Chapter 1: Old Friends
Out of Place (John Sheppard) - Entry 7 in Tony’s Black Book
Tony had found a bar off a side alley because right now, a drink seemed like a good idea. He was once again getting shipped off like a naughty schoolboy, only this time it wouldn’t be RIMA, this time he was being shipped away to sea. Out of sight, out of mind - was how it felt, the irony was that the others on the team took it harder than he did.
What Abby, Ziva, and Tim had all missed was the look in Gibbs’ eyes. Tony could tell that Gibbs blamed him for the Director’s death even though Jenny was the one who had determined how she would die. The fact that the rest of the team were still Washington and he was the only one sent away also spoke volumes.
In truth Tony had blamed himself too but for once he’d gone to counselling. It had done him good. It had been like pulling teeth having to talk about his feelings. His shields had been in place for a long time so letting go of them had felt beyond painful. He’d persevered though as he was unhappy with his life and needed a fresh perspective.
When the new Director, Leon Vance, had given him the ship assignment Tony had almost picked up his resignation letter ready to quit. The only reason he hadn’t was his therapist, Rachel Crane, had made him see that he wouldn’t forgive himself if he made an impulsive decision while he was feeling so off balance that ended up being detrimental to his career. He had decided to take this time to take a breath and decide his next move and if he happened to prove some people wrong in the meantime, well that was just too bad.
So here he was in San-Francisco, during Fleet Week. The whole place was one walking cliche. The only improvement was since DADT had been repealed, people were freer with who and what they wanted. Tony had seen more than a few couples of every variety as well as the odd trio. Tony didn’t care as long as everyone was legal and consenting - although he drew the line at animals . It was all cool in his book as it was not his place to judge.
The bar he was drinking in could only be described as a quaint dive. Tony didn’t care because it had a character that he adored. He had many questions he needed to think about and the USS Seahawk would give him space to think. He noticed he was getting more than the odd look. The trouble for Tony it was more, ‘ what is a guy like you doing drinking here’. Whereas, all he was looking for was a good night of fun.
The door opened and a group of Marines spilled through it. They were definite Jarheads and officers too. Although, what made Tony curious was the fact they were wearing black BDU’s. The group was fascinating to observe. At the centre of the group, was the commander but he was wearing Air-Force wings. Now that made Tony even more curious as it was rare for that big of a group to go across the service branch. He had to be the commander as there was no one else who could get away with that haircut.
The group toasted their commander, “To the Colonel, the only guy who can come back from a Hail Mary.”
The man blushed and managed to extricate himself from the group. He’d ordered a few rounds so they were okay and then he spotted someone at the bar he thought he knew.
“So of all the Gin joints, I find you here?” John said, glad for the chance to catch up with an old friend.
Tony whirled around at the butchered movie quote to see a face from the past. “John?”
“Hey, Tony," John looked just as good as the last time he'd seen him. "How are you doing?”
Tony spluttered because he found himself speaking the truth. “Now, there is a loaded question, you sure you want the answer?”
John sat on the stool next to him. “So tell me. I got nothing but time.”
Tony had a wry smile, “I have tonight. Then I am out on the Seahawk.”
John frowned, “You told me you were sticking it to your old man. You wanted to be a cop.”
They had been close friends growing up. The strained relationships with their fathers was a common ground between them and they might have been more at one time. Still, John wanted the skies and Tony had wanted sports. At that time, you couldn't have either one and in a gay relationship. As a result, they had kept their friendship platonic never exploring their true chemistry. John had been the one to kick his ass when Tony had realised his sports career was over. They'd then lost touch when John had gone to Afghanistan.
Tony sighed, “I was, I am. Right now, I am working as a Federal Agent, NCIS.”
Sheppard nodded as he didn’t need any further explanation. After all, he commanded Marines. “Well, at least we have tonight.”
Tony could work with the short term. They caught up on all the things they’d missed in each other’s lives. It was crazy all the things they could share. John had paled when he’d heard about the plague. Tony had paled hearing about the edited version of his recent field promotion.
John looked at the drink in his friend’s hand. He could see a dangerous path his friend was starting to slide down. “You don’t need that you know.”
Tony sighed, “Well, it's drink or sex, and I was trying to turn over a new leaf.”
“Why?” John smirked at him and all the blood rushed south in Tony’s body. “We could finally do something about us.”
There it was. Jesus, John had never been shy about going after what he wanted in life. Tony had taken a leaf out of his book in deciding to be a cop. He couldn’t believe that they were getting a second chance after all this time.
John needed Atlantis but he deserved some happiness of his own. All his team had found someone else. The job was his life and he would admit that but he wasn’t naive. He couldn’t do it forever as much as he wanted to - John felt like this meeting was fate, a second chance. And John wasn’t one for letting opportunities slip through his fingers.
Tony looked at his old friend, and John looked good even in BDU’s. “Anyone ever tell you that you are ridiculously good-looking. I mean how does anyone get any work done around you?.”
John snickered as he slid off his stool and held out his hand, “I could do so much more. Come on Tony, take a chance. You are out of place here.”
It was just a hand but at the same time, it was so much more.
Chapter 2: Head Held High
Tony wants to walk onto the Seahawk with his head held high ... John helps.
Chapter Two: Head Held High
Tony had assumed he would pick up someone pretty for a night of passion and then move on in the morning. This would be so much more, John was someone he’d always wondered about - his what might have been , more so than even Wendy.
John was grinning at him and Tony found it infectious. “Your hotel room or mine?”
Tony snorted before asking boldly. “Where will we get peace enough to fuck each other into the mattress?”
John nearly stumbled making Tony laugh. “Your room then, too many scientists think my room has free access for all.”
Tony pouted. “Not tonight.”
John shook his head. “I don’t share.”
Tony was glad to hear it and it seemed like they were on the same page. He led the way back to his hotel room. It was an indulgence but he’d used his inheritance to splash out on the penthouse at the Regency.
John whistled as he stepped through the door. “Are you trying to seduce me, Anthony?”
Tony shivered hearing his full name, he usually hated it but not when John said it. He would question who was seducing who, John’s voice was lethal. Tony wouldn’t be passive and two could play at this game. “You mean do I want to run my hands all over you and lick every sexy spot on your body.”
John lay back on the bed and just said. “Do your worst.”
Tony blinked and then smiled, big and wide, this was like Christmas and he got to unwrap the present. Tony had no shame, he shucked his pants and pulled his shirt off. He then stalked forward, legs settling on either side of John and paused to see John’s reaction. He loved the arousal and tell-tale poke of a straining erection against his ass. He pressed into it for a second, savouring what would be later on.
John was affected as he said. “Don’t tease me.”
Tony grinned. “Teases don’t follow through.”
His piece said Tony went to work leaning over John and pulling his clothes off. He’d say one thing about BDU’s - they sure were easy to remove. Tony followed through on his promise, as each tantalising piece of flesh was revealed Tony ran his tongue over John’s muscles and oh boy there were so many to explore.
John’s body was that of a soldier and Tony kissed every scar and wound. John may be a Colonel but he was no desk jockey. He must have teased John too far as he was pulled back up so their faces were in alignment. One look was all it took and Tony dived into the kiss. Tony smiled into the kiss as their cocks aligned. He grunted as they started to thrust against each other, the delicious friction making it even hotter.
Tony pulled away panting. “Not done,” he bent lower, watching the glazed look on John’s face. He kissed a path ever lower, rolled his tongue around his belly button. John reacted strongly, nearly bucking up. Tony grinned, pinning John’s hips. “Now you don’t want me to stop do you?”
He loved John’s reply. “I’m not sure I will survive.”
Tony had a wicked grin. “Oh you will, who will fuck me if you don’t?”
John’s head smacked against the pillow as Tony’s breath ghosted over his dick. Tony wanted to run his tongue all over it - so he did. Tony coated John’s dick with saliva and circled the base, jacking him off slowly. He didn’t want the friction to be painful, just sexual.
Tony was done teasing and his lips enclosed John’s weeping tip. He dipped his tongue against the slit to taste. Tony hummed as he liked the taste and took John ever deeper. It had been a while so he took his time, keeping up the suction and handjob.
John’s hands settled in his hair and he liked the weight without demand of increasing the pace. Tony’s hands started to move away from his cock to fondle John’s balls. John couldn’t keep the moan inside, it was too much. The look on Tony’s face as he sucked his dick, the patience and desire to make him feel good was too much.
He reluctantly pulled Tony up and his lover had a ridiculous pout. John wasn’t going to be distracted. “I can’t make love to you if you suck me off.”
Tony’s pout turned into a smirk. “If you say so but I’m not feeling it yet.”
John smirked as he pulled a Ronan trick to change their places. “Oh, I will make you feel everything. You will walk onto the Seahawk with your head held high and your ass aching.”
Tony was okay with that and he heard the snick of the lube cap. Tony didn’t question where it came from. He was too busy trying not to thrust down on John’s fingers. John was teasing his prostate and stretching him to perfection. One finger became two and finally three fingers. Tony couldn’t take anymore and started to fuck himself onto John’s fingers. He was chasing a high that was just out of reach.
He may have whimpered when the fingers pulled out but he didn’t have long to wait. John positioned his cock against Tony’s hole and taking a deep breathe he thrust in with ease. Tony threw his head back as he groaned. “More.”
John smirked. “I will give you everything you need.”
Tony wanted to scream with frustration. John was great, thrusting in and out with a talented aim, every thrust made Tony see stars. “Harder.”
John shook his head. “I told you Anthony - making love to you, not fucking you.”
Tony felt his last defense go down. “Please.” As he stared into John’s eyes.
John sped up finally seeing what he needed, he put his slicked hand around Tony’s dick letting them both chase their climax together.
Tony thrust back against John. “So close.”
So was John. “Come for me.”
Tony woke up the next morning feeling way more content than he ever thought possible. He didn’t want to wake up. “I don’t want this to end.” He confessed biting his lip.
John kissed his bitten lip. “Who says it has to?”
“It will be difficult, you being a Colonel wherever you’re based and I an Agent Afloat in the middle of the ocean.”
John shook his head. “I know I’ve been away for a while but I hear they have these things called cell phones.”
Tony stood up and stretched, uncaring that he was naked. With all the fun they had the night before shame seemed silly and from the way John’s eyes slid over him he seemed to really appreciate the view. “Smart ass.”
John stood up and tapped Tony’s ass. “This isn’t a one night stand as far as I’m concerned. I am a fantastic chopper pilot so even if you are on a ship I can fly to you. This is our second chance and I’m not letting you go again.”
