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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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Ziva and Gibbs had been taking great pleasure in tormenting Vance during the ride to Stillwater. They had resorted to stopping every thirty minutes as well as playing games such as punch bug and the license plate game, much to the displeasure of the director. Vance had pleaded and even threatened them with their jobs, but that did not deter them from continuing to have some fun.

She knew that they were trying to give Tony time to prepare for his meeting with Vance and Ziva had been more than willing to help Gibbs in his plan to make sure that the Director was entertained during the trip. They had just stopped for some gas and Ziva had excused herself so that she could use the restroom.

Of course, she had to wait in line and so she allowed her thoughts to turn to Tony. He was more than a colleague, he was her friend. She truly hadn’t had very many people in her life that she could call friend, but Tony DiNozzo was one of the few. Despite his constant need to please Gibbs and his childish antics, underneath the surface, there was a man who had been scarred deeply by the events of the past. Tony was just very adept in covering up his true feelings by insults and sexual innuendos.

Ziva had to admit that she had often wondered what it would be like to be involved with Tony, but she knew from past experience that it was never a good idea to get involved with a co-worker. She was seeing someone else at the moment and so a relationship with Tony was out of the question, but she was still worried about him.

She knew that he had been in the hospital and that he had also checked himself out against medical advice. She liked to think that if she had been there that she would have been able to stop him, but then again, when Tony had his mind set on something, she wasn’t sure that anyone could stop him. The fact that he had disobeyed a direct order from Gibbs told her that DiNozzo was desperate and determined to make sure that his friends were safe.

Glancing at her watch, she decided that whoever was occupying the ladies room was apparently not coming out any time soon. She looked around and then knocked on the men’s door. When there was no answer, she entered and locked the door behind her. The stench only encouraged her to quickly finish her business and leave; this restroom was nothing like the men’s restroom at NCIS.

As she opened the door, she found Vance standing against the wall. Smiling at his astonished expression, she sweetly said, “Excuse me, Director Vance. It’s all yours.”

“Is there a reason that you just came out of the men’s room, Officer David?” Vance inquired.

“The ladies room was occupied. I would hold my breath if I were you, the smell is rather disgusting.”

“Thanks for the advice.”

Ziva smiled as she made her way over to Gibbs who was standing by the door. “So, how much farther do we have to go?”

“I figure if we make about three more stops, we should be in Stillwater in about 4 hours.”

“4 hours, huh? You know, Vance is fuming.”

“I know and I don’t care,” the team leader said. “Let’s go wait in the car. You don’t want him grabbing shotgun.”

“On it, Gibbs.”

She saw a brief flash of sadness come across the senior agent’s face. “Are you all right?” she asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” he sighed. “Just thinking about Tony.”

“Me too.”

“I just wish I knew what was going on with him,” Gibbs mused.

“I’m sure that once all this is over that you two will be able to talk things through.”

“In case you haven’t noticed Ziva, neither one of us is very good at talking about our feelings.”

“Maybe it’s time you both learned that being honest with those you care about isn’t a bad thing,” Ziva encouraged.

“Yeah.” He nodded his head towards the door of the gas station. “Vance is coming. We better go.”

Ziva opened the door and gestured for Vance to climb in the back seat. As soon as he was settled, she sat down and shut the door. “Are you comfortable, Director?”

She knew that he would never admit to them that he was in any discomfort. He loudly protested their games and the frequent stops, but he never mentioned the fact that he had to sit in the back seat, his large frame struggling to find a suitable position.

“I’m fine, Officer David,” Vance said. “How much longer until we reach Stillwater?”

“We’ve got a while, Director,” Gibbs replied. “If you need to stop, just let me know.”

“You are doing enough stopping as it is, Agent Gibbs. It’s amazing that you all ever make it to a crime scene.”

Ziva saw Gibbs smiled as he slowly pulled out of the gas station. “You know, Tony taught me a song one time when we are on our way to, oh I can’t remember, but anyway, would you like me to teach it to you?”

