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Open Doors

by: xanfan (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 010 Word Count: 11792
Rating: MATURE
Character(s): Tony DiNozzo, Other Male Character
Category(ies): Crossover
Pairing(s): Tony/OMC
Episode(s): 3-12 Boxed In
Crossover Shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Summary: Crossover w/Buffy - When some doors slam shut, others open. Two men with a history of being pushed aside learn that it's the small moments that can change everything.

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

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Chapter 1 - People Suck

Fandom: Buffy/NCIS crossover
Pairing: eventually Tony/Xander
Spoilers: up to Boxed In, season 3 of NCIS, All of Buffy, post Chosen
Warnings: Slash M/M
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
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Tony had the cab driver drop him off at his usual I’m-in-a-bad-mood-and-just-want-to-be-left-alone bar. It was a little neighborhood sports bar with his second favorite beer on tap and a different sports event on every big screen. This wasn’t the kind of place ‘they’ would expect him to go. No thumping music and bodies writhing on the dance floor. Hell, there wasn’t a dance floor in sight and the only soundtrack was the game of choice piped into the little speaker boxes at each booth. And definitely no writhing; rough-housing shoves and hand slaps to accompany the games, but no writhing.

He wasn’t here to impress, he was here to catch a game, relax, and forget his friends - no, teammates. They’d proven this evening that they didn’t really consider him to be one of the gang. Hell, the newest team-member was more welcome than he was.

An ache from his arm reminded him that he needed to make a decision, either he drank tonight or he took the pain medicine he had been prescribed. No matter what anyone thought of him, or how low he was feeling, he wasn’t irresponsible enough to do both. It really sucked that Ziva hadn’t even really gotten in trouble for practically shooting him. She was stupid enough to fire her weapon in a closed metal container and his poor arm had caught the ricochet. And it wasn’t even the first time that he had gotten injured on an assignment; he always seemed to need medical attention to some degree when he got sent out with her as his partner. He’d taken a hell of a beating for her on that assignment where they’d gone in as a married set of assassins, and now he couldn’t even drive himself home because his arm was in a sling and he couldn’t switch gears.

Tony looked around for a table. It was pretty crowded tonight, so he settled for a spot at the bar, facing out so he could find a game he wanted to watch while keeping an eye out to snag a table when one opened up.

“What’ll it be?” asked the bartender.

Tony didn’t even really look back as he made his painkiller-vs-beer decision; he just turned his head enough to be heard. “Give me a draft of the regular.”

“Been here before, have you?” The barkeep asked as he pulled the beer into a frosty glass.

“A time or two,” he admitted, his eyes on a basketball game.

“Here you go, one regular draft. That’ll be six bucks, even.”

Tony slapped down a ten from his wallet. He grabbed his beer and took a long drink.

A half hour later, he was still nursing his first beer, looking for a table and half-heartedly watching a game and whole-heartedly brooding over the fact that the people he considered family had all gone to dinner at Ziva’s house and he hadn’t been invited and they hadn’t seemed to miss him.

“Hey Cyclops, I need another round,” some drunk a few spaces down shouted.

“Cyclops, that’s funny, haven’t heard that one before,” muttered the bartender behind him as he worked. Tony recognized by voice that he was the same guy who had served him earlier.

“Just ignore him, I’ll take care of this idiot,” another of the bartenders offered.

“Thanks man, I’m just not in the mood to deal with that crap tonight. At least I only have an hour left on shift,” his bartender said gratefully as the other guy went to serve the rude drunk his last beer.

Tony’s curiosity was piqued, so he tried to turn around to look without it being obvious that he was turning around to look. He must not have been too successful, because the man who must have been his bartender looked over at him and smirked a little. He was a dark haired man with an eye patch over one eye. Tony gaped for a moment, then caught himself and gave the man an embarrassed smile.

“Sometimes people just suck,” Tony offered in way of apology for being a momentary gawker.

“That they do, that they do,” the bartender agreed. “So, if I ask what happened to your shoulder, does that mean you’ll ask what happened to my eye?”

Tony grinned. “Give and take man.”

The brunet bartender rolled his eye, which Tony noticed matched the walnut-stain of his own bedside table. “Okay, I’ll bite, what happened?”

“Stupid person,” Tony dead-panned. “You?”

“Crazy, stupid person,” was the equally dead-pan response.

Tony nodded wisely. “It happens.”

“To me it does,” the bartender said with a mock sad shake of the head.

“Me too,” he commiserated. He stuck out his good hand for the man to shake. “Tony DiNozzo.”

His hand was eyed almost suspiciously for a moment before it was grasped in a firm calloused hand. “Xander Harris.”

Tony smiled. Maybe all people didn’t suck. And maybe his coworkers-that-he-had-once-considered-friends had ditched him the other night, but who said he couldn’t make new friends?





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