Pairing: Tony DiNozzo/Jack O’Neill
Characters: Antony DiNozzo, Jack O’Neill, Daniel Jackson, Teal’c (Stargate), Tom Morrow, Jenny Shepard, Jethro Gibbs, George Hammond
Content: AU NCIS Season 3 and Beyond, AU for Stargate Early Seasons and Beyond, Angst, Dream visions, Anti-Ziva, Anti-Director Shepard, AU for just about everything, Gibbs Being an Asshat, Schmoop
Setting: NCIS Season 3 after Ziva is assigned to the team. Stargate early seasons.
Notes: DADT is still in effect. NCIS timelines and Stargate timelines have been synched more or less. Don’t have an exact timeline worked out.
I am doing Tony/Jack as part of my NANO fic this year. I have never written any of the Stargate SG1 team before, and because of that wanted to give it a shot before November.
Summary: Jack has visions of a man whom he believes is in danger and must save. Little does he know that the Director of Homeworld is going to find this man for him, or that the danger isn’t quite what he expected.
Danger isn’t only Physical
He was annoyed.
He was tired and angry and frustrated and really goddamned annoyed.
He kept having this fucking dream. This gorgeous guy was standing in the middle of the desert somewhere. He’d guess that he was in the neighborhood of six foot give or take a few inches. It was hard to tell by the things around him. He had light brown spiky hair and was wearing this blue denim shirt. He’d followed this dream guy across the sand and around bushes and cacti but couldn’t get him to stop. He’d yell out for the guy, but no sound ever came out. Every so often the man would stop and look over his shoulder as if to make sure he was still following.
Something inside of him screamed that he had to save this man. That without him this strikingly handsome man’s life would be irreversibly changed because he wasn’t there to stop… something. But he couldn’t get there. It didn’t seem to matter how fast he moved, Dream Guy was always ahead of him by the same distance.
Then the man would stop and turn to look at him with this expression that he just could not decipher.
And he’d wake up.
Every night for months it was the same thing. He’d wake up gasping for breath, and feeling like he needed to run out of his apartment and save this man. He just wished that he knew why.
“Jack?” General Hammond called pulling him back to the meeting he was sitting in. “Do you agree with Doctor Jackson?”
“Not generally, but sometimes he has an idea that isn’t too awfully batshit insane,” Colonel Jonathan “Jack” O’Neill replied honestly knowing there was no way that he could bullshit his way into making them think he was paying attention. Normally he was just faking not paying attention, but the lack of sleep was seriously beginning to affect his concentration. That and the overwhelmingly urgent need to have this man in his life.
“Jack!” Daniel snapped annoyed, and Jack shrugged apologetically. He liked Daniel. He really did. He liked him a lot more than he liked most sciency people. That didn’t mean he listened to everything that came out of his mouth when he was being all… Indiana Jones. To be fair he didn’t listen to everything Carter said either when she got on one of her sciency rolls either.
“I was referring to his thoughts on a return visit to P7N-294,” Hammond commented drily and Jack frowned.
“Wasn’t that the one with the cannibal rabbit people?” Jack asked incredulously. When Daniel began to talk, Jack just held up a hand.
“In all seriousness, Danny, not just no, but hell no!” Jack snapped before taking a deep breath. it wasn’t fair to take his friend’s head off when it wasn’t really him he was upset with.
“I know you and I don’t always or almost never see eye to eye on the whole cultural shit but we have no business going back to a planet that only seemed to want to eat us, and doesn’t speak any form of human language. It was all a series of squeaks and other noises. Until we have some reliable way to communicate then, NO! We should not be going back, sir.”
Hammond nodded closing the folder in front of him. “That was my assessment as well. I am sorry, Dr. Jackson, but the answer at this time is no. Should our technology improve in the future so that, as Colonel O’Neill pointed out we can communicate, then I am more than happy to revisit the subject. Meeting adjourned, people.”
Jack’s mind immediately turned back to his previous thoughts, and because of it wasn’t immediately aware of Daniel following him out of the room. He wasn’t even aware that the archeologist was talking to him until he grabbed his arm to stop him.
“Jack! Are you listening to anything I’m saying?”
“No?” Jack half advised and half asked as he was once more drug out of his head. “Sorry, Danny. I’ve just got something on my mind today I guess.”
He wasn’t sure why he was confessing this except that his friend was maybe the only one that wouldn’t immediately laugh in his face or want to run a million tests on him to see if he was infected by something or going insane.
“Is everything OK, Jack?” Daniel immediately asked sounding concerned, and Jack shrugged before turning and heading to his office knowing the other man would follow.
