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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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McGee hung up the phone and looked up at the two men in dark suits standing over his desk. He had thought he had taken extra measures to cover his tracks while he hacked into SecNav’s and Vance’s perspective computers, but now he wasn’t so sure.

“Uh…can I help you?” he asked.

The first man pulled out his identification. “My name is Agent Lawson and this is Agent Jeffries. We were sent on behalf of the Secretary of the Navy to escort you to his office.”

“The….the Secretary of the Navy?” McGee stammered. He felt like he was going to throw up, but the thought of Tony never letting him forget that he threw up in front of two other federal agents was more than enough incentive to tamp down the nausea. “What does he want with me?”

“You’ll just have to go with us and find out,” Jeffries informed him.

“Oh, well. All right, just give me a minute and I’ll meet you outside,” McGee suggested.

“We’ll wait. We wouldn’t you to get lost or anything.”

McGee blew out a breath that he had been inadvertently holding. “Okay, so just let me shut down my computer and grab my jacket.”

“Go ahead,” Lawson urged. “But I wouldn’t worry too much about your computer; it’s being confiscated along with Agent DiNozzo’s.”

“Confiscated?” McGee asked. This was not good. “Why?”

Lawson grinned. “SecNav’s orders. Now, let’s go, Agent McGee. You don’t want to keep the Secretary of the Navy waiting.”

“Of course not, but can I go to the bathroom before I go?”

“Sure, we’ll be waiting right outside the door.”

McGee nodded and quickly made his way to the bathroom. He locked himself in a stall and pulled out his phone and sent a text to Ziva. The young agent wasn’t sure what else to do, but he had to let Gibbs know what was going on, that much was for certain.

He put the phone back in his pocket, flushed the toilet for effect and went over to the sink and washed his hands. McGee opened the door and nodded at the two agents. “I’m ready when you are. Like you said, we shouldn’t keep Mr. Secretary waiting.”



XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX



Gibbs pulled up in front of his father’s store and parked the car, his mind still reeling from his conversation with McGee. He was having a difficult time understanding why Eli David would put a contract out on DiNozzo, but what bothered him more was the fact that the SecNav had actually known about the contract and condoned it. What could DiNozzo have done to tick off these men? He needed to talk to Tony, about a lot of things, but right now, the contract on DiNozzo’s life was taking precedence over the other unresolved issues between them.

Without sparing a glance at either Ziva or Vance, he took the key out of the ignition and opened his door. “I need to talk to DiNozzo.” He slammed his door shut. “Alone,” he quickly added.

“I’m not staying in this car one minute longer,” Vance declared.

“I didn’t say you had to, Leon. You’re just not talking to DiNozzo yet.”

“I don’t need your permission, Agent Gibbs.”

A smirk danced across the team leader’s lips. “You’re right, Leon. You don’t need my permission, but you’ll need his. This is after all his property and I don’t believe that you bought a warrant with you.”

He nodded towards the door as his father stepped onto the sidewalk. Gibbs had to smile at the annoyed expression that Vance now wore. There was no doubt in his mind that his dad could handle the likes of Director Leon Vance. If the need to talk to DiNozzo hadn’t been so great, he would have enjoyed watching his dad take down Vance a notch or two. He would have to make sure to get a full sitrep from Ziva.

Gibbs walked over to his dad as Ziva and Vance got out of the car. “Tony inside?” he inquired.

“He’s in the back with Abby,” Jack replied.

“How’s he doing?” Once he asked the question, Gibbs wasn’t sure he wanted to hear the answer.

“He’s doing about as well as can be expected.”

“Meaning what?”

“Just what I said; for someone who should be in the hospital, I’d say that he’s doing pretty well,” Jack said.

“I need to talk to him.”

“I think that you need to do more than talk, Leroy. You need to do some listening.”

He knew his dad was right, but at the moment his main priority was trying to sort out this mess DiNozzo was in. The ex-Marine merely nodded as he opened the door. “Do me a favor?”

“If I can.”

“Help Ziva keep the Director…entertained.”

“So that’s Director Vance?” Jack asked.

“Yeah.”

“Don’t you worry about a thing, son. I’ll take good care of your Director,” the elder Gibbs promised.

