Banner by Me
Characters this chapter: Brian O’Connor, Tony DiNozzo, Spencer Reid, Aaron Hotchner, David Rossi
Relationships this chapter: Brian O’Connor/Tony DiNozzo, Brian O’Connor/Spencer Reid
Chapter Warnings: THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS POSSIBLE TRIGGERY CONTENT! PLEASE HEAD WARNINGS AND READ CHAPTER NOTES! Mentions of Torture, Heavy Angst, Ethnic Slurs, Dark!Tony
Word Count: 4,981/112,298
Chapter Summary: Brian learns something surprising one day while picking out clothes. Tony finds himself equally amused and sad as he explains some things to his lover. Then Brian and Spencer clarify their personal relationship. Brian is hopeful, until he isn’t. Spencer is confused, until he isn’t. Hotch is amused and then not that he has to explain such things. Lastly, a view into the past clears up the mystery that is Tony and one Padraig O’Connor better known as Brian’s father.
Chapter Notes: OK peeps! Here is the next chapter. It isn’t nearly as angsty as the last. The third section definitely features a slightly darker Tony than we are used to though. I don’t think it is triggery, but there is some mild torture. Please keep in mind, this Tony was raised by David Rossi and therefore would have a different sense of justice and protecting your family.
Chapter Twelve: An Unexpected Forever Home, Considering an Unexpected Romance and, You Reap what you Sow
~~* Early June 2011 *~~ * ~~ An Unexpected Forever Home *~~
Brian stepped out of the bathroom, a towel wrapped around his waist. Making his way into the closet in Tony’s room, Brian looked at the clothes hanging up trying to decide what to wear. Looking at the jeans hung neatly in a row, he realized that his six pair of jeans fit in nicely with Tony’s own denim. Something about the sight struck him as odd or out of place for some reason. Turning slowly in a circle, Brian looked around at the rest of the clothes hanging in the closet. He saw his shirts mixed in with Tony’s. His shoes were mixed in with Tony’s. His suits…
Walking out of the closet, still only wearing a towel, Brian looked around the room. The bed area was definitely divided into ‘sides’. Tony’s side was closest to the door. There was a nightstand next to it that had two pictures on it. One was of the three of them, while another one of Tony and Rossi when Tony was just a kid. There was some of change Tony had pulled out of his pocket the night before, as well as Tony’s wallet & the doc for his cellphone.
The other side had a picture Brian had carried around since college of himself and Tony at one of the Frat parties. It was something precious to him, and was never left somewhere he didn’t know it wouldn’t be safe. He also had his own wallet, phone charger, and a paperback that he’d been reading. Walking over to the dresser he opened drawers finding his underwear next to Tony’s. His socks with Tony’s, and on and on and….
Frowning deeper he walked out of the room, and back to the bathroom where he found his hair stuff, deodorant mixed in with Tony’s. Moving to the room Tony called their office, as opposed to the library type room that they considered Spencer’s, Brian realized that there were two desks, each set up with its own stuff. Again, one held Tony’s things, and the other one was set up with Brian’s.
After that he started wandering around the penthouse. Every room he went into there were things of his own, mixed in with Tony’s. He was standing in the kitchen, still wearing only his towel, when he heard Tony speak from somewhere behind him.
“Why are you standing in the kitchen with the refrigerator door, the pantry door, and all of the cabinet doors open wearing only a towel? Not that I am opposed to your state of mostly undress, but…. Seriously, Bri, what the fuck are you doing?”
Brian turned, and stared at his friend not speaking. Eventually, Tony lifted an eyebrow. “Yes? Are you trying to read my mind, Professor X? I wasn’t aware of your mutant status.”
Brian opened his mouth, and shut it looking back to the fridge, before closing the door and turning back to Tony again. “I have shit everywhere around here! Why didn’t you tell me I was taking up too much space?”
Tony frowned, and stared at the blonde feeling confused. “Because you aren’t? Seriously, what are you freaking out about? I don’t understand.”
