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Cause and Effect

Chapter Text

My fate is my own
I make my own mark
My destiny's not written
It lies in the dark
I build my own path
I craft my own way
I don't care about the status quo
Or what other people say
But if luck plays a part
In this world filled with doubt
Well... I wouldn't protest
If it helped me out.

Chapter One: A Brilliant (And Crazy) Idea


Tony had the worst luck.

Considering he was likely the first person in one hundred years that had actually had the black plague, this probably went without saying. Not to mention that Tony's life seemed to be the embodiment of Murphy's Law –what could go wrong did do wrong.

With often spectacular results.

Tony honestly didn't go looking for trouble... it just seemed to follow him around. He stumbled into traps unknowingly, got kidnapped by crazed mass murderers and even ran into people he knew at the worst possible places.

He'd run into his boss at a gay bar once. His thirty-years-older than him, married with three children boss. They hadn't been able to look each other in the eyes for weeks.

An argument could probably be made that Tony should retire and spend his life buried under the many covers in his bed. A case could also be made that, at the very least, he should stay away from gay bars and strip clubs.

But Tony was nothing if not stubborn.

And besides, he rationalized to himself, the chances of running into anyone he knew at a BDSM club were surely astronomical. A thousand to one.

And Tony was almost desperate enough not to care.

He didn't visit the BDSM scene often –it was much riskier, for a cop, than even a gay bar and, on the whole, Tony tried not to tempt fate. But, occasionally, things got stressful enough that Tony needed it, as much for his own sake as for everyone else's. When he got far enough along that even one of Gibbs' slaps could make his head swim he knew something had to be done.

Ordering himself a coke (alcohol, unfortunately, just made subspace harder to reach) Tony propped himself against the bar and scanned the crowd. It was a weeknight and, as such, wasn't that busy. Usually, Tony wouldn't have risked coming with so few people to hide among but he'd just suffered through a case that had dragged on for over a week and a half and he was fast approaching desperate.

"You right, sweetheart?"

Tony flicked his eyes to the left casually, already knowing this guy was a bust. Anyone who called him sweetheart wasn't going to pass muster as far as Tony was concerned. He may have been desperate but he still had standards.

"I'm meeting someone," Tony lied saccharinely.

"Does he know how lucky he is?" the man purred, reaching out to run a hand down Tony's arm, "He treat you right?"

This guy spoke like someone off some horrible 50's sitcom. Tony smiled his trademark razor sharp grin and edged away.

"I think I see him. Excuse me."

Tony slipped away, shuddering in distaste and resisting the temptation to brush the imaginary dust off his arm. It was times like these he felt sorry for women –it'd get pretty annoying being constantly hit on by sleazy men who didn't understand 'back off' when they were knocked over the head with it.

Still, if Tony didn't find someone to bring him down soon he might actually have to consider stooping so low. His entire body was buzzing and if he didn't find a Dom before he got back to work he'd find himself challenging Gibbs and pushing his boundaries beyond what was wise. Hell, pushing Gibbs at all usually ended in chaos and anarchy.

Determined not to let things deteriorate that far, Tony scanned the room again. Sleaze At The Bar was still watching him intently, eyes dark, and Tony felt his desperation kick up a notch. He'd go somewhere else but... well, BDSM clubs weren't exactly a dime a dozen in DC and Tony wasn't willing to settle. Not tonight.

He began weaving through the patrons, giving everyone he met a careful once over. Many were female, twice his age or so obviously submissive that they may as well have invested in a neon sign that advertised such a fact. He got interested looks from them all which, dressed as he was, wasn't surprising.

It didn't take long to catalogue everyone and soon the only person Tony hadn't assessed was the man sitting in the corner. He'd been there for perhaps an hour and never lifted his eyes from the book he was reading.

Who went to a BDSM club and took a book?

Unable to tell if the man was a Dom or a Sub without at least seeing his face, Tony made his way over. The man was facing slightly away from Tony and didn't notice his approach so Tony was forced to take the initiate and tap the man on the shoulder, prompting him to turn.

He wasn't sure who was more surprised: him or McGee.


