Swingin’ on the Vegas Strip – Chapter Two and Three

  • Rough Draft
  • Work in Progress
Content Rating:
  • R

Nick Stokes/Tony DiNozzo/Greg Sanders, Other Minor Pairings, Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid

  • Character Bashing
  • Death - Major Character
  • Discussion - Murder
  • Hate Crimes
  • Murder
  • No Beta
  • Violence - Canon-Level
  • Angst
  • Challenge Response
  • Drama
  • Ménage or More
Word Count:

Author's Note:
All major character death is now completed. There will be talks about it throughout the story, and it's possible some minor characters will die later, but the big stuff is done. Also, I have added a Hate Crimes tag as a precaution because I am unsure how one of the story elements will play out. I'd rather be safe than sorry.

In a world where Sentinels and Guides are commonplace, Tony's always been labeled "Undetermined". When he's brought back from his Agent Afloat position, a friendly question makes him wonder what he’s doing. In the end, he accepts the Vegas Crime Lab night shift lead position. He's shocked when the sight of the returning S&G pair sends his world into an explosion of sensations and feelings.

Made by Rivermoon1970


Chapter Two: Meeting doctors and a whole new kind of bond


Greg stepped into Bennington Sanitarium feeling more than a little unsure. He wished that Nick was with him, but if Blair was right then someone had to stay and protect their… their Swing.  Jesus, they were real.  Swing SentinelGuides were not supposed to be real. Only they were, and apparently not only did Vegas now have one, but he was also the mate of Nick and Greg.

Greg’s conversation with Pentacle Guide Sandburg had finished, and he’d headed back to the group to find that Ecklie had joined them. Catherine was still arguing her right to be in charge. It was completely ridiculous, and just proved in Greg’s opinion that she wasn’t fit to be a Lead CSI. Apparently Conrad had been listening long enough that he was tired of the whining. “Catherine! Enough!” The older man snapped, and Greg had to hide his glee.

He loved Catherine to death despite the fact that she got him blown up. As the Alpha Guide of the Lab, Greg had never sensed the hatred in her that Sam had tried so hard to install, and carried himself. She was just completely and totally uneducated about S&G issues.  From what Warrick said earlier that would hopefully be getting fixed. Catherine may be daddy’s girl, but he had to believe that she would never let Sam’s ideology or hatred stand between her and her ambition.

“I don’t even understand why I am having to explain this. It should be common sense, and frankly I don’t care about your lack of education. That is on you, and your daddy dearest. Nick, and for that matter everyone else here, is correct. You are not in charge of what is going on in that office. Nick and Greg are the Alpha Sentinel and Guide pairing in all of LVPD. That means they outrank everyone including myself and the sheriff. Everyone! That certainly means you. Furthermore, as far as I am concerned, you have shown with this little temper tantrum of yours that you are not fit to be in charge. Therefore, by my order as undersheriff, Nick is in charge until Dr. DiNozzo is able to take over again, or I hear from the Pentacle pair personally. If for some reason he can’t do it, Warrick will take over for him.”

“Jim and Blair are on their way,” Greg offered inserting himself into the conversation. “Fortunately they were already in LA.  So, they will be driving down. They considered flying, but they don’t have their plane today. I have orders to go get a Dr. Reid. Blair says he will be able to help us. Nicky, Jim wants you to stay here. He wants to make sure that Dr. DiNozzo isn’t disturbed, again. He’s quite… upset about his sanctuary being disrupted once already.”

Greg leaned in and kissed his mate’s cheek. He desperately wanted to explain things to his first Sentinel, but… he just couldn’t stand feeling his new Sentinel, Swing SentinelGuide he mentally corrected, in pain, and not helping.

Stealing the keys to Nick’s truck from his mate’s pocket, Greg ran from the lab. He wasn’t sure how a mental patient was going to help them, but he trusted Blair as much as anyone else on the planet. So, if he said they needed Dr. Spencer Reid then that’s who they were getting.

Now, as he walked into the lobby, he wished that he felt more confident.  Blair said that he would call the hospital and clear the path for him, so to speak.  When he walked in, there was an older gentleman standing by the nurse’s station.  Waiting with him was a taller man who appeared to be about Greg’s age. He had a satchel slung across his body, and had a death grip on its straps.