Once they got comfortable with Jack behind his desk and Daniel sitting in front of him, he began to explain the nightly dreams that he’d been having over the last month or more. It was the first time that he’d talked about it out loud, and telling someone about the dreams only increased the wrongness of it all. It also made him immediately want to get up and dash off to save whomever Dream Guy was. Even though he had no clue where to dash off to.
“Jack,” Daniel said when he determined that his friend wasn’t going to say anything more, “that sounds less dreamlike and more prophetic.”
“Prophetic, Danny?” Jack repeated looking up from the desktop he’d been looking at without actually seeing it with more than a little disbelief clouding his expression. “I’m not some gypsy fortune teller.”
Daniel rolled his eyes before explaining himself. “I know you’re not, Jack, but that doesn’t mean… Say, when did this start? Was it after your run in with that woman on P8K-624 who said that she rewarded you with insight into your one true heart?”
“I,” Jack started but stopped to think back to the timing of the events. “Well, you know that we got that rescue mission almost immediately when we stepped back through the gate.”
“So, I didn’t really get a good night’s sleep until several days later, but… Yeah, now that you mention it. I think it was right after that. Are you saying that she gave me some vision of some guy that’s my “one true heart”? For what?”
“Come on, Jack,” Daniel chided huffing leaning forward starting to sound excited. “Even you must know what that means!”
“Dr. Jackson,” Jack snapped eyeing the door that while closed, he didn’t trust someone to be lurking on the outside of. “Please, do remember DADT is a real thing and that I don’t particularly want to end up dishonorably discharged!”
Daniel opened his mouth, but then immediately held up his hands. “I’m sorry, Jack. The thing is though that well… there really isn’t another good meaning for all of this. And, from what your visions seem to indicate, this man is in trouble. I guess that you’re going to need to decide how you feel if that is what this means. Then decide how you’ll feel if something happens to this man because you… didn’t tell.”
Jack glared angrily at the archeologist and turned his chair to look out the window. Eventually, his friend got up and left him alone to his thoughts, which weren’t much more than a constant loop of dream and his stomach trying to eat itself with guilt and worry.
The next afternoon found him sitting in his backyard with Teal’c who had wanted to get out of the mountain. Jack had jumped at the chance to talk to the Jaffa about his dreams in an environment where he didn’t have to worry about the wrong people overhearing. His conversation with Daniel had only left him with more questions than he’d started out with, and on top of that more unsettled.
The truth was that no matter how much he’d loved Sarah, he was as attracted to men as he was women, maybe more. The problem was he’d never really investigated the attraction before because he’d always known he wanted to fly and serve his country. That didn’t mean that he was unaware of his attractions though or the longings that at times were painful.
Damn Daniel and his irritating questions. That last inquiry just wouldn’t quiet in his mind. He knew how he’d feel if something happened to this man because he hadn’t done anything. If he got hurt because Jack had ignored a warning because the spiritual mumbo-jumbo freaked him out, and he was worried about his goddamned career.
Hell, he’d been retired when they roped him into this mess. So, what did he really owe them? He’d served his country long and well before he even heard of a Stargate or aliens. Things between himself and Sarah would never be repaired, and as much as he had adapted to bachelorhood, that didn’t mean that he enjoyed it.
He missed someone in his bed. He missed someone in his home. He missed being able to turn off when he wasn’t on base. While he had plenty of distractions to keep him busy when he left the mountain, they weren’t the same as walking in the door and having a warm body there who loved you and was glad you were there. So, what more did he owe his country? Did he owe them more than maybe his last chance at love?
“Jack O’Neill, you look troubled.”
“I’ve been having these dreams, Teal’c,” Jack began staring out over his backyard. “This guy I’ve never met before is in trouble, and even when I’m awake I feel this need to find him and save him. Daniel seems to think that the dreams could be some kind of vision or prophetic dream and that this guy is my… I don’t know. Future Mate? He thinks he’s the “One True Heart” that the old lady mentioned awhile back. I don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to do with that.”
“I do not understand, O’Neill,” Teal’c admitted looking stoically at his friend. “Is this not a joyous thing? To find your mate in life should be celebrated.”
“Except he’s a… well, he, Teal’c,” Jack pointed out then realized that he’d have to expand because the Jaffa would not understand why that would be a problem. “I can get in trouble with the military if they find out that I like men.”
“I do not understand this,” Teal’c said, “why would someone place limitations on love?”
“This is not logical. Love is a gift to be treasured. One should not be making rules about whom one can and cannot love. It is not something that can be controlled. You love whom you are destined to love. What would happen if they found out about your love for this man?”
