Title: Lion Rampart
Fandom: NCIS, The Sentinel, Barney Miller, Criminal Minds
Relationships: Tony/Gibbs, Blair/Jim, Wojo/Barney
Genre: Oh, So AU and a Mystery
Warnings: Mention of murder, possible torture and I’ll add more as it comes. Expect sex, some rock and roll, the drugs are iffy and you can be certain that there will be low humor.
Notes: Yes, I am aware of what happened in the show BM. Tough. I wanted a good set of really tough characters to be decent role models for a young Tony DiNozzo and they fit. If this wigs you out, try the ‘back’ button. Both you and I will be happier.
Beta: No Beta
“Well that is a mess,” Tony remarked softly as he stared at the body they had been called out on. From the angle he was looking at the deceased from, he could see at least one bullet hole, a large slice on the stomach and it looked like he had been hit by something at least once.
“Pictures and sketch, DiNozzo.” Gibbs directed. While he and Tony were partners, he was senior in the field as far as NCIS was concerned. Tony was just about out of his training period and he was holding onto his patience for all he was worth over some of the bullshit he had been fed in the classes he attended two days out of the week.
“After you run a sweep over the scene first,” Tony disagreed. More often than not, the cause of death was relatively easy to determine, but if he had seen three potentially fatal wounds without even getting close to the body, that didn’t bode well for an easy crime scene. “I have my booties and recorder on, and we can walk the crime scene if you need it, Jethro.”
His Sentinel shot him a speaking glance, but Tony gazed back at him evenly. “Fine,” Jethro conceded with ill grace.
Pulling on his own booties, Gibbs waited until his Guide was in position behind him and had placed his hand at the small of his back in the classic support position. Tony’s training by Sandburg and Wojo showed through strongly as the Guide followed him into the room, stepping in exactly the same footsteps. The support that he was getting for his gifts underlay each and every action that the Guide did and the Sentinel took a deep breath before letting his gifts out in the layered pattern he had been taught for crime scenes. “The victim is approx 6’1” tall, weighs in at 195lbs. He was a smoker, but not a heavy one, of Marlboro Light 100’s. He has a BAC of 0.11% and was drinking Smirnoff Vodka shots before he died.
“From this angle, without shifting the body any, I can determine that he was poisoned (with cyanide), was shot by a .38 caliber bullet, had his stomach slashed with what looks like a sword and hit by a baseball bat. There are indications that there is at least one more wound and I think Ducky needs to check the status of his liver. He is leaking all sorts of indicators for the initial stages of cirrhosis.
“The current crime scene is not where the deceased died. No matter how much blood we find. It is all his, from what I can smell, but it was spread by someone. I am getting hints of plastic contaminants in the blood, so we may want to see if any of it shows that it was stored in something similar to a blood bank bag. Either that or it was caught in a new plastic tarp. Whoever dropped the victim off worked very hard to disguise their scent, to the point of wearing a neutralizer, but it wasn’t working all that well. I have Gain detergent, Listerine and Biotene for their oral care with the Aussie shampoo that the stores sell in the purple bottles and Lever 2000 for body wash. And I’m done.”
From the way the air shifted, the Sentinel could tell that his partner had turned off his recorder and he waited until the Guide had put both his hands back on him before he tried to move. Stepping back, Gibbs could feel Tony setting his feet in the same spots he had walked in on and followed his lead. As soon as they were out of the way, he walked over the paper they had set up for just this purpose and tried to pull his senses in. Letting them flow out was as natural as breathing and he normally had a modified sensory awareness of everything within fifteen feet of him. But the level he had just forced himself to move on was turning everything on full and on one small area. It was disconcerting in the extreme to know everything that intimately.
When his Guide carefully gathered him in his arms, Gibbs let him and pulled him close, tucking his face into the warm spot where shoulder met neck. It smelled fully of Tony and home and after filling his nose with death, the life of his Guide pulsing under his lips was just what he needed. Once he was tucked in, the process of reeling everything was much easier, and Jethro found himself on an even keel soon enough. While he was getting back to normal, he heard Ducky and Gerald pull in with the ME van.