“Sure,” Gibbs said.

“Okay, let me see if I can remember the words.” She purposefully cleared her throat and began to sing. “1, 000 bottles of beer on the wall, a thousand bottles of beer, you take one down and pass it around, 999 bottles of beer on the wall.” Ziva looked over at Gibbs, whose grin had grown wider.

“I believe I’ve heard it once or twice.”

“Do you want to sing it? It will help pass the time,” she pointed out.

“Sure.”

Ziva opened her mouth to start singing the song again when Gibbs’ cell phone rang.

He glanced at the phone and then answered it. “Gibbs.”

She listened to the one sided conversation. “I know, McGee,” Then a few seconds later, she heard the ex-Marine ask, “What is it, McGee?”

The next thing she knew, they had pulled over on the side of the road. She could see the team leader’s jaw clenched tightly as anger radiated from his eyes. Whatever McGee was telling Gibbs, it couldn’t be good. Ziva felt a knot form in the pit of stomach as the former Marine continued to listen to McGee. She wished that she could hear what Tim was saying, because she wasn’t completely sure if Gibbs would tell her everything.

She swallowed nervously as he closed his phone and tossed in on the seat beside him. He slowly turned around and glared at Director Vance. The director had started to protest yet another unscheduled stop, but was cut short by the menacing stare of the former sniper.

“Is something wrong, Gibbs?” Ziva asked.

“You could say that,” the agent barked.

“Well, what is it?” Vance impatiently inquired.

Gibbs met the director’s question with silence. Ziva could feel that knot tightening as the team leader’s agitation grew. Her gaze alternated between Gibbs and Vance, wondering who was going to make the next move. The tension between the two men was almost overwhelming. Fortunately, she didn’t have to wait long as the senior agent hit the steering wheel with his first.

“Gibbs, what is it?” Ziva wanted to know.

“It seems that SecNav authorized a contract on DiNozzo’s life,” he quickly explained. “Do you care to fill us in on the details, Director Vance?”

Ziva studied the Director’s face. There was no doubt in her mind that Vance knew what Gibbs was talking about, but it was obvious that he was not about to admit to knowing anything. She saw Gibbs visibly bristle as the Director sat back in the seat, crossed his arms, and looked straight ahead.

Gibbs climbed out of the car and grabbed his phone, leaving her alone with the Director. “I’m not sure what is going on here, Director Vance; but there is one thing that you can count on. Gibbs will get to the bottom of it and he won’t quit until he gets the answers he wants. Tony is like a son to him and you and I both know what happened to the last man who dared to mess with Gibbs’ family.”

“Is that a threat, Officer David?”

“Not at all,” she replied. “You should know this team well enough by now to know that we don’t make threats and we take care of our own.”

“So I’ve been told.”

“Then I suggest that you come clean with Gibbs, or be prepared to suffer the consequences,” Ziva warned.

“There will not be any consequences; at least not for me.”

“You just keep believing that Director Vance and…”

“Do you really want to know who placed the contract on DiNozzo?” Vance asked.

“Yes.”

“Even though you may not like the answer?”

“Yes.”

Vance smiled, laid his head back on the seat and closed his eyes. “Perhaps I’ll tell you when we get to Stillwater.”

“When we get to Stillwater?”

“That’s what I said, so maybe you should discourage Agent Gibbs from making so many unnecessary pit stops.”

Ziva blew out a frustrated breath. “Gibbs will do as he pleases.”

“I’m aware of that. Now, Officer David, I’m going to take a nap. Be sure and wake me when we get there.”

She got out of the car and slammed the door. Ziva stormed over to where Gibbs was talking on the phone. He had evidently called McGee again and now he was talking to Abby. She had to tell him that Vance knew more than he was saying, but then again, he probably already knew that. How could things get any more complicated? That was a question that she wasn’t sure that she wanted the answer to.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Tony woke up on the couch and briefly struggled to remember how he had gotten there. He carefully swung his feet around and slowly sat up as he raked his hands through his disheveled hair. The last thing he could remember was breaking down and Jack telling him it was okay to cry; so he assumed that the older man had brought him back inside.

