Harry had been working in NCIS’ mailroom for about a month when he first witnessed it. Harry had been leaving the lift with a parcel for Balboa, it was a late but urgent delivery when out of the corner of his eye he witnessed a scene that made his blood boil.
“Get McGee and Abby to do what they do when they hook up.” He heard Agent Gibbs order, which caused his Agent to snigger, not that Harry blamed him. Only for all humour to vanish when the Team Lead delivered a harsh head slap to the back of his Agent’s head.
The noise, that loud smack, seemed to echo in the bullpen but no one seemed to care. Not even the Agent themselves. They just continued as if it was nothing out of the ordinary.
“You meant their computers.” The Agent that had been hit corrected himself.
As they continued with their case that seemed to be heating up, Harry was frozen to the spot. Was it common for a superior to hit his agents? What kind of agency had he joined?! He had applied for the job in the mailroom because he thought that it would be a rather low danger job and the last place anyone would look for the saviour of the British wizarding world but now he was starting to regret it. The fact that no one seemed to have a problem with the fact that an agent physically assaulted another in front of everyone...well it was disgusting. But no, maybe Harry was reading too much into it? Maybe the hit wasn’t that hard- and that was the kind of thinking that let abusers go unstopped.
In the end Harry decided to wait until they had wrapped up their current case, he would then corner Agent Gibbs and speak to him about his behaviour. Maybe he should have spoken to the Agent he hit first or even filed a report with HR but Harry hadn’t thought about that. He always confronted things head first and this was no different.
The next morning, when Agent Gibbs arrived first in the bullpen, Harry approached him.
“Excuse me?” He took a deep breath as he stood in front of the intimidating man. But he had faced down Voldemort and won, this man had nothing on that bastard.
“I would like to have a word with you in private.”
“And what would a mailroom agent want to speak with me about?” He raised a sceptical eyebrow and sipped his coffee.
“I witnessed something troubling the other day and didn’t know who else to talk to.” Harry only half lied. He had seen something troubling but he did know who to talk to, the man that was responsible for it.
“Alright.” Gibbs stood and gestured with his head for Harry to follow him. He led them to the little space that was ironically under the stairs in the bullpen. At Harry’s confused look, he explained. “I’ve got no office and usually I stop the lift for talks but it's in use a lot in the morning.” That was rather considerate. “Now, what did you want to talk about?”
Harry took a deep breath and steeled his spine. He met the icy blue eyes of Agent Gibbs and spoke. “I witnessed a Team Lead strike their Agent.”
“That is a serious allegation.” Gibbs frowned. “Where and when did you say this happened?”
“Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.” Harry laughed without humour. “I saw you hit your agent.”
He watched as the knut dropped. Gibbs' eyes widened before his expression cleared. “It was nothing.”
“Oh, so it’s nothing when you do it, but when you thought that someone else had struck their agent, it was a serious issue.” Harry shook his head in disbelief.
“I’m not sure why no one else has brought you up on this, seeing as you did in full view of the bullpen but hitting someone in the workplace is never right.”
“It was merely a wake up tap.” He tried to explain.
“Hah!” Harry barked humourlessly. “That sounds like something my uncle would say before beating living crap out of me before shoving me back into the cupboard.” His mouth blurted out before he realised what he was saying. “It starts with a gentle slap but it won’t be long until you’re giving him a concussion or worse.” He didn’t realise it but he was trembling and worrying the agent in front of him quite a bit.
“You can try to explain abuse away but that doesn’t mean it goes away.” Harry continued ignoring Gibbs. “Does your Agent flinch when you raise your hand near him, does he cringe after saying something, waiting for the hit? Is your abuse limited to those smacks or do you verbally abuse him too?”
“Or do you withhold necessary things such as lunch breaks as punishment? Make him stay over time without pay? Make him do jobs that are below his paygrade? Punish him like he’s a little boy and not an agent-”
“Gibbs?” The Agent in question poked his head around the stairs and took in the scene in front of him. A significantly smaller man was in his boss’ face but was trembling with rage as he seemed to be telling Gibbs off. But more worrying was how pale his boss had turned. “Is everything alright?” Tony vaguely recognised him but couldn’t put his finger on from where.
