The First Collar: 12. Part Twelve


Gibbs watched, with Tony by his side, until the flames died down and all that was left was a set of charred, smoking remains. Then he put a hand on Tony’s shoulder – and smiled as Tony jumped, startled by the touch. His new sub would have to get used to being touched by his top. Gibbs had a suspicion that Tony badly needed to be touched – not in a sexual way, but in a way that made it clear that he belonged to someone and that someone had the right to care for him. Tony’s response to that hug the previous night made Gibbs suspect that nobody had cared for this kid in a very long time.


Now he made a vow to touch Tony as often as possible to remind him he wasn’t alone anymore. He thought about how Tony had always given those goofy grins when he slapped his head and knew that maintaining a physical presence around Tony was going to be imperative if he was going to straighten out his new sub. He wasn’t going to be sleeping with Tony, so he had to find other ways to keep him grounded.


He guided Tony back into the house, pushed him down onto a chair at the kitchen table, and took a seat opposite him.


“Right – now I want the name of the man who attacked you last night,” he said firmly.


Tony’s eyes flashed. “I told you I don’t want to go to the police. I don’t want a court case…” he began. Gibbs held up his hand.


“I know that, and I respect it. That’s why we burned the clothes. But you must have known that regardless of your decision not to bring charges, I wouldn’t let any top get away with collaring an unwilling sub and then sexually assaulting him.”


Tony gave an unhappy shrug.


“His name, Tony,” Gibbs said relentlessly. “And then the full story, so I can decide what to do next. And be honest – remember what I said about lying to me. I also won’t tolerate withholding.”


Tony bit down on his torn lower lip and a droplet of blood oozed up in the cut.


Gibbs reached out and touched his lip gently. “Don’t do that. Just tell me the truth. You’re my sub now, Tony; you wear my collar and that comes with obligations.”


Tony gave a shaky little laugh. “I don’t come out of this story very well, Gibbs. Might be the shortest collaring in history.”


“I don’t give up on my subs that easily.” Gibbs shook his head. “Nothing you tell me will make me change my mind about having collared you. I know you come with a messed up past – that was kind of the point in putting my collar on you.”


Tony nodded but there was a trace of doubt in his eyes all the same.


“The truth, Tony – now,” Gibbs said briskly, before Tony could drown in that doubt.


“Okay…his name is Jake, and I met him three weeks ago at a club called Anon.”


Anon?” Gibbs raised an eyebrow.


“Yeah. It’s the kind of place you go to if you’re looking for some anonymous sex. They have a back room for that.” Tony grimaced, looking ashamed, and Gibbs wondered just what kind of a life this kid had led that he went to clubs like that looking for sex with strangers. “They also have some rooms you can rent for the night. It was soon after I left Baltimore PD. I’d made those tapes, and…well, I guess I was feeling angry.” Tony paused and looked at Gibbs.


“So you went there looking for angry sex?”


“Yeah. See, I can’t completely blame Jake. He said he liked it rough, and I said that was what I wanted too. He rented a room for the night – you have to pay upfront, and although I’d gone there looking for quick down and dirty sex in the back room, I didn’t mind spending the night with him. He was hot.” Tony grimaced again, and Gibbs suspected that now he was saying it all out loud he realised just how screwed up it all sounded. “So we had sex. He was useless.”


Gibbs gave a little snort. “In what way?”


“No imagination, no real sense of dynamic, just another wannabe top who thinks it’s enough to order you around without making you *feel* it. I had to do all the work for him.”


Gibbs was intrigued by Tony’s insights into sex. He wondered if anyone had ever made Tony ‘feel’ it. Something about Tony’s desperate attempts to lose himself in sex made him suspect that Tony had never really connected with a top sexually. Sheer quantity was never going to make up for quality, but had Tony figured that out yet?


“Anyway, he was a shit. It wasn’t too bad at first but later he wouldn’t let me leave, and he ignored my safe word.”


Gibbs had never given any of his subs safe words because he never played a scene – if a sub started screaming and saying “no!” then that’d be enough to stop him in a heartbeat. He prided himself on knowing precisely the effect he was having on his subs, and he had only ever slept with people he was in a serious relationship with.


If you didn’t know a sub, or if you wanted to role-play a certain kind of non-consensual scene, then Gibbs could totally see the necessity for it, but he never role-played. Listening to a sub’s safe word in a one night stand situation like this seemed absolutely imperative to him, and Jake’s refusal to take his sub’s needs into account angered him.


“What did you do?” he asked.


Tony shrugged. “I got into a fight with him – and won. Well, what else could I do? I was late for a certain job interview, Boss.” He shot Gibbs a self-deprecating smile, and Gibbs gave an amused grunt as that little piece of the Tony jigsaw puzzle fell into place. “I…uh, ended up shoving him onto the bed and um…cuffing him there.” He winced and looked up at Gibbs, clearly expecting a reaction.


“I can see how that might have pissed him off,” Gibbs commented neutrally.


