiNozzo,” Gibbs interrupted. Their banter wasn’t irritating him as much as Jethro let on. It felt normal and, to Gibbs, normal was a good thing. “Bring us up to speed, Kate.”

Kate gave Tony one last look before turning to their supervisor. “There isn’t actually that much to report, Gibbs,” she admitted sheepishly. “It’s been quiet. There were no new cases the week I was on leave and, with the two of you out, Director Morrow’s had me working on paperwork ever since I got back.” She glared at Tony. “Mostly I’ve been cleaning up DiNozzo’s reports.”

“Sweet,” Tony murmured. When both Gibbs and Kate turned on him, he corrected himself. “I mean, that’s too bad.”

It took all his hard-won Marine discipline to keep Gibbs from laughing. He’d known that Tony was pretty much back to normal , but seeing him like this in the office brought home just how much the young man had healed emotionally – and what Jethro had come so close to losing.

“Jethro, it’s good to have you back.”

Tom Morrow’s hearty voice caused all three agents to turn around.

“Good to be back, sir.” Gibbs said simply.

The director looked at him closely as he approached, smiling when he got a good look at Jethro’s face; apparently he liked what he saw there.

“I see your time off has done you a world of good,” Morrow commented. “You too, Agent DiNozzo.” Tony blushed and mumbled something. “I’m glad to have you all back at full speed; I have a new case for all of you.”

Gibbs reached for the folder that was offered and, as the director handed it off, he bent forward and whispered in Jethro’s ear.

“It’s good to see you full of your old piss and vinegar,” Morrow said low enough that only Gibbs could hear. “And that young man of yours… from the looks of things, events worked out for the best.”

“Yes, sir,” Jethro said, not trusting himself to say anything more in front of the agents he supervised.

“Good,” Morrow nodded, winking. Luckily, he’d winked using the side of his face that was turned from Tony and Kate and, as the Director walked off, the younger agents never knew how he’d been teasing their boss.

Jethro flipped the file open and read the briefing. He turned back to his crew and saw they were waiting for him to say something. “Well, what’re you standing around and staring for? We’ve got a case. Kate, get Ducky and DiNozzo, gas up the sedan and meet us out front.”

They scrambled to obey, even DiNozzo, and Gibbs felt himself relax a little more. Like Kate and Tony’s banter, it felt normal. Breaking Rule #12 hadn’t caused his career to come to a screeching halt after all. As cherished as his relationship with Tony was, it was a relief to find that it hadn’t changed his team’s ability to work together.

As the day went on and Gibbs went through the familiar motions of working on a case, that sense of rightness remained and even intensified. It was a good thing that he’d found the bantering between Kate and Tony comforting, because it only escalated as the day progressed. Even with his temporary sense of tolerance, Jethro was tempted to say something, until he realized that the teasing and jibes were the younger agents’ way of letting each other know that they missed one another. Kate, in particular, was in fine form but, then, she’d been worried about Tony months before his enforced two-week leave.

By the time they’d made it back to Abby’s lab with evidence in tow, Gibbs was almost mellow. As soon as she’d set up her analysis, Abby immediately latched on to Tony and dragged him off to a corner. Jethro let her, knowing it would be a while before the various test results were available. He sat in a handy chair to go over the files McGee had pulled, wanting to stay close for when Abby’s data came in. Kate had gone to her computer to trace some background information on their first suspect and Ducky no doubt was ensconced in his own lab.

Or maybe not.

“Well, young Anthony seems to have filled out some.”

Gibbs looked up at Ducky’s voice and found the older man was leaning against the door frame, a satisfied look on his face. Seeing the doctor’s attention was on Tony, Jethro turned slightly so he could see his lover. While not completely back to his normal weight, Tony had regained some during their time on Betsy, the fresh air and water bringing a healthy glow to his skin.

“Yeah, he did,” Gibbs responded succinctly.

When Jethro turned back, he found that Ducky was now studying him. He couldn’t help but blush a little, knowing full well that someone that knew him as well as Mallard did would be able to see his feelings for Tony written all over his face.

“Oh, yes, love looks good on him,” Ducky said, nodding slightly. “And you too, my old friend.”

Uncomfortable at the attention, Gibbs nonetheless met the ME’s gaze calmly. “I take it you approve?”

“Absolutely,” Ducky assured him. He startled slightly as someone tapped him on the shoulder and moved out of the doorway to let Kate into the room. “I think it may very well be the smartest thing you’ve ever done.”

With a final piercing look at Gibbs and tip of the head at Kate, Ducky left.

Kate looked from Gibbs to the spot where Mallard had stood. Then she looked over at where Abby and Tony were talking. Gibbs didn’t know how much she’d overheard, but after her phone conversation with Tony on Betsy, there couldn’t be any doubt in her mind about the nature of his relationship with DiNozzo. Knowing Kate, she was bound to say something about it, sooner rather than later. With deliberate nonchalance, Gibbs turned back to reading his report.