“Yeah,” Gibbs’ voice was gruffer than usual. “We’re finished here.” He turned back to the angry little dude. “I’ll look into it.” He promised him and that seemed to settle them a little.
“You better.” And with that stern nod, the man turned on his heel and left.
“What was that all about, boss?”
“Lets borrow a conference room.” Was the unexpected reply. Tony followed him concerned, was this a new case?
“Sit down, Tony.” Okay now, Tony was officially freaking out. His boss almost never used his first name while they were in work, not really anyway. And why did they need a conference room? Why wasn’t this something that he could talk about in the bullpen? Did that man that he was speaking to, have a complaint about Tony? He couldn’t remember having done anything to do with him!
“What’s going on? I have to admit that you’re starting to freak me out here, Boss.”
“It has been brought to my attention that I have been…” He had never seen Gibbs struggle for words before. Sure he was a man of few words but when he did speak he had never struggled to find them.
“What is it?”
“I should never have hit you.” Gibbs said in the end.
Tony was taken aback. Where was this coming from? “Boss-”
“Please let me speak,” He held up a hand to stop Tony. Tony sat back in his chair feeling utterly confused. “I should never have raised my hand against you outside of the Gym sparring mat. I have been reminded that doing so is physical assault.”
“But it's just a wake-up slap.” Tony scrunched up his face in confusion.
“Regardless, I have no right to raise my hand against you.” He shook his head. “Not to mention the times that I have cut your lunches too short, thrown your food into the bin or made you do work that is usually given to Probies.”
“Boss..” Okay, was this a case of a bodysnatcher because what the hell?! Why was Gibbs acting so concerned all of a sudden? Does this have to do with what the angry guy was saying to him? Man, he wished that he had listened in a little before interrupting!
“I have no excuse. I never treated you like this when we were a two man team and I’m not sure why I started to do so when we gained new members.” He shook his head at himself. “Honestly I’m surprised that you haven’t stuck HR on me yet.”
“No, buts. What I have been doing is nothing less than abuse and I am incredibly sorry.”
“Rule 6, Boss.”
“I’ve been ignoring too many of the rules as of late, especially rule 1. Never screw over your partner.” Gibbs scrubbed a hand over his face. “You are my partner, and I have screwed you over by abusing you like I have.” He took a breath. “The more I think about it the worse the light I see my actions in. You are my second in command and yet I’ve told Todd that she doesn’t have to listen to you? And I’ve made you do the Probie tasks instead of treating you like my SFA.”
“Boss...”Tony didn’t know what to say. He wondered what the hell that man had told his boss for him to act like this. It must have been pretty significant for such a turn around in attitude.
“I want you to promise me, Tony, that the next time I act like I have been, that you will report me to HR.”
“You must!” Gibbs barked only to wince and sit back in his seat. “If you saw another team lead hitting his agents, refusing to allow them to take care of their basic needs and generally verbally abusing them, you would report them right?”
Tony nodded reluctantly.
“So why am I different?” He demanded to know. “Hell, I was ready to march to HR to make a report myself when I was told that a team lead was seen hitting his agent!” He sighed. “Only to find out that it was myself that they had seen hitting you.”
“Is that what your conversation under the stairs was about?”
“Yeah, that mailroom man certainly has balls.” He laughed humourlessly. “He only saw me do it once and was ready to go to war on your behalf.”
“But why? He doesn’t know me?”
“Not my place to tell but when we leave this room, I want you to find his name for me and try to find out who his uncle is and where they are.” Gibbs stood.
Tony knew his boss enough to know what he was implying. That mailroom attendant stood up for Tony because he had once been in his place.
“You do know though boss, that I never thought that you were abusing me.” Tony stood from his seat and approached Gibbs, wanting to show that he wasn’t afraid of him.
“And that’s what makes it worse, Tony.”
The sad look on his Boss’ face would stay with Tony for a long time.
Unable to help himself, Tony went down to the mailroom to find the man that had both talked some sense into his boss and completely torn him down. He didn’t know if he wanted to thank him or yell at him. He didn’t know the man’s name and figured that the best way to find out was to go and see him personally. Sure he could have looked up the staff records but he wanted to see him face to face.
