Banner by Me.
Characters this chapter: Tony DiNozzo, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Spencer Reid, Ron Sacks, Tobias Fornell
Relationships this chapter: Mentioned Spencer Reid/Tony DiNozzo/Brian O’Connor, Spencer Reid/Tony DiNozzo
Chapter Warnings: None
Word Count: 4,713/112,298
Chapter Summary: Tony goes to visit Gibbs after getting his six month review. He’s a little freaked out, and needs some words of wisdom from his big brother. Then Agent Sacks makes an appearance in the BAU break room to harass Spencer. Tony waits as long as he can, but eventually steps in. Once the smoke clears, Spencer and Tony have a conversation about their feelings. Lastly, while Spencer is in Las Vegas talking to his mother, Tony has a moment to himself in the penthouse. He decides to take some time for himself and reflects on his life.
~~* NCIS May 2011 *~~ * ~~* The Beginning of Tomorrow *~~
Tony wandered down the steps to Gibbs’ basement and placed the pizza boxes he was carrying on the bench. Grabbing a couple pieces and some wings he took a seat on the empty stool Gibbs had moved downstairs for him. After a few long minutes, the man he considered his his brother stopped sanding and grabbed a slice out if his own box. “What’s wrong?”
Tony huffed and studied the slice in his hand before replying. “Nothing is wrong.”
Gibbs arched an eyebrow and looked from Tony to the pizza box and back. “The pizza boxes say otherwise.”
“You’re gonna think that I’m a freak.” Tony offered pouting, and Gibbs lifted an eyebrow smirking.
“Tony, I’ve known that you are a freak for years. Whatever you have to say isn’t gonna change that.”
“Hey!” Tony grumped playfully, and threw a piece of crust at Gibbs’ head when he laughed. “Fine! I’m worried because it’s going so well.” When Gibbs just stared at him, he barreled on. “I had my 6 month review with Hotch today. I like actually had a meeting with him, and then we went to lunch. He asked me if I had any concerns…. I had nothing to say, Gibbs.”
Tony frowned as he stuffed most of a piece of pizza in his mouth thinking as he chewed. “I mean, yeah JJ is still being a bitch, but Angelo said that wasn’t my issue. Derek is being cool now that we worked things out. This thing with Spencer is… Jesus, Gibbs, it’s more amazing than a relationship with sex. I mean, shit! He found me Brian so we can have sex!”
Gibbs snorted amused then eyeballed Tony. “Explain that whole thing to me, again. Is Brian like your approved piece on the side or what?”
Tony huffed and shoots Gibbs a dirty look, even though the smirk on the man’s face said he wasn’t quote serious about it all. “No, he’s… OK look it’s like this. We are basically one unit with three different levels of relationships. There’s me and Spencer, and we do everything a normal couple does except for the sex.”
“Last I checked sex was a big part of it, Tony. Maybe one of the biggest.” Gibbs pointed out, and the younger man scowled.
“Jesus, Gibbs, it’s no wonder you’ve been divorced three times. I know you and Shannon weren’t that way. We hold hands and kiss. We go on dates. We go grocery shopping. We pay bills, and make life decisions together. We have arguments then have awesome makeup cuddles with homemade dinner and movies. We share secrets and fears and… Everything.
“Brian and I are like a normal relationship with the sex. Spencer and Brian are… well I don’t know what the fuck they are. It’s not my relationship though so I am not sticking my nose into it just yet. I am giving them time to figure out what the fuck the two of them want on their own before I start meddling. Eventually, I hope that there will be a Brian and Spencer as well as Brian and Spencer and me element, but their relationship has to develop first.”
“And this makes you happy?” Gibbs asked softly, satisfied when his friend and little brother nodded.
“It does. That’s why I’m freaked out. When was the last time I got to be happy, and someone didn’t take it away? I can’t lose all this Gibbs. I’m scared to death, and I don’t know what to do.”
“Don’t borrow trouble.” Gibbs advised sighing and mentally cursing Senior. “You’re allowed to be happy, Tony. There’s a not a lot of things I regret in my life, but not being a better boss to you is one of them. Not being a better friend is also one of them. I thank God that you had Rossi in your life to pick up my slack.”
“Boss,” Tony began, but was cut off by his mentor and big brother.
“No, Tony, you deserve this. You have deserved it for a long time. It pisses me off that I was such a jackass to you. Being a bastard at work is one thing. Being a bastard to you outside of work is another. I have always considered us not just coworkers, but friends and family. You deserved to be treated as such by me, but I didn’t do it. You have my word that’s changed though.
