Banner by me
Characters this chapter: Tony DiNozzo, Aaron Hotchner, David Rossi, Spencer Reid, Brian O’Connor, Tobias Fornell
Relationships this chapter: Tony/Spencer, Tony/Brian O’Connor,
Chapter Warnings: Background Character Death, Aftermath of the Plague, Angst
Word Count: 5,569/112,298
Chapter Summery: We slip backwards slightly in current time to get a peek at when Aaron informed Tony that NCIS wanted to use him for an undercover operation. Spencer looks to add another person to Tony’s circle, and seeks out Angelo for advise. Tony suffers an unexpected loss, and Brian finds out that the affects of the plague will never really be over.
Chapter Notes: I am not sure how to warn for the third section without spoiling things too much. I did my best. There is character death in the Unexpected Loss section. It is not someone I conciser vital to this story, which is why I labeled it as background. You will not see anyone else’s reaction to this section. Please keep in mind previous warnings that this story is not about the NCIS cast. It’s about Tony first and the Tony/Spencer/Brian relationship second. Everything else is unimportant. I am sorry if it detracts from your reading pleasure for some of you, but it won’t change. This is the story I am telling, and it is being told the way that is true to me. This will be the last author’s note that I address it for those wonderfully amazing readers who are accepting the story as it is being shared.
Chapter Five: Heading into Unknown Danger, Finding Necessary Comfort, Unexpected Loss, and Breathing Ain’t Easy
~~*BAU January 2016 Earlier in the Day*~~ * ~~*Heading into Unknown Danger*~~
Tony walked into Hotch’s office, and closed the door frowning as he tried to figure out what he’d done. “Why do you always think that you’re in trouble when I call you in here?” He heard his boss ask, and looking up blushed as he shrugged his shoulders before sitting.
“Years of experience?” Tony suggested, and Hotch just huffed rolling his eyes.
“Well you aren’t in trouble. NCIS has requested your assistance with a case, and I wanted to talk to you about it before you go over. To be honest, I have a bad feeling about this.”
Turning serious, Tony straightened up in the chair and nodded. “How so?”
“First off, Director Vance made sure to distance himself as much as possible from this. He made it very clear that the demand was coming on the orders of the new SecNav, but conceded that your assistance was admittedly needed. He also made sure that I understood he felt you shouldn’t be sent alone.”
“That’s,” Tony paused closing his mouth, and cocking his head to one side. “That’s troubling.” Tony admitted shaking his head. “Do you know what they want me for? Have you approved the request?”
“I haven’t yet approved it, but I don’t really have a good reason to say no. I do know that you’d be working with Gibbs’ team, and that they want you to work undercover. I did confirm to Vance that if you came I was unwilling to send you alone. SecNav seems to want only you, but I stressed that we would be unwilling to comply with that request. I also reminded them that the agreement signed by Jarvis gives us that right, and that his death does not negate that contract.”
Tony frowned further, and looked out the blinds to Spencer who was at his desk in the bullpen. When Tony left, Spencer was plowing through his pile of consults. He expected the man would work on some of Tony’s cold cases, as well. He didn’t like the idea of going undercover with NCIS. Hell he didn’t even do it much for the FBI, just a brief stint of a couple hours for a BAU case here and there. There was no way though that was what NCIS was asking. Gibbs’ new team, now called the Terrorism Investigative Unit, didn’t do mundane, ordinary cases. Only things with ties to terrorist activity got kicked to them. The fact was that Tony wasn’t used to doing that kind of undercover work any longer, and frankly didn’t want to get used to it again.
If the BAU had taught him nothing else, it was that he didn’t have to be someone else to be loved and accepted. Tony had spent most of his life playing the part of someone else. Usually whatever someone the people around him wanted. The BAU though only wanted Tony DiNozzo sans all the masks and personas. Because of that, he no longer felt comfortable spending long periods of time in someone else’s skin. “I’m not really comfortable doing the kind of undercover they want anymore, Hotch.”
