Reading Time: 12 Minutes
Title: Way the Hell Out at Pearl
Author: Keira Marcos
Fandom: Hawaii 5-0/NCIS
Relationship: Steve McGarrett/Tony DiNozzo
Genre: Canon Divergence
Warnings: No Beta
Rating: PG-13 for language, adult themes, canon-level discussion of case work
Word Count: 2926
Author Note: This is for the One Sentence prompt on Rough Trade. You can find the challenge here. Please feel free to respond to the prompt (and link appropriately) but you don’t have permission to continue my story.
Jilly’s Response: Jurisdiction (link to her site)
The Prompt: “Steve McGarrett was used to getting his way when it came to cases on the island, but the new lead of the NCIS Major Case Response Unit apparently never got that memo.”
* * * *
“We’re out,” Danny announced as soon as Steve got within hearing range.
Steve frowned as he took off his sunglasses. “What?”
“NCIS is here—the guy in charge threw HPD off the scene. Chin offered him our assistance, and he was refused very politely.”
“Very,” Chin assured from where he was leaning on Danny’s car.
NCIS usually gave way to his team, and the agent leading the MCRT out of Pearl was lazy as hell as far as Steve could tell. “Where’s Greenway?”
“Retired,” Danny said cheerfully. “The new guy—SAC DiNozzo looked at me like I was insane when I suggested he go back to his office and wait for our report. He told me that the murder of a United States Navy sailor was his jurisdiction and he wasn’t going to wait for someone else to send him a report. Then he ordered us off his crime scene.”
Technically true, Steve admitted privately, but that wasn’t how it worked in practice on his island. “DiNozzo, you said?” Steve asked even as he left his team and headed into the house.
He dipped under the strip of crime scene tape and ignored the looks he was getting from the HPD officers that were lingering at the scene. He pulled on a pair of paper boots when a crime scene tech with an NCIS badge on her neck shoved them at him. At least they weren’t trying to stop his entry.
“Where’s your boss?”
“Agent DiNozzo is in the bedroom where the victim was discovered.”
“Why are you out here?” Steve asked curiously.
The young woman blushed. “I threw up. He told me to come out here and wait for you to ignore his jurisdiction and make sure you didn’t compromise the scene with your utter lack of law enforcement experience.”
Steve blew out a frustrated breath. “Right.”
She smiled cheerfully as she passed him a pair of latex gloves. He pulled them on and entered the house. The smell of death hit him as soon as he hit the stairs, but he went up them despite the instinctual desire to go in the exact opposite direction. Steve paused in the bedroom doorway and took a ragged breath despite himself at the sight of the battered body.
The man taking pictures paused and lowered the camera. “McGarrett.”
“DiNozzo?” Steve questioned in return.
“Yes,” he said simply and passed the camera to a younger man. “Keep going as I just demonstrated—document every detail of the body. I’ll review your pictures before we allow the ME to come up for removal.” He focused on Steve. “Commander McGarrett, I’m not going to have an argument with you about jurisdiction. You and I both know that my predecessor let you get away with a lot, but I’m not an old man who’s more interested in fishing than doing my job. We can agree, today, to work together as needed or we can go ahead and figure out which one of us has the bigger dick right now.”
One of the agents behind DiNozzo snorted.
Steve stared for a moment torn between irritation and amusement. “I’ve two cases just like this one—B&E, murder, no sexual assault.”
“I can confirm B&E and murder,” Tony said. “But I haven’t ruled out sexual assault—that’s for my ME to decide.”
“Mine could do it faster.”
“I doubt it,” Tony said evenly. “Besides, the cases aren’t connected.”
“You’ve not even started investigating…how can you be sure?”
“Because I have her husband in custody,” Tony announced. “He came back to barracks drunk and covered in blood. His CO immediately contacted me. I was on my way here when HPD called in to let my office know I had a dead sailor. He caught her cheating last night—broke in, came up here, and interrupted them. The guy ran, but she didn’t get the chance. Since he was at sea when your other two murders took place—he’s not a viable suspect for your cases.”
Steve frowned and focused on the body. The beating had been vicious. “Are you sure the other guy ran? Should we be looking for another body?”
“He ran—right back to base,” Tony said wryly. “He’s in custody, too.” He waved a hand. “Until I get this figured out—neither one of them are going anywhere. It’s what I owe her.”
Steve nodded. “Let me know if you need us.”
“I will,” Tony agreed.
Steve started to turn to leave.
“Yeah?” Steve asked and raised an eyebrow.
“I realize that the governor gave you immunity and means, but I’d like to remind you that you’re still in the service and the Navy expects a standard of behavior from all those that serve. You’ve skirted the line a time or two that I know of, but I’m more than willing to make sure you don’t cross it.”
Steve shrugged. “I guess we’ll have that dick measuring contest after all.”
DiNozzo’s laughter followed him all the way down the stairs. He paused at the door and stripped off the paper booties then the gloves which he tossed in the trashcan NCIS had set up.
“Your boss is an asshole.”’