“I have crap in every room, Tony!” Brian shouted freaking out, and Tony cocked his head to one side. He was trying to decide if he was gonna stand and hash this out, or flee for his life. He was starting to wonder if aliens had replaced his normally calm and reasonable lover with some odd freaked out pod person.
“You live here. Why wouldn’t you have stuff all over.” Tony finally asked still confused, but deciding to be a brave soul, and stay to face the weird beast that had taken over his friend.
“I… I live here?” Brian repeated feeling disconnected. He wondered if he’d missed a conversation somewhere. Deciding he needed to point out his living situation he commented, “I was just staying a few days.”
Tony’s lips twitched, as he tried to remain expressionless. “Dude, that was six weeks ago. You’ve moved in since then. Granted it was slowly, but you have definitely moved in. I figured you knew. My house is your house, or rather my penthouse apartment is your penthouse apartment in this case. It doesn’t make sense for you to live in hovel when you can live here.”
When Brian still kept staring at him, Tony frowned confused before the light bulb finally flicked on in his head. Sighing sadly, he moved to stand in front of the man he loved so desperately. “Brian, this isn’t going away.” He promised softly. Reaching out he covered circled Brian’s wrists with his hands in a gesture that normally didn’t leave the privacy of their bedroom. In this instance though, he needed to make sure that Brian was focused on Tony and not whatever was going on in his head.
“It’s safe, BoBo. I’m not throwing you out. The thing that made me break my promise can’t ever happen again. This is your home. This is our home. Someday I hope that it’ll be Spencer’s home, too. He’s even more clueless than you are though, if you can believe it. So, I am biding my time with him.
“Forgetting Spencer for the time being, it’s ok to trust this place we’re in. It’s ok to let yourself be happy, again. It’s ok to rise above it all. You don’t deserve those crappy places that you seclude yourself in, Bri. You aren’t the man you play. You aren’t a scumbag. You aren’t him. You aren’t your father, and you don’t deserve to live like a wanted criminal just because he wanted you to be line him. I am sorry I didn’t understand quicker where your head was at, or I would have told you all of this before now.
Tony wanted to say “I love you”. He wanted to tell the man that all the dreams they made lying in bed together at OSU were going to come true. He wanted to make new dreams that included Spencer. He wanted a lot of things, but as someone who was as broken as Brian, he knew that it wasn’t time for all of that.
Instead he just leaned forward resting his forehead against Brian’s. “This is our home, BoBo. We made it. We’re finally free.”
When his lover wrapped his arms around him and let loose the tears he’d held in for years, Tony stubbornly kept his own in check. There would be plenty of shower time to release his own angst later. Right now it was about Brian. It would always be about Brian first, and Tony wouldn’t have it any other way.
~~* February 2013 *~~ * ~~* Considering an Unexpected Romance *~~
Brian was sitting on the sofa with the latest editions of Car and Driver and Popular Mechanic on his lap. In one of the nearby chairs, Spencer was curled up reading a book at a pace that while still faster than most was much slower than what he’d seen used for work information. It was one of their rare nights without Tony. It had been awhile since he’d gone to see Gibbs, so he’d headed over there after work with pizzas and beer. He’d declared that he needed to spend time with his big brother, and to not expect to see him home that night.
“I feel like we’re just acquaintances.”
When Spencer looked up surprised, Brian bit the inside of his lower lip realizing that he’d been the one to speak. Having drawn the younger man’s attention, Brian decided to just go with it, and speak his mind. “I don’t want this to be about you and Tony or me and Tony. I want this to be you and Tony and me. I don’t want this… it feels like when Tony isn’t around, you and I have this weird college freshman year roommate thing going on. We’ve figured out how to cohabitate, but haven’t really taken the time to be friends. That’s usually because both kids know sophomore year they’ll be rooming with a friend.”
Brian sighs as Spencer puts down his book. A confused frown was firmly in place on his face. “The difference is that next year, unless something horrible happens, you and I will still be here still just… cohabitating. I don’t want that. We should be more than that. I… I feel like we should be more than just two random people who happen to be in love with Tony. I just want to be more to you than just ‘that other guy Tony dates’, and I don’t feel like I am right now.”
