- Explicit Sex
- First Time
“You aren’t allowed to leave NCIS,” Gibbs growled over the phone.
Tony pulled the phone away from his ear to stare at the receiver. “What did you say?”
“I recruited you to NCIS, I say when you can leave it,” Gibbs declared. He sounded rather… smug and certain over the phone and Tony was absolutely certain that if he’d been standing in front of him, he’d be radiating the emotions on every station. “And I haven’t said that you can leave.”
“Well, I’ve unrecruited myself from NCIS and you can just deal with it as I walk out the door,” Tony snapped. He ran a line through NCIS on his list and followed it up by more until there was only a black blob on the page. “And you can tell your Director that your attitude has not only cost you me, but also my sentinel. I’d tell you to have a good day, Gibbs, but I’d be lying,” he said before closing the line without letting the man get another word in edgewise.
“So NCIS is off the list?” Ian asked from his spot on the couch. He had a book in hand and was reading it as Tony started calling around to everyone who needed to be informed of his change in status.
“Yes,” Tony hissed. He pulled his irritation in before his metaphorical tail started lashing. Since their bonding, he’d found that he identified more with his spirit animal than normal. While he wasn’t quite at the stage of sleeping twenty hours in a day, he was fully willing to laze all over Ian when he could. And his temper had both evened out and gotten shorter with anyone who fucked with him.
“Well, okay then,” Ian turned his attention back to his book. “Going to talk to Blair?”
“Yeah.” Tony got up and walked over to sit in Ian’s lap. He plucked the book out of Ian’s hands before he leaned forward to press a kiss on his lips. “Got any suggestions before I reach out to him?”
“Well, we can put our combined resume out on the boards and see who comes knocking,” Ian suggested. At the grimace Tony gave, he laughed. “Not too fond of that idea?”
“Headhunters are assholes and they make me itch,” Tony complained. He thought things over for several seconds before turning back to Ian. “What boards are you talking about?”
“There are boards for bonded pairs. Where the combined talents of the pairs can be taken into consideration and where both can hopefully find a job or set of jobs that work for them both. There are even boards for unbonded sentinels and guides,” Ian explained. “I take it you haven’t used them?”
“No, I got my job in Baltimore by the time-honored process of knowing someone who knows someone,” Tony admitted. “And I wasn’t actually working as a guide while I worked there. I was using my skills as an investigator more than my empathy.”
“I get that,” Ian said as he ran his hands up Tony’s thighs to cup his ass. “What’s got you worried?”
Tony paused as he marshaled his thoughts. “We’re stupidly powerful. Given that, who will come looking at us? Will they want us to go to war for them? Are we willing to go to war? You’ve been. I’ve guarded the home front. I’m not willing to take any Pride I’m part of to a war I can’t support.”
“Right,” Ian agreed as he clenched his hands on Tony’s ass. “How about this… We’ll talk to Blair and see what he has. If he’s got nothing, we put the resumes up and clear anyone who looks our way through Blair?”
“Yeah,” Tony said before he pressed another kiss to Ian’s mouth. He got up and headed back to the table. Picking up his phone, he dialed Blair.
“Hey Blair,” Tony offered as he opened his laptop and pulled up his resume.
“Tony! How’re you two doing, man?” Blair switched gears from professional too warm in a heartbeat.
“We’re good. Starting to consider our place in the wider world,” Tony admitted. He pushed his laptop over to Ian for him to review.
Blair hummed a soft note before he said anything else. “What do you two want?”
“I’m going to put you on speakerphone,” Tony warned. He didn’t want Ian to worry about trying to listen through the small speaker when he could just make things easier. “I know I want to make a difference in the world, but you know what I am. I’m not going to be used. I won’t allow my sentinel to be used either. And with Ian’s skillsets, there are powers in the US that will want to absorb us and use us to make war. We’re not willing to go to war for bullshit reasons.”
From the way Blair was humming, he was thinking over what Tony was saying. After being friends with the Alpha Guide Prime of the US since he’d come online, Tony was well aware of all his habits.
“Tony, it’s Jim,” a new voice cut in.
“Hey Jim,” Tony greeted. “Ian’s here too.”
“He already said hello,” Jim said as he obviously leaned over Blair’s shoulder since it didn’t sound like Blair had switched his phone to the speaker function. Tony glanced over at Ian and shook his head at the smug smile his sentinel gave. “What’s else is the issue?”