Hotch nodded in sympathy. “I tried to explain that. The higher ups though would like you to at least go and find out more information before we make a decision. I consulted John, and he says that the final call us up to you. He also advised that he’s more than ok with you taking Brian with you as backup.”
Tony nodded carefully looking out to the bullpen at Reid again. “I’d want Reid, too. They’ll be expecting Rossi, but I don’t want to give them that… leverage. Call it prideful, but I don’t want to hand them ammunition to use against me. Someone would accuse me of hiding behind his coat tails. Besides, I can point Spencer in the direction of recent terrorist activities, and he’ll know more by the time we get there than maybe Gibbs’ team has with whatever research they’ve been doing.”
Aaron snorted amused knowing that it was the truth. “I know we’re putting you in a bad position, Tony. If you really don’t wanna go, just say the word, and I will find a way to work it out.”
Sighing, Tony shook his head and stood. “No, I’ll do it. I’ll at least go, and see what they want. Just make sure Brian’s gonna be clear to stay however long we need him.”
Hotch nodded, and smiled as if he knew something Tony didn’t. “John advised me that Brian was assigned to us for however long this case takes. I have a feeling someone has been making waves, again, about getting him on the team.”
Tony grinned and headed to the door looking back at Hotch with a twinkle in his eye. “You know what they say… What Spencer wants…”
“Spencer gets,” Aaron finished with a chuckle and waved Tony off. “Keep me up to date, DiNozzo. And, no getting homesick! I am not giving you back now! You are BAU now. They wasted good, we sure as hell are gonna benefit from it. Rule number five isn’t it?”
“Aye, Aye, Captain! Rule number five is correct!” Tony shot back grinning, and left to find his boyfriend and his lover. Behind him he left a bemused boss who was thankful that NCIS didn’t know what they had ‘til he was nearly gone. Their loss had definitely been the BAU’s gain.
~~*BAU Mid-March 2011*~~ * ~~*Finding Necessary Comfort*~~
It had been a hard few months for Tony. Even someone who was occasionally as emotionally clueless as Spencer realized this. He’d been ambushed outside his apartment by Abby, and had a run in with Agent Sacks that hadn’t gone well. He’d gone to see Ziva for closure, and ended up opening up old wounds that were once again trying to heal. Tony hadn’t exactly been a chatter box since he’d joined the BAU, but today he was so quiet that it was a little eerie.
His relationship with Tony was developing slowly. It had been almost a month since Derek had his dumbass attack and decided to grill Tony. Reid and Tony were learning each other without the sex stuff, which was amazing for Spencer. He was worried about Tony though. He’d told Tony that he didn’t mind if he saw someone for his sexual needs. So far he hadn’t though. Spencer didn’t quite understand it himself, but he suspected that Tony was trying to prove that this relationship was different. That he was different, or maybe that he was more than everyone said he was. This was all despite the fact that Spencer didn’t need anything to be proven, and understood that their relationship was not a typical one, therefore the normal rules and practices didn’t apply.
Either way, Spencer was more than happy to let Tony set the pace. He knew that if at any time he wanted something all he had to do was ask. Tony had turned out to be an extremely attentive, and romantic partner. His worry though stemmed from Tony denying himself something that was a part of his coping mechanism. He knew from their frank conversations that Tony’s sex drive was much higher than not just his own, but that of the average person. He was somewhat concerned that this was going to be a problem in the future. Right now though, he was worried about more than what the no sex thing would do to their relationship. He was worried about how the lack of intimacy was affecting Tony’s well-being.
This last few weeks Spencer had become more than a little worried about his own ability to offer the comfort that the other man needed. Somewhat because he felt like Tony needed something that Spencer just couldn’t offer, beyond the whole not fucking like bunnies part. He needed a reminder that things weren’t always bad from the ‘Before the BAU’ days. He needed someone to come back into his life that he had the right connection to.
