Main NCSI Slash page | The new stories | Tony/Gibbs stories | Other pairings stories | Het stories | Gen NCIS stories

Title: Deliverance
By: nancy
Pairing: Tony/Gibbs
Fandom: NCIS
Rating: R
Series: 1) Recruitment, 2) Bonded, 3) That Fits The Crime, 4) Home, 5) Drowning, 6) Descent
Note: All thanks to Kya, who came up with the original plot bunny of NCIS as a wolf pack!!
Author's note: I suppose that technically, there's non-con in this, but not really. You'll see when you get there. Could potentially be a squick for those who are solely into Gibbs/DiNozzo. Mild xover with JAG
Warnings: non-con
Summary: In an AU where shapeshifters exist. Gibbs breaks Tony free, but it's just the beginning of his deliverance.


"You bitch!"

Kate's head rocked back from the punch that connected with her jaw and she staggered back a few steps, but didn't go down. As expected, Francesca had been livid upon regaining consciousness, and Kate was currently being held between two of the wolves, in naked human form now, who had chased after her. Spitting out some blood and briefly tonguing a loose tooth, she asked calmly, "Are you done now? Or would you like to throw in a few more as Gibbs gets further away?"

Dark eyes flashing, Francesca snarled, "I've a mind to just leave you here, for the stunt you pulled."

"I'm sure Daddy would love to hear all about that," Kate replied, dryly. "He sent us to you for assistance and all you've done so far is get in the way. But that's okay. It's not like you're trained for this sort of thing."

"Let her go," Francesca ordered.

Knowing exactly what the other woman was up to, Kate counter-circled the alpha and went into a crouch. Her blood was still up from the earlier chase and the hormones running through her body. She knew with absolute certainty that she could take the other woman. Francesca would be down for the count in one, two minutes tops and Kate would be in charge. She would have her own pack to help in retrieving Gibbs and Tony... Jaw tightening at the thought, abruptly remembering that she already had her own pack, Kate straightened and held up a hand as she said, "Wait. Look, I'm sorry about what we did but it was the only way to know for sure that Tony wouldn't be harmed."

"We would have protected him," Francesca hissed. "He would have been safe!"

But Kate had to shake her head. "You don't know Ari the way we do. We've spent months searching for him, learning about him. He would have killed Tony out of sheer spite if it looked like he wouldn't be able to keep him. Tony is a prized possession to him, one to be destroyed, rather than lost."

Francesca glared at her for a long moment but Kate didn't drop the gaze, unable to give in on this point. She finally said, "So what do you suggest?"

Relieved that the alpha was going to cooperate, Kate answered, "Now we track Gibbs."

"And just how do you intend to do that? They're all long gone by now."

"With this."

Francesca frowned as Kate walked to the car and pulled a small electronic device from one of the duffel bags. "What is it?"

"Gibbs and I were both fitted with a subdermal locator chip just in case we got separated," Kate informed her.

An unholy glee entered the dark eyes as Francesca's fangs were shown in a fierce grin and she questioned, "So we have a real chance of catching this rogue?"

Baring her own fangs in a similarly predatory grin, Kate nodded confirmation and said, "Oh we'll catch him. All you have to decide is how much carnage you want to wreak on those who helped him."

Francesca licked her full lips, moving closer as she offered, "I have access to C4, if you'd like to use some."

"Now that is the best thing I've heard all day," Kate replied.

Arm in arm, the two women headed back to the car, the men quickly moving aside to let them pass. They all knew better than to get in the way of women on a vendetta, and the name Todd was linked to a particularly bloody history. The Irish weren't any less for vengeance than the Italians, after all.

*  *  *  *

Jethro woke to a pounding skull and nausea threatening every aching movement he made, so he tried not to move at all. Unfortunately, whatever vehicle he was in wasn't helping the condition and for a brief moment, he wished for unconsciousness again. He didn't need to open his eyes to know that he was cuffed. And the gag in his mouth was both irritating and dangerous, considering that he'd been unconscious when put in place; he could have choked to death on his own tongue. That lack of care told him exactly who had him in custody, which in turn reminded him exactly what had happened.

Tony had cold cocked him. It was unbelievable and stabbed him right in the heart, but it was true. He'd been about to kill Ari and his own beta had knocked him out with something from behind. The knowledge that his lover was so far gone as to side against him hurt more than his head.

Opening an eye, Jethro discovered that he was in the back seat of a car. He immediately wished that he hadn't when agony sliced through his brain and couldn't stifle the moan. The vehicle didn't stop, unfortunately, nor did anyone else in the car even look back at him as he forced himself to shift from his side to his back. It took a few minutes to recover from that and when he did, Jethro looked to the front seat, but all he could see was the back of two men's heads.

