De Novo

Title: De Novo
Author: Jilly James
Fandom: NCIS, Criminal Minds, and using one character from Numb3rs (knowledge of crossover fandoms isn’t necessary)
Genre/Themes: Romance, case file, starting over
Relationship(s): Tony DiNozzo/Ian Edgerton, pre Derek/Penelope
Content Rating: NC-17 for language, explicit sex, adult themes, and everything in the warnings.
Warnings: Canon-level violence, case work involving rape, child abuse, domestic violence, stalking, etc. See Expanded Warnings in the Notes section regarding sensitive subject matter.
Author Notes: See Notes Tab
Word Count: ~63k
Beta: Thank you, Naelany.
Art: Banner art provided by Marlislash. Thank you!
Spoilers: Up to early Season 4 of NCIS, pre-series for NCIS:NO, up to Season 2 for Criminal Minds, no spoilers for Numb3rs
Summary: Two months into Tony’s run as team leader after Gibbs’ departure for Mexico, Jenny Shepard realizes things are not going well for the MCRT and decides to intervene. She forces Tony to make a choice, and he finds that sometimes, the best thing is to just start again.

De novo: anew; afresh; again; from the beginning.

Story Links

Acronyms and Terms


ASCLD/LAB – American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors / Laboratory Accreditation Board
ASTTP – Active Shooter Threat Training Program (at FLETC)
ASTITP – Active Shooter Threat Instructor Training Program (at FLETC)
CODIS – Combined DNA Index System
DoD – Department of Defense
DoN – Department of the Navy
DV – Domestic Violence
FLETC – Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
FSV/U – Family and Sexual Violence/Unit (analogous to SVU – domestic and sexual crimes, including crimes against children and the elderly)
GUI – Graphical User Interface
JAG – Judge Advocate General
MO – Modus Operandi, or Mode of Operation
LEO – Law Enforcement Officer
MTAC – Multiple Threat Alert Center
NCISRA or RA – NCIS Resident Agency (a subordinate office under a field office. For instance, New Orleans is a Resident Agency. They have full teams and vary in size.)
NCISRU or RU – NCIS Resident Unit (permanent duty stations under a field office, but usually only a couple agents. Agents have to be experienced because they must work without supervision and usually have no clerical or administrative support.)
OTH – Other Than Honorable (type of military administrative discharge)
SAC – Special Agent in Charge
SCIF – Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility
SFA – Senior Field Agent
SOL – Statute of Limitations
SSA – Senior Supervisory Agent (fictional for NCIS) or Supervisory Special Agent (factual FBI)
SSR – Supervisor’s Supplementary Report (fictional)
TAD – Temporary Assigned Duty (Temporary Duty Assignment)

Author Notes and Warnings

Expanded Warnings: There isn’t much “on-screen” violence in this story, however, there are discussions about difficult cases and sensitive topics, including the frustration of not being able to get convictions or do anything about certain crimes—particularly crimes that occur primarily against women. This might be triggering for some people. Also, I am not a lawyer. Even though I did research, I have a layman’s understanding of the legal matters I discuss in this story AT BEST. And finally, just because I write a character saying something, doesn’t mean I personally espouse that position. This is fiction, and not every character holds the same beliefs, nor should they. If you are getting agitated or upset, take care of yourself and close the browser. Yelling at me is not the solution to your problems.

Sequel note: There will be a sequel covering the events around Gibbs’ return. Ziva may die in the sequel to this story. It’s in my plot that way now, but I’m going to see how I feel about it when I get there. I’m only mentioning it now to give a heads up to anyone who doesn’t want to read this first story knowing there might be death of a major canon character in the sequel.

Author Note: The first seven chapters were originally published on 2/15/16 for Evil Author Day. I finished the last three chapters and intended to post the story, but didn’t have time to finalize the edits before Michael Weatherly’s last show. I posted the balance of the story to the EAD Live Journal in May. Posting the rough draft of an entirely finished story may be the worst idea I’ve ever had because there was zero motivation to get it finalized once it was up! LOL.

All that to say, this has changed very little over the copy that was available for 11 months on Live Journal. I added a very small introspection scene in chapter 7, and the rest of the changes are grammar, punctuation, and some tweaking. There’s not any substantive change over anything you might have already read.

Crossover Note: Knowledge of Criminal Minds or Numb3rs isn’t necessary. You could look at all the characters as OCs. The canon of the two crossover shows are completely irrelevant to my storyline. Also, this isn’t truly a crossover with Numb3rs. Ian was a secondary character who appeared in 1 episode per season on average. None of the other Numb3rs characters are even mentioned in this story, nor or any of the storylines.

