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Title: Descent
By: nancy
Pairing: Tony/Gibbs
Fandom: NCIS
Rating: R
Series: 1) Recruitment, 2) Bonded, 3) That Fits The Crime, 4) Home, 5) Drowning
Author's note: Mild xover with JAG
Note: All thanks to Kya, who came up with the original plot bunny of NCIS as a wolf pack!!
Summary: In an AU where shapeshifters exist. Tony's descent into Stockholm Syndrome and Gibbs' descent into fury and isolation.


It was cold and the cement unyielding to his body as Tony tried to find a comfortable position in which to sleep. He'd lost track of the amount of time he'd been in the cell, a different one from where he'd first been kept, and had pretty much given up on Gibbs finding him. And if Gibbs couldn't find him, no one could, which meant that he was stuck where he was. They never gave him the chance to escape, not even the slightest, in the beginning, and now he just wasn't strong enough to go anywhere.

They weren't starving him, exactly, but they fed him only enough to keep him healthy. There was nothing to sleep on. No privacy to go to the bathroom. No bathroom. He shit and pissed in a bucket in the corner and was grateful they gave him that much and that it was changed out every day.

He hadn't seen Haswari since that first day and Tony wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. It could be that the kidnapper was biding his time, taking the long road to breaking Tony, or he could've been preempted by whomever he worked for and Tony had been given to someone else entirely. There was even the possibility that Ari still had him, but had relegated his 'care' to one of his men while he was off doing a job and that man didn't care at all for Tony's comfort or well being.

There was something wrong with him, Tony knew that much. Something physically wrong inside him that left him shaking and weaker than he should've been, even on the substandard fare. He'd always been healthy as a horse, so he knew this was more than just not getting enough to eat or drink. He knew his body like the back of his hand, even though the wolf thing was new, and it felt like there was something vital his body needed that it wasn't getting.

Whatever the problem was, there wasn't anything he could do about it. There wasn't anything he could do about anything. He was completely helpless and knew it. Whatever these guys wanted to do with or to him, it would happen. Tony would fight them to the best of his steadily weakening ability, but ultimately, they would get their way.

He tried not to let the hopelessness and helplessness overwhelm him, but it was getting harder every day.

*  *  *  *

Harm shook his head as he took in the sight of AJ sprawled out on the sofa. The last few months had been especially hard for the Admiral, with the search for DiNozzo yielding absolutely nothing. It felt like a personal attack that someone had been taken from the Navy, even if not in AJ's immediate pack. The wagons had been circled, though, and the more vulnerable members of the pack, like Bud and Harriet, and Tiner, were never left alone. Gunny or Mac was staying with them until the kidnapper had been caught.

AJ was in regular communication with Director Morrow about the progress reports given the other man by Gibbs' team; even when there was nothing to report. It hit harder than a normal kidnapping, because it wasn't like they could advertise why it was so necessary for DiNozzo to be found, aside from the man being a federal agent. The fact that some psycho with terrorist ties had snatched one of their own had AJ more on edge than a 'simple' kidnapping would have. The fact that anyone outside of a pack knew about them was a security breach of the highest order. There had always been lone hunters and always would be, but this was different and everyone involved could feel it.

This time, it felt personal, but no one could say why.

Sighing faintly, Harm moved into the living room and crouched down in front of AJ. Stroking his hand lightly over the nearly bald scalp, he murmured, "Supper's ready."

AJ's eyes opened and he stared blearily at Harm for a long moment before asking, "When did you get home, let alone fix supper?"

Flashing a brief grin, Harm answered, "I cheated and stopped somewhere on the way."

AJ chuckled and rubbed at his eyes as he sat up with a groan, rubbing his neck. "Remind me not to fall asleep on the sofa anymore."

"Don't fall asleep on the sofa anymore," Harm obliged. "Come on. Let's get you fed and watered, and then we can talk."

With a snort, AJ questioned, "And when did you get put in charge?"

Smirking this time, Harm hauled AJ to his feet and informed him, "I always have been. Don't you know that betas hold the real power in the pack?"

AJ swatted him on the ass, but grinned as they walked to the table. Dinner was a simple affair of Chinese food and wine, and Harm was careful to keep the conversation neutral-to-anecdotal. He related Tiner's latest "competition" with Gunny and managed to provoke a short laugh from AJ with it. It was a long-standing joke in the office that if once Gunny and Tiner ever stopped arguing and one-upping each other long enough to draw breath, they would break down and become mates.

Of course, the same had been said of him and Mac, so not everything was fated to be.

Setting his fork down, AJ rubbed a hand over his head and said, "Thank you, Harm, this was thoughtful of you."

Harm knew that AJ meant it, the man had never lied to him, and it was rare to get a compliment from him so he gave the other man a pleased smile. Not even being his lover had brought more of those precious commodities his way over the last couple of years. Standing, Harm refilled their glasses and suggested, "Want to move to the living room?"

AJ nodded and stood as well. Sliding his arm around Harm's waist and, as they walked to the other room, asked, "Why do you put up with me?"

