Chapter 1: Contents Page
Other Volumes of Tony’s Little Black Book can be found at.
- Jack O’Neill 2 (Stargate SG1)
- Evan Lorne - (Stargate Atlantis)
- Rick Grimes - (The Walking Dead)
- Greg House 2 (House M.D)
- John Sheppard 2 (Stargate Atlantis)
- Jacob 'Jake' Stone (The Librarian)
- John Reese / / Sam Winchester / Xander Harris / Robert Chase /
- Henry Fitzroy / Nick Burkhardt / Dale ‘Barbie’ Barbara / Kelly Severide 2/ Matt Casey
- Daniel Jackson 2 / Castiel / Jonathan Pine / Flynn Carsen / / Tom Kirkman
- Prince Sean Renard / Blake Moran / Nolan Ross / Rodney Mckay 2 / Daryl Dixon
- Fox Mulder / Paul Davies / John 'Sheriff' Stilinksi 2 / Lucifer Morningstar 2 / Adult Stiles Stilinski
- Teal'c / Harold Finch / Eric Northman 2 / Spike / Angel / Rupert Giles / Walter Skinner
- Emily Thorne / Sameen Shaw
- Derek Shepherd / Mark Sloane / Owen Hunt / Avery Jackson / Eliot Spencer 2 / MacGyver
Chapter 2: Difference between Snakes and Sharks (Jack O'Neill 2)
A tale of knowing your sharks from your snakes (Jack O’Neill)
“Major-General” was certainly not how he expected his life to go. Hell, the fact that he was alive long enough to reach the age was a surprise for one. Oh, and the several black marks were the other surprise. Yet, here he was, Major General Jack O’Neill, newest Joint Chief.
He’d accepted the move to the Pentagon because a) he didn’t trust anyone else to run the Stargate program and b) to get as much distance between him and Sam. Things had not gone the way she wanted and she couldn’t handle what he’d told her after DADT’s repeal.
He was not the type to have a mid-life crisis, he’d saved the planet one too many times to freak out.
What he wasn’t too old to do was try and drown his sorrows in a whiskey that was almost as old as he was.
The bar was a classy one and only let the law and military types into its establishment. A new man walked in, wearing a tux with tie loose around his neck and a gold badge flipped over his waistband. Jack found himself enthralled by the glimpse of smooth tanned skin at the v of the open shirt, wanting to see just how far that tan went down the guy’s chest. He seemed weary for a guy in a tux this early in the evening though. Jack found his maudlin thoughts passing to curious ones involving mischievous green eyes. “Aren’t you a little over-dressed for a Fed?”
Jack needed to know if this was a baby political shark and someone he should avoid. His new bar buddy smirked at him.
“I just ducked out of an award evening, hence the penguin suit.”
Jack shrugged because that was as good a reason as any. “Don’t blame ya’. Jack.”
Tony took the proffered hand, shaking it and letting his hand linger for a fraction longer than a simple friendly greeting. “Tony.”
Jack looked back at the barkeep and put two fingers up, he slid the second glass over. “My gift for having to put up with the small sharks this evening.”
The Agent cocked his head to the side as if he was contemplating a great mystery. “So where do you fall on the small shark spectrum.”
“There is nothing small about me.” Jack responded with a wicked grin as he savoured the very fine whiskey.
Tony shivered at that tone. “I would hope not.”
“Besides, forget the sharks, it’s the snakes you need to watch out for.” O’Neill said and Tony didn’t disagree.
This evening was definitely ending better than it started. Still, Tony wasn’t in a hurry to speed this up, sometimes slower seductions were better. And Jack here was hitting every one of his likes all at once. He leaned in closer. “So what has you drowning your sorrows?”
“I let myself get promoted to a desk.”
Tony chuckled. “Well, I’m sorry to hear that ... So am I in the presence of a General or an Admiral, please say General.”
O’Neill smirked. “Major-General Jack O’Neill if we’re getting formal about it.”
Huh, so Tony was talking to the newest Joint-Chief. He was just relieved he wasn’t attached to the marines or navy as it might have made his day job more difficult. “Oh thank god. NCIS Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo. Oh, and I hope we don’t get formal as that would be a crying shame. “
“Why is that?”
Tony rose to the challenge, leaning close enough that you couldn't mistake his signal. “Well, you’re hot and single and I have a burning desire to help you get over your promotion.”
Jack was more than okay with that plan. He wasn’t stupid enough to reject the hot younger agent who liked him. “My hotel work for you?”
Tony threw back his whiskey. “Yes, Sir.”
“No rank in bed, I have no need to massage my ego.”
Tony hoped so - he was planning to massage something else entirely.
It turns out that Jack was as good as promised and used every bit of his soldier's stamina to take Tony apart piece by piece. Tony fell into an exhausted, sated sleep not long after two in the morning. Jack followed him into a slumber next to him, relaxing way more than he should next to his new lover . Looking at the peaceful man in his arms, Jack found himself hoping that this was not a one-time event. If it was, he could say that Tony had done exactly what he promised and helped him get over his promotion.
Sill, fate was not friends with Jack O’Neill and meant they wouldn’t get to have these conversations at a normal rate. The reason why? Well,
in the morning
hotel door was kicked in. With the first wood splintering, both men were up and rolling to the side of the bed. Interestingly, Tony went for a knife as Jack went for his gun.
was there - the cockblock.
O’Neill really hated this snake, he was going to make it his life's mission to kill every last freaking copy of the guy. The cockblock even managed to have a villain cliche monologue.
“I have finally found you, O’Neill,
now you’ve stopped hiding in that mountain of yours
Two things happened at once, Ba’al opened a jar and raised his hand with a goa’uld hand device aiming to incapacitate O’Neill. O’Neill shot the clone first right through the hand and then another straight between his eyes. He was turning, gun still raised to take care of the snake. He really hoped that Tony wasn’t about to get snaked as he really liked him.
The view he was treated to was spectacular.
Tony was crouched over the carcass of a dead snake. His knife was skewering the damn thing in half. Once he was sure it was dead, Tony stood up wiping the gore from his hands and was looking for something to clean his knife.
“Got a cloth to clean my knife?” Was the first thing Tony asked Jack.
“I’m falling in love.” Jack said and there wasn’t a hint of sarcasm. He was telling the truth, Tony was funny, great in the sack and killed snakes without worrying about silly things like clothes.
“Me skewering a freaky snake is all it takes and what the fuck is that thing? And the walking now dead cliche over there?” Tony asked, his inquisitive mind taking over now the threat was over.
Yeah, there was something not right there. Ba’al was not usually careless and wasn’t the type to let himself get shot. Jack knew why he hated Washington - it wasn’t the small sharks who thought they were vicious - It was the freaking Goa’uld you still had to watch out for.
“So you better put some clothes on before my people get here.” O’Neill said with reluctance because he was so enjoying the view right now. As he said it he was pressing his alarm to signal all clear but send a clean-up crew. It said something about his job that he had four types of alarms for different levels of FUBAR situations.
Tony smirked. “And you too, buddy,
or is this a possessive thing? You don’t like people seeing my ass?”
Jack rolled his eyes but he shouldn’t start throwing out orders without pants on. “ Nah, the caveman act is not as hot as you might think.”
Jack looked at the dead Ba’al and sighed because, he guessed, his theoretical coming out was about to be announced to the military anyhow. Oh well, he’d saved the planet so people could butt out of his bedroom. Jack asked Tony. “Is this going to cause problems for you at work?”
Tony shrugged because his mask at work was so good he doubted they would even believe the truthful story. “They will not believe that I spent the night with you. They will think I am lying about a bimbo I should be dating. What about you?”
Jack smirked. “I’ve saved the world, I’m entitled to sleep with whoever I like. If they don’t like it, fuck em, I will go back to my cabin in Montana.”
Tony had his suit pants on and had his white shirt on - if not buttoned. “Is it wrong that all I can think about is I deserve hot mountain rugged sex.”
“I can work with that,” Jack replied. He saw a light appear at the end of the hallway. “Well, here comes the cavalry ... How the fuck did Ba’al find me?”
Daniel stepped through the door and quickly categorised the scene. The younger male had clearly been enjoying his evening with Jack before Ba’al interrupted them. Good for Jack. “Hello, Jack so Ba’al annoyed you. Did you stab the symbiote?”
Jack shook his head. “Nope, that would be Tony here and before you say anything else. Tony needs to sign his NDA.”
Tony rolled his eyes and he knew what NDA stood for after a few of his operations crossed with the military. “And just how many non-disclosure agreements will I be signing?”
Jack smirked. “Enough to blow your mind.” Jack promised because who didn’t want to know that aliens were real.
Tony was distracted as he buttoned up the rest of his shirt, especially as a number of soldiers seemed to be coming into their expansive hotel room . “You already did that.”
Jack snickered. “I’m good but if I changed your worldview then your previous partners were doing it all wrong.”
Daniel interjected and pressed his radio. “Major Davies, we need a non-disclosure agreement at O’Neill’s hotel room.”
Tony knew that the bigger the NDA the bigger the rabbit hole he was about to descend down. The man beamed directly into O’Neill’s room. “Very Star Trek.” Tony said calmly looking at Jack. “Is this just an advanced tech thing or full on Alien thing?”
Even as he asked the question he was starting to sign every relevant page. He knew what the document amounted to - spill a secret and the government would make you disappear.
Davies took the completed forms and disappeared back to wherever he was stationed.
Daniel could honestly say he was lost for words. He’d briefed people on the stargate when they were exposed to the truth. He’d watched people lose their minds and freak out over the truth. Jack’s boyfriend just lounged back and asked was it a tech thing or alien thing? Well, it answered the question of whether they were suited or not.
Jack was laughing and looking way more relaxed than he had the last time Daniel had seen him. “You are something else.” He pointed at the dead symbiote. “Crazy snakes that I warned you about. They take over people and give them megalomaniac tendencies and a belief that they are one of the Egyptian gods. Major douchenozzles.”
Tony snorted. “So weird goatee is an enemy of yours?”
Jack nodded. “Is this putting you off a second date?”
Tony shook his head. “Nope, you will be more than okay with my normal run of the mill enemies. I have the worst luck, including and up to, serial-killers handcuffing me to them, catching an antibiotic resistant pneumonic plague and a crazy-ass Mossad ninja who seems to want my ass.”
Jack’s response was reflexive. “Your ass is mine and I don’t share.”
Tony smirked stepping closer. “And here was you telling me that the caveman routine wasn’t hot.”
Daniel was shaking his head. “Can I go? Because this is going back to flirting and I do not need to see my best friend’s ass.”
