Banner by me
Characters this chapter: Tony DiNozzo, Penelope Garcia, Derek Morgan, Brian O’Connor
Relationships this chapter: Tony DiNozzo/Spencer Reid, Spencer Reid/Tony DiNozzo/Brian O’Connor
Chapter Warnings: References to Bad!Abby. References to Child Neglect
Word Count: 6,219/112,298
Chapter Summary: Tony admits he’s afraid of the most unlikely person on the team. Derek and Tony have a talk to clear the air. Then miscommunications between the trio reveals an old scar as they get onto the same page in their relationship
Chapter Six: Revealing a Weakness, the Apology, and Confessions Old & New
~~*BAU 2010*~~ * ~~*Revealing a Weakness*~~
Tony was sitting at his desk staring at a cold case trying to figure out why it bothered him, when he heard a quiet, hesitant voice from the walkway above. “Why do you hate me?”
Looking up quickly, Tony saw Garcia standing there in all of her multicolored glory. So far he’d managed to mostly avoid her. He’d known that it wouldn’t last for long, and there was a part of him that felt bad about his actions. The truth was though that his heart just couldn’t handle letting the vibrant woman into his life just yet. He didn’t know how to explain it, so up to that point he’d been mostly doing his best to avoid the whole situation It looked though like his time had run out. He just hoped that he could find words to explain without hurting someone who had never done him wrong.
“I don’t hate you, Garcia. I… If you must know the truth, and honestly I think you probably deserve to know the truth, you scare the shit out of me.”
Garcia opened her mouth to speak, and shut it again frowning. She then moved down off the walkway, and into the bullpen stopping just shy of his desk. “I don’t understand. How could you be scared of me? I’m like… I’m the least threatening person here. Hotch has that glare that could freeze hell. Rossi has that been there done that air about him. Prentiss is like an international super sleuth. Reid is smarter than all of us put together, and Derek is a super-hot, kick ass, luscious chocolate gladiator. I’m just… Garcia.”
Tony smiled sadly looking up at her as he leaned back in his chair. “You aren’t just anything, Miss Garcia. You’re awesome, and gorgeous. You can hack anything, and you are generous and loving to a fault. You strive to make the world around you a happier more loving place. You are everything… well… You scare me because of everyone here, I can see myself liking you the best after Spencer. I don’t think that my heart could take that.”
Tony stopped speaking, trying to swallow the lump in his throat. When he continued he was quieter, and more hoarse. “I used to know someone like you. Looks wise she is your polar opposite. Complete Goth with the black clothes and hair, and dark lipstick. She wears a collar every day, and has one for every occasion. She even sleeps in a coffin, which I always thought was taking it a little too far into the Bela Lugosi Dracula stage, but what do I know? She’s, also, one of the happiest people you’d ever meet.
“Once upon a time, she was the person I loved the most in the world without wanting to get them into my bed. She was the one I trusted with everything, and the one that I never believed would let me down. Then she turned into someone I didn’t recognize, and stabbed me in the back. I suppose it’s partly my fault.” Garcia watched Tony play with a random paperclip on his desk, and she knew when he looked down that it wasn’t the file that he was seeing.
“I probably gave her way too much leeway, and let her get away with things I shouldn’t have. Maybe I should have stood up to her more, or reported bad behavior a few times. I should have called her out when she hurt me, and apologize less for her crocodile tears that I knew she was using to manipulate me with. I didn’t though because she was the sister I’d longed for my whole life, and in my heart of hearts I never believed that there would be a second that she wouldn’t have my six. I don’t know much about family.
“I never really had one, and most of my life any friendship I had that could resemble one has been torn away from me. I trusted that because she came from a family who loved her, people that never treated her being adopted different from the son they birthed, that she knew more about family than me. I trusted that when she said this is what family does that it was the truth. Turns out her idea of family is closer to my father’s. I am pretty sure that’s not how it really is. I had… well I suppose everyone knows that Rossi is like a father to me. He’s done his best to teach me, but sometimes it’s still hard. There’s a lot of fucked up years to account for before he took me in.”