Lately they’d been talking a lot about their pasts. They’d each become comfortable enough in their relationship that they both seemed to feel it was ok to start opening their closets and pulling things out. For Spencer it was pulling out Ethan, Jason Gideon, and Tobias Hankel. Tony had shared Jeffrey White, stories about Gibbs, and his Frat Brothers. There was a certain person that kept cropping up on Tony’s side during the OSU years, and Spencer had finally decided to track him down.
Heading up to Rossi’s office, Reid knocked on the open door, the when he was given permission to enter, walked in closing it behind him. “This looks serious.” Rossi commented sitting back in his chair. He wasn’t usually the one the genius consulted for closed door issues. That was normally Derek or Aaron depending on the issue. Which told Dave that this had something to do with Tony. “So, what’s up with Tony?”
“You know Rossi that is more than a little creepy.” Spencer commented as he settled in. “I need to ask you about someone Tony keeps mentioning. I need to know if he would be someone positive to re-enter into Tony’s life.”
Rossi nodded more than a little intrigued. To be honest he’d been worried about how things would shape up. Tony was becoming emotionally thin, and while he had the utmost respect for Spencer, he wasn’t sure he could handle the fallout that was coming.
“Who do you have in mind?” Rossi asked, a name coming to him almost immediately, but the older man was unsure Tony would have shared this person with a new partner.
Playing with the bottom of his sweater vest, Spencer studied his hands while answering. “He’s been talking lately about a Brian O’Connor? What do you know about him?”
Quirking an eyebrow when the name he’d had in mind came from Spencer’s lips, Dave replied honestly. “He was a good kid, and became an even better man. Joined the FBI after college. He came up here to say hi when he transferred to the area.”
“Wait… he’s here?” Reid asked surprised and excited. “Does Tony know this? Why don’t they talk anymore? I get the feeling they were really close. Is that true?”
Dave nodded smirking slightly in his amusement at the younger man’s enthusiasm. “They were very close.” Dave studied Spencer, and the younger man could tell he was debating something. “Intimately in fact. Is that going to bother you?”
Spencer sat up straight. “Really? You’re saying they had regular intercourse? That is amazing!”
Dave arched an eyebrow at Spencer’s obvious happiness at the detail. Spencer unaware that this normally should not be so exciting barreled on as he was prone to do, much to Rossi’s bemusement. “I have been hoping to find someone that Tony could have sex with!”
Dave could feel his mouth drop open. He wanted to ask questions, but he was pretty sure that his brain had come to a screeching halt. “You want to find someone to have sex with Tony? Someone that isn’t you?”
Spencer nodded enthusiastically. “Yes, I am concerned about what a lack of sex is doing on top of his emotional upheaval at the moment. Unlike me it is a great release for him. I’m concerned that he is missing out on something he needs to keep himself mentally healthy in order to try and prove something to me or himself that is unneeded.”
Rossi found himself nodding, while remaining incredibly confused. “So,” Dave started then stopped, and tried to focus before continuing. “I was under the impression that you and Tony are dating. Is that not true?”
Spencer frowned and cocked his head to one side trying to figure out why the veteran profiler seemed confused. “Oh, yes, we are. That’s why I am here.”
Dave opened his mouth, but ended up shutting it without speaking. Fortunately Reid didn’t notice or understand and just barreled on. “I am looking for Brian O’Connor. I was hoping that he and Tony could renew their friendship, so that Tony remembered things weren’t always bad before here. If they had intercourse previously, and Brian was interested in resuming that relationship, though, that would be wonderful!”
Spencer bit his lip a moment as his brain sorted through the possibilities. “Of course there is always a chance that he would object to my place in Tony’s life. Tony assured me though that he considered what we have as real as any other relationship that includes sex.”
Dave took a deep breath, and decided to just plunge into the deep end of this pool of confusion he was lost in. “Spencer, do you not want to have sex with Tony?”
Shaking his head, Reid found himself studying the hem on the bottom of his sweater vest intently, again. “Not particularly. I am curious about it, and would like to attempt it once maybe at some point in the future possible. Although I am not sure, and Tony says it isn’t really needed. He has assured me that someday if I would like he would be happy to do that for me though. I always assumed that I would be alone for the rest of my life. While I had some encounters in college that satisfied my needs without having to include intercourse, I never believe I would find that in the real world. Tony is… confusing.”
