Familiar Face, New Romance

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Fandoms: Bull and NCIS
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, Chunk Palmer, Dr. Jason Bull, Cable, Benny Colon
Relationship: Tony DiNozzo/Chunk Palmer
Content: New Relationship, Mystery Twins, Tony & Bull are Twins
Word Count: 4491
Notes: This story was written for the Forever Angst Rare Pairs challenge, which has a 5K word limit and requires a main pairing of 19 stories or less on AO3.

Summary: Chunk Palmer heads to dinner and sees a familiar face coming out of an antique shop. Only it isn’t who he thinks it is, and by the end of the evening he’s damned happy he was wrong.

 

Familiar Face, New Romance

Chunk Palmer was walking down the street in New York City heading to get something to eat. He’d gotten out of work later than he’d expected given that Bull was out of town with Marissa at some conference. He’d hoped to get out early, but got wrapped up in something helping Benny, and didn’t get out till just after dinner time. Still, it was earlier than if they were working a case, so it wasn’t all bad.

He was thinking about the upcoming fashion week, and Bull’s promise that he could have the time off. If a case came in he would just need to handle his duties, and could leave for the rest of the time. Because of this, he was pretty excited because he hadn’t been able to attend the full week in quite a while. Wondering what he’d see, he was caught up in his head, and therefore startled when he saw Bull come out of an antique store and begin wandering down the street away from him.

Confused but knowing it was his friend and boss, Chunk wondered why Jason was in NYC and not Boston, not to mention when he became interested in antiques. “Bull,” he called out and scowled when he got no response.

Huffing aggravated, he quickened his steps to try and catch up to his boss and was thankful when he saw him stop outside of a men’s store to look in the window. Weaving through the crowd on the sidewalk, Chunk moved to his side putting a hand on his arm. “Hey man, didn’t you hear me call you? What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be in Boston?”

When the man turned to look at him with an amused smirk, Chunk frowned deeper at the noticeable differences. Firstly, there were no glasses, unless the man was wearing contacts, which generally Bull hated. As far as he knew, the man didn’t even own contacts. Secondly, his friend’s almost trademark scuffle was gone. While it wasn’t unheard of during a case, especially if he was in court, for this time of the day, usually he was sporting some whiskers on his face. Lastly, and maybe the most important, was his demeanor. Normally, Bull presented a much more cynical and serious façade as opposed to this man’s presented happy expression.

“Chunk Palmer,” Jason said happily grinning as he held out his hand. Confused as to what was going on, Chunk lifted an eyebrow as he reached out to accept the handshake. “University of Georgia Defensive Lineman, and one scary badass if I might say. I am glad that my college ball playing days were long over by the time you came around. I had looked forward to seeing you in the NFL, but I have to say I respect your decision to be yourself and be happy instead. I wish I had the guts to come out before I did. You went into fashion, right?”

Chunk knew that he must look like a fool, but he was even more confused and was beginning to wonder if he’d found some weird Bull clone. Generally speaking, Jason was what he was, and didn’t fool around with pretending to be someone else. So, either this wasn’t him, or Ashton Kutcher was gonna jump out any second and tell him that he’d been punk’d.

“I’m sorry man,” Chunk said carefully, “I thought you were someone else.”

The man just shrugged good naturedly still smiling. “It’s all good. Antony DiNozzo, but you can call me Tony. I played some ball myself at OSU, but that was about 7 years before your time.”

“Wait,” Chunk said as his brain swiftly switched gears, “the same DiNozzo who played Wide Receiver for them and also played basketball? Went to the Rose Bowl in football and the final four in basketball twice?”

“Guilty,” Tony confirmed happily.

“Man, you were one hell of a player!” Chunk remembered smiling now even though the look alike thing was still weirding him out a little. “Talk about the NFL. My pops was devastated when that guy from Michigan injured your knee and you couldn’t play any longer. He thought you coulda been one hell of a pro player. What did you do after that?”

“Law enforcement,” Tony advised leaning against the glass of the store window smiling easily. “Your pops wasn’t the only one that was expecting me to go pro. I had a few dreams myself, but to be honest I’m glad that I didn’t. I think I am much happier now than I would have been. Say, I was headed down to Employees Only for dinner. You interested? It’d be nice to have a dinner companion, and well you’re certainly easy on the eyes.”

Chunk’s eyebrows would probably have hit his hairline at that point, if he had one. He had never been even remotely attracted to his friend and boss, but he had to admit that there was something about this man that was appealing. “You’re gay, too? I don’t remember hearing that. I woulda thought a former big name like you woulda made the gossip columns when he came out.”

Tony shrugged his smile dimming a little before he smirked again. “I’m more of an equal opportunity dater, to be honest. And, with having worked in law enforcement so long, you find that there are some things it’s wiser to keep to yourself. Like having an interest in the same sex for instance. I’ve recently decided though that I’m tired of hiding certain things, and well… Like I said, you appeal to me, Mr. Palmer. You’re good looking, we share an interest in college ball, and you’ll be one of the few people who won’t rag on me about my love for men’s fashion.”

Chunk found himself smiling big as hope blossomed in his chest. “Don’t tell me you’re in town for fashion week?”