Tony knew that he was all in wherever this led and that was a scary thought. “You got a deal flyboy.”
“Sealed with a kiss?” John said with a smirk.
Tony stepped into John’s personal space with one eyebrow raised. “Do you seal all your deals this way?”
John smirked. “Er... just my Special Agent.”
should say something about possessive tendencies, instead he
snickered. “I can live with that.”
“Good.” John kissed him leaving him in no doubt of his sincerity.
Tony walked onto the ship with his head held high, a grin on his face and a delicious ache in his ass that he would savour. He spoke with the commander, a Captain Richard Owens, and got himself squared away. As soon as he was done unpacking he went and found the Master-chief, the one in charge of PT. John had told him that a long ass run could shake off the worst stresses. Oh, and if that failed regular sparring would leave him too exhausted to mope.
Tony knew John was right. Seeing John, and reinvigorating their old friendship had been brilliant timing. It had helped Tony remember when his Dad had shipped him off and how he’d coped. He’d survived it as a kid and he could reinvent himself again. John reminded him of who he used to be before all the roles and politics had gotten in the way of life. Tony had made a silent vow that he would get back to being that person and he would be able to get himself back during his time on the Seahawk.
The Captain found him. “You should come to dinner in my quarters, we have a few things to discuss.”
Tony knew there was only one response. “Yes Sir.”
Tony presented himself at the Captain’s dining room. “Reporting as ordered.”
The Captain smiled. “Come on in, we have much to discuss.”
Tony wanted to sigh because he had only been on the ship for less than a day. He didn’t think he could have screwed up in that short amount of time, unless Vance had decided to sabotage him already. “Okay ... That sounds ominous.”
Richard snorted. “Don’t look so worried Agent DiNozzo ... It is not as bad as it sounds.”
Tony smiled. “Okay, then call me Tony.”
Richard nodded in agreement. “I don’t think anyone knows my name is not Captain, please call me Richard in private.”
“Of course,” Tony replied.
Tony ate the food, moaning at the good pasta. “That is good pasta and I know what I am talking about.”
Richard smirked. “Our masterchef is Italian-American and likes to spoil us.”
Tony was waiting to find out why he was there but he was too polite to spoil dinner. He was guessing this was an after-dinner conversation. He was okay with that as the food was so good. “So as much as I like making new friends... why am I here Richard?”
Owens snorted. “I like a man who is direct and to the point. You were working for the MCRT, correct?”
Tony sighed. “Yes that’s right. I served as SFA and temporary team lead until the new director came in and shook things up.”
He wouldn’t say anymore unless he was directed to - Tony had no desire to dredge up Jenny and Gibbs drama. He just wanted to put the whole thing behind him and John had, in between bouts of athletic sex, reminded him of his own armour and what he can do.
“You have training in terrorism-related cases?” The question was random but Tony answered him.
“Yeah, I am a trained investigator. You need an answer, I follow the clues.” It was as good as explanation as any. Tony knew with all his prior experience just how well investigative skills transferred.
Tony still wondered what he was missing because Owens seemed pleased. He wasn’t left in suspense for long. “Good, I have a problem - some criminal is causing immense problems for the Navy and it has intelligence scratching their head. I think a fresh perspective will help the case.”
“I sense I will be bored on this ship anyway ... I’ve heard you run a tight ship. What do you need?”
Tony flipped through the case file passed to him, marked top-secret. The others at NCIS were unaware but Tony’s security clearance was higher than many would believe due to his undercover work. “The guy thinks he’s an Egyptian God?”
Owens smirked. “You know the arrogance of criminals, surely?”
DiNozzo nodded as the arrogance of criminals was one thing you could always rely on. “Well, I will do the patrols and necessary file checking and then I’ll work on tracking this Ba’al.”
“I appreciate it and if you want to exhaust yourself and work on your skills, ask Ellson to teach you Eskrima.”
Tony wanted to laugh because the Captain already knew of his plans. Tony knew alcohol was an easy crutch but this way was safer and healthier. Plus, it had the advantage of helping his lung capacity. “Will do.”
Chapter 3: Boat Life
Chapter 3: Boat Life and offers you can't refuse
Tony’s days were more structured than he thought they would be. He didn’t mind it, in fact, it helped settle his mind. He woke early and used one of the designated running routes through the ship that the Captain had pointed out. The first week his lungs would burn at the end of the run - now that wasn’t occurring so he knew he was getting fitter.
When he got into his office, he would check for any complaints or issues arising from the crew. There were over six thousand personnel on board the ship so as you can imagine, he had to deal with a whole bunch of petty crap.
He sighed with frustration as it looked like someone was skimming from the infirmary. Once he’d finished working on the Seahawk’s cases he would spend the rest of the afternoon on the extra file given to him.
This Ba’al was a real freak of nature. As far as Tony knew, he was full on crazy. The guy thought himself a god and had very convincing body doubles to serve as his protection. Tony knew the only way to track and solve a problem like this was to take it back to the very beginning. He’d received the redacted files with all of the pertinent information to the case so he wasn’t too fussed by what they had blacked out. In his experience, he lived by the maxim, ‘Be careful what you wish for - As you just may get it.’
Tony decided to take a break when his eyes started to go funny with all the data he’d cross-referenced and got up to get a drink. He wondered how McGee would react to his technical proficiency - he would be shocked no doubt. He put so much stock in his own abilities that he ignored what was around him. Taking a deep breath as a thought struck him, he went back to his desk to see if his idea would pan out.
He found the patterns and tracked the behaviour - Tony didn’t need his profiling masters to figure this guy out. No, what he did know was that guys like Ba’al relied on thinking they were the smartest person in the room. They got off in hiding in plain sight. In fact, in a few hours, he had a predictive pattern figured out. He printed the information off and put it into a report. Once it was done, he deleted the computer record and erased the history - this was so classified there couldn’t afford to be a record that couldn’t be burnt.
Owens upon hearing the knock shouted. “Come in.”
Tony popped through the door. “I found your man or at least I’ve narrowed down where he should pop up next.”
Richard smiled. “Well done, I knew you could do it.”
“Thank you for your faith in me. If there’s nothing else right now I have an appointment with the Master Chief for some sparring.”
Owens snorted. “I’d say have fun but I know what he is like.”
Tony’s cabin was spartan as were the bunks of most personnel. He looked at the one picture on his phone he’d managed to nab of him and John before he’d boarded the ship. It was crazy how fast he’d reconnected with John. Oh, they had connected alright but it wasn’t just physical.
His phone going off surprised him, it wasn’t like there was a great phone signal in the middle of the ocean. “Just how the hell do you manage to get such a good signal?”
“Hello to you too.”
Tony sighed. “Not that I am not happy to hear from you.”
John chuckled. “Yeah well at least you don’t have crazy marines to lead.”
Tony snorted. “Oh, I will take your Marines and raise you fearless SEAL’s although watching Richard chewing them out was inspiring.”
Tony chuckled at John’s tone but was kind enough to reassure him. “That is Captain Richard Owens and you are ten thousand times prettier than he is. You have nothing to worry about.”
John’s protest of “Hey!” made Tony laugh down the phone.
John wasn’t done. “You are the pretty one dear.”
Tony smirked even if it couldn’t be seen. “Are we talking kinks now because you know I am down for anything.”
John snickered. “No, I will take you out to dinner first, I was raised a gentleman.”
“Smartass.” Tony said believing it.
Tony told John about the parts of his day that he could. He was well aware that John was into heavy duty work but he wouldn’t compromise security clearances. “So your idea is working and it’s useful too.”
John knew what he meant. “Hindsight. I wasn’t willing to not be able to keep up.”
Tony didn’t ask how that would be relevant to ‘deep space telemetry,’ as he wasn’t looking to cause trouble. “The Eskrima is fun even if it is bruising.”
“Oh, it gets worse. Teyla still manages to put me on my ass every few days.” John responded.
Tony couldn’t shake the image of him and John sparring and it ending in fun. “Are we trying phone sex now because that doesn’t sound like what a military commander should be indulging in.”
John had to laugh at that comment. “No, in fact, the people on base want to thank you if only they could figure out who you are.”
Tony laughed. “I didn’t realise I was some sort of secret agent.”
John had a visitor in his room as the noise level increased. A loud voice demanding that he get off the phone with the girlfriend. Tony then heard. “What’s her name?”
Tony was waiting for the response. “His name is Tony and we were having a private conversation, McKay. Go and bother Zelenka.”
Tony didn’t know what was happening - it was like the whole conversation just froze and everyone was waiting for someone to say something. Tony wasn’t going to waste the conversation on a shock. “So did you just kill your Kirk reputation?”
John chuckled. “No but I adore you right now ... I just made the smartest man in the galaxy speechless.”
“Is that how you make these phone calls that I love.”
John just left it with a mysterious. “The old girl likes me happy.”
Tony didn’t question it. He just focused on the part where John had said Tony made him happy. “Well, the feeling is mutual.”
“Hello, Captain Owens. What can I do for you?” Davenport asked, glad for the distraction from O’Neill’s meeting.
Owens sighed, “Can you tell me why Agent Anthony DiNozzo got booted off the MCRT. I’m telling you he is wasted out here although you should thank him. I gave him a file to work on in his spare time so he was the one to help you with your ... homeworld problem. Good instincts too, even though I forgot to mention it to him he made a paper copy only so it could be burnt.”
Davenport wanted to facepalm as he now realised his mistake of putting the call on speaker. He was in a meeting with Major-General Jack O’Neill and the smile on his friend’s face was not good. He found himself saying,
“Now Jack, you can’t steal my Agent.”
Jack snorted, “Your friend was the one who said it. Your agent is wasted out there and I just so happen to have a big ship that could do with a good investigator. He would fit in well on Atlantis.”
Davenport was going to chew Vance out. He’d told him to find the mole, not kill his best team. When you had a closure rate the likes of the MCRT, you don’t mess with it. He had to find some way to battle O’Neill, which would mean he needed to keep his wits.
Phillip was smug. “You won’t do it. DiNozzo is loyal to Gibbs. He has stuck it out with him for far longer than any other Agent.”
Jack smirked. “If he can keep up with ole Gunny I want him more.”
Davenport wanted to bash his head against his desk. “He never stayed in a job more than two years before NCIS.”
Jack smirked because he had Phillip at a disadvantage. Jack already knew DiNozzo’s story and let his old friend know this. “That only happened twice. In the first case, it was not safe to stay in the city he was in after a very successful undercover op. In the second case, his partner was dirty and betrayed everything DiNozzo believed in.”
