- Character Bashing
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Alternate Universe
Chapter 3: Agent DiNozzo goes to the BAU
It was a week later and Tobias Fornell was walking through the BAU. He wasn’t out of place being the Deputy Director of the FBI – It was the other two agents with him that got Derek Morgan curious. One was older, ex-military from the way he still carried himself and the other agent appeared mercurial and he liked it that way Derek could guess. The second agent was gorgeous and he knew it. The agent wore suits to accentuate the fact but there was more there than what was on the surface, his eyes spoke of intelligence. Derek was itching to do a profile on the guy, or just to peel back a few layers of the surface.
“What can the BAU do for Washington today?” Derek asked, sweet as can be.
Fornell rolled his eyes, not rising to the bait of assuaging the curiosity of the agent. “Is Agent Hotchner in his office?”
Derek wisely said nothing sarcastic, just a simple. “Yes, Sir.”
Derek figured he would find out soon enough anyway.
Fornell was too old to let other people’s opinions bother him so he simply strode into the Unit Chief’s office stating. “You will accept the help I’ve brought you.”
Hotchner looked up from his papers. The BAU had a lot of cases so he hoped to deflect by asking. “Sorry, Sir. What help and on what case?”
Fornell smirked knowing that Hotchner got even more formal when he was pissed with the situation. Still, two could play at that game. “Chatter suggests that the Reaper is gearing up to come after you, and I won’t tolerate it which is where Agent DiNozzo comes in.”
Hotchner could hear an order there so didn’t bother to argue because he may be the leader of the BAU but he still had bosses. “Okay, so what is the cover story for Agent DiNozzo?” He didn’t have to ask who was DiNozzo, Gibbs was infamous because of the videos Penelope would send their group about his press conferences.
Tony smiled at the disgruntled chief. He was well aware how much agents disliked being protected themselves. He aimed for charming and hoped to make Hotchner see that it would be helping him to play bodyguard. “I am your new liaison Agent and you would be doing me a favour Agent Hotchner.”
“I see.” Aaron asked bemused because he didn’t get how this would be a favour.
He watched DiNozzo check out his environment and it was not what he would expect because those actions were that of a soldier, not a Navy Cop. It wasn’t hard to guess who had trained him to think that way with Leroy Jethro Gibbs standing by him. “How would guarding me from a serial killer be a favour?”
DiNozzo smiled at him and damn, Aaron could almost hear the women of the unit sigh wistfully already. “Well Sir, I’m presuming you won’t try to force a gay agent to seduce an innocent arm dealer’s daughter would you?”
Aaron was taken aback by the blunt response and if what he said was true, it was deplorable. “No, I would definitely not.”
Tony let his relief show. “Good to know. I won’t be a handicap, I’m ready to defend my criminal profiling dissertation for my P.h.D.”
Aaron found the phrasing interesting as it said a lot about the Agent. He also noticed Gibbs wince, ah, so he was at fault there, or at least knows of the problem and feels guilt.
Gibbs spoke up gruffly. “You were never the idiot, DiNozzo. You played a role and I forgot because of the explosion. I can’t change the past but I can fix this. Sometimes you are too damn good at undercover so that even the professionals forgot who you really were.”
Tony nodded at his boss. “I know boss and I won’t let you down.”
Gibbs sighed. “You never did Tony, watch his six.”
Tony smirked. “Serial killers don’t freak me out Gibbs, you know that.”
Fornell shook his head knowing exactly what he was talking about. He would let Hotchner find out about DiNozzo luck all on his lonesome. “Try and not get handcuffed to Foyet, just think of the rant that Em’ will give you.”
DiNozzo ducked his head. “Don’t worry, I won’t worry Em’, besides who will teach her soccer?”
The men shook hands and then Aaron was left alone with his gorgeous shadow. Aaron chose to get down to business straight away. “So what are your skills? I figure you will get bored just sitting around as my shadow especially when we are in the office.”
DiNozzo grinned cheekily. “I have had way worse assignments and I don’t mind being put to work, investigations are my forte… I make the clues that don’t fit come together. Or, if you need an undercover agent I am the go to guy on this coast.”
Aaron smirked knowing DiNozzo was going to drive the team up the wall. “Well, let’s introduce you to the team.”
Hotchner watched his team file into the briefing room. He noticed Tony stand by the window looking at threats even inside the FBI. “We have two things to cover today. First I will introduce our guest and then JJ will be giving us the usual background briefing on our latest case. From what I understand we will be wheels up within the hour.”
