Title: Epically Clueless
Series: Tony & His SEAL
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, Eric Blackburn, Jason Hayes, Ray Perry, Sonny Quinn, Clay Spencer, Brock Reynolds, Trent Sawyer, Lisa Davis, Mandy Ellis
Relationship: Tony DiNozzo/Jason Quinn, Clay Spencer & Sonny Quinn, Jason Hayes & Ray Perry, Brock Reynolds & Trent Sawyer, Tony DiNozzo & Eric Blackburn
Warnings/Tags: Epic Bromance, Team Friendship, Tony Left Team Gibbs, Humor, Girls laughing at clueless boys
Word Count: 2,869
Author’s Note: This was written for the Trope Bingo challenge on Just write. This is for my Epic Friendship/Epic Bromance square. This is placed at some random point in the future from the other stories in this series already done.
Summary: Tony contemplates the dangers to the universe Bravo Team’s friendships could cause. Eric is less than helpful but more than a little amused.
Tony sat in the shade of the building he’d been working in with Blackburn. The pair were trying to get more information for the team’s latest target. Someone had put some crates against the wall, so that when the hot afternoon sun was at its peak, there was a place to sit outside of the direct sun. Unlike Bravo team who was sitting in their little area around the firepit they lit up at night and currently in the hot afternoon sun, Tony didn’t like to sweat that much.
Not that he didn’t enjoy the view. Anytime he could stare at his Master Chief and get away with it was a well spent break in his books. Currently though he was contemplating the makeup of Bravo Team and wondering how they’d managed to get such perfect combinations of people. It was like… Everything worked out just perfectly so each member had their own epic bromance, and seriously… should there be that many bromances so close together?
He felt like there was some cosmic law that outlawed that many bromances in one place. Seriously, was the ratio of bromances on Bravo team skewing the curve? Was there some SEAL team with no bromances? Was it a problem? Like did they all hate each other on that team? How would they even get along enough to get a mission done if that were the case?
Before he could fully go down the wormhole of bromance contemplation, a bottle of water appeared in front of his eyes. It must be cold because the bottle already had beads of condensation forming on the outside. Looking up he smiled seeing Eric standing there. Nodding his thanks, Tony took the bottle and turned his eyes back to Bravo Team as Eric sat on the crate next to him.
“You know, you could at least not make the staring at your boyfriend so damn obvious,” Eric drawled wryly and Tony shot him a playful glare before turning his eyes back to the team.
“I will have you know I was contemplating the chances that Bravo Team are going to cause a tear in the space time continuum,” Tony advised before taking a sip of his bottle. When he heard a choking sound, he reached over and thumped Blackburn on the back not taking his eyes off the team.
“The what now?” Eric asked incredulously and Tony huffed before explaining further.
“Bromances. Defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as a close non-sexual relationship between two men.” Tony waved his free hand at Bravo team and turned his eyes briefly toward Eric. “Bromances.”
“You have lost your ever-loving mind,” Eric snickered, not even trying to hide his grin or amusement.
“Come on,” Tony chided pushing down his sunglasses so that his friend could see his eyes. “You cannot tell me that I’m wrong. That team is like… the very definition of a bromance both as a whole and in three perfectly matched pairs of two.”
“Jesus God,” Eric swore still grinning at his friend as Tony turned his eyes back to the team. “Lay out a case for me, Mr. NCIS agent-man.”
“OK, take the Master Chief and his Second in Command,” Tony started, waving a hand in Jason and Ray’s direction. The two friends were seated side by side, leaning slightly toward the other, and wearing obvious affectionate facial expressions.
“The two most senior members of the team. Coming from vastly different backgrounds, and somehow formed a friendship that is more brothers than friends. Hell, Naima and Alana are still friends despite the divorce. Emma babysits Jameelah. Ray’s strong religious faith balancing out Jason’s at best non-committal of his beliefs and somedays open skepticism. Jason’s fiery temper being balanced out by Ray’s calmness.
“Ray is the one person that Jason truly needs for the team to run right. I know I haven’t been around as long, but it seems like if they aren’t on the same page then things go to shit quickly. I’m telling you, bromance.”
Eric snorted and Tony could see the other man lean back to rest against the side of the building. “You know when Ray joined the team, they fought like cats and dogs. The only two teammates who hated each other more initially was Spencer and Quinn.
“I wasn’t running the team yet when Ray joined. I was still running Green Team, but everyone heard the stories of their battles. Then the team gets sent on this mission that went to shit and no one could get to any of them. Jason and Ray got separated from the team and stranded. I don’t think anyone knows what happened during that time, but they went out near mortal enemies, and came back nearly perfectly in synch.”
Feeling eyes on him, Tony turned to look at Eric again, to see his friend smirking at him. “That does not prove your point through. It isn’t like they are the only SEALs that’s happened to. Who’s your next set.”