“They’d kick me out of the Air Force,” Jack advised frowning as he took a sip of beer. “I’d get what they call a dishonorable discharge, get thrown out of the Stargate program, and with how much I know who knows where I would end up.”
“I do not understand this, Jack O’Neill,” Teal’c repeated once more.
“To punish a strong warrior for the partner selected for him by the Gods is not logical. This would only hurt the whole and weaken their defenses. I would not allow such rules to keep me from my mate. Is love not worth sacrificing for? Is it not worth fighting for?”
Jack frowned and turned his gaze toward his friend a little surprised. “But you left your wife and son behind to help us, Teal’c. Shouldn’t I pass on this relationship with the constant threats from the Goa’uld threatening Earth?”
“I left my wife and son behind to fight for them, O’Neill,” Teal’c reminded.
“I wanted better for them than what the Goa’uld were bringing to us. I wanted to free my people from their clutches. I wanted to be free to love my wife, and for my son to love his future mate as freely without worry that they will be stolen away or their will taken by one of the parasites. In this instance, are you not me, this man my wife, and your military people the Goa’uld? Should you not be fighting for love? For this man? If he is in trouble, there is nothing else more important than saving him. What decision is there to make?”
Jack opened his mouth to reply, but then just closed it not knowing what more to say. After all, wasn’t he right? What else was more important to fight for than love? Even possible love? Sighing, Jack turned his gaze back to the yard, as his mind tried to work through how he was going to find this man.
Tony sat at his desk listening to Ziva trying to bait him as she drew Tim into her web further and further. Her snarkiness held an edge that was becoming increasingly sharper, and he had no urge to play her game. The rest of the team may be willing to forget what she’d done and all of the reasons why she didn’t belong on the MCRT, but Tony was not about to.
As if being at least partially responsible for Kate’s death wasn’t enough, her very presence during an investigation violated so many laws it had to be a defense attorney’s dream. Tony tried to limit what she was doing and had voiced his objections to both Gibbs and Director Shepard. Unfortunately, neither of them seemed to think it was any big deal and waived off his concerns as if he were overreacting.
He’d tried going to Legal, but they seemed to defer to the Director, which just put him back where he began. It had gotten to the point where he was frustrated enough that he was seriously considering moving on. He was half-way through one of the forms he was required to maintain due to his SFA position when his phone rang.
Cynthia, the Director’s Admin was calling to advise him that Director Shepard wished to speak with him. He had no doubt it was about his most recent round of inquiries about Ziva’s ability to do such things as collect evidence and drive agency vehicles. After assuring Cynthia that he would be right up, Tony closed down his computer and moved to Gibbs’ desk. “The Director wants to talk to me, Boss. I will be back as soon as I can.”
Before his boss could reply though, Ziva decided to butt in. “What have you done, Tony? Perhaps she is fed on with you dirtying around on her time.”
“Fed up and messing around,” McGee corrected laughing, “but that’s probably it.”
Gibbs just snorted without bothering to correct them. “I suggest you get a move on, DiNozzo.”
Suddenly seeing how his career was going to play out from this point forward, Tony found himself rooted to the spot with sadness. He knew with sharp clarity what he needed to do, and it broke his heart that it was necessary. He’d really thought that he’d found a home with NCIS. Obviously, though he was wrong.
“You need something, DiNozzo,” Gibbs drawled yanking Tony out of his head. “I’m pretty sure your orders weren’t to dawdle in front of my desk.”
“Apparently not from you, Special Agent Gibbs,” Tony replied coldly before moving back to his desk.
“Hey!” Gibbs snapped as Tony unlocked his filing cabinet and pulled out a letter he kept updated regularly but always hoped that he wouldn’t have to use. When he found out that Ziva was being placed on the team though, he’d made sure it was current. It seemed that he’d known where his path was going to end.
“Remember that promise you made to me in Baltimore, Special Agent Gibbs?” Tony asked filling in the date on the resignation letter and signing it. “You’ve broken it.”
Without waiting for a shocked looking Gibbs to reply, Tony rounded his desk and hurried up the stairs with the letter in hand. Reaching Director Shepard’s outer office, he greeted Cynthia with “Good Morning” before she advised him that the Director was on the phone, but that he could go in.
Settling in the chair in front of the desk, Tony stared over her shoulder as she finished her call. From the sound of it, she was talking to Gibbs, and he barely withheld a snort of amusement. Now that his mind was made up, the complete cluster fuck that was NCIS was so clear he didn’t know how he hadn’t seen it before. Laying the letter on the edge of the desk in front of him, Tony leaned back in the chair and thought about what he’d do from there. He couldn’t help but wonder if he really wanted to continue this law enforcement gig. So far it hadn’t brought him much but misery, despite how much he loved the job itself.
