Strike One

Title: Strike One
Author: Ladyholder
Fandom: NCIS, Avengers, The Sentinel
Warnings: Canon Typical for both
Wordcount: 2316


“Well, this is not what I expected,” Tony whispered as he felt his world expand.

“What are you talking about, DiNozzo?” Gibbs asked.

“Just an unexpected development, Boss,” Tony said.

He leaned back in his chair and stared at the ceiling. From the huff Gibbs let out, Tony was sure the older man wanted to gripe, but he wasn’t able to. He was caught up on his paperwork, so Gibbs didn’t have anything to call him on.

Tony hadn’t expected to come online. He had been identified as latent when he’d been sent to the Rhode Island Military Academy and had taken the classes offered for anyone who carried the genetics for a Sentinel or a Guide. Twenty-three years after being identified as latent, he’d put the whole thing behind him and resigned himself to his status. Apparently, the universe had other ideas.

Closing his eyes to minimize his exposure to his senses helped and he worked to calm his mind. Only when he felt steady did he turn his attention back to the rest of the world. Wracking his brain for the long-ago lessons Tony tried to remember the first thing he should be doing. Rule number one: Orient yourself on your environment.

Reaching out, he let his senses spread throughout the building. Moving from the top down, he tried to make sense of what he was hearing. Most of the upper levels of the building were calm and empty, the executive suites were up there along with MTAC. Tony touched on the edges of MTAC and pushed on when the white noise generators registered. He wasn’t quite up to working around them yet. MTAC and the secrets in it were safe from him.

He let his attention drift down another level and confirmed that the bullpen was a hive of activity. Each team was busy working, even if they weren’t chatting each other up. Emotions were running high and there were a large number of sense impressions to parse. It was rough without a Guide, but Tony pressed down on his gifts and pushed through. He needed to memorize the individual heartbeats of his people so he would know them on a deeper level.

Breathing through his nose he drew on the scent of the people around him. Most of his coworkers were easy to organize in his mental files, so he knocked those out first. Then he moved on to his actual teammates.

Sawdust, coffee, and a faded bitterness that had to be grief hit his nose first and Tony could feel his heart clench. The scent could only belong to Gibbs. Behind that was a smell of ozone, typewriter ribbon, and some emotion that he couldn’t parse. The only person he knew who played with a typewriter was McGee so he was easy to slot into place.

The final scent in the area around him was acrid, catching him in the back of the throat. There was gun oil, honeysuckle perfume, and an emotional scent that was so bitter and foul that he could only describe it as hatred. Tony opened his eyes and turned toward Ziva’s desk. The scent was strongest there. He made a mental note to check on with Gibbs because there was no way the other sentinel could be missing that.

His instincts were pushing at him and Tony let the puzzle of Ziva go. Moving through the rest of the building he tried to figure out what was pulling at him. The rest of the building seemed to be utterly normal. Abby’s lab was pulsing with music, Ducky was talking gently to his latest guest and security was checking in three unknown threats into the building.

“Boss,” Tony snapped. When Gibbs turned back to him, Tony opened his mouth to let him know what was happening. Gibbs threw up a hand before he could report and Tony held his peace. From the way the older man tilted his head, he was listening to something,

Tony could hear the threats moving through the building towards the elevator. “We have visitors coming,” Gibbs growled.

“Okay,” Tony said. Gibbs had to be hearing the same thing he was. “Friend or foe?”

“I don’t know,” Gibbs admitted. He was staring at the elevator. When it dinged and three people walked off, he growled. “Foe.”

“Do I get to shoot them?” Tony asked.

“No,” Gibbs growled. “The one in the lead is the director of one of the more secretive alphabets. Shooting him would be inadvisable.”

“So, wait until he pisses us off and then shoot him?” Tony asked, voice at a normal level. The man in the lead, turned to look at him and Tony raised an eyebrow at him. Like hell he was going to be impressed with black leather and an eye patch. “I think I have a Taser around here somewhere if you insist on it being non-lethal.”

