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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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5

Talented Hands 5/?

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Seated somewhere near the middle of the large conference room, Warrick turned his eyes away from his boss and toward the man sitting beside him. He'd been doing this every few minutes for the duration of Grissom's lecture, but couldn't help himself, even knowing that the older man had to be noticing his inattention by now. For the last hour, Tony had basically ignored the fact that anyone except himself and Gil Grissom still existed in the universe, never mind the stuffy, crowded room, and it was vastly amusing Warrick. He had witnessed Grissom's beginner entomology address many times and the usual reaction was either complete disgust and nausea, or utter boredom. Tony was riveted, taking notes in perfect shorthand at tremendous speed, and his companion was both floored and entertained by the sight.

Finally, Grissom wrapped up the talk and opened the floor to questions. To Warrick's surprise, Tony simply ducked his head, dropped his notebook into the plastic bag at his side and sat on his hands while others stood and took the opportunity the speaker had offered.

"What's up? I can read a little shorthand, bro, an' I know damn well you had at least ten questions written down."

"I can't..."

"What? We've been through this, Tony..."

"I can't!" Tony hissed. "Now will you be quiet? I'd really like to hear..."

Once the group started to break up and head for a late lunch, Warrick tried again, but Tony still adamantly refused.

"Okay, okay. I gotta go inflate his ego a little. You gonna wait for me?"

"I'll be here."

"Good. I'll treat you to the best Chinese buffet you ever saw."

"Sounds great. Hurry, alright? I'm starving."

"Yeah, yeah. Why do I think that's a permanent condition with you?"

"You learn fast. Go..."

While Warrick talked briefly with Grissom near the front of the room, Tony retrieved his notes and began skimming them again, making connections between what he'd heard and things the ME back home had unintentionally taught him at various crime scenes and during reviews of autopsy findings at which he'd been present. Just as he was sinking deeply into the pages and his own thoughts, Warrick returned, but, to Tony's dismay, he wasn't alone.

"Hey. Study time's over, man. Time to feed the body 'stead of that massive brain."

"Just a minute. I had a minor epiphany here and I need to get it down on paper before it goes up in smoke..."

He was scribbling frantically, once again in the old secretarial code, when a new voice spoke up, causing him to lift his eyes. The identity of Warrick's companion made Tony's jaw gape open and sent his notebook and pen tumbling to the floor, dropped from suddenly trembling fingers.

"Shorthand? I haven't seen anyone use that in years... and never that neatly. I'm impressed."

"Uh... uh..."

"Don't mind him, Gris. He's a little star-struck is all. Tony here's an admirer of yours." Warrick teased as he lifted a shaky Tony onto his feet by one elbow.

"Really. I don't have many of those. Always good to find another. Nice to meet you, Tony."

After a long pause, Tony finally managed a weak smile and reached to grasp the hand that was being held out to him, though his grip was feeble and the handshake didn't last more than a few seconds.

"Dr. Grissom... it's such a... I mean... it's so amazing to meet you in person. I've followed your work, read all your articles and papers... I never thought... this lecture, it was... I learned so much... I really did understand it, despite what an idiot I look like right now." Turning he whispered desperately in his friend's ear. "God, can we please get the hell out of here, Warrick, before I make good on that little bladder control prediction of yours?"

"You just hold on a second, okay? I told you he's just a person; a human being like the rest of us. He's not gonna rip you to pieces. Go on an' ask him."

"What? You're insane! I can't!"

While the other two argued, Grissom bent and picked up the notes that had slipped from Tony's hand. Flipping quickly through two or three pages, his eyebrows slid up his forehead and he grinned lightly.

"Warrick?"

"Yeah?"

"Am I invited to lunch?"

"Absolutely. You wanna pick the restaurant?"

"No. Whatever you two decided on is fine. This is intriguing to say the least, Tony." Grissom commented, handing the notebook back to its owner. "I'd really like to discuss some of your ideas and I'll be glad to answer whatever questions you have."

"You read shorthand?"

"Well enough. Your skill in writing it made it easier. So?"

"Are you serious?"

"Most of the time."

Tony laughed despite his nervousness.

"Uhhh... yeah. Please. I mean, I can't pass this up..."

