Title: Blue Skies after the Storm
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, Alec Trevelyan, and Balboa with mentions of Ziva David, Tim McGee, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Leon Vance, Q (James Bond) aka Ashcroft Paddington, OMC Edward James Paddington
Relationship: Tony DiNozzo/Alec Trevelyan
Content: Non-Canon Compliant: NCIS and James Bond Verse, Angsty Schmoop, AU for NCIS Season 9 and beyond, AU for NCIS Post-Benoit Operation, Tony Leaves NCIS, Anti-Ziva, Team Gibbs needs a head slap
Word Count: 4,185
Notes: I changed a few things in NCIS canon during and after the Benoit operation so that they better fit in with the story.
Summary: When everyone around him at NCIS decides it’s ok to seek vengeance instead of uphold the law, Tony knows that he has to get out. This leads him to a new home, a second chance at romance, and a future he never imagined that he could have.
Blue Skies after the Storm
Tony sat on the beach watching the ocean as the storm raged all around him. Normally he would watch from within the safety of his beach house, but tonight he needed to feel the storm swirling around him. It fit his mood. He felt like he was standing in quicksand and no matter what move he made, he would end up in over his head.
Over the years that he’d worked at NCIS, he’d found that his moral compass had slowly lost track of where north was. Eventually, he came to a spot where he wasn’t sure where his personal true north was anymore. The sad thing was he hadn’t even understood that it was happening until it was he was smacked in the face with it.
McGee and Ziva were conducting off the books operations without the knowledge of their superiors. When he’d warned Gibbs, he’d been advised to mind his own business. The director had completely lost sight of the line between personal and professional in the wake of his wife’s death, and SecNav didn’t seem to be willing to do what was needed to protect the agency. He knew this was all wrong. He knew that there were lines being crossed that no one could ever come back from, and he was pretty sure he was the only one hesitating.
Everyone else had charged over that stick drawn line in the sand as if they hadn’t even seen it. For the first time in years, Tony was left on the other side, and hadn’t felt that he could go forward, again. So, he had done what he always did. He contacted his many sources. He hadn’t used NCIS resources to do it knowing that they would most likely be watching for it. He also hadn’t hacked into anything, even though despite what everyone else thought he was perfectly capable of doing so. He’d just made a few calls quietly from the haven of his home, after making sure there were no bugs in his apartment.
Tom Morrow told him to stay the hell away if he was smart. He warned that the DOJ was already sniffing around and that the SFA didn’t want to be caught in a no-win situation. Trent Kort told him that it was the Benoit op all over again, and this time if he got caught with his pants down then it would be his own fault. The clincher though had been his cousin who worked for the MI6 portion of SIS. The two men met by coincidence while Tony was working briefly on an International Task Force for Vance that came up in the aftermath of the Benoit Operation.
Tony had been tasked with providing information on the NCIS side of the operation because he had been the one placed undercover with Jeanne. Little did he know that he’d meet a member of the Paddington side of his family. Edward had been assigned by their Director, or M as Edward called the woman, to represent MI6.
At first, it had been slightly awkward and more than a little distrust had resided between the two. However, after a long night in a pub debating various topics, including American Football vs. what the rest of the world called Football, the tension had been broken. Soon, he’d managed to meet the remainder of his family, and before he’d gone back to America had formed a solid relationship with most of his mother’s living relatives. Crispin was still an asshole, but according to Edward, everyone thought he was an arsehole. So, it was all good.
Torn between his gut which was screaming to abandon ship, and people that he had thought were friends, if not almost family, he had called the one actual family member he had that he knew he could trust to understand his position. After Tony had laid out his current circumstance, Edward had told him to not just remove himself from the mess with Bodnar, but to put as much distance between himself and NCIS as possible.
Edward hadn’t been able to give him specifics but had suggested that Bodnar hadn’t been acting on his own as much as was being suggested. While Jackie Vance had never been meant to be killed, and Vance’s home certainly was never meant to be targeted, the killing of Eli David had come from high up within the Israeli government itself. Most likely as high as the Prime Minister of Israel himself. However, because the man Bodnar picked to execute the order had gone off script, an international incident had resulted. That didn’t excuse the vendetta NCIS was cooking up because any further unsanctioned killings would only muck up the waters even more.
Tony had then pieced together all of the information that he’d gotten from his three conversations, and knew NCIS was in deep shit. While he was more loyal than most, he was not going down with a ship he didn’t even want to be a part of. He’d made one last effort to get Gibbs to see the potential disaster in the making. In the end, though, the man told him that if he couldn’t see that Jackie deserved justice, then he didn’t belong at NCIS any longer. Tony had quietly pointed out that there was a very large difference between justice and revenge and asked Gibbs if he even knew which was which anymore.