“Yeah. That might not be the worst part though. The worst part might have been me throwing money at him to pay for the room. He kept calling me a whore and it annoyed me. I might be an easy lay, but I’m not a whore. Anyway, that meant I didn’t have any cash to pay for a taxi, so I had to get the metro…which was why I showed up for so late for the job interview, Boss.”


“At least that all makes sense now.” Gibbs nodded to him to continue.


“I humiliated Jake badly – it had to have been a few hours before anyone freed him from the cuffs. And then, a couple of nights later, I was out with Abby at a different bar, and I saw him trying to pick her up.”


Gibbs felt his jaw tightening in anger. “He went after Abby?”


“Yeah – and knowing what I did about the guy, what could I do but step in?” Tony shrugged. “Okay, admittedly I did it in kind of a confrontational way – and he ended up face down on the bar with his arm shoved up his back. He had a couple of his friends with him, and I…uh, well, I might have mentioned how I’d humiliated him the previous time by tying him up. And uh, I might have implied that he’d enjoyed it. I might also have given his friends the impression that I’d paid him for the fuck. So, I guess he pretty much hated me by this point.”


“Ya think, DiNozzo?” Gibbs shook his head wryly. “You did the right thing protecting Abby though. If anything had happened to her then he’d have received a hell of a lot worse from me than being humiliated in front of his friends.”


“He didn’t get to her, Boss, so it’s okay. But I fucked him off big time, so when he caught sight of me leaving Anon last night he must have seen his chance to get even – and he took it.”


“And that’s everything?” Gibbs asked.


Tony nodded. “Yeah, that’s everything – the crappy lifestyle of Anthony D. DiNozzo in all its sordid detail.” His face was flushed with shame.


“Okay. We’re done then.” Gibbs got up.


“No lecture?” Tony glanced up at him, looking surprised.


“No – that all happened before you were my sub. Now you are, so it’ll be different. I don’t give a damn who you sleep with Tony, as long as you keep yourself safe. And getting into meaningless fights with tops who’ve pissed you off is not a great way of doing that.”


“Yeah. I know.” Tony sighed.


“Come on – I want to show you something.”


Gibbs took Tony down into the basement.


“It’s a boat. I know that. I’ve already seen it,” Tony said, reaching out a finger to touch the half finished boat.


Gibbs slapped his hand away. “It’s not the boat I’m showing you.”


Tony glanced around the basement with a bemused look on his face. Gibbs slapped the back of his head.


“It’s nothing like that. It’s something else. Something you need to learn.”


He got out his work tools and showed Tony how to prepare the wood. Then he had Tony fit a plank in place. Finally, he stood behind his new sub and showed him how to sand down the area he’d been working on.


“Slowly…follow the grain of the wood. You need to really feel what you’re working on,” Gibbs advised, covering Tony’s hands with his own and pressing up close behind him.


He felt Tony go still beneath him, and he sensed that same surrender he’d felt back in Dana Morley’s dressing room. He smiled to himself; this sub was such a constant source of surprise. Tony was so complicated, mixed up, and damaged – and yet so perfectly in touch with his own submissive side. There was something very beautiful about that. Gibbs couldn’t understand why all the many tops Tony had been with had never been able to tap into that side of this sub.


“So what am I learning?” Tony asked quietly as they worked.


“You tell me.” Gibbs continued to move Tony’s hands over the wood, pressing against him the entire time, their hands moving together as they sanded down the boat.


“To look inside for contentment instead of outside in meaningless sexual encounters? To take pride in building something from scratch? To lose myself in a hobby other than sex? To – ow! – watch out for splinters?”


Tony turned his head, a grin on his face.


Gibbs grunted. “Nothing can stop the hurting, Tony. Throwing it at random tops who’ve pissed you off won’t solve a damn thing though. You have to learn to live with it. You have to find a way to learn to live with yourself.”


“That what you’ve done?” Tony stopped sanding and turned around. His gaze was questioning.


“Working the boat is a place where I can just be. You need to find your own place, Tony – somewhere you can go to find peace. Sex doesn’t seem to have worked out for you as that place.” Gibbs took the sander from Tony’s hand. “Okay – lesson over for the day. Go back to your place and get changed for an evening out. I’ll pick you up at nine.”


“Evening out where?”


Gibbs grinned. “Clubbing.”


Tony raised an eyebrow, but Gibbs refused to elaborate.


“Uh…we burnt my shoes.” Tony looked down at his bare feet.


“There’s a pair of my boots in the kitchen by the back door – might not be your size, but they’ll get you home.”


Tony nodded and ran off up the stairs, and Gibbs turned back to his boat. Learning to live with yourself – it sounded so easy. What he hadn’t told Tony was how much he struggled with it – every single day.






Tony went into the kitchen and saw the boots lying on the doormat. Beside them was a pair of Gibbs’s shoes – they had mud around the rim and were scuffed. Gibbs had clearly left them out intending to clean them.


Tony reached up and touched his new collar. He didn’t have the words to tell Gibbs how grateful he was to him for taking a chance on him, but he did know a way he could show it.