Tony looked up to see Garcia frown, wring her hands while fidgeting where she stood. He could tell that she wanted to step closer, but was afraid to. He appreciated her restraint. He was pretty sure that if she touched him he’d fall to pieces right there in the bullpen. “She hurt you? What did she do?” Garcia asked hesitantly biting on the inside of her lip. He appreciated that she moved the conversation back to Ab… Scuito. Despite the pain of it, he guessed that it was a safer topic than the things she’d chosen not to ask about. He wasn’t quite ready to share Rossi, his father, or Brian with these people. Not even Spencer quite yet.
“She altered an evidence tape of recordings that I’d gathered to find a suspected terrorist. She did it to protect two other teammates who turned off my com so they wouldn’t have to listen to me. She said that she did it because I was being annoying, and they shouldn’t get into trouble because they didn’t want to listen to me. It was obviously my fault, and it wasn’t fair that I was getting off scot-free while they were losing their jobs.”
Garcia gasped and put her hands over her mouth. She then took a step forward only to take one back immediately when she realized what she’d done. “They… How could they do that? You could have been killed! Why…” Garcia stopped talking and frowned. “This is Abigail Sciuto?” Tony felt a pang of pain at the sound of her name, and just nodded because he wasn’t sure that he could speak yet.
“I don’t like her very much.” Garcia continued frowning, and Tony couldn’t help but think that she resembled an irritated kitten.
Her declaration surprised Tony so much he found his voice. “You’ve met?” He was trying not to picture all the ways that this could go wrong despite Penelope saying she didn’t like her.
“No,” Garcia denied shaking her head in emphasis. Tony found himself more than a little confused. How could she claim to dislike someone she’d never even met?
“Then how…” He started to ask, but the big hearted woman cut him off.
“She hurt you. She abused your trust. She made us happy loving people look bad. Therefore, I don’t like her. From now on you are Tonio, my Italian Stallion. I will be here to be your friend when you are ready, and I will be the most awesome amazing friend that you’ve ever had. I will put all other friends to shame. Excuse me now. I have something… against the rules to do.”
Tony couldn’t restrain the surprised snort of amusement as she walked away. He would be lying to himself if he didn’t admit that a large part of him couldn’t wait for that friendship to happen. Shaking his head he looked back down to the file he’d been studying please that the missing piece suddenly kicked in. Picking up his phone, he called some contacts to verify that what he suspected was true. From her hiding spot, Penelope nodded pleased with herself, and headed back to her den. She had an NCIS analyst to plot revenge on.
~~*BAU Mid-January 2011 *~~ * ~~*the Apology*~~
Tony was in the gym at Quantico pounding on the heavy bag when he felt a presence at his left shoulder. Pausing, he looked slightly behind him to see Derek Morgan standing there watching him. “What can I do for you, Agent Morgan?” Tony asked, as he went back to what he was doing. It had been almost a month since the incident in Derek office. It was only the fact that Tony was used to working with people that he wasn’t particularly happy with that the team wasn’t affected. Whatever he expected out of the man, the words that came out weren’t it.
“I was an asshole. I’m sorry. Can we talk about this?”
Tony drove the hardest punch that he had in him into the bag, then turned panting to look at his co-worker. “So, talk. Why were you an asshole? What did I do to deserve your little fucking test?”
“Nothing,” Derek admitted regretfully. “Look when it comes to Spencer I get stupid. The whole ‘he’s my boy’ thing is real. I can’t help it. I get protective, then I get stupid, and then I make bad choices. Rossi told me to let it alone, but I didn’t listen. Hotch told me it was the dumbest thing that I’d ever done. Spencer made me feel like my mamma had lectured me.
“It may have taken a while, but… and it may have taken more than one thump to the head by multiple people before I came to my senses. I realize now though that I was a jackass, and way out of line. Hell I knew as soon as you walked off, and said that you were quitting I’d made the wrong play. I was just too proud and scared of losing face to do the right thing. I am sorry for that, too. None of this mess is on you. It’s all about me, my protective streak, and my ego.”
“Is it because they brought me in, and gave me some of your responsibilities?” Tony asked quietly. That part had been eating at him. This had been, for all that he could find from people surrounding the team, a very close knit group. Tony couldn’t help but feel that his insertion and presence had destroyed something precious.
“Hell, no!” Morgan protested shaking his head in emphasis. “I will admit I’d like to know more about you, and why you left NCIS. That’s just because I’m nosy though, and I want to get to know you. This team is like a family, and it makes me sick that I’ve caused trouble. I know JJ feels the same.”
