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Talk is Cheap - Chapter 8

Page history last edited by nate 13 years, 1 month ago


 

Chapter 8

Left alone with Tony, Angel moved to sit beside him on the sofa. “It’s normal to be freaked out by tonight.”

“Uh-huh,” the human made an affirmative noise and slowly turned to look at Angel. He took a deep breath, “Talk about cliché, I gotta tell you, it’s completely spoilt Dracula for me… I mean… he didn’t even say ‘I vont to bite your neck’. What a lousy vampire.” Tony attempted to make light of the situation despite his childhood nightmares.

Angel gave a soft snort of amusement and hoped that Spike wouldn’t hear him mentioning that ‘bloody wanker’.

Tony’s eyes flickered away, he’d had some processing to do, and he’d arrived at an answer he wasn’t sure he was entirely comfortable with all things considered. “You and Spike… you’re… like them, right?” He dared to look back, not sure what he expected to see when he met Angel’s eyes.

“No. Not like them… not as such,” his expression turned serious, “Spike and I, we’re… different.” He didn’t know what to say, he didn’t want to scare the guy off, but at the same time he knew that having a soul wouldn’t mean jack shit to Tony.

“But you are a vampire… I mean, the way the two of you moved and Spike… I’ve never seen anyone run that fast…” Tony tried hard to get his head around the fact. Images flashing in his brain from the vampire that used to fly in his window as a child and bite him. He shuddered.

It was impossible to miss the shudder and the increase in the scent of Tony’s fear. “Yeah, we are. The difference is that we’re on the side of the light now,” Angel explained, trying desparetly to reassure him that they were safe.

The human’s brow furrowed slightly as he parroted back, “Side of the light?”

Angel frowned and his hand rubbed at the back of his neck as he struggled to explain it. “Yeah, we fight against vampires and evil demons to protect humans, even saved the world a few times,” he paused, “we’re not saints and we’ve done our share of bad stuff, but we’re making amends. I know to someone like you who sees the evil that men do to each other it won’t mean much, but we have souls.”

Tony took a breath and stood up, he paced slightly with his arms wrapped defensively around his waste, before looking back at the guy sitting on the sofa. He liked Angel, they’d been getting along really well until they were attacked. He recalled what had happened and how he’d frozen. Spike and Angel had saved their butts, he hadn’t even known things like that really existed. The question was, would he let the fact the guy was a vampire get in the way of getting to know him.

“You have a soul?”

Angel nodded.

“So you’re not going to bite me and drain my blood?” He felt the blood drain from his face just at the very thought of it. At least if he was going to be killed the vampire would be hot.

The vampire shook his head, “No.”

“And Spike too? I mean, I can trust him not to hurt Abby?” Tony asked.

“We… that is, Spike, earned his soul. Mine was more of a curse.” He shrugged, there was no point in lying about it.

Tony stopped pacing and looked at him, studying him carefully. “A curse?”

Angel sat forward resting his elbows on his knees, hands clasped, he looked down at them as he started to talk, “A gypsy curse, more than a hundred years ago, revenge for something I did.”

The younger man just stood looking at him. “I guess I don’t need to ask what you did.”

Angel got to his feet and crossed the few feet to stand in front of Tony. “It’s in the past, but I’ll understand if you can’t deal with that. I like you and it’s been a long time since I felt that way about anyone, but I’ll respect whatever you feel.”

He hadn’t realised that he was a touch taller than the vampire until that moment, not that you could really tell with the hair and everything. He stared into deep soulful eyes that looked like they’d seen more than a life time of torture. Tony tilted his head slightly, trying to draw upon the famous DiNozzo humour to get him out of the awkward situation; he failed though.

“How old are you?” he found himself asking instead, “I mean you said it was over a hundred years ago…”

Angel nodded, seemingly expecting the question, but also quite unsure how to answer it. “Old!” He didn’t want to freak the human out by telling him he’d spent 500 years in a hell dimension and that made calculating how old he was pretty difficult, he was either 254 or 754 and that was a big difference. Then there was the whole debate as to whether he should count the 26 human years as well. Although, he figured if the guy was gonna be freaked out by the age gap then it wouldn’t really matter which figure he quoted. Saying he was old seemed like a good compromise.

“Older than Spike?”

“Yes. And do you know how old Spike is?” Angel asked with a hint of amusement.

“Um… nope.” Tony shrugged and smirked. “That was gonna be my next question.”

The usually broody vampire shook his head and laughed. “You’re an imp. I like you. I was born in 1727 and was turned 26 years later.”

“Well, Abby always says that dating older men is a sign of maturity,” he quipped to hide his surprise.

Angel smiled, encouraged by the words even though he heard the hint of sarcasm and uncertainty in them. “Does that mean you’ll give me a chance?”

Tony looked like he was giving it some intensely serious thought before nodding, “I guess so,” he paused and pointed at Angel, “but if your fangs go anywhere near my neck, all bets are off.”

The vampire gave a soft chuckle. “Promise, no fangs.” Not unless they were invited, anyway.

DiNozzo glanced towards the kitchen, “What do you suppose they’re doing in there?”

“Are you sure you want to know?” Angel told him, not intending to listen in to what was happening behind the closed door but unable to help it.

Tony gave a grin and waggled his eyebrows. “Well, I have a voyeuristic streak.”

The vampire laughed.

“We should maybe, y’know, leave them to it. I’m sure they have plenty to…er… talk about,” Tony said, glancing from the door back to Angel.

“I’ll walk you home,” Angel offered.

“You don’t need to, I can handle myself… well usually, tonight was a shock, y’know?”

The broody one nodded with mock belief. “I’d just like to walk you home, you don’t even need to invite me in. If that’s ok?”

Tony felt his stomach flip at the small smile on the guy’s face and he couldn’t help but return it. “Ok.”

Angel nodded, his smile growing before stepping nearer to the kitchen door, he didn’t want to spoil their mood but… hell Spike had done it to him enough. He spoke in a normal voice, there was no need to shout, he knew his childe would hear him. “I’m walking Tony home, sunrise is at 5am,” he said rather pointedly, before turning to the other man and gesturing towards the front door, “shall we?”

Spike looked towards the kitchen door, pausing in the process of thoroughly kissing Abby’s luscious lips. He gave a small smile and a roll of his eyes. “Righto,” he called out, hearing the sound of retreat from the otherside.

“They’re gone…alone at last, pretty girl.”