“Don’t let the bullshit that Senior and I have put you through cloud what you have with your new team now. Don’t let Jeanne and what Wendy did to you cloud what you have with Spencer and Brian. If it works for you then hold onto it. Trust it. Believe that you deserve it, because you do. I’m proud of you, Tony.
“You could have hung around NCIS for years, and put up with our shit. That would have been the easy thing to do. Instead you took a stand and stood up for yourself. That takes more guts than maybe even I have. You did good.” Gibbs watched until the younger man nodded. When he started rambling about some their most recent case, and what movie he’d remembered to help solve it, Gibbs just sat back and listened. The rambling was a song he’d never thought he’d miss. His boy had done well for himself despite Senior, despite Gibbs, and despite all the people who had worked against him. The world had basically shit on him since the day he was born.
He’d suffered through parents who liked to drink more than they wanted to love him. He had what seemed like an endless stream of people who only wanted him on their terms. He kept having to make a place for himself in the world only to have people take it away sending him back to the start again. He was betrayed in the worst way by the very people he called family, and then lost forever his chance to make up with the one person who actually got it.
Tony somehow managed to stand on his own two feet, and find a real home, with friends who loved him. He’d found not one, but two men to love him, in what could only be in Gibbs’ mind a true DiNozzo relationship. One that went against all conventions, but he refused to back down from what was true to his heart. Gibbs had done things he wasn’t proud of, and he’d been accused more than once of being a dinosaur. He could only hope that from here on out he had the courage to take a page or two out of the DiNozzo Playbook. He had a feeling if he actually set down and read it, he might learn a thing or two.
Later that evening, Tony walked into his penthouse, tossed his keys in the bowl, then stowing away his gun and badge, crossed to feed Kate. As he watched her chase the food flakes around the bowl, he contemplated the things Gibbs had told him that evening. He couldn’t help but wonder how different his career at NCIS would have been if the man had said some of those things before those coms had been turned off. Maybe he wouldn’t have left. Maybe he would have tried to tough it out longer. Maybe he would have been willing to withstand more. Maybe…
Tony hadn’t met his DiNozzo relatives from the old country many times, but his uncle, whom he saw occasionally mostly thanks to Rossi after he’d taken over Tony’s care, would talk about his grandmother. There were two quotes the older man had passed down to him that the matron was quite fond of. Both were by Dante Alighieri, or more widely known as just Dante, better known for his work The Divine Comedy. The first was “Thus you may understand that love alone is the true seed of every merit in you, and of all acts for which you must atone,” and could be found in the second book. The second was “Do not be afraid; our fate cannot be taken from us; it is a gift,” and could be found in the first book.
Tony couldn’t help but think that they were both relevant to his current situation. Tony didn’t know what those quotes were really talking about, but he knew what they meant to him. He’d never read the actual books. Frankly the thought of them kinda scared him, and therefore he’d always avoided reading them. To be honest he’d lived hell right here on earth, and didn’t really need someone else’s interpretation of it. He liked the quotes though, and chose to use his own interpretation of their meaning.
Maybe everything he’d been though, maybe everything he’d suffered through was only to lead him to this moment. All the pain and loneliness and suffering were to get him ready for this new journey he was on with a team that was a real family, and two men who Tony had little doubt he would love until the day he died.
Maybe then things at NCIS, things with Gibbs had worked out exactly as they should have. Maybe NCIS was only his final trial he had to suffer before entering paradise. Maybe it was finally time to give himself a chance. Feeling as if a weight had been lifted from his soul, Tony said goodnight to Kate, and went to bed excited for what all his tomorrows would bring.
~~* BAU June 2012 *~~ * ~~* Big Mouthed Bullies & Confessions of Forever *~~
Tony listened to the bullshit conversation that he wasn’t supposed to be hearing. Spencer had gone off to get coffee, and had taken too long to come back. Maybe it was the case that they were on pushing some buttons, maybe it was the lack of sleep, or maybe it was just the fact that he loved Spencer beyond distraction. Whatever it was though he was absolutely not happy about what he was overhearing. Somehow his partner had been cornered in the break room at the office. They’d been working the case from home since it was in their general area, but that didn’t change the long hours all of the team was working. If anything it had just added to them. Rossi and Emily, and Derek and JJ were all out of the office looking at dump sites or interviewing family and friends of their victims. Tony had stayed behind to talk to family members that came into the building with Hotch, while Spencer was working on the geographic profile, and working on some old files they were looking through to see if they were related to their current case.
