Sentinel Imperative Conflict

Title: Sentinel Imperative Conflict
Author: Ellywinkle
Fandom: NCIS/Hawaii Five-0, Sentinel Fusion
Characters: Steve McGarrett/Tony DiNozzo
Genre: Sentinels/Guides are known
Word Count: 1997
Summary: The near death of his father sent Steve McGarrett into Sentinel Imperative Conflict. Dealing with it will change his life.

– – – –

Steve McGarrett jogged along the beach, the sun just starting to peak above the horizon. Sandy Point wasn’t his favorite area, but he had been craving the ocean view for the last week. Maryland doesn’t hold a candle to his Hawaiian roots, but the pull had been irresistible today.

The smell of salt air, the feel of sand beneath his feet, and the sounds of an ocean to serve as white noise as he pushed himself to center his senses. Meditation had rarely worked for Steve. It was the ocean, any ocean, that called to his soul and allowed the sentinel within the balance to function. It’s why he chose the Navy when he came online.

Now that balance was being threatened. Just three weeks ago, his father had come within seconds of being murdered because of Steve’s duty to the Navy. But his father was the foundation of his tribe, and now the sentinel was pulled between his sworn duty to the Navy and his basic need to protect his territory and his tribe.

If a haole sentinel hadn’t come online and been drawn to his father’s home, Victor Hesse would have murdered his father. It was disturbing that he had to leave his territory with an untrained sentinel he had never met while dealing with Navy bureaucracy.

Steve had immediately applied for discharge based on Sentinel Imperative Conflict. His team was no longer his tribe. The Navy had a well-honed process for developing a sense of tribe within the Teams. They removed the territorial imperative by refocusing it on the team instead of on a location. That focus and the team had kept him balanced and controlled his entire career. But one phone call had destroyed it. And this game the Navy was playing to try and allow him time to calm down wasn’t working. He wasn’t going to come to the realization his father was suddenly safe and his territory was protected, because it wasn’t. He wasn’t there to protect it.

There wasn’t any logical reason he could give for why he knew deep inside that the standard treatments for stressed sentinels wouldn’t work. He just knew. Hawaii was his territory. They needed to let him go home. Honestly, he was so close to calling the Council in on the issue, and he hated to give them a chance to stick their noses back into his business.

He picked up the pace, trying to get back into the rhythm. He had a day pass from base, and he planned to use every minute of it to get himself together and find a way to restore his stability. No one was willing to let him go until he growled…Steve shook his head, he actually growled at the base commander. As an unbonded sentinel, it was his right to select his method for balancing his senses, and those jackasses had tried to demand that he use a guide instead. That was just wrong on so many levels.

There was a time the Navy pushed for all sentinels to bond with a trained Navy guide, but those were the dark ages. While any guide could help in theory, bonding was…well intimate in a way they never really recognized. Steve had been trained to respect the sentinel/guide bond. Picking up and working with a random guide outside a combat situation was just beyond the pale. He had flat out told them that if he wanted a whore, he would go find a pimp, but he wouldn’t accept his Navy filling the role. Then he growled.

Steve laughed at the memory of the look of horror on the Admiral’s face when he did that. Sadly the guide in the room had looked just as horrified. Obviously, he had not been consulted on the plan. Serving your country and being served up by your country were two very different things.

It wasn’t that Steve didn’t want a bond, but he knew deep within that his guide was still out there somewhere. And lately, he was sure his guide wasn’t military. The draw to the Navy had always been so strong before, but now it was lessened, watered down. Maybe this isn’t where he’s supposed to meet his other half.

A smell hit him hard and fast, and he winced. Decomp is a smell you just don’t forget. Recent though. Steve altered his path slightly and circled around to avoid the sand where he could see the hint of disturbed ground that had been swept over. He lowered his sense of smell and taste because that was a lesson he had learned the hard way and climbed onto a rock to allow a line of sight. Yeah, that was decomp and human.

Knowing better than to disturb the scene, he judged himself a mile and a half to the lifeguard tower and four miles back to his car where he had left his phone. He marked the landmarks in his mind and started to run again while giving up on balancing himself today.

