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Talented Hands

by: BuffyAngel68 (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 009 Word Count: 16653
Rating: ADULT
Character(s): Tony DiNozzo, Other Male Character
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Crossover, First Time, Humor, Romance
Pairing(s): Tony/OMC
Crossover Shows: CSI
Summary: NCIS/ CSI crossover. After managing to continually avoid being the one to go to law enforcement conferences, Tony is forced into attending the latest one. In Las Vegas he runs into a like minded soul, in more ways than one.

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

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Talented Hands 3/?


Lunch turned out to be just as relaxed and enjoyable as the morning had been for the new companions. This time, Tony insisted on treating, as he hadn't lied about his capacity for inhaling pizza. Warrick was once again stunned at how much food the young man was able to put away and still get up and walk back out the door

"You have to teach me how you do that, man. You got four stomachs like a cow or somethin'?"

Tony paused as he slid his shades into place then smiled lightly and responded.

"I work it off. Don't you? I mean, considering how physical and stressful our jobs can get, there's not a lot of chance for fat to build up anywhere."

"Yeah. I got a gym membership too."

"I shoot hoops for a couple hours, three or four nights a week." Tony told him as they walked back to the hotel, which was only a few blocks from the pizza place. Before he could stop himself or think better of the question, it popped out of Warrick's mouth and he instantly kicked himself.

"Four nights a week? When do you date?"

Tony grinned and began to walk backwards.

"I can't believe you just asked me that."

"I know. Neither can I. My mouth got *way* ahead of my brain. Sorry..."

"Hey, I'm not mad. I figured you'd do it long before now, that's all. You're not as jaded as I thought. Pardon while I channel Martha Stewart... but that's a very good thing."

Tony pushed Warrick lightly in the forehead then turned and jogged the rest of the way back to the hotel. The other stopped in his tracks, watching him go and trying to untangle his thoughts.

{Did he... nah, he couldn't... Ah, hell. I wasn't wrong this morning! He was flirtin' with me! This is... I mean it could really... if I take the chance an' flirt back, he just might... shit, it could even lead to...}

Groaning, Warrick looked up and handed his confusion over to the only one capable of dealing with it. {Okay, God, what am I supposed to do now?}


As Tony had noted, they had no seminars or classes together the rest of the day, and both men felt the absence of the other. Without anyone else willing to play "juvenile delinquents in the back of the class", the boring parts were harder to slog through and the appealing, fun moments were much less so because the other man wasn't there to share them. Both Tony and Warrick were enormously grateful when they were released. As agreed earlier that afternoon, they met in the lobby to talk and relax before separating again to clean up and dress for dinner.

"Hey." Warrick greeted Tony wearily.

"Glad to see you survived. Personally, I could have used a friendly face."

"I'm tellin' you, I can't wait for tomorrow. If we didn't have at least one seminar together, I'd either go crazy or be *seriously* tempted to play hooky." Warrick sighed, joining Tony on a small sofa and staring out the window at the strip.

"Hooky sounds fantastic, but it probably isn't worth our bosses chewing on our posteriors."

"No... I guess not. Lemme see your schedule."


"Let's see... besides the session with Gris, which you will *love* by the way, we've got Advancement in Forensic Techniques too. Cool. That oughta be enough to keep me from goin' insane."

Warrick looked up to find Tony staring at him incredulously. "What?"

"You... you call him Gris?"

The other man grinned brightly.

"Yeah. That's one of the many things I've called him over the years, not all of 'em complimentary. I call him Grissom, Gris, Gil... all the people on his team do."

Tony's eyes widened further.

"You use his first name?!"

"Course I do. Why? What do you call your boss?"

"Gibbs, but he's not... he hasn't..."

"Grissom has a rep, I admit that. The rep isn't who he is, though. Okay, he's tops in his field as a scientist, but he's also the guy who took me on a roller coaster an' called it an evaluation. The real Grissom is a pretty cool guy. Don't let the degrees an' all the letters after his name make you lose bladder control, man."

Tony grimaced and smacked Warrick on the shoulder.

"An hour away from dinner, that was the last image I needed."


"Yeah, sure. You're having way too much fun with my hero worship."