“Um, Gibbs?”

“Yeah, Kate?” Jethro responded to the other agent’s overture absently. Just because he was expecting her to say something didn’t mean he had to make it easy for her.

“About you and Tony….”

Gibbs looked up quickly, pinning an intense gaze on her. Kate gulped but held her ground.

“Tony doesn’t have any sisters and Abby and I were talking… we figured it’d be better coming from me, since I carry a gun…” Kate was unusually rattled.

“Yes…” Jethro prompted impatiently.

Kate took a deep breath and seemed to find her determination. Moving deliberately, she approached Gibbs. She leaned forward, placing one hand on each arm of the chair he was sitting in and getting right into his face.

“You’re in a relationship with Tony,” she said baldly. “We wanted you to know that if you hurt him, you’d better resign yourself to singing soprano for the rest of your life.” She stepped back only after staring, unblinking, into his eyes for several heartbeats.

Gibbs looked at her levelly, expressionless. Then, like the sun coming out, he grinned. “Nicely done, Agent Todd.”

Kate let out a deep breath. “Thanks, but I should warn you, I meant every word.”

“I know,” Jethro nodded. “Good girl.”

She cocked her head at him. “You don’t mind?”

Gibbs solemnly shook his head. “No. Where Tony’s concerned, I have no problem with people looking out for his best interests.” He looked rueful. “I know you might have a hard time believing this, based on my past behavior, but one of my life’s goals is not hurting him.”

“I know,” Kate said softly. She patted Gibbs’ arm in a sisterly way. “I better go get that database search started.”

“Kate?” Gibbs asked before she left the room. When the other agent turned around, Jethro gestured to where Tony and Abby were still talking animatedly. “What’s that all about?”

Kate grinned, causing her dimples to come out full force. “You don’t have any sisters either, Gibbs.”

Jethro blinked. He looked over at Tony and Abby again, noticing for the first time how chagrined the expression was that DiNozzo wore.

He turned back to Kate. “Do I wanna know what she’s threatening him with?”

She shook her head. “Probably not.”

Gibbs nodded. “Okay. Carry on.”

As Kate walked out, Jethro shook his head in amazement. He was wrong; his relationship with Tony had changed his team’s working relationship.

It had made them into a family.


Tony dropped the box on the toilet. Maybe Kate was right, maybe he did use too many hair care products. He looked up briefly to glance into the mirror, reaching up and tweaking his hair minutely. Nah, it was hard to argue with results that looked that good.

It was a big day – moving day. He and Gibbs had been together for four months and they’d both quickly come to resent the necessity of having two residences. Since things were solid, both with them and at work, Tony hadn’t signed a new lease on his apartment when it came up for renewal. A friend had agreed to let him use place as his official residence on NCIS paperwork and, with all his mail already going to a PO box, it had been easy to make the rest of the arrangements.

DiNozzo looked around Gibbs’ bathroom, trying to figure out the best way to incorporate his stuff into the small room. He wasn’t nervous about living with Jethro; their time on Betsy had shown they could live together quite nicely. Even so, as he glanced into the mirror again, he felt like he was missing something.

“Hey, DiNozzo, you fall in? We still got some boxes to move.”

Tony turned his head at the sound of his lover’s words. “Jethro, come in here a minute, would you?”

“I know personal grooming’s important to you, Tony, but there’s more stuff in the truck,” Gibbs said even as he did what Tony asked.

“Come here,” DiNozzo motioned him over.

Tony looked in the mirror as he waited for Jethro to come to his side, staring at his reflection intently. He didn’t see a soldier looking back at him anymore, but neither did he see a failure. He wasn’t sure what he saw… until Jethro joined him.

At watching his lover come to his side, Tony’s face lit up, prompting a responding smile on Gibbs’ face. The older man wrapped his arms around Tony and they looked into the mirror together.

What Tony saw looking back at him was love.

Apparently Jethro saw it too. “Like what you see?” He asked quietly, kissing the side of Tony’s neck.

“Oh, yeah,” DiNozzo said with feeling.

The two stood there for several minutes, basking in the feeling of being together. Gibbs was the first one to shake it off.

“C’mon,” he said, pulling back and reaching for Tony’s hand. “The faster we get done moving your stuff, the quicker we can get started.”

“Get started with what?” DiNozzo asked.

Gibbs kissed him before answering. “The rest of our life together.”

Tony watched him walk away, a smile tugging at his lips. “Ooooh, yeah.” He moved to follow, but then stopped for a moment to address the mirror’s reflection one last time. “You are one lucky bastard – and don’t you ever forget it.”

With a jaunty salute, he turned the light of in the bathroom, leaving the mirror behind in the dark, and walked away.

And he didn’t look back.

~ the end ~


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