Tony smiled again big and bright, and Chunk felt like the whole city could be powered if someone could harness the power of it. “I’ve never been able to attend before,” Tony confessed. “I recently quit my job, and decided what the hell. Now was as good a time as any.”

Chunk laughed thinking maybe the planets were aligning for him. “Dinner sounds awesome. I love Employees Only.” The two men set off down the sidewalk toward their destination not trying to speak around the noise of the crowds and the typical city sounds.

Once they were seated though, Chunk resumed speaking. “How’d you get a last minute hotel room? Usually Fashion Week is booked months if not a year or more in advance. I know it isn’t until next week, but still.”

Tony shrugged ordering a drink from the waiter before turning his attention back to his dinner companion. “Not staying in a hotel. Well, let me correct that. I am, but I’m not renting a room myself. I have an old childhood friend Jackson Grimes who has a penthouse in The Onyx. I’m staying with him.”

Chunk blinked and felt like he was being punk’d again. “You know Jackson Grimes?”

Tony laughed happily. He always enjoyed watching people’s reactions to that. “Him and his many vices. Do you know Jackson?”

Chunk snorted before taking a sip of his drink to hide his smile. “Only from my days in fashion for Vogue. I’d see him occasionally at the shows. Usually with some hot guys on his arms.”

Tony laughed again grinning. “Probably high priced escorts. He’s excited that he finally got me to fashion week after all these years. Are you going?”

Chunk nods and pauses for the waiter to put their dinner plates on the table before answering. “That’s the plan. As long as the clients cooperate. My boss is pretty cool though. Even if we get a case, he’s letting me be off when they don’t need me.”

“Case? What do you do?” Tony asked before cutting a chunk of his steak off and popping it into his mouth.

“I work for a Trial Analysis firm,” Chunk replied feeling reluctant to go into too many details. He knew he should. Hell, he probably should have brought Bull up by now. There was no way the two men weren’t related in some way. They were absolutely identical in looks. For some reason though, he felt like he wanted a chance to see if this thing would go somewhere. He was afraid if he didn’t then his shot at maybe something great would get lost in the whole “hey did you know you have an identical twin” chaos.

“Not quite as glamorous as what you do, but I feel like I help people nonetheless,” Chunk continued before digging into his own dinner. “Usually though you law enforcement guys don’t like us too much.”

Tony shrugged and made a face. “If the evidence is good enough then there’s nothing that can get a guilty man or woman off. If it isn’t good enough than the accused deserves his or her chance at freedom. In my opinion, a gut feeling should never convict someone. My last boss lived by his gut. Usually it worked out, but I can think of a time or two where I wasn’t convinced we had the right person and it backfired on us.”

Chunk felt his interest in the man across the table from him grow at that answer, and hoped that he could drag out this meal as long as possible. There was just something about this Tony DiNozzo that made him want more. He only hoped the unknown Bull piece of the puzzle wouldn’t derail his romantic dreams.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Monday morning Chunk walked into TAC whistling happily. His unexpected date had only gotten better as the night went on with the two men making plans to meet up again and had ended up spending most of the weekend together. He was still a little thrown off by the Bull look alike thing, but wanted to see if there was a way to find out if they were truly brothers and not some weird cosmic twins thing. He’d told himself that he would give it three months to see if there was something between himself and Tony before telling the other man about Bull. If they stopped seeing one another before then, he would make sure Tony knew he might have a brother.

As he walked into the main room, the rest of the team was already there, including Bull who was leaning against one of the tables drinking his morning coffee. “Someone’s in a good mood,” the older man said smiling, and Chunk just grinned back ignoring the slight twinge of guilt.

“Either Chunk likes fashion more than is healthy, or I’d say he met someone,” Danny teased, but Chunk ignored her rolling his eyes instead. The cosmic twins thing aside, he had a really good feeling about this new something, and didn’t want to share it just yet. He only hoped that his team would allow him that. Unfortunately, as the conversation went on, it became evident that he wasn’t going to be granted his privacy easily.

“So, which is it, Chunk? Fashion or a new beau?” Cable pressed grinning as Marissa and Benny just watched smiling.

“None of your business,” Chunk replied frowning at them as he stopped short of his office space to frown at them.

“That means a new man,” Benny translated grinning and Chunk shot a glare at his friend.

“That means none of your business,” He reiterated growing irritated.

“Oh, come on, Chunk,” Marissa said getting in on it as Bull watched quietly looking between the group and Chunk. “We all share with you. It’s only fair.”

“What you reveal about your personal life is your business,” Bull said quietly stepping in, “I believe Mr. Palmer has a right to his privacy, if that’s what he wants.”

“Stop being a stick in the mud,” Cable needled gleefully as she turned around to her computers. “He can keep his mouth shut all he wants. I’ll find out who the new man is in no time. He can’t hide the new hottie from me.”

“Do it and it’s the last damned time you’ll see me here!” Chunk snapped angrily. “I will be more than happy to take my services somewhere that my privacy is respected.” Not waiting for them to respond he turned and stormed toward his office. Behind him, he could hear Bull addressing the others.

“Since I obviously wasn’t clear enough the first time,” Bull started, “let me make my position on the subject crystal clear.”