Phillip frowned, realising now that he was missing something as the man opposite him was too confident. “What am I missing?”
Jack shrugged. “Let me put it this way. I have an ace to play that you will never be able to compete with for his transfer.”
Davenport figured he was bluffing. “Oh, and just what is that?”
Jack stood up. “His boyfriend. I will order him to fly to the Seahawk. You know him, he is the CO on Atlantis.”
Davenport was glad he was already sitting as otherwise he would have fallen down in shock. Tony DiNozzo and Colonel Sheppard. Jack snickered, knowing why he was shocked. He may have been too but John had approached him to do the appropriate background check. It was critical, considering how important John was to the Stargate program.
Both men were startled by the voice coming from the speakerphone. “Shall I prepare my flight deck?”
In their bickering with each other - they’d forgotten about Richard who had not ended the phone call due to the fact he had not been so entertained in years.
Jack snorted and let Richard know. “Sheppard is so good that as long as there is a space big enough to fit the chopper he can land no matter what the conditions, but it would be appreciated.”
Owens had told him to report to the flight deck asap for a surprise. Tony raced through the ship, all the exercise he’d done with the Master Chief serving him well. Tony knew the crew on deck were preparing for the chopper to land. The pilot was damn good as everyone and everything currently in the open was being buffeted by some extremely strong cross winds and he touched down on the deck without even a bump.
Tony’s smile was blinding because he knew who was flying the helicopter - It could only be John. He ran over and hugged John, careful to keep it friendly as they hadn’t discussed how out John could afford to be. John wasn’t as circumspect for once and left him in no doubt by thoroughly kissing him. It had been a long two months with just phone calls to satisfy them.
The crowd cat-called and John just bowed. He’d been hanging around with too many Marines to be affected by their humour. Tony just smirked knowing it would be shipwide gossip before long.
Tony was still buzzing as he asked John, “What are you doing here?” Before adding, “Not that I am not happy you’re here, obviously.”
John still hadn’t let go of his hand. “Well, I want to show you a cool place that I think we’ll both like. Best of all, General O’Neill wants to offer you a job too,”
“What’s the catch?” Tony asked waiting for the downside because he couldn’t hear one in what John had just said.
John laughed, “Well, there are crazy scientists, crazier Marines. Crisis, well they are part of daily life but there will be one good thing I can promise if you’re Agent Afloat for my base.”
“Oh yeah.” Tony asked, guessing he already knew the answer.
John smirked but it was smug as he knew he’d win this round. “Me. I just need you to sign a ton of forms to show you my base.”
Well, that sounded like an offer Tony couldn't refuse.
Chapter 4: Ripple Effect
Chapter 4: Ripple Effect
Meanwhile, in Washington, Vance was getting his ass chewed out. This had come out of nowhere and he was really confused as he thought Davenport would be happy that his mole had been found.
“What were you thinking fucking with the MCRT?” Davenport demanded to know.
Vance had a job to do. “You gave me the mandate to find the mole and bring the agency into the twenty-first century.”
Davenport pinched his nose. “Well, you just lost the team with the best closure rate so you won’t have that kudos to trade on anymore. I’m telling you now you better not put another foot wrong!”
Vance wasn’t following. “Agent Gibbs is still with us, Sir.”
Davenport had to laugh at that naivety. He liked Gibbs, he did. It was just the sun did not shine out of his backside like he had many believing in Washington. “The closure rate. It has consistently remained the highest of all agencies over the last eight years.”
“I'm aware,” Vance said, clearly not following.
Davenport was huffing down the phone. He was not amused - that much Leon could tell. “Yes, so tell me. Who is the one Agent who has been on the team for that entire time?”
Vance racked his brain because he knew Gibbs hadn’t. Christ, it was DiNozzo. It couldn't be. “Sir, if you are unhappy, I will recall DiNozzo.”
Vance winced at that hollow chuckle. It was not a good sound to hear from your boss. “Too late, you will be getting the paperwork from Homeland Security. SAC DiNozzo is transferring to their agency on orders of the President.” And without another word Davenport hung up with a sharp click.
Vance put the phone down, his mind reeling over what he’d just been told. Davenport had called DiNozzo SAC so there was a promotion in the transfer too. He would have thought it was a joke except this was by Presidential Order. He’d missed something and he hated getting things wrong.
Vance had made a wrong turn somewhere and obviously his opinion of DiNozzo did not match with that of Davenport and the President so where exactly had he gone wrong? He knew DiNozzo had lasted the longest with Gibbs but hadn’t thought much about what that really entailed. What was he missing? What did these men know that he didn’t?
“Cynthia, pull the whole of Agent DiNozzo’s file. Do not let anyone disturb me unless it is an emergency.”
Vance had decided to pass the good news on in an email. He had no doubt that he would have to suffer through at least one entitled rant but that was his lot and why they paid him the big bucks. He wrote the most formal and polite email he could.
Attention all staff - Transfer Notification
We are to congratulate one of our own on his promotion and transfer to Homeland Security - SAC Anthony DiNozzo.
We wish him all the best in his new position.
Director Leon Vance
Leon frowned upon hearing the shouting from the bullpen area. Huh, he guessed that someone down there didn’t support DiNozzo’s decision. Well, at least he could get some amusement from the whole damn affair. He started counting and it took less than a minute for Gibbs to stride through his door. “Do you hate DiNozzo that much you would let him go? Christ, I bet Morrow is laughing.”
Leon rolled his eyes. “I sent him to the Seahawk to give him some space and I will admit that I didn’t think he was right for the MCRT.”
Gibbs rolled his eyes. “I say this without an ounce of doubt, Leon, he is the best agent I have ever worked with.”
Vance wanted to punch something. It had been a trying day. “Answer me this Gibbs. Do you listen to your Commander-in-Chief?”
“Of course I do,” Gibbs replied not liking the implication.
Vance smirked. “DiNozzo’s transfer was done on Presidential Order and I am not willing to go up against the big guy.”
Huh. Vance had been trying to figure out what would shut Gibbs up and now he had. “Why? And where exactly has he gone to ... the team deserves a chance to say goodbye.”
Vance shrugged. “I did ask thinking you would like that opportunity.”
Vance didn’t smirk but it was a close thing, he had to remind himself that he was a professional. “His new position is classified and he offered no forwarding address. When I offered to pass on his new contact details he just said something about no one contacting him in the last ten weeks so it wasn’t necessary.”
Vance only wished he was recording this conversation because Gibbs face showed complete shock and surprise. He didn’t think it happened very often and could guess the next time would be the twelfth of never.
Abby, Ziva, and Tim were all waiting for him when he came back from Vance’s office. Abby was the first one to ask. “When is Tony coming back?”
Gibbs had to say it aloud. “He’s not Ab’s and nothing we can do will change that fact.”
The team looked stunned. “What? Why?” Ziva spat.
Gibbs snorted. “I am a bastard and proud of it but even I can’t go up against the President and the transfer was done upon on his orders.”
McGee laughed loudly and it was an ugly disbelieving laugh. “Why the hell would the President want Tony for anything? He is a clown.”
Abby smacked his arm. “He is our friend Timmy.”
“Yeah, but he doesn’t have our level of education Abby.”
McGee was so blind and Gibbs knew that was his fault. He’d hoped with his years on the team he would learn to value real life experience over precious degrees. And Gibbs gained an insight he should have seen.
“Well it looks like Tony gets the last laugh….. You never saw behind his masks ... You never asked about his degrees.”
Ziva may struggle sometimes with the nuances of idioms but the idea of a plural she didn’t. “Degrees - as in more than one.”
Gibbs nodded. “You really should have checked the requirements for being an SFA. Five years of law experience and at least a Master's are the big ones that no exceptions will be made for.”
McGee fell back on his chair. “What in?”
“Psychology from Georgetown as he wanted to get into criminals’ minds better. You see that is what you do with your career - you work at it and improve yourself.” Gibbs reminded his Agent with a none too subtle rebuke.
“And what else does he have?” This time it was Abby asking.
Gibbs shrugged. “I can’t remember... he was studying for a Doctorate from Georgetown but after the explosion, I forgot that detail.”
Ziva sniffed. “But why would he leave without a word?”
Gibbs sighed. “Because we let him be our punching bag for all our crap, we didn’t appreciate what he brought to the team and we took him for granted for so long that we lost his trust.”
The telling silence where no one refuted his claim spoke more than words ever could.
Abby had a bright smile. “We can apologize. It’s Tony, he will forgive us.”
Gibbs shook his head. “No, we can’t. His new posting is classified and he left no forwarding address.”
McGee frowned hearing a challenge in those words. “Well, he hasn’t dropped off the face of the Earth so I can find him.”
He set to work with his precious computers and after five hours and the help of Abby he had to come to the conclusion that just maybe he didn’t know Tony as well as he thought.
“Just where the hell has he gone?” McGee asked the ether.
Tony had gone through the poking and the prodding of the medical team. He’d freaked the doctor out with his medical notes. “YOU HAD THE PLAGUE!?!?”
Tony objected to the tone. “You deal with aliens and this freaks you out?”
John chuckled. “Well, you know it is the deadly plague and you survived.”
Tony grinned. “A marine ordered me not to die and you don’t defy a marine’s order.”
John shook his head. “Why do I get a feeling that you meeting my marines is a bad idea?”
Tony’s smile was blinding and John watched the nurse stumble in surprise. Bless, his lover didn’t know just what effect he had on others. “They will love me.”
“Yeah, I am just not sure who will be a bad influence on who?”
Tony answered with a cherubic smile. “But I am an innocent civilian.” Batting his eyelashes at John.
The nurses and the Doctor's eyes were zinging back and forth between the pair. The chemistry was palpable and they had a feeling it was the hot Agent that had put a smile on the Colonel’s face.
John snorted. “That is going to be believed until they see you shoot and fight.”
Tony shrugged. “Gibbs demanded his team could fight like a Marine ... I rose to the challenge. The Eskrima was new and fun.”
“Teyla is going to love you.”
Tony grinned. “Think she will teach me all her tricks?”
“Probably just to use them against me. It would amuse her.” John just knew that she would have no trouble teaching Tony everything he asked to know. “Let’s get this show on the road.”
A day later and Tony is staring at a giant puddle that once he stepped through it would transport him to another galaxy. It was very cool and very sci-fi since meeting John - His life was like a movie.
“It’s very Matrix like,” Tony observed.
John smirked at him. “Oh, she is ten thousand times better and she will love you.”
Tony had this magic gene apparently that made him like royalty on Atlantis or a human light switch depending on who you asked. He didn’t care because who didn’t want to go live on the Lost City of Atlantis?
