The Taste of You

By: lila-blue

The Sentinel/NCIS crossover.

Summary: NCIS Agents Gibbs and DiNozzo learn some of the finer points of sentinel/guide behavior while Jim and Blair debate the nature v. nurture of attraction.

Disclaimer: I don’t own anybody. Sadly.


"Agent Gibbs?"

Gibbs started -- the quiet of a very empty building had finally relaxed him enough that his head had stopped pounding. Surprisingly, it had been better here than at his house with its settling joists and leaky kitchen faucet. Even the deep silence of the sawdust-filled basement hadn’t worked its usual magic. In deference to Ducky’s concerns he’d taken a cab. Then he’d signed himself back in and slumped at his desk, letting the darkened space of the deserted office soothe him.

Now his hand automatically dropped toward his weapon.

"Who are you?"

"Jethro." The gray-haired man did not turn in the direction of soft reprimand but kept his gaze locked on the pair before him. "I’m the one who called them."


He hadn’t even been aware that the ME was there, but he realized that the older man had probably been sitting watch over him for some time, worried that whatever was happening would happen again.

"The … seizures you’ve been experiencing. I think these gentlemen can help."

"And they make house calls at three in the morning?"

Ducky coughed softly. "I felt you wouldn’t want this made public. Although after this afternoon—"

Blair Sandburg moved forward only to stop when the -- he forced himself to recognize what the person standing in front of him was -- the sentinel shied back from the intrusion. Despite the other man’s backward motion Jim Ellison moved to his side protectively.

"Easy there, Jim." He put a hand on his partner’s arm, not surprised to find the muscles tensed. "They’re not all Alex Barnes."

The reply he got back was hissed. "You tell yourself that?"

Stroking Jim’s forearm absently, Blair focused his attention on the two men in front of them. "What exactly happened this afternoon?"

"He had what looked like a petite mal," explained the medical examiner, a sweet-faced man whose looks matched the gentle accent that Blair had first heard hesitantly explaining that a "friend" told him once he knew someone studying hyperactive senses. Blair had almost hung up – until the friend they shared turned out to be Jack Kelso, who had a pair of e-tickets to DC ready and waiting at the check-in of the Cascade airport.

When he’d remarked that this must be some "friend" he received from the ex-CIA operative the regular mumbo-jumbo about covert operations and state secrets that Jim was known to launch into if you asked about his Ranger days.

But the man in front of him didn’t seem the secret agent type, unless they’d begun recruiting rumpled science nerds. Now the sentinel -- that was a whole other issue of convergence. Like Jim, his whole bearing screamed ex-military.

"You brought him out of it?"

"No," Ducky shook his head, "actually I think Kate did. Kate Todd. She and another of our agents found him. He’d recovered before I got there."

"Fully recovered?" questioned Blair.

"He had a bit of a headache and seemed slightly disoriented."

Blair nodded. "That happens after a zone-out. If they’re bad enough, Jim gets migraines."

"You?" Gibbs frowned in the direction of the taller man. "You have these things too?"

"Not so much now. Not since Blair … helped me."

"Helped you." The blue eyes narrowed distrustfully. "He helped you."

Without being aware of it, Jim pressed his partner closer to his side.

The motion did not go unnoticed by the ME. He hastily positioned himself between Gibbs and the pair, breaking the staring contest that seemed to be going on between the agent and the taller man – the one Jack had identified as the sentinel.

"You must be tired. While I appreciate your alacrity, there is very little to do at this hour of the morning. Jack had me get a few things." He shuffled in the pockets of his academically tweed and a tad threadbare jacket. "Keycards to Room 132 at the Intercontinental."

Gibbs turned to stare. "Ducky?"

"Called in a few favors, that’s all." The ME smiled enigmatically. Gibbs was well aware of the secret underground of favors that connected Donald Mallard with what seemed to be every other medical examiner in a town of any size across the country. But it had never extended to four-star hotels.

"Where’d you find these guys?"

"A friend. He knew of an anthropologist who’d written -- and revoked -- " he looked at Blair sharply, studying him, "a dissertation on something he called a ‘sentinel’. Happened to mention it one day when we were discussing genetic differences in sensory capacity."


Blair watched Jim prowl the corners of the first floor hotel room and lowered his voice, trying not to further irritate the already antsy sentinel.

"You didn’t have to come, you know."

