Chapter 1: Fury
Title: Sentinel Fury
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Sirius Black, Ellie Potter (female Harry), Dolores Umbridge, Wizengamot
Genre: Sentinel fusion; same world as Senses of Magic (LBD)
Word Count: 820
Warnings: Don’t fuck with Sirius Black
Author Note: This could be considered loosely based on my Senses of Magic sentinel fusion story. It is not a sign of a coming sequel; please don't ask for one.
“You know,” Sirius spoke over the chatter of the Wizengamot, “a few people have asked me about Azkaban.” Silence fell as he leaned back in his chair — ornate and ancient — and withdrew a black cigarillo from his robe. “The most common thing I’m asked is, aren’t you angry? You were betrayed, abused, imprisoned, and abandoned by the Ministry and your family — why aren’t you furious?”
Beside him, in her own seat, was his goddaughter; Ellie Potter, Sentinel and witch, the light of his life and the reason he refused to allow bitterness and anger to rule him. She was thirteen years old, brave and sneaky and full of humour — and vibrating with fury.
“So I’d like to congratulate you all,” he continued, speaking to the three wizards and witch who had just presented a new proposal for discussion. “Congratulations. You’ve succeeded in making me fucking angry.”
He lit his cigar with a spark of wandless magic — and the stack of parchment sitting before Dolores Umbridge erupted into a pillar of flame.
The bitch — who had somehow survived the purge of the Minister’s Office that had occurred after the truth of Sirius’ imprisonment had come out — shrieked and toppled, arse over teakettle, out of her seat. The room erupted — shouts, surprise, and laughter. Ellie giggled beside him, and Sirius almost smiled.
“So, needless to say, that particular piece of legislation is firmly vetoed. Though why you morons thought you might be able to pass a bill making all sentinels wards of the Ministry is beyond me.”
“Now, we’ve been here for six hours, and I promised my goddaughter we’d have tea at the Savoie this afternoon. So, in the interests of expediency — does anyone have anything to put before this body that isn’t full of bigotry, self-interest, or anything that will make me call someone to a dueling platform?”
Despite the fact that three other Lords were on the agenda for the day — no one spoke.
Until, as usual, Dumbledore decided to interfere. “Sirius —”
“Lord Black, Lord Ravensmoor, or Your Grace. Don’t make me remind you again.”
The usual twinkle became disappointed. “Is this really necessary, Lord Black?”
“Since, apparently, the wix in this room seem incapable of learning a lesson — yes, Chief Warlock, it is. Now,” he flicked a bit of ash, “I’m going to say something, and I want you all to remember it. The next time someone tries to waste the time of this body with blatant bigotry like the Werewolf Registration Act that was on the agenda today, or this piece of hippogriff dung — I’m not only going to exercise my veto power, I’m going to call someone out. And I will remind you all; he might have died when I was young, but I am every inch my father’s son.”
Since Orion Black had been a world-class duelist, who had faced Alastor Moody on a formal stage five times and won three, it was a rather pointed statement.
“So you will set the agenda of this entire body, Your Grace?”
“No, Lord Malfoy; I’m informing you that I refuse to waste my life combating overt racism and stupidity one instance at a time when there are much more efficient ways of doing so.”
“You —!” Umbridge had managed to get to her feet, a little singed and very unhappy. She’d even lost that affected little girl’s voice of hers, in favour of a shrill tone. “You can’t —! I’ll have you arrested!”
“Madam, you attempted to make yourself a threat to my daughter in magic — you’re lucky to be alive.”
“I did no such —”
“That bill was a blatant attempt to gain control of my ward. Not that your bill would have done you any good — the first time a Ministry official tried to take custody of a sentinel with an online parent, they would have been torn apart by a feral sentinel.”
“Sentinels are dangerous! They must be appropriately controlled by the Ministry, for the good of Magical Britain!”
Around the room, several people — sentinels or guides, or those related to them — growled.
“Someone get her out of here, before she triggers a mass feral episode. Oh, madam?” The Auror who had seized her pink-clad arm allowed the woman to turn. “If you ever so much as think of my goddaughter again, much less consider a way to do her harm — I’ll kill you and bathe in your blood.”
The Wizengamot closed, its members and the witness gallery emptying with speed, even as Dolores Umbridge’s unconscious form was carried out.
Ellie smirked. “Watching idiots pass out makes me hungry.”
“Sweetheart, breathing makes you hungry at your age.”
“Yeah, but sweets taste better after you see someone get a well-deserved comeuppance.”
“So, dessert first?”
She gave him a Look. “Sirius, dessert should always come first.”
Chapter 2: Steve McGarrett
Title: Jurassic Five-O
Prompt: Steve McGarrett
Fandom: Hawaii 5-O, Jurassic World
Characters: Steve McGarrett, Danny Williams, Kono Kalakaua, Chin Ho Kelly, Owen Grady, Claire Denning, Zack and Gray Mitchell, Grace Williams
Genre: Action, post-movie, late night writing (which is so a genre, or at least a writing style), team-fic
Word Count: 1236
Warnings: This is what happens when you listen to old podcasts when reading character prompts. Poly. Dinosaurs.
Danny was still going, and Steve couldn’t blame him. Even the easy-going Chin Ho had found time to make some fairly aggressive comments; no surprise that his partner had reached a new orbit with his vitriol and hand-waving.
“ — and the next time the governor decides to reward us? Ask him what we’ve done to piss him off! In what realm of reality is a trip to an island full of the biggest predators in history a reward?”
Chin and Kono were nodding in solidarity. Both looked a little ruffled, a lot battered, and very tired. Kono listed slightly in her seat, and Danny absently propped her up.
“And really, these things aren’t dangerous enough on their own? Some moron had to go and start playing God? That thing was like one of those flip books, where you can mix and match animal bodies! Great for kids — Gracie loved those things — but not a legitimate science project!”
Steve glanced over at the girl in question — Grace was sitting with Gray and Zach. Rather, she was sitting with Gray, and flirting with Zach, who didn’t seem bothered. Almost getting eaten by dinosaurs didn’t make much impact on teen hormones, apparently.
Normally, Danny would already be planning a quiet body disposal — he had not been pleased yesterday, when Grace and Zach had struck up conversation in the hotel lobby, and had been sliding towards homicidal when his daughter insisted on joining the other teen on the excursion into the park. Normally Steve would be right behind his partner, best ‘emotionless killer’ face on, helping scare off the boy who dared chat up Grace, sweet and pretty and just fourteen, while Chin smirked and Kono played referee and took up Grace’s side.
Normal didn’t mean much after a day spent dodging dinosaurs.
Let them flirt. He already knew his whole team was waiting for a chance for a little more adult stress relief. Nothing like adrenaline and near-death to ramp up the sex drive. Fight or flight should be renamed the fight, flight or fuck response.
Speaking of. . .
“He still going?”
Owen wandered over, leaning casually against Steve’s shoulder. He was a little dirty, sweaty, and battered; like they’d just run a mission, rather than a prehistoric gauntlet.
They’d been SEALs together for years, and had easily fallen back in that pattern even before the whole island went to hell. Owen had gotten out of the service first, only six months before Steve had left the Teams for Hawaii, the Reserves, and 5-O.
“This is nothing. His record is seventeen minutes, and that only involved drug runners and a neurotoxin. Man-eating dinosaurs, corporate corruption and human stupidity? Twenty minutes, minimum.”
“Twenty-four,” Chin murmured. “Kono?”
“Twenty-seven — he’s already at nineteen minutes.”
“ — training raptors like friggin’ police dogs — you know I can hear you, right? You know I understand your words, and that you are betting on my very legitimate explanation of why this whole place is a monolith to the stupidity and arrogance of humanity? Right?”
“Of course, brah . That’s why you hear us loudly not disagreeing with you.”
Danny gave Kono a beady eye, then huffed. Apparently satisfied with her sincerity, he continued. “And you — this is more relaxing than the SEALs? Really? You retire from traipsing across the globe, swimming with sharks and killing terrorists, and your retirement option is training dinosaurs?”
“Seemed like a good idea at the time.”
“Congratulations, Steven, we’ve found someone more insane that you are.” Danny sighed. “I can’t believe I’m about to say this — but I wish we’d never left Hawaii, and I’m never leaving the island again.”
“We’re all alive, Danny, and more people would have died if we weren’t here.” Because an extra SEAL and three cops had definitely made a difference. Especially when the ‘highly trained’ security teams had, unsurprisingly, not fared well against a genetically-altered dinosaur while using non-lethal means.
Masrani wasn’t likely to file charges against Steve for punching him in face, especially since he was unconscious instead of in the helicopter that had unsuccessfully tried to take on a dinosaur and a glass dome. He might regret being alive when all the lawsuits started rolling in, though.
“Of course we saved lives, Steven! The fact that those lives needed saving is the issue!” And Danny was off again.
“Twenty-nine,” Steve told Chin, who looked unimpressed with his rigging the bet.
Owen leaned a little harder, chuckling. “You know, they said you landed easy when you went Reservist, but it’s nice to see.”
Steve examined his team. Others had come and gone — temporary agents, liaisons, assigned observers — but from the first it had been the four of them. They’d dealt with personal nightmares, international terrorists, bioweapons, family traumas, triads and gangs and the yakuza, corrupt govenors and Wo Fat — and now, extinct predators and the most dangerous zoo in history.
He wasn’t wrong to prefer an international criminal enterprise. Murderous humans were a lot simpler than a prehistoric killing machine.
“Yeah, I had a good landing. Sorry yours shipwrecked.”
The other SEAL sighed. “Not your fault. I’ll find another place to land.”
“With a pretty redhead?” Because that tension needed a k-bar to slice through it.
“Maybe.” Owen smirked. “You and your vocal partner?”
“Sometimes, but he’s seeing someone at the moment.” Steve and Danny would never not be Steve-and-Danny, but their intimacy was emotional and a little co-dependent. Sex was part of it, but mostly when neither of them had another outlet. Or when Steve had gotten mind-fucked by Wo Fat. Or his mother. Or something had threatened Grace. Or Danny was frustrated at being treated like a haole. Or . . .
No wonder half of Hawaii thought they were married. They basically were, if that marriage was an open, polygamous one.
There were more dysfunctional relationships out there. Probably.
Owen chuckled. “In that case, you still as . . . adventurous as you were in Seoul?”
Seoul was the aftermath of a bitch of a mission, collecting information on the Hesse brothers and dismantling a cell of terrorists with nuclear aspirations — and he distinctly remembered a very adventurous evening with Owen and a local woman that had lasted well into the night. And the next morning.
He glanced over at the redhead — Claire Denning, Zach and Gray’s aunt and a woman who, despite appearances, was surprisingly tough and adaptable. However. . . “No way.”
He huffed. “You only risk money when you’ve rigged the bet. You already asked her, didn’t you.”
“Actually, she asked me if you’d be amenable.”
“I told her you weren’t only amenable and available, but easy.”
Danny stopped ranting, and started laughing. “He definitely knows you, Steven.”
Steve blushed a little, knowing his whole team had heard that conversation. “Shut up, Danny.”
“And I want to hear about Seoul.”
“Only if we never talk about this again.”
“And you should take your smirking friend over to the lady and prove the honour — or lack thereof — of the navy.”
“Please stop talking.”
“Boss,” Kono said cheerfully, “you should totally haul ass.”
The blush deepened. “We’ve ruined you, Kalakaua.”
“No, she came this way,” Chin assured him. “And, really, Steve — you don’t keep a lady and a gentleman waiting.”
“I like your team,” Owen told him.
“I hate them all.”
They were still laughing at him when Owen hauled him away.
Chapter 3: Penelope Garcia
Title: The Fabulous Penelope Garcia
Prompt: Penelope Garcia
Fandom: Criminal Minds/NCIS
Characters/Pairings: Penelope Garcia, Derek Morgan, Emily Prentiss, JJ Jareau, Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid/Tony DiNozzo
Genre: Awesome Women, Pretty Men, Team Fic
Word Count: 1485
Warnings: well, I refuse to warn for slash or for women ruling everything so. . . I got nothing.
Authors Note: Seriously; every prompt and challenge for six months, and I manage to make them all genderbent — because I am nothing if not consistent in my obsessions — and what happens with the first female character prompt? I write slash for the first time in months. I need a translation program for my own brain.
“Emily! Please tell me you aren’t busy on Friday night?”
The profiler looked surprised by her abrupt appearance, but Emily was nothing if not game. “Garcia, this is so sudden; I had no idea you felt that way.”
The temper Penny was riding eased back enough that she could grin. “Oh, my pet, you know you're the only one for me.”
“Shhh, don’t tell Morgan. He couldn’t bear to know you’ve been stringing him along all these years to cover for our love.”
“From Chocolate Adonis to unwitting beard in one afternoon,” said god in mortal flesh mused. “Pretty Boy, save my ego — you didn’t see that coming, right?”
“Honestly? Garcia, Prentiss and JJ seem like platonic life mates to me. I think you might be out of luck, Morgan.”
“Sweet William knows he’s your second choice, right, angelfish?” she asked JJ as the blonde agent approached with a stack of files.
“Of course,” she replied without missing a beat. “He’s waiting for a chance to console Morgan when we leave this life of constant toil for one of sex, sin, and alcohol in the Bahamas.”
“I don’t know which scares me more,” Morgan told Reid, who happily accepted the majority of JJ’s armload. “That they’ve discussed and planned this conversation in advance — or that they share a brain.”
“Either way, Morgan, they run circles around you.”
“Oh, like you can keep up, Dr Missed Social Cue.”
“I have no illusions about their ability to run us, the unit, and possibly the world before I even noticed their coup d’etat.”
“Aww.” Penny stroked her favorite autodidacts’ hair. “You really are a genius, Dr Reid.”
“We’ll spare you after the revolution, Reid.”
“Of course you will — who else would do the paperwork?”
“Point,” JJ conceded.
Morgan eyed them all nervously; from the corner of her eye, Penny spotted Spencer’s wicked grin. Such a prankster. “Okay, this got weird and a little scary, very quickly.”
All three ladies gave him sweet, menacing smiled. He rolled his chair backwards, nearly bumping into Hotch. Their fearless leader looked up from his file, took in team, and sighed.
“Morgan, just do what they say and no one — meaning you — will get hurt.” Then he retreated to his office, leaving the delectable Derek to his fate.
“Best. Boss. Ever.” Penny muttered. Morgan looked offended and a little nervous.
Taking pity on him. Emily smirked. “To answer you original, PG, my only Friday plans involved wine, takeout, and my cat. Please, save me from my own singleness.”
And once again, she was furious on behalf of her friend. “It’s not me that will do the saving. I have a friend —”
“Oh, god, Garcia —”
“It’s not a blind date, my beloved! I know how you feel about those! No, it’s a mission of mercy. A friend of mine,” and she fanned herself lavishly, making her ‘oh, baby’ face, “who is one of the few men on earth to match the sheer magnificence of my beautiful Derek Morgan, desperately needs a date to a Navy event on Friday night. Normally he’d go stag — but his rather toxic teammates have been rather unbearable lately and take every chance to target his ego, self-esteem and reputation. And the last time he took a casual friend slash occasional booty call, his so-called professional teammates were so nasty that she refused to have anything to do with them ever again.”
Just thinking about it steamed her buns — was that any way to treat a teammate, much less one as sweet and handsome as Tony?
Her team was watching her carefully, and Penny knew her temper was showing. She didn’t lose it often — she was a lover, not a fighter — but people who abused the people she loved were at the top of her list. Penny took a deep breath and gave Emily an imploring look. “I promise he’s not handsy, or a mansplainer, or intimidated by a girl with a gun — and he’s not into science fiction specifically, but he’s a huge film buff and he’ll watch pretty much anything, so you’ll have something to talk about, and —”
“Pen, why aren’t you going as his date?”
“I would — I can never resist a gorgeous man when he begs — but I have a support group meeting on Friday. I told Tony I’d find someone, or he’ll have to ask Temperance, and she’ll punch Ziva the Terrible in the face inside of ten minutes — which would be amazing and very karmic, though I generally don’t approve of violence —”
“Wait — baby girl, are you talking about Tony Dinozzo? NCIS agent, Ohio State Buckeye, hell on wheels on the basketball court, about my height and half as good-looking? That Tony?”
“Everything but the last — nice try, sweet cheeks — why?”
But Morgan was looking at their most brilliant teammate, who was turning a brilliant red while pretending that the answer to life could be found in his files.
Silly genius, the answer to life was 42 and waffles.
“Because I have a better option than Emily —”
“ — and it’ll sure as hell shut up those bratty junior agents of Dinozzo’s.”
“Go on and tell me that you weren't checking out his ass, Pretty Boy.” Reid glared and said nothing. “Yeah, exactly.”
“Dr Reid,” Penny breathed, “I thought we had an arrangement ! You tell me all your dirty, dirty secrets, and I don’t have to spend time dragging them out of you. Though I have always gotten a bisexual, nonconformist vibe from you,” she mused.
“Pansexual with demisexual leanings,” JJ corrected, settling on the edge of Emily’s desk — the better to stare pointedly at the blushing braintrust. “Person, not gender and he generally needs to know something about them or their personality first.”
“JJ —” he exhaled, betrayed.
“Yeah, I can see that,” Penny patted Spencer’s shoulder consolingly. “And I know Tony is an equal opportunity employer.” She shot a laser-sharp gaze at Derek. “Spill, chocolate god. Now.”
He held up his hands in surrender. Smart man. “All I know is that the kid here picked me up from a coaching session at the local youth centre — where T was also volunteering —”
“Civic minded,” Emily noted cheerfully.
“ — and Pretty Boy here took one good look at Tony, who was trashing a trio of high schoolers singlehandedly —”
“I do like competence in a man,” JJ reflected.
“ — and he was looking a little damp and half naked —”
“Yes, please ,” Penny sighed. She’d seen that particular eye candy, after all.
“ — and there was a little drool, and a lot of tongue-trippage.”
Reid was bright red now, sliding down his seat as if he might slip right off the chair and under the desk. “I will get you back for this, Morgan.”
“And Tony?” Penny asked, ignoring her g-man’s dramatics.
“Oh, there was some looking, and a little bit of salivating, too, but Pretty Boy here was so keen to disappear that Tony didn’t even get a chance to show off his game — other than basketball, or course. He seemed disappointed, too,” Derek winked at Spencer.
Who frowned and looked away. “Don’t be stupid, Morgan; people who look like that never look at me.”
Self-esteem issues, right on time.
Penny squeezed Spencer’s shoulder, considering, while the team reassured their youngest that he was nearly as beautiful as he was brilliant.
Problem: Two friends who needed an ego boost, companionship, and orgasms shared with other people. Friends who, apparently, already found each other attractive.
Solution: Shove said friends at each other — gently, or course, her boys were fragile — and encourage some. . . bonding.
The best part of having a divergent groups of friends, was when your friends became friends with each other, after all. And they were both so pretty; together, it would be beautiful squared.
“Dr Reid,” Penny interrupted cheerfully. Under her hand, Spencer twitched and turned to watch her warily. Clever genius; she was definitely up to shenanigans.
She dug out her phone as she walked away. “Wear the gray suit — the one with the matching waistcoat.”
He sounded nervous — it was adorable. Really, she was doing it for his own good. That much sweet, beautiful genius deserved someone to bask in it. And sex it up.
“Make sure you wear it with the maroon shirt — the one you bought when you at Christmas when we went shopping.” She hit the call button. “Oh, and your gold pocket watch.”
“Tony? Hello, my Italian Stallion — I found you a date.”
“Garcia!” Really, it was amazing the pitch he could reach when he was panicking.
“I guess I won’t be standing up my cat after all.”
Honestly — what would they do without her?