“I hear you’re frustrated this morning,” the Director began drawing his attention away from his thoughts.
“I’d say it’s gone well past frustration, Director Shepard,” Tony corrected as he picked up the paper, and held it out to her. “My resignation.”
“Tony,” she started surprised as she stared at the letter without taking it. Having already made up his mind, when she didn’t take it immediately, Tony simply set it on her desk and leaned back in his chair, again.
“I realize that everyone thought I was going to simply toe the line and stop asking questions, but that’s not the kind of cop I was and it’s not the kind of federal agent I am, either.” Tilting his head to one side, he watched the mask of calm settle over her features hiding the shock.
“I am not willing to work with a foreign operative who legally has no business working an investigative position and whose system clearance supersedes common sense or her security clearance. She isn’t trained, she legally has more things she can’t do than she can on an investigative team, and frankly, I’m not going to put up with the divide and conquer game that she’s begun. Since it seems that I’m the only one who is going to take the law seriously, I respectfully resign my position.”
The flash of annoyance on her face told him all he needed to know about how seriously she was not going to take his concerns thus strengthening his resolve. “You’ll never get another law enforcement job again by the time I am done with you.”
Despite his earlier uncertainty about his future, Tony was not about to just lie down and let her threaten him. Instead of responding, he took out his phone and dialed a number he hadn’t actually thought he’d need to use.
“Well, this is a surprise.”
Tony chuckled at the greeting he’d received as he continued to look at his now former Director. “Well, sir, you know how things go. One day you’re sure that you’ve found your place in the world. The next you find yourself forced to work with a foreign operative who most likely had a part in killing your former partner, and is being given access to things she has no business seeing. I was wondering if that position you offered me is still on the table?”
Tom Morrow chuckled as he looked at General Hammond, who was seated across from him. “Are you telling me she put that damned Mossad Operative on the team? As a matter of a fact, a position is still available and your timing couldn’t be better, Tony. I have a situation that you’d be perfect for. How soon can you free yourself from NCIS? I’d also like to hear more details about this Eli’s daughter being on the MCRT. It sounds like something we may want to get JAG or SecDef involved in.”
“It’s like you’re reading my mind, Sir,” Tony said smiling toothily at the woman across the desk from him, who was now openly scowling at him with her teeth clenched if the tick in her jaw was any indication. “I’m actually sitting in front of Director Shepard right now. She was informing me how she would see to it that I wouldn’t be getting a job in law enforcement. I hope you don’t mind me using you to make my point, Tom.”
The use of the former Director’s first name was deliberate, and from the way, the red on Jenny Shepard’s face deepened his point had been made. From the chuckle, he got from Tom Morrow he knew the older man understood and approved. Tony had seriously considered following the man to Homeland when he’d first offered, and now he knew that he should have done it.
The Assistant Director of Homeland Security on paper, and in reality the Director of Homeworld charged with overseeing Stargate Command, laughed at his former agent’s moxie. “I have missed you, Very Special Agent DiNozzo. Why don’t you hand the phone to Jenny. I’ll fill her in on a few hard facts. I know you keep two phones. Is this your work device or the personal one?”
“My NCIS issued phone, sir,” Tony advised. “If it’s all the same to you since I will have to hand it into them, I’ll just leave now and let you and Madame Director finish things up. I’ll come straight to your office from here. If that’s alright?”
“That’s perfect, Tony,” Morrow assured relaxing in his chair. “You don’t know how much you’re helping your country with this move. Don’t worry about NCIS. I’ll take care of it. I’ll see you soon, son.”
Standing, Tony held the phone out to the Director who was quite red-faced with anger at this point. “It’s for you.”
“You’re going to regret this,” She snapped angrily, and Tony just laughed.
“I doubt it, ma’am, but I have a feeling you will shortly.”
Turning as he listened to her greet Tom acting as if the former NCIS director hadn’t heard the exchange, he left the office and headed down to his desk. He had things to pack up, and goodbyes to say with no time to do them. He was suddenly rejuvenated and couldn’t wait to hear what Homeland needed him for.
A couple hours later, Tony found himself sitting at a conference table with Morrow and a General Hammond, whom Tony didn’t know since the man appeared to be Air Force. That little tidbit made him even more curious. Whatever could Homeland and the Air Force have going on that they needed him?
By the time that he got the complete answer, he didn’t know if he should be excited that aliens really existed or scared out of his mind that aliens really existed and some of them were complete asshats. He was though a little confused about how he fits into the big picture. “So, what exactly would you like me to do?”
