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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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Dr. Katherine Marshall breathed a sigh of relief as Anthony DiNozzo’s vital signs began to stabilize enough to take him to surgery. Barking orders to the nurses, she stepped aside as the orderlies wheeled him out of the trauma room and towards the surgery wing. Stripping off her gloves, she turned to throw them in the trash can when she caught a glimpse of Jethro Gibbs standing in the corner. She wasn’t surprised to discover that he had slipped into the room unnoticed; it really had been useless to try and make him stay in the waiting area.

She wasn’t sure exactly what to say to him and at the moment, she didn’t have a lot of time to ease his guilty conscience. “He’s a fighter,” she said convincingly.

“Always has been,” Gibbs quietly replied.

“That’s good. Hopefully, that will work to his and our advantage.”

“Take care of him. Please,” he added.

The doctor could sense the desperation of the man before her. This wasn’t a superior pleading for the life of his agent; this was a man begging for the life of his son.

“I’ll do what I can,” she promised. “I have to go.”

She hurried out of the room and headed towards surgery, knowing that she couldn’t afford to waste anymore time. Katherine had told Gibbs that she would do what she could to save Tony’s life, but she wasn’t convinced that DiNozzo truly wanted to live and that thought both scared and angered her. This entire situation could have possibly been avoided if Tony had listened to her and not checked himself out of the hospital against medical advice, but there had been no talking him out of it. It seemed like the young man had a death wish and was determined to see it fulfilled.

Blowing out a pent up breath, she pushed these thoughts out of her mind. Katherine knew that she needed to focus all her energy on saving Tony’s life. She didn’t tell Gibbs that the young man’s chances of survival were not favorable, the physician was not one to take away the element of hope from the family.

Katherine entered the scrub room to prepare for surgery. As she washed her hands, she found herself staring at her patient through the window. “Gibbs says you’re a fighter, Tony,” she whispered. “I just hope you have enough fight left in you to pull through this.”

Taking the towel from the scrub assistant, she quickly dried her hands and slipped into the rest of her surgical attire. Entering the operating room, she was informed of Tony’s vital signs and although they were still dangerously low, she knew that there wouldn’t be much improvement until she was able to control the bleeding. Without hesitation, Katherine took the scalpel from the nurse. “Ready?”

Everyone answered affirmatively. “Good,” she said. “Let’s get started.”


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Gibbs slowly made his way towards the surgical waiting area, knowing that it would be a while before there would be any news on Tony. He poured himself a cup of coffee and took a sip; it was cold, but he really didn’t care. His thoughts were on his senior agent, Anthony DiNozzo. Tony had come close to dying in the line of duty several times before, but the agent had managed to beat the odds. This time was different.

Despite what he had told Dr. Marshall about Tony always being a fighter, he had a feeling that DiNozzo was tired of fighting. Gibbs knew that the young man had been battling both visible and invisible demons all his life and the ex-Marine couldn’t help but wonder how much more Tony could withstand.

His cell phone rang, shattering the silence of the room. He glanced at the caller ID; it was Ducky. He easily deduced that Ziva or Abby must have called the ME, informing him of what had happened to Tony. “Gibbs,” he mumbled.

“Jethro, how’s Anthony?” Ducky inquired.

Gibbs shook his head. “I don’t know, Duck. He’s not doing too well. He’s bleeding internally; he’s in surgery right now.”

“His ulcer must have perforated,” the ME guessed. “Is Dr. Marshall doing the surgery?”

“Yeah.”

“Jethro, is there something that you’re not telling me?”

The team leader took another sip of the cold coffee. Grimacing at the bitter taste, he set the cup down beside him. “They almost lost him before he even got to surgery. I’m not sure he’s going to pull through this.”

“Of course he will, Jethro. As Abigail would remind you, you must have positive thoughts. Tony is very strong, both physically and mentally, and…”

“I’m not so sure that’s going to be enough, Duck. I saw it in his eyes while we were in the ambulance. He’s tired.”

