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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 smiled and nodded as Jack regaled him with a story from his childhood. He wasn’t really listening to the older man, but he appreciated Jackson’s efforts to keep him entertained. The junior agent had too much on his mind. For the first time in a long time, he was nervous about talking to Gibbs. What would the team leader think of SecNav’s proposal? Would he convince Tony to accept it, or would DiNozzo refuse to simply look the other way?

For all of Tony’s faults, the senior agent wanted to see justice served; one of DiNozzo’s characteristics that McGee actually admired. He was like Gibbs in that sense and Tim knew that because of their sense of right versus wrong, it was going to be difficult to sell them on the SecNav’s plan. But of course, Davenport knew Tony’s achilles heel and had factored that into his plan.

He ran his hand through his hair, as if it would help clear the cobwebs from his mind. He had to be able to think clearly and the events of the past week had left him exhausted.

“Are you all right, Tim?” Jack asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I just want to get this over with. I want everything to get back to normal.”

“I would say a normal day is something that you don’t get very often,” Jack said.

McGee thought for a moment. “Now that you mention it, when you work for Gibbs, a nice quiet day at the office is a rarity. Even if we’re not working a case, something is always going on.”

“I can imagine.”

“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m looking forward to having Tony back in the office. He tends to keep things,” Tim paused, searching for the right word. “Lively.”

“I bet he does. He’s worked with Leroy a long time now.”

“Right at eight years, I think.”

“He must like his job and the people he works with. I’m not sure I’d have turned down that job offer in Spain.”

Confused by Jack’s last statement, McGee muttered, “Huh? What job offer?”

“You know what I’m talking about. He told me all about it a couple of months ago when he drove up here for the weekend.”

“Tony drove up here to spend a weekend?”

“Yeah. Something wrong with that?”

“No, nothing at all,” McGee quickly assured Jack. “I just can hardly picture Tony spending the weekend with…”

Jack arched his eyebrow. “An old man?”

“That’s not what I meant. I just never figured that Tony…” McGee sighed in frustration. “Never mind.”

“Tony allows you to see what he wants you to see.”

“I know that.”

“Are you sure about that? Evidently there’s a lot about Tony that you haven’t quite figured out yet.”

McGee’s cheeks flushed slightly. “You’re probably right,” he admitted. He truly had no idea that DiNozzo had been offered his own team; how many more things had Tony managed to keep hidden not just from him, but from everyone?

“How did you find out about this promotion?”

Jack shrugged. “It just came up in conversation.”

“Just out of the blue?”

“It’s amazing what kind of things come up if you’re willing to listen.”

McGee realized that he wasn’t going to get anything else out of Jack. Apparently the elder Gibbs was satisfied just giving him something else to mull over. He would have to file this in the back of his mind to consider later; right now, he had to focus on the task at hand.

“McGee!”

The young man startled at the sound of his name. Ziva was standing in the doorway, motioning for him to join her. McGee nodded as he stood up, taking note of the rage in her eyes. Something was wrong. Where was Gibbs?

He joined Ziva out in the hall way. “Follow me,” she instructed.

“Where’s Gibbs?” he wanted to know.

“Waiting.”

“Waiting? Waiting where?”

Ziva smiled as she pushed open the door to the men’s room. “Right here,” she replied.

Knowing better than to question why they were meeting in the men’s room, McGee simply acknowledged Gibbs and locked the door behind him. “Boss, I’m sure glad to see you.”

“What do you got, McGee?”

“SecNav is prepared to make Tony an offer and he strongly suggests that he take him up on it.”

“McGee!” Gibbs barked. “I need details!”

“Secretary Davenport will not pursue the IA investigation against Tony if he agrees to the following terms.”

He saw Gibbs visibly bristle. “What investigation?” the ex-Marine inquired.

“SecNav is prepared to launch a full investigation into the failure of Tony’s last undercover case,” McGee explained.

“How can he do that? His cover was blown and Vance didn’t pull him out,” Gibbs recalled. “Tony didn’t screw up! Vance did!”

McGee was glad that he wasn’t the one Gibbs was angry at. He had a feeling that the team leader would have a few choice words of his own for SecNav. “He also said that he would make sure the contract on Tony’s life was nullified and that he would take care of Vance,” the younger man added.

“Take care of Vance? How?”

“Secretary Davenport just said that Leon Vance would no longer be the Director of NCIS; he would be reassigned to where his talents would be more suited.”

“And the contract?”

McGee glanced at Ziva and then back to Gibbs. “SecNav didn’t go into details; he just said that he would take care of it.”

“And in order for all this to happen, what does Tony have to do?” Gibbs pressed.

“He has to turn the list of names that he discovered over to SecNav and be willing to deny that the last undercover mission even took place.”

