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Title: Worthy
Genre: slash, genderbend (trust me :-)
Pairing: Tony/Gibbs
Category: AU, first time, pre-series
Spoilers: None
Rating: NC-17
Word count: 12,824
Warnings: Highlight to view warnings. [Public sex, ritualized violence, shape-shifter intimacy in non-human forms (though no non-human sex)]
Pub Date: May 2010
Summary: Tony meets the shifter of his dreams over a dead body in a Baltimore alley. But will his courtship be accepted?
Author's Notes: Thank you to my betas, taylorgibbs and green_grrl. You ladies kept me honest. :-)

I've always been fascinated by the popularity of transformational fic in NCIS fandom. I've enjoyed a *lot* of the ones I've read, it just always seemed like a very odd marriage between trope and fandom. But, as these things do, the concept kept nagging at me. Then, a couple of weeks ago, an idea hit me like a ton of bricks and Worthy was born (and basic ideas for about six more stories… and then there're the SG1 stories in the same universe). (Possible spoilers between brackets.) [I've had a lot of fun doing the world building on this AU, not to mention writing a genderbending slash story where the genderbend doesn't turn slash into het. Sorta. (This is *me*, remember.) After all, if you're a shape shifter, where does it say you have to retain your gender when you shift? ]

The only thing Tony hated more than cold weather was being called out in it in the middle of the night to look at a DB in an alley. He'd lived on the East Coast for most of his life, but he never seemed to get used to it. He'd thought taking the job with the Baltimore P.D. would take him far enough south to avoid freezing his ass off all winter--Maryland was below the Mason-Dixon line, after all. That meant it was in the south, didn't it?

Mother Nature had a bitchy sense of humor.

Only one of his shifter forms loved the cold, but Bengal tigers got noticed wandering around in the Mid-Atlantic. It was easier to spread his wings and let his inner macaw out for the occasional wild flight, just not in this weather. Not only was it easier to hide from humans, if seen, people were more likely to reach for their cameras than their shotguns. An escaped parrot just wasn't nearly as terrifying as an escaped tiger. But his macaw sure did get attention and what more could a fella ask for? Well, except attention from a nicely muscled bitch. He grinned as he parked his car next to the cruiser in the middle of the street.

Someday he'd find her. He'd meet a strong, powerful female who'd be unable to resist his charms. She'd sweep him off his feet and have her way with him, then insist he do the same to her. Or maybe she'd want him to prove how much he was willing to risk to have her and expect him to make the first move. Tony shook his head and sighed, shoulders hunched against the cold wind, with the crunch of ice underfoot chasing his starry-eyed, romantic dreams back to where they came from. He had work to do.

Tony heard the fed before he saw or scented him. The gruff, "Special Agent Gibbs, NCIS," followed soon after by "Don't call me 'sir,'" echoed down the alleyway, leaving-- no doubt--a confused rookie in its wake. Tony rolled his eyes at his partner and sighed. But then the cold wind shifted, and while he'd probably forget the moment of resignation when he realized they were about to lose this case to the feds, he didn't think he'd ever forget this first scent of Gibbs. Even in human form, even over the stench of the dead human, he could tell another of his own kind, unmated and unclaimed just as he was.

Pheromones set his pulse pounding, and it was all he could do to not shift right there in the alley next to the dead body and bare his neck and belly to his future mate. At least he hoped he would be chosen. He'd need time to consciously analyze everything Gibbs' scent carried, but deep in the lizard brain his kind shared with humans something cried out, demanding this strong, powerful shifter as his mate.

No other shifter had better get within sniffing distance or he wouldn't be responsible for his actions. Three of his forms were deadly, each in their own way, and Tony had no compunction against using whatever force was necessary to discourage the competition. He knew in his gut that Gibbs was all he'd ever dreamed of in a mate, and if it took him a hundred years, he'd find a way to win her.

When Gibbs stopped next to Tony, he couldn't resist taking a moment to just enjoy the other shifter's scent, the heat rising from her male human form. Tony had yet to meet a bitch who didn't prefer to pose as a human male instead of female. They eyed each other in the dimly lit alley while Tony cataloged everything he could detect about his future mate. Gibbs raised an eyebrow at his direct appraisal. Tony ducked his head slightly and received the shadow of a smile for his efforts.

