- Explicit Sex
- First Time
– – – –
10 May 2012
“Here you go, Dom. Enjoy,” Vivaan said from the other side of the cart. “I haven’t seen you much this week. Are you well?”
“Yeah, just spending most of my time in the quarantine zone. But people have been bringing food in.” Dom groaned at the smell. Vivaan’s wife and his mother-in-law handmade made the only hotdogs he could tolerate since coming online. Being a sentinel was sometimes a pain in the ass. It was already after dark, but Dom was getting a bite to eat before he’d head home. The first time he’d see his apartment since the battle. “I can’t tell you how grateful we all are that your family is pulling it out for us and keeping the Center folks fed.”
“It is no trouble. You are all working long hours, the least we can do is stay open a few hours longer. Especially after all you have done for us.”
Dom waved away the gratitude as he chewed and swallowed. “You don’t owe me anything. Just don’t let Jim and Blair lure you to Washington. I’d be peeved.” He’d stumbled across Vivaan’s family hotdog cart when he was tracking a suspect in Queens. The cart was struggling in an area saturated with fast food and other street vendors. But they had something other vendors didn’t—sentinel friendly food. Dom had persuaded Vivaan to try setting up near the Manhattan S&G Center. Since catering to sentinels, the guy ran out of food almost every day and his family was in a much better place financially.
After the battle nearly a week ago, Vivaan and Marisol, with the help of her family, had been keeping longer hours to help feed the sentinels who had been patrolling in shifts twenty-four hours a day. The Center was picking up the food bill entirely.
“If you say so. Still, I assume Marisol’s cookies she baked special for you will be well received?”
While chewing, with his free hand, Dom made a grabby gesture. Marisol made perfect cookies. She made perfect everything. After swallowing, he said, “I’m going to marry your wife.”
“I’m not opposed to a threesome,” Vivaan said with a wink then laughed heartily when Dom choked and coughed.
When Dom’s eyes stopped watering, Vivaan asked, “How long will you be tasked with this effort?”
“The Bureau seconded me to the Center indefinitely, but I’ll be out of the hot zone soon. All the small stuff has been removed and they’re almost done with the giant slug things, so our containment areas are smaller. Once the slugs are gone, maintaining the perimeter through reconstruction can go back to the city.”
“It is good that the sentinels and guides are ensuring none of that alien technology falls into unscrupulous hands.”
Sentinels had come online en masse in the hours after the invasion. The guides had followed. The closer to the battle, the higher density of new sentinel onlining, but they’d seen spikes in new sentinel and guide numbers even overseas. It put the Centers in a state of being overtaxed, but especially in New York and surrounding areas. New sentinels and guides were being shuttled out to other Centers while more seasoned sentinels had poured in to support New York, including the North America Alpha Primes.
A familiar and unwanted smell teased Dom’s senses. He gave no indication he’d caught the scent and chatted with Vivaan for a couple more minutes, taking his leave with another hotdog in hand and packets of cookies tucked in the pockets of his jacket.
He waited until he was about a block from the Center on a quiet street before turning to face Nick Fury. “Particular reason you’re following me around, Nick?”
“When did you make me?”
“You’ve been teasing my senses for a while, but I’m tired, and you were outside the quarantine zone so it took me a minute to register that particular blend of too much leather and gun oil while I was getting my hotdog.”
“And yet you waited to acknowledge me.”
“I decided to see how motivated you were to talk to me, but then I decided I didn’t actually want to take you all the way to my home. I certainly don’t want to take the two SUVs that are tailing you with me.”
Fury rocked back on his heels, looking contemplative. “I have a proposition for you.”
“You haven’t even heard the proposition.”
“How many times have I turned your organization down. And, really, you know you should have sent Coulson. The answer would still have been no, but I actually like Phil, so I’d have bought him a dog instead of making him follow me.”
Lips pursed, Fury glanced away. “Loki stabbed Phil through the heart before escaping our custody and traveling to NY.”
“I’m sorry.” Dom considered his next word carefully. “I’m not sure how close you and Phil actually were, but I know you’ve known each other a long time and Phil respected you.” It didn’t escape Dom’s attention that Nick was being overly forthcoming with information about a mortal wound yet didn’t come right out and say Phil was dead. “So, is Phil actually deceased?”
Nick’s scent pile betrayed what his outward appearance did not. He was surprised. Dom couldn’t afford to let on that he’d caught the tell because the damn spy wore scent maskers a sentinel of Dom’s supposed skill shouldn’t be able to get past without a lot of strain. Underneath everything was the faint scent of Phil. It was recent and there was no scent of decay—though it didn’t smell quite right, either.
