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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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Part 2

Abby was worried about Tony. She had asked him last night to go to a new club with her that had just opened up and he had turned her down. Replaying the conversation in her head, she realized that he had not sounded like his usual, carefree self.


***flashback***

“Please Tony,” she begged. “It’s opening night.”

“Abs, I’m sorry. I just can’t go tonight.”

“Why not?”

“I can’t and let’s just leave it at that.”

Looking around the bullpen, she saw that it was practically empty. Abby then proceeded to sit down on Tony’s lap and put her arms around him. “Please, Tony. Just for a little while.”

Tony sighed. “Abs, you know it’s a school night. Gibbs will kill me if I’m out late.”

“We won’t tell him.”

“He always finds out and right now, I can’t afford to screw up.”

Abby arched her eyebrow as she studied the features of her best friend. Fine lines of exhaustion had appeared around his eyes and all of a sudden, he looked older than his years. “Tony, are you okay?”

“I’m fine, Abs. I’m just tired. Ever since I got back from the Seahawk, things have been…different. I don’t know how to explain it.”

She placed a gentle kiss on his cheek. “I have an idea. Let’s skip the club and I’ll come over and bring dinner and we can watch a movie. We haven’t done that since you’ve been back. It’ll be fun.”

Tony smiled at her. She loved his smile; it always had a way of brightening her day. “Not tonight, but I’ll take a rain check.”

She knew it was no use to argue once Tony had made up his mind about something. Abby still couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that something was truly wrong with her friend. If only she could get him to open up. Tony had a habit of hiding behind the mask of a carefree, self-centered playboy, and very few people ever got a glimpse of the real Anthony DiNozzo. However, lately that mask had been slipping and Tony had been struggling to keep it in place.

She laid her head on his shoulder and the two of them sat there. It wasn’t until Director Vance was standing over Tony’s desk that either of them volunteered to move. Abby jumped up and placed another quick kiss on DiNozzo’s cheek. “Call me later.”

She headed towards the elevator, hoping that Vance wasn’t going to chew Tony out for something that she had done. As the doors closed and she pushed the button that would take her back to her lab, Abby decided that she would have to have a talk with Gibbs. If anyone knew what was going on with Tony, it would be Gibbs.


***end flashback***


She glanced at the clock and then picked up the phone. Tony should be in by now and she just wanted to hear his voice. The phone rang several times before someone picked up.

“Director Vance,”

Abby swallowed nervously. “I’m sorry. I was trying to call Tony. I...uh…don’t know how I got you, but then again, I don’t guess I need to know because…”

“Ms. Scuito?” Vance interjected. “Is there something you needed?”

“Tony. I was looking for Tony.”

“Gibbs sent me an email a few minutes ago. DiNozzo called in sick today.”

“Oh. Well, why did you answer Tony’s phone?”

“That, Ms. Scuito is none of your concern. Now, will there be anything else?”

“No. I mean no sir. Have a nice day, sir.”

Abby hung up. “Something is definitely hinky here. That’s it. I’m calling Gibbs.”


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


The first thing that Gibbs had noticed when he reached Tony’s apartment was that DiNozzo’s car wasn’t in its usual spot. His first thought was that DiNozzo had better not called in sick and taken off with some girl. Gibbs silently chastised himself for even considering that option. He was looking for excuses to counteract the gnawing feeling in his stomach that told him Tony was in trouble. It wasn’t the same feeling that he had when Tony had been injured or sick; it was a feeling that told him that if he didn’t find his senior agent soon, that it would be too late.

Gibbs knocked on the door of Tony’s apartment three times. Not waiting for a response, he pulled out the spare key that he had acquired several years ago. Gibbs unlocked the door and entered the living room. By force of habit, he slipped on a pair of gloves and began to look around the room. At first glance, nothing seemed out of place. There were a few DVD cases scattered on top of the television, but there were no glasses or the usual pizza boxes lying around.

He stepped into the bedroom. The bed had not been slept in and there were no clothes lying about. The only indication that Tony may have been in this room was the fact that the light was on in the adjoining bathroom. He went into the bathroom, but again, everything seemed to be in its place.