He walked into the mail room and immediately spotted the dark head of hair that belonged to the man that tore his boss a new one. It helped that he was also the only one in the room at that moment. He was busy waving a stick over some letters? Weird but it was probably some new fangled tech gadget to detect…yeah Tony didn’t know what he could be doing with it.
“Hey,” He knocked gently on the door to gain the man’s attention. The man startled, dropping the stick and looked over at Tony as if he was a deer caught in the headlights.
“Um, can I help you?” He asked nervously and picked his stick back up.
“I’m Tony DiNozzo.” He introduced himself and wow, those green eyes were stunning!
“Um, Harry Potts.” He brushed his hair out of his eyes revealing the outline to a scar. Tony couldn’t quite make out what it was from this distance. “Is there a problem with your mail?”
“No,” He shook his head and decided to gird his loins and just go for it. “I wanted to thank you actually.”
“T-thank me?” Potts was stunned. “Why?”
“Whatever you said to my Boss? It worked.” He crossed his arms and leant against the door. “I never really thought about it as abuse.”
“You thought ‘I deserve this’.” Harry looked at him with sad, understanding eyes. His stomach turned at the thought that this man had been abused.
“Yeah.” He agreed softly before clearing his throat. “I uh, also thought that i should give you a heads up. Boss wants me to look into your uncle?”
“He has a different surname to me, so good luck finding him.” A mischievous smile appeared on Pott’s face and made him look even younger. “He’s also British and in prison.”
“For abuse?” Tony hedged carefully.
“No,” Potts scowled. “No, he was never caught for that. But the idiot was embezzling from his company and attacked his boss when he was told that he was being investigated.”
“Couldn’t have happened to a better guy.” Tony said for lack of anything else to say. What did you say to something like that?
“You’ll find no argument from me.”
They stood in silence for a moment before Tony suddenly put his foot in his mouth:
“Go out with me?” He blurted out. “Or um, do you like coffee? Wait, no you said you were British, we could get tea?” Why was he coming across as such a moron? He was usually much smoother than this! Then as Potts turned to face him fully and his soft pink lips parted slightly in surprise, Tony realised why. He was developing a crush on his MailRoom hero.
“I like tea and coffee so long as there is plenty of milk.” Potts said after a moment, a small smile twitching at the corner of his lips.
“That’s a yes, Tony, I’ll go out for coffee with you.”
“When do you have your lunch?” He asked. “So long as we haven’t picked up a case, oh wait, boss said that he would give us lunch now…” He trailed off mumbling to himself.
“My lunch is at one o’clock. If you’re in the office then we’ll go for coffee and food but if not, no worries, just make sure you pick yourself something up to eat.”
“It's a deal!” Tony beamed at his lunch date. “I’ll see you later, I should get back to work.”
“See you later,” Harry, he should think of him as Harry and not Potts, smiled and waved him away.
No case came in, so they spent the morning going through cold case files. Tony had, despite what Gibbs had said, expected everything to continue as usual but they didn’t.
“Morning Tony.” Kate greeted him as she walked into the bullpen. “Running late this morning?”
“Nope.” He popped the ‘p’ in the word as he sat down and logged onto his computer.
“Come on, you weren’t here when I arrived.” She stood up from her desk and made her way over to him. “Tell me, did the latest notch on your bedpost keep you up too late?”
“Agent Todd!” Gibbs thundered from his own desk. Both Tony and Kate startled and turned to face him. He looked furious. “You do not speak to your superior like that.”
“But Tony isn’t my superior.” She frowned, confused. “And we always talk like this?”
“Tony is my senior field agent and therefore your superior.” Gibbs stood up from his seat and moved to perch on the front of his desk. “I made a mistake in telling you during your second case with us that you didn’t have to listen to him.”
Tony was amazed. Boss was keeping his word and was acting more like the partner he had been before Kate joined the team. He focused on not smiling as he knew that would incense Kate, but he was genuinely happy that Gibbs was keeping his word.
“He is my SFA and in the field or office, if I am unavailable then he is in charge.” He continued. “I have let things slip around here, especially the chain of command and I regret that. It stops now.”