Uh oh. It's going to be one of those nights, Harm thought with a mental sigh. He took AJ's glass from him, set both on the coffee table, then calmly shoved AJ onto the couch. The other man let out a startled noise, but Harm straddled his lap before any real protest could be made. Kneeling up and taking the careworn face in his hands, Harm stated firmly, "Because you're a good, honest, kind man who would lay down his life for an innocent person and his country."

"I'm none of those things," AJ muttered, turning away.

Forcing AJ's face back and pressing his lips to his lover's, Harm kissed him gently. Strong arms wrapped around his waist and held tight as AJ suddenly returned the kiss. Harm moaned with need as his mouth was possessed hard. He was lifted with an easy strength that never failed to send a thrill of lust through him. His legs hooked over AJ's hips and he hitched as close as he could, finding his back literally against the wall only moments later.

The kiss went on and on, with only brief snatches of air allowed as AJ ground their cocks together through their pants. Harm's fingers dug into the broad shoulders and he arched up against his mate, aching to be filled with him, but also needing relief so bad he wasn't sure he could wait. It had been weeks since they'd had more than a few minutes together. Harm and Mac had been on case after case in the last couple of months and none of them had been on the ground, in the DC area. Harm generally had had only enough time to repack his suitcase, get a too-brief kiss from AJ, and he was on his way out again.

AJ finally broke off the kiss to gutturally say, "I can smell how bad you need it, Harm, I can smell you like a bitch in heat."

Harm's head jerked back in shocked lust at the words, thumping hard against the wall.

"I'm going to fuck you all night long, remind you just who owns your ass, but right now I want you to come for me. Do it, Harm, come!" AJ ordered harshly, grinding down even harder.

Crying out loud as his body went on overload, Harm shuddered in the other man's arms and spilled in his pants like a teenager without any control. AJ snarled wordlessly, biting down on Harm's throat and breaking the skin as he thrust onto Harm's pinned body one last time and came. Harm moaned as another surge of lust slammed him at his mate's release and his cock spit more come.

AJ didn't move them for a long moment, except to lick at the bloody mark on his throat, but Harm's legs slid down to support his own weight. He couldn't slow his breathing and knew that he was close to hyperventilating when AJ took control of him with a softly murmured, "Calm down, Harm, it's okay now. You're home and safe with me. I've got you, baby, you're okay now. You're mine and no one else's, just mine, and I'll take care of you."

The gentle strokes along his flank and continuing, almost hypnotic words, soothed him as Harm slowly unwound from the stress of the last couple of months. He hadn't even realized that he was so close to the edge. He smiled as his breathing calmed and nuzzled against his lover's damp throat. "How'd you know?"

With a soft chuckle, AJ cupped his face, reminiscent of Harm's earlier gesture, and informed him, "When are you going to learn that I know all and see all?"

That earned a snort and Harm retorted, "Delusions of Godhood now, huh?"

"Not hardly," AJ replied, kissing him lightly. "But if it got you to come down, I'd make claims to be the Queen of Sheba."

Reminded of just why he loved this man so much, Harm hugged him tight for a long moment, then said, "Let's get changed and into bed, then we can have that talk."

AJ nodded and pulled free, but only to put his arm around Harm's waist again, guiding him towards the stairs.

*  *  *  *

By the time they were in bed and Harm was curled up around him, AJ's mood had lightened considerably. Not that he wasn't still dreading the following day and its meeting with Gibbs, but he had a better perspective about it. Being unable to reconnect with Harm for weeks had been a big part of his problem. And now that his lover was in his arms, where he belonged, all was almost right in the world.

"So are you going to tell me, or do I need to drag it out of you?" Harm questioned, amused.

Huffing lightly in his own amusement, AJ replied, "I've decided to tell Gibbs that he needs to stop his investigation or resign."

Harm went absolutely still at that, then asked, "You sure you want to lose a good NCIS agent like that?"

"I don't think he'll resign," AJ countered with a shrug. "I think that the pack's safety is more important to him than one man, no matter how he feels about DiNozzo."

"Easy for you to say, but what if our positions were reversed? What if, say, Palmer kidnapped me again and you were given that choice?"

"I'd resign."

"What makes you think Gibbs is any different? DiNozzo is his mate."

AJ nodded, but pointed out, "Palmer's psychotic and makes enough mistakes to follow and find him. This man who has DiNozzo is a professional. There are absolutely no leads for Gibbs or his people to follow. We've got the word out to other Councils and that is the best chance of DiNozzo being found. What's more, Gibbs is smart enough to realize that. When something hits the pipeline, and it will, he'll have my blessing to go after the bastard but until then, he needs to put his focus back on the job and his pack."

Harm was reluctant as he agreed, "That's true. Doesn't mean I have to like it."

"None of us do," AJ said, regretful and angry. "I would like nothing more than to rip this bastard's throat out with my claws, but that pleasure belongs to Gibbs."

They were silent a long time before Harm asked suddenly and hopefully, "Didn't you say something about owning my ass all night long?"

Chuckling, AJ rolled on top of his mate and started to do just that.

*  *  *  *

Jethro knew that this meeting was going to be unpleasant and had his suspicions about what it would be about. Strong suspicions. Walking through the JAG office, he was again struck by the mix of wolf and human. It was by far the most mixed offices that he'd ever known. The Yeoman was human, the Petty Officer and Gunny weren't; the Colonel was human, the Commanders weren't; the female Lieutenant and her children were human, her mate, the injured Lieutenant, wasn't. And the Admiral, of course, was definitely not human.