He trusted John above everything else so he was more than willing to step through the looking glass.
And what a glass.
Tony took the time to look around as a warm sensation greeted his mind. He could guess who it was and he would be having words with John later. He wasn’t stupid, he just wanted to know how much the scientists knew about the city’s sentience. The flash of amusement told him a lot all on its own.
“She is as gorgeous as you promised.” Tony said to John watching with interest as his lover’s demeanor shifted subtly. Tony was no stranger to adapting to situations as required and he understood what was happening
John had changed, not majorly so but this wasn’t just his John, this was Colonel Sheppard. “Yes she is, now have fun with your orientation and I will see you tonight and don’t worry about McKay’s griping, his bark is way worse than his bite.”
With those words of comfort, John left to be the military commander.
A scientist bounded down the steps and Tony guessed this was John’s friend, McKay. “So I’m Dr. Rodney McKay and I will keep you alive providing you follow my instructions ... Now you will have an induction so soldiers follow Major Lorne, and scientists should follow me.”
Tony put his hand up. “Er, what about if you are neither?”
McKay frowned. “Erm, ELIZABETH ?!?!”
The leader stepped out of her office. “You know this close to my office you don’t have to yell Rodney.”
McKay pointed, “He is an anomaly” studying Tony like he wasn’t quite sure what to make of him.
Tony shook his head because John had mentioned that the scientists were not the most social of creatures but this highlighted it. “I am your Agent Afloat, Agent Anthony DiNozzo but according to General O’Neill I may have other duties as well.”
Elizabeth quickly came down the steps to shake his hand. “Follow me, we have much to discuss.”
Tony followed his new boss and got a sinking feeling that he would have just as much if, not more paperwork than before. Oh well, at least he was practiced with churning it out. He didn’t smile at the voice behind him saying.
“What is going on?”
The office was way cool and there was an offshoot office that was spartan and unused. “So I am Dr. Elizabeth Weir and you are the NCIS Agent we now have?”
Tony nodded. “That is correct. I solved a case and caught General O’Neill’s attention. That and my magic gene caught the attention of the rest of the SGC.”
Weir smiled. “Well, you have met McKay and he will be eager to make your acquaintance once he knows about the ATA gene. Is it as strong as Colonel Sheppard’s gene?”
Tony nodded. “John said that it was an equal in strength to his.”
Elizabeth smiled. “Oh, that will make both John and the science team happy.”
Tony smirked. “Come on, you know that I will make John pay if I am left solely on lightswitch duty. I have already told him this.”
She was still smiling so Tony assumed that she had no problem. “Which brings me onto my next question before I talk about the job. Do you have any concerns about being in a relationship with a soldier with so many military personnel on the base.”
Tony didn’t roll his eyes as the question was asked out of concern so he let his boss in on a secret. “I was trained to shoot and fight by a marine. He used their qualification course as a way to train his field agents. Oh, and I picked up Eskrima recently. I am told that there is a woman on base who can help me, Teyla?”
Elizabeth was a diplomat and a consummate politician and could admit she was surprised. “So that allays my fears. I know the men worship John but the newbies may try to harass you.”
Tony smiled as he replied. “I thank you for the concern but I will be fine ma’am.”
Elizabeth shook his her head. “I prefer Elizabeth or Liz for friends.”
Tony grinned. “Then please call me Tony, if you promise the paperwork won’t be horrendous.”
She looked sheepish. “I need a second but I believe if we work together we can own the betting pools for years to come.”
Tony knew it might have been the case. “Well, I think we can work within those parameters even if it involves lots of paperwork.”
She shook his hand. “Let me give you a tour in a way that won’t scare you like Rodney does.”
Tony understood now the reasoning. “John lets McKay scare the newbies, right?”
She nodded. “It stops some of them from being stupidly curious with fatal consequences.”
Tony could understand that as he’d mentored more than a few rooks in the start of their career. “So where to first?”
It turns out it was the infirmary.
Tony froze for a second never liking hospitals since the plague. Then the sensation was back in his head, just a gentle warm nudge. John had told him that Atlantis would never steer him wrong so he used his trust in John and Atlantis and stepped through the door.
A genial Scot greeted him. “Ah laddie and who are you?”
Elizabeth stepped forward. “Carson this is Agent Anthony DiNozzo, NCIS and he is my new Deputy.”
He held some sort of scanner not disabusing Tony of the very star trek way of life. “You have the ATA gene in spades just like our Colonel.”
“So what’s the order of the day? Please, no needles ... I had enough of them at the mountain.”
The doctor shook his head. “I’ve read your file and I can understand why you would be a wee bit reluctant to be around medicine but you are in luck. If you step inside the diagnostic machine, Atlantis can take your baseline.”
Tony saw no reason why he shouldn’t. He stepped inside and it lit up like a Christmas tree - not that he would know. He went to sleep almost immediately.
“Carson what is going on?”
The Doctor was racing to his monitor to figure it out. The machine was meant to be diagnostic only - he’d never known it do something like this. “How is your ancient because this is spitting it out faster than I can decode!”
Elizabeth leaned forward. “Injured First Son’s Mate?”
Chapter 5: First Son's Mate?
CHAPTER Five: First Son’s Mate?
Huh, Atlantis had always favoured John, that was no secret although hidden from the people on Earth to a certain extent but now it looked like Atlantis wanted to adopt Tony too.
Elizabeth and Carson were surprised by a running John who came tearing into the infirmary. “What the hell is going on Liz?”
She wasn’t sure how to answer this. “We don’t know. Tony stepped into the diagnostic machine but Atlantis is reading him as injured first son’s mate.”
John looked at the screen. “ ‘Lantis?”
The screen spat more Ancient across the machine and by this point Carson had got everyone but himself, Elizabeth and John from the room. John sat back stunned, understanding the gift she was giving Tony. His lungs were damaged from the plague bout he’d survived. He was fit and reasonably healthy but you didn’t just walk away from such a fight without repercussions. “My god.”
He was smiling, honest to God grinning and Carson and Elizabeth had never seen anything like it. “She’s healing him. ”
John didn’t even hesitate to answer the question. “He was infected by the pneumonic plague thanks to a vengeful mother on one of his cases.”
Carson’s eyes bugged out as he flicked through the latest notes. He was only just getting a chance to read through the notes that had been sent in with the latest batch of workers to the City. “Laddie that is near fatal always.”
“85% is the mortality rate Carson ... I checked it when Tony told me.”
Carson couldn’t help but observe that the next of kin paperwork listed John as the person to make his choices. “You two close?”
John smirked. “Biblically,” John wasn’t concerned about who knew, his concern was focussed on Tony. “Now is he okay?”
Carson did snort at that question. “I think you can tell me more First Son ?”
John sighed because as much as he was teased - this was the first time that anyone had ever gotten confirmation that Atlantis did in fact, favour him. “Can we not mention the
part to Rodney?”
Carson and Elizabeth share a look and like several things - they make a choice for the good of the expedition. They would hide why and just explain the result, explaining it away as a new function discovered.
John was staring at the screen - reading every tiny detail and his hand for a second touched the capsule containing Tony. “How long will this take do you think?”
Carson shrugged. “I have nothing by which to give you a time reference.”
The screen spat something across it - almost as if it was answering John but that would be impossible. John grinned. “Thanks girl. You will look after him?”
Elizabeth imagined if Atlantis had a face - it would be pouting. As it was, she was sure the lights dimmed for a fraction of a second. She gave John a look as if to explain. He shrugged. “Oh look, I hear Lorne commanding I do my paperwork.”
“You are his boss.”
John smirked. “I know, just you wait until Tony finds his feet... You will see.”
Carson looked to his leader. “Just what is going on?”
It was Elizabeth’s turn to smile - as she could see the fun returning to the base with Tony. “You heard Atlantis, the First Son’s Mate has joined us.”
Carson loved medicine as at least that made sense, sometimes people didn’t. “And that is supposed to explain everything?”
Elizabeth smirked. “It will become clearer.”
Teyla was eating dinner with her friend and she noted that he seemed fractious. “Are you well John?”
John sighed. “I am, I’m concerned for Tony, though.”
She quirked an eyebrow. “Is this your, I am not sure of the word I should use?”
John smirked. “Well, Atlantis has already labelled him First Son’s Mate.”
“Interesting,” was all his friend said. John knew Teyla too well by now because that tone suggested way more than the word implied.
“Out with it.”
Teyla said only a small amount of what she was thinking. “Happiness is a good look on you.”
John actually blushed and Teyla couldn’t recall such an event in the whole time she’d known him. “I just wish I could introduce you.”
“And where is your Tony?”
John would not mention just how much he liked the idea of his Tony. “He’s in the infirmary because Atlantis is healing him.”
“Since when does that happen?” Teyla asked because whilst she had witnessed many miracles on Atlantis - she couldn’t recall the city ever doing that.
John shrugged. “Since Tony swept into the diagnostic chamber.”
Teyla now understood the unease in her friend. He trusted Atlantis and there was no one on the city who had a stronger bond but she was healing his lover. She truly couldn’t wait to meet him face to face. She was eager to meet the person who could capture the heart of someone as mercurial as her good friend.
John stood up. “I need to go and check on Tony.”
Rodney sat down at the same time as John stood up. “Who the hell is Tony?”
Teyla rolled her eyes because no matter how many things changed, some things remained the same. “You know who he is and John shared that information with his team.”
Rodney frowned thinking about it and then it hit him. “Wait the boyfriend is here?”
Teyla rolled her eyes. “Yes, Rodney you greeted the new staff this morning.”
Rodney sighed. “I don’t understand ... Is he a soldier?”
Teyla shook her head. “No Rodney he is not, he is our new Agent Afloat and his title is Special Agent.”
Rodney thought about it. “Wait - you mean the hot anomaly is John’s, Tony.”
“Yes, and I don’t think your best friend will appreciate comments like that about his lover.”
Ronan had just sat down but had heard the entire conversation so couldn’t resist adding. “He better get used to it.”
Teyla and all their team were used to Rodney saying exactly what he thought about any topic including how he felt about people’s appearances of both genders. John had never cared in the past, just chalking it down to one of Rodney’s personality quirks but it had never been directed at John’s lover before - so he may not be quite as amused.
Meanwhile back in the enclosed part of the infirmary - Beckett was working quick time to get ready for his patient to be released. All the machines suggested that he would be coming out of the diagnostic pod soon enough. As if to confirm it, he saw Sheppard walk through the door.
He’d set a privacy monitor but he should have known Atlantis would let John through.
