Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Fandoms: NCIS & Criminal Minds
Relationship: Background-Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, Ducky Mallard, Abby Sciuto, Tim McGee, Ziva David, Jenny Sheppard, Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, Jeanne Benoit
Additional Tags: Non-Canon Compliant:NCIS, Alternate Universe, Character Bashing, Tony leaves NCIS, NCIS AU Post Hiatus, Angry!Tony, Hotch has a British accent
Notes: The further I get from Tony’s exit from NCIS the more I enjoy AUing his background. I have found I like the notion of him being close with his Paddington relatives, and enjoy using the various OCs I have created for them.
Summary: A month into Gibbs’ Mexican Hiatus, Tony finds that he’s had enough. He’s tired of being someone else, and can’t take being around the asshats at NCIS any longer. Ducky may be the one that finally sets him off, but he won’t be the only one caught in the crossfire.
Enough is Enough
Tony was standing in autopsy feeling the press of Ducky’s anger at the secrets that Gibbs had kept from him pounding at his shields ruthlessly when things finally snapped. He’d been fighting for a month against teammates that wouldn’t follow orders, an ME and a Forensics Tech that were too absorbed in their own angst to consider anyone else’s pain, and a Director who it was becoming more and more clear had roped him into an unsanctioned operation aimed at hurting an innocent woman. It was bad enough when Abby acted like a child, but for a man of Ducky’s age to be stomping around pouting because Gibbs dared to keep a secret from him was all too much. He just couldn’t take it anymore.
“Enough!” Tony bellowed angrily before heading toward the now startled and indignant ME who’d dropped the papers he’d been holding.
“My word, Anthony, whatever has come over you?” Ducky snapped back only to rapidly back up until his back was to the wall next to his desk as Tony moved into his space practically snarling.
“It’s bad enough dealing with Abby and her drama and weeping and angsting all over the Navy Yard as she snaps at me demanding that I bring Gibbs home. As if he owes her anything as if he doesn’t have a right to mourn something that in his mind just happened. However, when a man who is over seventy fucking years old acts like a five-year-old and is pissed off because the grownups are whispering and won’t let him in on the secret it’s too goddamned much. Grow the hell up, Dr. Mallard. Kindly keep in mind that Gibbs doesn’t owe you jack fucking squat. He kept his first wife and daughter a secret from you. Boo fucking hoo. Maybe being the vaunted doctor that you are you should understand the magnitude of the pain that he suffered from it and how personal it is. Maybe you should understand that not everyone likes to spew every bit of information about their entire life to anyone who will stand still long enough to listen. Only, the thing is you don’t. Do you, Dr. Mallard.”
“I don’t know what has come over you, Anthony, but I do not appreciate you talking to me in such a manner,” Ducky blustered puffing out his chest, but Tony just snorted in his face.
“Oh, Jesus, stuff a sock in it will you already?” He bit back highly unimpressed. “You act as if you’ve never kept a big Mother of All Secrets from Gibbs and the rest of us. Does the name Nicholas Mallard mean anything to you, Dr. Mallard? Does Gibbs know you have a half-brother that you haven’t seen in ages because his mother was a first-class bitch? My guess is not. Hypocritical much, Ducky?”
When the ME paled, Tony just snorted and hearing a sound, turned his head to see Jimmy watching them wide-eyed. He could feel the man’s outrage at how Tony was treating is mentor rapidly vanishing to be replaced by his own hurt and confusion. He genuinely regretted that he’d hurt the younger man, but Jesus, enough was enough with these bunch of assholes. “However, do you know about Nicholas?” Dr. Mallard asked looking every bit of his age, and Tony ruthlessly shoved down his own discomfort at having hurt someone that until recently he’d respected a great deal. However, in the wake of Gibbs’ departure, a great number of things had become evident to him. Including how very much a family the ragtag bunch Gibbs had gathered around him was not.
