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 at this time.
The thing that Tony liked the best about being a Lion Guide was that Mother Nature had seen fit to give him some of the same advantages as she had given her Sentinels. He saw better, heard better and his sense of smell was better than the average human being. Even after his other gifts had come to light, he could still give some fully fledged Sentinels a run for their money with those three senses and he used that edge to ruthless advantage every chance he got.
When he had originally been tested at the local Sentinel and Guide Center near his home in Long Island, the director there had thought that he was a Three, or someone with only three senses heightened. A potentially useful gift that with time and effort might get expanded to the full set. So he had entered training at ten as a possibly latent Sentinel.
Everyone had been surprised when he had blown wide open with fully developed Guide gifts at age twelve.
His gifts were so rare, so unusual that the director had slapped him into an isolation room with his own Guide and called for Sandburg and Ellison. The Pair were the lead Sentinel and Guide Pair for the whole of the US and in some ways the planet. Very few people could say no to Sandburg when he wanted something and even less had the chutzpah to tell Ellison no when he leveled them with a glare.
Not that Tony cared. He just wanted the mess of emotions invading his brain to stop.
It had taken Sandburg and Wojciehowicz (affectionately called Wojo by everyone) a week to get him back on an even keel and even then, his control had been shaky. The only way he had been able to meet his parents had been because Wojo had been there to prop his shields up and provide the emotional filter he lacked.
His father had not been happy that his only son hadn’t come out as a Sentinel. As valued as Guides were in their society, some people placed more emphasis on the Sentinel half of the Pair. Tony hadn’t let his father see how much his attitude had hurt him, but from the sharp glance his mother had shot him, he was fairly certain she had picked up on it. After all, she was Latent, not Damaged. Big difference.
The week of training had also shown the three Guides what his spirit animal was and Tony had reached out a hand to carefully pet the proud head of the feline in front of him. It was unexpectedly beautiful and at the time, he had no idea what it meant.
Sandburg and Wojo had known and as soon as they were out of isolation, his training had begun in earnest. He wasn’t leaving their hands until they were certain he could handle his gifts. Until he knew everything he was capable of.
Waking up to the mental hum of his Sentinel nesting in the space his soul that had been empty was more than Tony had thought that he would have. His mentors had made damn certain that he was aware of how rarely a Lion Guide bonded, but had also admonished him to never give up hope. And he hadn’t. He had held onto his hopes and dreams for years, trying to move closer and closer to the spot where his instincts told him his other half was located.
Apparently Baltimore had been the magic city when all the others had been misses.
Stretching his body like a human version of his Spirit Guide, Tony relished the soreness of his ass and the faint tingle of bruises that had been pressed into hi s skin by work roughened hands. He felt a smug smile stretch across his lips and tried not to purr. Damn, he had been fucked into a good mood and he wanted to wake up like this every. day.
“If you exude any more smug, your neighbors are going to wonder who let a politician into their building,” rumbled the gruff voice of his Sentinel.
“I really, really don’t care,” Tony replied as he twisted around on the bed to look at the man above him. He had hunkered down under the covers like usual and pulled them over his head. From the way Jethro was watching him, he seemed to find it amusing.
Tony let his eyes close in bliss as Jethro reached down and started running his fingers though his hair. the Guide kept it fairly long for a male Guide and he knew that it made a great handhold for his Sentinel. Sometime during their extended bonding, exploring, sexual marathon session of introduction, he had taken the time to try to blow his new partner’s mind and from the way Jethro had gripped his hair, he had enjoyed it. So had Tony.
They stayed like that for long enough that Tony’s stomach woke up and growled at them both. Flushing lightly at the sound, he tried to roll out of bed. Instead his Sentinel pulled him up and showed him the bowl full of fruit and breakfast rolls he had put together. “Where did I get these? I hadn’t been shopping in three days!”
Jethro snorted lightly and ran his hand down the back of Tony’s head to pull it forward for a kiss. Only when they broke for air did he explain. “Some Guide who said his name was Wojciehowicz dropped off a basket from himself and his Sentinel, a man named Miller. The note attached said that they congratulated us on our Bonding and they were keeping the Center busy while we got sane again. Who are they?”