Chapter 4: Anthony DiNozzo Jr
Title: Navy Spouse
Prompt: Anthony Dinozzo, Jr
Fandom: NCIS/Hawaii Five-0
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, Steve McGarrett, LJ Gibbs, Danny Williams, Kono Kalakaua, Chin Ho Kelly, Meka Hanamoa, Victor & Anton Hesse
Genre: Slash, Action, Angst, Badassery
Word Count: 1520
Warning: canon-typical violence; retconning of the end of DADT; homophobic language
Summary: The Hesse brother decide that Steve McGarrett’s husband is a softer target than his father. That’s probably their first mistake.
“You should answer that — you don’t spend nearly enough time with your spouse. You wouldn’t want him to feel neglected, would you?”
Anton Hesse’s smirk made Steve want to stab him in the face, but the icy fist wrapped around his heart was making it difficult to breathe. He flicked the call button on his phone. “Tony?”
“Hey babe. You miss me?”
His husband’s voice was as calm and cheerful as ever. It might have been the start of any other conversation if not for one thing; Tony never called him ‘babe’.
“Tony, are you alright?”
“I’m fine, Steve. I’m just hanging out with a couple of friends of yours.”
Steve snatched an offered notepad, scrawling a message out on it, and shoved it into a waiting hand. “Tony —”
“I never took you for a pillow biter, McGarrett,” an Irish voice drawled over the line. “I’ll give you credit though, Steve, he’s a pretty bastard. Tough, too.”
“I swear to God, Hesse, if you hurt him — I will kill you.”
“Now, now, McGarrett, you know how this works — my brother for your husband.”
“You know that isn’t possible. The United States government does not negotiate with terrorists.”
“Better hope not, McGarrett, or your —” there was a murmur in the background, and his husband’s voice returned. “Steve?”
“I’m here, Tony —”
“I need you to listen to me, Steve. I love you; you know that, right?”
Oh Jesus, please. “I love you, too,” he managed to get past the lump in his throat, glaring fiercely at Anton’s mocking expression.
“They’re tracing your signal, Steve; you need to get out of there.”
There was an exclamation over the phone, and a faint grunt from Tony. Steve seized a nearby sleeve and hissed an order for air support and to alert the convoy. “Tony — ?”
He strained his ears, desperate to decipher the sounds seven thousand miles away. Voices and sounds of a struggle, a sharp crack or something breaking and then —
Two gunshots, a thud, and the third shot.
“Tony —?Tony! ”
Anton smirked again and opened his mouth, only to gasp when Steve slammed his boot into the little asshole’s knee. For several long, endless moments, Steve waited in agony, not knowing if the man he’d loved for ten years was alive or dead.
“Steve — for fuck’s sake, asshole, stop struggling! — you there, caro?”
“Where else would I be?” he managed. “Hesse?”
“Alive, but bleeding. He’ll live — his pet hacker might not, though.”
“Victor Hesse is dangerous, Tone —”
“You say that like I didn’t read your files on him, Steve,” and of course Tony had read his Eyes Only, classified military files; he really had to stop bring those with him when he was on leave. “Don’t worry, Ace, it’s hard to pull off those fancy martial arts moves when you’re hogtied with flex cuffs,” there was a sharp thud, “and even harder when you’re unconscious.” A few more noises. “Hesse has men in your area, ready to take back baby Hesse; no telling how they’ll react if they don’t get the signal.”
“How do you know that?”
There was a faint chuckle. “We had a little time to chat before our three-way call, Steve.”
“Are you hurt?”
“A few bruises and rope burn; relax, Lieutenant Commander Overprotective. Hesse figured a couple of love taps would be enough to soften up a faggot — which is also why he went for me, instead of your dad.”
He inhaled at the slur, knowing that it would strike a chord in Tony; the man’s asshole of a father had been fond of it. “Victor Hesse is usually smarter than that. I think I’m a little disappointed.”
“Always sucks to find out your nemesis is more arrogant and lucky than smart. Hold on a sec.” There was a clatter of keys. “Aha. Do you have reinforcements inbound?”
A quick check with his men confirmed there were two US helicopters on the way. Tony rattled off the GPS location, make and call number of the helicopter carrying Hesse’s private mercenaries.
“I love you, too, Smooth Dog,” Tony cut him off before he could request — demand — details on his spouse’s condition. “You keep yourself safe, and I’ll find a deep hole to drop Hesse in.”
“Typical,” Steve muttered. “Five years of chasing Victor Hesse around the world, with the full resources of Naval Intelligence at my disposal, and you take him down while being held captive at gunpoint.” He smirked at Anton, whose smug air was fading rapidly.
“Don’t forget the part about being tied to a chair.”
“I’m going to tie you to the bed — maybe that’ll keep you out of trouble.”
“Doubtful,” was the cheerful response. Steve grinned helplessly. “Stay alive, Steven — I’m not done with you yet.”
Steve ended the call with Tony’s parting benediction — the same one he’d used at each parting and deployment since they’d met ten years ago as a new SEAL and cocky young detective — echoing in his ears.
He smiled darkly at Anton Hesse — who paled.
“What was that about studying up on me, Anton?”
Tony dropped the cell phone on his desk beside the laptop, then snagged a USB stick from a drawer, plugging it in an open slot. The computer was a goldmine of data and actionable intel on terrorists, insurgents and the arms dealers who loved them — no way in hell was he going to risk losing that info if the CIA, NSA or Naval Intelligence laid claim to it.
He stepped over the moaning hacker — cuffed and bleeding — to snag his own phone. No doubt navy backup was on it’s way, but this was definitely federal jurisdiction now. He’d be damned if someone stole Hesse from him before he got to wring the Irish bastard dry. Hesse had spent years dodging, frustrating, and now stalking his husband; he’d threatened Tony’s family.
“Hey boss; I need some backup at my place.”
There was a pause. “You hurt, DiNozzo?”
He glanced over his reflection, taking in the bruises on his jaw and cheekbone, the split lip and eyebrow. His left eye was going black, and he would need stitches. “I don’t need an ambulance, but these two assholes do. But neither of our lives will be worth living if I don’t let Ducky or Jimmy look me over.” Which was as close as he could come to admitting he was hurting.
There was a grunt over the line. “I’m sending agents over, and an ambulance. I’ll be there in ten minutes.” It was twenty-two for normal drivers. “What’s this about, Tony? Were you a target?”
“No, but I was meant to be leverage.” Hesse stirred slightly, and Tony retrieved his gun from its drawer.
“Yeah.” He flicked the safety. “I know you’re awake, Victor. I need you alive and talking — the ability to walk or even feed yourself?” Hesse rolled onto his side, warily eyeing Tony’s Sig. “That’s optional.”
And engine revved in his ear. “Backup in four, Dinozzo.”
“Don’t worry about me, boss; me and my new friend Victor Hesse will just hang out until you get here.”
“Victor Hesse. One of the fifteen most wanted men in the world.”
“Yeah, that’s him.” He cocked his gun when the man in question wriggled. “Ah ah, Vicky. It looks like number sixteen on that list just got a promotion,” he told his boss.
Who sighed and accelerated.
Seven days later, Steve jogged up the stairs to his office, his team following behind. He still wasn’t quite sure how it had happened — somewhere between locking Anton in a cell on the USS Enterprise and getting a flight from Yokosuka to Hickram, NCIS and Naval Intelligence had traced Hesse’s entrance to the USA to Hawaii, where he’d set men to surveil John McGarrett before heading to the mainland. Since he’d already been there, Steve had checked on his father — who’d had something to say about getting a call from a son-in-law he hadn’t known about, which had led to a typical McGarrett family fight.
A fight that had been broken up by the Governor of Hawaii, who’d shown up to offer Steve a job.
A job he’d refused, of course, right up until one of Hesse’s lieutenants had slipped through the HPD’s surveillance and made an attempt at Steve and his father.
One dead arms dealer later, Steve had accepted Jameson’s means and immunity, stolen a haole detective and his local partner from HPD, given his father’s old partner a job, recruited a rookie cop, and taken down a snakehead with ties to Hesse.
Now he just had to tell Tony.
Hell, who was he kidding — his husband probably already knew.
“Fed in the building,” Chin Ho and Danno murmured, almost simultaneously.
Kono examined the figure leaning on the computer table. “Okay, I see a guy — how do you get federal agent?”
“Suit,” Meka told her.
“It’s the shoes,” Chin said serenely. “Cops and feds wear different shoes.
“The federal badge doesn’t hurt,” Danno told her dryly.
“And here I thought I’d remembered to put on my non-federal agent shoes this morning.”
Steve crossed the room and wrapped his arms around his husband before Tony had managed to turn fully around. A heartbeat later, he was being kissed for all he was worth.
“Huh. I did not see that coming,” Chin murmured.
“Really? I did,” Kono said smugly.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, caro , but I thought I was the cop in this relationship. Though, it is flattering how you’ve chose to follow my example.”
Steve touched the three stitched in his husband’s eyebrow. “Well, since you decided to start taking down international fugitives, I figured we were swapping.”
“Oh, you were swapping something,” Danno said cheerfully. “Honestly, McGarrett, I’ve met your father; you weren’t raised by wild boars. How about an introduction?”
Tony eyed his team and smiled. Kono made an appreciative sound. “Tony DiNozzo, NCIS. And this idiot’s husband.”
“Oh, I like you,” Danno said. “Please tell me you’re staying — we could use someone smarter that those idiots at the Pearl Harbour office, and you can keep this lunatic in line.”
Tony sighed and looked at Steve fondly. He was pretty sure he was wearing a dopey expression; his team’s amused faces told him that, plus he felt a little high on good feelings. It had been five months since he and Tony had been on the same continent, much less state.
“Caro , we’ve talked about your people skills before.”
“I have great people skills!”
“For a tiger shark, maybe,” Danno muttered, making everyone laugh. “Are you transferring to Pearl?”
Steve winced a little; Pearl was coveted post, and Tony claimed he wasn’t the Director’s favourite agent. Also, they had only been married since DADT was repealed, but Steve figured you were supposed to tell your spouse when you accepted a new job half way around the world. Before you finished moving into your new office space.
“Something like that.” Tony smiled at Steve. It was sweet, soft, and carried a hint of steel. “I’m the new Special Agent in Charge of Pearl Harbour.”
Oh, yeah. Tony was going to have words for him. After they fucked each other stupid, of course. Steve was looking forward to it, and everything that came after.
Chapter 5: Anthony DiNozzo Jr
I realized that all my always-a-girl genderbent stories had the younger partner as the female. Since I don’t want anyone to think I do this because I’m making the ‘weaker’, younger or ‘submissive’ (finger quote emoji . . . do they have one of those?) character female out of some kind of adherence to gender roles, I decided to remedy that. FYI, I nearly called this story “Women on Top”.
Title: The Perils of the Divine
Prompt: Anthony DiNozzo Jr
Fandom: Criminal Minds/NCIS
Characters/Pairings: Penelope Garcia, Derek Morgan, Emily Prentiss, JJ Jareau, Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid/Tony DiNozzo
Genre: genderbent/always-a-girl, team fic
Word Count: 1375
Author’s Note: My headcanon Female Tony DiNozzo is currently Tine Stapelfeldt, because no matter the gender, Tony is all about the jaw, the cheekbones, and that intense green gaze.
“Well, now, the day is looking up,” Morgan told Rossi, who made an amused and appreciative noise. Both men tipped their heads slightly as they gazed out the round table room’s window.
Emily rose from the table, followed their gaze, and huffed. “Seriously? You two are such boys.” They grinned. “Rossi, that woman is young enough to be your daughter.”
“Most women are,” the older profiler said, unabashed. “Besides, if I couldn’t appreciate a pair of great legs — I’d be dead instead of just old.”
“Those legs aren’t great, they’re a work of art. Yes, please,” Morgan grinned as said legs were crossed.
The legs, Emily noted, were attached to a woman who looked exactly like someone who should own them; lean, athletic, and tall. Emily was no shrimp herself, but the woman sitting out in the squad room probably had several inches on her, even without her low heels. Her suit, including a skirt that showed off those legs, was a better fit for a boardroom than a bullpen and made an interesting contrast to the badge just visible at this angle.
“Does anyone have an outside consult today?” Morgan asked, obviously seeing the stack of files under a long fingered hand. “And if so, I’m stealing it.”
“Not me,” Emily demurred, “but Hotch might, or have a meeting scheduled.”
In the bullpen, Garcia approached the object of Morgan’s admiration. They were an interesting pair, two intensely female women; Penelope was all colour and flash and texture and the stranger was all lines and angles and neutrals tones.
A sweep of dark blonde hair was pushed back, revealing a sharp jaw and cheekbones, and she rose to shake Garcia’s hand — standing a full head above their technical analyst — and smiled. Emily could see the shift in Garcia, from slightly cautious to surprised, and then relaxed and cheerful. Even without being able to hear her, Emily knew that Pen was now bubbling over at the other woman, which said a lot about the power of that smile. The former hacker was no slouch when it came to taking someone’s measure.
Rossi made a soft noise in the back of his throat, apparently agreeing with her silent assessment.
“Damn,” Morgan said, reverently. Emily sighed.
“Rossi, you better lend him a handkerchief for that drool.”
The man ignored her teasing and called out, “Pretty Boy, put down those papers and come check this out.”
Reid didn’t even look up from the stacks of journals he was perusing — the contents of one of the twelve boxes of personal effects they were going over to get inside the heads of a killing team they were doing custodial interviews with next week. The genius made an absent hmmm noise and flipped another page.
Morgan tore his gaze away to stare at their youngest member incredulously. “Seriously, man, there is a goddess out in the bullpen, and you’d rather read about torture fantasies.”
“In mythology, mortal men who dally with goddesses usually suffer unpleasant fates,” Reid said absently. “Also, appearance is the most superficial of reasons to judge a person’s worthiness, value, or claim to divinity.”
Emily hid a grin at Morgan’s disgusted look. “I’m not judging, I’m appreciating.”
The door swung open, revealing their technicolour technical analyst. “There you are, my precious ones.”
“Baby girl, make my month and tell me that the piece of perfection in the bullpen needs a consult with a federal profiling stud.”
Morgan didn’t seem to notice that Pen’s smile went sly; Emily grinned. This was going to be good.
“Indeed, the fair damsel — and can I just say that I would commit an illegal but nonviolent act for those cheekbones — has stormed our castle in search of a knight in FBI body armour.” Morgan pushed up has sleeves, straightened his back, and started forward. “Specifically, she’s looking for the beautiful and brilliant Sir Doctor Reid.”
Emily fancied that she could hear Morgan’s ego and fantasies deflate.
Rossi chuckled softly, earning a fulminating glare, while Reid looked up at his name.
“What’s going on, Garcia?”
Pen smiled brightly at him, after flashing a cheerful and toothy grin at Morgan. “An officer from Metro is here, and she’d like to speak to you. Apparently she’s heard of your code-breaking talents and has sought them out.”
“Metro?” Reid rose, pushing back his long hair and adjusting his glasses — which usually only came out when there was a massive volume of reading to do. “What’s her name?”
“A Lieutenant DiNozzo —”
Reid grinned and swept out of the room. They followed, curious, with Morgan trailing slightly behind.
“Tony!” Long legs ate up the carpeted floor, leaving Reid standing right in front of the Metro cop. The grace he could show when comfortable was evident — there were no abrupt or aborted motions, and his beautiful hands moved smoothly instead of fluttering.
From the corner of her eye, Emily saw Hotch and JJ leave their team lead’s office, watching the scene.
“I thought that Quantico was the Pit of Despair, inhabited by the shades of tormented and broken souls,” Reid teased — and then embraced DiNozzo warmly.
The woman laughed as she hugged him back. In heels, she was Reid’s equal if not half an inch taller. Over Reid’s shoulder, she grinned at Emily and winked. Her face was gorgeous, no doubt, but the humour in it was far more compelling than even her features.
She pulled back, pressing a soft and lingering kiss to Reid’s mouth — Pen made a quiet, fangirly noise — and told him, “It absolutely is, but I braved the pit and it’s torments — mainly the traffic, the security, and a pair of neanderthals in the elevator — because it’s where my favourite genius with a math degree is condemned to toil in servitude.”
“Math? Garcia said it’s a code?”
“The arms dealers I told you about? Well, Technical Services finally got back to me on some messages we got a hold of. It took them two weeks to figure out that the code isn’t a computer-based one, but a transcription code that uses a mathematical expression as a key.” The woman had fantastic puppy-dog eyes, and she deployed them with prejudice as she offered Reid several thin files. “So I thought of you.”
He made a pleased noise, already flipping open the folders, but noted, “and since your other option was to go through federal channels and send these to the FBI or CIA for analysis.”
“Which would take a year, since it’s not like arms dealers who are arming DC’s gangs with military assault weapons is as important as stealing cases from local cops,” she sneered.
“Oh oh,” Reid murmured. “What happened?”
She huffed. “I’ve had to run Fornell and Gibbs off of stealing cases from my unit this week. And it’s only Wednesday.”
“And I’m sure they regret it,” he said warmly, winning a sharp smile.
“Damn right.” DiNozzo tugged her jacket straight. “Well, I’m pretty sure that even in the Pit of Despair you get a lunch break. Consider it a downpayment on this,” she tapped the folders.
“Oh, I can work on this now — if I skip lunch I should be done by —”
“Dr Reid, I’ve told you before that a boytoy isn’t any use without proper nutrition and regular meals.”
Pen laughed out loud, drawing Reid’s gaze. He blushed and ducked his head a little. “Oh, no, my Junior G-Man — you need to own it.”
“That’s exactly what I’ve been telling him,” DiNozzo smirked. “If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And you, Gorgeous, have got it.”
“Reid,” Hotch said dryly, “take your lunch break.”
Lieutenant DiNozzo grinned and drew a bashful Reid out of the squad room by his tie, leaving laughter in his wake.
“The hell?” Morgan asked. “Since when does Pretty Boy have that much game?” Rossi clapped him on the back and led him away, looking deeply amused.
“Aww, our genius is all grown up and partaking in debauchery,” Pen sighed happily, then smiled slyly. “How long do you think it will take for Morgan to get over this and start asking personal and invasive questions?”
“Four hours,” Emily offered, and they bumped fists.
Chapter 6: Magic
Characters: Sirius Black, Female Harry Potter; Frances, Jet, Sally and Gillian Owens
Genre: Fantasy, family fic
Word Count: 993
Warnings: genderbent and weird crossovers, canon fuckery
Author’s Note: I’m not sorry.
Synopsis: Lily’s mother was an Owens, and Owens women take care of each other.
Jet Owens woke to the sound of the ancient family clock chiming. Ten, eleven, twelve.
She rose from her bed and left her bedroom. As she headed towards Sally’s room, Jet passed the now silent clock, whose hands had not moved in over a century and had never, in her memory, been wound.
After checking on Sally, tucked safely in her bed, she found her sister, Frances, leaving Gillian’s bedroom. Neither said a word, moving down the staircase with purpose.
Frances took her hand and squeezed.
It was the work of moments to retrieve the grimoire and supplies. Candles were lit, their fragrance wafting through the air. Salt gathered from the nearby sea was mixed with sage, witch hazel and frankincense and set to smolder.
“By the power in our shared blood,
We cast a spell this moonless night;
Ease the passing of those we’ve lost,
And protect our kin with all our might.”
Though they’d only been asleep for a few hours, neither sister returned to their beds. They stayed awake all night, watchful, waiting and grieving for their lost family.
Sirius Apparated to Privet Drive, trapped somewhere between rage and heartbreak. He’d been halfway across the Brecon Beacons when the compulsion spells had snapped abruptly, nearly making him splinch himself, and he’d spent a half hour trying to vomit and weep at the same time. Then he’d cleaned himself up and followed the locating spells placed on his motorcycle, not quite sure if he wanted to kill Albus Dumbledore, or torture him and then kill him.