Feeling daring, Tony turned to his partner. "Nichols, why don't you go out to the street and see if you can keep anyone else from trampling all over our crime scene. I think it's my turn to play with the Feds." In the process, Tony managed to bare his throat just a little to Gibbs. Tony hadn't flirted with another shifter in a long time. It felt so good, even if he knew he was being too forward.

Nichols slapped Tony on the back. "You sure, kid?" Nichols indicated Gibbs with a jerk of his head. "I'll take this guy on if you want; I don't think he's going to fall for your charming self."

Tony shrugged and wished, again, that he'd chosen to be older when he'd become a cop. He was tired of being "the kid," but he wasn't ready to leave and take on an older persona somewhere else. Now that he'd met Gibbs, nothing would make him pull up stakes and move on.

At least not alone.

He barely noticed Nichols leaving; his senses were too full of Gibbs--Gibbs who leaned in and whispered, "Put a sock in it, pup. You want me? Show some respect and maybe I'll consider it." Gibbs drew Tony's attention to their surroundings and away from her warm breath caressing Tony's ear and jaw in the frozen night. "Or do you think I don't deserve any better than you nipping after me in a filthy alley?" The unspoken "human" before the word "alley" brought Tony up short faster even than Gibbs' terse whisper.

Tony felt the blood drain from his face and, once again, the almost irresistible urge to shift and bare his throat and belly to Gibbs arose, nearly choking him with its intensity. "I'm sorry, Gibbs. Of course you deserve better than this, I don't know… I mean, I'm--" The sharp slap to the back of Tony's head stopped his babbled apology.

"Never apologize, pup. At least not with words. Let's find who killed my Marine and then I'll see about giving you a chance to apologize properly." At Gibbs' words, Tony's shoulders slowly relaxed from their instinctive hunch. With a quick glance over her shoulder toward the head of the alley, Gibbs lowered her voice and leaned in again, "You're too pretty and too eager to ignore." With what Tony hoped was an appreciative sniff in his direction, Gibbs stepped away and back into "his" human persona.

Tony knew he was grinning, and yes, acting, like an idiot, but Gibbs' chuckle and the scent of female shifter arousal made it all worthwhile.

The case of the dead Marine corporal turned out to be fairly simple: too much to drink, an icy alley, a slip, a fall and a bang to the back of the head when he hit the pavement. Tony and Gibbs spent half the night and most of the next day questioning everyone they could find from the bar where Corporal Simons had last been seen alive. No one had a grudge against him. There'd been no fight, no argument, no reason for anyone to kill him. He still had almost two hundred dollars in his wallet and, Tony appraised, a halfway decent knock-off Rolex on his wrist. His buddies' descriptions of the evening were all the same: Simons was heading out to crash at his brother's apartment a couple of blocks away. The alley was a known shortcut for anyone going in that direction from the bar.

When he and Gibbs were around humans, Tony kept his attentions to himself. He focused solely on proving to Gibbs that he was a good investigator. That he could do the job they'd both chosen. That he was worthy.

Only when they were alone did he broach the subject of courtship.

"You're driving me crazy, Gibbs." The car swerved far too quickly around a curve. "Or you're trying to kill me!" Tony hung on to the car door for dear life. They were on their way to speak to Simons' C.O. A formality, but one neither of them would ignore, assuming they survived the journey. Gibbs drove more aggressively than any female Tony had ever known, and everyone knew females were nuts when it came to taking risks. It made riding with Gibbs equal parts sheer terror and almost overwhelming arousal. Gibbs just grinned and gunned the car into a turn.

The next time they came to a screeching halt, Tony couldn't stand it any more. He grabbed Gibbs' hand in his and ran his nails down Gibbs' palm. The effect on Gibbs was mesmerizing. Her eyes half-closed and she tipped her head back against the headrest. Her scent fueled Tony's resolve. "I don't know if I have a chance with you or not. You may have fifty suitors waiting in the wings, but I will not stand by while you kill yourself trying to prove something to me. Please, Gibbs. Please be more careful." Tony wanted nothing more than to lean over and nibble on Gibbs' exposed neck--stake his own claim on the female just as he longed to be claimed himself.

"I don't."

"Don't what."