“Hi,” Greg offered holding out his hand to the older gentleman. “I’m Alpha Guide Greg Sanders from the Las Vegas Crime Lab.” Greg took his credentials out of his pocket, and noticed it was the younger man who studied them before nodding to the older one.

“I was instructed by Pentacle Guide Sandburg to come get a Dr. Spencer Reid. There is a… situation at the lab, and Dr. Sandburg believes that Dr. Reid can help.”  Since he wasn’t sure who was Dr. Reid Greg was trying to address them both.  He wasn’t terribly surprised based on the warning he’d gotten from Blair when the younger man stepped up.

“I’m Dr. Reid,” the younger man advised taking a shaky step forward. “Blair told me what has happened. I will do whatever I can to help you and Sentinel Stokes to…”  Spencer trailed off, and Greg could feel the pain he was holding. Whatever had happened to this man had been terrible.  Greg ached to help.

“We should go,” Spencer finally said again. “I’ll explain in the car.”

Nodding Greg turned, and walked out hoping Spencer would follow. The older man’s disapproval followed them like a bad omen. Greg could feel that he didn’t like this, but whatever was going on with Dr. Reid apparently hadn’t overridden his ability to make his own decisions.

When they got to the car, Greg paused when his passenger put a hand on his arm.  “You need to know some things before we go,” the young doctor offered quietly. His need to help Dr. DiNozzo was eating at him, but then so was the fragile state of his passenger.

“I once had a Sentinel and a Swing SentinelGuide myself.  Roughly nine months ago they were… both murdered at roughly the same time.  My…” The young doctor’s voice broke, and Greg longed to offer a touch of comfort, but Blair had made it clear the young man hadn’t liked being touched even before what happened to him.

“My Aaron was short in the chest as we were leaving the FBI building in Quantico. We both worked on the BAU team located there.  My Gibbs was killed roughly five minutes later in DC at the Navy Yard.  He was shot in the head. The… Dr. DiNozzo was there. He was standing next to him.  I’ve always believed that they didn’t know who… Jim and Blair and myself think that the… the Americans for Mundane Rights were responsible. They are on several government watch lists, and have been known to encourage acts of violence by their followers, which led to numerous beatings, lynching, and other deplorable acts over the years.  Their members have been found on conspiracy sites talking about murdering Swings if they were ever found to be real. Apparently, they think somehow that the existence of a Swing SentinelGuide would put mudanes in danger of ceasing to exist.”

Greg swallowed heavily wanting to comfort the doctor now more than ever.  To have lost not one of your mates but two was… Jesus. Greg wouldn’t have survived.  “I can’t help Dr. DiNozzo directly, but I am willing to show you and Nick how to help him settle initially. There isn’t a lot of knowledge, but I probably know more than anyone.  I am willing to tell you three what I know. I realize that picking me up at a… at Bennington doesn’t offer much confidence, but…”

“No!” Greg had to cut in, and unintentionally startled his new friend. If anything came out of this, Greg was determined Dr. Reid would be his friend. “I have all the confidence in you in the world. What you went through. I can’t even imagine how you survived at all. When this is all over, we will do anything we can to help you. I don’t know your situation, if you have people helping. If so, you can add the three of us to the list. If not, well you do now.”

Spencer just nodded, but Greg could feel the small sliver of relief amongst all the pain.  He hoped that didn’t mean the poor man really was alone. It was certainly the last thing he deserved.

When they got back to the lab, Greg led Spencer to the front desk to get a visitor’s badge, and then to the office.  When they walked up, Nick was standing in front of the door with his arms crossed over his chest.  His face might as well have been made of stone, and Greg wondered if Catherine had made more of a fuss after he left. Or, if it was just the strain of listening to what must feel like his guide suffering.

“G,” Nick said in greeting, and Greg could feel his relief at his return. “I’m glad to see you. I think Dr. DiNozzo is asleep or unconscious. I was afraid to go in since I didn’t know what was going on.  I hope we don’t gotta wait too much longer though. It’s makin’ me feel squirrely just standin’ here.”

Greg nodded and moved to take his sentinel’s hand. “Nicky, this is Dr. Spencer Reid. He… has experience with our situation.”

“That’s good to hear,” Nick offered unsure. “Whatever that means. What is our situation? I’m a little unclear here, G. You didn’t really say much before you left.”