Tony shook his head and deliberately didn’t look at Jack because there was a pull there and he didn't want the distraction. Jack looked at the hotel room which was a mess. “No Daniel, you can handle clean up here whilst I see Tony safe back to his place.”
Daniel quirked an eyebrow. “He stabbed a goa’uld with a knife and you’re worried for his safety?”
Jack sighed. “Danny, I am just trying to be a gentleman and don’t make me look bad.” He lowered his voice. “I really like this guy.”
Tony was snickering. “Come on , Romeo. I am guessing we will see my apartment, after all.”
Jack was exhausted and he decided to use his powers for a little bit of good. “You’re NCIS, right?”
Tony nodded. “That’s right.”
Jack was on the phone to Phillip Davenport. The great thing about the stars on his shoulder was he didn’t have to pay attention to niceties like - time considerations. “Hey Phillip, morning.”
Well, it was, Jack was trying to be polite. “One of your agents won’t be at the office tomorrow until midday. I hope you can smooth things with your director. He had a trying morning when one of my bad guys tried to kill him, don’t worry he killed it.”
Jack rolled his eyes. “It’s, DiNozzo, Phillip, and I promise to give him back, maybe.”
Tony is torn between amusement and fascination. “You are not going to give me back?”
Jack looked at his apartment and he could see masks and shields were not only part of his armour. This was a refined apartment, not the one that belonged to skirt-chasing wannabe frat boy. ”Do you want me to?”
Tony looked at Jack. “Not really no, which is crazy as we just met.”
Jack chuckled. “You’ll learn with the stargate that we roll with everything and seize each day.”
Tony thought about it and agreed. “You got me, let’s try and sleep.”
“Try and sleep?” O’Neill smirked and did his best Yoda impression.”There is no try, only do.”
Tony had a wicked smirk as he shed his clothes. “True, but there will be me and you in a bed, naked. I may get distracted.”
Jack could take that invitation. He was not trained to be a stupid man.
Things only got better and better the more they got to know each other. They lived to screw with people's perceptions and Tony caused quite a stir as Jack’s date to the Presidential Dinner. Jack, in turn, caused quite a stir when he came by the Naval Yard to pick him up for a dinner date - All because Ziva refused to accept the evidence in front of her, accusing Tony of setting up a practical joke to hide the fact that he loved her. Well, Jack told little Miss Mossad in no uncertain terms to wake up to reality and stay far, far away.
Tony’s only comment was. “I’m okay with the possessive routine after all.”
Jack’s response was a smirk and as they left NCIS he kept his hand in Tony’s back pocket. It turns out, neither were keen on giving the other back - so they kept each other.
Chapter 3: Time to Colonel up (Evan Lorne)
General Sheppard should not be enjoying his days quite as much as he was. McKay had caused a riot in the lab and then squashed it - causing three scientists to take up an hour of his time telling him how horrible his husband was and he should keep a better check on him.
Sheppard had stopped just listening at that point and spoke up. “I don’t have any intention of changing my husband in any shape way or form. Now, I may be a high-combat asset who would happily walk into a war zone. Hell, I live in one. What I’m not is stupid ... I have no intention of courting an argument with my husband because you have no character or spine. Go and consider if Atlantis is really where you want to be and let me know.”
Lorne walked in as they scurried away. “Are you breaking the scientists again?”
Sheppard pouted and it was not his fault they couldn’t handle him correcting their math. It was sloppy not to change the sign in the calculus equation. It could have caused the bomb to fail and if he’d missed his chance to blow up that Wraith hive he would have been most aggrieved. “If they don’t want to be shown up by a flyboy mad-haired pilot then they shouldn’t do sloppy math.”
Lorne shrugged. “If you like Sir, and what is our meeting about today?”
Sheppard had made sure his assistant scheduled a thirty-minute meeting with his military commander so that he could have a refuge of peace and quiet. It had been one of his demands before he’d accepted taking over as leader of Atlantis from Woolsey after the old man wanted to retire.
“You Lorne, it is about you.”
Now that startled his second. “What? Why?”
Sheppard rolled his eyes. “If I have to hear anyone else moon over the fact that my Military Commander is mooning over the Agent Afloat one more time ... I might actually shoot someone … or maybe even more than one person.”
Lorne chuckled hearing just how vexed the General was. He found himself asking. “Should I apologise?”
“To whom? Me or DiNozzo?” Sheppard countered, hoping Lorne saw sense. He was saying this because he wanted his friend to be happy and he hadn’t been since David chose to stay on Earth.
Lorne sighed. “I am not that bad.”
“Show me the message pad.” John ordered, knowing what he would see.
Lorne wanted to swear but this was his CO and he respected the man too much. “Happy?”
The pad spoke volumes, Lorne was a stunning artist and if he hadn’t chosen the air-force and duty he could have probably made a career as an artist. It showed DiNozzo laughing and somehow managed to capture the guy’s personality. No one who was living would say DiNozzo was ugly but Lorne managed to elevate him somehow.
“Go and ask the man on a date, Lorne. I can’t stand watching a grown colonel pine.”
Lorne was a smart man, and he’d lived in the Pegasus Galaxy too long to let something procrastinate. You never know what might be discovered the next day, or kill you the day after. He asked Atlantis where Tony was and she tugged him gently in the direction of the mess hall.
There was one secret that Lorne, Tony, and Sheppard already shared - Atlantis was a little more sentient than they reported. She adored all three of them but loved Tony’s open curiosity that the more military men had been trained out of over the course of their military service.
Tony was unaware of all this. He’d settled into Atlantis quickly, mainly because the city herself adored him. His bloodwork was one of the reasons he’d been pulled into the program instead of being sent out to the Seahawk - General O’Neill had sent him to another galaxy entirely and he loved every minute of it.
He could even handle the wannabe Marilyn Manson aliens that wanted to chow on him. He never expected to end up the deputy leader around this crazy beautiful city with insane marines and nutty scientists but let’s just say there wasn’t a damn thing that Gibbs could do where he would happily go back to being the SFA of the MCRT.
General Sheppard adored him as he handled administrative issues with ease. He could talk the talk and shoot the breeze with the soldiers but had enough smarts about him to keep up with the scientists.
Tony’s favourite person and new best friend was Dr. Rodney McKay. He was the biggest bastard in this galaxy and Tony adored it. Their opening meeting had cemented their friendship. McKay had taken one look and said,
“You, Italian Gigolo, better not be after my husband.”
Tony had smirked. “Not at all, I like to be the pretty one in my relationships, Dr. McKay. Plus, I would be stupid to try and steal the husband of a man who builds nukes for fun. I also prefer Tony to Italian Gigolo but whatever is easier for you to remember.”
Rodney looked him over one more time and declared. “We can be friends.”
That had been that, and Lorne and the others noticed one other amazing talent Tony had apart from Atlantis giving him shiny gifts. He could wrangle scientists without them even noticing it. So of course when Lorne wanted to have a serious conversation Tony could be found chatting to McKay. This wasn’t going to be painful at all if McKay was in a cranky mood - he hoped like crazy that he’d had his morning caffeine.
Lorne sucked in a breath. “Can I join you?”
McKay grinned. “Yes, you may as you are not stupid. So, how was your meeting? ”
Lorne was only too happy to take such an opening. “Well, the General spent the entire meeting bitching at me apparently on your behalf.”
Tony frowned because he didn’t know anything about an issue. “Why would General Sheppard be hounding Lorne, McKay?”
McKay was in his happy place - caffeinated up to his eyeballs. “I simply told John that I hated watching you two pine and since that ridiculous law has disappeared, you should just date and stop making my female scientists almost combust with their fantasies.”
Both men flushed but Tony wasn’t the type to take such a comment without responding. If he was, then he wouldn’t be friends with Rodney. “Hey, it is not my fault that we’re hot. You should give them more breaks so they can fulfill their own love lives.”
McKay snorted. “Yeah, that doesn’t work so well. Too many brains and no action. Plus, what happened to wanting to be the pretty one in the relationship?”
Tony rolled his eyes. “You are not subtle.”
McKay smirked. “I never pretended I was. Now, instead of bitching you two out for moving glacially slow, I have mysteries of the universe to unlock.”
Evan and Tony were left alone and the atmosphere should have been tense and awkward. Tony though just continued to sip his coffee. “Oh, you can meet me at my quarters at seven.”
Lorne knew better than to ignore orders. “Yes, Sir.”
Tony just raised an eyebrow as he got up to leave. “So that may just be a discovered kink of mine.” And sauntered away leaving Evan staring red-faced into his coffee cup.
Lorne disappeared before he could hear the gossip grow. What amused him more was the happy buzz he could feel in his head. It seemed Atlantis wanted him or was it Tony to be happy. It didn’t matter as he hoped they would be happy together.
He figured who better to ask about a perfect date spot than the city. What he got in return was a series of images and suggestion. It was a pretty spectacular view.
Date night planned and now he had to inform the new soldiers that they would need a weekly session with Ronon to make sure they didn’t end up as Wraithbait.
Tony was feeling nervous and excited all at once which was not his norm. John looked over his desk. “What is it?”
“Nothing, just thinking about tonight.” Tony answered distractedly.
“Lorne Colonel’d up and asked you.” Sheppard said in a way that suggested he knew the answer to his question.
“Yeah he did, and I have you and McKay to thank for that.”
Sheppard waved him off. “Nah, just don’t want to hear Rodney bitch about it anymore.”
Tony said nothing because he knew there was more to it than that. He was grateful and as such, he wouldn’t bust John’s working mask. “If you say so.”
John knew all the signs of excited energy and took pity on his expedition deputy. “Teyla, you in the mood to give Tony a Bantos lesson?”
Teyla’s voice came over the comm system. “I can be there in ten minutes.”
“You heard the woman. I wouldn’t be late.” John said he had all too often been on the end of Teyla’s bantos rods.
“Right.” Tony said and did move quickly to the training rooms. He picked up his training bag and headed for the changing rooms.
Tony had been a follower of Eskrima ever since joining the police force - when it was drilled into him that a gun should not be his only line of defence. Working and training with Gibbs simply continued that. He liked the discipline and the fact it encouraged him to use whatever came to hand. Plus, it followed through if he was using a knife.
Tony saw Teyla waiting for him and bowed formally. “Thank you.”
“You don’t need to thank me, Tony.” She said with her easy smile. Tony was guessing that someone had filled her in on why he was nervous which was ridiculous. He was a grown-ass man in the Pegasus Galaxy, he was the Deputy Expedition leader of the Stargate base and loved every day more than the last. It may have taken going to another galaxy but he finally had a home that he would fight to keep. So why was he nervous?
