Title: From the Coldness of Danger and Loneliness to the Warmth of Love
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, John Sheppard, Patrick Sheppard, Spencer Reid (Sheppard), OC-Aiden Sheppard, Jack O’Neill, OC-Leyak Mer’moyak, Brian O’Connor
Relationships: Tony DiNozzo/Jack O’Neill Background – Teal’c/Leyak
Content: SEAL!Tony, AU for Tony’s Background, AU for Brian’s Background, AU for John Sheppard’s Background, AU for Spencer’s Background, Angst, New Relationship
Word Count: 8571
Notes: Spencer Reid as a Sheppard is being used with the approval of Rivermoon1970. I will hopefully be playing with him again. I AU’d just about everyone in this story. So, if anything matches cannon consider it a happy coincidence. This was written for the January Forever Angst Challenge. The Theme is “Warm Thoughts To Chase Winter Blues”. There was a 5K max for each part of the theme Warm thoughts and Winter Blues, or a 10K max if you combined them as I did.
Summary: As Tony sat huddling on PYX-137 from a cold night that none of them had been prepared for, he could only hope that he could find a way to get them all out of this before they froze to death. He should have known Jack would come to the rescue, and that his chosen father, Patrick Sheppard, would find a way to get him the one person he needed to see the most when he was summoned home.
Aiden Sheppard (Jared Padalecki)
Leyak Mer’moyak – Alien (Park Bo Young)
From the Coldness of Danger and Loneliness to the Warmth of Love
Chapter One: Cold and Alone
Tony sat huddled against a mound of rocks not far from the Stargate. He was fucking freezing and needed a few moments to get some feeling back into his fingers before he finished patrolling the area again. Normally, he would have just muscled through the discomfort, but a lot of the area he was checking was open ground and the wind had picked up making it feel even colder. He just hoped that those he’d left by the Stargate were protected enough.
When he realized that he was grinding his teeth together, he forced them to stop knowing it would only turn his stress headache into a full-blown migraine. Something that he seriously couldn’t afford. Lt. Commander Anthony Dominic DiNozzo, Jr had been a part of the US Navy since he got out of Military School. When he’d been sent to Remington Military Academy the last thing that he expected was for anything to stick. He’d been an angry and lonely kid whose father hated him just because he existed and had lost the only parent who gave anything resembling a damn about him. To say he had been a handful was an understatement. But then one day John Sheppard stumbled into his life and changed his outlook on just about everything.
The two of them had been sophomores, and John’s father had been unhappy about his son’s insistence on going into the military and just wanted him out of his hair. To Tony, the fact that the older man sent him to a Military Academy should indicate that he cared at least a little bit, but John didn’t see it that way. His mother had, like Tony’s, died. John’s mother died when he was 13 and Tony’s had died when he was 8 Like Tony, his father hadn’t handled it well. Unlike Tony, prior to his mother’s death, his father had been a good man who adored his wife and children. It was after she was gone that everything went to hell.
Somehow the two sullen boys had bonded over crappy fathers and forged a friendship that lasted to that day. Despite the fact that it had been a few years since he’d actually seen John, there was no doubt in Tony’s mind that if he needs him the man would move heaven and earth to get there. Their connection was so strong that Tony had two of John’s younger brothers on his team.
The youngest Sheppard, Aiden, had gone to the Naval Academy directly from High School and BUD/s directly from the Naval Academy. Tony had spent all of his breaks and holiday vacations with the Sheppard’s after he and John met. Unlike Senior, who didn’t want to have anything to do with the child he couldn’t stand, Patrick wanted his son around and had been willing to take in Tony to get to see him. Having witnessed numerous arguments between John and Patrick Sheppard over the various visits, it wasn’t that Tony thought John didn’t have a reason to be upset with his father. He knew very well that he had all the reason in the world to be upset. He could even see where his father didn’t care.
However, having come from a father who really didn’t give a shit about his son, Tony simply knew that wasn’t the case with Patrick. If he really didn’t care, then he’d never have tolerated his son’s friend being around every time John came home. He also would not have moved heaven and earth to get Aiden into the Naval Academy. The problem was there was so much anger and pain and too many misunderstandings caused by two men who didn’t speak as much as they should that neither of them really knew what the other really felt. They were each also too damned stubborn to be the one to make the first move.