Finally Dave felt like he was getting the pieces of the puzzle he needed. “Tony does have the ability to do exactly what you do not expect him to do. Spencer, forgive me for asking such a personal question, but… are you A-Sexual?”
Spencer sighs and nods. “I don’t really believe in labelling sexuality any more than I do intelligence, but… I suppose that fits.”
Dave nodded relaxing back into his chair again, not realizing he’s tensed up previously. “If you don’t want to answer one of these questions just let me know. I assume that Tony doesn’t know that you are trying to hook him up?”
Spencer fidgeted uncertain suddenly that he was making the correct decision. “Do you think that Tony will be mad?” Dave smiled and cocked his head to one side as he considered the question.
“As long as you two have been honest with each other, no. Normally it would seem as if you were trying to pimp him out or something. As long as you’ve both been open with each other, I don’t anticipate a problem. I would not wait too long to tell him what you are doing. Tony doesn’t really like surprises like this. I also would let him initiate contact with Brian. Without breaking confidences I know that their separation was hard on them both. Brian’s a pretty laid back kid, but this explanation might come better from Tony.
“Brian was good for Tony. They were incredibly tight until life kind of broke them apart. I think a reunion would be good for them. You’re doing a good thing, Spencer. Just… don’t underestimate your place in Tony’s life. He will still need you for comfort, and support. Even with Brian in the picture.”
Spencer nodded biting his lip, and stood. “I am trying to work though how to do that. It isn’t easy when I don’t always feel the need myself in similar situations. Thank you for the advice. I know how important that you are to Tony. I don’t want to mess this up. I understand what kind of chance I am being offered with your son.”
Rossi smiles fondly at the younger man in front of him. “Everyone makes mistakes, Reid, but you, to be honest, are doing an amazing job at this. Keep working at it, and you’ll do just fine. Communication is one of the most important details to any relationship. I have faith that you and Tony will be just fine as long as you never stop sharing.”
Nodding Spencer left Rossi’s office and headed to Garcia to get Brian O’Connor’s contact information. This was going to be just what Tony needed. Spencer hoped that maybe he’d get lucky, and find something that he needed as well.
~~*BAU May 2012*~~ * ~~*Unexpected Loss*~~
“Tony come with me. I need to talk to you.”
Tony looked up and scowled at the sight of Tobias Fornell. “Whoever’s murder you’re trying to frame me for, I didn’t do it.” When the older man paled slightly, Tony felt a pit start to form in his stomach.
“No one’s accusing you of… Just come with me, Tony, please? Let’s go up to Dave’s office.”
“Agent Rossi has been in Hotch’s office for one hour twenty seven minutes and forty nine seconds.” Spencer inserted helpfully from his nearby desk, curious about what was going on.
“That’s… C’mon Tony, please. Just come with me. We’ll go up to Hotch’s office then. That might actually be better.”
Nodding, Tony stood and followed Fornell up the ramp and to Hotch’s door. The veteran agent barely knocked, before opening it without waiting for a response.
“Come in, DiNozzo. Sit by Dave, please. I have something to tell you.” Tobias ordered directing Tony toward the empty chair in front of Hotch’s desk.
Tony knew this wasn’t something small. His brain may not be Spencer’s but it was pretty good at running possibilities and scenarios. There wasn’t a big list of things that this could be. The needed presence of Dave before Hotch said personal, and bad, very bad. “Is it Gibbs? Goddamnit, Tobias. Is it Gibbs?”
Quickly Fornell shook his head as Tony moved further into the room. Quickly he closed the door to try and keep the others out. “No, Tony, I swear on Emily it isn’t Gibbs… just… please…”
Hotch frowned having stood when Tobias came in without permission. He could tell whatever this was, it wasn’t good. He’d had that look on his own face more than one. It usually came when delivering the worse news a federal agent could give. When Tobias finally looked at him in the eye, Aaron’s heart cracked in sympathy for whatever his agent was about to learn. Technically the younger man may still work for NCIS, but Aaron considered Tony DiNozzo his.