Oh yeah, he was going on a date.If only the people back at NCIS could see him now, they would be in for a shock. You see the difference is very simple, he cares about Lorne more than he knew.
If only the people back at NCIS could see him now, they would be in for a shock. You see the difference is very simple, he cares about Lorne more than he knew.
“You wish to talk, or spar?” Teyla asked him.
“I want to talk but we’ll spar instead.”
She laughed. “You sound like John when you say that.”
Tony chuckled. “It’s a man thing.”
That was the last spoken word as the pair moved through several practice drills that worked as a warm up for the pair. Others were always intrigued and a little bit jealous at how Tony wasn’t always ending up on his ass after only a minute. He still did, only for him, Teyla had to work for it and they both improved their skills as a result.Ten minutes later, out of breath but feeling more settled. “I have a date.”
Ten minutes later, out of breath but feeling more settled. “I have a date.”
Teyla still looked as serene as she had at the start of their spar. “I assume it is with Colonel Lorne.”
“That’s right, he asked me at lunch.”
Teyla raised her sticks to signal the start of their next round and started to circle looking for an opening to exploit. “And you are worried?”
Tony shrugged but rose his sticks at the first parry. “Sure, I like him a lot. I want it to go well.”
Teyla whirled around to follow up her initial strike. “So it will surely if you both want it and will work for it.”
Tony chuckled even as he jumped over a swinging circular attack. “You make it sound so easy.”
Teyla smirked as she reversed her attack and caught his legs mid-jump. He fell to the floor in a heap. She was kind enough to offer him a hand up. “In my experience, men over complicate matters of the heart unnecessarily.”
Tony chuckled at the way she cut to the heart of the problem with such ease. “You may have a point. Okay, I get it. Can we just spar and practice?”
So they did and Tony left thirty minutes later, sweaty and in need of a shower. He was so focussed on his shower that he missed Lorne and Ronon coming into have their sparring practice.
“So you ready?”
Lorne was too busy watching Tony walk away and wishing he could help him get clean. “Huh?”
Ronon frowned not knowing Evan to be absent-minded. “You okay?”
Teyla smirked as she finished packing her own belongings. “He is distracted in the same way you are when Amelia trains.”
A dawning light goes off in Ronon’s eyes, he claps Lorne’s back. “Good, it’s about time you get a bedmate.”
Lorne took a deep breath. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” Because yes, he did want that but at Tony’s speed. “Please can we spar?”
“Sure thing, buddy.”
Lorne was punctual and outside Tony’s quarters at seven o’clock. “Evening. You ready?”
Tony’s smile grew wider seeing Evan at his door. Evan looked great in the black jeans and black shirt with just a flash of his neck showing. Tony felt himself wanting to explore further. He realised any nerves he had were silly, he wanted this date, so with a winning, smile he stepped outside. “I am so ready... Where are we going?”
Evan had a wicked smile. “A surprise that Atlantis has helped me with.”
Tony grinned. “Well, Ally does like me.”
“I know, it is greatly amusing to myself and the General how much. It’s driving the scientists crazy.”
And their conversation continued to flow as they moved through the corridors. Tony chose to ignore the sighs from the scientists as they passed. Evan grinned at one who was staring just a little too closely at Tony and stepped a little closer.
Tony’s shy smile let him know it was okay and Lorne didn’t hide his relieved grin. He took them to a pier with what he felt was the most spectacular view of the city. “Not bad, Lorne. Not bad.”
Lorne snickered. “Should I not bother with the meal then, if you’re already impressed.”
Tony smirked. “Hey, I deserve to be wooed.”
“Yes you do, and I will leave you in no doubt.” Lorne said with such an intense look that it sent a shiver down Tony’s spine.
The damndest thing was Lorne did exactly as he promised. It meant that any new arrivals on Atlantis were always unspeakably jealous of how in sync the leadership was and what great relationships they all had.
The latest argument revolved around who was the prettiest one out of Lorne and DiNozzo. The current voting was fifty-fifty much to John and Rodney’s delight.
Chapter 4: End of the World (Rick Grimes)
Tony DiNozzo had the worst luck in the world, or was it the best? In the years to come, he would never quite be able to figure that out. Rick Grimes felt much the same but he knew they both had two incredible strokes of luck.
Massive thanks to Edronhia who helped me to avoid a writing black-hole.
Tony DiNozzo had the worst luck in the world, or was it the best? In the years to come, he would never quite be able to figure that out. Rick Grimes felt much the same but he knew they both had two incredible strokes of luck.
- Rick was sent to Bethesda during his medical treatment
- Tony contracted an antibiotic-resistant form of the plague and was placed into a protective coma to help heal him.
It worked out well for Rick and Tony as despite all their troubles - they ended up facing it together.
Rick came to with a gasp and tried to sit up. Christ, what had happened to him and where the fuck was he?
He knew it was a hospital room but it wasn’t the usual Memorial where he usually went to when injured . This room, the machines beeping and he saw another male in the bed to the side of him. He was sleeping, his chest rising and falling in a way that suggested it was a normal sleep not that of a coma.
What was going on? Where were the nurses? The Doctors?
“HELLO!” Sadly, Rick managed less a shout and more a gasp. He didn’t think talking should hurt - his injury must have been worse than he suspected.
The man in the other bed woke with a relieved grin on his face, “Hey, starshine. Boy, we’ve missed out a lot while we had a long beauty sleep.”
Rick felt a little bit more relaxed at knowing he wasn’t completely alone. This situation was hinky in the extreme. “What? What happened?”
The other man looked pretty pale and seemed to struggle to find the words. “Well, according to your charts you were shot and the lung went bad. Congratulations, you now have healthier lungs than you did before you got shot. We both have and I kid you not, we have Dr. Brad Pitt to thank for still breathing. ”
Rick gratefully took the offered ice-chip. “And the bad news?”
“The world has gone to hell in a handbasket and the majority of the population are now zombies.” Rick’s face must have spoken volumes because the guy shrugged and carried on with his explanation.
“Yep, surprised me too when I woke up. We have some luck. We’re at a military hospital and I have reinforced the hospital ward but ... our rations are running out, as well as the electricity so I am so glad you’ve woken up from your beauty sleep now. Otherwise, we might have had an issue.”
Rick couldn’t process the news - it seemed to be out of a Hollywood script, there was no such thing as zombies... except where there was. He’d seen the news clippings and Tony let in a fraction of light and it was enough to see a horde that would occasionally pass through the ground s of the hospital .
Rick felt like he would have lost his mind if he’d woken up alone. Tony was a cute lifeline, and competent too. They made plans together, it was ironic that they were both law enforcement and they could no longer stay in the hospital that much was clear - otherwise the place that had healed them would become their doom.
“Where do we go?” Rick said, not knowing anything about the area.
Tony sighed because he didn’t think there was a right answer here. The only trouble was that failure now had the ultimate price - death by Zombie. He wouldn’t give in and he knew that much at least . “Doesn’t matter where... there are no safe zones so wherever we go at the very least we need supplies.”
Rick looked as hopeless. “I have to know what happened to Lori and Carl.”
Tony smiled because he wished he had a family to find. He didn’t but he was loyal and he would stay with Rick as it was as worthy a cause as any. “So we go to Atlanta.”
“Just like that?” Rick asked because he wasn’t naive.
Tony shook his head. “Well, we’re both stronger. We’ve got medication for both of us, thank god for readable medical notes . I need to make a stop at NCIS to check on what happened to my team. That’s a fifteen-minute drive ... my hope is we can stock up on weapons and fuel there and everything else we will need along the way.”
Rick could only smile with renewed hope. “We’ll face it together.”
The drive down to the Navy yard was in a word, horrific. The drive should have taken fifteen minutes but that was before the zombie apocalypse. There were too many cars in Washington littering the roads, so they were forced to walk. It was a wicked way to figure out that whilst they’d healed they were not at 100% fighting fitness.
Tony was smarter than this. “We need to walk, and make them think we’re one of them.”
“What do you suggest?” Rick asked intrigued by the idea.
They’d taken refuge in a building that used to sell insurance having been forced to abandon their jeep . Tony grimaced but was used to practicality winning out over sensibilities. In undercover, you did whatever you had to do to survive and now, he would do what was needed to survive the apocalypse. “The virus is transferred by ingesting the blood, like any blood disease.”
Rick nodded as they had read everything they could in the safe parts of the hospital, after all, knowledge was power. “Yeah, and our wounds have healed so we’re not at risk of infection through open wounds.”
Tony sighed. “So we take our jackets and dip them in zombie blood and walk right through them. They have no sight and their hearing is minimal so they must be identifying the living through their sense of smell.
Rick shrugged. “Let’s try it. We have little choice.”
And they managed to let a horde of zombies pass them by with this risky tactic . They were able to breathe but they didn’t want to draw any attention, they felt ridiculous mimicking their movements and sounds. But hey, whatever works and by some miracle - it worked.
NCIS had gone into emergency mode, Tony tested his code and he would never be so grateful for his high-security clearance as now as it still worked. The shutters released on the doorway and they braced themselves with an axe and a makeshift spear. The entrance was empty so no zombie guards and they closed it after they passed through, wanting the protection the shutters would afford them.
Rick whispered. “Which way?”
Tony took the same steps he’d taken thousands of times before. The hallways were eerily quiet and no one was around. Tony hated every second of it but they needed what NCIS could give them. Answers. Tony suspected the big towns would be a mess and if their shortish journey to NCIS proved anything it was the truth.
He hoped there would be a record of which plan the government enacted. He just hoped they enacted something or it would be simple chaos. Tony knew what he suspected but he hadn’t said it - because hope was a powerful tool.
The bullpen was still orange so some things never changed but it didn’t hide the zombie blood splattered on the walls. Tony had to love government paranoia - the world had gone to shit and what looked like a shootout in the bullpen but hey, there was a power.
His desk was clear and there were no bodies around his desk so that was a bonus. His password still worked, even better.
There was one video message cued for him to access the minute he log ged on to the system. That didn’t have to be in NCIS but Tony froze seeing who the video was from - Gibbs .
Gibbs’ face came on the screen. “Tony, if you get this. Get out into the countryside, quickly forget cars, you will be better off with a horse. You avoid the cities, the government had no plan for this. The virus ran too quick and the cities fell one by one. I left the papers for you should you ever awaken. I hated leaving you there without anyone to watch your six but I made it as safe as I could. You remember the rules I taught ya and don’t go anywhere without rule 9 times five. Minimum.”
There was a wry grin. “If not I will haunt ya ass and I will make sure Shannon and Kelly do too.”
