Title: Twisted Pack
Word Count: 3192
Spoilers: Twisted Sister
Warnings: It's slash, but you won't see much of that here
Disclaimer: They're not mine, pretty as I find them. Go to the producers if you want to talk money.
Summary: AU but following canon events: What makes a pack?
Tony finally made it home, alone yet again. Gibbs was going to be pissed that his senior agent had slipped off without telling him. The fact that the director told him to go probably wouldn't do much to mollify the alpha's temper. But that still wasn't the top thought on his mind.
After Jeanne's question, Tony was trying to remember just how long it had been since he'd had sex.
He really didn't want to be thinking about this. Not now, not ever. When he'd agreed to this op he really hadn't thought it through, not about how long it would last or how far it would go. Of course, at the time he'd been so mad at Gibbs for leaving that he could have happily bedded an entire cheer leading team to get back at the older man.
Except now Gibbs was back, and little thoughts kept running through his mind whenever these things came up. His first kiss since Gibbs was several weeks back. Abby was the first to pet him since Gibbs, when she came over for a movie last week. At least that one didn't feel like as much of a betrayal. Now he had to consider sex without Gibbs, really consider it, because Jeanne wasn't going to be put off much longer and this op showed no sign of ending soon.
Did he want to have sex with her? Well, yes. She was stunning and nice, beautiful inside and out. Why wouldn't he want to have sex with her? Except — his eyes were drawn to the team picture he kept on the bookshelf, to where Gibbs was standing with an arm around Abby's shoulders and a big grin on his face — did he want to have sex with Gibbs? Hell yes. He missed the sex, he missed the company, he missed everything he'd had last year and didn't have this year. As long as he felt that way, what right did he have to take Jeanne to bed?
Except he didn't trust Gibbs right now, barely trusted him as alpha and didn't trust him as lover, let alone mate.
Tony wondered how screwed up he must be to be torn between an unacknowledged mating with his boss and a relationship with a beautiful woman who he was lying to about everything for an undercover op.
He welcomed the ringing of his phone as an escape from these thoughts, up until the moment he spotted Gibbs' name on the caller ID.
“DiNozzo,” he said, trying to hide his hesitation. He really didn't feel like being chewed out right now.
“We will discuss your disappearing act later,” Gibbs snapped through the tiny speaker. “I need you in bright and early tomorrow. Don't let McGee off the elevator.”
“What?” Tony asked in utter confusion. “I thought he was sick.”
“Just found out that cell at the crime scene was his sister's,” Gibbs explained, not that it really helped much. “He's bringing the evidence she left at his place bright and early. Keep him in the elevator until I get there.”
“Um, boss?” Tony began hesitantly.
“What don't you understand?” Gibbs snapped.
“Most of it, but mainly why you want McGee to be waiting in the elevator,” Tony said, shrugging his shoulders though he knew Gibbs couldn't see the action.
“His sister arrived on his door step covered in blood, and rather than calling for help he called in sick,” Gibbs snarled into the phone. “Now he's going to be in that elevator and he's going to make his excuses ... privately.”
“Right, boss,” Tony replied, prepared to ask a few more questions, but that was when Gibbs hung up on him. Which was good in that it meant he wasn't going to get chewed out for skipping out this evening, not now. It was bad because that just meant Gibbs was going to stew overnight and chew him out tomorrow. Maybe he'd wear himself out chewing out Tim and let Tony slide.
But at least Tony had the thought of teasing Tim about covering for his sister to induce sweet dreams tonight. Tomorrow wasn't going to be all bad.
Tony was in bright and early the next morning but wasn't all that surprised to find Tim had beat him.
“Looking better this morning, Probie,” he said teasingly as he stepped into the elevator.
“Don't start,” Tim snapped, his stance loose but his shoulders tight. His eyes were a wild mixture of anger, fear, and guilt that made Tony worry.
“You covered for your sister when she's the prime suspect in a murder investigation, and you expect me to keep my mouth shut?” Tony asked lightly, but he felt his spine stiffen as he fought the urge to growl until his junior backed down.