"Don't have fifty suitors."

"Good. Though, being a tiger can be hungry work. One or two wouldn't be bad."

"Tiger, hmm?"


"Show me?"

"I'll show you mine, if you show me yours." Tony grinned at the surprise on Gibbs' face. "What, you think males don't get off on a bitch's forms? I wouldn’t be surprised if you had a T-Rex lurking behind those beautiful blue eyes." Tony scratched at her palm again. "Whatever you're hiding in there is bound to be strong and powerful and sexy as all hell."

"Just not used to one being quite so open about it."

"Gibbs, your driving scares the shit out of me, but only because you can't control everyone else on the road. But you don't scare me at all. You make me feel… safe." Tony blinked in surprise. He hadn't had time yet to sort through all the emotions Gibbs brought out in him, but as he said it, he knew it was true. "You do. I know you'll never hurt me or let anyone else hurt me if you can help it."

Tony swallowed and ducked his head in the manner he'd been taught to use for this moment and spoke the traditional words for the first time in his life. "My name is Anthony Daniel DiNozzo of the Long Island Pack. I am 47 years old and have mastered four different forms. I am fertile, have no offspring, am unmated and no bitch has claim to me. I am of sound body and good lineage. I beg the honor of courting you until such time as you turn from me or accept me as your mate."

Tony's mouth was dry as he finished. He'd learned the ritual as a cub and had scoffed at mated couples who got emotional when they heard the words. Now… now, he thought he understood. He felt as if his life hung by a thread. It all depended on how Gibbs responded. Head still bowed, he closed his eyes and waited to hear his fate.

Gibbs' hand closed around Tony's, nails digging in just enough to send a spark of arousal through Tony as Gibbs answered, "I am Leroy Jethro Gibbs, of the Southern Iroquois Pack. I am 58 years old and have mastered four different forms. I have no offspring, am unmated and no pack has claim to me. I am fertile and have been granted permission to start my own pack should I find a suitable mate." Tony sighed as Gibbs' hand stroked his throat and settled firmly on the back of his exposed neck. "I accept you as a qualified suitor until such time as you prove yourself unworthy through word or deed, or Pack authority proves you false."

It took a moment for Tony to realize the worst hadn't come to pass. She'd accepted him! It took all he had to keep from raising his head and looking Gibbs in the eye. Her hand on his neck was a clear indication that she wanted him to remain in position. His first test in their courtship. Could he accept her authority? Could he trust her to lead their pack? She would have her own tests. Could she accept his censure when she risked herself too much? Could she accept his help when she needed it? So many factors that had nothing to do with her sensual power or his devotion.

Gibbs released him and Tony raised his head, blinking to clear his eyes as Gibbs spoke, "Unless Simons' C.O. has something new to say, we're done for the night. We talk to him then we'll go to your place."

It was the fastest interview Tony had ever been part of.

Tony insisted on stopping at the grocery store. No way was he going to feed Gibbs take out. Not for the first time he fed her. He couldn't help grinning. The bitch of his dreams had accepted him as a suitor. He'd met her less than 48 hours ago, but he knew she was the one. The meal, their first courtship meal, would be simple, but he'd prepare it with his own hands. He nearly dropped a dozen eggs as his mind supplied an image of him, in his native form, dropping a bloody kill at her feet. He'd never brought down prey for a bitch before. It had always been an erotic image, but now, with a particular bitch in mind, it was almost overpowering.

He headed back to the butcher's counter for something big and red and raw to go with the smoked salmon, fruit and cheese.

Then he went back again and had the butcher cube it for him. No way was he going to see Gibbs in her native form yet. This way, he could hand feed her if she wanted. Tony finally understood why his teachers had spent years teaching him to control the urge to shift. Just the thought of Gibbs taking one of the cubes of raw beef from his fingers, or, even hotter, from his lips, nearly had him shifting right there in the middle of Whole Foods.

Tony managed to get out of the store and into Gibbs' car with his human form firmly in place. Uncomfortable as all hell, but still human. He deserved a fucking medal. Tony glanced at Gibbs as she whipped into traffic and decided maybe he had a chance at something much better than a medal.

