- Text Size +
Story Notes:
Written for hawk_soaring who gave me the prompt over on Live Journal
Author's Chapter Notes:
Tony goes missing and 6 months later Gibbs spots a very different Tony while on an undercover op to bring down a slavery ring.
Ground Zero

Gibbs settled into a chocolate brown couch and watched the show. Scantily dressed men and women wandered through the plush seating, numbers written on their lower back as they teased and flirted their way through the room. Most of the couches had a single buyers--a middle aged man with a huge paunch on one couch, a beautiful woman with a severe business suit on another. A few couches had couples. But what Gibbs really paid attention to were the slaves.

A woman with a lowered head kept watching through her lashes, the picture of demure shyness, only she kept twisting her hips so that long strings of beads swayed and danced against her dark legs. One of the slaves came and sat next to Gibbs and held up a cigar.

"Want one?" he asked with a cheeky grin that reminded Gibbs painfully of Tony.

"No." Gibbs' tone was clipped, and the man took the hint, giving Gibbs a shrug before he got up and gave his hips a little wiggle. Gibbs caught a look at a rounded ass and the number 23 before the slave went and plopped himself down next to a woman a few couches away. Whatever they did to these slaves, they certainly convinced them to play at being cooperative. Gibbs wondered if Tony had ever given in and twisted his hips in invitation or if he'd died hanging from some chains as he refused to yield. Both thoughts were horror enough to drive Gibbs to solve this case, to work twenty hour days when NCIS and the FBI both understaffed the task force. He didn't need anyone else, though. He'd take revenge for Tony one way or another.

The anger wouldn't allow him to even feign relaxing, and Gibbs got up to prowl the edges of the auction. A few of the slaves stayed in the corners, clearly trying to avoid being seen. A man with large dark eyes practically plastered himself to the wall as Gibbs passed, relaxing only when an older woman with white hair crouched down to touch his hip.

Gibbs was going to find every bastard who ran this place and rip their arms off their bodies. He knew where to hide bodies, after all. Jared Gibson might smile and run his hand over a slave's hip while talking about how some people simply begged to be owned, but Jethro Gibbs was going to gut this place and burn every scrap of it.

Stopping near the stage, Gibbs worked to get his emotions under control. He couldn't lose it now, not when these people were finally trusting him enough to let him into their inner circle. But sadly, Gibbs still hadn't seen anything that he could take to a judge and get a search warrant. All the merchandise played at being willing, and all the organizers had couched their terms carefully enough to avoid legal trouble. Gibbs was starting to hate these people enough to consider forgoing the law and taking his own justice.

"Bad day?" Someone asked. Gibbs turned, and his voice caught in his throat. Tony. Tony stood in front of him, tanned and smiling and wearing a leather harness and collar and very little else.

"Just shopping," Gibbs said with a bland smile. He would get Tony free, but there were too many guards for him to make a scene, especially since he was unarmed.

"Rivero thinks that maybe you're looking for me, Agent Gibbs. After all, no one else is catching your eye." Tony twitched his hips, and Gibbs froze. Looking at the door, Gibbs realized that guards were no longer pretending to watch the crowd, they were watching him. Well, shit.

Zero Minus Six Months

Tony struggled against the restraints. A hand rested against his bare arm, and Tony fell still. –You are in so much shit, buddy,” Tony said with more bravado than he felt. Naked and in five point medical restraints, he didn’t really have many illusions about what was about to happen. The fact that these guys hadn’t blindfolded him was just the cherry on the shit sundae. Right now, Gibbs’ obsessive behavior was his only hope.

–I’m not terribly worried,” the man said with an amused smile. –I’m Phillip Rivero. You may call me master, sir, or Rivero, but if you call me anything else, I will put you over my knee and spank you like a child. I think you’d rather avoid that, but the choice is yours.”

–Have you ever heard of former Gunnery Sergeant, Marine sniper, coffee aficionado and all-around badass Leroy Jethro Gibbs? Because honestly, you’re in more trouble than you know.”

–Oh, I know all about Gibbs,” Rivero said with another of those creepy smiles that made him look like one of those gray-haired grandfathers that invites all the kids to sit on his lap. Worse, his hand kept resting on Tony’s knee, a possessive gesture that Tony would give anything to shake off. –For now, let’s focus on you.”

A shiver went through Tony.

–So, what’s on the menu? Torture? Rape? It takes a man with a pretty small dick and a smaller personality to get his chuckles that way.”

Rivero patted Tony’s bare leg. –Please avoid saying that to our special customers. They really prefer their fantasies to cold, hard psychological truth.”

Customers. Tony’s blood ran cold. Holy shit, what the hell had he fallen into and how fast could Gibbs get him back out again? Okay, if these guys were selling people… seriously, if they were selling people, Tony should not be at the top of the list. Yeah, he kept up on his appearance, but he was in his forties for god’s sake. That was a little long in the tooth for a slave.

–Get him up,” Rivero ordered, and three huge bruisers came toward the bed. Tony pressed his lips together. He wanted to fight the way he wanted to breathe, but now was not the time.

Zero Plus Five Minutes

Gibbs took the seat next to Rivero while calculating his odds of escape. Four guards on the front door, two on the side door with an unknown route to navigate. Six guards along the perimeter of the roomâ€"right now his best change was to play it cool.

Gibbs barely suppressed a growl as Tony slipped to his knees at Rivero’s side. The bastard reached out and stroked Tony’s hair. It was longer than Gibbs remembered.

–Agent Gibbs,” Rivero offered as politely as if they had met for coffee.

–Rivero.” Gibbs limited himself to one word when there were so many more that he wanted to say.

Rivero continued to stoke Tony’s hair, and Tony slowly leaned into the touch, his cheek eventually resting against Rivero’s knee. –You are quite persistent.”

–You’re dead,” Gibbs said. It was a simple truth, and Gibbs planned to use his last breath to make sure it happened.

–We all die, Agent Gibbs. However, you have a problem. You’ve never gotten any of these slave to say they were anything other than volunteers in it for a little consensual fun, have you?”

Gibbs didn’t bother answering.

–Tony will likely say the same thing, won’t you my love.”

–Of course, Rivero,” Tony agreed. Thank god he called the man Rivero because if one ‘master’ came out of Tony’s mouth, Gibbs was going to kill someone.

Rivero chuckled and patted Tony’s cheek affectionately. Gibbs wondered what Tony had endured to make that even possible. He was going to kill Rivero and leave him in so many parts they couldn’t find enough to bury.

–I am glad we finally got to meet, Agent Gibbs. I am aware of your growing discontent at NCIS, and I had hoped we could discuss a job offer. It comes with some interesting perks.” Rivero looked down at Tony, and Tony gazed up, a hint of something close to hope those eyes.

Had Rivero promised to hand over Tony if Gibbs did some job? As much as Gibbs’ stomach turned at the thought, he wouldn’t say ‘no’ outright. He had an obligation to save Tony, and if he had to do a few distasteful things along the way, that was a reasonable price to pay.

–What job?” Gibbs asked.

Rivero looked up at him and smiled. –Oh, I don’t think you’re ready for that Agent Gibbs. If you’re interested in merchandise, Gregory over there is on a two day slavery dealâ€"usual house rules. Normally we don’t allow such short terms, but he’s a timid one.” Rivero gestured toward the man hiding in the shadows. The older woman had left him, and now he looked terrified.

–He’d piss himself if I looked at him,” Gibbs said dryly.

Rivero laughed. He gave a belly laugh that made Gibbs want to gut the man from stem to stern. –That he would Agent Gibbs. That he would. You require someone made of stiffer material.” He patted Tony on the arm. –Run along, Agent Gibbs. Tony and I will wait at my offices. You’ve stalked them often enough that I’m sure you can find your way.”

Zero Minus Five Months, Three Weeks

Tony walked between Dopey and Sneezy. Unfortunately for him, both of them resembled the dwarves only in their stupid, flat faces. Physically, both outweighed him by about fifty pounds, not that it mattered much. These people much have stock in a bondage company given the elaborate ways he’d been tied up and strapped down.

Right now his arms were folded behind his back and a metal bar went up to a thick, padded collar. He couldn’t even struggle without jerking his neck around. The rod went down his back and rested uncomfortably between his butt cheeks before ending right above his knee. It meant that as he walked, his legs constantly brushed it.

No one had raped him yet, but Tony couldn’t figure out any other end game. Dopey and Sneezy led him into a room where Rivero sat behind a large, modern desk. The lights were dimmed and a projector sat on a table between to chairs.

–Ah, so nice to see you looking well, Tony,” Rivero said as he stood up.

