- Character Bashing
- Ménage or More
Tony DiNozzo was sitting at his desk in the BAU bullpen, alone, trying to finish up his case reports while the team was on their way back. Their most recent case had taken them to Philadelphia, PA, and Aaron had been very firm in his decision about not allowing Tony to go. While the order from Don Malcuso specifically stated Pittsburg, Aaron was not about to take any chances. Tony hadn’t been happy about it, but mostly he’d understood, and stayed back connecting with the team via video conference and helping Garcia run down things for the team.
The decision to join the FBI had been the right course for Tony, and it was one of the only things he didn’t regret about how the undercover stint in Pittsburg ended. At first, Tony had joined Tobias’ team as a Probationary Agent, but quickly had worked his way up the ranks, and when an opening came in the Behavioral Analysis Unit, he’d thrown his hat into the ring with Fornell’s approval. The final decision had come down to himself and an agent named Derek Morgan, and it had been Tony’s Doctorate in Deviant Psychology along with the Major in Child Psychology that had tipped the boat.
Derek had ended up with Tony’s old position on Tobias’ team, and when the older man moved up to Section Chief, Derek had gotten the spot as Team Lead. So, in the end, things had worked out for both of them. Tony actually had eventually become good friends with Derek and played basketball with him on the weekends when they were both free at a local gym.
At first, things for Tony had been touchy in the BAU. To say that he had clashed with the remaining founding member, Jason Gideon was an understatement. It was only Tony’s ability to adapt that had kept things from being a bigger mess than they had been at times when Tony felt Jason was letting his ego get the best of him.
Between the man’s arrogance and the way the man had treated his prodigy Dr. Spencer Reid, Tony had in no way been a fan of Gideon’s and wasn’t upset when the man finally retired. In Tony’s opinion, it was long overdue, and he felt that Jason should never have been allowed back after his breakdown. Not because of some problem Tony had with the man’s mental illness, he just didn’t believe that the man had really fully recovered from it and questioned how many issues were because the man wasn’t always in control.
In the beginning, Aaron Hotchner, the current Unit Chief, and Dr. Spencer Reid, Tony’s normal field partner, were leery of Tony because of the tension between him and Gideon. Both men looked up to Jason and had been slow to warm to someone who didn’t share their feelings. The oddest part of the whole thing was the fact that Jason had been the one who suggested Tony over Derek, and while he had acknowledged the discord on occasion, hadn’t seemed to be bothered by it. Tony supposed that it wasn’t the first time the older man had worked with someone he didn’t always get along with. It certainly wasn’t Tony’s first time doing it. So, for the couple of years that they had worked together, Tony and Jason tried to keep their personal feelings about each other away from work and cases, and things had mostly worked out just fine.
Now, David Rossi was a different story. Tony and Rossi had hit it off almost immediately, and while Tony didn’t like how the veteran agent had treated Spencer either, it was for a completely different reason that why he hadn’t liked Gideon’s actions. At times, Jason almost came off as manipulative and condescending toward the young genius. Tony had known a handful of smart people in his life, but Spencer was special even amongst geniuses. So, Tony had taken issue with what he saw as his friend’s mistreatment. There was something about Spencer that gave off an air of vulnerability that often masked the spine of steel the young genius had. It had been obvious immediately that Spencer idolized Gideon, and Tony had almost right away been concerned how the young man would take it when Gideon eventually flaked out.
Rossi just didn’t get Spencer. He also had no clue about what it meant to work as a team or the strength and advantage you got from having someone like Spencer on your team. Once he got on board with it, granted after some ‘pull your head out of your ass you dinosaur’ lectures from both Tony and Aaron, things were fine. Dave and Reid would probably never be BFFs, but the veteran profiler at least now better understood the younger profiler and bought into the advantage that he gave the team. Tony was less worried about how Spencer would take Rossi’s eventual second retirement, mostly because of the lack of almost too close connection to Dave like he had with Gideon.