Three hours and one overheard conversation later, and he was absolutely certain that even if it took Dumbledore a year to die, it would be too easy.
Not even Minerva seemed to realize that she’d been set to observe the Dursley’s — who Sirius could tell anyone who would listen were not fit to raise his sweet goddaughter — a full day before anything happened to James and Lily.
In fact, Sirius was certain he couldn’t feel more, in terms of anger and grief, than he did at this moment, knowing James and Lily were dead and betrayed twice over — until Dumbledore placed Ianthe on the step of Number 4 and walked away.
Self-preservation was the only thing that prevented him from letting loose his magic until all three wixen left; the air around him grew chill and frosted as the infamous Black rage burned cold within him. He turned the air blue with curses, damning Dumbledore to the depths of every hell he could name and condemning ten generations of his line; neither Minerva nor Hagrid were spared from his vitriol, either.
Then he stalked towards the house, and retrieved his goddaughter, already planning his next steps, and his revenge.
At dawn, Jet stirred from her light doze at the sound of a knock on the kitchen door. Frances rose first, snatching up a heavy wooden ladle from the cauldron and holding it like a weapon as she headed for the door.
Jet huffed a little and picked up a more useful weapon — though Frances did have a nasty overhead swing — following her sister with a rough-hewn wand of oak in hand.
The man at the door was beautiful, young, full of grief and anger, and radiating magic. In his arms was a small child, sleeping sweetly, touched by ill will and wrapped in a woman’s magic. Familiar, Owens family magic.
“Well,” Frances said calmly, “I’ve had worse visitors come to the door. Uglier ones, too.”
The boy, and he was barely more than that, managed a wane smile even as his eyes grew damp. “This is Ianthe — she’s Lily’s daughter.”
Jet reached out and drew him inside. “Don’t let the cold in, for heaven’s sake; Frances, put the tea on; were you raised in barn?”
Always game to bicker with her, Frances returned fire as she tapped the kettle to set it boil, and they argued and scolded each other while letting Sirius explain and cry and rage, and the littlest Owens witch slept peacefully.
Nine years later, Dumbledore would realize that Ianthe Potter had never set foot inside Number 4; that Sirius Black had harvested the wardstone meant to anchor Lily’s blood wards and used it as the foundation of a powerful set of wards around the Owens house. Even as he searched frantically for his pawn, reordering his plans to account for a Girl-Who-Lived who had not been worn down by hate, Ianthe attended her first classes at Salem Academy as a day student.
While the Order was recalled, and the Daily Prophet worked itself into a frothing rage, Sirius and Ianthe went flying and attended Quidditch games and took her little cousins out for ice cream. She learned her family history and studied magic and fought with her elder cousins about the family curse. They ate brownies for dinner and danced skyclad under the solstice moon while the Ministry lost their collective minds and the public demanded an account of what had happened. And on the same day the at Wizengamot called Dumbledore to the floor and slapped an honesty hex on him, the Owens women broke their centuries-old curse with magic neither Dumbledore nor Voldemort would ever understand: love.
When she was thirteen years old, sprawled out on the lawn with a pile of books and a pair of kittens, doing her homework while watching her younger cousins chase each other around with colour-changing bubbles, a pair of oddly-dressed wixen came to gate and tried to pass through. The wards stopped them, of course, and Ianthe rose to her feet, wand in hand, and told them, “It’s rude not to knock, you know,” even as her godfather and aunts left the house. The aunts looked amused; Sirius was armed and ten kinds of pissed off.
“Crouch, you cocksucking son of a dragon, what are you doing here?”
The conversation went downhill from there.
Chapter 7: Gun
Title: The Sentiment of Genius
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie movie verse)
Pairing/Characters: Sherlock Holmes, female John Watson
Genre: romance, post movie
Word Count: 1000
Warnings: Sherlock’s brand of crazy asshole
Synopsis: It was the purest sentiment. He was dead — Watson had witnessed it herself. So why was she going on as if waiting for him to return from one of his ‘madman’s ventures into chaos and depravity’?
I shall endeavor to find the most painful of endings for the Doctor. She will die in agony, Holmes, with your name on her lips.
The problem with facing a man as cunning as himself was that Moriarty had found his weakness, just as Holmes had done for the mastermind’s vulnerabilities. The difference? Moriarty’s vices were money, control, and power.
Holmes’ was his heart, and the woman who possessed it.
I thought I had burned the heart out of you when I saw the charming Ms Adler dispatched — but I was mistaken. It was not the thief, but the doctor, whom you hold most dear.
Sentiment. Even knowing it, he had never managed to excise it from himself. But then, Watson had always been different.
I will not make that mistake again, Holmes.
So he’d killed his rival and fellow mastermind to protect his heart. And he’d killed himself, because his ego had driven him to gloat about him victory to a fellow genius; to place himself in a position where the only way to end Moriarty was to die.
Julia was wrong; he did know his own faults. Perhaps he had grown as a person? Death must be good for something other than dismantling a criminal empire unimpeded.
He’d followed some Moriarty’s men to London — likely looking for a new employer. It would be sloppy to leave such loose ends untied. It had nothing to do with emotions; the men, now in Newgate, had likely never heard the name Julia Watson.
She was right; he was an excellent deflector, and a terrible liar.
Since he was already in London, it seemed reasonable to check on his wayward partner. His brother kept watch . . . . well, Mycroft was a busy man; he might miss something important.
He’d found her in Hyde Park, walking Gladstone. Logic dictated that a person would change little in months, but sentiment left him surprised and astonished that she looked just the same and that he’d missed her so completely.
As ever, she drew his interest. Watson wasn’t beautiful in the common way, being too tall and too sharp for conventional femininity. Her cane drew pity; her education and occupation drew ire and scorn.
He’d followed her and idly planned the scold he wished to give her; a little situational awareness wasn’t too much to ask, surely.
Why the devil had she returned to Baker Street?
Watson had inherited a great deal of money; not all of it, but Mycroft had liquidated enough to give truth to his demise. More than enough for Watson to buy a house of her own in a more fashionable part of London. But she remained here. Unable to let go, or not interested in doing so?
He’d always struggled to understand her reasoning. Logical and sentimental, twisting but straightforward, pragmatic but emotional.
Some would be scandalized at his familiarity with the rooms of an unmarried woman, but Holmes had always found propriety for it’s own sake to be tedious and besides, he’d always entered out of curiosity and a perverse need to make Watson say his name in just that tone. The one that said she considered him an unbearable annoyance and only her sense of morals prevented her from shooting him.
Her office space was just the same, as were her private rooms. Except for one thing; they lacked an occupant. His own former rooms, however, were a surprise; and far less ‘former’ than they should have been.
All of his belongings remained, despite his request to Mycroft that they be stored until his return. Well, his apartment was far cleaner than normal. In fact, it was positively tidy. Organized, even.
Disorder had always irritated Watson. But why. . . ?
Idly, he pocketed a pipe as he headed back into the bedroom. And found his doctor.
For one perfect moment, his mind . . . stopped. Fascinating; Julia had managed something that only his seven percent solution had done before.
Holmes sat on the edge of the bed, studying his doctor in the candlelight. Dark hair spread across the pillow; she wore a nightshirt that he recognized as one of his own. His blood burned at the sight.
He couldn’t escape sentiment, it seemed.
His hand extended — and froze as a gun abruptly appeared in his face. “Ah, Watson? Perhaps you might —?”
“Perhaps I’ll shoot you anyway. What’s more innocent than a woman firing on an intruder in the dead of night?”
“You would have to explain why you were here instead of your own bed. Scandalous, Watson.” He redirected the weapon carefully. Better not risk her temper; there was no doubting her aim.
“I rent these rooms, Holmes. It’s hardly my fault that a dead man was unaware of that.” The gun vanished beneath the pillow. “Is Mycroft losing his touch? I’d have thought that would have made it into his reports on my doings.”
“Ah.” That tone never boded well. “You see, Watson —”
Her lips trembled. “Damn you, Sherlock.”
“My injury presented an untenable . . . he would have killed you, Julia.”
“So made me watch you die? I had a gun, Sherlock; if you’d waited I would have finished the business permanently! How typical of you to leave everyone else out of your calculations! The one man in London who doesn’t underestimate me for my sex, and you still underestimate me because I’m not a genius.”
“I don’t know why I expect a proper answer. Why explain when you can lord your knowledge over the rest of us? Take the bed; I’ll find my own. Lock the door before you disappear on your mad, solitary venture.”
A dilemma lay before him; remain the same, or tread a new path.
No decision at all.
He caught her wrist. Her arms wrapped around him; he pressed his face against her hair.
“Perhaps I might explain.”
“Make it good, Sherlock. And take off your boots, you’ll get the bed filthy.”
He did both. She still had the gun, after all.
Chapter 8: Anthony DiNozzo, Jr
Yes, another Tony DiNozzo prompt. Shut up, don't judge me.
Title: Fate and Joy; Redux
Prompt: Anthony DiNozzo, Jr
Fandom: NCIS/Criminal Minds
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, David Rossi, Joy Struthers, Aaron Hotchner, Penelope Garcia, Kai
Genre: Romance, Feels, Family
Word Count: 1628
Warning: Feels. All the feels
Summary: “Sweetheart — just how do you think I’d react to a reporter following me around? Now multiply that level of paranoia by the twenty extra years in law enforcement the David Rossi has over me. Not only won’t you get the answer you’re looking for, you’ll only get hurt. And so will he.”
Tony hadn’t known his mother-in-law for long before she’d passed — in fact, she hadn’t been his mother-in-law at all. But he’d had a lot of respect for what she’d accomplished in her life, and raising the woman he married was the least of it. So he knew, absolutely, that she’d had her reasons for not telling Joy the truth about her father, and for not telling David Rossi about his daugher.
He just really wished the woman was alive so he could ask her.
“I’ve been doing research,” Joy flipped through a stack of printouts. “I knew his name as a writer, but his career seems pretty impressive.”
“Modern law enforcement wouldn’t be what it is — for better or for worse — without Rossi and his colleagues.”
“He lives in Virginia — why did he go back to the FBI?” she murmured. “Between writing and the lecture tours, not to mention the money involved. . .”
“Rossi’s an agent to his bones, Joy. Some things you don’t let go of.”
She turned and stared at him. “You know him.”
“I’ve read his books —”
“No, you know him! I can hear it in your voice! Tony, why didn’t you tell me? All this time —”
“You mean the two weeks where, if you weren’t crying over Michael or making funeral arrangement or taking care of Kai or obsessively researching?” Tony asked gently.
Joy’s lip trembled and tears spilled over; Tony drew his wife close and rocked her as she wept, again, for the man who had raised her and the secret he’d revealed in the last days of his life.
“I don’t understand! Why didn’t she — why would he — Why didn’t they tell me? And they’re both gone and I’ll never know the answer — and they’re —”
An hour later, Joy slept off her grief-fueled crying jag — and it wasn’t fair that she’d lost two parents in less than five years, and yes, the world wasn’t fair but really? — Tony gathered her papers and went through them.
God, she was such a reporter.
When she woke, Tony handed her a glass of water and two painkillers — crying gave her a headache which was just one of the reasons she hated doing it — and offered her the first book David Rossi had written.
“Insight. Promise me something, sweetheart? Don’t do anymore research —”
“ — until you finish that. And don’t, for the love of god, follow him around, trying to get a ‘feel’ for him, or working up to talking to him.”
“I have to tell him.”
“Yes, but — and it’s a big one — take a moment at think about how I’d react to having a strange woman follow me around carrying file folders and a dossier of me.”
She grinned; the first he’d seen in weeks. “You’d flirt with me.”
“This is true,” he conceded, “but only after a serious bout of paranoia and a detailed background check. Now, take my reaction and times it by about twenty years — because that’s how much longer Rossi’s been on the job than me.”
She frowned and huffed. “I don’t think he’d be as bad as you are.”
“Oh, he’s so much worse. I spent the first part of my career chasing run of the mill criminals. His cases? Make mine look like juvie records.” He settled beside her, letting her curl against him. “You want to investigate; to dig the story out of a few facts. But Rossi is a cop — and so am I. And that’s not how we work.”
“How would you do it?”
“I’d build a case.”
Joy turned over the book; David Rossi, eighteen years younger, stared up at them, just as Tony remembered him.
“Tony,” she murmured, running a thumb over the image, “Would you . . . ?”
“You are supposed to inform me of outside consults, my Senior Sleuth! Especially when said consults are delicious.”
“Don’t call me old, Garcia, and I don’t have anything scheduled.”
“Really? Because there’s a federal agent from NCIS asking for you.”
Dave looked up from his paperwork. “NCIS? Those cowboys never ask for FBI help — though, to be fair, the smaller agencies rarely do. They give a name?”
The colourful technical analyst nodded. “Indeed, the vision of delight is one Anthony DiNozzo —”
“Sonofabitch,” Dave rose and went to the door. There, in the bullpen, was the same smartassed, streetwise cop he’d met more than fifteen years ago. Older, wiser, and still too damned good looking. “Look what Philadelphia spat out on the FBI’s doorstep.”
“By way of Baltimore and DC,” the kid chuckled. “But I’m going to need an allergy pill soon; I think I’m getting hives from all the terrible suits and rule books.”
“Still a smartass — you are a fed.”
“But not with a capital F, B, and I — for these small mercies we are thankful.” Tony chuckled and took the stairs to the offices. “And then there’s you, old man — get tired of sleeping in, the lack of midnight call outs, and not having to spend half your life on stakeouts and the other half on bureaucracy?”
Dave clasped him in firm hug. “The good life is overrated.”
“Only by people who have it.”
“You look good, kid.”
“So do you — for an old man.”
“I can still kick your ass.”
“Please, I spent years in the Leroy Jethro Gibbs school of I’ll-kick-you-ass-till-you-get-it-right. You got nothing on that hard-assed Marine.”
“Gibbs? Christ, kid, you’d have been better in boot camp.”
“I’ll just — leave you g-men to it,” Garcia murmured as she closed the door.
“So, as pleasant as this walk down memory lane is — I doubt it’s why you came.” Dave nodded to the manilla envelope. “That a case?”
“Something like that. I’d like you to look it over. And Rossi? Read the whole thing before you react.”
“That’s the definition of investigating, kid.”
He got a soft smile, very different from his flashy movie-star smile. “Yeah, it is. Thanks, Rossi.”
“We could have lunch?”
“We will — call me when you’ve finished that. I’ll make time.”
“Must be important.”
“Garcia says that your consult was an old friend who only stayed a few minutes. You’ve been in here all day, Dave.” He looked up from the file on his desk, and Aaron frowned. “What’s wrong?”
“Read this — all of it.”
He retrieved the bottle of scotch he kept in his office and poured a glass, then watched as Aaron went through the papers he’d already memorized; replaying them in his mind.
A birth certificate for Joy Amelie Montgomery; mother Hayden Montgomery, father unknown. A marriage certificate, adoption and name change documents.
A notarized statement detailing the revelations of one Michael Struthers about his relationship with his stepdaughter, and her birth father; notes detailing the lack of proof but that, as a deathbed utterance, it had legal value.
Tests from a private lab, confirming that Joy Struthers was not the biological daughter of Michael Struthers. Documents detailing the arrangements available to test a new sample against the results, as well as a second sample available for independent confirmation in a reputable lab.
Pictures of a little girl, cheek pressed to Hayden’s darker one, grinning at the camera. A teen, wrapped around her mother’s shoulders. A young woman in a graduate’s gown, kissing her proud mother.
Two death certificates, separated by only a handful of years
Another marriage certificate, this one for Joy Struthers and Anthony DiNozzo. A wedding photo taken in Hawaii. A birth certificate for Kai Dominic DiNozzo, age two years eight months. And more photos; a newborn in his mother’s arms, a toddler taking his first steps. Mother and son, cheeks pressed together and beaming at the camera, likely held by the father.
Aaron sighed. “Dave —”
“Spit it out.”
“It looks legitimate. Most things can be faked, and a federal agent would know how but — why? And the offer of DNA testing? It’s convincing.”
“What was she thinking, Aaron? Damnit!” He rose to pace. “She had reasons — Hayden always had reasons — but I wish to god — I can’t even ask her!”
“I imagine that’s a lot like what Ms Struthers feels.”
He laughed bitterly. “Christ — kid can’t catch a break, can she?”
“I don’t know, Dave,” Aaron said mildly. “It seems like she’s caught a couple — her husband, and her father.”
Dave lifted his glass, paused, and set it down. Walked back to the desk and retrieved the last item in the file.
A card containing work, cell, and home numbers along with an email. And a home address.
“I guess so.”
The brownstone door swung open. “Hey, old man.”
“I’m not old, I’m well-seasoned.”
Tony grinned. “Keep telling yourself that.”
Dave glanced down at the small child half hidden behind DiNozzo’s legs. “Hello, little man.”
“Gonna come out and say hello, Kai?”
A head full of dark curls appeared; a small hand waved shyly, then tugged on a pant leg. “Papa, up.”
“So bossy — you get that from your mother.”
“I heard that! Who’s at the door?”
“It’s for you, sweetheart.”
“What? Who —?” A beautiful woman with mid-toned skin — neither black nor white — and a light dusting of freckles appeared on the stair case. She was more drawn than in the photos Dave carried in his hand; tired and grieving but still lovely. The tremulous smile she wore was Hayden’s.
“Come on, little man,” Tony told his son. “Let’s make dinner and leave your mama to talk, huh?”
“Want sketti, papa.”
“That’s my boy.”
Chapter 9: Lint
Title: The Politics of Dating
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Ellie Potter (Female Harry Potter), Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Draco Malfoy, others
Genre: romance, drama, teen
Warnings: I got nothing
Word Count: 997
Notes: I can’t believe I filled a prompt for lint . Keira, you magnificent bitch, this is your fault.
Synopsis: It’s a date, not a marriage proposal
“Ron. if you don’t stop staring I’m going to hex you bald.”
Since Ellie had done just that to a seventh year Ravenclaw only last week, it wasn’t an idle threat. Not that Ron would ever consider a threat from Ellie to be idle; she was positively evil when it came to getting one over someone who crossed her.
Ron blamed her godfather; the man was the most cheerfully vicious bastard ever. And Hermione because, after six years, the two witches shared a brain.
He huffed. “I can’t believe you said yes.”
“Of course I said yes, Ron, I spent a month maneuvering him into asking.”
Ron dropped his head to the table, thumped it several times, then glanced at Neville. “Utterly mad, the whole species.”
“I don’t think girls are another species, however much it seems like it some days.”
Hermione dropped a stack of books on the table with a thud. “It’s been three days. Move on.”
“She said yes. To Draco Malfoy.”
“It’s a date, Ronald, not a marriage proposal.”
He shuddered. “Never say that again.”
Ellie sighed and dropped her quill. “It’s one date, Ron — ”
“To the Yule Ball — and the festival in Hogsmeade.”
“ — and you asked Lavender.”
“She isn’t a prat who we’ve fought with since first year. You and Hermione have both punched him in the face, Ellie.”
“That was in third year, Ronald, he’s grown as a person,” Hermione said airily.
“You mean that Ellie’s spent years beating his superiority complex out of him,” Neville murmured. “Sometimes literally.”
“Also,” Ellie said as they all grinned, “he’s the prettiest bloke in school — including the students in the exchange program.”
“Not quite the endorsement I might hope for,” Malfoy drawled, dropping into the chair next to Ellie. “I’m not pretty.”
They snorted; Ellie arched a brow. “Drake, you’d make a prettier girl than I do.”
The horrified look on his face was amusing, Ron decided.
“Reconsidering your life choices yet, Malfoy?” Neville asked cheerfully. “No? Wait a week.” Ellie threw a ball of parchment at him.