When Spencer just continued to frown at him obviously confused, Brian sighed. “It’s ok. Never mind. It was… it was just an… it was a stupid idea. There’s nothing wrong with how things are. Ignore me.”
Spencer watched Brian head to the bedroom that he shared with Tony, and knew he’d messed something up. He just didn’t understand what. Pulling out his cellphone, he navigated to the phone function, and called the person that he went to when he didn’t understand things.
“I think I messed something up, but I don’t understand what I did.”
He heard a sigh on the other end with a hint of amusement followed by softly spoken instructions, he guessed to Jack. They were followed by a few moments of absolute silence, and he could picture his boss moving to his home office. Hearing a door shut, he knew that he’d been correct.
“Tell me what happened,” he finally heard, and obediently relayed the one sided conversation. When he got done, he definitely heard a sigh from his boss and friend.
“Spencer…” Hotch started this time a hint of exasperation in his voice. The older man then abruptly stopped, before eventually starting again. “He’s trying to tell you that he wants a relationship with you, too.”
Spencer frowned deeper, turning the words over in his head. “I don’t understand. Why would he want that? He has Tony.”
This time he heard an inhale of air, and frowned deeper trying to catalogue what that meant, but found he couldn’t. “Reid… Spencer…” Aaron started and stopped. Spencer couldn’t help but notice he did that a lot in these conversations.
“He wants it because he cares about you. Threesomes aren’t about two relationships consisting of one person with two different people. A true threesome is about the connection between three individuals. Yes, there is a relationship between you and Tony, as well as another one between Tony and Brian. For things to work, for things to be healthy, there needs to be a relationship between you and Brian independent of Tony. Otherwise Tony’s just going to end up feeling like the middle man torn between two vastly different partnerships.”
Spencer bit his lip turning Hotch’s words over in his head. “Let me ask you this, Reid. What did you want? What did you hope for when you proposed this relationship to Tony?”
“I wanted Tony to have someone that he could have sex with who cared about him, and maybe didn’t hate me.” Spencer replied. When his friend didn’t reply right away he wondered if he had given the wrong answer.
“That’s all you wanted? That Brian didn’t hate you? You didn’t want some kind of relationship even if it’s just a close friendship with him for yourself? I ask because it sounds like you’ve set the bar for your personal relationship expectations terribly low, Reid. You deserve more than that. Do you… do you understand that? Do you believe that?”
“But, I have more. I have Tony. I basically already got a miracle. Who ever imagined that someone as amazing as Tony… Someone successful and popular and smart and good looking as him… He can get almost anyone he wants. I never imagined someone like him would not just be willing to spend time with me, but actually want to be with me.”
Spencer paused thinking over what he’d just said before going on. “How could I possible deserve a second miracle in Brian? Brian’s like… He’s basically… He could have been made into a marble statue. He’s…. He’s beautiful. I don’t deserve them both.”
Spencer heard Hotch take a deep breath, and went back to chewing on his lip. “But, you already have them both, Spencer.” He heard Hotch point out gently. Spencer turned the words over in his head as Hotch went on.
“Regardless of what you think that you deserve, Spencer, you have been given more than that. Tony and Brian both seem to believe that you deserve more than that. For what it’s worth, I think that you deserve everything that you are being given.
“At this point, the issue isn’t even if you deserve them both, because they have already committed themselves to you. The real issue here, is what are you going to give back? Brian is telling you that he wants a stronger relationship between you and he. It sounds like he was trying to open a dialog so that you two could get on the same page. I think you need to decide what you want from Brian, not what you think that you deserve. Ask yourself this. If you could have with Brian what you have with Tony, would you take it? Would you like it, or would it make you uncomfortable? Then when you’ve made a decision, you need to go talk to him and be honest. Tell him what we’ve talked about. You might be surprised by his response.”
Reid nodded then remembered that Hotch couldn’t see him. “OK, Hotch. Thank you for the advise.”
“Anytime, Reid. Call back if you have any other questions. I am always here for you.” When he heard the call end, Spencer set his phone down, and let his brain process what he’d been told. It was hard to get past the ‘what he deserved’ part, but he did as Aaron suggested.