After they graduated from Remington Military Academy, Tony and John’s paths split. John went to Stanford to get a degree that he hoped would satisfy his father before he went into the Navy to become a pilot and eventually ending up at Miramar in San Diego at the US Navy Fighter Weapons School aka Top Gun. Tony, however, went directly into the Naval Academy and into the SEAL program where he’d been ever since. Tony had been fascinated by Aiden Sheppard and been happy to have the little boy around whenever he came home with John. When the teenager announced that he wanted to follow Tony’s path, the then SEAL had been honored and vowed to do whatever he could for the boy.
At the time, he’d been worried that things between himself and the Sheppard’s would deteriorate when Aiden made his announcement. However, Patrick, who was already regretting the estrangement between himself and his eldest son, only asked that he look out for his boy as much as he could. To keep his promise, Tony had done what he could to get the youngest Sheppard on his team once he’d successfully completed BUD/s and had kept him by his side ever since. Something he had questioned the sanity of a few times. His current predicament being one of them.
When the Navy came knocking on his door and told him that they needed him for a special posting that they couldn’t discuss until he agreed, he’d been reluctant to agree. When they’d offered the same posting to Aiden, and the kid had looked at him with hope and excitement, he’d known that he’d be going until parts unknown. Never though had he expected those unknown places to be on other worlds. As much as he worried though, he trusted Aiden to have his back and knew once he regained consciousness that he’d be fine. It was the other Sheppard on his team that he worried about the most.
Spencer Patrick Reid was the son of Diana Reid and Patrick Sheppard and was born a year before Aiden. Patrick and his wife Elizabeth had been going through a rough patch. It was the first time she’d gotten sick, and not wanting to scare her family, the wife and mother had simply announced that she was leaving. Patrick had taken it quite hard, and for almost a year he’d lost himself in work and a string of affairs. Eventually, he’d decided he needed answers and went after his estranged wife. Upon finding that she’d left because of an illness, he’d brought her home and hired the best doctors in the world to treat her.
Before she could be healed though she found out that she was pregnant with Aiden. For her, the choice was simple. Her child’s life was much more important than her own. Patrick had been upset and argued with her until she pointed out that it was her body, and she wasn’t killing her child. For her, the tiny little being inside of her was already as loved as her other two children. In the end, Patrick came around, and when she died giving birth he might have forgotten he needed to keep going if it weren’t for the small brown haired bundle he was now responsible for.
Roughly three years after his wife had died, Patrick Sheppard found out he had a fourth son named Spencer. It wasn’t the first time a woman claimed that she had given birth to his child, but this one he remembered. Diana had been a bright and sassy beautiful woman, but it had been her sharp mind and sharper wit that attracted him. When she’d shown up at Sheppard Industries with her 5-year-old son, he’d agreed to talk with her. Upon learning that the boy was his, and she couldn’t care for him any longer because of her schizophrenia, he’d agreed to take him in. The lawyers had a fit, and eventually, when the science caught up he had a DNA test run to shut them up. As a kid though, neither Tony or any of the kids knew anything about any of that.
All Tony knew was that Spencer was one of John’s brothers and had a different mother. By the time he was 16, Tony’s father was getting ready to marry his fourth wife. He’d always been prepared for the idea that he could have a sibling out there somewhere. For the three Sheppard boys, while they had varying reactions to their father having a child by someone who wasn’t their mom, none of them were willing to take it out on the quiet and scarily intelligent 4-year-old little boy.
After Remington, Tony and John had been forced to keep in contact mainly by letters, and the occasional phone call when they could. Tony had desperately missed the family when he wasn’t around them anymore, and initially, he hadn’t felt right intruding when he and John weren’t in each other’s pockets every day anymore. However, he’d only been given the Thanksgiving break on his own. When Christmas break began, he’d found one of the SI employees waiting at his dorm to take him to the family home. Once there, Patrick had greeted him as if he was his own child. For Tony, it had meant everything in the world. Patrick had advised him that whatever was between himself and John was just that, and none of them wanted it to affect his relationship with any of them. They all essentially thought of him as another brother, and that was that.
Tony had been trying to work on John, and lately, it seemed to maybe be working. He honestly thought that if he could get the two elder Sheppard’s in the same room that it would be the final push they needed to get things worked out. Unfortunately, now that he and John were both so far into the secretive side of the NAVY it was a lot harder than you’d think. He wasn’t giving up though. He was going to see to it that the Sheppard family was reunited if it was the last goddamned thing he did.
