Written For: sinfulslasher for ncis_ficathon 2009 Pinch Hit
Prompt: Tony and Gibbs. The story behind the first headslap. What did Tony do to deserve it? What was Tony's reaction? I don't care about the genre (can be anything from humor to angst), the rating or if it's slash or not.
Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Word Count: 3,812
Beta: azraelz_angel & triskellion
Note: This is a different writing style than normal for me. It is also first person.
Crossposted: ncis_ficathon; ncisfanfic; ncis_fic; gibbs_dinozzo; ncis_slash
Summary: It took Peoria, Philly and Baltimore, but I finally found my place with NCIS and a man named Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
Once upon a time, there was a detective in Baltimore. Although his superiors would tell you otherwise, he was the greatest thing since-
I suppose I better stop now, or someone will think I'm a narcissistic bastard. In reality, I was- am- a good detective. It just didn't look that way on paper.
You see... I had a history of job-hopping around the two-year mark. I did it in Peoria and again in Philly. It was inevitable that it would happen in Baltimore too. I’d go into a job thinking it will be different, but it always ends the same. And they would tell me not to let the door hit me on the way out.
By this point, I had learned the warning signs of when things were about to turn ugly for me. In Peoria, it wasn't that bad since I was still a rookie. They eased me out and off to another city with little fanfare. Philly was hard for reasons you don’t need to know.
Some part of me had hoped that Baltimore would be different, but it wasn't. I got along with the guys on the force just fine, don't get me wrong. I had a great partner and had plenty of friends on the job. They were guys I could share a beer with and swap stories of women or those "out there" cases that every officer had experienced at least once. They weren't the problem.
It was the men in charge. Everyone answered to someone else and, on paper, I wasn't the answer many wanted. The other issue was the need for IA to review my files often. When a cop comes from money, he's always suspected of possible corruption from that money.
The fact that anyone thought I could be corrupted by money is laughable. If I had wanted to go that route, I would have taken the shoe-in to Harvard my father had lined up for me. Instead, I went to Ohio State on a partial scholarship and some assistance from my mother's side of the family.
My red flags with IA really came into play when the trust fund I gained access to at the age of twenty-five opened to me. Here I was, a rookie cop with access to a significant amount of money. Those that knew didn't like it. It set me apart from the normal cop who had to work for every penny.
I didn't adopt an outrageous lifestyle with the money at hand. I made sure I was dressed well (a good suit goes a long way to making a great impression on people) and had a fast car. Other than that, I lived the same as the others in the department, lots of fast food, beer, and a cheap apartment.
So I had learned over the years that my time in any location came with a short shelf life. I was becoming accustomed to it even if I wanted to find a real home, a place to stay. When I started receiving the hidden glances from the higher ups and the noticed the occasional IA guy standing nearby, I knew it was time to leave Baltimore.
That's what led me to staring at the stack of papers in my hand. I had sent out my application to various departments in various cities. I carefully avoided the New England area since that would raise more red flags than normal. On a whim, I also submitted an application to a few federal organizations.
I hadn't expected a response back from any of the feds, so I was shocked to see the NCIS logo and the stack of papers. Looking through them, I found that I was accepted into the background check and clearance phase of hiring. If I passed that and was cleared, I would then move on to FLETC and specific training for federal agents and NCIS in particular.
I tried not to let myself be carried away with excitement, because the background checks loomed over me like the vampires of my childhood nightmares. If city police forces had issues with the money I had and the potential they always claimed existed for corruption, then what would the feds think?
I just hoped that NCIS would be interested, even if I was trouble.
It took longer than expected, but one day I found myself handing in my resignation in exchange for a trip to the federal agent training grounds at FLETC. My clearances had passed without any hassle and I wondered why the federal government had no problem with my background when the city level governments clearly did. It was a mystery that I would never solve.
I wouldn't say that FLETC was a breeze, because I worked my ass off. However, it was still full of some of the best times in my life. I felt like I belonged, everyone going through the same training I was. They had open minds to more than just their little part of the world.
Score wise, I finished in the top five of my class. I won't say where in that top five, but I was proud of where I finished. I will say my firearms testing was the best in the class. And I have the house staff my father always employed to thank for the fluency I had in my second language, Spanish.