Tony chewed on the inside of his lip for a moment before replying. “Look, Derek, no offense intended, but JJ needs to handle her own shit. I am happy to accept your apology for yourself. You can’t truly know how she feels though. You want honesty? Fine, here’s your honesty. There’s no fucking way JJ apologized or expressed any sympathy toward even the tiniest bit of attitude she’s given me. I’d not stupid, and frankly I am really fucking good at reading the people around me.”
Frowning as he looked off across the gym, Tony began to pull off the gloves that he was wearing. “I spent the last eight years around a walking breathing mess of passive aggression. Thanks to McRepressed, I can spot that shit a mile away. I thought my Probie was the poster boy for passive aggressive behavior, but JJ… She must have a master’s degree in that crap. You wanna know who I am? You wanna know about my past? All you have to do is ask.” Frowning Tony stopped and studied his fellow profiler as he weighed his options in his head.
The fact was this was Spencer’s real best friend. While JJ was important to Reid, and the woman played all the right cards in from of Spencer, her actions said different. Tony’s gut said the JJ mess was a situation that wasn’t going to change. He knew that look in her eye. He’d seen it a million times, and knew countless women like her. Call it selfish, but he wasn’t going to give up Spencer, and destroy her marriage, just to get her to like him. Especially considering that wouldn’t work anyway. In the end she’d just blame him, and Tony would have wasted his time on someone he didn’t even like, while losing someone he already adored.
“If you think I am dumb enough to believe that JJ is sorry for anything… you might as well leave. If she’s sorry, it’s that Spencer has probably called her on her crap. She’s sorry that she got called to the principal’s office, and maybe said some pretty words that Spencer is way too smart to believe. So, let’s just leave her crap to her. As far as I’m concerned, she isn’t even worth my time and bother.” Making a decision, Tony finished pulling off his gloves, and handed them to someone waiting for the bag.
“So, you wanna chance? Fine. Go get your wallet SSA Morgan. You’re taking me to lunch. I have a healthy appetite, so make sure you bring the card with plenty of room on it. When I get done with my shower we can leave.”
Derek lifted an eyebrow, then chuckled and nodded. “Alright, man, take your shower. I will get my stuff, and let Hotch know where we’ll be.”
Half an hour later, Tony found himself following Derek up an alley surrounded by several nondescript building with no signage on the outside. Arching his eyebrow, Tony followed Derek up a short staircase, and inside a bright red door where his jaw dropped. “This is a restaurant?” Derek turned and grinned at him after asking for a table for two away from others if possible. “I thought you’d like this. Anyone who likes James Bond as much as you needs to come to the Safe House.”
“Ok,” Tony started sitting down and ordering some tea from the server as he studied the menu. “Ok, SSA Morgan, you get a point for this. I am a little impressed.”
“Just a point, QB1?” Derek asked grinning as he leaned back in his chair, and Tony nodded still studying his menu, but allowed his amusement to leak through in a smirk if it was somewhat small. “Yes, just a point. I may be a man whore, but I am not easy.” Looking up Tony arched his eyebrow daring Derek to respond, the other man though just raised his hands and grinned.
“Not touching that, man. So, tell me about Tony DiNozzo.” Derek asked and Tony, having decided on what he wanted to try, set the menu down. “You mean besides what Prentiss already repeated to you?” Derek opened his mouth, then promptly shut it looking unsure of how to answer.
After a few moments, Tony snorted, and flirted with the waitress as she dropped off their drinks. Once she’d left, he turned his attention back to Derek deciding to let him off of the hook. “I knew that she’d share, Derek. I’ve been in law enforcement since I left college, and the last 9 of it as a Fed. I know that our type gossips more than little old women sitting on a porch sipping lemonade. So, be specific. What do you want to know? This is your shot. If I don’t want to share something with you then I will let you know.”
Derek nodded cocking his head to one side, and considered the possibilities before settling on a question. “Why did you leave NCIS?”
“Starting off with the easy stuff I see,” Tony joked, then took another sip of his tea biding his time, but finally just jumped in feet first. “My partners shut off the coms while I was undercover getting voice prints to try and identify a possible terrorist cell we were chasing.”
