Title: Swingin’ on the Vegas Strip (SotVS)
Ratings: R to be safe
Pairings: Nick Stokes/Tony DiNozzo/Greg Sanders, Established Nick/Greg, Catherine Willows/Warrick Brown
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Catherine Willows, Warrick Brown, Others to be added later.
Warnings: CHARACTER DEATH, Angst, Bashing of NCIS characters, Mental Illness & Made Up Mental Illness, Warnings may change or be added to.
Chapter Word Count: 2728
Summary: In a world where Sentinels and Guides are commonplace, Tony’s always been labeled “Undetermined”. When he’s brought back from his Agent Afloat position, a friendly question makes him wonder what he’s doing. In the end, he accepts the Vegas Crime Lab night shift lead position. He’s shocked when the sight of the returning S&G pair sends his world into an explosion of sensations and feelings.
Nick and Greg are equally shocked when they feel a pull they never expected to feel again. After all, you can only have one Sentinel or Guide, right?
Note: This story is a WIP and not completed at this time. Please see the WIPs Master Listing for more information on the stories in this category. Character Death only occurs in the prologue and it is not Tony.
Chapter Two: Meeting Doctors Reid and DiNozzo
Greg stepped into Bennington Sanitarium feeling more than a little unsure. He wished that Nick was with him, but if Blair was right then someone had to stay and protect their… their Swing SentinelGuide. Jesus, they were real. Swing SentinelGuides were not supposed to be real, only they were, and apparently not only did Vegas now have one, but he was the mate of Nick and Greg.
Greg’s conversation with Pentacle Guide Sandburg had finished, and he’d headed back to the group to find that Ecklie had joined them. Catherine was still arguing her right to be in charge. It was completely ridiculous, and just proved in Greg’s opinion that she wasn’t fit to be a Lead CSI. Apparently Conrad had been listening long enough that he was tired of the whining. “Catherine! Enough!” The older man snapped, and Greg had to hide his glee.
He loved Catherine to death despite the fact that she got him blown up. As the Alpha Guide of the Lab, Greg had never sensed the hatred in her that Sam had tried so hard to install, and carried himself. She was just completely and totally uneducated about S&G issues. From what Warrick said earlier that would hopefully be getting fixed. Catherine may be daddy’s girl, but she would never let Sam’s ideology (or hatred) stand between her and her ambition.
“I don’t even understand why I am having to explain this. It should be common sense, and frankly I don’t care about your lack of education. That is on you, and your daddy dearest.
“Nick, and for that matter everyone else here, is correct. You are not in charge of what is going on in that office. Nick and Greg are the Alpha Sentinel and Guide pairing in not just LVPD, but in Las Vegas as a whole. That means they outrank everyone including myself and the sheriff. EVERYONE! That certainly means you. Furthermore, as far as I am concerned, you have shown with this little temper tantrum of yours that you are not fit to be in charge. Therefore, by my order as undersheriff, Nick is in charge until Dr. DiNozzo is able to take over again, or I hear from the Pentacle pair personally. Should he need to attend to Dr. DiNozzo for some reason, Warrick, as the next strongest Sentinel or Guide in the lab currently, will be in charge.”
“They are on their way,” Greg offered inserting himself into the conversation.
“Fortunately they were in LA. So, they will be driving down. They considered flying, but they don’t have their own plane today. I have orders to go get a Dr. Reid. Blair says he will be able to help us. Nicky, Jim wants you to stay here. He wants to make sure that Dr. DiNozzo isn’t disturbed, again. He’s quite… upset about his sanctuary being disrupted once already.”
Greg leaned in and kissed his mate’s cheek. He desperately wanted to explain things to his first Sentinel, but… he just couldn’t stand feeling his new Sentinel – Jesus, they had a Swing SentinelGuide to bond with, and take care of! – In pain, and not helping.
Stealing the keys to Nick’s truck from his mate’s pocket, Greg ran from the lab. He wasn’t sure how a mental patient was going to help them. He trusted Blair though as much as anyone else on the planet. So, if he said they needed Dr. Spencer Reid then that’s who they were getting.
Now, as he walked into the lobby, he wished that he felt more confident. Blair said that he would call the hospital and clear the path for him, so to speak. When he walked in, there was an older gentleman standing by the nurse’s station. Waiting with him was a taller man who appeared to be about Greg’s age. He had a satchel slung across his body, and had a death grip on its straps.
“Hi,” Greg offered holding out his hand to the older gentleman. “I’m Alpha Guide Greg Sanders from the Las Vegas Crime Lab.” Greg took his credentials out of his pocket, and noticed it was the younger man who studied them before nodding to the older one.
“I was instructed by Pentacle Sandburg to come get a Dr. Spencer Reid. There is a… situation at the lab, and Dr. Sandburg believes that Dr. Reid can help.” Since he wasn’t sure who was Dr. Reid, Greg was trying to address them both. He wasn’t terribly surprised based on the warning he’d gotten from Blair when the younger man stepped up.