Malfoy looked surprised and reluctantly amused; Ron decided to be magnanimous and give the other wizard a few survival tips. “Don’t be shocked, Malfoy; first thing you learn around us is that Ellie is terrifying when she’s angry. The second? That Nev’s sense of humour could draw blood.”
“And the third?”
“Death — yours — is the only excuse for not getting your homework done on time,” Ellie smirked at Hermione, who scowled.
“None of you would go a week without a detention if not for me.”
“Notice me not disagreeing — but I had a dislocated elbow and a broken wrist, and you forced me to learn a dictation spell.”
Hermione smirked. “And you’ve not had an excuse for not doing your work since then, have you?”
“Really, Draco? Blood traitors and mudbloods?”
“Nott,” he sighed, and they all glanced over at the three newcomers; Nott, Parkinson, and Goyle.
Pansy glaring at Ellie, who propped up her chin and smirked. “You —”
“Use your words, Pansy.”
“You man-stealing slag.”
“Really? That’s all you have?” Ellie shook her head. “See, Drake, this is what happens when you consider more than blood purity in acquaintances — you trade up.”
“You’re going to regret your choices, Draco,” Nott spoke over Pansy’s wordless shriek. “Potter’s barely better than a mudblood — are you really going to be associated with her in public?”
Ellie straightened, lifting her chin and her eyebrow, and went from an amused teenager to a noble lady, a transformation they’d seen before.
Especially Draco; Ellie had used that Look on him for years.
“If your argument had any substance, Nott, you wouldn’t need to stoop to crass vulgarity. How long will you be able to use your supposed superiority as a shield against the knowledge that you’re outmatched by most of those you disdain?” She smiled coolly. “Maybe if you worked at being a better wizard — you wouldn’t need to blame the people who surpass you for the fact that they do .”
“Pince is distracted,” Pansy hissed. “Do it now.” And they all stepped forward, menacingly.
And froze. Nott found a wand pressed to his belly — Neville hadn’t even shifted. Ellie twirled her wand in her hand. Hermione held a ball of blue flames in her bare hand. Ron had risen to stand eye-to-eye with Goyle, his recent growth spurt put to good use.
“You know, looking at it from this side? I’m not sure why I ever thought confronting you lot was a good idea.”
“Okay,” Ron conceded, “maybe he’s not a complete prat.”
“Thanks, Weasley. I think.”
Ellie stepped forward challengingly, still wearing her Lady of the Manor attitude like a cloak, and stared at Nott like he was a piece of lint. An insignificant speck to be flicked away.
“One day, Potter, you’re going to get put in your proper place,” Nott growled. “And I hope I’m the one to do it.”
Ellie grinned. “Westwood, did that sound like a threat to you?”
The Hufflepuff Head Boy appeared, frowning at the Slytherins. “Yes. You three — come with me. We’re going to talk to Professor Snape.”
“That,” Malfoy said admiringly, “was brilliant. You knew he was listening.”
“The prefects keep an eye on us, especially in the library. Why do you think we’re always right where someone looking for a fight can find us?” Ellie grinned as his jaw dropped.
“Why aren’t you in Slytherin, Eleanor?”
“Because it would be like hexing rats in a barrel.” Neville went back to his essay.
“There’s nothing cunning about proclaiming to the world you're sneaky.” Hermione cracked a massive textbook.
“Because she’d have killed you in the first week.” Ron sat down and picked up his quill.
“Because I asked. Politely.” Ellie smirked at the stunned boy, patted his head, and went back to her homework. “Good thing you’re pretty, Drake.”
Malfoy swallowed; said, “You’re terrifying,” and blushed.
Chapter 10: Escape
Title: A Guide’s Place
Characters/Pairings: female Blair Sandburg/Jim Ellison, Sentinel cast, OC
Genre: genderbend, Sentinels/Guides, asswhooping
Word Count: 872
Warnings: I will genderbend all your characters, especially if fandom likes to make them a 12-year-old girl. And I will make them a badass woman. And you can’t stop me.
Synopsis: All Blair had going for her was three feet of wild curls, too much courage and stubbornness to fit in a body twice her size, an Alpha Guide’s empathy, and her brain.
“You going to go something about that?” Simon asked him calmly, pointing to the tableau in the bullpen.
Jim Ellison examined the scene before him: two people faced off, one calm and amused, the other aggressive. It was by no means a fair fight.
“Don’t pick on him too badly, Guide,” he told Blair.
The woman smiled at him, then turned back to her unknowing victim. The uniformed cop stood a full foot taller than his short, stocky guide. He was armed, trained in hand to hand combat, and closer to Jim’s age than Blair’s, and an experienced officer. All Blair had going for her was three feet of wild curls, too much courage and stubbornness to fit in a body twice her size, an Alpha Guide’s empathy, and her brain.
Really, it was almost bullying. Jim should probably be ashamed of himself for looking forward to it.
The whole squad room watched avidly; Blair had only appeared a month ago, newly bonded to Jim, a female academic and a guide thrust into law enforcement and paired with a detective with a bad attitude and a loner’s reputation. An Alpha Guide, a Shaman, and an enigma.
“Let’s discuss your assertion of my ‘place’ shall we, Sergeant Wilcox.”
The officer frowned mightily. The look made drunken assholes cower and harden criminals reconsider their life choices. Blair just beamed. “I’m just saying, Sandburg, that you need to learn how things work around here. You’re a civilian and a guide.”
“I am, indeed, both those things, though not limited by them.”
Wilcox glowered. “You’re job is to help Ellison do his job.”
“I think Rainier University might argue with that, but let’s grant your premise. How is visiting the records room and pulling the case files Jim needs not helping him do his job.”
“You’re supposed to help him as a guide helps a sentinel.”
Blair rocked back on her heels. “I see. Are you a sentinel or a guide, Sergeant?”
“Of course not.”
“Then, how do you know what a sentinel requires of a guide?”
The man looked a little baffled. “Everyone knows that guides help a sentinel with their senses.”
“Ah, I think we’ve found the source of our divergence.” Blair’s hands moved in emphasis with her words. “Jim is a detective, who is also a sentinel. Not a sentinel, who happens to be a detective. You aren’t alone in your confusion, actually; it’s a common misconception to lose sight of the person for their gifts. I tend to blame the post-war era — there were a great deal of education campaigns that essentially rebranded Sentinels and Guides for peacetime, and they tended to overemphasize the value of a sentinel’s senses.”
“You saying his senses aren’t that useful?”
“Of course not! But, and this is a big one, they are as useful as the person who wields them. It’s the human element that makes a sentinel’s senses so powerful a tool — otherwise, modern technology would be able to replace them. But that’s another conversation.” Blair bounced a little. “Now, I have a very pragmatic question for you — you appear to be a practical sort of guy, I think — if my only role here is to help Jim with his senses, what should I do when he isn’t in the field?”
Wilcox frowned. “What do you mean?”
“Come on, man, you’re a cop. I’ve only been here a month, and I can tell you that law enforcement actually rivals academia in the amount of paper and bureaucracy it generates. How many hours a week do you think he spends at a desk, writing reports or making phone calls? Exactly,” she nodded. “So — either I can only be around during the busy times — which means that every time Jim goes in the field, he’d have to drive by Rainier — or I spend a lot of time around here. You realize the department pays me, right? So, should I be marking papers and doing research on the department’s time — or being useful to my sentinel in a manner that doesn’t require empathy?”
The officer frowned. “Why do you even have another job, anyway? You’re a bonded guide.”
“Well, since my sole function to Jim should be as a walking, talking control mechanism — maybe I’m attempting to find fulfillment in my own right? Or, maybe, I spent half my life accumulating the training and experience to teach and research at a university? You know, there’s a reason that the Civil Rights Movement included guides, right? And that a lot of the laws and social mores it challenged for guides were very similar to the ones that feminists faced.”
Wilcox stared down at her for a moment, then glanced over at Jim. “Translation,” he said dryly, “she’s a person, not an object; please don’t treat her like one.”
“He’s a work in progress,” Blair told Simon, “but so far, he’s been quite trainable.”
“We talking about the same man, here?”
“To be fair, Captain — all you can do is give him more paperwork as a punishment.”
“I don’t want to know,” Simon growled. To Wilcox he offered a chance to escape further humiliation, “Officer, I think you’re done here.”
Chapter 11: Rule 63
Title: A Knock at the Door
Prompt: Rule 63
Pairing/Characters: female Tony Stark/Loki, Phil Coulson/Clint Barton, Fury, Selvig, random SHIELD red shirts, others
Genre: sentinel fusion, angst, drama
Word Count: 1945
Warnings: Tony’s sass, Coulson’s deadpan, Clint’s . . . Clintness, Loki being the Universe’s chew toy.
Notes: Yes, I did fanfic my own story. This is a kind of AU of my Tony/Loki Sentinel story. I’m not sorry.
Synopsis: So her day starts with plans to ruin Fury’s week, and ends with a portal to the end of the universe spitting out her sentinel. That’s . . . not actually the worst day she’s ever had. In fact, it’s not even in the top ten.
Tony stalked through the SHIELD super-secret base in custom-made gold Chucks and a sleek red dress as if she belonged there. Between her attitude and the evacuation, only one of Fury’s band of GI Joe wannabes had tried to stop her, only to beat a hasty retreat under the combination of her snark and a glare.
Fine, Coulson walking in her wake might have contributed. But only a little — her awesomeness was still a significant factor.
“Try not to get any smug on the floor, Stark; we just waxed.”
“Relax, Man In Black, all the awesomeness I exude will absorb any stray smug.”
He sighed. “One day, Stark, you will find a sentinel. And I will enjoy explaining exactly what they’ve gotten themselves into.”
“Coulson, any sentinel worthy of me will be just as epically awesome as I am.”
“There’s a thought.”
Her fierce grin was the first thing Fury saw when she hit the Tesseract laboratory.
“Stark, what the fuck?”
“Hello to you too, Nicky. A little more secret lair than cutting edge science lab, isn’t it? Very atomic age. Glad to see you’re flare for the dramatic and overdone is intact, Fury. Find the answer to everything yet, Selvig?”
The scientist — flannel, really? — looked from Fury’s bitch please face to where Tony was poking at one of the display screens. “Ah — not yet?”
“Pity. Interesting findings — nice radiation numbers. Love the exponential energy output graphs. Also, you’re all fucking morons.”
“Get the fuck out of my base, Stark.”
“Wanna know why? This is why.” She manipulated a touch screen. “Selvig, what does this look like?”
“It’s an irregular, asymmetrical energetic reaction to an unknown stimulus.”
“And for those of us without a Physics degree,” Fury sighed.
“The Tesseract is . . . behaving. Oddly.”
“Hey, Barton? There’s a doorway into the end of the universe and it’s acting up. What's your assessment?”
Her fellow guide fast roped down from his perch in the rafters. “Sounds like someone, or something, is knocking on the other end. Doors go both ways.”
“Congrats, Coulson — smart, sexy, good with hard shafts.” Tony stared down Fury. “See? Fucking morons.”
One Eye glared down at her. “Stark, this is SHIELD property and SHIELD business. You can just march your —” and the universe called ‘bullshit’ on the one-eyed pirate.
“Huh,” Tony said after the light show ended. “That’s what a gateway to the end of the universe looks like.” And if all extraterrestrials looked like that, Tony was going to increase her investments in space travel research. “You feel that, Hawkman?”
“Sir — put down the spear.”
Tall, Dark and Half Dead grinned viciously — and Tony and Clint both opened their empathic shields.
The glowing spear of doom clattered to the floor. Tony staggered under the empathic weight of darkcolddoomdeathTitan sentinelpainnoicefallingOther nopleasehelpThor guideguideguidesentinelguidehelpPLEASE
“Oh, fuck me sideways,” Barton gagged and caught Tony before she made and undignified sprawl.
“Guide —” the hot alien sentinel managed, electric blue eyes fading to bloodshot green before he collapsed.
“Sometimes being right sucks.” she muttered, casually shoving several scientists and Fury away from the main computer.
“Trying to stop that little energy discharge from dropping a building on our heads, Fury.” She typed frantically; mentally, she reached for the blue cube of cosmic power.
Barton had been right when he called her. The damned thing was aware.
“Nicky, as the person in this room who is the least useful right now — shut up.”
<reabsorb that energy and sleep> she thought at the Tesseract. Well, in command code, anyway.
The — device? object? being? — was reluctant. The energy on the other side was familiar to her, an old pathway that the Tesseract’s energies could follow easily. But Tony was stubborn, and she spoke machine better than english some days.
Selvig cursed in Norwegian as the storm clouds of doom were sucked into the Tesseract, which slowly grew dim. Tony pulled the cube and deposited it in the case Barton offered.
“Newton, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
Coulson spoke just before a SHIELD agent — really, these guys might as well be wearing red shirts — got too close to the collapsed sentinel. Said agent fell on his ass, scrambling back, when a spirit animal appeared protectively over his sentinel.
“Well, that’s new,” Katniss muttered, eyeing the wolf.
The eight foot tall black wolf with red eyes and visible wounds, bound in chains.
Another stooge aimed an assault rifle at the wolf, only to get Coulson’s elbow in the gut and a sharp blow to the back of his head.
“This is a Sentinel/Guide matter, Director. Please refrain from interfering.” He accepted the Tesseract case from his guide. “What do you think?”
“I think it takes a hell of a lot of pain to break down an online sentinel.”
“Mind control and conditioning; those wounds look like the manifestation of torture,” Tony agreed. “He feels — fractured. Like shattered ice. And he’s fucking terrified.”
“That’s one way of putting it,” Barton murmured and shrugged his shoulders, resettling his quiver. “Shall we?”
“Sure, let’s get closer to the mega wolf and the mysterious alien. What could go wrong?”
But when they approached, the Big Bad Wolf didn’t growl — he crouched down and whined.
Tony Stark was a lot of things: a genius, billionaire, playgirl philanthropist, and a superhero — just as a start. But she was also a guide, for all she shunned the stereotypes, and a wounded sentinel was hard to ignore. “Hey big guy. Been through the wars, huh?”
“Starting to regret wearing your signature colour yet, Little Red?”
“I will hack your quiver, Barton.” He chuckled; there was a reason that she and Barton had bonded quickly during her post-Afghanistan vacation debriefing, and that reason was that they were both raging assholes with questionable senses of humor. Also, badass guides who defied stereotypes, but mostly it was the asshole thing.
“The chains make me think he’s bound, separated from his spirit animal and unable to break through from the inside. But he responded to an empathic scan, and this big guy is clearly asking for help.”
“Yeah, on three.”
Tony gathered up the feeling of safe and home ; that moment of stepping on the tarmac, back safely from three months of hell. The relief and peace and power of her armour closing around her. Pepper’s laugh and JARVIS’ snark and the bots around her and Rhodey making terrible jokes over pizza and plans to revolutionize the world.
And flung it outwards.
For a heartbeat, she could feel the armour settle over her just as she felt a bowstring tense under her fingers; Pepper’s laugh and Coulson’s low murmur blended together.
Then chains clattered to the floor, and she was only Tony Stark again. And she had a massive wolf trying to bury his head in her stomach.
Barton snorted and slipped past them, catching hold of shaking shoulders and easing the sentinel over onto his back. “Better?”
“Guide — I — I am Loki, of Asgard.”
He staggered to his feet and nearly collapsed against his spirit animal. “My brother.”
“Yeah? He had a little trouble here on Earth a few months ago. Landed in the desert and someone sent a fire-breathing robot after him.”
“There was an attempted coup,” Loki murmured. “They sought to keep Thor out of the way while Odin slept; they felt that Frigga and I were of lesser concern.”
“Fucked them up, did you?”
The grin he gave Tony was full of teeth. “Indeed. But in the battle to reclaim control of the Bifrost I —” he shuddered, and his emotional landscape said it all.
“Through the void,” he agreed. “For an age — an eternity — and a moment. And I —”
He staggered again, and both Tony and Barton reached out to catch him. When she gripped his wrist, something inside her broke open.
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
Loki’s eyes took on a red hue, and the skin at his temples and throat grew blue. “Guide,” he snarled. “Guide.”
Fury stepped up behind them, three armed agents at his back. “Take him —”
Tony pulled Barton’s side arm and pointed it at One Eye’s chest. “Fury, we’ve talked about this — don’t take my stuff.”
“He’s a hostile —”
“He’s a Sentinel. My sentinel.”
“You don’t want to make me your enemy, Stark.”
She laughed. “Same goes, Fury. You think the last ten years of me fucking with you on a whim sucked? Wait until I put my back into it. And that’s not factoring the Sentinel and Guide Council.”
“He’s an alien .”
“Doesn’t matter, boss,” Coulson said calmly. “Also, you might want to step back before we find out what this particular sentinel looks like feral.”
“You’ve got guns pointed in the direction of my guide, Director. You need to remove them.”
Fury muttered something about fucking sentinels and stepped back.
“Excellent. Wolf, you bring the sentinel. Sentinel, come along peacefully. Barton, Coulson, bring the cube of blue energy. Helicopter’s up top. Chop chop, gentlemen, I don’t have all night. Oh, one of you — grab that spear, would you?”
Three days later, Tony stood on a quarter mile above New York, on a building she’d designed and built and put her name on; a beacon of self-sustaining energy and genius and how she wasn’t Howard Stark but Tony — taller and greater and shining more brightly than anything her father had built and, most importantly, still alive and here. She’d spent her whole adult life showing the world that she was the future; trying to change the world.
She’d just expected it to be through her scientific achievements, not by bonding to an alien sentinel.
Stark Tower rattled with the force and energy of the Bifrost touching down on it; she frowned slightly at the pattern etched into the surface. Good thing the solar panel bank wasn’t scheduled for installment until next month.
The God of Thunder — seriously, her life — strode towards her in all his pagan god glory. Tony already had two dozen hammer jokes lined up, but now probably wasn’t the best moment. “Lady Guide — you called for Heimdal with news of my brother?”
“Yeah, Jane Foster gave me a few tips on how to get his attention.” The Norse supermodel brightened a little at the mention of the latent Guide and astrophysicist that Tony had already poached and installed in her own state-of-the-art lab, complete with snarky assistant. “I have a message for you.”
“From Loki.” The desperate hope on his face was painful. “He said to tell you ‘beware the Chitauri’.”
“Volstagg, Hogun, Fandral! Return to Asgard and inform the General and the All-Father!”
“That’s not all,” the three viking warriors — had she mentioned that this was her life now? — paused. “Apparently someone called the Other commands them at the orders of the Mad Titan — and that definitely means something to you,” she finished as the blonde sentinel went pale.
“Go,” he said roughly, “report quickly. Lady Sif — inform my mother as well.”
“Thor, we cannot leave you alone.”
“Tell Asgard that Thanos is returned, and all the Realms will soon be at war,” he growled. In short order, the four had vanished in another bone-rattling flash of light — the papers and internet were going to have a field day.
Six-and-a-half feet of solemn alien sentinel gazed at her shakily. “Guide-sister — I would see my brother now. Please.”
This is an AU of my own story, Heart of Iron & Ice, which is part of a group of sentinel fusion works.
Chapter 12: Rule 63
Title: Consenting Magic
Prompt: Rule 63 (not that I need an excuse for this; I haven’t written anything but in 9 months. Okay, there was one prompt I wrote slash for but serious that’s it, there is something wrong with me).
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing/Characters: Sirius, Ianthe (female Harry Potter), a twinkling old coot, teachers who are never around when you need them, a little asshole who thinks he can get away with shit, and an asshole who raised the little asshole.
Genre: Drama, angst, righteous revenge
Word Count: 1372
Warnings: There is mention of the use of love potions, which means attempting to subvert consent, which is attempted rape. Please read carefully or not at all if this is a trigger issue for you. There is no rape.