–I have to say, you’re not getting five stars out of my review. The staff… not really helpful to guests,” Tony quipped. He expected a punch in return. Hell, he was starting to be bothered by how careful all these people were to not hurt him. This was the strangest kidnapping he’d ever endured, and Tony did not like it. Strange meant unpredictable.

Rivero stood and went to one of the armchairs. Only then did Tony notice the pillows next to it. When his guards went to pull him over, Tony tried to set in his heels, but they had leashes clipped to his collar and he had bare feet on carpet. Carpet burn did not feel good. After a few seconds of fighting, Tony gave in and let himself get pulled to Rivero’s side.

–Kneel,” Rivero ordered, and before Tony could come up with a good quip, one of the dwarf idiots hit the back of his knee and he went down.

–Fuck. You could have waited for me to refuse first,” he complained as he got his other knee under him. Immediately, he figured out the reason for the bar between his legs. It kept him from settling down on his knees and forced him to kneel up.

Rivero held out a hand and one of the guard handed over a leash. The other guard kept the other leash and stood to the side.

Tony took several breaths and prepared himself. Rape was a form of intimidation and torture, no different from a whipping or isolation. They’d left Tony in a dark room for two days right at the beginning. Chained hand and foot and laying in his own filth, Tony had decided right there that rape would be better than that. So when Rivero pulled him close and started running his fingers through Tony’s hair, Tony didn’t even flinch.

–You are a beautiful man, Tony. But you keep waiting for the pain. I don’t plan to hurt you.”

–Right. You kidnapped me out of a desire to take care of me. Of course. Don’t all the kidnappers do that?” Tony asked.

The petting stopped and Rivero reached over to turn on the projector. Tony’s mouth went dry as he looked at the picture.

–Who is this?” Rivero asked, even though he had to know. Why else have a picture of the guy.

Tony tried waiting Rivero out. He’d get tired of his game and send Tony back. He had to. They waited in silence, the man’s picture projected on the wall so he was even larger than life. Tony felt the humiliation and the fear creep up through his stomach, and he pushed it down. He was Tony DiNozzo. DiNozzos are not afraid. Very Special Agents of NCIS definitely do not get scared. They get out of situations even when locked in a fucking dungeon.

Tony felt the sweat break out along his spine.

–John Smith. It’s John Smith, some guy I went to school with.”

–Tell me a story about John Smith,” Rivero ordered.

–Fuck you.”

–Tell me how he strung you up by your underwear. Tell me how it felt, hanging from a flagpole, too weak to defend yourself.”

Tony struggled until the thug’s hand came down on his shoulder, reminding him that he couldn’t get away. He was fucking helpless.

Rivero started running his hands though Tony’s hair again. –Jock Tony DiNozzo. Detective Tony DiNozzo. Agent Tony DiNozzo. Professor Tony DiNardo. They are all splints. Poorly constructed characters used to hide that you broke a long time ago. I don’t need to hurt you Tony. That would be for people who haven’t already broken.”

A new picture appeared on the far wall, and Tony’s whole body broke out in a sweat. He remembered the feel of ripped sheets around his wrists pulling tighter and tighter. A voice taunted him. ‘Go on, cry for your mommy again DiNerdo.’

–Miss David’s research was quite extensive. Next time I may hire her rather than stealing her reports.”

Tony felt the betrayal like a kick in the guts. No, Ziva hadn’t given Rivero the intel, but she’d known. She’d known about him the whole fucking time.

–Now, tell me about young Jake Cottington, here.”

Zero Plus Nine Hours

–I’m telling you, it was Tony.” Gibbs brought his hand down on the desk. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Fornell flinch; however, their bright and shining new Director Shithead didn’t bat an eye.

–Surveillance that you ordered shows Phillip Rivero leaving his home at five pm, driving to Maryland and having dinner with two young women identified as recipients of the Rivero Scholarship for the Arts.”

–They’re wrong. He was there. With Tony.”

–Did you tell Agent DiNozzo that his leave has long since expired and that he needs to report back to work or face dismissal?”

Gibbs saw red. For one second, he really thought he was going to kill the director. In that second, he could have. He could have reached over the desk and popped the man’s head off like an overripe tick he flicked off his leg. Then Fornell was there, pushing him back, holding him back.

–Director. I know you never met DiNutzo, but for all his faults, the man would never have walked away from his duties.”

–Ah, so unlike the dozen other individuals Gibbs humiliated when he hauled them in here, DiNozzo would be the one person Rivero actually kidnapped as opposed to the kinky games he plays with everyone else. I don’t need the sex lives of the rich and famous to land on my desk, and that’s all you two have delivered.”

–The bastard has Tony!” Gibbs snarled.

–Then you should have taken him with you when you left,” the director snarled right back.

–Oh no!” Fornell said as he moved to block Gibbs. –Walk it off, Jethro. Just walk away.”

Gibbs shoved Fornell away, retreating to keep the man’s hands off him. –This isn’t over,” Gibbs threatened.

–This investigation is over,” the director said. –As of right now, you have no funds and no personnel available to work this case. Are we clear, Gibbs?”

Gibbs didn’t bother answering. He walked out.

Zero Minus Two Months, One Week

–Ah, this is your special project.” The dark-haired man walked toward him as though Tony were a dog he was about to pet. Rivero held out his cane to block the approach.

–Hands off, Donnelly. He is special.”

Tony had tensed at the approach of this new man, but he hated himself even more for the way he calmed down as Rivero petted him. The man had never physically hurt him. He’d petted and whispered, and a few times he’d had the thugs put Tony over his knee to deliver a firm spanking and then make Tony repeat back the rules, but he’d never left a mark, never caused Tony real pain, never done anything but fuss and stroke and tell Tony how special he was, and the barriers that Tony depended on were crumbling like a sandwall in a hurricane. Knowing what was happening wasn’t helping him defend against it.

–How long to do you plan to let this play out?”

–As long as needed. My beautiful Tony is worth it, as is the final plan.”

Tony pulled against the leather that kept his arms folded against the small of his back.

–My beautiful slaves were pulled in by the police and soundly humiliated for their sexual preferences. Little Anita needed ridiculous amounts of comforting and reassuring that she wasn’t horrible for choosing to be submissive.”

–You enjoy reassuring your Anita.”

Donnelly dropped into a chair. –True. She is quite charming when she needs me, and after the police finished with her, she needed me time after time after time.” Donnelly wiggled his eyebrows. –She hasn’t stayed in slave persona that long since I bought her.”

–Ah, so that’s why it took you three weeks to complain.”

–And they were a very enjoyable three weeks. The poor girl is going back to work walking bowlegged.” He chuckled. –However, I didn’t expect the investigation to get so close.”

–I expect it will get much closer.” Rivero kept petting Tony, and Tony tried to sort out facts from any fiction they might be feeding him. Disinformation was a pretty basic standard, but Tony knew he’d broken. He knew he was only hanging onto the last remnants of himself as he felt more and more need for Rivero’s attention. Hell, he was surprised Rivero had bothered to gag him because Tony hated how silently obedient he’d become. The gag was almost welcomeâ€"a reminder that he should need to be restrained because he should be fighting. Only he wasn’t.

–How are the special projects going?”

–We have three new acquisitions, and four ready for sale. Is Hanover coming in today?”

Donnelly nodded. –Any he might like?”

–I dislike giving him first choice of the special stock.”

–He pays the best.”

Rivero sighed and didn’t respond. –Come, Tony,” he said helping Tony to his feet before taking the leash in hand.

–You’re never going to give up that boy. The way you dote over him, you look like a teenager in love.”

–Oh, but our Tony is very special, and if his master doesn’t come to claim him, I will be very happy to dote after him until we are both old and crippled. Isn’t that right, Tony?” Rivero turned to him and ran his fingers down Tony’s flank. Tony wanted to recoil in horror, but it felt good. However, the pleasure of being petted didn’t stop him from worrying at the idea that some Master was coming for him. Rivero was a known, and even if he started using Tony sexually, Tony didn’t fear that. He feared having some strange man own him.

–And you’re willing to just give him up?”

Rivero reached behind Tony and pressed at the base of the plug Tony wore during the day. Tony whined and went up onto his toes. –If I planned to keep him, I would have put something more interesting than a plug up here.” Rivero turned and headed for a door Tony had never gone through before.

Rivero had to turn two locks and then pull on the heavy door. Soundproofing. Tony followed, the leash brushing against his chest as he stayed close to Rivero. The gray concrete walls echoed with soft murmurs and footsteps. They went down a flight of stairs and Tony shivered from the chill and damp in the air. Considering Rivero had millions upon billions of dollars, he could afford a dehumidifier and some heaters for his basement, so Tony had to suspect both were intentional.