Abby chuckled at him. “Does that mean we can stop hiding in the kitchen now?”

“That it does, pet.” Spike smiled and brushed his lips softly against her cheek.

She licked her lips nervously as she looked at him, “I know it’s only technically our first date, but…”

“Want me to take you to bed and ravish you, Sweetness?” He arched his scarred eyebrow.

The dark-haired woman grinned and nodded. “God, yes.”

“God has nothing to do with it,” he said with a smug smirk as he took her hand in his, “which way to the bedroom?”

With a soft chuckle, Abby led him by the hand from the kitchen, back through the living room and through the door in the opposite wall.

Spike stopped and started to laugh. “You really weren’t kidding about the coffin, were you?”

She looked at the casket and then up into laughing blue eyes. “Nope.”

He shook his head and gathered her into his arms. Peppering her face with soft kisses that made her giggle huskily as she wrapped her arms around his waist.

“So,” he started as he leaned back from her but his arms continued to hold her, “how do you want to play it tonight? Some people think first times should be on equal footing, others think you should start as you mean to go on. I’m gonna ravish you, but it’s up to you whether you want me to be the boss tonight.”

She tilted her head cutely to give it some thought, there was plenty of time for games and playing with power exchange, right now she just wanted him to take her to bed and show her a good time. “Equal, for tonight,” she told him, “then we can talk about it more first.”

He nodded, they’d never really spoken about her experiences or expectations of domination, if she was all about the play or if she preferred a more full-time approach. His fingers slid over the velvet bodice of her dress, soft fabric teasing his fingers.

“You look so beautiful,” he told her honestly, before lowering his lips to kiss her bare shoulder. Deft fingers slid up her back and located the ties for her corset, blindly, he unfastened and loosened it, before carefully sliding the dress off her.

He moved back slightly, watching as her milky flesh came into view, lacey black underwear being slowly revealed as the dress descended and leaving her in just her strapless bra and knickers as the dress pooled around her feet. Spike slid his hands under her arms and lifted her, pleased when her legs and arms wrapped instinctively around him.

Spike smiled and carried her to the bed before lowering her slowly onto it, purring, “So perfect.”

The bleach-blond’s lips claimed hers again and his fingers skimmed over silky skin and lace underwear, her arms wrapped around his neck and anchored him there. He released her only long enough to pick the dress up and drape it over the coffin and then remove his suit, laying it beside the dress. Even in the expensive clothes he was still commando underneath and his impressive erection didn’t hesitate to swing up and take its first proper look at her.

Abby’s eyes fell on his hard uncut cock and she smiled. “You weren’t lying,” she said with a thrill of pleasure at the size of him. This was going to be one hell of a ride. “I’ve never had sex with a vampire before, do we need condoms?”

Spike automatically started to tell her no, but he remembered Connor and decided that if the powers could play their little games with Angel, it was unlikely he would be exempt. “Probably best to, yeah. Not ready to breed our own superhuman yet.”

She looked at him, just knowing there was a story there; there usually was with Spike, especially now she knew he was for real. Abby chuckled and waved the conversation away for later.

She held her hand out for him and he took it, kissing it delicately while his blue eyes held her stunning hazel ones. Still holding her hand he moved and slowly climbed back onto the bed with her. Kissing her hand, he kissed his way along her arm, paying special attention to the tattoos and flickering his tongue in the crook of her elbow before continuing all the way up. Spike ran his tongue over her shoulder and grazed blunt teeth over the cords of muscle there.

Abby shuddered under the tease of his lips and tongue, when his teeth joined in it was enough to make her moan. “You’re turning me on so bad,” she told him huskily.

“Good,” he grinned, “that’s the idea.”

The blond vampire claimed her lips suddenly and kissed her hard and intense, his tongue thrusting into her mouth and running over her teeth. He captured her moan as his hands skimmed over her body. When he pulled back she was breathless and looking at him with lust-darkened eyes. Spike smiled at her, almost cockily, and nimble fingers gave a quick flick and unhooked the fastening on her front-opening bra.

She gave him a grin and almost applauded his skill but the thoughts were swept away as his mouth and fingers descended on her breasts. The man was 127 years old, and he’d certainly learnt his way around a woman’s body in that time. She arched as he played with her nipples, teasing and stimulating them. His tongue flickering over one while his fingers pinched the other, before he captured the first in his mouth and sucked, grazing with his teeth as his hands provided a pleasant distraction.

When she was moaning loudly he switched to the other side, his free hand slid down her body and between her thighs. He could feel her dampness through her panties and smiled around the tender nipple that he was nibbling on. Her back arched beautifully, she was quite the picture. True to her word though, she wasn’t letting him top tonight and her hands clutched at his back, nails trailing red welts on his pale flesh. It made him hiss in pleasure and his cock pulsed in interest. Sex with her would be a lot of fun.

He looked up at her from his position where he was worshipping her perfect breasts, a wicked glint in his eyes, he shifted his body and gracefully began to move further down her body. He was fully intent in making her scream with pleasure. His hand trailed behind, pausing a moment longer to pinch and play with pebbled nipples and the metal that ran through them. When his hand finally joined the other, he concentrated on removing the lace barrier between him and his goal, quickly revealing her shaved pussy and the piercings that glinted with her juices.

Spike looked up at her along her body and told her, “You’re every bit as stunning as I imagined.”

She smiled happily at him and her breath hitch as he caught her by surprise, leaning forward and swiping at her pierced clit with his exceptionally long tongue.

“Oh god, Spike.”

He smirked and repeated the action, just the very tip of his tongue teasing the ring that ran through her clit. It made her shiver deliciously and he just knew he could so easily get used to her responsiveness. He was eventually going to do all the things to her that they’d talked about, but right now, he was going to make her weak with pleasure.

The blond leaned in further and his teeth caught hold of the metal and tugged lightly on it with a soft growl.

Abby moaned and her hands fluttered to play in his hair not caring about the product on it.

Satisfied with himself he released the metal and focused on the flesh that it was pierced through, agile tongue teasing and tormenting the clit and its pierced hood. When he had her gasping and moaning almost continuously, he slipped his tongue along her slit to dip into her opening, wiggling it just inside suggestively before thrusting it in and out in a parody of what he would do with his cock; tongue fucking her pussy.

“Spike, yes… oh god, your tongue is wicked. You’re…fuck… a very…wicked man,” she panted out.