Rating: M for mention of consent issues
Notes: So this . . . I’m not sure where this came from, but it might have been brewing while listening to/having a conversation about what consent actually is. Either that, or it was while I was contemplating some of the terrible shit that magic apparently lets people get away with. (FYI: all the terrible shit. All of it.)
Synopsis: Sirius had pranked every person in Hogwarts, received 316 detentions, been injured in a Death Eater attack on Hogsmeade, and nearly killed a classmate — and not once had the school summoned a parent. So when he gets a note requesting his presence in regards to his goddaughter, he doesn’t dawdle.
Sirius flicked the ash off his robe as he stepped from the Floo and studied the assembled wixen in the headmaster’s office. “Well, no one appears to be growing feathers, appendages, changing colours, or on fire. The castle also appears intact.” Any of which would explain the Floo message his elves had passed along. “Hello, sweetheart. Causing trouble?”
His goddaughter Ianthe, pale and remote, smiled faintly. “Always, Sirius.”
A fair haired wix standing over a younger, paler copy of himself opened his mouth. Sirius cut him without hesitation, ignoring him — and his spluttering — in favour of a slight glare at the infallible old coot sitting behind the desk. “Seven years I spent in this school and all the shit I pulled, and you never once contacted a member of my family. You hate speaking to parents, Albus, it detracts from your sense of absolute control and authority over the school.”
McGonagall huffed. “You still owe me a detention, Black; care to see if I can make you sit it?”
“Tell me I’m wrong, Minerva,” he offered coolly. “And someone explain why I was called in over a prank.” Because there was nothing he hated more than being commanded. Nothing except for people messing about his goddaughter. He already had a strong urge to start hexing, and he had no idea what was going on.
“Ms Potter,” the Hufflepuff Head of House — no doubt present since the young imitation wore a yellow tie — said sharply, “performed a humiliating prank on my student, and has refused to remove it! Not even two weeks of detention changed her mind.”
“That’s not what I said,” Ianthe said mildly. Her expression and tone reminded him vividly of Lily in the moments before someone pushed her past the breaking point of her temper.
“You refused —”
“I said that I can’t remove it, not that I wouldn’t.”
“You cast a spell without knowing the counter?” Minerva demanded, aghast. “Ms Potter, that’s very irresponsible!”
“I’m still wondering what the problem is,” Sirius asked, not showing his concern over Ianthe’s behaviour. Not that she might have been pranking — that didn’t bother him at all — but her demeanor. “There are a dozen of the country’s greatest wixen in this castle and none of you can cast the counterspell? What, exactly, is the spell?”
The boy — a young man, actually, and Sirius vaguely recognized him as a Hufflepuff Chaser from the Quidditch games he always came to watch — squirmed uncomfortably. His father flushed deeply. “That little witch cursed my son impotent! What do you have to say about that?”
Instantly, Sirius slid over the edge of temper and into icy rage. The only outward show of it was the way his fingers drifted over his wand; he even managed to contain his magic, preventing it from lashing out.
He could think of only two reasons for a sixteen year old girl to hex a male impotent, and Ianthe had never written about having a boyfriend, much less one who cheated on her.
“What happened?” he asked the headmaster softly, stepping between Ianthe and the rest of the room.
Green eyes lifted to meet his; she was translucent, and the rims of her eyes were slightly pink.
“There was an altercation in the hallway last night,” Dumbledore twinkled. “Nothing unusual around here, of course, but this morning, Mr Munslow came to the infirmary having noticed a . . . personal issue. As to the spell — none of us recognize it, and our counters have no effect.”
“No, Headmaster. What happened?”
“Sirius . . .”
He ignored his former Head of House, glaring at the old man, who appeared genuinely baffled. “They fought.”
“Albus. You lot teach seven hundred adolescents; you cannot be this stupid.”
“She hexed my son!”
“Charmed.” Everyone looked at his goddaughter, who managed a small smirk. “Hexes have counters; curses can be illegal under the right circumstances. Charms, however, are all considered Light magic, and there are no laws against casting one on someone. No matter the charm, regardless of their consent.” Her smile faded into something sharp; Minerva gasped softly.
Sirius felt his magic surge, trying to escape and lash out; he clamped down firmly. Not yet.
“Funny what counts as lack of consent — or what doesn’t — in the Wixen World.” Ianthe exhaled slowly. “It’s also funny that we usually learn counters first. The Shrinking Solution before the Swelling Solution; the Cushioning charm before the Banishing charm. But the Flushing Draught? That comes well after we learn about love potions.”
Sirius reached out and took her hand; her knuckles went white as she gripped tightly enough to cut off circulation. “Sweetheart —”
“Hermione noticed. That I was — odd. She fed me a Flushing Draught before I could do anything —” she shuddered. “Just, before.”
“I would have come,” he murmured. “Why didn’t you write to me? Or use the mirror?”
“You were in Rome for the ICW conference. The vote to reclassify lycanthropy is important; it will force the Wizengamot and the Ministry to overturn most of their legislation on werewolves or face sanctions. We’ve been lobbying for it for two years.”
“It wasn’t more important than you,” he said. “Remus would be the first to agree.” A single tear fell and Sirius tugged her into his arms, where she clung on; both adult witches looked on, horrified.
“The spell has a set condition that has to be met before it will end.”
Despite everything, Sirius barked a laugh. “You didn’t.”
“Conditions? That sounds like —” Minerva flushed. “Sirius Black!”
“Yes, we’re all shocked that I have a book or two on sex magic,” he drawled.
“I thought I hid —”
“You did,” Ianthe admitted. “Just not well.”
The little asshole’s father — who was obviously an asshole, since he’d raised one — looked angry with the sudden sympathy. “My son —”
“Is lucky he’s a minor,” Sirius snapped, “Or I’d have him on a dueling field!”
“Look, Black, it’s your responsibility to ward the girl, and if you neglected to account for contact potions when warding an heiress it’s no fault of mine or my —”
“I never said it was administered by skin contact,” Ianthe murmured. The asshole flinched, and Sirius lost control of his magic. Father and son shivered as the air went icy; the infamous Black temper let loose.
“I’ll see you soon, Munslow,” Sirius snarled. “Choose a second; mine will see to the arrangements.”
“Now, Sirius,” Dumbledore began, “there are other options for dealing with this.”
“Options? Yes. Better ones? No. Minerva, I’ll send an elf for Ianthe’s things.” All three professors looked shocked. “For fuck’s sake! My goddaughter was potioned by a boy and not only did none of you notice the obvious behavioural changes, but when she retaliated in a very deliberate way it didn’t even occur to you to ask about it! I’m taking her home!”
Ianthe clung harder.
“Muslow will be punished, of course,” Dumbledore offered, looking concerned. He should; the media would have a fit over the Girl-Who-Lived leaving Hogwarts. “A month’s detention, at least.” The little asshole squawked and was ignored.
“How many classes do you share with him, sweetheart?”
“Four.” He glared pointedly at Albus, who looked regretful.
“We cannot compromise his education, Sirius, and changing his schedule will separate him from his House and peers.”
“And that?” he said coldly, “Is why I’m taking her home.”
“Sirius —!” He stepped into the Floo; the last sight of the office was McGonagall turning on the Headmaster like a Fury.
Safe in the heavily warded House of Black, Sirius squeezed his goddaughter tightly and rocked slightly as she shuddered; her magic flared once and nearby, glass shattered.
“So,” he asked gently several moments later, “what was the condition for the end of that spell?”
“He has to get buggered by a witch with a strap on,” she offered.
“I better live forever, because your mother is going to be kill me for corrupting her baby when I die.”
“While singing the Slytherin fight song,” Ianthe finished, leaning back to smirk at him.
“Him? Or the witch?” he wondered.
Ianthe laughed, and burst into tears.
Chapter 13: Original Male Character
Title: Hunter, Hunted
Prompt: Original Male Character
Characters: Toni DiNozzo (fem!Tony), Nikki Jardine, Michelle Lee, Paula Cassidy, Cassie Yates, Director Morrow, various original characters mentioned
Genre: angst, drama, Women Being Awesome
Warnings: Sexually coercive behaviour, aggressive sexual pursuit, and behaviour that is intended to cause distress and anxiety in an OCD person. Do Not Read This if any of that will bother you, I don’t want to trigger anyone.
Notes: So the prompt was to create an Original Male Character and, in under 2000 words, make the audience love him. As per usual, I am incapable of following the brief; I wrote someone for you all to hate. Let’s see if I got it right.
Synopsis: There are all kinds of predators in the world, and most of them hunt the weakest members of the herd.
Nicholas Fairfax was a tall, good looking man in the prime of his life. Fair haired as his name, with blue eyes and a rugged jaw that was made for three day stubble, he was every inch the screen version of a federal agent. And, if his eyes were a little too washed out for perfection, and his hair was ever so slightly thinner than a decade ago — well, even his greatest detractors were hard pressed to say it was obvious.
Nick had a great many detractors.
He found this fact very satisfying; proof he was as exceptional as he believed. Obviously, the male colleagues who called him and asshole behind his back were jealous. And the women? Well, either they resented his lack of attention, were angry he’d moved on — couldn’t waste all this on a single woman who would grow demanding and fat and withhold sex to control him, after all — or were dykes who didn’t know any better.
Since Nick considered himself God’s gift to women, he’d be sincerely surprised to know that several were fantasizing about his murder. Since, when he wasn’t thinking about sex with a woman — rarely — he didn’t think much of them at all, he’d never considered that one, or several, would be his undoing.
And, for a federal agent, his situational awareness sucked.
Toni DiNozzo watched him fro just out of his line of sight, and very nearly had a flashback to her father’s pickup routine. That, of drunken college frat party, full of kids too drunk and horny to be anything but cheesy. It would almost be comical, if not for the harassed expression on Nikki Jardine’s face.
“You see?” Michelle Lee murmured.
“Yeah.” Tony frowned as Fairfax leaned in to crowd Jardine. Either the man was oblivious to her OCD — or he was using it against her. “Has she made a complaint to HR?”
“You know Nikki; she’s afraid that people will think she’s overreacting or too sensitive because of her OCD.” Michelle shifted nervously. “And —”
“Naomi in Tech Support and Candice in the Admin pool both filed complaints and Fairfax didn’t even get pulled aside for a conversation,” the legal assistant said bitterly. “Monica from Cyber was going to, until she found out that when Candice reported to HR — the clerk didn’t even write anything down and told her she was too sensitive.”
Toni watched Fairfax deliberately touch Nikki’s desk, against her protests. When the analyst began wiping the area with a disinfectant wipe, the man touched several more spots and leaned in closely. Whatever he said had Fairfax sauntering away with a smug grin, and left Jardine pale and disinfecting frantically.
“Who else, Chelle?”
“Tara, Elise, Amy, and Rayleen. Delores is beneath his notice, Cynthia is the Director’s secretary, and Abby scares the hell out of him. Marla and Christine both got so fed up with hi haunting their desks, they both went out with him — Chris two months ago, and Marla a few weeks ago. Faith —”
“Isn’t she engaged?”
“Engaged isn’t married according to the gospel of Fairfax.”
“Charming. Go on.”
“Well, Faith got so tired of him she threatened to use her taser, and Fairfax tried to start a rumour about her being a lesbian.”
“And you, Chelle?”
Michelle stiffened. “One date, and I’m a frigid, man-hating dyke.”
“And fuck him too; I’d so do you if I was gay or bi.” That won her a smile and had Michelle relaxing her rigid stance. “Do me a solid? Cassidy and Yates are on the Yard today — find them and tell them dinner's on me. Then go home and watch something cathartic.”
“Kill Bill comes to mind.”
Toni shooed the younger woman away, musing on the info dump she’d received. It didn't escape her notice that all of Fairfax’s ‘conquests’ were support staff — no agents or field assets. Either Nicky-boy found women with guns intimidating, or he got off on dominating women he perceived as weaker than he was.
Considering the possibilities, Toni strode over to Nikki, hoping to calm the germaphobe down and get some further intel.
Nick considered it his lucky day when the first face in the elevator on Monday morning was Cassidy Yates. While he normally avoided female agents — they were bossy and far too sensitive, plus their attempts to do a man’s job extended to always being on top — but Yates was twice as hot as the crazy chick he was working on loosening up.
He settled back against the wall of the elevator — pity her pants were too loose to show off her ass — and spent a pleasant three minutes looking down her shirt.
By Thursday, Tony was annoyed and pissed off. In addition to being a sleaze and a predator, Fairfax was a coward with the attention span of a gnat. Sure, he’d check out Cassie, Paula, or Toni when they passed by, but he stuck to perving instead of making a move, and as soon as he caught a glimpse of easier prey, he zeroed in on it. He’d also damn near driven Nikki to tears by constantly invading her space — apparently, all she needed to ‘fix’ her was to get the good kind of dirty.
Forget getting him reprimanded or fired — Toni was going to shoot him.
Gibbs took one look at her face and banished the junior agents to the firing range, told her not to get arrested, and vacated.
At least some men could be taught.
Paula dropped onto the corner of the desk. “I figured out what's going on in HR.”
“Good, because Delores would never blow this off, and Fleischmann's always seemed decent,” she said, naming the heads of Human Resources.
“Neither of them knew.” Paula nodded at her incredulous look. “I got a junior agent to strike up a conversation with the clerk — one one who blew off Candice — and spill some made-up relationship woes. The clerk, Linnie, reciprocated.”
“I love the classics.” They shared a smirk.
“Apparently, Linnie’s lover — boyfriend is too juvenile for this powerful and mature man — is far too good for her, and everyone else. He’s persecuted at work, denied rightful promotions and, worst of all, so pursued by women that when he turns down their advances, they try to ruin him by filing false complaints. Fortunately,” Paula said dryly, “he depends on her to protect him from such spitefulness.”
“I should have sympathy for her; no doubt Fairfax targeted her for that reason.” Toni leaned back in her chair, considering. “Yeah, I’ve got a little sympathy for the victim of a player, but just that — a little. Because you have to be an idiot to buy that half-assed attempt at gaslighting, especially if you work in HR.”
“Or a twenty-four year old from Milwaukee.”
“Okay, my sympathy quotient increased, but mostly because winter in Wisconsin can’t possibly make up for the great cheese. Still, even in Milwaukee, there must be assholes and users.”
“Also, she’s the only daughter of a single father with five sons.”
“Fuck you, you’re making that up.” Paula shook her head. “Further proof that protecting girls instead of teaching them to look after themselves in self-defeating. Poor kid had six males leaning over her shoulder all her life, leaves home, and can’t recognize a real threat when she walks face-first into it.”
“Which is why my daddy taught me to shoot a gun.”
“Mine taught me to stay away from men like him.” Her cell phone chimed an incoming text. “Granted, it was unintentional — damn it!”
<come quickly. Fairfax at nikki again. Panic attack>
“Paula, call Ducky, send him to level 2, then get Cynthia to send the Director. I’m done pussyfooting around this bullshit.”
Cassie met her in the stairwell; Paula caught up to them by the time they hit the second floor. Together, all three women stormed the small office used by the Middle East intelligence analysts.
Michelle was right; Nikki was bordering on a panic attack, and barely holding back tears of frustration and anxiety. Smug and amused, Fairfax was crowding her physically and breathing in her ear while playing ‘not touching you’ with a germaphobe. Michelle was all but fuming and trying to keep Nikki calm.
“Come on, Jardine, just say yes —”
“Ignore him, Nikki, it’s alright.”
“ — and I’m sure you’ll feel better. Or, maybe, I’ll just keep coming by, every day, for a chat.” He licked a fingertip and dragged it across the desk next to Nikki’s covered hand; the analyst shuddered. “Would you like that? Is that why you’re playing hard-to-get? So I keep coming back?”
“Fairfax, you bastard —”
“Hey, Chelle — what’s the word?”
Fairfax glanced over at Toni’s cheerful question to find three female agents staring him down. “Ah — DiNozzo. Just making conversation with Jardine here.”
“Yeah? Because that’s not what it looks like, does it Paula?”
Toni crowded Fairfax, using her height to her advantage; it was a tactic she’d learned in college as most men didn’t know what to do with a six foot two inch woman using their playbook. Nikki took the opportunity presented, darting out from behind her desk and letting Michelle maneuver her behind Paula and Cassie.
“Now, DiNozzo, I didn’t know you wanted some of this. You only need to ask.”
She eyed him with disdain, and aimed for the ego. “I get plenty, Nicky-boy, or higher grade and better quality.”
“Doubt that. Word is, you’re easy, Toni, and easy usually settles for cheap.”
“Aww, that’s adorable. Cassie, this small-time bully thinks he can slut shame me!”
“Antonia, you don't have a damned thing to be ashamed of.”
His sneer was pitiful; McGeek could managed better after only three months on Team Gibbs. “Figured you two were doing each other. Or is it all three of you?”
“Only in your fondest dreams, Nicholas.” Toni bared her teeth in a sharp grin. “Stay away from Nikki, Fairfax — in fact, you’ll stay away from every woman in the Yard, unless given an explicit invitation. FYI — breathing while female? Not an invitation.”
“Or what? You’ll report me? Tattle to Gibbs?”
“I’ve heard all about your little scam on Linnie, Nicky, and I don’t need Gibbs to fight my battles for me. No, I’ll just hall you down to the gym and spend and few hours teaching you that no means no.”
He probably thought that expression was sexy; Toni wanted a shower. “DiNozzo, no is just a yes you haven’t gotten yet.” And cupped his crotch.
Even the Director agreed that he’d deserved a fist to the face.
“You bitch!” Fairfax wiped blood off his chin — she’d give him credit, he didn’t suffer a glass jaw — and lunged. Her hip shot dropped him on the industrial carpeting, right at the feet of Director Morrow.
“Agents, is there a problem?”
“She assaulted me, Director! I want her arrested!”
“Agent DiNozzo,” Morrow shifted his gaze to her. “Your response to these allegations?”
“I’ll walk myself into holding, sir — if Fairfax explains, in detail, the conversation he was having with Agent Jardine earlier.”
“I — it was just a conversation, sir; DiNozzo is deflecting.”
Morrow’s eyes narrowed. No one sniffed out bullshit like an investigator turned politician. “Really? Agent Jardine, do you have anything to say to that?”
Nikki looked up from where she’d been huddled, Michelle whispering reassurances in her ear. “I — sir —” she sucked in a breath and straightened her spine. “Sir, I’d like to file a complaint against Agent Fairfax. For sexual harassment.”
Which was when, being a raging asshole, Fairfax dug his own grave. “Sir, there’s been a misunderstanding. I was just having a conversation, which Jardine misinterpreted. I mean, she is crazy.”
Paula caught Michelle before the woman could earn her own assault charge; Cassie nudged Jardine into Ducky’s care, who cursed Fairfax in gaelic and guided the analyst to a nearby seat. Morrow aimed a narrow, blistering glare at the idiot.
Toni smiled brightly. “Sir, if you suspend me, I can totally hit him again, as a civilian instead of an agent.”
“You’re sacrifice is noted, Agent, but why don’t I just fire him instead?”
Chapter 14: John Sheppard
Prompt: John Sheppard
Genre: drama, fix-it, introspective
Word Count: 1957
Author’s Note: I wanted to do an Stargate story, since I’m planning on writing SG Atlantis for July’s episode challenge and I need to start getting a feel for the characters. But, I also had ‘Tony as Agent Afloat’ on the brain, so this happened.
Synopsis: Sometimes, John wondered if this is how the Ancients felt; like everything they did to fix their mistakes only made things worse. It didn’t excuse the way they abandoned the galaxy to the Wraith, but it made their obsession with Ascension and non-interference a little more understandable.