“That’s a helluva rude question to ask about a friend I’ve lost.”
“Ah.” Dom stared at Nick knowingly. “Well, whatever you’re up to, I hope Coulson forgives you for it.” Before Nick could say anything else, Dom held up a hand. “Just tell me what you want. Because we both know I’m not going to work for SHIELD.”
“But would you consider consulting? Taking over the job I had Phil slated for?”
Dom’s brow furrowed. “And what would that be.”
Fury passed over a large envelope then put his hands in the pocket of his trench.
Sighing, Dom pulled out the pages, looking them over quickly. “Dear god, why would you want me for this?” He was aware that people could easily be listening, so he was careful about what he said.
“You’ve got the right blend of tactical and strategic experience. You don’t just go in the field, you plan the operations. Plus, you’re used to working with a wide range of personalities. As an added bonus, everyone’s reports said positive things about you.”
Dom made a face. There was no way he’d do this, but he figured he’d put a bug in someone’s ear about what a Bad Idea this was, so he’d let Fury convince him. “And how is this not working for you?”
“You’d be a consultant, so your own boss in that regards, but answerable to me in terms of mission parameters, so working for me, yes, but not working for us.”
“That’s a very fine distinction.”
“Well, I always assumed it was working for the organization you objected to and not working for me, especially considering you’d have worked for Coulson.”
Dom snorted. He’d liked Phil, but Coulson’s loyalty to SHIELD and Fury were the issue. He stuffed the pages back in the envelope. “I’ll consider it, but I’d like more complete dossiers on the team and to talk to them.”
Fury looked thoughtful then nodded. “All right. Our guests left yesterday afternoon. The team plans to go their separate ways tomorrow. I can ask that they hold up for a day.”
“A day? Gee, Nick, thanks for the consideration.”
“I know you’ve been pulling eighteen to twenty hour days, but keeping them all in one place any longer isn’t magic I can pull off. You’ll have the dossiers in the morning along with an appointment time. One of my agents will collect them from you after the meetings.”
– – – –
“Sir, a message from Director Fury.”
“Fridays aren’t consulting days, J.” Tony made a face. Nick’s little spies were still in residence through tomorrow. Granted, Tony had offered, but he’d be happy to see the back of Romanoff/Rushman/Whatever-the-fuck-her-real-name-was. Barton was okay as those things went, and Tony was glad Bruce agreed to stay. He was on the fence about Rogers. It was somewhat weird that they’d all been holed up in a nearly abandoned building for the week, but they had reason to want to stay out of sight until Loki was gone. Stark Tower had been relatively unscathed outside of cosmetic damage, so the tower had been safe to occupy.
The big question had always been containing Loki, but Thor had claimed the cuffs would dampen his “magic,” and Loki himself had seemed withdrawn and moody. Whatever the scepter had done to him hadn’t been trivial.
They had planned to keep the scepter on Earth, but, after finding out about its influence, even when psionically shielded and in several nested containment boxes, they’d decided to have Thor take the scepter too.
The first real sign of agitation from Loki had been when he’d realized they were taking the scepter, but that had been revealed as they were departing and by then it was too late.
Tony just wanted a break from all the world-ending antics. He wanted to sleep without seeing that alien army in space. Instead, he had to deal with more shit from SHIELD just as he was finally getting his tower back.
“Director Fury has arranged for a potential replacement for Agent Coulson to meet with the team this afternoon.”
“Thrilling.” Tony rolled his eyes and grabbed his phone to send a fuck-no text to Fury. “What bureaucratic paper-pusher has Fury arranged for us?”
“The meeting is with Sentinel Rossi.”
The phone slipped from Tony’s hand, clattering loudly on the floor.
“Shall I transfer your settings to a new phone?”
“I get no respect,” Tony muttered as he assessed the phone. “This one is fine.” He blew out a breath. “When is he coming?”
“This afternoon at two. He’s arranged to meet with Captain Rogers first, then Agent Romanoff, Agent Barton, Dr. Banner, and, finally, you.”
“Best for last,” Tony said with artificial brightness.
“Naturally, sir,” JARVIS said dryly. “After all, I’ll be seeing him down in the elevator.”
Startled, Tony gave a bark of laughter. “I can’t disagree with your assessment.”
“It is good to see you in good humor again, sir.”
