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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 had barely entered the waiting room before he was nearly bowled over by Abby, who was simultaneously pulling him into one of her infamous embraces. He allowed himself a moment to cherish the familiarity of the hug; it had been a while since he had seen a friendly face.

“Oh, McGee, it’s so good to see you!” Abby excitedly exclaimed.

“It’s good to see you too, Abby,” he gasped. “Abby, I can’t breathe.”

“Sorry,” she sheepishly replied as she released him.

He smiled at the Goth as she stepped aside, took him by the arm, and led him over to where Jackson Gibbs was obviously keeping a watchful eye on Director Vance. McGee would have preferred to make this trip without seeing Vance, but evidently the fates were continuing to conspire against him. Refusing to be intimidated by the Director’s harsh glare, he acknowledged his superior with a curt nod and then greeted Jack.

“Nice to see you again, Jack,” McGee said, shaking the elderly man’s hand.

“You too, Tim. I just wish it was under better circumstances,” Jack replied.

“Me too, sir.”

McGee looked around the sparsely decorated room, purposely avoiding eye contact with the Director. “Where’s Gibbs and Ziva?”

“I haven’t seen Ziva for a couple of hours and Gibbs is with Tony,” Abby informed him.

“How’s Tony doing?”

“Holding his own. He had a pretty close call and it’s going to take him awhile to get his strength back. He’s going to need a lot of rest and no stress whatsoever; which is going to be easier said than done,” she quickly added.

“Oh boy,” he mumbled.

“What’s wrong, son?” Jack inquired.

“The part about avoiding stress…that’s going to be a problem. I…uh…really need to talk to Gibbs. He needs to know what’s going on, especially if he’s going to help Tony.”

“He’s not going to want to leave Tony’s side,” Abby said.

“I know, but this is really important,” McGee reasoned.

He was thankful that Abby and Jack didn’t ask him any questions; they trusted him completely and that trust inspired a new level of confidence within him. He could do this. He could deliver the SecNav’s ultimatum. Surely Gibbs wouldn’t shoot the messenger. Would he?

“I’ll go and get him for you,” Abby volunteered.

“Thanks, Abs.”

McGee watched her scurry out of the waiting room towards ICU. He knew Abby would relish the opportunity to spend time with Tony. They were closer than brother and sister, but would never cross the line of being lovers. Abby and Tony were at ease with each other, the best of friends who shared their deepest secrets. Sometimes McGee envied their relationship, but he didn’t begrudge them their friendship; he and Abby had their own special connection.

“Agent McGee,” Director Vance called out, interrupting his private musings. “It would be a shame to pull Agent Gibbs away from DiNozzo’s side; after all, who knows how much longer Anthony DiNozzo will remain a free man. I’m sure Gibbs wants to spend as much time with him as possible. Why don’t you tell me what it is you have to say to Agent Gibbs and…”

“I don’t think so, Director,” McGee said, interrupting the Director mid-sentence. “My orders are to talk only to Agents Gibbs and DiNozzo.”

“Your orders? And who issued those orders?”

“Secretary Davenport.”

He stood tall against Vance’s cruel gaze. “Excuse me?”

“The Secretary of the Navy,” McGee repeated.

Vance fell silent. McGee waited for the Director to say something, but the man remained quiet. The junior agent sat down in the nearest chair, nodding his thanks to Jack as the elderly man handed him a cup of coffee.

“Looks like you could use it,” Jack observed.

“Believe me, I can.”

“Seems like you’re carrying quite a load on your shoulders, Tim.”

McGee took a sip of his coffee. “Yes sir. I guess I am.”

“Can I do anything to help?”

McGee shook his head. “Truthfully, there’s not a lot either of us can do except wait.”

“Waiting is sometimes the hardest job of all.”

“Tell me about it. It seems like waiting is all I’ve been doing ever since this whole mess began.”

“I know the feeling,” Jack said. “Hopefully this will all be over soon and things can get back to normal.”

“I’m not sure that things will ever be back to normal,” McGee mumbled.

“What do you mean?”

McGee’s cheeks flushed slightly. He had not meant for anyone to overhear his last remark. “Nothing,” he quickly answered. “Just thinking out loud.”

Jack grinned. “I do that a lot too. Sometimes it gets me in trouble.”

“It’s usually Tony that gets in trouble for thinking out loud,” McGee stated. “I guess he’s rubbed off on me.”

“Is that a bad thing?”

McGee thought for a moment. Over the years, Tony had taught him the importance of not taking himself so seriously. DiNozzo had managed to shatter his image of the perfect federal agent. McGee had always strived to do everything by the book and not disappoint his superiors. The senior agent had taken great pleasure in showing him that the only rules that he needed to worry about were the ones set by Gibbs.

“No, it’s not a bad thing,” Tim finally answered. “I’d say overall, it’s been a good thing. He’s a good guy to have at your side.”