“Thanks, Dad.”

“You’re welcome, Leroy.”

Jethro entered the store and closed the door behind him. He could hear Abby begging Tony to eat something, but DiNozzo was adamantly refusing her pleas. Whenever Tony was sick, it usually took a while before the agent’s appetite returned to normal; apparently this time was no exception.

He knocked on the door frame and walked into the room. Tony was sitting on the couch, his feet propped up on the coffee table, and his head was lying back against the cushion. Abby was sitting beside him, holding his hand, her head resting against DiNozzo’s shoulder.

“Hey, Boss,” Tony wearily greeted.

“DiNozzo.”

“Nice trip?”

Gibbs shook his head. “No, not really.”

Gibbs signed to Abby, silently asking how Tony was doing. She replied in the same manner and the team leader nodded his understanding. He then instructed her to leave them alone. He was aware of the fact that she didn’t want to leave Tony, but he needed to talk to DiNozzo alone. The Goth kissed Tony on the cheek, reminding the agent that she wouldn’t be far away if he needed her.

“Thanks, Abs,” the team leader said.

“You know I really hate it when you do that,” Tony mumbled.

“Do what?”

“The whole talking with you hands thing. It creeps me out because usually you’re talking about me.”

“Looks like after all these years, you would have picked up a least a few words by now,” Gibbs purposefully teased, hoping to put Tony at ease.

“You would think that I would have picked up on a lot of things over the years,” Tony countered. “My father always said I was a slow learner.”

Gibbs wondered what he would do if he ever met Tony’s father. He had a feeling that the confrontation would not be a pleasant one for DiNozzo, Sr. Quelling his anger, the team leader sat down on the coffee table so he could talk to Tony face to face. “Care to explain what you mean?”

“About what?”

“You’re not a slow leaner and you’re not stupid, so don’t try and play the fool Tony,” Gibbs warned.

Tony smiled at him, but Gibbs knew it wasn’t genuine; it was the grin that DiNozzo often hid behind to disguise his true feelings. Tony was a master at hiding his emotions and Gibbs figured that he had his father to thank for that as well.

“It’s a part I play so well, Boss,” Tony quipped.

“You’re nobody’s fool, DiNozzo.”

“Except the Director’s.”

“No, especially not his,” Gibbs assured him.

“How do you figure that?” Tony wanted to know. “I mean ever since I’ve been back from the Seahawk, all I’ve done is let him control me like a puppet. He’s doing the same thing to me that I accused you of letting him do to you.”

“Different circumstances.”

“Maybe, but the principle’s the same.”

Gibbs mentally cursed the Director. Vance had shredded DiNozzo’s confidence and self-worth. It had taken the former Marine years to make Tony believe that his life was worth something and Leon had managed to destroy his work in a matter of months. This was just something else that they were going to have to work through.

“If there’s anyone having their strings pulled, it’s SecNav and Vance,” the ex-Marine informed the younger man.

Tony sat up and leaned forward. Gibbs couldn’t help but notice the fine lines of exhaustion around DiNozzo’s eyes. He was forced to tamp down the guilt that threatened to overwhelm him; Gibbs had realized a while ago that he was partly to blame for Tony’s deteriorating health, but visibly seeing the toll that this situation was taking on his agent only served as a reminder of his failure as a team leader and as a friend.

“What do you mean Vance and SecNav are having their strings pulled?” DiNozzo asked.

“Eli David.”

“Ziva’s father?” Tony pinched the bridge of his nose. “What does he have to do with all this?”

“That’s what I intend to find out. McGee hacked into the SecNav’s computer and discovered that a contract had been placed on your life.”

“Abby told me that much.”

“McGee was also able to find out who put the contract out on you.”

“Eli David,” Tony stated.

“Yeah.” Gibbs cleared his throat. “I’ve got to ask you this, Tony.”

“What?”

“Do you have any idea why Eli David would put a contract out on you?”

The ailing man shook his head. “No. I’ve never even met the man,” Tony pointed out. “I don’t understand why he’d want me dead.”

“SecNav condoned it. I have a feeling that’s why you were being sent on these undercover missions,” Gibbs mused. “If you got killed during an operation, there would be no questions asked. It would look like you died in the line of duty and the contract would have been fulfilled.”