“You can’t shoot us,” the woman behind the lead agent protested.

“Honestly, I can,” Tony said with a smile. It wasn’t a nice smile and from the way the agent leaned back, she was at least somewhat intimidated by it.

“Agent Gibbs, call your agent back,” the lead agent demanded.

“Not a hope in hell, Fury,” Gibbs retorted. He cocked his head as he stared at the man and grunted once. “What do you want?”

“I’m here to talk to your director about seconding an agent to my agency. We need their skills,” Fury said. He looked up at the mezzanine. “Is she available?”

“Go on up,” Gibbs directed. He turned to watch as the three agents walked up the stairs and then turned to stare at Tony. “When did you come online?”

“When they entered the building,” Tony reported. “I’m good on my senses, Boss.”

Gibbs huffed before he picked up his coffee to take a sip. “You had better be. Because I have a bad feeling they’re here for you.”

“Can I shoot them?” Tony muttered. He settled back at his desk and started clearing out the last of his pending SFA paperwork. If he was going to be unwillingly seconded, he wanted to make sure that there was no outstanding work left for his replacement. “If they are here for me, you’ll need to get Casey as your SFA, Boss. She’ll be able to stand up to Ziva and Tim. Don’t let them fuck with her either. She’s not as patient as I am.”

From the way Gibbs’ nose flared as he drew in a deep breath, he wasn’t happy with Tony’s words, but he didn’t care. Casey wasn’t a sentinel or a guide, but she was hell on wheels when it came to busting entitlement and the other two members of their team had bunches of it. Opening an email, he started writing down a cheat sheet for his possible replacement. Whomever it was, they would need to know what they were getting into.

Twenty minutes after the arrival of the three mystery agents, they appeared back on the landing at the head of the stairs. If he had to label the sticky, sweet smell they were putting off, he’d call it smug. Whatever they had wanted, they’d gotten it.

“Gibbs,” Tony said, voice pitched too low to be heard by most of the bullpen. “Agents above us. Is that smug?”

“It is and yeah. Were you listening?” Gibbs asked, voice just as quiet.

“No. Still haven’t gotten the knack of getting around the white noise generators,” Tony admitted. He’d been trying, but the effort had only netted him a headache.

“They requested you. By name.”

“Well, shit.”



Lucky for him, he’d gotten a reprieve of three days to get his shit together and he’d used every bit of it. Tony had made sure to log his change of status with the S&G center in DC and they’d run him through testing as quickly as possible. Thankfully, he’d taken the chance to get his body hair removed long before he’d come online because the thought of doing it while he was getting control of his senses was a horror he was glad to miss.

It was sadly a truism that sentinels and guides were drawn to service and that meant that a very high percentage of agents were of that community. And agents tended to come online at the damndest times in the weirdest circumstances. Since DC was a hotspot for government agents, the S&G center there was used to having only a limited amount of time to train agents.

Since testing had shown that he didn’t need training or a conservator, he’d been released on his own recognizance the first day after proving his competency. He’d used the second and third days he’d been afforded to do some research on Fury and his merry band of morons. It had taken some inventive research to get anything. It was late in the second night when his gut had stopped itching and he had started to pack.

Now he was in New York City and walking into the lion’s den. “Thank you for being prompt, Agent DiNozzo,” Hill, Fury’s 2IC offered as he walked in.

“Hill,” Tony said. He raised an eyebrow at her when she frowned at him.

“You don’t seem happy to be here.”

“I’m not,” he said after several seconds of quick self-censoring. Coming online had messed with his ability to regulate his give-a-fuck and he was trying to make sure he didn’t shoot himself in the foot.

“I can’t see how you wouldn’t be happy to work with SHIELD. Our mandate is much more interesting than NCIS,” she said.

Tony drew in a slow breath and counted to ten. “If I’d wanted an interesting mandate, I’d have taken the FBI up on one of the many times they’ve offered me a job. I’m not in it for the glory, Hill. Nor am I in it to make a reputation.”

“Hill, send him into my conference room and stop baiting him,” Fury directed over her radio.