He took another sip of his coffee and leaned his head back against the cushion. McGee knew that he needed to get his thoughts together before he talked to Gibbs and Tony; the team leader would be demanding answers that he wasn’t sure that he could supply. The ultimate decision would be Tony’s and McGee wasn’t sure that DiNozzo was willing to sell his soul to the devil again.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Abby stood in Tony’s doorway and peeked into the dimly lit room. She was glad that Tony seemed to be resting, but Gibbs would not allow himself that luxury; not while the child of his heart was hurting. She lightly pecked on the door in an effort to get the team leader’s attention. “Gibbs,” she whispered loudly.

When he looked up, she could see the fine lines of exhaustion around his eyes. This whole ordeal had been difficult on him, emotionally and physically. She motioned for him to join her outside Tony’s room, the fact that he winced when he stood up did not escape her attention.

“You really need to take better care of yourself, Gibbs,” she gently admonished. “You can’t help Tony if you let yourself get run down.”

He kissed her on the cheek. “I’ll keep that in mind, Abs. What’s up?”

“McGee’s here and he needs to talk to you.”

Gibbs glanced at his watch. “He made good time. I didn’t expect him for another hour. Where is he?”

“In the waiting room with Jack and Vance,” she answered.

She watched the team leader as he turned and stared at the dozing form of his senior agent. Abby moved to stand beside him, laying her head on his shoulder. “Gibbs? What’s wrong?”

“He’s been through a lot.”

“Yes, he has,” Abby agreed. “And he’ll get through this.”

“Do you really think so?”

“Yeah, I do. He knows you’ll kick his ass if he doesn’t,” she teased.

“He thinks I blame him for Jenny’s death.”

“Do you?”

Abby immediately regretted the words as soon as she had uttered them. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that like it sounded,” she apologized.

“It’s all right, Abs,” he assured her. “I’ve been asking myself that question. I don’t blame him, but I think I didn’t tell him that soon enough. I let his doubt and guilt fester until Tony actually believed it was his fault. We have a lot to talk about, that’s for sure.”

“But you will talk?”

“Yes, we will,” he vowed.

“Speaking of talking, You better go and talk to McGee before he gets an ulcer; I’ll stay here with Tony.”

“All right. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Abby nodded and signed ‘I love you’ to Gibbs as he left the ICU. She quietly entered Tony’s room and sat down beside him. He looked so pale; so sick. The Goth wanted to pull the man into her arms and sit and hold him like she did whenever he was forced to battle his demons. She took his hand and softly kissed it, smiling at the dark imprint of her lips on the back of his hand.

“I’ll never wash…that hand again.”

Abby grinned at her friend. “You’re supposed to be asleep,” she reminded him.

“I was.”

“Doesn’t look like it to me.”

“Woke up when Gibbs got up,” he rasped. “Just pretended I was asleep until he was gone.”

“Sneaky.”

“Yep.”

“How do you know I won’t tell Gibbs that you were faking him out?”

“Because he probably already knows.”

Abby smiled. “You’re probably right.”

“Can I have some…ice chips?” he asked.

“Sure.” Abby spooned a few small chips into his mouth and then set the cup back on the table.

“Thanks. Throat’s dry.”

“That’s to be expected. Can I get you anything else? Are you in pain?”

Tony shook his head. “No, I’m fine.”

“So that means you need something for pain.” Abby could tell that Tony was trying to hide his discomfort from her, but she wasn’t easily fooled.

“Said I was fine.”

“Forgive me if I don’t take your word for it, DiNozzo. Your definition of fine and my definition are nowhere close. Now, are you in pain?” she asked again.

“Maybe a little, but I don’t want anything right now. I need to have a clear head.”

“For what?”

“I figure there’s a reason that…McGoo is here and it has to do with this mess…I’m in. He wants to talk to Gibbs; that can’t be good.”

The Goth offered her friend a reassuring smile. “You don’t know that, Tony. You just have to trust Gibbs that he’s got your back.”

“I know he has…my back. I just…don’t know…why.”

Abby moved to sit on the edge of the mattress. “I don’t want to hear you talk like that. You know how much Gibbs cares about you. You’re like his son and you should know that he’ll go to any lengths to protect his family.”

“I know,” the ailing man whispered. “I…told…him I was sorry about Jenny.”

“Her death was not your fault, Tony.” She cupped his face with her hands, forcing him to look at her. “Do you understand me?”

“I hear you.”

“Tony, Gibbs doesn’t blame you.”

Abby could see Tony’s mask slipping firmly back into place. “So, why’s McGee here?” the agent asked, purposefully changing the subject.

She looked into his pain-filled eyes and quickly decided not to push DiNozzo. Abby wasn’t sure that he wouldn’t simply just shatter into a thousand pieces if she forced him to talk when he wasn’t ready.

“Abby?” he called out to her. “Why is McGee here?”

“I’m not sure,” she admitted. “All he really said was that he had to talk to Gibbs.”

“I have a bad feeling about this,” Tony muttered.

“Positive thoughts, DiNozzo.”

“I’m trying, Abs.”