“No, Agent Todd. My word is final.” He was firm. “We’ll be on cold cases today. It was also pointed out to me that we are one of two teams on the MCRT for a reason. We are supposed to have down time between cases unless there is an emergency.”
“Cool, Probie!” Tony called out to Tim McGee, who seemed to be trying to make himself as small as possible in his chair to stay out of Gibbs’ rage. “I’ll walk you through the process of reviewing a cold case.”
“Thanks Tony.” McGee sent him a grateful look.
“Good, get to work.” Gibbs dumped some folders on each of their desks.
Tony left his on his desk and instead scooted his chair across to McGee’s desk. “Okay, so here’s what we do…”
And that’s how Tony spent his morning. He walked McGee through stages of reviewing the case and the process of rechecking the alibis and tapes etc. All the while he avoided the dark looks that Kate was throwing him and the confused ones at Gibbs. She was clearly completely thrown by the change in Gibbs’ attitude and wasn’t appreciating it like Tony was. She might just settle down and accept it but somehow, he doubted that.
Then it was one o’clock.
“Lunch time, Boss?” Tony tentatively asked after returning to his own desk, leaving McGee to try doing the cold cases by himself.
“Go,” Gibbs waved him on. “Be back at fourteen hundred.”
“Yes, sir!” Tony grinned and grabbed his badge, his gun, and his wallet. He sped over to the lift but as he pressed the button to call it to their floor, he heard Kate.
"But he hasn't started on any of his files." She complained.
"He was helping McGee." Gibbs sighed. "HR has also been riding my ass about keeping you a lot from lunch so go." He made a shooing motion. "Go on, go eat."
As soon as the lift arrived, he darted in and pressed the button for the floor that the mail room was on. He had a date to go to after all. He felt stupidly giddy.
Harry waited impatiently for the time to tick closer to one o’clock. This would be the first date that he had been on since before the war. Sure, he had a few one-night stands, but he hadn’t dated anyone since he caught Ginny slipping a love potion into his butterbeer. He never would forgive her for that or Molly Weasley for condoning it. Thankfully, her brothers, including Ron, were on Harry’s side.
In the end though he still had to leave Britain. The Ministry of Magic tended to oscillate between wanting him as their poster boy or scapegoat. He never got a moment of peace. So he left. MACUSA welcomed him with open arms, offering him a Wizard Witness Protection Program placement. Which is how he got his new name, even if it was ridiculously close to his real one, and the job in the mailroom at NCIS. SECNAV, it turned out, had connections in MACUSA and had been requesting a witch or wizard to join their agency to help keep their agents safe. Harry had agreed.
His job was two fold: Scan the mail as it came in, both magically and through No-Maj means to make sure it was safe for their agents to open. Apparently there had been an anthrax scare in one of the FBI offices and SECNAV wanted to avoid something similar happening to their agency. Secondly, Harry was their last defence. If for some reason a terrorist got control of the building then Harry was to take them out, with prejudice. So far, he hadn’t come across anything deadly being sent through the mail and he hadn’t had to play assassin. Yet. With his luck, he was betting that one of the two or even both issues would occur sometime soon.
But anyway, he had a date with a rather attractive man and he was excited for it! Obviously he couldn’t talk to him about magic or tell him the total truth about himself, but still. He was looking forward to it.
The clock finally struck one o’clock and Harry all but left to his feet. He made sure that his wallet was in his pocket despite the enchanted chain that kept attached to his trousers, and his wand in its invisible holster on his arm. He had finally taken Moody’s advice on not keeping his wand in his back pocket, he got a holster after he had almost sat on his wand a few years ago and since then he wondered why he hadn’t gotten one earlier.
He didn’t have to wait long for Tony DiNozzo to turn up at the door.
“Hi.” He beamed at Harry setting off an avalanche of butterflies in his stomach. He hoped that this date wasn’t just a thank you lunch. He did what someone else should have done a while ago, nipping the abusive behaviour of his Team Leader in the bud.
“Hi.” Harry smiled shyly back.
“Shall we?” Tony gestured for him to go first. “I thought that I could take you to my usual place. It isn’t far, which means that we will have more time to eat than if I took us somewhere else.”