Derek opened his mouth, but once again shut it without answering. There were certain things that a cop, a good law enforcement person just didn’t do. Hell, Derek had worked with more than one asshole that he didn’t like. It just came with the job, but never once had it even entered his mind to turn off communication with a partner he was backing up. Not even the racist asshole that wouldn’t call him anything but Boy. The fact that two highly trained NCIS agents on a premiere team like the Major Crime Response Team did so… “Jesus, DiNozzo.”
“Pretty much.” Tony agreed, and felt something inside of himself relax a little. Maybe they were empty words. Maybe Derek was just placating him. Maybe the sympathy that he heard in his voice was fake. Sometimes though you needed the little things before you could build up to something big. Trust had to grow from a seed before it could become a tree. Tony figured if anyone would understand the spot he’d been in it was another former cop.
He didn’t want to fight about this anymore. Unlike JJ at least Derek was making an effort. So, Tony was going to make an effort back. “So, Mor, tell me how it feels to have Northwestern lose to OSU all the damned time?”
Derek grinned big. This he could do. This he understand. “Oh so that’s how it is? I see you, QB1. It’s on. It’s so on. We’re gonna kick your asses.”
Tony snorted, and got comfortable in the seat, slouching slightly. “Bitch please. Since 1972 Northwestern has beaten my Buckeyes once in football. Once, dude. I’m not real worried.”
Derek snorted and shook his head. “I’d like to debate that, but, yeah, I got nothin’. Tell me something else about Tony DiNozzo. What do you like besides movies? What does ol’ QB1 do when he needs to relax?”
“Music,” Tony admitted after a while, and Derek arched an eyebrow sensing something personal and real was being shared. “I play piano. Well, guitar, too, but piano more. When I need to get out of my head, I play piano.”
“That I did not expect,” Derek admitted nodding. “What do you play? What kind of music I mean?”
Tony looked at Derek and smiled shyly. “All kinds really. Classical, jazz, popular music, the blues and sometimes even original stuff when I have long enough to get a story done.”
Derek cocked his head to one side then smirked slowly. “Chicago Blues?”
Tony huffed. “As you know, Chicago Blues is more about guitar and harmonica although piano is one of the common accompanists. So, in general yes I have been known to play Chicago Blues. I like Earl Hooker and Little Walter best to listen to. Since I play piano more often than guitar though I probably lean more towards Delta Blues or New Orleans Jazz. I like people like Fats Domino, Willie “The Lion” Smith, and Little Willie Littlefield. Although I have to admit, as a kid I thought Jerry Lee Lewis was cool, and John Lee hooker is just bad ass. I saw Stevie Rey Vaughn once. That was completely awesome. For just sitting around and chilling out Blind Connie Williams is just incomparable, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd is a more recent player I like to listen to.”
Derek snorted and shook his head as the waiter brought their food. “Alright QB1, alright. I give. No more tests. I keep tryin, and keep failing.”
Tony smirked as he stole a fry from Derek’s plate. “There’s a lesson in there. Make sure you keep it close to heart.” Derek just laughed and tried to keep his fries out of Tony’s reach.
~~*BAU January 2013*~~ * ~~*Confessions Old & New*~~
“God, I fucking love you so much. I know that I shouldn’t say it but…”
Tony sat up in the bed, and frowned down at the blonde next to him. “Why shouldn’t you say it? I certainly love you.”
“Jesus don’t say that so loud! What if Spencer hears!” Brian yelped quietly as he tried to listen for Spencer.
Tony shook his head confused as he watched his blonde. “What if he… Brian, what do you think is going on here that you aren’t allowed to be in love with me, and I’m not allowed to be in love with you?”
Brian just shrugged his shoulders as he pulled his knees up to his chest. He wasn’t sure why Tony was so confused about all of this. “Some weird fuck buddies relationship where I’m not supposed to get attached?”
Tony’s jaw dropped open, as a ball of panic settled in his stomach. “You’re not… Fuck Brian! That’s not… I didn’t mean for you to think… Shit!” Throwing back the covers, Tony strode towards the door agitated.
Panicking, Brian moved to get out of bed to chase him. “Where are you going?”
Turning his head back around, Tony held his hand out in a stop gesture. “I’m just getting Spencer. Don’t move… I mean it… Just….” Tony stuck his head out the bedroom door. “Spencer! Get in here! If you haven’t had coffee get that first! But get you sexy butt in here! We have a problem!”