“We haven’t been tested to confirm our new levels,” Tony explained. “I know I feel like I’m a hell of a lot stronger, with a deeper reach into the spirit realm.”
“I’m able to hear around the white noise generator that’s outside the suite,” Ian reported. “I can’t really test my sight for distance, but smell, taste, and touch are all ramped up.”
“You two need testing, even if the local Center isn’t the greatest choice for it,” Blair directed. “And Tony, I know I warned you years ago that being a Lion Guide could lead to some issues. You need to take that into consideration with your future employment.”
“What do you mean?” Ian asked sharply. He was staring hard at Tony, a demand for answers pulsing down their bond.
“Shit,” Blair cursed. “I’m sorry, man.”
“It had to come up and you know it,” Tony sighed. He ran a hand through his hair and shrugged. “I’m a Lion Guide, Ian. That means that I have the potential to be a shaman. I’m not right now, but if I walk the path, I’ll come out the other side one.”
“What do you mean ‘walk the path’? Ian asked. He sounded and felt suspicious.
“They mean that if Tony ever dies and comes back, he’ll be a shaman,” Jim explained, voice grim. “It’s something that you need to keep in mind.”
“Fuck,” Ian cursed.
“I don’t have any urge to find out,” Tony soothed. He wanted to thump Blair for his words. “And it’s not something that we need to worry about right now. I’m not planning on living my life in fear of it either.”
“Right,” Ian took a deep breath and then let it out. “Jim, we need someplace to work that will challenge us, but not coddle us.”
“I… might have someplace that you can land at,” Jim mused. He sounded like he was thinking about something hard. “Blair, what do you think about contacting Jack and Daniel?”
“Huh,” Blair grunted softly as he thought things over. “They would be best, I think. Yes, there’s danger, but Jack and his people could use both of them and all their skills. And they would each have a chance to continue learning.”
“Would this ‘Jack’ be the Alpha of wherever you’re suggesting for us?” Tony asked.
“He is,” Jim confirmed. “He’s a Colonel in the Air Force, at a duty station I can’t discuss with you without you two signing an NDA that’s about two inches thick. His guide is a civilian and runs the civilian departments of their command. It’s a joint military and civilian command where the civilians are as respected as the military.”
“That sounds promising. But you aren’t going to give me last names so I can look them up, huh?” Tony asked with a laugh. At the assenting noise Blair gave, he sighed. “Okay, so what? Would Ian be reactivated?”
Ian flashed him a sharp look before staring at the phone. “It’s a good question, Jim. I got out three years ago. While I’m in the Reserves, I can get out at any point due to bonding. I stayed in to keep adding to my retirement, but selling my years in back to the government so it adds to my retirement as an FBI Agent wouldn’t actually bother me all that much.”
“And if you stayed in the Reserves you could get pulled for missions, despite your new job,” Jim mused. “Have they pulled you from your current job?”
“Yeah, I’ve been pulled before. Normally short-term jobs that where they need a sniper who can make the shot and all the active-duty ones are busy. The time they pull me for was added to my active duty totals,” Ian confessed. “But I’m bonded now. And I don’t want the military to pull me out and I put Tony in danger.”
“I can’t promise you that there won’t be danger with Jack and Daniel, but I can promise that the Pride you would be joining would support you 100%,” Jim promised. “And I know that Jack will fight to make sure that you stay with his command and don’t get poached.”
Tony glanced at Ian and sent a pulse of query down their bond. Ian waggled his head back and forth like he was ambivalent about the whole idea. Nodding, he sighed. “We’ll talk to them, guys. We won’t make a decision until we meet with them and can confirm if we can mesh. And if we’ll each have jobs.”
Jim grunted once. “We’ll get that started then.”
“But while we work to get that going, you two need to work with the Center out there on testing. You need to get some idea of what you two are capable of,” Blair directed.
Tony stuck his tongue out at the phone before giving in. “Fine.”
“Mr. DiNozzo, it’s nice to meet you,” Hitchens waved a hand at him as he sat down in a chair in her office. “I’m just going to lay this out. I have no idea how we’re going to be able to test you.”