Limp with shock, Tony fell into the chair parallel to McGee's and stared at him. Considering he was at a BDSM club, he was dressed quite plainly. Though still half stunned by shock Tony was also able to tell, in his current state of mind, that McGee was a top. Which, frankly, merited a raised eyebrow of its own.

"This is the last place I thought I'd find you," Tony managed eventually, not bothering to hide the incredulity in his voice, "Since when do you play?"

McGee had the grace to flush slowly, looking more awkward than Tony had seen him in a long time.

"I could say the same of you," McGee retorted, "Though, really, I don't know why I'm so surprised. This sort of thing's probably right up your alley."

"Seriously, McGee," Tony said, shaking his head in continued amazement, "How long? Promise I won't tease you. Frankly, I don't see where I'd have the grounds."

"Like that's ever stopped you," McGee grouched, and Tony had to concede the point, "Since I first started at NCIS. At first, it was just to help me gain some confidence and assertion but eventually... I found I needed it."

That last concession sounded like it cost McGee something to say and Tony couldn't help but be impressed. What McGee said made a lot of sense –poor Tim had been beaten down his whole life. It wasn't unexpected he would relish the chance to be in control. In a word full of uncertainties, being able to dictate what happened could be addictive.

"What about you?" McGee wondered, "I bet you've been topping since college."

Tony wasn't surprised McGee bungled his orientation. With his height, dark looks and winning smile, he got mistaken as a Dom regularly. McGee, who had known Tony for years and no doubt remembered all the times he'd gone toe to toe with Gibbs himself, had even more cause to get it wrong.

"Got it in one," Tony agreed, slyly, "Except for the topping part."

It was worth whatever dignity that cost him just to see McGee's jaw drop and his eyes widen in surprise.

"No," McGee breathed incredulously, leaning across the table clandestinely, "Seriously?"

Tony laughed at the sight McGee made and nodded.

"Wouldn't have thought you went for that," McGee admitted, "I mean, you're very loyal to Gibbs but you spend just as much time challenging him as you do following his lead."

"As senior agent, that's kind of my job." Tony pointed out, "But part of my ability to do that is because I'm a sub. If I don't get taken down I'm absolute hell. Which, of course, only makes it harder to take me down."

"That makes a weird kinda sense," McGee consented, sounding still a little unsure despite that, "I go the other way –if I go too long without asserting some dominance I start to lose my confidence and let everyone walk all over me."

"Hence the both of us are here," Tony observed, "Though I'm at least making a decent go of it. What's with the book?"

"None of the girls are my type," McGee returned defensively, "They're all half my age."

"That guy over there isn't bad," Tony pointed out, "Or is it only girls that do it for you?"

"You go for guys?" McGee blurted, shocked all over again, "You?"

"When I sub –pretty exclusively," Tony acknowledged, "I have some weird thing about being dominated by women. I either fight twice as hard or end up trying to switch the dynamic."

"I can't believe it!" McGee exclaimed, "You're so... so... so straight!"

"I'm also a federal agent," Tony reminded him wryly, "And the best undercover cop this side of the city. I know how to wear a mask."

"I wouldn't have thought you'd care about that," McGee returned, "You're so certain of yourself."

Tony gave McGee an incredulous look. Since, after all, McGee had been working with him for years now and, despite what Tony said, wasn't half bad at his job.

"Except when you're not," McGee confessed, reacting to Tony's look, "Okay, so your insecurities run pretty deep. But even when they're on display they're hidden."

"Even being self assured isn't the same as being a bisexual cop," Tony had to say, "A lot of people would give me a hard time and, frankly, I get into enough trouble without looking for more."

"I'd say," McGee agreed, a little too emphatically for Tony's tastes, "Still, I think it'll take me a bit to catalogue this new information and assimilate it to what I already know. You've taken everything I know about you, turned it on its head, given it a shake, and turned it back."

"I'm your proverbial snow globe?" Tony wondered, bemused. "And your hardly one to talk. I've learnt things I didn't even suspect about you."

"That's true," McGee conceded, "Small world huh? I mean, what are the chances that I'd be a Dom and you'd be a Sub? I can't imagine many people at NCIS would dabble in the scene at all except maybe Abby. And the both of us being at this club on the same night?"