Tony tried his best not to treat Spencer any different than any of the others while they were working. Admittedly though he was only human, and things came up that he was helpless to not get possessive about. One of those weaknesses was people who felt it ok to treat Spencer badly just because he was different. He knew how his boyfriend felt about Tony reacting to such things. In his opinion though, Spencer took way too much shit. Tony tried his hardest to let him handle his own affairs, but there were times, like the bullshit that he was listening to currently, where he just couldn’t not step in.
Popping out his phone, Tony sent a message to both Hotch and Fornell. There was no way that he was going into this without both his supervisor, and Sack’s knowing shit was about to go down. Then, after putting away his phone, Tony strolled into the BAU break room. “Agent Slacks, I think you’ve wandered a little far off Fornell’s leash don’t you?”
Ron turned his attention away from the BAU’s pet super geek, and turned his attention to the murderer that they’d hired. “DiNozzo, what a surprise. I heard you were sniffing at the geek boy here. What’s wrong, stud, you not enough of a man to tempt him? I mean I know the kid is a freak of nature. I didn’t know he was dysfunctional, too. It must be something to find someone that you can’t con into your nasty cock. I’d offer to show you what a real man was like, Super Geek, but I’m not some dysfunctional faggot. I certainly don’t waste my time on freaks like you. Who the hell doesn’t like SEX? I’d say that you just need a good fuck by the right person and you’ll be on it like normal red blooded man.”
Tony’s fist clenched so hard that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to straighten his fingers anytime soon. His jaw was clenched together so tight that he was a little surprised his teeth hadn’t cracked. When he started to move forward, a hand clamped tightly around his upper arm. Looking back sharply, he saw Hotch standing there, eyes blazing as he took in the situation. “Say anything you want to him, DiNozzo, but do not hit him. That is an order. I am getting Garcia to pull the video and audio footage from this room now. So, remember that it will be taken care of.”
Tony nodded and turned his attention back to Sacks, who suddenly wasn’t looking as happy as he had been before. “What’s wrong Slacks? You can bully someone who’s simply too nice to put you in your place. You can harass me, and call me a murderer over a bunch of trumped up charges that should never had been brought up had you actually done your fucking job in ANY of those situations. But you’re afraid of continuing your harassment, homophobia, and loud mouthed bullshit when one of the boss’ is around? Sounds to me like you know you’re in the wrong. A real man stands by his convictions, but then you wouldn’t know anything about that would you? After all, you’re nothing more than a grade school playground bully with a badge.”
Tony chuckles darkly as he sneers at one of the few people that he could genuinely say he hated, along with such people as Ziva and his father. “You’re such a fucking coward. For your information, there is abso-fucking-lutely nothing wrong with Dr. Reid, or his sexual preferences or orientation. Sex isn’t the end all that be all. Do I enjoy it? Hell fucking yes, but that doesn’t mean that I am such a fucking Neanderthal, apparently unlike you, that I don’t understand a relationship is based on more than where I stick my fucking COCK. Spencer and I don’t either need or frankly give two shits how you or anyone outside of our team feels about what we do or don’t do in the fucking bedroom. You’re a loser, Slacks, and you’ll never go anywhere beyond a low level desk jockey. Hell you aren’t even Fornell’s SIC anymore because of your stupid big mouthed bullshit.
“I suggest that you remember your fucking place in this world. I also suggest that you remember what fucking floor you work on. You have absolutely no reason to be up here other than to harass someone. How you even found out about the workings of our relationship is beyond me, but I have a guess. After all you have a thing for pretty blondes. Don’t worry, I will be making sure a formal complaint is filed against you. I will also be personally finding out who is running her big fat fucking mouth.
“Not that I need to, but I am going to fill you in on some real truths, Slacks. I fucking love Spencer Reid. I am crazy, completely, head over heels, want to spend the rest of my life in love with, and can’t imagine my existence without him in love with Dr. Spencer Motherfucking Reid. He doesn’t need to let me fuck him to get my attention. His incredible brain does that all for itself, not to mention how incredibly gorgeous he is, and how fucking crazy in the head his hands make me when he’s doing just about anything. I would lay down my fucking life for him without thought, and I would give away every fucking thing I own for him without question if he only asked once. I am the goddamned luckiest bastard on the fucking planet for him even considering offering me a place in his life. The fact that he’s willing to let me in so fucking close makes me almost believe in a higher power. Now, I fucking suggest you leave, and don’t ever speak to SSA Dr. Spencer Reid again or I am going to forget I really like my job. Punching you in the fucking throat would make me ridiculously happy.”