With one final deep breath of Guide laden air, Gibbs pressed a kiss against the pulse that throbbed under his lips and stepped back out of his partner’s arm. Tony looked at him and the Sentinel stood steady under his gaze, letting the other man conduct his own scan. When the Guide nodded, Gibbs turned back to the scene and after checking the booties protecting his shoes from the gore, grabbed his specimen case and walked back in to start processing.
“Ah, Jethro. We got lost. Again. Let me know when I can take the body in for processing,” Ducky commented from his spot just inside the police tape.
Three hours later, and many, many pieces of evidence later, they had finished processing the scene. Ducky had determined that their dead man had died about twelve hours before he had been found. Which meant that whoever owned the house they had found the deceased in, needed a damn good alibi. The body had been loaded into the ME wagon and taken back to NCIS for further processing and Ducky had promised to get back to them as quickly as possible with the results.
The trip back to NCIS was as silent as the drive to the crime scene had been and Gibbs shifted in the driver’s seat of the van. He had felt the burn of his Guide’s temper before, after all Tony had made no secret of the fact that he had one. It was just… This was the first time it had even remotely been directed at him and he was unsure on how to diffuse it enough that they could talk things through and not get into a screaming argument.
“You know, I’m not upset at you,” Tony informed him from the passenger seat. “Perkins hit a few buttons with his rant and if you and the Director hadn’t come down when you had, he would have been a very sorry moron. Which is why I sent Pacci up to get you two.”
“Oh,” Jethro nodded carefully and tried not to sigh in relief at not being in the doghouse. “Okay. Well, he only let us know that Perkins was being an ass and that we should get there quickly. He didn’t relay the content. When I scanned down to figure out why Pacci had come up, I heard him mouthing off to you and well… I moved a bit quickly.”
“Your ex’s were bitches, weren’t they?” Tony asked as he slated a quick glance at the Sentinel.
“Yup, they were.” Gibbs agreed. “And the Conservators weren’t much better.”
“Well, okay then. I’m gonna add that to the list of things I get to do soon. Make sure the Conservator pool isn’t filled with assholes and bitches. Won’t that be fun?” Tony asked disgustedly. Not that Gibbs could blame him. The Pride had had almost a full decade of lackadaisical leadership before he had come on the scene and while he had tried, he hadn’t been able to do as much as they needed because he hadn’t been Bonded. Tony had been stamping out a lot of fires over the first two months of their Bonding.
“If you say so. Onto the case we have so much evidence on,” Gibbs was determined to figure out what in the hell had killed the man they had found. Any of the wounds he had sustained would have killed him, but to have them all? It made no sense.
The rest of the trip back to NCIS passed in a much smoother fashion than the one out and the Sentinel relaxed. His Guide wasn’t made at him, he had a case to concentrate on and he actually felt pretty good after the stretch of his senses. Taking a deep breath, Jethro relaxed and settled in to enjoy the ride.
Tony nudged the button to flash the lights in Forensics and waited until Abby had turned the music down before he pushed the cart full of evidence into the room. “Hey Abby! We got some stuff for you. Do you think that you will be needing some help to get this sorted?”
“Hey Tonyboy! You brought me stuff. Cool!” she said enthusiastically as he started pulling the boxes off the cart onto the long table running the length of her workspace. “Why did you flash the lights if Gibbs isn’t with you?”
Squatting down to grab the box on the bottom shelf, Tony tilted his head to stare up at her, honestly surprised at the question. Then again, he normally didn’t advertise his abilities, so what was loud for a mundane was ear shattering for him and his Sentinel. Since Abby routinely kept her music in the ‘loud’ to ‘screamingly loud’ range, he always used the lights to let her know he was coming in.
“Huh. Well, that is easy to explain,” Tony said as he pulled the box out and carefully set it on the table. “My hearing is just about as good as Jethro’s, I just don’t have his ability to dial it up or down. So I want to keep it for as long as I can. That means that I need to use the flashy lights before I open the door.”
