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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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Jackson Gibbs watched as his son entered the store and closed the door behind him. Leroy had asked him for a favor and he intended to honor the request. He walked over and greeted Ziva and pulled her into a hug.

“It’s good to see you again, Ziva,” he greeted.

“It’s good to see you as well, Jack,” she replied. “You’re looking well.”

He winked at the agent. The last time that she was in Stillwater, Jack had enjoyed the innocent flirtation between them and it was a pattern that they seemed to be able to fall back into rather easily. “It’s in the genes,” he quipped.

“So, I’ve noticed,” Ziva teased.

“I’m sure you have. I have a feeling that very little escapes your attention.”

“That is a correct assumption. I am trained to be aware of my surroundings at all times and to be especially cautious of charming men who try and sweet talk their way into my good graces.”

Jack grinned, shaking his head in amusement. “Now who would be foolish enough to try that?”

“Many have tried.”

“But few have succeeded,” he finished.

They both laughed and hugged once again. He then turned his attention to the Director, who was leaning against Leroy’s car. The Director radiated an exaggerated sense of self importance and was use to getting his own way; he was driven but yet patient, which in Jack’s opinion was a deadly combination.

He walked around the car and stood in front of Vance. He stuck his hand out and introduced himself. “Jackson Gibbs.”

The Director reciprocated the handshake. “Leon Vance, Director of NCIS.”

“I’ve heard some interesting things about you, Director Vance.”

“Really? Such as?”

“Nothing worth repeating,” Jack assured him. “I usually don’t rely too much on other people’s opinions; I like to form my own.”

“An admirable trait,” Vance declared.

“Thank you. It’s the way I was raised and hopefully, I’ve passed it on to Leroy.”

“Believe me, you have.”

“That’s good to know. A father likes to hear those things.”

“What’s the old saying? Like father, like son?”

“That’s even more of a compliment,” Jack said, knowing that Vance was attempting to throw slurs at Leroy. “I’d like to think that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.”

Jack watched as the Director gingerly placed a toothpick in his mouth. “So, how long have you been harboring a fugitive?” Vance wanted to know.

“A fugitive?” Jack snorted. “I’m not harboring a fugitive.”

“Anthony DiNozzo is wanted by the F.B.I. and NCIS for questioning,” Vance informed him.

“Well, I don’t see how I can be harboring a fugitive when he’s been in the hospital. As far as I know, he came here to wait so he could turn himself in.”

“I see where Agent Gibbs gets his ability to rationalize any situation to his advantage.”

Jack crossed his arms and stared disapprovingly at the Director. “It seems to me that as the Director of NCIS, you would be more concerned about the welfare of your agents. I get the feeling that you could care less about Agent DiNozzo’s well being. That boy in there can barely stand and you show no sympathy or compassion. He’s gotten caught up in something that he doesn’t even fully understand and you haven’t helped him at all.”

“I’m not here to receive a lecture from you on how to handle my agents. The only reason that I haven’t barged in there is because I don’t have a warrant, but in the next little bit, I’ll be taking Agent DiNozzo into custody and neither you or your son will be able to stop me. DiNozzo has a lot to answer for and I’m going to make sure that he is held accountable for his actions.”

“And what actions are those?” Jack pressed. “He was just following your instructions.”

“No, he wasn’t,” Vance argued. “DiNozzo doesn’t know how to follow anyone’s directions but those of Jethro Gibbs and clearly, I’m not Jethro Gibbs.”

“You can say that again.”

Jack was beginning to wonder how Leroy managed to work for this man. He had only known him for a few minutes and as far as he was concerned, Leon Vance had presented himself as a very unlikable character. The Director’s arrogance would be his undoing, that much was for certain.

“You know, Director Vance,” Jack continued. “I’ve never been one to mince words and I’m sure that’s a trait that you can appreciate. So, I just have to say that as a veteran of the armed forces and as a tax paying citizen of the United States, I find it appalling that the Director of a federal agency would make it his personal crusade to destroy another man’s life.”

“Is that what Agent DiNozzo told you? That I’ve destroyed his life?” Vance shook his head. “DiNozzo has always been one for dramatics.”