The door opened up and DiNozzo awoke, wary at first but relaxed upon seeing John’s face. “Not my fault.”
John snorted. “Why do I get the feeling you are going to say that a lot?”
Tony grinned. “You read my service file from NCIS probably.”
Carson bustled in between them because as much as wanted to let the two catch up - he had to make sure that Tony was healthy. “Right lad, I need to check you out and see there are no adverse effects.”
Tony smiled and it was a full and honest one. “Doc, she healed me. Atlantis sensed my impaired lung function and I think she may have healed my knee too.”
John was happy for Tony but he could just imagine the marines complaints in his future. “If I have to deal with marines complaining they can’t keep up I am going to be upset.”
Carson didn’t understand what was going on. “Why would you think that laddie?”
Tony’s mind was still catching up to the fact that his body had been truly healed with no ill effects. It felt like a dream but he could feel it was true. “I was about to go Pro in college before a guy named Brad Pitt, I kid you not, damaged my knee. I forgave him when he helped me recover from the plague.”
Carson could feel his blood pressure rising just imagining what his patient would be like. “And I thought the Colonel was a bad patient.”
John’s face was a picture of false innocence but Tony shrugged. “I could still complete the marine fitness course after the plague, it just hurt afterward.”
Elizabeth laughed as she could just see the ripples this was going to cause. “I suggest you run with Ronan - it sounds like he will be the only one who can keep up.”
John snorted. “He will be glad for the company.”
Tony could remember the description. “Is that your super warrior friend?”
John nodded. “That’s the one ... He will like you calling him that.”
Elizabeth smirked because she could admit that she’d been reluctant to let Ronan settle on Atlantis but she was glad John had changed her mind. “I don’t want to know and I will pretend I am ignorant to all complaints.”
Carson snorted remembering the last time he’d seen Weir pull the clueless routine. They had swallowed it hook, line and sinker. It was ridiculous as one simple conversation would leave people in no doubt of her brain. “So what about your mission?”
John explained. “Lorne volunteered to take Rodney to the planet to see about collecting their Stargate.”
Elizabeth was eager to get the gate connectivity project started. If it was successful then the gate would be a relatively quick connection to Earth without the huge power constraints. “You should be glad Colonel ... You can catch up on all that paperwork you were eager to start a few hours ago.”
Tony giggled, relieved and stunned about just how well his lungs felt. It had been a painful adjustment for him and a lot of therapy to strengthen his lungs and now it was all over. He was really beginning to think Atlantis was made of win; there was the whole living on a lost city; living with John and now he was back to full health too which was pretty damn cool.
His euphoria remained even five hours later when he collapsed onto the bed he shared with John, who was already under the covers. He wouldn’t trade any of it in two galaxies.
He was loved and happy and he had no idea that those two things would save all of Atlantis from an interloper.
Chapter 6: A Question of Love over Infatuation
Chapter SIX: A question of infatuation over love
Tony awoke with the morning light and tugged the warm body closer. He would have loved to be naked but he wasn’t naive. When you lived in a place like Atlantis then you had to be ready for an emergency at a moment’s notice. There was a knock at the door and John growled. “That will be Ronon for a run.”
Tony smiled. “Ah damn, there goes the morning blowjob.”
Now John was awake and pouting. “Why would you say that?”
Tony snorted. “Tell you what - let’s go for a run and then see what happens when we shower.”
John could get behind those types of incentives and he chose to ignore Ronon’s smirk with how keen he was for this run. He made a point of running with Ronon because this Galaxy wasn’t one for the unfit.
Tony was wearing running shorts that were distracting to say the least. Still, John was a military commander trained to resist torture and stay focussed despite all provocation. They started running and all was okay, to begin with but then John started to cough and feeling a familiar tightening in his chest he knew he was coming down with something. It was not like him to feel ill but he wasn’t stupid enough to keep pushing himself to only make things worse. “I gotta stop, I’m coming down with something.”
Ronon stopped. “You okay?”
“I will be big guy. Don’t let me stop you both ... I’m gonna crawl back into bed for a few hours and hope to feel better.”
Tony didn’t like the idea of John being ill but knew that when it came to a cold, rest was the best remedy. “Feel better and I will bring back food and something to drink.”
Ronon nodded. “So are we ready to run?”
Tony grinned. “Oh yeah. Don’t hold back.”
He didn’t understand why a nearby soldier walked into a wall. It would take John explaining it to him, later on, that Ronon didn’t often smile. They ran and ran and he revelled in running without his lungs feeling like they would give out.
Ninety minutes later and he went to the cafeteria to get some food for him and John. Tony looked over the food choices. “What you got for someone coming down ill? Colonel Sheppard is feeling unwell.”
The cook quickly piled a plate high. “Here take this back and make sure he eats it.”
Tony nodded. “I will ma’am.”
Tony gratefully took the plate and used his radio. “Hey boss lady. John’s feeling ill this morning so I’ll be in the office as soon as I make sure he is resting.”
“I will let Major Teldy know that she is on top. Tell John to take the morning.”
“You got it.”
When Tony went back to their room John was back in bed sleeping. He was just too cute in sleep but Tony knew that it was important to get some food and fluids in him. “Hey Darlin’, you feeling any better?”
John groaned. “I hate feeling ill.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll nurse you back to health.” Tony promised with a wink.
John grinned and even ill he could still leer. “I like the sound of that.”
Tony chuckled. “I’m sure you do - now I am under strict instructions to make sure you eat.”
John knew food was the sensible option but even if he wanted to refuse it - he couldn’t deny Tony. “Okay, what’s on offer?”
Tony fed him and watched him fall asleep. He couldn’t do any more for John right now so went to his office.
The gate alarm went off and Tony got to see the majestic gate in action. The warmth in the back of his head let him know Atlantis was pleased. Tony hadn’t had a chance to see it in action. This city really was pretty in all things. The shield dropped as soon as they got the all clear through the IDC signal.
SGA2 came through with Rodney - and a guest? Tony was assuming it was a guest, he hadn’t had a chance to get to grips with everything on Atlantis but he’d made a point of reviewing the personnel list.
Tony nodded at Elizabeth as she came onto the balcony at the same time he did. Tony was getting up to speed on his job quickly, he knew that Atlantis wasn’t the type of place to let you get accustomed to the job slowly.
“We have a guest?” Tony asked wondering if it was scheduled.
Liz pursed her lips. “It wasn’t on the books.”
If Tony didn’t know better he would think the team-mates were doped on some good drugs . They all had dreamy smiles on their faces as they looked at the guest. Tony wasn’t trying to be mean about the situation but there was no reason for them to be dreamy. He didn’t like the way the effect seemed to be spreading to the gate staff close to him.
Tony mentally sent a query to Atlantis, he wasn’t sure if it would do anything but he couldn’t help himself. He got a mental tug of what amounted to dissatisfaction. Well, now Tony was definitely suspicious - he wished John was well because he could have discussed this with John.
His suspicions went to full blown when Rodney proclaimed they had made a new great ally called Lucius. Tony shuddered as the effect of this guy was spreading and he didn’t know what to do - if they were compromised and he wasn’t then he was in trouble. He needed to remove himself from the field of play and find an ally.
Elizabeth who had gone to greet their guest with open hostility was now smiling and simpering with all of them. Rodney being happy about anyone was supposed to be a sign of the apocalypse according to John.
Tony was glad he was the new guy because that meant he could slip away without being noticed. He really hoped John would help explain that this was some natural Pegasus phenomenon. Tony didn’t know if it would help but he sent a silent request to hide, and if he’d been near a screen he would have seen his life sign go dark, along with John’s. Atlantis knew something was wrong and she would hide her first son and his mate until they were ready to throw the interloper off her city.
Tony made it back to their quarters and was relieved to get there. When he got back through the door he leaned back against it and just rested feeling safe. He saw John stir with his entrance. “How are you feeling?”
“Thousand times better than I did. What has you freaked?”
Tony sighed because you had the be in the gate room to explain his level of unease. He may be a new to the Stargate but he would always trust his gut. “Do you have any reason or ever encountered someone who can make everyone turn into a Stepford wife type of person?”
John frowned but thought about it. He knew the question was serious so treated it in kind. “There are a few ways. Why, what the hell happened?”
Tony wished he could let John rest more but he knew time was of the essence. “McKay and SGA2 returned only they had no stargate but instead brought a ‘guest’ with them. He appears an unremarkable man but everyone as they spoke to him fell under his spell and it was an obsessive kind of thrall. If you get my meaning.”
John nodded as it was situational - Pegasus, all fucked up. “Even Elizabeth?”
Tony shrugged. “She was on the balcony with me and went down to express her displeasure. Only when she got down there, she instead offered to show him where the meal was being served.”
John summed up the situation with. “Damn.”
Tony snorted. “Yeah, I realised something was rotten in the halls of Atlantis and got the hell out of there as I seemed to be the only one not affected.”
John sat up in bed. “So question, why were you not affected?”
Tony suspected only one thing and he wasn’t bashful but it may be useful if his theory was correct. “When he came in all I could think of was you.”
John smiled softly. “So it goes back to the question of love over infatuation?”
Tony sat down on the bed with him. “That would be my guess. I was infatuated with you John for a stupid number of years, it moved to love somewhere between San Francisco and a Mountain.”
John pulled Tony in for a kiss and just for a second they revelled in their connection.
Now it was time to use their connection to Atlantis to rescue it.
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
CHAPTER 7: Digging deeper underground.
John had never denied any resource at his disposal - He was a high-combat trained asset who was encouraged to use any and all means at hand. “We need to see what is going on.”
Tony agreed and a weird panel flipped around with what Tony was guessed was the ancient equivalent of television. It showed the gateroom and the man was sitting in the middle of the gateroom holding court with John’s people. John couldn’t help the growl at seeing it happen - even Ronon was part of the group.
“Can I kill him?” John asked.
Tony sighed because it was tempting. “Too risky, I don’t want to see what happens when the obsession sours ... I have seen it one too many times on the job and it’s never pretty.”
John nodded because it made sense, and he too had seen the worst of humanity, just in different parts of the globe. “We need to figure out how they are infected.”
Tony looked up at the ceiling and aimed for flattery. “Lantis, if you have any ideas for how to start I’m all ears.”
The image on the tv screen zoomed in on Carson Beckett and John chuckled. “So we should free Carson first? Makes sense but how?”
Tony shrugged. “The movies usually try a hit to the head, seems extreme and counterproductive. What about a Zat?”
John thought about it and figured the odds were best and it was the least lethal option. “Best option and we can always incapacitate him if it doesn’t free his mind.”