“I’m Dr. Reid,” the younger man advised taking a shaky step forward. “Blair told me what has happened. I will do whatever I can to help you and Sentinel Stokes to…” Spencer trailed off, and Greg could feel the pain he was holding. Whatever had happened to this man had been terrible. Greg ached to help.
“We should go,” Spencer finally said again. “I’ll explain in the car.”
Nodding Greg turned, and walked out hoping Spencer would follow. The older man’s disapproval followed them like a bad omen. Greg could feel that he didn’t like this, but whatever was going on with Dr. Reid apparently hadn’t overrode his ability to make his own decisions.
When they got to the car, Greg paused when his passenger put a hand on his arm. “You need to know some things before we go,” the young doctor offered quietly. His need to help Dr. DiNozzo was eating at him, but then so was the fragile state of his passenger.
“I once had a Sentinel and a Swing SentinelGuide myself. Roughly nine months ago they were… both murdered at roughly the same time. My…” The young doctor’s voice broke, and Greg longed to offer a touch of comfort, but Blair had made it clear the young man hadn’t liked being touched even before what happened to him.
“My Aaron was shot in the chest as we were leaving the FBI building in Quantico. We both worked on the BAU team located there. My Gibbs was killed roughly five minutes later in DC at the Navy Yard. He was shot in the head. The… Dr. DiNozzo was there. He was standing next to him. I’ve always believed that they didn’t know who… Jim and Blair and myself think that the… the Americans for Mundane Rights were responsible. They are on several government watch lists, and have been known to encourage acts of violence by their followers, which led to numerous beatings, lynching, and other deplorable acts over the years. Their members have been found on conspiracy sites talking about murdering Swings if they were ever found to be real.”
Greg swallowed heavily wanting to comfort the doctor now more than ever. To have lost not one of your mates but two was… Jesus. Greg wouldn’t have survived. “I can’t help Dr. DiNozzo directly, but I am willing to show you and Nick how to help him settle initially. There isn’t a lot of knowledge, but I probably know more than anyone. I am willing to tell you three what I know. There’s… I can’t tell you some things right now, and others I don’t want to have to repeat. I realize that picking me up at a… at Bennington doesn’t offer much confidence, but…”
“No!” Greg had to cut in, and unintentionally startled his new friend. If anything came out of this, Greg was determined Dr. Reid would be his friend. “I have all the confidence in you in the world. What you went through. I can’t even imagine how you survived at all. When this is all over, we will do anything we can to help you. I don’t know your situation, if you have people helping. If so, you can add the three of us to the list. If not, well you do now.”
Spencer just nodded, but Greg could feel the small sliver of relief amongst all the pain. There was some sliver of lie in what he’d said when he’d talked about Aaron being killed. He figured though that there was a reason for it, and hoped that he’d find out the reasoning soon. He hoped that the poor man really wasn’t alone. It was certainly the last thing he deserved, and if it was the case then Greg was determined to ensure it didn’t last.
When they got back to the lab, Greg led Spencer to the front desk to get a visitor’s badge, and then to the office. When they walked up, Nick was standing in front of the door with his arms crossed over his chest. His face might as well have been made of stone, and Greg wondered if Catherine had made more of a fuss after he left. Or, if it was just the strain of listening to what must feel like his Guide suffering.
“G,” Nick said in greeting, and Greg could feel his relief at his return. “I’m glad to see you. I think Dr. DiNozzo is asleep or unconscious. I was afraid to go in since I didn’t know what was going on. I hope we don’t gotta wait too much longer though. It’s makin’ me feel squirrely just standin’ here.”
Greg nodded and moved to take his Sentinel’s hand. “Nicky, this is Dr. Spencer Reid. He… has experience with our situation.”
“That’s good to hear,” Nick offered unsure. “Whatever that means. What is our situation? I’m a little unclear here, G. You didn’t really say much before you left.”
Greg was going to respond when Nick looked toward the office. “I think he just woke up, but he’s obviously still… I dunno.”
“We should go in,” Spencer offered quietly clutching the satchel straps still. “He needs you and Guide Sanders, Sentinel Stokes. Once you’ve got him stable, we can go to your Isolation Room, and I will be happy to explain everything. I don’t… you won’t want this out where everyone can hear. At least my… My Aaron and My Gibbs didn’t.”
Greg felt a surge of pain coming off the man, and bit his lip as he squeezed Nick’s hand. His mate seemed to accept the doctor’s suggestion, and turning knocked on the door. “Doc DiNozzo, there are three of us who would like to come in. It’ll be myself and my Guide Greg along with Dr. Spencer Reid. We want to help you.”