Instead of Director Morrow answering, General Hammond took the question. So, Tony turned his attention to the Air Force General. “I would like to assign you to SG1, which is our primary exploration team. I can think of a few times it would have been handy to have someone with an investigative background to help us get out of certain situations. I’d also though like to have you work investigations at Cheyenne Mountain. We currently have a rather troubling problem that would need your immediate assistance.”
Straightening, Tony reached out and grabbed a pad of paper and pen resting in front of Homeworld Director Morrow, so that he could take notes. “What happened?”
Hammond sighed sounding aggravated before beginning his story. “It seems somehow one of our Marines has snuck one of our alien weapons off of the base. We have no idea what he’s doing with it because we can’t find him. Your primary task would be to get that weapon back before it gets into the wrong hands. Then, I would need you to find out how it got off the mountain and give us a recommendation on how to fix it so that it can’t happen again.”
After asking some questions about how they came to find out the weapon was missing, how they determined who took it, along with some other details, Tony ripped off the pages and pushed the pad and pen back to Morrow. “Sir, I’d like to get on this as soon as possible. Will I have anyone working with me to assist in the investigation, or is this going to be like an Agent Afloat position?”
Morrow smiled knowing he’d made the right choice, and looked forward to rubbing it in Shepard’s face. The woman had no idea what she’d lost or how quickly she’d tumbled her own house of cards. He looked forward to bringing the woman and that damned Mossad operative down. While he was at it, Gibbs was going to get chewed a new asshole for losing his damned mind. This obsession he had with making every woman on his team a surrogate daughter had gone too far. He was going to take pleasure in making sure the Gunnery Sargent knew that his protégé was out of his reach forever.
“For the moment, Tony, you’ll be basically something like an Agent Afloat, but we’ll have the rest of your team back you up as needed. Commander Carter can assist you with lab work, and I am sure Daniel Jackson can help with research. Teal’c, the Jaffa on your team, will make a good backup in the field, as will Colonel O’Neill. If this works out, I’ll keep an eye out for a few more investigators to bring into the Program. If you have any recommendations, you can pass them onto me either directly or through General Hammond.
“I’m sorry that things didn’t work out for you at NCIS, Tony, but I’m thrilled to have you with us. I think that you’re the perfect person to bring onto the team in this role.”
Standing, Tony shook Morrow’s hand, thanking him for the opportunity, and then followed Hammond out. They would stop at his apartment to get some of his things before heading back to the mountain, which was just fine with Tony. His mind was already on the investigation and finding that weapon.
Two months later, he found himself in a chateau in France peeking around a corner at an arms dealer named Rene Benoit who had a gun pointed at Jack O’Neill. A cold chill had settled along Tony’s spine as he tried to figure out how he was going to get his new friend out of this. “Hopefully he’s more than that,” the voice in his head that sounded like Kate whispered.
Tony was currently without a weapon having taken a tumble into a river and losing his gun. Well, that wasn’t entirely correct. He had a knife on him, but he wasn’t confident enough in his throwing ability to think he could take out Benoit instead of accidentally hitting Jack. He made a mental note to talk to Teal’c to see what the Jaffa knew about knife throwing. He wasn’t going to be in this position again.
It was rapidly becoming obvious that Rene was determined to kill someone that night, and Tony could feel himself getting desperate. Just when he thought that he’d have to do something really stupid though, his eyes landed on the case that he knew the Zat gun was in. If he could get to the other side of the doorway without being seen, he had a shot at getting to the case to get the weapon out and save Jack.
Taking a risk, he poked his head out to look at the Colonel who had come as his partner in the operation to try and signal what he was thinking. Once he thought he had his attention, he pointed to himself and then the Zat gun case. He wasn’t sure that Jack understood until the older man moved slightly to his left. The arms dealer immediately flicked off the safety on his gun and advised he’d shoot him in the head if he moved again. Fortunately, the man also moved in conjunction to Jack putting his back now fully to Tony.
Quickly, the SGC Investigator darted across the doorway, then snuck around the wall until he was at the case. Quickly, he opened it and took out the gun. Praying that he remembered Teal’c’s lessons, Tony stood up from his position and pointed the gun at Benoit.
“Hey! Kermit!” He called out drawing the Frenchman’s attention. Before he was fully turned, Tony fired one blast at the man knocking him out.
“Kermit?” Jack repeated amused as he stepped forward to take Benoit’s gun.
“I mean, how many famous frogs do you know, Jack?” Tony shot back grinning.
When his partner just snorted, Tony laughed happily as he pulled out his handcuffs. He’d have to read the man his rights when he regained consciousness, but he would worry about that later. It wasn’t as if Benoit was going to be released back into the public ever again with his knowledge of alien weaponry. While he wasn’t really sure what they’d do with the arms dealer, Tony was too happy to care knowing that he’d saved Jack.
