"I don't know why you're being such a baby about this, Tim."
Tim huffed. "I am not being a baby."
"C'mon, what's a little kissing between friends? It'll look really weird us being here together and not making out at least a little bit."
Tony was way, way too gleeful about it, as far as Tim was concerned.
"I thought you wanted to get your undercover credentials, man."
Tim sighed. "I didn't expect I'd end up in this position."
Tony slung an arm around Tim's shoulders, grinned a bright, shit-eating grin which made Tim fear for his life, and turned to drag him into the club, just how he'd dragged Tim into this whole escapade in the first place.
6 hours earlier
"McGee! McGeester, McGoo, McGuffin, McUndercover, Mc-"
Tim waited patiently. From experience he knew it was best just to wait it out. He'd gotten pretty good at blanking out the worst of it. Eventually Tony would run out of words to affix 'Mc' to and life could resume.
"-McGaybar, McAgent, McLoverboy-"
Sometimes, of course, it went on longer than usual.
Well, that one's new. "Hey, DiNozzo. Did someone spike your coffee with Red Bull again?"
Tony ceased his gesticulating and clapped his hands down on Tim's shoulders, grinning like Jaws' less well known but toothier cousin.
(Tim was sure his increased tendency to think in film references was proof he spent way too much time with Tony.)
"Do we have an undercover assignment or what?"
Tim raised his eyebrows. "Well... do we?"
"Do we what?"
"Have an undercover assignment?"
Tony looked confused. "I just said we did, McGenius. Do you have a chip malfunctioning? Does your motherboard need replacing? Or do you just need a reboot?"
"You're the one who's gonna need a reboot if you don't give me a sit rep in the next thirty seconds, DiNozzo."
Tony's eyes boggled, and Tim grinned at the expression on his face. He was fairly certain, even when he wasn't feeling charitable, that there were only a few things in this world of which Tony was genuinely scared.
Vampires, rats, and Leroy Jethro Gibbs topped the very short list.
"Sorry, Boss. Yes, Boss. Was just filling McGee in on the situation, Boss."
"Fill him in faster."
"Yes, Boss!" In fairness to him, Tim also had to concede that Tony could revert back to work mode from batshit crazy mode faster than anyone else he knew, even Abby. "There's been a break on that drug case we were working last month where the leads all went cold, and a couple of us need to go undercover with covert surveillance equipment, get some intel on the new players, and it needs to be tonight, and I volunteered us, McGee, okay, that's okay, right?" Tony looked at him, all wide-eyed and earnest, like he was begging Tim to come out and play.
It probably wasn't far from the truth, Tim mused. Tony had always been a big fan of stake outs and going undercover and anything else that required him to either be nosy or to pretend to be someone else for a few hours. Doing both at the same time was pretty much his idea of nirvana. Hence the puppy face.
"Yeah, that's okay, Tony. What's the plan?"
4 hours earlier
"You know, McGee, I didn't think you'd agree to take this assignment," said Abby, in between testing the various pieces of equipment they'd be taking with them later and running through the known associates she'd be looking and listening out for on the live feed.
"Are you kidding, Abs? I never turn down a chance to go undercover, you know that."
Abby tilted her head back and forth like some kind of clockwork marionette with a twitch. "Well yeah, but I mean... going undercover with DiNozzo?"
"He's got my back, it's okay. And he's grown up a lot, you know?"
"Don't you think he'll revert, though? I mean, you're going undercover at the biggest LGBT club in the whole of the district, you don't think he'll be able to resist the whole 'McGee's totally gay' schtick, do you?"
"The biggest what?"
"LGBT? Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender?"
Tim's mood dropped abruptly. "He didn't tell me that."
He thought about it for a minute. "It'll be okay...? Won't it?" He gave her his best pleading look - another thing he'd picked up from Tony. "I mean, it's a work assignment, right, it's not like around the office when he's trying to be obnoxious, he actually has a job to do, so...?"
Abby gave him a sceptical look, and he wilted.
"Do you think this is Gibbs' way of torturing me for accidentally giving him my coffee the other day?"
She screwed her face up. "Well, I mean, I wouldn't completely discount it as a possibility."
He sighed heavily. "This is a nightmare."
"Maybe you can still get out of it."
She thought for a moment. "What if you...? You could always..." She shook her head, paused. There was a long moment of silence and of her face creasing and contorting as she tried to find a workable way of finishing her sentence.