Greg was going to respond when Nick looked toward the office. “I think he just woke up, but he’s obviously still… I dunno.”

“We should go in,” Spencer offered quietly clutching the satchel straps still. “He needs you and Guide Sanders, Sentinel Stokes. Once you’ve got him stable, we can go to your Isolation Room, and I will be happy to explain everything. I don’t… you won’t want this out where everyone can hear. At least my… My Aaron and My Gibbs didn’t.”

Greg felt a surge of pain coming off the man, and bit his lip as he squeezed Nick’s hand. His mate seemed to accept the doctor’s suggestion, and turning knocked on the door. “Doc DiNozzo, there are three of us who would like to come in. It’ll be myself and my Guide Greg along with Dr. Spencer Reid. We want to help you.”

“Dr. Reid? Gibbs’ Dr. Reid? If so, you can come in. Please be quick though. It hurts when you open the door.”  Nick looked to the stranger who nodded and quickly led them into the office.  Dr. DiNozzo was sitting in the back corner of the room, and could barely be seen around the large grizzly perched in a protective position in front of him.  Nick’s own wolf Dwight was pressed close to the man’s side, and Valo Greg’s spider monkey was perched on his shoulder.

“Spencer,” Greg heard Dr. DiNozzo say.

“Hello, Tony,” the doctor responded moving around the bonded pair. “I have wanted to meet you for a long time. I’m… I wish it had happened sooner. Gibbs… Gibbs he…” Spencer stopped obviously struggling.

Apparently Tony, as Spencer had called him, wasn’t aware of whatever touch issue the younger man had, because he quickly stood and moved to wrap his arms around the man. Greg was about to protest as his new friend immediately burst into tears.  Before he could though, he sensed a bit of comfort in the touch.  He guessed that this Gibbs person who it seemed was Spencer’s Sentinel must have been important to them both, as he felt a similar thread of grief coming from his new mate.  It seemed odd to think of the man that way, but at the same time it felt right.  Greg noticed that the Spirit Animals hadn’t moved away. A large cat had moved to perch on Tony’s other shoulder, and Dwight and the bear merely shifted positions.

Once he was ready, the young doctor pulled back and after wiping off his face spoke.  “It looks like Tony has already started the bonding.  It… bonding works differently with a Swing. The most commonly used title of address is Swing and then the person’s last name unless you are in a formal setting then you would use the entire status of Swing SentinelGuide and the last name. The whole… the sex thing isn’t really as important. It’s more about the Spirit Guides as a Swing’s bonds initiates on the Sprit Plain. An Unbonded Swing won’t have contact with his Spirit Guides until he comes online like a Sentinel or Guide would. Once they appear they will never interact with someone the swing has not formed some type of a bond with. The first people they will interact with after the Swing himself or herself will always be the mates.

“A Swing has never come online without his or her mates present.  I think it’s because there is such a large overload of emotions and sensations not to mention all of the other things that come with being a Swing. It would simply be too dangerous for them to be on their own. In my opinion the Swing wouldn’t survive more than 24 hours without being bonded.

“As I said a little bit ago, Swing DiNozzo has already bonded with your Spirit Guides.  What needs to happen now is Nick will need to bond with Tony’s Guide Spirit Guide, and Greg will need to bond with Tony’s Sentinel Spirit Guide.  Once that is done, we can go to the isolation room, and I will try my best to explain what’s going on. Most of it is conjecture and speculation on my part but…”  Finally Spencer trailed off. Greg still wanted to hug him, but wanted to get this bonding with Tony’s Sentinel Spirit Guide underway.

Sitting on the floor in a sort of meditation position, Greg opened himself up and waited.  Next to him he could feel Nick following what he’d done. Once his mate was comfortably seated he reached over and took Nick’s hand before opening his shields.  Almost immediately, the cat jumped off of Tony’s shoulder and began moving toward Nick.  Slowly but steadily the creature moved across the floor. Once he was close enough Greg watched the big cinnamon colored fur ball sniff at his mate’s fingers and then lick his skin.

Greg could feel Nick’s nerves, and couldn’t help but think that this felt like some horrible job interview and first date all in one.  “What’s his name?” Greg heard Nick ask softly, speaking to their Swing for the first time.

