"Gibbs ... Gibbs, come on. Wake up."
He tried to bat away the sound, but it kept on coming, whispering urgently, trying to pierce the darkness. Dread filled him but he wasn't quite sure why ... yet.
"Gibbs, we're in a lot of trouble here and I need you to open your eyes. I can't handle this alone. I need you to wake up." Tony's voice was shaking, even though the other man tried to mask it.
Dammit, he didn't want to wake up. His head was killing him, his body aching but the darkness was starting to fade. That sound of urgency in Tony's voice...
"Gibbs! Come on. I need you to wake up. We're in a mess here."
Tony's voice quavered again and that was what got Gibbs fully to the surface. He blinked his eyes open slowly and put a hand up, silencing Tony. It was only then he realized he was cuffed to the other man. He jerked his hand back, the chain between them rattling, and his dread doing a slow burn then rushing headlong into panic.
He'd been injured. He was with DiNozzo. Cuffed. Oh hell, this wasn't good at all!
"The hell?" he asked in a pained groan.
"Boss, we got problems. First, you feel okay?" Tony peered at him, concern and worry written all over his face.
Aching head, a little dizzy, banged and bruised up. "What knocked me out?"
"Pistol whipped, temple. You okay, Gibbs?" Tony started to reach their bound hands to the stickiness on Gibbs' head but the older man stopped the forward motion of Tony's hand.
Gibbs nodded slightly, shaking off his grogginess. "Think so. Where are we? What happened?" He had to take stock of things, get them out of here. Wherever here was.
"That's the problem," Tony said on a sigh. "We were ambushed. They got the jump on us and—"
"What? You okay, DiNozzo? They hurt you?"
"I'm fine, Gibbs..."
"Okay," Gibbs let out a relieved sigh, free hand coming up to stroke through Tony's hair. The gesture was unplanned but it worked to soothe the other man, Tony leaning into his touch.
Satisfied that Tony was okay for the time being, Gibbs looked around the room. There was a bed and a chair, a wastebasket, but no other furniture. Along one wall was what had to be one-way glass. "They took us? Any idea why? Know who 'they' are?"
"Yeah," Tony said, a frown creasing his face deeply. "I know way too much, Gibbs. You ready for this?"
"Gonna tell me, DiNozzo or do I have to play twenty questions?" The dread in Tony's eyes and the way the other man's pulse started fluttering faster at his throat had Gibbs' own racing to keep up.
All of a sudden Tony wouldn't meet his eyes. "Owebothdi," he muttered.
"English, DiNozzo. Give it to me in English, not whatever McGee speaks when he's Elf Lord." He tried for a joke but it felt forced.
Tony moved from the chair to the edge of the bed, his green eyes blazing. "Okay. Gonna give it to you like you'd give it to me. You're a marine, you'd want it that way."
Gibbs nodded slowly. Forcing locked muscles to respond was its own form of focus for him but he sat up, leaning in. "Spit it out, DiNozzo." He wanted to speak with authority but it came out gentle as a fierce wave of protectiveness rushed through him. If they were fucked, he'd protect Tony at any cost. Tony had given up his own pound of flesh with Benoit and Gibbs could afford to give more.
Tony met his eyes now and Gibbs tried to read the emotions swirling there, the panic threatening to brim over much as he tried to mask it. "An hour or two ago I woke up in here, with these." He displayed a container of lube, some breath mints, a couple of condoms, and a note. Gibbs suddenly knew. He'd been hearing about this rash of crimes against law enforcement, the dirty little secret whispered in back rooms but not brought out into the public.
"Fuck or die?"
"I ... yeah. How did you know?" Tony asked, the upset showing in his voice, his ragged gasps. "It says that either I fuck you ... or they do and we both die."
Christ! They were up shit creek now! Gibbs began breathing deeply, willing Tony to do the same. He would not let them panic. He would not! "DiNozzo, stay with me here. I need you."
"Need me," Tony repeated, gulping air in. "Boss..." Tony's voice rose in pitch, becoming reedier.
"Ah, Tony." He pulled the other man tight against him, rubbing his back. How long had Tony been trying to hold it together while he'd been unconscious? Had to be at least an hour, maybe more.
"We do what we have to do here, okay? I'm gonna get you out of this. You have a lot of life left to live."
Tony tilted his head up and met his eyes and Gibbs saw the rage shimmering in them. There was fear, yes, and panic, but that rage, if controlled, would make them both stronger. "You too. Older doesn't mean dead, Boss."