Once he had silence Hotchner finally introduced the team. “Everyone this is Special Agent, Anthony DiNozzo. NCIS”
Tony stepped forward. “Thank you and this a liaison role so that I can evaluate how useful such a structure would be within my own agency. Personally, I think NCIS just want to make me use my soon-to-be doctorate but what can you do.”
Rossi stepped forward and shook his hand. “Nice to meet you, I am Senior Supervisory Special Agent David Rossi. What is it your studying?”
DiNozzo grinned at him. “Criminal profiling, so I won’t be a hindrance and as I told Agent Hotchner, feel free to put me to work. I’d also like to thank you, Agent Rossi as your books helped me through some of the trickier parts of my dissertation.”
“Happy to help.” Rossi didn’t get much of a chance to say anything else as Penelope bustled her way to the front to say hello.
Shook his hand next. “Penelope Garcia, BAU technical analyst. Wow. Tall, handsome and smart. We are so very lucky that you have decided to brighten up the bullpen.”
“Babygirl!” Morgan pouted which was interesting, DiNozzo would try and help them if he could. It was ironic that Morgan was concerned about him and Penelope when Derek was more his type.
Derek did introduce himself not wanting to look like an ass. “Derek Morgan. Supervisory Special Agent.” Morgan knew what the water-cooler gossip was about DiNozzo but this was not adding up with what he had just seen. He hated it when he couldn’t fit the pieces of a puzzle together. Plus, it hadn’t shaken his notice about who DiNozzo had walked into the office with. Few people could claim that Fornell liked them.
“Well, it will be nice to have a fellow football fan around, the others just do not get the game.”
DiNozzo grinned. “We played a mean game back in the day. Funny how lives can go, huh?”
Morgan took that for the subtle reminder that not everyone was as they were judged. He certainly understood what it was like to have to rebuild your whole life plan from the ground up once football as a career was over. “Yeah, it is. You have yet to be introduced to Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss.”
She shook his hand and with a wry grin added. “You are not what I would expect of a Navy Cop.”
Tony smirked. “You should see what I can look like when I go undercover.”
JJ snorted. “Don’t say things like that to Garcia as she will make it a challenge. I am Jennifer Jareau but I prefer JJ. I work as the Media liaison.”
Tony snorted. “Now Gibbs could do with his own PR team.”
JJ smiled in return. “I’ll confess that we enjoy his press conferences even if I wince in horror.”
Tony chuckled out loud at that. “And our final member is?”
Spencer looked up from his book. “Dr. Spencer Reid.”
Tony looked delighted. “Excellent, I was fascinated by your article on chemical analysis and effects on psychosis.”
The team were surprised by the grin on the new Agent’s face or the warmer smile on Reid’s face. It wasn’t personal with Reid, he just didn’t warm up to you until he knew you better. It might have helped that there was no judgement about age or looks, instead DiNozzo just focussed on his doctorates.
“Oh, thank you. What did you do your dissertation on?”
Tony smiled. “It was looking at the uses of criminal profiling for undercover agents and the similarities to profilers.”
Hotchner was impressed with DiNozzo, he’d come in, introduced himself and been friendly enough to be intriguing but as a result, no one was really questioning why he was there. He was reminded about DiNozzo’s specialities – he just hoped DiNozzo would feel comfortable enough to be whoever he wanted to be here, rather than playing a role. “Well, now we are all introduced, JJ why not bring us up to speed.”
JJ dived into the details. “Three bodies in total have been found by early morning commuters on off-ramps on the Los Angeles Freeway.”
Morgan chipped in. “So the unsub wanted them found and quickly, why has this been booted to us?”
JJ clicked on her clicker to shift the slideshow and pointed at the victim’s neck. “This.”
“Are those what I think they are?” Prentiss demanded to know.
Tony asked. “Were they hypovolemic?”
JJ nodded. “All three victims were suffering from severe hypervolemia and all three bite marks had human saliva over them.”
Prentiss shuddered. “Can I just say I hate the creepy cases?”
Hotchner’s lip twitched, Tony was sure of it. “Noted. And everyone wheels up in one hour for Los Angeles.”
Gibbs braced himself for his first day back on the job and the mess he would have to clear up. It would be lucky if he got through the day without shooting anyone. The only plus side, Fornell had promised he could come around his and bitch to him after work. Gibbs wasn’t fooled, his friend just wanted to revel in it.
The bullpen was still orange, he walked in on time for the official start of work. “McGee where is David?”
McGee fell out of his chair. “Er Boss, you’re back. I don’t know where Tony is.”