He closed his eyes to try and rebuild his strength by getting rid of the migraine splitting his head. With them shut, though, all Jethro could see was Tony in the cabin. He was thinner than before, but in one piece and without any sort of discernable injury. Of course, he'd only had a brief second to drink in the sight of his lover, but the shock and shame on his face had been unmistakable. There was nothing that Tony could have done that would cause him to abandon the younger man, but there wasn't any way for Tony to know that, either. He'd been captive too long to understand that it wasn't his fault that he'd succumbed to Ari's charms and deceptions.

At least Jethro could be certain that they were bringing him to wherever Tony was being held. There would be no point in keeping him alive unless Ari planned to gloat over what he'd done. Once he was there, he could break free and drag Tony out by the hair or over his shoulder, if necessary.

But first, the concussion needed to die down a little.

*  *  *  *

Jethro didn't know what the deal was, but he'd been kept in a plain cell for the last three days and pretty much ignored. Food arrived at regular intervals and he had a toilet to use, so it wasn't like he was being mistreated, and yet Jethro knew that it was just the precursor to something very, very bad. There was no telling what Ari would do with both Tony and Gibbs in his power.

The door opened on Ari himself a four days after his arrival in the cell. The other man smirked at him and asked solicitously, "Are you comfortable, Special Agent Gibbs?"

"I'd be a lot more comfortable with your life's blood on my hands," Jethro answered easily.

Ari chuckled. "I'm sure that you would. That is not to be the case, however."

"Yeah. I kinda figured you'd be using me for show and tell," Jethro agreed. "I don't know why, since it's clear that Tony's yours now."

"What makes you ask that?"

"The ringing in my ears when I woke in the back of a car, in handcuffs? Just a guess."

Chuckling again, Ari said, "The only reason that you're still alive is because Tony begged for your life, Special Agent Gibbs. It...moved me."

Jethro's eyes narrowed at the terrorist and he finally swung his legs over the side of the cot and stood. "What do you want? Why are you doing all of this?"

A faint smile played about Ari's mouth as he contemplated the question. He finally countered, "Did you know that hybrid children will always breed true to human DNA? That they will be ordinary, human children?"

"Everyone knows that," Jethro answered impatiently. "I want to know how you know it."

Ari stepped right up to the bars and stared at him intently. "Now how do you think that I know?"

And suddenly, Jethro just knew, his eyes widening slightly at the realization.

"Yes, that's correct, Special Agent Gibbs. The old saying, 'Best friends make the worst enemies,' extends even more to blood. My father was Shifter and my Mother human. She was exiled in disgrace for having me, an abomination. I grew up knowing that my father had dragged her down into a virtual non-existence and made a vow to hunt him down, along with all of his kind, once I was old enough to do so."

"You killed him."

"I always keep my promises, especially the ones I make to myself. His skin adorns my bedroom."

Jethro felt like throwing up at the satisfied statement.

"The best part is how many compliments I get for such a magnificent fur," Ari finished, smiling broadly.

"So what now?" Jethro asked at last.

Ari's lips pursed and he mused, "What, indeed? I haven't yet decided, Special Agent Gibbs, but don't worry. I'll be sure and let you know once I do."

Jethro watched him leave, the nausea slowly receding as he thought about that nameless Shifter decorating Ari's walls. It was just one more crime against their kind to be added to the list. Returning to the cot, Jethro sighed explosively and muttered, "Hurry up, Kate."

*  *  *  *

"You're definitely on the right track," Abby's tiny face on the monitor confirmed. "You should be coming up on a structure in only five miles away. Can't miss it."

Kate nodded shortly and asked, "Any action going on that we should know about?"

"According to the satellite scans, there's only the one perimeter with two guards at the gate. Once you get past them, you're golden. Infared shows twenty-two bodies inside there, but two of them are ours."

"One is, at least."

Kate ignored Francesca's mutter. "Thanks, Abs. How're things going with you guys?"

Giggling, Abby informed her, "McGee's got almost a permanent stutter, working directly with Morrow for the last two weeks."

"Abby, that's mean!" Kate admonished, even as she grinned.

"But it's cute in a puppy-wolf kinda way," Abby protested. "I can practically see his tail wag when he does something right and gets a compliment."

Kate had to chuckle at that as she said, "All right. I'm going to sign off now and we'll get in contact again once we've got them back."

Turning serious, Abby said, "Good luck, Kate."

"Thanks, Abs."

