Title: Beach Confessions
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, Spencer Reid
Relationships: Mention of Pre-Spencer Reid/Miko Kusanagi
Warnings: Non-Canon Compliant: Criminal Minds and Stargate Atlantis, Spencer Reid is a Sheppard, Mentions of crappy fathers, Jason Gideon Bashing
Word Count: 1851
Rating: Teen and Up
Author’s Note: As always, John and David having additional siblings was inspired by Jilly James and Keira Marcos. Spencer Reid as a Sheppard is being used with permission by Rivermoon1970. Aiden Sheppard is mine, but the actor who plays him is inspired by who Keira chose to play Matthew Sheppard. Tony knowing the Sheppards was inspired by Jilly. Most of my SGA knowledge comes from Keira and Jilly so there are most likely other bits of inspiration from them.
Summary: Tony held his place in the Sheppard family close to his heart. He treasured all of the brothers as well as Patrick and Catrina. So, when Spencer, one of the middle brothers seemed out of sorts at the most recent family dinner, Tony could only keep his mouth shut for so long. Once he finds out the source of the issue, he only has one thought. That goddamned Jason Gideon.
“Who I like shouldn’t matter to you.”
The comment had been rattling around in his head since he’d heard it a couple weeks prior. It had gotten to the point where he was almost unable to ignore it any longer. He wondered if maybe that was because he shouldn’t have ignored it in the first place, but he had and couldn’t change it now. It had been an offhand comment made by Spencer the third of the four Spencer brothers, and the tone he used when delivering the comment was what stuck with Tony the most.
Patrick Sheppard had two sons by his first wife, John and David. He also had one son from a brief affair he had with a college professor after his wife died. That son was Dr. Spencer Reid, who had come to live with the family when he was 10 after the man that he’d thought was his father abandoned he and his mother. The fourth son, Aiden, was the fruit of Patrick’s second marriage to Caterina.
Tony was not officially a Sheppard by blood, but he was fortunate in that Patrick stepped up when he found out there was a serious lack of parental guidance in Tony’s life. Tony met John in boarding schools as pre-teens. Tony was in the post being disowned portion of his teenage years and spending nearly all his time at boarding school. When John found out Tony was spending nearly all his time at either boarding school or summer camps, he convinced his friend to come home with him.
It was around the third or fourth school break that John had begged to bring Tony home when Patrick started questioning what was going on. Tony didn’t remember the exact date, but he did remember vividly the first time he was called into Patrick’s home office for a talk. By the time he left, Patrick had his entire life’s story, and Tony had permanent order to join John on his trips home. Less than a year later, Patrick and Catrina called him back into the office, this time to see if he would be ok if they were to become his guardians.
It was probably the happiest day of Tony’s life. Because of it, he took his place in the family structure very serious. At times though, the insecurity Senior had engrained in him reared its ugly head and kept him from reacting to certain family situations. The uncomfortable moment at the latest family dinner was just the latest example, but this time the urge to get involved wouldn’t leave him alone. Tony decided he’d let it stew until the weekend, and if it was still bugging him then he’d invite Spencer to spend the day at his beach house. They could cook diner and Tony could convince Spence to tell him what was going on.
It was early April, and the weather was still cool enough that Tony had on his comfy cable knit sweater with his jeans that were soft from having been worn so many times along with his Ugs. He’d managed to twist Spencer’s arm and get him to spend the day with him. It had been harder than he’d anticipated it would be, but he’d managed it. In the days in-between while he’d been waiting for the weekend to arrive, Tony made calls to Patrick, Caterina, and then David to see if they had any notion what was going on with the younger sibling. The general consensus was that they had no clue what it was, but obviously something was bothering Spencer.
When Spence finally arrived, Tony was out in his beach chair, with a blanket over his lap as he stared out at the ocean. There was a scarf lying on the other chair that he’d found at one of the craft shops the last time he’d been there. It was a gloriously heavy and soft grey and white strip that he thought his friend and pseudo brother would love. The ground of his beach was rock covered, which made it easy to hear Spencer approaching. When Spencer gave him a questioning glance upon seeing the scarf, Tony quickly explained, and was happy to see it wrapped around Spence’s desk.
“Do I even need to ask what this is about?” Spencer asked almost petulantly after a somewhat awkward silence and Tony lifted an eyebrow at him in response. After the younger man turned his head and looked out at the ocean, Tony gave out a sigh.
“Come on, Spence,” Tony started with a sigh. “I don’t know what is going on, but I can say with a high level of confidence that the family isn’t the problem.” When Spencer just remained stubbornly silent, Tony shook his head and went on.
“You and I both have a different view on the family than those that have been in it their whole lives. We have this skepticism and this insecurity about our place in it that we can’t get rid of thanks to the assholes we originally called father. I know that Patrick hasn’t always been the father of the year either. In fact, John still bitches about him much more than I like having to hear, but having been raised by a truly bad father, I can say without any doubt that Patrick is a good dad.