“Caan,” Tony said quietly now holding onto Valo with Dwight pressed against his leg. “His name is Caan, after James Caan who played Sonny Corleone in The Godfather. The bear is Brando, named after Marlon Brando who played Don Vito Corleone. I… I like the movie.”

Spencer snickered, and the sound was almost a shock to the room. “You like all movies, if Gibbs was to be believed.”

Tony grinned and shrugged as he briefly shifted his attention to Dr. Reid. “Says the man who’s never met a book he hasn’t memorized.”

Greg was happy to hear the sound. There were several things he would need answers to, and added that to his list. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but Spencer seemed to be better since he’d come in contact with Tony. He hadn’t known the man very long though, so it might be his imagination. His emotions felt lighter though, and while he didn’t have a Sentinel’s senses, Spencer seemed to be less pale and even looked to have a little more energy than he had before.

It was definitely something he would be mentioning.  When he turned his attention back to Nick, Caan seemed to have made up his mind. As he watched, the spirit animal was jumping into his guide’s lap, and quickly vanished.  He could feel the rush of sensation and change their existing bond as it suddenly felt more somehow than it had before.

He was just barely aware that Brando had moved toward him and like Caan had quickly disappeared as the large animal bent down to hug him. It was… it was amazing. Everything was just… everything was more. He could feel everyone so much better and clearer. Information that he had before was enhanced with new information. For instance, not only could he feel Catherine’s upset and anger at Doctor DiNozzo, but he could feel exactly why she was upset.

He was dismayed to feel that what he had always perceived as upset at how Mundanes are sometimes considered not as good as Sentinels or Guides, was actually straight up prejudice. Why she chased after Warrick so much he didn’t know, and didn’t wanna try and find out as it would require him to be more invasive than he was comfortable with. The prejudice and anger were not only on the surface of her emotional makeup, but she was consciously letting her feelings be known to any and all around her. He now was less confident that things with Catherine would work out, but because he didn’t feel anything dangerous from her that would put someone at risk, was bound by law to keep what he sensed to himself.

Immediately upon blocking out what Catherine was projecting, Greg felt Tony’s presence in his head. It was like… well everything that was good.  Love and comfort and safety and… just everything.  Tony felt like his Sentinel, but also like a fellow Guide. One stronger than himself though. Closer to how Blair Sandburg felt, but he thought even more than that.  Greg wasn’t sure he cared what it was. He just knew that this man was his, and he loved him the same as he’d loved Nicky since they’d first met the day he started at the lab.  He didn’t have answers, but that was ok. He knew everything he needed to know. Dr. Tony DiNozzo Swing SentinelGuide was his. Frankly, that was all that mattered.


Chapter Three: Explanations Galore


The four men were settled in the Isolation room. Dr. Reid had coffee, which he was moaning over happily, while Nick, Greg, and Tony were sprawled together on a pile of pillows of various sizes. The four men’s animals were even huddled together. Spencer had been shocked when his own Spirit Guide Archimedes, a Big Horned Owl that looked a bit unhealthy, made an appearance and was immediately welcomed by Caan and Brando. Currently the big bird was perched on Brando’s back watching things as Caan sat behind him and appeared to be trying to groom his feathers.

“I’m not sure where to start,” Reid murmured softly clutching the coffee with both hands, and taking comfort in its warmth. “There are obviously things that you need to know about your new circumstance, but I don’t know how to begin that without telling you the truth about…”

“Truth about what, Spencer?” Tony asked softly leaning against Nick’s chest with Greg in his arms. Every so often he’d drop his cheek to rest against Greg’s hair. It was soft and he liked the blonde spikes. It reminded him of hairstyles he wore when he was younger and could pull it off. These days he was going for the partial slick backed look with glasses. He’d hated wearing contacts, and when he decided to leave DC, he decided to switch.

“Aaron’s not dead,” Spencer admitted biting his lip. When Caan, Tony’s cinnamon short hair, finished with Archimedes and moved to curled up in his lap, Spencer took advantage of the animal’s comfort curling his arms around the Spirit Guide.

“Only my…. Only My Gibbs died that day,” Spencer whimpered burying his face in the soft fur for a moment until he could continue.

“I don’t… I need to start from the very beginning, I think.” Spencer finally said. When he lifted his face to look at his three companions, they all nodded quietly encouraging him to go on.

