[personal profile] lit_gal
My Post-Hiatus story



Illusions Lost
Our experience is composed rather of illusions lost than of wisdom acquired.
Joseph Roux



NCIS/Criminal Minds
Gibbs has left for Mexico, and Tony’s gut is telling him he’s in trouble. Abby is too distracted by her grief for Gibbs to back Tony up, so he decides to go to the most Abbish person he knows for help: Penelope Garcia. Abby introduced them after the two women met at a forensics seminar for federal agents. So Tony asks Garcia if she will do a little digging, but bringing Garcia in means bringing in other members of the BAU. After all, if Garcia thinks a friend is in trouble, she’ll always turn to her Derek, trusting him to do the right thing. Tony just isn't sure that having Derek Morgan on his side is going to help when he has a director making unreasonable requests, a team doing the minimum required for their job and an overwrought Abby to deal with.

Earlier chapters HERE



The BAU Folk

“Hey, my man, I brought beer.”

Tony stared at Derek Morgan as he held up a six pack of beer. Then Garcia pushed past him. “And I brought food, so step aside,” she ordered him. Tony knew an invasion when he saw one, so he moved aside before Garcia bowled him over. She headed straight for his kitchen with a pile of Tupperware dishes.

“Um, hey,” Tony said, not certain why he was being invaded.

Derek came into the apartment. “Garcia got a nasty email from your girl, so she said we had to come convince you to not listen. Man, your tech… she has a temper on her.” Derek whistled through his teeth.

“You read her email?” This was so not good.

“Garcia was too pissed to talk, and I wanted to know what had my baby girl so twisted up. So grab some glasses, let’s crack open some beers, and Garcia brought her famous bean dip and homemade chips. She doesn’t break that out for just anyone you know.” Derek held up the beers.

Tony closed and locked the door. “I feel honored.”

“You should,” Garcia shouted from the kitchen. “And do not listen to Abby. You know I love that girl, but sometimes she needs a good spanking. I mean, she really needs someone to put her over a knee and spank her until all those emotions come up and she can handle things more logically.”

Tony followed Derek into the kitchen in time to see Derek leaned down to give her a kiss on the cheek. “Baby girl, there are some things about your sex life that I do not need to know.”

“Then never make the mistake of hurting friends with childish outbursts,” Garcia said. “And get me a beer.”

“Your wish is my command,” Derek said with an elaborate bow. “Where do you keep the glasses?” he asked Tony. Tony grabbed three glasses and put them on the island. The oven light was on and Garcia had dug a casserole dish out of a cupboard. She was currently dumping layers of food into the dish and the largest bowl was open to show chips.

Derek put out three of the beers, and Tony started pouring them into glasses while Derek put the other three into the fridge. “So, I hear you took the job with SSA Cole,” Derek said.

Garcia added, “And your friends will be happy for you as soon as they get over being hurt by the idea that the universe does not revolve around them.”

“Yeah, I know,” Tony said. He understood Abby, and he knew she would come around, but he didn’t want to talk about it. If their friendship was as important to her as it was to him, she would have tried harder to understand his point of view. And maybe he was being unreasonable, but he wanted to hold onto his unreasonable resentment for a little while. “So, let’s talk about something else. Any new beaus in your lovelife, Garcia?” Tony asked. Her gaze darted toward Derek for a second, but Tony didn’t know them well enough to understand the subtext. He did know that Garcia was very popular when they went out to the clubs. The subby boys all gravitated to her and her big personality.

“Not really,” Garcia said coyly. Tony assumed that meant she was still enjoying being footloose and free. Hopefully she wasn’t being secretive because Derek disapproved. But then again, it could be that she had finally set her cap for someone she couldn’t get, not that Derek looked averse to a little Garcia love. “And how about you? Have you given anyone a second date lately?” She raised her eyebrow in a clear challenge. Yeah, Tony knew he was as bad as her. Sex was fun, the chase was exciting, but settling down sounded like a level of hell.

“You know me. I gotta keep my options open.”

She snorted.