One question Hotch had asked kept circling in his head. ‘If you could have with Brian what you have with Tony, would you take it?’ His relationship with Tony was amazing. He loved the time he spent with him. He loved being able to tell him anything. He loved getting kisses and hugs at home when he’d had a bad day, or even just because. He loved seeing the affection and love on his face and knowing it was for him. Would he want that from Brian, too? How could he not?
He loved Brian’s smile. He loved the sound of his voice when he was happy. You could practically hear his smile. He was completely fascinated by the man. He loved the way he looked at Tony. It was like he could see all the things that went through Spencer’s own mind reflected on Brian’s face. There were times he wished that he could sit and ask him a million questions about Tony and the parts of their lives that they’d shared. It never actually occurred to him though that those questions might be welcomed.
Would he want a similar relationship with Brian that he shared with Tony? After running all the scenarios and possibilities through his mind, after going over all the data and information that he had available to him, Spencer found that he couldn’t think of a reason why he wouldn’t. It occurred to him that most people probably didn’t make decisions involving emotion this way, but then he figured most people didn’t struggle with understanding even their own emotions as much as he did. Having made his choice, Spencer stood, and moved out of the room.
Pausing just outside the bedroom doorway, he watched Brian as he lay on the bed. His stomach was churning with guilt as he observed Tony’s lover. That though, that label alone, made him feel bad. Brian was right. There shouldn’t be a Tony and Spencer or a Brian and Tony. There shouldn’t be a Tony’s boyfriend or Tony’s lover distinction. Brian should be as much his as he was Tony’s. Maybe not in the same way, but still his in their own Brian and Spencer way.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be important… to be that important to a second person? Heck he’d have more boyfriends than Derek! The thought made him giggle drawing the blonde’s attention. Spencer waved in greeting drawing a small smile to the other man’s face.
“Can I come in?” Spencer asked shoving his hands into the pockets of his sleep pants.
When Brian nodded, he moved into the room, perching on the end of the bed. “I’m not very good at this understanding how I relate to other people thing. JJ used to help me figure this stuff out. Sometimes Derek does, but usually only if I go to him first. By then it’s too late, and I’ve already messed things up. JJ used to tell me when I was missing something. Since she has turned into the queen bitch though, she doesn’t anymore. I think that she’s trying to punish me for not listening to her about Tony… and you, but mostly Tony.”
“You didn’t mess anything up.” Brian protested, but Spencer cut him off disagreeing.
“I hurt you,” Spencer disputed quietly. “The why doesn’t change that. I will admit that I didn’t understand. It wasn’t until Hotch explained it to me that I was able to see what was going on. It never occurred to me that you wanted or would want a relationship with me, also. I consider Tony’s interest in me a miracle. The idea that someone as beautiful and as together as you could want a connection with me separate from Tony doesn’t make sense to me. Not because you are lacking in something, but because I am. I wouldn’t… It would be nice to have a relationship that is Brian and Spencer specific. That is if… if you still… want… it?”
When Brian smiled a little more, Spencer felt himself relax slightly. “People always assume that I have like a hundred friends. They assume that because I am outgoing, and generally I am a fairly happy and relaxed guy, that I have this huge social circle.”
Spencer began chewing on his thumbnail, one arm wrapped around his waist as he tried to decide where this was going. When Brian just barrelled on though he determinedly paid attention.
“The truth of the matter is, I have a ton of acquaintances. I know people all over. I have one friend. I have one person that I trust with everything, I have one person that I have ever let all of the way in. There’s only one person who has ever been given all of my hopes and dreams and secrets. That is Tony. I would really like to expand that list to two people. So, if you’re willing, then yes. I am all for finding out what it means to be Spencer and Brian.”
Smiling shyly, Spencer moved to curling into the blonde’s side as he began to tell the story of meeting Jason Gideon. He was excited to see where this led.
The next morning, Brian walked into the gym at work to see Tony stretching on a mat as he waited for one of the machines to open up. Walking over he bumped his shoulder, making his lover stumble slightly. When the other man just grinned goofily, Brian smiled shyly. “Mornin’, Flyboy.”