Tony wiped a tear from his eye as he knew what this message was. Gibbs would not be the type to stay down and wait out a fight. He would have taken the fight to the enemy even if it was a ravenous zombie virus. Tony was one of the few to know about his first wife and daughter. “Rest in peace, boss. I hope you’re with your girls.”
Rick had stayed silent just hovering to his side, with a gun raised and primed for anything to attack them. He’d heard the message for what it was, a father saying goodbye in this crazy world. He didn’t know what to think, would Lori have been smart enough to stay away from Atlanta as it was the biggest closest city. Shane, his best friend, would have seen her safe. He hoped.
The message made them rethink their plans. “We need bags, guns and non-perishable food and then we make our way slower and by foot or horse.”
“This will take us weeks, are we prepared for that with supplies.” Rick asked, not worried but asking seriously.
Tony grinned. “Well, the kitchen here was well stocked. McGeek may have loved his computers but he had the latest map. We just need to snatch as many guns as we can and get to the horse yard.”
“I’m with you, Tony.” And that was the simple fact of it, Rick Grimes was with Tony DiNozzo until the end. Yes, he wanted to find Lori and Carl, but that wasn’t the man who’d stayed with him, who had a chance to leave him and waited. The man who was willing to go with him to Atlanta on the crazy chance that he might find his family.
Tony smiled. “So we’re off to find horses.”
“Not without scavenging the guns.” Rick reminded him.
Tony smirked. “I want knives too, they never run out of bullets, or make a sound.”
“Let’s get both.” Rick responded seeing a perfect compromise.
They were not stupid men though, they were relatively safe and they used the time to rest in MTAC, having swept the office for anyone who might be alive and secured the bullpen level. This would probably be their most secure place to sleep for quite a while.
They had to try two horse yards to strike lucky. In the second one, they struck gold, two beautiful mares who were not yet feral or infected. Boy, that had not been a fun discovery; that the disease could spread to animals.
Still, the men were alive, had transport with food, weapons and their drugs to last until they hit a small town. They wouldn’t risk the bigger towns, but they would try the closest small town where the population was under 2,000. Tony and he had circled and planned their route to try and take the least time, whilst avoiding the most densely populated areas.
They rode their horses long and hard but bunkered down when evening fell. They found a barn with easy exits but easy to secure and lay down on the hay. The stayed close together, knowing that if the temperature dropped they would have to use each other to stay warm. There was no heterosexual freak out as they’d admitted the first night that their Kinsey scale was a little fluid.
Rick didn’t understand what it was about darkness but it made it easier to talk. “You know, I am closer to you than I was my wife in the last six months. That last day she screamed at me, she wished I dropped dead. Hah, showed her. ”
Tony listened but said nothing, knowing Rick needed to talk. If this is what he needed to focus and Tony just had to listen, he could do that. “That’s her loss, Rick Grimes. You’re a pretty great guy.”
“You’re just saying that because I am the only person still alive around here.” He said with a self-deprecating voice.
Tony shook his head. “Don’t sell yourself short. I would have made a move on you if you weren’t conflicted about your marriage.”
Rick bit his lip and spoke the words he knew to be true. “I hope Lori is alive, she is the mother of my kid but it is Carl I need safe. He’s my son.”
Tony squeezed Rick’s hand, ignoring the feeling in his own heart. Now was not the time, he would not take advantage of a vulnerable man. “We’ll get your answers.”
There had been a close call in a town by Charlottesville nearly three weeks later. They’d braved the medium sized Target that could see them stock up on their medications and their food. It had been going so well, it turned out that pharmacist was still trying to serve customers even after his death. Rick was holding the zombie off as the gun had jammed. He couldn’t reach his knife. “TONY!”
Tony had been there and kicked the zombie off him and then dramatically skewered the zombie to the wall. He’d been frantic with worry pulling Rick up. “Are you hurt? Bit?”
Rick shook his head, words were taking a little bit longer. “No, you saved me.”
Tony didn’t think, he kissed Rick. Hard. Pouring all his relief into the kiss.
He could blame adrenaline and the like but Rick poured all of his emotions into that kiss in return . The gratitude, the relief and the affection for Tony into that one kiss. Day in day out, they worked together to stay alive and keep moving forward.
Their days didn’t change much but the touches, whilst not as sexual, didn’t stop. Tony had made a vow to move as fast or slow as Rick wanted.
Their excitement grew when they heard a group, who were definitely alive but Christ, they were loud. Tony and Rick shared a look that spoke volumes, it was like they wanted to make themselves zombie bait. They were arguing for Christ’s sake, loudly.
“Look, I just want to grab supplies, and it was not my idea to head into the city.”
Tony whispered. “We can stop them but then we have to defend them and apart from silent and broody, the others are walking, talking disasters.”
Rick heard what he was saying but he got a feeling that he knew Tony fairly well since he’d awoken from his coma. “Can you live with yourself if you leave them to be eaten?”
Tony sighed because Rick played hardball . “No, I can’t. If they get you killed, I am going to be pissed. ”
They chose to stop the cars by using their horses to get them to stop. A young teen popped his head out of his red car. “Hey, we need to get to the city. Don’t be dicks.”
Tony snorted. “A dick would let you go into the city that was overrun with zombies. You are not thinking clearly.”
“What choice do we have?” The grouchy big bear of a man asked. “We have mouths to feed.”
Tony rolled his eyes. “You look at a map, and you plan. You hit the small towns where the populations are less than a thousand.”
“Oh yeah?” A blonde woman said. “What makes you such an expert?”
Tony shrugged because there were no experts when it came to the apocalypse. They were those who adapted or those who died and he didn’t think there were too many in between scenarios - not from what they had seen. “Well, we awoke from medical comas in Bethesda and we’re still alive.”
“DC! How did you get so far?”
Tony patted his horse. “Bella here. I liberated her and she has seen me good and you know that strategy you sneered at? ... Well, that is what Rick and I have done and it has kept us alive.”
The teen boy, who they found out was called Glen was nonplussed. “Why would you come this way and not head for the wilderness of Canada.”
Rick was the one to speak. “My estranged wife, Lori, and our son, Carl, should be around here.”
The group all looked at each other. Tony was a trained investigator and so was Rick. Tony was the one to bark. “What? Speak up.”
Dale was the bravest of the group. “Well, there is a woman Lori Walsh, and her son with us. They’re with her husband though.”
Rick nearly fell off his horse. He wanted to snort because here he had been denying himself everything he wanted and Lori was apparently married to his best friend. Jesus Christ. He started laughing but it was dark and cynical.
“What is with crazy cakes?” The bear asked.
“Shut up, Merle.” The woman hissed, clearly uncomfortable around him.
Tony didn’t care about any of them, his only concern was Rick. “Hey, you said it yourself, you were looking for Carl. Fuck Shane and Lori, they can do what they want. We protect Carl that is the short and the end of it.”
Rick nodded, “My best friend though?”
Well, there was no accounting for taste but Tony didn’t say it. He was reminded back to their conversation a while ago in a barn where Rick admitted his marriage was over and now there could be no guilt.
Tony shrugged. “There is a bright side in this.”
Tony smirked. “Am I hotter than Lori?”
Rick snickered. “Oh yeah, you don’t have bitterness marring your face.”
Tony puffed up. “Well, there you are. We can have sex now without worrying about guilt and I can piss your ex off by being hotter than she is.”
Tony was right, Lori did lose her mind and did not accept that she had lost Rick. Tony was about to put her in her place when Carl did that - Rick’s son asked to live in their tent instead.
It did change quite a few things, Shane never got jealous and the group never went to the CDC in Atlanta. As a result, Shane never went nuts and Rick, whilst leading the group, never got drunk with power. If he ever got close, Tony would drag him off somewhere and he came back calmer and more rational.
Life wasn’t good - it couldn’t be - but the apocalypse ended up being survivable and relatively safe for them - which not many groups could boast.
Chapter 5: House trumps Gibbs (Greg House 2)
Brad Pitt looked at the patient lying before him and his frustration grew. Tony was perhaps his most memorable case during his medical career - and sadly a current patient again. The shooting had caught DiNozzo’s lung and he’d been contacted due to his special medical history. The trouble was - he couldn’t fix what was wrong and with his worsening condition he needed his proxy. Brad knew that there would be difficult decisions needing to be made and Tony needed someone to speak in his place. “Contact Gibbs, he needs to get here.”
His long time nurse and partner, Emma looked up. “Is this for proxy permission?”
Brad nodded, there must be something that could be done - the man had beat the plague, for christ’s sake, a shooting should not be his end. “Yeah, it’s time.”
Emma snorted. “It is not Gibbs you need but rather Dr. Gregory House.”
Now that got Brad’s attention. There would only be one reason for Tony to change his proxy from Gibbs, a significant other. “When did that happen?”
She smirked. “I have no idea but you get to break it to the agent who is wondering why he hasn’t had to sign forms.”
Pitt wanted to sigh but there was a bright side to this. As miserable as Gibbs could make people feel - House if his reputation was to be believed, was a thousand times better. This would more than likely end up like a clash of the Titans. He had a better idea, he would phone Dr. House first and let Gibbs know when House arrived.
Tony’s eyes fluttered open and he groaned as the pain hit him all at once. The bullet had passed through a lung - he could tell. It felt like every breath was just too much effort. An ice chip hovered in front of his lips, which he gratefully licked.
He knew that hand - it was lovers. He didn’t remember going to Princeton, wait this was Bethesda. Christ, where was Gibbs? He’d not introduced his boss and lover for good reason. He’d always figured it would be the equivalent of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object.
Tony tested his voice. “I fucking hate being shot or I would sex you up stupid right now.”
House snorts and lies on the bed with him, now Tony is awake. “Not in the hospital, dear. Cuddy told us we should have some class even if this isn’t her dungeon.”
Tony grinned at House even if he felt as weak as a kitten. They had plenty of class. It had been a tactical move on his part when one of his female ducklings kept giving House long lingering looks. House said very little, he got his leg up on the bed and Tony just curled around him. The sad thing was the two them sleeping whilst one of them was injured was not a new trick.
Greg sighed, knowing Tony would ask that when really all his boyfriend needed was to sleep. “You got shot, it went bad, Pitt couldn’t find it. He almost contacted Gibbs but the awesome nurse let him know that I was the proxy! I waltzed in ... managed to act like a bigger bastard than your boss and ... figure out what was wrong with you.”
Tony had wide eyes by the end because that sounded quite a lot in what he had thought was a short amount of time. Only one look at Greg told him it might have been longer. “How long?”
Tony winced and not from his physical pain. “I’m sorry.”