Derek confiscated the casserole dish and put it in the oven. “How about we avoid anyone’s dating life? So, how did your director take your resignation?”

“She thinks she can change my mind.” Tony paused. “Either that or she’s wondering if she can sabotage my final background checks.” He really hoped he was reading her wrong on that.

“I hope so,” Garcia said with a sort of malicious glee.

“Excuse me?” Tony had to have heard her wrong.

“I talked to Agents Cole and Hotcher, and if your final background check goes wonky, then Agent Cole is going to ask me to do a little digging into the NCIS computers, and then I’m going to officially find the files on Director Shepard’s computer, and then she can explain that. So if you hear on the news that the director of a federal agency was arrested for mishandling classified material, you can assume that she tried to block your transfer.”

“But Hotchner knows about those files now.”

“Not officially, he doesn’t,” Derek said. “For him to tell anyone about those files, he would have to admit that you two were off the reservation.”

Garcia nodded. “Yep, officially I was written up for doing the work on the Renny Grant case without permission, which actually makes Hotch look worse than me. I mean, he comes off like some sort of red-tape loving bureaucrat who cares more about interagency paperwork than justice.”

“And that is not Hotch,” Derek said fiercely, “although he does sometimes put up this front that makes people wonder.”

“Yep,” Garcia agreed. “But if Shepard pushes, then there would be a legitimate reason for Agent Cole to wonder why someone with glowing reports suddenly had red flags. It won’t end well for Shepard if she tries.”

Derek slapped Tony’s arm. “We got your back. So, how is the Grant case looking?”

Tony appreciated the change of subject. As much as he appreciated that someone did have his six, he couldn’t escape the thought that it shouldn’t be Derek and Garcia. Ziva should have his back. Sure, they’d worked together less than a year, but he was her partner. And McGee should have his back. He’d taught McGee everything he knew about crime scenes. In order to get McGee a spot on the MCRT, Tony had gone to Gibbs and offered to babysit the geek until he could handle himself on the streets. So a change of topic was more than welcome.

“I spent today tracking down the assholes who framed Renny Grant. I have one of them, a lieutenant, dead to rights, but I still think one of the higher-ranked officers is involved. Either that or the officers in charge are all incompetent.”

Derek stole one of Garcia’s chips. “Either is possible.”

“True. I’ll get to the bottom. So what were you up to today?” Tony asked. The Grant case wasn’t exactly improving his mood.

“I had court today. Walter Kern.” From Derek’s grimace, it was a bad case.

“He’s the killer who went dormant for years, right?” Garcia asked.

“Yeah. He nearly died in a car accident and it left him physically disabled. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”

“He wasn’t disabled enough. It’s horrible what he did to those women.” Garcia wrinkled her nose, and Tony finally placed the case. The Keystone Killer had targeted women in Philadelphia. He’d gone quiet from the eighties until just recently.

Tony had worked his share of murders, but the MCRT rarely worked anything as exotic as a serial killer. “I don’t know how you can do it, working so many sexual cases. The majority of serial killers are sexually motivated, right?”

“Anger, criminal enterprise, ideology—they’re all motives, but sexually-based motivation is one of the largest categories. But it’s like what your future unit does with the crimes against children—we do it because it’s got to be done.”

“But it’s icky,” Garcia added. “I am instituting an official ban on anything disturbing or nightmare inducing. We are here to provide positive emotional support, and we are not talking about people who clearly did not get enough love as children. So someone tell me a happy story, and I do not mean happy in that only a few people got killed.” She poked a finger in Derek’s direction. He put his beer down long enough to hold his hands up in surrender.

Tony laughed. Garcia did know how to command a room. “Okay, I saw Renny Grant today. The man was deliriously happy that we figured out who really took the money, and if the lieutenant ever gets out of prison, he’d better make sure to stay out of Grant’s way.”

“See? Justice done.” Garcia held her hand up for a high five, and Tony obliged. “That’s a good story. Oh, I know what would be a good story. What did Abby’s face look like when you told her off?”

And there went Tony’s happy. “I didn’t tell her off.”