"You ready for this?"

Kate looked over at Francesca and answered, "I've been waiting for this for almost nine months. I'm more than ready to bring this bastard down. It's too bad Gibbs is going to want his throat because I'd love to tear it out for what he's done to Tony."

Francesca nodded in approval.

*  *  *  *

Though his wrists were cuffed and that hated gag kept him irritatingly silent, there was nothing else restraining Jethro when he was shoved into another room the morning following Ari's visit. He glanced around and discovered that it was a kind of observation room. There was audio and visual recording equipment lining one wall, a few chairs in front of computer equipment, and a one-way window in another. No one else was present, so he walked over to the window to see what was on the other side.

Shock lit through him as he saw Tony asleep on a comfortable looking bed. Jethro drank in the sight of the other man sprawled on top of the blanket, dressed only in shorts with his face pressed into the pillow. It was a bedroom, complete with desk and computer, television and dvd, dresser, closet and bathroom. Clearly, Tony had been here a long time and was comfortable with his surroundings.

The door opened and Ari stepped inside dressed in jeans and t-shirt, barefoot. He smirked at the window, at where he knew Jethro would be, then walked over to the bed and sat on the edge of it. One hand gently stroked through Tony's hair and Jethro's heart stuttered when Tony heaved a sigh and rolled over to lean into the caress.

"Time to wake, my pet," Ari greeted.

Jethro growled and bared his teeth at the affront.

Tony simply smiled as he woke and asked, "Everything go all right?"

Nodding, Ari confirmed, "It went perfectly. How about you? Did Dr. Williams treat you all right in my absence?"

There was a grimace, but Tony ultimately gave a short nod. "I guess. He just doesn't like me."

Ari chuckled and countered, "You don't like him."

"Well, no. But only because he's an arrogant asshole who likes to poke and prod me."

"Ah, but it pleases me to know as much about you as I can."

Tony's gaze flickered away as he said, "Which is why I let him, instead of taking a chunk out of him whenever he sticks me with a needle."

Jethro's head was reeling as he listened to the exchange. He'd known, in his head, to expect just this but couldn't stop the furious thought... This isn't possible! Tony belongs to me, not to the bastard who took him in the first place!

His jaw tightened as he saw just how difficult it would be to pry him away from Ari, no doubt about that. And deprogramming him was something that Jethro didn't even want to think about.

"I'm waiting, pet."

The warm words caught Jethro's attention and he jerked back when Tony flashed a beatific smile at Ari and pushed up to kiss the other man. Feeling like someone had kicked him in the gut, Jethro could only gape at the sight for a few seconds before rage overtook him. Snarling in fury, though the sound was muffled by the gag, Jethro slammed into the window, trying to break through it. Nothing budged, even though his shoulder painfully protested the violent action as it was repeated three and four times to no avail. There wasn't even any noise carried into the other room, so far as he could tell. Which only made sense. If Ari didn't want Tony to hear what was being said in this room, the walls would be thick and soundproofed.

Despair coursed through him, mingling with the rage, and all Jethro could do was watch.

Ari easily took control of the kiss and Tony's mouth opened to it, willingly deepening the contact. There was a familiarity between them that said this was far from the first time they'd kissed. Jethro's eyes locked onto Ari's hand where it gripped Tony between the legs, prompting the younger man to gasp and arch into the touch.

The kiss was broken as Tony groaned and begged, "Don't tease me, please Haswari? Please?"

Jethro did a little of his own begging, though it was silent. Oh Tony, no, don't beg for anything. Not from him!

Ari grinned at Tony, ordering, "Lie back, pet, and I'll take care of you."

Tony obeyed, hips lifting when Ari tugged at the shorts, which were then tossed aside. The hand returned to stroking Tony's half-hard cock in a steady rhythm until it was fully engorged and glistening from the pre-come slicked over the shaft.

"That's it, my pet, just relax and I'll give you what you need. I always do, don't I? I always listen to you, always let you say what you need, always touch and hold and comfort you."

"Yes, yes, Haswari, oh God, so good to me," Tony moaned, hips arching into the masturbation. "Don't stop, please don't stop."

Haswari took his mouth in a deep, aggressive kiss and Tony melted against the mattress, just taking whatever was dished out. The submission called to Jethro and he couldn't help battering against the wall again, as futile as it was. Jethro's entire body ached for action, the concussion forgotten in the need to rip Ari limb from bloody limb for touching and taking what was his. The growl was constant now, a deep rumble in his chest, even if he couldn't give full voice to it or howl the way he wanted.