"So will he, trust me. C'mon, we need to get cleaned up and go eat."

"You got plans tonight?"

"Kind of. Previous commitment."

"Damn. I was hoping we could stick together beyond dinner. Have a drink, snark about our lousy days..."

"Sorry. It's a regular thing. I try not to pass on it unless it's a real emergency, you know? We can vent over a good meal."

"Yeah... yeah, I understand."

"Thanks. I'll see you back here in forty-five?"

"About that." Tony replied, trailing Warrick to the elevator and riding with him only up to his own floor. He left the cab reluctantly, headed for his own room, a cold shower and fresh clothes.



"No, no, no." Warrick laughed. "No sick stories over food. Maybe tomorrow we'll substitute a bottle of somethin' powerful for dinner... try an' scare the hell out of each other."

"I still think I'll need a shot of that before you introduce me to Dr. Grissom."

Warrick opened his mouth to once again reassure Tony, but the other man forestalled the comments. "I know, I know. Don't put him on a pedestal, he won't try to intimidate me. He doesn't *have* to try. His accomplishments do that all by themselves. He's a nationally known scientist, an amazing investigator *and* the strongest leader that any CSI could ask for."

"Where did that come from? The leader comment, I mean."

Tony flushed, looked down at his plate and responded quietly.

"Some things are big enough to even make it to the east coast on the law enforcement grapevine, no matter how hard you try to keep it in house."

"You heard about Nick?"

"Is that his name? There were no real specifics except the where and what. The story is that Dr. Grissom couldn't have handled it better... that he stayed cool and held everybody else together."

Warrick sat back, unsure for a moment how to react or how much to say, but after a minute or two of quiet thought, he finally spoke.

"The story is right. We're all so close to Nick... I'm sure at some point one or all of us would've fallen apart. Gris... he kept us hopeful, on task... an' we found Nick in time."

Tony flashed a meaningful look up at Warrick then buried his face in his coffee cup. When he didn't respond within a few minutes, Warrick prompted him gently. "Whatever it is you decided not to say... you can trust me with it."

Staring into Warrick's intense gaze once more, Tony hesitated, but eventually decided that he could take the risk.

"Gibbs... he saved me the same way. I got dosed with a powder in the office... turned out to be pneumonic plague. They put me in isolation. I got really sick... I'm talking ' white lights, tunnels and seeing dead Uncle Frank ' kind of sick. They tried to tell Gibbs I was on the way out, but he wouldn't give up. He let everybody at the office worry... but he never let them sink too far down, you know? In the end he got to the person who made the disease and found out it had a natural kill switch... meaning it wasn't meant to be fatal."

Unconsciously, Warrick stretched his hand across the table and covered Tony's, which had begun to tremble slightly.

"But the damage had been done."

"Yeah. Gibbs... when he realized I wasn't contagious anymore, he came in and stood by my bed. I was close to letting go... closer than I've ever let on, even to him. He... he does this thing to let me know I'm being an idiot..." Tony chuckled, though the sound was slightly broken and clearly spoke of how hard he was struggling to keep his emotions under control. Taking a deep breath, he paused and made himself relax before continuing. "When he needs to focus me or just get my attention, he smacks me in the back of the head. It sounds bad, but he'd never really hurt me in a million years. It's just..."

"It's okay. I get it. Gris has this look... it's disappointment, shame and a chewing out, all wrapped up in one glance. Practically burns right through to your soul, man. You earn that, you know you've really screwed up. Makes you scramble to fix it an' show him you can do better."

"Absolutely. So... I was laying there and he couldn't get to his usual spot, so he popped me, really gently, on the top of the head. Then he said my name... and told me I wasn't going to die. He made it an order..."

"Somethin' you couldn't refuse."

"Yeah... and he knew it, the bastard." Tony replied, laughing more genuinely and easily.

Locked into the other man's deep green eyes, Warrick took a breath then took a leap of faith.

"The SOB who took Nick, he left him his gun before... before he buried him. When we found him an' finally scraped the last bit of dirt off the lid of that damn plexiglass box... Nick had the gun under his chin. I could see in his eyes... he was about to use it. It took me, like, two or three minutes to convince him I was real an' that we were gonna save him, but... it felt like years. I've never in my life known time to go that slow..."