He nodded to Commanders Rabb and Sturgis on his way to the Admiral's office and detected a note of sympathy in Rabb's gaze. That alone confirmed what the meeting was going to be about and he had to stifle the urge to growl when he stopped at Tiner's desk.

"Go right in, Sir," Tiner told him quietly.

Nodding shortly, Jethro entered through the large wooden door and closed it before walking over to the Admiral's desk. The man himself stood at the window, looking outside. He turned with a grimace when Jethro announced himself with, "Reporting as ordered, Sir."

"No need to stand on ceremony, Gibbs. You know why you're here."

"Yes, Sir. You want me to give up the search."

"I'm ordering you to give up the search."

Jethro paused, not having expected that. He'd thought that Chegwidden would tell him to maybe put it on the back burner, or not spend as much time on it, not to give it up altogether. "I can't do that."

Holding up a hand, Chegwidden said, "Here me out, Gunny."

Jaw tight, Jethro nodded once.

"You have no leads and no sign of getting any in the future, either. DiNozzo could still be here, or he could be halfway around the world by now. All of the Councils have been alerted to DiNozzo's kidnapping. We both know that the best chance to find him now lies in the pack networks over the globe. Someone will find him, Gibbs, but it's not going to be you."

"Sir, I can't give it up. I won't," Jethro stated.

"Then you'll resign from NCIS and hand over pack leadership to the next in line."

From the Admiral's implacable expression, Jethro knew this wasn't a bluff. He had to give up Tony, or give up the pack.

"Take a few days to think about it, Gibbs. Let me know by the end of the week. Dismissed."

Jethro nodded again, turned sharply on his heel, and left, struggling not to show the turmoil threatening to get loose.

Rabb approached him on the way to the elevator and asked, "Can I have a moment, Gibbs?"

Tempted to say no, Jethro instead agreed, "One minute, Commander, I have to get back."

"Of course."

Jethro followed him into his office and stood, even when offered a seat. "What can I do for you, Commander?"

"I just want to let you know that you've got all of our support, no matter what you decide," Rabb informed him.

Jethro's eyebrows rose and he questioned wryly, "Including the Admiral?"

"Especially the Admiral," Rabb confirmed. "If you decide to step down and go after DiNozzo, you'll still have access to the resources that you'll need to find him."

And of course it made sense that Chegwidden himself couldn't offer that olive branch. He couldn't let anything he said influence Jethro's decision. Relaxing a little on hearing that, Jethro asked, "Why is he making me choose, then?"

Rabb hesitated, then said, "Have you really looked at your people lately, Gibbs? They're running more than a little ragged around the edges. They need their alpha and right now, you're so focused on DiNozzo, that you aren't giving them the attention they need and deserve. I think Director Morrow would have said something, only he's too close to really notice."

Jethro stiffened at the implication that he wasn't doing his job as a leader, but then realized that it was true. He'd relegated most of the job to Kate and Ducky, leaving them to look out for McGee, Gerald, and Abby. And with McGee so new to the pack that he practically squeaked, he would be confused and uncertain of his place even more so, now that Tony wasn't there to put him in his place.

"That's no reflection on you, Gibbs," Rabb assured him. "Losing a beta upsets the entire balance, as we all know."

A vague memory surfaced then, hearing the knowing tone in the Navy officer's voice. The Commander himself had been taken from JAG by some ex-CIA spook that he'd displaced on cracking open an illegal arms deal. Jethro remembered that Chegwidden had gone AWOL before NCIS could even get a leg-up on the investigation. He'd brought the Commander back within forty-eight hours, but not before some damage had been done to the young man, though Jethro didn't remember what, exactly.

"There's always hope that you'll find him, but you have to be realistic about this, too. What can you do for Tony until there's a lead? How will you turn one up, if you haven't so far? Sheer will power isn't enough to do it, unfortunately," Rabb finished sadly.

And while Jethro didn't want to agree with him, he had to.

*  *  *  *

Kate warily looked over at the elevators when they pinged open yet again, waiting for Gibbs to get back from his meeting with Admiral Chegwidden. This time, he did step out and headed directly for his computer. Not a big surprise, given how he'd been acting since Tony had been kidnapped, but still disappointing. She'd been hoping that the Admiral could somehow break through the fury that was eating Gibbs up from the inside out.


Startled at being addressed, it took a few seconds to reply, "Yeah, Gibbs?"

"How's that case with the Cangretti's going?" he questioned, glancing her way.

Again startled, Gibbs hadn't shown any sign of interest in a case for months, Kate answered, "Ah, we're at a dead end. No witnesses, no forensic evidence. I thought the sister might know something, but if she does, I haven't been able to get her to talk."

Which still pissed her off.

Gibbs looked at her and demanded, "You thought, or you know?"

Not hesitating, she stated, "She knows something, but I can't get her to talk."

He stood, clipping on his gun and pulling his ID from the top drawer where it always was and barked, "McGee!"

McGee jumped to his feet with a stammered, "Y-yes, Sir?"

Gibbs walked over to him, moving around the desk so that he was right in the young agent's face as he growled, "I told you before not to 'Sir' me."

