- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- Discussion - Murder
- Hate Crimes
- No Beta
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Action Adventure
- Alternate Universe
- Urban Fantasy
The geis hit Detective Tony DiNozzo like a bomb, unexpected, devastating.
He was on the way to get coffee and the force of the spell sent him to his knees in the middle of the room. He heard his own cry as an echo vibrating around his ears, making his head spin sickeningly. He gasped, and found himself staring at his own hands. His fingers tried to clutch at the dirty bullpen carpet as the room swung around him in giddying circles. His mouth was suddenly watering, saliva flooding. He knew what was next and he tried to look up, desperately seeking a trash can, but as he lifted his head a sharp electric pain lanced through his brain and the swirling nausea got much worse. He gave in to the inevitable. As the first clench of stomach spasms hit, a trash can was shoved under his face, and he felt a brief thankfulness for who ever had saved him the indignity of splashing his lunch all over someone’s shoes.
Finally, after he’s emptied his stomach and withstood the painfully hard dry heaves that seemed to go on forever, someone handed him a bottle of water. His hands shook as he lifted it, took a sip, rinsed his mouth, and then spit it into the trash can. Taking a deep, shaky breath, he leaned back against someone’s desk, eyes closed.
He felt as if his entire body was wrapped in a flexible layer of rubber. It covered his face, his chest, his legs, just a little tight, a little constricting, all over his body. He felt that it allowed just enough movement in his chest to breathe–just barely enough. From one breath to the next, he was suddenly fighting a feeling of claustrophobia like he had never felt before. Panic floated up, tightening his throat, making his heart pound even faster than it already was, making his muscles tense, ready for flight or fight.
That’s what they want, he realized with a new knot in his belly. He’d seen it before; a mage, hysterical, freaking out, and someone in law enforcement using it as an excuse to kill. He was determined not to react like that.
“Detective DiNozzo. Please look at me.”
Tony managed to get his eyes open, looking up. Dan, his partner, was standing off to the side, his face grim, angry, and there were at least a dozen other cops standing around in a wide circle around him, but directly in front of Tony was Murdock, the Associate Mage for the department.. He was looking professional, unemotional.
Tony blurted, “What the fuck, Murdock?”
“You are hereby notified that I have placed a geis on you. The import of the geis is that you may not use magic in any way, not even on yourself, until the geis is lifted.” He dropped a folded sheet of paper on Tony’s legs and added, “This is the court order requiring me to act. You have been accused of using magic without written consent on a non-magical person. As you know, that is a capital crime. Until you have had a trial and it is determined whether or not the accusation is true, your magic is bound. Any attempt to use magic of any kind, even on yourself, will result in your death.
“You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you. You have a right to have a representative from the Magic Council with you during any questioning. No questioning will take place until the representative from the Council has arrived unless you choose not to wait. Do you understand what I have said to you?”
Tony thought about how many times he’d done the same thing, bound the magic of a mage. There had been no need to do it like this, unexpected, a deliberately vicious version of the spell. He’d never caused a mage he’d bound more than brief discomfort. He looked into Murdock’s eyes. He thought of saying something about it, then decided to keep quiet. The look on Murdock’s face made it clear that no complaint would accomplish anything but greater satisfaction for the bastard.
So he just said, “Who is accusing me?”
Murdoch shook his head. “We will not reveal that at this time. You’ll learn the specifics of the charges against you during your arraignment. Will you speak to us now, or do you want to wait for the MC representative?”
Tony stared up at Murdoch, still stunned, still fighting the panic. He couldn’t seem to get his head to work properly. All he could think was that 15 years ago there would have been no Magic Council representative, no right to face his accuser in court, and no bloody chance at all of surviving. Ten years before that, they would have just taken him out to the alley behind Headquarters and put a bullet in his brain, not even caring very much whether he was guilty or not.
Murdoch was scowling down at him. He repeated, “Will you speak to us now, or do you want to wait for the MC representative?”
Tony managed to get “I’ll wait for the MC rep, thanks, Murdoch” out and even managed what he hoped looked like a smile.
Robert Cooper, the Chief of Detectives, moved forward. His expression was stiff, an attempt at no expression at all, but Tony could see that he was furious. Tony felt a wave of desperate regret. Cooper had been good to him, had given him a chance. He’d let a mage act like a real cop, supported his placement on the Baltimore PD, and even promoted him to detective, and now that mage had supposedly harmed a non-magical. And Cooper was going to pay for it. This was likely to get him demoted, or even fired, even if the court could not prove Tony guilty.
Tony looked the man in the eye and said, softly “I did not do this, Chief.” They stared at each for what seemed like a long time, then the Chief’s chin dipped, just a little, a nod that was barely there.
Murdoch said, “Since you won’t talk to us, you’re going in the cells tonight. We’ll get with the MC and see when they can get a rep here.” He swung a pair of handcuffs from one finger. “Get up.”
It took a couple of tries, but no one offered to help. On his feet, knees shaking, he looked at his partner for the first time. While Murdoch was cuffing him he said, “You know I didn’t do anything, Danny.”
There were a couple of huffing sounds around him, expressions of contempt. Dan looked at him with hate and contempt clear on his face and said, “It was only a matter of time, Dinozzo. I told the Loo that. I told the Chief that. Thanks for proving me right, you devil-sucking bastard.” Then he turned and walked away.
A couple of uniforms took him down to booking, and through the whole process Tony fought the panic, the claustrophobia and the fear. By the time they got him into a cell, there were fine tremors running through his entire body. People came by every now and then, stared at him, then walked away. Some looked angry, some smirked at him. He was at least grateful that the two or three people he’d thought of as maybe sort of friends were not among them.
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