"Right," snorted Jim, "like I was going to let you near another fruitcake, alone, just because Kelso owed some guy a favor."

"Being a sentinel doesn’t make him a fruitcake, Jim. I mean look at you."

Although, actually, when he did look at him, Jim was on his knees deliberately fraying a corner of the room’s plush carpet.

"Okay, maybe, right now, that wasn’t a good example." He observed the short work his partner was making of the cut pile. "Jim, you’re in his territory so you’re a little … edgy. I think you should just leave the flooring alone and come get into bed."

"He was … looking at you."

"He was looking at both of us, big guy. I’m pretty sure because he thought we were the fruitcakes." Blair patted the bed. "Come on."

His reluctant partner finally made some internal judgment call that the carpeting wasn’t out to get them and shuffled his way over to the bed.

"Geez, you’re tense." After Jim sank on the side of the mattress, Blair kneaded at the stiff shoulder muscles, Jim leaning into the touch, grunting when the sure fingers hit a particularly tight spot.

Rising up, keeping the soothing rhythm going, Blair balanced on his knees and pressed his mouth against Jim’s neck, a warm, glancing pressure of teeth and lips. Lifting his chin slightly to allow full access, Jim groaned deeply and Blair moved up the slightly concave curve of the throat, slowing momentarily to gently caress a tender earlobe and suck the sweet skin delicately.

"Screw the carpet," sighed Jim.

The moist breath hung like warm fog in the contours of his ear, the little dips and folds.

"Forget the carpet, big guy…"

Strong hands urged him to lay back and when he did, a blissfully familiar weight pressed down on him, a bent leg entrapping his own, an arm like a restraining band around his chest, holding him, grounding him.

The beloved voice returned, bathing the skin with soft warmth. "… screw me."


"What is it with sentinels all being these tight-ass military guys?" Blair’s forehead scrunched as he observed Gibbs interact with the pair of agents hovering around his desk. "No, wait. That may have something to do with how the whole sentinel thing is expressed in modern day America. I mean where else would someone with a deep-felt need for consistency go?"

"The question, I think, Chief," corrected Jim, "is – what is it with guides …"

"What?" Blair looked toward the woman who the ME had said successfully brought Gibbs out of his zone the day before, "Kate seems like a perfectly-fit—"

"Not her." Jim lowered his voice in deference to the attention they were drawing from the investigative staff. "Him."

"Him?" echoed Blair, practically gaping at the younger male agent. "DiNozzo? You have, what – a kind of ‘guide sense’ now?"

"Smells like a guide."

"Smells like a guide? Jim, you gotta be kidding me."

Blue eyes looked completely innocent. "I’m not kidding, Chief. It’s like a pheromone-thing."

"So DiNozzo’s horny; I mean, Jim, look at the guy. Just guessing he’s horny isn’t much of a stretch."

"He smells like you, Chief."

Blair snorted. "Well you know I’m horny."

Jim grinned sweetly down at him. "Yes you are, but this is a different scent. It’s a guide … thing."

"A pheromone thing and a guide thing. We have got to work on vocabulary building, big guy. How am I supposed to interpret a ‘thing’."

Jim looked across at the trio of agents. Gibbs’ heart rate had picked up as DiNozzo leaned toward him and the senior agent ever so slightly altered his stance in the younger man’s direction. "Oh, you’ll get it, Chief. It’s them I’m worried about."


"Agent Gibbs. Agent Dinozzo." Blair tried to smile reassuringly. "I think we need to talk … alone."

Kate Todd bristled, moving protectively between them in a move worthy of Jim in one of his particularly defensive moods.

"Easy, Todd," Gibbs fixed the -- what had he called himself? -- the ‘guide’ with a dour look, well aware of the man’s partner posturing aggressively in the periphery of his vision. "Anything you have to say can be said in front of my staff."

"I don’t think so," cautioned Blair.


"I still think you’ve got this wrong. One, Tony is not my … guide. And, two, if anyone here has enhanced senses, it’s DiNozzo."

"Really?" Blair perked up considerably. "What exactly do you mean by ‘enhanced.’"

"Um," Tony shook his head. "My vision is 20/5. My hearing tests up to 30,000 Hz."

"He can pick up perfume from fifty feet away," noted Gibbs.

"Okay, that’s … different, from what Jim and I experienced but we’re only one example. For all I know, both the sentinel and guide having similar morphology but different functions could actually be the norm. I have some tests that can determine the acuity of both your senses."

