After the pain Tony knows things will go back to what passes for normal for them. His lover will drop down beside him and pull him into his arms and say he’s sorry over and over again. He’ll rub Tony’s back soothingly and kiss the soft sweet spot beneath his ear lobe and ask Tony why he has to make him so angry all the time.
Tony will apologize and brush away his lover’s concerns over the bruises, tell him that they’re nothing, and that he’s a tough NCIS special agent after all and he’s had worse than this on the job. Then Tony will let himself be pulled to his feet and ushered into the bedroom where his lover will push him down onto the bed and tell him he knows just the way to apologize. Once his lover is asleep, Tony will drag himself into the bathroom and stand under water as hot as he can bear it and scrub himself down over and over and over. He’ll never feel completely clean but he hasn’t felt completely clean, completely himself since the first day his lover raised a hand to him, since the first day his lover refused to listen to his pleas of no and raped him.
It’s just his life now and there’s no way out , no one who’d believe him if he told them. So he dries himself off, wincing as the towel rubs over bruised flesh then he gets dressed and heads off to work. It’s the middle of the night but no one will question him being there. He’s heard Gibbs say, “Tony does his best work at night.” He snorts a laugh at that then wipes away the blood that trickles from his split lip.
By the time he’s in his car and heading for work, he’s already formulating an explanation for his injuries, relieved he has a few hours for the bruises to fade, for the cuts to scab over. He leaves his car in the parking garage and rides the elevator up to the bullpen, feeling nothing so much as numb.
The bell signals his arrival at his floor and he steps out, already feeling his overstretched nerves beginning to relax now he’s left his lover miles behind.
He tosses his backpack onto the floor next to his desk then sits down, pillowing his head on his crossed arms atop the desk. He’s just beginning to drift off to sleep when a hand smacks the back of his head none too gently and he jerks awake, jolting upright in his chair. A firm hand grasps his jaw, angling his head up till he’s looking into the steely gaze of Jethro Gibbs, his boss.
“What the hell happened to you this time, DiNozzo?” Gibbs asks, his voice an angry counterpoint to the worry in his eyes.
“Got mugged,” Tony tells him.
Gibbs just shakes his head then walks away, back to his own desk. He doesn’t ask Tony any more questions and when Tony finally can’t keep his eyes open and his head droops back down to rest on his arms, the last thing he’s aware of is Gibbs, just watching him.