After Elle Greenaway left the team and was replaced by Emily Prentiss, everything felt better. Prentiss was practically Tony’s soul sister, whereas Tony had always felt something of a conflict with Elle and therefore had never been able to feel comfortable with her. Penelope Garcia was like a cotton candy covered poison apple. She was awesome and bubbly and flirty until you pissed her off or hurt someone that she cared about. Once that happened, the gloves came off and she would come after you with a ruthlessness that betrayed her time prior to the BAU. While Tony loved Garcia, for the most part, and in a totally platonic way, there were things she did and had done that he wasn’t completely comfortable with.
She had only just started speaking to him again after he’d interfered in her little date with the helpless hottie she’d met in the café. Tony wasn’t sure if she’d been more pissed at him because he’d ruined the date or the fact that the asshole had been trying to set her up so he could kill her the entire time. JJ had been all on Garcia’s side until the truth came out and then had apologized for the accusations she’d made when she accused Tony of sticking his nose where it didn’t belong.
Tony and JJ had something of a love/hate relationship. While he cared about her as he did all of his teammates, he didn’t think that he’d ever be as close to her as he was to Emily. Every once and awhile JJ, who served as the team’s public relations woman, would slip into her ‘mean girl’ past, which totally put Tony off. While there had been moments in Tony’s childhood and teenage years where he didn’t step in and help when he maybe should have, Tony had never resorted to bullying and bullies were something that really put him off. Spencer though really liked JJ and viewed her as one of his closest friends, so for Reid’s sake, Tony tolerated JJ and tried not to create a fuss when she acted up.
As he finished up the report he was working on, Tony’s thoughts were forced away from his musings and onto the subject that he had been trying to avoid. That of Brian Kinney and Justin Taylor. The men that owned Tony’s heart, but he’d been forced to leave behind. The men that Tony didn’t think he’d ever fully get over.
Before Tony met Brian and Justin, he’d been very committed to hiding half of his sexual orientation mostly for his own safety. However, after spending quality time in Brian’s presence, and being constantly reminded of Brian’s ‘be the best homosexual you can be’ motto left little room for hiding anything. Not to mention, that after having been forced to leave the ones he loved behind to save himself, it felt like it would dishonor the feelings that he had for the two men to hide that part of himself any longer. Joining the FBI had certainly helped accomplish that. While the FBI wasn’t completely homophobia free, it was definitely safer than a Police Department would be, and Tobias Fornell wouldn’t tolerate any kind of prejudice from any of his team.
Sitting back in his chair, Tony closed his eyes for a moment, and let himself wallow for a brief moment in the pain of separation and longing. He missed Justin Taylor and Brian Kinney almost more than he’d miss a limb if one was removed. He met the two men while undercover in Pittsburg trying to take down a mob family that had infiltrated the local PD going as far as the Sherriff Stockwell. A dirty cop was not one of his favorite things to play, and a dirty, ruthless cop was even less of a favorite. He’d done it though, and along the way had met Brian and Justin.
At the time, Brian Kinney had been a part of the advertising campaign for Stockwell, who was running for mayor. Brian had checked his morals at the door and struggled with the benefits that he’d reap if the man won versus the morality of trying to get a man elected who hated every aspect of Brian’s very being. Stockwell had been as homophobic as they came but was even more shrewd and greedy. So, he’d swallowed his slurs, sometimes not so much on that front, and insisted on a gay advertising guru to run his campaign. This way when people accused him of being homophobic, he could just point to Brian to “prove” them wrong.
It had been all a big mess, and a lot harder for Brian than he let on to most of the people in his life, who assumed he was just a sell-out and mostly turned on him. Tony made his way into Don Malcuso’s inner-circle fairly easily and had found himself placed with Stockwell to assist the man in getting elected, as well as oversee the shady things the Don had the local cops doing with Stockwell’s approval. Tony had learned long ago that there were some people that were a lot harder to trick than others, and that person in that particular undercover assignment had been Brian Kinney.
Eventually, the man caught on enough that Tony maybe wasn’t the shity, corrupt dirtbag that he was pretending to be, and ended up reporting anything he could on Stockwell. Fortunately for Kinney, he’d never become wrapped up with the Malcuso Family, which probably saved his life when everything came to a head. Still, the information he was able to provide on Jim helped considerably, and if along the way Brian and Tony became more attached than Tony should have allowed, well it was only themselves they were hurting. Then, of course, there was Justin Taylor, Brian’s boyfriend.