Tony searched in the cupboard under the sink and found a shoe cleaning kit. It was all Marine-tidy – he’d have expected no less.


He picked up the shoes, sat down at the kitchen table, and removed the mud from the soles, knocking it out onto the newspaper. Then he began polishing them. He had hated polishing shoes at the military academy his father had dumped him in. His housemaster hadn’t been happy unless he could see his own face reflected in their shine, and Tony had taken licks on several occasions for not giving a damn about how shiny his shoes were and saying so. This was different. These were his top’s shoes, and he wanted them to sparkle as if they were new.


You need to find your own place, Tony. Somewhere you can go to find peace…


This was one place he could find peace, by offering up this small service to a top he respected and trusted. This was who he was, deep in his core, and this was the sub he had always tried so hard to hide beneath his many masks.


He couldn’t let any top see this side of himself, because he knew they’d trample over it and take it for granted, instead of seeing that he was offering them his very soul. Then, when they got bored with him, they’d toss him aside, and he wasn’t sure he could bear that. Better to always stay hidden. Better never to let any top glimpse the sub he truly was, deep inside.


Tony lost himself in the task, polishing his new top’s shoes with all the devotion he could put into the task. When he was done he tidied up, put the shoe cleaning kit back in the cupboard, and placed the shoes back on the mat where he’d found them.


Then he got down on his knees and pressed a kiss to the toe of each shiny shoe.


“I love you,” he whispered.






Gibbs got dressed in the same outfit he’d worn to Xtreme. He laughed when he realised that he hadn’t worn these kinds of overtly toppy clothes in years. Yet since Tony DiNozzo had come along this was the third time in as many weeks that he’d had occasion to dress up and explore this side of himself again. He liked the way the clothes felt and resolved not to go back to his old style of dressing. He was rediscovering a side of himself that he’d buried years ago, and it felt good.


“You must be laughing at me right now,” he told Shannon’s photograph. “Feeling good about wearing some damn clothes.”


He could almost hear the sound her laughter and imagined her making a joke at his expense, mocking him. He remembered their first weekend together after he collared her, and how he’d refused to allow her to get dressed. They’d made love over and over again, and each time he’d asked for her complete submission and each time she’d given it.


She was a sub – being submissive during sex gave her pleasure the same way being dominant gave him pleasure. Yet he never mistook that gift as being his to take. It wasn’t. It was always hers to give, and she always gave it so willingly. He never took that for granted. He also never made the mistake of thinking it meant she was anything less than his equal. She could get in his face like nobody else when he was being pig-headed, and she knew how to laugh at him and – more importantly – how to get him to laugh at himself. Damn it, he missed her so much.


He opened his nightstand drawer and took out her bloodstained collar.


“Collared another sub today, Shannon,” he told her. He imagined that she was in the room, trailing one hand lazily over his shoulders as he looked at her collar. “He’s…different. It felt different collaring him to how it did with Abby, or Ducky, or Stan. I don’t know why. He’s pretty mixed up though – gonna be a challenge.”


“Well, you always did enjoy a challenge, Jethro. Remember how you took on my mom?”


“Yeah.” He gave a little chuckle. “I guess if I could handle the mighty Joanne, I can handle Tony DiNozzo, huh?”


He closed the box, replaced it in the nightstand drawer, and then looked around for his shoes. He remembered that they were downstairs – he hadn’t had a chance to clean them after their last outing. Never mind – they’d do for tonight.


He went downstairs into the kitchen and stopped when he saw the clean, gleaming shoes waiting for him on the mat. They had been polished until they sparkled – he’d never seen such shiny shoes. He shook his head, laughing softly to himself as he picked them up and put them on.


“Tony DiNozzo – I hope you never stop surprising me.”


He was about to leave the house when he paused and turned back. He went over to his work jacket hanging from the banister and pulled a pair of latex gloves and an evidence bag out of one of the pockets and took them with him. Then he paused again. There was something else he was going to need this evening – he went back upstairs to his bedroom to get it.


Gibbs pulled up outside Tony’s apartment building half an hour later and watched his new sub emerge from the building. Tony was dressed in a pair of tight indigo jeans, a crimson shirt, and a brown suede jacket – he looked good, but the best thing about his appearance was the collar around his neck. Gibbs liked seeing it there.


Tony got into the car and gave him an appreciative look. “Looking hot again, Boss. So, where are we going?”


“Depends.” Gibbs shrugged. “Where do you think Jake is most likely to be tonight?”


“I figured that might be where we were headed,” Tony said with a little sigh. “Okay, I’ve seen him in two places – one of them is Anon, and the other is a bar called Tough Sub.”


“You go to a bar called Tough Sub?” Gibbs raised an amused eyebrow. “Oh, what the hell am I saying? Of course you do. Who even knew these places existed? Anon, Xtreme, Tough Sub…” He shook his head.


“Aw, you’ve led a sheltered life, Boss,” Tony said with a broad grin.


Gibbs slapped the back of his head for that. “Okay – which one are we headed to?”


