- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- Character Bashing
- No Beta
- Permanent Injury
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Alternate Universe
Chapter Three: Island Boys
Tony was sitting in one of the beach chairs that John had in his yard watching TJ and his nanny Isla play in the sand. Fortunately, John still kept the buckets and other beach toys in the same place in the garage, and his key still fit in the lock. He’d been worried, despite the older man promising that he would always have a key to the house. Several years back the house had been broken into forcing the older man to change the locks.
Tony’s heart had broken a little, because even though he hadn’t actually been back since he was a child, knowing the house was there had gotten him through some tough moments. He was sure that was gone, until a week after hearing the news delive3 red in a call with his father substitute, a package arrived via FedEx from Hawaii requiring his signature. He’d had to make a special trip down to the nearest hub because he knew that with his crazy hours that he’d never be able to catch the driver at home. When he saw the elder McGarrett’s address in the return spot on the label, he knew what was in the small padded envelope.
When he’d finally made it home that evening and gotten TJ to bed, he’d sat on the couch staring at it for a long while, , before opening it up. There had been a simple note included with the new key to the front door and garage door. He read it with the key clutched tightly in one hand with the grooves digging into his flesh.
I told you that you’d always have a home here, and I meant it.
It meant the whole world to Tony, and he had immediately called his friend and mentor to thank him.
“I don’t know who you are or why you’re trespassing on private property, but I suggest that you and your family leave before I arrest you for trespassing.”
“I’m gonna stand up and turn, John,” Tony replied calmly lifting his hands from where they’d been resting on the chair arms and turning them over. He then held them out to the side as he stood slowly. “Please don’t take your gun out. It’ll scare TJ.”
Glancing at the beach, he saw Isla had moved to put herself between them and TJ to protect him in case things went badly. His nanny was bad ass. Turning around slowly he smiled at John happy to see the older man despite their current circumstances. He knew immediately that he should have ignored John’s orders to stay away years ago. Whatever was happening, the man needed family. “Hi, John. I’ve missed you.”
“I know the voice, but Jesus,” McGarrett uttered before stepping forward and wrapping him up in a big hug. “I outta kick your ass for coming. I told you it isn’t safe, but damn am I happy to see you, kid.”
Tony grinned happily as he returned the hug noticing another man come out of the trees on the edge of the property holstering his weapon. He looked to be Asian, and Tony guessed that he was John’s partner Chin Ho Kelly.
“I’m afraid I can’t stay away any longer, Pops,” Tony said once they’d finally pulled apart. The man he guessed was Chin had reached John’s side and was studying Tony curiously.
“Chin, I’d like you to meet my other son, Tony,” John introduced, and Tony’s heart filled with happiness hearing the older man identify him as his son. “Tony, this is my partner Chin Ho Kelly.”
“Papa!” Tony heard and turned just in time to catch TJ, who had thrown himself at his daddy. Isla followed him smiling, but he could see from the look in her eyes, that she was ready to pounce in the newcomers at any minute if she thought they were a threat to him or her charge. Seriously, badass was that woman.
“John, meet my son and your grandson, TJ and this is Isla Collins his nanny,” Tony introduced kissing TJ’s temple as the 3 almost 4 yr. old studied the two men in front of him curiously. “Figlio, meet your Nonno John and his friend Chin.” Tony shifted his gaze momentarily to Isla to make sure she knew she was included in that introduction. Isla’s family hadn’t been treated as straight servants for at least a hundred years, and Tony had no urge to change that. Fortunately, Isla understood and her smile softened into something more genuine and understanding momentarily.
“Nonno,” Chin repeated holding out his hand to shake Isla’s. “I don’t know that word. It sounds Spanish or Italian though from the way you said it.”
“It’s Italian for Grandfather,” John answered before Tony could. His voice was huskier than normal. When TJ leaned forward, John took him, and kissed his cheek making the little boy smile happily.
“Lo Nonno John,” TJ said happily. “It ber nice finally meets you. Papa telled me lots about you.”
When John just grinned big, Tony couldn’t help but laugh as Isla moved to stand next to him. Looping an arm over the younger woman’s shoulders, Tony watched the two men he loved the most in the world before replying to John’s earlier statement.
“As far as not coming goes, I’m afraid that couldn’t be put off anymore. So, you’re gonna have to accept that we’re here and maybe get over yourself and let me help with whatever is going on. It’s beyond time, and if I’m gonna be here then you might as well use me and my contacts and resources.”
John looked his way, frowning at him, and Tony could see the man trying to work up an argument. Fortunately, TJ distracted him. “Nonno John, I firsty.”
“Well, let’s go inside and get you a drink and something to snack on,” John replied bouncing the little boy slightly making him squeal. “Then while you’re eating your daddy can fill Chin and I on what’s going on.”
Tony saw Chin’s eyebrow lift in surprise, and guessed that the stubborn man hadn’t even told his partner what was going on. The small group headed inside the house, with John carrying TJ into the kitchen as Isla trailed after him. Tony though moved to the study that he knew John used as his office, and got comfortable in a chair that gave him a view down the hallway and into the living room. Chin settled in a chair nearby still studying him curiously.