“I’m sorry to barge in but… I think this needs to be done here. I don’t… I didn’t want it to be out in the bullpen where it’d be public.” Tobias ran a hand over his head, and Aaron knew his suspicion was as much as confirmed.
Hotch nodded sitting back down, and watched as Tony carefully sat in the empty chair. “Just tell me, Tobias. Who the fuck is it? What happened?”
Aaron could see the pain in Tobias’ eyes. This wasn’t just some random person. It was someone that both Tobias and Tony cared about. After the fallout that led to Tony’s leaving that list was pretty damned short. “It’s…. Jesus, Tony. It’s McGee. He’s… He’s dead Tony. He was murdered today at his home. We don’t know what happened, but… Jesus I’m sorry.”
“Probie?” Tony opened his mouth to respond, but nothing would come out. All he could feel was regret and tears. He may have hated the man at the end, but Goddamnit… Of the three of them, Tim was the one Tony had been holding out hope that it could… somehow… be resolved.
“Tell me you’re lying, Fornell! Goddamnit!!”
“Jesus, DiNozzo, I am… I’m sorry kid.”
~~* BAU April 2013 *~~ * ~~* Breathing Ain’t Easy *~
Spencer was away at a conference presenting a paper he’d written when it happened. The thing that scared Brian the most was that it came out of nowhere. When they’d gone to bed, Tony had been fine. Yet, when Brian woke up at 2:13AM he was alone in the bed, but could hear his partner coughing down the hall. This wasn’t a normal cold like cough. This was a hard hacking cough that wasn’t stopping, and it scared Brian more than he would readily admit. He was ready to jump out of bed, and run to Tony right away, but he knew how Tony was. As long as he’d known him, Tony had been prickly about being treated as if he wasn’t able to take care of himself. It was a fine line you had to walk between what you considered reasonable, and what Tony considered smothering.
Finally he just said screw it and rushed into the bathroom. The sight that greeted him made him swear that the next time Tony would just have to deal with being smothered. The stubborn man was sitting on the floor, propped up against the tub, and his face was beat red. There was a definite hint of desperation in his eyes.
As Brian entered the small room, his lover pointed up toward the medicine cabinet. Quickly he slid one mirror to the side to get to where they kept their frequently used drugs. Almost immediately, his eyes landed on the inhaler that Tony had shown him how to use not long after he’d moved into the penthouse. Grabbing the device, Brian knelt down, and put the lifesaving contraption in Tony’s hands. Once he was convinced his lover wouldn’t drop it, Brian climbed up behind Tony, who scooted forward slightly allowing him to slip in behind.
For the next twenty minutes they sat on the cold floor, Tony struggling to breath, and Brian asking Karma not to let his lover die here in the floor. His arms were wrapped around Tony’s middle, and the other man’s free hand was clutching his fingers as if he were afraid one of them was going to disappear. As they sat there, wishing this would go away, Brian remembered Tony’s painful retell of his bout with pneumonic plague. He couldn’t prevent the tears from filling his eyes, and stubbornly clenched them shut not willing to let them fall. It just wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair that Tony had to suffer through this because some girl was too chicken shit to tell her mother she liked kinky bedroom games.
When Tony could breathe enough to talk he choked out, “Windows, air conditioner, pollen.”
It took a moment, but finally Brian got it. Quickly he maneuvered himself from behind his lover to get things closed up. It had been a weird spring. Cool and almost winter like one day, and mid-summer the next. The allergy symptoms and pollen count were all over the place. Tony’d never had a problem before, but he knew that there had always been a possibility they would develop with his lover’s compromised lungs.
Sprinting through the bedroom, he picked up his phone to check weather.com, while he was dancing around trying to get his jeans on. Sure enough right there in orange was the pollen warning saying it would be in the very high range the next day. Cursing he hurried around the rest of the house, getting things closed up, and the air conditioner on. Hopefully he’d set the temp high enough it wouldn’t actually put out much cold air. The last thing Tony needed was to get a chill and end up sick for real.