"Chief." Jim put out a hand to slow his partner. "Think you might want to give them a bit before you start feeding them various concoctions of rancid milk."

Gibbs crossed his arms. "I’m still not sure what this means."

"It means you have a hell of an advantage in the field, man," observed Blair.

"And it’s an advantage if I go ‘out’ every time something gets too intense?"

"Well, no. Zoning is definitely not an advantage, but we can work on that. You can get the zoning down to a bare minimum. That’s where Tony can help. I’d suggest you don’t get too far away from him when you try to use your senses." Blair noticed the look of annoyance on Gibbs’ face. "Not forever, just to start with. I suspect you’re already using him unconsciously to ground."

Gibbs was silent and Tony looked from Gibbs to Blair and back to Gibbs again uncomfortably.

"You are, aren’t you?" pressed Blair. "Jim uses my heartbeat. So, is that what you’re doing? You hear Tony’s heartbeat?"

And the younger agent’s pulse, Jim noticed, had skittered alarmingly with that particular pronouncement.

Gibbs noticed it, too. The arrhythmia captured his attention, sent him reeling unwillingly back to the first time he’d realized he could hear the syncopated beat -- as it came over the cell phone, the erratic pulse almost drowning out Tony’s slurred apologetic report as he staggered toward collapse, drugged and disoriented and, through Gibbs’ own stubborn stupidity, alone in a disserted alleyway. He could hear it skip and speed up, could hear the air leaving Tony’s lungs in a soft grunt as his knees gave way and he collapsed, hard from the sound of it, against what was probably the side of a car. Could hear the shallow breathing and the scraping sound of Tony’s body being dragged across the asphalt until, finally, the beat and the breath of him faded away altogether.


Tony lunged as Gibbs tilted, suddenly boneless, DiNozzo’s arms coming around him just in time to protect Gibbs’ head against his shoulder before his dead weight drove them both to the ground.

"Did he pass out before?" asked Blair worriedly, taking a step towards their side.

"I don’t think so, not like this." DiNozzo nodded toward the phone. "Three-nine-zero-two. It’s Ducky’s extension."

Jim was up and dialing while Blair hunkered down beside the agents. DiNozzo shifted so he could get a hand to the carotid.

"It’s a little fast." He looked at Blair, eyes desperate. Oh yeah, Jim was right. This was definitely the guide. "Does Jim do this?"

Blair swallowed. "If Jim did this, it’d scare the crap out of me."

It wasn’t the most reassuring thing to say, but, guide to guide, it was the most honest.

"I’m sure he’s okay," amended Blair. "This is all new to him. I didn’t meet Jim until he’d been ‘on’ for a while. I know he had an incident, right at the beginning, where he kind of … lost touch for a minute and let a suspect get away. This could be the same kind of thing."

The body under Tony’s hands started to stir and the younger agent began to breathe a little slower, his inhalations unconsciously matching his sentinel’s

"Hey … boss."

Gibbs opened his eyes and scrambled away from the concerned faces above him.

He only muttered one word, but it was an expletive so Tony figured he was all right.


"You told them you’re asking me this."

"They know," said Ducky. That neither Gibbs nor DiNozzo quite approved was not something he felt needed sharing with the young anthropologist.

"Okay, aside from the straight physical stuff that a sentinel has to deal with, there’s an emotional component. In a way, with Jim, that’s the hardest to deal with. And," admitted Blair, "Gibbs seems a lot like Jim – keeping his emotions buried, getting testy over inconsequential things."

"And you think that’s a sentinel trait."

"Oh yeah, definitely. A sentinel is the original control freak. In a way they have to be."

The ME frowned. "But you said Anthony also had somewhat enhanced senses, and perhaps you haven’t been here long enough to notice, but he is the antonym of Jethro."

"Yeah, well, while they’re enhanced, I don’t think Tony’s senses are in any way out of his control. He’s comfortable with them. Gibbs isn’t. Probably can’t be. The brain isn’t really made to process that much information." Blair laid a thick folder in front of the doctor and smiled a little self-consciously. "This is everything I know about sentinel medicine. When you read it, just remember I’m an anthropologist, not an osteopath, okay?"


"So are you planning on telling them?" Jim gestured to the tempting expanse Blair’s exposed skin laid out before him in the Intercontinental’s sheets.

"Tell them what?" mumbled Blair nosing sleepily against Jim’s shoulder until Jim slipped his arm up and Blair nestled contentedly against his side.