“I didn’t know John had another son,” the detective commented sounding nothing but curious.
Tony smiled openly as he got comfortable while they waited for the older man to return. “Technically speaking, I’m not. I mean not genetically. My father, Anthony DiNozzo Senior, is a conman who mostly couldn’t be bothered with me unless he was letting out some frustration. One summer he brought me here for a business trip and forgot me in the hotel room when he left. John was the officer who responded, and took me home with him for almost a month until Senior got around to sending someone for me.”
“He forgot you?” Chin repeated incredulous and before Tony could respond, John came in and answered.
“Yeah, Senior isn’t what you’d call father of the year,” John grumbled as he came in handing off a couple bottles of Longboards before settling in a chair.
“So, what’s going on kid? What’s this about you not being able to stay away any longer? You know that it isn’t safe.” John grumbled scowling at Tony who just rolled his eyes.
“John,” Tony started eyeing the man feeling a little like he was dealing with Gibbs, “you do know that I work for NCIS, right?”
“Do you think I don’t have enemies of my own? High target enemies? That sweet looking nanny in your kitchen with my son was trained by MI6 operatives in weapons, security detail, defensive driving to name a few. You name it they trained it. There is a mob in Philly and most of the upper echelon of Mossad who would love to see me dead. So, let’s cut the crap.
“I got offered a promotion and I took it. I think it’s time that you let Steve and myself back into your life. I understand still keeping Mary at an arm’s length. She’s completely a civilian and has absolutely no ability to protect herself from our world, but I’ve been a cop and then Federal Agent for in the ballpark of 15 years. I’ve chased plenty of terrorists and serial killers at NCIS. Hell, I was chained to a serial killer for a while who tried to murder me, and I got the plague because some crazy woman’s daughter was ashamed of her foray into kinky sex. Enough is enough, Pops.”
“They’ve already taken my wife,” John argued stubbornly, “and this isn’t even my doing!”
“I’ll be damned if they take one of you kids from me or my grandkid.”
“That’s why it’s a good idea to let us help you, don’t you think?” Chin observed quietly. “Tony’s right. I’ve been your partner long enough to know that whatever it is you work on in your private time has torn you to pieces because you can’t get past the roadblock you hit. Maybe Tony and I can help you get past it. Isn’t it time for it to be over? Do you really think that physical distance will keep them safe? You’re too smart for that John. If they wanna find your weakness they will no matter where they live.”
John sighed and Tony could see he was aggravated. “I’ll consider it. Let’s get back to you being here.”
“I found out that Ziva didn’t stay behind in Israel because she wanted to,” Tony admitted before taking a big swallow of his beer getting angry just thinking about it all again. John was well aware of his feelings about Ziva David and her placement on the team. Despite what the Mossad operative wanted to believe there weren’t hidden sexual longings for her, and he sure as fuck wasn’t in love with her, either.
“Apparently, they caught her sending classified information to Mossad during the investigation after I killed her little boyfriend. Vance told Gibbs that she wasn’t going to be allowed back at NCIS. So, apparently when we were on the tarmac getting ready to come home, Ziva told Gibbs that she wouldn’t work with me anymore. He used that as his excuse and left her there. That of course left her with the impression that I was the only thing standing in the way between her and the life in the US that she wanted.
Sometime after that she went back to work for her father and… things got complicated. I can’t go into much detail. The gist though is something happened. We thought she was dead. Something else happened, and we ended up rescuing her. During the rescue, I got drugged with a homemade truth serum which messed up my head. Probably parts of it permanently.
“When we were recovering in one of the overseas hospitals, Ziva tried to kill me while I was in my hospital bed. The whole nasty truth came out, and eventually I came to the conclusion that I can’t stay on the team anymore. Director Vance had an opening here that he needed filled, and I was the one that he wanted it filled with.
As he told me, I can either use this as a stepping stone and move up the ladder, or I can settle in, set down roots, and retire here. I’m thinking that the ladder option sounds perfect. That is unless someone can’t pull his head out of his ass and accept a little well-placed help that I legally can offer because he is former US Navy and his son is a current Navy SEAL.
“Jesus, I said I’d think about it,” John grumbled scowling as Chin grinned appearing amused and happy that he had someone else to help him nitpick at his partner and friend.
“Are you sure you aren’t a McGarrett? You’re as fuckin stubborn as that other son of mine, and I know he’s mine. I remember making him.”
This time it was Tony’s turn to be amused, and his eyes twinkled as he tried to keep from choking on the mouthful of beer he’d been attempting to swallow.
“Only in my very best dreams, Pops,” Tony said and John huffed knowing that he couldn’t stay mad if the kid was gonna keep pulling out shit like that and calling him Pops.