Eventually Tim let his shoulders slump. If even Abby couldn't think of a way, there was no way. "It's too late, it's too important, and I already told Gibbs I'd do it."
She cringed sympathetically. "I'm sorry, McTim."
Huh. Now even Abby had started picking up DiNozzo mannerisms.
He sighed again. "I'm screwed."
2 hours earlier
"Come on, McGee, have some stones."
"It's just undercover, it's no big deal."
"You left out a few important details, Tony."
"Details schmetails. I said we were gonna be a couple."
"No, Tony, you said 'a couple of us' not 'go as a couple', it's not the same."
Tony grinned. "Look, I know what's bothering you, and I mean, yeah, I am considerably hotter than you are, but put you in a nice suit and it'll be, you know... and hey, for all anyone there knows, maybe you have a huge-"
"Do not finish that sentence, I'm begging you."
Tony waggled his eyebrows and his smile turned all toothy. "-bank balance. Why, what did you think I was going to say?"
Tim could feel his ears burning. He'd walked right into that one. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, but he really couldn't think of a way to dig himself out of this hole.
"Oh, Timothy. Are you having naughty thoughts?"
Tim cursed the blush heating his face.
"Thought so," said Tony, with a self-satisfied grin.
Tim reminded himself that no matter how cathartic it might be, punching Tony in the mouth a couple of hours before they had to go undercover together was probably not a great idea. "Aren't you supposed to be getting everything ready upstairs, rather than down here bugging us?"
Tony smirked. "But bugging you is so much fun, McGrouch."
Suddenly determined to exert what scant control he had left in this situation, Tim shoved. "Come on, we have stuff to do, DiNozzo, I don't have time for you to distract me."
"Are you saying I distract you, McGee? Interesting."
He bit his tongue. Don't rise to the bait.
At least Tony wasn't actively resisting or protesting being pushed out into the corridor, and if Tim hit the call button a bit more fiercely than was actually necessary, well, that was a better release of frustration than physical violence.
"I don't know what's worse, that I have to go to a gay club with you or that I have to let people think you're my boyfriend," he grumbled as the elevator arrived and Tony got in.
"Maybe they'll think you're in it 'cause I'm just so darn tooting pretty." Tony grinned. "I'm sure they'll think I'm with you for your money."
"Thanks, Tony, that makes me feel so much better," said Tim, not even bothering to disguise his sarcasm.
"Or alternatively," Tony said, as the elevator doors slid closed, his grin turning into a smirk, "maybe they'll just think you've got a really big cock."
Tim opened his mouth to yell, too late, found himself looking at smooth unyielding metal, and then banged his head against it instead.
Oh, I am so, so screwed.
"So I was thinking, when we get inside, we figure out a good place to overhear conversations, set up, and then just sit and flirt and make out and stuff. No one would ever suspect a couple of guys kissing to be Feds, am I right or am I right?"
Tony said it with the calm confidence he used when he was telling someone (usually McGee) what to pick him up for lunch, and Tim stared at him for a moment in disbelief.
"You think I'm gonna-? There's no way I'm gonna-"
They came to a halt and Tony slipped the car into park. "No way you're gonna what?" he asked, all casual, as he inspected his appearance in the rear view mirror.
"I'm not making out with you, Tony."
Tony swivelled to glare at Tim, and actually had the front to look offended. He frowned, peering over the top of the camera-glasses he'd insisted on wearing. Tim wasn't sure if they were actually a necessity or if Tony just enjoyed them as a prop. "Why not?"
Tim rolled his eyes. "Um, because A) you're you, B) you're a guy, and C) you're you."
"You can't use the same excuse twice."
"I can when it's a really good excuse."
Tony pouted. "I'm hurt, McMeangirl, hurt."
"Come on, what response did you expect, Tony?"
"I expected better from my Probie." Tony did his best sad puppy eyes, and Tim resisted, just about, the urge to slap him upside the head. "This isn't a game, McG, this is about helping take down a major drug ring and neither one of us getting dead in the process. Need you with me on this one, Tim."
Despite the absurd hangdog expression, his voice was earnest, and Tim sighed. When Tony was being all serious, it either meant he was, in fact, thinking about the task at hand, or he was running some kind of game which would end up leaving metaphorical or literal egg on Tim's face.