"About us."

"Mmmm … why?"

"Well you warned them about zone-outs and drug interactions. You just going to let them stumble into bed together one night without realizing?"

Blair was suddenly wide awake. "Wait, you think this …" he gestured between their bare bodies, "… you think this is just a sentinel thing?"

He would have been even more furious if Jim hadn’t looked genuinely confused. "If I’m a sentinel, doesn’t that make everything I do a sentinel thing?"

"No," declared Blair flatly. "It doesn’t. You think I’m in love with you because I had some genetic imperative that couldn’t be denied?"

"Hey," Jim gently cupped Blair’s chin. "I didn’t mean… I just thought ... I mean you’ve always said …"

"I know, Jim," consoled Blair, hushing the stammering with a finger softly pressed against Jim’s lips, "but I’d like to think this was a Jim-and-Blair thing."

"Well maybe there’s a Gibbs-and-Tony thing, but there’s enough pheromones floating between them to light an orgy."

"You’re mixing your metaphors, Jim," chuckled Blair. "How would you ‘light’ an orgy?"

Jim licked his lips predatorily. "Come over here and I’ll show you."


"Look, Blair, I was a phys ed major, not a –"

"Geek?" finished Blair cheerfully, sipping his beer, watching across the bar to where he’d paired off the two sentinels to … talk. The body posture was still pretty confrontational, but their lips were moving and it wasn’t in a snarl. Still, he wasn’t taking his eyes off them for too long.

"Hey, some of my best friends are geeks," protested Tony.

"I don’t think you have to have a PhD to be a guide. Don’t tell Jim, but the job’s mainly keeping his emotions stable."

"Gibbs doesn’t have emotions. Well, I take that back -- he has one emotion."

"Pissed off? Jim has that one too." Blair looked around like he expected a sentinel to be lurking near enough to overhear. "Actually Jim is *very* emotional. He’s just buried it six feet deep and finished it off with an overlay of concrete."

From his perch Blair watched as Jim and Gibbs’ heads swiveled in exact concert to view the passing statuesque and auburn-haired waitress.

"What is it with the redheads?" questioned Tony, following Sandburg’s line of sight and grimacing.

"Gibbs, too?"

"Married three of them."

"Maybe I should be grateful Jim only slept with them," mused Blair.

Tony took a long pull of his beer. "So you think it’s a sentinel thing?"

"Could be … maybe they’re on the lookout for something … exotic."

"It doesn’t bother you?"

"What? That Jim has an apparently preprogrammed drive to mate with people who have a malfunctioning MC1R gene?"

"So does it work for men, too?" Tony wondered, watching as two pairs of sentinel eyes followed the waitress’ path back across the barroom. "I mean does he get hot for Carrot Top?"

"God, I hope not," snorted Blair before sobering. "There is, however, something Jim thinks I should … warn you about."

"Another … something," finished Tony sounding weary.

"Yeah, well, I know it’s a lot to take in all at once. You’ll be fine; just do what comes – naturally."

"That might be the one thing you don’t want me doing."

"Nah, here I think genetics trumps. You know what to do – instinctively. Just like I did. Which isn’t to say I didn’t screw up some … okay, a lot actually … at least when it came to Jim’s resistance to the more mystical aspects."

"And you think Gibbs is going to be any better?" asked Tony, tipping up his bottle for a final swallow.

"He’ll touch you."

"Hmm?" responded DiNozzo not following the sudden switch in topic.

"He’s going to have a kind of biological imperative to fill his senses with … you. He’ll listen for you. Examine you tacitly. Sniff you – although that one’s a little weird at first. Taste you."

"Taste me?"

"Yeah, possibly. I assume you noticed Jim and I …"

"Can’t keep your hands off each other?" finished Tony.

Slightly discomforted, Blair wrapped his arms around his chest. "I didn’t think it was that obvious."

Tony shook his head. "It’s not. It’s just that when Gibbs gets around you—"

"Jim goes all Blessed Protector?"

"Blessed Protector?" smirked Tony.

"Yeah, it’s from that Chinese legend -- if you save someone’s life they, in turn, have to protect you for the remainder of yours. A sentinel in another sentinel’s territory is a threat so he’s pulling this protector thing, keeping me safe from Gibbs’ possible retribution. Not that I think Gibbs has any interest in any guide except the one he already has."