“I'll take it from Gibbs but not from you, Tony,” Tim said, shaking his head slightly, his eyes fixed on the corner of the elevator though he couldn't see it through Tony standing in the way. “Not now.”
Tony reached back and flipped the emergency stop switch. Sure, that was usually Gibbs' prerogative, and it was surely what the boss would do later when he arrived. Tony understood that the boss wanted the probie to stew a bit, but from the look in the junior agent's eyes the result wasn't going to be pretty.
“Hey,” Tim protested as the elevator lurched to a halt.
“Would you do it again?” Tony asked, looking Tim square in the eyes and dropping the joking mask he usually wore.
“What?” Tim asked, his brow furrowing in confusion.
“Would you do it again? Cover for your sister?” Tony asked firmly.
“Yes,” Tim snapped. “She's my sister.”
“Good.” Tony nodded and looked down for a moment, breaking eye contact and breaking the moment. “Well, the Director is going to yell and quote the regulations, Ziva is going to look disappointed with that little frown of hers, but the real concern you should have is what Gibbs thinks.”
“And what do you think?” Tim snarled in irritation.
Tony looked back with an amused grin. “I already said it.”
Tim stared at him, his head jutted forward, his lips open like he was going to say something but never saying a word. His brow furrowed for a moment before he pulled his head back and nodded. “So, what Gibbs thinks?”
“Do you understand why he's pissed?” Tony asked, propping one hip against the railing around the edge of the elevator.
“I broke regs, the law ...” Tim began in an exasperated tone.
Tony shook his head and interrupted. “No. Well, yes, you did all that. And that is why the Director is going to have a fit. But that's not what Gibbs is upset about.”
“All right,” Tim said with a sigh and a near roll of his eyes. “What is Gibbs upset about?”
“You never called him,” Tony explained. He'd spent a lot of time thinking about it last night and called Abby for an update on what exactly happened. She was the one who'd actually figured it out.
“I couldn't risk it,” Tim said, his tone just shy of a whine. “I know he's my boss, but she's my sister.”
“Not just your boss,” Tony said pointedly. “Your alpha.”
Tim sighed and shook his head. “Just because that relationship model works for you ...”
“Not just me,” Tony interrupted.
“He's not a shifter,” Tim said pointedly.
“But you mistook him for one,” Tony pointed out. “Abby did too. And people have been mistaking him for one since boot camp from what he told me. Hell, if the local pack hadn't already known his parents weren't shifters, they might have made that mistake when he was a kid.”
“There was a pack in his home town?” Tim asked.
Tony opened his mouth to reply, but caught himself before he could go off on a tangent. “Not relevant,” he said. “What matters is no matter what the boss is, he thinks more like a shifter than some of the shifters I've met. To him, you're pack, and therefore you should have called him.”
“Tony, I grew up with shifters,” Tim said in an irritated tone. “It doesn't work that way.”
“Well, I didn't, and neither did Gibbs. To us it does work that way.” Tony reached out a hand and rested it on Tim's shoulder, his thumb pressing against the junior agent's neck.
“Tony,” Tim whined, pulling away from Tony's touch.
“Just think about it,” Tony pleaded, dropping his hand back to his side.
“All right, I'll think about it,” Tim said petulantly
“Good,” Tony said, turning and flipping the emergency stop switch. “And tell Gibbs what you told me,” he added as the small room rose again.
“Tell him what?” Tim asked as the doors opened on the bull pen and Tony stepped out of the elevator.
“She's your sister,” Tony called over his shoulder as he walked away, leaving the probie to go up and down as the day shift arrived. He had a bad feeling that Gibbs was going to be late today. Hopefully Tim could get control of his temper before then.
“Boss,” Tim called, jogging across the bull pen to slip into the elevator just as the doors closed.
“What?” Gibbs snapped. “Don't you have a report to write?”
Tony leaned back against the railing, curious to see what transpired. After the other conversations of this morning, this could be interesting. And anything to distract Gibbs from the haranguing he owed Tony was a good thing.