“Director Fury is ready to see you now,” Hill announced. She had a slight flush and Tony suppressed the urge to smirk at the sight. She quickly directed one of the multitudes of low-level agents in the room to take him to where Fury was holed up.

Under normal circumstances, he would be chatting up the junior agent he was walking with. But he didn’t want to split his attention from the conversation he was hearing. “Sir, are you sure that you want to bring in this man to work on whatever special project you’re contemplating? There’s no confirmation that he’ll be able to handle it.”

“He’s been working with one of the biggest hardasses in the whole of Federal service for years and made a name for himself in certain circles,” Fury reminded. “And we’ve been looking at him for recruitment for the last two years. Don’t underestimate him.”

Tony pulled his hearing back in and kept walking behind his escort. Interesting. He’d not seen hide nor hair of SHIELD and he was certain he would have noticed a group as bonkers as them circling around him.

Walking into the room his escort directed him to, he raised an eyebrow at the man waiting for him. “Fury.”

“Agent DiNozzo, good of you to meet with me,” Fury said. He was sitting comfortably in a chair at a conference room table and didn’t bother to stand up.

“Not like you left me much of a choice,” Tony reminded, He stared around the conference room and raised an eyebrow at how bare it was. “What do you want me here for, Fury?”

“You’re not intimidated at all, are you?” Fury asked.

“No,” Tony confirmed. He pulled out a chair across from the other man and sat down. “You went to great lengths to pull me into your reach Why?”

“You’ve got a reputation in the Alphabet’s, of being the guy who can look at a set of facts and clues and solve the mystery. No matter where the facts come from,” Fury said. He looked uncomfortable for a moment before his expression cleared. “I have been having issues with my organization. I need an outside view of what’s been happening.”

Tony blinked once before he nodded once. “You want me to do a mole hunt?”

“I want you to find out why there’s such a disconnect between our mandate and what missions are run,” Fury directed. “I’ve gotten hints that things are happening that I haven’t authorized and I want to know what’s happening.”

“You’re a spy agency. Things change at the drop of a hat when you’re undercover and I know it. There’s no way to authorize every single action that might happen. And I’m sure that any black ops actions can twist in a heartbeat.”

“All true, but you know that ops are planned in such ways as to cover most possible contingencies,” Fury snapped. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “As much as SHIELD is black ops, we still have to work with other agencies in the US and around the globe. I’ve been hearing chatter from other agencies about ops that I’ve not authorized and when I go look for the paperwork on them, I don’t find them. But I do find hints of them in various corners.”

“And this is doing what? Why me, Fury? I work for NCIS. We handle the Department of the Navy and all that entails. We don’t work on your level,” Tony argued.

“But you’ve never confined yourself strictly to NCIS. You’ve always worked with the various Alphabets and that’s helped my agency in the past,” Fury said. He smiled grimly. “We weren’t always thrilled with the information you provided, but we knew we could trust it. When I started getting twitchy about things I wanted to reach out to the person whose work I trusted.”



  1. I Like it

  2. Interesting way to bring HYDRA into the light. I would welcome more whenever the nudge hits you. Thanks for posting.

  3. Interesting start to what could be a good read.

  4. Hmmm. Most tantalizing. My imagination is all over the place.
    Thank you

  5. Awesome, I love Tony’s nonchalant attitude in the face of people trying to intimidate him.

  6. Very interesting way to bring these groups together. I like where you’re going with it.

  7. Really love this idea. ❤ ❤ ❤

  8. Oh, wow, now that’s a new twist! I’m loving this already!

  9. Fury is going to hate what Tony finds.

  10. Love this start!! Tony most definitely is not a fan of fury! Thank you for this!!

  11. One of my favorite things about Tony… Other than just being Tony… You really can stick him anywhere and make it feel organic. Thanks for all the sharing for EAD.

  12. Hmm, intriguing setup! ANY of these starts would be great to see more of!

  13. Poor Nick. He’s gonna get his answers, but I don’t think he’ll like everything that comes with it now that Tony is online.

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