Chapter Summary: Robert makes contact with Tony, and the two men have a heart to heart over Tony’s guilty conscience. Then, Chin Ho and Raven begin their investigation into Jason Gideon.
Chapter Twenty: Contact is Made & Looking for Answers
When Tony walked into the house that evening, he was balancing two six-packs of beer to go with the pizzas that Fornell was to be picking up. They’d both had long days, and were not in the mood to do actual cooking. Tony was emotionally wrung out from the rollercoaster of his day. Arresting Garcia, finding out one of the profiling legends had gone off the deep end, and then surviving two confrontations with David Rossi followed by a surprisingly schmoopy moment in Aaron’s office had just about done him in. Tobias, on the other hand, spent his day doing paperwork, and explaining to rookies why they had to put actual information in their reports.
Heading straight to the kitchen, his intent was to put both six packs in the fridge to get cold, when he heard movement behind him. It was closely followed by, “Don’t drop that.”
Fortunately, he already had one balance under one of his arms. Twirling around and grabbing one of his service weapons out of the shoulder holster he chose to wear at the FBI in one fluid motion. Fortunately for Robert, Tony’s brain kicked in, and he managed not to shoot him.
“God FUCKING dammit! Do you have a death wish?!”
Robert frowned completely ignoring the gun pointed at him. “Why do people always ask me that? Will asks me that all of the time.”
Leaning back against the now closed fridge door, Tony went to put his hand on his forehead, only to remember at the last second he was still holding the gun. Growling, he slipped the safety back on and slipped the weapon into the back waistband of his pants.
“He’s alive by the way. Foggy from a concussion, and he got either shot or stabbed in the arm, but he’s alive.”
This time Tony’s hand was free as he ran it over his face. “Fuck,” he muttered softly, and stubbornly ignored the water leaking out of his eyes. He was absolutely not fucking crying.
“He’s apparently holed up at a CIA crash pad outside of Charleston, South Carolina. Only Will has problems with concussions. They scramble his brains, even if it’s just mild. They turn his memory into Swiss cheese. Because of that, he isn’t sure where this crash pad is at, and it isn’t like he can just go out and ask someone.”
Nodding and already planning the text conversation in his head, Tony turned around again and finished the task of putting the beers in the fridge. “Want one? I have Thomas Hooker Octoberfest Lagers and Bleached Blonde Ale made by The Blind Bat Brewery. I think I still have a couple bottles of Funky Buddha Last Snow Coconut Coffee Porter that I got to go with the chocolate cake last week. Won’t go with the pizza when it comes, but it was damned good.”
“I’m game,” Robert offered watching Tony grab the last two bottles, then put the other two six packs in the fridge before coming over.
“You’re not gonna believe who your unsub is.”
“Jason Gideon,” Tony offered, taking a healthy swallow of his beer, “and you are right.”
“I found it hard to believe. If they ever find that fucker, I’m pretty sure he’s not gonna make it to prison.”
“I feel like you’re reading my mind,” Robert complained frowning. “Bruce Wayne doesn’t read minds. Stop it.”
When Tony just blinked at him, Robert smirked. The front door was heard opening and slamming shut. “Dinner is here!”
“We have company, dad!” Tony yelled back, ignoring how quickly or high Robert’s eyebrow lifted. Fortunately, the other man did have tact when he needed it, and he refrained from asking questions.
“Oh, thank God,” Tobias said coming in and seeing who it was. “I was afraid it was that bald prick, again.”
“Another member for the club!” Robert cheered.
“Meetings are on Thursdays. Aren’t they always? No stupid accents allowed.”
Tony snorted and shook his head. “What does Bruce Wayne have to do with this?”
Robert blushed, which Tony found extremely interesting. “Will says that people like us are as close to superheroes as the world will ever get. So, he’s Hawkeye. I, of course, am Tony Stark. I decided that you are Bruce Wayne. It seems like a no-brainer.”
Tony grinned. His bottle of beer resting against his lips. “I am… Batman!” He exclaimed striking a post, and Tobias almost dropped the plates he laughed so hard. Robert snorted and grinned goofily.
Tony laughed until he was forced to wipe tears off his face. They all pretended that he’d never stopped laughing. “Fuck, Robert I’m sorry. I can’t even…”
“This isn’t your fault, DiNozzo,” Robert offered softly.
