Tony DiNozzo Moves to New Orleans
The below work is an offering for Evil Author Day 2020. These stories are incomplete, and very much rough drafts. There will be spelling errors, missing commas, bad grammar, incomplete thoughts, and plot holes to name only a few issues. There is NO guarantee any of them will be finished, or that the finished product won’t undergo massive changes. Do NOT bug for more, beg for details, or any other such nonsense, please and thank you.
Pairing: Tony DiNozzo / Will LaMontagne, Tony DiNozzo & Dwayne Pride
Warnings: Post Internal Affairs 5×14. Tony Leaves NCIS.
Notes: This takes place before Will and JJ get together. So, that relationship never happened… I don’t think.
Summary: Tony leaves NCIS when things with Ziva and Director Shepard get to be too much. When he lands on is feet in New Orleans he has a friendship waiting with Dwayne Pride and possibly a relationship with the very sexy Detective LaMontagne if he’s brave enough to go after it.
Tony walked into a random bar in Miami, Florida that he heard was gay friendly from the concierge at the hotel he’d been staying at. He was on something between a vacation and a sabbatical from NCIS as he tried to decide where to go next. A week before his former mark, former whatever Jeanne had been tried to frame him for the murder of her father. It seemed the fallout from that fiasco was never-ending. He’d thought that he had everything settled, but then he ended up in another goddamned interrogation room with Fornell on the other side of the table and all the feelings he’d been suppressing came back to the surface.
That night after things had gotten cleared up he’d tried to settle his mind, but it wouldn’t quiet down. Trent Kort had claimed responsibility for the killing saying the CIA sanctioned the hit, but Tony had his doubts. Last Tony’d heard the CIA was still getting information out of Benoit and considered him an asset. Then there was the undeniable fact that Director Sheppard had unresolved issues with the man. Needing some reassurance, he’d gone to see Gibbs who was in his basement as always. While the old bastard had been mostly mute as always, he was obviously angry, and had said enough that Tony got a pretty clear picture of what his boss thought happened. Director Sheppard had killed Benoit. So, once more the Director had screwed with his life.
Not only had she murdered a high valued asset of another Federal Agency, she hadn’t tried to hide it very well. She also hadn’t taken any precautions to ensure that Tony wasn’t blamed. He knew he should be angry and Jeanne also, and maybe a part of him was. Whether it was rational or not though all of his anger and frustration was centered on Jenny Sheppard. He didn’t like her. He hadn’t trusted her since his stint as Team Leader while Gibbs was in Mexico and she put him on that damned undercover assignment. He certainly didn’t trust her little Mossad mole. If he’d learned anything along the way it was that when trust was broken at that high up the food chain, it was time for Tony to hit the road.
By the time he was done talking to Gibbs, he could tell the older man knew what was going to happen. “I can’t stay, Boss.”
“I know, DiNozzo,” he replied looking every year of his age for once. “You call Morrow when you’re ready. He’ll look out for you. Don’t bother with those jackals at the Hoover Building. Fornell and the BAU guys aside, the rest of them can’t be trusted. If Tom has a place for you that is outside of DC that you can live with take it. I don’t know how Sheppard will take this, and I don’t trust her not to sic Ziva on you. You keep in touch, too. You go more than a week without contacting me and I’m coming to hunt you down, you hear?”
“Yes, Boss,” Tony assured flashing a sad smile. “You watch your six. I won’t be there anymore. Do your best to untangle McGee from Ziva’s web. If you don’t, he’s gonna do something fucking stupid that you won’t be able to save him from, and treat your next SFA better. You’re a fucking Marine for God’s sake. The Chain of Command is a thing. Follow it!”
“Yes, sir,” Gibbs quipped tongue in cheek and Tony rolled his eyes. “You watch your six as well. You get into trouble you call me, and don’t take any more shit from people, understand? You’re not some fucking lapdog. You’re gonna make me proud. Don’t worry about Abby and the others. I’ll take care of it.”
Tony nodded and when the older man crossed the room, braced himself. When arms wrapped around him, he almost broke. Instead, he returned the hug, and took one last whiff of sawdust and Old Spice aftershave. “I owe you everything, Boss.”
“And, don’t you forget it,” Gibbs reminded pulling back. “You belong to me.”
“Doesn’t matter where you are or who you work for. You still belong to me, and you goddamned still don’t have my permission. Got it?”
“Yes, sir,” Tony said offering a salute that would have made his Military School instructors proud.
“Still not an officer, DiNozzo,” Gibbs huffed and Tony shrugged lowering his hand.
“I have more respect for you than any of those pricks at Military School,” Tony advised as he headed toward and then up the stairs. Pausing at the top he looked back at his mentor. “It’s been real, Gibbs, and you don’t have my permission either. Later.” And, with that, Tony DiNozzo left the only place he’d been able to call home.