It was only a few more minutes before Tony cried out and came, spurting into the air and over his own stomach and Ari's hand. Panting and shaking, he lay there as Ari smeared the come into his skin then stood and undid his own pants. The cock he brought out was hard and heavy and he stared right at Jethro as he jerked off, coming in a matter of seconds, covering Tony in his seed and scent.

Ari took only a few more seconds to catch his breath before he tucked himself in and sat back on the bed. Sitting, he used the same hand to rub his come into the waiting body and glanced again at the one-way window, smiling broadly.

Trapped and desperate to get to his mate, Jethro did something he hadn't in almost four decades...he lost control of himself and Shifted, then and there. The cuffs fell to the ground, useless, and he was able to scrape the buckles of the gag off his head with claws. Once free, Jethro let loose with a howl of rage that was filled with the thirst for revenge.

The door opened a second later and Jethro was outside like a shot, bowling over the guard who'd opened it and easily evading the next. Now that he was out in the hall, he could smell Tony and headed straight for the door. Springing at it with all his maddened strength, Jethro knocked it in and rolled to his feet, fangs snapping and snarling at Ari, who was still on the bed, though Tony was on his feet a short distance away.

A knife appeared in the enemy's hand as Ari jumped to his feet and faced him warily, dark eyes intent on Jethro. Not giving him any more time to prepare, letting himself descend fully into the savage fury pounding through him, Jethro leaped for him. His fangs sank into a forearm that was thrown up in defense and hot blood splashed against his tongue, feeding his hunger for vengeance. His claws dug into fabric and flesh, tearing into the chest beneath him. Fire stabbed into his right haunch, but he only bit harder and harder until bone crunched under his powerful jaws and Ari shouted in pain.

The blade was pulled out and shoved once more into his side, but it was glancing, the knife skating over the ribs that protected his heart and lungs. Ari's leg slammed up in a brutal blow that had Jethro reeling back, jaw releasing automatically from Ari's arm to howl in pain of his own. If the man had been wearing shoes or boots, Jethro could have lost his cock and balls to the impact. As it was, he was curled up on the floor, waves of agony surging through him so that he could feel nothing else or move.

It was a growl fit to raise hackles that cut through the pain and brought Jethro's head up. Tony was in wolf form, standing protectively in front of Jethro and snarling at Ari.

Cradling his bleeding and broken arm to his chest, Ari placated the other wolf in soft tones with, "I was just defending myself, Tony, you saw it. He attacked me, not the other way around."

Tony, apparently, wasn't buying it. Not from the raised scruff and bared fangs he was showing to the world. Forcing himself to his paws, Jethro staggered a few steps to lean against Tony, gathering his strength and bearings. Resting his muzzle on Tony's back for a few moments, Jethro straightened up when his ears picked up the sound of running feet down the hall. He growled in frustration, but had no intention of being recaptured and so yipped an order at Tony to move.

When the other wolf looked at him in confusion, Ari took a step forward. Jethro snarled at him, driving him back that same step. Jethro nudged Tony physically towards the door with his head and the younger wolf finally figured out what he was being told to do. Worried, but shoving it aside to deal with later, Jethro gave Ari one last snarl before running fleetly after Tony.

*  *  *  *

They took out the gate guards with simple deception. The facility was set in the German Alps and even in early fall it was cold. Kate walked up to the gate with Francesca on a leash and a backpack carrying explosives. She smiled at them, her top two buttons undone. One guard's eyes were glued to her breasts while the other kept a wary eye on Francesca as Kate gushed, "I am so sorry to bother you, I know this is private property, but my car broke down and it's getting on towards sundown and this is the only place that I've seen in like, forever."

Francesca took that moment to leap on the guard watching her, tearing out his throat in the blink of an eye. Kate's hand stabbed out to break through the other guard's throat in a just as deadly, though not as bloody, fashion. Kate stepped into the booth and turned off all the security systems before Shifting. The two women ran swiftly into main part of the facility, then Kate changed back to human form, despite the nudity. She smirked a little, thinking that it would only add to the distraction if a guard found them.

The explosives took a good hour to put in place, the facility was so spread out. They had one left to set up when Kate heard Gibbs' howl and jerked around in his direction. She didn't even think before running for him, Shifting on the move. That was not the kind of howl that was allowed to go unaided for even an instant longer than necessary.

Gibbs and Tony met up with them partway there, though, and all four wolves ran for it as gunfire hit the floor and walls around them. She heard a yelp from Francesca from behind, but the other woman didn't fall behind, so none of them slowed down. Once outside, Kate Shifted back to human and grabbed the remote from the bag across her shoulders. She yelled, "Keep running!" to the others, and started up herself, even as she pressed the detonation button.