“I don’t honestly even want to be mad at you. When Will was with the CIA, I’d sit locked in my studio for days and weeks on end, terrified that he’d never come home. I was scared shitless on the most routine of assignments because I was always afraid he was going to end up dead, kidnapped, or tortured.”
Robert lifted his gaze up from the label he was picking at to look Tony in the eyes. “In the short time he’s known you, I already know I can trust you. I’m not afraid to send him out because I know you give a fuck. This isn’t your fault. It’s Jason Gideon’s fault, and whoever the fucking mole is at the FBI.”
“Penelope Garcia,” Tony threw out softly, then drained his bottle and stood.
“I’m going to change. I’ll be back.”
Robert frowned confused and turned worried eyes to Tobias, who held up a finger. Once he heard the slam of a door, and the shower turning on shortly after, Tobias started speaking. “Aaron Hotchner, whom you met at the cookout.”
Robert nodded feeling more confused nodded.
“I don’t know what was you were told about what he does when you met him. He is the current Unit Chief of the Behavioral Analysis Unit, of which Jason Gideon was a founding member of. Jason wasn’t just a co-worker though. Aaron considered him a mentor, a friend, and family.”
Robert sighed. “I forgot that was the department where Aaron worked. What does that have to do with Penelope Garcia?”
Tobias got up to get a bottle of beer, deciding to go with the blonde ale to go with the pizza. He grabbed two others for Tony and Robert wasting time using the bottle opener on the fridge.
“She’s their technical analyst. Aaron recruited her personally after he caught her during one of her hacking jobs. She’d been on one of our hire or jail lists for a while. He decided that she’d be more useful working for us instead of in a cell. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well, and Tony’s… torn. We haven’t talked about it, but my guess is his two sides are fighting over how he should feel about it.”
Robert sighed deeply and nodded. “Well fuck. If Will weren’t hurt, I’d offer to help however I can, but…”
Tobias waved a hand. “Tony will want you to take care of your partner first. But… if you’d be willing to do me a favor?”
Robert waved his hand in a ‘Go On’ gesture, and Tobias continued. “He’s never had family that mattered. This new team means… well everything to him. I know it’s a ways off, but… if you guys don’t go somewhere for Thanksgiving…?”
“He and Hotchner will have an invite you have my word,” Robert swore. “He’s as much family to us already as I hope we are to him.”
Tobias nodded and sat back down at the table. “I’d take him home to my family but well… holiday gatherings tend to be chaotic, and someone always gets drunk. Usually my sister’s jackass husband. I’m not sure the Fornell clan is the best first family holiday experience.”
“Don’t worry. We got it covered,” Robert promised, holding his beer bottle up in salute.
When Tony came in the next day, he wasn’t surprised to see Raven and Chin already there even though it was a Saturday morning. He senior analyst advised him the night before that they’d started a nationwide search for similar cases. Hotch told him, when they were in his office, that he would be surprised if these were the first two of Jason’s kills. Apparently, Chin had the same idea, because he was already starting to work on it when he returned with the Birdling. His team totally kicked ass.
Heading down to where they were working, Tony set down the bag of bagels from Panera, the breakfast sandwiches and hash browns from McDonalds, and tray of smoothies.
“Boss, it’s like you can read my mind!” Raven exclaimed grabbing a berry smoothie and digging into the bags.
“Cinnamon Crunch bagels!!” Tony didn’t bother to resist laughing as the exuberant woman jumped up and hugged him.
“I don’t know how you do it, but keep it up, B-man!”
“It comes with the position I think, Probie. Fornell was able to do the same thing. It’s a very creepy bonus included with their benefits package. Thanks for the grease boss. I needed it. I did break into your office and got some tea.”
“Working on your lock picking skills Kelly? What was your time this morning?”
“Two minutes flat, B-man!” Raven held out the timer app on her phone to show him. “I timed him.”
Tony nodded. “How’s the search coming?”
Chin sighed. “Slowly.” He admitted regretfully. “It’s early, and it’s Saturday. I won’t be surprised if it’s Monday before we get any real information.
Nodding, Tony grabbed his peach smoothie and food, including the cinnamon crunch bagel because Raven was right they totally fucking kick ass. “Keep working on it, Kelly!”
As he walked away, he heard Raven ask, “Do you think he meant the case or your lock picking skills? Because I am sure you could practice on Morgan’s door.”