Unfortunately, it didn't make much difference right now. Whether Tony actually expected them to make out or not, they were in fact here as a couple, for a case, and killing or maiming Tony would have to wait until the nightmare was over.
Tony smiled brightly. "Ready to roll?"
Tim started mentally listing all the possible ways he could get Tony back for this, and it made him feel slightly better. "Okay. Let's get it over with."
Tim wasn't sure why he was so surprised how relaxed and comfortable Tony seemed when they got inside - after all, Tony was, despite his irritating qualities, a good agent, maybe a great agent on his best days, with experience undercover, not to mention being effortlessly charming and handsome with a natural talent for fitting in, no matter where.
Still, Tim had expected such an overtly masculine skirt chaser to be at least a little taken aback to find himself being ogled by a bunch of men, to not take quite so easily to having a man on his arm. But apparently, flirtation was flirtation, and Tony was very skilled at it no matter the target.
Tim, on the other hand, was excruciatingly embarrassed, and he let his mind drift back to his happy place (devising suitable punishments) as Tony laughed and smiled and joked and generally made the bartender and several patrons start looking at him like he was a particularly juicy steak.
The word snapped Tim's attention back to Tony. "I am not being a baby," he muttered under his breath.
Tony grinned. "I was saying, babe, we should go sit in a booth back there-" He mugged furiously and waggled his eyebrows "-where we might get us some privacy."
There were a few knowing laughs, and Tim could feel himself flushing deep red. He blinked for a second, disoriented, then smiled weakly. "Oh. Yeah. Sure." Babe? Really? He wasn't sure what to do with that, even in the context of undercover personae.
He tried to tamp down his reaction so no one would notice how totally weirded out he was, and followed obediently behind - well, until Tony stopped to let him catch up, grinned, and wrapped an arm possessively around Tim's waist.
Tony was definitely getting way too much enjoyment out of this whole stupid thing. Tim very much hoped Tony could see the murder in his eyes.
"There's my sweet boy."
Tim glared, and Tony grinned more, evidently having got exactly the rise he wanted. He guided Tim to a booth on the back wall where they'd have a decent vantage point.
"Never, ever refer to me as your 'sweet boy' ever again."
Tony gave him a look of wide-eyed innocence. "Hey, it's an endearment!"
Tim shuddered. "It's creepy."
The grin broke out again. "I'll bear that in mind."
Tim sighed. He didn't know if that was a good or a bad thing. "You are such a pain in the ass."
Tony spread his hands out and shrugged. "It's what I do."
He took off his glasses and arranged them carefully on the table so they would catch passers by, slapped his bugged wallet down after double checking the mic was working, then looked at Tim, his expression suddenly serious again.
Tim felt suddenly nervous, and then Tony was sliding along the seat, closer and closer, till their legs were pressing hard together.
"See, if we just sit here in silence, it'll look suspicious," breathed Tony.
"But we can't exactly act like a couple of straight guys shooting the breeze, either."
Tim blinked a couple of times. "I guess not."
"Plus, it makes sense to be quiet just in case the mics pick up anything useful for the folk back home. They don't need to filter out an hour of you getting pissy with me."
"Okay..." Tim didn't know where this was going, but his gut said it wasn't anyplace good.
"And besides, you're terrible at flirting even when it's genuine."
Tim narrowed his eyes. Now was probably not the time to argue, though. "What's your point?"
Tony placed his hand very deliberately on Tim's thigh. "My point is, I'm thinking maybe we should do something else than talking."
Tim swallowed again. Oh, God. He'd been really hoping Tony was winding him up, or at least they'd find another way to deflect attention.
Tony was still wearing the classic DiNozzo grin, smug and suave and sure of himself, but his mouth was open and his eyes were dark and he was... very close, all of a sudden.
It wasn't helping Tim come up with alternates.
"What d'you say?"
Had he ever seen Tony look so predatory before? He hadn't expected to have to deal with a great white this evening. "Okay?" slipped out, then he cursed himself for not thinking before speaking. He should know by now that giving Tony an inch was inviting him to take a mile.
Tony's grin widened, and Tim took a steadying breath, and then Tony was leaning in and it was definitely too late to run away, and he steeled himself not to react too negatively, and...
Oh. Ohhh. He'd sort of been expecting, ever since the subject came up, that any kissing he got strong armed into would just be pretend, would be embarrassing and awkward and in no way enjoyable.
He hadn't expected Tony to throw himself into it wholeheartedly, hands and mouth and body, no quarter, no mercy, no surrender.