“Should anyone in this company use TAC resources to invade the privacy of any member of this company or anyone else for that matter outside of case related issues, they will find themselves quickly unemployed, and I will use my considerable resources to make sure you don’t work with anyone I know ever. Teasing someone about a new love interest is one thing, but demanding information and acting like your curiosity is more important than someone’s privacy goes over the line.”

As the door swung shut, Bull was still talking, but Chunk had heard enough. He was glad to know that at least his boss had his back. Brooding about what to do about the whole Tony and Bull situation on top of his aggravation at Cable’s nosiness and immaturity, he plopped down in his makeup chair and stared into the mirror hoping an idea would come to him.

When he saw the door open and Bull come in, Chunk watched him quietly as his friend moved to stand in front of him leaning against the table. Quietly, Jason held out a coffee mug, which he took from him before taking a sip. “Thank you for backing me up. Sometimes Cable makes me feel damned old.”

Bull snorted his agreement as he crossed his legs at the ankle. “I support your right to privacy. Do you want to tell me what is bugging you though? Obviously, you don’t have to. I won’t try to trick you into confessing, but it seemed something about me was bothering you despite your sickening happiness.”

Chunk snorted with amusement at his friend as he debated how to answer the question. He should have known that Bull would pick up on something right away. The man was irritatingly observant like that. “If I tell you that there is something, but I’d appreciate it if you’d give me a few months, would you leave it at that? I know I can’t stop that big brain of yours, but…”

Chunk sighed and picked at invisible lint on his pants. “I think there’s something real with this one, Bull. I’d like some time to myself with him before I introduce the chaos from what’s bothering me.”

Bull cocked his head to one side. “Chunk, you’re one of my best friends, and you know I don’t have a lot of people that I actually call friend. I have a lot of acquaintances, but not a lot of friends. Whatever is bothering you, I am guessing is big or you would have just told me. That means it’s not a new issue. So, if it’s waited all this time, I can’t see any reason why it can’t wait a while longer. When you’re ready, you know where I am, and if you need some advice before then, I’ll make sure Benny knows that he can answer whatever question you might have that you don’t want to ask me.”

Chunk nodded taking a deep breath as he watched Bull move around him and toward the door. In the mirror, he saw him pause before leaving. “And, Chunk? I am really happy for you. I hope whomever this man is knows how lucky he is to have found you.”

Bull left before he could even nod, and as he stared at himself in the mirror, Chunk promised himself that he would find out answers for his friend.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

During the day, Chunk had cornered Benny and asked him if he’d go for a beer with him after work. Fortunately, his friend agreed, and after the workday was over the two friends headed to their favorite bar. Chunk waited until they were seated in a back corner before opening up.

“I need this to be between us, Benny,” Chunk started and fortunately his friend nodded seriously.

“I hope you know that I wouldn’t have been a part of Cable hacking your info to get the scoop on the new man. I’m all for some gentle teasing, but like Bull said… if you wanna keep it to yourself then you should be allowed to keep it to yourself.”

Chunk smiled weakly as he played with his beer bottle. “I appreciate it. There is actually another reason why I don’t wanna talk about it.”

“I figured,” Benny admitted and Chunk scrolled through his phone to show the lawyer the picture of him and Tony that Jackson took of them that weekend when they’d been lounging in his penthouse suite.

“I don’t,” Benny started frowning looking at the picture then up to Chunk. “You’re dating Bull? I wasn’t aware that he swung that way. Not that I’d care I just…”

“That isn’t Bull,” Chunk said quietly. “Google Anthony DiNozzo OSU Football.”

Chunk saw Benny frown at him, but fortunately, his friend did as asked. Having done a similar search himself, he knew what his friend would find. “Holy shit, Chunk. Is this real? You and Cable aren’t punking us are you?”

“Swear on my Prada, man,” Chunk swore as Benny looked down at the phone again. “Now you know why I’m conflicted. I don’t wanna keep this from Bull if they’re really twins and not some kind of cosmic clones, but I just want a few months to see if I have something here before I introduce the madness that will come if they are brothers.”

Benny nodded and Chunk watched him drain half of his beer before pushing his phone back to him. “I can understand that, and Bull told me that he’d given you time to resolve whatever it is. You want me to do some poking and see if I can find out how they could be related?”

“Could you?” Chunk asked and Benny smiled nodding his agreement.

“You got it big guy,” He promised causing Chunk to sigh with relief. “You focus on the romance, and leave the Brother Quest to me.”

Feeling relieved, Chunk picked up his phone and sent a quick text to Tony. He had a relationship to work on.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Three months later, Chunk was lounging in Jackson Grimes’ penthouse once more. Only this time the owner of Grimes Tech was in DC leaving he and Tony to themselves. So far, the relationship had been everything that he could hope for, and he knew that it was time to come clean about the whole you secretly have a twin brother that only I know about.

After he’d confessed what he knew to Benny, the lawyer had used his own contact independent of TAC to see what he could find. In the end, it turned out that Jason and Tony were twin brothers, but neither Jason’s dad or Anthony DiNozzo, Senior were the fathers. They were still working on tracking down the real parents. Something that Chunk suspected would go smoother once the two brothers were on the case. Not sure how to approach the confession that he needed to make, the fashion consultant simply took out his phone and pulled up the picture of himself and Bull at his last birthday.