Gibbs wanted to snort because that was such a pathetic evasion technique as to be unfunny. “Did I ask where DiNozzo was? I know where he is … I asked for Ziva because I would love to know why she is late.”
McGee frowned. “You know where Tony is? No one is telling me anything.”
Gibbs just looked at his agent. “He is on assignment with the FBI and it is need to fucking know, and you don’t need to know. You endanger him by digging and there won’t be a place on this Earth where I won’t find you. Clear?”
McGee gulped. “Yes Boss, I will find Ziva for you, shall I?”
Gibbs smiled all teeth. “Do so, and now you are going to be my SFA properly or you’re off the team and not even the director will save you.”
McGee stuttered like it was the old days. “I don’t know what Tony has been telling you.”
Gibbs rolled his eyes. “The truth McGee, the goddamn truth and I won’t worry about citations or black marks on your file that Shepard won’t file. I will kick your ass, you see I am not nearly as civilised as DiNozzo. Oh, and I want an advanced copy of Deep Six.”
McGee paled at that request. “What? Why? Who told you?”
Gibbs quirked an eyebrow. “You really don’t know? Let’s just say I want to know whether I should know if I will also be suing you.”
“It is not based on anyone. I promise you.”
The sad thing was that McGee actually believed it. “Yeah, well I want to read the adventures of L.J Tibbs for myself. JAG was asking my opinion about the books yesterday evening.”
McGee was not liking where this was going. “Why would JAG care?”
Gibbs shrugged. “You can figure that out on your own McGee, now find Ziva.”
When Tony landed there was a file sent to him from Garcia with a note. Gift by special request of DD Fornell.
Tony opened it and smirked seeing Gibbs and McGee on it. Now was not the time but when they got to the hotel. He would enjoy watching it with sound. He wanted to watch Gibbs toy with McGee, he just knew it would be epic.
Chapter 4: Lost in the Performance – Part One.
In all the darkest pages of the maligned supernatural there is no more terrible a tradition than that of the vampire, a pariah even amongst the supernatural – Montague Summers
Tony watched the team on the plane and even there they knew their roles. JJ was on the phone talking to the team on the ground with the police in LA. It was nice to see how a team could work with LEO’s rather than Gibb’s usual MO of bulldozing through anyone in his way.
She smiled obviously pleased by what she had heard. “There is a task force already set up and ready to help. The lead is Detective Kim, some of you might remember him from that stalking case nearly four years ago.”
Rossi nodded already expecting it, Tony guessed. “This won’t be their first rodeo. So what do we know about the victims themselves?”
Morgan spoke first. “All the victims are young women, drained of blood and the use of fang marks makes it at least symbolic. In the unsub’s mind at least, they are a vampire.”
Prentiss then added her interpretation. “The victims are strangled before they are drained which means the unsub would have surprise on their side and don’t necessarily trust their own strength in a fair fight. Plus, there is the odd message on the last victim ‘The liar’”
Hotchner asked a question to the group. “Why the dumpsite by the highway?”
Tony pitched in. “There was no sexual assault and the way the unsub disposed of the bodies after he or she finished with them indicates it isn’t an issue of remorse. If the goal was their blood then the body is irrelevant in the killer’s mind. It just needs to be gone, so a car and a quick shove would get rid of the body. Out of sight out of mind.”
Reid nodded in agreement. “It would be a logical assumption, also if exsanguination is the goal they are getting more proficient in their task. The first bodies had over three pints of blood left but the latest victim had only one pint of blood.”
Rossi sighed. “Perfect, so they are becoming a better vampire. At least in their own mind?”
“Okay, so how do vampire orientated killers go?” Tony asked needing more information. “I’ve worked vice and homicide before I went to NCIS but I never came across a case like this.”
Reid perked up, “Human blood consumption or human vampirism is known as Renfield Syndrome. Named after the insect-eating character from Stoker’s novel. We should be careful to separate them from the popular culture of ‘goths’ as they go way beyond it now.”
Tony watched as the team started to throw around early theories. The first one being what many would perceive as the logical link between vampirism and sadism. Reid was the one to yet again answer Prentiss’ question.
“Not ordinarily. For Renfields, the priority is the blood. This degree of the syndrome would probably be accompanied by schizophrenia and classic cannibalism.”
Rossi chuckled with what Tony recognised as the dark humour you needed if you were to survive in this job for as long as he had. “Classic cannibalism. I don’t even want to know what gets defined as aberrant cannibalism.”
If Tony had been back at NCIS he may have made an inappropriate remark. For now, he was content to pour over the files. He kept looking at the victim’s clothes and it struck a chord with him. “Have there been any performers in town that would match the deaths of our victims?”