She gently laid her head on his chest and wrapped her arms around him. “It’ll be okay. I promise.”

Tony didn’t answer her, but he didn’t have to. She knew he was worried and possibly scared, but Abby vowed that he wouldn’t have to face his future alone. He had always been there for her and now she would gladly return the favor.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Gibbs rounded the corner to discover Ziva standing against the wall, arms crossed, her expression hardened with anger. He stopped and studied the young woman. Even after being a valued member of his team for several years, he still considered Ziva David to be a mystery. She was a trained assassin who had allowed herself to develop emotional attachments to her coworkers. That in itself was an uncommon occurrence, but nevertheless, she had managed to cease thinking so much like a killer and more like an agent.

He was also aware that Ziva was worried about Tony, but Gibbs sometimes wondered if her concern for DiNozzo was more than platonic. The team leader sighed. Pushing these thoughts to the back of his mind, he finally asked, “Is something wrong, Ziva?”

“I need to speak with you,” she said in a hushed tone.

“Can it wait? McGee is waiting on me.”

“McGee is here already? He made excellent time.”

A hint of a smile crept across his face. “Yeah.”

“I think that you really need to hear what I have to say,” Ziva urged.

Gibbs nodded and glanced around for some place where they could talk in private. He motioned for Ziva to follow him as they entered the men’s room. The former Marine made sure that the stalls were empty and then locked the door.

“Private enough for you?”

“Some of my most poignant conversations have occurred in the men’s room,” Ziva quipped.

“So I’ve heard. So, what do you got?” he impatiently inquired.

“I will tell you what I have discovered, but first there is something that I need to know.”

“What is it?”

“I want to know why you felt it necessary to keep from me the fact that my father was the one who put the contract out on Tony’s life.”

He silently chastised himself for agreeing to Tony’s request not to tell Ziva. Gibbs knew he should have listened to his gut and told her from the beginning. Both he and DiNozzo were trying to protect Ziva, but she would not see it that way. “Tony asked me not to tell you and I agreed.”

“I had a right to know,” she argued.

“You’re right. We just wanted to…”

“Do you doubt where my loyalties lie?” Ziva tersely demanded to know.

“No. I know where your loyalties are, Ziva. There’s never been a doubt in my mind, but Eli David is your father and…”

“You were afraid that I would warn him that you were looking into his activities?”

Gibbs glared at the Mossad officer. “Do you think that you could let me finish my own sentences?”

“Sorry,” she quickly apologized. “Please continue.”

“As I was saying, we are accusing your father of some rather unsavory things and we didn’t want to put you in the position of having to choose sides.”

“What makes you think that I would have to choose sides?”

He pinched the bridge of his nose in an effort to ward off the headache that had been coming on for some time. “Ziva, if this is all you have to say, I need to go and talk to McGee. I made a mistake by not telling you, and I’m sorry. Right now, my concern is DiNozzo’s future and if all you want to do is stand in the men’s room and debate whether or not we should have told you about your father, then send me an email to remind me and we’ll continue this conversation back in D.C.!”

“You do not read your email,” she stated, a hint of annoyance still present in her distinctive accent.

“Your point?”

Gibbs saw her visibly relax. “I may have jumped off the handle and I apologize,” she said.

“It’s flown off the handle,” the team leader corrected.

“Of course.” Ziva blew out a pent up breath. “I have discovered something that may be crucial in helping Tony.”

“What is it?” Gibbs pressed.

“I spoke with my father and he admitted to placing the contract on Tony, but he would not tell me why. So, I contacted some of my own sources to see what I could find out.”

“And?”

“This is not going to be easy to hear,” she warned. “It seems that everything started when Tony’s father approached the Secretary of the Navy offering funding for a secret government project that was being headed up by SecNav. There was a stipulation to the project receiving this money; his father wanted Tony dead.”

“Bastard,” Gibbs muttered under his breath.

“Yes, that is what I thought. Anyway, it was supposed to be Vance’s job to get rid of Tony, but when that did not happen, Secretary Davenport called in a favor to my father and persuaded him to place a contract on Tony.”

“What reason did he give for the contract?”

“He told my father that Tony had feelings for me and that he would more than likely attempt to foil his future plans.”

“What future plans?”

Ziva shook her head. “I do not know. However, I do know that my father also received a substantial amount of funding for one of his projects as well.”

“I guess I don’t have to ask who the contributor was.”

“No.”

As angry as Gibbs was at Secretary Davenport and Leon Vance, he was furious at Tony’s father. What kind of man wants his own son dead and would pay to have him killed? Gibbs clenched his fist and pounded it against the wall. “Damn it!”

“Gibbs, I…”

“Not now. Go and get McGee,” he instructed. “I’ll wait here for you.”

He waited until Ziva had left the men’s room before he began spouting a string of curses reflecting the rage that was consuming him from the inside out. The last time that he had experienced a similar fury was after Shannon and Kelly had been killed. He had sought justice then and he vowed to seek it now; no one would be safe from his wrath.

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