“Good to be able to put a name to a face,” Tony said with a smile. “Sadly, I think you’re right. It’ll take a stronger guide than any of the ones attached to this Center to be able to help me get an update on my gifts.”
Hitchens nodded once. “I figured. But I certainly don’t want you to think we’re going to push you into anything. I know your sentinel has to go through his own testing, but even that, we’re not sure if we’re going to get the full depth of his gifts.”
Tony cocked his head to the side as he tuned into what Ian was dealing with. “He’s doing okay.”
“I’m sure,” Hitchens said with a nod. “What do you want from us?”
“Mostly, I want confirmation that our bond has settled correctly,” Tony admitted. “And Blair wanted us to at least try to get our levels tested.”
“I’m not nearly as strong as you. I can tell that just from your shields. I won’t be able to do even that,” Hitchens said after several moments thought. “I still think that you’re going to need someone stronger than we have to check you over.”
“We’ll be meeting up with Blair at a later date. I’ll have him check me out,” Tony promised. “And I’ll have him update my records.”
“Thank you,” Hitchens said. She seemed perturbed about something. “Okay, so Dr. Sandburg will do the final review on your gifts.” She looked down at her computer and sighed. “My sentinel just pinged me. He was able to confirm with Sentinel Edgerton that his gifts have expanded and he’s currently able to access up to 50% more than he had before, but he feels that he will have more access with practice.”
“What’s got you freaked out, Hitchens?” Tony asked as she sat and stared at him.
“We’re a small center,” Hitchens started. She ran a finger over the edge of her keyboard. “We mostly handle the trainee agents who might need some minor help as they go through the training process. That’s what I thought when you called me. But you two…”
“Make you want to bare your throat?” Ian asked as he leaned against the door. “Especially to Tony?”
“Yeah,” Hitchens said with a sigh. “I’ve actually read what I can of your files and I know why, but it’s a bit startling to be faced with it.”
“We’re not going to take your place,” Ian promised. “I already informed your sentinel of that and he’s feeling a lot better about me roaming around without him trailing behind me.”
“Okay,” Hitchens blew out a deep breath. “Right. So. FLETC backed down after Dr. Sandburg dealt with the director. We’ve updated your records, and informed your employers. So. We’ve completed everything we can for you. The bonding suite will be yours until you’re ready to move back to wherever you need to go next.”
Tony smiled at her for that. “Thank you. Blair offered to see about setting us up with a potential employer after we checked in here, so with the updates to our records, I think we can see about getting that started.”
“We have conference rooms that you can use. They’re private and we check on a daily basis to make sure that no one has bugged them,” Hitchens offered. She looked happy to be able to provide some kind of help to them.
“Okay. Lead the way to the conference room and I’ll call Blair,” Tony requested.
Hitchens nodded once before she closed down her computer. “Alright, gentlemen. Let’s get started.”
Tony settled into place at the conference room and pulled his phone out as Ian sat down across from him. Setting his phone in the center of the table, he dialed Blair, he leaned back in his chair. “Sandburg!”
“Hey, Blair,” Tony said. “We went through what we could of the testing the Center could do out here.”
“I take it the testing was minimal?” Blair asked.
“Blair, if I’d thinned my shields, I would have freaked out the guide here even more than I do now. She’s a nice lady, but I don’t think she got this job because she’s a super-strong guide. I think it’s because she can organize around an emerging sentinel or guide and the drop of a hat. She certainly took care of us with no warning.”
“You would be right,” Blair admitted. “I checked after the last time we talked.”
“You’ll need to be the one to test me, Blair. I can’t in good conscience do that to another guide. You’ll also need to confirm our bond settled correctly. How soon will you be here?”
“We’re in town, so I can do it,” Blair admitted. “And we’ve got Jack and Daniel with us.”
“Hitchens and her Sentinel have offered us up their conference room,” Ian said from his seat. “If you’re willing to show up?”
“I’ll even bring lunch,” Blair promised. “It won’t be Wonderburger though.”
“Thank God, I hate their food,” Ian said with satisfaction.
“Heathen,” Jim’s voice called from the phone right before it hung up.
Ian started laughing at that. Ellison’s love of that fast food restaurant was well known and everyone knew that Blair did his best to limit his access to it. What was also well known was Blair’s habit of eating healthily. “I hope he brings something with meat.”
Tony snorted softly. “Jim won’t let him bring rabbit food.”