Everything within Tony burned to reach out and lay the back of one hand along Warrick's cheek, to show he understood with something more tangible than mere words, but he retained awareness of the public forum they sat in the middle of. All he could do was hope that the other man could read his desire and empathy in his eyes. A moment later the dessert cart rolled slowly toward the table and Tony used its fortuitous appearance as a welcome distraction.

"Chocolate! Just what I need."

Warrick smiled and slowly began to pull back the hand he had only just realized was tightly gripping Tony's, but his companion didn't let him go immediately. Instead he gave Warrick's wrist a lingering squeeze, once again trusting to his face to speak for him, then Tony made the first move to pull away. "So. Chocolate?"

"Nah. In the mood for something fruity. I'll have that lemon meringue tart." He requested, addressing the young woman pushing the cart. Tony chose a thick slice of Black Forest cake and topped off Warrick's coffee cup before refilling his own. The Vegas native sipped carefully at the steaming dark liquid, then forked up a bite of his dessert. Glancing at Tony from under his lashes, Warrick finally resolved his dilemma from earlier in the day, deciding God wasn't about to help him choose whether or not to flirt. Swallowing the morsel, he breathed deeply, then spoke, curiosity and hope coloring his tone.

"Mmm... solid, nice tart bite to it... but the sweetness balances that. It's got depths you wouldn't guess just by looking."

Swallowing his own forkful, Tony grinned broadly, inordinately pleased that the other man had taken the chance and determined to see how far he could push. Lifting his fork, Tony licked the residual frosting off the side, then let his tongue circle his lips briefly.

"Dark, smooth... richness and lightness in just the right proportion. God, and the cherries... I never can resist a beautiful cherry." He said, sliding a bit of the dripping red stuff into his mouth with his fingers, then sucking those fingers clean.

Warrick's eyes flew open as the message Tony had sent sank in and, though he tried to respond, his voice abandoned him suddenly. "You *can* blush. That's so cool." Tony chuckled.

Finally the CSI cleared his throat and forced out a reply, though he croaked slightly.

"You... are a wicked tease."

"Wicked, I admit to, but I'm no tease. What I promise... I make good on. How are you on time. Do we need to go?"

Warrick glanced at his watch and realized he did.

"Yeah... yeah, I do. Sorry to cut this short... you don't know how sorry."

"Oh, I do... I totally do."

The two men split the bill and tip between them, left the cash on the table, then rose to leave. On the way out, Tony launched one last torpedo.

"I can wait if you need to use the restroom."

"Nah. I had half a glass of wine and one cup of coffee. I'm good."

"I wasn't asking if you had to piss." Tony tossed back casually, throwing a brief, heated glance at the relevant area of Warrick's body.

"Man, I'm startin' to wonder if wicked was too mild a word for you." Warrick laughed, shoving Tony gently in the middle of his back to get him moving out the door.

"You're not the first to think so..."



Tony was drifting around the lobby, bored and missing his new friend, who'd dropped him at the hotel and driven away two hours before. He'd scoured the brochure rack already, but gambling didn't appeal and he wasn't in the mood for any of Vegas' more dubious forms of entertainment. At last, Amy took pity on him.

"Looking for something to do?"

"I'm obvious. It's a character flaw."

"I'm about to go off duty. Why don't you join me in the lounge? Our resident pro will be playing tonight. It's not to be missed."

"Yeah? Huh... why not? It's a better idea than getting into trouble, which is what I was contemplating."


Settling in beside the young woman, Tony found he was anticipating more music. Since renewing his acquaintance with the instrument that morning, he found the need to hear it had built over the day until the longing was almost overwhelming. A few moments later the M.C. walked out into the spotlight.

"Ladies and gentlemen, those of you who are regulars here know the man I'm about introduce and you know what a treat you're in for. Any newcomers, all I can tell you is to strap in and hold on tight because this guy... will literally blow you away. Please welcome one of Vegas' finest and one of the most gifted musicians it's ever been my privilege to know... Mr. Warrick Brown!"

"You sneaky, devious little... oh, will you ever pay." Tony vowed gleefully under his breath before relaxing into his seat to enjoy the show.



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