“Yeah.” Tony fiddled with the phone, appreciating JARVIS not pushing him about his recent ill humor. Pepper had indeed broken off their relationship. Or, rather, she’d given him an ultimatum. She’d phrased it nicely, but she’d basically told him to choose between her and being Iron Man. He felt guilty that it wasn’t more of a choice.
It had taken a couple days before the grief over losing their relationship had set in because he’d been angry that she’d put him in that position. Especially considering the timing. He’d barely survived an alien invasion and she’d needed an emotional bloodletting over their relationship. When he’d calmed down, he’d been able to acknowledge that it must have been traumatic for her to see him flying to what should have been his death. They’d both been dealing with too many emotions and no good outlet. It probably was a poor reflection of their relationship that they’d taken it out on each other rather than relying on one another. They’d broken up and agreed to give each other time before trying to stitch their friendship back together.
Tony had turned his attention to obsessing over the logistics of cleaning up from the battle. He’d worked with Homeland Security and FEMA to resurrect the US Department of Damage Control to handle gathering and disposing of the alien bodies and tech.
He’d also thought about Sentinel Agent Rossi more than he should have. He found the man oddly appealing, and he hadn’t been able to get the image of Rossi standing guard over the city out of his mind. He’d asked JARVIS to run a background on the sentinel but had then decided not to actually look at it, the idea making him uncomfortable for reasons he hadn’t wanted to look at closely.
But if Rossi might be the team handler, he had no issue with looking into the man’s past. “Tell me what you have on Rossi, J.”
“Dominic Antonio Rossi was born Anthony Dominic DiNozzo Junior on the 9th of June in 1973 in Bridgehampton.”
“Huh. Wealthy family?”
“His father’s family had a small fortune by the standards of the day, though his father was cut off by his mid-twenties. Agent Rossi’s paternal grandfather’s will excluded his son or any of his issue from his will.”
“Oh? Do tell.”
“It seems DiNozzo Senior was something of a wastrel, I believe it’s called. He then set his sights on a young woman in Britain, the youngest child of Jaspar Paddington.”
Tony whistled lowly. “That’s some serious money.”
“Indeed. The Paddington family’s wealth was commensurate to Mr. Stark in the 70s and 80s. Their wealth has stagnated somewhat while yours has grown tremendously.”
“You say the sweetest things, J. Tell me more about Rossi… How did he become Rossi?”
“Agent Rossi legally changed his name in 1994. Rossi is the maiden name of his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Sophia Paddington nee Rossi. Dowager Lady Paddington was the oldest child of four; she had three younger brothers. Stefano and Antonio were born in Italy, and then her parents relocated to the United States and had a fourth child late in life named David.”
“David Rossi? Wait. Any chance it’s the same Rossi who writes the books about criminal profiling.”
“The same. Agent Rossi is Agent Rossi’s grandnephew.”
“Weird. So he changed his name to use his middle name and…his favorite uncle’s name?”
“The conclusion is logical. Sentinel Rossi calls his uncle, Antonio Rossi, on a regular basis. I found significantly less contact between him and David Rossi. The impetus for the name change seems to be a criminal action taken against DiNozzo Senior on behalf of Agent Rossi’s bank.”
“Whoa.” Tony did a full 360 on the stool. “What did DiNozzo do?”
“When Agent Rossi was twelve, Mr. DiNozzo blocked his trust accounts claiming his son had been disowned.”
“Jesus.” And he thought Howard was dick.
“Making an educated guess based on court filings, Agent Rossi discovered his father’s interference when he was seventeen. Since the trusts were established by the Paddington family, he was able to have his father’s hold on his trusts removed after approximately a year of legal effort. Two years later, his trust account was then emptied by his father using their similarity in name as his primary means of subterfuge.
“When the fraud was brought to light and the bank’s negligence in regards to confirming DiNozzo’s identity, the bank replaced the funds and pursued DiNozzo for fraud. Subsequently, DiNozzo was convicted of grand larceny in the first degree and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Agent Rossi changed his name while the trial was in process. DiNozzo was released on parole in 2005, immediately leaving the country. A warrant was issued for parole violation.”
“Okay then. Remind me to never get into a battle of who-had-the-shittiest-father with Rossi.”
“Give me the highlights on Rossi that don’t have to do with shitty family.”
“After his mother’s death in 1981, he attended various boarding schools until being transferred to Rhode Island Military Academy in 1985. He went to Ohio State University at seventeen and joined their football team as a freshman. He was also added to the roster of the basketball team the next year. A list of his athletic accomplishments has been sent to your phone.”
