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A Cry for Help

by: Patricia (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 039 Word Count: 112820
Rating: TEEN
Warning(s): Disturbing Imagery or Content
Character(s): Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Angst/Drama
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: Tony's world is crashing down around him, but he doesn't believe his friends can help. He turns to someone unexpected for help, but will it be enough to save him?

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39

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“It’s about time you got here.”

Gibbs tossed back the last of his bourbon and set the glass on the coffee table in front of him. He had wanted to meet Vance on his home turf, giving the team leader a psychological advantage over his opponent. The former Marine had briefly considered meeting with the Director in his basement, but he didn’t want to take a chance on damaging his boat should the confrontation become physical.

He poured himself another drink, but didn’t offer to touch it. That drink was for later after he dealt with Vance. For now, he had to remain focused and in control if he was going to help Tony. Gibbs would not make the mistake of underestimating the Director; Vance had not risen through the ranks by being careless or stupid.

“You said three hours,” Vance coolly replied. “I still have two minutes to spare.”

“You’re usually at least fifteen minutes early anywhere you go. Afraid of something, Leon?” the ex-Marine taunted.

“I figured that I was becoming too predictable; I like keeping my agents on their toes.”

Gibbs tightly clenched his jaw, wanting nothing more than to pommel Vance into the ground. He wondered if Leon was arrogant enough to believe that he was going to get away with the hell that he was putting DiNozzo through.

“So, you think I need to be kept on my toes?” Gibbs inquired, his gaze remaining fixed on the table that still held his drink.

“We all do, especially in this day and age,” Vance said.

“Some more than others, Leon?”

“I’m not sure what you mean, Agent Gibbs.”

He blew out a frustrated breath. “I’m sure you don’t, Leon,” Gibbs muttered. Leaning back, he watched as the Director gingerly walked over and sat down opposite of him. Vance leaned forward and claimed the drink that Gibbs had poured earlier. The agent had to admit that Director Leon Vance had gall.

“I assume that this drink is for me,” Vance said, taking a sip of the amber liquid before placing the glass back on the table.

“You know what they say about assuming, Leon.”

“I’m very familiar with that saying, Jethro. As a matter a fact, I’ve also learned that one shouldn’t always assume that situations will play out like they are supposed to.” Vance placed his toothpick in his mouth. “For instance,” he continued. “I assumed that you wanted this meeting because you’ve been in contact with Agent DiNozzo and had a few questions.”

“A few questions?” Gibbs shook his head in disbelief. “I believe that’s an understatement.”

“So, you have talked to Agent DiNozzo,” the Director stated.

“I’ve talked to him and I’ve seen him.”

“Where is he, Agent Gibbs?”

“You actually believe I’m going to tell you that?”

“If you want to help him, you will.”

Gibbs laughed, sarcasm dripping from his every word. “Forgive me if I don’t believe that you have DiNozzo’s best interests in mind.”

The team leader’s smile faded as he saw the Director’s expression harden. There was no way in hell that he was going to let Vance anywhere near his agent. DiNozzo had enough to worry about without fretting over what kind of repercussions that he would face if Vance found out where he was.

“Agent Gibbs, I don’t think you realize what’s at stake here,” Vance tried to reason.

“Yes, I do, Director,” Gibbs assured him. “I realize that your job is on the line.”

“My job?”

“Yeah, Leon. You’re job.”

“Making empty threats again, Agent Gibbs?”

“No. It’s a promise,” Gibbs vowed. “You’re using one of my agents for your personal gain and I’m putting a stop to it, here and now.”

“Is that what Agent DiNozzo told you?”

“It doesn’t matter what he told me, it’s what I know that’s important.”

“And what exactly do you know, Agent Gibbs?”

Gibbs wondered where he should begin. The more he thought about what Vance had done to DiNozzo, the more difficult it was becoming to control his anger. “What I know is that you blackmailed DiNozzo into working undercover for your little operations, and that you threatened his job and ours in order to secure his cooperation.”

“And you believe him?”

Ignoring Vance’s questions, Gibbs stood up and began pacing. He knew that it wasn’t a good idea for him to be in such close proximity to the Director; it was too tempting to throw the first punch.