The sun was setting over Atlantis and the ocean, burning sky and sea in shades of purple, green and blue. The scientists had explained the atmospheric conditions causing the unusual colours of the sun’s setting and rising, as well as the unique yellow and orange borealis visible during the cooler months; typically, John had pretended to neither understand nor care, and read the report afterwards. He could have gone into detail about what he was seeing; he chose simply to enjoy it.
Well, he tried to.
The moon was rising; nearly twice the size of Earth’s, it dominated the darkening sky. Just visible was the outline of another planet, rings reflecting so much light that it was visible not as a star, but as a distant moon.
Lantea was beautiful; unique, imperfect and dangerous for the incautious, just like Pegasus. From the first moment — after the fear and death was over — John had felt at home. Like he belonged.
Between his gene, his comfort on Atlantis, and his many mistakes, he felt more like an Ancient every day. It wasn’t a happy thought.
“Lorne,” he acknowledged the man hovering in the doorway. The Air Force officer stepped onto the balcony that the Expedition knew was John’s personal retreat. “Problem? I figured we’d get another twelve hours before something catastrophic happens or one of our bad decisions blows up in our faces.” Because run ins with Atlantis’ resident experiment gone wrong made John reflective.
“Michael isn’t your fault, Sheppard. The IOA overruled you and did an end run around O’Neill; Weir ignored you and Ronan and everyone else who objected. Landry is a chicken hawk who wants big guns and flashy weapons as long as he can maintain plausible deniability. And Carson —”
“Was so focused on whether he could , he didn’t consider if he should ,” John finished. “He thinks that if we can change the Wraith, no one has to die. He never really got over creating the Hoffan drug.”
“You don’t think the retrovirus will ever work the way they want, do you?”
“I think it doesn’t matter; I think if you make the entire Wraith population human — we’ll be fighting a war against humans. When one group of people believes that another is below them in value . . . we’ve both been soldiers too long to mistake what happens.” John leaned against the railing, wishing idly for a beer; the next supply drop was in three days. “Being the same species doesn’t people from killing each other, and the Wraith are used to being the top of the food chain.”
Absently, he pressed the heel of his hand to his chest; the feeding scar, like the wrist shattered in a helicopter crash years ago, ached occasionally. “The Ancients made the Wraith by accident, and made countless errors, like Doranda, trying to fight them. They seeded two galaxies with us, even intermixed with the population on several worlds. We woke the Wraith, and in trying to fight them, we made a plague and Michael, who is arguably worse. So, are we one more of the Ancients’ experiments gone wrong, or are we Ancients?”
“If my choice is to be comparable to the Wraith or the Ancients, sir, I’d rather be the latter.”
“So would I.” But he’d rather be neither; too bad he couldn’t stop everyone from dragging them down that path. Did that make him . . . ? “If I start answering to Janus, zat me and shove my ass through the gate, Major.”
Having thoroughly depressed himself, John turned towards his 2IC, leaned back and crossed his arms and ankles. “So, on that cheery note, what’s up?”
Lorne held out one of the sleek tablet computers they used on Atlantis; John scanned the document on screen, then began reading more thoroughly. “A proposal? For an Agent Afloat?”
“Yes, sir. I’ve been talking to Teyla and Ronon and few others. Did you know that it’s not uncommon for some societies to have a kind of judicator? Someone who enforces laws and judges grievances, and often acts as mediator? They can be the leader, like Teyla, but often aren’t, and people will seek them out to mediate disputes. It’s one of the reasons the Athosians are so respected — societies with such people are viewed as wise.”
“She mentioned it,” he said, skimming. “Why an NCIS Agent? Why not an independent investigator, or an officer from from AFOSI?”
“There are protocols for Agents Afloat, and they don’t include answering to the commander of their station.” Lorne nodded at John’s sharp glance. “An agent on an aircraft carrier doesn’t answer to the Captain, or the Navy. They answer to their chain of command.”
“A civilian, who doesn’t answer to the command structure, who is empowered to act on the law and regulations the expedition established as rule of law. Lorne, it’s almost like you think we need a neutral third party who isn’t tied up in military orders or politics.”
“Imagine that, sir,” he said dryly, flexing his hand; he’d been injured recently when one of Michael’s monstrous experiments had attacked. “I’m sure that wasn’t my primary motivation when writing a proposal for General O’Neill.”
“You know O’Neill better than I do, Evan,” John asked, dropping what little military formality he used. “Will he go for it?”
“Considering all the trouble the Trust and NID have given us over the years? He’s going to put it through so fast. SG-1 tried to get a special investigator assigned to the program years ago; Kinsey blocked it because he was an asshole, using cost and secrecy as justification. Caldwell and that Goa’uld are the perfect reason to push it now, and O’Neill can read between the lines; he knows how much trouble the IOA causes us by letting Weir do anything she wants.”
John stared out over the ocean; the sun was down and the moon and stars were vivid. There was minimal light pollution here; even Atlantis only had a few towers lit due to power concerns. The sky reminded him of the desert or Antarctica, only a lot more comfortable.
Was this what he and Rodney had been looking for? Something to tip the balance in their favour, and give them a chance to corral their problems before all the flailing and false starts got them killed before the Wraith could?
“Why this agent?” Because Lorne hadn’t just asked for an Agent Afloat — he’d asked for one in particular.
“He’s smart, adaptive, creative, and has the luck of the devil. He survives despite the odds, is fair and uncompromising in matters of ethics and morality but not rule-bound. He’ll focus on actual issues, not minor regulation violations,” or major ones like DADT went unspoken but implied, “he thinks outside the box, and he’s good with all kinds of people.”
John flicked through the personnel file; serial killers, commendations, hostage and rescue training, sniper qualified — civilian, not military, but still — a list of injuries that — “Plague? Like, the actual plague?”
Lorne sighed. “Oh, yeah.”
“We should have recruited him years ago; he has the kind of luck that fits right in the SGC.” Because the plague wasn’t turning into a blue insect or rapid aging as STD, but it was pretty close. “RIMA — didn’t you go there?”
“Yes, sir. We were roommates.”
John considered his straight-laced 2IC and the grinning photo on the tablet. He wondered what kind of trouble they’d managed to find. “I’m a little concerned about dropping someone who looks like this in a small population; the women will be lining up, and the men will hate him for the competition.”
A grin flickered over Lorne’s face and vanished. “He’ll be more trouble than you realize, sir. Tony has a type — strong, interesting women and pretty men.”
Well, enforcing DADT wouldn’t be a problem; not that anyone had ever been discharged from the SGC for that particular offense. It was beyond stupid to give people with knowledge of a classified project a very reasonable grudge against the military, not to mention the waste of talent and experience. “So — Teyla?”
“Teyla is completely his type, but so is Cadman, Miko, Ronon, Parrish, Radek — and you.”
“You know,” John smirked, “I bet you fit in that category, Lorne.” The man lifted a brow. “Don’t even; you know how pretty you are. The Athosians giggle over you at every festival. I went to a boarding school too, Evan. I know exactly what happens there.”
“You haven’t asked a question, John ,” Lorne used his name deliberately; they were off the record, “and you can’t because that would be wrong.”
“Which pretty much answers the question I can’t ask, doesn’t it?”
The grin he got was wicked. John rarely saw his second relaxed, a byproduct of being the highest ranking asset on Atlantis. It wasn’t a surprise his closest friends were outside the chain of command; none of the soldiers would feel comfortable cutting loose in front of their commander, and they deserved time off duty.
Pity; Lorne had the potential to be all kinds of fun.
“Let’s just say, anything you remember from your days at school are probably true, and finish with the fact that anything that went on was casual and friendly.”
In other words, two adolescent roommates who totally experimented with each other but weren’t in a relationship.
“You have a lot of faith that we won’t get him killed out here, Lorne.” Because the people John was closest to in the world — universe — were all at risk on a daily basis, likely to die alongside him, and it was sometimes hard to let even them close for that reason. “Are you sure?”
Lorne gazed out at the moon for a moment before meeting John’s eyes. “If anyone can thrive out here, sir, it’s Tony Dinozzo. The weirder things are, the harsher the conditions, the brighter he shines. The stricter the rules, the more ways he finds around them. The twistier the politics — the tighter he grabs hold and cuts through the web of lies and manipulations.”
On Atlantis, where death came from the skies and through the gate and hid in random corridors, laying in wait after ten thousand years — all they had was faith. In each other, in themselves. It was why every manipulation cut deep, every political web strangled; games played by people who had never seen a Wraith, who seemed incapable of weighing ends and means rationally. Politics from another galaxy that seemed as much a threat as the Wraith.
Another life to protect and consider with every action. An ally, a potential friend, a possible enemy. John was a pilot, a soldier; his world was black and white. That was why the slow slide into moral ambiguity chafed. He wanted to let others make the political decisions, then give him a goal, a target. Time and again, that had proven impossible and the only way to protect his people was to be the one making choices and fighting against being dragged further into the gray.
“Make sure it goes with the data burst tomorrow. Flag it for the General. We’ll see if he can make it happen, and how quickly.”
“Thank you, sir,” Lorne said quietly, and retrieved his tablet. “I’ll see you in the morning staff meeting, sir.”
Footsteps moved away, leaving him alone with Atlantis and the night. The heavens spread before him, vast and infinite and uncaring of the fragile human life it shone down on; John wondered what else was waiting out there, and whether it would want to kill him, too.
Prompt: Original Male Character
Characters/Pairings: female Harry Potter (Ianthe), OMC, OFC, Dursleys
Genre: drama, genderbent
Word Count: 2000
Warnings: . . . no canon, no beta, no fucks
Author’s Note: Nicolas Flamel is actually a character in something I’m working on, so I wanted to play with him to cement his character in my head. Technically, you could argue that he isn’t an original character but we never actually saw him or learned anything about his character. So, you know, fuck the rules.
Synopsis: The confrontation over the Philosopher's Stone had repercussions that Dumbledore never imagined. Ianthe Potter isn’t quite sure what’s happening, but that’s not new when it comes to magic.
Four days after her first year at Hogwarts ended, Ianthe Potter ducked in the kitchen door of Number 4. Her time at the Dreadful Dursleys had, thus far, been painless — as much as living with people who wished you’d been drowned at birth could be. Fortunately, her relatives had decided to ignore Ianthe’s existence except to assign chores and glower ineffectively.
Ianthe aided by vanishing from breakfast until it was time to make supper. A school bag of books, homework and sandwiches meant she could wander Surrey for a good six hours a day, contentedly away from her relations. She’d always been self-sufficient and nine months at school with few adults and little supervision had only made her more so.
Oddly, Aunt Petunia wasn’t in the kitchen, ready to glare and snap instructions for supper. The clock assured her she wasn’t late. So where . . .?
Cautiously, Ianthe poked her head into the front room. If the Dursleys had company, they wouldn’t want her to be seen, and her curiosity wasn’t worth the vicious scold and lack of dinner it would earn her.
There was a guest in the living room; a man lounged casually in an armchair across from where the Dursleys sat in a row on the sofa. A man wearing smart, boldly coloured robes.
That explained Aunt Petunia’s sour face, Daisy’s pouty glower, and why Vernon looked like he’d been frozen in place, mid shout.
“Ah, mes enfant, there you are,” the wizard said cheerfully, without looking at her. “Come in, come in. You wish for tea? I know you English are most fond — myself, I prefer wine, but an afternoon snack is most civilized, yes?”
Wishing fiercely she was permitted to carry her wand, Ianthe edged forward. Sure enough, a lavish tea setting was laid out on the coffee table; Ianthe had washed every dish in the house at least twice and didn’t recognize the service. That and Daisy’s look of fearful longing, made her suspect it had been magicked up.
“Excuse me, sir, but . . . who are you?”
He turned to face her, and a little of Ianthe’s wariness faded; dark eyes laughed in a face neither old nor young, beautiful or plain. His mouth quirked in a cheeky little grin, he spoke in a cheerful French accent: “My wife despairs of my manners — I am Flamel. Nicolas Flamel, mes enfant.”
She gaped at the wizard. Ianthe had pictured Flamel as an old man, aged and learned like the headmaster; not this seemingly middle aged wizard with laughing eyes. “But — the stone was destroyed! The headmaster said you were going to die!”
“I see young Albus still excels at a lie made of half-truths. Come and sit, enfant, do not hover! Have a cake, yes? Good,” he seemed satisfied as she obeyed, still stuck on the thought of Albus Dumbledore as young . “I shall explain, yes? It is true that the stone you retrieved — most bravely, enfant, I commend you! — was destroyed.”
“But then —”
“No, no, enfant, eat your treat.” A cup of milky tea was pressed on her as she took a bite of lemon cake. Daisy stared piteously and was ignored. “It is also true that the stone you saw was the one which Albus had his man remove from Gringotts. However,” he smiled over his own cup, “the stone was not my Philosopher's Stone — but a decoy.”
“Yes indeed, a most clever fake! One of many, in fact.” He chuckled, pleased. “The goblins, you see; such craftsmen!”
“Did the Headmaster know?”
“Oh yes; he also knew the stone was trapped to kill any who tried to steal it.” All humour vanished. “You are very lucky, mes enfant, to have survived Albus’ gauntlet and the thief and the fake.”
“Then,” Ianthe said slowly, “then — I ruined your plans. Voldemort was supposed to take the fake and use it! I —”
“Were very strong and brave, enfant; it does Albus good to have his plans overturned, yes? Or he begins to think he is as wise as others believe.” Once again cheerful, Flamel refilled her cup.
“The headmaster’s plan? Not yours?”
“Oh, no, never would I agree to use the stone to bait a trap in a school. I am most put out with my old student. But! Now we come to matters most important, yes? I am sent by Ragnok, you see.”
Some of the information Hermione had crammed in her head had stuck; she knew that name. “The Goblin Chieftain?”
“You know of him, excellent!. You were hurt, you see, protecting an object made by goblin magic.”
“Am I in trouble? Because it was destroyed?”
Flamel chuckled. “No, enfant. So many thoughts and questions you have! Good, one must always question or one is little better than a patch of moss, growing but not thinking. No, young Albus will be the one to explain the removal and destruction of the stone. I would not care to guess at the fines that shall occur. No, you are owed a weregild.”
“A debt? But — why?”
“Because you are a child, and you were injured — nearly died, in fact — protecting what you believed was an object of great power. You also kept a goblin-made treasure from a thief and prevented that wretched —” he growled something in French “ — from returning. There is no getting out of it, I fear. Goblin’s take such things very seriously.”
“A debt?” Petunia asked warily. “They want to give us money?”
Ianthe’s jaw dropped at the transformation her words wrought on Flamel. Gone was the cheery Frenchman offering sweets and in his place was a wizard of great power and age. His face went to stone, his brow lowered, and his voice grew deeper and echoed as if it came from the bottom of a well.
“No, Petunia Evans, the goblins would have none to do with you. You would best be grateful that they know nothing of you, for there is nothing a goblin hates so much as one who betray family, shuns kin, or hurts a child. You and this —” he waved a hand at Vernon, “ — have had all you ever will your sister’s child.”
Aunt Petunia pressed herself back against the sofa and Daisy abandoned her longing stare at food in favour of ducking behind the sofa and her mother.
“Now, mes enfant, what do you know of weregild?”
“Um, it’s a debt of honour.” A little dazed from Flamel’s abrupt transformation, Ianthe struggled a moment to recall more. Hermione had been firm on researching the differences between muggle and magical society and, considering what they’d found, that was a good thing. It had also been useful in using their own customs against the pureblood bigots at Hogwarts. “Gold is often, but not always, the method of payment. They’re most often declared by the Horde, but the Noble Houses also call weregild under certain circumstances.”
“Most excellent! I am pleased to see you so clever!”
Ianthe shook her head. “I’m curious — it’s my friend Hermione who’s clever. And she and Ron and Neville were there that night, too.”
The immortal chuckled. “How clever of you to make such a clever friend, then. And yes, anyone involved your attempt to protect the fake is also owed a debt, though not a weregild . Your friends shall be rewarded for their bravery, though I imagine they shall be paid from the many fines Albus will be made to pay. But they have parents and guardians to see to such things on their behalf, mes enfant.” Ianthe looked towards the Dursleys, noting that even under a freezing charm, Vernon had managed to go puce with ire and insult. “Ah, your relations — they do not count.”
“Why, I never —!”
“Cared a jot for your sister’s child? Yes, that is most clear.” Flamel rose and clapped his hands together. “Now, you have eaten your cake? Excellent, then we go!”
“Wait — go where?”
“Nicolas, what have you told her? All this time and still you have not explained properly?”
A witch walked in the room — she could only be a witch, as her hat was blooming with living flowers with butterflies flitting between blooms — and like Flamel, appeared ageless. She was also milk pale and . . . sharp, Ianthe decided, the way her cheeks angled and her chin came to a point. Her violet eyes didn’t laugh as Flamel’s did, but there was a smile lingering around her mouth.
“Ah, my wife — she does like to scold me, enfant.”
“You must have a good scolding every hour, husband, or nothing would get done and you would waste away watching the world go by.” One long slim hand waved dismissively. “Bah, I despair of you, Nicolas; introduce me to the child.”
“ Mes enfant , this vision of loveliness is my Perenelle. My beloved wife, this clever fille is Ianthe Potter, Viscountess Glamorgan.”
“Hello, ma’am — wait, viscountess?”
Daisy snorted. “Wot, her.”
Petunia paled. “Stop! You’ll not tell her such — such —” Vernon grew even purpler.
“Nicolas, parchment. I shall write Albus my opinion of his guardianship. C’est vous plait, husband.”
“Ah, mon coeur —”
“Now, Nicolas.” Flamel immediately dug into a pocket — Ianthe blinked as his arm vanished to the elbow. “Now, dear one, you are Lady Potter, Viscountess Glamorgan.” Perenelle examined Ianthe closely, then nodded. “Bien, you will do very well. In Paris we shall shop for things more fitting to a lovely young witch. My hairdresser shall do wonders with your hair, you cannot imagine, and we shall then see how badly your education has been neglected, and correct, yes? Ah, bien, Nicolas — I write, you explain.”
Feeling a little like she’d swallowed a snitch again, she blinked up at Flamel’s sympathetic face. “Um?”
“I would say one grows accustomed to her, but lying is tedious, yes? But always she means well.”
“Is she going to send the headmaster a Howler?” she wondered, remembering an older student caught in a broom cupboard getting a loud and explosive letter.
“He should only wish such; the Howler spell is a pale imitation of Perenelle’s methods. Ah, mon coeur? Perhaps you might wait until later? Ragnok does expect us.”
The witch paused and frowned at him over her quill. “Are you trying to distract me?”
“Would I —?” she glared. “Yes. But I am also right.”
“Rarely,” she huffed, tucking parchment and quill away. “Fine, it will wait. Dear one, have you any belongings but those in your room and cupboard?”
“Bien, you shall retrieve it; I have the rest of your belongings.”
“You —” Ianthe curled in on herself, thinking of the locked door and room full of broken castoffs. “Why . . . wait — Paris? Why am I going to Paris?”
Flamel laid a hand on the back of her head. “Enfant, the only shame here is not yours to bear. As to Paris — well, we cannot leave you here, yes? So, we go to the Goblins for the weregild, and I shall pay my debt in guardianship.”
“But . . . you don’t have to.”
Perenelle huffed. “Child, no one has made us do what we do not wish to in five centuries. We would do as we choose and what is right. This is both. Fetch your bag, yes?”
Ianthe looked up at Flamel; his dark eyes gleamed. “So clever a witch is not so foolish as to deny a debt of honour owed to her, refuse help offered with good intentions — or turn aside potential lessons from ones with so much knowledge and experience, yes?”
The Flamels were over six hundred years old, masters of arcane magic. Ianthe imagined what they had to teach — and imagined Hermione’s reaction to her refusing this offer. “I’ll just — get my bag?”