“That sounds good.” Harry reassured him. “I like to eat.” Ugh that was an awful line!
“I’m glad, because I do too.” Tony replied, making it seem like Harry hadn’t said anything weird. He appreciated that. “They do good hearty food, not as good as my favourite Italian restaurant, but maybe I will get to take you there at some point.”
“I’d like that.” Hopefully this date went well and many more would follow including one to that restaurant.
The diner that Tony took Harry to was only a block away and they soon were settled in a booth with a menu each.
“First,” Tony cleared his throat and put his menu down. “I want to apologise.”
“For what?” Harry frowned as he looked up from his own menu. He was debating on getting a BLT with some loaded fries or the fried chicken with waffles.
“Despite telling Gibbs that your uncle had been dealt with he still had me look you up.” Tony cringed as if waiting for Harry to explode with anger.
“Let me guess.” He sighed and put his menu down. “He found nothing or rather a lot of generic stuff but nothing that explained my comments?”
Hmm. How much could he tell Tony? Maybe if he twisted it into a no-maj version of things? “You know about the Witness Protection Program right?”
“Oh!” His eyes widened as he realised where Harry was going with this.
“Yeah, there’s a reason why there isn’t a lot to be found about me.”
“Huh, best not tell me anything much then.” Tony conceded.
“I can tell you that my real name is Harry.” He offered in condolence. “That everything I’ve told you and shouted at your boss was the truth.”
“Can I ask how long you’ve been in the-”
“What can I get you lovelies?” A waitress appeared, cutting Tony’s questions off.
“I’ll have a diet soda and a BLT with loaded fries please.” Harry decided on the lighter of the two options he had been dithering over.
“I’ll have the same.” Tony smiled charmingly at her and handed his menus back over. Harry copied him, this was actually the first time he had been in a diner in America and was taking cues from his date.
“Alrighty, I’ll be back with your drinks in a jiffy and your food shouldn’t take too long.”
“Thank you.” Harry smiled at her as she walked off with their order before turning back to Tony. “What were you trying to ask?”
“It’s not important.” He waved away Harry’s protest. “Serious, I already know a lot more about you than you do me.” He folded his hands under his chin. “So, ask me something and I will try my best to answer it.”
“Alright,” Harry thought for a moment. What did he want to know about Tony DiNozzo? The waitress came back and placed their glasses of soda on the table before promising to be back with their food shortly. He gently pushed a glass over to Tony, taking the opportunity to make sure that there was nothing nefarious in the drink before pulling his own closer to him and doing the same. Both glasses were clean.
“Okay,” He decided after taking a sip of the cold drink. “Do you like movies?” Harry had gotten big into them after the war now that he no longer had to return to his abusive relatives. He watched everything he could get his hands on, practically lived at the cinema when he could.
Tony lit up. “Is the Pope Catholic?” He shot back with a grin. “I love movies.”
“Brilliant.” Harry leant forward, “Have you seen the latest…”
The rest of the lunch date was spent discussing movies and tv shows that they liked while eating decent food. It was the best meal flavour wise but it was the best meal he had in a very long time due to the company.
They ended up agreeing to another date so long as nothing came up and they exchanged phone numbers. Yes, Harry had a mobile phone. He wasn’t exactly tech savvy but he could use a phone and computer relatively well.
One date turned into two which turned into three which turned into four and so on. They met up almost every day for lunch when they could. Obviously there were days that they couldn’t due to Tony being on a case but that was fine. They texted and called each other regularly and Harry was really enjoying his time with Tony.
They had their first kiss after Tony took Harry to see a showing of The Godfather at a cinema that played a lot of older movies for their fourth date. It was almost stereotypical at how their hands met in the popcorn bucket. Harry had blushed brightly in the dark theatre but impulsively leant across the seat to chastely kiss Tony. His lips tasted of the popcorn they were sharing. After the movie, Tony had pressed him up against his car and snogged the breath out of his lungs. They spent the rest of the evening grinning over dinner at that Italian restaurant that he had mentioned during their first date. It had been perfect.