"N-no, Sir, ah, I mean, of course not A-agent Gibbs," McGee agreed.

Kate could smell the fear from ten yards away and wondered idly if Gibbs could actually get McGee to piss his pants from his words alone.

Unexpectedly, Gibbs' voice softened and he said, "It's okay to call me Boss, McGee. DiNozzo didn't have the copyright on it."

"Are, are you sure?"

In answer, Gibbs held out keys and ordered, "Gas up the truck, McGee. We've got a suspect to question. Kate, she's going to see you and go on the defensive, so go downstairs and get everything Abby's found on forensics that I haven't seen. Hell. Get everything. Have it ready in conference room C when we get back."

It looked like whatever the Admiral had said to him had gotten through and Kate couldn't remember when she'd felt so relieved. Gibbs was back and the world was almost right again. Her world, anyhow. Once they had Tony back, the pack would be whole and she could go back to concentrating on something other than keeping Gibbs from self-destructing. Honestly, she'd had no idea what DiNozzo had put up with on a daily basis, or she'd have been a helluva lot more grateful to him.

Not to his face, of course, but the sentiment would've been there.

*  *  *  *

Haswari watched the monitor as Tony lethargically pulled himself to his feet via the wall. His head was bowed and shoulders slumped as the guard who removed the 'waste' pail from the cell called Tony a number of things, the most pleasant of which was 'freak.' It had been three months now and he'd decided that drugging the man would speed things along. He was patient and wanted the submission to be real, but he didn't want to wait too much longer.

He wanted to see supplication and adoration in those eyes as they gazed on him. He wanted to hear the man beg for contact with him, accepting him fully as alpha, despite being human. He wanted to drive into that body when it was willing and aching for his ownership. And then, once he was sure of his possession, he would show those freaks of nature just what a man could do to their kind.

The first month had been about covering their tracks and making certain that they wouldn't be found until Haswari was ready. The second and third months had been about deprivation and breaking him down. Food and water had been brought down to the barest of minimums. The guards had hurled physical and verbal abuse at him whenever they wanted, though never sexually. That belonged to Haswari alone.

And now the drugs had begun their work to speed the breakdown. He wanted Tony to be as far down as possible so that when he came back up, it was only because he'd had Haswari's assistance.

*  *  *  *

The house was bitterly empty, despite Mutt's presence. Jethro knew that it would feel like an accusation to be in his own home until they got Tony back.

If they got him back.

He had started to admit to himself that after five months with no sign of Ari or Tony, it wasn't likely to happen. The more time passed, the more people tried to get him to let go; some more subtly than others, but they all thought the same thing. Even if Tony wasn't dead, even if somehow the other man wasn't a wreck when they found him, it was entirely likely that if they got Tony back, the beta would be unable to re-accept Jethro as his alpha.

It had been so long since someone had deliberately taken one of their kind that there was very little lore about what happened. What they did know was that the bond between alpha and beta was based in physical fact. Ducky had discovered in his research over the years that there was a hormonal secretion produced by the alpha once he'd claimed his beta and it provided a kind of stability to the newly bonded. It tapered off after a year and then stopped altogether. He and Tony had only been together for a couple of months when the kidnapping had occurred. Jethro was still producing the hormone, but there was no one to receive it.

Unfortunately, it seemed to act as a siren call and not even Kate and McGee were immune to it. Jethro had never been more popular in his life, and it wasn't the loss he'd suffered that betas coming up to him had in mind to discuss. McGee was too frightened of him to do more than gaze at him with a dopey expression that set Jethro's teeth on edge, but Kate sometimes got a little too...close for comfort. Especially since he couldn't help but respond to her strength and the way she was filling Tony's shoes in all other aspects.

Jethro groaned as his cock hardened, just thinking about Kate. He didn't want to want her, but couldn't help himself. He could control himself, though, and fully planned to until they got Tony back. He'd gone without sex for longer periods in the past, it wouldn't kill him to go without now, even if it felt like it sometimes.

Mutt trotted up to him and plopped down on the step, licking his face.

"Thanks, girl," Jethro muttered. He put an arm over her and asked, "Think we can make it?"

She yelped a couple of times, as if really trying to answer him, and Jethro couldn't help but smile, however briefly.

*  *  *  *

"Feeling better, my pet?"

Tony groaned as he struggled up to the surface of consciousness, the solicitous tone making its way through the darkness of his mind and the pain in his body. A cool, damp cloth wiped at his eyes and over his face, cleaning it gently. When his eyes finally opened, he found Haswari sitting beside him on a bed. The bed surprised him more than Haswari himself and he rasped, "Where am I?"

"Somewhere safe," Haswari answered with a smile. "I am so sorry that you went through that. Had I known that you were being so abused and neglected, I certainly would have stopped it much, much sooner."

Frowning, Tony asked, "You didn't know?"

"Unfortunately not. The men I put in charge of you were reputable, trustworthy, or so I thought. That they practically starved you, and kept you in those terrible conditions is utterly reprehensible. I've taken care of them for that, believe me. You've nothing to worry about any more, my pet. I'm here now and I'll take care of you."