They got to his place in record time, and Tony managed to get most of the groceries put away before Gibbs joined him in the kitchen. Tony swallowed hard and nearly came as Gibbs pressed up against his back, her strong arms wrapped around him, holding him closely, surrounding him with her scent, her arousal in her male form physically evident against his ass. Tony's hands shook a little as he unwrapped the butcher's paper and showed her the cubes of beef inside.

"I, um, wasn't sure if you'd want me to cook."

Gibbs' teeth pressed gently into his neck and Tony shuddered with desire.

"Don't cook it." Tony felt Gibbs' voice rumble against his back as her breath caressed his ear. She nuzzled his neck, the stubble on her human face scratching at him like hundreds of tiny claws, and he moaned in response. "Bring it into the living room. I think we'll need the space." Tony started to wrap the meat back up when Gibbs added, "And lose the monkey suit." With that, she licked his neck and left the kitchen.

Tony leaned against the counter and struggled with the need for control. He half listened to the sounds of his living room being rearranged, and the idea of Gibbs leaving her mark on his home made it that much harder to not shift to his native form. It was too soon, much too soon and he would not insult her like that.

Tony grabbed the platter he often used for meals eaten in his tiger form and arranged the beef and salmon for ease of access for his non-human forms. Having no idea what forms Gibbs might have tucked away inside, Tony could only offer the broadest menu possible on the spur of the moment. One shallow bowl held the cheese and another now contained the apples, dried figs and grapes, very expensive, out-of-season grapes. Oh well, if Gibbs didn't enjoy them, he would. He'd filled the nut bowl in the living room a few days ago, but his macaw hadn't made an appearance since… before the Henderson case. Tony stopped in shock. He hadn't spent more than a few hours out of human form in weeks. No wonder he was so jumpy.

He stepped into his living room with their meal and stopped short. Gibbs had moved the furniture to form a large open area in the middle of the room. There, sitting up on the area rug, was a large female grizzly bear who seemed to be laughing at Tony.

"Damn." It was the only thing Tony could think of to say. Unable to take his eyes off Gibbs for long, he stumbled to the coffee table sitting to the side of the now-cleared area and laid out the food. Tony hurried to strip and made a half-hearted attempt to fold his clothes, eventually just piling them next to Gibbs' clothes on the sofa. Before he shifted, though, he had to touch. His human form's hands were much more sensitive than anything his tiger or macaw had. He just had to run his hands through Gibbs' gorgeous silver-tipped pelt.

He approached and dropped to his knees when he got within reach. Gibbs snuffled Tony's hair and licked his cheek, as if she knew what Tony wanted and was granting permission. Tony was tall in human form, and while Gibbs could tower over him in this form, they were more or less at eye level in these positions. Tony had never met a shifter in bear form before. He had no idea where she might like to be touched, so he started with what he knew she'd recognize; native form hot spots.

Tony gently touched her muzzle, running his nails along her whiskers. As she leaned into his touch, he increased the pressure. Slowly he explored her face, finding where she liked to be touched. Before long, he branched out, moving along her body without a word being said. What started as a selfish desire to feel her coat had turned into something almost mystical. The spaces between the pads caused her to moan and shudder when he massaged her paws. Tony stroked and scratched, rubbing here and gently tugging on her coat somewhere else. Her response was a series of grunts, moans and sighs--a language Tony was grateful to have a chance to learn. He wondered if she'd touch him like this and, if so, if she'd enjoy it as much as he did.

He had no idea how long they sat on his living room floor while he explored and learned and she allowed him, accepting his touch. There was nothing even remotely sexual about this, they weren't even in compatible forms, but it was still the most intimate encounter he'd ever had. He wondered if she felt the same. She could snap him in two in this form, but what he'd said to her in the car still held. He had no fear of this bitch. He only feared not measuring up, not being good enough for her, not earning her respect.

Feared not earning her love.

Finally, Tony sat back on his heels, wondering if he looked as stunned as he felt. Gibbs shifted, returning to her human male form. She lay on her back, looking almost as stunned as Tony felt.

"Wow." Tony felt stupid saying it, but it was the only word that fit.

Gibbs smiled, a warm, bright smile Tony had never seen before and when she opened her arms, Tony couldn't fall into them fast enough. "Apology accepted, pup."