He chuckled and caressed her thighs with his hands as he nibbled on her labia, sucking and nipping lightly, making her twitch and jump. He took her by surprise as he slid a finger into her pussy and crooked it, hitting her G-spot on the first try.

Abby cried out, her back arching and her legs pulling up to frame him on either side. Her fingers flexed in his hair as she urged him on, “More….don’t stop.”

He added a second finger and his mouth returned to nibbling and punishingly licking at her clit until she was shaking with impending release.

She couldn’t remember ever squirting before. She realised, as her abdomen tensed and her insides clenched with the intense feeling of pleasure that exploded from her pussy, that she was capable of it with the right stimulation.

Spike felt her cum, there was no mistaking it as she reached orgasm, her pussy walls gripped his fingers tight and he felt a gush of her juices over his fingers and tongue. He hummed in approval, continuing while she rode it out before pulling back.

The brunette collapsed back on the bed gasping for air, her body giving the occasional shudder. “Wow!” her breathless voice managed. “I think you broke me.”

“Oh, pet, we’re only getting started.”

Abby whimpered softly, he was like this now, what would he be like when he was in charge.

He kissed his way up to nuzzle at her neck and then kiss her lips, hands lightly caressing her to ease her fevered flesh.

Her breathing finally calmed and with a glint of mischief in her eyes, she flipped him over, knowing full well that she wouldn’t have been able to if he didn’t want her to. “My turn,” she declared and nipped at his chin.

She went for his nipples first, being perhaps a little rougher than she would be with any normal man. Fingernails sharply dug into his sides as she worked on first one nipple then the other, she sucked hard and then bit down with her teeth as she continued to suck and nibble freely, grinding the tiny nubs between her incisors.

Spike growled and bucked his hips, she was a goddess with claws and he wondered if the reason that she was a sub was because the universe wouldn’t be able to handle her in a dominant role. His nipples stung from her attentions feeling bruised and hypersensitive, she obviously knew what she was doing as she turned her head and let loose locks of silky hair tickle over them. He arched his back and sank his hands into her thick hair.

“Minx!” he purred playfully, and added “I like that,” with an audible grin.

She chuckled and kissed her way down his torso, her fingers replaced her mouth on his nipples and treated him to the same pinching that he had hers. She let her nails bite in just a little and he thought he might cum just from that as his cock flexed eagerly.

Abby gave another twinkling smile as she lowered her mouth to kiss his hard cock, it leapt and tapped her chin. She grinned and finally relinquished his nipples in favour of holding his eight inch dick steady. It was only right that he had such a big dick to go with that over-long and agile tongue. One hand wrapped around his shaft, the other caressed his thigh as she flickered her tongue over the tip, the skin pulled back to almost fully reveal the head. Her tongue teased his slit before she covered him with her lips and sucked almost delicately at first.

Spike moaned and tightened his grip. “Yeah, pretty girl, suck me… make me cum in that pretty mouth of yours.”

She didn’t need further encouragement, opening her mouth and taking more of his cock inside, sucking harder and rubbing her tongue against the underside. Abby took him in until she felt the head hit the back of her throat and pulled back. Her tongue intensely attacked the slit again before she licked her way down his shaft and nibbled her way back up. The scrape of her teeth making him arch and groan loudly.

“Yeah, that’s it, like that…” he encouraged.

Her eyes sparkled and she nipped and nibbled sharply, gratified when Spike arched and bucked, his hands clenching in her hair and gripping hard. She reached the head and nipped at the skin that was pulled back before taking it into her mouth and sucking hard. The next time she slid her mouth down the length, she allowed her teeth to drag on the sensitive flesh. The head hit the back of her throat and instead of pulling back she swallowed and pushed past her gag reflex.

“Fuck!”

Abby couldn’t grin with her mouth full, but she hummed happily and swallowed repeatedly around the cock lodged in her throat. Her hand moved and played with his balls, gripping them tightly and rolling them in their sack. The sounds coming from the vampire thrilled her and she could tell from the way his muscles were twitching that he was getting close. She pulled back and set up a bobbing motion, sucking as she pulled back and swallowing as she sank down, not shielding her teeth since it seemed to add to the sensation for him.

Spike’s face shifted, eyes golden as he arched and howled, shooting his spunk into the enthusiastic mouth.

She swallowed as much as she could, some of his cum escaping and running from the corner of her mouth.

He moaned happily and used his grip on her hair to pull her upwards, forcing his features back to human as he did. He dove right in to lick the sticky cream from her chin and lips before she could. Spike covered her mouth with his and plunged his tongue into her mouth and devoured it. He flipped her onto her back and covered her with his body. His cock staying half hard despite his orgasm. He rubbed himself against her thigh as he kissed her thoroughly, humming at their mingled tastes.

Abby’s hands gripped at him, laying down more of her marks, half-moon nail impressions. She parted her thighs inviting him to move between them but he seemed more than happy to hump her thigh. Apparently, it wasn’t possible for them to be equal, he would always be in charge.

“Condoms are in the nightstand,” she said breathily when he momentarily broke the kiss.

Spike gave her a feral smile and reached for the drawer.

She was obviously the sort of girl who believed in being prepared, as the opened drawer revealed several packets of different kinds of condoms. He gave her a teasing smirk and grabbed a new packet.

“Think we can get through them all, pet?” he winked.

Abby shivered and gave a husky chuckle. “We could have a lot of fun trying. But if you break me, you’ll have to explain it to my boss.”

He laughed. Ripped open the foil packet and slowly rolled the condom down his shaft. It wasn’t an act he had a lot of practice at, vampires didn’t tend to bother with them.

Satisfied that it was on right he leant over her, holding himself up with his arms and peering down at her pretty face framed with raven-coloured locks. He smiled and dipped to kiss her softly in contrast to their earlier frenzied kisses. His tongue licked gently at her lip before tracing it with the tip. He pulled his tongue back into his mouth and pressed his own lips against hers softly, almost chaste. “So, ladies choice, how do you want it?” he asked as he stretched over her, “What’s your favourite position?”

“All of them,” she told him with a grin, her heart beating unnaturally fast in her chest and her stomach feeling all smooshy inside.

Spike grinned wolfishly. “Well alright then,” he said with anticipation.

His hand moved to slide down her side, over her hip and down to her thigh, he pushed it up until it was doubled back against her chest. Holding himself up, braced on just one strong arm. His blue eyes staring straight into her hazel ones he sunk into her heat. The blond menace moaned.