He definitely hadn't expected to find himself held hostage by firm lips and a demanding tongue, for Tony's fingers to grip hard on his thigh and the back of his head.
He hadn't expected it to be good.
Startled, he grabbed Tony, and really, he'd meant to push him away, to establish a boundary and make it very clear having another guy's tongue in his mouth was on the wrong side of said boundary. So how he ended up squeezing Tony's biceps and pulling him in closer, he really wasn't sure.
They eventually surfaced, and Tim was sure his facial expression was more or less rabbit-caught-in-headlights.
Tony, predictably, just grinned again. When he spoke, they were close enough together Tim could feel the puffs of air against his mouth. "Well hey, McFrench," he murmured, "for a guy who didn't wanna kiss me..."
Tim pouted, hating himself for it but not able to stop himself. Why did Tony have to be so smug and infuriating and- "You are so..."
Tony's tongue flicked out to moisten his lips, and Tim berated himself for glancing down but he couldn't help it.
"So what, Tim-o?" He waggled his eyebrows again. "So good looking? So charming? So attractive?" Somehow he managed to get in closer without actually touching Tim's lips, and Tim let out a shameful and utterly embarrassing noise. Tony grinned, and when he spoke again it was low and rough. "So... sexy?"
"So annoying," Tim said, and it was supposed to come out firm, decisive, to knock this thing on the head before it got out of hand, but his voice had ideas of its own. It hadn't cracked like that since Susie Evans had smiled at him in eighth grade English.
Tony's grin got wider and wickeder, and Tim found himself thinking about sharks again. But what was much worse was how, when Tony leaned in again, the wicked grin still on his face, Tim found himself leaning in too, mouth invitingly open.
It started just as overwhelming as the first, and Tim wondered exactly how he was supposed to survive even a few minutes of this, never mind however long it'd take the looky-loos to decide they had what they needed. He wasn't sure exactly what to do with his hands, especially since they'd betrayed him so badly last time. He really didn't trust them not to get him in hot water. He needed somewhere risk free.
Not an easy thing to decide with Tony suctioned onto his face and proving his luck with women wasn't entirely looks and charm.
Thighs? Definitely out. No breasts in this scenario, so that was out, too. (Okay, in theory he supposed guys might touch each other's chests but - no, he was shelving that notion as too weird.) Anywhere that could easily be used to pull Tony closer was clearly a terrible idea with way too much room for mischief.
Eventually he settled for putting a hand on Tony's waist and looping the other, with ridiculously deliberate care, loosely between Tony's shoulder and neck, with a stern reminder to himself that looser was definitely safer.
He wasn't sure how he was going to make peace with having Tony's tongue playing with his. And the fact it wasn't one hundred percent horrible (or even five percent horrible, really) wasn't making him feel better about it. Tony's single minded focus wasn't giving him enough room to think coherently, but his brain wouldn't just give in and shut off for a while.
Then, gradually, the kissing slowed into a warm, comfortable rhythm, until it was positively mellow. On instinct he leaned his shoulder into the back of the booth, taking Tony with him, and relaxed into it as they took turns to leisurely and thoroughly explore each other's mouths.
And Tim remembered suddenly how enjoyable kissing could be, even when (or maybe especially when) it wasn't necessarily a prelude to more but was just itself. And he found himself hoping the surveillance would take a while, after all. It'd been a bit too long since he'd had a really enjoyable kiss, and this was undoubtedly enjoyable, even if realising that made his brain hurt.
'Excuse me,' said his common sense, 'you do realise you're making out with Anthony DiNozzo?'
He calmly told it to mind its own business, please. He was fairly sure it had a point, but Tony was good at this. Really, really good at this. Just the right mix of fun and aggression and discovery and (he hated to admit it) sex. The kind of kiss which said 'I could do this for hours' but also 'and then I'll take you home and make you scream my name into the bedsheets'.
God, it was really good.
The hand on his thigh slid down between his legs, and he prayed to the Flying Spaghetti Monster it wouldn't move too far upward.
His body didn't care who was kissing him, it didn't care how much ribbing he'd get if this reaction was discovered, all it knew was that a good kiss should be rewarded with blood flow to his crotch. And it was responding with ruthless efficiency.
Keep an eye on his hand, Tim told himself solemnly. Could be dangerous. Not to be trusted.