“LJ wasn’t our true third. I am a Guide, and Aaron was like you Tony. He was… He is a Swing SentinelGuide, which means that he has both Guide and Sentinel abilities. He can even be self-sufficient. Meaning he can regulate himself if needed. Although it’s recommended only to be used on occasion, and it only worked after he’d bonded with another Guide and Sentinel. No Swing SentinelGuide has access to their full abilities prior to bonding.”

Spencer looks up at Tony. “Actually, they’ve always said that they don’t have access to any of their abilities, but I think, Tony, that Gibbs has been using your Guide half to regulate his Sentinel, when needed. Somehow. It shouldn’t have worked, but it seems to me as if it did. I’ve wanted to discuss it with Blair, but didn’t want to risk bringing you to the wrong person’s attention before you came online. My theory is that because you two were so close, Gibbs told us he thought of you as his younger brother, that you’d formed enough of a bond to activate a tiny bit of your Guide abilities. Did they ever test you after say the first year at NCIS?”

Tony thought about the question, and then shook his head no. “I had to be tested when I moved from Baltimore PD to NCIS, but I haven’t been tested since.”

“I would guess that you may have reflected as a latent Guide had you been tested within the last few years. Without having met your true mates, I theorize that you could act as an emergency Guide for Gibbs as something like a… signal booster. I suppose though now we won’t know for sure…”

Spencer trailed off uncertainly, and Tony longed to go over and put his arms around the man. He sensed though that the young genius was no longer receptive to touch, and was happy to let Caan offer the comfort in his place.

“It’s a good theory, Reid,” Tony offered quietly. “It would have been interesting to know if it was correct. You said that Gibbs wasn’t your true third?”

Spencer lifted his head looking surprised that someone was interested in his theory, and smiled shyly. “No, our… Our true third was Jason Gideon. He… he didn’t want us though. He didn’t want anyone. When the three of us came in contact the day I started, we immediately knew. He… he rejected us though. So, Aaron’s abilities went Dormant until we found Gibbs after Gideon left us. I think that most likely the strain of the constant presence of the bond he’d rejected was what pushed Jason back over the edge when Sarah died.”

Spencer frowned unhappily thinking of the Sentinel’s exit from their lives. “He’d tried to fool himself into believing that he could be content with a Mundane like Sarah. It never would have worked though, and more he tried to force it, the more he broke. When she was killed, I think something in his head snapped. Last I heard, he lives in the middle of the dessert somewhere. I sincerely hope that I never see him again. I’ve never wished anyone to suffer, but I don’t feel the least bit bad that Gideon does now.”

Spence’s frown deepened, but when it turned sad, Tony guessed that his thoughts had turned to Gibbs. “Aaron and I agreed after Gideon left that it was time to begin looking for another third. Normally, a Swing SentinelGuide can only bond with their True Mates. The exceptions to that though are if the True Sentinel or True Guide are either killed or if one of the two reject the bond, the Swing’s SentinelGuide self will allow them to look for a compatible replacement. It isn’t easy though. The bond won’t accept someone who has a True Mate out there somewhere, and they have to be an Alpha or Pinnacle level Sentinel or Guide. Gibbs… it took a long time to find Gibbs.”

Spencer sniffed and rested his cheek on Caan’s fur again as he continued to explain. “I always thought that once we found our new third that everything would be perfect, but… Gibbs and Aaron were worried. They wanted to keep everything a secret. Gibbs thought that there was a threat to Aaron, and it was the only way to keep us all safe. When Jim and Blair came to see us, they agreed. Only they all lied. It didn’t keep anyone safe. Gibbs is dead, and Aaron is in a medically induced Swing Stasis. They can’t bring him out until we can find another replacement Sentinel. Only this time I have to do it all by myself.”

“No you don’t,” Tony said firmly, and was glad when Greg’s head bobbed up and down in agreement in front of him. He could also feel support for their decision from Nick through the strengthening bond. “Gibbs would want me to look out for you. So, even after you find this third mate, you’re stuck with me. You won’t be doing anything all by yourself anymore, unless it’s what you want. Can you answer some questions? Are you up for it?”

Spencer nodded rapidly, but remained quiet looking slightly stunned at the proclamation. “Where is Aaron now? Is he here in Vegas as well?” Tony asked, and Spencer immediately shook his head no.