“Where are you, DiNozzo?”

He could almost hear Tony answering, “On your six, Boss.” But the problem was that DiNozzo wasn’t on his six. In fact, Tony wasn’t anywhere around. His senior agent had called in sick and he wasn’t at home. Gibbs knew that DiNozzo would not willingly go to the doctor, especially for a migraine.

The sound of his phone ringing interrupted his thoughts. Glancing at the caller ID, he rolled his eyes as he answered. “What Abs?”

“Why didn’t you tell me Tony called in sick?” Abby demanded to know.

“Abby, I…”

“I have to find out from Director Vance that Tony called in sick!” she continued to rant. “You know that Tony never calls in sick. Something has to be wrong. Have you checked on him?”

A tiny smile escaped his lips. Abby and Tony had a special relationship, always seeming to understand each other. “I’m doing it now, Abs,” he replied.

“Oh. Well, is he okay? Did you know that last night he wouldn’t even go clubbing with me? Tell him that I’m coming over and bringing him some of my famous…”

“Abby, not now,” Gibbs warned.

“What do you mean not now? Let me talk to Tony.”

“He’s not here, Abs.”

“What? Where is he?”

“That’s what I’m trying to find out. I gotta go, Abs.” Gibbs hung up knowing that he would owe Abby an extra Caf-Pow for cutting her short.

As Gibbs headed towards the tiny kitchen, something caught his eye. Gibbs knelt down and picked up the remains of Tony’s cell phone. He sighed in disgust as his own cell phone started ringing again.

He flipped his phone open. “Gibbs.”

It was McGee. Gibbs didn’t even give him an opportunity to utter two words before he was issuing an order. “McGee, Tony’s not here at his apartment. I need you and Ziva to get over here now.”

He didn’t offer any further explanation before he snapped his phone shut again. He closed his other fist around Tony’s cell phone. DiNozzo was as attached to his cell phone as Gibbs was his boat. For it to be left behind, smashed into pieces, only confirmed Gibbs’ suspicion that Tony was in some kind of trouble.

“DiNozzo, what is going on with you?” he quietly pondered. “Your car is gone, your cell phone’s destroyed, you call in sick, and you’re not home. It doesn’t add up!”

Jethro Gibbs did not like the fact that he had no idea where DiNozzo was. He usually knew the whereabouts of his team members, especially DiNozzo. But, he had to admit that the last few months, things had been different between them. Tony was a gifted investigator, but he had a tendency to attract trouble. Gibbs had a feeling that this time was no exception.

When McGee and Ziva got there, they would treat Tony’s apartment as a crime scene. This was a fact that bothered Gibbs deeply. It was going to be difficult going through Tony’s things as if they were strangers, but if they were going to find a clue as to where DiNozzo was, they had no choice. Gibbs was determined to find Tony and once he was safe and sound, he and DiNozzo were going to have a long talk.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXX


“Where do you think Tony could be?” Ziva asked as she and McGee drove towards Tony’s apartment.

McGee shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe he went to the doctor.”

Ziva stared at McGee in disbelief, at the last minute swerving to miss the car in front of her. “When have you even known Tony to voluntarily go to a doctor?”

“Good point,” McGee replied through gritted teeth.

“Something wrong, McGee?”

Tim took a deep breath and slowly released it. “Just keep your eyes on the road, Ziva.”

“Maybe he’s meeting someone,” Ziva surmised as she quickly changed lanes, forcing McGee to grab onto the handle above him.

“I doubt it. I mean Tony hasn’t really been interested in anyone since…well, since Jeanne.”

“That doesn’t mean he isn’t seeing someone. Maybe he just doesn’t want us to know about her. It’s not the first time that Tony’s kept secrets from us,” she reminded him.

“That’s true. But I don’t think he would do something like that again.”

Ziva skidded to a stop when the traffic light changed to red. “You’re right. But, now that I think about it, Tony seems to be a little quieter lately.”

“I haven’t noticed.”

“Well, I have. If I’ve noticed it, you can bet Gibbs has noticed too.”

“We’ll find out soon enough,” Tim pointed out. “Tony’s place is just up ahead.”