Anon,” Tony said. “I think that’s the kind of place Jake likes best. He might like his sex rough, but I don’t think he *really* likes his subs all that tough.”


Anon was a dive – Gibbs could feel that the minute he walked in. The place was a cattle market – people clearly only went there for one thing. The place was heaving, and every now and then some top would break out from the crowd and lead a sub through a doorway out back. He saw couples returning too, hair mussed up, doing up their pants or shirts on their way back in.


“This is not a nice place,” he told Tony.


“Yeah, I know.” Tony sighed.


“Any sign of Jake?” Gibbs glanced around the packed room.


“Nope. He could be out back – or he might not be here tonight.”


“We’ll hang around and see. Go to the bar and buy me a drink.”


“What kind of drink? Beer? Whisky? You look like a bourbon kind of guy to me.”


Gibbs glared at him. “I’m driving, and this is business – not pleasure. So get me a coke.”


“Yes, Boss. Where are you going, Boss?”


“To look for something Jake left behind last time he was here,” Gibbs muttered grimly.


He shoved his way through the crowds to the back exit and pushed open the door. He found himself in a dark, unlit alley, just as Tony had described it.


There were no guarantees that what he was looking for would still be here, but he doubted anyone cleared up this alley very often, judging by the discarded condoms and stink of urine. He walked along the alley until he found what he was looking for. He wasn’t surprised to find that it was exactly as Tony had described it; he knew his sub hadn’t lied to him.


Gibbs gave a grim smile and pulled the latex gloves and evidence bag out of his pocket. He snapped on the gloves, pushed his fingers into the pile of vomit on the ground, and retrieved the sodden collar that was lying underneath. He placed it in the evidence bag and then scooped up some of the cold, stinking vomit for good measure and put that in the evidence bag too. Finally he sealed up the bag, removed the gloves, and tossed them onto what was left of the vomit. He put the evidence bag in his pocket and walked back towards the door – only to find that it couldn’t be opened from the outside. He’d have to go back to the front entrance and push his way through the crowd and into the club all over again.






Tony bought two cokes and stood at the bar, waiting for Gibbs to return. He wondered where the hell his boss had gone and what exactly he was intending to do if Jake did show up this evening. A voice behind him broke into his thoughts.


“Well, if it isn’t Tony. I must say I’m surprised to see you here. Thought you might have learned your lesson last night – or maybe you want another taste of my dick. Is that it, Tony? You enjoyed it so much that you came back for more?”


Tony stiffened, and then, very slowly, he turned.


Jake was standing there with his two friends from the previous night, looking very smug and full of himself.


“Oh lookie!” Jake grinned and pointed at Tony’s neck. “You liked wearing my collar so much that you went out and bought one of your own! Aw, poor ickle sub.”


“I didn’t buy the collar, Jake. It was given to me,” Tony told him evenly. Damn it, where was Gibbs?


“Oh that’s fast work, Tony. Last night you were wearing my collar and sucking my dick, and tonight you’ve miraculously found yourself a new top!” Jake crowed in disbelief. “You’re such a slut. I bet you can’t keep track of all the tops you’ve gone down on your knees for.”


“I told you last night that I already belong to someone, but you didn’t want to listen,” Tony snapped, trying not to let Jake provoke him.


“You’re a lying sack of shit, Tony.” Jake shook his head in mock disapproval. “I think we’re gonna have to go out back and teach you another lesson. Maybe this time I’ll let my friends have a go in you while I watch.”


“You don’t wanna do that, Jake,” Tony replied tightly.


Jake laughed. “Who’s gonna stop me? Your mystery top? Don’t see ‘em around anywhere.”


“Oh, I’m right behind you,” Gibbs said, suddenly emerging out of nowhere. Tony grinned at him over Jake’s shoulder, and Jake whirled around. “You must be Jake,” Gibbs said smoothly. “Tony has told me all about you.”


Tony noticed Jake’s two friends taking a step back – and then another – as they sized Gibbs up. Tony wasn’t surprised; Gibbs looked magnificent. He always carried himself in a toppy way, but Tony realised that he’d only seen a fraction of the man’s true dominant energy before. It was as if Gibbs had been keeping it muted, in case it freaked people out. Now he let it shine and its power was dazzling.


Jake looked Gibbs up and down and clearly came to the same conclusion as his friends – but he didn’t have the luxury of being able to take a step back because Gibbs had him backed up against the bar.


“Who the hell are you?” Jake demanded, pulling himself up straight in what looked like a desperate attempt to hold his own against Gibbs. Tony almost laughed out loud. Nobody out-topped Gibbs. He doubted it was even possible.


“Who the hell am I? Oh, I’ll tell you who I am.” Gibbs reached out, grabbed hold of Jake’s shirt, and pulled him forwards. Jake gave a startled cry and put up his hands to protect himself. Gibbs slapped the side of his head, and Jake gave up all pretence at resistance and went with him.


Gibbs pulled Jake into the centre of the room and stood there, in total silence. He had such presence, and was emitting so much powerful dominant energy, that slowly, one by one, people turned to look at him.


