Author: Saydria Wolfe
Fandom: NCIS, Criminal Minds
Genre: Sentinels and Guides are Known, Episode Related (NCIS S3E8 Under Covers)
Relationships: Tony DiNozzo/Derek Morgan
Warning: Character Bashing (? It’s Gibbs)
Challenge: Just Write Trope Bingo, Square: Competence
Beta: PN Ztivokreb
Word Count: 1,874
Summary: Tony comes online as a sentinel when his partner/pretend mate’s life is threatened. Unfortunately, no one on his team believes him. Fortunately, help is closer than he could have imagined.
“No, DiNozzo,” Gibbs cut him off again. “You’re supposed to be the best undercover in the business. I want to know how you were made.”
“We were not made,” Ziva objected.
“Boss,” Tony tried, again. “I came online as a sentinel when they tried to drag Ziva out of the room—”
“That’s your excuse? For killing our suspects?”
“Boss, it’s not an excuse—”
“The hell it’s not!” Gibbs started but he was interrupted.
“Excuse me.” A calm voice put a stop to Gibbs’s tirade before it could truly begin. Thank god. Tony looked at the guy and he was gorgeous. Deep brown eyes Tony could drown in, smooth skin Tony could run his hands over for hours, and his smell was a dream and home and safety all wrapped up together.
“Who the hell are you?” Gibbs demanded.
“Special Agent Derek Morgan,” the man said as he tipped his head in the age-old signal of a guide prepared to ground a sentinel. Tony immediately stepped close and wrapped himself around the guide with his nose against the exposed pulse point. “Alpha Guide.
“You are aware that a newly online sentinel is automatically considered to be In Distress? And that by federal law, a Sentinel In Distress is an emergency situation? Getting that sentinel to their guide or a Center is the priority of all medical and legal professionals—including all agents of any federal agency—beyond any other concerns?”
Tony could feel Gibbs’s glare on his back. “I am aware.”
“I heard this sentinel advise you to his newly online status twice since I entered the lobby—”
“I heard it four times,” the pretty blonde sentinel watching his guide’s back said and Tony growled.
Derek’s hands came up to hold him closer and Tony relaxed against him.
“Four times, then,” Derek corrected himself. “Why are you not responding appropriately in this emergency situation?”
Gibbs didn’t answer.
Unfortunately, Ziva did. She said, “It’s just Tony.”
“We’re leaving,” Derek said, and he started pulling Tony away from what the sentinel used to think of as his team.
Tony jerked back, feeling Gibbs reaching for him—reaching for his guide—but the blonde sentinel stepped between Tony and Gibbs’s hand before Gibbs could make contact.
“Attempt to impede the alpha guide again,” she said in a low, dangerous tone, “and I will use force.”
“JJ,” Derek called, gently chiding.
“Go,” she ordered, and Tony could feel other sentinels closing in on their position. “I’ll be right behind you.”
“Come on,” Derek took his hand and tugged him toward the hotel entrance. “JJ’s got this. Let’s get you to the Center.”
“World’s shortest badass,” Tony agreed, and he heard the woman snort.
“You’re lucky you’re in distress and she won’t hold what you say while in distress against you,” Derek told him. “For the record—and in the interest of peace on the team—height jokes—not a good idea.”
“I will remember,” Tony promised sincerely.
Derek prodded him into the back of a big black SUV that was parked in the fire lane in front of the hotel with its lights silently flashing.
“So,” Derek started after he slammed the backdoor closed behind him. Tony was sniffing the vehicle like it was a threat, so Derek changed what he was going to say. “You should smell me and JJ. The older male you can smell is Rossi—Dave Rossi, he’s on our team and most often rides with me and JJ. He’s a latent sentinel and finds my presence soothing.”
“He wouldn’t be opposed if a threat to you pulled him online, either,” Tony said wryly.
Derek smiled. “Don’t hold it against him. I don’t know a single latent of either variety that doesn’t long to come online.”
“I don’t hold it against him. I was latent until about an hour ago, I know very well what it feels like.”
“It’s been a long time for me,” Derek admitted. “But I can feel it with them if I’m not careful. It’s terrible.”
“I didn’t know contempt had a smell,” his sentinel—Tony—said with a look back at the hotel Derek wouldn’t be able to decipher if he couldn’t feel something like loss radiating off his mate. “I can’t ever work with them again.”
“How do you feel about the FBI?”
Tony considered that. “I’m not opposed. What do you do for them?”
“I’m a profiler for the BAU but we can go anywhere, really. If there’s something that you’re interested in, they’d take us on in less than a heartbeat.”
“Between your alpha guide status, your profiling skills, and my senses, we could probably write our ticket in any federal agency,” Tony agreed. “It takes something special to get in the BAU.”
“Yeah,” Derek agreed and let Tony pull him half in his lap.
“You’d give that up? For me? We’ve barely met.”
“I knew you were mine before I hit the door of the hotel,” Derek admitted. “I could feel your building distress three blocks away. Took me a minute to find you—my senses don’t work like yours—but I’m here now.”
“And you want to stay?” Tony asked, feeling but not looking vulnerable.