That first night set the tone for them. Whenever her caseload at NCIS allowed, Gibbs would come to Tony's apartment in Baltimore and stay as long as she could manage. As summer approached, Tony found some local sources of fresh raspberries and tried to keep them on hand once he discovered how much Gibbs loved them in bear form. He enjoyed them well enough in his macaw form, but rarely touched them if there was the slightest chance Gibbs would show up. He took his role as provider seriously. He'd arrange for deliveries to Gibbs' home if he could. While they regularly made love in their human forms, they were still in the very early stages of their courtship. It was up to Gibbs to take the next step and until she did, it would be rude to move onto her territory. Tony had been raised better than that. He wouldn't shame either of them, or their birth packs, with that sort of behavior.

But he could ask.

Tony had some vacation time coming up, and, barring a serial-killer convention in downtown Baltimore, someone else could handle the next DB that washed up in an alley.

"Gibbs." Gibbs' voice on the phone was brusque, but not unusually so.

"It's Tony, got a minute?" Tony had only ever called Gibbs to change their plans at the last minute because of work. Not that they made plans all that often. Gibbs usually just showed up. A few times, she hung out at his apartment while he worked a case and they barely saw each other for more than a quick fuck and maybe a meal together. But her scent would linger in Tony's apartment for days after she left and that made it worth even the short time they had.

"Sure, what's up?" Gibbs sounded more relaxed than she had when she answered the phone. Tony couldn't help grinning at the thought that he had done that.

"It's like this. I'm having lunch in D.C. with a friend on Saturday and wondered, since I'd be in the neighborhood, if you'd like to, well, do something Saturday afternoon or evening?"

Human social mores were drilled into shifter young from birth. They rarely made much sense to shifters, but it was safer to stay hidden in the middle of humanity than to make themselves known. Asking a bitch out on a date in her own territory was walking the edge of polite shifter society as it was, though Tony thought he'd courted her long enough that she wouldn't feel insulted by him asking. But no way was he going to risk bringing down the wrath of human society by overstepping one of their taboos. So, he was just a guy asking another guy if he wanted to hang out.

Just in case.

"Sounds good. Bring a change of clothes. My backyard needs cutting." Gibbs laughed and Tony didn't think his grin could get any bigger. She wanted him in her territory! She could have suggested meeting somewhere or simply said no. But she wanted him there and the change of clothes told Tony she wanted him to spend the night. This was good.

"You know, Gibbs, they have people for that sort of thing."

"So do I. His name's Tony."

"Good one. Okay, I'll see you Saturday afternoon, then." Gibbs hung up with her customary abruptness, and if Tony hadn't been walking into the precinct he might have jumped for joy, or at least shifted and flown around his apartment a few times.

He'd taken one more huge step toward his goal and hadn't been shot down in flames.

Life was good.

Life sucked.

A boat.

Gibbs was building a boat in her basement.

Tony's sire had always told him, "All bitches are crazy, Junior. Never forget that. They're strong and dangerous and beautiful, but they're all nuts."

Tony had waited patiently for Gibbs to finish sanding. When Tony had asked her out and Gibbs had accepted, Tony thought this would be his chance to show off something other than his ability to provide a meal. Then he got here and the afternoon really was devoted to yard work. At least her neighbors on either side were gone for the weekend, so Tony had been able loll in the grass in tiger form for a while, at least until Gibbs had sprayed him with the hose. That had led to a quick game of shifter tag which Tony's macaw had won, but only because the yard wasn't big enough for Gibbs' horse to get up to speed.

As it turned out, the tried and true "dinner and a movie" was out. Gibbs didn't care much for movies and liked dressing up for dinner even less. If Tony couldn't tell that Gibbs was as interested in him as he was in her, he'd've been very depressed by this time. Movies were one of his passions and he could easily show off his extensive knowledge of the history of cinema as well as shifter contributions to same. As for a nice dinner, well, showing off is what he did best and Gibbs pulled that rug out from underneath him.

Just when he thought the evening might be moving on to the "going out" part, Gibbs decided to take the time to make more trunnels, whatever those were, for the boat.

By hand, of course.

Tony's patience was almost at an end.

He sighed and went back upstairs to wander around Gibbs' home without her constantly watching him. Not that having Gibbs' attention was a bad thing, but there was attention and then there was feeling as if he was under a microscope.

