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Epilogue: Onward and Upward
Six months after he’d finally found his guide, Tony stood at the railing outside of his office and was watching over the bullpen below. The move to Sentinel and Guide Crimes had been the best decision that he’d made. There was a feeling of safety and comfort here surrounded by people like him. It was something that he had never be able to find at another agency. In fact it was that lure that had allowed him to steal people that otherwise would never have left their previous positions.
The teams had been created carefully. Tobias and Tony had worked together closely to make sure the right people were selected. Right now there wasn’t anyone between them. They created spots, but hadn’t filled them yet. The agency was small enough and new enough that it wasn’t needed. There were two Unit Chief pairs. Along with himself and Colby they’d lured Sentinel Aaron Hotchner, and his bonded guide Dr. Spencer Reid away from the FBI.
Their only other profiler was Dr. Tara Lewis, whom Tony absolutely loved. The two of them were known to get lost in discussions on lunches and forget the time. More than once Colby had been forced to remind them they couldn’t take three hour lunches, then laugh at them as the two ran back to work.
As the need for profilers increased so would the people reporting to Aaron. For now in addition to himself, Reid and Tara, they also oversaw the Technical Analysts as well as the CSIs and the Lab people. It wasn’t really an area either of the profilers were comfortable with, but Tony thought a separation between the Investigative side and Analyst side was necessary. He hoped that it would prevent another Gibbs and Abby co-dependency situation from developing which lent to a favoring of one team’s cases.
Tony had three teams on his side. Two being normal investigative teams. He’d hired unbonded guide Elijah Mundo and unbonded Sentinel Seeley Booth as his two Agents in Charge. Seeley had five people on his team. They’d intended to be two four people teams, but there had been a couple unexpected bondings once all the hiring happened.
Megan Reeves had been stolen from the FBI as well. That had come with its own complications because of her relationship with Professor Larry Fleinhardt who was a sensitive, but not either a Sentinel or guide. Megan hadn’t wanted to come without Larry. Larry hadn’t wanted to leave Charlie and Amita. Charlie… well….
Colby had fought hard for S&G Crimes to consider Charlie and his two friends. He’d made a passionate argument for what they could offer the agency. This didn’t mean that Charlie was immediately on board though. He was more than a little upset with how Colby’s exit from his older brother’s team had happened. In the end, it had been his Sentinel Amita Ramanujan who made the difference. Amita was a young and inexperienced Sentinel. Because of this, she hadn’t understood how to interpret some of the things she was getting off her guide. This meant that she had no idea Don had been subtly manipulating his somewhat naïve younger brother in an attempt to sour their bond.
Thinking back on the conversation that had started the whole ‘Do we steal Don’s little brother’ debate Tony had to snicker. His guide had a wicked sense of humor, and it synched beautifully with Tony’s own. They had been sitting in Jim and Blair’s kitchen when Colby brought up the suggestion of Charlie Epps.
The guide had been playing with an unpeeled orange rolling it between his hands. Tony knew there was something he’d been analyzing, because he felt the uncertainty across the bond. He could tell Jim was curious because he felt a flare of it across their bond, also. Finally his guide had decided to speak, and let everyone in on his idea. “I’m trying to decide how big of an asshole I wanna be here.”
Jim snorted, and Tony could tell from the grin on his face, as well as, the spike of amusement in the bond that nothing serious was about to come out of his mouth. “Oh please. Be as big of an asshole as you like. Tony will enjoy it. He likes big assholes.”
“Jesus, Jim.” Blair weakly protested. His laugher though showed he wasn’t really offended.
“You and your innuendos, man.” Tony threw back smiling, as he watched the blush settle on his lover’s cheeks. He could feel a zing of amusement from the other man and knew Colby was about to throw a little of that innuendo and snarky humor back at Jim.
“I think you’re confusing big and tight, man. In my experience Tony likes tight assholes, not big ones. Must be why he likes mine… I mean me best.” The four men laughed at that, and Colby earned himself a scorching hot kiss, before they settled into a serious debate as to the possibilities’ of professors Charlie Epps, Larry Fleinhardt, and Amita Ramanujan.
“Sentinel Amita Ramanujan and her guide Charlie Epps along with his friend Larry Fleinhardt and Megan Reeves whom I suspect are in a relationship need to be a part of what we are building. Megan and Larry are in a serious relationship. Larry ,though is only a sensitive so there is still a Sentinel out there for Megan.