“I don’t know where he is, but I don’t think that he is here. I… I haven’t seen him since he was shot. They tried to tell me that he was dead, but… I mean… I can still feel him. I don’t understand why they’d say he didn’t survive when they have to know that I can still feel him. When I called them on their bullshit they were forced to admit that he’d survived and that’s when they told me about the stasis.”

“That’s,” Tony started and stopped as he scowled. “Greg do you have a phone you can take some notes for me on? Would you mind?” Greg hurriedly agreed that he didn’t mind, and took out his phone allowing Tony to continue.

“Item number one is going to be finding Aaron and getting him brought here. It’s fucking bullshit that Spencer can’t go see him, and it can’t be good for either of them. I don’t know what fucking moron thought that up, but it’s changing. I have a question about the keeping the Swing status a secret.

“You don’t ever hear about Swings. People treat them like they’re unicorns. If they have to find their True Mates to come online, I can see how that would make things more difficult. Although, there should be some way to more easily find matches. Spencer, do you know if there are any other living Swing SentinelGuides who are active?”

Spencer shook his head slowly. “Jim and Blair told us that they’d all been murdered, or at least the ones within the United States have. Thinking back I realize they were less specific than I thought they were. So, I am not sure, I guess. I do know that there are only about 20 Swing SentinelGuides a year who come online unlike the thousands of Pure Sentinels and Pure Guides. Gibbs was convinced that you would be a Swing though when he found out that Aaron’s status had always been Undetermined also.  I think that it’s part of the reason why he wanted to keep things secret. He was trying to protect two people he cared for a great deal. He had problems with the coincidence that there were two Swings so close together also when so few are registered to come online a year.”

“Rule 39: There’s no such thing as a coincidence.” Tony said immediately.

“Rule 39?” Nick echoed sounding slightly amused, and Tony nodded looking back over his shoulder at his Sentinel.

“Gibbs had a rule for everything. I can see Gibbs going with the secrecy thing. He liked to do that with just about everything. It seems though like that route has been thoroughly proven to be a failure.”

“What’re you thinkin’, Boss?” Nick asked running his hand up and down Tony’s arm. The Swing was fairly sure that if the Texan started playing with his hair, he might start purring.

“That we need to do an oppo.”

“That’ll be a hell of a lot of publicity,” Greg pointed out, and interestingly it was Spencer who answered.

“Is your privacy more important than your mate’s lives?” Surprised, Greg just blinked as he looked at his new friend, and eventually shook his head.

“It’ll be harder for them to kill him if everyone has their eyes on him,” Nick pointed out agreeing with Spencer. “Not impossible, and not even hard, but still it will be harder with the whole world watching him. You know I’m the last one to want to be in the public’s eye, G, but in this case I think that’s the way to go. We’ll need extra security. Especially if you wanna bring this Aaron here.

“The S&G Council has Elite Protection Units that are made up of former military and government agents from around the world. We should easily be able to request one assigned to Vegas until this is all cleared up. We gotta know that even going public won’t get rid of the threat completely. It’ll just hopefully slow them down some. So, we’ll need to stay diligent and accept help from professionals. Doctor Reid, what can you tell us about this bonding from here on out? Is it over or what?”

They watched as Spencer seemed to pull himself together again before answering. “The bond itself should be in place, but as with any mating, you’ll need to take a few days to yourselves. Plus, it will take two or three days for Tony to get used to his new abilities. If it works like it did with Aaron, he seemed to just… know how to do things. As we got used to each other, Gibbs and I would walk him through things, and that seemed to be all that he needed. Considering we couldn’t exactly take him to an S&G center, I guess that was a good thing. I would recommend that you take at least a week off. It’ll give you time to get used to each other, and for this Protection Unit to get here.”

“Do we know when Blair and Jim will get here?” Tony asked suddenly not able to be in the building any longer. He needed to be somewhere that felt and smelled like his mates, and had a lot less people. Before they could go though, he needed to resolve one more detail. “Spencer, why are you at Bennington? Is that where you want to be? And, would you go somewhere else if you had somewhere to go?”

Tony watched Spencer pet Caan’s soft fur for a bit before he answered. “Blair told me that he and Jim would be in Vegas today. They’re gonna stop and talk to the Lab Supervisor then come speak to you three. Blair figured that you’d be outside of the lab and at someone’s home by the time they arrive, and he wants to get some lab situation settled first.