Chunk had a ridiculous birthday hat on his head, and Jason was grinning like a fool next to him. His trademark glasses and evening whiskers firmly in place. Handing the device to his boyfriend, he tried not to show how nervous he was.

“Chunk?” Tony asked confused as he stared at the picture. “Either I had an out of body moment, or you know something I don’t.”

“His name is Jason Bull, and he’s my boss,” Chunk explained quietly and more than a little nervously. “He’s who I thought that you were that first night we met. He was supposed to be in Boston at a conference, and I couldn’t figure out why he was in NYC instead.”

Tony stared at the picture a long while before looking up at the man that he’d grown to care a great deal about. “This is the thing you’ve been feeling guilty about not telling me?”

Chunk huffed amused as he eyed the other man. “Jesus, that must be in the genes. Your brother does the same damned thing. I must have a crap poker face.”

Tony laughed softly as he turned his gaze back to the phone. “Chunk, babe, I was a cop and then a Federal Agent for 20 years. I worked more than my fair share of undercover jobs. I have a degree in Phys Ed from OSU, and then went back to get a Masters in Criminal Justice with a Bachelors in Criminal Psychology. If I couldn’t read people I woulda been dead a long time ago.”

Chunk watched Tony lift his eyes once more to frown at him looking concerned. “Seriously, this is what you’ve been beating yourself up over?”

“The longer that it went,” Chunk started to explain, “and the more I liked you, the guiltier I felt.”

Shrugging he finished his beer before continuing. “Bull is one of my best friends, and I am well on my way to being in love with you. It doesn’t seem though like either of those things should trump you having a brother that I was hiding from you. You both should be furious with me.”

Tony smiled softly, and leaned forward to put the phone on the coffee table before turning toward Chunk and taking his hand. “Babe, there’s nothing to be mad about. At least not on my end. I haven’t known I had a twin brother for 48 years. What’s a few more months if it means that in the end I get you and him both. Besides, life has taught me that family, at least thus far, is pretty much crap. I may not have the best track record in romance either, but at least I can more easily control what happens there. Please, no more feeling bad about this. You are worth waiting for him for.”

Chunk opened his mouth, and then shut it shaking his head before stealing a kiss. “I really like you a lot. How would you like to meet your twin tomorrow? Then you two can figure out who your real parents are. We don’t know much except for both of you were adopted.”

Tony nodded happily as he ran his thumb over the back of Chunk’s knuckles. “Sounds awesome, babe. Now, how do we spend the rest of his night.”

Chunk just grinned before standing and pulling Tony toward his room.

The next morning, Chunk walked into TAC holding Tony’s hand. He had to prompt the receptionist three times before she stopped looking between Tony and the hallway toward the main room where he guessed Bull already was. Eventually, he just rolled his eyes and tugged Tony with him as he set off toward where he knew the others would be gathered. He didn’t have time for her to get over her confusion.

“Are you sure this is gonna be ok, babe?” Tony asked quietly following Chunk who looked over his shoulder and rolled his eyes. The same question had been asked probably a dozen times just since they left the penthouse. “Trust me,” Chunk promised not pausing in his quest, “it’ll be fine.”

He could hear the rest of the team laughing before he saw them, but he knew the moment that they spotted Tony when they suddenly all quieted. Nodding to Benny, who had moved to stand next to Bull, Chunk pulled his boyfriend over to stand with him in front of his boss.

“Bull, I would like you to meet my boyfriend, Tony DiNozzo, Jr. Tony, meet my boss Dr. Jason Bull.”

Stepping to one side, Chunk smiled softly as he watched the two brothers study each other before Tony wrapped Bull up into a huge hug. Distracted by the scene in front of him, he didn’t see Cable come over to stand next to him frowning up at him.

“That’s why you wouldn’t let me hack your stuff?” She complained. “Because you were dating Bull’s clone?”

Scowling, Chunk was forced to turn his eyes away from the brothers and down to their resident hacker. “No, Cable. It isn’t. I wouldn’t let you hack my records, because it wasn’t any of your damn business! Just because we work together doesn’t mean I owe you every bit of information in my life.”

When she continued to scowl at him, Chunk huffed shaking his head at her. “Look, I like you well enough, but if you wanna keep your place on this team, you need to grow up a little. Just because you have the ability to find out anything you want about anyone you want, doesn’t mean you have the right to that information. You can either figure that out, and realize that Bull meant what he said when he told you he’d can your ass then blacklist it. Or, you can continue to let your immaturity overrule the skills that you bring to this team.”

Chunk started to turn away from her, but decided he should give her a fair warning. “And, before you decide to hack Tony’s life, you should know he’s a former Cop and Federal Agent who works as a Consultant with the NYPD Crime Lab. If you even think of illegally prying into his life, he’ll have you arrested so fast you won’t even be done with your searches yet. So, get it together or go. It’s up to you.”

When she just continued to frown at him, Chunk shook his head and walked up to put his arms around Tony who was chattering happily with the others. He wasn’t going to waste any more time on Cable. She would either dummy up or she’d get fired. He hoped that she got smart, and realized that even she had boundaries she shouldn’t cross. If she didn’t, there were a thousand other people that Bull could find to replace her.