Gibbs managed a small smirk, keeping his free arm snug around Tony. "You hear about this 'fuck or die' group before? You know what it means?"
Tony shook his head. "Have you, Boss?"
Gibbs nodded. He and Fornell had discussed strategies with a few other senior agents just last night. ATF, DEA, Border Patrol, FBI, CIA, even NSA had been caught in this trap. These dirtbags were insane and had made good on their threat of death. Johannes Cutler of the NSA had been gunned down last week when his fellow agent, Frank Hurt, had been unable to perform. Hurt had been spared but his career and personal life were in shambles.
Gibbs had thought NCIS might fly low enough under the radar that they'd be ignored. He and Vance hadn't even warned the other agents yet. That had been on the schedule for later today. Too damn late after all.
"News trickled through the agencies couple days ago, Tony. This group is targeting federal agents, intelligence and LEOs, senior agents and subordinates, usually the up and coming guys—and girls."
"So they're serious? This isn't some kind of crazy break Gibbs and DiNozzo prank?" Gibbs could see that Tony had been holding on to that hope.
"Wish it was," he said quietly into Tony's hair. "They're serious and they're deadly. Remember the NSA guy, Cutler?"
Tony nodded, getting very pale.
"His senior partner was Frank Hurt. Frank had ... performance issues..."
"So they killed Cutler? God..."
Gibbs knew the exact moment when the situation hit Tony in full. He barely made it to the wastebasket before Tony threw up. He rubbed the younger man's back, whispering soothing words before pulling him back to the bed. Gibbs didn't think too hard about what it all meant—there would be time for that later. For now, he focused on helping Tony adjust.
Tony had been lying against Gibbs' side for an hour or so before he lifted his head. "You and Ziva once said you'd have sex to get information from a suspect. Can you make it that impersonal?"
"If I don't care. Thing is I care about you, Tony. It wouldn't be cold."
Tony blinked a few times. He knew it, but to hear Gibbs say it in this environment, with everything on the line—that meant a lot.
"Thanks, Boss. Care a lot too."
Tony fell silent for a few minutes before he spoke again. "We should try to break out," Tony said hotly.
"We can try," Gibbs agreed. He'd been studying the room since Tony had fallen silent, but he hadn't seen any chinks or openings, couldn't even locate a door. They had very little in the way of weapons and were hindered by the lack of full use of their hands.
He stood slowly, easing Tony to his feet as well, and led him to a corner of the room. "Look for any seams or weaknesses in the walls. Do you know how they got us in here?"
"A door, must have been, but I was blindfolded and groggy. Couldn't see a damn thing and then I must have passed out!" The frustration and strain were starting to show on Tony's face and Gibbs eyed a rusty streak on the other man's flank. Dried or drying blood. Tony was okay—he hadn't seemed weak or struggling. He couldn't focus on Tony's injuries right now any more than he could focus on his aching head.
"Okay ... All right, Tony. We'll work on this together."
After ten minutes they found a door, barely more than a seam in the wall. Not much luck, they couldn't pry it open with their fingertips. Accepting defeat for the moment, they retreated to the bed. The room was getting steadily cooler and Gibbs pulled DiNozzo close, sharing body warmth.
"Here's what I know, DiNozzo. They somehow communicate with us, direct us. We do what they say or..."
"Or we end up like Cutler?"
"Can't be positive, but you wanna risk it?"
"No." Tony shook his head. "So we wait ... and come to terms with this."
"And preserve your strength. You're not alone here, Tony. Hope that means something."
Tony let out a huge sigh. "It does, Boss. It does."
Gibbs eyed DiNozzo carefully. There was only one way they could get through this and he'd done much worse than get fucked in order to save his skin in the past. "You up for it?" he asked softly. "We can wait or we can get to business before they use us like puppets."
Tony looked at him, eyes widening a moment in surprise. "You serious?"
"Yeah. What are our choices here, DiNozzo?" His hand moved down Tony's back. Ever since this had started, he'd been feeling very protective toward Tony.
"I'm what?" Gibbs asked in a resigned tone.
"As het as they come. And they want me to seduce you. No rough fucking." Tony opened up the envelope. See?"
Now this was interesting. Very interesting. "Not as het as you might think. DiNozzo. You a virgin?" Gibbs scanned the note, a few typed words that laid out what Tony'd already told him.
.... There is more of this story ...