Tony watched, mesmerised, as the entire club fell silent around them. Now everyone was looking at Gibbs – and the hapless Jake.


“Jake here asked me who I am, and I’m going to tell him, but first I’m going to tell you who he is,” Gibbs told the packed bar. “See, Jake is the kind of top who puts his collar on an unwilling sub.”


A low, disapproving murmur went around the club.


“Fuck you!” Jake tried to push his way out of Gibbs’s grasp.


Gibbs pulled him back and slapped him again – harder this time. Tony grinned, enjoying every second of the payback.


“Stay still, Jake – if I have to hit you again it’ll be a punch not a slap,” Gibbs told him. “Take it like a top and remember – don’t hand it out if you can’t take it back.”


Jake turned and looked, imploringly, at his friends, but they avoided his gaze. They were clearly unwilling to take on Gibbs, and Tony didn’t blame them. Gibbs was emanating so much powerful dominant energy that he was as scary as hell. You’d have to be an idiot to take him on.


Gibbs looked around the crowded club. “Last night, Jake put his collar on an unwilling sub, and then he committed a serious sexual assault. I could have had him up on charges, but I thought I’d settle for letting you know what kind of a top he is. I wouldn’t advise any of you to play with him.”


“He’s lying! He’s fucking lying!” Jake yelled, struggling to get away again. Gibbs released his hold on Jake’s shirt and then delivered a firm upper cut to his jaw. There was a loud cracking sound, and Jake went down like a ton of bricks. He lay on his back on the floor, blinking up at Gibbs in shock, nursing his jaw; Tony had a suspicion that it might be broken.


“I did warn you, Jake. Now, you asked me who I am, so let me tell you. My name is Leroy Jethro Gibbs. I’m a federal agent, and, more importantly, I’m Tony DiNozzo’s top. He wears my collar – willingly because, unlike you, I’m not the kind of top who collars an unwilling sub. Talking of which – I have something that belongs to you.”


He reached into his jacket pocket, pulled out an evidence bag, opened it, and dropped a familiar, vomit-stained collar on Jake’s chest. Tony grinned – so that had been what Gibbs was up to when he’d disappeared earlier. Tony watched as Gibbs squeezed the bag, depositing a copious amount of Tony’s vomit from the night before on top of Jake.


Gibbs threw the evidence bag down on top of the pile of vomit and the sodden collar lying on Jake’s chest. “Damn, that stinks – just like the top it belongs to,” Gibbs growled.


Tony laughed out loud at the coup de grace. Gibbs glanced around the shocked, silent room.


“One more thing.” Gibbs went over to Tony and put a hand on his shoulder. “This sub here is called Tony DiNozzo. He’s a federal agent too, and he belongs to me. This collar around his neck is mine, just like his ass. Mess with him, and you mess with me. If anyone lays a finger on him, ever again, I promise you that I will come after you.”


He reached into his pocket and pulled out a leash, and Tony felt his heart skip a beat. He stood very still as Gibbs clipped the leash to the front of his collar. He was leashed. For the first time in his life he had been leashed by a top.


Then, without saying another word, Gibbs turned and began walking towards the door. Tony followed on behind, trying to keep pace. He had no idea how to walk to heel, but he guessed he’d have to learn pretty fast because Gibbs clearly wasn’t going to be giving lessons. The crowd parted silently in front of them as they went, making a path for them.


Tony didn’t care about Jake anymore, or the payback Gibbs had just delivered. All he cared about was the fact that he was walking out of this place on the end of Gibbs’s leash.


And it felt so damn good.






Gibbs walked into work the next morning with a cup of coffee in his hand and a spring in his step, only to be assaulted by Abby the minute he got to his desk.


She threw herself at Gibbs and hugged him tight, then released him and looked around the room. “Where’s Tony? Where is he? I’m so excited! Where is he?” She hopped around like a rabbit on speed.


“He’ll be here soon I expect, Abby. If he’s not, I’ll have his ass.” Gibbs glanced at his watch. Tony wasn’t late yet, but he would be if he didn’t show up in the next few minutes.


“I’m so happy! I am so happy you collared him! It’s what I wanted to happen!” She zoomed off around the room at top speed. Gibbs rolled his eyes. He’d called her and Ducky yesterday to tell them about their new ‘subling’, as Abby had termed it. Abby had been thrilled, and Ducky had been quietly supportive of his decision.


Morrow came down the stairs, looking startled by all the commotion.


“Something going on that I should know about?” he asked Gibbs when he reached his desk.


“As a matter of fact, yes.” Gibbs stood up.


“Hmm…” Morrow gazed at him. “You’re looking different, Jethro. I like the new clothes.”


“They’re old clothes – I just decided to start wearing ‘em again,” Gibbs replied with a shrug.


“As if you didn’t scare people enough before – now I can see the stairwells will be filled with people too terrified to ride in the elevator with you. Ah well, it’ll do them good to get the exercise, I suppose!”


At that moment the elevator door pinged, and Tony stepped into the squad room.