“Yes, sir, he says he learned from the best,” the agent said and rocked a little on her feet.
“Is it the smell or the visual?”
“Visual,” she admitted. “Agent DiNozzo said I’d get used to it.”
“Unfortunately,” Steve began, “he’s right.”
* * * *
“Tell me something.”
Tony looked up from the form he was filling out and found Steve McGarrett lingering in his office doorway. “The security in this building is for shit, and I’m going to file a complaint.”
Steve nodded. “You should. They didn’t even ask me who I was visiting when I signed in. Nor did they actually check my ID. I’m pretty well-known because of the Task Force, but they should’ve still checked.” He leaned on the door frame. “Tell me how you went from SFA of the MCRT in DC to the Special Agent in Charge of the MCRT here at Pearl?”
“The Director of NCIS can’t stand me,” Tony said. “But the Secretary of the Navy thinks I make the world go round. This was the only posting he could put me in without demoting me for no cause and getting an earful from his own boss since I would’ve quit.”
“So he promoted you out of his face,” Steve said and laughed. “That’s a new one.”
Tony shrugged. “I heard you have another body.”
“I finished the scene about an hour ago.” Steve eased into the office and sat down in the single visitor’s chair. “She fought back—got a piece of him, so we have DNA now.”
“Good.” Tony leaned back in his chair and stared at him. “What’s on your mind, McGarrett?”
“You,” Steve said in frustration.
“Most people enjoy thinking about me,” Tony said with a grin.
Steve frowned. “It hasn’t been unpleasant. I just expected a phone call.”
“Did you?” Tony raised an eyebrow. “You’re attractive, Commander, but I’m a little too busy to chase your ass all over this island at the moment. Give me some time to get settled.”
Steve laughed. “I meant about the case. Lt. Francis.”
“Her husband confessed—several times. They’d had several incidents of domestic violence over the last year and were legally separated. He received divorce papers that morning,” Tony said. “He spiraled between rage and grief the whole time he was interviewed. He took a plea deal. Her lover is facing conduct unbecoming for the affair. He admitted to hearing the beating begin and ignoring the victim’s screams for help as he got in his car in left, but JAG is still researching what they can charge him with on that front.”
Steve made a face. “Piece of shit.”
Tony just inclined his head. “Agreed.”
Steve focused on Tony. “You make a habit of working late?”
“I have a lot of clean up to do because of Greenway,” Tony admitted. “Plus I’m training a new team. I only have one experienced investigator on my roster, and the rest are pretty fresh to NCIS and the work. Maybe I should’ve kept some of his people, but they were all pretty set in their ways and loaded down with bad habits that I didn’t want to take the time to correct.”
“I’d have picked a bunch of newbies over that as well,” Steve said. “If you need help in the field just let me know. My team is on their game and ready for whatever you might need. The HPD has a fantastic SWAT team. We’re more than willing to work with you, DiNozzo.”
“I don’t have a problem with LEOs,” Tony said. “I was a cop before I was a fed. I’m not thrilled with the mandate or the reach of your task force, honestly, but that’s the governors deal. I think…you should be more careful when it comes to her and the way you conduct yourself. You need to start paying attention to the law, McGarrett, at least so you’ll know which ones you’re in danger of violating. There are some elements in the HPD you need to watch out for—especially when it comes to Internal Affairs. Not everyone is a fan.”
“I’ll keep that under advisement.” Steve frowned at his boot. “Is this about Chin? He didn’t steal that money.”
“I know,” Tony said simply. “And if the HPD really bothered to investigate that situation they’d know it, too. They didn’t, and that’s a cause for serious concern. That kind of money just doesn’t disappear, and the trail was super easy to follow.”
Tony hesitated only briefly before opening his middle drawer and pulling out a folder. “I conducted background checks on your entire task force. I like to know the lay of the land, and you’re the heavy players on the island when it comes to law enforcement. I wanted to know who I might end up working with.” He put the folder down. “This is what I found on Chin and the money he’s suspected of taking. It won’t be pleasant for his family once revealed, but the person who did it should’ve been honorable enough to confess rather than to let Chin take the fall for it.”
Steve picked up the folder. “I’ll…Do you think he knows who stole it?”
“I don’t know,” Tony said honestly. “And I’m not sure you should give him a choice about revealing it. It’s a matter of integrity when it comes to your team, and you have a duty to them, as you know, to defend them from this kind of wrongful accusation. If you’d rather not take the hit personally—I’m more than willing to submit to the Chief of Police myself.”
“I can take it,” Steve said quietly. “How easy was this to find?”
“It took about an hour,” Tony said. “And I didn’t even have to exceed the authority Director Vance gave me to find it. That’s why you need to be careful. Any half-way competent detective should’ve found it almost immediately and yet, IA is still gunning for Chin.”
“Then I definitely need to take the hit,” Steve decided. He stood and exhaled. “Right, so I actually came here to ask you out because I’m not above chasing your fine ass all over this island, but now I have this.”
Tony grinned. “You could make me dinner on Friday night.”
“I can,” Steve agreed. “Seven?”