Tony let out a tentative breath, glad for the plan forming. John said the same thing he had been thinking out loud. “We will need to get close to him if we are to have a chance of separating Carson. He has the rest of the command team pretty close.”
Tony couldn’t disagree with the assessment, Lucius had in the closest circle, Elizabeth, Teyla, Lorne, Ronon, and Rodney. “Leave that to me dear. I can do this undercover part ... you just have to talk to him, as if you are talking to me.”
John frowned not liking it but Tony cut the argument off before it could even start. He pressed his lips close. “It’s acting, nothing more and we won’t be there too long, just long enough to bag us a doctor.”
The gateroom was the same awesome place it had always been but right now it felt like it was a different place, somehow off. John couldn’t explain it because even though the walls hadn’t changed - it felt like they had. He blamed this Lucius.
over to them with eager excitement. John could handle never seeing her so out of character again. It was ridiculously silly and he hoped never to see it in the future once this was sorted out. “John you’re better ... Good, you should come and meet Lucius, he is
John could see the smug smile on Lucius’ face and had to simper and let Tony take over. He would let Tony’s experience take the lead. Tony took a step forward, still holding John’s hand. He would normally never do this, generally aiming for professional, but he wanted to stay grounded and free from whatever this strange compulsion was.
The smarmy man looked over at the both of them and John felt unclean just from his glance. “Well hello, why am I only just now meeting you two gorgeous beings?”
Yeah, John really wanted to shoot the bastard. Tony squeezed his hand in a reminder that he couldn’t despite what John viewed as an immense provocation.
Tony grinned, boyish and shy. “When you arrived I knew you were important and I wanted John to meet you.”
“You kind child.”
John and Tony worked hard not to roll their eyes because damn, these lines were so bad. John tried to follow Tony’s lead. He asked innocent questions with a vacant smile on his face - it was like being back at their Dad’s dinner parties. “So what brings you to Atlantis?”
Lucius twirled his hands in the air. “How could I not want to see the city of the ancestors ... and is it true that some of you can access the city in ways others of us cannot?”
John wanted to smile because already he could get an inkling of what was happening. The guy was a chancer and liked to scavenge, playing on people’s senses - if only he could figure out how he was bewitching them.
Rodney burst to the front. “I developed the technology and can use it as well as wonderboy over here.”
John rolled his eyes and suddenly was very glad that Elizabeth and Carson must have kept their secret. There was no way he and Tony would be able to work if they were identified as First Son and mate. An image flit into his mind and he snorted mentally - he was pretty sure he was seeing what Atlantis would like to do. His connection with the city was stronger than it had ever been. John wasn’t too sure why, possibly he was more accepting of it with Tony’s arrival. The second option being the arrival of another super gene as the scientists referred to it had helped with the city’s sentience and her ability to interact with them.
John needed to stay as unremarkable as possible. It was not just a skill that Tony used to great effect.
Meanwhile back on Earth, someone was being pulled back to Earth with a bump. Jack O’Neill did not like when his orders were disobeyed and when people tried to snoop on his men. The minute Tony transferred, that was exactly what had happened.
Colonel Davies was bemused. “You want to go and deal with NCIS yourself sir?”
O’Neill grinned whilst he finished reading his morning briefing papers. “Yes that is right.”
Davies knew that if he wanted any more of an answer that he would have to accompany the General. “When shall I put the appointment in the calendar?”
Jack was liking his plan more and more. “I think today but let’s do it unannounced. What’s the point of being one of the Joint Chief’s if I don’t have fun with the power occasionally?”
Three hours later, Jack caused a stir walking through the halls of NCIS in full dress uniform. The Director was quick to come out of his ivory tower, no doubt informed of Jack’s presence.
“What can I do for you today General O'Neill?”
Jack smiled, but he knew for a fact there were friendlier grins on Goa’ulds and they were alien snakes who liked to eat people. “Well, you can make a place available so I can chat with two of your wayward employees.”
Barb one already caused a stiffened set of shoulders. Damn, Vance better suck it up - Jack was just getting started. “Whom?”
“An Agent Timothy McGee ... He is sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.” Jack said in a matter of fact way. “I believe he had an accomplice, Abigail Sciuto.”
“Gibbs get over here!” Vance shouted and Jack recognised an old friend. “Hey Jethro, McGee and Scuito, are they yours?”
Gibbs nodded anger flashing on his face. Jack was almost tempted to let Jethro deal with it. Almost. “It seems a Presidential Order wasn’t enough for him to back off, that is quite an ego your agent has there.”
Vance paled understanding where this was going. “Agent McGee!”
Jack grinned. “I’m General Jack O’Neill and we need to have a chat.”
McGee knew the name and knew he was in trouble for something. It didn’t help when his boss asked the guy if Ziva should sit in on the meeting also. Jack laughed that suggestion of almost immediately. “Purlease, like I, would ever say yes to Little Miss Mossad getting her hands on data I don’t want her to see.”
Vance had the good grace to look uneasy, whilst he couldn’t be blamed for bringing her into the Agency - he could be pulled up for allowing her to remain on a front line team.
O’Neill shrugged. “Room?”
Vance showed them to the conference room, Gibbs went to find Abby no doubt to give her a warning. This had the potential to go very badly and he wasn’t willing to let that happen.
Abby and Tim walked in looking like naughty school children. They sat down, huffing and not acting professional in the least. Abby even asked. “Why am I here?”
Jack rolled his eyes. As far he was concerned - the lab technician was a little old for the act to be successful. “What part of do not pursue Agent DiNozzo was misunderstood?”
The pair flushed as they expected never to be caught. Gibbs growled. “You ignored me?”
Jack chuckled. “Oh they sure did, hacked Homeland Security and everything.”
Tim spit out. “You lied to us as he is not part of the database.”
Jack had to wonder at how someone that naive got this far. No, he did know how. “You ever hear of off-the-books?”
Vance got to interject before Gibbs could. “THAT IS ENOUGH. HOW DARE YOU EMBARRASS THIS AGENCY!”
They looked at Gibbs and the man snorted. “You think I will say a word against this ... You defied me.”
Vance pinched his nose, he didn’t bother picking up a toothpick as it would be lost in his anger. “You will be suspended for two weeks without pay. Get out of my sight.”
Jack stood up. “Oh, and let me make one thing clear. Should you complete another hack on your old coworker’s files then I will drop you in the deepest hole I can find and I know a few, clear?”
They both nodded but Jack could see in their eyes that they were too stupid to listen to his advice. Oh well, you can only lead a horse to the water, you can’t make them drink.
On Atlantis, his old teammates were the furthest thing from Tony’s mind. He had to help John get the city back from this interloper. He must have some of the good stuff on him because the bullshit he was coming out with was unreal.
This guy fought off a Wraith, really? Never mind the drugs, you would have to have no brain to believe it.
John was getting the hang of lying without saying it. “So how did you do it?”
Lucius waxed on lyrically about this magnificent shield that decided he was worthy and protected him. As a result, whilst the Wraith was distracted by its teasing food, he managed to kill it.
John could just picture the scene and he hated the one in front of him. He could see Elizabeth and Teyla look at Lucius with something akin to devotion in their eyes and it was just plain wrong. He admired both women for their strength of character and if Lucius even considered taking advantage he would shoot the guy where he stood - consequences be damned.
They were staying close hoping to see a moment where they could get Beckett alone. John was not cut out for undercover work - he lacked the patience. He was an hour from just kidnapping his doctor, and he would deal with the events as they unfolded.
They caught a break of good luck. Carson announced he had to go back to the infirmary - so they had their opening. “We’ll come with you Carson, John needs a check-up.”
Tony bit his lip. “John was unwell this morning and I would hate for Lucius to catch one of our colds.”
“Oh, that is reasonable, bring him with you as we all know John doesn’t behave when it comes to his health.”
Tony had to look miserable at the idea of leaving Lucius’ side when really all he wanted to do was jump up and down. “Okay. I will be back soon.”
Lucius stroked his cheek, and Tony hated leaning into that hand. “Go and come back refreshed and healthy.”
John waited until they were around the corner and Tony looked backward, if someone was looking they would believe he was worried for Lucius. In reality, Tony was just checking to make sure no one followed them.
Chapter 8: Time on my Side?
CHAPTER EIGHT: Time on my side?
Carson walked with them keeping up his amiable chat. “That Lucius is a marvellous man, isn’t he?”
John had to bite back his very valid response and settled for. “He’s something else all right.”
He and Tony shared a look and it conveyed all he felt about the situation.
“He is so dreamy and so clever and Rodney is working on making sure the gene therapy works for him.”
John sucked in a breath because that sounded like pretty much the worst idea in the world. He hated the idea that the man could take advantage of the gene therapy to give himself access to using any part of his favourite city. It was just so very wrong.
The warmth and pressure in his head reminded him that that wasn’t happening anytime soon, and if he tried Atlantis would have a few things to say about it.
Tony shared a quick grin, feeling the same emotions from Atlantis that John did. They would sort it out but they would do it safely without any risk to the Atlantis team. That is why they needed to free Carson from the hold of Lucius.
Tony followed John into the infirmary and both did a trained sweep with their eyes. As if that wasn’t another clue that something was seriously wrong, the staff were not on duty. Even if Lucius didn’t have nefarious intentions, he was leaving Atlantis unprotected and that alone was unforgivable.
Carson whirled around. “Up on the bed laddie.”
Sheppard did as he was asked and as he got comfortable on the bed Tony blasted Carson with the wraith blaster and the poor doctor collapsed with a look of shock on his face.
Sheppard was ready for it and caught the Doc and placed him on the bed. “Physician heal thyself.”
Tony snorted. “I don’t think it counts if he is shot.”
John nodded. “Atlantis?”
The room was sealed off but in such a way that it wouldn’t be detectable to anyone watching in the tower. John wasn’t certain they were as it might take time away from staring at Lucius’ face but it was best to check just to be sure.
Tony sighed. “Now what?”
“We need to wait for him to wake, good news it should only take a few minutes as it was on stun.”
The pair sat on an opposite bed and watched the doctor. This was not their only option but it was their best hope. They hoped the electrical charge was enough to shock the system back into reality.
John scrubbed his face. “We need to develop a protocol for guests being admitted to Atlantis.”
Tony nodded. “Agreed but this is an exceptional circumstance. How would we protect against being roofied?”
John knew it was a difficult question but one that needed to be answered. “We need to look at the filtration system in the Gateroom. It has to be airborne from what you described.”
