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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...

Chapter Text

Tony's apartment townhouse was shared with one other person in Philadelphia. He had basically crafted his undercover identity using his own money. His handlers were not keen on it, but Tony had won the argument simply by saying the department budget wasn't taking the hit, and it was his life being risked.

The other tenant gave him good coverage with the Mob as they were less likely to drop in and pay him a 'visit' if there was a witness. 

Still, Don Macalusco hadn't taken Tony's betrayal well, as the skin knitting in his back could attest to that assumption. Tony didn't regret doing the undercover job. Better Tony did it than someone who might end up genuinely dead. 

It was just the Mob were so relentless in their need for revenge. It seemed taking a pound of flesh wasn't enough. Tony slammed his door open, looking for some family supplies deciding the gloves were now off. They had ruined his favourite shirt and not quit. 

"You're wearing Zegna." A feminine voice informed him, slightly breathy.

Tony groaned because now was not the time for Wednesday to talk to him. He had noticed the other tenant in the building, and when he'd finished with the Mob, he was going to ask her out. 

She was enchanting and unique; if the smells of poisons emanating from her floor suggested, she might be like him. 

Tony was tearing through his cupboard, looking for particular items. He estimated he had about ten minutes before the Macalusco family turned up to see if he was actually dead. In truth, he was done being polite - he'd let them have their 'pound' of flesh, but this wasn't fun, and he had things to do, so he couldn't continue to be chased.  

Of course, he shared none of these thoughts with the beautiful woman standing in his doorway. If she were from the Addams family he suspected, then even first conversations would be critical, "Yes, it helps me appear sophisticated and blend as a rich asshole."

She tilted her head to the side as if the idea was incomprehensible, "Why would you want to blend in?" 

Tony looked up from the mad concoction he was creating - this had been one of his better discoveries in his prank war against Crispin. "All the better to go hunting, don't you think, Wednesday?"

Tony was being coy, but he wouldn't pretend she was an average human, which would be insulting. Wednesday was an Addams, and that name was spoken of with great respect by Helena Paddington. 

 

~*~

 

Wednesday was intrigued; it showed on her face, and she asked with the most delightful evil smirk. "And who do you hunt?" 

Tony didn't blink, "Whoever deserves to face the wrath of a Paddington."

There was a look of dawning understanding, and now the interest was going both ways. "My grandmama says that your family taught her devilish ways of gaining revenge."

It wasn't said with judgement but rather a wistful curiosity of wanting to learn just how they'd come to have that reputation. 

"It is true we've made it an art form." Tony confessed, "I think it is the long history of the Paddingtons with a desire for each generation to one-up their ancestors."

It was also the first time his accent slipped from Long Island to British. 

"Don't underestimate sibling rivalry too." She replied, and her curiosity got the better of her. "What are you looking to gain revenge about?"

Tony figured she should have a heads up, even if his bosses might have a shit-fit with him. "Well, for perfectly law-abiding reasons ... I tricked a mob boss, and now he wants me dead."

She snorted, "He doesn't know I take it about your Paddington traits?" 

Tony shook his head. "The poison just made me feel preppy, and the stab wound is already healed, but I gotta send a message back, or he will never leave me alone." It sounded reasonable to their ears, but if any of his superiors heard this, they would have a heart attack. 

Wednesday thought about it, and she should leave the cute guy alone. He clearly was in the middle of serious business, but now she was glad she had interrupted. He was making a bomb from kitchen materials, and she could admire his resourcefulness. "If you add salt - It will have an implosive effect."

A crooked grin formed on his face, "That is hot, and why would you think that would bother me?"

She rolled her eyes but was willing to play the game. "Your badge would suggest that collateral damage might be a concern for you."

Tony sighed, "It should do, but right now, I just want Macalusco to leave me alone." You could sense he was weary of the whole thing, but it didn't mean he was defeated. 

The next question might seem like a non-sequitur, but if she was going to risk her heart, then Wednesday needed to know. "Can you speak Italian?" 

The salt was being added to the mixture, and it was gently simmering now instead of hissing. Tony could tell this would make a beautifully controlled boom, so he was willing to answer the odd question while scanning the street. "Fluently along with Spanish and Arabic."

This felt half like a date and half like an interrogation, and it continued. Wednesday asked him as he made a homemade version of a depth charge. "Why did you pick being a cop?" 

"The danger excites me," Tony remarked tongue-in-cheek.

She had a decision to make, one that could have life-long complications. Tony was cute, educated, and handled her family's little quirks. It seemed like her mind was made up, "Let me help. Us Addams know a trick or two that I can show you."

 

~*~

 

Salvatore Macalusco had been tricked, and that wasn't something he could allow to stand. Tony DeMarco was, in fact, a Fed and no one knew. Worst of all, the Narc didn't seem to die. 

They had poisoned and stabbed him, and the rat had walked away. His lieutenants had started to whisper about Rasputin, and comparisons could be drawn. 

"Junior, why is that man not dead?"

"I think he might have made a deal with the Devil Pops?" It was said half in jest, but there was no rational answer he could give. They had stabbed him and used arsenic in his peach cobbler, and neither had slowed him down. 

The Don asked in vague hope, "Do you think the cook got the recipe wrong?" 

Salvatore Jr shook his head, "Nah, she is excellent in her cooking and always gets her target. She just makes sure they enjoy their last meal."

He huffed, "Well, she failed this time. I mean, look at him. He is still alive!"

Junior snorted, but you couldn't help but admire the fact the man was running from them and still found time to flirt. "Well, he looks so upset he is flirting with a gothic chick. There is no way she is a Cop or even a Handler!"

The Don was inclined to believe his son as she didn't give off that vibe. They came knocking at the front door, seeing no reason to skulk like rats. "Oh, Tonio, we hadn't finished our conversation!"

The minute they opened the door, a blast went off, and both Mob members felt like they had lost the use of their limbs. It was an odd weapon, like a mix between a bomb and a stun grenade. It caused Salvatore and his son to collapse like puppets with strings cut.

Salvatore watched in disbelief as Tonio and the unknown woman stepped out of the shadows and clapped their hands with glee. Tonio whispered, "Going to have to remember salt."

Wednesday looked smug, "Good for more than just cooking and warding off evil spirits. What will we do with them?"

Tony manhandled them up and tied them each to a chair. He showed his training in that both arms were connected to visible parts of the chair. There was no way Salvatore or his son would be able to launch a sneak attack. 

"So let's talk." Tony declared as he buttoned up his suit and stood tall and proud in front of them.

Salvatore wasn't in the mood to talk, still seething in anger. "You betrayed me."

Tony shook his head and calmly refuted the claim. "I did a job because you had got careless."

Salvatore was incredulous, "So you are saying it is our fault?" 

Tony snorted because there was no other explanation. "You had the Major Crimes squad send in an Undercover Cop to bring you down. What do you think?" 

Junior hissed, "I think you are unnatural. Why aren't you dead?"

Tony rolled his eyes, "Don't hold it against me that you can't stab or poison someone properly."

Wednesday tutted, "It's not that difficult."

Tony knew from their earlier conversation and focused on the enchanting woman for a second. "Sibling arguments?"

She nodded in confirmation, "Yes, but what shall we do with them?"

Tony sighed because he weighed up in his mind what he wanted to do with what was the smart choice. "I want to see what my collection of poisons can do to make them disappear."

Her eyes twinkled, "That would be an agreeable first date."

Ah, sweet silence settled on the room. The Mob members had started to realise that they were in over their heads. 

Tony willingly played along, "And you know I have been so keen on that date and would hate to do anything to ruin it."

Wednesday tilted her head in a teasing manner. "And what is upsetting you about our plans?" 

"Our plans don't upset me. They excite me." Tony confessed, looking a little demented, "But my bosses expect me to deliver, Don Salvatore, on a plate."

"So it is a matter of incentive?" Wednesday half-asked, half-stated. 

Tony cackled, "Oh, you are devious. You are so right."

"Do we have to listen to your flirting?" 

Tony shrugged, "You could have left me alone rather than attacking my apartment." He wouldn't let them rewrite history to make themselves feel better. 

Wednesday also added, "They forgot when you seek vengeance, you should always dig two graves. We will happily fill their graves if they don't choose to forget their quest."

You couldn't argue with that logic or the calm delivery of the line. Tony grinned, "And you know I could probably frame the Fragelino line as the culprits."

"Ooo, a twofer is always efficient."

~*~

The father and son had to think on their feet about why they should live. Clearly, the balance of power was now with Tony and his accomplice. 

Salvatore tried to bargain, "If I go away, it will be a bloodbath." 

Tony snorted and waved him off dismissively, "And why would it bother me if Mob members get taken out? You would be doing the police a favour."

Junior was more intelligent and offered an appealing narrative. "You need a figure to arrest, but you also need us to maintain the power status quo, and I could do that."

Wednesday goaded, "So he is the smarter one."

Tony hummed as if he needed to think about it, "So say Pops goes away. Are you going to waste resources chasing me? I have to tell you it will not get you anywhere."

Junior shook his head, "I will put a contract out on you, but it only can be completed if you enter Phillidelphia."

Tony wasn't keen on sticking around and had already lined up a job in Baltimore. A contract written in such a way would save face for the family but stop him from dealing with annoyances. "I was going to leave the city by the end of this weekend anyway."

"Then we have an accord."

Tony called for the cops to arrest Don Salvatore and the son slipped off into the night. Tony would be relying on the Don's desire to get out and settle things with his son to keep him from talking out of turn. 

Failing that, he would poison his prison food. 

 

~*~

 

Wednesday looked around, "Where are you off to?"