“Dr. Reid? Gibbs’ Dr. Reid? If so, you can come in. Please be quick though. It hurts when you open the door.” Nick looked to the stranger who nodded and quickly led them into the office. Dr. DiNozzo was sitting in the back corner of the room, and could barely be seen around the large grizzly perched in a protective position in front of him. Nick’s own wolf Dwight was pressed close to the man’s side, and Valo Greg’s spider monkey was perched on his shoulder.
“Spencer,” Greg heard Dr. DiNozzo say.
“Hello, Tony,” the doctor responded moving around the bonded pair. “I have wanted to meet you for a long time. I’m… I wish it had happened sooner. Gibbs… Gibbs he…” Spencer stopped obviously struggling.
Apparently, Tony, as Spencer had called him, wasn’t aware of whatever touch issue the younger man had, because he quickly stood and moved to wrap his arms around the man. Greg was about to protest when his new friend immediately burst into tears. Before he could though, he sensed a bit of comfort in the touch. He guessed that Spencer’s Sentinel Gibbs must have been important to them both, as he felt a similar thread of grief coming from… well his new mate. It seemed odd to think of the man that way, but at the same time it felt right. Greg noticed that the spirit animals hadn’t moved away. A large cat had moved to perch on Tony’s other shoulder, and Dwight and the bear merely shifted positions.
Once he was ready, the young doctor pulled back and after wiping off his face spoke. “It looks like Tony has already started the bonding. It… bonding works differently with a Swing. The whole… the sex thing isn’t really as important. It’s more about the Spirit Guides. A Swing won’t have contact with his Spirit Guides until he comes online. Once they appear they will never interact with someone the Swing has not formed some type of a bond with. The first people they will interact with after the Swing himself or herself will always be the mates.
“A Swing has never come online without his or her mates present. I think it’s because there is such a large overload of emotions and sensations not to mention all of the other things that come with being a Swing. It would simply be too dangerous for them to be on their own. In my opinion, the Swing wouldn’t survive more than 24 hours without being bonded.
“Swing DiNozzo has already bonded with your two Spirit Guides. What needs to happen now is Nick will need to bond with Tony’s Guide Spirit Guide, and Greg will need to bond with Tony’s Sentinel Spirit Guide. Once that is done, we can go to the Isolation Room, and I will try my best to explain what’s going on. There is some conjecture and speculation on my part but…” Finally, Spencer trailed off. Greg still wanted to hug him, but wanted to get this bonding with Tony’s Sentinel Spirit Guide underway.
Sitting on the floor in a sort of meditation position, Nick opened himself up and waited. Next to him he could feel Greg following what he’d done. Only, once he was seated, he reached over and took Nick’s hand before opening his shields. Almost immediately, the bear turned from where he’d been facing Tony and began moving toward him. Slowly but steadily the creature moved across the floor. Once he was close enough Nick watched the big animal sniff at his mate’s fingers and then lick his skin.
Nick could feel Greg’s nerves, and couldn’t help but think that this felt like some horrible job interview and first date all in one. “What’s his name?” Nick heard Greg ask softly speaking to their swing for the first time.
“Brando,” Tony said quietly now holding onto Valo. “His name is Brando, after Marlon Brando who played the Don Vito Corleone. The Cinnamon Shorthair is Caan, named after James Caan who played Sonny Corleone. I… I like the movie.”
Spencer snickered, and the sound was almost a shock to the room. “You like all movies, if Gibbs was to be believed.”
Tony grinned and shrugged. “Says the man who’s never met a book he hasn’t memorized.”
Nick could feel Greg’s happiness at the sound. There were several things he would need answers to, and added that to his list. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but Spencer seemed to be better since he’d come in contact with Tony. Nick hadn’t had a lot of contact with the man though so it might be his imagination. His breathing was stronger, and his heart rate was at what Nick thought of as a more normal speed. His skin even looked to be at a somewhat healthier tone than he had in the hallway.
It was definitely something he would be mentioning. When he turned his attention back to Greg, Brando though seemed to have made up his mind. As he watched, the spirit animal was jumping at Guide, and quickly vanished. He could feel the rush of sensation and change in his existing bond with G.
He was just barely aware that Caan had moved toward him and like Brando had quickly disappeared. It was… it was amazing. Everything was just… everything was more. Sounds, smells, just… even with his already enhanced senses things seemed better, easier, just… more.
Immediately, Nick felt Tony’s presence in his head. It was like… well everything. Love and comfort and safety and… everything. Tony felt like his Guide, but also like a fellow Sentinel. One stronger than himself though. More like Jim Ellison felt. Nick wasn’t sure he cared what it was. He just knew that this man was his, and he loved him. He didn’t have answers, but that was ok. He knew everything he needed to know. Dr. Tony DiNozzo Swing SentinelGuide was his. Frankly, that was all that mattered.