It did seem like an awful big coincidence when phrased that way. Tony knew his own luck but, even then, this still seemed like a bit of a leap. It was as though this meeting had been preordained –which was ridiculous. But Tim was right –what were the odds that two men who worked together would not only be two sides of the same BDSM coin but in the same place at the same time?

And in that moment, Tony got an idea so insane that it was pure genius.

"You're a Dom and I'm a Sub," he began slowly, ignoring McGee's 'didn't-we-already-establish-this?' look. "You're looking for a Sub and I'm looking for a Dom..."

For a long moment, McGee just looked at him blankly. It was clear the exact moment things clicked into place because he blanched and scooted back so hurriedly that Tony was offended despite himself.

"Look, I'm really flattered and all, Tony," he babbled, edging back even further, "But you're really not –"

"McGee!" Tony interrupted with a snap, before that particular train wreck of a thought could become even more mangled.

McGee cut himself off, blinking owlishly one moment and blushing vibrantly the next.

"That's not what you meant."

"Not entirely," Tony agreed dryly, "But thanks for the ego boost. Really."

"Sorry," McGee managed awkwardly, "But you gotta admit it sounded... hinky."

"Dominance isn't just about sex, Tim," Tony pointed out, before pausing to amend, "Well, not entirely in any case."

"I know that," McGee argued, "Otherwise I wouldn't need it so badly. Still, it's a pretty major part."

"Because people make it a major part," Tony negated, "Myself included. What I'm proposing here is a match of convenience. You take me down when I get too wired and I do the same for you."

"I'm not sure if this is a good idea..." McGee hemmed.

"As opposed to going out in public, at the risk of getting spotted, and picking out a stranger to give us what we need," Tony retorted, "I mean, it's easier for you. You're the one tying people up as opposed to lying helpless in an anonymous hotel room."

McGee grimaced, conceding the point.

"Won't it screw us up at work?" McGee wondered, though Tony could see he was seriously starting to consider it, "What about rule 12?"

"It might become a problem if I was your boss," Tony admitted, "But I'm not. Besides, I'm suggesting we do this only when things get bad –I think it goes without saying we don't do it at work. As for rule 12 –McGee, we're not going to sleep with each other. We're not even going to date. I don't think this counts."

"You really think we could pull this off?" McGee mused, "I can't imagine you're an easy sub to get down."

"I'm a pain in the neck," Tony agreed, unabashedly, "I'll fight against you every step of the way but once you get me down... you'll feel your dominance like you never have before."

McGee lapsed into thought.

"If you're answer is no, that's fine," Tony assured, "I just think it's safer than what we're doing now. I don't know about you, but I only get to this point once every couple of months, depending on the cases we snag."

"Me too," McGee admitted, "Maybe... we don't even know if we'll work together that way. It's possible we might know each other too well to be comfortable with it. Why don't we try it out and see how it goes?"

"Test run?" Tony confirmed and McGee nodded, "Your place or mine?"

The look on McGee's face articulated perfectly well that he'd never expected to be asked that question by Tony of all people.

"Mine," McGee decided at last, "I think I need all the advantages I can get. I find it helps to be on my own territory."

Since a lot of Doms preferred things to happen at their place on their terms (which made sense, considering) Tony wasn't surprised by this answer. Instead he got smoothly to his feet and beckoned McGee to follow. McGee did so, looking adorably uncertain, and Tony felt the first inkling of doubt that this would work. McGee said he let people walk all over him when things were bad so, hopefully, his current submission was just a hallmark of that and he'd buckle up once they got to his apartment.

Tony had taken a cab to the club so they took McGee's car –after Tony spent a good ten minutes lecturing McGee on why you didn't take your car anywhere you didn't want to be seen or followed.

By the time they'd reached McGee's place, they'd fallen into the good natured sniping that usually prevailed in their relationship at work. A calm which was destroyed the moment McGee closed the door behind them.

For a moment the both of them just stood there, staring at each other uncertainly. Then McGee, shucking off his jacket, took a breath and visibly bolstered himself.