"Baltimore, Philidelphia has too much sun for my liking," Tony explained. He was taking a punt, but he had lived the last year for other people, so he was being selfish for a hot minute. "Want to come with me?"

Wednesday smiled, a thin but happy one. "You are terribly demanding, and yet I find myself intrigued."

"Does your work require you to stay here?" Tony asked even as he offered a red wine that smoked with a few added ingredients.

"Well, we've destroyed this house, so we need to find another one."

Tony could see a rather extraordinary future. He certainly hoped they would move from housemates to partners and offered the crook in his arm. "Well, Mia Leonessa, I think we need to find an apartment or townhouse that suits both of our needs."

"This does not count as a first date," Wednesday replied, eyes narrowed.

Tony shook his head, "No, not at all. I have style and will woo you as an Addams and a woman deserves to be wooed."

Chapter Text

Tony expected the call that evening from his grandmother, and you had to admire there were no niceties with her; it was always straight down to business. "You've allowed a contract on your life?" 

Tony chuckled at the unimpressed tone, "It is all for show, Nana. I tricked them, and the poisoning was an excellent wake-up tonic." He paused and thought about what else she might have learned. Tony knew he couldn't get anything past the Paddington Matriarch. "Oh, the stabbing merely ruined my shirt, no matter what reports you may gain."

She sighed as if he was making her weary. "Are you that bored you must play with the Mob for kicks?" 

Tony switched to face-time so his grandmother could visually assess him. "Au Countraire, Grandmother, as I am pleased to say, this whole adventure with the Mob has been a most profitable endeavour."

"In what way?" Helena Paddington debated whether she needed to personally fly to the US to settle the matter. She didn't like anyone harming her family because they were durable but not indestructible. Still, her Grandson tended to problem solve in unique ways even with her family's standards. 

Tony was proud of his week's achievements. "Well, I built my reputation as a Detective and accepted a promotion to Baltimore PD. In addition, I have a credible line on where Senior slinked off to, and I have met my future wife."

Helena rolled her eyes because she knew there would be sparks if her Grandson talked to the second tenant in the building. "Is that so? And how did she feel about you blowing up your residence?" 

Tony scowled at the mild rebuke in her voice. "She helped me, so that was a plus, and I have secured a proper first date as tying up and threatening the Mob doesn't count according to Wednesday."

"What does it count as?" Helena asked, mildly intrigued. She always loved attending an Addams party in her youth as they were wickedly delightful fun. 

Tony said without a hint of shame, "I am reliably informed it is foreplay, and I need to do better." 

Helena cackled, "Oh, I do like this woman a lot. And what about your move to Baltimore? Surely that will impact courting?" 

Tony shrugged because that wasn't the dealbreaker many would assume. "Well, she has declared that we should continue to cohabitate as that is the most productive way to learn each other's quirks."

Helena hummed. "Wednesday Addams is one of the few people on this planet you will not have to hide from, so don't blow it."

Tony sighed and could have been sarcastic, but he knew better. After all, his grandmother's revenge would be swift, so he went with a wry, "Thanks for the encouragement."

"You don't need my encouragement, but if you need advice on dates, that will not have her running to the hills. Do let me know."

"Love you too, Grandma." 

~*~

 

Tony was choosing to move to Baltimore as a stepping stone. It had the added advantage of being a place his bio-doner seemed to return to when searching for a new wife. 

Once Tony had settled the case and handed it off to other Detectives in Philly. He had been on the first flight where he and Wednesday could be in first-class to Baltimore. The pair had been most practical regarding the move, and for now, their treasured possessions would stay with Wednesday's parents. 

They had taken Lunch in a cafe that came highly recommended. Tony looked at his emails, "So we have two options from the realtor that match our requests?"

"Only two?" 

Tony shrugged, "I didn't think many would meet our exacting standards, and we had to be careful not to arouse suspicion."

"I thought your badge would be useful," Wednesday replied with a smirk. 

Tony shook his head in disbelief as he sipped on his coffee. "Sadly, darling. It makes things more difficult as I should be law-abiding and dull."

"Well, that is a rule that will end at our front door," Wednesday declared decisively. 

"Yes, Ma'am."

~*~

 

"So, what do you think of it from the outside?" Tony asked because it had an original aesthetic outside. The place was an old mansion that looked desperately out of place on the street due to no upkeep from the previous owners who had owned it for the last fifty years. 

The mansion was fabulous, despite what the shabby chic on the outside suggested. He looked and asked her, "Is this to keep the riff-raff out?"

Wednesday had a wicked grin and shook her head. "No, it is to tempt them to trespass. They soon learn the error of their ways."

Tony snickered, knowing that lesson would have been painful for any intruder. "Oh, you are stunning, and I can't wait for our date on Friday."

Wednesday purred, "So am I."

Tony had a boyish grin, "Do you know my grandmother is also invested in our burgeoning relationship and offered me advice on how to woo you."

"Do you need the help?" She teased him, but it was a hidden question in many ways.

Tony shook his head and made it clear he was confident in parts of his life. "I already have arranged the first date and would like to surprise you if you are amenable?"

Wednesday pondered the options, but as he let her choose, she didn't object. She smiled and asked only one question as a response, "What should I wear?" 

Tony replied with care, "Something fancy, but honestly, I want you to wear what you feel comfortable in."

The outside was delightful, but the inside was distressingly bright and cheerful. She left Tony in no doubt of her opinion with her scornful look, "And where is the next place we are looking over as our new residence?" 

Tony looked through the packet of information. "Well, it is an ex-firehouse."

"Interesting."

Tony wondered how long it would take him to learn how she could say that word and what each version meant. 

~*~

 

Wednesday saw this was a historical firehouse building but had a few plus points. The upkeep wasn't great so that they could create their vision for the home. "The poles could be fun."

"In so many ways," Tony replied, his mind already wandering to different uses. "It will be a fixer-upper, but when we've finished, I should imagine we will make a decent profit if we want to flip it."

Wednesday could have commented about presumption, but even in the short week they had known each other, she knew that Tony was her soulmate. "Are you going to invite strangers in to decorate?" 

Tony shook his head because that would be an unnecessary hassle. "You have a keen eye for style. Why would we invite others into our home? You know how judgemental people could be."

Truer words. 

"Good." She liked the fact she would have control over design choices. She would have to contact her mother about where she sourced the main mansion's wallpaper. 

And by the end of the day, they had started the paperwork for getting the Firehouse in their name. They would keep separate rooms in the beginning, but Wednesday didn't envisage that being for long. She had needs, and Tony was her human and would support her in all her plans. 

~*~

 

"Wednesday, Darling. How dull is Baltimore?" Morticia greeted her daughter, knowing she was already settling in the new city by now. 

"Terrible dreary. I am already enjoying it." Wednesday confessed as she looked over her date night choices. "The firehouse should take a week for us to move in."

"I saw the photos, and that cleaning room will make things so easy for you." Her mother praised it because it was ready-made for Addams's hobbies with no serious renovation needed. 

Wednesday offered a pleased smile, "Yes, we're fortunate in that they kept the high power hoses, and carelessly the fire axes are still in their cupboards."

"That is excellent news," Morticia exclaimed. It was all that any mother wanted for her child to be happy. "How goes your courting with young Anthony?" 

"He is taking me out this evening." Wednesday showed her the vampire silhouette dress instead of the sheer black one with a little black dress underneath.

"Velvet dear will always look fabulous on us." Morticia offered her opinion. 

Wednesday shrugged, "You're right, and the only clue was to wear something fancy."

"Excellent. You should never trust a man who isn't willing to put in the hard graft." Morticia offered good life advice. 

Wednesday rolled her eyes, "Please. You know that you have taught me the rules. I like the fact he was willing to let me help with the Mob. He didn't treat me delicately and was ready to listen to my advice on the bomb he was making."

"How lovely!"

~*~

 

Tony had picked the Opera and a fancy dinner for the first date. It might seem like a cop-out for some, but Tony had researched the perfect places to suit their tastes. He had been meticulous in choosing La Nonne Sanglante or the Bloody Nun to most. 

Wednesday was spellbound during the performance but not through awkwardness but genuine emotions. Tony knew he had picked right when Wednesday gripped his hand for support during the show's climax. 

He waited until the curtain went down, signalling the end of the performance to break the spell. "So I hoped to take you to Dinner and Dancing unless you would prefer to head back to the hotel?" Tony explained as the show ended that while he enjoyed the evening immensely, he didn't want to make any assumptions.

Wednesday shook her head, "No, I am hungry and unwilling to say goodbye before necessary."

~*~

 

Wednesday looked at the dancefloor. "You are well versed in the world but can you dance?" 

"Would it be a dealbreaker?" Tony asked, amusement shining through in his voice.

"No, I feel you are allowed one flaw, or you might be intolerable."

Tony threw his head back in laughter but immediately took the correct pose for the start of the Argentine Tango. "I can't have fun when I wear a badge."

Wednesday wasn't convinced, "Says you. We had fun in Philly."

Tony smirked, "We did, but I was undercover, so the rules applied far more loosely."

Wednesday was satisfied, "Then there is always a loophole for me to exploit."

Tony used a stiff staccato move to pepper kisses up along Wednesday's arm, starting at her wrist and lingering on her neck. They may have gained a crowd, but Tony only saw his date. "I hope you surprise me always, my Darling."

"Now, that is a promise I can keep," Wednesday assured him and backed it up with a soul-searing kiss. Tony was sure he was going to like Baltimore. 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter Three: Who is For Dinner? 

 

Wednesday looked at the gleaming rock on her finger. Tony had picked out a ring made up of black diamonds and black sapphires, which was just gorgeous. It had the added benefit of going with every one of her outfits so she would never have to take it off. She knew that some of Tony's colleagues felt getting engaged after three months was too quick, but they were stupid, and she never felt the need to devote brainpower to them. 