Explosions rocked the large, single story facility and Kate was thrown forward several feet through the air, having fallen behind the others. Gravel scraped into all kinds of painful places like breasts and groin and she gasped in pain as heat etched over her exposed skin. She was suddenly covered by fur, two bodies lying flat on top of her, offering her protection from the heat. Moments later, the flames retreated into merely consuming the building, instead of reaching out to take everything else down as well.

Groaning as the others got off her, Kate took a few moments to regain her equilibrium. Sitting upright, she found an equally naked Gibbs and Francesca, each sporting far more serious injuries than what she had. Pushing to her feet, she ordered, "Stay put, I'll get the car."

Gibbs waved her off and turned to the wolf that was sitting beside him, looking as miserable as an animal could possibly look.

It didn't take too long to jog to the car, get dressed, and return with it to get the others. They were all still in the same places when she got back, and Kate left the car with a first aid kit in hand. She tended to Francesca first, because Gibbs again waved her off, silently insisting that he was fine. The bullet had, fortunately, gone straight through the other woman's leg instead of lodging in the flesh to fester. Once Kate bandaged her up, she turned to Gibbs and started patching him up. There were two knife wounds, one a puncture the other a long slice, and both required stitches that she couldn't give.

"Well, we need to get both of you to a doctor, if not a hospital," Kate informed him. Glancing at Tony, she asked, "Tony? Can you come here so I can look you over?"

But the wolf just gave her a blank look, tongue lolling out as he caught his breath.

She frowned and repeated, "Tony? Come here?"

Tony yipped at her curiously and blinked at her, but didn't come closer.

"Gibbs? What's going on?" Kate asked, worried.

Gibbs sighed and held out a hand towards Tony, snapping his fingers. The wolf obeyed the summons, moving to sit directly beside him, fur touching skin. Gibbs sighed and put and arm around the wolf, leaning on him with a worried look of his own as he answered, "I have no idea. We need to get out of here and then I need to talk to Ducky."

Nodding, Kate stood and held a hand down to him, which he took, hauling Gibbs carefully to his feet. He dressed before getting into the car, Francesca did as well, and then Kate took the driver's seat with a wince. It was a long drive back to anywhere safe and even this remote location didn't guarantee that help in the form of local emergency workers wouldn't be arriving soon. The mountain facility was isolated, but those explosions would have been seen from miles away.

A quick glance in the rear mirror showed Tony sprawled sleeping over Gibbs' lap, one of the senior agent's hands stroking slowly through the fur. Sighing, Kate stepped on the gas and headed for sanctuary.

*  *  *  *

Ducky wasn't at all surprised by how exhausted Jethro looked when they finally connected an alarming ten hours after Kate's last check-in with Abby. Being without one's beta for nine months and then kidnapped and, apparently, stabbed twice would do that to a person. There were circles under his friend's eyes, but it was the haunted expression in them that truly worried Ducky as he greeted via the computer video thing that Abby had set up, "Jethro, my boy! We were getting worried!"

A tired smile surfaced as Jethro replied, "I'm fine, Duck. The local MD gave me all necessary stitches and cleaned me up good."

"And Tony?" Ducky asked cautiously.

Scrubbing fingers through his hair, Jethro admitted, "I'm stumped, Ducky. He's in wolf form and can't, or won't, change back to human. He acts as though he doesn't understand a word that we say, in wolf or human language. He's friendly enough, obeys the commands that are easy to read, eats and sleeps normally, but he's just...he's not there any more, mentally."

Oh dear, Ducky thought, worry spiking. With a sigh, Ducky said, "I think a great deal has to do with his uncertainty, Jethro. He's most certainly a victim of Stockholm syndrome and add to that the...rocky patch the two of you were experiencing before his abduction, well, it's no wonder that he's retreated to a form that allows him to avoid everything completely. As an animal, all he has to worry about is food and shelter with the occasional warm body for physical urges."

Jethro's jaw clenched as he questioned, "So what do I do?"

"This is far beyond anything that anyone has experienced, Jethro," Ducky stated sadly. "I think the best thing is for the two of you to spend all your time together for the foreseeable future. Reassure him that no matter what happened that you still love him, that he's still your beta."

"So you want us to have a honeymoon?" Jethro asked dryly.

Ducky snorted. "I doubt that it will be that pleasant, but essentially yes. You should have done so when the two of you first became official, in my opinion, but the two of you were far too stubborn to do so. You need the time together. Be as affectionate with him as you possibly can be."