When Tony turned his head to smile at him, Chunk put the sometimes irritating hacker out of his mind as he let himself be happy. He had a man he was closer to loving than not. He had an amazing job filled with amazing friends, and he couldn’t see anything but sunshine in front of them. Sure, there would be speed bumps along the way, but Chunk thought that just maybe it was finally his time to find his forever.

The End!

Chunk Palmer heads to dinner and sees a familiar face coming out of an antique shop. Only it isn’t who he thinks it is, and by the end of the evening he’s damned happy he was wrong.

Chunk Palmer was walking down the street in New York City heading to get something to eat. He’d gotten out of work later than he’d expected given that Bull was out of town with Marissa at some conference. He’d hoped to get out early, but got wrapped up in something helping Benny, and didn’t get out till just after dinner time. Still, it was earlier than if they were working a case, so it wasn’t all bad.

He was thinking about the upcoming fashion week, and Bull’s promise that he could have the time off. If a case came in he would just need to handle his duties, and could leave for the rest of the time. Because of this, he was pretty excited because he hadn’t been able to attend the full week in quite a while. Wondering what he’d see, he was caught up in his head, and therefore startled when he saw Bull come out of an antique store and begin wandering down the street away from him.

Confused but knowing it was his friend and boss, Chunk wondered why Jason was in NYC and not Boston, not to mention when he became interested in antiques. “Bull,” he called out and scowled when he got no response.

Huffing aggravated, he quickened his steps to try and catch up to his boss and was thankful when he saw him stop outside of a men’s store to look in the window. Weaving through the crowd on the sidewalk, Chunk moved to his side putting a hand on his arm. “Hey man, didn’t you hear me call you? What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be in Boston?”

When the man turned to look at him with an amused smirk, Chunk frowned deeper at the noticeable differences. Firstly, there were no glasses, unless the man was wearing contacts, which generally Bull hated. As far as he knew, the man didn’t even own contacts. Secondly, his friend’s almost trademark scuffle was gone. While it wasn’t unheard of during a case, especially if he was in court, for this time of the day, usually he was sporting some whiskers on his face. Lastly, and maybe the most important, was his demeanor. Normally, Bull presented a much more cynical and serious façade as opposed to this man’s presented happy expression.

“Chunk Palmer,” Jason said happily grinning as he held out his hand. Confused as to what was going on, Chunk lifted an eyebrow as he reached out to accept the handshake. “University of Georgia Defensive Lineman, and one scary badass if I might say. I am glad that my college ball playing days were long over by the time you came around. I had looked forward to seeing you in the NFL, but I have to say I respect your decision to be yourself and be happy instead. I wish I had the guts to come out before I did. You went into fashion, right?”

Chunk knew that he must look like a fool, but he was even more confused and was beginning to wonder if he’d found some weird Bull clone. Generally speaking, Jason was what he was, and didn’t fool around with pretending to be someone else. So, either this wasn’t him, or Ashton Kutcher was gonna jump out any second and tell him that he’d been punk’d.

“I’m sorry man,” Chunk said carefully, “I thought you were someone else.”

The man just shrugged good naturedly still smiling. “It’s all good. Antony DiNozzo, but you can call me Tony. I played some ball myself at OSU, but that was about 7 years before your time.”

“Wait,” Chunk said as his brain swiftly switched gears, “the same DiNozzo who played Wide Receiver for them and also played basketball? Went to the Rose Bowl in football and the final four in basketball twice?”

“Guilty,” Tony confirmed happily.

“Man, you were one hell of a player!” Chunk remembered smiling now even though the look alike thing was still weirding him out a little. “Talk about the NFL. My pops was devastated when that guy from Michigan injured your knee and you couldn’t play any longer. He thought you coulda been one hell of a pro player. What did you do after that?”

“Law enforcement,” Tony advised leaning against the glass of the store window smiling easily. “Your pops wasn’t the only one that was expecting me to go pro. I had a few dreams myself, but to be honest I’m glad that I didn’t. I think I am much happier now than I would have been. Say, I was headed down to Employees Only for dinner. You interested? It’d be nice to have a dinner companion, and well you’re certainly easy on the eyes.”

Chunk’s eyebrows would probably have hit his hairline at that point, if he had one. He had never been even remotely attracted to his friend and boss, but he had to admit that there was something about this man that was appealing. “You’re gay, too? I don’t remember hearing that. I woulda thought a former big name like you woulda made the gossip columns when he came out.”

Tony shrugged his smile dimming a little before he smirked again. “I’m more of an equal opportunity dater, to be honest. And, with having worked in law enforcement so long, you find that there are some things it’s wiser to keep to yourself. Like having an interest in the same sex for instance. I’ve recently decided though that I’m tired of hiding certain things, and well… Like I said, you appeal to me, Mr. Palmer. You’re good looking, we share an interest in college ball, and you’ll be one of the few people who won’t rag on me about my love for men’s fashion.”

Chunk found himself smiling big as hope blossomed in his chest. “Don’t tell me you’re in town for fashion week?”

Tony smiled again big and bright, and Chunk felt like the whole city could be powered if someone could harness the power of it. “I’ve never been able to attend before,” Tony confessed. “I recently quit my job, and decided what the hell. Now was as good a time as any.”

Chunk laughed thinking maybe the planets were aligning for him. “Dinner sounds awesome. I love Employees Only.” The two men set off down the sidewalk toward their destination not trying to speak around the noise of the crowds and the typical city sounds.

