Anthony Dominic “Dom” DiNozzo looked up from the file he had just finished and looked at his partner. “We have everything we need to nail Stane to the wall. He is supplying weapons to terrorists, and he is embezzling from Stark Industries. I found an invoice today for the weapons he sold the terrorist group that not only kidnapped Stark, but killed our marines. I feel bad for Stark because he is still dealing with the fallout of his press conference. I never thought that he’d stop selling weapons all together, but my contacts have told me that he refuses every contract that the government tries to get him to sign.”
Gibbs looked at Dom with narrowed eyes. “I know you, Dom, so what is on your mind? Are you still pissed that until we pushed, the Army, Marines, and Air Force were about to give up and abandon Stark after the first month? General O’Neill has given us free reign on Stane and anything else involving SI. That’s why we agreed to be seconded to Homeland and the FBI all the while setting up an office here in New York. Look on the bright side, Ducky gets along great with the M.E. that works with the New York Crime Lab.”
He thought about the others they had roped in from the DC office, Balboa and his whole team, even Ducky and Palmer joined them, so that they wouldn’t have to break in a new Medical Examiner.
Dom snorted and sat back in his seat. He loved the fact that he and Gibbs shared an office. The good thing about it is that their office was walled in with glass so they could see the bullpen of their office. It was the one thing they both agreed on and demanded, they wanted to be able to keep track of what was happening, but yet at the same time they wanted to be able to do their own work without getting constantly questioned about things that they couldn’t answer. He grinned at Gibbs and loved the fact that they were once again partners instead of Team Lead and Senior Field Agent. They ran this new NCIS office together and they co-led the team that they personally selected.
He chuckled as he finally responded to what his partner and pseudo father figure said to him. “I think Rick’s wife is in love with us for snagging him for this new office. As for Ducky and Sid, those two are the best of friends already. So, while I was talking to Rick earlier, he also noticed that something was off with me and we brainstormed until I finally figured out what it was. As you know we keep running into SHIELD Agents and that they are starting to be a problem for us.”
Gibbs nodded. “So, what is your solution? I know you, Dom, and I know that you have an idea rattling round in that brain of yours.”
Dom smirked at the older man as he tapped the file on his desk. “I plan on going over Potts’ head and straight to the big man himself. I called Jack earlier and he got me a meeting with Stark for this evening. There is also something about Potts that sets me on edge, so I'm hoping that by talking to Stark I figure out what it is about her that makes me edgy. I know of at least one SHIELD Agent planted high up in SI.”
Gibbs narrowed his eyes as he looked at Dom. What he saw in the younger man’s eyes made his stiffen slightly. “What is it about her that sets you on edge, Dom? I have noticed that when we’re at SI that you go out of your way where you don’t have to talk to her. I also notice that you don’t talk to Ms. Pott’s assistant. Is she who you suspect as a SHIELD Agent?”
Dom’s eyes grew hard. “Yes, Natalie Rushman is a SHIELD operative. I am going to have so much fun going after Fury eventually. I can’t believe he thinks that he’ll get away with infiltrating Stark Industries like he has. It wouldn’t be much of a problem for him had he made sure that his agent was placed somewhere that didn’t need security clearance to get through. However, he fucked up big time getting her assigned as Potts’ PA because she is signing things in her fake name which isn’t legal at all. I just can’t believe that Potts doesn’t realize that Rushman is a plant. How in the hell could she not know or realize that?”
Gibbs shook his head. “Potts sounds like she needs to get her head checked. She's a fool if she can't even tell that her PA is a plant. Hell, I only said a handful of words to Rushman and I could tell that something was off with her even if I didn’t know what it was right then.”
Dom snorted and shook his head. “I think that she suspects that something isn’t quite right with her Personal Assistant. However, I think that she doesn’t really care because she’s too busy trying to get Stark to do things that she wants done when she wants them done. I have yet to meet Stark as you know, but I’ve heard the way Potts has talked to him and about him. I think that she needs a reality check, she seems to forget that it’s his name on the side of the building that she works in.
I have talked to Stark’s driver and head of security though. From what I’ve gathered from him Stark is holding back instead of going off on Potts. It wouldn’t surprise me if Stark were to finally blow his top and let Potts have it with both barrels. The woman doesn’t even realize just how much she is doing, or rather trying to do, that is actually against SI policy. She seems to be smart, but she isn’t using her brain. I don’t know, and I don’t care why. What I do care about is that she doesn’t seem to care that she is giving SI a bad rap on top of this whole fucking Stane mess.”
