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Masks and Menace

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This story is based on the shorts from the shorts collection - A Spooky Interruption / Check Your Facts / Expect the Unexpected


Prologue: Masks and Menace (Growing up Different) 

This story is based on the shorts 

Lady Helena Paddington wasn't a woman to be trifled with, and Tony knew better than to be cheeky to his grandmother. 

She asked him, "Do you intend to return to America?"

Tony nodded, "Yes, Nana. I have to, or Senior will get suspicious."

She sneered, but with her aristocratic features, it still seemed refined. "I have offered to take care of that problem for you."

Tony grinned crookedly at how his grandmother casually offered to murder her son-in-law. "I know you would love that honour, but when it serves me, that will be my pleasure. We did reach that agreement when I graduated."

She shrugged because she did agree it was his right. "You better make it count for what he did to your mother."

Tony loved when a plan came together. His father's pathetic nature saw his mother die despite her unique upbringing, and he fully intended on making Senior pay. "It is one of the reasons I intend to join the police academy. They can teach me useful tools in my quest for vengeance."

His grandmother waved a hand in dismissal. "Why? You already know all the poisons and effects on the human body."

"Yes, your horticultural lessons were most informative," Tony replied because his grandmother's favourite garden had a duplicate that stood as a museum of the 100 most deadly poisons. The trouble was while the one in Nottingham served as a museum - His grandmother's garden was a working and functioning garden. 

"And how will you hide your oddities?" Helena challenged her grandson. After all, she had lost her daughter and had no intention of losing her grandson to rash plans. 

Tony smirked at the delicate phrasing for explaining their unique brand of immortality. "Well, humans tend to be willing to listen to any excuses for things they can't explain."

"That is true."

Tony smirked and offered further details to hopefully alleviate his grandmother's concern. "Plus, I intend to create a human mask, Tony DiNozzo, who can move in their world."

It was a prudent plan and one that Helena couldn't argue against. "Well, just make sure the real Anthony Paddington returns to these estates."

Tony bowed and kissed his grandmother's hand. "I will never forget my life lessons, and I am forever grateful that you stole me from Hawaii."

 

~*~

 

Tony never regretted making the mask of Agent DiNozzo. It wasn't insecurities like Todd believed or needing to be liked as McGee thought. 

The oddity his grandmother referred to was death was a minor inconvenience for his mother's family. He wasn't saying that to be blaise - Tony meant it literally.

This was something he knew to be true from eleven years old. He was newly arrived from Hawaii and ordered to stay with his mother's family. He had been quiet and watching his cousins having an argument when Crispin pushed Lilianna out of a second-floor window. Tony had stared in disbelief when Lily stood up, looking fine if a little stiff. 

Tony soon realised that he was just as 'odd' as his cousins. He should have known better than to turn his back on Crispin. Little shit got him with a sword, of all things, in the back! The worst part was it ruined his favourite shirt. He plotted for a month with Lily to plan an act of appropriate revenge. 

It didn't mean they were invincible, as Tony already knew from his mother's death. In his teenage years, Helena Paddington had informed him that if he kept his head (literally), nothing would keep Tony down for long. 

Tony had found his 'oddness' a blessing and a curse during his time with the Police and then NCIS. His nature meant he could take on dangerous missions and not worry about the risks. The flip side was that Tony had to worry about someone witnessing his oddity because he did not desire to be a science experiment. 

It didn't matter, as Anthony Paddington had crafted a good life in America through trial and error. He was fortunate to find a loving wife who more than understood his unique nature and supported all his shenanigans.  

Tony wouldn't change a thing in his life for anything, and like all good stories, it started with the Mob and led to him meeting his beloved, and the plague was a minor inconvenience. 

He knew how it sounded but let him explain...