“Well, I am going to leave the obvious for last,” Tony replied before waving his hand toward where Brock and Trent were sitting throwing a ball for Cerberus. “Take the two most underestimated people on the team. The two that are so quiet people outside of Bravo forget they’re even on the team. The Dog Handler and the unofficial Team Medic.”
“OK now I know you’ve been out in the sun too long,” Eric joked, and Tony could see him shaking his head from his peripheral vision. “I mean, I’ll give you that they are friends, maybe even close but… bromance?”
“Seriously, you’re just being stubborn,” Tony whined and squirmed to find a more comfortable position. “They’re like a pair of comfortable shoes. Like, that pair you’ve had forever, and refuse to get rid of because they fit your feet just right. Unlike the other two pairs on the team, Trent and Brock are so alike it almost feels like they’re the same person. They’re both so damned quiet for a while I wondered if either of them spoke but when you piss one of them off you know you’ve truly stepped in a shit pile.
“Not only have I heard them each listening to the other one bitch about their team specialty, Cerb for Brock and the medical shit for Trent, but I’ve overheard one of them bringing up something for the other’s field. Trent is forever getting Cerb stuff, and I know for a fact that Brock got Trent a medical journal subscription for his last birthday because Sawyer wanted it. Like Jason and Ray, they hang out together quite a bit outside of work stuff, to the point where Jason told me Brock dumped his last girlfriend because she bitched he spent too much time with Trent.”
“She was a bitch and needed to go,” Eric grumbled setting his water bottled down next to himself on the crate. “Seriously though, it feels like you’re stretching things there. Surely you have better evidence than that.”
“For my next piece of evidence, you doubting Blackburn, I give you Clay Spencer and Sonny Quinn,” Tony presented nodding to where Clay and Sonny were snipping at each other, with big happy grins on each of their faces.
“Even a skeptic like you has to admit that Spencer and Quinn are the perfect example of a bromance. Like Jason and Ray, they are more of the opposites kind of bromance than the two halves of one side of the coin type. Sonny is more the in your face hothead. Prone to letting his temper go from 0 to 60 in like half a second. Hides his brains behind his Texas façade to the point where he is regularly underestimated because people assume, he’s nothing but a dumb redneck.
“Clay on the other half is sneaky smart. I don’t care where he grew up. It takes talent and brains to know and retain as much knowledge as he has of the languages he can speak. Not to mention the math he does on a regular basis in his freaking head on the fly to make some damned nearly impossible sniper shot. Like Sonny, he hides his real personality, but his façade is a cocky, snarky little asshole mask that makes people wanna punch him in the face.
“Whereas Sonny is more prone to quick temper, Clay is hard to pin down. Because while sometimes he’ll jump off the deep end as quickly as Sonny, others he’s a slow smolder until suddenly you realize that everything around you is on fire and you have no clue how it happened. Of the others they are also the most openly affectionate with each other, and despite how much Sonny bitches about it claiming he hates it, he’s often the first one to reach out. They are truly the perfect example of a bromance.”
“One of three does not a cosmic rift make,” Eric pointed out still smirking, but Tony just lifted a finger and waved it in his friend’s face grinning unrepentantly.
“Ah, ah, but I was not done Lt. Commander Blackburn,” Tony shot back having half forgotten the team, and therefore not noticing they’d all 6 moved to group together to watch them. “As my last piece of evidence, I present you with Bravo Team.”
Eric rolled his eyes and this time he was the one to push down his sunglasses to make sure his friend could see how unimpressed he was. “Didn’t we just go over that?”
“I don’t mean as individual pairs though, Lt. Commander. I mean as a whole. Six men, making up one epic level bromance. While technically speaking a bromance consists of just two people, I feel that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that Bravo Team as a whole qualifies as a bromance in of itself.”
“Present your evidence, Special Agent,” Eric shot back giving his best shot at his “I am not buying your bullshit” glare, but it was mostly ruined by the grin on his face.
“While it is true that the team has, as I have already presented evidence for, three clearly defined bromances. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that these pairings are interchangeable, this making Bravo Team as a whole an exception to the bromance is only two theory. Having been part of a team that claimed it was close and even at times tried to claim family status, I can tell you we were never anything like Bravo Team.
“Six men with unique personalities, making up one whole of interchangeable friendships. Jason and Clay seem to be at odds right up until one of them is in danger or upset and then their relationship shifts. Hell, each man on the team is as likely to reach out for the nearest member in a time of need as they are their standard bromance partner. They hug, sling arms across shoulders, lean towards each other, stay at each other’s places just because, etcetera more than any group of 6 men I have ever seen in my life.