Swearing and running his hands through his hair, Tony moved back to the bed. Sitting on the edge he rested his elbows on his knees. “Jesus I can’t believe that it’s been almost 2 years and you still think…. Christ I am a horrible human being. I can’t believe I’ve done this to you.”
The smell of sweetened coffee announced Spencer’s presence before he could even speak. “What have you done to who, Tony? Brian? What’s going on? Why is he freaking out?”
Finding himself too confused to worry about the fallout, Brian decided to just be honest. He only hoped that he didn’t end up out on his ass. “I don’t know. I don’t… I don’t understand, I guess. I thought… I’m sorry Spencer, I just… I told him I love him. I know I’m not supposed to but…”
Cocking his head to one side, Spencer looked at “You… I don’t understand. Why would you think I would be upset if you loved Tony? That was the whole point. That was why I chose you, because the probability that if you were not still in love with him, that because it seemed as if you had previously been then those feelings would resurface when you got back together.”
Spencer frowned at the way Brian was staring at him dumbfounded. “Why is he looking at me like that, Tony? Did I not explain it right?”
Tony chuckles sadly. “Because he’s confused. Because apparently I suck? Because… apparently I am crap at this relationship crap? I just… I swear I thought that he… FUCK!”
Getting up Tony left the room. The sheet wrapped around his body, and Brian watching anxiously. “I didn’t mean to fuck this all up.”
Spencer frowned and fidgeted. He would never be a big fan of this emotion thing, but despite what people thought he did have them. He just didn’t much understand them. Usually it was Tony that handled these things, but Spencer knew his partner would be too busy raking himself over the coals to fix this mess. “You didn’t fuck anything up, Brian. You did exactly what I wanted and hoped that you would do when I decided to find you for Tony. I needed someone who was already a part of Tony’s life, to come back into it and remind him that it hadn’t always been bad. I also needed someone that he would feel comfortable with having sex with since I am not interested in it.
“We never wanted you to spend almost two years believing you weren’t allowed to love him. Hell, Brian, we didn’t want you to spend three minutes to think that.” Spencer frowned trying to work the problem out in his head. “It seems I miscalculated somewhere.”
Hearing a thump followed by a loud string of cursing, Spencer’s head whipped up, but Brian was already up and out the bedroom door. Running after him, they ran through the house, and stopped at the office door. Spencer just behind Brian as they listened and watched Tony cursing and crying as he gripped heavy law book in his hands. One similar to it was lying across the room from its normal resting spot on a shelf near Tony’s desk.
“Stay out here, Spencer. I mean it. Do not come in unless I say it’s ok.”
Spencer frowned at him a few moments, before nodding understanding that Brian had more experience in this. When Spencer and Tony got together, Rossi had warned Spencer that these moments could happen, but… Spencer had never actually seen one. He wasn’t aware that Brian had either though.
“Tone! CODE RED DINOZZO!”
Spencer watched in amazement as Tony froze and turned angry, anguished eyes toward the blonde who was inching slowly into the room. “This is Not. Your. Fault. You didn’t mess this up. I am not broken. Set the book down on the ledge there, please. It’s ok, Tony. It’s safe. This is not your fault. Just set the book down. No, no don’t turn your eyes away from me, DiNozzo.
“Come on, that’s it. Thank you for putting the book down. This is not your fault. You weren’t bad. You didn’t fuck it up. I’m not broken, Tony. It’s ok. Come on, brother. Come on, love. Just… I’m coming over there alright? I’m coming over, and I’m going to touch you, ok?”
Spencer watched as Brian waited for Tony to acknowledge his question before he moved. Something was tingling in his brain, and he let it form as he watched the encounter before him. “I’m about to touch you, Tony. I’m going to take your hand and I am going to lead you over to the sofa. Once we get there we are gonna sit, and then Spencer is going to come in, and sit in the chair by the doorway. Once he is sitting then we will talk, alright?”
Spencer again watched as Brian waited for Tony’s agreement before proceeding. Moving the last bit of space that separated them, Brian stepped forward, then did as he had laid out. Once they were seated, Spencer only then went into the room, and sat on his favorite chair in the room. It had been placed there by Tony and Brian just for him.