“So Davenport wants to sweep this under the rug? He’s got some buddies on that list and heads could roll,” Gibbs deduced.

“He didn’t say, but that was my impression as well,” McGee agreed.

“There’s one more thing, Boss.”

“Spit it out, McGee,” the ex-sniper growled.

“If Tony doesn’t agree to these terms, in addition to the IA investigation, we will all face disciplinary and possible criminal actions for helping Tony.”

“Bastard!” Gibbs mumbled under his breath. “He’s backing Tony into a corner.”

“I know.”

“What gives him the right to play God?”

“I don’t know, Boss.”

“What do you think Tony will do?” Ziva softly asked.

Gibbs tightly clenched his jaw. “Truthfully? He’ll probably quit.”

“You can not let him do that,” she exclaimed. “It would accomplish nothing.”

“I know that, but Tony’s not going to see it that way.”

“Quitting isn’t an option,” McGee stated. “Secretary Davenport wants to make sure that Tony knows that if he simply quit, he would still be facing charges; in fact, all of us would be facing charges.”

“So, basically he is nailed,” Ziva said.

“Screwed,” Gibbs corrected. “And yeah, Ziva. Tony’s pretty much screwed.”

McGee felt sick. Gibbs was right in that Tony was caught between a rock and a hard place. He couldn’t begin to imagine what Tony was going through and McGee found himself feeling sorry for his friend. Davenport had literally placed his future, all their futures, in Tony’s hand. It wasn’t fair and he could do nothing to help the man who had taught him so much over the past few years.

“Uh, Boss, I have to call Secretary Davenport back in,” he glanced at his watch. “A little over five hours.”

He was forced to quickly step out of the way as Gibbs unlocked the door and stormed out of the men’s room. McGee knew that the team leader was on his way to talk to Tony. DiNozzo didn’t need the added stress that this proposal was bound to create; hopefully, Gibbs would be able to keep Tony calm.

“What do you think Tony will do?” Ziva quietly wondered.

“I don’t know,” he answered.

“Tony should not have to deal with this now. He has barely been out of surgery 12 hours and…”

“I know, Ziva. But don’t worry; Gibbs will take care of Tony.”

Ziva nodded in agreement. “I know, but still…”

“We’re just going to have to trust Gibbs to handle it.”

“I hate waiting.”

“I thought your Mossad training gave you infinite amounts of patience,” he attempted to tease.

“It did, but this is different. This is Tony and he’s my friend. He has been through a lot, especially the last couple of years. I just do not know how much more he can handle before he breaks.”

McGee stared at Ziva. “You really care for him, don’t you?”

“Of course I do. He is my friend and he is my partner.”

“It’s more than that.”

“You are imagining things, McGee. I am currently seeing someone and…”

“I’m sorry,” he quickly apologized. “I didn’t mean to…it’s none of my business.”

“Apology accepted.” Ziva opened the door. “I’m going to see if Jack needs a break from watching Director Vance. Are you coming?”

McGee nodded. “I’ll be there in a minute.”

As soon as the door closed, he darted to the nearest stall and began to vomit. He could no longer hold back the nausea that had been threatening to overwhelm him the entire time he was telling Gibbs about Davenport’s offer. McGee felt used. He had been forced to play the role of the SecNav’s puppet and he found that thought revolting.

After a few minutes, he stood up and walked over to the sink in order to splash cold water on his face. McGee quickly dried his hands and his face before leaving the men’s room. Knowing he wasn’t ready to go back in the waiting room where he would have to face Vance, the young man decided to take a walk around the hospital grounds. He hoped that the fresh air would help clear his mind and that when the time came, he would be ready to do whatever was necessary to help his friend.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX



Tony held Abby’s hand, hanging on to her every word as she rambled on about absolutely nothing. It always amazed him how the Goth always seemed to know what he needed and at the moment, he needed something to keep his mind off of the reason McGee was here in Stillwater. He supposed that he would find out soon enough, but the waiting was beginning to get to him. That’s when Abby began talking about why she didn’t like the movie ‘Titanic’.

It really wasn’t one his favorites either, especially after his time at Agent Afloat. Personally, he didn’t care if he ever set foot upon another ship as long he lived, but working for NCIS, Tony knew that the likelihood of that never happening was astronomical. Of course, he wasn’t sure that he was going to continue working for NCIS. Too much had happened and he wondered if he had outlived his usefulness not only to NCIS, but to Gibbs.

“Tony?” Abby called out to him.

“Yeah?” he muttered.

“You kind of zoned out on me.”

Tony smiled at her. “Sorry about that.”

“Are you tired? Do you want to go to sleep?”

Tony shook his head and sighed. ‘No, I’m all right. Just…waiting.”