–Here we go,” Rivero said as he stopped at steel door. The plaque next to it said –Presentation.”

–They’d better appeal this time.” Donnelly sounded unamused.

–Oh, at least one of them is exactly what Hanover wants.” Rivero laughed and reached back to slip an arm around Tony. Tony leaned into the warmth, the soles of his feet already aching with the cold.

Zero Plus Nine Hours, Fifteen Minutes

Gibbs looked around at his team. He felt a need to laugh at the very term. Ziva was on loan to LA for undercover work, McGee moved to whichever team had the hardest electronic trail to follow, and he was left with Lynn Davis, a competent woman if a little cold, and a rotating roster of newbies. Between his own lack of warmth and Davis’ cold front, the newbies rarely lasted long, but apparently it was their duty to train a new generation of NCIS agents who seemed to trip over evidence before noticing it.

Hell, they seemed to see doing a two-week tour on the Gibbs-David train to hell one of the hazings new agents received, like it was some sort of merit badge to survive it.

–Jethro?” Tobias sat on his desk.

–Is your report done?” Gibbs snapped at the young agent whose name he couldn’t even remember.

–No, sir.” The boy-child focused back on his computer and started typing wildly without even looking at his notes. Gibbs sighed.

–Oh, I don’t like that look.”

Gibbs pulled off his NCIS badge and agency-purchased phone. He was reaching for his service weapon when Tobias came around his desk. –Whoa, whoa, let’s think about this for a minute.”

Gibbs looked over, and Davis was looking at him. If he’s seen the confusion and blind faith of McGee or the knowing camaraderie of Ziva or even the amused affection of Tony, he would have stopped. He would have felt some obligation to be the strength they all needed. Instead Davis had a calculating expression, as though already planning the steps to get promoted to his position instead of having to deal with another asshole boss. Like Gibbs.

–I’ve thought about it, Tobias.”

–Well, clearly you haven’t if this is your response.” He leaned closer. –How are you going to get your boy back if you don’t have a team to back you up?”

Gibbs exploded up out of his chair. –My office. Now.” Without waiting to see if Tobias followed, he stormed over to the elevator and slapped the call button. The woman waiting already took the hint and fled.

When the door opened, Gibbs ordered a young agent out before getting in, followed by Tobias. –This isn’t a good idea,” Tobias warned, but Gibbs waiting until the elevator had moved a few feet and then hit the emergency stop.

Alarms went off and the overhead lights flashed.

–Bad idea,” Tobias yelled over the bells.

–I don’t have a team, and that asshole is going to let Tony rot in there.”

–Then turn Timmy loose on his computer records.”

–McGee’s gone through them with a fine-tooth comb. Abby’s gone through them, your analyst has gone through them. If the legal system had a way of getting to Tony, we would have already brought him home.”

–And you think going lone wolf is going to help the situation?”

–I’m not leaving Tony in there.”

–I didn’t say you should!” The alarms suddenly cut off, and Tobias ended up screaming the last word in the relative silence as the elevator started moving down again.

Gibbs slapped his hand over the emergency stop and held it there this time. If the director thought a few alarms would stop him, Gibbs was about to teach the man the meaning of stubborn.

–Oh for God’s sake, Gibbs. Let me work on this from the FBI side.”

–Why, so you can tank your career the way I’ve done mine?” Gibbs demanded. He’d pushed too hard. He knew that. But it wasn’t in his nature to sit back and let criminals go free. He could count on one hand the number of people who truly deserved justice that had slipped past him. Tony understood that. Tony knew how important it had been for Gibbs to not leave grieving families to suffer the horror of knowing the bad guys were still out there. Gibbs didn’t ever want another father or another husband to make the choice he did with Hernandez. Hell, he’d damn near gone to prison for that twenty years after the fact. He wouldn’t let another suffer through the lifelong fear of getting caught.

Even now, Gibbs knew that his every move as an agent got watched and dissected behind the scenes. Hell, if it weren’t for the extra oversight, one or two more men might be in prison on evidence that was enough for Gibbs’ gut, even if it wouldn’t hold up in court without a few creative liberties.

–Hell, Jethro, you could put your career back together if you stopped acting like a bull in a china shop.”

–Not in my nature, Tobias,” Gibbs said with a smile. He knew what he had to do.

–They’ll kill you.”

–If they wanted me dead, they would have done it last night.”

–Fine. Go back and play their game, but wear a wire. We have a new one our tech guys are dying to try out. They insist it’s invisible to counter surveillance.”

–No.” Gibbs refused to explain more than that, even when Tobias practically begged him. He let go of the emergency stop and the elevator went down to the lobby where a maintenance man was waiting with a computer and a disgusted look. Gibbs charged past him and headed for the stairs, Tobias close on his heels.

Zero Minus Two Months, One Week, One Second

Donnelly opened the door, and Rivero followed, one arm still around Tony’s waist. Tony stopped. The room was full of stalls, each with an open front and concrete sides with an drain near the back. In the first stall, a man stood with his hands chained behind him and a thick collar attached to two leashes that went to the sides.

–This is Rocket,” Rivero said. –Say hello, Rocket.” The man glared, and his impressive chest muscles bulged as he strained against the cuffs, but he didn’t say anything. –Oh, that’s right. Rocket had a bad habit of swearing that definitely would have earned him the wrong sorts of attention. I had his vocal cords clipped.”

–Shit.” Donnelly slapped the concrete side of the stall. –He’s a murderer, and if he insulted Hanover enough, the man would have paid through the teeth for him.”

Rivero hooked Tony’s leash to a carabineer attached to the wall. He walked over to Rocket’s side, his gaze on the man’s eyes as he got closer. –Do you hear that, Rocket? Your silence and your ability to stand still have made you unsuitable for the sadist who would have tortured you to death. So very sad.” Rivero ran a hand down Rocket’s side.

The huge man shivered, but he didn’t pull away. Instead he focused his gaze on some spot on the far wall and pressed his lips together in disgust.

–You did that on purpose.”

–Of course I did,” Rivero said with a laugh. –Hanover would run through our entire special stock if we let him, but Carmine adores a well-broken man kneeling between her legs.”

–He’s not well-broken,” Donnelly interrupted.

–Not yet. She can pay up front if she wants him to get the extra attention.”

Rocket’s gaze flicked toward Rivero, and Tony could see the hard fear in them. For the first time in a long time, Tony saw Rivero as the monster he was. But he was a monster who had tried to save this man from being tortured to death. But it did it by breaking him and cutting out his vocal cords. Tony shook. It was too much. His nose flared as he sucked in air as fast as he could.

–If you hadn’t noticed, he’s also a very good match for Zeke’s animals.”

–So, you don’t want Hanover to buy him.”

–I have other merchandise for him to consider.” Rivero patted Rocket on the hip and backed away. He came over and retrieved Tony’s leash without trying to pet him. Tony was grateful because he wasn’t sure what he’d do right now. The others moved on, but Tony took a second to look at Rocket.

The man looked back at him, and he looked weary. He gave Tony a small shrug, and then the leash pulled taut and Tony had to follow Rivero.

–Beautiful. Just beautiful,” Donnelly said reverently. Tony came up behind Rivero and looked at the two women chained to the wall. They were tall and shaped beautifully. Both had their hands strapped behind them like Tony, but in their case, that pushed out full breasts. Each was leashed to one wall, but they stood as close to each other as they could in the center of the large stall. The leashes were short enough that their shoulders didn’t quite touch.

–Hanover’s not getting these two,” Donnelly said fiercely.

–It takes a woman to bring out your protective side, Oren. Really, do you think that anything in their soft curves or nicely obedient tempers is going to attract Hanover? They’ve been well-trained on how to attract the right Master.”

Donnelly narrowed his eyes. –Are you sure no one is going to look for these two?”

–They were drug mules and so strung out they didn’t know their own names for the first three days. They’ve been here for eight months now. Trust me, no one is looking.”

Donnelly glanced over at Tony.

Rivero laughed. –Well in his case, the object was to get certain people to look.”

–I still think this is a bad idea.”

–If the police investigate and get spanked by a judge or simply humiliated by the fact that they can’t find evidence of wrong doing in our little slave auctions, it’s going to make for a solid legal wall we can hide behind as we claim harassment. And face it, Gibbs is being as obnoxious as the profilers predicted.”

Tony’s heart skipped a beat. Gibbs. Gibbs was the cop who had harassed Donnelly’s slave while looking for Tony. Hope crawled up from the dark little place that it had gone to die.