Tony wandered around the first floor, gently touching here and there, leaving a light scent that only another shifter could detect. Still, he was hesitant to leave his mark too obviously. They'd just moved into this phase of their courtship. They had yet to see each other in their native forms and Tony felt a thrill at the thought of finally getting to touch Gibbs' native fur. He sighed and ran his hands through his hair. What he wouldn't give to charge down into the basement and use that damned boat as a scratching post.

Tony's aimless roaming led him to the stairs and in a daring move, he firmly ran his hand up the banister as he ascended. If Gibbs didn't want her home marked, she could pay more attention to him and give him something better to do with his hands. Thinking about what he'd like to be doing with his hands, he wandered into Gibbs' bedroom.

A spot of color stood out on the dresser. Tony stepped over to it, careful to touch nothing. He hadn't yet been in Gibbs' bedroom; they'd only had sex at his apartment. For a bitch to share her space was a huge step. Tony felt honored to have the run of the house, but this was his first foray into this room. Tony smiled when he saw what the colorful item was. The brilliant red of one of his macaw feathers stood out like a beacon in Gibbs' neutrally colored bedroom. Tony must have lost it earlier in the yard, probably when he'd swerved to avoid a bear's paw. Gibbs had given it in pride of place on her dresser.


Tony looked for anything else that could be construed as a token from a suitor but there was nothing as personal as the feather. That's when he noticed the title of the book the feather sat on, My Parrot, My Friend. It was possible that Gibbs had had a parrot at some point, but shifters weren't generally known for keeping pets. Tony got a warm glow from the idea of Gibbs at least considering him a friend. That's when he noticed the rest of the title, An Owner's Guide to Parrot Behavior (Behavior Modification Techniques and Their Role in Contemporary Aviculture). He should have been insulted, but it just made him grin.

He glanced around the room again, but his eyes kept coming back to the bright red feather. His grin faded and his insecurities rose as something occurred to him. Maybe she kept the really important things somewhere else. Tony stifled the impulse to search for a hidden cache. This wasn't a crime scene or a suspect's house. Coming into her bedroom was daring, but searching her bedroom was suicidal. He tried to calm himself. Gibbs had told him she didn’t have other suitors.

Well, she'd said she didn't have fifty suitors.

Tony told himself to stop it and nearly gave himself a slap to the back of his head as Gibbs was wont to do when Tony needed grounding. Gibbs, on the other hand, was sometimes too grounded. Tony grinned and started to strip. If they weren't going out, he was going to get her attention one way or another. As soon as his clothes hit the chair next to the bedroom door, Tony headed into the hallway and shifted in mid step. A couple of wing beats brought him to the stairs and he dove down them. He took a turn around the living room, just because he could, then landed softly at the entrance to the short hall that led to the basement door. He walked as softly as he could, trying not to click his claws against the wood floor until he could peer into the basement.

Gibbs was still working on the damned trunnels.

She had her back to the door.

Worst of all, she had her back to Tony.

This would not do at all. No self-respecting male would stand for this for long.

Tony stepped through the basement door and, with a flutter of feathers, hopped up onto the stair railing leading down to the basement proper. He paced along the rail for a bit while he pondered the tough shifter nut he had to crack. When in bear form, Gibbs seemed to enjoy his macaw. Tony knew he made her laugh, at least as much as bears could laugh. When they were in those forms, it was as if they were both able to throw off many of the inhibitions their human-form lives had drilled into them. These were the alternate forms that came most naturally to each of them.

It was said among shifters that the form a cub took instinctively was the clearest expression of their inner selves. Tony had never paid much attention to that sort of thing. He did know he had a lot of fun as a macaw, as well as more freedom than he had in any of his land-based forms. And he looked good in the process. Gibbs seemed to relish not being expected to speak when in bear form. She still managed to make herself understood, but she was definitely more interested in deeds than in words. Tony was still amazed at the gentleness that accompanied her raw power. In the past he'd been wary among friends who had large, powerful forms when he was in macaw form. It was one of the reasons he'd worked so hard to master his tiger.

But even in tiger form, he could be silly if it made people notice him, even if only to laugh.

If it made Gibbs notice him.