“Oh. Cool!” was the Goth’s only reply before she got sucked into verifying that all the evidence that they had collected at the scene was in the masses of envelopes before her.
Nothing more was said about the subject until each item was marked off and the first round of tests started. “So, what else is above average?” she asked as she carefully prepped out a tray of slides.
Tony stood back against the brick wall and watched as she got everything prepped. He wasn’t quite ready to leave her by herself yet and from her question, she wasn’t ready for him to leave. “My hearing, like I said. So are my eyes and my sense of smell.”
Abby visibly winced at that last. Tony fully understood why. Having an enhanced sense of smell sucked around bloody, messy or garbage laden scenes. “So that’s how you clued into the scent that got Gibbs your first day and the ingredient list for my perfume. How many perfumes can you identify?
“Yup. And trust me, that thing was nasty. As for how many? Most of the really popular ones and I tend to go to the mall to update my sense of smell about every six months or so. It’s getting close to the time to update that and this time I get to drag Jethro. He needs to get an update too,” Tony said with a wicked smile. Perfume and colognes were one of the many things he kept track of since so many people wore them. It was an easy way to help identify suspects.
“Ohhh…,” Abby bounced in place, her body moving with the beat of the music that was still on, but at a much lower volume. “Can I come?”
Tilting his head, he looked at her. When he had first met her, he had been convinced that she was a latent Guide. After two months of working with her on a daily basis, he had changed his mind. Abby was a gifted and empathetic woman, but she wasn’t gifted in the traditional sense. She was extraordinarily comfortable to be around and he was just as protective of her as Gibbs was, so the request was not unexpected.
“I have no problems with it. Just let’s get this case solved. I’m gonna head over to see what Ducky has for us,” Tony agreed with a shrug.
“Okay, come back in a few hours and I’ll update you on what I’ve got,” the Goth confirmed. Tony quickly headed out of the lab and was thankful that the doors to the room had closed before she turned up the volume on her music. Even then, the bass beat followed him down the hall.
He could smell the scent of Autopsy before he got anywhere near the doors and bitterly regretted never mastering the ability of being able to dial his sense of smell up and down at will. Thankfully, his sense of taste wasn’t nearly as acute as his nose or he would have been in real misery. Stopping before he opened the doors, Tony popped an Altoid mint and sucked on it carefully for a moment. The scent and taste of the strong mint was enough to overwhelm the scent of the dead for the moment and the Guide sighed in relief before pushing open the door.
Even through the mint, the harsh scent of the chemicals the ME had to use to keep everything clean was still prevalent. Thankfully Ducky didn’t have a body out that he was working on. A quick check showed that the Englishman wasn’t home and neither was his assistant. Checking his watch, Tony was surprised to find that it was only noon. Lunchtime. Laughing lightly at himself, the Guide turned around and headed towards the door. If it was noon, he wanted his own lunch and it was Jethro’s turn to buy.
For once the elevator was running on something close to prompt and Tony was grateful that the car was empty. Leaning back against the wall, he stared at the ceiling as he waited for the car to reach the bullpen. When the doors opened, he stepped through and crunched the last bit of his mint. Breathing out at the sudden burst of flavor, he looked around for his Sentinel. “Jethro? Want lunch? And maybe a fresh cup of coffee?” he asked the sir softly.
The silver gilded head of his Sentinel popped up at his desk and turned towards him immediately and nodded firmly. Tony waved towards the elevator and stood by, waiting for Jethro to shut down his computer and join him. When he did, his partner handed him his backpack and Tony took it with a rueful look. “Always prepared, huh?”
“Yup,” Jethro agreed before heading towards the stairs. The trip down was done in silence and Tony relaxed into the feeling of his mate being close by. It had been a hell of a morning.
“So I was thinking that we can get some coffee, and maybe a sandwich or two at the coffee shop you like so much,” Tony said as he slung his backpack over one shoulder and grabbed his sunglasses off his collar to slide on. It was a bit brighter than he wanted to deal with.