Rivero slipped an arm around Tony’s waist and pulled him close, and for the first time in possibly months, it felt wrong. –Shhh. I know. My beautiful boy misses his Master.” Rivero kissed Tony’s shoulder. –I have a present for you. If only you’d been ready for your Master, I could have presented him with both beautiful gifts, but you’re worth more than all these others put together.” Rivero let his hand roam down over Tony’s side and between his legs. He pressed up against the plug, pushing it deep into Tony and hitting his prostate. Tony whined.

–You’re going to be a hot mess of need before your Master comes, aren’t you?”

Tony looked over. Gibbs? They were calling Gibbs his master? Tony’s stomach dropped. Shit. They weren’t after him. They were never after him. This was one elaborate trap for Gibbs. –Tony screamed behind his gag. Something clicked. He could feel it against his tongue, and then there was a metallic taste.

No. No, he wanted to be angry. However, the emotion faded as the sedative set in. –Shhhh. Such a beautiful present you’re going to be. Tell me, does Gibbs value the law or does he value justice?” Rivero asked. –Because I can give him justice.”

Rivero slipped his arm around Tony and led him to the next stall. A marine stood there, his tattoos running up both arms and thick muscles straining against the chains.

–You fucking dickwad. When I get clear, I’m going to fuck you up so bad you’ll never walk again.” He was only chained on one side, so he rushed at them, and Tony pulled back in fear. Rivero tugged him close and soothed him with murmured compliments that soaked into Tony’s unguarded brain.

–Oh, this is good.” Donnelly took a step forward, and the marine lunged again, the chains around his feet pulling tight as the guy tried to go into a fighting stance, even with his hands chained.

–Do you recognize him, Tony? Do you know his name?” Rivero asked, his hands still petting him.

Tony blinked at the marine turned his hateful stare Tony’s way. Penn. Private Penn. He’d killed three girls during a stop in the Philippines, only NCIS couldn’t get enough evidence to prove it. And a girl had turned up dead in DC, but no matter how hard Tony had worked, he hadn’t been able to get Gibbs any conclusive proof. He could only offer up coincidence after coincidence that served to drive Gibbs farther into his cold fury.

–Hey, you’re the NCIS cop. What the fuck is this?” Penn demanded. –What the fuck is this?”

Tony was starting to develop a few suspicions. He dream-walked through the rest of the tour.

Zero Plus Twenty-Six Hours

Gibbs tried to ignore the two guards at his back. If they shot him, they shot him. He wouldn’t have time to do much about it.

–Where is he?” Gibbs asked.

–Who?” Rivero gave Gibbs an innocent smile, but Gibbs just stared back. –Well, I can see you’re in a foul mood.”

–Ya think?”

Rivero grinned. –I can’t say I’m fond of people who confiscate my property, either. But it will be well cared for.”

Gibbs narrowed his eyes. Even if he were wearing Tobias’ damn wire, the man could claim he was talking about the sidearm Gibbs had surrendered at the front security station. But both of them knew that this had nothing to do with Gibbs’ weapon.

–What do you want?”

–Me? Nothing.”

Gibbs clenched his teeth. He wouldn’t get anywhere by trying to force information out of this man, and if he pushed too hard, the damn guards could throw him out. Gibbs wasn’t leaving without Tony. He wasn’t leaving his second behind while this monster pawed him.

–I was hoping you would join me for a weekend in the country, Gibbs. I want to wine and dine you before offering you a position in our security force. We are remarkably good at attracting brute force,” Rivero nodded at the guards behind Gibbs, –but we are a huge corporation and that often means we need people of a more investigative nature. Computer geeks are easy enough to pick up at MIT, but your skill set is rather unique and rather difficult to come by.”

–I’ve had trouble replacing my… replacing DiNozzo,” Gibbs corrected himself. If this asshole had claimed Tony, Gibbs didn’t need to start a pissing match where Tony was the tree. He’d get close and then kill the bastard without warning, even if that meant having to watch this disgusting monster using his second in command.

Rivero smiled. –No doubt. And of course there will be entertainment there.”

Gibbs swallowed the bile that rose. Standing, he gave the politest nod he was capable of.

–I understand your house is being fumigated. You are more than welcome to spend the rest of the week here. I have a penthouse prepared for you so you don’t need to worry about anything.” Rivero’s smile widened, and Gibbs realized that his bluff was being called already. He either put his head in the noose or he walked away.

Gibbs hadn’t had time to prepare any backup plan other than telling Tobias where he was and resigning from NCIS. If they forced him to do something illegal, Gibbs didn’t want to be carrying the badge.

–I have a friend waiting.”

–You can use the phone upstairs to call,” Rivero countered. Move and countermove.

Gibbs knew what Tony would do. He’d seen Tony put his head in the noose over and over again. With Jeffery White, with Jeanne Benoit and her father, with the dirty ATF officer and a dozen other times Gibbs could name off the top of his head.

–Fine,” Gibbs said, not even pretending this was anything other than coercion.

Rivero smiled. –We will take care of your possessions. I do understand how fond a man can become to something which remains at his side for so long.”

Gibbs headed for the door.

–Show Mr. Gibbs the way to the Sunset Penthouse Suite and make sure he has anything he wants,” Rivero ordered the guards. Gibbs felt the noose tighten. Actually, this felt a lot like being delivered to Paloma Reynosa for execution. At least this time he’d skipped the concussion.

Zero Minus Three Weeks

Tony turned so Rivero would scratch his right shoulder. It itched right under the strap of the harness. Rivero laughed and shook his head, but he obliged, slipping his fingers under the leather and scratching. –You are manipulative.”

–Me?” Tony asked. –Nah. I just ask nicely.”

Rivero reached between Tony’s legs with his foot and pressed on the base of the rather large plug Tony had worked up to. Tony put his head down on the arm of Rivero’s chair and groaned as the damn thing pressed deep into his body and made his cock harden in its harness.

–If your plan is to tease me to death until I beg for sex, I should point out that it’s been almost four years already. I’m pretty damn resilient when it comes to sexual frustration.”

–No doubt you are, my beautiful boy,” Rivero said as he eased up on the plug and started petting the back of Tony’s head. For a time, he alternated between that foot pressing up so that Tony’s need damn near made the world white out and longer and longer periods of rest where the hand stroking his head soothed away those jagged edges.

–Fuck,” Tony whispered. He thought he’d whispered it softly enough, but clearly not.

–Bad Tony.”

When Tony lifted his head, he got a thump on the nose. –Over my knee or soap in the mouth?”

Tony sighed, but fighting wasn’t worth it. Hadn’t Gibbs been the one to teach him to pick his battles? Then again, Gibbs usually said that right before running off to win the fucking war single handed. Tony used his shoulder against the chair to push himself to his feet and then carefully angled his body until he could lower himself stomach down over Rivero’s lap.

–Five hits. Count them.”

The first hit caught Tony right on the base of the plug. The sharp sting of the slap and the hard thrusting of the plug deeper into Tony’s body trapped him between two polar opposites. He had to gasp before finally offering a weak, –One.”

Rivero stroked the round of Tony’s ass for a second. –Good boy.” The next hit caught Tony right on the left cheek, and the sting sizzled all the way down his thigh. –Two.” The matching strike landed on his right side. –Three.”

Tony could feel himself tense up, and Rivero stopped to stroke the hot skin and press on the plug, wiggling it around until Tony was panting. –Doesn’t it feel nice to know that you can get spanked and have all the mistakes go away?” Rivero asked.

Tony wanted to fight, but he’d lost this battle a long time ago, because it did feel good. –Yes,” he admitted.

–We’ll have to train Gibbs up right so he takes care of my beautiful boy,” Rivero said, and then the fourth hit caught Tony right where the right ass cheek ended. Tony yelped, distracted as he’d been by the thought of Gibbs spanking him. It took a pinch from Rivero before Tony got out –Four.”

–You can’t think Gibbs would do this,” Tony objected.

–My profilers tell me that he has been slapping the back of your head out of a barely sublimated need to put you over his knee. Over a decade of self-denial. I do not have it in me.” Rivero let his hands wander down between Tony’s legs, but the touch was so familiar that it didn’t bother Tony anymore. Rivero never took it farther than touching him. He made it perfectly clear that Tony was Gibbs’ property until Gibbs rejected him. Tony figured that gave him a lot of time to get used to the idea of having Rivero as an owner because Gibbs was never going to claim him, not the way Rivero meant.

–He’s not gay.”