“I guess that makes sense, but it still doesn’t answer the question as to why the Director of Mossad would want me dead,” DiNozzo exclaimed.

“No, it doesn’t,” the former Marine agreed.

Gibbs watched as Tony picked up a glass and took a sip of water, grimacing as he swallowed. “Something wrong with the water?”

DiNozzo shrugged. “Not really. Nothing really tastes as it should right now and everything that I think would taste good isn’t on the list.”

“What list?”

“The list of foods that Kate gave Abby; it tells me what I can eat and what I can’t. Damn ulcer,” he muttered. “As soon as it’s healed up, I’m getting a pizza.”

“As soon as you’re better, the first pizza’s on me.”

Tony grinned. “Thanks, Boss.”

Gibbs took the glass from Tony and set it back on the table. DiNozzo nodded his thanks to him and then stood up. The team leader stood up as well and held onto Tony until he got his balance.

“Thanks again,” DiNozzo whispered.

“Any time. Are you sure you should be on your feet?”

“No, but I really don’t have a choice.”

He watched Tony walk over to the window and lean against the wall. The younger man’s gaze was fixed on the shed out back. Gibbs wondered what was going through DiNozzo’s mind; he used to be able to read his senior field agent so well, but that was not the case any longer. “Tony?”

“Does Ziva know about her father?” Tony quietly inquired.

“No, I haven’t said anything.”

“Good. Don’t tell her. She doesn’t need to know.”

“I’m not sure how you’re going to keep it from her,” Gibbs said.

“I’m not either, but I’ve got to try.”

“Don’t you think you’ve kept enough secrets?”

As soon as the words escaped his lips, Gibbs instantly regretted saying them. He saw Tony visibly tense at the unintentional barb. “That didn’t come out right, Tony,” Gibbs quickly added. “What I meant was…”

“When have you ever said something that you didn’t mean, Gibbs? You don’t waste words, not like me. The sad thing is that you’re right,” Tony admitted. “I’ve been keeping a lot of secrets and you would think that I would be tired of it, but truth is, I’m kind of used to it.”

“Tony, I…”

“It’s all right, Gibbs. I’ve been keeping secrets ever since I was a little boy; why should I stop now? Anyway,” Tony continued, purposefully changing the direction of the conversation, “back to the matter at hand. Do you think Vance knows why Director David put the contract out on me?”

“There’s a good chance that he does. He wasn’t surprised to learn that there was a contract,” Gibbs replied.

“Well, I guess I better talk to Vance. We have a lot to discuss.”

“Care to let me in on what you’re going to say to him?”

“No, but you’re welcome to stay. It might be a good idea to have a witness in case things turn ugly.” Tony paused. “Well, uglier than they already are.”

Gibbs put his hand on Tony’s shoulder and gently squeezed. “We’ll figure this out, Tony. I promise.”

“I hope so,” DiNozzo said.

“Trust me. You’re not going down for this,” Gibbs pledged.

“I trust you with my life, Boss.”

“Do you?”

Tony continued to stare out the window. “Yeah, I do.”

“We’re not finished with this conversation, DiNozzo.”

DiNozzo merely nodded his understanding. Gibbs wasn’t sure how to take the silence of his senior agent. A quiet, reflective DiNozzo was not something that he was used to, although since Tony’s return from the Seahawk, the agent had become more contemplative. Gibbs had wanted to believe that it was a sign of maturity, but now he wasn’t so sure. Looking back, he wondered if DiNozzo had silently been crying out for someone to help him and everyone, including himself had ignored his pleas.

“Did you hear me, Tony?” the team leader asked.

“Yeah, Boss. I heard you,” Tony softly answered. “You better go and get Vance. I’m sure he’s chomping at the bit.”

Without a word, Gibbs squeezed Tony’s shoulder once again and turned to leave. He wasn’t convinced that Tony was ready to face the Director, but as DiNozzo had reminded him, he really had no choice. Thanks to Vance and the SecNav, Tony had been robbed of the ability to make his own choices. That was about to change and Leroy Jethro Gibbs vowed that his agent would no longer be the pawn in whatever sick game Vance and the SecNav was playing.


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