Gibbs stood up as he sighed. “Make sure that you talk to Stark about Potts tonight, Dom. While you are meeting with Stark, O’Neill and I will be at SHIELD reading Fury the riot act. He is going to clean house, or we’ll do it for him. Our investigation into Stane wouldn’t have taken so damn long had they not kept getting in our way. Jack will make sure that he knows that those who got in our way are being charged with obstruction of justice. We pan to arrest Stane tomorrow.”
Dom smirked. “I am looking forward to taking him down finally. The fact that he was the reason Stark was even taken in Afghanistan makes me want to hit him. He deserves to suffer for everything he has done to everyone. If I didn’t believe in the law I’d say let Iron Man have him, but so far I’m pretty sure only a select few of us know that Tony Stark is Iron Man, as the media has dubbed him. I do wonder when the rest of the world is going to come to the same conclusion as we have.”
Gibbs laughed. “I am pretty sure that we only came to that conclusion because you saw him when he took to the air, after you suspected that the person in that flying contraption was Stark that is. It became even more obvious when out of the blue he announced that he was moving the head office of SI to New York, not that I can blame him. He got settled into his mother’s mansion pretty quickly, and I think he will move out of it just as fast once the skyscraper he is building is finished to his satisfaction.”
Dom groaned. “I still can’t believe he had a 90-floor skyscraper built, but it really shouldn’t surprise me. From what I understand the tower is completed except for his personal lab and a couple other labs that will be for people’s personal research, and not related to SI R&D. It wasn’t only seeing him take off into the air that clued me into him being Iron Man. That arc reactor he has in his chest is a dead giveaway. I understand why he has it, but I wish that he didn’t have to. If anyone gets the bright idea to take it out of him, he could end up dying because it is the only thing keeping the shrapnel away from his heart.
Anyway, I think we’re done here for today, so I’m going to head home so that I can change before I meet up with Stark in a couple hours. Will I be seeing you at home or are you planning on staying at your person’s place tonight?”
Gibbs glared light heartedly at Tony and then smirked. “I will be staying at Patrick’s tonight, so you will have the run of the house. I still don’t understand why Patrick has two houses here in New York. I get that one of them is yours, but you didn’t allow him to put it in your name until we moved here months ago.”
Dom laughed and shook his head. “It was originally in my name, but after Senior was arrested I was given everything since it was originally my mother’s, I asked Patrick to transfer any property deeds into his name. I didn’t want to take the chance of Senior eventually getting out of jail and trying to take everything back that he legally has no right to. This house was the one my mother’s father gave her when she first moved to the United States. I do also have a house in upstate New York also, but I had Patrick keep it in his name for now. With our job I like having a safe house that nobody can trace to me in case we have need of it.”
He smiled softly as he thought of the man who took him in after his father was arrested, when he was only fifteen years old. “Patrick Sheppard is one of the best men that I know, and he’s done right by me, even when he didn’t have to. When John told him that Senior had been arrested, he called my mother’s family and told them that he would take me in. He didn’t think that it would be a good idea to have me have to move to a new country. Since then, he’s been there for me and has always made sure that I knew I could go to him for anything and everything.”
He packed up what he wanted to take home with him and then walked over to Gibbs and gave him a manly hug. “I always knew that you and Patrick would hit it off, Gibbs. It is why I waited so long to introduce you two because I knew that you weren’t ready for a serious relationship just yet. I wanted to wait until you were more open to something new, I also knew that you would get along with his sons. As long as you both talk to one another I think that you’ll make it the long haul. Now, if only I could find someone like that for me.”
Gibbs grinned and clapped Dom on the shoulder. “You will find someone, Dom. Look at how long it took me to find someone that I knew I could be with. I punished myself after I lost Shannon and Kelly, Dom. I knew before I even married each of my ex wives that the marriages wouldn’t last, but I still went through with them anyway. You are better than me, in that respect. I wish now that I hadn’t married my ex-wives, because it makes me sad that I dishonored my Shannon like that, but I didn’t want to be alone anymore.”
He sighed wistfully and then snickered. “I know Shannon would have liked Patrick, and I also know that she would approve of my being with him. Now, get out of here, Dom, and have fun meeting with Stark tonight. I think Patrick and I will be taking O’Neill and Jackson out to dinner after we are done with Fury.”
Dom laughed and walked out of their office. He nodded at the agents he passed on his way through, and then out of the building that housed NCIS New York. He could, and would admit, if only to himself that he was nervous about his upcoming meeting with Tony Stark. He just hoped that it went alright. Little did he know that meeting Tony Stark was going to change his life and worldview. For better or worse, he would finally feel complete for the first time in his life.