Harry loved spending time with Tony, either at work when he dropped off the daily post, when they had their lunch dates or outside of work. They both loved movies, fast cars, although Tony had admitted to being terrified of Gibbs’ driving as he apparently drove like a maniac, food and so much more. They had a lot in common including their shitty childhoods.
“If I ever meet your father you will have to hold me back from punching the bastard in the face.” Harry declared after finding out that DiNozzo Sr. had abandoned Tony in Hawaii and disowned him when he was twelve and was constantly trying to get hold of his trust fund.
“Ditto, if I come across your bitch of an Aunt.” Tony pulled Harry close. They were sitting on the settee in Harry’s apartment. The TV was playing the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie in the background as they cuddled, sharing secrets in the darkened room.
“It was because she was afraid of me.” He admitted. He wanted Tony to know the truth, to truly know him. Sure they had only been going out for about a month but he hated lying and keeping secrets from him. He wanted to trust him. “I was her estranged sister’s child, the sister that had been accepted into an exclusive boarding school.” He didn’t know how to just tell him!
“That doesn’t excuse her.” Tony told him firmly. “You were a child, an orphan and she abused and neglected you and allowed her oaf of a husband to hurt you too.” He gently turned Harry’s chin so he could look him in the eye. “It doesn’t matter if you were the child of Satan himself, your relatives should never have laid a single hand on you.”
“Er, well.” Harry wanted to look away but Tony’s grip on his chin was firm. “Perhaps not Satan but uh.” Come one Harry, where is your Gryffindor courage?! “I um, I need to show and tell you something.” He pulled away from Tony and stood from the settee to turn on the light. “I hope you don’t freak out and decide that you hate me afterwards.” He nervously wrung his hands. Merlin, he was breaking so many laws doing this! You weren’t supposed to let No-Majs know about magic unless you married them first which Harry thought was awful.
“Harry, you’re scaring me a little.” Tony sat forward with concern written clearly on his face. “Whatever it is, I’m sure-”
“I have magic!” Harry blurted out and summoned his wand to his hand. “I was born with magic and that was why my relatives hated me. I never hurt them or anything but they thought I was a freak because of it.” Tony’s face went blank. “Look, I can prove that I’m not crazy.” He cast the only spell he knew that couldn’t be easily explained and turned the coffee table into a live pig just like McGonagall did during their first transfiguration lesson.
“Holy Shit!” Tony scrambled further on to the settee to get away from the pig that was now standing in Harry’s apartment.
“I’ve never lied to you, I just left out all the magic.” He rambled. “My parents were killed but it was by an evil wizard, and my relatives that I was sent to where I was abused but they were muggles, uh non magical people and hated magic and they took that out on me.” He turned the pig back into the coffee table and cast his Patronus. “The exclusive boarding school? A school of magic-”
“Harry, mio caro.” Tony was suddenly in front of him. He looked remarkably calm for someone who had just discovered magic existed and seeing as a moment before he had been scrambling away from him, Harry was taken aback from the sudden shut down of emotion.
“Shh, mio caro.” Tony gently cupped his face with his warm hands. “It's alright.” He stroked his cheeks with his thumbs. “I kind of already knew that magic existed.”
“You did?” Harry suddenly felt light headed.
“Yeah,” He nodded. “Though I don’t know a lot. I came across it while I was undercover in the mob.” Ah yes, Tony had mentioned that particular job when they were watching the Godfather but Harry had forgotten about it due to the kisses they shared for the first time.
“You don’t hate me?” Harry asked in a quiet voice.
“No, I could never hate you.” Tony promised and kissed him gently. “I know magic exists because the mob had their own wizards but I was kept away from them for the most part. I’ve never actually seen much magic performed.” He pressed their foreheads together. “So please give me a little warning the next time you decide to turn a table into a large bovine animal.” He teased.
“It’s a deal.” Harry’s voice was thick and he honestly felt like he was on the verge of tears.
“Why don’t we start again, but keep all the kissing, hmm?” Tony smiled easily and moved one hand to wrap his arm around Harry’s waist to pull him closer. “I’m Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo, please call me Tony.”
Harry laughed wetly and Tony brushed away his tears.
“I’m Harry Potter.”