He’d then left the house for the last time, and by the time the Director and Team Gibbs had come in the next morning, Tony was a former member of NCIS, and nowhere to be found. The oceanside residence was his haven, and well hidden. There was no way that anyone who knew him in America would be able to find it. His home was in a tiny speck of land in the Atlantic. Technically it was a whole island, although calling the tiny piece of land an island might be generous.
The island was a total of 10 acres, but most of it was heavily wooded and undeveloped. The beach house that he lived in had a working lighthouse near it. The island was part of the Cranberry Isles in Maine and was registered under Edward’s father George Paddington Marquise of Montagu’s name. Shortly after the two cousins met, they came up with the need for a safe haven that no one other than the two of them knew about. They’d debated various locations, until finally coming upon this listing. Tony wasn’t sure how Edward had found out about the island, but the second he saw the buildings, he’d known that it wasn’t through some random real estate listing.
They’d known that it was the perfect solution, and they’d quickly snatched it up. They’d recognized that maybe they should pull in a third person who could be trusted to keep their secret. George being a former director of MI5 was the perfect person.
The beach house looked fairly normal. It was mostly just a bedroom suite and kitchen area. It was small but nicely done. The kitchen was gorgeous, and Tony loved the building for that space alone. The lighthouse though gave away the fact that this wasn’t your normal property sale. The immediately accessible portion of the inside had been turned into a massive library/entertainment area. The first level was like heaven complete with comfortable leather furniture, a large screen TV, and shelf after shelf of movies. Once Tony added his own movie collection, there would literally be every kind of movie imaginable. The next three levels going up were filled with books, which Tony would be also adding his own book collection to.
Currently, all of his belongings were in storage waiting for things to die down so he could have them shipped there. The first level would be rearranged slightly so that his piano could be fit inside. It was the perfect place to hide away from the world, and the parts that weren’t easily accessible were only the cherry on the sundae.
Behind one of the bookcases on the lower level was a staircase that could only be accessed with a simultaneous hand print, retinal scan, and voice print analysis with a singular code that changed twice a day and never repeated. Once accessed, you climbed down to the underground level, which contained an armory that looked like it could keep a tactical unit in ammunition against just about any threat for weeks, and a computer area that had to outdo anything he’d seen in MTAC. There was no way that his cousin Ashcroft, aka the Quartermaster at SIS known as Q, was not responsible for the setup. This made him the fourth and final person aware of the safe haven’s location.
Normally, Tony went down and checked in immediately when he visited, but this time he felt the need for solitude. He needed to get his head around what he wanted out of his life before he let others in. He’d sent the necessary text message when he’d arrived, before throwing the burner phone off one of the rocky cliffs, and into the ocean. After almost a week hidden from the world, the storm had rolled in, and Tony decided to take advantage of his naturally beautiful violence allowing it to hopefully purge him of his mood.
As he sat in the pouring rain, with the wind howling around him, the thunder booming over his head, and the lightning putting on a show that put most firework displays to shame, he felt his pain and anger slowly bleed away. He’d spent the last week wallowing in the misery of once again losing everything he had and feeling like he had little to no control over the situation. He’d begun to feel like no matter how hard he tried he would always end up in the same spot, and wondered how long before his Paddington family would abandon him, too. The fact that he’d been the one to step away from NCIS didn’t help much, especially knowing that it was their unethical and illegal actions that necessitated it.
His head had been caught in a huge loop processing the whole thing, but with the storm raging around him, it was hard to think about anything but the beauty of nature’s violence. He was so wrapped up in the sight unfolding around him that he almost didn’t catch the man sitting down next to him. Turning his head, his mouth dropped open slightly seeing the blond headed man sitting next to him. He may not be the last person Tony expected, but he hadn’t been near the top of the list either.
When green eyes turned his way, Tony didn’t even stop to think. Instead, he lunged forward taking the gorgeous face in his hands, and almost desperately locking his lips to the other man’s. It wasn’t long before the other man took over, and Tony was rolled onto his back, one leg inserted between his own, as their mouths battled for dominance. He wanted… He didn’t know what he wanted, but he did know that this man, this miracle, this savior was at the heart of it all. When lips were finally lifted from his, Tony couldn’t have kept in the half sob half plea if his life had depended on it.
He opened his eyes back up, not remembering closing them, and saw everything he’d not allowed himself to believe he could have. He knew in that moment that somehow things would be ok. That and he was going to owe Ashcroft a fucking fortune in tea because there was no way that the younger man wasn’t wholly responsible for the other man’s presence.
“Let’s go inside, shall we?”
Quickly, Tony nodded, and allowed himself to be pulled up and then drug toward the cabin. Not that he had any interest in not following. The blond could have literally led him into the bowels of hell at the moment, and Tony wouldn’t have complained in the slightest.