Tony sat down for dinner, "I have a new partner at work."

"Oh, that will make your third one."

Tony smirked, "It is not my fault that I keep getting paired with weak stomach idiots."

Wednesday only nodded because she also agreed. It didn't help Tony's partners that he tended to get the worst cases because he was fearless and didn't freak out. 

"How do you feel he will last?"

Tony shrugged because he hadn't spoken enough to him to get a proper judgement. "He seems a little odd but do I have room to judge?" 

"Always," Wednesday declared. "Oh, Nanny sent me garden supplies."

Tony looked at the carefully curated box of goodies and clapped his hands with glee. She always sent them the best gifts. 

 

~*~

 

A year later, Tony was glad for his suspicious nature. Tony always kept an identity or two within the murky criminal world. The identities came in handy when he needed information quickly. 

"Hector." Tony greeted him but with no trace of his American accent. 

"My Lord." Hector bowed.

Tony didn't sigh because the English tended to stand on formality when dealing with nobility. "What brings you here today?"

"You have an infestation problem?" Hector warned him. 

Tony pinched his nose because he didn't have much time to plan revenge worthy of a Paddington. "How big?"

"Your friend, Danny. He likes to keep rat friends."

And you had to love people like Hector as they always gained physical proof to ensure payment. Tony had expected to see Danny meeting cop friends because of lax undercover protocols, but not so much. Danny was definitely in the photograph, but his meeting was with a local Drug Lord. 

Tony didn't react visibly, but his mind went to murder real quick. A deal was a deal, and he passed over a 100-dollar bill to Hector. "See you around, Hector."

Hector was smart enough to take that as the dismissal from his presence. 

 

~*~

 

Now you might think that Tony would race home with Wednesday in danger. However, as he was attached to all his appendages, he certainly wasn't going to assume that Wednesday didn't have everything handled. Like every couple, Tony and Wednesday had emergency codes and actions for dangerous situations, although he suspected their interpretation may differ from most couples.

Wednesday sent a simple message -  Chianti.

Tony cackled in delight because Danny had misjudged his wife badly. He was glad that he hadn't invited Agent Gibbs to his home that evening to celebrate the end of their case, as it seemed he had a prior engagement. 

As Tony stepped through the firehouse doors, he could smell the aromatic scent of liver and onions. 

Tony entered their dining area and paused, seeing Danny. "You didn't tell me we were having guests." 

Danny started to rattle in his chair pleadingly because Wednesday had hog-tied him to a chair and left him at the dinner table. Tony didn't rush to his partner's aid because Wednesday wouldn't have pulled a stunt like this unless he had upset her. 

Wednesday appeared in the hallway wearing her traditional funereal Mary-Jane dress and leather apron. It implied she was torturing their guest rather than cooking. She calmly glided into the room and passed Tony a glass of whiskey. "I think Danny is upset with you and wanted to send you a message by harming me."

Tony plucked out the sword from the knight statue in the hallway and carried on chatting to his wife, ignoring the hog-tied elephant in the room. "So, how would your father deal with threats to your mother?"

Wednesday looked at the terrified Danny and dissected him with her eyes. "I would think he would string him up in the library, and then he and Uncle Fester would compare lingchi techniques."

Tony debated the sword, "I need something smaller in size if I am going to make a thousand cuts. He is as small as he is cowardly. However, we could finally put the fireman's poles to some use."

The screams started in earnest when Danny saw the dark glint in both of their eyes. Tony was waving the knife around casually because he hated people who only pretended to be bad. "You know the mob tried to kill me, and they are far better criminals than you could ever hope to be."

Wednesday, who had been leaning on the door, savouring how resplendent Tony looked as he debated precisely how they would kill their enemy. The sad thing was he was a terrible human being, but he wasn't family, so Danny didn't deserve their true magnificence of torturing techniques. She sighed, "You know I can give him Granny's concoction, and the whole mess will be gone. It was so effective at hiding the body of Little Nicky back in Philly."

Danny mumbled, "Wo' ge' a'ay wit it."

Tony threw back his head with laughter, "Danny. You're a bad cop, and a CI has given me all the proof I need to hand to our Captain. Now please tell me you weren't stupid enough to attempt to murder my wife and bring your own car? I didn't think you were that dense."

Wednesday tutted, "I got expelled for attempted murder once." She bowed her head at the memory, "I was so embarrassed that everyone knew I failed."

Tony's crooked grin showed nothing but adoration, "I never got caught, mon Cherie."

"No one likes a bragger."

Tony offered an exaggerated bow. "I have no wish to take your kill from you, my love. I will, however, show you the depths of my devotion by helping you clean up."

Wednesday huffed, "I did wonder about seeing if that scene in Hannibal was feasible, but I figured betrayal and cowardice would make the meat rancid."

Tony could only agree with that viewpoint, "I don't think he is worthy of your brilliance. He is a pest, and you know what to do with vermin."

"We put it down hard and fast."

 

~*~

 

An hour later, Tony was sure of one thing: they really should have tempted Lurch to come with them - his cleaning skills were beyond compare. Still, he'd promised to endure all of the drudgeries of marriage and help Wednesday dispose of her enemies. 

Wednesday looked disgruntled at the scene in front of her as this was not what she expected. "The bones are still obvious."

Tony snorted because his wife would always be a perfectionist, "Be sure to tell Nana."

Wednesday sighed because she hated failed experiments, "She promised it would be 100% efficient."

Tony shrugged as he stripped his jacket off as it was designer and had no intention of getting blood on pale grey as it would show. "What about salt in the mixture?" 

Wednesday tilted her head to the side as she considered all angles. "Are you being romantic about our first meeting or offering useful advice?" 

"Can't it be both?" Tony asked with a kiss on the cheek.

Wednesday caught him by the tie and reeled him in for a proper kiss. It turns out that salt does seem to make everything better. Oh, high-powered hoses should come with every house you buy, as they made eradicating evidence of a body easy peasy.  

 

~*~

 

Tony knocked on the door of the Captain. "We have a problem?"

The cap groaned because it was never a good thing when one of your subordinates came to you with a problem in that tone. "Is this a coffee or whiskey conversation?"

Tony looked sheepish, "Given the time of the day, I would say an Irish Coffee?"

The Captain didn't even pretend to be following regulations because he was guessing his day was about to turn into a shit show. 

"Hit me with it."

Tony gently placed the photos on his desk and took a step back. "These were handed to me by a confidential informant."

The Captain sucked in a breath at the images, which were pretty damning. "Do you trust him, your CI?" 

"As much as any CI can be trusted, Sir?" Tony replied carefully, not wanting to seem too keen or naive. 

The Captain nodded and didn't ask the insulting question of whether the photos were fake because his youngest detective was always thorough. "Have you spoken to your partner about these?" 

Tony sighed, "Well, I will confess that I went to his place this morning, but he ain't answering, and it looked like he didn't go back there last night. So I am now reporting it to you."

The Captain wouldn't say anything about the narrative Tony had created. It would have been expected from any partner whether they had been together a day or a decade. "You thinking he has split town?" 

Tony shrugged, "No idea, boss. He might have discovered that I possessed the photos and decided he didn't want to test my reaction."

"You're an honest cop, but it might not win you any friends." The Captain felt obliged to point out. 

Tony shrugged, "Don't worry about me; my family and In-Laws taught me to watch my back."

The tone it was said made even the Captain shiver. "You have an interesting family."

Tony had a wild grin, "You have no idea."

 

~*~

 

Tony wanted to bash his head against the wall as his colleagues were being deliberately dense. He was so sick of people asking him about Danny. Was it Tony's fault that Danny was a dirty cop who had upset the wrong people? His Captain assumed it was the local underworld, and Tony was content to keep him thinking that was the case instead of his wife. 

Just as he was debating a suitable way to deflect attention, a surprise walked by his desk - Agent Gibbs. 

"Hello, Gibbs. I thought we closed your case?" 

Gibbs looked around, "And you want to stay here in Baltimore?"

His words said little compared to his facial features about the bullpen they were in. It was a stupid question because a promotion was something that most people strived for in their professional lives. However, Tony wasn't like most people, and the extra scrutiny of a Federal job could be dangerous given his unusual quirks. 

Tony shrugged, "I have to ask my wife, Gibbs, or she will skin me alive."

Gibbs' eyes were piercing, "You are bored and wasted here."

He wasn't wrong, but Tony had no intention of courting unintentional war with his wife. She would make him swim with the fishes, and they would be piranhas. 

 

~*~

 

Tony and Gibbs had made it back to the Firehouse, and Gibbs only said, "I could keep a boat here easier."

Tony frowned, not getting the comment but figuring he'd learn eventually. 

"Do we have a guest?" Wednesday called out as she arrived home. 

"Wendy, come and meet Agent Gibbs."

She scrutinised her husband's guest and didn't need to be told much more. "We're moving to dreary DC?" 

"Yes, Tesora." Tony offered her most charming smile. "I have found the perfect townhouse that reminds me of your parent's place."

Okay, this would not be a total disaster. As a horror writer, it didn't matter where she lived, and the capital could probably offer way more in terms of inspiration than Baltimore. They always said you should do something in life that gives you job satisfaction, and she was an expert in the field, so it made sense. 

Gibbs was bemused. "Your husband will make a great agent."

She snorted, "Don't try and sweet talk me. You are a Marine so you should know I like my presents sharp and pointy whenever you fail to watch his six."

Gibbs might have asked how she knew about his past, but Tony had warned him that his wife was a keen observer. "I will bear that in mind, ma'am."