Deciding that he’d been in one spot long enough, Tony stood and finished his patrol swearing that in the future he would make sure they were prepared for any fucking climate when they stepped through that damned gate. When he reached the area where he’d left the others, he was glad to see that Leyak had gotten the fire started and that Brian appeared to be stirring. Master Chief Brian O’Connor and Leyak Mer’moyak along with Aiden were the three regular members of his SG-21 SEAL Team. Leyak was an innocent 20-something looking young woman that was deadlier than all three of the SEALs on his team combined.
Leyak came from a planet whose inhabitants reminded Tony mostly of what most humans would relate to the Demons they saw on TV shows. When the team stumbled upon her, she was about to be murdered for being too ‘weak’ because of her half-breed status. Not willing to watch her die, Tony had killed her main attacker as the Brian and Aiden kept the rest of the beings back. What he hadn’t expected that doing what he saw as being the right thing would put her in his debt for the remainder of his life.
Fortunately, this wasn’t the first alien that came home with a team, and Teal’c had been familiar enough with her people that he stressed what a great dishonor they would be doing her to deny her request to serve Tony in something of a guardian or champion role. It turned out that, once they saw her in action, Leyak was as badass as anyone he’d ever met. Watching her and Teal’c spar was something of beauty and awe. Many a man and being had underestimated her and paid the price for it.
“O’Connor is coming around,” Leyak advised and Tony nodded kneeling down beside his longtime SIC. Tony had met Brian O’Connor in BUD/s and the two of them had been practically inseparable since. Brian was another member of the crappy father club and had taken to coming home with him and Aiden when he could. The blond was as easy going as it came, right up until he wasn’t. Then there was simply no containing him. You just had to hold on and hope that you survived the explosion. Nodding his thanks to Leyak, Tony glanced up at the gate not sure what he expected to see, but nothing had changed while he’d been gone.
Standing, he moved to check on Aiden and Spencer who he’d laid together hoping it would help them stay warm. Aiden was a big guy coming in at 6’5″ and somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 pounds of solid muscle. Spencer though, while he was 6’1″ he was slight in stature and didn’t have near the amount of body mass that his half-brother did to protect him from the cold.
He didn’t think that he’d ever forgotten the first time he’d seen Spencer Reid-Sheppard. He’d been this little boy with big eyes hidden behind these glasses that were too big for his face, and a mind that could already out think a great number of the adults around him. It was terribly obvious that he missed his mother something terribly, and Tony had always wondered if Spencer hadn’t gotten it the best and at the same time worst when it came to mothers. While he could at least go and see his mother any time he wished, often she was lost inside her own mind, or to the cruelty of her illness. He knew it was hard for the younger man, and unlike Aiden, there hadn’t been anything he could do to help.
When General Hammond called him into his office and asked him if he’d consider taking Spencer on his team on a trial basis to see if he was a fit, Tony’d thought the man had been joking. While he loved Spencer to death and was fiercely proud of all he’d accomplished at the FBI, he couldn’t imagine Spencer on a field team let alone his, which was run like a SEAL team.
Hammond though had explained that there had been some trouble with Spencer and Jason Gideon. Tony didn’t know much about the man, except that he was the father of the girl Spencer had been seeing for several years, and that he saw the older man as something of a mentor. Unfortunately, it seemed that something happened, and after suffering a mental breakdown something had gone wrong in Jason’s head when it came to the young genius. Tony still didn’t know all of the details. Hammond and Jack O’Neill both had ordered him to leave it alone and not look into it. Jack had straight up told him that he knew Tony well enough that if he got any more details they’d be locking him up for murder.
That hadn’t been much of a deterrent though, and in the end, it was Spencer’s painful admission that Jason had already cost him Tara, and please could he not let him take tony away from him too. There hadn’t been anything else Tony could say about the broken plea and had let it be as long as Jason Gideon stayed the fuck away from his little brother. Since Jack O’Neill promised him that he would personally ensure it, Tony agreed to let it drop. As he watched the younger man lay on the cold ground, he could only hope and pray that he’d make it back alive.
He had no idea what he’d tell Patrick if one of his sons died on Tony’s watch.