–He’s more flexible than you think. Apparently women are for dating and men are for one night stands and a quick fuck.”

–What?” Tony’s world shifted.

Rivero’s hands were back, soothing Tony with gentle strokes across his bound arms. –Don’t worry. If that bastard turns you out after a night, I will be here to pick up my beautiful boy.” Rivero leaned down and kissed the back of Tony’s neck. –But we need to finish here.”

Before Tony could brace himself, Rivero brought down his hand hard. Tony rocked forward, his whole bottom stinging and his ass feeling impossible full as the plug pressed deep into him. The last one was always the hardest, and Tony huffed through the pain.

–Now, now. You know how I like my rituals, Tony,” Rivero scolded him.

–Five, thank you sir for reminding me that I should not swear for trivial matters. Rules are important.” Tony slid off Rivero’s lap and waited for forgiveness at his feet, his head bowed. He wondered if the bit about rules being important were part of his ritual, or something he’d adapted to remind Tony that this whole crazy world considered him propertyâ€"Gibbs’ property.

–Such a beautiful boy.” Rivero stroked Tony’s long hair. He hadn’t had more than a small trim in seven or eight months maybe… it was so hard to keep track of time, and Rivero carefully kept him away from clocks and calendars and windows. –You are forgiven,” he said, and Tony tried to avoid that warm feeling of relief every time Rivero said that. Hell, he figured he obeyed as well as he did out of fear of forgiveness more than fear of punishment. The one was so much harder to endure.

–Gibbs will never go along,” Tony said for about the hundredth time.

–I am starting to wonder if you would prefer to kneel at my feet,” Rivero mused. –No doubt it would be simpler for you. You wouldn’t have to drag all those other Tony’s in with you, and you could be simply my Tony. But you know in your heart that you’ve belonged to him for years. You would have left that cold-hearted bastard otherwise. But like any good slave, you won’t leave your Master until he sells or rejects you.”

–He’ll reject this deal,” Tony said, and he knew Gibbs would. Rejecting Tony would only be a side effect. Tony felt the grief start in the pit of his stomach and start to spread.

Rivero got a finger under Tony’s chin and lifted it. –If he does it’s because he can’t handle the rest, not because he doesn’t want you. He’s turning over heaven and earth looking for his boy,” Rivero said softly, and that comfort cut Tony more deeply than any whip could. –If it happens that way, you will always be my boy. I must admit that my own patience has almost run out because I want you so much. All those masks are gone, and now I can see my pure and perfect Tony and my feet.”


–Enough,” Rivero said firmly. Tony closed his mouth, but he chewed at his lower lip until Rivero reached out and rested a finger against it. –Your masters have business, and we will all make the choices that fit us best. Gibbs will or won’t choose to stay with us. You have no control, so you need to stop trying to make that choice for him. Has he ever changed his mind because you thought he should do something else?”

Rivero waited, and Tony couldn’t escape the parade of memories that marched through. Gibbs never had.

–But you know you can’t go back, Tony. Agent DiNozzo was already cracking and warping. When your characters failed in the past, you ran to a new job and created a new character, but you’ve grown used to relying on Gibbs’ strength. As Gibbs pulled away, you were pulling apart, weren’t you?”

Tony nodded. Rivero had already made him admit all this. He’d acted up, struggled to put a new face on his pain after Jeanne. He’d danced with ruin so many times that Ziva and McGee had turned the radio off rather than listen to him nattering at them anymore. He’d driven them away because he’d lost the knack to create someone new. He had hurt too much to keep being playboy DiNozzo, but he couldn’t pick up the pieces and make himself into anyone else. Maybe he should have left NCIS, but it was too late now.

–There’s nothing wrong with leaning on others. You simply need to choose the right person to lean on.” Rivero petted him. –I really think Gibbs is the right person, and if he can’t step up to the plate, then I will always be here for you. But what should you not do?”

–Go back to my job?” Tony guessed.

–What should you not do to Gibbs?”

–Oh. I shouldn’t try to make his decision for him,” Tony said. Gibbs would do whatever Gibbs would do. Rivero was right about that.

–That’s my boy. Now, how would you like to go to one of the public slave auctions?” Rivero asked.

Tony looked up in surprise. That’s where the free people volunteered to play slave to the rich. Rivero promised anonymity to the owners by having the slaves sign confidentiality clauses that would strip them of everything except a single pair of jeans if they talked, and in return the owners paid large sums to get access to a slave who had only the protections of the house rulesâ€"no threats of death of permanent imprisonment, no lasting marks, no evidence of the play kept by either party, including pictures or videos. Considering what Rivero did on the side with men like Private Penn, it was downright amusing that he set rules for others.

–Well? I would love to show off my beautiful boy,” Rivero said, running his hand over Tony’s cheek.

–That’d be fun. It’d be different, and at this point, anything different is good,” Tony agreed.

Zero Plus Twenty-Nine Hours

Gibbs paced the room. After one rather terse call to Tobias, he’d been left with nothing to do except stew in his own juices and prowl the rooms. They’d been prepared for him. The designer clothes and shoes in the closets were all his size. The bathroom was stocked with his products, the bar had his cheap brand of bourbon. Even the kitchen had familiar foods.

One of the rooms was set up for woodworking, a huge exhaust fan set to blow the dust out over the city. But there were only two ways out… the locked and guarded door or the balcony that led to a thirty story drop straight down to the street.

Gibbs chose to pace between those two exit points.

A chime rang, and Gibbs turned to look at the door. He wasn’t going to open it as if this where his house and he had any choice, so they could either come in or walk away… no difference to him. After a few minutes, the door opened, and a well-dressed man stood there holding the leash for a nearly naked slave.

–Mr. Gibbs? I’m Dr. Smithson. I hoped you would have a few minutes to talk.”

–Not my call. If Rivero let you up, I’m sure that means I’m supposed to listen and play along if I want my man back.”

Smithson nodded. –True enough. This is Rocket.” The slave stepped into the room, but kept his head down and his body behind Smithson. Gibbs eyed the slave. He was built for fightingâ€"wide shoulders and a thick waste that suggested muscles that came from hard work rather than a gym. He could break Smithson in half if he had a mind to.

Gibbs grunted. He wasn’t going to go making more accusations about slavery only to have the slave in question break into tears and accuse him of disrespecting her submissive choices. That had felt nearly as bad as wife number three taking a swing at his head. Actually, wife four had done that too. If this bruiser wanted to kneel for someone every Tuesday and Thursday, it was his choice.

Turning his back to the pair, Gibbs looked out over the city.

–I have been privy to a number of Tony’s psych reviews.”

Gibbs made a mental note to track down every person with access to Tony’s files and interrogate them until someone broke down in tears.

–You must know that his personality has been rather strained lately.”

–Getting captured and enslaved will do that to a man,” Gibbs said dryly.

–If it were that simple, we would not have targeted him,” Smithson said.

Gibbs turned around. –Are we finally going to talk honestly then?”

–We are.”

–Where’s Tony?”

–In a situation that is very precariously balanced depending on what you do.”

–So, I cooperate or he dies.”

Smithson took some time to stroke his slave’s shoulder. The man knelt next to the chair where Smithson sat like some sort of royal cat on a pillow. Gibbs was feeling increasingly violent.

–Tony is in no danger physically. He may be older, but Rivero is quite fond of him. He’s charmed by the idea of a man who was so clearly broken and achingly submissive surviving all this time by hiding behind all those masks.”

Gibbs clenched his teeth. Tony used masks. They all did. It didn’t make him broken or weak.

–Tony has no masks left. He’s open and vulnerable, and certain behavior is expected of you if you want to reclaim him.”

–What? You want me to beat him into submission and then fuck him?” Gibbs asked. He was going to find a way to kill every one of these monsters.

–Rocket, go to Gibbs.”

The slave stood, and Gibbs backed away until he had the window at his back, and then ‘Rocket’ dropped to his knees and put his forehead at Gibbs’ feet. It gave Gibbs a very odd view of Rocket’s bound arms and the strap between his asscheeks that held in what looked like a sizeable plug.

–The thing with slaves is that they’ve given up the right to protect themselves in favor of our protection… or our refusal to provide protection. He will kneel there until he is crippled in pain or until you invite him to stand. Your choice, Gibbs.”

–I’m not playing this game.”

–Then Rocket will suffer. I am sorry for that, but I feel that Rocket is much stronger than Tony and can bear the pain of your mistakes more easily. I shall reward him for it later.” Smithson stood and turned toward the door.

–Take your fucktoy with you,” Gibbs said, using the crudest term he could come up with on short notice. Rocket didn’t even flinch.

