Our Future is in the Stars – Chapter Four

Our Future is in the Stars

Banner by greeneyesblue

Warnings and story info are in the Master Post

 

 

Chapter Four

 

Tony was sitting in the monitoring portion of their makeshift interrogation room with Dr. Reid. They were watching Derek and Tim question Gen. Landry. Tony ended up needing Krumitz to help with searching through the SGC’s computer system for anything suspicious because Tony needed Tim to help with the interrogations. Tony spent most of his time going though the paper files and watching the interrogations. There had been some preliminary interviews that he’d set in on, but after talking things over with Hotch, he decided to distance himself in some areas.

Talking to Hotch had been a nightly routine. Tony made the decisions for the most part, but with the number of powerful eyes watching what they were doing, both Aaron and Tony felt better if the former Unit Chief was at least kept up to date. Once the case stuff was out of the way during their conversations, Tony also gave a report on the romance being resurrected between Aaron’s best friend and the man he considered a friend that bordered on brother.

Aaron and Jackson Grimes had known each other nearly their entire lives and Jackson was definitely as much a brother to Aaron as friend. So, the romance between Jax and Spencer put Aaron in an awkward position, thus the nightly reports. Tony at one point joked that he felt like he was hosting Aaron’s very own version of The Bachelor and from that point forward turned the gossiping into contestant like reports including not only the interactions between Spencer and Jackson, but the times he’d seen them flirting with other people. Of course, Tony noticed that in Spencer’s case it was more often other people flirting with Spencer and the genius not noticing, which left Tony highly amused as well. It also made Tony determined to work with Reid on his situational awareness, which when Hotch found out a frustrated good luck was offered.

Romance gossip aside, talking to Hotchner nightly had helped to give Tony feedback on his own leadership skills. He found that Aaron was very good about offering suggestions mostly only when asked and giving as much positive feedback to go with the negative. Even the things that he thought Tony should work on were delivered in a way that Tony didn’t feel as beat down as he had anytime Gibbs delivered a performance review. Of course, Hotch would know more once he could see Tony in action, but thus far the former NCIS agent was enjoying their developing working relationship.

One of Landry’s jackass comments pulled Tony out of his head, and he found himself wishing that he could just punch the man in the throat. The first time that Tony mentioned throat punching, both Derek and Spencer laughed and said that it sounded like something Rossi would say. Tony joked back that it must be the Italian in him and said that he looked forward to meeting the veteran profiler someday. If nothing else, he’d like a chance to get to know an Italian who was on the other side of the law from Senior and hadn’t tried to put him in jail at least twice.

Hearing Landry laugh over the computer speaker made Tony cringe again and this time Tony turned his thoughts to what he’d deduced about Landry. The man certainly played a good game, and Tony wanted to believe that it was the game that helped the Cheyenne Mountain leader pull the wool over Jack’s eyes for so long. Because for the life of him, Tony couldn’t figure out what Jack saw in the man, but then Hank Landry was the kind of man that Tony hated. He reminded him entirely too much of Senior for Tony to be comfortable around the man.

He couldn’t help but wonder just how much Jack actually knew about Landry, or if he’d been chosen simply for his leadership experience within the SGC. Tony could understand not wanting to bring in an outsider as a general concept, but in this instance, he felt like it had only hurt the program. Unfortunately, thus far the team had found that Samantha Carter’s murder wasn’t the only thing that Landry was complicit in. Tony wasn’t looking forward to giving Jack the rundown of the things they’d found.

The more Landry joked and smiled; the more Tony realized the man had no idea what his fate was and began to wonder if there wasn’t something mentally off with the man. It was as if he believed that he’d get off with what he’d done with nothing more than a slap on the hand and a change of location. As if the murder of a member of the legendary original SG-1 would just be brushed aside. Of course, Tony knew Landry wasn’t the only one who hadn’t worked out his fate yet. He and Aaron had several conversations during their nightly updates on how each member of the team would take the news.