The wash cloth continued to wipe over his face a few more times, then slid down to his throat and around the back of his neck. It felt so good to be clean, that Tony made a contented noise and closed his eyes. He drifted to the sensation of the cloth against his body, cleaning him all over. He was so weak and grateful that Tony couldn't even feel embarrassed when his genitals were taken care of in the same fashion.

It was gentler than a hospital sponge bath, but felt nearly as impersonal. Besides, if Haswari had been interested in him for that, something would have been done a long time ago. His beard was cut down and then carefully shaved off. The hot facecloth left over his skin felt so good that he moaned in pleasure.

"I'm going to bring you to the tub now, rest easy," Haswari told him.

Tony wrapped his arms as best he could around the other man's neck when he was scooped up into strong arms. A faint embarrassment did rise at being lifted like a child, but there wasn't anything he could do about that either, so he simply rested his face against Haswari's shoulder. He was brought to a deep tub that was already filled with steaming hot water. It bit into his skin with unexpected intensity and gasped, jerking in Haswari's arms.

Haswari stopped to let him get accustomed to the temperature, then lowered him some more. It went like that until he was fully submerged. Once used to the heat, Tony sighed deeply and leaned against the curved porcelain and said awkwardly, "Thank you."

Smiling, Haswari replied, "It's no trouble at all, my pet. Come, let us get you clean the rest of the way. Then it's back to bed with you to rest some more, though I want you to eat something so we can get you back to full strength."

"Why are you doing this?" Tony blurted finally, unable to believe how the other man was acting. "You kidnapped me. You took me from my life. You were going to kill me. Probably still will, once you get tired of me."

A finger caressed his cheek as Haswari's smile grew. "I will never tire of you, my pet, that I promise. As for why...I didn't expect to find such a man as you on the end of my scope. I was going to kill you, that I can't deny, but do I not get the benefit of the doubt since that clearly didn't happen?"

Sullen, Tony answered, "You left me with them. Let me go through all of that."

"And once I found out how they'd treated you, I killed them to avenge your suffering."

Tony was stunned and had no idea how to reply. Haswari's anger was palpable and his words almost cold, as he'd related the killing. Confusion reared and he looked away from the piercing dark eyes.

Haswari's hand ghosted over his head and he continued, "But that is behind us. You belong with me now."

Wishing that he could just drown himself in the tub to get rid of the shame of his betrayal to Gibbs coursing through him, Tony allowed the other man to wash him without protest. This was his life now and he had to get used to it, whatever 'it' might entail.

*  *  *  *

Tony was rather surprised to find that Haswari kept his word over the next few days. The man was at his side constantly, helping him to the bathroom of his new room, giving him privacy when he wished it, entertaining him by reading the paper or playing cards with him. It seemed as though the man really wanted to make up for the ill done to Tony, even though he knew that it had to have been orchestrated by the man himself. It didn't jibe with what little he knew of Haswari that the abuse had simply slipped through the cracks, as it were. But it was also hard to reconcile such horrible treatment with the caring and gentleness shown him now.

Thinking it was best for him to simply do his best to regain his strength, Tony submitted to whatever seemed right for the situation. He allowed the fleeting caresses, responded to the jokes with appropriate levels of humor, and held up his end of the conversations. The fact that Haswari was an intelligent, educated man with a broad range of interests didn't phase Tony at all. Just because someone was a terrorist didn't mean they were stupid. He wasn't sure how much time passed in that fashion, maybe a couple of weeks, when the other man abruptly stopped coming.

The guards didn't return, but a doctor did.

Dr. Reginald Williams was in his fifties and grandfatherly, save the cold light in his pale eyes. It reminded him, disturbingly, of Gibbs when the man was eyeing a suspect like something to be studied. He greeted Tony, "My name is Dr. Reginald Williams and I'll be seeing to your care for the foreseeable future."

Dismayed, Tony stepped back a few paces and asked, "Where's Haswari?"

"He's been called away on business unexpectedly," Dr. Williams replied. "Now then, Tony, we need to check you out and make sure that you're in good health. Strip down to your boxers, if you please."

Tony hesitated, shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot as he questioned, "Can you get in touch with him so I can speak to him?"

"I'm afraid not. Please remove your clothes, Tony," the man repeated.

Biting his lip, Tony reluctantly pulled off his t-shirt and then took off his pants, shivering in the cool air that he hadn't before noticed.

The exam was brief and professional, thankfully, and when it was over, Dr. Williams informed him, "Your blood pressure is a little lower than normal, but otherwise, you're fine. I'm going to take some blood samples now to make sure that everything else is good, as well. Hold still now."

Tony flinched when the blood was drawn, three vials full, and wondered just what the doctor might find. He also wondered what the doctor was looking for and what kind of doctor Williams actually was. It was for sure he wasn't some simple medical doctor. There was something he wanted from Tony, though that wasn't yet apparent.

"Now that you're back to full strength, we'll move you to another bedroom where you'll be more comfortable. Especially since Haswari will most likely be working for a while to come. It wouldn't do for you to get bored now, would it?"

The condescension almost made Tony growl, but he merely smiled, showing a lot of teeth in the process. A faint scent of fear rose, which made his smile grow. Clearly the man knew exactly what he was and what he could do, if he wanted. If he really was back to full strength, maybe he'd be able to escape, but he wasn't. Tony wasn't sure what the problem was, but there was something...missing...and he knew that Shifting would take more energy than he had. Even before he'd been taken, going back and forth between forms had taken a lot of concentration and energy.