Tony felt a burst of warmth at the thought of Wojo and his fussy, but badass Sentinel coming to be on hand for his Bonding. No matter how many years it had been since he had been one of their ‘kids’ he was still important to them. “When I was a kid, they ran the S&G Center on Long Island. They were both cops and were part of my inspiration to become a cop myself. Wojo and Dr. Sandburg kept me sane when I came online at twelve and ran interference between my father and I when his demands got to be too much. He had no idea how to handle a son who was a Lion Guide who was just as aggressive as any of the Sentinels his age or older.”
“I know you said that your father is dormant due to Polio, but what else was his problem? I mean, a Lion Guide is damn near mythical, how could he not be proud of you?” Jethro asked softly. Tony stretched across the bond they shared, trying to understand what was going behind the Sentinels eyes.
Tony took a strawberry and bit into it, slowly savoring the sweet fruit. He was using the time his mouth was full to try to figure out how to explain his family. “My father knows why he can’t come online. He has all the same urges, wants and needs as an online Sentinel, but he can’t. And his Guide, the one person who is his total match, could. But because she has never left his side, she won’t ever come online and try to find someone to Bond with. There are times where he is so bitter and angry that neither my mother nor I can be around him.
“He isn’t deliberately cruel to her. Or even to me. But he knows what he is missing. And he yearns for what he can’t have. And it eats at him. He wanted a child who was a Sentinel. What he got was a son who could have been one, if my genetics had been a bit more different. And that infuriates him.” Tony finished softly. He loathed talking about his family, but if ever someone deserved to know, it was his Sentinel.
“I can understand that,” Jethro said softly. “I am the first person in my family to come online in over two hundred years. We have known that Sentinels and Guides happen in the family, but before me, we were certain that the genes were dying out in us it had been so long. So imagine my surprise when I come online as my first wife dies and I find out that I am now the de facto Alpha Sentinel Prime of the Mid Atlantic Seaboard. I can honestly tell you that I didn’t take that revelation with anything close to grace.
“My father is the only close blood kin I have besides Kelly and he and I rarely talk since he was a total ass at her funeral. I don’t interfere with his relationship with my daughter, but I hope you don’t mind running interference when he pisses me off,” the Sentinel explained. “As for training? I went through the full military training after I came online since I was still an active duty Marine at the time. I’m in the Reserves now, and still occasionally get called out to handle things as a sniper. Hopefully that will slow when I take up my other duties.”
Tony hummed as he thought over what the other man was saying. It looked as if they were both damaged goods. Popping a cherry into his Sentinels mouth, he watched as he enjoyed the treat. If nothing else, maybe their broken spots could find some room to heal now that they had each other.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs smirked internally as his growl of annoyance caused the HR twit at NCIS to audibly jump in her chair as he listed on the phone. She was scrambling to do what he was demanding of her as quickly as he was demanding and it was amusing to hear her throw fits at his high handedness. While his new Guide was filling out the masses of information needed to resign from the Baltimore PD with the honors he had earned, he was busy… smoothing his way into a federal agency. Gibbs was certain that Tony had gotten the better half of the deal. NCIS had no idea what it was getting into with them and Jethro was looking forward to the insanity.
Tony had insisted that once he was finished with the PD that their next stop was to be the Sentinel & Guide Center. Gibbs would admit, if only to himself, that he was curious about the Guide who had helped his when he was a child. With a name like Wojciehowicz, he was fairly certain the man would be easy to track down. Tony would just have to deal with him being an overprotective bastard. When his phone vibrated against his hip, Gibbs pulled it out to check the display. Abby had come through for him again and gotten him the straight skinny on Wojo and his Sentinel. Both men had been in the Marines and had met and Bonded while in Vietnam.
Miller had been Wojo’s commanding officer and had come online when the then latent Guide had been shot during a battle somewhere in the jungle that no one was talking about. From what he was reading and what wasn’t being said, the two men had not had an easy time of it while in theater and the adjustment when they had come home had shown every indications of being just as bad. Miller had been married with a small child and his wife had taken one look at the skinny kid her husband had dragged home and pulled him into their family. Miller had joined the police force on Long Island and Wojo had followed like the Guide he was.