Tony, deciding to make this as easy as he could, followed the command without being forced. McGee seemed to gain some strength at Tony's easy compliance because he stood even straighter and appeared determinedly thoughtful. No doubt wondering how he could force Tony to submit without fucking him raw.

"Stay," McGee commanded, stalking out of the room.

Tony, not feeling his submission at all, rolled his eyes where he knelt and wondered, yet again, if this was a good idea after all. Despite his doubts, however, he stayed put obediently.

McGee was back in moments, holding a variety of items. The first of which was a blindfold which he busily set about tying around Tony's eyes. The world went out.


Used to that command (if not in this context) Tony did so without thought. There was some rustling and then McGee was tying a ball gag firmly in place. It was then that Tony's head began to swim, ever so slightly.

A moment later, Tony felt his wrist being grabbed and he was pulled to his feet. With sure hands, and without a word being spoken, McGee stripped him of his jacket and his shoes and socks. When he arms and feet were bare, Tony found himself being led. If this were a normal scene, he knew he'd be led into the bedroom but, of course, this wasn't a normal scene.

They stopped walking and, with a single hand pressing down on his shoulder, Tony was told to kneel again. He was feeling his subspace enough to want to fight that order, and hesitated a moment before he knelt.

Then came the ropes.

McGee had clearly done this before, because here there was no awkwardness or uncertainty. Just a single length of rope that slowly bound his feet and thighs, before binding them both together, trapping Tony on his knees. His hands were the next to be bound, this length of rope even longer than the last as it bound his arms together and then to his body. It took a good fifteen minutes but the end result was Tony, bound from head to toe. Tony's subspace shot up a notch and, as such, Tony found himself struggling against the bonds. Not that it helped. McGee had done his job well.

McGee left for a moment (which Tony only knew by listening to his shoes tap across the floor) but he returned quickly, sitting just behind Tony on what had to be a couch. Then Tony was grabbed and gently manoeuvred so that his head lay against McGee's knee and his hair, methodically, began being stroked.

For a long time (Tony wasn't sure how long) he sat there stiffly, fighting his bonds and shying away from McGee's persistent stroking. It seemed like forever before Tony felt the first lick of submission, knowing to his bones that he was utterly caught and there was nothing he could do but sit there and take it.

That thought took his submission up another notch and, another eternity later, Tony found he had given up completely. His subspace was absolute, his bones made of jelly and his head pressing into McGee's hand, which never faltered. For a very long while, Tony let himself sink, feeling safe and utterly content. Feeling like he belonged here, in this moment.

Tony wasn't sure how long they stayed that way –it seemed like hours and no time at all –before McGee's hand drifted from his hair to his shoulder. He touched him once, gently, before his hands drifted even further, to the ropes that bound Tony up. He unwound them carefully, slowly, and the more free Tony became the more centred he felt. Finally, the gag and the blindfold were being removed and Tony was blinking the darkness away and stretching his mouth open cautiously.

He shook his head, still groggy, and looked up to find McGee looking just as drugged out as he was. And there was.... something about the way he observed Tony. He seemed... sure of himself. Totally unconcerned and unembarrassed.

"How long has it been?" Tony wondered, swimming up slowly.

"A while," McGee admitted, "It's... three o'clock."

McGee sounded as startled reading the time as Tony felt hearing it.

"Glad we don't have work tomorrow," Tony managed blankly, feeling almost himself by now.

"I'll say," McGee avowed thankfully, "You should probably crash here."

Tony was too relaxed and too tired to argue. Subspace always took something out of him and all he wanted to do right then was collapse somewhere. McGee's couch would do well enough.

"We'll talk in the morning," Tony promised.

"Fine," McGee returned easily, yawning, "I'll get you a blanket."

Tony stripped off his tight-clinging clothes, happy to be out of them and wishing he didn't have to don them again in the morning –or the afternoon, depending on when he woke up.

"Here," McGee called, throwing him a blanket and a pillow.

"Thanks," Tony returned, busily making himself comfortable. McGee retreated into his room and, utterly at peace with the world, Tony curled up and the couch and quickly fell into a deep sleep.

He didn't dream at all.