“Because of his lack of guide status, Larry thinks he’s inadequate for Megan. Hopefully when we find her Sentinel he or she will accept Larry too. I have felt how deeply he loves her. Megan would be an incredible investigator for Tony’s side of things as well.”
“And it would piss off Don?” Blair pointed out smiling.
“And it would piss off Don,” Colby confirmed shrugging not even trying to deny it. He didn’t have to pretend any longer that he liked the older Sentinel whom Colby felt abused his abilities and preyed on inexperienced guides. When the dust settled, and Charlie had become aware of all the facts, the young genius signed on with the Sentinel and Guide Crimes Agency.
It seemed that Don wasn’t just trying to prevent his own bond. It was made clear that he hadn’t wanted a bond for Charlie either, and was trying his best to break the one that had formed between his brother and Amita. That was out of pure jealousy. He’d always been envious of Charlie, and didn’t like that his little brother had bonded before him.
Things were tense for a while, but eventually Tony went to talk to Alan Epps alone. He laid everything out as he knew it, and told the older man he was only trying to do the right thing. It helped that Tony made clear that he did not want Charlie, Amita, or Larry out in the field until it had been cleared. They were not field agents, and should not be put into a live scene situation. The older man also hadn’t known that his older son had been trying to interfere with his younger son’s bond. The elder Epps was not a Sentinel or guide himself. That had come from his wife’s line. Once they had Alan’s blessing everything else fell into place.
For now there was one Team Leader over the lab, CSI’s, and analysts. CSI DB Russell had come on board from the Las Vegas crime lab bringing Nick Stokes and Greg Sanders along as CSI’s and Henry Andrews as a lab rat as they affectionately called them in Vegas. Seeley had brought one of the lab people from the Smithsonian Zack Addy with him much to the displeasure of Dr. Brennan. He then stole Adam Ross from the New York Crime lab to round out their lab people.
Along with Sentinel Sanders and Guide Stokes they had Guide Ryan Wolfe from the Miami Crime Lab, and Lindsey Monroe, also from the New York Crime Lab. Along with Charlie Epps and his friends, Tony had brought in two techs from the FBI’s cyber division. They were a bonded pair consisting of Sentinel Raven Ramirez, and her guide Daniel Krumitz. Lastly ME Laura Isles from Boston PD had signed on as their Medical Examiner. She was a mundane, but had a lot of experience with Sentinels and guides thanks to her friendship with one of the women on Tony’s team. DB had made sure all of his people got along, and made a very deliberate attempt to ensure they all understood they were one team with three sections.
Hearing twin screeches, Tony looked over to see Jane Rizzoli and Emily Prentiss hitting Marty Deeks over the head with folders. Tony could only imagine what Deeks had said, but from his laugh it didn’t sound too serious. Marty and Emily were one of their two surprise bondings. Guide Megan Reeves had bonded with Sentinel Rey Curtis from NYPD. Fortunately, Rey and Larry clicked, as odd as the pairing seemed, and the three seemed to be settling in quite well, even if they were taking things slowly. Rey was working hard to develop a connection between him and Larry that was unique to the two of them, and not dependent on Megan.
Emily and Deeks, however started off like Oil and Water, but quickly found their groove. Six months later they were inseparable. In fact, his whole team was quite close. He tried to make sure all of his teams got along, but with the six people who made up his personal team, he tried to make sure they were more than just co-workers. Along with himself and Colby were the bonded pairing of Prentiss and Deeks, as well as unbonded Jane Rizzoli. Their sixth member was none other than David Rossi himself. Tony still couldn’t believe that the veteran profiler had requested a spot helping them.
Tony had already hired Dr. Tara Lewis to add to Hotch and Reid’s profiling team, and didn’t really need a fourth. He’d been sure that he’d lose his chance at working with the man, when Rossi had offered to work with one of the investigative teams. Tony had jumped on the offer, and quickly added him to his own team as his sixth member. Rossi was a mundane, but like Dr. Isles held such a vast understanding of Sentinel and guide matters that he at times knew more than the S&G pairs in the agency.
Seeley Booth’s team was completed by a bonded pair of Danny Williams and Chin Ho Kelly who had come from Hawaii. With them came Chin’s cousin Kono who was just out of the police academy, but eager to learn. Given that she was a five sense unbonded Sentinel, Tony had quickly hired the rookie, and put her on Elijah’s team. They were rounded off by Danny Messer and Don Flack from NYPD. All things considered, Tony thought that he had some pretty damned good teams who were all eager to do their best for their fellow Sentinels and guides who needed their help.