He was moved to the other bedroom only a couple of hours later and, since he was conscious for this transfer, Tony noted the long gray hall down which he was brought. It reminded him of some kind of research facility and dismay filled him that Haswari's true purpose wasn't to keep him for himslf, but to have him studied so that the rest of his kind could be found and destroyed.

The next week was boring and Tony spent a lot of time pacing restlessly in his new rooms, despite the dvd player and library of movies to choose from. The laptop also held a lack of allure and he only haphazardly played solitaire. Williams sat and talked with him for an hour or so every day, asking about the other form he could inhabit should he so choose, among other things.

Tony didn't answer, but the man kept asking.

*  *  *  *

"It's really incredible. Even just a week without you around and his blood pressure has dropped to almost unacceptable levels," Dr. Williams informed him.

Haswari smiled, satisfied by the report. "Excellent. What of that unknown compound in his blood, have you identified it?"

Dr. Williams shook his head and answered,  "No, but I fully expect to do so within the alloted schedule. What do you plan to do now?"

"Why give the poor boy what he needs," Haswari replied slyly. "His new alpha."

Haswari discovered that Tony was just lying in bed when he got there, staring at the ceiling. "It couldn't have been that boring while I was gone."

Tony jerked upright as if stung in the ass, a pleased look on his face that was quickly banished by a scowl. "You said you weren't going to leave me again!"

"I am sorry, Tony, but it could not be helped," Haswari apologized, moving to sit on the bed. "And I left Dr. Williams in charge this time, so I knew that you would be well cared for."

"Yeah, for a bug in a bell jar."

Haswari grinned at the mutter and rubbed Tony's thigh as he repeated, "I do apologize, my pet, but sometimes I will have to leave to work. Now then, how are you feeling these days?"

With a shrug, Tony answered, "Okay."

It was a sullen response, fully acceptable as it indicated that Tony resented the seperation. Curious as to just how much the other would accept from him, Haswari transferred his hand to the small of Tony's back and shifted closer. "Tell the truth, pet. How are you?"

"Bored. Tired. Unable to win at solitaire," Tony replied.

Sliding his arm around Tony's waist, Haswari said, "I think we can fix the boredom, but your card playing skills are likely to remain atrocious."

To his delight, Tony not only smiled shyly at the teasing, but sagged into the sideways embrace, laying his head on Haswari's shoulder as he sighed. Turning his face in, he admitted softly, "I missed you."

Haswari gently kissed Tony's forehead and returned, "I missed you as well, my pet. Come. Let's eat and get reacquainted. We shall have a feast of anything you want and watch a marathon of your choice, how is that?"

The smile returned, this time lighting up Tony's eyes, and the other man nodded. "That sounds great, Haswari."

A smile of his own surfaced, along with a thrill of triumph, and Haswari replied sincerely, "It's entirely my pleasure, pet."

*  *  *  *

Jethro paced the conference room, waiting for Fornell to arrive, just like he'd been doing for the last ten minutes. Kate was sitting and watching him, wary. Not that he blamed her, since he'd just about taken her head off when she'd suggested that he have a seat. Eight months after Tony's abduction and finally there was a lead. It wasn't much, from what Tobias had said over the phone, but he would take anything he could get.

The door opened and Fornell came in with, "Sorry about that, the printer jammed and I couldn't get the damn pictures printed. My secretary is..."

"What do you have?" Jethro demanded.

Holding up a hand, Fornell said, "Don't get your hopes up, Gibbs."

In answer, Jethro grabbed the other man and shoved him hard against the nearest wall as he growled, "Don't you fucking tell me not to get my hopes up, Fornell! What. Do. You. Have?"

"A man fitting DiNozzo's description was seen in a marketplace in Italy, accompanying a man fitting Ari's description," Fornell answered. He gave Jethro a pointed look and questioned, "Now, do you mind?"

Jethro released him and stepped back. "That's it?"

"No. One of the local pack thought she recognized DiNozzo and Ari, and followed the two of them back to where they were staying. She was only able to get pictures of them with her cell phone, since she didn't have anything else with her at the time, and that's what my secretary is trying to print out, so you can take a look."

Italy. Tony was in Italy with Ari?

"Gibbs, I think you should brace yourself for the possibility that Ari is a rogue and has somehow suborned DiNozzo from you," Fornell said quietly.

Shaking his head, Jethro snapped, "Never happen."

Fornell held up his hand again and pointed out, "It's been eight months, Gibbs. Stockholm Syndrome can happen in much less time. Add to that Ari being a rogue alpha, then it wouldn't be at all surprising if DiNozzo latched onto him in your absence through no fault of his own. Especially given the fact that he probably has no idea what can happen during a separation of alpha and beta for so long, since he's still so new to the whole thing."

Before Jethro could lodge the violent protest he wanted to give to that on Fornell's face, the door opened again and a young woman came in with a folder. Jethro took it from her, flipping it open to the pictures inside. Even though the pictures had been taken from a distance, there was no mistaking Tony's outline; not to Jethro. And the man with him was definitely Ari. The fact that Tony was with the other man and there was no visible means of restraint supported Fornell's caution, but he refused to believe it. There was some sort of coercion, it just wasn't apparent.