House shushed him, he was just relieved that they could still talk to each other. They soon fell asleep and no one in the hospital was brave enough to wake up Doctor House, who had proved in short time there that his reputation was well deserved.
Dawn broke and Greg opened his eyes to a figure staring from the corner of the room. House sighed. “You know the whole Marine intimidation routine doesn’t work on me. My father tried it and it abysmally failed.”
“What does work?” Gibbs asked with open curiosity. He was aware that in medical terms, this man, despite his mysterious connection to Tony, had the power to evict him from the hospital.
House smirked, knowing his answer would annoy the agent. “You would have to ask Tony.”
“Why didn’t he tell us about you?” Gibbs asked as it was frustrating him the most out of everything.
House snickered, seeing that for all his famous instincts they had monumentally failed him when it came to his boyfriend. So he maintained the frustrating responses. “His response would be I stole him.”
The talking must have awoken Tony as he grumbled. “You stole me, and I stole you.”
House rolled his eyes at the glare from Gibbs. “I explained at the time I was borrowing you.”
Tony didn’t relinquish his hold on House and managed to let Gibbs know just how serious he was about his boyfriend. “Borrow implies you will give me back and what makes you think I will let that happen?”
House snorted fondly. “Geek.”
Tony carefully snuggled closer to Greg and sighed with relief when the pressure eased from his wound, he was too exhausted to stay awake any longer. “Your geek.”
“That’s right.” House agreed and stared directly at Gibbs as he replied. This wasn’t a pissing contest as there was no contest, a contest implied that both sides had an equal chance of winning. Gibbs had been too stupid to see what was right in front of his eyes. And Greg, well, he was only too happy to take advantage of the man’s stupidity.
Gibbs sighed and knew that he would not get any answers from the man until Tony was on the mend. He had a feeling that none of the team would do any better.
Abby was confused to see Gibbs. “Why aren’t you at the hospital?”
Gibbs snorted. “To answer that question you should probably ask Tony’s boyfriend.”
Abby whirled around from Major Mass Spec because she didn’t believe what was coming out of her silver fox’s mouth. “Our Tony?”
Gibbs nodded, still wondering how he'd missed it. The relationship he had observed wasn't new - that much was for sure. “Yeah, a Dr. Gregory House.”
Abby spat out her cafpow. “He is a legend.”
Gibbs shrugged as all he saw was a legendary arrogance. “Well, he’s Tony’s proxy. I left when they were snuggled together on a bed.”
The fact that it had made him think of Shannon was another reason he'd left. Abby’s mind was whirling, she was applying this new data to what she knew. “Gibbs, it must have happened during your siesta. There was an operation that the Director wanted Tony on but he refused point blank. He said he wouldn't betray someone special only he wouldn’t tell the team who.”
So there was the break in trust. Gibbs wanted to say something bitter but how could he? He knew things were wrong when he returned but he was too busy trying to get as many of his memories back as he could. Once they had, too much time has passed and Gibbs had kept ignoring the problem instead of dealing with it.
Abs had kept thinking about what Gibbs had said. She hadn’t spoken to Ziva and Tim as she knew how blind they were to any of Tony’s positive points. The room was quiet and there was a figure on the bed. She had to grin, realising that technically there were two figures on the bed, only they were so close as to be one.
“Hey, Tony, and his silver fox.”
“I like this one.” Greg said with a grin on his face.
Tony looked a little less like death warmed up. “Yeah, Abs is cool. Sit a while as long as you are the only one.”
She nodded. “So how did this happen?”
House chuckled. “It was at Princeton, there was a stupid city function and Tony was being a good little officer. I was so bored and he was too, I could tell. So I stole him but I was kind enough to let his boss know. I mean, I didn’t want to be accused of actual kidnapping.”
Abby snorted. “Oh, Tony would have been a willing captive I’m sure. You are brilliant and mean and Tony is a sucker for that.”
House smirked as this one seemed to know Tony better than the others . “You’d be right again.”
Tony nodded before adding . “Yeah, and I am done staying away.”
Abby gasped. “It’s that serious?”
Tony grinned even if it was weak. “If we were the type we’d marry.”
House frowned. “Who said I wouldn’t marry you?”
Tony was sure it was the excellent drugs he was currently enjoying. “It wasn’t a criticism, Greg.”
House rolled his eyes. “I know that but I would marry you in a heartbeat. You’re hot, have your own handcuffs and you don’t hate my snarkiness. Plus you have a very talented tongue and your personality isn’t too bad either.”
Tony grinned crookedly as whilst others may be horrified by the statement - he recognised it for a declaration of love. “You just want to see what Cuddy and Wilson will buy us as a wedding gift.”
“The idea is not without its appeal, I can’t deny it.”
Abby was watching the verbal tete-a-tete and was sure she missed some of it. “Did you just agree to get married?”
Tony looked at House and snickered. “Yeah, when I’m better. First, I have to find a job in Princeton.”
House raised an eyebrow at his now fiance. “No. First, you have to move your stuff, your ass and, God help me, your movies into my place.”
The wedding was another tale entirely, involving angry Ninjas meeting stubborn doctors and learning a mighty lesson. The ninja may be angry and stealthy but not as quick as a needle wielded with power. Cuddy should have been angry but covered for House and chalked it up as a wedding present on the grounds that she deserved it. Tony was pretty sure that the ensuing argument between her and Gibbs may have just started the courtship for the fifth Mrs. Gibbs, even if she isn’t a redhead. One thing was certain - between the dramas happening around them and with his adored and adoring husband by his side, the next phase of his life was definitely something Tony was looking forward to relishing every minute of.
Chapter 6: A Matter of the heart (John Sheppard 2)
The data burst had a startling piece of news. DADT, a long since antiquated policy in John’s eyes, was now over. He could hear Richard saying the words to him and he’d never believed it would happen whilst he served. He’d locked away his sexuality in a box at eighteen knowing that if he wanted to fly for the military, that was what he would have to do.
He’d played fast and loose with some of the rules and ignored orders when he thought it necessary to protect his men. And yet, he hadn’t broken that rule. He couldn’t. He’d wanted the skies and that was the price. Plus, he wasn’t naive. His looks had garnered attention all the way through boot camp so he worked hard on being a prickly, nasty bastard and to a certain extent, it had worked. If that failed, he played clueless, pretending he didn’t notice that he was being hit upon.
“Well, that’s been a long time coming.”
Woolsey nodded. “How do you wish to proceed?”
Sheppard thought about it for a second. “I’ll call a full battalion meeting and relay the message in full. Don’t worry Richard, I will relay just what will happen should my soldiers not be enlightened.”
“And what will happen?” Beckett asked, sounding a little concerned.
“Don’t worry, Doc. You won’t have to clean up. Chewie and I will just go on a hunt.”
“Can I join in?” DiNozzo asked. “I hate bigots as much as the next guy and a Marine did train me.”
Sheppard shrugged. “Well, it would be rude to deny you.”
Woolsey interrupted their little conversation. “And now can you tell me the serious plan?”
The look shared between DiNozzo, Ronon and John suggested that they already had their plan. However for the appearance of civility John offered an alternate solution. “I suggest we ask the the psychiatrist to deliver a series of mandatory sessions for all personnel on sensitivity and understanding.”
McKay chipped in. “I agree, I’ll make it mandatory for the scientists as well.”
“The medical staff will not be exempt.” Beckett promised. The man had come back and taken over as the Chief Medical Officer as Keller didn’t want the added stress of the role.
Woolsey looked pensive. “And if we have hate crimes?”
Sheppard smiled but McKay was the only one who knew that smile. It was the one usually reserved for the Genii. “Then they better get off Atlantis before I find them. I will take it personally.”
Ronon smirked, he had always liked the bloodthirsty part of his friend.
Rodney and John were at their favourite part of the city - the Pier. “So how do you feel now you can openly date?”
John spat his beer out. “Excuse me?”
Rodney rolled his eyes. “Don’t treat me like one of your grunts. I know you, you’re my best friend and I have seen the way you look at DiNozzo.”
“Everyone looks at DiNozzo’s ass, including you and you have Jennifer.”
McKay shrugged. “I have eyes and the man is like a great piece of art. Still, you have an advantage over the others who are staring at him with heart eyes.”
John still hadn’t confirmed or denied Rodney’s suspicion - old habits died hard. “What are you talking about?”
Rodney smirked as he sipped his beer. “He is looking back when you are not watching. Plus, come on, you two were practically flirting in the meeting this morning.”
John shook his head. “I have to watch out for my men, Rodney, and this is going to suck no matter how progressive it is. There are some who are not going to take this well. I already have permission to ship anyone out back to the SGC.”
Rodney frowned. “And then what happens to them?”
Sheppard smirked. “O’Neill mentioned that the McMurdo base needed its soldiers rotated.”
McKay chuckled because as much as O’Neill could frustrate him, he was a class act in certain cases. “I like the man’s style.”
“Don’t let Keller hear you saying that she can be very possessive of you, you know.” Sheppard teased his friend. He would support the relationship because as much as they appeared to be an odd couple for some - when it boiled down to it, she made Rodney happy for now and that was all that mattered.
McKay wasn’t the type to play around. “When will you let yourself be happy?”
“I am, Rodney, you worry too much.”
Rodney snorted and threw his can into the bag between them that now held all the empties and that seemed to be the end of the conversation for now.
Tony adored Atlantis and it was a mutual love affair. The city rolled over to do his bidding in ways that it would ignore anyone else including Colonel Sheppard. He wishes he hadn’t thought about the man. He was every dream of Tony’s rolled into one neat package. He really was too attractive for his own good.
The city kept nudging him to ask out the Colonel. He wondered if he shared the fact Ally was actually a giant yenta he could avoid a trip to Heightmeyer’s couch. He somehow doubted it.
One of the more surprising friendships for some was the one that sprang up between DiNozzo and Ronon. DiNozzo didn’t treat him like he was a walking talking weapon and Ronon didn’t immediately hit on him. It was refreshing. Although, there had been a hilarious conversation in the mess hall. It had gone like this ... “You’re hot so why aren’t you sleeping with someone?”
Tony blushing. “Thanks, big guy, but Amelia would kill both you and me if we tried.”
Ronon smirked suggestively. “It might be worth it ... or she could join us.”
Tony chuckled at the way two people close to them dropped their plates, obviously having been listening in. Tony and Ronon responded with identical classy suggestive smirks which had the scientists blushing deeper. “And anyway, I am too busy.”
Ronon’s look called bullshit . It didn’t help Tony’s case that as soon as Colonel Sheppard walked into the mess hall, he started to track his movements. “If you say so...”