When Dr. Reid spoke, adding his own voice to Landry’s, tony was momentarily startled, wondering if the younger man was reading his mind. “What is going to happen to General Landry now that he’s confessed? Will he go to Leavenworth or do they have another facility they use? Where do the SGC’s trials take place? I couldn’t find that information anywhere.”

“Once we’re sure that we have all the information out of Landry that he’ll give, he’s going to be killed.”

“What do you mean?” Reid asked looking obviously startled and angry. “He hasn’t had a trial yet.”

“He’s being tried right now,” Tony advised turning away from the monitor he’d been watching and toward Spencer. “We have mounds of evidence against him and his confession backs up our results. My report will state that he’s guilty of murder and the approval has already been given to execute him if we find enough evidence to verify his guilt.”

“We can’t just,” Spencer started indignantly, but stopped and eventually Tony spoke again.

“You are correct, Dr. Reid. We can’t. However, the new boss and I can. This is the new job. This is the responsibility that comes with this position. This isn’t your every day serial killer or some guy who got pissed and killed his wife because he thought that she was cheating. This is a man who knows too much about the Nation’s security to send him to a prison somewhere. So, that rules out any US civilian or military prison. He also knows too much about the planet’s defense systems and general security to risk putting him somewhere off planet. That’s why he thinks he’s getting away with this even though he’s confessed.

“He thinks that he’s too valuable. The thing is that he’s crossed a line that there is no coming back from. He hasn’t just upset Samantha Carter’s friend and remaining family. If we let him loose right now, he wouldn’t make it to the front gate. I guarantee you that he’d be killed before he got there, and chances are good he wouldn’t even make it to the elevator. Granted I haven’t worked with a lot of Air Force personnel, but I can tell you from personal knowledge that he’s offended every damned Marine on this base.

“Chances are likely that he’s offended every Air Force member on the base, and every civilian scientist and non-scientist personnel here and at any location the SGC has. Hell, I can bet that he’s offended the entire Atlantis expedition given that Carter was their leader for about a year. So, we can’t even send him there because he’d end up Wraith food. The facts of the matter are, Dr. Reid, that some people are simply too important and know too much to keep alive, and General Hank Landry falls into that category.”

When Spencer just looked at him mulishly, Tony sighed but went on hoping that what he was saying wasn’t pushing the younger man off the team. He knew that this was the thing Aaron was most concerned with Spencer being able to accept.

“It isn’t like we’re killing everyone. The two members of the Daedalus who were complicit in moving Col. Carter’s body will be thrown into an off the books facility and will probably not see the light of day again, given what they know. They will however live. The boss and I also aren’t making this decision unilaterally. Once one of us have decided on what charges and sentencing that we are recommending, our paperwork goes to Morrow.

“He then reviews everything, and if he agrees he then has a meeting whose members vary depending on the seriousness of the charges. In a case like this, the meeting included the AG, the Secretary of Defense, and the President. In addition to this, former JAG Commanderl Rear Admiral AJ Chegwidden was hired on as a consultant to counter Sec Def’s personal relationship with the victim. It is my understanding that every one of them agreed that Gen. Landry was too much of a risk to not just the SGC or the US, but to the planet as a whole to leave alive.”

“So, who will be carrying out the execution?” Reid asked, and Tony wished he could tell how the man felt at that moment. However, he wasn’t familiar enough with him to be sure he could read him accurately yet.

“I will,” Tony advised quietly, and Spencer was obviously surprised at the reply.

“Rear Adm. Chegwidden will be coming in to do the final interview. Once he is confident that we have everything, he will be informing Landry of his sentencing. The three of us and I am assuming a couple people from the mountain acting as security will be going to a thus far undisclosed location. I will be carrying out the sentencing and Landry’s body will be sent through the gate to a planet the SGC has determined to be completely dead.

“His remaining family outside of Dr. Lam will then be informed that he has gone MIA, and that will be it. Dr. Lam has been informed of what her father did, and she has agreed to keep the secret. I admit to being a little concerned about that portion of things, but I was advised that part is above my pay grade, and I don’t feel strongly enough one way or the other to argue the point.”