“It’s nice to meet you Harry Potter although I have to say that the Witness Protection Program did a shitty job in changing your surname.” Tony pulled back and grinned.
Harry laughed. He was so, so happy! Tony accepted him for who he was, magic and all. They were going to be okay.
That night they fell asleep in each other's arms, exhausted by the emotional turn of their evening.
Their relationship was stronger thanks to that talk and both men were happier than ever! Gibbs had kept his word and was acting like a proper team leader and firmly enforced the chain of command and was back to being a true friend to Tony. In fact, Gibbs was probably the only one who knew that Tony and Harry were in a relationship until an unusual letter appeared in the mailroom.
Tony was in the bullpen typing up the monthly report when an alarm that he had never heard before went off.
“What the?” He stood from his desk and looked to Gibbs for instruction. Gibbs looked rather concerned which was rather worrying. He picked up his desk phone and made a call.
“What’s going on?” Kate demanded in her strident voice. She still snipped at Tony and McGee but aimed less for the jugular these days since Gibbs had gotten his head back into the game as it were.
“I have no idea.” He shrugged as clueless as she was. “I’ve never heard this alarm before.”
“Should we evacuate?” She asked.
“You will do no such thing.” Gibbs said as he put the phone down. “Everyone stay in your seats.” Tony sat back down but didn’t take his eyes off his boss. “A letter was flagged as having a suspicious biological element inside it.”
Harry! Tony felt faint. Was his boyfriend alright?!
“No one opened it, but CDC has shut down the building. No one goes in or out. We are to stay on our floor until we get the all clear.”
“No one’s been infected by it or anything, right?” Tony asked, leaning forward. “You said that it hadn’t been opened?”
“There was only one person in the Mail Room, and no, they didn’t open it.” Gibbs told him. It was silent in the bullpen apart from the alarm so everyone was listening carefully.
“Do we know who it is?” Kate asked.
Tony felt as if the floor had dropped out from under his feet. “No.” He whispered in despair.
“Hey, hey.” Gibbs was suddenly at his side holding him steady in his seat. “Didn’t ya hear me? I said he was fine. Your boy is fine, Tony.”
“His boy?” Kate of course chose to pick up on that little tidbit.
“Harry, is fine.” Gibbs ignored her and continued to reassure him. “They’ll probably still make him take a shower just in case but he didn’t open the envelope, it wasn’t ripped or anything.”
“You have a boyfriend?” Kate demanded to know. “Since when?”
“Uh, Kate.” McGee tentatively tried to take her attention away from Tony. “I don’t think thats the most important thing to be wondering about right now.”
“Do you think that I could call him?” Tony asked. “I mean, I understand what you’re telling me but I just need to hear from him that he’s okay.”
“I don’t see why not.” Gibbs shrugged. “He might be in the shower though so don’t freak out if he doesn’t answer.”
With permission granted, Tony scrambled for his phone and hit redial on the last phone call that had been to Harry earlier that day to say good morning. The phone rang and rang and rang, but before his heart could crawl out of his throat in anxiety, it was answered.
“Tony?” Harry’s confused voice came through the phone loud and clear.
“Are you alright, mio caro?” He demanded, his grip on the phone was knuckle white.
“You heard huh?” Harry laughed lightly. “I promise, I’m fine. I didn’t open anything and I’ve already been cleared by the CDC.”
“Oh, thank god.” Tony collapsed back in his chair with relief. “I was so scared for a moment, I thought…” He trailed off not wanting to put his thoughts into words.
“I know better than to open suspicious letters, especially ones that aren’t addressed to me.” Harry gently chided him. “You know me better than that.”
“I know but-”
“But you were worried anyway.” Harry finished for him. “Look, I’ll see if they’ll let me up on to your floor once they’ve finished grilling me about the letter.”
Gibbs had been close enough to hear both sides of the conversation and pinched the phone from Tony’s hand and a press of a button had it on speaker phone.
“Hey!” Tony complained and reached for the phone.
“What’s going on?” Harry’s voice was heard clearly across the bullpen as the alarms finally stopped. Their absence left behind a ringing in his ears.
“This is Agent Gibbs.”