Abby gasped, a mixture of pleasure and pain, arching slightly, her hands coming up to grip at him. “Oh god, you feel so huge,” she told him.

Pale lips smiled and he slowly eased back out, never once breaking their eye contact. Spike set up a long slow rhythm as his hips undulated making his cock move deep and slow inside her.

She felt like she was going to die from the pleasure, he felt so good and looked so hot. Abby could swear that staring into his eyes like that, she could actually see his soul.

“So, good,” she said breathlessly, letting him dictate the pace for now, content just to lie still and feel him moving against and inside her.

“You’re fantastic, sweetness, feel so good around me, I want it to last forever,” he told her honestly.

Her reply was a deep moan that felt like it had been dragged all the way up from her sex. Everytime he pressed all the way in she could feel the pressure on her piercings.

“More, please, deeper,” she directed.

He gave her a toothy smile and changed his position, pushing her other knee up to her chest to match the first one. The angle of penetration changed and his hips started to move more noticeably, becoming more of a thrust than an undulation although the pace was still slow his cock was driving harder and deeper.

Still he held her gaze and hazel eyes couldn’t bring themselves to break the contact.

“Yesss!” Abby hissed loudly as he hit something deep inside her hard. Then she grunted as he did it again and again. “Oh god!”

The slow pace was almost torturous but at the same time it was magnificent. She never wanted it to stop. The night was young and with his apparent vampire stamina she was looking forward to many goes around. She was going to be so wonderfully sore the next day.

“Look so good like that, baby girl, writhing underneath me, gasping for breath. Want to fuck you like this all night,” Spike told her, speaking dirty words without once breaking the connection that was thrumming between them as they looked into each others’ eyes.

She tried to rock up to meet his thrusts but couldn’t get any leverage. It seemed to make him even more determined to keep the thrusts slow and deliberate and she whined in frustrated need.

Spike loved the sound, couldn’t wait to play with her and cause her to make more of those sounds. He grinned at her and leaned forward to place a kiss on her nose. He caught her off guard by flipping them over so she was on top.

Abby gave a yelp as she suddenly found herself lying on top of him. Pushing up until she was sitting on him, his cock buried deep inside her. A slow grin slowly built on her face and she started to rock her hips, faster than his pace had been before.

He moaned, his hands sliding up her body to cup her breasts, playing with the piercings. Spike tugged lightly before twisting them.

Abby arched her back and cried out. The rocking became a slow moving up and down of his shaft. Slowly increasing her pace, riding his full length up and down.

“Oh yeah, Abs,” he rumbled, “Ride my cock.”

She wasn’t about to go against his suggestion, his eyes still holding hers even through the pleasure that was coursing through the both of them. She was burning up inside, shuddering with every thrust she made down onto him.

His hips came up to meet her, increasing the depth and hardness of the penetration. Slender hands went to her hips as he slowly sat up, his feet moving under him and his arms encircled her, without breaking the rhythm until she was siting in his lap riding him where he held her securely in place.

Abby had never had sex like it and she’d had a fair bit over the years, but Spike was incredible, he was so strong he could move her anyway he wanted so easily. Their hips were coming together harder and faster now as they started to build the friction. Looking into his eyes she noticed the subtle changes, from that pure piercing blue to the speckles of gold that were bleeding into it. She couldn’t stop the moans and grunts from falling from her lips even if she tried.

“Oh god, yes…Spike… please!”

The words had barely left her lips and she was once more on her back and Spike was pounding into her.

He held back some of his strength, he didn’t want to hurt her after all, but he was driving into her over and over now. He could feel her clutching around him on every thrust and his own cock was flexing and pulsing as he drew nearer and nearer to release. He reached a hand between them and flicked her clit piercings a couple of times.

Abby saw stars, finally breaking the gaze as her eyes closed and her body shuddered and shook under him with spasms of pleasure running through her muscles. She clamped down on him hard and cried out in release.

It was all Spike needed and her climax tripped his, a couple more thrusts and he was following her over the edge and filling the condom with his cum. Panting for unneeded breath, he leaned over and kissed her with all consuming passion stealing what little was left of her breath.

“Wow!” Abby gasped, her voice even more gravelly than usual and her breath still not recovered. Her legs fell back to the mattress, making her shudder where he was still inside her.

“Understatement, pet,” he said with a smirk. Reaching down between them to hold the condom in place as he pulled out slowly.

She sucked in air at the sensation and then gave a little whine at the loss of him. “Your feel so perfect inside me,” she told him as he disposed of the spent rubber in the waste bin.

When he returned to the bed he gave her an almost sappy smile and pulled her into his arms. “Fit together just right, pretty girl,” he told her as he grabbed the blanket to pull over them. “Have a bit of a rest before the next round, yeah?”

Abby gave a little whimper, “Oh god, I’m gonna die from too much sex.”

“Best way to go, pet…best way to go!”

She heard his smirk.


 

Chapter 9

Tony couldn’t think of a single thing to say, which was incredibly unusual considering how much he usually prattled on about nothing of any consequence. Even earlier there had been an ease between them that had surprised him considering they were strangers. But then he’d figured out Angel’s secret and even though he’d said it was ok, well probationarily* ok, it was still like a giant pink elephant with fangs was following them on the walk home.

Angel was handsome; he had cute frown marks when he was concentrating, and that cute little boy smile even while his eyes flashed with a wicked streak. Tony DiNozzo knew when he was sunk. It had been a long time since anyone had turned his head that much. Oh sure, he knew how to flirt and compliment with the best of them and he spent most of his life living up to the image that he’d carefully propagated for himself, but that didn’t mean any of them had actually significantly affected him; at least none that hadn’t turned out to be a criminal. He hoped that he wouldn’t have to arrest Angel for anything, but then he was also aware that Angel had had a bit of an issue with the NCIS thing anyway. There was obviously a story there too.

“You want to talk about it?” Angel’s voice boldly cut through his inner musings.

“Thought we’d pretty much covered it?” Tony asked, his uncertainty evident in his voice.

“Obviously not or we wouldn’t have just walked in silence for the last five minutes.”

“Silence can be good…companionable,” the special agent tried to justify.

The vampire obviously didn’t think that was the case as his response was a disbelieving snort.

“Ok, so I guess it’ll take a little getting used to. But I figure you’re more like Blade than say… Dracula? I mean, you said you’re a good guy, right?” Tony asked.

“I am, I did, and er… Blade?”

