Title: Until Someday Comes
Fandoms: NCIS and Criminal Minds with hints of Hawaii 5-0
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, TJ DiNozzo, and Emily Prentiss with mentions of Derek Morgan and Danny “Danno” Williams
Content: Non-Cannon Compliant: NCIS and Criminal Minds, references to a Sentinel and Guide bond, slight angst
Word Count: 1,853
Notes: This is a prequel to my story Guiding Island Dreams.
Summary: Long separated from his Sentinel, Tony spends Valentine day with a friend, and gets reminded why he’s not as alone as it feels.
Tony was sitting at his desk, working on filling in his end of the month SFA paperwork. It wasn’t anywhere near due, but he knew from experience what happened if he let it go. The bullpen was quiet. Everyone else had gone home a couple hours before. Tony walked out with them himself, but instead of going home, he had gone to a nearby deli and gotten something to eat. Then, once he was done, he had gone back to work to get some things done.
When his cellphone rang, he glanced at the screen, and seeing who it was, grinned before answering it. “Well if it isn’t the lovely Ms. Prentiss.”
“Tell me what you have on,” Emily purred, and Tony burst out laughing, as he leaned back in his chair.
“Derek’s snooping again, huh?”
Emily just snorted, and Tony knew the man must be nearby. “Since tomorrow is Singles Awareness Day, and it’s my turn to plan our social event. You. Me. Pizza and the original AND the remake of My Bloody Valentine.” Tony snorted grinning when he heard the cackle from the other end of the line.
“You just wanna see the remake so you can lust over Jensen Ackles. I knew you were a Dean boy. That’s fine. That just leaves me that big hunka Sammy all to myself. As long as nothing comes in tomorrow, I am all yours, Stallion. We’re on our way home now.”
Tony laughed again, and grinned. “You know where I live. Just come over whenever you get out. If something comes up, send me a text. We’re off rotation for a few days because Gibbs is running something for Vance in MTAC the rest of the week, and McGee’s gotta play boss down in Cyber until their new AIC arrives in a couple weeks.”
“See you there, Romeo. Clothing. Optional.”
Tony cackled as he hung up. He knew Derek would be going nuts trying to figure out who she was talking to. If he only knew…
Tony had actually met Emily through Derek. He knew the man casually when they were both playing football for Big 10 teams in college. Derek had then introduced him to Emily trying to hook him up. Tony instantly liked the woman, and immediately laid out the sad tale that was his Pre-Bond status. He had hopes for a friendship, and didn’t want to lead the gorgeous Sentinel on. Fortunately for him, she was more than understanding and sympathetic, and quickly they’d become each other’s fake date.
That had been 7 years ago, and this would be the sixth Valentine’s Day they’d been each other’s “date”. Tony hated the holiday with a passion. It only served to reinforce to him everything that he’d lost when his father and Danny’s parents had separated them as children. Emily was always more than sensitive to his emotional pain, and their cheesy My Bloody Valentine marathon was the best way to celebrate in his opinion.
Turning back to his reports, Tony quickly filled in the information so that he could leave. He needed to get some sleep that night, because he knew that the following evening, sleep would be hard to come by.
The following night, Tony was wandering around his apartment making sure nothing was out of place. He didn’t allow many people in his apartment. It was his sanctuary from the world, and the only place that he was safe to hurt without needing to mask it. Not that he could help the masks and the personas.
One of his councilor’s in military school made him go talk to the school psychiatrist, who had diagnosed him with Bond Separation Related Detachment Disorder. It was a mental illness unique to guides who had met and bonded with their Sentinel, and then been separated for a long period of time. It caused the need to hide himself behind masks and fake personas. Along with that were things like emotional hypersensitivity that was hidden behind the façades, an almost painful need to fit in, problems not taking issues onto himself even when it couldn’t possibly be his fault, and problems being able to determine the correct emotional response in high tension situations.
Basically everything that his co-workers hated about him, and there wasn’t a goddamned thing that he could do about any of it. Not that he would ever tell any of them the reason behind it, and to be frank, he wasn’t sure that any of them would either believe him or be supportive. He could bet that at some point it would be used against him. So, he’d learned to keep his illness to himself, and only let in those that he could really trust like Emily and Jimmy Palmer.
Then there was TJ. His son was maybe the only thing that kept him going some days. Tony had already fed him his own little pizza and put him to bed with his tablet and some toys. The little boy loved his Auntie Emily, but knew that tonight was a grownup night, and that the things on TV would be too scary for him. It wasn’t often that Tony actually took grownup time for himself, and was fortunate that when he did, his son was understanding.