“I also know that you’ve sent him on one undercover operation after another without giving him time to debrief. I thought that even you would follow standard operating procedure and force him to see the agency shrink in between cases.”

“I don’t think that you’re getting the entire picture, Agent Gibbs. Agent DiNozzo…”

“I’m not through,” the former Marine growled. “I also know that you refused to pull him off this last case even though DiNozzo knew that his cover had been compromised. You left him in a particularly volatile situation that endangered his life and…”

Gibbs bristled when Vance stood and blocked his path. He glared at the Director, silently wishing that he had been able to learn to read Leon Vance better; the man was a mystery and full of contradictions, and the ex-sniper wasn’t sure which aspect of Leon’s characteristics bothered him more.

“And I still don’t believe that Agent DiNozzo is giving you the full picture,” Vance declared. “Just to set the record straight, your agent was asked by myself to be involved in several operations because of his expertise in long-term undercover assignments and he readily agreed. He stated to me that he needed to feel useful and perhaps regain your trust at the same time. I think he was still feeling guilty about Director Shepherd’s death.”

“DiNozzo doesn’t have anything to prove to me or anyone else.”

“He seems to think he does,” Vance countered. “For some unknown reason, Special Agent DiNozzo idolizes you. He wants to be another Leroy Jethro Gibbs. His own father didn’t want him, so he’s replaced his biological father with you. He follows you around like a little boy waiting for a pat to the head and a kind word and yet you seldom give him the time of day. His loyalty to you is quite commendable, but yet sickening at the same time. So, tell me Gibbs, what kind of bone did you have to dangle in front of your agent to get him to weave such an intricate tale of lies?”

Gibbs forced the Director back against the wall, resisting the urge to knock Vance on his ass. “You bastard!” he roared. Gibbs could no longer contain the rage that was burning inside of him. “I’m not going to let you blame Tony for the mess you created.”

“Special Agent DiNozzo is a master at lying. Look how long he’s been lying to you,” Vance pointed out.

“He’s not lying to me.”

“How do you know? How do you know that he just told you what you wanted to hear so you would get off his back?”

“Because I know DiNozzo.”

“No, you don’t. Not any longer. He’s a changed man.”

“Not by choice.”

“You have only yourself to blame, Agent Gibbs.”

His anger was beginning to blind his ability to think rationally. Not since he had quit NCIS because of the disaster on the Cape Fear, had he been consumed by such pure unadulterated fury. He wanted to justice and he wanted a revenge; a deadly combination to be sure.

Gibbs stood toe to toe with the Director, clenching and unclenching his fist. “Don’t,” he warned. “Don’t even go there. I have no reason to doubt my agent. You however on the other hand, have not done anything since you’ve become Director to earn my trust.”

“I’m sorry you feel that way.”

The team leader shook his head. “No you’re not. You think that you’re not going to have to answer for what you’ve done to Tony and I’m here to tell you, that you’re wrong. You’re going down and whoever is backing you is going down with you.”

He could tell by Vance’s soured expression that he had struck a nerve. “Scared, Leon?”

“Not of you.”

“Really? Then you must be scared of what DiNozzo can do to you. He told me what happened. He told me that you wouldn’t pull him out after he was compromised. What were you trying to do, Leon? Did you want DiNozzo to get killed? What was it that you told him? That’s right; you told him that he was expendable.”

“It’s his word against mine, Agent Gibbs and I don’t think your boy’s got the balls to go up against me,” Leon retorted.

“My money’s on DiNozzo.”

“Then you lose. You see, DiNozzo will never go up against me, he has too much at stake. Now, I insist that you tell me where Agent DiNozzo is at; I need a sit rep from him.”

Gibbs briefly wondered if Vance had lost his mind. There was nothing that the Director could say or do that would make him give away his agent’s location. “When hell freezes over,” he grumbled.

“That may come sooner than you think if you don’t tell me where DiNozzo is,” Vance shot back.

“Why should I answer your questions when you haven’t answered mine?” Gibbs inquired. “What are you hiding?”