Stuffing the phone in his pocket, Brian made his way back through the house, then moved back to the bathroom, where Tony was still propped up on the tub side. Climbing back into his position, Brian rested his chin on his lover’s shoulder once he was settled again. “Pollen count is mad high today. Maybe you should take the day off? I’m worried about you going out so soon after an attack. I know I’m being a mother hen right now, but you really scared the shit out of me, AJ.”
Tony turned his head at the nickname he hadn’t heard since college. Brian used it all the time back then when they’d lived out of each other’s pockets and been attached at the hip. “Miss that,” he admitted, and Brian smiled softly.
“I miss using it.” Brian admitted back.
Tony looked in the other man’s eyes and held out his hand. “Phone?”
Brian opened his mouth to argue, but Tony glared. Sighing Bri passed it over. It was a small battle, and he was winning the bigger war. Pressing a kiss to the back of the Italian’s neck, Brian listened to him explain to Aaron Hotchner about the allergy attack, and how he wasn’t sure it was safe to leave the house. Fortunately, Aaron Hotchner was a reasonable man who cared about his employees.
Once he had his phone back, Brian shot off a text to his own boss explaining that there was a family emergency, and he couldn’t come in that day. The man was a little less reasonable, but not a total asshole. So, Brian wasn’t worried about flack. Tucking the device away in the pocket of his jeans once more, Brian pulled Tony back against him as they sat in the bathroom listening to Tony wheeze.
Two hours later they had moved to the bedroom, settled in a similar position. Brian had his back propped up against the headboard of the bed. His knees were drawn up, and his lover was using them as arm rests. Tony was settled in front of him back to Brian’s chest. His head was resting against Brian’s shoulder with Brian’s arms wrapped around his waist holding them close together. The TV had on An Affair to Remember. If Tony was feeling better, Brian had no doubt that there would be all sorts of facts and interesting bits of details being shared. As it was his partner was too worn out from the attack to share much of anything. Brian didn’t really mind, because honestly the sound of his continued breathing, was at that moment the most beautiful song in the world.
“I didn’t know,” Tony offered softly, and hesitantly.
Turning his head, Brian lay his cheek against Tony’s and closed his eyes willing his panic and fear to subside. “I never thought that you did.” Brian assured meaning every word. There were things that his old team did to him that Brian could let go. Then there were the things that they did, which had added to Tony’s insecurities that Brian would like to collectively remove their heads for. He felt Tony turn his head toward him slightly and closing his eyes, Brian pressed a kiss to the corner of Tony’s mouth. “I’m not them, AJ. We’re not them. Your new team isn’t them.
“Things can’t be helped sometimes. You’re not a mind reader. I’m not mad. I am scared, but not because of some bullshit like thought that you aren’t taking care of yourself. You got sick and almost died once. You are a former college athlete, and you depend on your physical abilities when you’re out in the field. I’ve been in the gym with you. I’ve heard you come home from seeing Brad, and heard you share with Spencer and myself what he said. There’s a difference between being lax with your health, and not being psychic. You do everything possible to take care of yourself and not put your breathing in jeopardy.”
Taking a deep breath, Brian ran one hand up Tony’s chest to rest it over his lover’s heart. When the other hand moved one of his own hands to cover it, Brian entwined their fingers. “I love the fuck out of you, AJ. I feel like you and Spencer have handed me a whole world I never thought I would be invited into. My life could have gone so much worse without you two in it. You know how much I miss my mom; you understand how much I hate my father. You understand that at the same time I desperately wish that he would have been a real dad.
“Seeing you on that bathroom floor scared me, AJ. It scared me a lot. At no point though did I think you were to blame. We knew that at some point you were gonna have breathing problems because of allergies. I was in that kitchen when you repeated Brad’s warning more than a year ago. I also remember the agreement that the three of us came to when we decided that none of us wanted you taking medicine as a maybe it could possibly be needed sometime situation. I don’t believe in that. Spencer doesn’t believe in that, and your physician on record doesn’t believe in that.