"Gibbs?" Tony frowned. "His interest in me basically lies in how high I can jump when he yells."

"You’re underestimating your importance by a wide margin." Blair observed, seeing that the older agent had turned toward the bar, aware of the younger man’s discomfort. "How open minded are you, Agent DiNozzo?"


"You open minded enough to see that there’s more than two throwbacks in this room?" Blair’s hands waved in a familiar pattern that, across the way, Jim was pointing out to Gibbs as "lecture mode". "I think a guide is as much a primitive throwback as a sentinel. Our … urges are likewise … strong."

"You want to translate that for me?" asked Tony.

"Sure. Jim used to say I’d hump a table leg. How ‘bout you?"

DiNozzo’s eyes widened bluely before he broke down and laughed. "You are not asking me this."

"So it’s true, then?" presumed Blair.

"I fulfill my … needs," Tony reluctantly assured him.

"All of them?"

Blair caught the quick straying of Tony’s gaze in Gibbs’ direction and turned to find two sets of extra-sensitive eyes locked seriously on both of them.

"Taking the easy way out, huh, big guy?" he observed in a whisper that both sentinels must have heard loud and clear as they both ducked their heads in a unison worthy of synchronized swimmers. "Have your own talk, would you?" Blair instructed, a little more forcefully.

"They heard us." Tony sounded a bit … dazed.

"Not much you can keep from a sentinel. I know some Zen stuff that helps keep your heart rate steady if you’re interested. Good for not wigging them out further when they’re under stress. So," continued Blair, "back to your needs."

"He can hear me," hissed Tony as low as he could manage.

Blair shrugged. "He doesn’t have to hear you. He can smell you."

"What the fuck does that mean?"

"Pheromones. Jim, and I trust him on this one, says you’re both wafting in them." Blair examined the bed of his thumbnail. "Of course he also says the reason he and I … the reason we’re a couple is that a sentinel and guide probably always …" he spread his hands in mute explanation.

"You’re saying ‘cause Gibbs is now a sentinel and I’m supposed to be this guide person that we …we …"

"Not like you haven’t thought of it before." Blair observed gently. He shot a quick cease-and-desist glare at Gibbs who’d tilted his head in what, until now, Blair had always thought was a Jim-specific tip-your-head-and-listen pose. He noticed Jim laying a hand softly on Gibbs’ wrist to distract the man. If Jim wasn’t going to actually say the words, he’d at least he was lending a hand.

"That I want Gibbs was never the question," replied Tony after a long pause. "The problem would be what would Gibbs want with me?"

"Well I don’t think that’s a problem." Blair watched as the older agent rose from the booth and … stalked toward them, Jim hanging back at his right shoulder.

"Uh … Gibbs." Tony swallowed convulsively before managing to paste on a crooked smile.

"Look, why don’t Jim and I go … somewhere else? Right, Jim?"

Jim’s shoulders were still tensely held – the whole invasion-of-territory thing still rearing its ugly head – only relaxing minutely when Blair took his hand.

Still, he worried, looking back at the awkward stances of the two men they’d left behind. "You sure they’re going to be okay,"

"Let nature take its course, Jim." Blair patted Jim’s stiff back. "Let nature take its course."

"So, does this mean you agree that you and me … it’s a … sentinel thing."

Laughing lightly Blair wrapped a hand possessively around Jim’s waist. "Nope. Never. Strictly a Jim and Blair thing."

"But you just told DiNozzo …"

"Jim," Blair explained patiently, "I said whatever I needed to say to make it easier on them."

"So, you’re saying it has nothing to do with Gibbs being a sentinel and DiNozzo being a guide?" teased Jim, bending down to inhale the sweet fragrance of the wild strands of Blair’s hair.

"That’s my story, big guy, and I’m sticking to it."

"So are we taking our ‘thing’ back to the hotel?" inquired Jim.

The arm encircling his waist squeezed lightly. "You want to show me how to light that orgy again?"

"Oh yeah."


There were awkward moments, thought Tony, and then was … this – the grand, honking mother of all awkward moments.

"Hey … boss," he finally managed to squeak through a suddenly Saharan mouth.

"Your heart is racing," observed Gibbs clinically, frowning at the knowledge. "I can … hear it."

Tony ducked his head down. "Sorry."

"Don’t be sorry," Gibbs reached out and cupped Tony’s chin in his palm, gently forcing him to meet his eyes, "just don’t give yourself a heart attack."

