Chapter Three: Sharing Lessons with Big Bird


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See the Main Page for Content Warnings, Characters, Relationships, Etc.

Chapter Note: In my head H50 is in season 1 in this story. I realize that Lou wasn’t part of the team then, but another member was necessary to make the teams even. There was a snowballs chance in hell I was adding Laurie or Catherine. Therefore, Lou won out, and frankly I like Lou.

Chapter Summary: Tony, Danny and the gang go to Steve’s for a cookout and some beach time. Lou gets a reminder on ohana, and Uncle Steve learns there are valuable lessons to be taught by Big Bird.


Chapter Three: Sharing Lessons with Big Bird
Tony and Danny were sitting on a wicker bench that Kono made Steve bring out for them exclusively. Currently she and Sophia were down at the beach with TJ and Chin making a sandcastle.  Tony and Danny had just come up from there to join Steve and Lou who were watching the meat. Lou was smoking one of his cigars, and seemed to be amused by the fact that Tony and Danny seemed to be sharing one between them.  They’d also shared a drink, and a plate of snacks Kono had laid out.  He’d started to make a joke about it earlier, but he’d gotten the glare from Kono and dropped it. He figured eventually someone would fill him in on what the deal was. “So, DiNozzo, tell me if I have this right. You knew both Danny and Steve as a kid, but didn’t have anything to do with them ending up on this island paired up together?”

“Nope,” Tony replied smiling. “I met Danny when I was eight at summer camp. I met Steve here when I was 12, and spent the summer with him and John.”

“Danny I get because you are from Long Island you said, right?” When Danny nodded instead of Tony, Lou just went with it. “What I don’t get is how you spent the summer with Steve and John.”

“Senior was here on business, and forgot me when he went home. John was the officer who answered the hotel’s call. It took a while to get Senior to respond. So, until the PD back home could track him down, John took me home with him to stay.”

“He forgot you, and then didn’t notice that you were gone?” Lou repeated incredulous. He had two teenagers that were the center of his universe. He couldn’t imagine taking them somewhere, and just… forgetting them.

Tony nodded, and Lou couldn’t understand how the man could be so calm and nonchalant about it. “He was in Maui, and forgot to come back here to get me when his… business deal fell through. He just left from Maui.”

“Wouldn’t he have had to come here to fly out? And, why were you here if his business was on Maui?”  Lou could see the anger on both Danny and Steve’s faces.  Either this DiNozzo had damned good masks, or he really didn’t see anything wrong with it. Or both. Lou was really afraid that it was both.

This time it was Steve who answered. “Senior wasn’t ever father of the year. He’s more likely to be on America’s most wanted. He still running cons, Tony?”

“Every chance that he gets,” Tony confirmed taking a puff out of the cigar Danny was holding between his fingers.

Feeling like he was finally getting the important pieces of the puzzle, Lou just stuck his own in his mouth.  “I see. So, what exactly do you do, DiNozzo? When you’re not visiting this beautiful island and meeting old friends in graveyards that is.”

Tony sighed, and looked down toward the beach to where TJ seemed to be working on burying Chin in the sand with Kono’s help.  “That’s kind of complicated.”

“Telling us where you work is complicated?” Lou asked skeptical. He couldn’t help but wonder if the apple wasn’t still firmly attached to the tree.  Obviously the kid got sent back home eventually. Who was to say this DiNozzo clown wasn’t a chip off the ol’ block.  “You take up the family business?”

“HEY!” Danny snapped angrily standing up, and only being kept from getting in Lou’s face by his sitting partner. Tony was holding onto Danny’s hand with all the strength he had. “You take that shit back! Right now, Grover, or so help me God…”

“Danny, Sentinel, it’s ok,” Tony tried calming his mate, but that seemed to only infuriate his mate further.

“It is not ok! He’s basically calling you a damned criminal! He doesn’t know you, and I will be damned if I am gonna sit here and listen to that!”

“He just asked a question,” Tony offered biting his lip. He was trying to hide his hurt, but it wasn’t working, he was sure.