“I must’ve looked like an idiot, crying like a baby,” he mumbled to himself.

He couldn’t remember a time that he had experienced such a sense of self hatred. Not even after he had shattered Jeanne’s heart or realizing he was responsible for Jenny’s death, had he despised himself like he did at the moment. How had everything become such a mess? Of course, as his father used to remind him, he was poison and he infected everything around him.

“God, it would be so easy to end it all,” Tony whispered.

“Don’t say that!”

He looked up to see Abby standing in the door way, her hands on her hips, staring at him in disbelief. Tony silently chastised himself. When was he going to learn to keep his mouth shut?

“Sorry, Abs,” he tiredly apologized.

“You better be.”

Deciding not to have this conversation again, he quickly changed the subject. “How long have I been asleep?” he asked.

“Jack and I carried you in here about an hour ago. You fell asleep in his arms; he said you cried yourself to sleep,” she informed him.

“Just like a baby.”

“There’s nothing wrong with crying, Tony. It’s a healthy emotional release and personally, I say that you were about due to have a breakdown…I mean a release.”

Tony sat back and leaned his head against the cushion. “You had it right the first time. I broke down and ended up saying a lot of things that I shouldn’t have. You’d think I’d have better control over my emotions than that.”

“Tony, you’re not a machine. You’re only human,” she reminded him. “You can’t be expected to walk around without any feelings or emotions.”

“Sure I can,” he countered. “I’ve done it for years.”

“Tony…”

“Abby, please don’t. I’m just not in the mood to talk. I think I said enough out in the shed,” Tony mused.

“Okay, but we will talk later,” she promised.

Tony nodded in agreement. “Later.” He patted the seat beside him, inviting the Goth to sit down.

“What’ve you been up to while I was bearing my soul to Gibbs’ father?”

“I was talking to McGee, but then he had to go.”

“So, what’s McGoo up to?”

“I don’t know. He didn’t say.”

Tony weakly smiled. “I’m sure Gibbs has him doing something. I wish that…”

“What?”

“Nothing,” he hastily answered. “Got anything to eat?”

“There’s a store right through that door,” she cheerfully replied. “Name your heart’s desire?”

“Pizza.”

“No pizza. Doctor’s orders.”

“But that’s my heart’s desire.”

“How about some soup?” she suggested. “I can make you some of Grammie’s homemade chicken noodle soup. It’s really good.”

He knew he was beaten. There was no arguing with Abby. “Whatever.”

“Coming right up.”

When Abby stood up, she leaned over and kissed his cheek. Tony blushed slightly and winked at the Goth. “Thanks, Abs.”

“No problem. Just stay right here until…”

She was cut off by the sound of her phone ringing. “It’s Gibbs,” she announced.

Tony watched with interest as she answered the phone. Judging by the expression on her face, whatever Gibbs was telling her was not good news. She didn’t say anything but the occasional yes or no, prompting Tony to believe that they were talking about him. Abby finally hung up and put her phone back in her purse.

“What did Gibbs want?” Tony wanted to know.

“He was just checking on you.”

“You’re lying.”

She winced at the accusation. “I know.”

“Abs, what did he say?” he asked again.

She nervously licked her lips. “He just wants to make sure that I’m keeping an eye on you.”

“And?” the agent pressed.

“And, he just wants you to be in my sight or your dad’s sight all the time until he gets here.”

“Why?”

“He…uh…didn’t say. Not really.”

Tony sighed. “Abs, you’re lying again.”

“I know.”

“What did Gibbs say?”

His gaze followed her as she sat back down next to him and held his hand. “He said that you could be in danger and to make sure that you’re with someone at all times,” she admitted.

“In danger, how?”