“He’s made bad decisions. He didn’t handle the remarriage to Caterina correctly, or John’s feelings about it with as much care as he should have. We both know from our jobs that men of his status, both financial and societal, don’t get where they are because they’re afraid to get their hands dirty. That said, I think it’s a little harsh saying it shouldn’t matter to him who you like, especially considering his concern was pretty goddamned valid. I know Jason Gideon is your mentor and you think of him as a friend, but he’s burned more than a couple bridges. While some of them may have deserved to be burned, not all of them did.”
“What would you know about it?” Spencer snapped, and Tony lifted an eyebrow at him. “It isn’t like you’re there on a day to day basis.”
“No, but Derek Morgan is,” Tony shot back calmly, “and he and I have known each other since college, remember, or did you forget that?”
“Derek,” Spencer started, and Tony cut him off not wanting this to turn into a situation where Spencer felt backed into a corner.
“Is worried about you, and before you say that Patrick can’t know what Derek does, please remember who you’re talking about. I think that it’s safe to say Patrick knows more about Jason Gideon than anyone outside of Max Ryan and David Rossi. Even that might be questionable though. Now, tell me what this is really about.”
“He fucking left!” Spencer shouted, and for once Tony had no immediate response. Probably because he was so fucking pissed off at the asshole that he couldn’t think straight. “He fucking just disappeared. The only reason that we know he isn’t dead or kidnapped is because he left me a fucking note. I’m not supposed to talk about it because Strauss is embarrassed, but Jesus fucking Christ. I’m just…”
“You’re tired of people leaving you?” Tony finished questioningly, and Spencer hung his head. There was no nod, but one wasn’t needed. Tony knew that he was right. “Tell me what you’re thinking. I know you’re upset, and I don’t blame you at all for it, but it feels like this is more than that.”
“I feel like I don’t fit in, and I don’t know if I want to be there anymore,” Spencer admitted softly. “I only went because Gideon sold me on things that now feel like a bag of horse shit. I know that I’ve always not fit in places, but I just can’t help thinking that…. That if I’d taken dad’s job offer in R&D I would have fit in there. I’m not naive. I know that working at Sheppard Industries would come with its own challenges. The biggest one being the whispers that I only got my position because my daddy owned the company, but I’m used to that.”
“So, what’s holding you back?” Tony asked quietly then followed up with something that was bugging him. “And how did they keep Gideon’s exit quiet enough that Patrick doesn’t know?”
“Patrick does know,” Spencer corrected with a shrug. “He told me he knew when he pulled me into his office the next day. I just asked him not to tell the rest of you because I wasn’t ready. As for what’s holding me back, I really like my job. I’m just not sure I like it on a day to day, every day of my life basis.”
“So, see if they’ll let you do a consulting role,” Tony pointed out and smiled when Spencer turned his head to look at him suddenly. “If they won’t I would bet any of the other agencies in town would. There’s no way Patrick wouldn’t agree to that if it meant he could get your mind and talents onboard at SI. I think they could really use you with their new projects.”
Spencer scowled and Tony guessed that he was thinking about the government contract that SI had taken over the construction of. The ship that might be needed to save John, the asshole. Tony was definitely punching the fucker if he ever saw him again. He couldn’t help but wonder if John and the ship contract had anything to do with Spencer’s sudden urge to join SI.
“You think they’d really let me do that?” Spencer asked quietly, and Tony snorted.
“I think the FBI would fall all over themselves to find any way to keep you as opposed to losing you altogether. The bottom line though, is you need to do what you need to be happy, and you need to try and remember the family is on your side, even when they don’t necessarily agree with you.”
When Spencer nodded and turned his gaze back to the ocean, Tony let him alone. At some point, Spencer would take his advice. Spencer would indeed join SI and move into a consulting role at the FBI. The team had been sad to see him go but accepted his exit. There had been more emotion than he knew Spencer was comfortable with when his feeling like he didn’t fit in. Things did get worked out though, and it made them a closer team, even if Spencer’s spot on it had changed slightly.
For Tony, he was just happy that his friend and pseudo brother was happy again. If maybe possibly he sent some bad vibes Jason Gideon’s way, only he knew about it. If maybe possibly, there were some problems with Jason’s pension funds reaching him, well… Only Tony and Spencer’s new love interest Miko were the wiser. The SGC wasn’t awfully happy she’d been lured away from them, but Spencer was more than happy, and that’s all the Sheppard family cared about.
End Note: This story was the result of two prompts. One is the Feb 21st 2019 Thursday Vignette on The Workshop @ Rough Trade. The other is the following sentence prompt: “Who I like shouldn’t matter to you.”
I write fanfiction for fun. It’s a hobby and a stress relief. I refuse to angst over my writing. What you see is what you get. Errors, plot holes, and all. Thank you for reading my story!