“Very wise, young one.”
It's Evil Author Day 2017! The day when authors give you lovely things, and you might never see anything of their gifts again! Have five Big Short Prompts as a present.
I have posted some excerpts for Evil Author Day, but only on my wordpress page. Check them out here.
Chapter 16: Kiss
Give Us A Kiss
Fandom: NCIS/Hawaii 5-O
Characters/Pairings: fem!Tony DiNozzo/Steve McGarrett, John McGarrett, Victor Hesse
Word Count: 760
Notes: I did a Tony/Steve prompt fill earlier, so I suppose I genderbent my own story
Warnings: canon-typical violence
Synopsis: “McGarrett has good taste. Give us a kiss, sweetheart?”
John yanked futilely at his bonds at the sight of the woman that Hesse’s stooge dragged inside. Twenty years ago — hell, ten — he’d have not let some Irish gangster get the drop on him. Retirement had made him soft. Or maybe he was just old.
“Ah, there she is! Well, now,” Hesse eyed the gorgeous blonde up and down, “McGarrett has good taste. Give us a kiss, sweetheart?”
“I’d rather kiss a pufferfish, Victor.”
Hesse laughed. “Spirited, too!” And casually backhanded her.
She licked her split lip and raised a brow. “Really? Is that how they do it in Belfast, Vicky? I’ve had harder blows from wannabe wiseguys who only dream of making their bones.”
The Irishman jerked his head, sending his goon toward the laptop on John’s desk, and grabbed a handful of the woman’s hair before leading her to John.
“Let her go, Hesse — you already have leverage with Steve.”
“I do, old man, but then I thought — who’s more use, an estranged father, or a pretty new wife?” Hesse smirked and drew her closer. “And the I found out that you, lass, were coming to this fair isle, and I could get both.” Then he leaned forward and licked her cheek.
John growled and tried to lunge; Hesse punched him, hard, and he spat blood. “You’re a tough old man, McGarrett. Must be where your son gets it from.”
“Yes, luv? Reconsidered that kiss?”
“No.” And she elbowed him in the face, spun, and jammed a sleek black stun gun into the side of his neck.
Hesse dropped like a rock and a small hideaway gun was pointed at the computer man. “Hands, now! Though I should just shoot him anyway,” she told John. “Bastard didn’t even search me, just took my cell phone. Fucking hackers, I swear.”
“You should definitely shoot him,” John agreed, “though maybe he assumed you couldn’t hide anything in that dress.” She wore one of those soft, floaty sundresses that made a man think of summer.
She shoved the hacker’s face into the desk, wrenched his arms back and yanked a zip tie over his wrists. “I’ve got a knife, too; I work for a Marine. Though, I know a woman who carries a small armoury with her everywhere but the shower.”
Hesse shifted moments after she’d hogtied him. John rubbed one of his freed wrists and glared down at him. “We could both shoot him.”
“It’s still an option. Toni DiNozzo.”
Toni smiled; there was blood on her lip. “I’m a modern woman, John, and getting new ID is a pain in the ass — especially a badge.”
“I’m not sure if I should throw a luau or kick his ass. How long?”
“Two months ago — I got tired of his begging.” Then she shoved Hesse on his back with a sandled foot. “Comfortable, Hesse? Or should I shoot you in the knee to make my point?”
“Should have known McGarrett would marry a stone-cold bitch.”
“Bet your ass, Hesse; Steve is the nice one. You’re going to give me everything, Vicky. Names, contacts, places — I’m going to wring you dry and take apart your empire piece by piece.”
He sneered. “Is that what you think?”
“It is. You know why? Because as long as you’re useful to me, NCIS will fight off all comers to hold on to you. Otherwise,” she smiled, “I won’t have any reason to refuse the Navy when they demand you. You came at a SEAL’s family, Hesse; you're a dead man walking.”
And now the smug fucker looked wary; John was thrilled to see it. “You think McGarrett has the balls to kill me in custody? An unarmed man?”
“I’m sure your escape attempt would be suitable justification, but if I were you I’d be more concerned that he wouldn’t kill you. You put your hands on me, Hesse; Steve might just feed you your own dick. Unless . . .”
“Agent Bitch, Hesse. Victor Hesse, you’re under arrest.”
After she’d read him his rights and John had called HPD and Pearl Harbour, Jack turned to his daughter-in-law. “So, dinner? There’s a place nearby that makes some of the best ahi poke on the island.”
“If there’s beer to go with it, deal.”
“Steve’s going to be pretty freaked out when he gets here.”
“About Hesse? Or us meeting?”
“It’s his own fault — I told him he had two months to tell you and Mary. Besides, I like to keep him guessing.”
Chapter 17: Dr Spencer Reid
Prompt: Dr Spencer Reid
Fandom/Characters: Criminal Minds/NCIS; Spencer Reid/Tony Dinozzo
Genre: Smut. Seriously.
Rating/Warnings: M. Because: smut.
Word Count: 1762
Notes: Apparently, a prompt for the smartest character currently on tv requires a response of sexy times. Because: Tony and Spencer. Naked. Together.
Synopsis: Sometimes, Spencer needs to get out of his own way.
He dropped his bag and keys, kicked off his shoes and headed straight for the bathroom, stripping off clothes stale from two days and a six hour flight. Cranking the shower handle up high, Spencer waited until steam started billowing before stepping inside.
The heat and pressure against the tight muscles in his back and neck felt so amazing it was painful.
Another ugly case in a series of them; weeks of a one-two punch of casework and internal politics. Strauss was breathing down Hotch’s neck — again — and last week Spencer had spent four days interviewing the parents of missing children. His bones ached with exhaustion, but he was too tired to sleep, particularly hated and unfair condition. His mind, a double edged sword at the best of times, continued to turn over; composing the report due on Monday while recalling the three cases he was consulting on — the missing person case in Georgia was almost certainly a break in pattern, not an early indicator of an emerging serial —
This kind of physical and mental state made his skin itch, the need for a shot of Dilaudid burning in his veins, a craving for the drug’s ability to quiet his mind. For a few hours, at least, until the high faded and his thoughts scattered like light refracting on glass, sliding from his grasp and encouraging the need for another —
Spencer increased the water temperature, letting the subtle pain of too-hot water on his skin break that destructive thought pattern. First rule of being a recovering addict — don’t dwell on things you can’t change.
After ten minutes, he knew he risked either scalding or drowning — statistics for household accidents in bathrooms ran through his head, broken down by demographic, type, and time of day — but it took another moment to manage turning off the water.
He made it to the bedroom, considered pajamas, and collapsed, wet and naked, on the cool sheets of his bed. And lay there, unable to turn off his mind and sleep as his body demanded.
Faint strains of Chopin were audible on the other side of his apartment wall. Spencer counted his breaths and listened, hoping it would help. When the piece ended and the incomparable notes of Ray Charles began, he gave it up as a bad job, rolled out of bed, and staggered to the laundry basket.
Wearing cotton pants, an old CalTec teeshirt, and barefooted, Spencer snagged his keys, walked down the hall, and unlocked the door.
Tony was playing — of course he was, Tony was always playing. If not the piano, then the violin or the guitar. There were pages scattered around the living space, a sure sign he’d been composing. If he was lucky and Tony felt like he’d produced something, Spencer would get to hear his friend’s efforts before he performed it in public.
“Hey, Special Agent Genius. What’s — ” The former cop glanced over his shoulder. “That bad, huh?”
Spencer made a vague noise and made it to the sofa, collapsing on it. “I’ve had longer weeks, but they involved defending a thesis or terrorist acts, so. . .”
“I hear you.”
It wasn’t false sympathy; Tony DiNozzo had been a cop until a near-fatal shooting had cost him a spleen, a kidney, and his badge. He’d gone back to college to complete a law degree, but it was the solace he’d sought in music that had become a career. He’d moved into Spencer’s building two years before; they’d become friends several months later.
Spencer had realized six months ago that he was deeply attracted to his friend — watching the man play in a low-lit jazz club, pouring his passion and heart into a complex and beautiful song — and concluded that Tony had at least a passing interest in return a few months after that. At this rate, he might made a stumbling, embarrassing move in another year or so.
“I’m exhausted,” Spencer managed. “Too tired to sleep.”
“Sucks,” Tony murmured, then changed songs again. Something soft and playful was coaxed from the keys; Spencer didn’t recognize it. “I won’t wake you if you manage to fall asleep.”
“You should fuck me.” Tony missed a note and turned to stare at him.
Apparently his brain-to-mouth filter was gone. Fantastic.
“Not that I’m opposed, Spencer, but I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t be making decisions like that right now.” He frowned and Tony gave a little laugh, rubbing a hand over his face. “You’re so tired you can’t stand upright, Spence. You might as well be drunk.”
“I’m tired, not intoxicated.”
“Didn’t you tell me that people are more impaired by lack of sleep than by alcohol?”
He knew he was pouting. “The law doesn’t see it as impeding consent.”
“The law once judged tight jeans and short skirts as implied consent, Spence,” Tony said dryly. “The law is somewhat behind morality on the nuances of the matter.” Sighing, he rose and offered his hand. “C’mon.”
Spencer staggered to his feet, letting Tony guide him to the bedroom. “Then you’ll —”
“If you make the same offer after ten hours of sleep, Spencer, I will enthusiastically take you up on it.”
“Going to,” he muttered, letting Tony tug off his shirt and nudge him into bed; it was larger than Spencer’s. “Love watching you play. Love your hands.” And had masturbated, repeatedly, to the thought of them.
“We’ll compare hand fantasies later.” Thumbs dug into his shoulder muscles, working out knots; Spencer moaned at the release of tension. “I hope you remember this tomorrow, Spence.” Hands worked down his spine —
— the clock said 10:21; the sun was out. The sheets were blue, not gray.
He could smell coffee.
Spencer made it to the kitchen before he remembered, then debated between humiliation and caffeine. Caffeine won. He snagged the cup sitting on the counter and inhaled it.
Then he glanced up at Tony, who watched him with amusement.
Tony, who he’d propositioned; who was half-naked, his chest displayed by low-slung sweatpants. Bullet wound, surgical scars, and a steel hoop piercing his right nipple and all. “Um.”
Coffee came with a plate of scrambled eggs and toast; Spencer’s stomach reminded him that he’d gone more than ten hours without food and wasn’t happy about it. When the food had vanished, Tony was nowhere to be seen, but there was a toothbrush on the counter; Spencer claimed it and retreated to the bathroom.
He might wish to flee back to his apartment, but he should be a grownup and talk about . . . things. Probably.
Tony was waiting in the kitchen. “Feeling more human?”
“Yes. Tony —”
“I feel much better. Tony —”
“Good.” He was crowded up against the counter by a body the same height but larger than his own. Spencer rapidly recalled that he was also shirtless, mostly because there was hot skin against his from collarbones to waist. “Now, about your suggestion. Was it the rambling of an exhausted mind — or something you want even when you have the self-control not to say it?”
He could see the pulse throbbing in Tony’s throat; Spencer swallowed. “I — really want you to fuck me.”
He was drawn into a bruising kiss; they made it down the hallway with minimal injuries despite being unable to separate. The door jam caught Tony on the shoulder as Spencer pinned him in place to bite at his pulse. Pianist hands slid past his waistband and over his ass.
He ended up flat on his back, Tony straddling his hips and sucking marks along his collar. “I don’t just say things like that, you know. I don’t really think of people that way.”
“Affection first, then attraction, right?” Tony lifted up enough to push their pants over their hips.
“Usually.” Spencer eyed the man’s cock, then reached out to touch the scrotum piercing. “How many —?”
“The two you can see, and a guiche.” He inhaled sharply as Spencer gave into his curiosity and sought the aforementioned piercing; there was another metal hoop behind Tony’s scrotum, warm from body heat.
“Not something you expect from a cop.”
“I went through a period of confirming that I was alive and still attractive. My post-recovery slut-phase.” Spencer frowned at the term, though he understood the psychology of Tony’s life affirming actions. “Slut is only an insult if you think it’s one. I tend to consider it a lifestyle choice.” Then he grinned, shifted, and bent down to swallow the head of Spencer’s cock.
He made a soft noise, arched his head back, and wallowed in the best blowjob he’d ever had.
“I didn’t expect you to be quiet in bed,” Tony mused as he sat back up. “It’s charming.” Spencer flailed a hand, unable to speak while he was lingering on the edge of orgasm. The snick of a cap was warning enough that he wasn’t surprised by a slick hand wrapping around him; he managed to lift one of his own to join Tony’s where the man pressed their cocks together and stroked.
“Want you to fuck me,” Spencer reminded him.
“Oh, gorgeous, this is just to take the edge off.” Spencer lifted his eyelids to watch Tony; the way his arm moved steadily and the arch of his throat. “I’m going to watch you come, then stretch out that amazing ass of yours — and then I’m going to get you absolutely filthy again.” The description was accompanied by a sharp tug along his shaft while two fingers slid back to find his perineum. He groaned low in his throat and came all over himself and Tony.
“ Fuck .” Tony wrapped Spencer’s hand around his cock and used it to jerk rapidly. “Fuck, Spencer, you’re better than music .” He came over Spencer’s belly with a harsh noise. “We aren’t leaving this bed until we pass out or Monday comes.”
“I have nowhere else to be.” Spencer ran a hand through the semen on his stomach, then lifted his hand; Tony groaned and sucked two fingers into his mouth. “Do you need a minute? Or should we shower and get started on the next phase of your plan?”
Tony laughed, dragged them both out of bed, and slapped Spencer’s ass sharply on the way to the bathroom. Spencer retaliated by pinning him to the shower wall and doing a detailed examination of his piercings. That led to . . . well, Tony excelled at meeting his obligations. Repeatedly.
Chapter 18: Sword
Title: Gryffindor’s Champion
Fandom/Characters: Harry Potter; female Harry, OMC, Amelia Bones, the Sorting Hat, Fawkes
Genre: drama, genderbent
Warnings: minor character death (but only one that Joanne killed anyway so, ya know) and some blood and gross stuff that comes from stabbing things as well as possession and blood sacrifice. So, canon-typical stuff for the children’s books!
Notes: Vincent DeLeon is Ron Perlman and Amelia Bones is Lena Headey. The Sorting Hat plays himself.
Word Count: 976
Synopsis: Anecdotal evidence suggests that drawing a weapon from anything but a sheath or stand — should have rather more impact than Dumbledore originally explained.
Eleanor watched the wound on her arm close, preferring the sight of her flesh knitting to the gruesome scene nearby.
“Thanks, Fawkes,” Ellie said softly. “For everything.” Her hand was slick with gore and remained firmly on the sword Fawkes had brought.
The phoenix trilled, fluffing his crest. She managed a grin, and carefully didn’t look beyond the bird to where Percy Weasley lay in a heap, his hair a match to Fawkes.
Carefully didn’t remember red eyes in a freckled face, a low drawl demanding, gloating, uttering ugly promises. Didn’t look at the bruises on her wrists where the possessed boy had dragged her down into the Chamber —
Violently shaking away those memories, she asked, “What now?”
Chirping, Fawkes nodded his head at the blade she held. Ellie studied it; it was far too light for its size and fit her hand easily even though she doubted people made swords the right size for a very short second year.
the one meant to wield the sword shall wield the sword
Ellie set the sword on the ground. “I’ve had enough of possessed magical things for today, thanks,” she managed, glancing at the destroyed book Percy —
Fawkes set the Sorting Hat by her knee, and the ragged brim opened. “I commend your caution, Ms Potter — sadly, the late Mr Weasley did not share it — but would remind you that not all objects with a voice are possessed.”
“Is it — safe?”
“Well, it is a sharp weapon designed to kill.”
She laughed, a little hysterically, and looked over at the dead basilisk. “No kidding.” Since the Hat was in a position to know, Ellie lifted the sword again. “Hello?”
look to the blade for answers
The whisper in her head — magic, honestly — was deep and rumbled like thunder distant thunder. She angled the blade, swiping her filthy sleeve along the flat side. Were those words?
The etched letters were unreadable at first, then twisted and realigned into something she could recognize.
WHOSO SHEDDETH THINE ENEMIES BLOOD AND THINE OWN BLOOD AND BLEEDS OF GODRIC'S LINE SHALL BE EVER GRYFFINDOR’S CHAMPION
The Hat chuckled. “A problem for another day. For now — the Sword of Gryffindor is aware, though not alive, and no one may part it from you as you have blooded it with your own blood and that of a foe.”
“‘Cause that’s not weird —” and wiped away a sudden tear. “Oh, Merlin — I killed Percy!”
“I rather think the snake was a greater threat.”
“He — he was going to — he said he was Tom, and a blood sacrifice would make it permanent and —” she shuddered, “he was Voldemort. And I — oh, Merlin, I need — I need the police — and a lawyer! I killed him, they’ll send me to prison or expel me!”
“One would negate the need to do the other,” the Hat soothed, “and it’s quite doubtful, though the sensibility of wixen is rather suspect at times. Fawkes? If you would?”
“I didn’t want to,” she whispered. “But he just — and he took my wand, and knocked out Neville before we could tell the teachers where the Chamber was —”
“Bloody phoenix! Albus, what — great gods and goddesses!”
Ellie looked up to find a man and woman standing above her, a smug-looking phoenix hovering above them. The lady wore dueling robes far more practical and well-worn than Lockhart’s and the man was huge and looked like a lion animagi who got stuck part way. They were both gaping at the Chamber and it’s bloody scene.
“I’m sorry!” Ellie choked out. “I didn’t mean it! But Hermione was petrified and the monster was a Basilisk and we realized where the Chamber was but Percy came and, he was possessed by Tom! And he brought me here — and then he called the snake and Fawkes brought the Hat and it had the sword —”
Amelia Bones looked away from the carcass of the biggest snake she’d ever heard of to stare down at — bloody hell , the Girl Who Lived, splattered in blood and slime and Merlin knew what else, holding the Sword of Gryffindor of all things, and turned to Vincent DeLeon. Who, for the first time in thirty years, looked utterly gobsmacked.
“And I had to kill him but I didn’t mean to! Because Percy was Tom and Tom was Voldemort and he —”
DeLeon crouched down, and without his bulk in the way she could see a thirteen-point circle marked on the ground beneath the ugliest statue she’d ever seen. Thirteen for blood sacrifice, Amelia noted absently, and realized the body lying near it was one of Arthur’s sons.
“Take a deep breath, child — good,” DeLeon soothed. Shock and a little hysteria and who could blame her. She needed a healer, and Amelia needed to get a team of Aurors here — an Unspeakable as well. She should have pushed the issue of Hogwarts months ago, but both Fudge and Dumbledore had used their political power to block all interference.
“I don’t want to go to prison,” Potter whispered.
“I assure you, that won’t happen,” Vincent offered. “I’m a Chief Judiciary of the Wizengamot.”
“I don’t want to get expelled, either.”
The girl was going to get the damned Order of Merlin if Amelia had anything to say about it.
“That won’t happen, either. I don’t suppose you know where we are?”
She sniffed and rubbed a scrape on her cheek. “The Chamber of Secrets. The entrance is in the girl’s toilet. But it’s a long walk — maybe Fawkes can get us out?”
“Excellent idea,” Amelia stated and eyed the bird. “St Mungos, please, this girl needs a healer.”
“I’m okay — Fawkes healed the bite.”
Vincent paled. “Hospital — now .”
Chapter 19: Justice
Mercy and Vengeance
Characters/Pairings: Toni DiNozzo/AJ Chegwidden, SECNAV Sarah Porter, others mentioned
Word Count: 971
Rating/Warnings/Notes: a little swearing and mentions of naked stuff; probably no more than Mature
Synopsis: Without justice, the law is merciless. Without law, justice is vengeance.