“Oh, so your movie knowledge only extends to the fifties?” he asked with a smirk.

“I take it that it’s a recent thing.”

“Yeah, pretty much…well there was the trilogy of movies and then the television series, but if you ask me that wasn’t a patch on the movie.”

“Ok, then lets talk about it,” Angel offered.

“Blade the movie versus the TV series?” Tony asked slightly confused. Did Angel really just tut and was that him rolling his eyes? Just the idea of it was enough to make him laugh never mind the actual witnessing.

“The good vamp bad vamp thing, I meant,” Angel replied with what wasn’t infinite patience but was very closely approximating it; he’d had plenty of practice with Spike.

“Oh.” There was a moment of silence before Tony continued. “Ok. If you want, I mean you don’t have to.”

“I want to.” Angel nodded and glanced sideways at the human as they carried on walking.

“Ok, then, lets do that. You said you were cursed with your soul…” he glanced across and saw the pained look that flickered across the handsome face. “How do you go from that to fighting the good fight?” He couldn’t hide the note of scepticism in his voice.

“It didn’t happen overnight, that’s for sure. For a while it consumed me, I was half crazy because of it and hid from human contact.”

Tony could hear the pain and guilt that laced his voice and he could feel it to his core, it meant more than any of the words he’d heard so far.

“Then someone showed me that I could do some good and since then I’ve been seeking atonement for the things I’ve done.”

“So then you started to fight your own kind.”

“It’s a little more complicated than that…there was a girl…”

Tony surprised him by interrupting him with a sudden sharp laugh. “Isn’t there always a girl? Or I guess sometimes a guy, but I would have thought it was far more likely to be a girl,” he explained

The vampire chuckled a little despite himself. “Probably.”

“And you saved the world, how did that work out for you?” Tony quipped.

“Pretty well, it’s still here,” and there was that shy smile again. “Although I can’t claim it was single-handed. I mostly had help.

“Spike?”

“Sometimes,” Angel confirmed as he nodded.

It was Tony’s turn to nod as he digested the information. “So, you said that Spike earned his soul?”

The vampire nodded again. “Yes.”

“How’d that happen?” he asked curiously.

“Well, it’s complicated.”

“Let me guess, it involves a girl?” Tony asked with amusement and was pleased when Angel laughed.

“Actually, it involves the girl!” he replied.

Tony’s eyebrows rose. “As in the previously mentioned girl?” he asked, growing even more curious as they walked and talked.

“The same,” and in that moment Angel could actually finally see the funny side and irony of it.

“Wow, she must be quite a girl,” Tony mused.

The normally broody vampire shrugged and made an affirmative noise. “She is.”

“How’d that work for you both?” Tony grinned, mischief in his voice.

“Pretty badly in the long run,” he laughed. “But that’s what happens when you mix a vampire with a vampire slayer I suppose.”

“Wait!” Tony stopped dead and turned to look at the other man, “You mean to tell me the girl was a vampire slayer?” At the shy nod he couldn’t help but laugh. “Angel, you do realise the irony in that, right?”

“I have a certain appreciation for it now,” he said with a grin.

“So, is that how you met, at some kind of vampire slayer’s exes anonymous meeting?” Tony couldn’t help but chuckle at the image and Angel was laughing so it was all good.

“No, but maybe we should have held them, there were enough of us,” he mused.

Tony made ‘go on’ signs as he started walking again.

“Spike is my grand childe,” he could almost hear the confused look that settled on the human’s face.

“I sired his sire… in the vampiric sense,” he explained.

“Oh.” Tony was silent but only because he was biting back inappropriate jokes about keeping it in the family so far as the girl was concerned. “That’s…”

“Yeah,” Angel said with a slight grimace, “we haven’t always seen eye to eye… a lot of the time we still don’t.”

“You feel guilty,” Tony observed.

“I don’t…” the protest was a little too quick off his lips.

“Bull,” the younger man cut him off. “He is what he is because of you and that pains you, but there’s more to it than that isn’t there? You’re family and family don’t always get on, hell of all people I know that all to well. You like him but it’s like you’re almost afraid to admit that,” Tony said trying to puzzle it out. He knew that Abby would have figured it out: she was smart like that.

Angel surprised himself when he admitted, “I loved him.”

“Oh,” Tony replied, not quite expecting such an honest answer and not really that one.

“It was more than a century ago,” Angel appeased with an amused tone.

“Ok, I guess it’s a bit stupid to feel jealous,” Tony said with a cute boyish duck of his head.

Angel held up his hand, forefinger and thumb only a couple of millimetres apart and answered, “just a little.” He smiled though: it had been a long time since he’d made anyone feel jealous.

“Tell me about it. Why do you feel guilty?” Tony asked.

“When I was cursed, my Sire sent me away. I tried to prove that I was still one of them, but I wasn’t and she knew it. If I hadn’t of left she would have dusted me,” Angel started to explain.

“Dusted you?” The younger brunette asked in confusion.

“We sort of call it that because when you kill a vampire we turn to dust. I… I’ll teach you what you need to know to feel safe. Or I can ask Spike to tell you so you know that you’re getting honest information and that you can trust it.” Angel offered.

“Thanks, but I think I’d trust you to be honest, you have been so far, I think,” Tony told him, slightly contemplative. He turned the conversation back to Angel’s story, “So, you left?”

“Yes,” Angel was quietly warmed inside that he was trusted, but was happy to accept the return to the previous subject. “Spike was still so young and we’d been close, I’d been more than just his grand sire. I’d taught him most of what he knew. I knew that if I didn’t go that my Sire would take it out on him and that he could never accept me with a soul. So I left. I didn’t realise how much damage that would do to him. Even soulless I’ve never known someone who had the capacity for love and devotion that William has.”

“William?” Tony was confused.

“Spike is his nickname. William is his real name.”

“I’m sensing that I don’t want to know why ‘Spike’, right?”

Angel shook his head. “No, you really don’t. Although it’s a story I suspect Abby would like,” he said with a smile.

“I suppose he’s still hurt from you leaving and you’re feeling guilty about it all, and that will be why you clash. Have you told him about what happened, how you feel about it?” he asked casually as they waited for a green walk light to cross the road.

The pained look on the vampire’s face told him the answer.

“You should, it’ll bring you both the closure you need. I’m not saying that you should rekindle what you had because that would really suck for Abs… and me, but it can’t be healthy to always have that hanging between you and it’ll be made worse by not being able to acknowledge it.”