Tony agreed because it was the only thing that made sense with what he witnessed. He just knew that there was something rotten going on and for whatever reason - he was unaffected. “Sounds good and once we break the interloper’s hold on Rodney you can put him on the task.”
John grinned, liking the confidence that they would solve the problem. The other part he really loved was the way Tony called Atlantis home indirectly. Carson stirred breaking any more musings.
Carson growled. “What the bloody hell hit me? Why don’t I remember the last few hours?”
John let out a sigh of relief, it looked like an electrical charge did the trick but it wasn’t a perfect solution. John knew it was not one that Carson would approve of either which didn’t help. “You have no idea how crazy it is.”
Tony looked at John as if to ask who has the honours. All John had to give was a simple shrug and Tony started to explain. It spoke of a longer romantic connection perhaps but then John remembered that he and Tony had known each other since they were kids and that type of trust does not go away.
Tony snorted. “So SGA2 and McKay brought a guest back to Atlantis and he was freaky.”
Tony nodded because really there was no other way to describe this Lucius. “Well a pudgy man comes through the gate and the team, including McKay, are treating him like their favourite friend. Elizabeth at this point is pissed and having none of it ... but by the time she gets down the stairs, she appears to have changed her mind and is now groupie number one.”
Beckett sat back absorbing what he was told. “So what is it?”
Tony shrugged. “That is a question for a doctor, I’m the investigator and he is the soldier.”
Beckett flushed as it was a valid point. “Okay, tell me what you remember.”
Tony sighed. “I have yet to see anything that would give me a clue. I have to assume whatever is influencing the others is drug based but not one that is ingested, close contact seems to do the trick. He uses the guise of being beloved to offer casual skin touches.”
Beckett nodded. “So skin to skin contact and whatever it is alters the brain chemistry to mimic love.”
Tony nodded because there was no other way to describe the behaviour of the others. “That would sum it up.”
“And you two were immune?”
Tony and John grinned as they shared a look. John was the one to the answer the question. “I stood in his presence and even though I really wanted to, I didn’t shoot the bastard, so no, it is safe to say I don’t think I love him. I have the real thing standing next to me.”
Tony smiled softly because he knew how much John hated sharing his feelings but it was good to hear the words. “And I feel the same about John. I struggled not to throw up on him when he shook my hand. John and I really interest him as we have the gene which is something he wants.”
Beckett snorted. “Well, it's too bloody bad that he doesn't have it.”
John shook his head. “Yes, but he ensnared Rodney who can help him get it.”
“Oh bloody hell.” Carson said in his thick Scottish brogue realising the magnitude of the problem. “Right let’s find out how the little bastard is doing it.”
An hour later, and they had a partial answer. There was a chemical present in Carson’s blood work that wasn’t present in Tony and John’s bloodwork. Carson growled, “It is oxytocin.”
“The Love Hormone ?” Tony asked remembering it from a weird case when he was working vice a few years back.
“Yes, that is correct.” Carson agreed. “It would explain why you are immune, you pair would be naturally producing it.”
John shrugged so now they knew what it was but that wasn’t a cure which is what he wanted. “So how do break the hold on the others because somehow I don’t think you want me to shoot everyone.”
Tony smirked. “And you say the Marines are a bad influence?”
“They are.” John added, “but in the best possible way.”
Tony rolled his eyes. “So we need a plan.”
John smirked. “I have my Plan B ready to go.”
Carson smirked. “I have an idea that I think you will like.”
“We are all ears.” John assured him and as he listened to the Doctor’s idea - he had to admit that it was perfect and poetic justice all rolled into one.
They would need the Doc’s chemical knowledge and the trap would be set.
Chapter 9: Springing a Trap
Chapter 9: Springing a Trap
John and Tony listened to the plan and had to smile at it - it was perfect and a little bit bloodthirsty at the same time.
Carson was frustrated. “I know how it is happening but how it starts the process I don’t know.”
Tony looked up at the ceiling, an advantage to be being new to a situation - you don’t know supposed limitations. “Atlantis, any help?”
And help they got.
Carson startled as the nearest terminal started to spit information. Carson and John caught the information and frowned not knowing the technical words in Ancient. Tony saw the frown. “What’s up?”
John shook his head. “Translating this word.” He pointed at a particular symbol.
Tony shrugged. “It says to eat the herbs whole to gain an advantage over your enemies.”
And he couldn’t help but add. “Why not ask Atlantis to show you the text in English?
John looked sheepish, like the idea had never occurred to him but it would have made his life easier. The burst of amusement let him know just what Atlantis thought on the matter. He could feel the city’s fascination with Tony and how he perceived her. John knew that despite their early connection - he’d shied away from it at the beginning. It had taken the Genii invading the city for him to fully immerse himself in the connection and become the First Son. Tony had none of his hang ups and was getting the city to do things that he’d never considered. John could tell that Tony would help them explore the city with his open curiosity and natural investigator skills.
He was looking forward to it.
Carson’s reaction was one of general confusion because he had never been comfortable with the mental component of the gene. “It can do that?”
Tony looked at John as he had more experience in these matters, and there was the other part about how much they revealed on grounds of not wanting to lab experiments. John shrugged it off and played it cool. “Never done it for me, I think Atlantis loves Tony, he is like a pretty new toy for her and she wants to impress him.”
Tony could feel the indignation from Atlantis and John may be her favourite but he could see a few cold spikes in the shower in the near future. Tony pouted. “I’m likable and Doc will you need more of the herbs to make the antidote.”
Carson looked at the screen and scrolled down - looking at a chemical structure and smiled. “Oh laddies, I don’t care which one of you is her favourite because she has just saved us about two days of research.”
Tony caught his meaning. “The antidote?”
Beckett nodded. “Yes, but the herbs needed to manufacture it are on the mainland.”
John chuckled. “Perfect, we need to make a break to the mainland for reasons...”
Carson knew exactly what excuse they could use. “What about you are more infectious than we thought and I need a cure from the mainland. Once I have it, I will inoculate all three of us to make sure we can’t infect the illustrious Lucius.”
Tony shuddered. “Don’t make me throw up.”
Carson was sympathetic. “I’m sorry for both of you - it can’t of been easy seeing everyone under thrall and having to act like it was the norm.”
Tony sighed. “It wasn’t easy but it is all part of working undercover and that is a specialty of mine.”
Carson wasn’t as convinced about his own ability to play his part. Some of the worry must have shown on his face. “Relax doc, we will be playing the captured part and you will just be injecting the antidote as a way to cure him from our evil plan.”
Carson was still concerned because he’d worked on people whose obsessions had gone bad and it never ended well. “If you are cuffed and something goes wrong then you could be in trouble.”
John knew his worry. “Carson if it is Ancient it won’t hold us.”
Tony nodded and added. “Plus, you have a Cop and Federal Agent who has been trained to elude and break out of all cuffs.”
“Why on Earth would you need to know that?” Carson demanded, distracted from his worry about the pair. Carson knew it was because he was freaked about his free will being taken away. The couple has snatched him away from the walking nightmare and he felt safe with them and for their plan to free all of Atlantis that was all being put at risk.
Tony smirked. “I have been in some bad places with some very bad people. It was a necessary skill.”
Carson shook his head and tapped on his radio. “Gate room.”
It was Weir’s voice that responded. “Go ahead, Carson.”
“Sheppard’s cold is a little more serious than we thought. We are all heading to the mainland to collect some materials I need to manufacture the cure.”
Weir did not sound happy at the idea so he added in an attempt to be convincing. “We don’t want Lucius to be harmed by it so I will give the cure to the Colonel, myself, and Anthony and come back once I am certain we are safe.”
“Okay. Be safe gentleman and have a swift journey.” Weir finished showing a glimpse of their leader.
The three took that as their invitation to get to the puddlejumper. Tony felt the hum as the engines whirred to life as soon as he entered the little ship. Tony grinned at the joy of the ship, it was a ghost of a feeling compared to Atlantis’ presence in his mind. Tony thought,
wait for John he is the pilot.
The trio quickly sat down and had the jumper in the air and heading for the doors to exit into the open air of the planet. Tony looked over the landscape, through a viewer in the console. “I wish we could see what was going on in Atlantis.” Tony mused aloud.
John sighed. “Don’t we all, you know I think this guy is worse than a Wraith. At least they are honest in their intentions to suck the life out of you. This Lucius takes your free-will and that is just wrong on every level.”
Tony grinned seeing his console viewer change. “Did you know that jumper’s had a link back to the gateroom?”
John looked over, one of the advantages to flying the jumper with your mind - you didn’t have to look at what you flying. “No I didn’t.”
Tony snorted. “Now you do.”
John wondered how long it would be before Tony made one of the scientists cry out of sheer frustration. He thought maybe by the end of the week and wondered if he should start a betting pool.
Talking about frustration Jack O’Neill was heading back to the NCIS headquarters for a second time in a week. It seemed some people didn’t understand orders and the best thing about being a Major General was he could throw people in prison or make their lives very miserable if they failed to comprehend such orders.
Vance paled seeing him in his bullpen. Jack wasn’t playing. “Good - you understand that I am
being back here again Leon.”
Vance sighed. “Which one?”
“Agent McGee is going to face some very tough choices and I will not tolerate any interruptions from anyone.”
Vance understood what was being said and bellowed. “Agent McGee my office now.”
Gibbs saw Jack and scowled. “What is going on?”
Jack shrugged. “National Security matters Gunny , and ones that you do not have the security clearance for. I’m sure Director Vance will inform you of anything relevant.”
Gibbs headed off in the direction of forensics no doubt wanting to grill the lab attendant. Jack didn’t care, he had his own issue to deal with.
He followed Vance to his office to find a waiting Agent McGee who looked a lot paler than he did a few moments ago. “So you are a bright man, that is what your file suggests.”
“I have degrees from both Johns Hopkins and MIT and I rose to the MCRT within months of leaving FLETC.”
Jack sighed. “That is a list of things you’ve accomplished not a reflection on your intelligence levels.”
“I don’t understand,” McGee said.
Jack smirked. “And that is the first intelligent thing you’ve said. So tell me, when I gave you a cease and desist order regarding Anthony DiNozzo, did you think it was a suggestion?”
McGee paled because he’d used his best decryption software. He just couldn’t believe that Tony would be involved in anything that involved a presidential order. So he had dug a little deeper and hit a roadblock too good for him to get round. Granted, he’d done it after the General had told him to stop but he figured no harm no foul as he hadn’t found out anything. “No Sir, I didn’t but Agent DiNozzo couldn’t possibly be qualified for the job.”