Gibbs kept reading the report Abby had sent him and nodded as he got a quick overview of the Pair’s record. It was everything he would have expected from a healthy S&G team, and if they had been younger, he would have tried his best to recruit them for NCIS. They had managed to both run a police substation and had been the senior Pair at the local Center, which meant that they had run that too. When DiNozzo had come online so explosively, Wojo had been on the stand testifying against a mob boss and had blacked out. When he had come to, his testimony had apparently been taken as good from the written record and he had been released.
Jethro smiled at that, pleased. Not the passing out, but that one of the two attorneys hadn’t wanted to get a Guide up on the stand again to put his word against their clients. It always seemed to go badly against someone when that happened. And it was rarely the Guide who got the short end of the stick. He made a mental note to let JAG know that he was coming home with Tony as well as informing Morrow what he had to look forward to. The week the police Guide had spent holed up with Sandburg and DiNozzo was well documented in his Guide’s records and he skimmed over the notes. Nothing in that Abby was passing him was new, but it was still helpful. Wojo hadn’t pulled any punches on how he rated the newly born Guide he was helping and neither had Sandburg. Both men had also made certain to ram home some changes in how Guides were found in New York so no one had to deal with such a high level Guide trying to implode again.
The records petered out after that, showing the profile of a damn good cop who happened to be partnered with a Sentinel and was a Guide. In the grand scheme of things, they were a deeply special pair who happened to be making a hell of a difference in their territory and in the lives of the kids they watched over at their Center. If he, no…if they lived closer, Gibbs knew that he would insist that Kelly go to their Center for training. If nothing else, they had to be better than what DC had on offer for Centers.
Gibbs typed out a quick thank you to Abby as his Guide walked out of his old Captain’s office with a sheaf of paper in his hands. A quick wave of an elegant hand at his desk told Jethro that his Guide was going to pack his desk and he shook his head slightly. Pointing at the box at his feet, he raised an eyebrow in challenge at the look of mild disbelief he got. Well, he had taken everything that smelled strongly of his Guide and that included the change of clothes in the filing cabinet behind his chair. Given what that implied about Tony’s work ethic, he was pleased and had made sure to separate the items from anything that might leak on them.
“Why do I have the feeling that I am going to be dealing with you being smug at me a lot? And did you learn whatever it was that you needed while you were staring so intently at your phone?” His Guide asked as he leaned into his space to drop a stapler he had retrieved from another desk into the box at his feet.
“Yup. Sure did. And you’ll get used to it,” Jethro shot back with a small, cheeky grin. No one at his office would believe he was being as approachable as he was. But at least with Tony, he didn’t have to wear his masks.
“You do know that Wojo flagged their records years ago when they retired from the Force, right? And that he emailed me to let me know that someone had gotten into them from NCIS? Coincidently where my new Sentinel is based out of?” Tony asked as he picked up his box and started towards the door as Gibbs shrugged his indifference. The trip out was by no means silent and they were congratulated and commiserated at the whole way out. DiNozzo had been well liked in his department and they were all apparently sorry to see him go.
Too bad. The Guide was his now and he was a greedy bastard who was going to hang onto the Italian for all he was worth.
Tony watched from his former Captain’s office as his Sentinel read something on his phone and tried not to laugh. Wojo and Barney had let him know that someone out of NCIS was checking their records and he had a good idea of who it was. The overprotective nitwit. He had a feeling that their whole relationship was going to be one tug of war after another and he was looking forward to it.
The trip over to his desk was short, but he knew that his Sentinel had already cleared it. Well, of everything but his Mighty Mouse stapler, which was on his partner’s desk and Tony made certain to pick that right up. No way was he leaving that mouse behind. The trip out was as filled with quick asides and comments as the trip in and from the emotional feel of the bullpen, he would honestly be missed. He took a deep breath and made sure to say goodbye to the desk Sergeant as well. The man had done him many a good turn and he would have to remember to send him something in thanks.