“This isn’t your fault, Tony. It’s just a miscommunication.”
“Two motherfucking years, Bri. You’ve been tortured for two motherfucking years.”
“No! That is not this. I wasn’t hurt by this. A little upset, and obviously under a wrong impression yes, but this is not the same as what you went through. It’s not even close. You are not McSwirley.”
When Tony let out an anguished chuckle, Brian turned the other man’s face toward him. “You. Are. Not. Him! This is not that. Maybe you could have communicated better, but so could have Spencer. I could have asked sooner. I just made assumptions on what I thought you both were telling me, and that was wrong. I never clarified with you, because I was afraid that it would go away. I shouldn’t have done that. I should have known that you wouldn’t do that for this long. It’s not a fault, Tony, it’s a misunderstanding.”
“No, you didn’t. Come on, Tony. Lay down here. You’re tired. Lay down here, and rest. Spencer and I will talk. He needs to know, Tone. So, I’m gonna fill him in while you’re sleeping.”
“No, Bri, he won’t…”
“He will still love you after, Tony. I swear on my life. It’s ok. Just rest.” Brian waited for the other man to close his eyes, and roll his body toward Brian, with his head on his lap before he began stroking his hair. The room stayed quiet, with Spencer watching Tony’s back as he waited for Brian to speak.
“I don’t know if Dave remembers me. I tend to think not. He only saw me the once, but… Dave’s mind is like a steel trap. So, you never know what he is thinking or what he knows. Most people think that Tony and I met in college. Mostly because that’s all Tony talks about. If he had his preferences his life prior to Ohio State University would cease to exist.
“While it is true that we were Frat Brothers at OSU with Alpha Chi Delta, we met before that. After Tony’s father was put in prison, and his Uncle Clive got custody of him, he was put in Rhode Island Military Academy. I had only been there for two weeks myself, so we bonded. My mother didn’t like my friend Roman Pearce, and my dad wasn’t always in the picture so… She decided that the best thing for me was to be as far from Rome as possible. Considering he ended up in juvie for stealing cars, I suppose she may have been onto something.
“The headmaster there was a man named Byron McSweeney. All the kids though called him McSwirley ‘cause he had these bright red curls that he kept smoothed back with that slick hair grease shit, but there was always one curl in the front that would escape. McSwirley was… not a good person. The problem was no one really wanted any of us. I mean, my mom cared enough I suppose, but… her health was bad. My dad didn’t give a crap. You know all about Senior. We were all castoffs and rejects and kids that someone somewhere along the line just didn’t want to deal with.
“Military schools in general are not a barrel of fun, and the headmasters are in my experience basically uptight pricks on a power trip. McSwirley though was… probably the worst of the worst. He wasn’t… You might say if all this happened today that he’d end up on the BAU’s round table as a case. The guy was a hothead, abusive in every way, and had some really archaic views on punishment. Tony was… well… Tony was what you’d expect of a kid whose mother was murdered by his father, and abandoned by his guardian. He was hurting, he was scared, and he was angry. Jesus was he angry.
“He was this quiet, sullen little thing, but when he lost his temper. Jesus Christ… That’s where the Code Red thing came from. For some reason Tony and I always… got along well. When he was lost in one of his tempers, I was the only one that could reach him. So, he and I worked out some codes.”
When Brian stopped talking. Spencer pulled his legs up to his chest, and rested his chin on them. Afraid to ask the question, that was needed, but knew it had to be done. “What did McSweeney do to him, Brian? What did he do to you?”
“Oh me? Not much. Some beatings, missed a few meals, but unlike most of the kids, I had a mom at least at the beginning who checked on me, and while he didn’t often remember I existed my dad was prone to just… appearing for a few days. So, he had to be careful with me. Tony though…”
Brian shook his head, and looked down at the man he’d loved maybe since they were kids too little to understand such things. Back when all they had to love was each other. “Tony he beat, starved, and shoved in closets, locked in this dungeon type basement thing he had. He called him names. He… he started fucking him about a week after we got there. Tony was… Tone was a pretty little boy, and well… McSwirley was a pervert.”
“How…” Spencer cleared his throat, trying to push past the lump lodged firmly in the center of it. “How did it stop?”