“When do you start?” John asked deciding to turn the conversation. He had about a hundred questions that he wanted to ask, but some of it was quite personal and he didn’t want Tony to feel obligated to air his personal issues in front of Chin any more than he already had. “I assume you’re taking over Pearl Harbor for Special gent Lord when he retires?”
Tony nodded smiling as his thoughts turned to the new team. “Yup, I start after the beginning of the hear, so in a few weeks. The team looks pretty damned awesome. I have one investigative spot that I need to fill. Vance is letting me recruit someone. I was hoping you knew of someone local that might be interested in transferring. I would like a veteran. As much as I enjoy training people, I don’t want to have to focus on that right now any more than I have to. I know there will be some things I have to train, but I don’t wanna deal with some green rookie who’s never held a gun or solved a crime before.”
“Well,” John started looking to Chin who nodded quickly obviously following John’s thought, “I actually do have a name for you.”
“He’s not a local,” Chin cut in explaining, “but from what I’ve seen he’s a damned good detective.”
“He’s actually from around your neck of the woods, kid,” John said taking over again. “Transferred in as a Detective from Newark PD when his wife remarried and brought his daughter here.
“Don’t know a whole lot about him, but that he gets a lot of crap from most of the guys. He seems angry, but I can understand that. If I had an ex-wife that just up and moved my kid half way across the damned world for some rich hotel schmuck I’d be pissed off, too. I know the Detective that he’s paired with and Meka Hanamoa is a damned good officer who thinks a lot of Detective Williams. To be honest kid, I think you’d be doing the guy a favor if you saved him from the jackals that I work with.”
Tony cocked his head to one side, and took a pull of his beer as he thought about it, He’d honestly wanted someone truly local, but Vance had made it clear that the office could be expanded in the future if it was needed. They’d typically run with six agents plus the Agent in Charge, but Special Agent Lord had liked a smaller staff in the latter half of his career. And, he was all for helping out someone qualified who needed to escape a bad situation. If he recruited Detective Williams then he could keep his eye out for someone else that he wanted to recruit that was a lot greener than he wanted, but fit the native requirement that he was looking for.
Tony pulled out his phone and fired off a series of texts with a friend he had at FLETC. When he was done he smiled and nodded putting his phone away. “OK, Pops can you set something up so I can meet Detective Williams? If he goes for it, I can get him into the upcoming class. It’s a 60-day course. I can’t get around that, but most of our time would be spent here on the islands, and he’ll get paid a hell of a lot more. Probably better benefits too. I don’t know what the situation is with his ex, and who holds his child’s health insurance, but I know what I have for TJ is awesome. That’ll get me set for now. Technically I have two more spots to fill but I have to have at least four people to start… or rather I would feel better if I had four people to start. OH, Pops! Guess what?”
John arched an eyebrow smiling affectionately at his other son who was practically vibrating with happiness.
“Abby’s joining my team!”
“That’s great, kid,” John enthused as Chin watched quietly from his chair happy to see the joy on his friend’s face.
“Who is Abby?” He asked quietly drawing Tony’s attention.
“The happiest goth that you’ll probably ever meet in your life,” Tony explained before laughing.
“She’s also a Forensics genius. I stole her from the Navy Yard where I was located before I came here. She’s my best friend, and one of the few people who understood about this thing with Ziva. Vance said the Forensics Analyst position here needed filled, and offered Abs the job so she could come with me. AND, one of the existing agents is Gibbs’ Goddaughter Tara Gideon!”
“How’d the ol’ jarhead take the promotion?” John asked smiling. When Tony didn’t immediately answer and his facial expressions grew somber, he sat up straighter frowning once again. “Tony?”
Chin watched the two men seeing the somber expressions and expected the answer wasn’t going to be a happy one. When Tony finally started speaking, the younger detective didn’t understand the context or know the people but from the tone knew that it wasn’t good.
“Gibbs is one of the main reasons that I left. When Ziva attacked me, he asked me if I expected him to take my side again. As if I’d even known that he’d done it the first time.”
“Son of a bitch,” John muttered angrily under his breath, but it was loud enough that Chin heard it.
“So, after taking some time to see if I would get over it, I went to talk to Vance one night after the team left the office. We talked before I left, but… Well, I’m thinking some time apart would do us good. Not forever, just for a little while. He’s gotta go through some counseling before he’s allowed back anyway. I told Vance that I’d work with him again, but not if he was in charge. He ever comes here and he’s gonna have to do things my way.”
“I’m sorry, kid,” John said quietly, “I know what he meant to you.”
The older man then looked around the room and started smiling after a shriek of laughter from TJ could be heard. “If my grandson is gonna be here for Christmas, then I think we need to get to decorating. I want his first Christmas with his Nonno John to be special.”
At that last statement, Tony’s face broke out into a smile again as the conversation turned to holiday traditions and decorating ideas. Chin was happy to contribute where he could, and made a mental note to himself to make sure Tony knew that Chin’s cousin Kono was almost done with her degree in Criminal Justice, and would be looking for a job soon. NCIS might just be the perfect place for her.