Tony tilted his head, deepened the kiss even more, and Tim cursed himself for the sound of pleasure he made, then realised he hadn't made it, and in fact the groan vibrating and reverberating in his mouth had come from Tony's side of the equation.
Huh. It was odd to find kissing Tony so enjoyable. It was downright weird to discover Tony liked it too. Even if he'd thought Tony swung that way, he still wouldn't've expected Tony to swing his way.
It was yet another thought to add to the many jangling round his head.
Kissing Tony: surprisingly good. Keep an eye on Tony's hand. Keep an eye on own hands. Tony apparently likes kissing guys. Or at least likes kissing me. Hmm.
Tim was pretty sure the finest education money and smarts could combine to procure should've prepared him better for situations like this.
And Tony really was good. So good Tim should probably find a better adjective, but it was already strange enough to call this 'good'.
For a while he managed to squash all the confusing thoughts down. After all, a good kiss was a good kiss, no matter how unexpected the dancing partner. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, just keep kissing it on the mouth, he thought, and somehow managed to keep the slightly manic laughter internal.
Then Tony's fingers started to move up his leg again, slow but inexorable.
He'd gotten carried away enough his first reaction was pure enjoyment and anticipation, and then he remembered the blood flow issue and whose hand it was and the spectacularly huge potential for embarrassment, and his mind raced. At a loss what else to do, he clasped his hand desperately around Tony's wrist and held on tight.
Tony chuckled, squeezed Tim's thigh, and it wasn't until he tried to move again and Tim let out a desperate noise that he realised Tim wasn't just joking or teasing. He drew back and gave Tim a look.
"What's wrong?" He kept his voice low, and Tim really hoped his moment of panic wasn't being recorded for posterity.
"Everything's fine." It would've sounded a lot more convincing if it was a touch lower pitched, but apparently that wasn't an option. He was aiming for a whisper, but it came out more like a squeak.
Tony frowned at him for a moment, looking thoughtful, then a grin rose like the dawn on his face, wide and mischievous. "You sure? Something you're trying to hide from me, Probalicious?"
"Hmmm. My super special agent senses detect a lie, McHardon."
Tim felt himself flush from his hairline to his neck. "N-no, there's nothing, I'm not-"
"Aww, c'mon buddy, it's nothing to be ashamed of. I'm really hot. Lots of people get turned on by me." Tony moved closer, his voice getting even lower and more intimate. "Not so bad yourself."
Tim blinked nervously. "Um."
"Wanna know what I'm hiding?"
The lascivious tone wasn't exactly unfamiliar, but having it directed at him? Oh, God. Tim attempted to keep breathing and not to prematurely take a trip to freak-out-ville.
"You're looking surprisingly... McSexy, tonight, Tim."
He swallowed. "Thanks?"
"We need to revamp your wardrobe." Tony nodded, as if this conversation were in any way normal, fingered the collar of Tim's shirt. "A few more sharp suits like this, you wouldn't recognise yourself in the mirror."
Tim blinked a few more times. "Thanks?" he managed again.
Tony grinned. "So now we've established we're both hiding something..." He tried to shake his hand free from Tim's wrist. Tim clung on for dear life.
"We're working," he said, weakly, then realised he maybe should've gone with a reason more along the lines of 'I don't want you to touch me there'. Even if he was no longer sure it was entirely true.
Tony let his gaze wander slowly down Tim's body and then back up, and Tim found himself swallowing nervously again.
"Well, maybe later, then." Tony grinned his most terrifying grin. Again. "In the meantime..."
Tim'd never thought he'd see the day when Tony leaning in to kiss him would be a relief. Though he kept hold of Tony's wrist, since clearly both of them needed their hands keeping in check. Oh well. Abby'd been right this assignment was going to mess with his head. She'd just been wrong why.
Then Tony did something new and surprising with his tongue, and Tim yelped, then gave in and let his mouth open further in welcome. There were worse things than serving your country by indulging in a very satisfactory make out session.
He clamped his hand more firmly around Tony's (because better safe than sorry), told his common sense, for the thousandth time, to please shut up, and started mentally singing the Star-Spangled Banner to remind himself this was just the patriotic thing to do.
He wasn't sure about 'maybe later', and he didn't know quite how he was going to face any of his teammates in the morning, but in the spirit of making lemonade, he figured, a really good kiss was a hell of a booby prize. He might as well make the most of it.
~ fin ~