“Yes, but ...” Tim began hesitantly, then turned to flip the emergency stop switch. “Tony made a point this morning that I didn't consider last night, and after what you said earlier, I think we should discuss it.”
Gibbs glanced curiously over his shoulder at Tony, who just shrugged, then turned back to Tim with a raised eyebrow that screamed 'And?'
“Are we ... do you ... that is ...” Tim fumbled. A glare from Gibbs kicked his brain back out of neutral. “Tony says you think of me as pack,” he finally got out.
Gibbs glanced back at Tony again, who smiled back. A wave of his hand drew Tony forward, and while he expected a head slap, Gibbs instead rested his hand against the back of Tony's neck. He didn't say anything, but anyone who knew shifters could see his answer in that move. Tony couldn't deny the shiver that went down his spine as such a possessive action from his alpha. It was the first time Gibbs had ever done such a thing in front of a team mate. Well, except the time the alpha had petted him last year. But Tim hadn't known what it meant at the time.
“I'm not quite sure what to make of that,” Tim admitted, his eyes haunted as he looked away, probably by memories of things past. “My dad's pack never really considered me pack, not after puberty.”
“I'm not your dad's pack,” Gibbs said firmly. “I've always built my packs on loose rules that work for shifters and non alike. You have to in the Marines.”
“Why me?” Tim asked, his tone oddly wistful and plaintive.
Tony recognized that tone. He'd felt the same way when he realized what Gibbs was saying a little over a year ago. Tim might not be a shifter, but maybe he'd been living as a bit of a lone wolf all the same.
“Why not?” Gibbs countered.
Tony watched as Tim started to respond, then froze. Tony could see the wheels turning in the junior agent's head and could almost hear the thoughts. Tim wanted to say that he wasn't a shifter, but with Gibbs as alpha that wasn't relevant. Tony had a hunch the next thought was of geeky unworthiness, but as a now seasoned and skilled agent, that wasn't really relevant either.
“Okay, you picked me for your team,” Tim finally said. “But why pack?”
“I've always chosen my team with an eye to pack,” Gibbs admitted, which made Tony grin softly.
“Yet you never said anything,” Tim said, both curiosity and accusation in his tone.
“I've been hiding the secret of shifter existence for over twenty years,” Gibbs pointed out. “I didn't know you knew.”
“Tony found out weeks ago,” Tim said. “He told me he was going to tell you.”
“And he did,” Gibbs agreed. “But there's been no reason to bring it up.”
“Now there is,” Tim said firmly.
“Does it bother you?” Gibbs asked.
“What?” Tim asked, sounding a bit confused, as though Gibbs' response wasn't what he expected. “Being pack?”
“Yes,” Gibbs said simply.
“I don't know,” Tim admitted softly.
As soon as Tony opened his mouth, Gibbs squeezed the back of his neck in a clear 'shut up' gesture. Tony ignored it. “We're not them,” he said, trying to catch Tim's eye. He could have said more. “We don't care if you’re a heterosexual non-shifter” and “I may tease you but you give as good as you get” were on the tip of his tongue, but something in Tim's eyes said he didn't need to.
“You're right,” Tim said, a shy smile curving his lips. “I'm still getting used to the idea, but I think I like it.”
Tony grinned back as Gibbs lifted his hand from the back of the shifter's neck, and Tony continued to grin as Gibbs placed his hands on Tim's shoulders, thumbs pressed tight against the junior agent's neck.
“My pack,” Gibbs growled as his thumbs stroked along Tim's neck.
“Your pack,” Tim agreed, tilting his chin up and out to further expose his neck.
“You remember that next time something like this comes up,” Gibbs said firmly, only moving his hands after Tim nodded in agreement. For a moment it looked like Gibbs was going to reach for the emergency stop switch, but then he planted his hand on the back of Tim's neck and squeezed. “And if any of this shows up in another one of your books ...” He left the threat unspecified, but that made it no less clear.
Tim laughed despite the threat. “My dad would kill me first,” he assured Gibbs. “I've been hiding shifters all my life. They won't be showing up in any books.”