“Thanks for that Doctor Phil,” Angel smirked.

“Hey, was that a pop culture reference, I’m impressed since you didn’t know what Blade was.” Tony grinned and bumped his shoulder against the other man’s.

The vampire gave a boyish but nonchalant shrug, “I pick some things up.” He smiled though giving himself away.

Tony was laughing, a smile fixed to his face. He couldn’t believe that he was having a good time when they were talking about something like this. He was almost disappointed that they’d reached his apartment building. He found himself slowing down as it got nearer.

“Is something wrong?” Angel asked as he smelt the disappointment but didn’t understand the cause.

“Yeah, just…” he waved a hand at the building, “this is where I live. I wasn’t ready to get home yet.”

Angel laughed. “I’m glad. I mean, I’m not glad that this is where you live, but glad that you weren’t ready for the night to end yet. That is what you’re saying, isn’t it?” he asked, doubting himself and not wanting to look a fool; if only he wasn’t so bad at the whole dating thing. The irony of it was that his demon was such a smooth bastard, if only he could be more like that but without the psychotic homicidal traits.

“It is what I meant,” Tony smiled at him. “Are cell phones one of the things that you’ve ‘picked up’?” he asked hopefully.

The vampire got the hint and pulled one from his trouser pocket to hold up triumphantly. “Not so great at driving it though,” he said with a self-deprecating smile.

Tony held his hand out for it and with a confused look Angel complied. He watched as the human started pressing buttons before closing it and handing it back to him. “It’s simple enough, the number’s under ‘Tony’ just to avoid confusion,” he winked with a grin.

“That means I can call you right?” Angel confirmed rather unnecessarily.

“Wrong.”

“Oh,” the broody one’s face fell.

“It means you should call me,” Tony smirked and nudged their shoulders together again. “I was playing with you.”

The look of relief on Angel’s face made Tony almost feel bad for teasing him, but he hadn’t realised that he’d be taken so seriously. “I’d like it very much if you would call me, Angel. I can’t pretend to be completely ok with the vampire thing, but I think there’s a chance that I could get there.”

The vampire smiled. “I’ll call.” He wasn’t sure what to do next, whether to kiss Tony or not. In the end he held out his hand.

With a slight frown, Tony took the hand expecting it to be shaken, which he thought was an odd end to a date but would go along with it. He was surprised when, instead, it was brought up to Angel’s lips and he kissed the back of it. A thousand protests rose up about how he wasn’t a girl but they went unvoiced as he found himself blushing, not over the contact but because he liked it. That was a revelation.

“Thanks for an…interesting… evening,” Tony said with a smile and wink as his hand was relinquished.

“You’re more than welcome,” his vampire replied.


 

Chapter 10

“Special Agent DiNozzo?”

The soft uncertain feminine voice made Tony look up from his paperwork. They had no active cases and were stuck going through cold cases from before he had even joined NCIS. It was almost mind numbing with a heavy side of completely frustrating at the incompetency of some of the agents in their handling of the investigations. There was no way that Gibbs would ever let them get away with such a poor job. The woman was short with tumbling blonde curls and was holding a white cardboard box.

“That’s me,” he said with a smile.

“This was left for you at reception,” she told him with a flutter of her eyelashes and held out the box to him. “Security checked it out.”

He frowned slightly, he hadn’t been expecting anything, but took the box from her anyway. Taped to the top was an envelope with his name written in the most beautiful handwriting he’d seen. He pulled it off and opened it.

A soft cough from the young lady prompted him to speak again as he started reading, “Oh, thanks,” he said without looking up at her.

Ziva was watching with uncontained curiosity from the desk opposite, he could feel her eyes on him. He ignored it.

Dear Tony,

 

Thank you for the other night, I had a great time. I know that I said I would call but things have been crazy. I was going to send flowers but didn’t think you’d appreciate the teasing you’d get from your colleagues, so I settled on this. Didn’t know what kind you liked so I figured that I’d get a selection and you could either pig out or share them with your friends.

 

Would you like to go to the movies with me tonight?

 

Regards,

Angel x

By the time he’d finished reading, Tony had a goofy grin on his face that had Ziva practically clawing to get over there and find out what was going on. He tucked the letter in his shirt pocket and opened the box. A dozen donuts filled the box in various different varieties and he licked his lips.

“Should you really be having your porn delivered to work, Tony?” Ziva asked.

Tony looked up at her, a grin on his face. “Oh this is better than porn,” he replied as he picked out a chocolate-coated ring donut and took a savouring bite.

The Israeli watched intently as he appeared to thoroughly enjoy his first few mouthfuls. She licked her own lips in anticipation of what it might taste like.

DiNozzo smiled triumphantly and came out from behind his desk and offered her a choice from the contents of the box. “Help yourself,” he told her.

When she had cautiously selected her own, half expecting the box to be pulled away just before she picked it out, Tony moved down to Gibbs’ desk and gave a little cough to get his attention as he waved the box back and forth.

“Donut, Boss, help ease the cold case boredom?” he offered.

Jethro eyed him a moment before giving a small sharp nod and selecting a plain ring from the box.

“Probie?” he offered to McGee and thought the man was about to trip over himself even though he was sitting down. Granted it was unexpected, but Tony was in a good mood so what the hell.

“Gonna take one down to Abs,” he told Gibbs. And as his Boss opened his mouth to say something he added, “And I’ll ask her if she’s got anywhere with those reports yet.”

Gibbs’ mouth snapped shut and he nodded before focusing his attention on the donut and taking a bite.

Tony hummed to himself as he headed to the elevator and down to Abby’s lab, nibbling on his own donut as he waited for the car to descend to her floor.

The doors opened and her music greeted him, making him smile. Abby was sitting at her desk typing away on her computer and neither saw nor heard him come up behind her.

“Tell Spike I said hi,” he said close enough to her ear that she jumped.

“Tony,” she whined lightly at him and punched his arm, “Don’t do that.”

He chuckled and waggled the box of donuts at her. “Courtesy of tall, dark and incredibly drool worthy,” he told her.

Her cute face wrinkled up slightly as she tried to figure out who he was talking about. Then light dawned, “Oh…oh, Tony, and they say romance is dead and nothing says I want to screw you silly like a box of deliciousness.” She snagged a jam filled donut and took a bite. “How are things with Angel?”