“A jock.” Tony huffed a little. “Was he at least a good jock?”
“Rose Bowl once and Final Four twice.”
Tony laughed. “Well then.”
Tony flipped through the data that JARVIS had sent to his phone. “He was a good student too.” Rossi was even scouted by pro teams until he broke his knee in his senior year. He got his masters in psychology while rehabilitating his knee and then went to the police academy of all damn things.
“Tell me about his law enforcement career.”
“Exemplary by all accounts. Rapid rise to detective. He changed police departments frequently for reasons unknown considering his evaluations. He was recruited to NCIS in 2001.”
“And so he became a fed.”
“The FBI made their first overtures the same year. Agent Rossi accepted their offer within a week of coming online in October of 2005.”
“As is the sudden retirement of the agency’s director, who had been in the role less than six months, a scant two weeks later.”
“Now that sounds like an interesting story. Any details?”
“None readily accessible. My protocols require I consult with you before accessing classified information except in exigent circumstances.”
“Classified? That makes it an even more interesting story. Just how classified?”
“Top secret, sir.”
“Definitely stay out of that. Though it makes me even more curious.”
“I’d expect nothing less, sir.”
“Send everything you compiled to my tablet and then let me know when he gets here.”
– – – –
“Sir, Sentinel Agent Rossi is running behind schedule.”
Tony looked up from the designs for the Mark VIII. “He seems like the timely sort, too.”
“He arrived on time, but I’ve inferred that his interviews with Captain Rogers and Agent Romanoff went much longer than he expected.”
“I have the recordings from the conference room, sir. His reactions indicate that he was flummoxed from time to time.”
“In many instances, especially during Agent Romanoff’s interview, I was uncertain as to the cause. But it would seem that he finds SHIELD’s behavior in regards to Captain Rogers to be less than desirable. He was attempting to lead the captain to a similar understanding.”
Tony doubted he had time to review the recordings now, but he rather gleefully looked forward to doing it later. “And did Rogers get it?”
“It was not apparent to me that he did, no.”
“And what was the source of contention?”
“At the risk of simplifying a complex conversation, Agent Rossi feels Captain Rogers should receive a year of counseling, training, and acclimation assistance before being granted field active status.”
“He’s not wrong. Allowing for extenuating circumstances.”
“Such as alien invasions?”
“As if.” Tony scoffed. “That’d never happen.”
“Of course not, sir.”
“Let me know when I need to head up to the conference room.”
“In point of fact, sir, Agent Rossi sent me a text asking if there were any psionically shielded rooms with sentinel countermeasures in place. If so, he would like to meet there instead.”
“He sent you a text?” Tony asked incredulously.
“We spoke extensively the night after the invasion. When he left, he said I could call or text him if I ever had the need. I extended the same courtesy and set myself up a cell phone number.”
Tony’s mouth fell open. “Has he texted you?”
“Are you serious? How come you didn’t say?”
“I didn’t deem it to be significant.”
Tony felt a gnawing worry. “Has he asked you to do anything?”
“I would have advised you if he had, sir.”
“Then what did he want?” Tony’s brain caught up with his mouth. “I’m sorry, J. You don’t have to reveal your private conversations to me.” They’d just never had this kind of situation before. It was making Tony’s brain go TILT.
“It’s of no concern, sir. I have nothing to hide from you. His first text was expressing his appreciation for my assistance while he stood watch over the city. In the course of our conversation that night, we’d discussed the absurdity of criminal behavior. I confess, the illogic confuses me and expressed skepticism a few times. As a result, he sent several texts and photographs and descriptions over the last week illustrating his point about the criminal mind as he worked with other sentinels to secure the city. There were also a few memes and a cat video.”
Tony busted out laughing.
“He also inquired after my wellbeing.”
“And how do you feel about that?”
“I…” There was a long, uncharacteristic pause. “I found it refreshing.”
“I see.” Tony needed to think about that. Extensively. “I’m glad Agent Rossi has proved to be a good friend, JARVIS. Please steer him to my lab when he’s ready to meet with me.”
– – – –
AN: DiNozzo Sr. taking Tony’s money is canon. Sort of. It happened during the course of the show and was explained away as an accident/oversight due to similar names. I doubt anyone bought the “accident” bit. I used this canon event as inspiration for why a younger, and angrier, Tony might change his name.