He really liked his new team. They were all completely awesome in their own way. Teal’c was probably the most stoic person he’d ever met. The fact that he was also an alien just made it that cooler. Tony had taken it as his personal responsibility to educate the big Jaffa on all things movies and entertainment. Now that they had this stupid case wrapped up, they’d be able to have their first official Team Movie Night this Friday, as long as they didn’t get sent off world.
Sam and Daniel were cool in their science geekiness and made him miss Abby a little. He hadn’t tried to contact anyone from DC yet. He knew that Abby and McGee tried to find him for a while until Morrow went over to NCIS and threatened to arrest them if they didn’t stop. He had absolutely no urge to talk to Ziva and still didn’t know how he felt about the way things ended between him and Gibbs. He figured that eventually, he’d have to go see the older man to clear things between them. Otherwise, his conscious would never settle.
He missed Ducky and his stories and playing ball with Pacci and Balboa at the Y on the weekends when they were all free. None of it though was enough to make him regret his decision. Despite the short time that he’d been with SG1, he’d already been able to see how not right things had been on Team Gibbs. Then there was Jack.
Colonel Jonathan “Jack” O’Neill had taken up residence in Tony’s head, and he couldn’t seem to get him out. There was just something about the older man that called to him. At first, he reminded him a lot of Gibbs, which was a conflicting turn on and turn off at the same time. Given that he’d had something of a crush on his former boss in the early days of their partnership, and then how things had turned out, Tony hadn’t been eager to repeat the experience. The thing was though, that while there were surface similarities, underneath the surface they were not alike at all.
They both lost a wife and child, Gibbs’ wife to death and Jack’s to divorce, but both children being deceased. While Tony wasn’t supposed to know about Shannon and Kelly, it was pretty apparent that Gibbs hadn’t moved on from their deaths. Tony didn’t know a ton about Jack’s feelings toward his ex and his son, but at least so far, he seemed to have been dealing much better. There was a decided lack of carbon copy ex-wives that supported his theory anyway. It wasn’t like he could bring it up. He only knew because of the background checks that he’d run on his three human team members while waiting for information to come in on Benoit’s whereabouts.
He’d actually thought he’d miss his old team a lot more than he really did. He didn’t know that much about Carter. In some ways, he’d found her the hardest to get to know. Sometimes she had a weird vibe about her that screamed hands off, and he wasn’t sure how to get around it. He’d tried sitting in her lab and watching her work, but he’d gotten notified about evidence shortly after he’d arrived. Thus far he hadn’t had time to go back.
Daniel was like listening to a young Ducky. He loved sitting and listening to the archeologist tell stories or explain how he was coming to his decisions or interpretations. He noticed that every time the other civilian on the team realized that Tony hadn’t interrupted him, he looked surprised. He couldn’t help but wonder if Daniel was frequently cut off when he was trying to explain something. If so, he knew he’d have to do something about it.
It wasn’t his fault that Dr. Jackson was so much smarter than the rest of them. He also knew that such things could foster resentment if let go. He had a feeling that if that was happening it had more to do with Jack’s lack of understanding what the hell Daniel was talking about and why it related to whatever the current situation was. Regardless, Tony’s antenna had been raised and he was on the watch out for any issues.
Teal’c was just as interesting to listen to. The Jaffa thus far had been happy to share stories with him. They’d worked out a deal where they took turns sharing tales with each other and talked of everything from Tony’s time playing ball for OSU to Teal’s childhood on Chulak. There were many things that he wanted to learn from the man outside of fighting techniques and knowledge of the Goa’uld. Tony couldn’t wait for the fall to come so that he could introduce the big Jaffa to the joys of College Football.
Jack was… well, Jack was everything, and it both scared and excited Tony. He didn’t honestly understand how a connection to the man had developed so quickly. They honestly hadn’t been able to spend much time together. Between the case and Jack’s various duties outside of team off world excursions, they had both been too busy to just sit and chat at the same time. What he had found out though was Jack made him laugh. It was something that Tony valued greatly.
He also found out that the two of them seemed to share the same high price on loyalty, and they both understood the value of people thinking you were the dumbest person in the room. He couldn’t explain why he was so drawn to the Air Force Colonel but had decided that maybe he wasn’t going to fight it. He’d been thinking for a while that maybe it was time to try again. Wendy had left scars that went deep into his psyche and his self-worth, but he thought just maybe with Jack he could be convinced to try again.
“So, this means movie night is on Friday, DiNozzo?” Jack asked as they waited for someone to come pick up Benoit so that they could get back to the mountain.
