- Character Bashing
- Death-Major Character
- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Explicit Sex
- Alternate Universe
- Ménage or More
Tony was ruing the day he’d told Blair about his psychokinetic ability. The man was a testing dynamo. There were tests for distance, speed, types of material, his physical condition, with or without the Bond active, outside, inside… the list went on and on.
And all the while Jim just had this strange little smirk on his face.
In the end, Tony had to ask him what was so amusing.
“I’ve been where you are, Tony. It’s just nice to see someone else subjected to Blair Sandburg, Testing Scientist Extraordinaire.”
Blair had simply glared at the Sentinel, and chivvied Tony into the backyard for some target practice.
Turned out he was just as good with a pebble from the ground as he was with his gun, hitting the target every time, mostly in the central section too.
Evenings were relaxed, well at least for Tony and Jim. Blair was a machine, writing out his findings and then when that was done, continuing his research into the precedent for Triads in the Primitive Sentinel Records Archive.
Jack and Daniel were regular visitors, for sumptuous Italian meals cooked by Tony, or a beer around the fireplace in the backyard. Although they had been very surprised at first at the closer relationship between the three men, the couple had been happy to see Tony so very settled. And if Tony saw Jack pulling Jim over to the side for what looked like a very serious conversation, then he affected not to notice.
Daniel on the other hand just pulled up a chair in the research carrel that Blair had fashioned out of a small desk in the spare bedroom and dove in – much to Jack’s chagrin.
With support and encouragement from everyone, Tony had decided to continue with his studies also, and had just that morning received an email from the Prof agreeing with his request to allow him to complete his Ph.D. remotely.
And the nights… Fuck, the nights were filled with lovemaking that was better than fantasy ever could be. His lovers were inventive and tender and hot as fucking hell. His mind and body were replete from the way they cherished him and gave him exactly what he wanted… hell, what he needed.
Tony had never felt so happy and upbeat about the future.
There was only one little blot on the landscape.
“She’s not sleeping, only eating when we push her to and she’s withdrawing further and further into herself.” Sandra Hancock sounded distraught on the phone.
From everything she was saying, it was obvious the couple were trying their best, but Layla just wasn’t settling. On the whole, Elias was his normal happy self, but it seemed his sisters distress often put him off his own meals. Neither child could afford to miss their nutrition, but especially not a fast growing, Sentinel infant. Any problems now, physical or emotional could have a deleterious effect on him and his gifts.
Tony looked over at his Bondmates and frowned in concern.
“I know we’re supposed to give them a month to settle down in their new situation. But we both know the princess has a special bond with me. Perhaps if I went to talk to her and…” Remembering Sandra was on speaker phone he tapped at his temple, “…to see what’s going on…?”
Blair gave him a knowing look. Of course, the Hancock’s had no idea about Tony’s gifts, but they had seen at first hand how attached the little girl was to him. What Blair knew was just how much Tony was missing the children too, to the point that he’d had a nightmare just the day before about a faceless man with a gun taking the children from their beds.
“It could make life a bit more difficult for them in the short term, but as long as Bob and Sandra are willing to deal with the possible fallout…”
Sandra’s sigh sounded positively relieved at the idea, but Blair had a little furrow between his brows and there was a strand of worry worming its way along the Bond. Tony knew the Guide was concerned for him as much as for the children, but he had a feeling deep inside that he and those kids had a connection that would last a long time, even if they eventually lived in separate States.
So plans were made for Tony and Jim to visit while Blair drove into Duluth-with Daniel in tow, to access the paper records at the S/G Centre.
Jack was going to stay behind to fish – or ‘real men’s work’, as he called it, although Tony noticed he looked a little sad to not be seeing the children. DiNozzo made a note to pull him along on one of the visits – never thinking there wouldn’t be more than one – the kids would need a grampa, after all.
Bob and Sandra had a lovely little clapboard house in a leafy suburb of Duluth which was surrounded by quaint little streets and parks. Ideal for a couple of lively kids to grow up in. Tony couldn’t help but contrast it with the house he had grown up in – palatial and cold, in an area where houses were blocks apart, and the children who lived there were nothing but accessories for their parents.
Of course, he had no frame of reference for the planet of his birth, Langara, but during one of their beer-fuelled talks that had lasted until dawn, Daniel had promised to requisition the initial interrogation tapes of his father Jonas that the SGC kept on file. Tony didn’t know how he felt about seeing the man. Part of him wanted the connection, but another part felt so isolated from his true roots, with no chance of ever knowing it fully.
Shaking himself out of the maudlin headspace, he got out of the car but then turned to look back in through the door at Blair.
“Don’t get lost in all those dusty files, Sandburg,” he smirked.
Jim said nothing as his goodbye, just leaned over and gave the Guide a long, deep kiss that left him breathless, and as the Bond reflected, very turned on. Of course, that meant Tony was turned on too, so he joined Blair in glaring half-heartedly at their Sentinel, who sported his own smirk.
He’d hardly stood upright when a high and strangely accented voice sounded behind him.
A whirlwind of curly hair and limbs came hurtling down the path towards him, and only Jim’s solid body behind him prevented them both from ending up on their asses on the sidewalk.
“Toh-nee,” Layla said again as she pressed her cheek against his.
He could hardly see for the tears that clouded his eyes. His name. His little deaf girl who never said a word was saying his name. He leaned back into Jim, and pulled her tightly against his chest, struggling to find his equilibrium.
After a moment, he pulled her slightly away from his chest and made sure she could see his lips.
“Who is my clever little princess then?”
Layla grinned widely and then pressed a kiss onto his cheek, before reaching over his shoulder and pulling Jim down for one too.
“She finds ‘Jim’ and ‘Blair’ too difficult, but she managed your name for the first time last night when we told her you were coming for a visit.”