He was about three-quarters of a mile out when he relaxed the hold on his senses again. The damn decomp returned almost as strong. Common sense said to lock it down, but instinct ramped up his smell. There was this intense sensation of mint/basil/evening-breeze-over-tropical-waters that pulled at him and called him to move faster. He didn’t think, he just ran toward that smell.

The vehicles and flashing lights on the beach assaulted his eyes as he slid to a stop. It was a scene out of a crime drama with the medical examiner cataloging the body, camera’s snapping pictures, and the neat little number tags laying out beside evidence.

It was the drama by the cars that pulled his attention. Where that amazing smell was originating. There were two men, dark hair and silver hair, who were arguing. He started moving again, a slow stalk that would have reminded someone of his tiger spirit guide if they had seen it. He relaxed his hearing and listened in as he approached.

“That’s it, Gibbs. I’m sick and tired of you telling them they can ignore my orders.”

“It’s my team. You got a problem with how I run it, you can take it up with me when we’re not at a crime scene, DiNozzo.”

“No, that’s not how this works. You can’t undermine my authority as your SFA out here and then avoid talking to me when the case is over. We’ve been through that merry-go-round, and it just spits us out back here where we begin.”

“Not now.”

“Yes, now. Here and now. I gave them assignments before you got here. I had to fight their incessant whining and hostility to make them take those assignments, which shouldn’t be an issue since I rank them. And then you show up, and suddenly no one has to listen to me? No. That bullshit has to end now.”

“Is that what this is about? You just want to be able to pull rank on someone?”

“NO. It’s about the fact that Ziva doesn’t think she should have to take orders from a guide. They don’t have equal rights in Israel, and she’s been allowing her bias to affect everyone around her. She’s manipulative and deceitful. But of course, the impressions of an unbonded guide aren’t to be trusted, right.”

“You’re still harping on that? That bonded pair from the State Department approved her clearance. You think you’re stronger than a bonded pair? I’m getting tired of you using this guide crap every time something doesn’t go your way. Now it’s my team, and I’m the one who will give out assignments.”

Steve was growing angry as he approached the conversation. The two men were so engrossed they didn’t even see him. A guide. He was arguing with and threatening an unbonded guide. Steve felt that slight disconnect that meant the sentinel was taking charge. Instinct was calling to protect the guide and eliminate the threat. Steve wrestled with those instincts since intellectually he knew there was no physical threat.

“OK, Gibbs. Fine. You want to give the orders. Order away. But leave me out of it. We get back to the office you can have my resignation on your desk. I’m through with this bullshit.” The guide turned away to grab something out of the car.

A hand popped up and slapped him on the back of the head hard enough to knock him against the door frame. A startled “Fuck!” was heard a moment before the growl in Steve erupted and he whole-heartedly joined with the sentinel in spinning the silver-haired man around and slugging him.

He pulled back to hit him a second time, his senses barely registering movement headed in his direction that he knew to be other law enforcement, but everything ground to a halt as the guide called out using the voice of a Prime.


The command froze him in his tracks, along with everyone within a 500-meter radius if his senses were registering the lack of movement properly. The only movement he could sense was the guide who was taking several deep breaths before moving between Steve and silver-hair. He growled as the guide deliberately put himself back in danger.

“Whoa there, Tiger. Time to reel that in before I have to put you down on your ass.”

Steve smirked, “You think you could do that, Sweetheart?”

“In the blink of an eye.” The guide reached up and removed his glasses, and Steve’s world turned green. “Hey, no zoning on me, Tiger.”

Steve blinked and found himself focusing away from those fantastic eyes. “I’ll back down if you can move away from the threat.”

“Gibbs? No threat, just the Boss.” He glanced back at this Gibbs and then turned back to Steve.

“He hit my gui…you. He hit you.” Steve ended it with a growl that he tried to reign in.

“Your…” The guide looked at him, focusing intently with a wrinkled brow and a frown before it changed into a blinding smile. “So this is where you’ve been hiding all this time. It’s nice to finally meet you, Sentinel…”

“McGarrett. Lt Commander Steve McGarrett, SEAL. And you?”

“Agent Tony DiNozzo, NCIS. Dang, you make me think of things I shouldn’t be considering at a crime scene.” Tony shook his head while the smile never wavered.

Steve returned the smile before remembering, “Crime scene, right. About three clicks south along the beach is another body. Smelled and visual, but did not approach to preserve the scene. Was coming for the phone at the lifeguard shack when I spotted you.”