“It was a rude, insensitive, jackass question, and he is going to take it back! These damned islanders keep telling me what a big thing this ohana stuff is. Well you were ohana way before him. So, he can either take it back or just shut the hell up!”

“Danny, please,” Tony said softly looking to see Kono trying her best to keep TJ distracted.  The last thing he needed was for his son to come up to find everyone mad.

“No, DiNozzo, he’s right,” Lou said quietly, watching the two mates, and feeling ashamed.

Tony looked back to the older man shocked. It had been a long time since someone apologized to him.  “What?”  He asked dumbfounded, and barely noticed when Danny came back to curl up into his side.  The shorter man was more worried about the shock and pain he could feel through the bond, than what the other men would think of him cuddling right at that moment.  If they said anything, well, he’d just sic Kono on them.

“I said he’s right,” Lou repeated calmly. “You are ohana, and that means we don’t automatically think the worst of each other. I’m sorry for being a jerk.  I’m still kinda new to this stuff myself. Came from Chicago recently, and while it may not be as much of a big city vibe as say LA or New York, we’re still kinda cynical about that stuff. So, if it’s ok with Danny, I would still like to know what you do.  Seems important to find out about my buddy’s new mate.”

Tony smiled weakly. “I’m from Long Island, Lou. You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to out asshole me. So, no worries.  I say complicated, because before two days ago I was employed with NCIS. I’d been there ten years.  Definitely stayed at least a year too long, but probably more like 5 years too long.  The thing is, I found that when you’re trying to be a responsible adult single parent, it isn’t so easy to walk away from some things. That is until someone tries to kill you, and it didn’t need to happen.”

Tony snorted taking another puff off the cigar that Danny held out for him blowing a smoke ring before he continued.  “Then you realize that you can’t be a good parent if you’re dead. So, you tell the Secretary of the Navy that the job is done. You then tell the Director of NCIS that you quit, because you refuse to work for an agency that doesn’t care about your safety, employs traitors, sends you to be the fall guy for Mossad, and just generally treats you like shit for 8 of your 10 years.”

Tony felt Danny’s hand clench around his. Glancing briefly at Danny, Tony peaked at Steve seeing an intense anger on his face. “I think you need to explain that in a little more detail, babe.” Danny prodded, and Tony nodded.

“Jesus, where to start. Umm ok… I mean… I worked at three different PDs before I got to NCIS. I worked there about 2 yrs. each. I worked a big undercover gig in Philadelphia, and then in Baltimore I was promoted to detective. While I was there I met Leroy Jethro Gibbs, my last boss.”

“Holy shit,” Steve swore. “You worked for Gibbs? For ten years?”

Tony nodded snorting. “Yup. My last partner in Baltimore turned out to be dirty, so when Gibbs offered me a spot on his team I took it.  It was just us for a couple years, until he hired Kate who was a disgraced Secret Service Agent. Then we hired my probie, Tim McGee. I got made Senior Field Agent. Kate was probably the worst profiler on the planet, and Tim was greener than the grass in your yard, Steve, but they were part of the team. So, I did my best to train them.”

“Then I got the plague thanks to this deranged woman who was crazy and dying and sent a bioengineered strain to the office because she was pissed. Her daughter had kinky sex with her boyfriend before he was murdered, and was too embarrassed to tell mommy the truth. So, she lied and said that she was raped.  Anywho…”

Tony took a drink of the beer he and Danny were sharing, and looked down to check on TJ before continuing. “I got better, obviously.  Gibbs got obsessed with a rogue Mossad agent. Kate got murdered by said rogue agent. NCIS got a new director who put said rogue agent’s handler sister on our team. Shit went downhill from there.  That is probably where I should have jumped ship really, but I was loyal to Gibbs and didn’t.

“Eventually he got blown up and got amnesia, which sent him running off to Mexico. I got left with a team that decided I was a joke, and didn’t want to listen. The director put me on an unsanctioned op while I was trying to lead said team who wouldn’t listen. TJ was born. Gibbs eventually came back. Director got killed on my watch.  I got sent to hell on a boat.

“Jesus what is with you two? It’s a ship, not a boat,” Steve muttered, and Tony could feel Danny’s amusement through the bond. He was going to have to probe that later.

