Rating: R, FRM (for themes)
Category: Angst, Hurt/Comfort
Character(s): Gibbs, DiNozzo
Summary: Tony safe-words during a session with Gibbs.
Spoilers: S8.23 Swan Song and S8.24 Pyramid.
Warnings: Mentions Power play and D/s themes but nothing explicit.
Disclaimer: NCIS characters belong to Bellisario, CBS and Paramount. No copyright infringement intended.
AN: Dedicated to Xanthe because she's been though the mill recently. Set at the end of Season 8. I’ve made an assumption in this story that Gibbs and Tony got together towards the end of Season 5 but before Jenny's death. They are not in a 24/7 BDSM relationship but they do enjoy Power play on occasions and both have played in the past with previous partners. This is just a little snapshot of their life together. If this isn’t your thing, please steer clear. If it is, hope you enjoy it!
It stopped immediately.
Tony had never safe-worded in his entire life. He’d never needed to. Of course there were those he’d played the game with. Those he’d teased and sent hurtling into a top space they’d only ever dreamed of before. They could be fun. Sometimes. And then there were those who needed to feel that intensity of control and power over another person but who invariably forgot that with that control and power also came responsibility. Shame they never realised he rarely gave up any of that control or power from the start. Not to them anyway. They were more interested in getting their own rocks off –and quickly at that– than a carefully crafted –and oh so more satisfying– strategic battle of wills and truly pleasurable exchange of power between Dom and sub. Power play was an art form, and Tony DiNozzo was an artist.
Tony could take the pain. Physical pain –whilst it hurt a lot– he could do, and he was proud of that. But pain could also stimulate; its use often invoking a whole range of senses and culminating in an altogether much more pleasurable feeling. Pain could be sensual, comforting, extremely erotic and –depending on the circumstances– also very difficult to take. Being able to take whatever your Dom deemed fit to dish out, whilst high up on the list of attributes of the quality sub, wasn’t the ‘be all and end all’ in every Dom/sub relationship. Nevertheless, Tony had taken everything thrown at him in all of his relationships... everything physical that was. Emotional pain– now that was a different story altogether. Emotional scars ran deep through Tony DiNozzo’s psyche and the few times he’d inadvertently allowed the bandages to slip he’d had them redressed and secured within seconds.
Most of his current and previous colleagues knew this and didn’t or hadn’t tried to pry too much. Unfortunately, there were always some who wanted to ‘change’ him and others who thought they could ‘save’ him. Tony didn’t appreciate either interference. He just wanted to go about his life, same as everybody else. However, there was one ‘interference’ he didn’t mind. The only ‘interference’ he’d let his guard down with and although it had taken some time, the one he’d finally felt comfortable enough with to engage ‘emotionally’ as well as physically. This ‘interference’ knew him better than most. He knew when to step in, when to back off and when to kick him in the ass - quite literally. This particular ‘interference’ was actually his boss, Gibbs. He was also his partner of three years and –on the occasions they’d played together– his Dom.
They were playing now. Actually, that wasn’t strictly true. They weren’t playing right now because Tony had just used his safe word. He wasn’t in any danger though; they’d barely started. His skin felt tingly and slightly warm to the touch; the endorphins only just beginning to course through his body. And yet he’d had to put a stop to this session.
As Tony lay motionless on the bed, simply waiting, he heard the sounds of light footsteps and a soft click as the bedroom door opened. There was a brief pause followed by the squeak of the faucet turning in the next room and then the sounds of water being splashed onto skin. Tony left Gibbs alone. Sometimes it was better to leave him alone than to wade in; if only for self preservation. Attempting to relax the muscles throughout his body, Tony drew in a deep breath and then slowly exhaled.
It might seem strange to some. A sub safe-words and isn’t immediately comforted by their Dom. No ensuing conversation as to what happened. What went wrong... or right. No discussion surrounding whether they could continue, albeit with some minor adjustment to the scenario or the physical or emotional environment. No comfort for Tony. But both Tony and Gibbs know that Tony isn’t the one needing comfort right now.
Wrestling his urge to follow Gibbs, Tony drew himself up to a sitting position from where he’d been lying, flexed the muscles across his back and shoulders and then slipped on an old pair of jeans and made his way to the kitchen down the hall.
He hadn’t stopped the session out of concern for himself. He trusted Gibbs implicitly. Jethro wouldn’t harm him. Well, no more than Tony wanted him to. No more than was pleasurable; definitely no more than his limits. No. Tony was concerned for his Dom. Gibbs wasn’t getting anything out of the session. Tony would give it all up for Gibbs but a truly pleasurable session where Tony could genuinely melt away under Gibbs’s intense direction involved a considerable exchange of power between himself and Jethro. If something was blocking Gibbs from taking or feeding off that exchange, stopping him from increasing the depth and intensity of the power struggle between them then neither of them would be completely satiated physically or emotionally.