Things were set for me to start as a newly commissioned federal agent with NCIS, and I couldn't have been more excited.
Upon our graduation from FLETC, assignments were doled out to each person. Some were traveling far and some were even going into potential hot zones. I found myself standing with another new agent (Jim Barnes was his name) being told we were headed to the DC field office. Apparently there was an opening on the major case response team and we both had more than five years experience on police forces, putting us ahead of the fresh-faced probationary agents that graduated with us.
It didn't take long to find an apartment in the area (more a rat-hole really, but I still had to pay rent). And the night before I was to begin, I found my insomnia kicking in as I stared at my new badge and gun.
Knowing sleep was not going to come, I took myself to the office I would be working in for the foreseeable future. A smile kept the guards from asking me too many questions as I rode the elevator at two in the morning. When I walked out into the desk area, I grinned.
I loved the quietness of an office at night. During the day, I was always caught up in the hustle and activity of the people around me. At night, I could focus on what I wanted and not what was around me.
I made my way to the cluster of desks I had been shown on the tour a few days before. The guy who showed us around was named Chris Pacci and apparently he was temporarily assigned to the man we were going to work for. When we pressed Pacci for information on the missing lead agent, he just told us we were better off not knowing. At one point during the day, I overheard him with another agent calling myself and Barnes poor probationary bastards. Instead of being worried, it left me curious about how a man named Leroy Jethro could imbue such fear in the agents around him.
There were four desks in the area. One obviously belonged to the mysterious Gibbs, while the other three were devoid of life. Pacci said he kept his existing desk and just assisted Gibbs as needed, so that left three desks for me and Barnes to choose between.
I decided against the desk on the same side as the boss. I preferred seeing people and that desk would not allow me to study the man. The desk directly across from him was also a no-go. I didn't want to seem too eager to watch his every move, plus having some distance would probably be a good thing.
So I settled for the desk diagonal from his and sat down with a twirl of the chair. Had I been established, I would have found a stack of cold case files to wade through to pass the time. But that would have to wait a few weeks at least. Instead, I propped my feet up on the desk and leaned back in the chair in a special balance that I had mastered years before in my father's study.
All too soon, sleep found me and I felt comfortable and secure for the first time in a long time. And that's how the stage was set for my first meeting with Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
Did you know I spent my formable years at a military academy? Following orders shaped four years of high school. It was probably why I bucked against the orders in various precincts over the years, I'd had my fill.
So when the barked question of 'who the hell do you think you are' filtered into my dreams and I felt a hand slapping my feet off the desk, I responded on instinct. I snapped to my feet so fast that I heard (and felt) a few vertebrae pop. I stood to attention and finally opened my eyes to see who I had to answer to.
The blue eyes, gray hair and stern face left my insides churning as I hoped like hell it didn't show on my face. Why would a man's overbearing presence have that affect on me you ask? Well... I'm not a hundred percent straight. While I like my women soft and young, it's just the opposite when it comes to men. And this man triggered everything that turned me on.
I managed to stammer out my name and finished it off with a snapped off, "Sir!"
Old blue eyes just stared me down until I felt my feet shift and my head tip a fraction in submission. Clear that he had won the first battle of wills, he grabbed my bag from the floor and tossed it toward the desk directly across from him.
"That desk is not available and don't call me sir," was all he said before he stalked off toward the break room.
Undeterred, I grabbed my bag and sat back down where I had been. Possession is nine-tenths of the law so they say and I intended to make use of it. Barnes showed up before the man I assumed was Gibbs came back. I smirked when he took the desk across from the boss. Barnes was a nice guy, but I couldn't see him surviving with a man like Gibbs. Pacci had been right about us being poor bastards, but he didn't account on one thing. I was no novice when it came to growling men who expected more out of you than you were able to give. Yeah, I know I have father issues, but who doesn't.
When the man rounded the corner with a coffee cup in hand, I smiled and threaded my fingers behind my head. I decided to go for broke if the man didn't want to be a sir.
"Morning, Boss," I said as cheerful as possible, the icy glare tried to cut holes through my head.