"What Blair said, I mean … just because he and Ellison …" DiNozzo faltered, "…just because they were attracted to each other doesn’t mean …"

Gibbs’ gaze, normally one Tony tried not to hold too long, lingered over him, cataloging, observing. Finally, with intense interest, Gibbs fixed on the bottom lip Tony was raking nervously with his teeth. Gibbs’ hand, which had never released its hold, moved its caress tenderly upward. A finger brushed the soft, bruised skin, feeling the heat there.

"He’s right, I want to …" began Gibbs only to stop, too distracted to continue.

He wanted to map the body before him with his own bare skin. Wanted to bring the flavor of him to his tongue and savor it. Wanted to breathe in Tony’s sweet, musky tang.

"Gibbs?" Tony finally queried softly. "Hey, Gibbs."

Gibbs was frozen, one hand still, fingers splayed lightly against Tony’s cheek. The other hand was balled into a fist at his side.

"Fuck," muttered Tony, pulling away from the warm palm. "No." He looked around but Sandburg and Ellison were gone.

"Boss," he hissed, taking the clenched fist into his own hand. "Jethro."

Nothing happened.

"Okay, they told me this. You figure out which sense went haywire and you use one of the others to draw him back." But that was a problem because he had no idea what had set Gibbs off. Could be sight. Could be hearing. Could be touch or scent. Wasn’t taste in all probability…


Okay so it wasn’t taste. That meant taste should … work. Tentatively he brought his fingers to Gibbs’ lips. He sighed a minute later when he realized it was going to take more than that to wake his own private Sleeping Beauty.

"Damn it, Gibbs. Could we have at least picked a gay bar to do this?" Tony looked around but no one had taken any particular notice of the living statue in their midst.

"Fuck, boss. Just don’t … don’t punch me if you come out of this."

Tony carefully maneuvered, tilting his head left, then right until he had the correct angle. Gibbs’ hand, still frozen open, now rested on the crown of his head. Fixing on his destination and closing his eyes, Tony lightly touched his lips to Gibbs’.

And at first nothing happened.

So he lingered, opening his mouth slightly. He ruffled his hand through Gibbs short hair finding the silvering strands surprisingly soft, and pressed the stiff neck slightly forward. He used a bit more force this time, darting the tip of his tongue between unresponsive and cooling lips.

That did it.

His first instinct, when he felt Gibbs’ muscles unclench, was to duck before the man got a good blow in, but instead of being pushed away, he was enveloped in a grip so strong he wasn’t sure he could have broken it if he wanted to. Which he didn’t.

He was, he was sure, seen, felt, heard, tasted and, yes, sniffed. Which was okay by him. He was even pretty sure he’d been scent-marked if the way Gibbs rubbed his check against Tony’s own like a proprietary cat was anything to go by.

It was, in fact, Gibbs who finally drew back enough to look him in the eye.

"So," Tony grinned weakly, looking into eyes still slightly feral, "you think we’re going do this every time you into one of those zones?"

The grin faded as Gibbs considered this a while. "I think--" he began.

He watched as DiNozzo stepped back, the open, happy expression that he’d worn just a moment before being quickly shuttered until he looked nothing like the man Gibbs had just seen standing there.

Gibbs held out his hand, palm up, reaching further when Tony made no move to take it.

"I think," he began again, "that on duty we’ll have to get Ducky to concoct something. Something that reminds me of you. You can’t exactly go around tonguing me at crime scenes." The wary expression still hadn’t changed so Gibbs forcibly gripped his hand around Tony’s.

"Face it," he said with a little grin of his own, "we’d get Ducky all excited and then where would we be? Fifty minutes of some story about the cultural mores of ancient Greece."

"Boss?" whispered DiNozzo.

"We’re off the clock, Tony." Gibbs drew the younger man to him. "You can call me Jethro."

"I…" Tony frowned. "I can’t call you ‘Jethro’, boss."

"Leroy?" ventured Gibbs.

"I don’t think so."


"Uh …"

"Gibbs?" he suggested.

Tony took a deep breath. "Okay, Gibbs I can do."

"Good." Still holding Tony’s hand, Gibbs started toward the door. "’cause I could do you, too. Want to, in fact. Need to. You’re my …"

"…guide," finished Tony.

"That too," confirmed Gibbs.

And Tony found himself pulled outside and thoroughly tasted again.