They could have gone on but Tony didn’t settle for second best and neither did Gibbs. There was just something about his lover tonight that concerned Tony. He seemed a little off kilter. Tony knew Gibbs well. He’d spent almost ten years studying him, his methods, means; motives too. It wasn’t often that he’d got the chance to see, let alone experience the results of a master craftsman at work and Gibbs was certainly that. The simple touch of his hand. From a stinging hard slap to a gentle warming caress. Working with all that wood in the basement had certainly helped to craft Gibbs’s magic fingers. Not that Gibbs always needed to use his hands. On more than one occasion Tony had fallen simply as a result of a look from his Dom, the sound of Gibbs clearing his throat or simply the twitch of a facial muscle.
There were times when he tried hard to resist him. Desperately needing to resist in order to enhance the pleasure they both gained from his final submission. It was hard. Especially when Gibbs did those things that he did. Often it was the way Gibbs looked at him, cocking his head to one side and stretching the muscles in his neck. Sometimes he would stare. Other times simply just look him up and down. Both had the desired effect. Tony would try battling against the blues but eventually the war would be won with his own greens dissolving into a warming subspace. Then there was the sound of Gibbs’s voice. The expert way he used tone and volume. Gibbs didn’t have to shout. The faintest whisper of a single word had had Tony descending deep during their last session. Even the words Gibbs used had their own significance. They were always simple and direct. Commanding and calming in the same sentence. But it was also the way Gibbs called him DiNozzo, Tony and Anthony; each one of them his name, granted, but all provoking a very different reaction and all causing him to battle in different ways.
Tonight, though, Tony had felt that Gibbs had walled himself off during their session. Compartmentalised himself for some reason so he was there in body but not in mind. The intonation in his voice had been wrong. Off somehow, and he hadn’t picked up any of the subtle ‘tells’ that he usually got when Gibbs’s eagerness and hunger to dominate him came forth and they began to feed off each other. To Tony it felt like Gibbs could touch but not feel him. He could look but not see and listen but not hear Tony. That made their connection and symbiotic exchange of power very difficult. Tony would give Gibbs everything but only if Gibbs wanted to take it.
Tony flicked a switch and the faint smell of coffee began to permeate as the machine began its work. He stared blankly into a mug he’d pulled from one of the kitchen cupboards a few moments earlier.
Maybe it was too soon after Franks’s death. Maybe Gibbs needed more time. Maybe Gibbs was sensing Tony’s own predicament - another undercover mission without the backup he relied upon. Whatever the reason, Tony felt something was wrong. It didn’t matter what anyone else thought about safe-word etiquette. It didn’t matter that they were both seasoned professionals. He knew his own mind and his instincts were usually right. They shouldn’t continue with the session hence the safe word.
So why wasn’t he, Tony, in the other room right now comforting Gibbs? Something was bothering the man and Tony really wanted to know what that was so he could at least offer some support; make it right even. Well that was one of the little things you really needed to know about Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Gibbs wasn’t the sort of man to take comfort from people. He was difficult that way - even with his partner of three years. Gibbs didn’t like appearing to need anything from anyone and while it frequently infuriated Tony, Tony hadn’t and wouldn’t take that one element of control away from him now. Tony knew that going back into the bedroom and placating Gibbs would be the last thing Gibbs would want right now. Tony knew that leaving Gibbs alone was the right thing to do and he knew that Gibbs knew it too. He just needed a little space. A little time for Gibbs to regain control and then he would come and find him, claim him and Tony would melt.
Cobb had certainly done a job on Mike.
Gibbs cupped some water in his hands and splashed his face once more. As he drank in the freshness, he began to see the figure in the mirror staring back at him. He looked in very good shape for his age, muscular and well kempt although two deep blue eyes revealed the inner sadness he was accustomed to hiding from others. Not himself though. People dealt with loss in many different ways. Some refused to acknowledge death while others welcomed it. A few people retreated and hid completely from the world; others strode out recklessly. He couldn’t afford to be reckless and he certainly couldn’t hide away. There was no point denying it. Franks wasn’t coming back. There was no point getting angry anymore. Cobb was dead and Franks still wasn’t coming back. No amount of pleading with any God would bring Mike back. In fact Franks would probably knock his block off for forcefully pulling him away from his personal ‘cantina in the clouds’.
‘Now, waddya do that for Probie? I got me some beer, some smokes – pretty little thing with long dark hair and legs... legs that go all the way up to...’
It just slipped out. Gibbs turned. He could have sworn he’d seen Mike’s reflection in the mirror but there was no one behind him.