He looked like he was about to push the desk issue again when his phone rang. Saved by the bell it seemed.
Then things sped up as we caught our first case. That's how I learned that Gibbs has children issues, especially when one is killed and another is missing.
Two days, forty-eight hours. That's how long it took to find the missing eight-year-old and just in the nick of time. The man who took her would never take another thanks to one bullet from my gun.
Barnes put in a transfer request twenty-four hours into the case and gave me a blank copy of the paperwork to follow suit. I declined while he looked at me like I was an alien.
Pacci dragged me aside at the thirty-six hour mark to ask how I was holding up. I was honest with him when I told him I was fucking tired, angry and wanted to punch Gibbs in the face. But then I smiled and added that it was the best first day I'd ever had. He walked away muttering about it making sense that a crazy man would enjoy working for Gibbs.
As the case had progressed, so had Gibbs determination and finely controlled anger. Watching him in interrogation with the suspect's accomplice was the first time I'd experienced a spike of arousal while in the middle of a hot case. When it was over, I had excused myself to a bathroom stall. The glare I received upon returning was more than worth it.
There was also the desk issue. I could tell he didn't want me sitting there, but his dedication to solving the case trumped who should sit where. But then I met Abby Sciuto.
Pacci had said she was the best and that everyone loved her and she loved them right back. I've always been the exception to the rule, no matter what the rule was.
Abby had rounded the corner and, to my shock (and Barnes' too), she hugged Gibbs and he gave her a paternal kiss on the cheek. Seeing this woman in full Goth attire and a studded dog collar, melt even the hard-ass front on Gibbs was intriguing and I found myself standing to meet her.
Then she rounded on me with wide eyes that went from hurt to anger in 2.7 seconds. Unsure what I had done, I placed my hands in the air in a surrendering gesture.
"You can't have that desk! Gibbs, tell him he can't sit there!"
It was the desk again. It made me wonder what was so special about an empty desk, but I didn't ask. I just watched as Gibbs glared at me again and then he escorted Abby forcibly to the elevator, whispering in her ear.
Nothing was said about the desk again, but it didn't have to be. I knew when I was not wanted somewhere. I had the history of three precincts and my father to thank for that. Gibbs glared and Abby... well, I avoided her lab at all costs. She scared me more than Gibbs ever could.
Then came the final confrontation with the bad guy. I told you I made the kill shot, but what you don't know is what led to that shot. It was what I think of as a make-or-break moment in a person's life. One second off in any direction and life would have taken a drastically different course. I don't know if it would have been better or worse, but I wouldn't change it for a thing.
The guy, like so many typical bad guys, was holed up in a warehouse. And things moved so quickly, I lost track of what happened until guns were drawn and the bad guy had somehow managed to get the drop on Gibbs.
There was a split second of shock that went through my mind when I saw the situation. From all I had heard throughout the office, Gibbs was some kind of Superman. The Superman I know of doesn't become a hostage, but apparently Gibbs didn't get the memo.
I flicked my eyes over to where Barnes was camped out and the man looked nervous as hell. That didn't bode well for what I was about to do, because one wrong move on either of our parts and someone would die.
I broke cover and Gibbs just glared at me, but kept his mouth shut.
"Hey Johnson," I started out with my best smile firmly in place. "Can't believe you got the drop on the old man there," and I held back a wince at the icy stare Gibbs leveled at me.
"Everyone tells me he's the best. But looks like you're better, Marine. Might have to get you to teach me the move you used on him. Could come in handy one day."
With each word, I inched closer to my target. But I couldn't take the chance to see if Barnes was getting in position or not. I just hoped he was smart enough to do it.
"Bet you always scored great on your fitness evals," and I knew he was top in his unit. "Bet that really impressed Julie. Girls like her love tough Marines like you. You should actually talk to the man you're holding about it. Heard he's been married like three times. Women go for the tough guys. Me, never even engaged."
He'd backed himself into a corner at this point and there was nowhere for him to run. He was going down. It was just a matter of seeing if he took any of us down with him.