“I’m sure that he is,” the doctor readily agreed. “He’s been essentially pulling double duty by working for you and working for Vance. You know that Tony never does anything halfway: he puts everything he has into his work and…”

“And now it could cost him his life. That’s a price that he shouldn’t have to pay. He almost died on the table before I could…”

“Before you could what, Jethro?” Ducky pressed.

“Before I could make things right.”

“I’m certain that you’ll have that chance. Do you think Tony would pass up the opportunity to hear you say you’re sorry?” the ME gently teased.

“I wish I could be so sure, Duck.”

“Don’t give up on young Anthony just yet. Time and time again, he’s proven to be a resilient young man.”

“I know that Duck. How many times is he going to pick himself up off the ground and dust himself off only to discover that there’s someone else waiting in the wings to try and take him down?”

Gibbs could envision Ducky shaking his head. “I don’t know,” the physician admitted. “But I do know this, that when he gets to the point where he can’t pick himself up again, you’ll be right there with the helping hand. He knows that as well and that’s what he’s counting on. Despite the strain that your relationship is under, Tony knows that he can always depend on you.”

“Just like he depended on me being able to see what was happening to him right under my nose,” the team leader growled.

“Tony doesn’t blame you for that. He didn’t want you to see what was happening and we both know that Anthony is a master of disguise,” Ducky reminded him.

“Yeah. I still should have noticed something. I was too preoccupied making sure that Vance didn’t abuse the Director’s chair like Jenny did and unfortunately, Tony paid the price for my blindness.”

“He’s not dead, Jethro. You still have time to make things right. If it’s Tony’s forgiveness you’re seeking, I’m sure that he will readily give it. After all, you’re his family; his father.”

“Some father,” Gibbs mumbled. “I’m just as much of a bastard as his real one.”

Gibbs was startled by the indignant tone of the medical examiner’s voice. “Don’t you ever compare yourself to that man again, Agent Gibbs,” Ducky warned. “Tony worships the ground you walk on, he strives to be like you, he wants to make you proud; you are the father that he has always wanted and needed. Tony truly has no idea what it means to be someone’s son; he’s lived his life wondering why he couldn’t measure up to his real parent’s standard. You’ve at least had the chance to be a father and although Kelly was taken away from you, you have a chance to fill that void in your life with a son. He may not be flesh and blood, but he is the child of your heart. Don’t deny him the father that he deserves.”

The former Marine grinned. Leave it to Ducky to get straight to the point. “You’re right, Duck. We’ll work it out,” Gibbs vowed. “Somehow, we’ll work it out.”

“You might start with a nice whack to the back of the head,” the ME suggested.

“I think I’ll give him a couple of days to recover before I do that.”

“I wasn’t talking about Tony,” Ducky retorted.

His reply was cut short by the arrival of Abby, Ziva, Vance, and Jack. “I’ll call you back later when I hear something, Duck. I’ve got to go.”

Gibbs hung up his phone and slipped it back in his pocket. Three sets of eyes were staring at him, their concerned gazes silently asking the question that they were afraid to speak out loud. Vance merely walked over to the window and stared out across the parking lot. Standing, Gibbs approached the two women and his father.

“He’s in surgery as we speak,” Gibbs began. “He’s bleeding internally and Dr. Marshall rushed him into surgery. Ducky says Tony’s ulcer probably perforated causing the bleeding. That’s pretty much all I know right now.”

“Did he ever wake up?” Abby anxiously inquired.

“Very briefly, in the ambulance.”

He hugged Abby as she laid her head on his shoulder. “Please tell me he’s going to be all right, Gibbs,” she softly implored.

“He’ll pull through, Abs,” he stated with more confidence than he felt. “He has to.”

“You’re right. Positive thoughts.”

“We all need to have positive thoughts,” Ziva added.