It felt so natural –talking to his thoughts– and he didn’t feel quite so numb anymore. He always talked to them. Sometimes, like today, it felt like they were in the room with him – his mom, Shannon and Kelly; sometimes Kate. And, most recently, Mike. Talking to them was a natural part of his grieving process. Sometimes he forgot where he was and he’d talk to them at home, at work or sometimes in the field. A silent conversation. To others he just looked lost to the outside world, deep in thought, until something snapped him out of it.
Crap. Tony. Gibbs let out a deep breath. Tony had used his safe word. He’d never used a safe word with him before and yet Gibbs wasn’t overly concerned. In fact, rather than being concerned, a burning sense of pride had just begun to swell from deep within him at the thought of Tony’s actions tonight. He would never take Tony beyond his limits. Stretch them yes, but never to the point of sadistically hurting Tony. That wasn’t what turned him on and Tony knew that. Gibbs knew immediately why Tony had used his safe word and was grateful his partner had. Tony had known instinctively that he wasn’t in the right headspace to feel what he needed to feel to get Tony to truly submit. Anthony had been concerned for him. They hadn’t been achieving that depth of connection they usually achieved in their more intense play sessions and Tony had wanted him to be completely emotionally as well as physically satisfied by their power play. Gibbs was good; some would say the best. Other players wouldn’t have had a clue. Gibbs could fake and fool a lot of people but not Tony. DiNozzo might come across as a brash, insensitive lothario at the best of times but Anthony was intensely intuitive to people’s needs when it really mattered. He genuinely cared, and that was one of the reasons he loved him so much.
Gibbs loved the feelings that having Tony in his life brought out in him. He excited him, made him feel younger, even more powerful and when they were together as though nothing could stop them. He could still clearly remember the first time they’d played, not long after they’d first got together three years ago. No one had ever responded to his commands the way DiNozzo had and the intensity of their connection had overwhelmed him. The way Tony’s body reacted to his stimuli and the battle he’d seen being waged in Tony’s mind when he’d ordered him to do something. The fact that he was prepared to resist, not always making it easy for either of them. In fact, the way Tony wouldn’t blindly follow him but was prepared to challenge him was a huge turn on because when he did submit, it was total, unconditional and true submission enabling such an intense exchange of power that Gibbs felt he could ride the crest of that monumental tidal wave forever.
Gibbs patted his face dry with a small green towel and then ran a shaky hand through his hair. As the smell of freshly brewed coffee filtered through from the kitchen and began to hit his senses, an involuntary warmth seemed to permeate throughout his body, heart and mind. Taking in a deep breath, he decided it was time to go and find Tony and see if they could salvage the evening somehow.
Tony reached for the coffee pot and poured a generous measure into the mug in front of him. Two cold, slightly damp hands settled gently on the tops of his shoulders and Tony drew a sharp intake of breath at the sudden change in temperature. He hadn’t heard Gibbs coming in to the kitchen at all. A small kiss was planted on the back of his head and he could feel the heat radiating from Gibbs’s body and the tickle of chest hairs on his back. Tony shivered as the two hands gently caressed the contours of his arms sliding slowly down to his elbows only to be slipped effortlessly between his arms and his chest and around his bare waist pulling him closer in a hug. It was Gibbs’s way of saying ‘thanks’ without actually physically saying the words. Melting at the recognition of trust that Gibbs was showing towards him Tony hesitated briefly. He didn’t want to break that bond but knew he had to ask the question and turned to face him, offering a coffee. “Mike?” he queried.
That was enough to satisfy Tony. He wouldn’t get any more out of Gibbs tonight without appearing to pry and he knew it was more than Gibbs was used to giving up. He also knew they’d be fine. They knew each other too well; much of their conversation being unspoken. Instead he decided to opt for a light get-out clause which would suit them both just fine.
“Go on,” he gestured in the direction of the TV in the other room. “Might be something we could watch? DVD maybe?”
Tony smiled at the indignation in Gibbs’s voice. “Go on,” he reiterated, pushing a reluctant Gibbs towards the door. “Anything you want...be in soon...just gonna grab us a couple of beers.”
“Beer and coffee huh?”
Half an hour later Gibbs and Tony lay stretched out on the couch together. Legs entwined at one end and Tony’s head resting on Gibbs’s chest nestling just under his chin at the other. An old movie was playing but neither of them were really watching, preferring to enjoy the warmth and comfort that the closeness of each other’s bodies gave them. After a few more minutes of not watching the movie, Gibbs flicked the remote on the TV and the screen fizzled to black.
“You okay?” Tony asked, turning his head to look at Gibbs, his voice laced with concern.
Gibbs eyed Tony, smiled, and with an eagerness that sent shivers down Tony’s spine, answered his question. “Know what I wanna watch and it’s not the TV.”