Hearing a knock on the door, Tony headed over picking up the t shirt laying on the back of the couch, and yanking it over his head. He was just pulling it over his stomach, when he got the door open.
“No need to get dressed on my account, DiNozzo.”
Tony snorted at Emily who was grinning at him as she wiggled her eyebrows. “You’re hopeless,” he threw at her before turning and heading back toward the kitchen leaving her to come in.
“I just gotta change, and then I’ll be ready, dear. I hope that is the pizza I smell because I am starving!”
Pulling the homemade pizza out of the oven, Tony set it on the island to cool slightly before he cut it. Turning back, he pulled the tray of breadsticks out, then used his barefoot to close it. Placing the sticks next to the pizza, he wandered over to the microwave, and pulled out the two cups of sauces he’d made earlier then stuck in there to stay warm. After setting them on the island, he moved to pour the wine he’d opened earlier into the two glasses he had set out moving them to the table. Finally he got out some plates, forks, and napkins putting them on the island so that they could fill their own plates. On the table he already had some cut up veggies along with some homemade veggie dip to much on.
“OH! Homemade pie? You spoil me, DiNozzo.”
Tony batted his eyelashes at the woman, and handed her a plate then filled his own before crossing to sit in his normal seat. Taking a deep breath, he tried to mentally shove away the pain that was sitting in his stomach like a ball of cement so that he could eat.
“It seems worse this year,” Emily commented softly as she sat across from him. “Is something else going on?”
“Just feels more hopeless this year is all,” Tony offered quietly.
“I’m no closer to finding Danny than I’ve been since the day our fucking parents tore us apart. My team sucks, and every day I realize more and more how close I am to hating each and every one of them. I have this burning pain inside of me that won’t ever go away unless I find the other half of my soul. I fucking hate Valentine’s Day. It only serves to show how fucking miserable and lonely I am. All day I get to have shoved in my face how fucking happy all these other couples are, and how much I fucking need to have him back. I feel like I will never be anything but alone.”
Grabbing a carrot out of the bowl, Tony dipped in the dill veggie dip, and then bit into it violently, crunching angrily as he tried to shove down the pain.
“You’re not alone, Tony.”
Lifting his eyes, Tony saw Emily watching him not even trying to hide her sympathy. “I’m not going to sit over here and be a hypocrite and say I know how you feel. Obviously, I don’t. You’re not alone though. You’re an amazing man with a huge heart, and one hell of a sharp brain. If those fuckers you work with don’t appreciate you, then leave them behind. Do not give up on your Danny though. Not ever.”
When Emily shook her head at him, Tony tried to swallow the lump of emption that was stuck in his throat. “You gotta keep the faith, T. You deserve that man, and I gotta believe that someday you’ll find each other again. Burn bridges with anyone you need to at that craptastic agency you work for, but don’t ever give up on your Sentinel. I gotta believe, man. Because, if you don’t get to have your Sentinel, then none of us deserve our mates. The one thing I have always believed in, is the theory that the bigger the pain, the bigger the reward. You’re gonna get him back, and it’s gonna be better than anything you’ve ever had in your life. So, promise me. Swear you won’t give up hope.”
Taking a deep breath, Tony nodded taking a deep breath. “But what if I don’t, Princess Em?”
Emily opened her mouth, and then quickly shut it again. Pausing, she took a drink of her wine, before setting the glass down and answering. “Then you keep being amazing. You do so much for this world, Tony. Leave NCIS and find some place that appreciates you. You raise that little boy of yours to be the mini runway model genius it’s obvious that he’s going to be, and you just keep believing. But, never ever forget that you’re a wonderful man and father. I hope like hell you find that Sentinel of yours someday, but if you don’t…. Well… you’ll always have Jensen Ackles.”
Not expecting the final answer, Tony spit out his wine as he half laughed and half choked. Across the table, Emily was cackling, and he could hear the thud of little feet signaling they were getting a tiny visitor. Sure enough, soon his little boy was curled up in his lap, munching on a slice of pizza, and regaling his Auntie Em with the story of the girl who just wouldn’t stop kissing him.
Resting his cheek on the top of the little boy’s head, Tony smiled at Emily, who winked at him as she listened attentively.
Someday he’d find his Danny. Until then though, Emily was right. His life was pretty fucking awesome, minus the asshole co-workers. Promising himself next year he’d be working somewhere new on Valentine’s Day, Tony picked up a piece and began eating. As long as he had TJ and people like Emily in his life, he would make it until someday came.