“Mornin’, BoBo. So, how did it go?” Tony asked abandoning his stretching. He hated Gibbs’ couch with a freakin’ passion.
Brian just smiled brightly and nodded quietly. Tony smiled back understanding. Words weren’t necessary. “Thank God!” He exclaimed then tackled his friend, making him yelp as they began to wrestle on the mat. Their tensions over the lack of cohesiveness between the three of them without Tony gone from their minds.
~~* Flashback Scene Pre-NCIS *~~ * ~~* You Reap what you Sow *~~
Officer Anthony DiNozzo, Jr,. currently known as Antonio DiBennedito, stood next to Marco Russo watching dispassionately as the man kneeling on the floor begged for his life. Normally, Tony would be horrified by this. Normally, his mind would be whirling trying to find a way to save this man’s life. This wasn’t normal though, and the man kneeling and begging wasn’t just any man. Tony couldn’t prevent his mind from going back to the last time he’d seen him.
Tony was walking back to his one room apartment, possibly weaving slightly from the amount of beer that he’d consumed as he tried to forget that his best friend, and the love of his live, was currently thousands of miles away at FLETC. Thanks to his football injury, Tony hadn’t been able to graduate with Brian. The plan was that he’d finish this last semester and then Tony would begin his own route into the FBI.
They’d known that they were going to have different paths. Tony had intended to go into the NFL until his football injury. Once that happened, and then he had to listen to that little girl burn, Tony and Brian came up new plan for Tony’s future. Tony would officially start the Peoria, IL Police Academy the following Monday. Brian had begun FLETC three months prior.
He’d almost reached the frat house when he sensed the presence of someone behind him. Unfortunately, though it wasn’t early enough to avoid the blow to the head. The last thing he remembered before blacking out was the hands picking him up, and the van rolling to a stop next to them on the curb.
When he came to he was tied to a chair, with a bright light hanging over him. “How very mobster movie,” he thought to himself as he squinted into the darkness. His head hurt like a bitch. Soon though his concussion would be the least of his worries. “Hello? Is anyone there? Look, I think you have the wrong guy!”
He was working on trying to figure out what was going on, while trying to loosen the ropes tying his wrists together when he heard a door bang closed, and footsteps of more than one person approaching him. A tall-ish heavyset blond man stopped just before him. “I can assure you Anthony DiNozzo, Junior that we do not have the wrong guy. I know exactly who you are.”
“That’s great. I have no idea who the hell you are. You mind filling me in?” Tony mouthed, and immediately regretted it when a blow to his cheek came from the darkness beside him. “Shut your fucking mouth, you filthy guappo! You ain’t disrespectin’ the boss like that.” A few more blows were delivered to his face before the older blonde held up a hand.
“I am going to explain how this is going to work, Anthony. I am speaking. You are listening. If you speak, Sean here gets to shut you up. He prefers to do this with his fists. Once I am done speaking, you are to agree with me. If you do not, there will be consequences. Consequences that will be painful for us both, but that I assure you I will insure that you pay the most heavily for.”
“You gonna at least tell me who the fuck you are?” Tony smarted back, and immediately Sean delivered more blows this time dividing them between his face and his stomach.
“You are not very intelligent, Anthony, or maybe I should call you Junior as your father does. A despicable human being. I can see that his son did not fall far from the tree. I will tell you who I am though. It is only right that you know whom you are to be fearing. My name is Padraig O’Connor. You have been trying to sully my son Brian with your WOP filth. I tried to keep the two of you apart after you managed to mess up the boarding school I selected for him telling your lies about Headmaster McSweeney. I worked very hard to get Brian in there, and get the correct man in place as the headmaster. Then you mess it up with your constant rebellion and stupidity. You and that filthy guappo agent friend of yours.”
Tony saw Padraig flick his hand, and soon Sean stepped in to deliver more blows to Tony’s head and chest. At one time he heard a crunch, and knew that he now was the proud owner of at least one broken rib.