“Listen here, DiNozzo! You can’t tell me….”
“SACKS! WHAT IN THE EVER LOVING FUCK ARE YOU DOING UP HERE?” They heard bellowed, as Tobias Fornell stormed in red faced and clearly pissed off. “I SPECIFICALLY TOLD YOU NOT TO FUCKING GO ANYWHERE NEAR THIS FLOOR OR ANY AGENT IN THE BAU. Are you completely fucking stupid? BULLSHIT LIKE THIS IS WHY YOU FUCKING GOT DEMOTED. NOW GET YOUR STUPID ASS DOWN TO MY OFFICE WHILE WE DISCUSS WHAT WE’RE GOING TO BE DOING WITH YOU.”
Storming over, Tobias grabbed his agent by the ear as if he was a petulant child, and dragged him out of the break room, all the while telling him and anyone that could hear him exactly what he thought of the latest fuckup.
Hotch watched the two men leave, then turned to smile at his agents. “I am going to go start the complaint. Why don’t you two take a few moments to gather yourselves before getting back to the case?”
The two nodded, but neither were looking at their boss. Tony was staring at some random cabinet, and Spencer was watching Tony as if he were afraid he was going to disappear. “For what it’s worth, I am crazy in love with you, too, Anthony DiNozzo, Jr. I would be quite happy to spend the rest of my life with you as well. Can we include Brian in that, too? I like him. He is pretty, and he promised to teach me how to surf. He says it’s a sport I might actually enjoy and be good at.”
Tony looked up surprised, then laughed when Brian was mentioned. He was fully aware that his boyfriend had more than a little crush on his lover. It never failed to amuse him when he was brought to his attention. “You’re not mad that I stepped in, and defended your honor? I know you generally hate such things.”
Spencer chewed on his bottom lip for a moment as he considered the question. “No, it’s different when you defend me than when say Morgan does it. I know there are many more times that you want to defend me than when you actually do it. Not to mention, I suppose that being in a committed relationship with me should give you some extra privilege. It isn’t like you’re getting sex out of this.”
“Stop,” Tony ordered and headed over to his startled boyfriend. “You know I hate it when you do that. I said it to Ron. I have said it to you before, and I will continue to say it to you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You’re not weird. You’re not defective. You’re not a freak. You’re a beautiful, highly intelligent, incredibly loyal, and insatiably curious man, and there isn’t a single thing about you that I would change if I could. Including and in capitals with an exclamation point even your sexual orientation. Our relationship, you and me, me and Brian, you and Brian, you and me and Brian isn’t anyone else’s business. Including the people on our team. I mean every fucking word I said to him, Spencer. If I am fucking lucky, I will be with you until the day that I die. Forever Spencer. My entire life has been leading me to you, and now that I know that everything that’s hurt before this has been worth it.”
Spencer nodded, and stepped forward into his boyfriend’s arms happy when they wrapped around his thinner frame. Resting his head on Tony’s shoulder, Spencer considered how incredibly lucky he was to have found this. Forever was never something he thought he needed or would have a chance at. Now that it was here though, he was happy to know he’d never live without it again.
~~* Thanksgiving 2011 *~~ * ~~* Reflections *~~
It was a rainy fall day, and Tony found himself with a rare moment of solitude. He knew that most people assumed that he was always on, and therefore had some phobia about being left in the apartment by himself. In all actuality he craved these moments where it was just him, his piano, and his gorgeous view.
He was glad that when he’d been looking for a new place to live that he hadn’t succumbed to the pressure to buy a traditional house. That just wasn’t him. He was thankful that neither Spencer nor Brian were picky about where they lived, which would have forced him to move once they finally all ended up in the same dwelling.
Spencer had flown to Vegas that morning, which was day after Thanksgiving, to see his mother. Tony had offered to go with him. Spencer was worried how she’d react to his presence though, and he expected it would be just a short trip so that he would be back to work Monday morning.
Brian was on assignment. A case he’d been working on for a year had broken wide open. There had been a chance at a meeting with their target that they’d thought they’d never get. Tony completely understood, and promised that he could amuse himself. Rossi and Gibbs had both invited him over if he got bored. Maybe he’d take them up on it the next day, which would be Saturday, but not right then.
All he wanted that night was some homemade pasta, some wine, and his piano. He’d had a song roaming around in his head for a while, and he wanted to get it out. It was a little sad, a little lonely, but the ending held hope and promise. The ending… the ending spoke of love and forever and finally finding your one true great romance. Finding that thing that Gibbs had felt with Shannon, and explained maybe a little why after all of these years he just couldn’t let himself begin to move on.
