Title: Loves both Old & New
Fandoms: NCIS & Criminal Minds
Characters: Tony DiNozzo and Aaron Hotchner with mentions of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Tobias Fornell, and Abby Sciuto
Relationships: Tony/Aaron, Past-Tony/Gibbs
Content Warning: Non-Cannon Compliant: NCIS & Criminal Minds, Abby Being an Asshole, FBI!Tony, Not Beta Read, Tony Leaves NCIS
Word Count: 1,176
Notes: This takes place after It’s Better the Second Time Around, and does contain spoilers for that story. It is not necessary to read this first, even though it was written first. If you don’t want to be spoiled, I would suggest read this after that story is complete.
Summary: A text from a former friend prompts Tony to compare his current relationship with his old one.
Loves both Old & New
He loved him. He couldn’t help it. He reminded him so much of Gibbs, and yet he was so completely different. Both men were 100% non-stop intensity when on a case. Yet Hotch seemed to understand when his team was doing its best, when they needed a break, and when they needed a push. To Gibbs, if the case hadn’t been solved yet, then they simply weren’t trying hard enough. After a while that kind of drive, always grinding one stone into another, simply turned you into sand.
Both men had suffered through the terrible loss of a wife they adored. Yet Hotch had managed to move on, while Gibbs insisted on living in the past always holding onto memories of people he’d never hold again. Holding onto pain that he’d never let ease, because he was too scared to surrender the last thing he had of them. In the end, it was that refusal to move on that made the difference in his love for them.
Tony felt like he’d held onto his feelings for Gibbs for too long. Held on waiting for that future that he knew was never coming. With Aaron he hadn’t even had to make the first move. Another difference between the men. Gibbs was always Gibbs. Home life or work life there was only the same unyielding wall of intensity and stubbornness. With Hotch there was a switch, and when he drove away from Quantico, it flipped itself to off. With Hotch there was well… Aaron. Hotch was the tough as nails Unit Chief of the Behavioral Analysis Unit. Aaron was the quiet, but amusing lover who laid in his bed with him at night and laughed at his college stories. Aaron was that muted confident, if somewhat shy man who had never tried a relationship with a man, but was damned if he was going to let that stop him from going after what he wanted.
Gibbs judged every woman he met against the memory of Shannon, putting her on a pedestal no human being could possibly live up to. Aaron took every person he met as their own being. While he loved his dead wife, he remembered that it hadn’t always been wonderful, and she hadn’t always been right.
With Gibbs there was the never ending game of vetting one agent against the other, all while claiming they were his family. Hotch wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing. His team was his family, and they were treated as if they each held an important yet unique spot. There was no need to put them in a pit like gladiators, because he only wanted them to be themselves. With Gibbs there had been nothing but holding on, and half promises that Tony had always known would never come to fulfillment. With Aaron there was nothing but the bright surety that tomorrow would see the two of them together.
Tony had wanted this his whole life. This kind of love. This kind of acceptance, and safety. A man who understand that there was layers under the masks. Aaron accepted his insecurities, and sometimes childlike need to know he was loved. Aaron never used his darkness against him. He knew people from his past kept waiting for him to go backwards, but how could he when his future held nothing but endless possibilities.
Tony felt the couch dip and turned to look at Aaron who’d sat down next to him. “You’re staring at your phone awfully hard. Is everything ok?”
Silently he handed the cell to his partner so he could read the text from Abby. “Gibbs has been shot. It’s time for you to stop being selfish and come home, Tony! He could die, and it’ll be your fault ‘cause you weren’t there to protect him. COME. HOME.”
He could see the concern on his lover’s face. When his dark eyes looked up at him, there wasn’t a single hint of doubt in them. “Do you need to go?”
Shaking his head, Tony took the phone back and after deleting the thread, blocked Abby’s number. “No, he’s not alone. He has everyone he wanted. He made his choice. They made their choices. Besides, I am right where I belong.”
Aaron smiled. “Fornell will be glad to hear that.”
Tony snorted and leaned forward to put his phone on the table. That he felt a little bad about. Gibbs called Tobias a traitor when Tony’d moved to his team. Said that he’d never forgive him, and so far he hadn’t. Tony’d apologized until Tobias had pointed out to him that Gibbs got exactly what he wanted. He was like that jealous girl who didn’t want the guy she dumped, but got pissed when he found someone hotter and less bitchy. “Tone, he’ll get over it or he won’t. He’s not my only friend, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna lose out on a talent like yours because he refuses to let go of his dead family.”
Slouching down some, Tony let his head rest on Aaron’s arm, and turning his head looked at his lover’s face. They hadn’t seen each other in three weeks. Tony was on an undercover assignment, and then the BAU got called out on a kidnapping. When Aaron just lifted an eyebrow, Tony snorted and grinned big shrugging his shoulders. “I think I’m glad Gibbs asked me to leave NCIS.”
When Aaron just let his head fall slightly to one side, Tony barreled on. “If he hadn’t I wouldn’t have you. I wouldn’t have found a mentor in Rossi who really understands me, or a friend like Derek who gets the awesomeness of college. Spencer wouldn’t have shown me that not all really smart people treat you like you’re an idiot just because you don’t have the same IQ as them. I wouldn’t understand that they won’t look down on your intelligence just because it isn’t the same as theirs.” Tony looks away for a moment before looking back to see the emotion in Aaron’s eyes had softened.
“It hurts that Abby found it so easy to blame me, but now I have Garcia. I know she’d never be so quick to assume I was at fault. If I was still at NCIS, I’d still feel like I was obligated to give Senior unlimited second chances, because the people around me would still be treating me like I was a horrible son for not understanding how wonderful he is. If I was at NCIS, I’d still think that I should be ashamed of how much I hate him for how he treated me as a kid. If I was still at NCIS, I’d still be afraid to just be me sometimes.”
Reaching in his pocket, Tony took out a small jeweler’s box, and held it towards Aaron. “You wanna get hyphenated with me?”
Aaron burst out laughing. Leaning forward he kissed Tony before opening the box to see the ring inside. “Yes, Anthony DiNozzo, Junior. I would love to get hyphenated with you.”
End Note: If you have read this story before I have made some minor tweeks. Mostly spelling changes, but I did deliberately remove the mention of one character. This is because I have written the prequel to this story. I have made an executive decision to remove Jack from this universe. Honestly, I just don’t write children, well. I am basically Spencer Reid before Henry was born when it comes to kids. I just don’t think I would be able to do a child justice. My OC TJ DiNozzo is the exception it seems, but he doesn’t really fit into this verse with these versions of Tony and Aaron