"It's him," Jethro said at last, still drinking in the sight of his missing beta. "It's both of them."

He tossed the folder to Fornell and headed for the door, Kate right on his heels. They had a missing packmate to collect.

*  *  *  *

Italy was just a stop on the tour, as far as Jethro was concerned, though he knew that Kate enjoyed the views from their hotels and car as he drove them to meet up with the Admiral's daughter Francesca. Chegwidden had more than kept his word about giving them the support they needed to chase down the first solid lead they'd had. Tom, of course, had approved them both taking the time off while promising to keep an eye on McGee. Chegwidden had come through with some surprising contacts in the CIA. There was, apparently, more to the Admiral than Jethro had ever suspected.

So they were armed, had contacts and support, and were on their way to meet with the woman who would bring them to where Ari and Tony had last been seen. The marketplace in Rome had been abandoned for an Alp getaway, the location to where the local pack woman had followed the pair. She'd reported in directly to Francesca who had officially taken over the surveillance on behalf of the pack that she headed, every bit her father's daughter from all appearances.

Jethro was just hoping that meeting a female alpha didn't give Kate any immediate ideas. Once they were back and Tony reunited with the pack, once he knew what kind of damage had been done to his lover, then permanent pack decisions could be made. If Tony wanted to go somewhere and never look at another weapon or be in the line of fire ever again, Jethro knew that he would step down and gladly. Just to have Tony back, safe and whole again, that was all he cared about.

Pulling onto the dirt road that led to the lookout where Francesca awaited them, Jethro couldn't help but wonder if this was really going to be as easy as it seemed. The man had eluded them with ease for eight solid months. This had to be a trap of some kind, even if the local pack hadn't been able to detect one. That, of course, was the reason they were armed to the teeth.

He stopped at the precise kilometer marking that he'd been given and got out of the car, hand on his gun as he searched for the blind where Francesca waited. Breathing in deep, he was finally able to locate her through smell before sight and strode over to her. Kate was right behind him, as silent as she'd been for the last fifty kilometers. The tension was marked in her, but it made her sharper, just like it did Jethro. McGee would have been a serious liability, which was why he'd been left at home. Maybe in a year or two he would be ready for this kind of op, but not right then.

The blind was a slight outcropping of rock surrounded by trees and underbrush and Francesca herself was a beautiful woman in her early thirties with long, dark hair and brilliant blue eyes, like her sire. Without speaking, she nodded east and stepped aside for Jethro to look through the binoculars she held out. He took them and the position, leaving the two women to suss each other out.

Below them was a small, comfortable looking cabin with one, maybe two rooms, two windows per wall, a car in the dirt driveway and no visible guards. His hackles rose when Tony's scent came to him on the breeze, altered in some subtle way that he couldn't decipher, and he growled softly. Forcing his emotions back, Jethro stood and faced the women with, "He's there, but something's wrong."

"Is he hurt?" Kate asked quietly, anxious.

Shaking his head, Jethro answered, "It doesn't smell like an injury, there's no blood anyhow. Whatever the problem is, Ducky can sort it out when we get home. Where are your people?"

"In position surrounding the cabin," Francesca answered promptly. "There are five of them at hundred meter intervals."

Jethro scanned the area with his binocs again, but couldn't catch sight of them. They were either exceptionally good, or had been compromised and were dead. Not trusting to anything, he stated, "I'm going in alone."

Francesca stiffened and hissed, "What? This putan has come into my territory and..."

"And he has my beta. No one is going to do anything to put Tony in more danger than he already is," Jethro interrupted.

Speaking up for the first time, Kate pointed out, "It's Gibbs that he wants and if he thinks that Gibbs is alone, there's less chance of Tony getting caught in a crossfire."

Francesca gave her own growl, clearly challenging his authority to lead. Having discussed this possibility earlier with Kate, he simply looked at her and arched an eyebrow. Possibly because the other woman had felt safe with Kate because of their shared gender, the other agent was in the perfect position to knock Francesca out with the butt of her gun. Jethro caught the unconscious woman as she fell and carefully lowered her to the ground.

Grimacing, Kate said, "You better make sure the Admiral doesn't have me keelhauled for knocking out his daughter."

"I will," Jethro promised, flashing her a brief grin. "You know what to do."

Kate nodded and ordered, "Bring him back," before Shifting. He was unsurprised to find a sleek, auburn furred wolf take Kate's place, the eyes far darker than when she was human. She blinked at him soberly before disappearing silently into the trees.

It would be a good fifteen minutes before Kate's hormones saturated the air and started to affect the men in position enough to have them leave their posts against orders. Though the shot Ducky had prepared wouldn't hurt her, it did taint her scent to that of a female in heat. Jethro had no doubts that Kate could elude wolves befuddled with lust but, if she didn't, he also knew that she enjoyed a good fuck now and again, as they all did. She wouldn't actually be in heat, so there was no danger of pregnancy, which was all she'd truly been concerned about.

Jethro went back to the car and took out the mines he was planning to set once the guards were out of position and in no danger of setting them off.