There were a few things on the wish list. Tony was trying to lure Dr. Brad Pitt away from DC to be their doc. The fact that LA was not kind to his lungs was one of the factors working in his favor. He already had to change his medicine once since moving west. Since the only doctor he trusted was located in DC that hadn’t been easy to coordinate.
They also needed an in house psychiatrist who could see to their personal needs. That one had them all stumped though. Tony had immediately vetoed Rachel Cranston when she’d been suggested. While she was a guide herself, and had the appropriate training, Tony didn’t care for her. He flat out told Jim and Blair that if they hired her, Tony and Colby would be leaving. While it wasn’t a secret that Tony didn’t like psychiatrists, she was a whole different story. He’d always gotten a manipulative feeling from her, and was not willing to trust his people to her.
So, they were finding the in house psychiatrist was their toughest position to fill. Tony felt that when the right person came along they would all know it, and wasn’t too worried about it. Feeling an arm around his waist, Tony looked to his right to see Colby smiling at him. “Spying on the children, again?”
“Yeah, kinda,” Tony admitted smiling. “A little spying, and a little reminiscing. We’re going to need to add another investigative team soon I think.”
Colby nodded smiling. “I didn’t tell you. David actually called me the other day trying to get a spot with us. I told him to submit his application, and Director Fornell would contact him if something suitable came open.”
Tony snorted and grinned at the man who had become the center of his entire universe. “In other words, you politely told him to go fuck himself?”
“More or less,” Colby admitted laughing. “We still having dinner with Jim and Blair?”
Tony nodded, and leaned into Colby slightly, sighing happily when he felt his guide’s lips touch his temple. “Yeah, remind me that I need to stop at the fish market on the way home to get shrimp.”
The Prime Sentinel and Guide pair had been making frequent trips to Los Angeles. Frequent enough that Tony had recently convinced them to move to LA. It made sense for the S&G Center Headquarters to be on the campus with the S&G Crimes Agency. Jim hadn’t wanted to leave Cascade, but eventually admitted what he’d already known. As much as he loved his quiet little town, it wasn’t sufficient for something like the S&G Center Headquarters, which needed to expand with all the plans they had for the future.
All in all, Tony had to admit that the best thing he had ever done was to get on that plane, and leave NCIS behind without a second thought. Oh, sure every once and awhile they had someone from there trying to contact them. They seemed to fall into one of two categories though.
The first being the hateful jackasses like Abby Sciuto that not only couldn’t understand how Tony could leave, but also couldn’t understand why SHE hadn’t been his first call. Never mind the fact that her guide side was, according to her dormant. Tony suspected that she actually had Sensory or Empathic Suppression because of her refusal to grow up, and her manipulative nature. Neither were an environment for a healthy guide to activate into.
Then there were the people at NCIS who wanted a better work environment. Tony hadn’t blacklisted NCIS as a whole. In fact, by the end of the year, Sentinel Dwayne Pride and his Guide Christopher LaSalle down in New Orleans would be affiliated with S&G Crimes as their first office outside of LA. Blair had a feeling that New Orleans would be one of their first cities to rapidly expand their S&G population, and Tony had learned to always go with the Prime Guide’s hunches.
Sometime at the beginning of the year, they’d open their sister office in New York City. Tony, Hotch, and Director Fornell were currently interviewing people to make up teams there. Tony had gotten an interesting call from Ethan Hunt over at IMF who had expressed interest in assisting in overseas operations along with his guide William Brandt. Ethan had suggested he could bring a handful of other people with him that could fill the needs for one team. Because of that their international crimes department would be opening a lot sooner than anyone expected.
As for Colby’s former coworkers, other than David’s continued attempts to get in, it had been quiet. Don had left LA after the truth of his actions had come out. No one had seen him in months. Tony knew Charlie was worried, but personally he thought they were all better off without the problems big brother would bring with him.
All in all, things were just about as perfect as they’d ever been in Tony’s life. He had friends. He had a partner that was perfect for him, and he had the respect at work that he had never gotten at NCIS. He knew there would be bumps in the road in the future, but he wasn’t too terribly worried about it. After all, as long as he had his guide by his side, he would be able to recover from anything. LA life was good, and Tony couldn’t wait to see where the star lined road took him in the future.