"Okay. Thanks Ducky," Jethro replied, sighing. "Kate's on her way back in the morning, but we'll be here at Francesca's for, well, however long it takes to get Tony back to normal."

"I'm afraid that will take far longer than you want. Be patient with him and understand that this isn't going to happen all at once. Even when he's back in human form, things will be extremely difficult for him. I'll find a local psychologist for the two of you to visit while you're there."

"A therapist?"

Ducky ignored the irritation in Jethro's voice and nodded firmly. "For both of you, Jethro. Do not question me on this or I'll go over your head."

Jethro actually growled, which said just how short his fuse was.

"And on that happy note, I'll say good night. Get some rest, Jethro, you need it as well," Ducky said.

With a rueful nod, Jethro leaned forward and the screen went blank.

Ducky sighed and went to deliver the bad news to Abby, assuming that she hadn't already spoken with Kate.

*  *  *  *

Jethro looked over at where Tony was stretched out on the large bed in their suite and a pang struck his heart at how endearing the sight was. Pushing to his feet with a grimace at the physical pang in his side, he walked over to the bed and sat on the edge. Tony's head lifted at the mattress' motion, bright eyes regarding him curiously. It felt a little silly talking to him in this state, but he knew the words had to be said, and repeated until Tony felt safe enough to come back to him.

Climbing onto the bed, Jethro pushed his lower body under the covers and stretched out. He patted the space beside him and Tony crawled over to tentatively lie down beside him. He kept his hand slow and easy as it stroked over the long body, the fur scratching along his palm.

Meeting the hazel eyes, Jethro said, "I know you don't believe me, Tony, but it's okay now. You're not in any kind of trouble with me. Nothing that you did with Ari, nothing, is your fault. I don't care if he fucked you six ways from Sunday and you came and enjoyed it every damn time, it's not your fault. You didn't do anything to be ashamed of, Tony, and I mean that."

Tony's eyes blinked at him a few times, but there didn't seem to be any more comprehension in them than when the mini-speech had started.

Jethro sighed and leaned in to kiss the cool, wet nose with a brief, sad smile. "I love you, Tony, and that's never going to change. If you stay like this, that love will have to change because I need you, need you as a man, not an animal. If you stay a wolf, I'll have to let you go, as much as that would hurt, and take another beta. I don't want to do either. I want you, Tony. I want you in my life, in my pack, as my lover and beta, watching my back the way you've done from the start.

"I don't say this often, but I fucked up and I am so damn sorry, Tony. So sorry. I want to make it up to you, but you'll never know that if you don't come back to me. Please come back to me, Tony, we can face anything together, I swear. Just...come back to me."

There was no response other than for Tony to lick a swath over Jethro's cheek.

"Yeah okay. It's late anyhow," Jethro sighed.

He reached over to turn off the bedside lamp and settled under the covers. Jethro's arm encircled Tony as he rolled onto his uninjured side and curled around him. Face pressed to the clean, musky fur, Jethro closed his eyes and tried to sleep.

*  *  *  *

Sighing in deep contentment as he woke, Tony nuzzled at the warm skin beneath him and breathed in the familiar, comforting scent. Gibbs lay sleeping beneath him, as they invariably wound up during the night, one arm slung across Tony's back. Hitching a leg over the other man's thigh, Tony pressed his lips to the warm skin and hummed happily. There was something nudging at his brain about the situation, but for a few minutes, Tony was too comfortable to let anything disturb the peace and quiet.

Gibbs shifted and yawned, the hand on Tony's back moving to cup the back of Tony's head. Fingers combed through his hair as Gibbs whispered, "Morning."

"Mmm, morning," Tony answered, pressing his lips to Gibbs' chest again. "We running late, or can we fool around a little before work?"

For some reason, his words caused Gibbs to freeze in place, which in turn woke Tony further, prompting him to rub at his eyes and open them. He discovered Gibbs staring at him in shock, blue eyes wide before he was pulled tight to his lover's chest and nearly suffocated from the strong arms holding on to him. Tony gasped, "Gibbs! Hey! Little too tight there, Boss!"

Tony found himself flat on his back a second later, Gibbs planted bewteen his legs as those pale eyes turned fierce and assessing. It was definitely making him nervous, like he was missing something really, really big. Had he gotten drunk the night before and done something stupid again?

"Who am I?"

Tony blinked a few times in surprise. "Excuse me?"

"Who am I?" Gibbes repeated.

Arching an eyebrow at him, Tony replied, "Leroy Jethro Gibbs, NCIS Special Agent and a little crazy right now, I'm thinking. What's going on, Gibbs?"