“I know a great many things, Dr. Mallard, and the existence of your half-brother is just one of them. What I want to know is where do you get off being pissed at Gibbs for keeping a secret that you yourself clutch to your chest so tightly in your bony little fingers. Who the hell do you think you are that you have a right to another man’s pain no matter what your relationship? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re no better than the rest of us. So, I suggest that you buck the fuck up and get over yourself. I thought you were a good man, and maybe once you were. My records certainly suggested that you were, but I can see that these days it isn’t quite so certain. You definitely haven’t been acting like a good man. Jimmy, I think Ducky needs to go home. Can you see to it, please? I’ll be leaving after settling some things with the Director and then McGee and Ziva. If I don’t return, it’s been an honor Autopsy Gremlin. You’re one of the truly good people around here. Don’t let them change that, ok?” Waiting until the confused Assistant ME nodded, Tony then turned and headed upstairs. He had some harsh truths to deliver before he disappeared. His time at NCIS and his mission here had come to an end.
Lately, he’d been taking the stairs to get around the building, as some days it was the only exercise that he got. However, that day he needed the time to send some messages. Jeanne Benoit needed picked up from the hospital and taken to safety. The investigation into both Ziva David and Jenny Sheppard needed to be kicked into high gear, and his exit strategy needed to be accelerated. He was not staying in this fucked up town any fucking longer than he had to. When the elevator doors opened, he strode out shoving his phone into his pocket as he couldn’t do more until he heard further. Growling at the sound that was so loud it seemed like the very floor was vibrating, Tony whisked into Abby’s domain and headed right for her stereo.
Turning it so that he could reach the back, he yanked the cord out of the back and then from the wall. Ignoring her indignant screech he took out his knife and cut the cord in half before throwing it on the floor. Turning just in time, he caught her hand just as it was about to connect with his face. “Enough!” Tony hollered and when she went to hit him again, he with one hand grabbed the cuffs he’d forgotten to take out of their holder at the small of his back then slapped them on her before she could react. Picking her up, he carried her into her office, ignoring her screams of unhappiness, and after kicking her chair out from behind her desk dropped her onto it. “Stay, BooBoo. I will be back to give you your reality check momentarily.”
Stomping back to the outer lab, he headed right for the shrine of Gibbs and began tearing at the pictures ignoring her screams and crying because of course, she didn’t stay where she was put. Shredding the images as he tore them down, he tossed the offending items to the floor before turning back to growl at her. “Seriously! Shut the hell up!” He snapped, before picking her up again to carry her back to her office. Putting her back into her chair he this time stayed where he was. He probably shouldn’t feel relief at the growing unease he felt coming from her, but it might be the only thing at least for the moment to get through to the spoiled brat.
“Stop, Abby! Now!” He ordered ruthlessly as she continued her crocodile tears. “I and the rest of the fucking Navy Yard have fucking had enough of your moping and sobbing and angsting and fucking making the rest of us miserable because you’re too fucking spoiled and self-centered to understand that Gibbs is fucking in pain! Seriously, what the fuck is up with you people? I’m going to tell you the same thing I did Ducky. You don’t have the right to shit about his life! You aren’t actually his daughter. He doesn’t owe you jack squat. He needed time alone and he fucking took it! Frankly, while some of us were sympathetic to your pain at the beginning, the time has come where the majority of us just don’t give a fuck that you’re upset! Like at all!
“I don’t fucking care that you’re hurt because you’ve taken your pain out on every person in this building. You’re not that fucking special, Abby. Grow the hell up! I’d like to think that some of this will get through to you and maybe the amazing person I used to know will come back, but unlike you and Ducky and the rest of fucking Team Gibbs, I am not delusional! So, I’m going to say this. You’re about to be in very deep shit. Maybe not as much as some others around here, but trust me when I say that you’re not gonna get off with all the shit you’ve been pulling like the hacking and your lab not being up to code and all the other crap. Now, you tried to assault a Federal Officer, and frankly, at this point, I am more than happy to press charges. So, you can remain here until someone comes to get you that I can trust. Have a good life or not, Abby. It’s up to you and I don’t give a damned one way or the other any longer.”