"Good. Give me a few minutes to gather my things and we'll go."

As Grissom walked off, Tony's shaking doubled and Warrick, chuckling, restored the hand under his elbow and slid one around his back, hoping to calm him.

"Easy... don't black out, now. You'll miss the egg-foo-yung."

"Food?! You expect me to be worried about food?! I'm about to sit down and have a conversation with one of the top criminalists in the country... who actually wants to hear what I think! Food is the last thing on my mind!"

"Has that ever happened before?"

"Only when I'm on a tough case... and during really spectacular sex."

Warrick blushed again and Tony relaxed slightly within his embrace, shifting more toward his normal, easygoing smile. "Still cute. If just the mention makes you blush, I can't wait to see what actually *having* spectacular sex does to you..."

"Damn... I told you I'm into the flirting, but don't go there around my boss, okay? He'd be fascinated an' start askin' questions. No *way* am I ready for that."

"Understood. Sorry, but ever since last night..."

"I know."

"So it is going to happen?"

Gazing at Tony, Warrick found a trace of uncertainty in the other man's eyes. He tried to reassure him, but the indecision he felt was far more than a trace.

"I want to. The way we kissed after you... that should've proved how I feel, but I don't know enough about how the rest of it works. I'm just not sure..."

"I know. It's okay. Let's get me through lunch with one of my idols and the rest of today's seminars. After that, we'll find somewhere quiet... and we'll talk about it."

"Not your room. I get near that bed again... *somethin's* gonna happen, no matter how unsure I am." Warrick retorted gently, grinning himself, now.

"Right. Not my room. We'll figure it out. Here he comes. God, I'm in trouble..."

"Chill, T. You'll do fine."

"T?"

"Oh. Just came out, I guess. You don't like it?"

"I didn't say that. Give me a little time to get used to it... I could love it."

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90 MINUTES LATER:

True to his stated intention, Tony had refused to eat when they first arrived, wanting to focus all his energy and attention on anything more he might be able to glean from Grissom's vast store of knowledge, but the older man had refused to discuss anything of the sort until Tony agreed to put something in his stomach. In fact, Grissom had spoken only to Warrick, stoically enduring DiNozzo's patented pout, and Tony had finally surrendered.

Now they were all sipping hot tea as they let their meals settle and Tony had gotten all of his questions answered. The table was pretty much silent now, due to the fact that every time Grissom tried to re-engage either man on a topic, the effort fell flat. The younger men seemed to prefer covertly studying each other over their china tea-cups to doing anything as strenuous as speaking. Finally, Grissom went into supervisor mode and drew the immediate and total attention of his companions.

"Warrick. I noticed you weren't really into the lecture earlier."

Warrick flushed and grinned ruefully.

"Yeah, well... I've heard it, what, ten times now? Besides, I've never seen anybody take notes in shorthand like T was doin'. Sorry, boss..."

"It wasn't a reprimand, Warrick. I just wanted to confirm my hypothesis."

"You did... and which hypothesis would that be?"

"That you'll probably hear about one word out of ten if I make you go through the rest of the conference schedule today. Take the afternoon off. You and Tony go do something fun."

"You're serious?"

"Why do people always ask me that?"

"Okay, okay. I just had to be sure." Warrick responded eagerly, reaching for his wallet.

"No, no. I can get the check. Go play hooky. I expect you to attend every event tomorrow..."

"I will, I swear. Thanks, Gris. Next double you need somebody to work, I got your back."

"I know you do."

"Thank you so much, Dr. Grissom... for everything. This has been the most incredible day for me." Tony managed, smiling as Warrick dragged him out of his seat by the hand. The other tried to then haul him out the door, but Tony dug in his heels a little, not wanting the encounter to end. "You were so patient and so willing to listen... I really appreciated you taking the time."

"You're welcome, Tony. I wouldn't mind spending another meal talking to you... if you can squeeze me in before you have to leave."

"Are you... right, don't ask that, of course you're serious. I'll try, I really will..."

"T, will you move your ass before he changes his mind?" Warrick pleaded, tugging sharply on Tony's captured hand.

"Hell, it is *so* not fair when you look at me like that... lead on, MacDuff..."

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TBC....

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