He had taken Gibbs’ suggestion and called Morrow, who assured him that when he was ready a job would be waiting for him. The former NCIS Director also agreed with Gibbs that a location outside of DC would probably be for the best and said that he had a few options. Glad to hear that he wasn’t going to be unemployed forever, Tony decided that he’d take an extended vacation, and Morrow agreed saying he thought it was a good idea
Miami was probably an odd destination because it certainly wasn’t low key, and didn’t really fit anything that he was in the mood for. Something about it had called to him though as he was standing at the counter and he’d gone with it. Wandering to the bar, he took a seat, and looked around glad to see that none of the usual glitz and glamor of Miami was present. Instead, it looked like the corner bar in every neighborhood of every other city he’d lived in, which was just what he’d been looking for.
“Your best local brew,” he requested of the bartender who had come over, and put some money on the bar.
“I’ll take another,” the man next to him said, and Tony couldn’t help but look at him in the morrow. What he saw was strikingly attractive, and filled a lot of the physical categories he looked for in his male companions. He was obviously shorter by him by at least a few inches, his eyes looked to be blue, and he had a slight figure. The accent that went with the voice pinned him unquestionably as a New Orleans native. Dwayne Pride had always been his favorite of Gibbs’ friends, and he’d sorely miss the man who was so passionate about his city.
“It’s impolite to stare, mon ami,” the man said without lifting his eyes from the tumbler that he’d been studying.
“Sorry,” Tony offered sincerely not wanting to come off like a jerk or even worse a creeper. “When you spoke, it reminded me of a friend who runs the local Residential Unit in New Orleans.”
“You know King?” The man asked surprised as he turned slightly toward him, and Tony flashed one of his big genuine smiles.
“I do,” Tony confirmed, “he’s one of my former boss’ closest friends.”
“How do you know Dwayne?”
“I think ever’body in New Orleans knows King,” the man drawled, and Tony could see him relaxing slightly. “But, he was good friends with m’father. They worked together ever’ now an’ then. You work at NCIS then?”
“I did,” Tony confirmed holding out a hand. “Formerly Very Special Agent Tony DiNozzo from NCIS, and soon to be Special Agent Tony DiNozzo of Homeland when I decide I’ve had enough vacationing.”
“Will LaMontagne, Jr,” the man replied holding out his own hand with a smile. “This vacationing your idea or somebody else’s?”
“Mine,” Tony assured before taking a sip of his beer. Not bad for a local brew, but he wasn’t sure it was something he’d want again if he had the chance. “I have been in enough places I know when things are going south. I decided to get out of Dodge before things get ugly and someone wraps me up in something against my will. Fortunately, my former Director still has a position waiting for me when I’m ready. So, I am making a change.”
“Must be the night fo’ it,” Will offered turning his attention back to his drink. “I’ve been datin’ this femme for over a year, and realized that it wasn’ workin’ out. I don’ mind keepin’ things private, but when it makes ya feel like a dirty secret… Well, as you said, it’s time ta get outta Dodge. Findin’ out m’partner was killed and had been too afraid to tell me he was gay helped things along. I don’ wanna live m’life in a closet anymore.”
“Gay or Bi?” Tony asked casually turning toward the Cajun. “I’m Bi myself. I don’t usually advertise it, but when I decided to leave NCIS I decided I was tired of masks. Fortunately, Morrow doesn’t give a crap who I have in my bed as long as it’s legal.”
“S’aweful brave for someone in our profession,” Will commented looking up at him and Tony shrugged.
“I’ve lived enough of my life trying to meet other people’s expectations,” He declared. “Plus, when I meet the right guy then he’ll be worth it.”
“Ya sound awful sure that it’s gonna be a homme,” Will pointed out smiling slightly and Tony shrugged.
“I think I’ve tried the other option enough that if it was going to happen it would. So, now I’m gonna try the other half of the playing field. I have a feeling it’ll be more successful.”
“You got your eye on anybody?” Will asked biting his lower lip when he was done, and Tony felt a stirring in his groin.
“Well, I guess that depends,” Tony replied softly hoping his intentions were clear in his voice and on his face. “You never did answer that question.”
Will smirked before throwing some money on the bartop. “How ‘bout we go back to m’hotel room and I’ll show ya the answer first hand?”
Laughing happily, Tony drained his mug before standing and after taking Will’s hand followed him out. Maybe Miami was the perfect destination afterall.
~*AD&WL*~ ~*AD&WL*~ ~*AD&WL*~ ~*AD&WL*~
About a month later, Tony found himself walking through the doors of the RU in New Orleans. It was late at night, but the front gate had still been open. So, he was hoping that the older man would be around, and his side kick Christopher LaSalle was gone for the day. He needed a little advise that he’d normally seek Gibbs out for, but given the circumstances he thought Pride might be a better option.
“Special Agent Tony DiNozzo,” Pride greeted when he looked up and saw him. The wide grin on his face was promising, and Tony couldn’t help but return it.
“Hey, Pride,” Tony greeted back as he shook the man’s hand. “I hope you don’t mind, but I found myself needing some advice, and I think you are the man to help me.”
“My door is always open to you, DiNozzo,” Pride assured as he patted his shoulder. “Just let me shut things down out here +
“You can put the kettle on for tea if you want some,” Pride offered as he wandered toward the front, and Tony guessed that he was going to shut up. “I remember how much you like it late at night.”