–I gave him to you, Gibbs. He will no longer listen to my orders. Call when you’re ready. The guards have my number.” Smithson turned and left Gibbs standing in front of a man who had chosen to prostrate himself on the ground. Fury rolled through Gibbs guts. Someone had forced Tony to do exactly this.

Yes, Gibbs knew Tony was damaged goods. He’d known it from the second he met him in Baltimore. Tony was the same sort of damaged he was. They’d both lost too damn much too damn young. But it didn’t mean that Tony deserved this. But apparently these bastards had found Tony’s weakness and now they twisted and warped him until he’d become a weapon against Gibbs.

Gibbs stepped over Rocket’s head and headed for the bar. He needed a drink.

He couldn’t figure out if he was feeling homicidally protective of Tony or just angry at him for getting himself captured and letting himself be turned into a weapon. –Fuck,” Gibbs swore as he took the whole bottle and retreated to the woodworking room.

Zero Plus Twenty-Nine Hours, Five Minutes.

Tony breathed through his nose and tried to relax. While he appreciated that no person had used him sexually, these training sessions were hard work and the sweat ran down his back.

–You’re tensing up again,” Chase complained. He ran his hands down Tony’s neck, and Tony let the tension ease out of them.

–Good boy. This is a hard skill, but you only have two more sizes after this before you can officially call yourself a champion deep throater. Now breathe in.”

Tony slowly took a breath as the silicone slid deeper into his mouth. It hit the back of his throat, and Tony closed his eyes as he overrode the gag reflex. He didn’t need to panic. Chase was right there. Chase was definitely not going to let him get hurt. Like most of the trainers in the lower level, Chase had been a capture. He’d run drugs, been sold to a man who had used him hard and then returned him. Instead of killing him, Rivero had retrained Chase to take care of the newly captured slaves and train them.

Not only did Chase adore Riveroâ€"damn near worship himâ€"but he also knew Tony was worth a lot. He’d never let Tony get hurt.

But as Tony felt his throat stretch around the silicone, the little tendrils of fear were there.

–Good boy,” Chase encouraged him. –That’s it. Take it down. Keep the throat straight, and you don’t want to stop until you feel the pubes.”

Tony couldn’t really breathe now, but something nudged at his nose, and he opened his eyes to see the base of the cock pressed up against it.

–That a’boy. Hold it. Keep relaxed. Just hold it.” Chase kept a hand on the side of Tony’s throat.

–Isn’t he beautiful?” Rivero’s voice drifted over Tony’s skin, and Tony shivered.

–Yes, master,” Chase agreed. –You should bring me more cops if they’re all this perfect.”

–I’m afraid there’s only one of Tony.” Rivero walked to the side of the room, and Tony rolled his eyes to try and see him. He was developing spots in his vision, but he dug his fingers into this thighs and held position. –You are stunning that way, both ends plugged so tightly. It reminds you that you don’t have a choice, doesn’t it Tony? Doesn’t it feel good to relax into the feel of a cock filling you?” Rivero stepped closer, and Tony’s lungs burned with the need for oxygen.

Rivero ran his fingers through Tony’s hair. –I envy you, sometimes, my beautiful Tony. Submit to your master, and everything else is okay. It felt that way when Gibbs was really taking you in hand, didn’t it? As long as you followed his rules, the world made sense.”

Tony curled his hands into fists, struggling against a need to push the frame away and get the cock out of his mouth. Rivero reached up and pushed the bar holding the cock up until only the tip rested between Tony’s lips. Tony sucked in the air.

–Ready?” Rivero asked. Tony gave a small nod and took the deepest breath he could. Rivero moved the cock down faster than Chase had, and his throat ached at the sudden intrusion.

–Good boy. I think you’re ready to be well and truly fucked, aren’t you?”

Tony looked up. Had Gibbs told Rivero to go to hell? It wasn’t like Tony hadn’t been waiting for it. Rivero walked behind Tony. Tony knelt on a pad, his ass resting on his calves as he tilted his head back to accept the silicone cock down his throat. But now Rivero put his foot under Tony’s plugged ass and started pressing the tip of his toe upward.

Tony tried to moan, but the cock in his throat blocked all sound and the lack of air was making him light headed. Rivero reached around and pulled at a nipple, and Tony closed his eyes. Gibbs had turned them down. He must have. Rivero had never played this hard with him in the past. The little kernel of hope in Tony’s chest died.

Rivero pressed up again, and Tony lost himself to the sensation, to the burning heat in his lungs and the way his head felt too big and his cock was hard and needy. Rivero’s hands stroked over his arm, and Tony looked up at him, silently begging for air.

Rivero slid the cock all the way out, and Tony fell forward onto his hands and knees, coughing and gasping for air.

–My beautiful boy. You can do so much more than you think. You are so strong as long as you have just the tiniest bit of shade to shelter in. Back in position. Let’s try that again. Chase, get my beauty something to drink first.”

–Yes, master.”

Tony pushed himself back up onto his knees and put his hands back where they were supposed to be. –I’m sorry,” he said, tears still in his eyes from the strain of holding the cock so long.

Rivero used a thumb to brush one away. –Never apologize for doing your best.”

Tony shook his head. –It wasn’t my best, sir. I can do better.”

Rivero smiled at him and leaned down to kiss the end of Tony’s nose. –Then we get you something to drink and let you prove it.” Rivero cupped Tony’s face in both hands and started massaging the sore jaw muscle.

Zero Plus Thirty Four Hours.

The need to piss drove Gibbs out of his retreat. He came into the living room meaning to pass through as quickly as possible, but Rocket was still there, still in position, only now he was silently gasping or maybe sobbing. Gibbs frowned and searched for some evidence he’d moved, some new wrinkle in the area rug or a smudge on the glass where he tried to brace himself. Instead there was only Rocket, covered in sweat and clearly in more pain than he could handle.

–You idiot. You could have called out for me,” Gibbs said. He might not want to play these games, but Rocket was a pawn, not one of the pieces Gibbs was actually aiming for.

Rocket didn’t say anything, but when Gibbs got a hand under his arm, he was clearly trying to stand up. His knees had been abused enough that they wouldn’t hold the weight, and Gibbs wasn’t strong enough to carry someone so large. He ended up half carrying and half shoving Rocket at the couch where he collapsed. The fool looked like he was trying to slide off onto the floor when Gibbs caught him.

–Stay there,” he ordered. One look at Rocket’s knees, and he knew the man wasn’t faking anything. They were deeply discolored and swollen. –Shit.” Gibbs would have called for Smithson, but he wasn’t sure the idiot would take care of the man.

Gibbs would have untied him, but the harness was locked on, and Gibbs didn’t have a key.

Gibbs took a quick detour through the bathroom to piss and find ibuprofen before he headed to the kitchen to grab a glass of water and some frozen vegetables. –Prop your feet up here,” Gibbs said, shoving the glass coffee table over.

Rocket get a thready whine as he lifted his legs, and Gibbs dropped a package of vegetables on each. Holding up the pill bottle, Gibbs asked. –Do you want the maximum, all four?”

Rocket nodded.

–More than that?”

After a brief pause he shook his head.

–Are you ever going to talk or have they ordered you to keep silent?” Gibbs shook out the pills into his hand and then looked up. Rocket was just watching him.

–You’re not going to talk, are you?”

Rocket shook his head.

–That makes it a little hard to use a safeword.”

Rocket huffed, but he opened his mouth when Gibbs held up the pain pills. He had dry swallowed them before Gibbs could offer the water. Gibbs still held up the glass, and Rocket drank greedily.

–Sorry about that. I thought…” Gibbs stopped. He hadn’t thought the man stupid enough to kneel the whole time.

Rocket gave an awkward shrug.

–Should I call Smithson?” Gibbs asked. He reached over and adjusted one of the impromptu ice packs to get it over the bruise, and Rocket flinched.

–Shit.” Gibbs moved to sit on the coffee table, and he caught one of Rocket’s legs and started massaging the feeling back into it. Rocket closed his eyes squirmed, probably with the pain of the pins and needles as circulation returned, but he didn’t voice any complaints. –You shouldn’t let yourself get used like this,” Gibbs said. Rocket opened one eye and gave him a look that could only be described as amused.

–There are plenty of BDSM clubs that can give you what you need. These people are dangerous. More than you know.”

Rocket snorted.

–Fine. But these people aren’t as above board as you subs all seem to think.”

Now Rocket was looking at him like he was crazy. For a man who didn’t talk, he said quite a lot.

–You should get out of that harness before your shoulders cramp. I’ll get Smithson.”