The team looked at him so in for a penny in for a pound, he explained. “Look, I know all about how they may dress but look at the details. The make-up, the shoes, the hair – it suggests some kind of party or concert. Now, if they fit with the loner types Dr. Reid mentioned before I was thinking a gathering of some sort, maybe a show or concert of some kind.”
It was a good idea and Hotchner was glad for Tony’s outside point of view. He saw the admiring looks from the other members of the team. “Let’s find out. Get Garcia on the phone.”
“Speak to me, my lovelies.” The bubbly voice of the tech analyst came through the speaker phone connected to the table.
Morgan smiled. “Baby girl, have there been any performers in town recently? Dates corresponding in particular to the murders.”
All could hear the rapid-fire clacking of fingers on a keyboard as Garcia worked her magic. “One, Dante. He is a …. oh …. a vampire. He’s in town performing a week of concerts and … even better, he has a new album out and would anyone like to take a guess at what the title is?”
“The liar?” Prentiss responded, having figured out now what was bugging her about the text.
Hotch knew they had their link and it would make their case easier to profile and potential victimology easier too. “Well, at least we will have something to tell Detective Kim when we meet on the ground.”
Reid spoke up. “We should bear in mind that this level of Renfield Syndrome almost always shows a degree of coveting. They will have a level of paranoia that means they will have almost certainly met their obsession.”
Tony grinned. “So who gets to meet Dante?”
Hotchner snorted. “Garcia will get us an address and as soon as we have met the task force we’ll split up. Morgan and Prentiss will go to the last dump site. Rossi, I will want you to go to see the medical examiner. Reid, JJ, I want you to dive into the victims’ backgrounds, see if we can find the unsub’s way into their lives. I would suggest starting with music as it seems like a strange coincidence.”
“And where will I be going?”
Hotch smirked. “I am going to use your style to go and visit Mr. Dante himself.”
“Style?” JJ asked. She could tell from Hotch’s voice that he wasn’t referring to DiNozzo’s sartorial elegance, although it was pretty great too. The man did know how to wear a suit.
Rossi chose to answer as he looked between Hotch and DiNozzo, there was more to their connection than either was saying. “Style. It’s a phrase used when picking undercover agents, you have to be able to blend into any environment and be believable. It requires a consummate actor who is in effect a true chameleon. Agents like DiNozzo are in high demand.”
DiNozzo nodded his head and explained. “It’s not all fun and games. In fact, at times you end up handcuffed to a serial-killer for the last twenty-four hours of their life. Or, you have mob bosses calling you son and demanding you marry their daughter.”
Rossi snorted. “I thought you were that DiNozzo. Nice work on the Mancuso case. What did you say to his demand?”
Tony smirked. “I said that I would totally marry Vicenzo but Maria just wasn’t my type.”
The team stared at him in disbelief. “Don’t worry, I’d finally managed to steal the consigliere black book. The whole upper echelon of the clan was arrested the next day. The best part was I was asked to visit him in jail, the FBI forced the issue.”
“What did the Don say?” They were all fascinated and Tony didn’t mind helping distract them from the creepier aspects of the latest case.
“Oh, he said, Vincenzo was married but if I liked the look of Roberto we could make a deal. Roberto was his heir and he would need a strong partner.”
Rossi grinned at DiNozzo. “Oh, you and I are going to share some stories.”
“Looking forward to it.” DiNozzo replied, with a pleased smile. DiNozzo’s attention switched back to Hotchner. “So who do you want me to be?”
Hotchner shrugged. “I’ll let you play it by ear, I trust your instincts.”
Back at NCIS, Gibbs was of the opinion that there wasn’t enough coffee in the world that could help him deal with this level of bullshit. McGee had gone running straight to Jenny whining about the book. He also knew he needed to deal with Abby but first, he went to see Ducky.
The Medical Examiner looked up from his paperwork. “So you are back to stay then?”
“It was impressed upon me that I was letting someone down,” Gibbs replied.
Ducky just grinned, the timing was just too fortuitous. “And would that be, young Anthony?”
Gibbs nodded. “Yeah Duck, it was. Fornell blasted me and I deserved it. Have you read the book?”
Ducky nodded, pursing his lips. He hadn’t said anything about the book mainly because he was only made out to be old. He was furious on behalf of young Anthony and Mr. Palmer. “I was intending to sue until Anthony informed me had the issue in hand.”