Nodding, Tony waved his agreement as he headed through to the kitchen to do just that. The area smelled wonderful, and he really hoped that it was Gumbo. Abby had gotten him to try it, but the one time he had Pride’s he was hooked. Moving to the corner of the counter, he picked up the kettle, and after filling it with water, put it on a burner on high. It was one of those old copper kettles, and knowing Pride was old and cherished.
Rooting through the tea stash in one of the cabinets, he pulled out the Harney &Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice glad there was some still in there. It was something Ducky had bought him one year at Christmas, and when he found out that Pride liked tea, he’d sent him a can.
“I’ll take a mug of that if there’s plenty of water.”
Flashing an easy smile, Tony nodded and pulled two mugs from the cabinet as Pride moved around behind him. From the sound of it he was checking the pot on the stove, and a fragrant whiff of the food filled the air. “You’ve come at the right time, Tony. You had dinner yet?”
“I haven’t,” Tony informed, “but even if I had just eaten there’s always room for your gumbo, Pride.”
The older man chuckled, and Tony could picture his smile in his mind, and had a quick pang of sadness as it always reminded him of Gibbs. “Well then, get us down some bowls. There’s some nice crusty bread, too. I have some seasoned olive oil and good parmesan to eat with it. You got me hooked on that the last time you were here.”
“Well, I guess it’s only fair since you got me hooked on the gumbo,” Tony replied as he pulled out the bowls, utensils, and the olive oil and cheese.
Setting the bowls on the counter by Pride, he put the olive oil, the grated parmesan, and some little plates on the table. Then moving back to the counter, he found the bread and cut it up into good sized chunks. After he got that on the table, the kettle started whistling. By the time he had their tea made, Pride was carrying the gumbo to the table.
“Christopher will be upset that he missed you,” Pride commented as he offered an easy smile, “but I get the feeling you were hoping he wasn’t around.”
Tony shrugged one shoulder in apology before moaning around a bite of the gumbo that was as wonderful as he remembered. “It’s nothing against, Chris,” Tony assured after he’d eaten several bites. “I just… Gibbs was always that guy I went to when I needed dad kind of advice, and well, DC is kinda far away. Last time I talked to him I told him that I was headed here for a while, and he said I could come see you if… ya know…”
“Like I said, Tony, my door is always open to you,” Pride said kindly, but looking concerned. “Is everything ok? Jethro called me and told me that you’d be in the area, and asked if I’d look out for you. He said he figured you’d show up eventually and tell me what was goin’ on. You’re not in trouble are you? He told me what happened with Sheppard and Benoit and what Jenny did. The FBI isn’t comin’ after you again, are they? Jethro told me that Tobias got that all worked out.”
“No, it’s…” Tony started and stopped taking a sip of his tea to calm his nerves. “It’s not that. I swear. As far as I know that issue is closed. They have the answer that satisfied them, even if it most likely isn’t the truth. No, this is something different. I… After I quit I called Tom Morrow who offered me a job when I was ready at Homeland. He had a few lead positions open or opening, and offered me my pick. I told him which ones interested me the most, but said I wanted to take some time off if I could. Since my top spot was at least a month away from being available, he said that was fine. So, I… well I went to Miami.”
“Sounds like fun,” Pride said when Tony got quiet and began playing around with his bread. “I’m glad to hear Morrow’s gonna do right by you. It’s a shame what Jenny did. I’m awful irritated at the situation. So, I can’ only imagine how you feel. Did something happen in Miami?”
“I met someone,” Tony admitted finally after he’d dragged things out as long as he could by eating. “He’s umm…Well, he’s a he. A Detective from here in New Orleans actually. We met in a bar. Just some quiet corner bar type place. I was having a couple beers to distract me from NCIS and he was having a couple whiskeys to distract him from the stupid woman who didn’t appreciate him and acted like he was something to be ashamed of. We got to talkin’ and one thing led to another and well…”
“You’re not pregnant are you?” Pride asked seriously. “Because it’s ok if you are. Mamma Gibbs and I will still love you, honey.”
Tony let out a startled laugh that turned into a real one that ended with him shaking his head. “I am so gonna tell Gibbs you made him the woman,” Tony promised, but felt a little better for the laugh.
“Sorry,” Pride said with a small smile, “you seemed as if the world was gonna end.”
Tony waved a hand in the air. “I, of all people, know how much a well-timed laugh can help things. Not pregnant dad, I promise. It’s just…I can’t stop thinking about him, and it’s weird and freaky and I mean…”
“My last two relationships ended up with me being left at the altar, and my mark trying to frame me for her father’s murder, which… I know how it sounds counting Jeanne Benoit as a relationship, but damnit. It was the most real thing I’ve had since Wendy, and yes I know how fucked up that is I just… Will was… different. Better. Easier. Harder to forget.”
“The best things are, Tony,” Dwayne said gently, “especially when it comes to romance and forever.”
“I don’t do so well with either of those though, remember?” Tony asked looking miserable and Dwayne couldn’t help but wonder who this man was living in his city that affected this man so deeply.
“Maybe that’s ‘cause you hadn’t met the right one yet,” the veteran agent pointed out.
Note: If this story is completed, this post will be deleted without warning.