“I realize that some would call them family, and I don’t dispute that to be the case, I say that there is nothing in the definition of bromance that says they cannot be family, also. Clay and Brock… well, honestly Clay and just about anyone on the team. As, it seems to me he was the one who shifted this team into the bromance category with his selection. But Sonny is as willing to seek out Ray or Trent as he is Clay. I’m telling you, Blackburn, Bravo Team is the Ultimate Epic Bromance.”
“You know, when Nate was here, they were a great team,” Eric said growing suddenly serious, and Tony turned his body toward his friend to give him his full attention. “I mean, Jason was protective of him. They were already considered the best before Clay came. I honestly never imagined they could get better. I really worried they’d never let Clay in cause of that damned cocky mask of his, Jason especially. He was, and as I am sure you know still is to some extent, completely torn up over Nate’s death.”
Eric shakes his head quietly before continuing. “But I will admit I’ve seen things from this team that I’ve never seen with another team, and I’m not just talking about the bullshit they pull in the field that’s turning my hair grey. I have never seen a group of six men who are willing to go to war, not just to bat but to war, in defense of any other member of the team like this one. And that wasn’t the case when Nate was here.
“The things they pull off on missions, I honestly don’t think would be possible if they weren’t as close as they are. Sometimes it’s almost like they are reading each other’s minds, and I never would have considered such a thing possible before this. You’re right about the affection, too. I mean, Jason and Sonny are pretty passionate and emotional guys. Somehow though now it’s all of them.
“The kid came in, got hurt once, and reached out for any random person who was close to him when he was drugged to the gills, and it was like that just… flipped a switch. It’s the damnedest thing I have ever seen in my life. It leaves me equally in awe and worried what the fuck is gonna happen when eventually one of them gets hurt worse enough they can’t come back. Or, scarier yet, what will happen if one of them gets killed.”
“Well, we’ll just have to start hiding lucky rabbit’s feet in their gear and sewing four leaf clovers onto their uniforms,” Tony said quietly as he reached out and patted his friend’s shoulder.
“Yeah,” Eric said with a nod and a shake of his head.
Nearby, the six men of Bravo Team sat studying their Commanding Officer and NCIS Liaison. “You think them two are what you call one’a them BFFs or guymance or somethin’?” Sonny drawled making Clay snort water out of his nose. From his spot behind the blond, Trent thumped Bravo’s youngest member on the back while he gasped for air as Lisa Davis flicked Sonny in the ear.
“Way to nearly kill, Clay,” She chided as she studied the two men in question turned toward each other and talking so seriously, that she itched to know what they were discussing. “And I think the word you’re looking for, Tex, is bromance.”
“Thank you, Ms. Davis,” Sonny replied with a grin as Jason just shook his head listening to his team’s chatter.
“Well, Jason’s honey bunny certainly brings out a side of Eric that I’ve never seen in all the years that we’ve worked together,” Mandy said from her spot behind Jason, leaning a hip against his chair. When the Master Chief showed her his middle finger, though she just snorted unapologetically.
“It isn’t as if Eric was friendless,” Clay pointed out once he was able to breathe again.
“Yeah, but this is different,” Jason conceded studying the pair. “I would say they qualify as a bromance.”
“How the hell does an old fart like you know what the damned thing is called?” Sonny griped looking toward Jason and got flicked in the ear again by Lisa for his trouble.
“He has a teenage daughter,” Lisa reminded before turning the conversation back to Eric and Tony. “I think they qualify. I mean, a couple of weeks ago, I walked into TOC to see them hugging. I mean, arms completely wrapped around each other. Tony was clearly upset. Before I could even think of asking what was wrong, Eric shot me a death glare that had me turning around and leaving.”
“That was probably the Senior news,” Jason murmured, thinking back to the day they found out that the man who Tony grew up believing to be his father had been killed.
“Eric was the one that had to give him the news. Sonofabitch had Tony listed as Next of Kin for some fucking reason. The two of them are close though, Eric and Tony I mean. I know Tone was worried about fitting in, but he and Eric are real tight. I don’t know about bromance, but Eric is definitely his closest friend outside of our relationship.”
“Does it matter what you label it?” Ray asked shifting to stretch his legs out in front of him. “I mean, everyone deserves a friendship like that one.”
“You got that, brother,” Jason agreed with a smile holding out a fist to his best friend who tapped it with his own. Around them, the rest of the team agreed in their own ways. Sonny wrapped his arm around Clay’s neck rubbing his knuckles into his blond curls. Trent and Brock meanwhile just shared a knowing look and twin grins as Lisa and Mandy wandered away.
“Seriously, clueless the lot of them,” Mandy bitched, and Lisa just bumped her shoulder against Mandy’s.
“Epically clueless is more like it,” Lisa agreed as they headed back to get more work done. Leaving the sound of their laughter trailing behind them.