Gibbs let out a desperate sound and pressed his mouth to Tony's, taking it in a hard kiss. Though startled and worried by the behavior, Tony happily opened his mouth to the onslaught. His fingers dug into Gibbs' back, pulling at him, feeling relieved, for some odd reason, to have the man's weight on him. He'd always loved being covered so completely by Gibbs, but relieved was definitely a new one. Why would he be...

Tony froze as memories assaulted him. Memories of being kidnapped, of the abuse from the guards, of Haswari's gentle treatment and, ultimately, of his betrayal of the man in his arms. Crying out in denial, Tony pushed at Gibbs, yanking his mouth free as he exclaimed, "Off! Get off! Get off me! Please get off me!"

But Gibbs wouldn't budge, instead wrapping his arms around Tony and rolling them to get a better grip, arms and legs both. Tony struggled violently but had to concede to the other man's greater strength and will, because really, he didn't want to get free. He wanted to be held and comforted and hear the words that Gibbs still wanted him when none of that could possibly happen. He finally collapsed on the other man and moaned in shame and self-loathing.

Not letting go of him, Gibbs said, "I want you to listen to me, Tony, and listen good. What happened when you were in Ari's control is not your fault. None of it. I don't care what you think you did, I don't care what you actually did, none of it matters. I love you and you belong to me, just like you always have. Nothing you've done will ever change that."

"But he, I, I was, I was with him, Gibbs," Tony whispered, barely able to get even that much out.

Gibbs kissed his temple and answered, "I know, Tony, I saw. And I'm telling you that it doesn't matter. I wish that I could have ripped his throat out for what he did to you. I wish that I'd been able to do more than just break one of his arms, but we ran out of time. He's dead, though, and we don't ever have to worry about anything like this happening again. I will never let this happen again."

Pressing his face to the hollow of his lover's throat, Tony said, "You can't promise that, not with the jobs we have."

Gibbs' arms tightened around him and he growled before demanding, "Are you questioning me, DiNozzo?"

Tony went limp on him and shook his head. The last thing he wanted to do was question his alpha. Just being accepted by him was miracle enough.

The arms relaxed and Gibbs muttered, "Good," before he started massaging Tony's back. They were silent as the soothing massage causing Tony's lids to droop as he relaxed utterly on Gibbs. He was surrounded by the man's smell and touch and taste, the kiss still strong in his sense memory, and all of it conspired to make Tony one pile o'mush in his lover's arms.

Eventually, Gibbs asked, "You hungry?"

Thinking about it for a second, Tony nodded. "I could eat something."

Lightly slapping Tony on the ass, Gibbs ordered, "Get up then. We'll go say hello to Francesca while we're up. The two of you haven't officially met."

Tony carefully got off him and then rolled off the bed, coming to his feet right beside it. He looked around then asked, "Clothes?"

"Closet," Gibbs answered, motioning towards the wall. "Grab me something to wear while you're there, okay?"

"Sure," Tony agreed.

It turned out to be a walk in closet with dresser drawers and everything, which was why there were jeans and t-shirts a-plenty to be found in a closet. The shower was running when he'd finally gotten clothes for them both and he tentatively went into the bathroom, setting them on the double sink counter. The bathroom was large as well, with a tub that clearly doubled as a whirlpool.

The shower door opened and Gibbs ordered, "Come on in."

Tony climbed into the tub and let Gibbs move him half under the spray. Gibbs' hands rubbed soap into a wash cloth, then moved the cloth over Tony's body. It was a long, leisurely washing and whenever he tried to help, Gibbs gently batted his hands away. When nails scratched over his scalp in a sensual massage, Tony groaned in pleasure.

"I'll never let you think that you don't matter to me again," Gibbs told him softly. "Being without you for so long...and then getting you back, but seeing you retreat into your mind like that...I'll never risk it again."

Surprised by the words, Tony straightened and looked at the other man, asking, "What do you mean, retreat?"

"Tony, it's been eight days since we rescued you from that bastard," Gibbs informed him. "You retreated into wolf form and wouldn't come out of it. I've spent the last week trying to coax you back and in all that time, I didn't even see a glimmer of you anywhere inside those eyes. You don't know...I'll never risk that again."

Moved by the depth of emotion staring back at him, Tony hesitantly bent forward to kiss Gibbs. It was a soft, gentle kiss, almost chaste, and then he was pulled tight and just held as the warm water sprinkled over them.