“McGee discovered that there’s a contract out on you.”

Tony bitterly laughed. “Someone put a contract out on me?”

“That’s what he said.”

“Did he say who?”

“No, he just said that he would tell us more when he got here.”

Tony knew that Abby was expecting him to do something besides sit on the couch, but right now, he was too tired to care.

“Aren’t you upset?” she wanted to know.

He acknowledged Abby with a slight nod. “It’s just another thing to add to the list.”

“What list?” she asked.

Tony put his arm around Abby and pulled her close. He was glad that she was here with him, although, if what Gibbs said was true, she was in as much danger as he was. After things had settled down, if he was still around, Tony planned to thank her properly for everything that she had done for him. They would go clubbing, to an amusement park, or even bowling with the nuns; anything that she wanted to do, he would do.

He kissed the top of her forehead as she leaned against his chest. “What list?” she asked again.

Tony grinned. “The list of reasons why it sucks to be Anthony DiNozzo…”


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Ziva had told Gibbs about her conversation with the Director, which only added fuel to the raging fire burning within him. He wanted to drag Vance out of the car and let Ziva get the answers out of the man as only she could. But he knew that doing so would only cause more problems for Tony. He had done everything he could for right now; he had told McGee to try and find out more about contract and he had ordered Abby to keep an eye on Tony. Now, all he had to do was get to Stillwater without killing Vance.

They got back in the car and Gibbs pulled back out on the road. He was no longer going the speed limit, his concern for Tony outweighing his need to aggravate Vance. Why would the SecNav sanction a hit on Tony? There was obviously something he was missing and he was hoping that McGee could come up with the one piece that would complete the puzzle.

About a half hour up the road, his phone rang. It was McGee. He flipped it open and said, “Tell me you have something, McGee.”

“I have something, Boss.”

“Good. What is it?”

I opened some more encrypted files and discovered that the contract on Tony was a result of a negotiation between the SecNav and…”

“Who, McGee?”

“Between SecNav and…”

“McGee! Spit it out!” the team leader growled.

“Eli David,” McGee replied.

“Are you sure?” Gibbs quietly asked.

“Unfortunately, I…”

“McGee? Are you still there?”

“Uh, yeah Boss,” McGee stammered. “I have to go.”

“What’s wrong?’’ Gibbs could hear voices in the background, but he couldn’t make out what they were saying. “McGee?”

“I’ve got some company, Boss. I’ll have to call you back.”

Gibbs clenched his phone in his hand. “Damn!” he muttered.

“What’s the matter?” Ziva asked.

He kept his eyes focused on the road ahead of him. How could he even begin to tell Ziva what he had just learned? How had Tony managed to tick off Eli David enough that he would want him dead? As far as he knew, DiNozzo had never had any dealings with the man. He felt like screaming. More questions! He didn’t want any more questions; he wanted answers.

“Gibbs, what’s wrong?” the Mossad Officer inquired for the second time.

He shook his head, hoping that she would think that he just didn’t want to say anything in front of Leon. “We’ll talk later,” he whispered.

“Very well. “Is McGee all right?” she wanted to know. “You seem worried.”

“He’s fine.”

Gibbs was glad when she turned her attention back to the book she had been reading. He couldn’t help but wonder if maybe he should have listened to Tony; his senior agent had pleaded with him not to meddle, but Gibbs had not heeded DiNozzo’s words. He could hear Tony telling him that the consequences of his undercover work were more than he could handle. Gibbs considered Tony to be one of the best agents he had ever worked with, the young man’s instincts sometimes surpassing his own. DiNozzo had been in every undercover situation imaginable and this assignment had been the one that had been his undoing. Why?

His foot mashed down on the gas pedal again. He had to talk to Tony before Vance did. Gibbs considered taking DiNozzo into protective custody until this mess was sorted out, but he knew the young man would balk. He just hoped that Tony knew what he was doing; Gibbs couldn’t handle losing his son.





























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