Morrow took one look at the collar around his neck and then looked back at Gibbs, rolling his eyes.


Gibbs spread his arms helplessly. “Don’t say it, Tom.”


“Oh, but I have to.” Morrow leaned in. “I told you so.” He winked. “I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist, Jethro.”


Abby let out a loud scream and threw herself at Tony, almost knocking him over backwards. The entire squad room came to a standstill and watched him lift her off her feet and carry her the rest of the way to his desk. She was babbling the entire time.


“Oh this is SO cool…now when we go out together you’ll be on the end of Gibbs’s leash too – I always hated it before because you looked so left out, but now you’re one of us!”


She reached out and touched his collar fondly. Then she ran her fingers over Tony’s bruised face, looking a lot less happy.


“Tony…I hate that someone did this to you. Gibbs told me something bad had happened to you, but he wouldn’t say what.”


“It’s fine. It doesn’t hurt. I don’t want to talk about it – I want to talk about my new collar! Looks good on me, huh?” Tony gave a grin that stretched from ear to ear. He looked almost as hyper as Abby was right now. “Oh man, you and I are going to have so much fun together now, Abby.” He gave her a sly wink, and Gibbs winced.


“Oh dear, you really are going to have your hands full, Jethro. Are you sure this was a wise move?” Morrow asked, an entirely smug smile on his face.


“I can handle DiNozzo,” Gibbs said firmly.


“Are you sure? Because that particular sub is trouble.”


“Hey – I seem to remember that you and Jess *wanted* me to collar him,” Gibbs pointed out.


“Oh yes, we did!” Morrow laughed. “If nothing else it’s going to be fun watching the world’s strongest top and the world’s naughtiest sub trying to outplay each other.”


“I don’t play, Tom.”


“You might like to tell DiNozzo that then, before that gleam in his eye gets any brighter.” Morrow grinned. “Oh this is going to be interesting. Like having a ringside seat at one of those ridiculous reality TV shows.” He moved his hand like a title across a screen. “When subs and tops go to war there can be only one winner,” he intoned in a deep voice.


Gibbs had to laugh at that. “You really think anyone would bet against me, Tom?”


Morrow shook his head ruefully. “No-one would dare, Jethro – and I don’t think it’ll be a war, either. I think you know exactly how to keep that boy under control – and I think he’s going to enjoy finding out just how far he can push you.”


“Oh, I think Tony already knows what lines not to cross.”


Morrow nodded, his face becoming thoughtful. “Seriously, Jethro – you did a good thing, but you’ll need to watch this one. I never, ever want the director of the FBI to call me baying for his blood again. Understood?”


“Understood, Director.” Gibbs gave a firm nod.


He glanced over to where Tony and Abby were busy psyching each other up into ever greater heights of hysteria. Morrow was right; Tony was going to require a firm hand at all times. Gibbs already knew that though. He’d been mulling it over in the night, and he thought he knew a way of keeping Tony grounded, focussed, and obedient.


Tony needed someone to be invested in his life, or he wouldn’t be. If he knew that Gibbs was serious about his role as Tony’s top, then Gibbs was sure his sub would respond accordingly. Tony had the makings of the best young agent Gibbs had ever worked with – and it was his job to ensure that Tony fulfilled that potential and didn’t screw up along the way. He needed Gibbs to keep him on track.


Gibbs opened his desk drawer, retrieved an item from inside, and put it in his pocket. Then he went over to his two subs.


“Time you were both working,” he said, cutting through their excited chatter.


“Yes, Bossman!” Abby stood up straight and gave him an extravagant salute. He swatted her ass as she bounced cheerfully away, and she glanced back over her shoulder and stuck her tongue out at him. Gibbs rolled his eyes.


“Do not lead her astray, DiNozzo,” he told Tony firmly.


Tony looked at him with wide, innocent eyes. “Me, Boss? Would I?”


“Yes.” Gibbs glared at him.


Tony winced. “Yes, Boss. Sorry, Boss.”


“Don’t apologise,” Gibbs said automatically.


“Right, sign of weakness.” Tony grinned at him. “Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask, Boss, is the not saying sorry thing one of the rules? Or is it just a general guideline? If it is one of the rules, what number is it? Also, does it apply to not saying sorry to the director too? Or how about SecNav? Because it seems to me that saying sorry to SecNav if I ever screw up in front of him might actually be a good thing, like a thing that might help me keep my job, and that he might view it as a sign of…I dunno…politeness rather than weakness. In fact, he might…”


Gibbs sighed. He could see that his new sub needed grounding or he’d end up doing something very stupid indeed before the day was out.


“Tony!” he barked.


Tony blinked. “Boss?”


“With me.”


He put a hand on Tony’s shoulder and felt Tony immediately settling down under his touch. He had already discovered that touch was the key to handling Tony. He just had to find a way to always be touching him, even when he was nowhere near him – and he thought he knew how to do just that.