Tony launched from the railing and into flight. He took a turn around the basement, enjoying having a nice open space to stretch his wings. He kept checking on Gibbs, but she seemed to be ignoring him. Though he doubted the trunnels she was shaping were the source of her slight smile. So far, so good.

Tony landed gracefully on the end of the workbench. He cocked his head and studied Gibbs, who seemed not to notice the three-foot tall scarlet macaw standing on her workbench.

This would not do.

Carefully, Tony started walking and hopping to where Gibbs worked, singing a parrot song of sorts. He loved playing with his voice in this form. He stopped once in a while to get a parrot's eye view of something he'd seen in passing earlier. His eyesight in this form was far superior to any of his other forms and he loved the opportunity to investigate seemingly ordinary places and things. Tony ruffled his feathers and squawked at himself. He needed to stay on task. Time enough to get distracted by shiny things later. He had a bitch to woo.

Gibbs was diligently sanding the trunnels she'd made earlier. Tony only knew they were called that because she'd told him. He was still a little hazy as to their purpose. Thinking briefly about the book he'd found upstairs, he realized his own bookshelves would soon be sporting titles on boat building and woodworking. Not to mention grizzly bears and mustangs, and didn't it just figure that Gibbs' horse would be a mustang?

Tony briefly considered hopping up on Gibbs' shoulder, but the soft, old NIS t-shirt she was wearing would rip under his claws, and he didn't want to draw blood.

Not outside a true mating, anyway.

Using beak, claws and assorted Gibbs-related stuff, Tony climbed up to the shelf that ran along the back of the workbench. He made his way to a point right in front of Gibbs and stared down at the top of her head. Tony cocked his head first one way, then the other, admiring the late afternoon sunlight shimmering off the silver in Gibbs' hair. But he wanted to see her eyes… and be seen by her. Taking a firm grip on the edge of the shelf, Tony let himself drop so he was now hanging upside down, swinging gently back and forth looking directly into Gibbs' face.

Just upside down.

"Hi, Gibbs!" Tony had been working on that for days. His macaw form handled all sorts of impressions very well, but it took practice. He watched as Gibbs struggled, but finally gave into it and laughed like Tony had never heard her laugh before. He laughed his macaw laugh with her and rocked back and forth a bit to increase his swing. The more he clowned, the more Gibbs laughed. He decided to try turning around while still upside down and ended up falling beak first onto the workbench with a strangled squawk. As he struggled upright, Gibbs' hands were there, lending support.

"Are you hurt?" Strong, human male fingers brushed gently at his feathers while he took stock, glad that blushing wasn't something he had to worry about in this form. Still, he did have her attention.

"Just my dignity, Gibbs." He bobbed his head and extended his wings to demonstrate, and what did it say about him that he already had that phrase in his repertoire. She smiled at him and ran her finger along the feathers on top of his head.

"What dignity?" Gibbs chuckled and gestured for him to get off the workbench.

Tony stood tall, owning all 36 and a half inches of his height. He'd show her. With a flip of his tail, he spread his wings, hopped up and shifted in time for large tawny paws to hit the concrete floor below. So his macaw wasn't always as graceful as he'd like. He had gotten her attention and made her laugh. He just wished he could have avoided the pratfall.

"Hey." Tony looked up over his shoulder at the word. He turned around and padded to where Gibbs still sat. Tony laid his head on Gibbs' leg and looked up at her. She stroked his coat and Tony's eyes half-closed in pleasure. "Still wanna go out?" Tony draped both forelegs over Gibbs' lap, then stood up enough to head-butt her and chuff into her face. "I’ll take that as a 'yes'." Tony licked her face and rubbed his face against hers, blatantly leaving his scent. Then he dropped back to the floor before racing upstairs to shift and dress for their evening out.

Mission accomplished.

On to Part 2/2


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 4th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
love the first part of the story but im a little confused with the pronouns when you keep refering to he and she and im just wondering if ur calling gibbs a girl or tony form?
May. 4th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
Gibbs is a female shifter who uses a human male form. Once Tony discovers that the "male" NCIS agent is actually a female shifter, he always refers to Gibbs as "she" or "her" or "bitch" (which is not an insult in shifter society) unless he's talking to a human. Then Tony uses male pronouns for Gibbs since that's "her" cover in human society.
May. 4th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
Oh wow -- this is simply wonderful. :)
May. 4th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :-) I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for commenting, too. :-)

(No such thing as too much fb. :-)
May. 5th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
So cute - love Tony the macaw saying "Hi, Gibbs" and Gibbs laughing!!! Great, hilarious scene!