He didn't comment about her ability to use them because he had seen the wall of antique weapons made to look like an artistic display. The only difference was they were cleaned for use, not art. 

She rolled her eyes but decided she would like Gibbs for now, but that was on the recommendation of a cousin she had used for information. "Call me Wednesday. I found Mrs Adams-DiNozzo-Paddington too long." Her piece said she headed towards the kitchen so she could bring out a stew that could be fed to mundane stomachs. Adding ingredients to their bowls was much easier than removing them from others. 

She supposed that Washington wouldn't be a terrible imposition, and she would be closer to her family. 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter Five: Extended family. 

 

They had asked Tony to do FLETC, and it was a breeze. The weapons training was only small calibre and shotgun work, so it was beginner level. He'd wanted to stay average, but Gibbs demanded that he could act as if he was in the Marines. So he broke a few instructors' minds, but it was not Tony's fault that they lacked imagination. 

"You're heading to partner Gibbs?" 

Tony looked up from his dinner to see the facility's lead Instructor. "Yep, I got the invite, and everyone seems to want to say something nice at my funeral."

The Instructor chuckled, "Who invited you?"

"Gibbs himself," Tony replied, hoping that would be enough to end the speculation about if he would survive. It was not like he was some naive graduate who hadn't seen the world from college. 

The Instructor wasn't the type to be easily impressed, which is why he was probably employed here. "Well, I suppose the director figures that if Gibbs is allowed to pick his partner, you might last, DiNozzo."

Tony quirked an eyebrow, "What does he do with his partners?" 

The Instructor shrugged his shoulders as the stories were getting wilder and wilder as his partners left DC in a hurry. It was an honour to get paired with Gibbs, but at the same time, it didn't seem to be one that lasted. "I am going to level with you, DiNozzo. They tend to burn out."

Tony tilted his head to the side as he considered that comment, and he wasn't sure if he should be impressed with Gibbs or not. "Do you mean literally or figuratively?"

"You are an odd one."

"You have no idea, Sir. I will be alright." Tony assured his Instructor, who seemed to be trying to give some type of warning. It was a sweet gesture if misguided. 

 

~*~

 

So Tony had finished his time and headed back to DC. The new house looked fabulous, and Wednesday had a blast making it perfect. Literally. She hadn't liked the extension, so she had chosen to blow it up in some form of sibling bonding. 

Wednesday offered him a cup of smoking coffee, "Enjoy your day, Mon Couer."

Tony dipped her low for an extravagant kiss, "You too, 

Ma chérie."

Wednesday knew how to help him start a day right. Belladonna was so much more of a wake-up call than Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup. He would just have to ensure no one at work tried to take a cheeky swig of his drink, or it would be their last. 

 

~*~

 

Tony looked at the building and put on the mask of Agent Anthony DiNozzo, a carefree, playful Agent. It was worlds away from Lord Anthony Addams-DiNozzo-Paddington, but that was the point. 

Tony walked through the halls; he was thinking of recommending Wednesday as their decorator as this was way too much orange, even for an average human. The Bullpen was bustling with energy, and Tony was greeted by an average-looking man, "Thank you, thank you."

Tony popped his bag down at the desk that was assigned to him. "For what?" 

"Releasing me to ship duty."

Tony could guess this must be Stan Burley. Gibbs had mentioned him in Baltimore, but Tony could guess that Stan was hoping for a more singular posting. He understood what it was like working with big personalities but having been raised by Lady Helena Paddington - Gibbs would be a cakewalk. 

Tony offered merely a gracious, "You're welcome."

If people thought newbies got a gentle and ordered integration at NCIS, you would be wrong. A whirlwind in black clothes jumped him. "Tonio. Oh, this is brilliant. It will be so much fun to have proper family here."

Tony could have wept in relief because he'd just found one of Wednesday's cousins in NCIS. He could see a few intrigued looks already coming their way. Too bad Tony wasn't willing to behave in a certain way just to appease the boring rules of society. Tony grinned charmingly and gently placed Abby back on the ground. "Hey, Ab's fancy meeting you here." 

She giggled and started to twirl her pigtails around her finger with a coy grin, asking, "And will you be staying?"

Tony nodded, "I am Gibbs' new agent."

She clapped her hands in glee, "Oh. I am so glad you're here. You're going to bring us weirder cases. This is going to be so much fun."

Gibbs was bemused because as much as he adored the forensic scientist - she was notorious for being slow to warm to new members. He should have known that his protege would be the exception to the rule. 

Tony was in a generous mood, so he offered a little insight. "Abby is an In-Law."

Gibbs had a look of dawning realisation and having met Tony's wife in Baltimore, it made a lot of sense. There was a lot about the couple that made him smile in bemusement. Still, in his mind, love was love, and they clearly adored each other, even if it was a little odd. He would give everything he could to have one more day with Shannon. 

 

~*~

 

After a week, rumours about Tony and Abby began to fly around the Bullpen. Tony didn't help gossip by escaping to the labs when the mundane got too much. Abby had an excellent futon and didn't judge his life choices - much. 

Abby looked up from her microscope, "What is bothering you, Tonio?" 

"Gibbs will not let me deal with Blackadder!" If anyone else had been in the labs with them - they might have tried to arrest Tony for his tone.  

Abby snorted because Tony was a lot of fun when he was vexed. However, Blackadder wasn't worth Tony's time, "She is harmless."

Tony shook his head, unwilling to agree as Abby didn't have to spend as long with Vivian in a day as Tony. "No, she is worse as she is driven by revenge but is short-sighted."

Abby smirked, "I love that that is your problem."

Tony shrugged because he was many things, but he had always tried not to be a hypocrite. "I can respect revenge, and Nana made sure my skills were refined into polished steel."

"Is that how you often deliver your revenge?" Abby asked out of curiosity because there were so many stories about the Paddingtons that it would be a lot of fun sifting through them. 

Tony shook his head because that would be too simplistic. "Variety is the spice of life."

Abby chuckled, "No wonder Wednesday chained you."

Tony smirked, knowing that wasn't the typical way to discuss marriage. "We're deliriously in love, thank you, and have no intention of changing this century."

Abby rolled her eyes as she reached for her special caf pow. "Oh, I know, and you make me reach for poison whenever you get too romantic."

Tony could smell the arsenic from over the other side of the room. "That's rude. See if I make you my hangover cure."

"I wouldn't need it if you would tell Pugsley to stop making his Painkillers so strong."

Tony wasn't accepting it, "That is a terrific drink, and you cannot deny it." 

Tony's brother-in-law had a talent for making cocktails. However, Pugsley struggled to moderate the mix from family-safe levels.  

She chuckled because Tony had won this argument for now. "You know you are right, and go and show Blackadder that she would be better off back at the FBI."

It was funny, but chats with Abby always worked on improving his mood. He liked the challenge of working and solving problems but having to be a normal human twenty-four-seven was draining, and there was talk of expanding the team.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter Interlude: Team Development 

 

Gibbs and Tony were staring at Vivian Blackadder in annoyance as their clothes stuck to their bodies thanks to the salt water, and Tony's imagination was running wild. Her narrow focus could have seen Gibbs dead today and him with way too much explaining to do. Tony no longer cared about the rules and declared, "You know what, she goes today?" 

Gibbs snorted because his protege really did need to stop wearing such fancy clothes to work. "I will deal with her."

Tony had a toothy grin. "I don't mind."

"Stop smiling like that, or you will make people nervous," Gibbs remarked deadpan. Gibbs was one of the ones to know about Tony's time in the mob, and with such a glare, Gibbs could see how Tony fit in. 

Tony shrugged because it was not his fault if people lacked strong character. He shouldn't be constrained by their standards. Plus, he was a professional; if he chose to get rid of Blackadder, he wouldn't be stupid enough to get caught. "I wouldn't be obvious about it."

Gibbs smirked, "Save it for when it is needed."

Tony looked back sharply for a second because he was sure that Gibbs had just permitted him to murder their enemies. He knew working for Gibbs had been the right choice. Too bad he couldn't start now as he really did want to feed Blackadder to his pet piranhas for ruining his favourite suit jacket. 

 

~*~

 

So for a while, they went back to a two-man team. Still, good fortune didn't last forever, so Gibbs and Tony couldn't remain for too long as a duo. There is a saying that success brings reward, but that wasn't the case in Federal Agencies. After all, success meant more cases closed which saw more work, leaving them no choice but to expand their team. 

"Do we have to?" Tony whined. 

Gibbs looked just as irritated by the idea. "Morrow told me we should look to bring ourselves up to a four-man team."

Tony didn't want to pout but seriously? He and Gibbs worked best when they were not inflicted on others. He pinched his nose before asking with the frustration evident in his voice. "Why?" 

"He wants us to be an official MCRT and train younger agents," Gibbs replied in a tone you could tell was him reciting Morrow himself. Tony laughed at how Gibbs used another man's words to sell it. "You eat agents for breakfast."

Gibbs rolled his eyes because people were over dramatic. "I couldn't eat a whole one, and definitely not before a coffee."

Tony couldn't wait to share this conversation with Abby about how scared the two junior agents were at Gibbs' comment that they had walked into a wall.  He guessed that ruled them out.

 

Kate  

 

Unlike many of their colleagues, Tony and Gibbs didn't get starstruck by the infamous 

Tony took one look at the body and didn't hold back. "I call poison."

The Secret service agent glared, "Shouldn't the ME be the one to decide the cause of death?"

Tony wasn't sure how he could have offended the woman before they'd even spoken. However, he would never be the type to let disrespect go. "Absolutely, Agent …"

"Todd."