Bob Hancock stood on the porch of their perfect little house with Elias on his hip, and he looked so right there that Tony felt a lurch in his chest. He’d never let himself imagine that the kids belonged here, in this perfect little house, with the perfect parents – a Sentinel and Guide who could help little Elias through the difficulties of early emergence and work with Layla on her speech and understanding.
It was then he realised just how much he’d been thinking of this as a temporary placement. Just a short-term fostering until… until they could live with him. He was such an idiot. It was obvious that no one in their right mind would allow a single unemployed frat boy to adopt two children, and especially ones with such special needs.
He tried not to let his pain show on his face, Layla was much too adept at reading people; she’d had to be to survive. He turned her onto his hip and affected a smile for Bob and Sandra, who had joined her Sentinel on the stoop.
Someone up there didn’t mean it to be easy on him, however, as Elias lifted his hands and leaned forward in Bob’s arms.
“Ta Ta nama,” he babbled, and though Tony tried not to tell himself the baby wasn’t saying his name, he didn’t manage to be very persuasive.
“Hey there, little man,” he said, his throat tight with emotion. “Look how big you got.”
With a little help from Bob, he situated Elias on his other hip.
Tony found he couldn’t find any words that would sound sappy and ridiculous, but the subtle, Sentinel-friendly chirp of Jim’s cell ringtone gave him a moments breathing space.
“Hello, Chief…” Jim sighed deeply and looked at Tony, his pale eyes full of love and concern, which certainly didn’t help Tony’s emotional equilibrium any.
Without another word, Jim lifted Layla from Tony’s arm and gave him the cell.
“Did you think we didn’t know?” Blair’s tone was gentle and just the sound of his voice made Tony relax a little, although the question was difficult.
“How could you, when I didn’t?” He asked, knowing the Guide wouldn’t need him to explain.
“Because I see you, Anthony, the real you. Those kids had you at ‘hello’.”
Of course, Blair was right, but it seemed Tony just hadn’t let himself see that.
“I’ll bring all the forms back with me today, but don’t say anything to the children until we know for certain, OK? This involves all three of us, so it would’ve taken a little bit of creativity to fill out the official stuff that the Mundane authorities need. But luckily, with Elias being so close to emerging so young, and the fact that I’m sure I can spin Layla’s status as being ‘latent’, then we can get it all handled through S/G channels. It may have to go to Council, but as you know, Jim and I are just about untouchable, so…”
There was a moment of incomprehension, and then Tony realised what Blair was proposing. He knew his mouth was hanging open really unflatteringly, but he had never had anyone offer to give him something so precious.
“But what… how… shouldn’t you and Jim at least talk about it?”
“Da, da, mna, blah na,” Elias chimed in, his little hand patting at Tony’s chin.
“Sounds to me like the little guy is already down with the plan, but I think it’s safe to say that it would be very unfair to Layla to tell her and then leave her there, she’d find it hard to understand I think. Be brave, Tony. Talk to her, tell her you’ll be back soon for another visit, but you have to be strong when it comes time to leave. As to me and Jim… Well, when we get back to the cabin, we’ll talk about it as much as you like, but I’m pretty sure we’re all on the same page.”
“Blair…I… I…” Once again Tony’s throat was tight with emotion.
“Mmhm, I know, Tony and so does Jim. And when you’re ready to say it, we’ll be ready to hear it and say it right back, OK?”
“OK,” Tony breathed out, shakily, scared and elated at the promises tied up in that statement.
Jim took the cell from his hand and pressed a soft kiss to his temple. “Come on, Sweetheart. Let’s go and visit with our kids.”
Tony didn’t know how he’d got so lucky.
“Gibbs. I have news, be’ezrát hashém.”
Ziva sounded uncharacteristically excited, but Gibbs didn’t have the will or patience to deal with her, or her inability to make herself understood in English. He tightened his grip on his cell, fighting the urge to throw it into the grey waters of Lake Superior.
“What the fuck are you talking about, David?”
“What I mean to say is that ‘with the help of God’ there has been some very good luck. I went to the courthouse as we agreed and found that Jonathan O’Neill of Deer River, married a Daniel Jackson there nearly twelve years ago. Abby was able to find me a very old photograph of him. He is a scientist and a fraud who was called a fool for his ideas about the pyramids and aliens of all such stupidity. As I was on my way back to report this to you I have seen this man entering the Sentinel and Guide Centre which is on Lake and 3rd by Central Hillside Park. He has not changed so very much and if I did not know better I would say he was twenty years younger than his actual age. He was accompanied into the Centre by another unidentified male. I managed to take a picture with my camera phone but I am not sure of the quality…”
“Good work, Ziva. Copy the plates on their vehicle and send them to McGee and get that photo to Abby. Tell them to deal with this urgently and to call me directly with the results. I’ll pick up the rental from the motel and come to you. My ETA should be less than ten minutes. You stay put and if they are on the move again, let me know immediately. Do Not Lose Them, understand?”
“Of course, Gibbs. This is not my first horse ride you know. Why, on my first mission as Kidon…”
Gibbs snapped his phone shut before he could tell her what he thought of her stupid English mistakes and her past history. He was however pleased with her lucky break. They’d barely been in Duluth three days and they already had eyes someone who could lead them to Tony. Although there was no guarantee that DiNozzo was still in Minnesota, he had a good feeling about finding him soon. And if he didn’t show up, well Gibbs had his ways of getting information and this scientist husband of the mythical General O’Neill might be exactly what he needed. A soft scientist would be no match for a Marine who had experience in interrogation on his side and who wasn’t afraid to fight dirty.
He threw his empty coffee cup into a trash can then leaned against the railings overlooking the lake. He’d have Tony back where he wanted him soon, and truth be told, he was beginning to enjoy the hunt.