“Oh please, I got her email, and from just her side of the conversation, I can tell you shared painful reality with that woman. And I can tell she deserved every word of it. So tell me, what did you say and what did she say?”

“Abby has a good heart,” Tony said, and he felt like he was damning his friend with faint praise.

“Oh, I know that. And I love Abby, but if I don’t get to spank her, I just want to hear about someone verbally smacking her down. So, how did she take it?”

“Maybe we should talk about something else,” Derek suggested.

Tony answered before anyone could actually change the subject. He wanted someone who knew both of them to be on his side, and Tony had seen enough divorces to know that was supremely shitty, but he didn’t care. “She vacillated between near-crying and fury,” Tony said.

“That sounds healthy,” Derek said dryly.

Garcia patted his arm. “Abby is just in touch with her emotions, not that I don’t appreciate the stoic and beautifully enduring front you put up for us.”

“I think I might be offended.”

“No you aren’t. I’ve said way worse,” Garcia told Derek with confidence. Derek gave Tony a shrug while Garcia asked, “So did she end on crying or angry?”

“Angry.”

“Good,” Garcia said firmly. “She comes around faster when she’s angry, and she will come around. Give her a week or two and she will start thinking about everything she said, and the guilt will start. You watch. I’m right.”

“I know you are.” Tony wished he knew how he was going to react with as much certainty.

“So how did your other teammates take it?” Derek asked.

“Ziva’s pissed. She admitted that she was trying to train me to be an easier boss so she didn’t have to deal with over-the-top demands, like the ones we got from Gibbs.”

Derek snorted. Ignoring that, Tony added, “And McGee is trying to change. He decided somewhere along the line that he knew more than me, so he’s struggling to get his head out of his ass.”

“He thinks he knows more than you?” Derek looked from Garcia to Tony and back, confusion on his face.

Garcia rolled her eyes. “That little subby boy thinks he’s perfect, but then Abby has spent all their time together telling him how perfect he is. That’s what happens when two subs try to have a relationship with each other. The ratio of emotional support to honesty drops dangerously low.”

Derek held up a hand. “Whoa, okay, I do not need to know which federal agents are crawling into which other federal agent’s beds.”

“Coffins,” Tony corrected Derek. It was a little sadistic, but then Tony always had enjoyed his jokes more than he should.

“Coffins?” Derek asked, his voice cracking.

“Yep,” Garcia answered him. “But it’s a beautiful custom made coffin. Does that make it better?”

“No,” Derek said firmly. “No, it does not. Are you serious that she sleeps in a coffin?”

Tony shrugged. “When McGee’s there, I’m not sure they sleep much.”

“Nope,” Derek held his hand up again. “I do not want to hear it.”

Tony looked at Garcia and they both cracked up.

“You two,” Derek said, his pointing finger waving between them. “You two are not safe to be around. You’re bad influences on each other.”

“Yep,” Garcia said. “Now who wants some of my famous layer dip?” She grabbed the potholders off the counter and turned toward the stove.

Tony had to admit that this was a good day. Maybe his time with NCIS was over, but that didn’t mean his career or his life had to suffer.

Date: 2016-06-27 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mulder200.livejournal.com
LOL! Poor Derek! Tony and Garcia could definitely give him a run for his money and rock his world.

Plus, it's nice to have friends of work who get Tony.

And I love that Hotchner and Cole had a back up plan for Sheppard. Sweet!

Date: 2016-06-29 02:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lit-gal.livejournal.com
Derek may learn to hang out with Tony and Garcia separately.

Date: 2016-06-28 06:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] strangefen.livejournal.com
Abby will get there eventually. I love Derek and Garcia.

Date: 2016-06-29 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lit-gal.livejournal.com
She absolutely will, but expect a few tantrums along the way.

Date: 2016-07-02 12:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] texanfan.livejournal.com
It's good that Tony got to talk to someone who knows Abby to vent to. And that he has people watching his back. In fairness, Tim and Abby don't know what the director has been up to and Derek and Garcia do. And Ducky and Jimmy were happy for him. Eventually the hurt will fade enough that Tony will be able to not be devastated about his NCIS relationships.

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