Tony nodded in acknowledgement, but he could be subtle in his rebuke. "However, a decade in the business lets you gain some instincts and helps us to consider a potential suspect. You would have thought the Secret Service would be keen on us solving this ASAP."

While they were on the subject, Gibbs figured he would ask, "Were you sleeping together?"

She glared at him and bristled like an angry cat. "It's forbidden." 

Gibbs just stared back, "That wasn't what I asked."

She sighed because as much as she wanted to preserve her job, It would be misplaced if she went down for murder. "Yes, but I wouldn't have poisoned him. I would break up with him like a rational human being."

Todd wins some points with Tony by not going down the cliched route of being in love. Still, he could be a gentleman and help her out this once, "This poison will be expensive given the symptoms and not the type brought with a Federal Agents wage."

"How expensive?" Gibbs was curious but didn't doubt Tony's knowledge. He could still remember the cases where Tony's unique knowledge helped speed up solving cases. 

Tony shrugged, "We will let Abs run the tests and then I can contact Lady Paddington for her expertise."

"You just happen to know a poison expert?" 

Tony nodded with such earnest charm that anyone would have been alarmed. "I do, considering she curated the special garden in England where they keep all the deadliest poisons and their antidotes. It is instrumental in supporting medicine, you see."

Todd folded her arms in front of her in a strange, partly defensive and partly aggressive move. "Let me guess, she is a woman you just charmed into your black book?" 

Tony now understood the source of hatred. Unfortunately, he couldn't change his looks (unless it was for a case), so they were at an impasse. "I wouldn't quite say that ... I mean, Grandma was one of the people responsible for my upbringing."

Her eyes widened, and she gulped because the Paddingtons were known about in American Power circles. She might not like the man, but she wouldn't be stupid enough to insult him openly. 

Tony wasn't impressed when Gibbs decided she was his pick. 

 

~*~

Tony looked at the mousey Agent and made a mental note never to invite him to a family gathering. He wouldn't survive. Tim was just a little sweet for this world. He wasn't quite sure that Field Agent was a role he should have pursued; he would have been more suited to tech agent. 

Gibbs was staring at him, "You want McGee?" 

Tony nodded with a smirk. "I really do, Boss."

"Why? He is scared of his own shadow." Gibbs wasn't often surprised, but this one seemed to come out of the left field. 

Tony snickered, "Well, boss. I have it on good authority that you scare mere mortals."

Gibbs shook his head. "You still haven't said why?" 

Tony looked so calm, "He is good with computers."

Gibbs didn't believe what Tony was selling. "So was Blackadder, and you begged me to let you feed her to the fishes."

Tony chuckled, "Hey, she nearly got you killed, and I was playing a mob man at the time, so I was in character."

Gibbs didn't need to know that after a short amount of time had passed, Wednesday and he had gone on a hunting holiday to settle that particular score. Tony did put up with Todd so he could have McGee. "Fine, but you must feed him and look after him."

Tony snorted because that would be easy. Abby adored her men, but only if they were sweet, charming, and biddable, so she would do all the hard work.  

 

It looked like the MCRT was at full power, and the real adventures would start. 

 

 

Chapter Text

Abby and Tim's relationship was short and passionate but would never last. It was always going to be this way, but now Tony was wondering if Gibbs' Rule 12 might not have something going for it. 

Tony sat in her office and fulfilled his familial obligation of listening to what went wrong in the relationship. 

Abby was sipping on a CafPow laced with arsenic as a pick-me-up. "He was too clingy."

"He is mortal. They do cling, cousin." Tony felt obliged to remind Abby. 

She pouted, "Well, we are not all lucky enough to find our other half in one of our kind."

Tony shrugged, "I could introduce you to my cousin, but he is an asshole, and I actually like you."

Abby smirked, "Is he at least good in bed?"

Tony shook his head, "No, his ex-wife had said she would have cut his dick off, but she couldn't find a sword that would do the job."

"Ouch."

 

~*~

 

Tony stepped back onto the bullpen level and prepared to put up with a mopey McGee. And yet his sense went acute to something dangerous which made no sense. 

Mail call was hardly a battlefield, but Tony's Paddington reflexes were sharpened to the point where he felt himself reaching for a sword he wasn't allowed to wear at work. 

Tony carefully took in his surroundings and realised it was the envelope McGee was holding. 

"Oh McGee, that is not for you," Tony remarked carefully. He showed the kiss on the envelope. "You want to make it up with Abby."

Tim scowled, "Won't Wendy be upset with you."

Kate perked up, "Who is Wendy?" 

Tony rolled his eyes but wanted to avoid another awkward conversation with Kate. "Doesn't matter. She is not part of the organisation."

And just like that, Kate dismissed her as unimportant. Kate ignored what information was in front of her, like the wedding ring on his necklace and the small intricate tattoo wedding ring visible on his finger. 

Tony looked at the envelope and sighed at what he would need to do next. He couldn't let his probie die of the plague as it went against his promise to Gibbs just over a year ago. He opened the envelope, and the white powder escaped, and he didn't blink as he activated the biological contamination protocols. 

 

~*~

 

Kate was confused, and the pieces didn't fit. "You took the envelope."

Tony nodded but couldn't escape a coughing fit. "You are Junior Agents, and I take my role responsibility despite what you think."

Kate flushed, but they were both stuck until they cleared testing. "You confuse me." She answered honestly, and Tony could tell she hadn't meant to say it. 

Tony chuckled as that was the most insightful thing she had said all day, "Don't worry, I've been doing that for years."

"How can you be so calm?" Kate asked, as that was one of the things that bothered her more than anything. Tony was always calm and detached when needed, and she still couldn't control her emotions so easily.

Tony shrugged artfully as possible in a hospital bed, "What is the point in losing my shit?"

And Kate couldn't disagree, but she wondered if he would stay resolute when the tests came back to see what he had been infected within that letter.

 

~*~

 

Abby had realised that Tony was playing at being human but getting admitted to the hospital for the plague was a total commitment to a role. 

She pressed the button on the intercom that would let her speak to her family member. "How are you doing, cousin?" 

Tony coughed and gasped out for full dramatic effect. "I could do with Nana's draught as this is deliciously painful."

Abby snickered, which caused Kate to frown in confusion. She was so judgemental if things didn't fit into neat little expected boxes. "I've got something to compound your misery. Wednesday is coming, as Gibbs called her when you got admitted."

Tony had a hacking cough and gripped his side. He had to suppress his healing which was tiring enough, so he hoped his wife wasn't upset with him. "Is she upset with me or the boss-man?"

Kate had stayed in Tony's room as she had already tested negative and didn't want him to be alone. "Who is Wednesday, another cousin of yours?" 

Tony snorted because that could be open to interpretation. He wanted to sigh because it looked like his team would learn a few of his secrets even though he wasn't ready. "Not quite. You're going to meet my wife, Katie."

She stuttered out, "What?"  It must be a fever dream, right? 

Tony groaned on his bed. This was no fun; he only liked torture if it was bedroom fun with Wednesday. This was just annoying. It wasn't like he could bring on his death, which would see him a-okay as he wanted to keep working for the agency. "What did you think the ring was for? Show?" 

Kate blushed, which showed up under the harsh hospital lights, implying that was precisely what she believed. As much as Tony wanted to annoy her with this, he was trying to figure out what could stop his wife from eviscerating Kate for being too overbearing. 

Abby outside was cackling, so she must have figured out where his thoughts were heading. She wasn't too reassuring either, "Oh, Katie. I think your head is going to explode."

Tony had a stray thought of whether this would be literal. 

 

~*~

 

Tony saw Wednesday had no intention of playing by human rules, entering the room with no concern. She stood looming by his bedside, "You let yourself contract the plague."

The judgement in her voice was almost tangible. 

Tony managed a weak smile, loving that she refused to play by other people's rules. "Sorry, Tesoro."

"Italian won't save you." She informed him primly. Her eyes roved over his husband to see how far he was taking his little game. It was perfect for anyone else as she was just a concerned spouse.  

Tony's smile grew. "il mio cuore batte per te."

That earned him a weak smile. “I want your heart and all of you il mio cavaliere oscuro.”

If he didn't have to play pitiful, Tony would have been laughing his ass off at Kate's face. It was apparent her whole world order had come crashing down. She was torn between confusion and jealousy. Tony didn't really care - what he needed was her gone so that he could let his natural genetics kick in. He had heard the virus was now out of its dangerous phase, so he could start to fight back. It would be easier to do if he didn't have a suspicious agent watching his every move under the guise of being concerned for her partner. 

Tony knew it wouldn't be difficult, so he introduced his work partner to his wife. "Wendy, this is Agent Kate Todd, my partner in the field."

Wednesday looked her up and down. "Pleasure."

Wow, that was cold even to Tony. He had to imagine that even Fester's crazy wife was greeted warmer than this when she tried to kill the family. In fact, that had Debbie spoken with fond nostalgia at the Yule celebrations. 

"You've contracted this as well?" Wednesday asked in a slow, calm way that usually denoted extreme danger. 

Kate shook her head. "No, Ma'am."

Wednesday tilted her head in a way that usually denoted chaos was about to start. "Then shouldn't you be tracking down who has attacked my husband?"

Kate stood up and offered a weird bow/nod, but it wasn't the first time someone had treated Wednesday like royalty when she turned her wrath on them. "Yes, I will right now. I didn't want him to be alone."

Wednesday offered a sincere smile. "I made vows to never do that, so I believe you should be on your way."

Wednesday watched her scurry away with a smirk. 

Tony snorted and waited until they were on their own. "I adore you and your bitchy ways."

"Don't you forget it, sweetheart."

Tony vowed to use his recovery time to have a delightful weekend away from the city where they could relax and revel in everything that made them who they were. 