Then they were out the door of his now old precinct and headed towards the S&G center. With him driving. He had made certain to kiss his Sentinel stupid and frisk the man for the keys to his car after their first drive together. The man drove like a madman and his classic car wasn’t up to that level of abuse. “I am not letting you drive my baby. You are a holy terror who only glances at the rules of the road and thinks that you can part traffic like the Red Sea. So stop sulking, Jethro.”
His Sentinel had been sitting in the passenger seat looking like someone had taken away his Easter basket and handed him something healthy in its place when he made his comment. Seconds later, the man was giggling madly. “What?”
Tony kept his attention on the road as Gibbs wound down from his giggles and wondered what in the hell he had said to set his Sentinel off. Finally his companion sniffed loudly and then cleared his throat. “My first wife, Shannon, said the same damn thing to me after we went on our first date. I rarely drove with her in the car because she would freak out all the time. I hadn’t thought of that in years. Thank you.”
The Guide was silent for a moment as he pulled the car into the parking lot of the S&G Center. “I never, ever want you to think that you aren’t able to share your first wife with me. Well, I need to know about the other two so I know what to avoid, but please talk about Shannon as much as you are comfortable with. Just from that and what you said about her before we Bonded, she sounded like one hell of a woman.”
“She was. She really was,” Jethro said softly as he rubbed a hand over his face. Opening the car door, he got out and leaned into the car itself. “Anyway. When we are in an Agency vehicle, I am going to be driving unless I can’t due to injury. I am too much of a control freak not to. In your car? Well, you had better hope you get the keys before I do.”
“Uh-huh. You think? I like living and I am not that fond of rollercoaster’s!” Tony returned as he got out of his classic car and carefully shut the door.
“I love them. Why do you think I drive like that?” Tony could hear the smirk in his Sentinel’s voice as the man walked into the front entrance of the Center.
“Because you think that the rest of the drivers on the road will move if you shove enough willpower at them. And you like breaking land speed records?” Tony hazarded. He turned right towards the Director’s office. Wojo had let him know where he and Barney would be waiting and he was anxious to see his old mentors. It had been several years since they had last gotten together and he wanted to see how they were doing.
There was only silence behind him as Gibbs followed him down the hall, but their Bond was alive with amusement. It boded well for the future. But if the other man didn’t think he was serious about his driving skills and his car, the Sentinel had another thing coming.
The warm feeling that surrounded Wojo was evident from the hall and Tony felt the part of himself that had imprinted on the gruff cop relax. As much as he had learned from Blair, Wojo was by far the one who had made the bigger impression. He was a predator like Tony was, but he wasn’t a Lion or a true Wolf. His spirit animal was a Culpeo and they were a breed of canine, they weren’t the biggest predator out there. But on a whole, they were good ones.
Underlying the impression of Wojo was the calm presence of his Sentinel. Barney was some brand of feline and if Tony had to label the little animal he saw around the older man, it would be some species of lynx. Barney had always been… Comfortable to be around, but distant. Tony hadn’t pushed it. After all, he wasn’t the man’s Guide and yet, the Sentinel had never hesitated at being there for him. Now that he was Bonded, he could feel the affection that he had for him. It was a humbling feeling.
“Why didn’t you ever let me know before?” he asked as he came in the door.
Barney didn’t even bother to try to duck out of responding. “Because you needed Wojo to be there for you, kiddo. And as much as I was a mentor to you, you needed a Guide to be the one to get you through to adulthood.”
Tony snorted softly and nodded. It was too late now to gripe and he had always knows that the older Sentinel cared for him, just not how much. It was heady. Turning slightly he looked at the man who had helped him back to sanity and grinned, pointing over his shoulder with one thumb. “Lookie what I got! Isn’t he great?”
The older Guide looked at the Sentinel following his student and grinned. “You did good kiddo. Now come here and give me a hug.”
Laughing, Tony obeyed. Even if it meant that his Sentinel growled a bit. They could have fun scrubbing away all traces of foreign scents later. Much later. With bubbles.