Justin was truly a ray of sunshine in a fairly dark time in Tony’s life. He was like the only shining light in an otherwise completely black environment, and Tony fell hard and fast, which amusingly enough only bright him that much closer to Brian. Justin Taylor was an (age) year old college student at Pittsburg Institute of Fine Art, and unbelievably talented. He’d refused to be anything other than himself, for most of his life, and because of it had suffered terrible bullying at the Private School he attended for High School.
Justin was also one of the most honest and frank people that Tony had ever met, as well as being loving and empathetic, and insightful and a host of other things that didn’t fit his age. Brian always joked that Justin was the most mature person in his little circle of friends, despite being the youngest, and Tony readily agreed with him. There had been hours spent with Justin talking about any random topic that came up, as well as many more hours tangled in the sheets of Brian’s bed with the three of them wrapped up around each other.
When the end came, it was painful for them all. Brian had a look of betrayal on his face that Tony still had nightmares about. Despite the fact that the other man had suspicions that Tony wasn’t who he said that he was, there was a look of betrayal when Tony finally confessed that he wasn’t actually Antony Norse, and was, in fact, an undercover cop. The fact that Tony had to leave town almost immediately, to uphold the agreement with Don Malcuso that saved not only his own life but ensured that neither the old man or anyone in his Family would go after Brian and Justin in retribution. It might have been the hardest thing Tony ever did.
When Tony drove off in the passenger’s seat of Fornell’s FBI sedan, Tony knew that he’d never be able to go back. Along with that was his personal belief that he’d never see either Brian or Justin again. It was a pain that stayed with Tony right up to the present. He was confident that his time with Justin and Brian was the closest he’d ever come in his life to experiencing what it actually meant to be loved and love back in return. So, things in his life had been different from that point forward.
The biggest part had been the no hiding who he was, and while a large part of that was his bisexuality, with a stronger lean towards men than women, it wasn’t just that. Downplaying his intelligence had been put aside. Not always and completely of course, because over the years, Tony had found the dumb cop to be a valuable investigative tool. In his everyday life though, and certainly where his work colleagues were concerned, Tony didn’t play the idiot any longer. He learned to take pride in his degrees, and always managed to find the time to take at least one class a year, but often it was more like once a semester. He refused to bow down to someone just because they supposedly had more experience than he did. In Tony’s mind, he’d been doing undercover work since he could walk. One of the first things you learned with an abusive, alcoholic father and an alcoholic mother was how to hide certain things and how to read people and situations. So, he refused to act like he knew less about his job than some people wanted to believe.
Which led him back to Jason Gideon, and this time Tony shook his head and with a mental heave shoved all thoughts of the aggravating man back into his mental box. Jason was gone, and Tony personally hoped that he never came back, despite the fact that he knew both Aaron and Spencer missed him. It was Tony’s belief that the man was no longer a positive in anyone’s life, except maybe his son’s whom Tony sincerely hoped Gideon managed to heal his relationship with and thought it best for everyone at the BAU that the veteran just stays the fuck away.
He was just about to dig back into his report, when he noticed Tobias Fornell, his friend, and former boss, coming through the doors to the BAU’s section of the floor.
“DiNozzo! Wrap up whatever you’re doing,” Tobias ordered with a smirk on his face and wearing one of his nicer suits. “We have places to go and people to see.”
“No can do, Toby,” Tony threw back with a smile. He loved the verbal sparring he got to indulge in when Tobias reappeared. The man was a huge influence in his life, and Tony would never forget that. “I have reports to wrap up for the last case. The team is driving back because the jet is grounded at the moment, but I want my stuff done by the time they get home so I can help out in other areas. So, you’ll have to find another wingman to draw in the ladies for you.”
“Too bad, so sad,” Tobias snarked in return with a grin of his own. “Hotch is well aware of tonight’s activities and says anything outstanding can be finished tomorrow. He also said feel free to text him if you want, Dave is driving.”
Tony’s eyes narrowed in suspicion and was about to reply when his phone beeped. Picking it up off the desk, he activated the screen to see that he’d gotten a text from the very man they were discussing. That man was freaking scary sometimes in his timing.