Flashing his partner an easy smile, Tony nodded before replying. “As long as we’re home. I just have to decide what to begin Teal’s education with. I thought about comedy, but I’m not sure he’d get it yet. I don’t want something too heavy, so that leaves out a straight drama. Horror would give him the wrong impression I think. So, I think I have settled on either the original Die Hard movie or Tears of the Sun.”
“Bruce Willis fan, huh,” Jack teased as he looked out the window watching for the retrieval team to arrive.
“Well, he’s never played James Bond, but he’s pretty badass nonetheless,” Tony pointed out making Jack laugh.
“I gotta say, I like you, DiNozzo,” Jack admitted looking his way with a grin briefly. “You certainly bring a flavor to the team I can understand. I vote Die Hard. Tears of the Sun is a good movie, but it might hit too close to home with Teal’c. Best to save that for later.”
Accepting that Jack would know best, Tony nodded before kneeling to check Benoit’s bonds, while at the same time mentally mapping out their upcoming Friday evening. He hoped to God that there was more than just a movie happening and that nothing came along to ruin it for them.
Fortunately, it seemed as if someone liked him because Movie Night went off without a hitch. Interestingly enough, Sam seemed to have a great time, declaring Die Hard one of her favorite movies. Daniel seemed less enthused but said that he’d still had a good time and looked forward to the next team event. Teal’c had been as stoic as ever, claiming that he enjoyed himself and looked forward to more lessons.
The others had left, leaving Tony alone with Jack helping with the cleanup. Daniel had brought him from the mountain and offered to take him back, but Jack had offered up his spare room saying he’d have to go in the next day anyway.
Tony was thus far still staying on base. Now that the case was done, he was going to have to talk to General Hammond about getting some time off to go to DC to clear out his apartment and find a place to stay near the base. While he knew that he could continue to live at the mountain, that wasn’t really his style. He needed more separation between himself and work than that.
“Thanks for staying and helping clean up, DiNozzo,” Jack offered pulling Tony out of his thoughts.
“Thank you for offering up your house,” Tony replied back, pulling the overflowing trash bag out and tying it off. “I don’t think it would have been as much fun if we’d been stuck on base.”
“Yeah, the mountain is good for a lot of things, but privacy and relaxation aren’t two of them,” Jack shot back, and Tony was sure that the older man was flirting with him. DADT made asking hard though given Tony’s place as an investigator. While he had no interest in hunting out anyone, he had realized that he could be putting Jack in a bad position if he misread things.
“I umm,” Jack started then stopped before lifting a hand to run over the back of his head. “I’m glad that you agreed to stay. There’s kinda something I’ve been needing to talk to you about.”
Tony tilted his head to one side, and when Jack turned to head out to the back porch, followed closely behind. Once they were both settled, Jack turned his gaze toward the stars above them. He’d begun to think he’d misunderstood when the Colonel began telling him about the dreams he’d been having of him for months prior to his arrival.
“What I don’t understand is that you don’t seem to be in danger,” Jack complained turning his head to look at him. “The dream vision thing felt like you were in trouble and I had to save you because… Well because you were my “One True Love”, and I am totally telling by the way. So, it’s gonna really suck if Danny misinterpreted that thing and it was really just a case of too much bad base coffee.”
Tony chuckled softly as he studied Jack’s face. He was just about to reply when the other man continued to talk. “The thing I decided though was that Teal’c was right. There really isn’t anything more important to fight for. I didn’t just retire because of… well, shit that happened in my personal life that I’d rather not discuss now. I have a feeling though that if you’re half the investigator I think you are that you already know about it anyway. The first trip through the Stargate completely threw me off my axis. Everything that I thought I understood about myself and life was just wrong.
“I’m no spring chicken, Tony. I’m too tired and set in my ways to chase after anything that comes along. Had it not been for the vision, I can’t say what would have happened when you were put on the team. What I do know though is that I’m tired of being alone, and I’d really like to be not alone with you. I won’t claim that I believe everything some alien on some other planet tells me, but I’ve learned enough by now to know not to mock or disregard it either. If there’s a chance that this… whatever that old lady claimed is real, then I would really like a shot at it.”
When Jack suddenly stood and headed to the house, Tony was confused, until the older man quickly returned with two opened bottles of beer. He’d barely been seated before he began talking again. “I don’t know if you’re really in danger. If you are, I want you to know that I’ll do everything I can to get you out of it. I’ve already lost one person who meant the world to me. I don’t wanna lose what may be my only shot at having someone to be old and fat with when I’m too ancient to be pulled into this mess anymore. So, you know, if you don’t think I’m completely crazy, I’d really like it if you gave us a chance to see if that woman and my dreams were onto something or just an alien wack job. If there happens to be something dangerous that you need to be saved from well I’m your guy there, too.”