Tony trotted up the stairs beside Gibbs, talking constantly and making jokes that were, even by his standards, pretty stupid. He was so excited to be back at work, wearing his top’s collar for everyone to see that he was Gibbs’s sub. He could, at last, put the past few weeks behind him. It was over! No more Dana Morley hanging over him. No more Jake. No more bad sex in dirty bars. This collar around his neck, which should have been so restrictive, had somehow freed him. He felt like he was walking on air right now.


“In here.” Gibbs pushed him into the conference room.


“What’s going on, Boss? Have we got a case? Hey, have you told Maureen in HR that I’m your sub now? ‘Cause there’ll be papers to sign – next of kin stuff, that kind of thing.”


“I’ll take care of the paperwork. I’ve got an appointment with Maureen at eleven.”


“You have? Cool! Can I come? Only last time I saw her she gave me a hard time, and I want to see her face when she realises that you collared me because I think she’ll look pissed as hell and…”


He trailed off as Gibbs took a leather strap out of his pocket and placed it on the table.


“Uh, that doesn’t look good, Boss.”


“Depends on your definition of good.” Gibbs smiled at him. Tony didn’t think it was an entirely comforting smile.


“Are you going to spank me, Boss?” Tony asked, glancing at the strap again.




Tony felt his stomach flip. “Did I screw up?”


“No.” Gibbs shook his head.


“Then why…?”


“Do I need a reason to spank my collared sub?” Gibbs demanded.


Tony thought about it. Gibbs was correct; he could spank Tony whenever he liked. It was his right as Tony’s top, for as long as Tony wore his collar. Tony had known that submitting willingly to Gibbs’s discipline was part of the deal when Gibbs had given him the collar, and now he suddenly realised what this was about.


Gibbs’s collar wasn’t a fashion statement, or something for him and Abby to bond over, or a status symbol for him to show off around the Navy Yard. It was a hell of a lot more important than that, and Gibbs wanted to remind him of that fact. Gibbs wanted to show him who he was, what was required of him, and who had authority over him now. His life had changed, and Gibbs was making it damn clear that he’d better get used to that fact.


“Where do you want me, Boss?” Tony asked quietly, wanting to show Gibbs that he understood, and that he was willing to submit to his new top without question.


“Bend over the table.” Gibbs gestured towards it.


Tony undid his belt and pants. He didn’t need to be told that the spanking would take place on his bare skin. It was hardly the first time he’d been ass up in front of a top, but while his own nudity didn’t bother him, the formal conference room setting made it a little unnerving. The fact it was *Gibbs* who was seeing his bare ass also gave him mixed feelings. The flirty sub inside hoped that Gibbs would enjoy the view of his naked ass, but he knew this wasn’t about flirting. Tony slid his pants down his thighs until they were pooled around his ankles, and then he bent over the table.


Gibbs tapped his legs, and Tony widened them. Gibbs pressed a firm hand into the small of his back, and Tony flattened himself against the table. He knew that he was being told, in no uncertain terms, to present himself for discipline in the most submissive way possible, and he filed that away for future reference. He wasn’t surprised that Gibbs was insisting on his total submission; that was precisely what this was about, and Gibbs was hardly the kind of top who’d settle for anything less.


Tony angled his head sideways and gripped the edges of the table with his hands.


“Ready?” Gibbs asked, picking up the strap.


“Yes, Boss,” Tony replied promptly.


He closed his eyes and the next second he heard a whistling sound and then felt a blaze of red heat across his buttocks.


“Shit!” he yelped. Two more strokes fell on his ass, both of them equally hard. Then silence. Tony looked up. Was that it? Just three? It felt more like a very concentrated head-slap than discipline.


Gibbs looked approving. “You can get up, Tony. We’re done for today.”


For today? What the hell did that mean?


“Uh, how often are you gonna…?” Tony got up, gingerly, and pulled his pants back up again.


Gibbs gave him a speculative look. “Every day.”


“Every day?” Tony was aghast. “You’re going to spank me every damn day?”


“You have a problem with that?” Gibbs raised an eyebrow.


Tony stood there, thinking about it. His ass hurt – damn it, he hated that strap already, and he’d only taken three swats from it. They hadn’t been harsh swats though – they’d been firm enough to show Gibbs meant business, but they wouldn’t cause him any problem sitting down or doing his work, and he was getting a little endorphin rush from them already. Gibbs was still standing there, watching him, looking like he was judging Tony’s reaction. Was this a test?


Tony reached up and touched his collar, understanding. Gibbs wanted to remind him, every day, that he was no longer a free agent. He was a collared sub now. Gibbs wanted him to know, every day, that he belonged to him, and to demand, every day, that Tony submit to his authority and discipline. Tony had no doubt at all that it wouldn’t be easy, but if Gibbs was prepared to put the time into it on a daily basis, then that at least showed how committed he was to being Tony’s top and playing a substantial role in his life.


Tony felt the warmth from the spanking start to flow into his belly, much like he felt after a head-slap.


“No, I don’t have a problem with it,” he said quietly.