Brian looked up and snorted half smiling. “David Rossi saved him, again. Hell this time he saved us all. He showed up unexpected. He’d been doin’ the profiling thing with Gideon for a few years by then I suppose, and he had a case that reminded him of Tony. One of the other kids… died. I guess they called in Rossi, and Gideon to investigate. Tony had been locked in the dungeon for a week by then with almost nothing but bread and water. Somehow Rossi found out Tony was there, and demanded to see him and well… McSwirley was screwed. The pervert ended up in prison. I ended up with an aunt and uncle ‘til I could get into OSU, and Tony… well Rossi talked Uncle Clive into giving him rights to make decisions over Tony’s affairs. From what I understand every break, every summer vacation were spent at Rossi’s. Hell Tony has lasted longer in Rossi’s life that all his wives combined.”
“Why… Why did this make him think that he was like that man?” Spencer asked quietly dreading the answer, but knowing he needed it if they were all going to be on the same page.
“McSwirley was big on head games. He liked to fuck with us. Tell us one thing, then punish us when we did it saying that he told us something completely different. He hated it when we showed emotion. He said emotions were dirty, and useless, and only the weak let them rule their life. He’d leave us hanging knowing he was gonna dish out punishment or… waiting for something we thought was gonna be a treat, only to have to go bad instead. It’s why we both have a low tolerance for people who are not straightforward, people who are fake. People who pull that passive aggressive bullshit that keeps you wondering if it’s all in your head, or if there is really something negative going on.”
“Like, JJ,” Spencer sighed shaking his head. It made more sense now why even after three years, the two of them just did not get along. Hotch was very careful not to ever team the two of them together. It just wasn’t good for anyone. While Spencer still cared for JJ, he’d lost some of his respect for her, and was honestly hoping that at some point she’d just… go away. At least from the BAU, so that they could get some peace, and the team would be under less constant stress.
Spencer knew Tony’d offered to move to a different team about a year after he’d joined the BAU. Rossi had thrown a fit at just the suggestion. Then his boyfriend had a closed door meeting with Hotch. Tony refused to say what it was about, but he hadn’t brought up leaving the team again, and stopped worrying about her actions.
“Like, JJ,” Brian agreed, and Spencer turned his thoughts back to Tony. “What… what do I need to do? Is… is there something that I need to do?”
Brian shrugged and sighed. “If I can be frank? Not really. Not in the way that I think you mean. He’s been through therapy. He knows all the techniques. 99% of the time he can stop it or contain it. Sometimes it just sneaks up on him, or like tonight he’s tired and doesn’t realize how angry he is before he snaps. He’s literally never hurt someone else when he was mad. He’s never beat someone up. It’s always things or self-focused. I know that doesn’t make it good, but he does the best that he can. As far as I know there are literally years between incidents.
“Stay out of the way when he has one of these… outbursts. You’re no match for Tony. At least I am his general size, and I am more physical than you. As I said, he’s never hurt someone before when he’s lost his temper. If you zigged when you should have zagged though, and got hurt he’d literally never forgive himself.”
Spencer considered the possibilities, then nodded. Brian was correct. He also had more experience with this. “I can do that. I want… I want you to know that… that Tony isn’t the only one who… cares… for you. I know I’m not… this isn’t… a normal relationship, but…”
“Reid, Spencer…” Brian smiled softly holding up a hand. “There is no such thing as a normal relationship. This… whatever this is… this is our normal. Is it unconventional? Yes. Does that make it abnormal? No. Not in my opinion it doesn’t. It’s what is best for the three of us. Should we have worked this out a long time ago? Probably. We didn’t though so… we’ll all try to remember to communicate better, and do our best. The one thing I know for sure, is that you and I are both committed to making sure that Tony doesn’t lose this. Frankly, that’s all I really care about. Everything else is… fixable and flexible, as long as he doesn’t get hurt. You and I can smooth out the rough edges.”
Thinking about everything he now knew his boyfriend had gone though, Spencer decided that he couldn’t agree more. Nodding he stood and left the room to go sit in his study and let his mind wander and figure this all out. He also needed to look up this McSweeney, and make sure he could never come near Tony again.
End Note: I couldn’t remember if Luca was adopted too, or if he was her parent’s birth son. Since it was a small bit I didn’t feel it was worth the research time. Let’s just say for this story Abby is adopted, and their mother gave birth to Luca, ok? Cool.