 

Chapter Text

8: Respect the Zegna

 

Wednesday pouted as she watched her husband slip on his suit. Tony's sick leave was now up, and she debated trying to persuade him to stay off for a bit longer. "Must you go to work?" 

Tony chuckled at the question and kissed her cheek reverently. "You know we need our hobbies?"

Wednesday's pout grew, "You could take up axe throwing."

Tony snorted because that wouldn't be a good idea, and they both knew it. He felt obliged to remind his wife, "Your father still throws a sword at my head in greeting."

She grinned, "It's the Addams' way of showing affection."

Tony kissed the back of her hand in a gallant gesture that always put a soft smile on her face. He should have treasured it more because his first case back would be a doozy. 

 

~*~

 

"Boss, this guy is a whole new level of crazy."

Gibbs grunted, which confused Tim and Kate, but Tony was a master at audible communication through grunts and squeaks; after all, how would he communicate with Cousin It. "He is a killer."

"I know that boss, and I wanted to take him out when he invaded the autopsy."

Kate frowned, "Should you be out in the field?" 

Tony had a wicked smirk as he replied, "Gibbs was at the family party this week. Does he look worried about me being out in the field?"  

Gibbs snorted, "He's fine."

"See," Tony wrapped the scarf around his neck, "So let's go find our crazy terrorist."

 

~*~

 

Tony heard the shot and saw the red light centre on Kate. He made a split-second decision and stepped into its path. He felt the bullet rip through his chest, but more importantly, it didn't rip through Kate's head, which is where it would have ended up.

Tony collapsed to the floor, clutching his side. He had to make this oscar worthy if he was going to be able to hunt down Ari for this clusterfuck. He gasped out. "Fucking hell. No respect. This is Zegna."

Kate was beside herself, thinking Tony had sacrificed himself. "Tony. Why?" 

Bless, she was putting pressure on the wound like he was a normal human being. The only thing the pressure was doing was inhibiting his healing factor. 

Tony leaned up like he wanted to say his last words, but he needed Gibbs to take control. "Bossman. Get Abby for me."

Gibbs shook his head out of the funk. It had been his arrogance that nearly saw Kate dead, and if Tony wasn't so 'odd', this could have ended in a fatality. The weapon he would need to get Wednesday as an apology might be an antique at this rate. 

After the mansion party, Jethro had guessed a few things about Abby and Tony, but this confirmed it. His phone was in his hand, and he didn't waste time with pleasantries. "Tony needs you." 

He carefully put the phone to Tony's ear, trying to avoid the pool of blood.

Tony's plan was already forming. "Ab's I need Wendy. I want her help, but I need one of your pepper-up potions too."

Tony lay back on the ground, trying to catch his breath. This sucked, as he hadn't planned on Tim or Kate finding out about him. He could tell from the looks of wide terror that the truth would be too much for them. "Boss, I am going to need some energy."

"You need a hospital. You're going to die if we don't get moving. Why aren't we moving?" McGee babbled, rattled by seeing Tony bleeding over the floor. In fact, he was more intimidated by Tony's blasé attitude to oncoming death.

Tony grinned weakly. "We're playing out a scene to bait a trap, McScared ."

Kate knew Tony was odd since he'd come back from the plague, but she never imagined it would be such a secret that would see him survive a high-calibre bullet. She understood suddenly that Tony wasn't going to die. It was unnatural, and she would definitely want answers, but first, a plan was forming. She gripped Tony's hand. "You've got some explaining to do."

Tony fluttered his eyelids. "First, I need to die."

He debated telling them anything because Tony was sure they wouldn't handle it. And with that last thought, he let his body fall limp.   

 

~*~

 

Ari Haswari growled a rooftop away when the male agent stepped into the bullet. He'd done it with a smile on his face like there was a massive joke that Ari didn't know. It wasn't Ari's plan, but he'd seen how much it affected Gibbs, so it would least serve his purpose. Gibbs had a history of reacting poorly when his family were killed due to his job. 

It wasn't time to take a shot at Gibbs yet, as he still had hope. He cleared out of his perch and disappeared into the night. He hoped they said something nice at the SFA's funeral, but he was a necessary casualty in this sniper war.

The car was waiting just where Ziva had promised him. His gear was stowed in the trunk with the safety of knowing that should he be stopped, explosives were lining the trunk to destroy any evidence.

He dived into the glovebox and found the burner phone with only one number programmed into it. He didn't wait for a voice to answer, simply saying. "I have made your space."

The cold voice acknowledged him. "Don't screw this up. Father will not be pleased."

It was amazing how little that idea bothered him, but to avoid an argument, he avoided mentioning it. Ari just wanted Gibbs to suffer before he snuffed out the man's light; his sisters' motivations were her own. 

 

~*~

 

Abby had made her way to the rooftop to see a terrified and confused Tim and Kate talking rapidly. She had to roll her eyes because it was apparent why they were too freaked out. It was sad because humans always wanted to learn about the mysteries of the universe, but whenever they're faced with it - they freak out. 

She raced forward, "Boss Man!"

Gibbs looked up from Tony's side, "Did you call his wife?" 

Abby nodded, even as she rooted around her bag. "Don't worry, Bossman. I will have him a-okay in no time at all." She opened up her caf-pow bottle and pulled out a glass test tube. The material inside was smoking and looked a little radioactive.

Kate pulled away from McGee, looking alarmed by what she was witnessing. "Abby, that looks toxic. You can't give him that."

Abby snorted at her assumption. "To you, maybe, but for Tony, this is like a vitamin smoothie."

She knew Kate would start lecturing her about her choice, so she shoved the potion down his throat before she could get any further. Her Nana was a Voodoo Queen, but she'd been studying how to mix magic and science, and this potion was the result. Abby knew Tony was doing something similar with weaponry, and she guessed that Ari Haswari had just jumped to the top of his target list for testing new products. 

Tony shot up with a grin the minute the elixir hit his stomach. He cracked his neck and accepted Gibb's hand up. He was curious about a new taste he could detect in the mixture. "Did you add nightshade?"

Abby shook her head but would indulge in this game. After all, it wasn't every day you could have a proper conversation about poisons with a Paddington. She grinned, "Nope, but look at your side." 

Abby could hear the horrifying conversation behind her and knew they would have to act. She was pleased that the Bossman hadn't acted stupidly like Tim and Kate. His actions told them everything they needed to know about his character. 

Tony may have a destroyed shirt, but his side was fully knitted together. He grinned back at Abby because she was magical when the need arose. "Wow, that is a neat trick. How?" 

She giggled but knew it would bug him, and he would need his mind clear to go hunting. "Mandrake is way cooler than Harry Potter would have people believe."

Tony threw his head back and laughed. If you mentioned that particular series around his mother-in-law, you were liable to lose a limb with how much she detested the character assassination of most races. "Right. I need Wednesday, new clothes and weapons. Then I will find the cowardly bastard and take the cost of my suit out of his hide. This is the last time, boss, that I don't stop an enemy at the first chance."

Gibbs nodded, pleased with that priority list and for his choice. "Good." He sighed as he had to say the next thing, "We've been ordered back to the office."

Tony pouted because, wow, their new Director was a stone-cold bitch. "So the new Director thinks one of us has been shot, and her first act is to order you back to the office. Interesting."

"Nothing subtle about that bitch."

Tony shared a smirk with Abby as the new Director and the Scientist hadn't started off on the right foot. It would never end well when the new Director ordered Abby to dress appropriately.  

"What are you saying? And how are you okay?" Kate demanded to know. She couldn't compute the facts and felt worse for clutching her cross. She should be glad that Tony was alive, considering he'd saved her life, but it was unnatural, and that was a fact that her mind kept tripping over. 

Tony just looked at Abby and gave a slight nod. It was enough for the cousins to communicate, and Abby blew powder in their faces. After it settled, a blank look crossed Tim and Kate's faces. Abby shined a light into Kate's eye, "Are you two okay?" 

Tony had surreptitiously stood closer to Gibbs to hide the stains on his clothes. Kate and Tim looked adorably lost because Abby had blasted them with the equivalent of a retcon tablet. They wouldn't remember the last hour. It was a defence deployed to protect Addams' family secrets if they feared the worst reaction. 

Kate was dazed. "What happened?" 

Abby looked so earnest as she explained, "Haswari attacked you both with a drug. You were first through the door, so you got a double dose. You didn't want to go the hospital, so Bossman asked me to evaluate you both."

McGee was looking at the floor, alarmed. "Whose is the blood?" 

Tony had a wicked grin as he knew how to offer a reasonable explanation. "We've just faked me being shot for Haswari. So you're going to go with the boss and pretend I'm in a terrible condition at the hospital."

"Why would the Director want us back?" Todd asked, horrified because if they'd baited a trap and Abby being there would give credence considering the fake blood.  

Gibbs looked over the rooftop, having already come to an unsavoury conclusion. "The trouble with traps is sometimes it catches other prey."

He trusted Tony to go after Ari and had no doubt that they would never be able to link him to the murder if he felt it was necessary. "Good luck. Use a burner to send messages."

McGee gulped at the look in Tony's eyes. He'd always thought Tony was too rich and charming for his own good. The news Tony had a wife was just another reason to hate him, but today Tony wasn't someone he was jealous of but somewhat scared of him.

Tim shivered at Tony's manic grin and final words, 

 

"Bye, Boss. I'll be in touch."

 

Chapter Text

9: We're going on a hunt

 

Tony waited for the rest of the team to leave in a van carrying a body bag should anyone be watching them from afar. He checked his phone and mentally started to plan what he would do to Ari once he caught up to him. It was a thought that would amuse him until his darling wife turned up to help his hunt. 