"When this is all over, you'll have to take me out for a beer and show me a thing or two with the ladies. I'm always looking for tips on how to pick 'em up. Just the other night, I had this young thing, brunette by the way, hanging on my every word but I couldn't close the deal. She moved off to a guy more like you. Is it the muscle or what? I'm wondering what the secret is, because I like 'em young. Can you help a guy out here?"
Then it happened. His focus on the gun aimed at Gibbs shifted just enough and I took my shot. Barnes followed suit, but he was too late. I had already killed the bastard, but it wasn't him I was concerned about.
I rushed forward, kicked the bad guy's gun away and pressed my hand as hard as I could over the bloody scrape across Gibbs' upper right arm.
"Does shooting the boss in under a week on the job get a guy fired?" I asked jokingly, ignoring the twinge of fear that I might have caused serious damage.
"Only if they make me stay in the hospital overnight, DiNozzo," Gibbs grunted out and I began to think it would all be okay.
After they carted Gibbs off (with protests), I stayed with Pacci and Barnes to process the scene. I heard Pacci questioning Barnes about why he didn't fire when he had the clearer shot, but I ignored Barnes' response.
Instead, I was thinking about the blood across Gibbs' arm and the fact that I had caused it. It didn't leave a pleasant feeling in my gut.
The feeling continued to get worst as the night progressed and I found myself unable to sleep. I usually crash after a case like this, but sleep was evading me and there was only one solution.
I called the hospital they had carted Gibbs off to and learned he had been discharged. Next, I put my superb detective skills to work and found the man's address.
I knew I was taking my life into my own hands, but I wanted things to be straight between us. Whatever straight ended up being. So I drove made the thirty-minute drive in twenty and didn't stop until I was in front of his door.
I hesitated for only a moment before knocking. I never was one for my own safety. However, the knocking was in vain, because he never answered the door.
I noticed the only light in the house was coming from the basement window. I briefly considering lying on the ground and looking through it, before discarding that notion. Even I wasn't that stupid.
Instead, I turned the knob and walked inside when it opened for me. Yeah, I am that stupid.
The inside had a definite bachelor feel to it and I marveled at the bicycle in the living room that I just couldn't picture Gibbs using for a nice ride through the park. There was no television, but he didn't seem the television type. Then I found the stairway leading to what I assumed was the basement.
I was halfway down when his voice scared the crap out of me.
"Watch the next step. It creaks." And it did.
I made the rest of the way down and my eyes locked on to the white bandage visible under the sleeve of his USMC t-shirt. I couldn't look away and he knew it.
"Seven stitches," he said succinctly. "Good shot," he added and I inhaled sharply. I wasn't expecting praise tonight. "Signed off on Barnes' transfer. There one for you?"
His short sentences were running together and I was losing track of what he thought of me, of my performance.
"Do I need to put a transfer in? My usual stint is two years. Still got a ways to go before I reach that."
Gibbs just snorted and I found myself studying his face, trying to find any clues to what he wanted from me. I was so intent in studying him that I missed the fact that he had moved close enough to me to reach.
That is until I felt a sharp slap to the back of my head. I automatically reached up and rubbed the spot while stepping back with an open mouth.
"What the hell was that for?" I asked. Then, without checking with my brain first, I reached my own hand up and returned the favor.
I stared with wide eyes as he mirrored my own position with a hand rubbing at his head. Several minutes passed and neither of us budged. It was like a test of sorts and I wasn't sure if I was passing or failing epically.
Then Gibbs moved and before I knew it, there was a metal tin thing topped off with bourbon in my hand. We both tipped back our respective glasses before either of us spoke again.
"That was to make sure you didn't put your damn transfer in, DiNozzo."
"Gotcha, Boss," and I did.
The night was a blur of bourbon and other things. You see, I learned that night that the boss wasn't entirely straight. He does this thing with his tongue that just… Well, he'd probably kill me if I shared details about his sex life with anyone. So I'll just keep that to myself and let your imagination fill in the rest.
At this point, you want to hear me say that we lived happily after as boss, subordinate and lovers. However, life doesn't work that way. Life throws you things like the plague, death, explosions, amnesia, assassins, terrorists, vendettas, undercover assignments, past lovers, international intrigue and you get the picture. Life withheld our happily ever after, but who needs a storybook ending anyway?
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