“Most of it I figured out by listening,” Jack said. “I just want to make sure that you understand something, Director Vance. If you plan on taking that boy into your custody, you’re going to have to go through me.”

“And me,” Ziva added as she moved to stand beside him.

“Officer David, I would be careful if I were you,” Vance warned. “It would be in your best interest not to get involved in this.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked.

“You’ll find out soon enough,” the Director promised.

Jack stepped in front of Ziva, his chivalrous nature taking precedence over the knowledge that the Mossad officer didn’t need his protection. “You better watch your step, Director Vance. People in Stillwater don’t take kindly to troublemakers. If you don’t believe me, ask Jethro. You better keep that in mind during your stay.”

“And I suggest that you cease threatening a federal officer,” Vance tersely demanded.

“I’m not threatening anyone, Leon. I don’t make threats. That’s counterproductive.” Jack grinned. “Just consider it an exercise in freedom of speech.”

“Which you seem to do without any difficulty.”

“Thank you,” Jack replied. “Now that we understand each other, would you like a cup of coffee? The diner across the street keeps a fresh pot brewing.”

“No, thank you. I’ll just wait right here,” Vance said.

“Suit yourself. How about you, Ziva?”

“I’m fine, thank you,” she assured him.

“Well, I guess we’ll just wait until Leroy says you can come in. I’d let you come inside Director Vance, but I’m afraid that sour look on your face would scare away my customers,” Jack taunted.

“I wouldn’t want that,” Leon retorted.

“I would like to go inside and use your restroom,” Ziva requested.

“Go ahead,” Jack urged. “I’ll be happy to keep the Director company.”

The two men watched Ziva as she entered the store. “So,” Jack began. “Since you don’t want any coffee, how about a little tour around town? It’ll help pass the time. Leroy and Tony have a lot to talk about; who knows how long they’ll be?”

“No. I’ll stay right here,” Vance insisted.

“All right, but it could be a mighty long wait.”

“I’m a very patient man.”

“I bet you are.”

Jack began to ramble on about his early days and about raising his son. He realized that Director Leon Vance could probably care less about his past, but that wasn’t the point. A promise had been made to his son and he intended to keep it. He would continue to keep the Director occupied for as long as Leroy needed him to, giving his son and DiNozzo ample opportunity to talk. He took great pleasure in the fact that Vance was fuming, which only encouraged him to continue telling his life’s story in great detail.


Ziva closed the door behind her and pulled her cell phone out of her pocket. She had felt it vibrate that she had a text message and had elected not to read it in front of the director. Jackson seemed to be handling the Director and so she had excused herself under the guise of using the restroom.

Flipping open her phone, she noticed that the text was from McGee. She quickly read it and then promptly erased it. Ziva heard voices coming from the other room and she instantly recognized them as belonging to Tony and Gibbs; she needed to talk to the team leader about the text, but was reluctant to interrupt their conversation.


She turned and was nearly plowed over when Abby ran up to her and hugged her. “I’m so glad to see you,” the Goth excitedly proclaimed.

Ziva pulled back and smiled at her friend. “I’m glad to see you to, Abby.”

“So, how was your trip?”

“Interesting and quite long actually,” Ziva answered. “What are you doing?”

“I’m getting stuff to make Tony something to eat,” Abby informed her. “He’s not eating properly and unfortunately, he’s kind of limited in what he can have right now because of the ulcer.”

“I see. So, other than the ulcer, how is Tony doing?” Ziva wanted to know.

Abby shrugged. “I don’t know. He says he’s fine, but he’s not. I’ve never seen him look so tired and sad. Jack told me that Tony actually cried and I’ve never ever seen Tony cry. I’ve seen him angry, I’ve seen him drunk, I’ve seen him depressed, but I’ve never seen him cry. I’m scared for him.”

“I’m sure things will get better,” Ziva said unconvincingly.

“I don’t see how they can get much worse.”

“Actually, they just did. I need to talk to Gibbs.”

Abby nervously licked her lips. “What’s wrong?”

Ziva took a deep breath and blew it out. “I just got a text from McGee. He’s being taken to see the SecNav. His computer and Tony’s computer have been confiscated.”

“This is not good.”

“Tell me about it.”