Cast Page

Lou Diamond Phillips, Michael Weatherly, Angela Bassett, Bruce Willis, Amber Benson, Lauren Holly, Scott Bakula, Sharon Stone, Dylan O’Brien


  1. Loved this story so much I remember getting a LJ acc just to read it again and again. XD Thank you for posting it here! Edgerton is just so yummy…. But if in future you plan on writing Don or Colby I sure wouldn’t mind. 😉

  2. it was so lovely to revisit this story again. Thank you for giving Tony a fresh start

  3. So good. The canon character voices, the development and solidity of the original characters, and the case make this story a favorite. The agency and procedural issues and resolutions were well presented and make so much sense.

    My sister and I were discussing some of the stories on EAD recently and both of us started having Tony/Don feelings. We agreed to let them go because Don is married, but then she mentioned Don/Jimmy. Kudos for the reality of your original characters.

  4. Oh I can’t wait to see hoe Gibbs is going to take all these changes when he returns from his Mexican siesta.

  5. I so love this story. I love how you can write someone being petty or helpful, vicious or kind in different stories and they are still themselves. I mean, with your stories i can totally see Abby being Abby in Emergency or in De Novo. Same for Gibbs.
    This one is a little delight, it’s The story i didn’t knew i wanted, a relationship with Edgerton, wow ! And for me, it’s the icing on this story, where enough is enough. Love how your write them.
    So thank you for posting it here ! (Even if i read it like 3 times on EAD journal already)

  6. As always I adore your work. You have a way of taking two people that I never would have thought to put together and make it work. Amazing is the best way to describe your work and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! I can tell that you put a lot of yourself in your writing, and that you keep pushing yourself to try new concepts. I am always excited when you post something new. I can’t wait to see what you try your hand at next, it is sure to be fabulous!

  7. I absolutely loved this!
    Of course i have loved all of your work

  8. This might be my favorite of your NCIS stories! I loved the relationship with Ian, and for there to be accountability at NCIS!

  9. This may be you best one yet. Tony and Ian make one very pretty picture,

  10. *sigh* You’re spoiling us rotten putting up all those lovely stories onto your page, freshly polished and shiny. Wonderful work!

  11. Sucked

  12. Loving this ‘verse! I am very much looking forward to more!

  13. Jilly,

    Love this story. Every story that comes out, I always feel that it is my favorite until the next one comes. I love the way you portrayed the NCIS characters (especially Tony). I really love that you cover and expand the emotions/reactions that the show glosses over (ie: where Tony was treated like crap and he suddenly gets over it the next episode). I am always sad when your story comes to an end. Thank you for sharing this.

  14. I waited a bit before reading this story because I didn’t Tony and Ian would be a good fit but as usual, you proved me wrong. You already did with the “Home” series with Tony and Jack, which is one of my favorite pairing now, and with Lucifer/Tony just to name them! I don’t know why I keep being obstinate, I should just read whatever you’re writing cause I know in the end I will love it.

    The story was as usual really well written and constructed and focused on Tony’s evolution from the MCRT and abuse he suffered. He’s a strong, competent Tony that still has faults but is working on them. I especially liked when Beth told him not to take abuse from anyone after Abby hit him on the arm and it made him reevaluate everything. Talk about a punch in the gut for a reality check!

    I didn’t overly focused on the pairing because it came in the end, but I loved how Tony went bed shopping with Garcia. I really like how you portray Tony (my favorite character!) in any fic you write, and this one is no different.

    Thank you for sharing your work, and never listen to the petty reviews. Those people are either jealous of your talent, or enjoy undermining others because their lives suck!

  15. I’m so glad there is going to be a sequel. I adore Agent Weppler and can hardly wait to see him interact with Gibbs. Should be epic!

    You’ve got me watching Sentinel. So what if I’m 20 years late.

  16. Hey Jilly,
    I just read De Novo and I loved it.
    Thank you for sharing.

  17. Y’know until I started reading your fic I always considered myself a diehard Tony/Gibbs ‘shipper. Thank you for encouraging me to expand my boundaries and realize I’m a Tony/?? ‘shipper. I don’t think I noticed before how much of that Tony/Gibbs love was actually Tony love.

    Don’t get me wrong I still love a good Tony/Gibbs story but I’m much more excited now to read any Tony centric fic. Especially the way you write him. I wish the show had treated him as well. Just my opinion but I hated the way they short changed him as a character, especially after Kate’s death. I stopped watching way before Michael Weatherly left for that reason.

    Now this story in particular…. having watched Numb3rs I thought “who the heck is this Ian Edgerton person?”… apparently I left the show before he started. I really like their dynamic and I think I read somewhere that you are thinking about a sequel to which I say “Bring it on!” I would love to read more about them and see where this could go if (when?) Gibbs gets back to NCIS.

    I also loved how you worked the BAU into the story. It felt very organic and right.

    Wow I got off on a ramble there. I’ll stop now, thanks for sharing!

    • Ian was only in about 1 episode a season, so a very minor character, but still one of my favorites with an interesting background.