So, there he sat, at his piano with his blank music sheets out. He hadn’t placed window treatments on this side of the room. He hadn’t imagined ever wanting to block his view from this direction. The building was right on the river, and he could see the Potomac River and Maryland beyond that. Sometimes when he couldn’t sleep, and woke earlier than the others – which was really hard to do with Dr. Spencer “I don’t sleep” Reid living there, too – he’d sit at the piano with his coffee and watch the sun rise over the river. It was a truly breathtaking scene that reminded him of the simple pleasures, and why he kept going even when life was in the shitter.
Although lately life hadn’t been so bad. In fact, life had been pretty awesome he had to admit. For the first time since Wendy, he was in a committed relationship. For the first time maybe ever he actually felt like he and his relationship were coexisting in the same skin. Looking back he understood that while he loved Wendy in a way, it wasn’t this. It wasn’t his kind of love. It wasn’t his kind of forever. It wasn’t… it wasn’t him. The best thing she may have ever done for him was walking away. Although he still would have rather she did it a little earlier. Even with his new self-awareness, being dumped practically at the alter sucked.
This thing that he had now though…. This was… this was different. When Spencer proposed this relationship, Tony was…. Well ok… Tony said that he was all on board. He wanted to feel all on board, but he had his personal quiet doubts about his ability to enjoy such a thing. Frankly, he’d has his doubts about his own ability to ensure that Spencer enjoyed it, and got what he not just needed but deserved out of it.
However, once he let himself…. Once he actually gave himself a chance, and opened himself to the idea that maybe new doesn’t equal bad, he found out that this thing was not as weird as it sounded. He loved his moments with Spencer. He loved being free to express love in a way that wasn’t connected to his dick or his ability to perform while naked. He hated being expected to be purely entertainment value only. He’d never before equated that to his bedroom activities until he met Spencer. Or, until he’d gotten Brian back and remembered that good sex didn’t have to leave him feeling like a manwhore.
Brian…. Brian was the other half of his soul. Brian was the reminder that his childhood hadn’t been completely horrible. Mostly horrible, largely horrible, but not completely. There were brief moments of happiness thanks to both Brian and David Rossi. Moments that he’d locked away in a chest and taken out only when desperate. Moments that he’d since been trying to free and vowed never to imprison again.
As his fingers flowed over the ivory and ebony of his mother’s piano, he would occasionally stop to scribble down what he’d just played. Sometimes erasing and backtracking, sometimes scribbling ahead, but always enjoying himself. Tony could feel his body relaxing, and his spirit growing lighter. He needed to do this more regularly. The problem with that was it would be risking exposing it to the others. Writing music wasn’t something he’d even shared with Brian.
It helped that their previous encounters hadn’t exactly been conducive to creative environments. Boarding school had been full of mental, physical, and emotional abuse. College had been less of all of that, but a house full of Frat Boys wasn’t really the place to admit such things. At least his wasn’t. Maybe there were some that would be more accepting, but it wasn’t Alpha Chi Delta in the late Eighty’s.
As the song came together he could feel the loneliness and despair of his past pouring themselves out into the notes being replaced with hope and love and the possibilities of a bright future. When he was finally done, he set his pencil aside, and played the song from the beginning. He let the words flow out of his mouth, his husky voice mixing beautifully with the piano. When he was finished he closed the lid covering up the keys, and drained his now cold coffee as he stared out into the night.
When he’d found out that Ziva and McGee had turned off his coms, leaving him without backup, Tony felt like his life had really ended. Maybe it was dramatic, but that was how he felt. The longer he’d tried to force himself to accept it, forget it, and move on, the more he’d felt like he was dead inside. By the time he’d left he felt like he might never recover.
When his Angelo offered him the BAU, he felt like he’d been stuck in a cave for a decade, and just saw an unexpected light in the distance. Now a year later, he felt like he had finally emerged from the dark and camp, and had just stepped out into the sunshine. A little more than a year after the coms incident he had new friends. He had respect from the people he was to be leading, and from his boss above him. He had a new love, as well as the return of an old one. He had a beautiful new home. He felt like he could see never-ending possibilities in his future. Life was good. Love was amazing. Tomorrow wasn’t gonna know what hit it.
HUGE thanks go out to Rivermoon1970 for all of her hand holding during this process. This story would not have EVER gotten this far without her.