She nodded as the light changed and she traveled just a few more blocks before pulling into the parking lot of Tony’s apartment building. Ziva parked just behind Gibbs and got out of the truck. “Tony’s car is missing,” she observed.

“I still think that he’s seeing a girl.”

“It’s about time you two got here,” Gibbs snapped as he approached the two agents.

“Ziva was driving,” McGee quickly stated.

“Losing your touch, Officer David?” Gibbs chided.

Ziva chose to ignore the barb. “What do we have?”

“Tony’s car is missing, Tony is missing, and his cell phone has been smashed.”

“I guess that explains why he didn’t answer,” McGee said,

“Do you think, McGee?”

Ziva glanced up at the apartment building. “Was there a sign of a struggle?”

“No,” Gibbs tersely replied. “I want you to put a BOLO out on Tony’s car. I also want his phone records pulled and…”

“Boss?” McGee interrupted.

“What, McGee?”

“We…uh…checked his cell phone records this morning and…um the last call that Tony’s cell phone received was from Director Vance’s office.”

“What? What time was the call?”

“About 6 this morning.”

Ziva had seen Gibbs angry before and although she would never admit it, the rage that often consumed him frightened her. She looked at her watch and it was now almost 9. Within those three hours, Tony’s phone had been damaged and he had seemingly disappeared.

When Gibbs finally spoke, his voice was tightly controlled as he gave him their orders. “You two go up to his apartment and start looking for clues. I want this treated as a crime scene.”

“Where are you going?” Ziva reluctantly asked although she knew the answer.

“To see Director Vance!”

The Mossad agent nodded her understanding as they grabbed their gear and headed for Tony’s apartment. Ziva wasn’t sure what they were looking for, but she sincerely hoped that they would find something to help them find their missing colleague. She did not allow her mind to wander into the different possibilities of what had happened to Tony. Ziva didn’t want to consider that Tony could be in danger, but the little evidence that they had gathered told her otherwise.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Tony laid his head back on the headrest of his seat. The simple act of buying a ticket and getting on the bus had exhausted what little strength that he had. At least he had a few hours that he could sleep before his stop. He figured that Gibbs was already at his apartment, but Tony knew the only clue that he had left had been his cell phone and it was in several pieces. He also knew that they would probably be pulling his banking information, phone records, and anything else they could think of, in order to discover his whereabouts. Of course, he wasn’t about to make it too easy on his friends; he had purchased his ticket with cash. However, when they put the BOLO out on his car and discovered that it was at the garage getting the bullet holes repaired and a paint job, Tony knew that there would be no hiding the truth.

Guilt started to plague him as he thought about Gibbs. He probably should call him and let him know that he was all right, but then Gibbs would demand to know where he was and Tony wasn’t ready to talk to his Boss just yet. He didn’t want to admit to Gibbs that the man that he revered was part of the problem.

He looked out the window and watched the busy highway turn into a two lane road that would lead him to his destination. Tony had driven this road not too long ago with Abby punching him in the arm every time she saw a VolksWagon Beetle. He had a bruise on his arm for a week.

Tony missed Abby. He had wanted nothing more than accept her invitation last night, but once again, work had to come first. Vance made sure of that.

He shook his head and closed his eyes. Tony didn’t want to think about work. He wasn’t sure that he could even do his job any longer; he wasn’t sure that he wanted to do his job any longer. That’s why he had to get away. He had to think. Maybe things would look better after he had a few days off.

DiNozzo wasn’t sure why he decided to go back to Stillwater, but he felt comfortable there. For some reason, Jack Gibbs made him feel special and wanted—like a grandfather would a grandson. He knew that Jack would welcome him with open arms and would let him stay as long as he needed to. Tony didn’t know how much he would reveal to Jack, if he told him anything, but he just need a place where he could be himself. He wasn’t sure if Gibbs would understand why Tony was turning to his father and not him, but at the moment, DiNozzo didn’t want to think about the ramifications. Right now, he wanted to sleep.

Tony tried to calm his mind and allow sleep to come. As he finally gave in to the darkness embracing him, he whispered, “I’m sorry, Boss.”

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