Once they were seated though, Chunk resumed speaking. “How’d you get a last minute hotel room? Usually Fashion Week is booked months if not a year or more in advance. I know it isn’t until next week, but still.”

Tony shrugged ordering a drink from the waiter before turning his attention back to his dinner companion. “Not staying in a hotel. Well, let me correct that. I am, but I’m not renting a room myself. I have an old childhood friend Jackson Grimes who has a penthouse in The Onyx. I’m staying with him.”

Chunk blinked and felt like he was being punk’d again. “You know Jackson Grimes?”

Tony laughed happily. He always enjoyed watching people’s reactions to that. “Him and his many vices. Do you know Jackson?”

Chunk snorted before taking a sip of his drink to hide his smile. “Only from my days in fashion for Vogue. I’d see him occasionally at the shows. Usually with some hot guys on his arms.”

Tony laughed again grinning. “Probably high priced escorts. He’s excited that he finally got me to fashion week after all these years. Are you going?”

Chunk nods and pauses for the waiter to put their dinner plates on the table before answering. “That’s the plan. As long as the clients cooperate. My boss is pretty cool though. Even if we get a case, he’s letting me be off when they don’t need me.”

“Case? What do you do?” Tony asked before cutting a chunk of his steak off and popping it into his mouth.

“I work for a Trial Analysis firm,” Chunk replied feeling reluctant to go into too many details. He knew he should. Hell, he probably should have brought Bull up by now. There was no way the two men weren’t related in some way. They were absolutely identical in looks. For some reason though, he felt like he wanted a chance to see if this thing would go somewhere. He was afraid if he didn’t then his shot at maybe something great would get lost in the whole “hey did you know you have an identical twin” chaos.

“Not quite as glamorous as what you do, but I feel like I help people nonetheless,” Chunk continued before digging into his own dinner. “Usually though you law enforcement guys don’t like us too much.”

Tony shrugged and made a face. “If the evidence is good enough then there’s nothing that can get a guilty man or woman off. If it isn’t good enough than the accused deserves his or her chance at freedom. In my opinion, a gut feeling should never convict someone. My last boss lived by his gut. Usually it worked out, but I can think of a time or two where I wasn’t convinced we had the right person and it backfired on us.”

Chunk felt his interest in the man across the table from him grow at that answer, and hoped that he could drag out this meal as long as possible. There was just something about this Tony DiNozzo that made him want more. He only hoped the unknown Bull piece of the puzzle wouldn’t derail his romantic dreams.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Monday morning Chunk walked into TAC whistling happily. His unexpected date had only gotten better as the night went on with the two men making plans to meet up again and had ended up spending most of the weekend together. He was still a little thrown off by the Bull look alike thing, but wanted to see if there was a way to find out if they were truly brothers and not some weird cosmic twins thing. He’d told himself that he would give it three months to see if there was something between himself and Tony before telling the other man about Bull. If they stopped seeing one another before then, he would make sure Tony knew he might have a brother.

As he walked into the main room, the rest of the team was already there, including Bull who was leaning against one of the tables drinking his morning coffee. “Someone’s in a good mood,” the older man said smiling, and Chunk just grinned back ignoring the slight twinge of guilt.

“Either Chunk likes fashion more than is healthy, or I’d say he met someone,” Danny teased, but Chunk ignored her rolling his eyes instead. The cosmic twins thing aside, he had a really good feeling about this new something, and didn’t want to share it just yet. He only hoped that his team would allow him that. Unfortunately, as the conversation went on, it became evident that he wasn’t going to be granted his privacy easily.

“So, which is it, Chunk? Fashion or a new beau?” Cable pressed grinning as Marissa and Benny just watched smiling.

“None of your business,” Chunk replied frowning at them as he stopped short of his office space to frown at them.

“That means a new man,” Benny translated grinning and Chunk shot a glare at his friend.

“That means none of your business,” He reiterated growing irritated.

“Oh, come on, Chunk,” Marissa said getting in on it as Bull watched quietly looking between the group and Chunk. “We all share with you. It’s only fair.”

“What you reveal about your personal life is your business,” Bull said quietly stepping in, “I believe Mr. Palmer has a right to his privacy, if that’s what he wants.”

“Stop being a stick in the mud,” Cable needled gleefully as she turned around to her computers. “He can keep his mouth shut all he wants. I’ll find out who the new man is in no time. He can’t hide the new hottie from me.”

“Do it and it’s the last damned time you’ll see me here!” Chunk snapped angrily. “I will be more than happy to take my services somewhere that my privacy is respected.” Not waiting for them to respond he turned and stormed toward his office. Behind him, he could hear Bull addressing the others.

“Since I obviously wasn’t clear enough the first time,” Bull started, “let me make my position on the subject crystal clear.”

“Should anyone in this company use TAC resources to invade the privacy of any member of this company or anyone else for that matter outside of case related issues, they will find themselves quickly unemployed, and I will use my considerable resources to make sure you don’t work with anyone I know ever. Teasing someone about a new love interest is one thing, but demanding information and acting like your curiosity is more important than someone’s privacy goes over the line.”