Rocket pressed down with his foot to keep Gibbs from standing. He shook his head.

–You don’t want me to get Smithson?”

Rocket shrugged. This game was wearing thin. Gibbs narrowed his eyes. –Your shoulders aren’t going to cramp,” he said slowly.

Rocket gave a wry smile.

–Because you’re bound that tightly all the time?”

Rocket stared at him.

–Did you come here voluntarily?” Gibbs asked, but the cold feeling in his gut already knew the answer. Rocket continued to stare at him.

Zero Plus Three Days, Two Hours.

Gibbs strode through the room and tried to ignore his shadow. Even without the leash, Rocket was always close enough to imagine it there. Gibbs had freed him from the large plug in his ass and had fed and washed him, but he couldn’t free Rocketâ€"not from the harnesses around his body and cock or from the general state of slavery.

And he definitely couldn’t stop the man from kneeling. Gibbs stopped in front of Rivero’s desk, and Rocket went easily to his knees.

–Well, I see you’re enjoying our hospitality,” Rivero said easily.

–You son-of-a-bitch.” Gibbs was vibrating with fury, and if not for the silent threats against Tony, he would have snapped the man’s neck. Rivero stood and walked around the desk to settle himself in one of the matching armchairs in the corner of the room.

–I’m not going to deny that charge. But then, you’re a rather hard man yourself, Gibbs.”

–I don’t turn men into slaves.”

–Really? What do you call prison?” Before Gibbs could answer, Rivero snapped his fingers. –Come, Rocket.”

Rocket rose and went over to stand in front of Rivero. Gibbs clenched his teeth and Rivero ran his hands down Rocket’s legs and over his knees.

–At least there’s no real damage. Smithson was rather nervous. Please, join me, Gibbs. Rocket, I need the red folder on the edge of the desk.” Rivero slapped Rocket on the hip.

Still musing on potentially lethal chokeholds, Gibbs sat in the chair across from Rivero.

–Deliver it to Gibbs, please,” he said when Rocket offered him the file by turning around and holding it in a bound hand.

Rocket nodded and turned to show Gibbs his backside and the folder. Gibbs took it, and Rocket moved to his side and knelt down again. With at least half his attention still on Rivero, Gibbs opened the thick folder. The police reports were from different departments, but every law enforcement agency used similar enough forms to make it easy to navigate.

Andrei Umarov. Gibbs glanced at the picture for a second, blinking before he turned the page. Hired killer for either the Russian or Chechen mafia depending on who you asked or what day you asked it, Umarov had been an enforcer for a group identified as a major mover of guns in Western Europe. He had U.S. citizenship due to an American mother, and since moving to New York, had been arrested sixteen times with no convictions.

Gibbs looked at Rocket, at Andrei Umarov. He tilted the file up so the man could see it. –You?”

Rocket nodded.

Gibbs sighed. This complicated issues. Gibbs knew full well that he had exactly no high moral ground to stand on when it came to vigilantism. He’d killed men, doctored evidence, buried leads and generally discounted the law when it interfered with his perception of justice.

–Now Rocket is raw broken, not fully trained yet. Depending on who purchases him, his life may be harder or easier, but I doubt that he’ll hate it as much as he would have hated prison. Well, I assume that, but actually I don’t much care. He made his choices, and now we have taken those choices away, and a lot of people are alive today who will have much longer lives because that one is off the street.

Gibbs pursed his lips. –He’s pretty silent for someone who hasn’t been fully broken.”

–He had trouble with that rule. We removed his vocal cords.”

Nausea pressed up against the bottom of Gibbs’ throat. –Tony never made a choice that would justify this.”

–No, he didn’t,” Rivero agreed with far more passion than Gibbs expected. –But he fit a profile we spend a lot of time searching for. He was a man already broken who had attached himself to a hunter we found useful.”

–Hunter.” Gibbs echoed the word. He was starting to get a very good idea of what they wanted.

–We want someone with investigative skills that will ensure that the special products we offer are well chosenâ€"people unlikely to be mourned by anyone of note, people who are truly deserving of their fate. The ones who understand they deserve this break so much sweeter.”

Rivero smiled down at Rocket.

–You want me to kidnap people.” Gibbs stomach knotted. He couldn’t do this, not even to save Tony. This was evil.

–It is rather kinder than what you did to Cesar Bernal. That boy could have found a good home here… or a poetically just home, anyway. But instead you wasted the resource.”

–He was a human being, not a resource.”

Rivero smiled again, and Gibbs knew that he was far out on thin ice. This man knew more than he should about Gibbs’ choices, which implied that he’d had every one of Tony’s weaknesses mapped before taking him. The situation was looking worse than Gibbs had even feared.

–Rocket, Mr. Gibbs here arranged for the murder of a young man who had killed several of his own gang in a bid for power. While that would not have attracted Gibbs’ attention, Mr. Bernal also killed a marine and framed him for the murders. When Gibbs could not get enough evidence to charge Mr. Bernal, he released confidential material implicating him to the remaining gang members. Mr. Bernal was later found in a dumpster, tortured and killed. Keeping in mind that young Mr. Bernal killed fewer people than you admitted to before losing your voice, does it seem fair that he condemns me for bringing you to heel while somehow justifies his own actions?”

Gibbs kept his gaze on Rivero. –You’re assuming I don’t regret them.”

–I know you don’t regret them, Mr. Gibbs. I pay my profilers quite well. You see, Tony is the key, but you were the one on our radar. We watch several dozen men with the moral flexibility and skill set to be valuable. If those men develop an exploitable weakness, we take advantage.”

–Let Tony go and we can talk,” Gibbs said. If he had evidence of Tony going free, he’d let these bastards put a bullet in the back of his head, but he wouldn’t be their lapdog.

Rivero waved a hand. –In six months Tony has taken to training well. He’s learned to kneel prettily and to stop hiding his true face. He’s been broken so long that you must have seen it. Perhaps those headslaps were your way of trying to hold the boy together. However, you and I both know what his psychological state is like after six months. A chameleon like Tony, one who has infinite number of ways to deceive himself… he won’t ever go free. If I handed him street clothes and a weapon and pointed him at the door, he would only be confused. He’d grown used to being called a good boy and getting pets and praise and all the attention he has craved for so long. He’ll put himself over my knee and ask for a spanking when he’s broken the rules, you know.”

Years of killing for his country had taught Gibbs to push down his emotions, to shove them aside until some later time when he could take them out and examine them. He needed every ounce of training to avoid killing the bastard.

–I should thank you for drilling into that boy that rules must be followed. Laws and morals are flexible, but the rules are the rules.” Rivero’s smile was as cold as a snake’s.

–I want to see him.”

–I need to make sure you can handle a slave. Tony has never been tortured into complying. He’s been pampered. Show me you can master that skill set and we can talk.” Rivero looked down at Rocket. –No doubt he’ll enjoy it more than what other trainers might offer. Who knows, if you choose to stay, perhaps you would like to use him in the field. He’s been conditioned to believe he’ll be a fucktoy for the rest of his life, so a chance to be someone’s backup might tie his loyalty to you quite effectively.”

–You want me to go into the field with a murderer and trust him at my back?” Gibbs couldn’t even believe the gall of this man.

Rivero leaned forward. –Teach a slave to submit well, and he will die on his knees before he’ll raise a hand against you. You’ve led men. You know what inspires loyalty.” The serious expression slipped away, and Rivero leaned back, the casual pose back in place again. –You’ve certainly inspired it in Tony. I’ve promised him that until you turn down this job, he’s yours. He holds onto that hope like a teddy bear.”

–And if I don’t take the job, you’ll kill us both,” Gibbs said calmly. It was the logical play.

–Oh no, Mr. Gibbs. You’ve already made quite the fool out of yourself with your accusations against me. If you turn down this job, I will let you walk out the front door and never think about you again. If you go public, the results will be revenge enough for me.”

–And Tony?”

Picking up a glass, Rivero stared at the liquid inside. –I have resisted temptation for six months Gibbs. I almost hope you do turn down the job. However, if you accept it, you will bring the organization more money in slave fees than I can justify turning down. So, accept the offer, and you may hunt whatever criminal you want, have any resources you need, and reclaim Tony as a signing bonus. Get Rocket in hand well enough to show you can gentle train a raw broken slave, and I may even throw him in as a bonus.”

Zero Plus Twenty-One Days.

Tony followed Rivero down the hall. The large country estate was full of people, other slaves and owners. These weren’t the contract slaves or the part-time owners who played with slaves. Tony had the feeling more than one of those masters had very little interest in actual dominance. They saw Rivero’s play slavery as a status symbol. How much money could they pay for a beautiful woman who would giggle and kneel at their feet?