“Nowhere else I’d rather be,” Derek promised. “I probably smell like JJ right now. I’ll need the Center to clean up my place before we settle in…if that’s where we choose to go.”
“I smell like Ziva,” Tony groused. “I hate it.”
“We’ll get you a shower as soon as possible,” Derek swore.
“JJ’s coming,” Tony told him, and he looked up to see JJ leave the hotel.
The other sentinels that had joined them followed her, dragging Tony’s old teammates behind them—they were in handcuffs. The Center would deal with them—they had violated the hell out of Tony’s rights as a sentinel and they had belligerently, deliberately failed in their duty to him as federal officers. They would be lucky to work as law enforcement of any flavor ever again.
Derek didn’t say anything about it though. Tony had to know what had happened in there—he was as much an alpha as Derek was. Since he didn’t bring it up, Derek assumed he didn’t want to talk about it.
“That was hot, by the way,” Tony said almost idly.
“Giving Gibbs what for back there,” Tony grinned, though it felt sad to Derek. He wondered how long his sentinel had been forced to hide what he was really feeling, like an abuse victim. It made him homicidal to even think about it. “I’ve never seen anyone make him back off like that. It was so hot.”
“Competence kink, huh?” Derek teased, refusing to get mad about the emotional input the sentinel was projecting in his distressed state.
They weren’t bonded. He had no right to touch or try to heal the other man’s empathic damage. He also didn’t have the right to push Tony to be entirely honest emotionally.
“Like you wouldn’t believe.”
“That’ll make work awkward,” he joked and Tony laughed out loud. Even JJ snorted in amusement as she drove.
“Let’s talk about what we’re heading toward,” Derek redirected.
“You mean the Center?”
“Yes, your first-time intake can be challenging. I don’t want you to have any surprises.”
“Alright,” Tony nodded. “Hit me.”
“When we get there, we will be separated.”
Tony growled a little.
“It’s for the best,” Derek told him. “I need to shower off the world and so do you. I also need to meditate to relax my shields enough to facilitate the bond. Usually I’m all in on full deployment but…I’m a mess right now. I need to reassert my control over myself.”
“Okay,” Tony nodded.
“You will have a lot of questions to answer. Basic stuff—name, address, employment. We’re going to the Center closer to my place so the Center near the hotel should have Gibbs and company booked in and evaluated. There might be questions about that but it’s doubtful.”
“A guide will be assigned to help you with that—a bonded guide. This is in case you develop touch issues and can’t use a pen or handle paper. They will also take a mouth swab to run through the system for biological matches.”
Tony pulled away from his neck for a moment to glare at him. “I don’t need any biological matches.”
“I..” he stopped himself from saying he didn’t want Tony to entertain any matches other than himself. If anyone heard him say that, it would be a disaster politically. As close as they worked to DC and especially within the FBI, everything was political. They couldn’t afford such a risk. “We’re likely a very high match so I should come up early in the search.
“They’ll bring the list of the top ten. Anything beyond that will only be presented to you if you don’t find a satisfactory partner within those ten. If I’m not the top match, you owe it to yourself to at least look at the others.”
Tony made a disagreeing noise and bit his neck.
Derek’s breath caught in his throat and he brought a hand up to squeeze the back of Tony’s neck warningly. “Do not try to throw us into rut. JJ’s too delicate to be exposed to that.”
“Delicate?” Tony looked at his partner. JJ ignored him like a professional, putting on her blinker and taking the turn like she wasn’t getting the stare down from an alpha sentinel. Tony sniffed the air. “Pregnant?”
“Yes,” JJ answered. “My bonded guide and husband is out of state, testifying on a case in Louisiana.”
“He wasn’t supposed to,” Derek said to fill in a few blanks for Tony. “But his partner died and he’s the only one left to testify. They are trying to minimize his absence but there’s only so much they can do in a case that involved kidnapping, rape, and murder.”
“It’s messy,” JJ agreed. “And a pregnant sentinel is delicate in a lot of ways. Leaving my territory was determined to be more of a risk than separation from my guide since I’m close with my co-workers and there are several of our kind among them—my immediate pride.”
“That’s why a bonded sentinel is staying with you,” Tony realized.
“Yup. I’d prefer she stay with us once we are released to go home. Whether we stay at your place or mine.”
“You in a house?” Tony asked.
“Yes. I flip houses in my spare time, but last year I found one I couldn’t let go of and moved in.”
“I’m leasing a condo and the building is not sentinel safe. I’m fine to move. And I’ll deal with her staying with us. I wish I could promise I’d be fine but…I don’t know how bonding will work out.”
JJ snorted. “Neither of you need to worry. I’ve already texted Rossi. The team will be back in town tonight. I’ll be staying with him.”
“You don’t have to—”
“It’s a done deal,” JJ interrupted Tony. “Don’t worry about it. Just make Derek happy and we will always be good.”
Tony tugged on Derek a bit but rather than pull him in, Tony cuddled himself closer. He met JJ’s eyes in the rearview and Derek could feel the weight in the air as Tony said, “I plan to.”
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