Several hours later, after the storm calmed, and he’d endured hot showers, cuddles under layers and layers of suffocating blankets, and a breathing treatment “whether you bloody well like it or not” Tony felt like he could talk about the issue.
So, the two of them made the trek over to the lighthouse and lounged on the sofa with a couple of tumblers of whiskey. There, Tony explained to Alec Trevelyan, MI6 operative and best friend to Edward and their fellow agent James Bond, what was going on at NCIS that led to his resignation and voluntary seclusion. When he was done, Alec relayed what he knew of the Bodnar situation that he’d been authorized to share.
After they each were done, they sat in silence as they tried to process their thoughts. Tony met Alec through Edward and Ashcroft on one of his vacations from NCIS. There had been an almost instantaneous attraction between the two men, and while they’d indulged while Tony was in England, both had decided that their lives left little time for a long distance relationship. Now, though, Tony’s calendar was completely empty, and suddenly a relationship that previously seemed near impossible had gained new life.
“I retired from SIS,” Alec said quietly.
Tony frowned at the words for a moment, but soon enough he lifted his head to look at the man whose chest he’d been resting against. Unsure what to say, he watched the British man quietly, and soon he began speaking again.
“It wasn’t anything traumatic or any other such nonsense. I just… My last mission I was standing there romancing this gorgeous dark haired beauty so that I could get access to her employer and all I could think was that I would rather be watching the telly with you while arguing about your stupid American sports.
So, I came back, and as I was handing in my kit to Q, who was having a heart attack because three-quarters of it was returned, I confessed. Bloody bugger didn’t even look surprised. After I got done with my reports, the debrief, and convincing M that ‘yes, I was serious this time’, he texted me the address for here and suggested that I was needed for personal reasons. I don’t have many people in this world, Tonio, but you are at the very top of my list. I was hoping that maybe we could make plans for the future together.”
Smiling soft, Tony lay back down and took Alec’s hand pressing kisses to the scarred knuckles. “That sounds marvelous, love,” Tony confessed as his eyes closed, and then finally he slept.
Almost two years later, Tony found himself approaching the NCIS building in the Navy Yard with Alec walking by his side. He’d learned many things about both himself as well as the true meaning of friendship and family in that time. He’d also learned his worth in the world that both he and Alec had chosen to live their lives in, and surprisingly it was much higher than he suspected.
After the two of them reviewed all of their options, they came to the conclusion that they didn’t want to put their professional lives in the hands of any more government agencies. However, with the numerous amount of contacts the two of them had scattered around the world, they knew they still had options. In the end, they’d basically become international problem solvers. They’d created their own company that had connections to nearly every large international law enforcement agency in America, England, and various other nations friendly with their two countries. While they’d worked with the NCIS OSP out of LA, though, this would be their first time at the Navy yard.
That did not mean, however, that he didn’t know what had happened after his exit from the agency. The advice he’d been given to get out as quickly as possible had been on point. Bodnar had been killed by Ziva setting off a chain of events that led to the removal of herself, Gibbs, and Leon Vance from the agency.
Vance had enough smarts to make sure she knew her orders were to apprehend Bodnar only. So, he had escaped jail. Vance had taken time off to get himself together after his wife’s death. Last Tony had heard the man had moved his family back to California and was working as a coach at a private school his children attended.
Ziva hadn’t been so lucky and ended up in a German prison for her actions. She also had her American citizenship revoked, and last he heard, the Germans were deporting her to Israel after she served her prison time there. Since he highly doubted that she’d be let off so easy by Israel that the time in a German prison was considered adequate for what she’d done, he guessed that she’d be serving more time there once she got back to her birth land.
Gibbs had been forced into retirement, and last Tony heard moved back to Stillwater to be near his father. When the elderly man died in his sleep, Gibbs had taken over the general store, which amused Tony greatly. He couldn’t imagine his former boss behind the counter running a general store, but wasn’t amused enough to go check it out. He had absolutely no interest in seeing Leroy Jethro Gibbs ever again.
McGee had somehow managed to scrape through without losing his job but had been kicked down to the very bottom of the totem pole. Tony didn’t know for sure how the man had taken having to go back through FLETC and starting back out as a probationary agent, again. He wondered if the fact that he was still with NCIS had more to do with not having any other job options, or if Delilah had kicked his ass.
Abby was still there, although he’d knew she hadn’t taken things well. Of all the people he could see, she was the one that he was looking forward to seeing the least. Things had ended between them on a sour note that he knew would need to be resolved in some fashion.
After a while, he’d reached out to Ducky and Jimmy. He’d found himself missing the two men, and Alec had encouraged it. Fortunately, both men not only had been eager to hear from him but had been willing to keep his new life a secret. When he and Alec had accepted the request for assistance from the new MCRT leader, he’d immediately reached out to the two men and made dinner plans for the five of them, including Breena.