Tony looked sheepish. “Let’s go spar.”
Ronon snorted. “It won’t help but why not.”
McKay looked at his distracted best friend. “You should man up and ask him out.”
John suddenly paid attention. “What?”
“The Agent you keep staring at.”
John huffed. “Let’s not start that one again, Rodney.”
Rodney rolled his eyes because generally, he may not pay attention to silly matters like who liked who but he had enough smarts to know that his best friend liked the new agent and seemed to be doing his best to stay aloof. “Okay, but if you want me to believe it then stop staring at his ass.”
John took his apple and sought refuge in his paperwork. Now Rodney knew there was something there - John never did his homework if he could help it. He sat down next to Teyla and Woolsey so he could have some intelligent conversation.
“What are we going to do about John moping for Agent Hotcakes?”
Teyla sipped her tea and quirked her eyebrow. “Excuse me?”
“John and DiNozzo. They are pining after each other ... and when I asked ... he said he had paperwork to do.”
Woolsey’s eyes widened. “You mean to say I might get my paperwork on time?”
McKay nodded. “Now do you see why I am concerned?”
Woolsey nodded but Teyla interrupted, acting as a voice of reason. “The two men will find their way to each other. I wouldn’t recommend interfering as rather than helping them achieve their desire you may cause them to pull apart further.”
McKay pouted knowing that when Teyla spoke words of wisdom they should not be ignored. They had a tendency to bite him on his ass, or she would manufacture a sparring practice and make him regret it personally. “I hate to see grown men mope.”
“They are smart men, they will figure it out.”
The look Woolsey and Rodney shared suggested they felt otherwise. It didn’t matter what they thought however, as there was someone else who wanted her two favoured people to see what they could be together.
Tony entered the transporters and even after having been in the city for a month it still made his inner sci-fi geek smile. Yet today he was dumped somewhere completely new, an older part of the city. “Ally darling, what am I doing here?”
He got a strange picture of a heart in his head. He and Ally communicated but it was through pictures. “What’s wrong with your heart, sweetheart?” Tony asked, concerned that there was something wrong with the beautiful city.
The next image was of his own visage. “My own heart?”
There was a burst of feeling, which Tony recognised as concern for him. It did warm his heart even if it was a city that was looking after his well-being better than his own parents. “I’m okay.”
There was now a mental equivalent of a shake of a head. He didn’t get into an argument because before he knew it there was now a second occupant in the lavish room.
“What the hell? DiNozzo, do you know what is going on?” Sheppard asked him.
Tony snorted. “Ask the city.”
Sheppard looked up at the ceiling and blushed. “My heart is just fine according to Beckett!”
Tony chuckled at the exasperated look on the Colonel’s face. It was endearing. “I don’t think she means physically. She showed me a picture of me and my heart as well, do you know why?”
“Because she is a bigger yenta than McKay, that’s why.”
Tony could admit to being a little confused. “I’m not following.”
Sheppard bit his lip. Why was it that a Genii invading force and taking them on single-handedly seemed easier than talking about his feelings. “I told McKay and he has been pestering me to act on it. It seems the city took a leaf out of McKay’s hands. I’m sorry.”
Tony was starting to see what was happening here. He hadn’t believed he would be in with a chance. The gossip on the city said that he was unattached and liked it that way. “Don’t be, you’d only be giving a guy hope.”
Tony spoke softly but made sure sincerity ran through his voice. He was well aware that he’d be chipping away at some pretty big barriers. “Yeah, I mean I like the guy. He’s pretty intelligent, a good leader works hard for everyone, I just wish he’d let someone look after him.”
Sheppard sucked in a breath. “I wasn’t allowed to let anyone look after me the way I want and now... I don’t know how.”
Tony hated the vulnerable look on John’s face and he couldn't imagine what it must have been like to repress a part of himself for so long - all so he could serve. “You know, you’re pretty BAMF and I can look after myself. What do you say - wanna try together?”
Sheppard nodded and Tony took that as permission to steal a kiss. It turned into a little more heated than a kiss but neither minded too much. They were just giddy on the first flush of romance.
“Is that trying?” John asked him, so much joy in his eyes that Tony wanted to see more of that look. It looked good on him.
Tony shook his head. “No, it’s a promise of so much more.”
Even the city glowed a little brighter for a second. “Colonel Sheppard, Agent DiNozzo, are you receiving?”
Sheppard touched his radio. “Yes, Radek, we hear you.”
“We need your help. The city just surged and it is an unexplained phenomenon.”
Tony collapsed against Sheppard, shaking from his laughter. Oh, it could be explainable but how best to say it. “It’s fine, Radek. Nothing to worry about.”
“No, no. It is very clear that all phenomena must be explained.”
Tony rolled his eyes and took a deep breath to get himself under control. “Radek, take me off the central line and listen to what I have to say.”
“Go ahead, Agent. You are now on a private line.”
Tony looked at John because this wasn’t just his life and whilst DADT had been repealed it wasn’t Tony’s secret to reveal without permission. He got a nod and a smile.
“I just kissed John and that was when the city brightened. Now, don’t say a word. Let me and the Colonel figure us out and then ... just think about how well you could sweep up in the betting rings that John and I don’t know about.”
John was now smirking at him. He liked this devious side of Tony. “You’re a genius.”
Tony had to grin. “Maybe, but don’t tell people that. So I say we make this date space and I am sure Atlantis will help, won’t you girl?”
They both got the mental equivalent of a huff, which they both took to mean, of course, don’t be stupid .
They both entered the transporter at the same time, with matching grins. Only, when they arrived at the gateroom - they had their game faces on. They would figure this out in their own time - together.
They didn’t get too much time to sneak around though, as a trip through the gate a month later had Rodney complaining. “Tell me again why you didn’t have to participate.”
Sheppard grinned. “I’m in love.”
Knowing that in saying that, it was both an explanation and a source of frustration.
When then sex ritual had come up the first thing that had come to his mind was - Tony. He didn’t want to betray him even if he knew that Tony would understand that it would have been necessary. His team had been held under armed guard and John had risen, not knowing that he’d already passed the test.
“Let the travellers go.”
Sheppard had stood up and shaken the village leads hand. “That was a test?”
“You’re heart is pure to the one you care for. We have no right to interfere.”
He could see Rodney suck in a breath, and he was sure that Teyla and Ronon were sharing matching grins. It was disconcerting. Right now, he didn’t care, he’d got the materials Atlantis needed and he wanted to get back to the city.
“Good to know, and if any of my people return will they be required to sit the test?” Sheppard asked thinking of the people in Atlantis, and already mentally creating a list of a team who would return.
“No, you are a leader.”
John nodded, made a polite goodbye and he was ushering his team back to the city. Of course, Rodney was not going to let this go. “So who is your heart pure for?”
Sheppard kept walking forward. The last month and a bit had been a massive change in his life but for the better. “You mean you don’t know?” And then stepped through the gate.
Rodney was slower when it came to matters of the heart but even he couldn't miss the look shared between John and Agent DiNozzo. “You and Agent Hotcakes got together?”
Now some may have been distracted or acted a little shocked at the casual outing of their relationship. Tony just sauntered down the stairs. “Well, who can blame me, you have met John, right?”
Sheppard smirked at him. “Now, Rodney and the rest of you - mission check up and then debrief so I can make it to my date tonight.”
Tony called out. “See you later, darling.”
Tony had chosen to move to Atlantis unwilling to be sent out to ship like a recalcitrant child. It had felt freeing to tell Vance to stick his job. Atlantis had been unexpected but a joy just to be around. He hadn’t expected John but he was glad that DADT had disappeared so he could find something he’d never expected - love.
He could talk about their trip back to Washington meeting a bitter MCRT and John schooling them all for having the temerity to be rude to Tony. He could - but honestly, what he remembered most about the visit was the proposal in the hotel room.
The MCRT was simply forgotten and all his focus was on the man next to him and the exciting future awaiting.
Chapter 7: The case of a new guardian (Jacob Stone)
NB: Christian Kane plays him - in the Librarians.
For those in Washington, there was a great question doing the rounds of the gossip mill. Just what on Earth had finally managed to get Tony DiNozzo to finally move away from NCIS? All had recognised his brilliance but none had managed to break his loyalty to his mentor - except now someone apparently had.
Only it was not someone, but something - the Library. When Tony had found out about magic and the constant battle to keep it out of the hands of bad legions, he had fan-boyed for a short second before engaging in a fight to protect a cute cowboy.
That was only the beginning.
Tony was in a bar trying to shake off his bad week. He noticed the cowboy as he walked through the door. He stood out amongst the power suits of Washington and Tony had to like a guy who was willing to walk his own path in life.
“You’re not from around here.”
Jacob smirked. “No, Sir, I am not. Oklahoma born and raised.”
“You’re a long way from home.” Tony observed.
The guy shrugged and raised his hand to shake it. “Jacob Stone.”
“Anthony DiNozzo Junior.”
Jacob grinned. “So what’s good on tap?”
Jacob had to smile at that because he preferred a good beer. “Now this is my kind of place.”
Tony smirked. “Sit a while.”
Jacob did just that. “So what do you do, Mr. DiNozzo?”
“It’s Agent DiNozzo but I prefer Tony, and I work for NCIS.”
Jacob smirked. “Exciting. I work as a librarian, nothing too exciting.”
Tony snorted and didn’t call him on the polite lie. “If you say so, Mr. Stone.”
Tony smirked. “Well, alright then.” Tony froze up seeing the group who entered the bar. They were clearly looking for someone. “You made any friends since coming to Washington?”
“No, no I have not. I am looking for Cassandra and Ezekiel who are my colleagues in fact. Why?”
Tony sighed and casually pulled his gun from his jacket, he was developing a fine sixth sense for trouble and he didn’t want to waste any seconds. “That group has your picture in their hands and I don’t think they are looking to find a cute drinking partner.”
“Ah man, I thought I left Ninja bar fights in Oklahoma, Baird is never going to let me go anywhere.” Jacob complained.
Tony had no idea what was going on but it looked like he would be defending the cute cowboy. “Now would be a good time to pick up a bar stool.”
“I know, don’t tell me how to handle a bar fight.”
The group finally spoke. “Tut, tut, Librarian - the Guardian let you go out all on your lonesome. Anything could happen.”
Tony stood up having finished his drink, he was going to be really annoyed if he’d lost his drink. “You know, I was enjoying a quiet drink with a new friend and you just had to disturb us. Makes a guy mad.”
“You know nothing about magic, mortal. So be quiet.”
Tony snorted. “Out of interest, Jake, how well does magic stop a bullet?”