“Good.” Gibbs reached out, pulled him close, and kissed his forehead. Tony glowed at the loving physical contact. Then Gibbs released him. “Now get to work,” he ordered, no longer the stern, loving top, but now the hard taskmaster of a boss again.


“Yes, Boss!” Tony left the conference room feeling much calmer and less jittery than when he’d entered it. He’d wanted some discipline in his life and someone in his life who would give him the grounding and support he needed, and now he had exactly that.


He walked back to his desk and sat down carefully. His ass gave a little twinge on contact with his chair, but it wasn’t too bad.


He caught sight of the little parcel on his desk, wrapped in black tissue paper, and he glanced over at Gibbs.


“Do you know what this is, Boss?”


“Nope.” Gibbs shook his head. “Doubt it’ll bite though, DiNozzo.”


Tony unwrapped it gingerly – and found a little wooden coffin inside. It had his name etched on the lid. He looked up and saw Abby standing over to one side, watching him.


“Well, the one I gave you before got all smushed up in the burglary, so I wanted to make you another one,” she said.


He swallowed down the lump in his throat. “Thank you,” he said softly.


“Open it!” she urged, and he did as she ordered and laughed at what he found inside. “I didn’t do an Abby doll this time,” she said, coming over to him. “I thought you might like a Tony doll instead!”


The little doll inside was wearing a brown suede jacket, a green shirt, and a pair of dark blue denim jeans – and around its neck was a tiny, black leather collar.


“Thank you, Abby,” he said again, his voice hitching slightly as he spoke.


She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him tight. “It’s great having you onboard, Tony. Just don’t do anything stupid, okay?” She leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “Like fall in love with Gibbs!”


He gave a little laugh, and she released him and then disappeared back to her lab.


Tony glanced over at where Gibbs was working. He could see that his top was wearing the shiny black shoes he’d polished for him and his heart skipped a beat.


Too late for that, Abby.


Gibbs had been very clear about the conditions of taking his collar, and Tony respected them. Knowing himself as he did, he doubted he was ready for the kind of commitment that came from a real, loving relationship with a top in any case. He’d never had a role model to show him how it was done before. All he’d ever seen as a kid were manipulative or abusive relationships and those had been the kind he’d fallen into as an adult too. He didn’t know how the good ones worked – but now, for the first time, he was at least prepared to believe that they existed.


He worked hard all day, wanting to impress his new top, and was rewarded at the end of the day by a “good work, DiNozzo” from Gibbs that made him glow with pride.


After work, Ducky and Abby came up to the squad room, and Gibbs clipped a leash to each of his subs’ collars and took them out for a meal to celebrate Tony’s new status.


Gibbs had chosen an Italian restaurant in his honour, and as he sat down Tony felt the slight sting from the strapping Gibbs had given him earlier in the day, and he gave a little smile. He saw Gibbs glance over at him and catch the smile – and Gibbs’s mouth quirked up at the corners in recognition of what had prompted it. It was their own intimate secret and even hours later it was as if he could still feel Gibbs’s hand on his back and the sting of his strap on his bare skin. It felt good, like it did whenever Gibbs slapped his head or touched him in some other way. It made him feel calm, grounded and happy. Tony didn’t think he’d mind being spanked daily if it made him feel like this.


He watched Gibbs ordering a drink, studying the man intently until he became aware of Abby’s eyes on him. Damn it, if he kept looking at Gibbs like a lovesick teenager then it would be obvious to everyone that he was in love with the man, and he wasn’t going to lay that on Gibbs. Not after all Gibbs had done for him. He wasn’t going to be able to stop looking though, so he needed to find a way to hide his true feelings.


“Hey, Abs!” he called out, in a loud voice. “Don’t you think the bossman is looking hot in those clothes?”


“Tony!” she scolded, as Gibbs turned to glare at him.


“What?” Tony grinned. “You know me – I always have an eye for the hottest tops in the room! And you don’t measure up too badly, Boss – although that redhead over there is serious competition for you.” He pointed to a man with short, spiky red hair seated at the table by the door, having an intimate dinner with his blond submissive.


“Tony does make a good point about your apparel, Jethro,” Ducky said with a chuckle. “You know, you really must give me the number of your tailor, my dear boy.”


Gibbs rolled his eyes, but Tony could see he was enjoying himself. Abby turned to say something to Gibbs, and Tony fell silent. Danger averted. Clearly nobody was going to notice him gazing lovingly at Gibbs as long as he made a point of flirting with every other top around, including Gibbs, at every available opportunity. Hiding in plain sight – people would expect the inveterate flirt to flirt. Nobody would know it was only for real when he flirted with Gibbs.


Maybe one day Gibbs would change his mind about taking another sub to his bed, and when he did, Tony would be here, waiting. He wasn’t in any hurry. He was happier now than he’d ever been before, and he was content to just go with the flow and enjoy whatever this new phase of his life brought.


Tony sat back and watched Ducky telling a story, and Gibbs raising a disbelieving eyebrow, and Abby interrupting to tease Ducky. And as he watched his family laughing, arguing and chatting, he felt something he’d never felt before.


  He felt like he belonged.


The End



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