As the door swung shut, Bull was still talking, but Chunk had heard enough. He was glad to know that at least his boss had his back. Brooding about what to do about the whole Tony and Bull situation on top of his aggravation at Cable’s nosiness and immaturity, he plopped down in his makeup chair and stared into the mirror hoping an idea would come to him.

When he saw the door open and Bull come in, Chunk watched him quietly as his friend moved to stand in front of him leaning against the table. Quietly, Jason held out a coffee mug, which he took from him before taking a sip. “Thank you for backing me up. Sometimes Cable makes me feel damned old.”

Bull snorted his agreement as he crossed his legs at the ankle. “I support your right to privacy. Do you want to tell me what is bugging you though? Obviously, you don’t have to. I won’t try to trick you into confessing, but it seemed something about me was bothering you despite your sickening happiness.”

Chunk snorted with amusement at his friend as he debated how to answer the question. He should have known that Bull would pick up on something right away. The man was irritatingly observant like that. “If I tell you that there is something, but I’d appreciate it if you’d give me a few months, would you leave it at that? I know I can’t stop that big brain of yours, but…”

Chunk sighed and picked at invisible lint on his pants. “I think there’s something real with this one, Bull. I’d like some time to myself with him before I introduce the chaos from what’s bothering me.”

Bull cocked his head to one side. “Chunk, you’re one of my best friends, and you know I don’t have a lot of people that I actually call friend. I have a lot of acquaintances, but not a lot of friends. Whatever is bothering you, I am guessing is big or you would have just told me. That means it’s not a new issue. So, if it’s waited all this time, I can’t see any reason why it can’t wait a while longer. When you’re ready, you know where I am, and if you need some advice before then, I’ll make sure Benny knows that he can answer whatever question you might have that you don’t want to ask me.”

Chunk nodded taking a deep breath as he watched Bull move around him and toward the door. In the mirror, he saw him pause before leaving. “And, Chunk? I am really happy for you. I hope whomever this man is knows how lucky he is to have found you.”

Bull left before he could even nod, and as he stared at himself in the mirror, Chunk promised himself that he would find out answers for his friend.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

During the day, Chunk had cornered Benny and asked him if he’d go for a beer with him after work. Fortunately, his friend agreed, and after the workday was over the two friends headed to their favorite bar. Chunk waited until they were seated in a back corner before opening up.

“I need this to be between us, Benny,” Chunk started and fortunately his friend nodded seriously.

“I hope you know that I wouldn’t have been a part of Cable hacking your info to get the scoop on the new man. I’m all for some gentle teasing, but like Bull said… if you wanna keep it to yourself then you should be allowed to keep it to yourself.”

Chunk smiled weakly as he played with his beer bottle. “I appreciate it. There is actually another reason why I don’t wanna talk about it.”

“I figured,” Benny admitted and Chunk scrolled through his phone to show the lawyer the picture of him and Tony that Jackson took of them that weekend when they’d been lounging in his penthouse suite.

“I don’t,” Benny started frowning looking at the picture then up to Chunk. “You’re dating Bull? I wasn’t aware that he swung that way. Not that I’d care I just…”

“That isn’t Bull,” Chunk said quietly. “Google Anthony DiNozzo OSU Football.”

Chunk saw Benny frown at him, but fortunately, his friend did as asked. Having done a similar search himself, he knew what his friend would find. “Holy shit, Chunk. Is this real? You and Cable aren’t punking us are you?”

“Swear on my Prada, man,” Chunk swore as Benny looked down at the phone again. “Now you know why I’m conflicted. I don’t wanna keep this from Bull if they’re really twins and not some kind of cosmic clones, but I just want a few months to see if I have something here before I introduce the madness that will come if they are brothers.”

Benny nodded and Chunk watched him drain half of his beer before pushing his phone back to him. “I can understand that, and Bull told me that he’d given you time to resolve whatever it is. You want me to do some poking and see if I can find out how they could be related?”

“Could you?” Chunk asked and Benny smiled nodding his agreement.

“You got it big guy,” He promised causing Chunk to sigh with relief. “You focus on the romance, and leave the Brother Quest to me.”

Feeling relieved, Chunk picked up his phone and sent a quick text to Tony. He had a relationship to work on.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Three months later, Chunk was lounging in Jackson Grimes’ penthouse once more. Only this time the owner of Grimes Tech was in DC leaving he and Tony to themselves. So far, the relationship had been everything that he could hope for, and he knew that it was time to come clean about the whole you secretly have a twin brother that only I know about.

After he’d confessed what he knew to Benny, the lawyer had used his own contact independent of TAC to see what he could find. In the end, it turned out that Jason and Tony were twin brothers, but neither Jason’s dad or Anthony DiNozzo, Senior were the fathers. They were still working on tracking down the real parents. Something that Chunk suspected would go smoother once the two brothers were on the case. Not sure how to approach the confession that he needed to make, the fashion consultant simply took out his phone and pulled up the picture of himself and Bull at his last birthday.

Chunk had a ridiculous birthday hat on his head, and Jason was grinning like a fool next to him. His trademark glasses and evening whiskers firmly in place. Handing the device to his boyfriend, he tried not to show how nervous he was.

“Chunk?” Tony asked confused as he stared at the picture. “Either I had an out of body moment, or you know something I don’t.”