Turning he swept from the lab ignoring her screamed insults and cries of innocence that followed him from the room. He meant what he said. She might not get punished as badly as some would, but her time of not having to face the consequences of her actions had come to an end.
On his way upstairs, he changed his mind about confronting the remaining three. Jenny and Ziva were too dangerous to take on himself, even with his extra abilities, and Tim was a hopeless cause. He was so far down the rabbit hole and wrapped up in his own ego, that Tony would never get through to him, which was a shame. At one-time Special Agent McGee had a great deal of potential that, had he made the right choices, taken him as far as his ambition wanted. However, he, unfortunately, hadn’t taken the right paths and instead was about to find himself in a ton shit for things like illegal hacking and the fucking book that he thought was about to be published. Fortunately, Tony’s people were already in place to make sure that never happened. They had just been waiting to see if the young geek would come to his senses, but Tony wasn’t willing to wait any longer.
Taking his phone back out of his pocket, he used the device, which was not NCIS issued, and much higher tech than anything the agency had access to, to send out the files he’d been storing on a secure cloud location. It was proof of things like Jenny’s unsanctioned revenge mission against Rene Benoit, Ziva David’s espionage, McGee and Abby’s hacking, and more. It was being sent to a number of people to ensure that it didn’t get swept under the rug, and again, Tony’s people would be watching to make sure that it didn’t happen.
When the elevator doors opened to the orange monstrosity that was the bullpen, Tony was genuinely thankful that he’d never see this place again. Whoever thought that working inside of a pumpkin constantly was a good idea needed their heads examined. As he headed to his desk, he noted that Balboa and his SFA were missing from their desks, and felt relieved knowing that they’d be in Abby’s lab by now to take her into custody. Moving to his computer, he ignored McGee’s sharp whines of what was going on from his spot behind Ziva’s desk and shoved past Ziva as she tried to get in his way. When she made a move to one of her knives, he quickly disarmed her and bent her over her desk pulling her arms painfully behind her back. “You don’t want to do that, Agent David,” he snarled angrily and felt some satisfaction at her shiver of fear and the confirmed feeling that he read off of her. “You’re already in a heap of shit.”
“Special Agent McGee, you might as well stop trying,” Tony offered as he shoved Ziva aside and moved to his own computer. Once in, he quickly began to run the program his own tech’s had set up for him that would burn any traces of anything NCIS didn’t need to know from both the device and any backups that may be floating around their systems. He’d been very careful as to what he looked up during his investigation, but you could never be too careful. He trusted that the program Penelope Garcia had given him would do its job. “You’re not going to get into that PC.”
“How about you stick to shit that you know something about, Tony, huh? There’s no PC that I can’t get into.” The man who was his current SFA in title only, as he hadn’t done any of the work, sneered arrogantly, and Tony just shrugged amused. He almost wished that he could stick around and watch the idiot fight with the system that had been locked down to prevent either Ziva or Jenny or anyone else from erasing the information from. However, he had more important things to do, like getting out of dodge before he got caught. His ass was more valuable than any petty satisfaction he’d get watching McGee struggle. It was hard to believe that at one time he’d thought about bringing the younger man into the program. It was such a waste of potential, but he’d learned long ago that life just went that way with some people.
Pulling his gun and credentials out of his locked drawer, Tony opened his backpack and after tossing all of the NCIS issued gear onto his desk, he shoved in the personal items that he didn’t want to lose like his Mighty Mouse Stapler and a picture of Kate that he wanted to keep. Straightening with his backpack over his shoulder and his gun and credentials in one hand, he headed for the stairs to make his exit, only to have Director Sheppard step off of the stairs. “Senior Special Agent DiNozzo, what the hell is going on here? Why am I getting reports of you tearing through my agency? What do you think you’re doing?”
Before he could answer, he heard the elevator doors open and smirked at the sight of an aggravated Tobias Fornell stepping off with several agents behind him. Turning back to this soon to be former Director of NCIS, he couldn’t help but smirk. “Oh, I think that you’re about to be too busy for all of that, Jenny,” he purred before letting loose a snort of laughter.