Jack smirked because now they were getting to the root of the problem, a self-entitled twit’s willful blindness, arrogance and personal pride. He was liking Colonel Davies suggestion more and more as it had an elegance to the punishment but he was going to hammer home a few points before he did it.
“Oh, so you think you would be more qualified for the job?” Jack said silkily, anyone who knew him would know it was his most dangerous tone.
“Well my education is from higher ranked universities and I know more computer proficiency than Tony does.”
Jack nodded and wow, this guy was something else. “So what is your Doctorate in?”
McGee frowned. “I don’t hold one I have been busy with my books and the MCRT.”
Jack snorted and asked Davies. “What was DiNozzo’s in ... He defended the dissertation before he shipped out.”
Paul smiled blandly. “It was from Georgetown in Computer Science, in fact, you made his dissertation essential reading for all Intelligence personnel in the program.”
O’Neill shrugged. “It was insightful and his technique led to the capture of that asshole six hours after he was given the case after my best had nearly two weeks on it.”
McGee remembered Gibbs saying something about Tony studying for a doctorate but he didn’t believe it and part of him assumed it would be in something like theatre studies. After all, Tony talked about movies often enough but it was in his own field and one he’d prided himself on. “He never said anything.”
O’Neill didn’t care and he would say as much. “He was the SFA, he didn’t have to say anything but even just knowing the requirements for SFA should have clued you in.”
McGee flushed because part of him had just assumed that Tony had been given an exception because of Gibbs. “I thought he had been given a waiver.”
Vance flushed because he had assumed something similar and hadn’t dug too deeply which was on him. Still he wasn’t naive, his agent was in a lot of trouble and this incident would stop advancement and that was if he was lucky. “What trouble is he in?”
Jack sighed. “Well the program is classified as above top secret and anyone who threatens it can be immediately detained in Leavenworth indefinitely. No trial. It is that crucial to National security. However my aide came up with a fitting punishment that will let you keep working for NCIS and let me make one thing clear. This is non-negotiable.”
McGee was pale at the thought of going to prison. He was a Federal Agent and there was no way he would survive prison. “What is it?”
O’Neill chucked a silver space-age bracelet. “This is one of our inventions and it’s a technology suppressor, the wearer is unable to interact with anything with a microchip. You will wear it for two months and at end of the time period we will review the situation.”
“I won’t be able to use a computer. What good will I be?”
O’Neill smirked. “That is up to Agent Gibbs to determine but surely you are intelligent enough to offer something more to the team than just your ability with computers.”
Judging from his expression, Jack was guessing that he wasn’t so sure. Too bad, he was quick to judge others and now he would have two months of reaping what he sowed.
Carson was on the jumper using the chemistry set that Atlantis offered to synthesize the cure to Lucius’ con. “So this will cure every one of your
Colonel Sheppard and as a convenient side effect it will inoculate everyone to Lucius’ little love spell.”
John understood the change in plan. It was less risky. “Wait - so how quickly will it take effect?”
Carson shrugged. “Difficult to say as it is body chemistry but I think if you come in bearing a gift and show him something majestic then he will be distracted whilst the cure takes effect. Only too bad for him, the cure will be for our people, not him. I know his type, he is a hypochondriac and won’t hesitate to take a cure that will stop him being ill.”
Tony shared a look with John. “It makes sense and we don’t have to pretend to be prisoners. We just have to fake our obsession with the guy for the time the injection takes place.”
John knew it made sense and was less risk to them, not having to play the prisoner. “This is going to be righteous, this is pretty devious doc. I think Cadman is a great influence on you.”
Carson flushed. “Almost as much as young Tony is on you, Colonel.”
Sheppard snickered. “I will raise a toast to better halves when we’ve dealt with the situation.”
Tony had kept an eye on the monitors whilst John guarded Carson making the cure. What he was seeing on the screens was making him heave. There was nothing yet that would be described as a crime but Lucius’ touches on the women and even a few of gorgeous males was starting to linger, in an unhealthy way.
“Time to go, this guy needs to be taken down or shot.”
John smiled. “I’m okay with shooting the bastard.”
“Yeah but not until we know our people are okay.” Tony countered.
John rolled his eyes. “It is the only reason why the creep is still breathing.”
Tony winced at something he saw on the screen. It looked like McKay got a nasty shock, big enough that he could see the spark. “I think Atlantis is losing patience too as she just shocked McKay for opening the ATA gene therapy.”
Carson added. “We have to have patience for less than an hour.”
Tony and John said it in tandem. “No promises.”
Chapter 10: Throwing out the Trash + Epilogue
A big thank you to everyone who has read this story, reviewed and kudos'ed this story. The response has blown me away.
Massive thanks to Edronhia for beta'ing this story and making it better with her suggestions.
Chapter 10: Throwing out the Trash + Epilogue
When the ship touched down they were greeted by Lucius, Elizabeth, and Rodney. “Welcome back friends.”
John’s back was still turned which gave him an extra few seconds to compose himself. He didn’t think he would need it but hearing this guy greet him like he was the leader bothered the fuck out of him. He trusted Elizabeth, this guy was no one and had no right to ask for his allegiance.
Tony had no such problem with a bright smile he bounded down the steps. “Yeah, sorry we scared you but John caught something nasty on the last planet and needed a special cure. Luckily Atlantis showed us the cure and we have enough Carson wants to inoculate Lucius first and then work through the ranks - leaders first.”
Lucius frowned. “An injection, will it hurt?”
Tony smile was a full-on charm offensive. “It is a brief second, only a pinch and it will save you from the illness. John was lucky it presented as a cold but the worst version leads to coughing fits that stop you from breathing and eventual death from drowning in your own fluids.”
He remembered what Carson said about being a hypochondriac so he presented a reality where the coward would want to take the cure for fear of the alternative.
What do you know? Lucius’s hand shot out to take the cure immediately.
Elizabeth and Rodney watched on in concern and Tony took Lucius’ arm. “I wanted to show you the jumper. Rodney said you wanted to fly one.”
Rodney perked up. “I think I can have the therapy perfected so he can do it.”
John smiled and said. “I will happily show you how to fly one.” He was getting the hang of this undercover thing because what he really wanted to say was. “Over my wraith drained dead body.”
Carson was injecting Elizabeth and Rodney with the cure so it was a matter of minutes. Carson saw the glare on their leader’s face and knew she had shaken off the thrall. He shoved a piece of paper in her hand.
Lucius had us all under thrall.
John and Tony immune - saved us all.
Cure - eliminates thrall effect.
Elizabeth had her diplomatic smile on her face. Carson had seen it many times before usually before she busted someone’s balls. You see Tony had neatly provided them with a way to throw out the trash quite efficiently. Her first inclination was to arrest him and throw him in the Wraith Cage. It was tempting but then they would have to consider the long-term effect.
She had a much more elegant solution and one that would be a continual punishment. “Tony, John take Lucius back through the gates. I am sure his wives are missing him. He should bring them here so we can all be happy.”
John wasn’t too sure if she was free from the effects of the herb or not but he wasn’t about to ignore such an opening. “Yes Ma’am.”
And with that, the jumper closed and was in the air within a few seconds.
Elizabeth looked at Carson. “I want a full report.”
On the jumper. Lucius was freaking out. “What is going on?”
Tony had a gun trained on Lucius before the guy even knew what was happening. “You are a horrible house guest so we are throwing you out. You really should have paid rent or something ... or not tried to subjugate our people.”
John snorted. “Too bad your little herbs didn’t work on us.”
Lucius frowned. “I don’t understand.”
Tony smirked. “I’m already in love with him so you have no place in my life.”
John grinned. “What he said.”
Tony smiled softly as he let Lucius know just what was in store for him on returning back to his home. “Oh and you should know the cure you were injected with wasn’t for any terrible disease. It was to eliminate the effect of your precious herbs. You will have to make your own way with your own charms.”
“But no one likes me and most people want to punch me.” Lucius said most put out with the situation.
Tony smirked. “Liz mentioned you have wives, plural, on this planet so you better figure something out.”
He said this just as they touched down on the planet. The horror on Lucius' face was such that John took a photo for the others back home. “They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. How many wives do you have?”
Tony snickered. “Too bad.” And with that, he kicked him off the jumper and he landed with an ungraceful flop on the ground. Lucius was quickly surrounded by women who looked most unhappy with him.
Tony and John stood watching from the safety of the cloaked jumper and stayed until saw him dragged off. Tony said it best with. “Let’s go home.”
Tony had found he loved his life on Atlantis. It may be like living one giant sci-fi movie but it was the best fun. He may have had to move to another galaxy but for the first time in a long time Tony didn’t feel out of place.
John had been a big change in his life and Tony had been adopted by John’s marines. They loved the fact the Colonel's boyfriend ran with them and went to shooting practice with them. They adored Tony for the simple fact that he made John happy but it didn’t hurt that he would train with them. Tony wasn’t stupid, the Pegasus Galaxy was a mean ass place to live and didn’t tolerate the weak, that was a sure fire way to get eaten by the Wraith.
As one might expect the incident with Lucius had affected everyone and freaked them out. Tony had suggested a movie night as a way for everyone to meet and unwind together.
McKay had been horrified to find out he’d fallen under the thrall of Lucius. It still bugged him a week later. “I just don’t get it.”
Tony smirked. “It has nothing to do with how big your brain is, you were roofied.”
Rodney sighed. “Yeah but you were immune.”
Tony smirked. “John and I produced the hormone naturally because we love each other. You know this, we went over it in the briefing. You need to let this one go, McKay, because if you prank John for something that is not his fault I will not be happy and Atlantis will let me know.”
McKay rolled his eyes but did confess. “I thought about it because it is not fair but then I realised there is no way Atlantis would let me get away it.”
The lights were already low as they prepared for the first movie and Tony found John quickly enough. He had commandeered a love couch, rank had to have some privilege. Tony didn’t care too much and took the opportunity to snuggle against John. They were not exactly demonstrative in public as it wasn’t their style but they didn’t hide their relationship.
It wasn’t like John’s men cared and had said as much to their faces. In fact, they had congratulated their commander on snagging a hot bastard. John took it as the compliment it was intended to be.
Tony felt the arm sweep around him. “You okay?” John asked him.
Tony nodded knowing that John would feel it against his chest. “I’m happy. We’ve finally found our place.”
Sheppard smiled and despite the low lights Tony saw it. In fact, Tony could have sworn he saw the lights flicker. It didn’t matter what he saw because he could feel Atlantis’ joy in the back of his mind.
John said. “Yeah, it really is quite the place.”
Tony smiled, true and honest. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”