Interesting concept of shifters! Glad the idea hit you!!

On to part 2!
May. 5th, 2010 12:43 am (UTC)
LOL! Tony as a macaw is just so *Tony*. :-) That was great fun to write. I'm so glad people are enjoying it!
May. 5th, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
Before I go any further reading.... I was traveling along just fine and all smiles and 'ooo this is neat and different and, hey!, she made Gibbs the WOMAN!' when I hit:

Tony's sire had always told him, "All bitches are crazy, Junior. Never forget that. They're strong and dangerous and beautiful, but they're all nuts."

And just died laughing because I could PICTURE RW in my head saying that line while clapping a young MW on the shoulder!

*resumes reading*
May. 5th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC)
LOL!!!! I *heard* him saying it in my head. It was a sentiment I was trying to figure out how to get out there and then damned if Tony, Sr. didn't just pop up with a bit of fatherly advice. :-)
May. 5th, 2010 02:17 am (UTC)
Senior and fatherly advice.... *snort* :-)

And now I'm finished with part one! Yay! This take on things rocks by the way!!!

And that Tony's comfort form is a parrot that can talk and is all showy makes so much sense... as does Gibbs!Bear.

Now I can't wait to see what the other forms are....

*scampers off to part 2*
May. 5th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC)
I'm so glad their forms are resonating with other people, too! Though Gibbs being a bear is *canon*! They're always calling him a bear. :-)
May. 5th, 2010 03:10 am (UTC)
I am absolutely facinated. Will comment more later. Off to part two.
May. 5th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
EEEE! Thank you! ;-)
May. 5th, 2010 09:20 am (UTC)
Well, this is an interesting story so far.

I like what you've done with the shifter idea and how they have more than two forms and the human one isn't the baseline form. A lot of shifter fic has the human form as the most natural one, rather than the one that's simply the most necessary as you have it here. I'm intrigued to see what the native form looks like and whether it's the same form for all shifters.

The society is intriguing, too, and it's fun figuring out the boundaries and roles Tony and Gibbs have in that society.

May. 5th, 2010 02:14 pm (UTC)
Hope you enjoy the rest of it! It was SO much fun playing in that universe. I can't wait to play some more.:-)
May. 5th, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
*blinks* o.O
wow wowee ^^ loving it thus far. I must say i was a little apprehensive at the Gender Bender warning and almost backed away slowly. I'm so GLAD i didn't now. ^^ i'm thoroughly enjoying this. ^^ great job!!! *scampers off to part 2*
May. 5th, 2010 02:18 pm (UTC)
Re: *blinks* o.O
Thank you! I tend to do the same thing with genderbending, so I understand completely. :-)
May. 6th, 2010 07:09 am (UTC)
Oh, I loved this, esp the macaw hanging upside down just to get his attention. That animal was a wonderful choice for one of Tony's shifter forms. It did take some time getting used to , esp the thought of Gibbs as a female, but once I got my head around it, it is such a wonderful read.
May. 6th, 2010 12:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The macaw wasn't my first choice, but once it hit, I couldn't believe how perfect it was for him. Hope you enjoy part two! :-)
May. 6th, 2010 01:30 pm (UTC)
I did enjoy part two! But had to run to class after lunch ;) I also love the fact that Tony's portrayed as strong here. Gibbs is the Alpha female, but Tony's still a strong male, who knows who/what he wants. I'm also very intrigued as to find out what their original (think you used a different term..) form is.

I'm really looking forward to reading this series. I love it when someone creates another universe for our favorite boys to play in :)

Thank you!
May. 6th, 2010 01:41 pm (UTC)
So glad you liked it! I hate it when Tony gets turned into a wimp, but then, given what the series writers have done to him, it's not that big a surprise when fic writers do it. But I wanted to try and get into the essence of the characters. I was very surprised with how readily they slid into this universe. :-)

Hope you like the rest of the stories just as much. :-)
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