Tony wasn’t sure what he thought of them.

He was more confused about why Rivero wasn’t sexually using him. Tony still slept on the floor next to the bed. It’d been weeks since Gibbs had shown up and then disappeared. Tony didn’t blame him. From the moment Tony had figured out the plan, he’d known that Gibbs would never accept the offer, so that should mean that Tony belonged to Rivero now.

Tony couldn’t even summon enough energy to protest the fact. His heart still ached and he might still nurse a weak fantasy or two about Gibbs riding in to save the day, but he was a big boy. He knew the difference between fantasy and reality.

–We have guests, tonight,” Rivero said. He stopped and grabbed Tony’s wrist cuff. Tony didn’t comment until after Rivero had turned him around and locked his wrists behind his back.

–Anyone I know?” Tony asked. He was starting to mentally map the various players. The play Doms stayed at the downtown club and Rivero’s offices downtown. Tony had visited the club several times, the last being on the night he’d seen Gibbs. He had only been to Rivero’s offices once, and while he had loved the sight out the office windows overlooking the city, he rarely got the privilege of windows. It wasn’t one of those things he missed enough to ask for when Rivero was in a generous mood. Tony would rather ask to watch a movie. Curled up between Rivero’s legs, Tony could almost enjoy himself watching a movie.

The serious players would come to Rivero’s house in the country where Tony lived most of the time. The hidden basement held the real slaves and facilities to train them. But Rivero never had parties at the country house. No, his serious parties were here at the even larger country estate. Tony usually travelled in the back of a van that made estimating distances difficult, but he figured them for thirty or forty miles apart. He suspected one or the other was under another name because otherwise people would wonder why he had two lavish homes a half hour distant from each other.

Maybe one of these days Tony would ask about it just to make sure. Sometimes these little details escaped others, but it was how Tony would always find the lead that helped Gibbs crack the case. Tony’s chest ached a little, but he slipped to his knees as another master came up to talk to Rivero.

Hanover. He made all the hairs on the back of Tony’s neck stand up. Tony didn’t know if he would have spotted the sadistic murderer without that scene in the dungeon, but knowing that he bought the fighters, the ones who cursed and railed, that he liked to kill them slowly… it turned Tony’s stomach. Part of him desperately wanted to arrest the man, but Tony wasn’t a cop anymore.

–You have got to be kidding. You brought him here?” Hanover was not happy.

–Are you questioning my judgment?”

–Yes,” Hanover snapped. –I put more money into this venture than anyoneâ€"”

–And you use more of our resources,” Rivero cut him off. –We wouldn’t need the sort of slaves he’s likely to prefer hunting if you didn’t have such an insatiable appetite. So, I suggest that you stay out of his way and thank me for developing a valuable new resource at the cost of considerable time and personal expense.”

–But a cop?”

Tony held his breath. A cop?

–He does have the added bonus of providing a unique perspective.”

–You’ve lost your mind.”

Rivero ran his fingers through Tony’s hair. –I really doubt that anyone else will be inconvenienced by my little schemes. In fact, you will benefit tremendously. So, your two choices are to smile and thank me or get out of my house and see how long you last without a source for that appetite of yours.”

Hanover’s fury was clear in the way he clenched and unclenched his fists. Finally he turned and stormed downstairs.

–He’s trouble,” Tony said softly.

Rivero kept petting him. –Yes. You should definitely warn your master of that particular time bomb.” Rivero started down the stairs and Tony stood and followed. Hope flickered in his stomach, and he tried to tell himself this was another game, another way to break him. Not that Rivero needed more ways because Tony recognized his own damage. Maybe Rivero was right and he’d been this damaged since the night the other boys had tortured him. He’d snuck into the headmaster’s room and called his father, crying and begging to come home. He missed his mother and his body ached from where they’d hit him and tied him down.

His father, drunk as usual, had suggested he man up. Tony’s father hadn’t disowned himâ€"he’d gutted him.

As an adult, Tony realized that his father probably hadn’t been sober enough to even understand. That didn’t earn him any absolution in Tony’s eyes. Tony mourned for the father Anthony DiNozzo pretended to be, but the relationship was gone.

–Ah, Gibbs. So nice to see you here.” Rivero smiled brightly, and Tony was almost afraid to look up, afraid to have the last illusion ripped from him. However, when he finally raised his head, Gibbs sat in one of Rivero’s chair wearing a designer suit that looked so unlike Gibbs that Tony couldn’t quite process the scene in front of him. –I believe you lost something,” Rivero said. Stepping forward, he handed Gibbs the end of Tony’s leash.

Tony blinked, and after a half-second delay, he moved to Gibbs’ side and knelt down.

Gibbs’ hand rested on his shoulder. –Yes, I did. If I lose it again, you’re going to lose a limb.” Gibbs stroked his hand over Tony’s head, and Tony held his breath as if this fantasy might scatter in the wind at one wrong move.

Rivero laughed. –Yes, well, I can’t say I entirely enjoyed it. He is entirely too much temptation. Leave him with me that long again, and I will definitely make better use of him.”

Gibbs didn’t say anything, but he pulled the leash tight enough that Tony was pulled up against Gibbs’ leg. Tony rested his chin on it, and for a second, the leash went slack and Gibbs just stared down. Gibbs slowly wrapped the end of the leash around one hand and started petting Tony with the other.

–You’re dress code is asinine.”

–Are you talking about yourself or your slave?”

–Both,” Gibbs answered.

–Well, when you get home, you may dress however you want. Tony really is quite insightful, and he knows more about the organization than probably even I would guess. He’s a sharp-eyed watcher, that one.”

–I only hire the best,” Gibbs agreed. Tony closed his eyes as relief washed through him, but he didn’t want Gibbs to give up his life. He looked up, prepared to make the hardest statement of his life.

–Gibbs, don’t. I’m fine with Rivero. You don’t have to compromise yourself.”

Gibbs smiled down and let the back of his finger brush against Tony’s cheek. –You’re still trying to look after me, aren’t you DiNozzo? Well, don’t. I have enough regrets about people I couldn’t legally pin down that I don’t mind correcting one or two of those oversights.”

Tony opened his mouth to point out that this organization was too big for anyone to walk away after one or two jobs, but Gibbs rested a thumb on Tony’s lips, and he swallowed his words.

–He works with me, as an investigator.”

–He’s your slave. I don’t care if you work him or chain him to your bed. Personally, I would recommend chaining him to your bed. The boy is a ball of sexual frustration after almost seven months of teasing with no release.”

Seven months. Tony had been here seven months. In his saner estimates, Tony had thought it was something closer to a year, although other times it felt like twenty years.

–If he was truly mine, you’d let me walk out of here with him.”

Rivero sat down on a chair near Gibbs. –In time, Mr. Gibbs, all in good time.”

Tony knew that in the past he would have said something or made some smartass remark to divert attention to himself. That sort of misdirection always gave Gibbs more room to work, to let himself observe and engage that famous gut of his. Tony looked up to see whether that’s what Gibbs wanted now, but the man went back to stroking Tony’s hair.

–Hush, Tony. You know what to do,” Gibbs soothed him. Tony blinked, and wondered if he’d fallen into another universe. Gibbs couldn’t mean. –Good boy,” Gibbs said in a tone that was almost affectionate. Tony never heard that voice unless Gibbs was talking to a baby or a dog. Gibbs didn’t do affection.

The old Tony worried at the edges of this new reality, but that part of him was a small whisper. Settling down on his heels, Tony leaned into Gibbs’ knee and watched the others as they appeared. Carmine came with two slaves, causing a nice little ripple of discontent since the rule seemed to have been one per master. Both men were large tattooed behemoths who must have been football players or marines in another life. Rivero settled the others by claiming one for himself for the night.

Hanover was absent altogether, and Tony catalogued that so he could later brief Gibbs. Donnelly had an older woman with gang tattoos down her face, but she was still a beauty, and she looked at all the other slaves like they were dust under her feet before she settled at Donnelly’s feet. Most of the other slaves were far more cowed than that. The one Rivero had claimed flinched every time someone moved.

Tony mentally bagged and tagged every little fact he could gather as he leaned against Gibbs’ leg and let the fingers in his hair soothe him. Whatever Gibbs did from here, Tony would follow, and along the way, he’d be the best second he could in any way that he could. Second… slave… at Gibbs’ side, the two didn’t seem so very different.
Chapter End Notes:
Written for hawk_soaring who gave me the prompt over on Live Journal
You must login (register) to review.