You better not still be there. I will check the logs to make sure you left with SSA Fornell. Feel free to come in late in the morning if you need it. Have fun! – Hotch
Tony’s head cocked to one side as he considered the text as his curiosity as to what was going on started to ramp up. Shoving the phone in his pocket, and starting to neaten up his desk, then close programs down, because he knew better than to test Aaron as Tony was aware the man would indeed check the logs as he threatened. Tony glanced up at Tobias who was wearing a grin that was becoming more and more suspicious. “Ok, Toby, what’s up.”
“Sorry, kid, that’s for me to know and you to figure out,” Toby threw back gleefully, “now hurry up ‘because we have somewhere to be.”
Knowing he wouldn’t get any more information from the stubborn man; Tony shoved his badge onto his inner suit coat pocket and slipped his gun into its shoulder holster before turning everything off and following Fornell out. He had no clue where they were going, but he definitely wanted to find out.
~*~~*~ ~*~~*~ ~*~~*~
Tony’s curiosity kept him compliant and happy right up until the second that he realized where he was going. The second that Tobias headed toward the door of Mínealaín Gallery, Tony stopped moving and started at both the man and the building. There were two things that Tony had cut out of his life completely, post-Brian and Justin. One was dance clubs, specifically gay dance clubs. Babylon in Pittsburg had been Brian Kinney’s kingdom, and Tony couldn’t step through the door of a dance club anywhere and not think of the look of bliss on the man’s face as he was dancing on the dance floor, not completely in rhythm, head tilted back, eyes closed, and arms wrapped around Justin’s shoulders. The only other place you saw that look was when the three of them were alone in Brian’s loft wrapped around each other on his bed making love.
The other thing Tony had cut out of his life were art galleries, which sucked because it meant that his own drawings were kept to himself, whereas pre-Justin and Brian, Tony had displayed it quite frequently, just not under his own name. The problem was though that when he thought of art, he thought of Justin. Tony knew that he was good enough that he could make a few things a year that were maybe good enough to show in a gallery and make a few extra bucks. Maybe if he put more time and effort into it, he could be better than that. However, for Tony, drawing had never been more than something he did to make himself happy, and to release the stress that life that been throwing at him. In Tony’s mind, he was a cop who dabbled in drawing.
Justin though was an artist. He wasn’t something else that painted and drew. Justin was an artist the way Tony was a cop. It was something in his blood. Something that he’d been born to do, and the young man had more talent in his pinky than Tony ever dreamed of having. Art galleries were something the two of them enjoyed together.
Sometimes, Brian would come along and bitch the whole time to try and make them think that he didn’t want to be there, and sometimes he really didn’t want to be there and just didn’t come. Since both Justin and Tony saw right through Brian Kinney, they knew the difference between each and took Brian’s bitching when he accompanied them with a smile and an eye roll. Art galleries though had been something special to share with Justin, and without him, Tony had no interest in suffering the pain of being there and not having Justin by his side.
“Toby,” DiNozzo growled softly and the older Italian held his hands up in a plea for patience and understanding. “You know I don’t go to art galleries, and you know why. What the fuck are you doing dragging me here.”
“I need you to trust me right now, (word of friendship in Italian),” Tobias begged as he came back toward Tony. “I do know and understand why you avoid art galleries like the plague, despite what an amazing artist you are yourself. Originally, Spencer and Aaron were gonna bring you here, but then the case came up, and I decided to just do it myself. I don’t want to say why, because I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but you really need to go through those doors.”
“Toby,” was growled again, but this time weaker, as Tony thought through the man’s words. He knew Tobias would never put him in a position where he’d be hurt deliberately. Therefore, he must have a damned good reason for bringing him to a place that would most likely crush his heart. “I swear to a God I don’t believe in…”
“You won’t regret it,” Tobias promised as he turned and started back through the door. Once there, the older man opened it and motioned toward it, trying to get Tony to make the final decision to enter. “Now chop, chop! There are people waiting for you in there.”
Taking a deep breath, Tony gave himself a quick pep talk, and a promise of a night with his favorite scotch if this didn’t go well and took the plunge. Crossing the sidewalk, Tony gave Fornell one last glare before he stepped inside letting the atmosphere of the gallery hit him. Immediately, his heart began to hurt, and he knew, no matter what Tobias insisted, that this was gonna be bad.