“Thank goodness I managed to copy Tony’s hard drive when I was going through his computer,” Abby said.

“Yeah, but McGee was hacking into SecNav’s and Vance’s computers. That’s how he found out about the contract on Tony.”

“Gibbs needs to know about this.”

“I know, but you know how he feels about being interrupted.”

“I’ll do it,” Abby said. “He won’t get mad at me.”

“True. I’ll wait right here.”

Ziva watched as Abby opened the door to the back room and motioned for Gibbs to come over to the door. She saw the Goth whisper something into the team leader’s ear and he curtly nodded and went back into the room. Within a minute, Gibbs came out of the room and closed the door behind him.

“How long ago did you receive the text?” he wanted to know.

“About five minutes ago,” Ziva replied.

“All right. I’m going to get Vance. Ziva, go and stay with Tony for a few minutes; Abby, you make sure he eats something,” Gibbs instructed.

“What about McGee?” Abby inquired.

“I’ll take care of it as soon as I can, but for now, I have every confidence that McGee can handle the situation.”

Ziva nodded in agreement. “He seems to have gotten tougher over the years,” she agreed. “Of course, he has Tony to thank for that.”

“Yeah,” Gibbs grunted.

She headed towards the back room as Gibbs made his way towards the front door. “Hey,” he called out.

Ziva turned around and arched her eye brow. “Yes?”

“How was my dad doing with Director Vance?” he asked.

“You would be proud. As we speak, I believe that he regaling him with the story of how he came to Stillwater.”

The team leader grinned. “I can’t wait to hear the details.”

She nodded and opened the door to the room where Tony was staying. He was leaning against the wall, staring out the window. The man standing before her did not even look like Tony. He had lost weight and the paleness of his face told of the exhaustion that seemed to consume his soul. But it was the sadness in his eyes that disturbed her. The eyes that used to hold a mischievous glint were now dull and lifeless, making Tony appear to be older than his actual years.

Clearing her throat, she slowly approached him. “Tony?” she softly called to him.

He didn’t answer her; he just continued to stare out the window. The closer she got to him, the more she realized that Tony was struggling to keep his emotions in check. She said his name again, this time her tone was a little stronger. “Tony? Are you all right?”

“No, Ziva, I’m not,” he whispered. “I’m far from all right.”

“I am here if you want to talk,” she gently reminded him.

“No. Not now.”

Ziva nodded her understanding. For the time being, she would honor Tony’s wishes. He was about to face Vance and he needed to conserve what little strength he had. Ziva silently vowed that when he was ready, she would still be willing to listen; she just hoped that it wouldn’t be too late.


Gibbs joined his father and Director Vance outside the store. They were still standing by his car and his father was telling about how he gave the team leader his name. He grinned when he saw the irritated expression on Leon’s face; Gibbs knew that his father could outtalk Abby and subjecting Vance to his dad’s infamous storytelling was a fitting punishment for the Director of NCIS.

He nodded to his dad, who abruptly excused himself in order to get a cup of coffee at the diner. The former Marine glared at the Director. “DiNozzo’s waiting.”

“It’s about time,” Vance growled.

“You mean you didn’t enjoy talking with my dad?” Gibbs asked.

“Don’t you mean listening?”

The agent smiled. “Now you see why I’m a man of few words.”

“No, but I do see where you get your persistence from,” Leon stated.

“I consider that a compliment.”

“You would.”

Gibbs motioned for Vance to follow him. “Let’s not keep DiNozzo waiting.”

“Of course not. I wouldn’t want to inconvenience your golden boy. I mean after all, let’s not even consider the fact that he’s now wanted by the F.B.I. and NCIS for questioning. I simply must do a better job of arranging my schedule around DiNozzo’s pathetic excuse of a life.”

The team leader swallowed hard. He knew that Vance was trying to provoke him, but he couldn’t allow that to happen. Tony was relying on him to stay focused and strong during the upcoming confrontation and he was not about to disappoint DiNozzo. Gibbs was not about to let Tony down again; he had been doing that far too much recently. No, he would not give Vance the satisfaction of seeing him resort to violence; however, when all this was over, no one would stop him from giving the bastard what he deserved.

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