“You sure do know how to make a boy’s afternoon exciting, DiNozzo,” Fornell quipped pronouncing Tony’s last name correctly for once. He’d had his own eye-opening only minutes before and his boss’ anger at the way he treated the other agent was still ringing in his ears. Tobias had no idea who Tony DiNozzo really worked for, or if that was even really his name, but he wasn’t about to piss him off if it could be avoided. He had alimony payments to make, and a child to get through school and college to pay for.
“All in a day’s work,” Tony joked back as he slipped around the agents who were arresting both Director Sheppard and Ziva David who had decided to not go along peacefully. Deciding it was safe enough to take the elevator, Tony watched the commotion with amusement clearly evident on his face as the doors shut. Closing his eyes, he let Tony DiNozzo leave his mind as he finally got back to himself. It had been too long since he’d been able to be Tony Paddington and was looking forward to the downtime he was owed after the long and stressful mission that had been Tony DiNozzo and NCIS.
On his way out of town, Tony stopped at a safe location that his agency had in DC to make sure that Jeanne Benoit had been retrieved. While Jenny Sheppard was in custody, he didn’t trust her and wasn’t willing to risk the young woman’s life. As he walked into the building, he felt some regret about how things had gone down with the woman. He’d known, or at least suspected, from the start that things weren’t right with the undercover operation, but hadn’t seen any other way around things. If he’d turned the mission down, Sheppard would just have put someone in his place and the young doctor would still have gotten hurt. As he walked into the room where they were holding her though, the knowledge that he’d done his best didn’t make him feel any better. Especially when the fear and uncertainty were so clear on her face.
“Jeanne,” he murmured as he crossed to where she was seated.
“Tony!” She blurted and would have moved to him if Tony hadn’t held up a hand to stop her. “Tony?” She then repeated but then confusion at why he hadn’t immediately moved to comfort her was evident in her tone.
“We need to talk,” Tony said as he moved to sit on the other side of the table she’d been at. Motioning for her to retake her seat, he grabbed a bottle of water for himself before he sat down himself. “I know you’re confused, and what I’m about to say is going to upset you. While I don’t expect you to believe me, I am truly sorry.”
“Tony, I don’t…”
“Jeanne, I’m not a professor,” Tony interrupted quietly effectively shutting her up. “I’m not a professor of anything. I am a Federal Agent who was assigned to you to try and get information on your father. Had I known the truth of the matter, in that you have little contact with him and know nothing about what he does, I would never have accepted the assignment. Unfortunately, I was misled, and now it’s too late to do anything but try and make sure you’re safe.
“My father,” she started only for Tony to interrupt her again.
“Is a bad man, who works with and for equally bad people or worse,” Tony offered as one of the guards in the room handed him an envelope. Opening it, he put some pictures on the table of her father doing various despicable things. He hated to hurt her further, but her continued ignorance as to what kind of man he was would only eventually attract someone with much less of a conscience than Tony had. The last thing he wanted was to see her used as a pawn or worse yet killed by someone either in some Intelligence Agency or some scumbag who saw her as a way to her father.
“I know you’ve mostly been left in the dark as to what kind of person he is, but I can’t allow that to continue any longer,” Tony said as he finished laying out the pictures. When her eyes lifted off the table and the shock in them quickly turned to anger, he prepared himself for her venom.
“How dare you,” she spat but as he had twice before, Tony interrupted her. Normally, he would let her get her anger out of her system, but he just didn’t have time at that moment.
“I dare because believe it or not I think you’re too good of a person to be caught up in your father’s mess by someone with fewer morals than I have who won’t care what happens to you if it gets them what they want. I understand you’re angry with me, and if that gets you through this then I’m all for it. What I won’t do though is leave you out there to be used again. It’s happened twice now. I’m not the first, Jeanne, and if something doesn’t change I won’t be the last. Chances are the next guy won’t be as nice to you as myself and the one who came before me were. I need you to leave town. Now. Right now. No going back to your apartment. No notices that you’re quitting. You need to just leave. I’ve secured a place for you with Doctors without Borders, and I have someone to go with you that can watch out for you without being a hindrance.”