Ping. His phone was letting him know that the time was now. If he was inclined, he would howl at the moon, but he wasn't melodramatic like his cousin. 

The limousine was waiting for him; even better, Wednesday was waiting inside. Tony wouldn't want any other partner with him when on a hunt. His wife was his partner in mind, body and soul, so Tony felt confident in the success of their mission. 

She pursed her lips, taking a look at his appearance. "He ruined the suit. I loved you in that suit."

Tony offered a wicked grin as he stripped out the tattered, bloody remnants of his white shirt. "You love to peel me out of my suit, you mean."

She tilted her head to the side. "You're giving me quite the show. You might embarrass our poor driver if we had no divider."

Tony couldn't pretend he was shy as he'd stripped down without a second thought. "Tesoro, once I have hunted this bastard down. I intend to give you an evening to make you remember why you said yes to my proposal."

Her eyes zeroed in on the wound, and she didn't hold back her surprise. "You let yourself get shot?"

Tony nodded as he slipped on a fresh white Armani shirt - the only difference was this shirt was cut to hide the sword sheath that fit snugly to his back. He looked at the sword passed to him and smiled, "The gladius, nice choice."

Wednesday delicately shrugged because she had weighed up the different options. "It is the sword Mamain uses to express her displeasure towards father."

Tony swished it carefully in the confined space but wanted to feel its weight. He wasn't surprised that Morticia was a fan of this weapon. "She would, as it is a vicious weighting and balance."

Wednesday nodded in agreement because she was fond of it for similar reasons. "So tell me more about the kind-hearted terrorist? He is the same one she let go, so he could shoot you, correct?"

Tony knew after the plague that his wife wasn't keen on Kate, but this misadventure had cemented her opinion. "It's ego-driven. Haswari wants to say he is the better sniper out of him and Gibbs. Anyone who gets in his way is collateral."

Wednesday sneered, "Then he should be straight up about it. I wouldn't want anyone to interfere with my disagreements with Pugsley."

Tony snorted because the Addams family prank wars were legendary. The only part contested was whether Wednesday and Pugsley or Fester and Gomez had the more intense battles.

 

~*~

 

Director Jenny Sheppard was waiting for her premier team to return to NCIS. Although one might observe that she wasn't looking as worried as a good director should be. 

Gibbs wasn't willing to give one inch of concessions in this situation. "Why am I here and not with my SFA?"

The Director was clearly taken aback at his tone. Gibbs wondered what had happened to Jenny in their time apart because she seemed to have lost her sense of justice. 

She had to bite back and look to regain control of the situation. "Do we have a problem, Agent Gibbs?" 

Gibbs knew other Agents would listen to her warning tone, but he didn't give a shit. "You're damn right we do. Have you been in offices so long you've forgotten that we always watch a partner's back?"

"That is not fair, Jethro." She stepped to the side and went with a distraction instead. "This is Officer Ziva David. She is a Mossad liaison and is here to help you track down your man. You're not going to like this, but he is not to be harmed."

Gibbs stared at his old partner in disbelief. He wasn't the type to hold back, and that wouldn't change any time soon. "So he shoots my partner, and you expect me to sit back and twiddle my thumbs?"

"He will be dealt with by Mossad." The arrogant officer confirmed like her words held any weight with him. 

Kate snorted because this officer had no clue to talk to Gibbs and be successful. Then again, it seemed only Abby and Tony had mastered that skill. Still, Kate knew she needed to give Gibbs vital information. "Now, why would Mossad care about a Hamas terrorist? He must be important to send the Deputy Director's daughter."

David seemed surprised but tried to hide it badly behind a scowl. "You know me?" 

Kate rolled her eyes because she may have screwed up, but she wouldn't hide from her previous job. "I used to work for the Secret Service. It was my job to know the power players. Oh."

"Share with the class." Gibbs could tell Todd was onto something, which might stop him from recommending she transfer off the team. He hadn't liked how McGee and Todd had rejected the truth about Tony and knew it would need to be addressed in the future. 

It also didn't help Kate's case that Haswari wouldn't be able to have a hunt if she hadn't been swayed by kind eyes. 

Kate was confident as she said, "Haswari, he is Eli David's son."

The flinch from David confirmed it louder than any words. So this case had the added complexity of politics. Wonderful. Gibbs was glad that Tony was already in the wind and unable to listen to any orders to stop. Gibbs was curious if DiNozzo would listen to a cease order from Jenny anyway.  

The Director looked uncomfortable and tried to appeal to his mercenary nature. "We'd have Mossad in our debt, Jethro, and that could be a useful favour for NCIS."

Jenny had said NCIS, but all could hear that she meant it would be a favour for her. Gibbs wondered what Jenny might want from Mossad, but he could bet it wouldn't be good for them, whatever it was. 

Gibbs looked directly at Ziva and started to play with his food. Jenny was naive if she didn't think that David didn't know where her asset was, and make no mistake, Haswari was here at the behest of Mossad. "Your brother should have been more careful who he shot at."

She didn't like that tone, "What is that supposed to mean?" 

Gibbs smiled widely, but it was the type of smile that never reached your eyes. "You should have done your research better on us."

David tried to play it clueless, but the act didn't suit her. She had trained to be a weapon and couldn't pretend otherwise. "I am not sure if I understand what you are saying?" 

"Then you are not as smart as you think. We don't need your help." Gibbs wasn't in the habit of inviting a spider into his lair to eat him. He didn't trust this officer or Jenny to do the right thing. 

This whole situation stunk, and it was only thanks to Tony and Abby being a little odd that this situation wasn't a lot worse. 

"I'm sorry that a team member was hurt." Jenny offered by way of consolation. "But Jethro, do not refuse help that can see this be resolved peacefully."

Kate was still pale, "Tony stepped into the bullet's path, Madam Director, to save me."

Jethro nodded and looked at David, not Jenny, to see how she would react. "You are lucky as DiNozzo is alive, which means Ari will survive. Possibly." 

He then narrowed his eyes at his former protege. "I don't like being ordered back when I should be checking on my Agent."

Jenny Sheppard still didn't like Gibbs' tone as it was like there was a joke, but only he knew the punchline. "What do you mean, Jethro?" 

Jethro shrugged, not wanting to give away anything to a potential enemy. Kate had pointed out the connection between Ari and their newcomer, and none of this was coincidental. He wouldn't rest until he got all the answers, even if Jenny hoped he would let it go after Ari's capture. 

David was stiff and haughty, demanding to know, "Who would be a threat to him?" 

Gibbs gave Jenny a pointed look, as that was a worried sister, not an agent looking at hunting down a criminal. "Well, if your brother has gone to ground, then he may be okay. DiNozzo has as many good friends as enemies."

David sneered because her research suggested otherwise, but she would play the game for now. "Not many friends would take on a terrorist."

Gibbs stared right through her; she clearly found it disconcerting, "He knows fun people."

And that was an absolute truth because Gibbs had found Tony's family nuts in the best possible way. 

Ziva David was not impressed with that answer and lacked the finesse to hide her body language. "He is highly trained and unstable. It is not a good mix." 

So yet again, she unwittingly provided one answer: he was a rogue Mossad agent. Eli David must be worried if he was sending his daughter in to clear up the mess. 

Jethro wanted to laugh if that was the tactic she was going to use as persuasion. Highly trained and unstable would be a polite way of describing DiNozzo's extended family. "Ari shouldn't have gone after DiNozzo. What comes next I can't control."

Jenny looked at him sharply because this was a smug Gibbs she was dealing with, which never boded well for his opponent. She also never expected to hear those words coming out of Gibbs' mouth. She had one last approach to try and challenge him that used to work when they were younger. "Are you implying you are not in charge?" 

If Jenny were hoping to dent his ego, she was out of luck. After all, Gibbs was willing to go up against many things in the world, but the Addams family isn't one of them. 

Gibbs turned away from them with only a comment: "Actions have consequences; you know that."



Chapter Text

10: No one Expects an Addams 

 

Thanks to a well-timed message from Gibbs, Abby was now on the bullpen level wearing her adorable gothic regalia. If Jethro were the type to grin, this would do it - Abby was in full-on princess mode, and he was just here for the show. 

"Who is this?" Abby demanded to know as if Ziva David wasn't worth her knowing. 

Jenny's eyes narrowed, but her professionalism won out, and a hope to reset the conversation as it had run away from her. "This is Officer David from Mossad, Ms Scuitio. She wants to help us catch her brother. 

Abby's eyes narrowed, her eyes going darker in anger, "You're the reason that Tony is hurt." 

Okay, granted, Tony was better thanks to her arsenic and mandrake potion, but normals wouldn't get it. Tim and Kate had proven that fact when they couldn't handle him surviving Ari's bullet. She had fixed that issue for now - she had more than one potion on her at any time.  

David sniffed in disdain, not liking the cold greeting. Her posture went defensive as she answered Abby, "I did not shoot your friend."

"You're not welcome in my lab." Abby declared with all the imperialistic order of a queen who knew her domain. 

Sheppard was mortified and tried to admonish her, "Technician Scutio, this is not how I expect my employees to behave."

Abby tilted her head and examined her new boss, much like she was a science experiment. "No, the rules for providing court evidence state that only NCIS employees who have gone through FLETC training can go into the labs. She isn't one of us, so are you willing to risk my forensic evidence being thrown out in court?"

Jenny looked horrified at her defiance but knew this public forum wasn't the place to address it. She would be looking closely at her record but seeing no friends, for now, she gestured for Ziva to follow her. "Let's head up to my office."

Kate waited until the team were alone on the floor to shiver, "Well, she is shady."