“I get off hell on a boat. Gibbs and the team keep treating me like crap. My teammates turn off the coms while I am getting voice prints so we can catch a domestic terrorist. Of course, I didn’t know they were serious at the time, or I would have quit then. That is when I, for sure, should have quit, but I didn’t.  SecNav then puts me on an assignment where my only backup was the director who hates me. My target turns out to be innocent and dead. I end up with amnesia, and when I get over it I quit. So, now I am an unemployed single father. I am sure my kid’ll be just prouder than punch to tell all of his little first grade friends during show and tell next year.”

Snorting and feeling more than a little bit like a failure, Tony looks up at Lou. “So, that’s why it’s complicated.”

“Jesus Christ on a crutch, I’m a dickhead. Kono is gonna kick my ass when she hears about this. Then she’s gonna call my wife so she can kick my ass, too.” Lou swore running a hand over his head.

Tony shrugged his shoulder. “No need for that. You didn’t know. Given my father’s history you wouldn’t be the first person to assume that I am a criminal. Hell, the FBI has tried to arrest me three times for murder. Once they didn’t even have a whole body, just a leg.”

“They… what? Leg? Murder? This is a joke, right? You are telling a joke. You cannot seriously tell me that the FBI arrested you for murder when all they had was a leg? Are they incompetent? Do they have crime labs? Do they have incompetent crime labs? What kind of clowns do they have in these incompetent crime labs at the FBI in wherever they are?”

Tony grinned at Danny’s ranting and couldn’t help but lean in and kiss him into silence.  “Well that’s one way to shut him up. Jesus, McGarrett, don’t get any ideas though. The islander’s already think you and Danny are married. I can’t wait for the scandal to hit when they find out not only are you cheating on him with Kono, ‘cause you know none of them believe she’s really your guide right?  Now Danny’s gonna have his own boy toy. This is gonna be somethin’.”

Tony thought Danny’s head was gonna explode by the time Lou got done. Sure enough less than five seconds later, his mate is bitching at Lou. Tony’s turning blue as he laughs, and Steve is looking constipated as he listens to Lou and Danny needle each other.

When everyone got calmed down, Steve looked at Tony frowning. “I don’t know why TJ would tell his schoolmates that you’re unemployed in the fall, AJ. Clearly you’ll be settled in with 5-0 by then.”

“THAT is a wonderful idea. In fact that might be the only good idea you’ve had this month. I was beginning to wonder if the army taught you soldiers any kind of common sense or logic.”

“Navy, Danny. I’m in the Navy, and we’re sailors, not soldiers. We’re on ships. In the ocean.”  Steve glared at his irritating partner.

“Army Navy, potato tomato,” Danny replied waving his hand in the air.

Tony could tell they’ve had this conversation before as he settled in this time to listen to Danny and Steve bitch at each other. For looking at him you would think the blonde was completely serious. Fortunately, Tony could feel how much amusement and enjoyment Danny was getting from winding up the SEAL as he kept insisting the Army and Navy were the same thing.  He always had been a brat, and Tony had always loved it.

Finally the two quit when a piercing whistle was let out, and TJ came barreling at Tony leaping into his lap chattering a mile a minute.  Quickly the bickering stopped as the adults who hadn’t been down at the beach listened smiling as the little boy relayed every second he’d spent building sandcastles and burying Chin in sand.

“Papà, I likes it here,” TJ playing with the shirt Tony had put on. “I think we needs to stay. Auntie Kono said that she’d take me out on her surfboard, an Uncol Chin said he’d take us on a hike! I wants to stay here, papà.”

“You do, huh?” Tony said smiling at his son. “Well you know, Uncle Steve seems to think that I will be working at some 5-0 place when you start school again in the fall.”

TJ cocked his head, and turning around, sat on his papà’s lap frowning at his Uncle Steve. “What is this fibe oh thing? Do you get recess there? Recess is my faborite part of kinnergarden. Will papà be abol to tuck me in if he works der? He doesn’t get to do that lots with the old place. I didn’t like that.”