“His name is Jason Bull, and he’s my boss,” Chunk explained quietly and more than a little nervously. “He’s who I thought that you were that first night we met. He was supposed to be in Boston at a conference, and I couldn’t figure out why he was in NYC instead.”

Tony stared at the picture a long while before looking up at the man that he’d grown to care a great deal about. “This is the thing you’ve been feeling guilty about not telling me?”

Chunk huffed amused as he eyed the other man. “Jesus, that must be in the genes. Your brother does the same damned thing. I must have a crap poker face.”

Tony laughed softly as he turned his gaze back to the phone. “Chunk, babe, I was a cop and then a Federal Agent for 20 years. I worked more than my fair share of undercover jobs. I have a degree in Phys Ed from OSU, and then went back to get a Masters in Criminal Justice with a Bachelors in Criminal Psychology. If I couldn’t read people I woulda been dead a long time ago.”

Chunk watched Tony lift his eyes once more to frown at him looking concerned. “Seriously, this is what you’ve been beating yourself up over?”

“The longer that it went,” Chunk started to explain, “and the more I liked you, the guiltier I felt.”

Shrugging he finished his beer before continuing. “Bull is one of my best friends, and I am well on my way to being in love with you. It doesn’t seem though like either of those things should trump you having a brother that I was hiding from you. You both should be furious with me.”

Tony smiled softly, and leaned forward to put the phone on the coffee table before turning toward Chunk and taking his hand. “Babe, there’s nothing to be mad about. At least not on my end. I haven’t known I had a twin brother for 48 years. What’s a few more months if it means that in the end I get you and him both. Besides, life has taught me that family, at least thus far, is pretty much crap. I may not have the best track record in romance either, but at least I can more easily control what happens there. Please, no more feeling bad about this. You are worth waiting for him for.”

Chunk opened his mouth, and then shut it shaking his head before stealing a kiss. “I really like you a lot. How would you like to meet your twin tomorrow? Then you two can figure out who your real parents are. We don’t know much except for both of you were adopted.”

Tony nodded happily as he ran his thumb over the back of Chunk’s knuckles. “Sounds awesome, babe. Now, how do we spend the rest of his night.”

Chunk just grinned before standing and pulling Tony toward his room.

The next morning, Chunk walked into TAC holding Tony’s hand. He had to prompt the receptionist three times before she stopped looking between Tony and the hallway toward the main room where he guessed Bull already was. Eventually, he just rolled his eyes and tugged Tony with him as he set off toward where he knew the others would be gathered. He didn’t have time for her to get over her confusion.

“Are you sure this is gonna be ok, babe?” Tony asked quietly following Chunk who looked over his shoulder and rolled his eyes. The same question had been asked probably a dozen times just since they left the penthouse. “Trust me,” Chunk promised not pausing in his quest, “it’ll be fine.”

He could hear the rest of the team laughing before he saw them, but he knew the moment that they spotted Tony when they suddenly all quieted. Nodding to Benny, who had moved to stand next to Bull, Chunk pulled his boyfriend over to stand with him in front of his boss.

“Bull, I would like you to meet my boyfriend, Tony DiNozzo, Jr. Tony, meet my boss Dr. Jason Bull.”

Stepping to one side, Chunk smiled softly as he watched the two brothers study each other before Tony wrapped Bull up into a huge hug. Distracted by the scene in front of him, he didn’t see Cable come over to stand next to him frowning up at him.

“That’s why you wouldn’t let me hack your stuff?” She complained. “Because you were dating Bull’s clone?”

Scowling, Chunk was forced to turn his eyes away from the brothers and down to their resident hacker. “No, Cable. It isn’t. I wouldn’t let you hack my records, because it wasn’t any of your damn business! Just because we work together doesn’t mean I owe you every bit of information in my life.”

When she continued to scowl at him, Chunk huffed shaking his head at her. “Look, I like you well enough, but if you wanna keep your place on this team, you need to grow up a little. Just because you have the ability to find out anything you want about anyone you want, doesn’t mean you have the right to that information. You can either figure that out, and realize that Bull meant what he said when he told you he’d can your ass then blacklist it. Or, you can continue to let your immaturity overrule the skills that you bring to this team.”

Chunk started to turn away from her, but decided he should give her a fair warning. “And, before you decide to hack Tony’s life, you should know he’s a former Cop and Federal Agent who works as a Consultant with the NYPD Crime Lab. If you even think of illegally prying into his life, he’ll have you arrested so fast you won’t even be done with your searches yet. So, get it together or go. It’s up to you.”

When she just continued to frown at him, Chunk shook his head and walked up to put his arms around Tony who was chattering happily with the others. He wasn’t going to waste any more time on Cable. She would either dummy up or she’d get fired. He hoped that she got smart, and realized that even she had boundaries she shouldn’t cross. If she didn’t, there were a thousand other people that Bull could find to replace her.

When Tony turned his head to smile at him, Chunk put the sometimes irritating hacker out of his mind as he let himself be happy. He had a man he was closer to loving than not. He had an amazing job filled with amazing friends, and he couldn’t see anything but sunshine in front of them. Sure, there would be speed bumps along the way, but Chunk thought that just maybe it was finally his time to find his forever.

The End!

One thought on “Familiar Face, New Romance

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