The door opened up then and a blonde headed man came in nodding to Jeanne drawing her attention briefly. Soon though she returned her attention to Tony with obvious hatred building by the minute. “This is Dr. Robert Chase. He’s a fully licensed doctor who just happens to have some extra talents that will keep you safe from whoever might cross your path without good intentions. He’ll be going with you and staying by your side until the time comes that we feel you’re safe.”
“You mean people like you,” She sneered, and Tony didn’t bother to respond. There was no point in arguing with her. She wasn’t wrong in her assessment. “Was any of it real? Anything at all? Or was it all a big fucking joke?”
“In another time and place I could see myself loving you,” he admitted not willing to hurt her any more than he had to. “This just isn’t that place and now isn’t the time. I have someone in my life that I care very deeply about. Please, cut all ties with your father and leave now while you can.”
Her only answer was to stand and storm from the room. Chase gave him a look of sympathy before following. The young Australian may look fairly harmless, but he came with some special abilities that would ensure only those with good intentions would ever get near Jeanne again. Sighing, Tony rubbed his hands over his face before standing and leaving. He knew that the room would be completely sanitized once he was gone. There would be no way for anyone to ever tell that either he or Jeanne had ever been there. From that second forward both Tony DiNozzo and Jeanne Benoit would cease to exist.
Days later found Tony holed up in his house on a secluded island on the East Coast. He would have preferred to be able to exit the country altogether and hunker down in Paddington Castle for a bit to get used to being himself again. However, the powers that be wanted him on hand to answer questions or take care of anything that came up as they were wrapping up his latest mission. He was currently sitting in the reading area at the base of the lighthouse on his property reading a book when he heard the door open. He didn’t bother to look and kept on reading knowing that no one who shouldn’t have access to this place would be able to get in. Quickly, he recognized his cousin Aaron Hotchner’s feel and relaxed further into his chair. It took several minutes for Aaron and a tall lanky but pretty looking man to take their places on the sofa across from him. Both men were holding cups with what appeared to be tea, and Tony paused his reading to glare at his cousin.
“I hope that you refilled the kettle.”
“Of course,” Aaron assured as he settled back into the cushions. “I know how much you hate it when someone leaves the kettle empty. My Anthony, you do know how to leave a wasteland behind you now don’t you?”
Tony snorted and after marking his place, set his book on the table next to him. “If you are here then I assume you have completed your own mission?”
“Yes, Erin Strauss has been removed from her position and I dare say that she won’t be getting a second chance within the community,” Aaron advised sounding very proper and British making Tony snicker. He guessed that his cousin had been on the phone with his mother. She was the only one who could bring the British out in Aaron so thoroughly.
“Your British is showing again, Aaron,” Tony teased and let out a laugh when his cousin made a face at him. “How is Auntie?” Tony’s father and Aaron’s mother were siblings with Tony’s father being the second oldest and Aaron’s mother being the second youngest. George was the eldest Paddington and had inherited the title of Marquess of Montagu from his father, who had three children. After Kieran, Tony’s father, who also had three children came Clive who had two sons. Then there was Aaron’s mother Elizabeth who had two children, Claire the youngest daughter was deceased with no children, and lastly came Stephen the youngest sibling was something of a rogue and had no children that he knew of. All of the boys worked in the Intelligence community in some way as did many of the cousins. Those that were normal worked mostly for MI5 or MOI6. Those that were… special worked for a secret organization that spanned governments and wasn’t even whispered about it was so confidential.
Tony and Aaron had grown up together at Paddington Castle. Aaron’s mother had brought him and his younger brother Sean home after he was born, and it became clear that her husband’s drinking and abuse would not stop. Tony, like Aaron, had been born in the United States while his father Kieran and his mother Caterina had been there on an assignment that covered many years. He would be glad when this assignment was over. He missed his parents and his two siblings something awful. He had been way too long since he’d been able to see them. No one had expected that the mission at NCIS would take so long, but once he was there he hadn’t felt right about leaving until things were truly cleaned up.