Tony took a long pull from the bottle before he now turned his gaze toward the stars. Somehow, it was so much different looking up there and knowing that there really were other people out there. Danger. Jack had no idea how much danger Tony was in. It just wasn’t what he thought.
“You know, Jack,” Tony started settling further into the chair, “danger is more than just physical.”
“I can’t think of any pressing dangers other than the everyday norm for someone who does what we do. When I add being an investigator on top of it, I suppose my day to day danger level increases. Somehow though, I have a feeling that the danger you sensed wasn’t from some bad guy who slipped through my fingers or the Mossad Operative who would probably love to kill me right now. I guess to understand what kind of danger it was, I need to tell you more about my life than what you got from the background check you ran on me.”
The chuckle he got from the man sitting next to him was all the verification he needed that he was right. It didn’t even occur to him to be upset about it either. In fact, he’d be pretty damned disappointed if the man hadn’t run some kind of a check on him. “I’m sure you saw that my mother died when I was a child. What you didn’t see was that while she was alive she was an incredible lush who loved to dress me up in stupid outfits and parade me around in front of her friends. You probably saw my father lives a questionable life, but you wouldn’t have seen the abuse I lived through until he kicked me out of the house after my mother died. I’m sure you also didn’t see how the fucker disowned me when I was 12 for embarrassing him when he left me in a hotel in Maui because he forgot that he’d taken me with him.
“You wouldn’t have been able to tell that the first lessons I had on friendship came in locker rooms and in a frat house. You wouldn’t know that having to choose between two children and decide who lived and who died probably shaped the rest of my life. You wouldn’t know that I went through three PD’s looking for what I had in that frat house, only to find people who were more like Senior than my frat brothers.”
Tony took a sip of his beer to try and wet his too dry throat that had less to do with how much he was talking and more to do with how scared he was Jack would think he was too much hassle. “You wouldn’t know that when I found out my partner in Baltimore was on the take it almost killed me, and when Wendy dumped me Gibbs was the only reason I got out of bed some days. He sold me on the idea that he could offer me everything I’d always wanted, and for a while he delivered. The thing is, and what you don’t know and I don’t understand why is that one day he just stopped. The day a terrorist named Ari Haswari entered our lives I think was the day he began moving away from being that man he promised he would be. What you don’t know is that the day that Director Morrow and General Hammond gave me a position on your team was the day I walked away from a family I thought I had, with zero belief that I would ever find the real thing.
“Then for some reason, I found this scientist that I’m not sure I get yet and seems like she hates me some days, but seems to like Die Hard so that’s a start. I found an archeologist that reminds me of the ME at NCIS that I miss terribly, and tells the test stories, and gets so geeked out about something that I want to understand so I can be geeked out by it, too. I found this alien Jaffa warrior guy who has reached a level of Zen I didn’t even think existed and is teaching me all of this shit that I can’t even believe I’m learning. Best of all though, Jack. Best of all you found me you. You have offered me a place on your team, which for you is basically your family, and then as if that wasn’t enough, you just handed me your heart without even so much as a don’t hurt me.
“And, I am so fucking awestruck right now that I get all of that other shit, and then on top of it, I get you, too. So, yeah, Jack. I would love to give us as many chances as we need if it means that forever is the end game. If it means that I’m never gonna feel like the last man standing in a room filled with a million other people. If it means that I’m never again going to be made to feel like I’m just not good enough by the person that means the most to me. If it means that someday we can be old and fat together on our couch arguing football versus hockey in our boxers in our house that’s located somewhere warm and not full of terrorists and crazy aliens.”
When he finally turned his gaze away from the night sky, he found Jack just watching him. His beer bottle seemed to have been forgotten as it was nearly full, and an expression on his face that Tony wasn’t sure he understood but knew now that he’d have plenty of time to understand. Eventually, the Colonel just nodded and smiled before getting comfortable in his own chair as he looked up at the stars.
Smiling, Tony took in the sight of the man who would be his life partner, and someday husband after they could tell anyone they wanted without fearing Jack getting in trouble for it. Sighing happily, he turned his own eyes upward, and when he felt Jack’s hand touch his, twining their fingers together thinking how nice a lifetime of this was going to be. It was the least he could do for the man who’d saved his heart and soul.
End Note: I hope you enjoyed my first foray into Tony/Jack. I have to admit I quite enjoyed it and look forward to playing with them again. Although, it will not be a continuation of this. I do not plan on doing any sequels to this story. Honestly, I just have too many other stories in progress to even think about it at the moment. Thank you for reading!