Steve nodded seriously, and Tony wondered if he approached everything as if it were a SEAL mission. “5-0 is my team. He’d be working with me and Uncle Chin, and Auntie Kono, and Uncle Lou and Uncle Danno, TJ. We work for the governor, and catch bad guys on the islands. She gives us special authority to do what we need to lock them up.  I don’t know about recess, but we do like to have fun. I agree with you that your papà should be able to tuck you in every night. So, if he worked with us, I promise I would do my best to have him home in time for bedtime as much as I could.”

TJ frowns eyeballing Steve. “I not knows… recess is pretty important. If you works too hard your brain turns into green jello and gets sucked out by aliens through your ear wif a straw. I not sure if papà should come there if you no can g’arn’tee recess.”

Steve nodded again ignoring the snickers around him. “You know what, buddy, I would hate for your dad’s brain to turn into green jello, and get sucked out with a straw through his ear by the aliens. So, I’ll approve recess for your papà.”

“An Uncol Danno, an Uncol Chin an Auntie Kono, toos? Hims got has pepols play wif. It no fun bein at recess wifout havin anybody play wif.”

Steve lifted an eyebrow as more snickers were heard.  Fortunately Lou seemed to be offended that he didn’t get recess too, and bought him some time.  “Hey! What about me! Uncle Lou should get recess, too.”

TJ turned his eyes onto the big man frowning. “I not knowd. You usseted daddy and Uncol Danno. Is you gonna play nice at recess, or is you gonna hog the ball? Nobod likes a ball hog, Uncol Lou.”

Tony was biting his lip and could feel Danny’s face pressed into his back shoulder trying to muffle his laughs. Tony guessed Lou must have kids of his own from his reaction. “Naw man, see that ain’t me. Steve here’s the ball hog. Uncle Lou is always happy to share, an’ you’re right. I did upset your papà and I said I was sorry. He was real nice, and said he accepted my apology.”

TJ looked up to Tony who nodded to confirm Lou’s words. The little boy thought about it then nodded as well. “Kay, Uncol Lou needs recess too. I don’ know ‘bout you tho. It isn’ nice to hog the ball. Didn’ them peoples on the boat teash you to share?”

Steve opened his mouth to correct him, but ended up with a slap to the back of his head by his mate. “It’s not nice to be picky with a sweet loving five year old guest who is negotiating the employment of your partner’s guide, Steven.”

Kono smiled at TJ. “On behalf of Sentinel McGarrett Team Leader of 5-0 we accept your terms, TJ. If your papà comes to work with us he gets recess every day, and we’ll have him home by your bedtime every night unless it’s absolutely unavoidable.”

TJ nods and looks up at Tony. “You hired, Papà! Cans we stay now?”

Tony looked around at the group of people gathered in Steve’s backyard, ending up with Danno who was looking more than a little hopeful. Tony could feel the yearning across their strengthening bond. “As long as Uncle Steve understands that he doesn’t get to drive either my car or Danno’s car every day. I think you need to sit him down, and have Big Bird help you teach him about sharing, figlio. I don’t think the people on that boat did a very good job.”

TJ nods and sighs looking at Steve. “We gots lots work to do wif you, but no worry. We have you shaped up in no time. Better behave tho, or papà will put you in time out an’ bake cookies an’ no let you watch! Man I hate that!”

The adults finally gave in, and laughed except for Steve. He just nodded seriously trying to figure out where he could get Sesame Street to watch with his new nephew.  TJ for his part just laid back and closed his eyes to take a nap. It was a hard job keeping these adults in line!


End Notes:

I normally hate writing kids, but TJ is awesome.

One more chapter of this to go, but I am pretty sure there will be additional stories. I can’t promise when. I have an idea for two separate prequels. One showing kid Tony & kid Danny at summer camp. The other will be kid Tony and kid Steve. I also want to do another story as a sequel to this to deal with Rachel’s reaction to Tony’s presence. No idea when though. I have several other things going on story wise.

I hope you enjoyed.


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2 thoughts on “Chapter Three: Sharing Lessons with Big Bird

  1. Pingback: Chapter Two: Finding Your Other Half | AngelicInsanity

  2. Pingback: Guiding Island Dreams Main Page | AngelicInsanity

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