      Thanks much for stopping by… I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  18. Loved, loved, LOVE this 🙂
    Great story – even got me to start watching NCIS 😉
    I’m so happy that you’re thinking about a sequel – but even without that I would have stopped by every few months to re-read 😉

    Thank you so much for letting us read your work 🙂

  19. I really enjoyed the story. I enjoy stories that tend to be true to character, and multichapter stores at that.

    Personally, I have no love for Ziva, and if it fits the story, go for it. I never really understood the pairing, especially in light of her behavior.

  20. Competent Tony is one of my kinks, and this story definitely hit all my buttons. I look forward to any possible sequels you throw our way (Gibbs’ return and Vance coming in as Director would be two that jump to mind). I don’t always like original characters, but Weppler was fantastic. I also look forward to seeing Quinn. He sounds like the sort of quirky character that would appeal to Tony.

  21. I loved this! I look forward to whatever comes next!

  22. I went to reread one of your stories on Ao3 and didn’t find it, and I followed you here. I was so happy to see new stories to read! Thank you so much for sharing your work with us.

    This is such a perfect story, and I’m amazed at how well you were able to close this story up while still leaving me wanting a sequel. I could read another 100k words about these characters, but if I never get more I’m glad this was resolved. Though I’m super curious to meet Quinn! (and jealous that I never minored in Citrus)

    I LOVE stories that feature Tony’s competence, and it was great to see that recognized by so many people around him. I especially liked Jenny’s turnaround; while I enjoy evil Jenny stories, it was nice to see a fresh perspective and give her a chance to redeem herself. And it was great to see people recognize all the things that were over the line with the team.

    I’m definitely bookmarking your site so I can keep up with you moving forward!

  23. Great story! I really enjoyed Tony coming into his own by leaving Gibbs’ team. It was about time someone noticed what a mess that team was. I really liked your OC–Mike Weppler. He’s awesome! And it was nice to see Tony and Dwayne playing piano together (though, now you have me craving panna cotta…). Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  24. Thank you. I absolutely love competent Tony who is finding people who do respect him and who is taking control of his own circumstances. And seeing Weppler’s disbelief when being told about the Abby situation was made of awesome. It’s great seeing him provide that outside perspective on the craziness the team had become. And it’s really nice to have someone point out that for some jobs a dress code is of actual critical importance and not just trying to stifle free expression. Loving everything about this.

  25. I know you’ve probably been asked this several times but will you making this story available to download?

    • I will be, yes. I got part way through my project to redo the ebooks section when I found out I had to move. I work on here and there but not much will happen until after I’m relocated and unpacked.

  26. Just finished reading this, I loved it. I like reading stories where someone logically and with common sense realizes that the whole Ziva character was incorrect. Foreign citizens would never be allowed that much access to systems that contain personnel files let alone classified. As one of your other commentors said, I wanted more. I loved your portrayal of Abby. I always thought it was ridiculous that she was allowed to act so childish and was supposed to be such a professional person with a high ranking position plus being the “only” forensic scientist for the entire DC area seemed a stretch. Ian was one of my favorite characters from Numbers.

    Thank you for this wonderful, fresh story.

  27. Love competent smart Tony being appreciated! Your characters are so well fleshed out and in line with their on screen personalities that it felt like an episode of the show. Especially all the early bit I was wishing that it was so in the show! Love how a different decision here and there leads to a whole new life for Tony.

  28. Love this story but I have to ask…who is casted as Erin? I think I recognize the picture but I’m not sure that I’m right. 🙂

  29. This one hit my heart hard for some reason. Maybe because it is what I wish had happened, I don’t know. My hope is that someday there will be more in this particular universe. Competent Tony getting happiness is almost my catnip. But I love the idea of him becoming SAC.

  30. I really like your answer to ‘What if Jenny was a decent supervisor and wasn’t actively sabotaging Tony?’ Also adding Ian in there was an excellent bonus! Thank you!

  31. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this story, and I love it more every time. I’m a huge fan of Tony/ Ian, and I love how you you’ve written them and their backstory. The other great stuff – the OCs, the case, the resolution of the mess around Gibbs’ injury – is just icing on the cake.

    I have to say that I’m happy you provided casting – the first time I read the name ‘Mike Weppler’, an image popped into my mind which doesn’t quite fit the character, and I have to keep reminding myself that he is Bruce Willis. (And in case you’re wondering how I imagined him, look for a photo of Lionel Jeffries as Grandpa Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Yes, my mind works in mysterious ways.)

  32. I loved this – really well done and while it leaves a lot of things yet to be discovered it is a very satisfying read. Tony deserves all the good.

  33. Marjess Leighton

    I am in the middle of reading this story for at least the fourth time. So, yes, I love the story. I am a stalwart DiNozzo fan, so a story with a competent and appreciated Tony is always good. McGee and Ziva being told/shown that they aren’t all that is always good. And I must say a story that showed Jenny accepting her failures and trying to make things right was such a refreshing change from so many stories, and you did it so well. So, thank you for your gift to us.

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