To say that he’d been skeptical about having Spencer on his team, no matter how proud Tony was of his accomplishments as a member of the BAU, was an understatement. Tony’s team with the SGC wasn’t much different mission wise than his team with the SEALs had been. There were just fewer of them, and they’d let him have a woman on the team. Each member of his team though was deadly in their own right. They were all skilled in a variety of things with killing being just one of them. Spencer though, while he may have killed when it was needed, would never be mistaken as a having the same mindset as the rest of them did. No matter how badass he was in his own way, Tony would never stop thinking of him as delicate and one of the few really fucking purely good things in the world. Hammond though insisted that his team needed someone of Spencer’s talents.
It was eventually Spencer who made him stop arguing. “I can do this, AJ,” he’d said quietly as his fingers twisted together while he studied some spot on the floor. “I won’t embarrass you. I promise.” It wasn’t the words as much as the tone. He hadn’t heard that wounded and broken sound in the kid’s voice since he actually was a kid. It immediately made him want to kill someone.
Tony had immediately gone to Jack and made him swear that Jason Gideon had or would pay for whatever the fuck he’d done to Spencer, and that if anything ever happened to him when he was out on a mission, Spencer would be the SGC’s top priority. “You have my word,” Jack said quietly and seriously with a glint in his eye that told Tony the older man understood. He had no doubt that he did. After all, there was a lot between himself and the Colonel that went unspoken. Hearing Aiden moan, Tony settled on the ground after motioning Leyak over and after unzipping his coat, pulled Spencer to his chest to try and keep him warm. Eventually, Brian made his way over and settled himself in front of Spencer to try and help block the wind. Tony’s eyes moved back toward the gate and the final chevron to dial home that was just blinking like warning light on his car right before something blew up. He hoped to God that whatever was going on was fixed soon. It was only a matter of time before someone or something realized they were there.
The cold wasn’t the only thing that they had to worry about on PYX-137.
When the gate finally connected it was almost too late.
Tony had the group huddled as close to the steps to the Stargate as possible. The final chevron had stopped blinking hours ago and when they’d tried to dial in again nothing had happened. Trusting Jack to not abandon them, Tony moved the team as close to the gate as possible. Unfortunately, not long after that their luck ran out, and the creatures of the night came out to feed. It was so cold that their hands were almost completely stiffened up from the cold.
Spencer was awake, but just barely. He didn’t do much more than just blink at them and shiver. Because of that, they had him in the middle of the circle the rest of them had formed to fight off the creatures. The situation though was becoming dire. They were all almost out of ammunition, and once that happened it would be only a matter of minutes before they were devoured by the seemingly unending pack of creatures that wanted to feed on them.
Tony had been in a lot of desperate situations as a SEAL, but he couldn’t remember the last time that he felt that fucking hopeless and scared. Dying for his country and even his planet was one thing. Dying because he couldn’t fucking dial his home planet and ended up the midnight snack of something that looked like a cross between an alligator and Rottweiler was another. When the gate began dialing, none of them even noticed despite the fact that they were right next to the thing. It wasn’t until he realized there was gunfire coming from another direction that he realized help had come.
“Going my way?” Jack hollered when Tony finally looked up and saw the maniac grinning down at him as he kept shooting at things.
“Jesus, talk about a late entrance, motherfucker,” Tony growled and flung his gun around to lie against his back. Moving to Spencer he picked him up, ignoring the squeak of indignancy as he practically tossed him up to the gate.
“Jack! He’s gonna need help!”
He only waited long enough to see Jack nod his understanding before turning back to fight off the advancing creatures. Vaguely, he heard Jack order Teal’c to see to Spencer’s safety as he ordered the rest of his team to move up to the gate. As quickly as possible, the remaining four moved up to the gate platform where SG1 and SG-3 were firing from. Standing next to Jack, he kept firing until they could all back through the gate to safety.
He didn’t think he even registered that they were safe until someone took his gun from his hands, and Doc Frasier’s face appeared in his line of vision. He had no idea how he ended up on his knees on the gate ramp, and he wanted to ask questions, but he couldn’t stop shaking. He could hear people talking and was very vaguely aware of someone calling his name, but responding seemed to just be too much. Instead, he closed his eyes and decided to trust Jack to see to things as he finally let his mind rest.