When Spencer looked to still be struggling with the new information, Tony decided to take Aaron’s suggestion if things didn’t go well. “If you need to take some time, I am told that you are welcomed to be completely honest with Dr. Grimes. His clearance was upped when ours was in anticipation of the two of you possibly rekindling your romance so that you two didn’t have to keep unnecessary secrets. I think you will be an integral part of this team, Dr. Reid, but I also need you to understand your new reality. Things like this are going to happen again. I need you to be able to accept that if you want to remain on the team. Take a day or two. Talk to Dr. Grimes. Do what is best for you.”

Spencer nodded and after looking at the monitor once more, stood and walked out of the room. Tony only hoped that they hadn’t just lost what may be one of their most important pieces. Spencer brought a view to the team, the civilian view that Tony just didn’t have anymore, and neither Tony or Aaron were sure Derek shared. Tony at least knew that neither Tim or Delilah did. While Tim might be closest, Tony knew that because of his father that Tim was too familiar with the military mindset to be the voice of reason that they may need at times.

Knowing that there was nothing more he could do, Tony turned back to the monitor to watch the rest of the interrogation.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

A week later, Tony followed Jack into the house late at night happy to hear the familiar click of the dogs’ toenails as they ran to greet them. They’d just come from Samantha Carter’s funeral and the reception afterwards. Maj. Gen. Carter had been buried with honors in Arlington National Cemetery. There had been a ceremony at Cheyenne before they’d left the mountain to give those serving there closure since the majority of the base members would not be able to attend the ceremony in Virginia. Tony’s understanding was that similar ceremonies had taken place at Area 51 as well as on Atlantis.

Landry’s execution had been difficult, but Tony felt it was important that he did it. Aaron offered to come in and do it for him, but Tony refused. It was part of his new reality, and he was determined to succeed. For once though, he hadn’t fought the mandatory counseling, and wasn’t even trying to give the doctor the run around. While Tony had killed in the line of duty, he’d never killed someone because he was ordered to, and it was a bit more of a mind fuck despite his agreeance with the sentencing.

Spencer had taken a couple days and gone off to Jack’s cabin with Dr. Grimes to talk things over and decide if he could live with his new world. In the end, he’d decided that he could live with it, as long as he wasn’t the one expected to do the executing. Tony made sure that once his mind was made up, that he relayed his thoughts on the importance of Spencer’s unofficial voice of reason role. Tony had a sneaking suspicion that Dr. Reid was given a heads up on the identity of their new boss, but he didn’t honestly care as long as it kept the genius on the team.

Several people were amused at Spencer and Jackson’s reactions when they found out that they both knew Aaron. How the hell neither of them knew was still a mystery to Tony, but Jack said that he’d heard of stranger things. Thinking of Dr. Grimes reminded Tony of when he’d met Lt. Col John Sheppard. At first, he’d thought that Dr. Grimes was playing some weird prank and the look on his face must have given his thoughts away, because the first thing Lt. Col. Sheppard said to him was “I see you’ve met my cousin a couple times removed.” At that point, Jack’s habit of calling Jax Sheppard-Not-Sheppard made more sense.

Tony’s biggest source of amusement though may have been watching Derek flirt his way through the mountain. That was until the day he met Dr. Miko Kusanagi. Tony wasn’t sure if it was the woman’s beauty or the way she made it clear how unimpressed she was by him that caught Morgan’s attention more. The Dr. had been serving on the mountain as a temporary Chief Science Officer at Cheyenne Mountain, and before Jack left had been offered the position on a permanent basis.

Command of the mountain had been given to Maj. Gen. Cameron Mitchell. At first, Cam hadn’t seemed like he would take either the promotion or the new position, but then he and Jack had a closed-door meeting. While even Tony didn’t know what was said between then, he knew that the end result was Col. Mitchel doing a 180 and accepted both promotion and position without further argument. His wasn’t the only military promotion though.