*  *  *  *

The villa in which they were staying was just this side of massive, as the luxurious suite indicated, and Tony stayed closer than necessary to Gibbs as they walked through it. None of it looked familiar to him, even though he'd apparently been out and about with Gibbs for the last week as a wolf. Everything was a complete blank from the time that Gibbs had howled just outside his room at Haswari's place. He didn't even remember the fight that had clearly taken place between Gibbs and Haswari, given the wounds on the other man's side.

They reached a large kitchen that was occupied by a couple of grandmotherly women, along with a passel of children laughing and running around. The air was liberally scented with all kinds of spices and Tony's stomach rumbled accordingly.

Chuckling, Gibbs put his arm around Tony's waist and drew him closer to introduce the older women, "Maria, Tessa, this is Tony."

Tony shook hands with them both and then there was a mass introduction of, "Benito, Camila, Emilio, Fabiola, Ilario, Leo, Luciana, and Tommy," with Gibbs pointing to each child as he listed the names off. Tommy was the only redhead of the lot, another indication that he was visiting and not native. But the kids ran off before Tony could do more than open his mouth to say hello.

"Antony!" the more rotund of the two women, Tessa, exclaimed. "It is so good to see you yourself! Sit, sit. You must be hungry!"

"Of course he's hungry, the boy's been nothing by fur and bones since he got here," the bright-eyed Maria countered, slapping Tessa's hand with a wooden spoon.

Tessa turned to face her with a loud, "Don't you start with me you overgrown mutt!"

"Overgrown mutt!? Why you..."

"Ladies!" Gibbs interrupted, clearly taking his life in his hands when they both whirled on him. "Could we trouble you for something to eat?"

"Of course, of course. Poor thing's too skinny."

"Much too skinny."

Back in accord, Tessa and Maria alternately fussed over Tony and snapped at each other in the process of getting a plate filled with eggs, bacon, prosciutto, a tomato and basil side dish, milk and juice.

Gibbs got toast and coffee, along with glares from both women.

When they were back to the stoves and scolding each other, Tony leaned in and asked, "What did you do to piss them off?"

"Apparently I'm not proper, like an old-fashioned alpha should be," Gibbs explained, dry.

Tony grinned and took a bite of the eggs, which were deliciously spiced, like everything else. He only got halfway through before it felt like he was going to burst and had to push the plate back. "God, that was good."

Gibbs arched an eyebrow at him. "Finished? You didn't eat very much."

"Trust me. Another bite and I'll explode," Tony assured him.

Taking his hand, Gibbs smiled and stood, pulling Tony up and into his arms. "And we wouldn't want that."

Obviously not worried about the garlic and onion undertone to Tony's breath, Gibbs kissed him slow and deep, hands rubbing slowly over Tony's lower back and ass. Melting into the possessive, gentle kiss, Tony responded eagerly, playing his tongue against his lover's and relishing the feel of being held as though he were something precious.

Breaking off the kiss, Gibbs started at him for a long moment then smiled. "That's better. Come on, I'll show you around."

Tony waved to Tessa and Maria, who were positively beaming at them, as Gibbs tugged him out of the kitchen. They went through several living rooms, a couple of minor libraries, and a few game rooms, all of which was expensively furnished. Outside were incredible vegetable and flower and herb gardens as well as an inground, olympic sized swimming pool and, in the distance, a vineyard.

"Thirty fenced-in acres," Gibbs explained as they strolled slowly through the flower garden, not-quite touching. "We're about midway between Rome and Anzio, which puts us only a couple of hours from the ocean, if you want to take a trip one day."

Frowning, Tony asked, "What about getting home? Shouldn't we be on the next flight?"

Gibbs lightly pushed Tony onto a stone bench and sat beside him. He took a moment to frame his words, then said, "We're not going home right away. As Ducky pointed out, we've never had any time to really get to know one another and that needs to change. You need to know that I belong to you, as much as the other way around. We need to be sure of each other again and to do that, we can't be where life can get in the way. We're both on indefinite leave and Francesca has told me that we can stay here for as long as we want. Or we can go somewhere else, if you want, we're not limited here. We can go to England, Ireland, back to the States, whatever you want, Tony."

Looking around the peaceful villa, seeing the kids play tag up by the pool and one of them get shoved into it, Tony had to smile. He felt comfortable here, though that was probably more due to Gibbs being right beside him, than anything else, and said, "Here is good."

Tony leaned on Gibbs, resting his head on the other man's shoulder, and sighed in contentment as he was held. The nightmare was finally over and he was back where he belonged, as incredible as it seemed. The terror that he'd had, that Gibbs would never take him back, had faded, if not been completely destroyed, and for the moment, he was happy.


Next story in series - Bonding.