“Well, he asked me to the movies, which is good. I’m just a little…y’know…about the vampire thing. I mean he’s nice enough and he explained the whole soul thing to me.” He gave a sigh and sat down. Contemplating what was really bothering him as he studied his donut before taking another bite.

“Are all vampires into the domination thing?” he asked out of the blue.

Abby’s eyes widened slightly and then she gave a mischievious smile that lit her eyes up. “Anthony DiNozzo,” she waggled her donut at him, “are you afraid of a little tie me down and spank me?”

“No… not afraid…well, not exactly. It’s just… I found out the hard way about Spike being into that, and that’s all very well and good as I figure that’s the sort of thing that you like but I’ve never really thought about it to be honest. Except that, if Spike is into it then Angel probably is to,” Tony told her.

“He does have that dominating aura to him,” Abby had a slightly dreamy look on her face as she contemplated that image.

“Hey,” he nudged her slightly, “he’s my donut buyer. You’ve got your own,” he said with a grin.

Abby chuckled huskily and finished her donut before speaking again. “You’ve really never thought about it?” she asked.

He shook his head.

“Oh my god, Tony, I mean…you’re practically hard-wired to it.” At his frown she elaborated, “the way you are with Gibbs.”

His frown deepened and he found himself picking out another donut to try and hide behind.

“Ok, there are different types of dynamics just like there are different kinds of doms and subs. Some subs are playful brats, they tease and make mischief because they both get off on the ‘play’ spankings.”

“Like a naughty school girl type thing?”

“Exactly…well, or a boy… we’re not sexist about these things, Anthony,” she said and winked wickedly. “Then you have your good sub, the one that does what they’re told and when. Their ideal doms expect such behaviour, etc. Then you have the eager little subs, the ones who want to please so badly, they try to anticipate the needs of their dom, to do what they would want before they even know they wanted it. They light up with their dom’s praise, but if they mess up they feel like such a complete failure and like nothing they can do is right…but that they must just try harder,” Abby paused for effect. She watched his face carefully as he went over what she’d said. She could see the moment when he seemed to get it.

“Oh god,” his eyes widened with the horror of it. “No…you’re just playing with me.”

She shook her head. “Just like you, Tony, but you’ve not got a dom to do that with, so you direct it at the dominating figure in your life…Gibbs, because lets face it he screams Dominant.” She gave a little shiver of pleasure at the thought. “But, the trouble is the wrong dom, and Gibbs is totally the wrong dom for you, can really break that eager spirit. He just doesn’t know when to praise and the right dom knows when to do that and that discipline must be done carefully.”

Tony slumped slightly on his stool as he nibbled at his donut. “So, what you’re saying is that I just have no clue that I’m a sub and that because of that I’ve been directing it at my work. So… how do I know if Angel is the right kinda dom? I mean, you and Spike obviously click with the whole brat thing,” he grinned and winked at that, making her chuckle, “But we don’t know what Angel likes… how do I know he won’t just be another Gibbs? And what happens if I can’t handle the sort of things he wants… I mean he is a vampire after all… and if it works out and I’m directing that energy at him what happens with work?” he babbled voicing all his doubts and worries.

“Well, it helps to talk to the man,” she said with an understanding smile and patted his arm. “If you want I can ask Spike, but knowing what he’s like, I’m not sure it would be a serious conversation.”

He licked sugar from his fingers and sighed, he was feeling like someone had knocked the wind out of his sails. “I’m not good at the talking thing, should have seen us dealing with the soul issue.”

She smiled. “I can imagine. When Spike first told me what he was I didn’t believe him. But they are good guys, Tony, and Angel will look after you. And if he hurts you… I know half a dozen ways to take care of a vamp,” she winked but her face was somewhat darker than usual.

Tony slid off the stool and stood up, straightening his shirt and trousers. “I better let you get back to your…whatever Spike is to you now,” he said with a small smile.

“Not quite sure myself,” she told him with a little crease of her brow.

“Oh, did you get anywhere with those reports yet?” he asked, guessing it wouldn’t be fun to go back without the answer.

“Not yet, I think they’re written in some sort of ancient language, I’m going to ask Duck for help later but he’s doing an autopsy right now,” she gave a shrug and got up to press a soft kiss to his cheek. “You can always talk to me about it, Tony,” she offered and returned to her keyboard as Tony left with his donuts.

The note was burning a hole in his shirt and he pulled it out as he waited for the elevator to arrive. There was a phone number on the bottom and he took out his cell phone to enter it. Then on a whim he pressed ‘call’.

Angel stared at the ringing phone, the name on the display read “Tony” and he swallowed nervously before flipping it open. “Angel,” he said confidently.

“Uh, hi, it’s Tony,” he couldn’t help but smile as he heard that sexy voice again. “I wanted to thank you for the donuts.”

“You’re welcome,” Angel smiled at the phone. “I guess they were better received than flowers?”

There was amusement in that dark voice and Tony grinned and flushed slightly, “Definitely. I shared as well, you’d be so proud.” His flush deepened as Abby’s words came back to him. He hoped the vampire’s supersenses didn’t stretch far enough to know that.

“Good boy,” the amused reply came back.

Tony thought he was going to die, he moved to lean against the wall, his pants feeling tighter than they should. “So, someone mentioned a movie?” he asked trying to sound casual.

“I did, are you interested? I thought it might be something you’d enjoy given you seem to like them a little.” Angel’s voice was still carrying the sound of a smile.

“Oh just a little,” he laughed and then pulled himself back under control. “Actually, I’d like that a lot. Maybe we could get something to eat before hand too?”

“We could,” the vampire replied non-commitally.

“Nothing fancy, I mean last time was great but, y’know a burger is just as…” he trailed off. “I sort of forgot for a minute there. I… sorry, I mean, does it bother you? Coffee could be just as good, do you drink coffee?” he remembered their dinner the other night, “of course you do. I…y’know you can tell me to shut up anytime you feel like before I’ve made a total idiot of myself?”

There was a quiet chuckle from the other end of the line and then a soft sigh. “Tony, I don’t mind going out to eat, you’ll be equally surprised that I can cook too. You don’t have to monitor everything you would suggest or say, I’m not sick I’m just a vampire.”

Tony snorted, “You say that like it’s no big deal.” He could almost hear the shrug from the other end.

“Don’t walk on eggshells. Besides, I rather like burgers too. And I definitely drink coffee, some might say too much. Relax, ok?”

He took a deep breath in and then released it. “Ok. I’m relaxed.”