Gibbs rolled his eyes and noted that Kate didn't say exactly who was shady. He needed his team to consider other angles, so he asked out loud, "What would Mossad have to gain by David joining us?"

McGee heard the tone of the question and the suspicion. He didn't get it, but subterfuge wasn't his forte. "Boss?"

Jethro didn't pinch his nose in aggravation, but it was a near thing. He shouldn't have to lead them towards the correct conclusion. "McGee, think about it. Haswari's attack left a perfect shape hole for Officer David to fill."

Kate was one step ahead, and while she didn't remember the whole roof scene because of shock, she knew that Tony was hurt, saving her life. "I could raise a few questions with friends still in Service."

"Do it," Gibbs ordered because he trusted Tony and Wednesday to sort the issue out from their end. However, there was no need to add to their workload.

 

~*~

 

Tony wasn't in a hospital like Sheppard believed but in a limousine opposite his wife. There was no discord between them, but Wednesday was perusing her weapon collection, and he knew better than to get close. It was the type of collection that should make a Federal Agent nervous, but not Tony. He was curious about her choice as it meant she was going full-on chaos mode. He did so adore her when that happened. 

"Why the Falx?" 

The weapon was pre-medieval and sharp, and pointy was too simplistic a description. The Falx could be handled like a sword but had a wicked long curve in the blade. It was designed to cause maximum damage to whoever found itself the misfortune of being its target.

Wednesday asked with a knowing smirk. "You mean to say you don't want to gut Haswari for what he did to your friend?"

Tony pouted, as his wife knew him too well, but he reminded her about the crux of the issue. "That is so not the problem. Agent DiNozzo should arrest him."

"And yet I wasn't asking him. I was asking my husband." She replied with an eerie calm. After all, Wednesday's first meeting with her husband had been them sending a message to the Mob to leave him alone. Tony hadn't objected to the poisoning attempt, but when they returned for their third round of flesh - he'd decided enough was enough. He couldn't complain too much as it led to him meeting Wednesday.

"You know what I want to do, Tesora." Tony's only actual problem was he couldn't settle on how to kill the lunatic. 

She smirked and checked the balance of her favourite Celtic axe. "Hence the weapons. Do you think this Ari will be fun to hunt?" 

Tony shook his head. As much as he would like this to be entertaining, he knew they would be disappointed. "Sadly, no, he is too egotistical, thinking he is the cleverest person in any room. Still, he shot me, and I can't let that stand without at least teaching him a lesson." 

Wednesday shrugged. "He'll learn, but for how long?"

Tony's grin looked angelic but was somewhat offset by him sharpening the Falx. "I do think education is important."

 

~*~

 

Jenny Sheppard wanted to growl with frustration at how quickly her plans were unravelling. She was moving chess pieces into place for her grand revenge, only to be blocked at every turn. The office should have felt like the cumulation of hard work, but it wasn't, as it was a step toward her revenge. 

"You need to tread carefully with Jethro," she advised her friend.

Ziva didn't get the advice or wasn't willing to listen. "Why does how I step matter with Agent Gibbs?" 

Jenny shook her head, "He does not care how you walk. He cares what you do."

Jethro had a very defined idea of right and wrong, and if the law failed the victims, he had no problem stepping into the breach. She was under the impression that DiNozzo helped keep Gibbs' impulses under control. So today's conversation most definitely surprised her because Jethro had implied that he was keeping Tony in check. 

Ziva dismissed the warning with a wave of her hand, "What have I done? It is Ari that is running around being stupid."

Jenny gave her a pointed look, "And if I was to ask who is Ari's handler?"

Ziva stared back mulishly, "You've heard it yourself from my father. He is rogue and an embarrassment."

Jenny was pacing her office, trying to consider all the angles, "This is messing up my agenda."

Ziva didn't know how she could help as she needed to be inside NCIS for her help to begin. Still, she was aware of how delicate her position was within the Agency, "I don't understand how hurting this Agent DiNozzo is going to cause danger to any of us."

Jenny shrugged, "I have no idea. I know he has a wife, is independently wealthy and is tapped for undercover work. All the other pieces of information are contradictory and difficult to unravel."

Ziva couldn't believe that the idiot was married. It was probably to some airheaded cheerleader type, "That meatball has a wife?"

Jenny nodded as she sipped her tea. "Yes, she was his power of attorney and oversaw his recovery from the plague attack." She remembered the clipped call when doing a welfare check. She had been unable to find anything more because the information appeared to have a seal. 

Ziva looked in alarm because Mossad assumed it had been a lie for an operation to take place, "How did he survive that?" 

Jenny had no idea, but it was at odds with his reputation amongst some in the Agency of being charming and a slacker. "Who knows?" 

 

~*~

 

Wednesday considered their prey. "What was his goal?" 

"He wanted to remove Kate as Gibbs has a weakness when the women in his life are attacked or killed," Tony explained as he'd figured that out after finding out about his wife and child. 

Wednesday hummed, trusting Tony's insight. "So he will go after the women in Gibbs' life."

Tony nodded his agreement because they knew once someone with an obsessive mind settled on a goal. It would not be changed. "The new Director is an Ex, but they didn't part on good terms."

Wednesday shook her head, "It will not be her. He doesn't want to help Gibbs even indirectly."

Tony agreed, "No, it will be little Cousin."

Wednesday paused. "It would be interesting to see how Abby reacted to an attack."

Tony snickered, "It would be vicious and involve a few resurrections so she could test out all her ideas." 

Wednesday only nodded because Tony was so right in that regard, "So true, but let's go and show a tiger why a corner is a bad idea."

Tony matched Wednesday's wicked smirk because there was only one good thing about this whole messed-up affair: the quality time he could spend with his wife. 

 

~*~

 

Haswari had set himself up opposite the NCIS building. It was a travesty of a security oversight because the developer had gone bust, leaving it derelict and perfect for his needs. His sister had at least managed to send him accurate specs for the building, even if her profiles were useless. This building gave him a perfect sighter into the forensics lab. He set up his perch and settled in for a chance to attack the forensic scientist that Gibbs considered like a daughter.

Gibbs hadn't handled the death of his daughter well, so he would be in pieces if it was to happen again. 

Ari was so focused on being the hunter that he didn't think of someone returning the favour. The bolt that went through his knee disabused him of that notion. "What?" 

Two figures stepped out of the dark, looking ready for a funeral. The wickedly sharp old blade set off the macabre picture, and the crossbow slung over the woman's shoulder let him know the source of his pain.

His hand went to grip his gun, but a hand stepped on his wrist, stopping that chance. DiNozzo tutted at him as if he was a naughty boy, "Ari, don't do that. We want to have a chat."

"You're dead," Ari whispered. He should be because humans wouldn't survive the bullet he'd fired. 

The man snorted, and who went hunting in a tuxedo? It was a luxurious, black velvet one, like he was going to a black-tie party. 

"No, Ari, I just let you think I was dead."

Ari was in pain, and his training was helping him because he was not delirious yet. He'd learned many ways of faking a death but not surviving a liver shot. None of this made sense to him, and Americans played by the same painfully predictable rules. It was what made them so easy to beat. "You don't torture. You have rules." 

The man chuckled like he'd just told the funniest joke. "You would hope that is true. Agent DiNozzo does, but I am Lord Paddington right now. I watched you destroy a man's career for shits and giggles. The bolt was my wife's way of showing you poetic justice."

"It wasn't amusing to shoot the assistant," Wednesday remarked as she walked around his staked figure, using the Falx to set up an invisible barrier. "He also wasn't very good at shooting. I've hurt you better, Tesoro."

Tony offered her heart eyes, "And I adore you. Him not so much."

"What the hell are you? You're not even human." Ari hissed. He was watching all his plans and machinations burn to the ground around him. He couldn't move an inch, and he hated the caged feeling. 

Tony didn't like the judgement he was hearing, "Am I hearing judgement from a scumbag terrorist?"

"I think you are, dear husband," Wednesday commented in her deadpan tone that somehow managed to drip more judgement into her voice. 

"Well, that is ridiculous on every level." Tony hauled Ari up so he could cuff him to the post supporting the abandoned room. 

"Are you going to summon back up?" Ari was trying to find some avenue he could exploit to escape. 

Tony cackled, at the desperate question, "Do we look like we need backup?" 

There was no good answer. Ari couldn't say he got caught by a manhunt but rather by two psychopaths. He wasn't sure if that was better or worse, but he could hear his father's dismissive voice in his head. 

Wednesday offered a demented grin, "I think you're being reasonable. You haven't brought Granny's resurrection tomb."

Tony grinned crookedly. "We don't have time to really play,   dear heart ."

Ari shivered because there were rumours around Mossad of a select group of people you shouldn't cross. They would present as gothic, but their abilities surpassed normal human beings. Ari now had evidence of their existence, but he might not live to tell the tale. 

DiNozzo bent down in front of him. "Why come back, you crazy bastard?" 

Ari knew the reason sounded hollow, but his convictions had helped him get to this age, "I didn't finish our game last time."

DiNozzo's smirk was more cutting than it had right to be, "And how is that working for you?" 

"I didn't count on you interfering."

Tony shrugged because disappointing a terrorist would hardly make him lose sleep at night. "You should always expect the unexpected."

Wednesday was bored, "Are we killing him or playing?" 

Tony tilted his head to the side, "He doesn't look fearsome, just pathetic."

"You know better than to leave an enemy alive." Wednesday reminded him pointedly. She knew he had to act more admirable than his core character for the sake of his day job, but he knew better, and no one around would judge him.

Tony nodded, but his mind was racing to think of a fitting punishment. It struck him and could count as a gift to his mother-in-law at the same time, "I know what we will do, and it will be the worst thing possible for him."

 

She tilted her head, "Impress me."