“Depends on their power level, Dulac can stop you but he can’t stop a punch.” Jacob finished with a sly smirk.
Tony smiled but it was the one he’d learnt from Gibbs. “Good to know.” And raised his gun. “Now leave please, this is the one time I ask nicely.”
Strangely enough, they chose not to leave nicely and while Tony had come here looking to drown his sorrows, he’d ended up in a bar fight instead, with a laughing hollering cowboy. Tony probably shouldn’t be thinking this was the most fun he’d had in ages - but he was.
“Why won’t you just leave?” Tony said, not getting this group. They were clearly up to no good.
The sword was different but a sword was just a long knife and Tony was never without his. Tony teased his opponent. “You shouldn’t hold a big sword if you can’t use it.” The wild thrash was good for effect but lousy for actual fighting. The swing arc was so wide that Tony ducked under it and managed to gain an advantage.
“Retreat, he’s clearly a guardian too,” DuLac ordered.
Tony collapsed against the bar. “Bartender, another drink.”
Stone was laughing at his side, almost collapsed into it. “Wow, you sure know how to party.”
Tony snorted. “No, I am just thinking about how I explain this to my boss without using the word magic.”
Two people had entered and Jacob knew them and greeted them warmly by the names of Eve and Flynn. Tony was standing to the side debating if he could escape because as hot as the cowboy was - he had work tomorrow.
“Who is this, Jacob?” The blonde female asked, and her bearing was all military.
“Agent Anthony DiNozzo and more intriguingly, after our bar fight ... which I would like to add, was so not my fault, DuLac called him a guardian.”
Flynn, the male, looked around Tony and was intrigued. “A second guardian, huh? Well, I suppose that would be beneficial.”
Tony felt justified in shouting. “WHAT IS A GUARDIAN? AND MAGIC?”
Eve snorted. “Oh Agent, I was you two years ago. I have a suggestion for you ... come with us. Let us give you the sales pitch and then we will see what happens.”
Tony got the sales pitch and he was assigned as the second guardian to the satellite library of Alexandria, which was nuts to say, but oh well. He was learning to reevaluate what he considered normal and not so normal. That had been nearly two months ago and he hadn’t regretted it. He had a great job and his boyfriend was pretty cute even if he had a penchant for bar fights.
The door system to get to his job was handy to say the least, he didn’t know many who could say their closet door transported them to work. It was kind of perfect as well, considering the beating at his door. “Tony, open the damn door. Did I say you could leave? You have to speak to me some time.”
Well, that would be a red flag to more than just a bull. Gibbs might not know it but the world did not dance to his beat. He was an adult and could do whatever he damn well pleased. In stepping through the door, Tony greeted the caretaker of the library. “Morning Jenkins, are Cassie and Flynn staying out of trouble?”
Jenkins snorted. “They were talking science so I left it to them. Colonel Baird wanted to talk to you about leashing Stone.”
Tony had a wicked grin. “Now that’s not our thing, whatever she does with Flynn is their business. We don’t judge as long as all parties are consenting but I draw the line at animals.”
Jenkins was awesome and had more than a few secrets all on his lonesome. Tony already had a few ideas about who he might be but asking a guy if he was the basis of Merlin required you knowing a guy a bit. “You are a breath of fresh air and the loss of the librarians has decreased significantly now there are two guardians.”
There was a thump, a crash and a loud scream of both a male and a female variety. Jenkins just sighed. “I think you’re up, Guardian Two.”
Tony snickered, calling out. “Anyone injured?”
“Only my pride.” Jake called back.
Tony shouted back. “I’ll kiss it better. What about you, Cassie?”
“I don’t think Stone will like it if you kiss my boo-boo too.” Was what he got, as a reply that had Tony laughing. He’d finally got through the stacks to them both.
Tony helped Jake off the floor. “Maybe not, but we both would like to help you, my lady.”
Tony hadn’t understood what working in a true team environment would feel like. There was Flynn, the head librarian, and his Guardian, Eve. They’d changed the rules with magic seeping back into the world and employed three other amazing if very different characters.
Tony was beginning to understand Ezekiel and Cassie but the one he’d spend a lifetime understanding was Jake. He was fascinating, a true genius, who hid his genius for his family. He could speak about art and literature in a way that made you want to weep or go back to school and study harder.
“You should not be getting eaten by the books!?”
Jake shrugged like it was no big deal that a book had just tried to eat him. It was just another day at the library. “It’s our fault we forgot to feed it some meat earlier, so it went for my arm instead.”
Tony sighed. “Come on, cowboy. Let’s get you some first aid.”
Jacob kept hold of his hand as he pushed him to the foyer area. Tony called out. “Jenkins have you got anything for bite wounds.”
“You forget to feed Hannibal’s Diaries?”
Jacob rolled his eyes. “Yes, I forgot. It is not a big deal okay.”
Jenkins just huffed as he got out a small suture kit. “Tell that to your arm.”
Tony said nothing as he himself had had the lecture the week before when he’d ended up getting stabbed protecting Ezekiel and his damn wondering fingers. Luckily for him, Flynn had some pretty cool elixir that healed him right up. It was a wondrous thing too, the elixir, as it healed his lungs - fully. It didn’t differentiate between the stab wound damage and the plague damage. It was incredible but not something he could share with a medical professional who wasn’t in the know.
“Will he live?” Tony asked.
Jenkins rolled his eyes. “Yeah, the man who is smart enough to be four of the five leading art historians but forgets to feed a book ... will live. His arm will be no good so you should take him home for the day.”
Tony was more than okay with that instruction. “As he is technically Eve’s, can you tell her what you said?”
Jenkins snorted. “Yes, I will tell the big bad scary Colonel that I told you to take your boyfriend home.”
Tony stepped through the door which right now was his and tuned to his apartment. “Come on, Cowboy, go lie on the couch and I’ll make us some pasta.”
“What time is it, out of the library?”
Tony looked out his window. “Night time apparently. Sit, relax awhile.”
Jacob put his feet up. “Have they stopped banging on your door?”
Tony chuckled from the kitchen. “You’d think two months of no contact would give them a clue or something that I don’t want to talk to them.”
Jake snickered. “Darlin, some people are just slow on the uptake. I keep telling you this.”
Tony came back and put a plate of pasta in front of his lover. “You’re right. You okay managing to eat this?”
“Well, you didn’t make it spaghetti so I’ll be good.”
The evening was quiet and domestic and Tony shifted the plates into the dishwasher. The sounds of music washed through the apartment and they lay on the sofa, careful to mind Jake’s injury. Tony was almost drifting off when the banging at his door started again. He sighed, they were persistent.
Jacob was grumpy. “Call the cops on them.”
Tony snickered at the thought of them being led away in handcuffs. The only trouble there was he knew they wouldn’t go quietly. “Nah, it’s best to let them in ... I’m ready to say what I need them to know.”
“I got your back, Darlin.”
Tony knew that, intellectually and emotionally, and that was probably why he was ready to face the NCIS team. He reluctantly got up off the couch to open the door. He might not want to do this but he was going to enjoy their reactions when they got answers to questions they were going to ask.
Gibbs. McGee, Ziva, and Abby all fell through his door when it suddenly opened. Jacob sat on the couch perfectly silent and so blatantly judging them. It was glorious.
“Darlin, who are our guests?”
Tony had a blinding smile. “Well cowboy, this is Agents’ Gibbs and McGee, Officer Ziva David, and technician Abby Sciuto.”
“Your old workmates?” Jake said as if he didn’t already know the answer.
“These are the ones, now I know you might get the wrong impression with how they rudely tried to bash in my door.” Tony said in a voice that didn’t even try to hide how pissed he was.
“You got a promotion?” McGee said, disdainful at the very idea.
Tony smirked. “Yes I did McGee, and your congratulations are noted.”
“How?” Ziva asked.
Tony rolled his eyes. “Hey, don’t give me that look, Jake. You hid your doctorates for a while too.”
Abby frowned. “You have multiple doctorates?”
Tony had a sly smile knowing that their self-righteous storming over had been derailed with just a few simple sentences. “Who is that question at? Me or Jack?”
Abby cocked her head to the side. “Both of you I guess.”
“He has four at last count although, he is working on another. Me, I stopped at two, work became too hectic.” Tony confessed choosing to sit back down, leaning into Jacob’s good side and arm. He didn’t feel like standing at attention for these people any longer.
“I didn’t say you could quit and you didn’t say anything at all to me.” Gibbs said quietly.
Tony shrugged. “You came back from Mexico and made it abundantly clear what you thought of me, Gibbs. I am not a child, I won’t fight for scraps of approval.”
Ziva used her hands to encompass him and Jake. “And what is this?”
Tony rolled his eyes the immature display. “This is a person, who I happen to adore and we were having a lovely domestic evening before it was interrupted by people who claim to be family but seem to want to do nothing more than tear me down. So you know where the door is.”
He actually turned on the TV screen and then chose to ignore the NCIS crew until they left. It was cathartic in a way that he hadn’t realised he needed until after he had said his piece.
Tony’s life had changed drastically in the last few months since he’d learnt about magic but that wasn’t the real magic... No, that was right here with Jake, just enjoying some peace and quiet. It was a gift beyond compare and one that Tony would happily be a Guardian for.
Chapter 8: Snapshots of a Magical Life (Sirius Black)
Tony's life takes a drastic change after a family party on his mom's side ends badly.
Warnings - There is are off-screen deaths of a family by the Deatheaters. This is one of the more severe AU stories I have written and the world building in this will make for a lengthy story.
The snapshots of a Magical Life (Sirius Black)
Tony was staring at the ashes of what was his family home feeling very confused with the world. Bewildered didn’t even cover it, he’d gone to the local village with his Uncle because he was bored of the party. They kept talking funny and he was sure that some of them weren’t even talking in English.
Uncle Clive was the best, he’d stopped his boredom and took him for a treat in the village. They had the best candy there.
Uncle Clive was talking with some funny dudes. He knew that Daddy said that the English could be funny but this was weird even for that. They kept talking with weird words like Fuego, Mordesmorde and even Avada Kedavra.
The policemen asked his Uncle, “Who is this?”
Clive stood up, a hand on Tony’s shoulder. “He is my heir, Antonius Paddington.”
The others may have missed it but Clive had seen the magic sparks when Tony handled some of the magical artefacts in his home. It spoke of a magical ability that Clive knew he would enjoy nurturing.
Tony didn’t understand but he did feel something settle deep inside him. He knew that his Uncle had made a promise so good that he felt it in his bones. He didn’t know enough of the magical world to understand about unbreakable vows.