“You’re right,” Jack agreed. “While we’re waiting, I’m going to go find us all some coffee and something to drink. Would one of you girls like to come with me?”

“I’ll go,” Abby said. “Ziva can stay here just in case you or the Director…need her.”

Gibbs smiled at Abby’s obvious attempt to cover her near faux pas. He kissed her on top of the head. “Thanks, Abs.”

Abby nodded as she took Jack’s proffered arm. “You’re welcome.”

The team leader signed ‘I love you’ to the Goth and then turned his attention to the Director. “You don’t have anything to say, Leon?”

“Not really,” the Director said. “Although I am glad that your father drove your car instead of Officer David: I’m not sure the good people of Stillwater could handle Ziva’s unique driving style.”

“Special Agent DiNozzo is fighting for his life and all you can manage to say is that you’re glad that my dad drove you here.” Gibbs clenched his jaw. “Is that your way of dealing with your guilt?”

“Guilt? I have no guilt.”

“Evidently you don’t have a conscience either.”

“Oh, I have a conscience, Agent Gibbs, but I don’t allow it to interfere in matters of international relations with our allies. I do what has to be done. Surely as a former sniper, you would understand that concept. I’m afraid that Agent DiNozzo doesn’t.”

Gibbs stood toe to toe with the Director. “You’re actually hoping that he doesn’t pull through,” he observed. “You would be more than happy if he were to die on that operating table, wouldn’t you?”

“I’m not that cold hearted, Agent Gibbs.”

“That’s debatable,” Gibbs countered. “You were cold hearted enough to help SecNav honor a contract on Tony’s life. You were cold hearted enough to send him on operation after operation without the obligatory debriefing time and you were cold hearted enough to leave him in an op after his cover was blown. So, forgive me, Director Vance, if I don’t believe that you are even the slightest bit concerned for DiNozzo. You’ve done everything humanly possible to ruin his life, but somehow he’s still managing to foil your plans.”

“If DiNozzo pulls through this, his career is over,” Vance warned. “And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it, Agent Gibbs.”

“I thought you learned your lesson about underestimating me, Leon.”

“Maybe, but I haven’t underestimated Agent DiNozzo.”

“What do you mean?” the team leader wanted to know.

“Just that I know that DiNozzo will go to great lengths to protect those individuals that he cares about. He’s very noble in that way; he doesn’t want to see his friends, excuse me, his family hurt and he will do everything in his power to keep it from happening. For instance, you and I both know that DiNozzo is aware of who put that contract out on him, but he would rather carry that secret to his grave than risk a certain individual from discovering the truth.”

Gibbs didn’t miss Vance’s subtle glance towards the Mossad officer and he knew that Ziva didn’t miss it either. What was Vance trying to do? Destroy his team? The Director had tried that once and had failed; did he not realize that he would fail again?

“Is there something I should know?” Ziva asked.

“No,” Gibbs said.

“More secrets, Gibbs?” Vance challenged.

“Now’s not the time, Leon.”

The Director placed a toothpick between his teeth. “You started this conversation,” he reminded the team leader.

Gibbs’ face was now mere inches from Vance’s. “You better pray that Tony pulls through, because if he doesn’t, there won’t be enough of you to bury.”

“Another promise, Agent Gibbs?”

“Ziva,” Gibbs said. “Go and see if Ducky and Abby need any help.”

“But I want to stay here and…I’m going.”

He continued to glare at the Director, resisting the urge to inflict pain upon the pretentious man. “You’re going down, Vance. You’re going to discover how lonely it is at the bottom when you’re left holding the bag after everyone is done taking a crap.”

Before Vance could respond, Gibbs pulled out his handcuffs and in one fluid movement and cuffed Vance to the handle on the window frame.

“What are you doing?” Vance demanded.

“Placing you in protective custody?”

“And just who are you protecting me from?”

Gibbs smiled. “Me.”

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