“This is very simple, Anthony. You are going to leave my son alone. You will cut off all ties to him. You will not seek him out, and should my kind hearted son seek you out, you will insure that he does not do so again. I have plans for Brian. One day he will remember his place, and return to my side. I am allowing him to play at this being a federal agent thing because it could be useful at some point. You though are nothing but a nuisance.”
“Fuck you!” Tony spat spitting a mouthful of blood at the elder Irishman. “Brian will NEVER join you! Fuck you if you think that he’d ever stoop to your level. Brian has HONOR. You’re just a fucking SCUMBAG! I’m gonna make sure that Angelo takes all of you apart!” He wasn’t surprised when the blows came. He wasn’t sorry though. He’d never give up Brian though. He’d fight for him to the death.
When the blows stopped, Sean pulled his head back so that he was forced to look at Padraig’s face. “I don’t believe you will go to your filthy WOP friend David Rossi. I know this because should you do so, I will turn my son over to my new associate.”
Tony flicked his eyes to the side when a man stepped into the light. He was shorter than Tony by about a head, with a nasty scar running down his face. “You should feel honored, Anthony. Not many outside of my world know what this man looks like. I would like you to meet Nikolai Rushkov. I believe your friend Agent Rossi may have told you about him. He probably referred to him though as the Ghost Enforcer. If I cannot have my son at my side, he is of no use to me. If he is of no use to me, I have no care if he lives or dies.”
Padraig smiled coldly and Tony shivered knowing that he was truly looking into the eyes of evil. “The only thing keeping my son safe and alive, Anthony, is you. Should you make the wrong decision then Brian will be given over to Nikolai. So, you understand what that means, he’s going to let you experience a… taste of what my son will suffer though.”
From then all Tony could remember was pain and screaming and the sound of Padraig’s voice one last time. “Remember, Anthony, only you can keep my son alive.”
When he’d woken up, Tony had Rossi write a letter and made his Angelo promise it would be delivered to Brian. His Angelo had been worried sick, and furious when Tony had refused to answer any questions. When Tony only said to do his job, and find the Ghost, he saw a look of fear on his friend’s face. That had been the last time he’d willingly spoken of the incident.
Blinking and shaking his head, Tony came back to the present and noticed that Padraig O’Connor was much bloodier than when they’d started. Unfortunately for the old Irishman, his influence had waned over the years. He’d recently run his mouth to the wrong person about Marco’s father.
“What do you say, Tonio? Should we give this man another chance?” Marco asked. Looking at the blonde next to him, Tony shrugged then moved to stand in front of the kneeling man. With a flick of his wrist, Padraig’s head was lifted so that he was looking into Tony’s eyes.
He could see the moment the Irishman recognized him. Fortunately his broken jaw kept Tony’s cover intact. As the man screamed and made other equally urgent noises, Tony searched his heart and his conscious for any guilt or regret over what he was about to do. All he could find though was the picture of Brian’s face the last time they’d made love, and the tear stained letter Angelo had delivered back to him.
“I think that you do what you have to protect family, Marco. I know if it were me, I wouldn’t lose a second of sleep if O’Connor were to die. I’m going back to the car though. He’s not worth my time, and the disgusting noises he’s making is giving me a headache.”
Turning Tony headed to the vehicle he’d arrived in with Marco. He could honestly say that he had no idea who shot Padraig O’Connor. All he knew was that by the time he got to the car door, the deed had been done. When he turned to look back, Brian’s father was laying on the floor in a pool of his own blood. The bullet hole in the back of his head would make the cause of death easy to determine. True to his word, Tony never did lose a minute of sleep over the action.
A year later Rossi invited him for the weekend, and informed him that a man named Nikolai Rushkov had been killed by Interpol. His Angelo hadn’t said anything more, but Tony knew. Tony knew that his father figure knew what he’d done. He knew what had been done to him and by whom. He knew, and he approved. After all, you did what you had to for family.
End Note: Tony is definitely Rossi’s son in everything but genetics. I hope you enjoyed a little bit of revenge for what Padraig has put the two boys through.