*  *  *  *

Tony wasn't sure what was making him so restless, but when mid-afternoon came, he couldn't stop pacing. His body was on edge, his cock rising of its own volition, and he suddenly realized there was a female somewhere close enough that her hormones had carried on the air. Haswari looked up at him from his book now and again, amusement surfacing, but it was ignored. Despite the fact that they were essentially in the middle of nowhere, Tony had no intention of trying to escape the man who had taken him. It was far too late for him to go back and at least with Haswari, he had someone who cared for him, who knew him for what he was and would keep him, no matter what.

Unlike Gibbs, if the other ever discovered just how badly he'd been betrayed.

It had been a couple of weeks since the alpha had truly touched his thoughts, since he'd been more than just a fleeting regret readily felt, despite the seething guilt and reprisal that simmered deep inside.

"Come here, my pet," Haswari finally ordered in fond exasperation. "You're making me dizzy."

Heaving a sigh, Tony walked over to the sofa where the other man was stretched out and sat on the cushion beside him. Leaning into the hand that cupped his cheek, Tony complained in a tone that was suspiciously close to a whine, "There's a female in heat around. I can smell her."

Haswari chuckled and brought him in for a deep kiss, exploring with the command that Tony had always craved, but never more so than since his alpha had been removed from him. It wasn't the same, never would be, but from a human, it was as close to what Tony needed as possible. He was still surprised that they hadn't actually come to the fucking, but whenever he asked about it, Haswari would only give a strange little smile and tell him that it was to be saved for a special occasion.

Pulling back, Haswari asked, "How's that, better?"

Tony shook his head put the other man's hand on his cock, which was straining his jeans. "Please, I need it."

"Mmm. I can see that," Haswari agreed, rubbing him through the material.

Moaning, Tony pushed up into the hard caress, aching to come already. The female must be really close for it to be affecting him so much. If only he could get rid of the teasing scent of Gibbs, everything would be fine. He could lose himself solely in the physical sensations, as he did when Haswari jerked him off or gave him a blowjob. But that ghost-scent was ruining his concentration and Tony growled angrily, pulling away and striding to the fireplace on the other side of the room.

The door opened a moment later and Tony froze when he heard, "I hope I'm interrupting something," in an impossible voice. It was Haswari's soft laughter, of all things, that broke through Tony's paralysis. Turning, he saw that Gibbs was standing in the door, against all rationality and belief.

Swinging his legs over the side of the sofa, Haswari announced, "I expected you at least two days ago, Special Agent Gibbs, what took you so long."

"I guess the world just isn't as small as they keep saying," Gibbs replied easily, eyes glued to the terrorist. "Tony, come on, we're leaving."

"Oh I think not, Special Agent Gibbs," Haswari countered.

Gibbs growled deep in the chest and ordered, "Move, Tony!"

But Tony couldn't go with him, not after everything that had happened. He couldn't go back to Gibbs having betrayed their bond with another. Uttering a soft, mournful whine, he shook his head and hugged himself, backing up until his back hit the wall.

"Tony! Get your ass out this door now!" Gibbs snarled.

It was when Gibbs' eyes left Haswari for just a second to search for Tony that Haswari leaped from the couch. It was a distance of eight feet and there was no way that a mere human should have been able to move that fast, but he did. The two men were on the floor, tangling and wrestling in what was clearly a lethal fight. There would be no quarter asked for, nor given. There would only be one outcome to this and whatever it happened to be, Tony would lose.

Knowing there was only one thing he could do, Tony grabbed the lamp from the coffee table and hurried to the combatants. Gibbs had partially changed, claws and fangs definitely in evident as he sliced into his opponent whenever he could get the chance. But Haswari had made his own marks on the other man, a bruise already darkening Gibbs' cheek and a hand print reddening just above the collarbone.

Gibbs heaved Haswari off him, kicking him through the air so that the other man slammed into the opposite wall. He launched himself at Haswari again, even though the other was dazed and slow to recover. Tony came up behind him and brought the wooden lamp down on Gibbs' head, dropping him instantly, before any more damage could be done.

A few seconds later, Haswari pushed himself up and drawing a gun from the ankle holster. He aimed it at Gibbs, clicking off the safety.

Panicking, Tony dropped to his knees beside him and begged, "No! No, please, Haswari, please don't kill him! He's lost and he'll know that when he wakes up. He'll know I went with you willingly and won't look for me any more. Please, please, show him mercy, for me?"

Haswari searched his eyes for an eternal moment then questioned slowly, "You'll stay with me willingly? For the rest of your life?"

"Yes," Tony replied with painful certainty. There was nothing else left for him now that he'd completed the betrayal started by being with Haswari. "The rest of my life, I swear it. Just...let him live, please."

A thoughtful look came over him as Haswari continued to eye him. A decisive nod of acceptance had Tony breathing a sigh of relief, but then he yelped in surprise when the other man yanked him forward for a hard, almost brutal kiss.

Haswari pulled back with an eerily wolfish grin and said, "Sealed with a kiss, my pet. Your mine now forever." Helping him to his feet, Haswari brought them to the door, helping support Tony's adrenaline shaking body.

Tony didn't look back.


Next story in series - Deliverance.