“Right. You need to show me, and no touching. While I’m not against sex on a beach, I refuse to contaminate my crime scene. So hands to yourself.”

“That’s going to be hard. Touching will need to come soon.”

“As soon as I get the three stooges here back to work.” He looked around at the scene, everyone still frozen in place. “Ducky, Jimmy, did you catch that?” Steve saw the two in ME jumpsuits stand and flex.

“Quite. Thank you, Anthony. Perhaps Mr. Palmer would be so good as to accompany you while I finish here and have a good talk with Jethro about proper comportment around a Guide Prime?” An eyebrow raised in question and Tony just shrugged in apology. Steve was amazed by how graceful and full body such a small gesture could be.

Jimmy ran to a van and came back with what looked like a big toolbox.

“Lead the way, Tiger.” Tony motioned him ahead. “So, where are you from?”

“Hawaii, hope to be heading home soon.”

“Always liked the islands.”

Jimmy looked back, “Tony? What about…?” He motioned back toward the frozen people.

“Oh, they’ll be able to move when I get out of range,” Tony smirked.

Steve raised an eyebrow at that. “How far would that range be?”

“Oh, by the time we cross the Potomac.”

– – –

The End


  1. That was great!

  2. Yeah, that was totally made of WIN! Badass!Tony and Gibbs gets punched! I find this very satisfying. And Steve… shirtless. My whole evening is better now.

    • I’m glad I made your evening. I wouldn’t be surprised if a sequel shows up for this sometime in our year of sentinels. Bunnies are surfing.

  3. What a delicious treat to go with my coffee on a rainy Saturday

  4. Oh this is splendid! Thanks so much. Annie

  5. Great to see the outside view of team dynamics, as well as Tony’s well-reasoned opposition to Gibbs’ tactics. And I liked the discussion of the Navy strategies re: Sentinels etc. Thanks!

  6. This is great. Love how everyone is frozen.

  7. I love the way your devious mind works!

  8. LOL Thoroughly enjoyable.

    • I really enjoyed Steve punching Gibbs, because where did he get the idea that it is acceptable to slap colleagues? And that’s without the guide issue.

  9. Eileen Carlson

    Hee hee, they’re stuck until he crosses the river!!

  10. Sweet. Do love a good growly Sentinel. Yum
    And let’s hear it for the year of said Sentinel.

  11. Very cute.

  12. yea ok I so needed a story like that, thanks it was wonderful.

  13. Yes, thank you. This is just what I needed, a wonderful story indeed.

  14. Fun story. Tony’s my favourite NCIS character and pairing him with Steve is just a bonus.

  15. Wonderful story,. I am really enjoying my morning reading through your site.
    Thank you.

  16. Love, love, love this! I would *adore* to read more in this setting, so I am rather hoping you still have plans for it in this Year of Sentinels. Only if you want to, of course 🙂

    It seems as though both Tony and Steve have people around them who need one of those come to Jesus talks, but freezing them works too. Nice move!

    Thanks for posting this.

  17. Love this! I can’t believe I only just found it.

    Steve’s inner monologue is spot on for his character, in my opinion. Tony standing up for himself in the face of Gibbs’ and the teams’ shenanigans is icing on a very enticing cake. Great work – thank you for writing and sharing!

  18. Oh, this was great. I love the visual and dynamic of a McGarrett/DiNozzo pairing. Thanks for this.

  19. Lizabeth S Tucker

    O. M. G. This is a perfect beginning. And am I wrong that the haole sentinel who saved Jack’s life was Danny? There is so much goodness in this story that I have it bookmarked on my computer. I have a feeling I will be returning again and again when I need a boost.

  20. Amazing

  21. A favorite Steve and Tony fic

  22. Oh, this is great!

    Thanks so much for writing this!

  23. The only thing to make this story better is if the haole who saved Steve’s father is Danny Williams. ?

  24. Loved it!

  25. I do love Tony/Steve pairings thanks for sharing and I have come to love the sentinel/guide stories as well …..

  26. This is made of win. The only there better would have been if there was more. I’m greedy when stories are this good whole being so short.

  27. Wow, that end just made me crack up! Great story! Thanks for sharing!

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