Passing through security, and receiving warm welcome backs from the security guards there had helped to soothe his nerves. When the elevator doors opened up to his old floor, the sight of the orange walls drew a noise and a curse from Alec that made him smile. “Bloody hell! I thought you were kidding about the color you arsehole.”
Tony laughed as he led the man toward the stairs leading up to the new director’s office. Director Malcolm Headley was not only an outside hire but quite a change for the agency. Word was that the man was closer to Tony in temperament and personality. He also was the first openly gay director the agency had ever hired. After the fiasco with Bodnar though, SecNav had been forced to shake things up a little, and when the dust settled Malcolm was the best of the bunch. The man had barely kept his own job, and couldn’t afford to make another mistake.
Rumor was that the Headley’s sexuality had truly been an afterthought, which was something that impressed Tony more than a little. He’d always had mixed feelings for SecNav Davenport while working for NCIS. He still wasn’t sure how much he trusted the man with the agents at NCIS, but he did respect him more than he had before after working as a consultant.
Hearing his name called, Tony turned his head and smiled seeing Balboa headed in his direction. Happily, he accepted a handshake and a half-hug from the man. He’d always liked Balboa, and he’d been one of the things that had drawn him to accept the request for assistance.
“Thank you for coming, Tony,” Balboa offered sincerely. “This case is a mess. It could definitely use some of that trademark DiNozzo outside of the box thinking. Let me take you up to the Director’s office. Have you met him yet?”
Tony shook his head as he followed with Alec trailing him. “Only through video conferences.”
“I think you’ll like him,” the Agent in Charge said. “He reminds me a lot of you. He’s a lot different than any Director I remember us having around here, but that isn’t a bad thing I don’t think. A change was definitely needed after you left.”
Tony was saved from replying as they reached the Director’s outer office. Taking a moment to look back, he took in his partner’s encouraging smile and stole a second to get a quick squeeze of his hand in support before they made their way into the office. Taking a deep breath, Tony let it out slowly and pasted a smile on his face as he headed in to meet Director Headley.
A week later, Tony was sitting on a bench in the park at the Navy Yard taking in the spring weather. Alec was sitting next to him, holding his hand as he chatted with James on his Bluetooth headset. They were heading to England to visit Tony’s family and their friends there the next morning now that things with the case were fully wrapped up. They’d caught the psycho killing the random Petty Officers preventing any more unnecessary deaths.
The week had been both surprising and exhausting, both in good and bad ways. Balboa had been right. He did like the new director, and with the first return to the Navy Yard out of the way, thought maybe they’d be accepting more case requests from them. He’d been forced to take a moment to speak with both McGee and Abby at separate times during the investigation.
Things with McGee were surprisingly good. The talk had been difficult, but necessary, and Tony thought just maybe there was a possibility the two of them could find their way back to being close friends again. It had been Delilah who kicked Tim’s ass when she found out what was going on, and all but forced him to remain at NCIS to make up for his dumbass attack. He’d always liked the spunky woman and was thrilled to find out that she’d be joining them at dinner that evening.
The meeting with Abby had been maybe the hardest thing he’d done since leaving NCIS. Things with her were still up in the air. Their conversation had become more of a verbal bloodletting, and he honestly hadn’t anticipated it. It seemed that she’d become more than a little bitter after he left. She’d tried to throw the blame for everything in his lap and was surprised when he hadn’t just taken it. Tony wasn’t the same loyal lapdog as he’d been when he left NCIS. Alec and his Paddington family had done wonders for his self-confidence, and he was unwilling to go backward.
As painful and tiring as their argument had been, in the end, he thought that just maybe it had done some good. She was going to be going to therapy to work through her abandonment and anger issues, and he had left the door open to them becoming friends again. Things had been strained before their fight, but afterward, they’d managed to at least work together without making others uncomfortable.
Abby hadn’t taken him leaving well, and it was only Q’s more skillful interference that had stopped her attacks via his personal email. He’d hoped that things had settled down in the time they spent not speaking, but that hadn’t been the case. Thus, the argument that Tony hadn’t been willing to back down on. She would not, however, be coming to their dinner via mutual agreement between the two of them. Neither of them was ready to socialize with the other, again.
As he sat on the bench, he took a deep lungful of the spring air and smiled wide as he let it out. Turning his head, he saw Alec watching and lifted a finger to brush some hair out of the man’s eyes. Leaving NCIS had been the best decision he could have made, and there wasn’t more than a 5-minute span since he’d put his resignation on Vance’s desk that he’d regretted it. The storm had passed, and it seemed that there was nothing but blue skies in his future.
Offering his partner and love a soft smile, Tony turned and positioned himself so that he could rest against the man getting a kiss to the top of his head in return. Life was good, and he planned to enjoy it to his fullest.