“Again, maybe you should ask your agent. He seems to be the one hiding things.”

The former sniper leaned closer, his face mere centimeters away from the Director’s. “He asked you to pull him off this last case and you refused. He knew that he was in danger and yet you chose to ignore him; you ignored his expertise, as you put it, and then proceeded to inform him that he was expendable! Why?”

“I don’t think I like your tone, Agent Gibbs.”

“I don’t give a damn about what you like or don’t like, Director Vance. All I want to know is why you want my senior field agent dead.”

Gibbs refused to budge when Vance tried to get around him. “You’re not going anywhere.”

“You can’t stop me,” the Director challenged.

“Oh, but I can.”

Gibbs was taken by surprise when Leon drew back his fist and caught him on the jaw. He stumbled backwards, but quickly regained his balance. The dam that had been holding back his rage finally burst and he charged at the Director, catching him in the stomach with his shoulder. Vance tried to resist, but it proved useless as Gibbs took Leon to the ground and pinned him. The ex-Marine straddled him, his arm firmly pressing against Vance’s throat.

“You were saying, Leon?”

Vance was fuming. “You have no idea who you’re going up against, Agent Gibbs.”

The agent grinned. “I’m not scared of you, Leon.”

“But DiNozzo is. DiNozzo knows that I hold his life in my hands,” Vance boasted.

Gibbs leaned down closer, effectively shifting his weight enough to force the Director to gasp. “You son of a…he’s not your puppet! You’re not going to get away with this,” he vowed.

“That’s where you’re wrong. I own him,” Vance declared.

Gibbs pulled Vance up on his feet and slung him against the wall once again. “No, you don’t. You might as well kiss your career good bye, Leon, because by the time that I get done with you and hand you over to DiNozzo, there’s not going to be anything left of your sorry ass. SecNav will…”

“Do nothing,” Vance finished.

“You’re sadly mistaken. SecNav will have your head on a platter, especially if you’ve done something to tarnish the reputable image of NCIS,” Gibbs said.

“We’ll see about that. You see, Agent Gibbs, the one thing that DiNozzo apparently forgot to mention is that SecNav has authorized these undercover operations. The one DiNozzo is currently involved in will have repercussions from the SecNav’s office on down to Capitol Hill; there could even be some fallout in some of our sister agencies. Hopefully Agent DiNozzo hasn’t screwed it up by disappearing off the face of the earth.”

Wiping away the thin sheen of sweat that had formed on his brow, Gibbs stared at the Director, his eyes brimming with hatred for this man who apparently enjoyed ruining other people’s lives. “I don’t care if the whole operation has been blown to hell and who gets caught in the process, you’re through using DiNozzo. He works for me and only me.”

“You’re forgetting one thing, Gibbs. Your agent will be the one that is left holding the bag. He will take the fall for all of us. I always have an out.”

“Not this time, Leon.”

“We’ll see.”

Gibbs walked over to his jacket pocket and pulled out his cell phone. He hit a button and waited for the person he was calling to pick up. “Did you get it?”

“Got it, Boss,” McGee answered.

“Come and get him,” Gibbs ordered. Turning back to Vance, he smiled. “You don’t have an out this time, Leon. You’re under…”

The agent was interrupted by the ringing of the Director’s cell phone. He watched with interest as the Director glanced at the caller ID.

“It’s Ms. Scuito,” Vance announced.

“Abby?”

Vance nodded. “Why would she be calling me?”

Truthfully, Gibbs had to admit that he had no idea why Abby would be calling Director Vance. He had left Abby with Tony and…God, no! He wondered if it would do any good if he started praying that it wasn’t DiNozzo on the other end of the phone. The knot in his stomach tightened as an evil smile spread over Leon’s face.

“Agent DiNozzo,” Vance greeted. “It’s about time you called.”

Gibbs felt sick as he stared at the phone in Vance’s hand. What was DiNozzo thinking? What was Abby thinking by letting him use her cell phone? Maybe Jack had been right, maybe he shouldn’t have left. Had he just made things worse for Tony?

He had his answer when Vance returned his glared and said, “I told you, Gibbs; I always have a way out.”







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