Another soft chuckle and he decided he could really get used to that sound.

“Do you want me to pick you up from your apartment?”

“So you can ply me with alcohol?” Tony teased.

“No, I… just thought…I mean…” Angel stumbled over his words for the first time.

It was Tony’s turn to chuckle, “I’m teasing, Angel, I…would actually like it if you would pick me up. What time?”

“Is nine too late?” the vampire.

“Nine sounds like the perfect time. You remember where I live?” he asked somewhat nervously, it was silly, but if Angel had forgotten then he might be a little hurt.

“I do, I’ll call up when I get there.”

“Ok then. Bye,” he murmured a little uncertain of himself again.

“Bye, Tony.”

The elevator had been and gone during his phone call but he didn’t care, even though he knew they were going to have to have that conversation the idea of a date still had him floating on air. He pressed the button again and waited once more for the car to arrive.

******

Abby: i’m back, finally… miss me, my sexy vamp?

Spike: Who are you again? *Smirk*

Abby: *nudges you then climbs back on your lap, resting head against your shoulder*

Spike: Workus Interruptus?

Abby: more like tony having a nervous meltdown. Angel sent him donuts.

Spike: Boy was having a meltdown over donuts?

Abby: nooooo silly… he was having a meltdown over the dom/sub thing.

Spike: Of course, how did I miss that? *Rolls eyes* Dare I ask how you got from donuts to D/s?

Abby: well, *shifts to get comfier and pecks a kiss to your cheek* Angel asked him on a date, and Tony was pleased but then he realised that if you are into the whole dom thing then your grandsire probably was too. course i had had to point out to him that he already did the eager pup subbie thing with Gibbs. *rolls eyes* which totally freaked him out.

Spike: Not really surprised, Pet.

Abby: and i was telling him about the different kinds of subs and doms and that although he was totally a dom, gibbs is the wrong sort for him.

Spike: *Snorts* If he’d been the right Dom he’d have bagged him by now.

Abby: exactly…and tony wouldn’t be so sad all the time. so, i mean i assumed that Angel’s a dom as well…

Spike: Peaches? Yeah, he’s as kinky as they come.

Abby: do you think they’d make a good pair? tony’s really worried and i’m worried for him.

Spike: *Kisses your nose* Angel needs someone to make him smile and lighten up a bit. Don’t really know Tony too well, just what you’ve told me, but he seems like he knows how to have fun without being a brat. *Tugs a pigtail* unlike some.

Abby: *giggles* he’s a good boy, really and if Gibbs got his head out of his ass he’d tell him that a bit more often. he really needs a lot of praise and loving…i don’t think he’s ever really had someone to look after him.

Spike: Won’t lie, sweetness, Angel can be a bit oblivious sometimes, but if he sent donuts then he’s obviously trying.

Abby: *nods* and he has us to prod him in the right direction.

Spike: *Snorts* That he does, pet.

Abby: so…

Spike: So?

Abby: *pouts*

Spike: *Tilts your chin up and peers into your beautiful eyes* What is it Princess?

Abby: Angel asked tony on a date already…when’s it gonna be my turn?

Spike: *Raises eyebrow* You want to date broody britches?

Abby: *smacks you* nooooooo

Spike: *Laughs*

Abby: i want to date you…so when you going to ask me on one?

Spike: We already went on one, or have you forgotten already, I guess a week is a long time in your little world? *Smirks*

Abby: that was different *pouts more*

Spike: *Tugs pigtail* Keep up that pouting and you’ll have a long wait, missy.

Abby: *wide-eyed* but…

Spike: But?

Abby: *drops eyes* sorry, Sir

Spike: *Tilts your chin back up* Better, girl. Any idea where you’d like to go on such a date?

Abby: oh… i know exactly where i want to go and take you, i think you’d love it too.

Spike: I’m listening, Pet. *Smiles fondly*

Abby: *grins* it’s the Gunther von Hagens body worlds exhibition.

Spike: What’s that then?

Abby: if you take me then you’ll find out, Sir *flutters eyelashes*

Spike: Bloody hell, you’ll be the death of me

Abby: already dead…or undead…whatever. you’ll enjoy it, honest it’s sorta gruesome but not

Spike: Peaches is the art fan, Pet.

Abby: It’s art but not, it’s science as art…showing the beauty and complexity of the human body

Spike: Blood and guts stuff, eh?

Abby: well, organs and muscles…yeah, not so much blood

Spike: LOL

Abby: pleeeeeeease, i’d love to go with you, you can see me in all my geeky glory

Spike: Already see that when we chat on here, don’t I?

Abby: well, yeah, but this is different, this is in the flesh *giggles*

Spike: *Rolls eyes at bad pun*

Abby: wasn’t intended *looks innocent*

Spike: Yeah right, innocent my arse.

Abby: mmm your ‘arse’ is sexy

Spike: *Sigh* Flattery gets you everywhere, Pet. Ok, we’ll go to this exhibition then, yeah? How you fixed tomorrow night? Gotta watch the shop tonight, Peaches and Tony are out on their hot date.

Abby: tomorrow’s good *grins brightly*

Spike: Alright then, pick you up at 8.

Abby: YAY ok… I gotta go do work or the bossman will come down here and kick my pretty butt and we all know that you’re the only one allowed to do that now *grins*

Spike: Later, pretty girl *Flips your pigtail and presses my lips hard against yours*

Abby: mmmm bye, big scary vamp

It had taken the elevator ride for the realisation to truly sink in: he was going on a date…with Angel…the vampire who was probably already planning whether to use metal or leather cuffs. He swallowed hard and fought down a wave of panic. The doors pinged open at the squad room and Tony almost turned around and rode back down to Abby’s lab. Taking a deep breath he forced himself out into the large open space that was filled with little cubicles and desks and made his way to his own. Sitting down he placed the donuts to one side, giving them a sappy look even as he turned back to his computer.

“Abs said she’s gonna have to talk to Ducky about the reports, said they look like they’re written in some ancient language…doesn’t understand a word,” he called across to Gibbs.

The only response was an acknowledging grunt from his boss.

A sub, he was a sub, and Gibbs was his surrogate Dom. Tony winced. And if, no…when he transferred that to Angel he didn’t know what that would do to his work ethic, would it make it better or worse? The need to make Gibbs proud drove him at work so what did that mean if that drive was no longer there? Maybe it just meant he’d grow a backbone around the guy.

 

TBC

 

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