At one point during the investigation, Tony asked Jack why it was that Paul had never been promoted beyond Major. At first, his partner had looked at him as if Tony was speaking some foreign language. However, then all of a sudden he started swearing and stomped off. The day before they’d left the mountain, Jack confessed that he’d never considered Maj. Davis wanting a command type role. So, the two had talked, and while Paul swore he had absolutely no interest in being in command of SGC, he did admit to an interest in Jack’s job. Paul was very aware of his strengths and weaknesses, and thought he’d do a much better job fighting politicians than space vampires. So, Maj. Davis was now Lt. Col Davis and had received a corresponding promotion within Jack’s office. While he would still do a lot of the same things he’d always done, he would be getting an assistant of his own, and some of the more mundane tasks would be transferred to his new helper.

This would free him up to learn more about what Jack did so that when the time came for Jack to retire, Paul could take his place. Jack had been frank with Paul in that at some point he’d like to see him have some hands on command experience, because he felt that it was a vital part of Jack’s success in his current position. While he knew that it wouldn’t be his favorite thing ever, Paul agreed and that had been worked into his promotional planning.

After Tony and Jack both changed out of the clothes that they’d worn to the funeral, Tony found himself following Jack out to the pond. He was a little surprised that his partner chose the fire pit instead of the dock, but happily sat down on one of the logs, and snuggled into Jack when the older man sat down. Not knowing exactly what was going on inside of Jack’s head, Tony stayed quiet until his partner decided to talk.

“How are you handing the big secret? I don’t know how many times in the past I wished that I could be honest with you.”

“I understand, Jack. It isn’t like I’m a stranger to secrecy, and I can say the same to you. It’ll be nice being able to discuss investigations with you and not have to tap dance around things. I’m really sorry about Sam. She seemed like an awesome lady.”

“She was. I think my only regret is that she never found for herself what I have in you. I always knew that she had developed some feelings for me during our time together on the gate team, and I was never sure if she moved past that when she found out about us. I always hoped that she’d find someone else. It seemed like she tried a few times, but for one reason or another it never worked out.”

Tony sighed and kissed Jack’s shoulder before resting his head on it. “I think that finding out about aliens only makes me gladder that we tried something more permanent the second time around. I didn’t realize until this case how badly I’d been wanting to be able to share with you more about my job. I love that now I get to do it.”

“And how do you feel about the fallout at NCIS?” Jack asked and Tony just huffed. When the dogs suddenly appeared and settled at their feet, he took a moment to give Homer a good scratch behind the ears while he thought about his answer.

The day after they’d returned from Cheyenne Mountain, Tony had his formal debrief meeting with Marrow. In the intensity of the case, he’d almost completely forgotten about the happenings at NCIS. Fortunately, his new Director has been keeping an eye on his old Director and had lots to tell him. While some of the consequences were still being decided, some had already been delivered.

Ziva had indeed killed Ilan Bodnar having been sent to Germany with Dornegate for company. Of course, poor Dorny wasn’t enough to keep her on track, and when the opportunity presented itself, she killed the man who hadn’t been as guilty as she thought. The situation at Mossad had turned out to be a lot more complex than either Ziva or Vance understood. Of course, Morrow had known exactly how complicated it was, which was why he had repeatedly tried to warn Director Vance off.

During the resulting investigation, they had found that Ziva had again, or in Tony’s opinion still, been sending classified NCIS intelligence to Mossad. This time though as a US citizen the consequences were much different, and no one had been able to save her from punishment. Thus, she was currently awaiting trial for treason and Tony had not one bit of sympathy for her.

Everything including Jackie Vance and Eli David’s deaths could be laid directly at Ziva’s feet, the same way that Michael’s death could be traced back to Ziva. Had Ziva not kept her mouth shut about knowing Eli killed the Marine, the same way she had blatantly lied about Michael all those years back, possibly Eli but most likely Jackie Vance would still be alive.