Fast forward a year or two and Tony was at Hogwarts. He’d learnt everything his Uncle had to teach him. Magic was like the best movies, only there were no props or special effects - it was all him. Tony’s family on his mother's side were deeply magical and had a magical legacy entrenched in the elements. It didn’t seem to matter that he was only magical on his mother’s side. Tony had breezed through his first six years playing chaser and completing his studies. He was glad to be a Ravenclaw, apparently he was all Hufflepuff but had too much of the Paddington blood to not seek revenge against those who wronged him.
No matter what some of the less enlightened members of his cohorts thought. “He may be pretty but he is tainted.” The blonde aristocratic voice declared managing to make his sneer audible.
Tony quirked an eyebrow. “Is that so, Lucius? You should discuss the matter with your father as he was seeking a betrothal contract between us. He felt that merger between the Paddington and Malfoy family was the right way forward. .”
“That can’t be true, you filthy liar.”
Tony stepped forward, losing all of his loose, relaxed stance. “Oh, but it is. Thankfully, Lord Paddington sent a polite rejection ... However, ... if you keeping calling my Lord a liar, I will happily meet you on a duelling platform.” Tony finished, knowing that he was one of the fastest duellers in the year. He would be as his Uncle had employed Aurors to get him up to speed with protection. Uncle Clive’s idea of protection amounted to ensuring you could kill your attacker first.
“You would need a second.” Malfoy pressed, hoping that his family’s reputation would scare off anyone supporting Paddington.
Sirius Black had witnessed the last of the confrontation. He usually kept to his own House and the marauders but - an official reason to mess with Lucius Malfoy? Well, that was just golden. “He’s got one, who will yours be?”
Sirius snorted because Lestrange, whilst physically imposing, had yet to use his mind in a duel as it would be too taxing. “Well, I will be sure to remember to quiver in my boots, you may have to remind me though.”
“You’re a disgrace to your family, Black.”
Sirius jauntily called back. “And thank Merlin for that!”
Tony turned back. “You know you didn’t have to do that.”
Sirius bowed low and kissed Tony’s hand. “Oh, have to, no. Want to, well, that’s a different matter. I think I like you.”
Tony leant against a wall. Sirius Black liked him and he wasn’t sure if that was a good or a bad thing. He guessed that only time would tell.
Dumbledore called both Malfoy and Tony to his office. “Boys. I heard a report of an alarming nature.”
Tony smiled sweetly. “Sir, I can assure you that I said no to the betrothal contract.”
Malfoy rolled his eyes. “You should watch that attitude.”
“Why?” Tony challenged. “You think you are wizard enough to do something about it?”
Albus sighed, knowing then that the alarming reports of a peer’s duelling were in fact true. “You cannot be thinking of duelling, boys. What kind of example would you be setting?”
Tony smirked. “One that fear and gossip are not standard practice and should be challenged at all quarters.”
Dumbledore bowed his head and had to make a decision. “I will allow this to happen but I will be overseeing it and the rules will be adhered to, gentlemen.”
Tony frowned. “My uncle raised me to be an honourable man so I don’t like what you are implying.”
“No offense was meant, Mr. Paddington.”
Tony wasn’t convinced by the eye twinkle and grandfather routine. Uncle had asked to be kept updated on his activities in the school. It seemed that Uncle Clive didn’t trust the fact that the man held three rather key and influential roles in their society.
Black was waiting at the bottom of the staircase. “Hey, Sirius”
“Darlin, is the mean Slytherin trying to back out of the challenge?” Sirius taunted.
Tony shrugged. “Well, that remains to be seen. We should go and practice anyway.”
Sirius had a delightful grin, it reminded Tony of a mischievous puppy. He had no idea how apt that analogy was - yet. Sirius pulled him along. “Come on, this place is perfect.”
Tony was startled by Sirius grabbing his hand but let himself roll with the flow of magic. If his actual magic had jolted with the touching of their hands, well, that was between him and his magical core. Tony was dragged along to a fifth floor and the corridor didn’t look like much. “Why are we here, Sirius? Despite the rumours, I am not a sure thing in a broom cupboard.”
Sirius pouted. “Oh, if I wear you down I want more than a broom cupboard.”
Tony grinned. “I will bear that in mind. So, shall we spar?”
Sirius quirked. “I’m a Black, and as much as I disagree, I learnt my lessons early.”
Tony snorted. “I didn’t, I didn’t know I was magical until the death eaters wiped out my entire family apart from my Uncle Clive. Thankfully, I am assured I’m a great heir and a true Paddington for whatever that is worth.”
Sirius had a crooked grin. “It means that we will be outstanding together.”
Tony got the feeling that he wasn’t talking about the duel. In fact, it was confirmed an hour later when they collapsed on the floor panting.
“Now that was fun.” Tony confessed as his breathing evened out.
Tony looked over at Sirius who lay next to him with his hair wild and eyes bright, grinning just as much as he was. He finally got why people could fall in love at a glance. “You’re as vicious as you are stunning.”
“You will turn a boy’s head with comments like that.” Tony replied, falling back on sarcasm. It was his best defence and kept most people away from him.
Sirius rolled over so that he was close to Tony but not touching him, more of a tantalising tease. “Not a line, not with you. I don’t risk a duel with Malfoy for just anyone.”
Tony knew what his Uncle told him, to trust his instincts and his magic. It was telling him that the Black heir was serious in his regard for Tony. “Let’s duel Malfoy and if we win you can take me out to Hogsmeade.”
Sirius smirked, “But you are the one duelling.”
Tony snickered. “Well, I need to have some extra incentives.”
Sirius sealed the deal with a kiss. “Now that is how we will seal our deals from now on.”
“I can get behind that.”
And that was the start of a courtship that started with a duel, and a date and kept on going. Uncle Clive and Sirius’ grandfather, seeing which way the wind was blowing, made the betrothal contract between the couple. The fact that at the same time, his grandfather names Sirius as his official heir also managed to alienate his mother further was really an added bonus for both boys.
Tony’s emotions were so volatile that Dumbledore had blocked anyone from him. He was an elemental who’d been told his only remaining family member was dead. He was grieving, and at the same time, he was having the rich Paddington family magic landing on him all at once.
“Out the way.”
Dumbledore shook his head. “I can’t let you do that, Mr. Black.”
Sirius rolled his eyes. “Sir, with all due respect, that is my betrothed and I can help him.”
At any other time, Sirius might have enjoyed the look of shock - but now was not it. Tony needed him more than his need to be mischievous. He wrapped Tony up in a hug and let others disappear for a few minutes behind a protega nigrum shield. It was a Black family special shield, allowing for curses to pass through it from the caster but blocking everything short of a cruciatus or killing curse.
Tony whispered. “The dark wanker took my only remaining family.”
Sirius had to grin even as he hugged Tony because it was clear that this had not broken Sirius may not be too keen on his family, on the grounds they supported Voldemort, still there were some character traits that ran true like what to do when crossed. “So we make him regret all his life choices.”
Tony and Sirius had kept up their vow to be a thorn in the Dark Lord, more commonly known as the dark wanker around their Auror office. The only couple who truly succeeded in being a worse thorn in the Dark Lord’s side was James and Lily. And they’d only done that by having a prophecy child who was fated to finally destroy the bastard.
Sirius and Tony had been in their office. They’d found it ironic when Moody had paired the lords and husbands together. Apparently, Moody felt Tony was the only one capable of somewhat reining in Padfoot.
The call came in. “The Potter warding notice.”
Tony and Sirius shared a look. There was only one person who’d be stupid enough to attack the Potter hideout - Voldemort. Fucking dark wanker. Tony thought in a less than wizardly way. Oh well, Tony and Sirius had set the wards around James and Lily’s place and lethal was putting it mildly. It would have taken more than a few Deatheaters to break them down.
Their wands were in their hands and they were apparting through the ministry which they weren’t supposed to be able to do. It was not their fault that individually they were powerful but their marriage bond allowed them to pool their magic to make crazier stunts happen.
Moody’s voice was behind them - they didn’t care, this was their friend. The front door was blasted in, Tony cursed. “That fucking traitorous blasted rat.”
Sirius moaned and even though he was in his human form - he sounded more like a Grimm in that moment. James was in the hallway, his body lifeless, they knew the look all too well. He’d been caught by the worst of the unforgivables. There was a scream from the nursery area. “Harry.”
Tony and Sirius ran quicker than ever before. “Please be okay.”
The nursery looked like a burglar had ransacked it. Lily was dead as well and there was baby Harry tucked in her arms even as she fell. They saw the blood on his forehead.
Tony was the one to gently pry Harry out of Lily’s arms. They needed to look after their godson more than revenge. “Sirius, forget Peter. We will catch the little rat bastard. We need to focus on our godson now.”
Sirius took a deep breath. “You’re right, I’d hate to think what would have happened without you here.”
Tony kissed him lightly, careful not to squash little Harry. “Well, thankfully, we never have to worry about it. Let’s get out of here before I have to act like a pissy noble.”
Tony could play the part with ease and Sirius adored that Tony could have the Wizengamot on their tippy-toes dancing to his tune. The apparition of a new figure had Tony sighing. “Too late.”
Albus Dumbledore was moving forward toward them. “Now boys, give young Harry over.”
Tony smiled sweetly. “Over my dead body and no matter how much power you think you have ... well, even the Blacks won’t cross the Paddingtons.”
“He should be with his family.” Dumbledore tried to reason.
Tony never let go of Harry and trusted Sirius to have his back. “We’re his godfathers. Don’t fight this, Albus. Peter was the secret keeper and he betrayed them. We’re his godfathers, so upon the Potter’s deaths, should custody not transfer to Sirius and me, the Goblins will be releasing the documents to every major newspaper in Europe.”
Albus saw the Lord hiding behind the Auror. He realised that Clive Paddington had taught his heir every bit of his own ruthlessness. “Very well, but this boy will need to be protected.”
Tony rolled his eyes. “Then who better than two vicious Aurors, who also happen to be peers of the realm.”
Sirius held his breath as Tony did a slide-long apparition to Paddington Manor. It was unplottable, untraceable and had Goblin War Wards that Ragnok himself had created and cackled while he’d done it.
“This is going to be difficult, isn’t it.” Sirius said looking into those emerald green eyes.
Tony nodded. “Yep, but we will honour our promises and kill anyone who tries to harm a hair on our godson’s head.”
And boy did they. Harry never knew what sleeping in a cupboard was like. He’d never know harm at the hands of those who were supposed to care for him. What Harry knew was the fierce devotion and love heaped upon him by his two godfathers who were determined to raise him in accordance with their dead friends’ wishes.