He found her sitting on the couch, shoulders slumped. The dog’s head was in her lap, a plea for attention and an offer of comfort; she was stroking his ears, heedless of dog hair and her two thousand dollar suit.
The coffee table held an empty beer bottle, her badge, and a handgun.
She didn’t look at him, only stared down at the table and asked: “What’s the difference between the law and justice?”
“Nothing, and everything.” AJ removed his cover and uniform jacket and laid them aside before joining her.
“The law doesn’t always equal justice,” she murmured. “The legal system certainly doesn’t.”
AJ slid the clasp free from her hair, making her sigh the tight chignon tumbled loose. “The law is shaped by countless people,” he offered, hand settling on her neck and rubbing the tension there. “Society, lawmakers, victims and criminals. Justice is a solitary and personal thing.”
“The difference is that while the law may not always be just, justice outside of the bounds of law never is.” Toni shifted the rest her forehead against his shoulder and he gathered her close. The dog sprawled out on the floor with a sigh as AJ kissed her hair. “Without justice, the law is merciless. Without law, justice is . . .”
“Revenge,” he finished as she fell silent, curling tighter against him.
“I may be working longer hours for the next little while,” Toni explained later. “Vance and Ziva are both on indefinite hardship leave.”
AJ nodded and finished removing her blouse. “Not their idea, I assume.”
“A federal agency can’t have a director who is emotionally compromised making decisions, and his children need him. Ziva . . .” Toni chuckled, a harsh and bitter thing, as her head fell forward against his chest. “Well. there’s ample evidence of her lack of decision-making skills when she’s emotional.”
Ziva David was a ticking time bomb looking for a place to detonate in a healthy frame of mind, if such was ever the case. When she was off-balance, the woman was constantly a moment away from meltdown, and her blast radius was most of NCIS. Toni had dealt with the aftermath far too often.
“I’m sure they’ll benefit from the mental health break and the chance to grieve,” AJ said dryly, unclasping her bra and sliding her panties off her hips. “Go on and have a shower while I grab something from the kitchen.”
Instead of complying, Toni pressed closer and kissed his jaw. “We can eat later; come join me.” Long fingers cupped his dick through his trousers.
Toni DiNozzo was sex wrapped in sin and gilded in temptation, and AJ had rarely been able to resist. Eight years after she’d congratulated him on his second star by inviting him home for coffee and fucking them both stupid, AJ was still just as susceptible to the dare in her smile and the promise in her voice.
But he’d come home to find her grieving and guilty and, despite the sultry tone there were lines of stress and exhaustion around her eyes. So he kissed his wife gently and told her, “Shower and eat and then we’ll see if you can make good on that.”
She huffed and strode into the steamy bathroom. “What kind of officer and gentleman turns down a willing woman?” Toni called over the shower. “You’re letting down the navy, Admiral Chegwidden!”
“I’ll uphold the honour of the navy when you don’t look like you’ll fall asleep or cry before we’ve finished,” AJ called back as she stripped the remains of his uniform, ignoring his half-hard dick, and pulled on sweatpants.
Something wet slapped against the bathroom door. “Fuck you! I’ve never cried during sex in my life!”
Pleased with her display of playful temper — far preferable to the sadness of earlier — AJ grinned and grabbed his phone. “You make enough noise to make up for it.” And retreated from the bedroom with Toni’s growled response following him.
There was some leftover chicken in the fridge along with some pasta salad and he set the meat to warm in the microwave while dialling.
“What kind of fallout can we expect over Vance and David, ma’am?”
“Minimal,” the SECNAV replied. “Vance is on leave; he’ll either get his head straight and return in six months, or he’ll retire. David has been informed that her future employment hinges on regular therapy, a minimum of three months leave, and remaining in the country until she’d declared fit.”
“How bad was it?”
She sighed. “Vance signed off on David going to Europe to ‘arrest’ a Mossad Deputy Director based on insufficient and circumstantial evidence.”
“For fuck’s sake.” AJ spooned pasta onto two plates and added the warm chicken. “When has David taking things into her own hands ever resulted in anything but bodies and a black eye for NCIS?”
“Fortunately, someone was paying attention and notified me.” There was a short pause. “After contacting Interpol with a request for observation and detainment of Deputy Director Bodnar and requesting the TSA block David’s passport. Not to mention arranging for Eli’s body to be returned to Tel Aviv and ensuring that Vance’s children were cared for and under guard.”
“Busy day,” was all he said. No wonder Toni was tired.
“And tomorrow will be more of the same,” she warned. “Tell your wife to get some rest, AJ, because NCIS is down another director and I’m not willing to rush an appointment since that led to Vance getting the chair. She’s turned down two promotions that would limit fieldwork, but I’m going to need a SAC for the DC office and she’s one of the only people at the agency I can trust to do their job without starting a war or undermining democracy.”
“I’ll let her know.”
In case anyone has forgotten how delicious AJ Chegwidden was and why Toni would have climbed that like a tree:
Chapter 20: Rule 63
Prompt: Rule 63
Fandom: Criminal Minds/NCIS
Pairings/Characters: Tony DiNozzo/Spencer Reid, BAU team
Warnings: Recreational Alcohol is consumed on screen; please drink responsibly.
Word Count: 1,811
Notes: Well, I’ve written Tony and Spencer as a slash pairing, with female Spencer and with female Tony so you know what that means: femslash. Also, I was going to keep this pretty close to canon by having Toni and Spencer at their canon jobs, but somehow I wrote my way around to this. I don’t usually write Tony as a civilian unless he was injured in the line of duty but this really worked for me. If Tony, male or female, had ever gone into business, I can absolutely picture this.
Synopsis: The team meets Spencer for a night out, gets lost, and finds a surprise.
“I don’t know where we’re going, but I doubt it’s what I had in mind for a Friday night.”
“Oh hush, spoilsport,” Penelope scolded. “How often does our genius invite everyone out, instead of one of us luring her from her book cocoon for an evening with the team?”
“That would be my point,” Derek said. “Rossi agrees with me, right man?”
“Come on, man — Reid’s idea of a good time is a three-hour foreign film or a day at the Library of Congress. Hey, now!” He jumped a little when Emily prodded his ribs. “Careful, Prentis.”
“You’re already on thin ice, Morgan, after your stunt the other day, so watch it.”
“Stunt? What stunt?”
“The latest episode of your epic quest to cockblock Spencer,” JJ said mildly.
He scowled and walked a little quicker to get out of Emily’s reach; behind his back, she and Penelope fist bumped. “He was hitting on her and she wasn’t interested.”
“He was a decorated officer inviting a colleague to lunch, and she is a twenty-six-year-old genius with ten degrees and a gun,” Hotch sighed. “She’s shot a man in the head, Morgan; Reid is perfectly capable of turning down a polite invitation without you throwing yourself on the grenade.”
“Being asked out makes her flustered.”
“And she’ll never get any practice at it with you around, Chocolate Thunder,” Penelope hooked her arm through his and pinched his bicep. “This is our shot across your bow, my love; the next time, we start playing dirty.”
Because he was a smart man, her beautiful Derek looked wary. “Do I want to know?”
“Lets’ just say,” JJ interjected, “that I doubt you’d enjoy an outright campaign on your ability to get a phone number, much less a date.”
“Sauce for the gander,” Rossi chuckled. “Karma.”
Morgan gave her a betrayed look. She patted his arm. “It’s for your own good, Sir Morgan.”
Rossi, who was navigating, stopped. “I hate these damned GPS apps,” he grumbled, staring at his phone. “This can’t be it.”
‘This’ was a narrow alley between a movie theatre and a Mexican restaurant, walls plastered with posters and graffiti. Near the end was a sign that said Underground.
She pursed her lips. This rang a bell or two but it couldn’t be . . . could it?
“This better not be some kind of walking tour of haunted places or murder sites,” Derek muttered.
At the end of the alley was a door, opening to a descending staircase complete with flickering lights and subway tiles. They gamely continued — a federal badge or six would get them out of trespassing charges — and at the bottom, after a turn, came to an old-fashioned turnstile with its arms locked in place.
“Well, we’re lost. Someone call Reid.”
“Oh!” Penelope dug into her pocket. “I forgot, she gave me these.” And retrieved a handful of tickets, naked of anything but barcodes. “I thought they were for a movie, but they look like they’ll fit the ticket slot.”
Hotch tried first, and passed through the arms of the turnstile, then waited for the rest of them. Will had a knowing smile on his face; Garcia bounced on her toes, thrilled and eager for more. Just beyond them was a heavy door. “Open it!”
“It says ‘No Entrance’, Mama,” Derek cautioned, but she knew what this was and pushed forward to grab the handle and yank.
And they walked into the Prohibition.
“No. Way.” Emily breathed. “Seriously?”
Lush and gorgeous, filled with vintage wood and fabric and gleaming glass, the 1920’s swirled around them. There were two bars, dozens of tables, and multiple chandeliers. On the dance floor were a dozen couples including one doing a vigorous Charleston, to cheers and applause, and a live band.
The servers and bar staff, male and female alike, wore tuxedo pants, shirts, and cummerbunds complete with suspenders; the head bartender wore a vest and tie as well. The hostess looked like Anna May Wong had stepped off the screen and into Washington in her black and red silk dress. The patrons wore street clothes and suits, flapper dresses and fifties fashion, sequins and blue jeans and everything in between.
At a high-topped table near the bar, fitting in perfectly in her usual tweed skirt, argyle knee socks and saddlebacks, Spencer Reid sat with a cocktail and a book.
“Doctor Reid, you are a genius! How did you find this place?”
Spencer looked up from her book — Fitzgerald seemed appropriate — to find her team descending on her. “Oh good, you found it. I thought I might need to text you instructions.”
“It took a moment,” Rossi agreed. “An Old Fashioned,” he told a server who’d descended on them.
There was a round of ordering, along with a few questions about the drinks listed on the menu — and a few laughs over the House Rules printed there. Garcia dug out her phone and switched it off immediately, happy to immerse herself in the atmosphere, and Will and JJ announced that they were coming back wearing fedoras to take advantage of the half priced drinks.
“No, really, how did you find this place?” Emily asked when they were served. “I’ve never heard of it.”
“I have,” Will said, “but I didn’t know where the entrance was. Anybody can slap up a few decorations and call themselves a speakeasy. It takes a secret entrance and word of mouth to make a real one.”
“Where do you get the tickets?” Morgan asked, gazing around at the decor.
“There’s a ticket booth in the movie theatre,” Spencer explained, “they only sell tickets after six. The same person owns both, so it works.”
“The theatre shows vintage films, right? Someone with vision and a love of history.” Hotch’s shoulders relaxed, a sure sign he was feeling comfortable.
“And movies,” she agreed. “Not to mention a flair for the dramatic.”
“You know him?” Morgan asked suspiciously, then flinched. JJ and Emily glared at him, and Spencer figured one of them had kicked him under the table.
“Cockblocking,” Garcia said warningly.
“Remind me to add ‘No Cockblocking’ to the House Rules.” Spencer grinned and turned; Toni had swanned up to the table, looking every inch a modern Marlene Dietrich in a floor-length sequined gown and styled curls. “Really, it should always be against the rules.”
“Guys, this is the owner of Underground; Antonia DiNozzo. Toni, this is my team.”
“The infamous BAU,” she purred, sliding right into Spencer’s personal space. She tucked her arm around Toni’s waist; Rossi’s eyebrow flew up and Garcia’s jaw dropped. “A bunch of Feds in a speakeasy; well, it’s not the first time.”
“We aren’t all Feds,” Will teased.
“Corrupting the local coppers is old news, Detective,” Toni returned sassily, “the Chief of Detectives and Police Commissioner are regulars. Don’t come on Thursdays if you want to avoid getting pinched for colluding with moonshiners.”
Toni pouted. “Don’t you love me, doll? Why you gotta be so mean?” Laughing, Spencer kissed her. Her girlfriend lingered for a long moment; they ignored Morgan’s choked squawk. When Toni drew back, her smile was real and soft and full of love.
“I really do love you, but that means I’m aware of and enjoy your preference for drama.”
“You're forgiven, but I demand a dance later in payment for hurting my feelings.” Toni pressed a kiss to the corner of her mouth, then grinned at the team. “I’ll be back later. Don’t wear her out with too many questions; I have plans later.”
“You,” Garcia intoned seriously as Toni sauntered away, hips swaying beneath her shimmering dress, “are going to tell me everything. And don’t spare on the sexy stuff.”
Toni slid back up to the table after they’d ploughed through several platters of hors d’oeuvres and several refills apiece. “Enjoying yourselves?”
“The food and drink are almost as good as storytime,” Garcia said shamelessly. “I especially like the part where you invited her home to see your etchings.”
“They were art deco prints, actually,” Spencer explained. “Toni’s a collector.”
Her team laughed; Toni hugged her shoulders and consoled: “Don’t worry, Spencer, I love you even when you can’t see a come on with a deep space telescope.”
“It’s a lovely collection,” Spencer huffed.
“You didn’t see my artwork until the next morning, sweetheart,” Toni reminded her. “Unless we’re counting my rack, which I think qualifies.”
“Let’s go dance,” JJ laughed, tugging Will towards the dance floor. “I’m not sure we should be listening to this!”
“I just invited you home for coffee.” He finished his drink and followed. “Which we didn’t get to until morning either, come to think.”
“Come along, Derek,” Garcia ordered. “I want to take a spin as well. You’re next, David Rossi, so don’t go anywhere.”
“What about Hotch?” the older profiler demanded. “I’m ten years too old to keep up with you!”
“Our fearless leader is about to find himself with his own partner,” she called back cheerfully.
“Redhead, two o’clock,” Toni pointed out. “Partner in a local law firm, does charity work for an inner city family law centre. Comes in on Fridays, usually, for the stage and burlesque shows. Looks fantastic in Dior,” she added with a smile as a redhead in a black dress slid up to Hotch’s seat.
“And then there were three,” Rossi mused as their Unit Chief followed the exodus to the crowded dance floor. “Why are you two still here?”
“I don’t want to leave you alone,” Spencer admitted, familiar with the sensation of holding the table while everyone else had fun.
“Take your woman and get your rear onto the dance floor, Agent Doctor Reid,” she was told sternly. “I’m getting another drink, and then I’m going to watch and smugly imagine how sore and hung over you’ll all be tomorrow.”
“Come on, sugar,” Toni laughed, “we’ve got our orders.” And she was pulled along.
“I haven’t gotten any better since the last time,” Spencer warned.
“Which is why the band is going to play something slow.” The music changed, and Toni drew her close. They were nearly the same height, but Toni’s heels elevated her so she took the lead as they danced cheek to cheek.
“I’m glad you brought them,” Toni murmured.
“So am I.” And she was; her team was like family, and you introduced someone you loved to your family; even she knew that. Spencer stroked her thumb along the side of Toni’s neck. “Half the people in this room are picturing us naked together.”
There was a throaty chuckle next to her ear. “So am I. I’m going to New York to check on my places there. Come with me?”
“I can only take a couple of days, and only if we don’t have a case.” Lips touched her cheek. “Yes.”
Chapter 21: Surrender
Characters/Pairing: Toni DiNozzo/AJ Chegwidden; female Tony DiNozzo
Genre: erotic, romance
Rating/Warnings: yeah, this is Explicit. Definitely M or R. Here there be sexy times.
Word Count: 917
Notes: I wanted to write a bit of uniform kink; I got this. I can’t even write a blowjob without adding romance and character development. If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Synopsis: “You know, Admiral, there’s something about a man in uniform.”
Toni had only just begun to drift off when he arrived, having spent some time mentally going over a cold case. There was something about the crime scene layout. . .
So the quiet tread and the light from the hallway didn’t wake her so much as get her attention. She turned on the bedside lamp, and the tall shadow in the doorway resolved itself into an admiral in full uniform.
“Sorry,” AJ murmured. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“You didn’t.” She sat up, watching as he removed his cover and laid it aside, then carefully hung up his jacket. “They okay?”
He laughed tiredly. “Right in the midst of chaos, like expected. They’re the best the navy has but, my God, can Mac and Harm find trouble anywhere they go.” He smiled at her. “I didn’t expect you to still be here. Sorry about dinner.”
“You can hardly make it up to me tomorrow if I’m not here,” she pointed out, “and I understand.” Her own job had kept her from weddings, holidays, and more dates than she could count; missing dinner was hardly an issue.
“I will make it up to you, but I’m still sorry,” AJ agreed, reaching for his top button.
Sliding from the bed, she laid a hand on his chest, stopping the motion. “You know, Admiral,” she murmured, “there’s something about a man in uniform. Something. . . commanding.”
“Toni,” he drawled.
“Yes, Admiral?” She made quick work of his trousers, only shifting enough fabric to reveal her target.
“Toni, you don’t have to —” he trailed off as she stroked the length of his cock, “Christ, darling.”
“Admiral, I’ve never sucked a man’s cock because I felt like had to; I’ve gone down plenty because I wanted to.” She nipped his throat above his collar, making him groan. “And I really, really want to while you’re still in your uniform.”
“You assured me that you weren’t a uniform groupie,” he said, a hand sliding up her thigh and under the shirt she’d worn to bed.
“It’s less about being turned on by a uniform, and more about you in uniform,” Toni admitted softly. “You might have noticed, but I’ve definitely got a thing for you.”
“Ah, hell,” he whispered, eyes darkening. “Toni, you’re ten years too young to fall for an old sailor.”
“Forty-seven isn’t old, AJ.”
“It’s hell and gone older than thirty-one.” He tipped their foreheads together. “I never should have touched you.”
“Fuck that, AJ, I practically sexually harassed you in the Hilton ballroom. Taking me home was practically self-defense.” She hated that tone, the one where she could hear him adding up their ages and coming up with the idea he should be ashamed. Thirty-one was hardly an intern in a married man’s office or a hook up with a college coed.
Thirty-one was nine years of law enforcement, five of them in uniform and three as a Fed. It was undercover work and international terrorism and serial killers. It was firefights and fatal shooting inquiries and mandatory counselling and looking back at her childhood and realizing that she could live her life or let her parents’ issues rule it.
It was learning the difference between a good time and a good man.
She kissed him hard, all heat and lust and heart, and he responded immediately in kind. With a nip at his lip, she pulled away and nudged him back against the dresser. “Sorry, Admiral, but you’re going to have to surrender and take it like a man.” Dropping to her knees, she licked his dick and grinned at the groan it got her. “Just hold on and think of the navy.” And swallowed the head of his cock.
“Fuck, darling.” Hands dug into her hair and he did, indeed, hold on while she wallowed in the weight and taste and scent of him; the light tugging against her scalp and the way one hand cupped the back of her head were added encouragement. She worked the base with one hand and played with his balls with the other and went to town on her man.
He took it with quiet curses and little else, letting her do what she wanted without demands. When she abandoned his cock to run her mouth delicately over his testicles, he spread his legs a little and leant back to offer better access. And when she’d toyed with him enough and focused on the sensitive head and underside with intent, AJ only said her name like a prayer.
“Darling,” he warned, “I’m —” and Toni ignored it, hollowing her cheeks and swallowing as much as she could while she brought him over.
“Fucking Christ,” he managed.
Smug, Toni released him and sat back on her heels. “Well, that more than made up for missing dinner.”
AJ hauled her upright and kissed the breath out of her. “You have until I get out of this uniform to be naked and on the bed, or you’ll have to stay upright while I eat you out.”
She laughed, but wriggled out of his hold and stripped off her shirt. Better not to test him since she knew just how good he was with his mouth. Weak knees were the least of what he did to her. “If you’re trying to punish me, you’re doing it wrong.”
“Let’s see if you say that in half an hour,” he warned, tossing aside his shirt and stalking her to the bed where he made his closing arguments. Thoroughly.