“Sounds good. And I can get a coffee to go as well,” Gibbs allowed. “What are you thinking that you want today?”
Humming lightly in thought, Tony slanted a glance at his Sentinel. Getting him out of the building had been a good idea. The subtle stress lines that had shown up from the drama with Perkins and then the crime scene were disappearing as they walked towards the coffee shop. The Guide knew that as soon as they got within the shops walls, the last of the stress would melt away. The scent of coffee was apparently one that calmed and soothed the other man on much the same level that snuggling up to him did. Tony wasn’t jealous, it was actually very useful.
When he wasn’t able to be there to sooth or calm his Sentinel, being able to hand him a cup of coffee, even the sludge found at gas stations, was a useful stand in. The sight of the doors to the shop even relaxed him and Tony felt a small knot of tension between his own shoulders loosen as they walked into the cathedral to coffee they both adored.
“Hello, gentlemen! It’s been a few days since I’ve seen you in here, Tony. How’s things been?” their favorite barista asked as her hands moved in the complicated patterns of coffee production behind the gleaming brass.
“Things have been busy, and somewhat nasty, so can I have my favorite cup of sin please?” he asked as he stepped up to the counter and looked over the array of foods that Marie had prepped for lunch. They were in between the waves of people that normally overwhelmed the shop at lunch. Being one of the few really, really good places to get food to go, the cafe was rarely empty and there was often a line, so chatting was mostly out.
“One Cafe Bombon coming right up. Jethro’s standard two cups of coffee and a Dirty Chai Latte for some spice. You’re looking a bit pale sweetie and I think you’ll like the flavors,” Marie agreed. Tony raised one eyebrow at the last drink but shrugged. He was game and if their barista thought he would enjoy whatever a ‘Dirty Chai Latte’, he would give it a whirl. Their four cups were placed on a tray and the Guide picked it up with practiced ease. He had done a bit of bar work in college and the skills were still handy. Sliding his card through the reader, he quickly paid for everything and walked over to a table to wait on Gibbs and lunch.
His Bombon was in the standard glass coffee cup and he stirred the drink together carefully before taking the first sip. The lingering nastiness of the morning was washed away in the rich taste of espresso and milk and Tony closed his eyes and just enjoyed.
“You wear the same expression when I give you a blow job,” the gravel filled voice of his Sentinel rumbled from next to his ear and the Guide just smiled before opening his eyes.
“Well, it is orgasmic,” Tony agreed simply.
Snickering at the shared joke, the two men split lunch and put aside work for a brief time. The hour they had for lunch would have to get them through the evening and maybe more if the case got nasty.
It had become habit, back when he first discovered Marie’s coffee shop, to police his own table and save her people the fuss of cleaning after him. When he had brought Tony to the shop, he had simply included his Guide in the habit and now, as they finished their meals, their dishes were piled neatly on their trays.
Jethro felt his nose twitch a bit at the hints of spice and coffee that were coming out of the to-go cup that held Tony’s ‘Dirty Chai Latte’. It smelled good. Not something that he would get every day, but good. Full of hints and flavors that seemed to warm the air around the cup. Much like his Guide warmed the air around himself with his own scent.
As always, Tony saved the last sip of the Bombon for him and Gibbs smothered a smile as he took the final sip of the rich drink. The fully caffeinated zing of the espresso moving across his tongue was as much of a jolt as it always was and the Sentinel savored the flavors of the coffee, milk and his Guide as they all blended together. Setting his cup down on the tray he picked up the second of his two coffee cups and saluted Marie as he picked his share of the trash and headed towards the door.
Tony was right behind him as always and the Sentinel took a deep breath before he walked out. Coffee, amber, vanilla and sandalwood. The scents that meant home and safety. Stepping out of the door and back into the world at large, Jethro took a sip of his coffee and exhaled through his nose before taking another one in. Time to get back to murder.