“After Aaron got shot, I think I did something that kept him alive until they got there. I just remember my hands feeling warm, and like I had to keep him from bleeding out. When the EMTs got there though, they had to pry me off him, and then… Well, I don’t remember anything until I woke up in Bennington. I didn’t… I didn’t take it well at first. I missed Gibbs’ funeral. I didn’t get… I didn’t get to say goodbye. Every day I feel like he died alone and that he lived his last few months still not knowing how much he was loved. I don’t think that I’ll ever forgive myself for going along with that stupid idea for Aaron and me to live apart from him. I feel like we let him down.”

Spencer sniffed and wiped a sleeve over his face to get rid of the tears on his face before continuing. “I couldn’t have been on my own, and I didn’t really want to see anyone from the team. I was embarrassed. I feel like it’s my fault somehow that Aaron got hurt. I got an email from Garcia though that Emily left shortly after that, and convinced Derek to go with her. I think that Rossi retired again. I heard from JJ once that she was taking some time off to decide what she wants to do. She and Will are thinking about moving to New Orleans. Garcia is staying with the FBI for the moment. While I’m friends with Garica, and JJ and I were close at one point that feels… different now somehow.

“I stay at Bennington, because I don’t have anywhere else to go. I don’t… I know I can’t handle being alone again, but I hate being there. It scares me. It’s like my worst nightmare is coming true. I’ve always been scared that I’d turn into my mother stuck in a mental hospital, and look where I am now. I need Aaron back. I need to not be surrounded by everything I am terrified of every second of my day, but I still don’t have a place to go and I don’t know what to do.”

“What if you came to live with us?” Nick asked quietly surprising Tony, and from the brief look of shock on Greg’s face matching the feeling through the bond it seemed he wasn’t the only one.

“We have the room. There’s a spare room that we never have anyone to stay in it. Neither Greg nor I are close enough to our family anymore to have out of town visitors. Our house isn’t huge, but both the master suite and the spare room are practically isolation rooms. When Greg and I redid the house, we made sure that both rooms could be used by a Sentinel without anything bleeding out beyond the room’s walls or from outside the rooms into them. Plus, it’ll make things easier once the Protection Team gets here.”

Tony nodded then turned his head to give his Sentinel a quick kiss. “You are an amazing man, Nicholas Stokes.” Tony turned his attention back to Gibbs’ former Guide. “Spencer, I would love for you to come stay with us, and it surely would make me feel better. I’m going to say it, again. I know Gibbs would have wanted me to look out for you, and that’s what I intend to do. Not because I think you’re weak, but because it’s what is right and doing anything else would make me feel itchy scratchy.”

Tony looked down to his Guide to see the man watching Spencer intently. “Dr. Reid, I already told you in Nicky’s truck that you had three people on your side now, and I meant it. I’m in on the whole Spencer living with us thing. I vote we go clear his stuff out of that… place and take him home with us. We’ve tested out the rooms as best as we can. If you can’t hear my H.I.M CDs in the spare room with the speakers on the other side of the door and turned all the way up, he should be good for any wild bunny sex that will be happening.”

“Now that sounds promising,” Tony threw out grinning, and Spencer looked like he was trying not to laugh. When he did speak though, he was serious once again.

“There are exactly twenty three reasons floating around in my head as to why I should turn down your offer, and only two reasons why it seems logical to accept.” Spencer started before letting out a deep sigh and looking down at his hands. “There’s also one illogical reason why I want to do it. For once I am going with what I want, and not what logic dictates. You knew Gibbs better than I did, Tony, and I feel like to not accept your offer would be to dishonor his memory. And, well… I just want to. So, I’m going to say yes. Please, get me out of that hospital.”

Pulling away from his new mates, Tony crossed the distance between himself and Spencer and slowly reached out to pull the younger man into his arms. “You have my word, Spence. You won’t ever see the inside of that place as a patient ever, again.”


  1. Sweet Circe! I should be packing, but I got sucked into reading this. It was worth every moment of it! Loving this thus far! 🙂

  2. Great story. I’m glad that they’re being so supportive of Spencer and will try to find Aaron.

  3. I really love where you are going with this story.
    And all those yummy men aren’t a bad thing either 😉

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