“Have you heard anything about the wrapup at NCIS and when you can finally go home?” Aaron asked as he moved his hand to rest on the back of the younger man’s neck. Since he could feel the stranger’s nerves filling the room, he acknowledged the gesture hoping he would settle down if Tony just let it lay.
“Sheppard was removed from office, and they took my recommendation and promoted Owen Granger instead of Leon Vance,” Tony said as he picked up his now cold cup and stood to fill it. Reaching out his hand, he took Aaron’s cup but left the other man’s as it seemed he was still working on his cuppa.
“Ziva is being held as a spy, and they’re working through the legalities of her liaison position. McGee and Abby are being held on charges of hacking a federal agency, and Gibbs’ retirement was made official. I believe that Dwayne Pride went and retrieved him from Mexico and took him back to New Orleans with him. Everyone involved thinks he’ll do much better there. They’re also mostly turning a blind eye to the Hernandez situation as Gibbs was obviously not in his right mind at the time. If Mike Franks was any kind of an agent he couldn’t have even had his family’s murderer’s name. If Gibbs gets his head on straight they may let him consult with the New Orleans Reginal Unit if Pride wishes. He’ll never lead his own team again though. It’s been proven that he just doesn’t have the people skills to lead a team the right way. Ducky was not so subtly asked to take an extended vacation and made aware that his time is limited at NCIS. Jimmy will someday take over for him and I think that’s for the best. I feel a little bad for Ducky. He’s not really guilty of anything but falling under Gibbs’ spell, and I still have some questions about whether there was some unnatural influence going on there.”
“You think Gibbs has abilities?” Aaron asked, his British accent still present and making Tony smile as he returned with the two new cups of tea.
“I think that it’s a distinct possibility that needs to be thoroughly explored,” Tony offered carefully as he took his seat once more after handing Aaron his cup back. “I do though think that if he does he’s unaware of it and had no training. Let’s be honest, those of us who have a little more than normal isn’t exactly something the world governments want to be known. Now, I think I have been patient thus far. Who is the friend you’ve brought to my safe haven, cousin?”
Aaron turned to look at the stranger with a glint of affection in his eyes that suggested maybe his cousin had finally found himself a partner in life. “Tony, this is Dr. Spencer Reid. He was one of the profilers on my team. Spencer, you can trust Tony. He’s not just my cousin, but he’s also one of the ones I told you about. Why don’t you show him what you can do?”
It took several long minutes where the other man took turns studying both him and Aaron, but eventually, he nodded. Not long after the space around them began filling with words. It took a minute longer than it should have for Tony to realize that it was a transcript of the conversation that he’d had with Aaron. Standing amazed, he stopped in front of one of the sentences, and after reaching out to see if he could touch, was amazed that not only could he actually touch the words, but immediately the sentence played in his head just as it had been spoken by Aaron.
“Amazing,” he breathed before turning a wide grin to the Doctor. “It is very nice to make your acquaintance, Dr. Reid. There are indeed others like yourself, and I look forward to introducing you to the others. I think you will fit in marvelously.”
When he got a shy smile in response, Tony counted it as a win and moved back to his seat as the Doctor began asking questions. It seemed the dam had broken loose on his curiosity, and Tony spent most of the remainder of the afternoon explaining all sorts of things. Eventually, though, the newcomer decided to go check out Tony’s library. Aaron had wandered off at least an hour prior to that to take a nap, and so once more he found himself alone in the quiet comfort of his home.
Deciding that he needed a nap of his own, Tony stretched out with his head rested on the back of the chair as he let thoughts of his longtime partner fill his mind. He hoped that the other man would soon be done with his own mission and they could be reunited once more. He really needed to know if aliens truly were real.
End Notes: I hope you enjoyed this! I was pecking away at another story during breaks from reading when this hit me suddenly. I have no urge to continue it, and really don’t want another series. So, I don’t foresee anymore beyond what is here.
Aaron Hotchner as a Paddington is being used with permission from Rivermoon1970.