The immediate look in the aftermath of Ziva’s actions hadn’t shed a good light on Leon Vance. The man had been immediately suspended, and that investigation was also still ongoing. Apparently, the investigators at the FBI were wanting to talk to both Tim and Tony before they finished their part, but had to wait for the two to finish their own case. In the interim, Owen Granger had been made temporary Director over Deputy Director Jerome Craig. Apparently, no one thought that Craig was actually up to the task, and Tony suspected that should Granger be given the job permanently, Craig would be quickly replaced.

Gibbs it seemed was not taking the new Interim Director appointment well. Most likely because there was zero chance that he could get away with anything with Granger running the ship. When Tony found out about Granger’s appointment he’d immediately thought of Gibbs, and Morrow had been forced to wait while Tony had a nearly 15-minute laughing fit. One of the first things that Granger had done was point out how far past the maximum age limit for field eligibility Gibbs was, and therefore had quickly pulled his field credentials.

Interim Director Granger also thought that it was essential that the MCRT Team Leader have field eligibility. So, the second thing he’d done was take that team away from Gibbs, and order that he pick one of a handful of desk jobs or move into a training position. Tony knew that there was a snowballs’ chance in hell that Gibbs do either of those things. Because of this, he was just waiting for the news that his former boss had retired.

Ducky had considered retiring but was convinced to wait by Granger until Jimmy could be brought up to speed to take his spot. Tony knew from Jimmy himself that the younger man was equally excited and nervous about his future promotion, but Tony had no doubts that Jimmy would do a wonderful job. Abby was also currently suspended, but not because of anything to do with the case.

It seemed the first time Granger walked into her lab; he had such a fit about what she’d done to it that he’d immediately ordered an internal audit. This led to a suspension due to a combination of him finding out how far out of code her lab was, as well as the temper tantrum that she threw. Not only had she been suspended, but Granger ordered her to undergo a mental evaluation before he’d allow her to return.

He was concerned that she had some anger problems along with an unhealthy attachment to the MCRT in general and Gibbs specifically. Tony told Morrow that in his opinion, the best thing that they could do was force Abby to move on. Although he suspected that if Gibbs retired that she’d do it without forcing their hand.

One thing that Tony was thankful to find out was there would be no consequences for Dornegate. He’d been found innocent of any wrong doing in Ziva’s murder of Bodnar. As soon as he could, Tony had called the younger man to check in on him, and found out how disenchanted with NCIS the young agent was as a result of what happened.

After a discussion with Morrow, Ned had been lured away from NCIS to join Tony’s team as a Junior Agent and would be assisting both Delilah with the computer stuff as well as the field agents depending on where he was needed most. While Krumitz had been well liked and done an outstanding job, he admitted that he couldn’t see himself leaving his current team at that time. He thought highly of his boss and didn’t want to take a position that didn’t allow him to work with her on a daily basis. Taking a temporary posting on occasion was one thing, but doing it permanently was a no go.

“You know it’s weird,” Tony said eventually, once he was sure of his thoughts. “I thought that if I ever left it would hurt more. I guess maybe if I hadn’t gone directly into this case and gotten a job before I even officially quit NCIS it would be different. When I think of NCIS in general and Gibbs specifically, because I know that’s really what you’re asking, all I can think is that it’s in the past. You and the new team are my future. I just wish Sam hadn’t had to die for this to happen.”

“It didn’t, not really. She was already dead when all this went down at NCIS. I think though that she would have approved of you working with the SGC. She always said we needed an investigator like you when I’d brag. I’d like to think that wherever she’s at now she’s happy for us. Can we get a new goldfish?”

Tony smiled at the last question and didn’t even stop to think before leaning over for a kiss. “I think Kate would love the company.”

Jack seemed satisfied at that, and Tony watched as he turned his gaze back to the sky. Snuggling back into his partner once more, Tony looked upward himself and for the first time ever knew exactly what was up there amongst the stars.

 

The End!

 

End note: 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!

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