“Good answer,” Tony said. Though the subject did remind him he needed to pick up a copy of that book tonight. Ziva had taken the one he'd bought on the way back in with Sarah. That thought brought up an image of sitting on the stairs to Gibbs basement, reading aloud as Gibbs worked on the boat. Tony pushed the image away quickly, hoping no one noticed his distraction.
“Finish your report,” Gibbs said firmly, squeezing the back of Tim's neck one more time before moving his hand to restart the elevator.
“Yes, boss,” Tim replied with an enthusiasm that had been lacking through this case. “Are you done, Tony?” he added, the sly accusation hidden within that he thought Tony was trying to slip away without finishing his work.
“Yep,” Tony replied smugly. He had been planning to use the timing to see if Gibbs would let him come over, maybe discuss the direction his undercover op was taking with his alpha, but now he didn't have the stomach for it. Maybe he'd call Abby and see if she wanted to watch a movie.
Oddly enough, the elevator went up, allowing Tim to exit first. Tony was half convinced that Gibbs had managed to reprogram the system after using it as an office for so many years. Now it just automatically went back where it started when the emergency stop was released. Unfortunately, tonight that meant he was once again in the elevator, alone, with Gibbs.
“You left early last night,” Gibbs said, his hand flicking out to slap the emergency stop once again.
“Something came up,” Tony said, refusing to throw out the illness line again. It had been a bad idea to begin with.
“For the Director,” Gibbs said. It wasn't a question. They both knew who Tony was taking orders from these days.
“Yes,” Tony said flatly, frustration at the situation coming out in his words and expression.
“Tony,” Gibbs said, his own irritation coming out, but he clearly looked away and tried to calm down before he continued. “Next time, call me,” he said gruffly. “I don't care what she says, I want to hear you're elsewhere from you, not Ziva, and not Jen. If I need to play that I don't know, I can, but I need to hear from you.”
Tony took a deep breath and in letting it out let go his anger and frustration. He looked up and caught Gibbs eyes before saying, “Yes, boss.” And he meant it. If he had to sneak calls in at odd moments for the next while, he would. He owed his alpha that much.
“Good,” Gibbs replied. His hand came up and clasped Tony's shoulder, his thumb caressing the shifter's neck for a moment before he dropped his hand and hit the emergency stop. This time, oddly enough, it continued down to the parking garage. “Go home and get some sleep, DiNozzo.”
“Yes, boss,” Tony said playfully, plastering a grin on his face as he sauntered over to his car.
When Abby arrived, Tony was laying on the couch in wolf form, staring at a copy of Tim's book sitting on his coffee table. He wanted to talk, but he knew if he allowed himself to he'd end up letting something slip that he shouldn't. He was in that kind of mood.
“Hey, Tony,” Abby cried cheerfully, letting herself in when her knock had gotten a soft 'woof' in response. “Feeling antisocial tonight?”
Tony shook his head and patted the couch next to him with a paw.
“Oh, I get it, you just want a good petting,” Abby said playfully, plopping down on the couch and instantly reaching out a hand to fondle Tony's ears.
Tony let out a lupine sigh and rested his head on her leg, his eyes closing in utter bliss.
“I see you picked up Timmy's book,” Abby said, leaning over to grab the book off the coffee table. “I meant to pick up a copy too. You started it yet?”
Tony shook his head slightly, not wanting do dislodge her talented fingers. He'd been wondering how he was going to distract himself tonight. He was sick of thinking about Jeanne and the Director or how utterly useless trying to talk to the Director about Jeanne had been. Abby made for a pleasant distraction that didn't make him want to do anything else he shouldn't, like jump Gibbs.
“Hey, how about I read it to you?” Abby offered, excitedly. Before Tony could reply, she'd opened the book to the first page. “Do you think Gibbs has seen this?” she asked, the blurb on the inside of the jacket.
Tony let out a lupine chuckle, remembering seeing a copy on Gibbs' bookshelf before they left that evening.
“He has?” Abby asked, her eyes alight with mischief. “Timmy is so dead. Messianic complex? What was he thinking?”