“Oh, hello.” Harry’s voice showed that he was taken aback by the sudden change in caller. “Is Tony alright?”
“Yeah, I’ve just borrowed the phone for a moment.”
“You’re on speaker!” Tony called out as Gibbs held the phone out of his reach.
“I wanted to ask about who the letter was addressed to.” Gibbs continued, ignoring his SFA who was at that point wondering if he should climb onto his desk to grab the phone from where Gibbs was holding aloft.
“NCIS Special Agent.” Harry announced. “Was who it was addressed to. CDC are taking it away to be analysed to see what the powder inside was and then they’ll work on tracing it back to its origins.”
“How did you know that there was power in it?”
“I held it up the light.” Tony could practically hear his boyfriend shrug on the end of the phone. “I could see through the envelope a little.”
“Enough to flag it?” Kate butted in.
“Well, there was that and it had been sealed with a kiss.”
“Why would that flag it?” She asked taking over. Tony watched as Gibbs scowled at her.
“We don’t exactly get a lot of lipstick stain covered letters here.” Harry’s reply was dry as the Nevada Desert. “I recently watched a movie where a woman sealed a man’s death with a kiss.” Oh right, they had watched the movie Holes the other night.
“We are very glad that you did find it odd.” Gibbs took hold of the conversation again. “Otherwise it would have ended up here and one of my lot would have opened it.”
“Eh, I just did my job.” Harry replied simply. “Now I would like to get off speaker phone and talk to my boyfriend in private for a moment before I am cornered by CDC agents again.”
“Of course.” Gibbs handed the phone back to Tony.
He quickly took it off speaker and pressed it back to his ear. “I guess this makes you my Mail Room Hero twice over.” He teased, turning his back to the rest of the room to give himself an illusion of privacy.
“Please don’t start calling me that.” Harry groaned at the moniker.
“Fine, but only because you ask so nicely.” He gave in easily knowing that he hated being branded a hero. “I’ll see you tonight?” He wanted to sleep with him in his arms to reassure himself that Harry was safe.
“It’s a date.”
“I’ll see you later, babe.”
“Ditto, mio caro.” And with that Tony reluctantly hung up. He then turned back to face the room and found everyone staring at him curiously. “Shows over!” He shooed them away.
"What the hell, Tony." Kate marched over to him. "Since when did you have a boyfriend?"
"It's none of your business." Tony arched an eyebrow at her. "And is that tone you are supposed to take with your team's SFA?"
"Cut the crap." She scowled. "You've been nothing but a womaniser so-"
"Not that it's any of your business, but there is something called bisexuality." He crossed his arms and leant back against his desk.
"You're not bi." She laughed cruelly. "There's no such thing."
"Enough, Agent Todd." Gibbs stepped in. "Agent DiNozzo is your superior and your co-worker, he does not have to share any of his personal life with you."
"I think you also need to be sent on a sensitivity training course." He continued.
"Gibbs!" She protested.
"You comments are completely unprofessional and discriminating." He glared down at her. "We at NCIS embrace the whole of the LGBTQ+ community and your attitude is not welcome. Either change it or get out."
The bullpen was death silent. You could hear pin drop but everyone, and he meant everyone, was glaring daggers at Kate. She sat down at her desk with a huff.
"I'll get HR to email you the details about the sensitivity training." Gibbs promised. "Now, everyone get back to work!"
Tony hoped that she decided to quit. Kate was a constant pain in the ass. At least McGee had shaped up when Gibbs had declared that he was going to reinforce the chain of command. In fact McGee was shaping up to be a pretty decent probie and would make a good junior agent once he was over the probationary period. But Kate, her jabs and so called jokes just took place out of sight of Gibbs and other agents. He was aware that he should have reported her but honestly he just ignored her most of the time.
His phone vibrated. He glanced at Gibbs who was squinting at his computer again before opening the message.
H: Getting sent home. Won't get to visit you.
T: You have a key, let yourself into my place.
H: Alright, see you soon.
T:mio caro, I can't wait.
He smiled down at his phone before he put it away and focused back on the cold case that he was working on. Despite Harry's protests, he would always be Tony's Mail Room Hero.