“We already sent a message to Brad. Knowing that Wolverine he’ll be here sometime today with tests and medicine, and we’ll all have new routines. It’s all good, AJ. It’s our lives. You and I don’t take narcotics for pain medicine anymore. We love Spencer too much to bring that shit into the house. We don’t bring hard liquor into the house because it freaks me out. You and Spencer don’t freak out about that, and treat me like a pod person.”
“They were wrong, AJ,” Brian whispered softly, “Gibbs was wrong to put that fear and insecurity in your head.”
He heard AJ’s breathing hitch, and pause, then settle back down after a moment or two. “They put this idea into your head that every little health issue is your fault. They made you believe that any health emergency is because you were being reckless. It’s complete bullshit. Our lives aren’t 9 to 5. Investigations can’t stop for a fucking minor cold. We can’t live in Walgreens just in case we need some medicine for some cold/allergy/sinus infection that we didn’t anticipate. You do your best to stay healthy. We do our best to support you staying healthy. Shit, you have Spencer running every morning. If that isn’t a fucking miracle I don’t know what it is.
“You are neither a robot nor a bubble boy. You are going to get sick. With your lungs, sometimes that’s gonna land you in the hospital when it should be a simple cold. Spencer, myself, Rossi, and the rest of your team will be worried. None of us are going to take it out on you. We love you, and we understand that shit happens. You have my word that I will never utter the sentence ‘You need to take better care of yourself’, and I won’t keep quiet if anyone else says it within my hearing either.”
“I love you, so fucking much,” AJ whispered squeezing his eyes together. “I remember when I was stuck in that basement for days on end, hiding behind the boiler because it was the only warm spot. I dreamed about what my future would be like. There was never a scenario that didn’t include you. I love the hell out of Spencer, Brian. I love him because he’s one of the rare new people in my life who seemed to accept all of me immediately. It’s not possible to compare my love for you to my love for him.
“If something happened to Spencer, I know without a doubt that I would never be the same person again. There would always be this huge gaping hole in my soul. If I lost you, again, though I am not sure that I would survive. Am I being unfair to Spencer?”
Brian sighed and pressed his lips to Tony’s again. “It’s like you said, Tony. Our relationships aren’t the same. They are also not stagnant. You and I have… shit… over 30 years of history. Granted there are some huge gaps in there, but regardless… it’s a shitload of time. You and Spencer have what? Three years together? I’m not an expert on relationships, dude, but yeah… I think it’s reasonable that you’re gonna be more attached to me than Spence. It isn’t because you love him less. It’s just about history.
“Shit, AJ, none of us in this relationship have a wealth of knowledge about love or about any kind of relationship. We’re playing all this crap by ear. You have GOT to give yourself a break here, man. You can’t tear yourself up all the fucking time because JJ LaMontagne keeps putting this bullshit in your head making you feel like you don’t treat Spencer right. It’s bullshit, and we all know it. We do our best. We’re all committed to making this thing work. I know that for a fact.
“Right now you’re tired, you’re scared from your attack, and you’re missing Spencer. It’s ok. In a few hours we’ll call Reid. He’s just in Philly. He’ll freak out, and threaten to come home. We’ll tell him that we love him, and tell him to stay because it will be mostly over by then. He’ll end up skipping out on the last day where he doesn’t have a presentation to give, and we’ll cuddle up in bed all day with the three of us watching James Bond movies. JJ, and those NCIS fuckers you left behind can just go fuck themselves.”
Brian sat and let Tony study him, until finally his lover nodded, and settled in closing his eyes. Taking a deep settling breath, Brian ran his fingers through Tony’s hair until the man fell asleep. Eventually he fell asleep himself, curled around his lover, and holding onto him like he was the most precious thing in the world.
End Notes: I like McGee. I was actually pretty stunned and sad that I wasn’t going to get to repair that friendship in this story.