“Seven, unless I have a case.”
“I’ll take that caveat as well,” Steve said with a laugh. “You have my numbers, right?”
“Then text or call or something like a normal human being,” Steve ordered as he left.
Tony shook his head and leaned forward in his chair just a bit so he could watch McGarrett cross the bullpen to the stairs. He plucked up his phone and fired off a text before the door was shut.
Your ass is fine, too-TD
He was rewarded with a smiley face. Tony put down his phone just in time for his office phone to ring. He picked it up. “MCRT, DiNozzo speaking.”
“Gibbs,” Tony said and tucked the phone under his ear. “How’s it going?”
“I don’t know who regrets your leaving more—Ziva or Tim—but I’m doing my best to make them absolutely miserable.”
Tony laughed. “I shouldn’t find that amusing. Not their fault though—I mean—kind of their fault since I didn’t even try to fight the transfer and I could’ve. At least he didn’t try to put me on a damn boat again. How’d that case go with that guy who got shot on live radio?”
“Turned out to be terrorist,” Gibbs said wryly.
“You have the worst luck,” Tony muttered as he assigned off on a case report and put it in his finished pile. “Edwards working out?”
“You were right, he’s a great fit,” Gibbs admitted roughly. “McGee still isn’t over not getting SFA.”
“He’s just not a fit for it and never will be at this rate.” Tony shifted his pile of paperwork around. “His ego is going to be getting in his way for a long time.”
“You’re doing well out there,” Gibbs said. “Saw your stats yesterday—you’ve closed ten cold cases and three new in a month.”
“Greenway is a lazy bastard, Gibbs,” Tony said roughly. “How the hell did they leave him in charge here? Was he blackmailing someone?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised. That old asshole could’ve taught Mike Franks a few things if you get my meaning.”
“I do.” Tony sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “I started filtering Abby’s emails into a folder unread. I wasn’t going to ask, but we’ve reached the point where you’re either going to have to rein her in, or I’ll have to file an official complaint. There are about fifty emails already for this week alone, and it’s just Wednesday.”
“I’ll take care of it.”
“Anything else up with you?” Gibbs prodded.
“Just me wondering how much distance it actually takes for you to get chatty.”
Gibbs snorted. “Shut up.”
“Seriously, though, is it just land distance or does the ocean play a part, too?” Tony grinned when the older man huffed. “I have a date on Friday if I don’t have a case.”
“Good.” He paused. “You’re not breaking Rule 12, right?”
“Nah, Boss, he works for the state.”
“He? Been a while since you went in that direction.”
“Yeah, but things are a little more laid back here,” Tony murmured. “I’ll watch my back though.”
“You do that,” Gibbs ordered. “And I’m not your boss anymore. Technically, you outrank me.”
“That’s just politics. You’re the boss of everyone you know,” Tony said with a laugh. “Vance is probably going to start to regret his life choices soon enough. I have to file a report with the SECNAV regarding our offices here. It’s not going to look good for a lot of people—there hasn’t been any genuine oversight here since Morrow.”
“Vance will get what’s coming to him one way or another,” Gibbs said. “You do the job and let everyone else cover their own ass for a change.”
* * * *
Steve looked over his shoulder and offered Tony a grin. “I hope steaks are okay.”
“I love cow,” Tony assured as he stepped up onto the lanai. “Saw you on the news—they sure do love to make a hero out of you.”
“That’s the governor I think,” Steve said with a frown toward the grill. He poked the steaks briefly with the tongs then closed the lid. “I’ve been thinking about what you said about her—about the mandate she gave me.”
“On the surface, it seems good, right? I get to clean up the state that my dad served and loved—like it’s a tribute to him.”
“A fine tribute at that,” Tony murmured as leaned against the railing. “But?”
“She offered me the job the day I buried my dad,” Steve said roughly. “She gave me a license, essentially, to hunt and kill the man that murdered my father. I’ve been doing my level best to do that ever since and…” He took a ragged breath. “I have to wonder why? There was something personal between her and my dad that I haven’t quite figured out, yet. He was investigating something despite the fact that he was retired. I’ve been thinking this whole time that it was my actions that led to his murder, but maybe that’s just…”
“A smoke screen,” Tony supplied. “I haven’t seen all the evidence, but the thought has crossed my mind. Moreover, Steve, if you kill Hesse, you can’t ask him any questions.”
Steve put the tongs on the plate he had on the patio table and went to the cooler. “Beer?”
“Definitely. I can look over what you’ve got if you want.”
“I could use some fresh eyes and rumor has it that you’re very good with cold cases and evidence analysis.” He passed Tony a beer. “Let’s talk about it tomorrow—over breakfast.”
Tony grinned. “Moving fast there, McGarrett.”
“You’re the one that wanted to compare our dicks the near instant we met,” Steve said wryly and took a sip of beer as DiNozzo started to laugh. “Welcome to Hawaii by the way.”
Tony got comfortable on a lounge and took a long drink from his beer. “Thanks, I’m happy to be here. Really happy.”