Gibbs had to smile. “Oh, he gave a copy to JAG with an explanation of his concerns and also, his friend’s wife, Michelle Adelson has volunteered to try the case for Tony, and anyone else he cares to name on the suit.”
Ducky chuckled. “Of course, he knows the most feared female lawyer in Washington. I shouldn’t have doubted it. Have you seen him?”
Gibbs nodded and he had permission from Tony to share with Ducky and Jimmy where he sort of was. “He’s working as a liaison with the FBI’s BAU. Fornell took him under his wing and is not letting go anytime soon and he threatened me with Dianne’s golf club. Little Emily has adopted him as a big brother too.”
Ducky snorted. “Oh, I have no doubt that Tony will charm Dianne enough that she would gladly hit you again.” Ducky’s phone rang and the medical examiner listened. “It would seem the Director would like to talk to you about being unreasonable.”
Gibbs smirked. “Not unreasonable. We need to talk away from here. It’s important.”
Ducky might have refused him but that tone was one he only heard when Gibbs’ was in serious mode. “Of course, we have much to catch upon.”
Gibbs stormed back upstairs. “McGee, where is Ziva?”
“She is on her way boss. Her alarm broke.” McGee explained. “Er, the Director wants you, Boss.”
Gibbs stared at the agent. “If you think the Director can stop me from suing you, you are sadly mistaken. Tell Ziva she has ten minutes to get her butt here, or she can find another team. I do not, nor have I ever tolerated tardiness.”
“Tony has been late on more than one occasion.” McGee tried to defend his teammate.
Gibbs rolled his eyes. “And yet DiNozzo’s times show he has spent more time here than both you and Ziva combined in the last month. So are you really going to compare yourself to DiNozzo? If so, you are going to lose badly and look even more inept. Think carefully, you have until I come out of Jenny’s office. If you’re lucky Ziva will get here in time for you to attempt to get your stories in order.”
Balboa had heard it all and shook Gibbs’ hand as he walked past his desk. “Nice to see you back. Please tell me DiNozzo is on a beach?”
Gibbs shook his head. “Nope, on assignment with the BAU.”
“Ah well, at least he is away from the toxic trio. I can’t wait to see you knock them all down a few pegs. This morning has been immensely satisfying to watch. It’s just a shame that DiNozzo wasn’t able to see it.” Balboa finished with. “Let me know if you need any help.”
Tony had, even more, friends than he knew.
The Cop station tended to be the same no matter what state you were in. As they got to the floor housing Homicide the man in charge on the ground introduced himself. “Lieutenant Daniel Kim. I see some familiar faces.”
Hotchner stepped forward. “Yes, and these are Agents Prentiss, Rossi and DiNozzo.”
“I have a place set up for you with everything you need – case files, bad coffee and glass boards to theorise.”
Hotchner smiled. “That is brilliant, my team has their assignments. I will need to speak with the singer, Dante. He is the one thing that links all our victims.”
Kim sighed. “Understandable but it will be tricky, the celebrities around shroud themselves in privacy laws and they’re more zealous about it than a dragon with treasure.”
Aaron flipped a piece of paper open.
22423 Greenvale Circle,
Holmby Hills, CA 90210
Aaron added, “We have the coordinates but would welcome a person showing us the way.”
Tony looked at the community they were rolling through, 90210 really was in a class of its own. “Wow, I think picked the wrong career all those years ago.”
Kim snorted at that. “You would be bored me thinks, Agent DiNozzo.”
Tony, who still had his sunglasses on, swiveled in his chair to look at the Police Lieutenant. “You are probably right, but I could have wallowed in way more luxury.”
The house was as luxurious even for Beverly Hills. The Agents looked at the cars, “One of those cars don’t belong.” Aaron noted. The Police Lieutenant obviously agreed as he separated momentarily from them to find out.
A man came out of the mansion and looked a little different out of makeup. Hotchner asked him. “Dante?”
The man froze and Tony say a whole gamut of emotions run across his face in that brief second. “No, Paul Davies. I play Dante on stage.”
Ah, Tony understood that tone better than many would. A role could be a good thing and you would profit from it. In his Davies’ case, it made him a lot of money; in Tony’s case, it helped him save cases. He flashed a sympathetic smile as he held his hand out. “A role can be tiresome when it’s played too long. Would you mind helping us with a line of questioning?”
Tony didn’t miss the lingering look up and down his body. Too bad he had his eye on Hotchner or he might have let the rock star chase him. “Let’s step inside, I am always happy to help our countries finest.”
Tony saw Hotch’s glare at the way Davies said finest. Tony could work with that as soon he settled the Reaper issue.