She tilted her head to one side as she studied him. Tony squeezed her hand. “I’m fine,” he promised. “I’m just waiting on Gibbs to come back and tell me what McGee had to say.”

“I’m sure that everything is fine.”

“You’re a horrible liar.”

“I know.”

He willingly took a sip of the refreshing water when Abby held the straw to his lips. “Thanks.”

Abby leaned forward and kissed him on the forehead. “You’re welcome.”

“Abs? Can I ask you a question?”

“Ask away my handsome prince,” she said.

“Handsome prince? I don’t think I’d go that far; not until I’m on my feet. Maybe disheveled, confused, perplexed…”

“Even though you’re paler than your sheets, I still think you are handsome,” Abby assured him.

“I’ll have to take your word on that.”

She laughed as she held onto his hand even tighter. He loved the sound of her laughter; it always managed to warm his heart on the coldest of days. “So, what do you want to ask me?” the Goth wanted to know.

“I want you to be honest with me,” he pleaded.

“I’ve never lied to you Tony and I’m not about to start now.”

“I know.” He took a deep breath and blew it out. “Do you think that it’s time for me to move on?”

“What do you mean?”

“NCIS. Do you think it’s time for me to leave?”

“No!” she sharply replied. “How can you even think that?”

“I’ve been here for eight years.”

“So?”

“I just don’t know if this is what I want to do anymore.”

“Tony, don’t make any hasty decisions,” Abby pleaded. “You’re tired, you’re sick, and you’ve just had major surgery; now is not the time for you to be worrying about anything except getting better.”

“I don’t know, Abs. I guess a lot of it’s going to depend on whether Gibbs…”

“Abby.”

They both looked up at the sound of her name to discover Gibbs standing in the doorway. The team leader signed something to her, prompting Abby to give him another peck on the cheek before she stood up to leave. “Remember what I said,” she whispered in his ear. “Don’t do anything rash.”

Tony nodded and watched his friend leave, pausing long enough to sign one last thing to Gibbs. Acknowledging her with a curt nod, she left, leaving the two of them alone.

“You know, I’m still not deaf and that is still annoying,” Tony said.

“She just told me to go easy on you,” Gibbs translated.

“You should listen to her.”

Gibbs smiled and for a moment, Tony could almost believe that everything was going to be all right; but his gut was telling him something else completely. “So, what did McGee want?”

He watched as Gibbs took the seat that Abby had just vacated. Tony could tell by the solemn expression that the older man was now wearing that he was in serious trouble. “That bad, huh?”

Tony listened carefully as Gibbs began to lay out the SecNav’s proposal for him. He hung on every word, afraid to make a sound in fear of missing the minutest detail. His head was beginning to throb and his stomach was beginning to churn. God, when had he become so weak? He closed his eyes, fighting back the tears that threatened to fall.

He felt his mattress give slightly as Gibbs moved to sit on the edge of his bed. “Tony?” he softly called out.

“The bastard’s won!” Tony blurted out as he snapped open his eyes, no longer caring if his tears fell.

“No he hasn’t, DiNozzo.”

“Let me see if I can…get this straight.” A sharp pain took his breath for a moment.

“Tony, you’ve got to stay calm,” the team leader urged.

“I’m okay,” he gasped, forcing himself to continue his train of thought. “Now, SecNav is willing to get rid of Vance and not open an investigation against me if I’m willing to give him list of names I found and deny that the case even happened. And if I agree to this, we all get to keep our jobs and no charges will be filed against you all for helping me. Does that about cover it?”

“Yeah,” Gibbs replied. “He’ll also have the contract on your life nullified.”

Tony began to laugh. He realized that Gibbs probably thought that he had lost his mind and truthfully, he wasn’t convinced that he hadn’t. “So, I can just go and pretend that the hell I’ve been through didn’t actually happen. Sounds like a plan to me.”

“Tony…”

“Why not? I mean, I’m an…expert at hiding the truth,” Tony rationalized. “I’ve done it for years; what’s one more time? It’s probably better this way anyway, and then we all can pretend that the last few months didn’t happen. Maybe if I pretend hard enough, I can start believing that Jenny dying wasn’t my fault… and that I didn’t betray your trust by working undercover and not telling you about it!

“Maybe…I can pretend like I never fell in love with Jeanne and didn’t…live a lie for…over a year. Then maybe I can pretend to accept the fact that it’s all right for a father to leave his…son in a hotel room in Hawaii and that my child hood was actually normal. Maybe I can pretend that it doesn’t bother me that my father hates me and…”

Calloused hands cupped his face, forcing him to look into the eyes of the one man that he truly admired. “Tony, you’ve got to calm down. Listen to me.” Gibbs ordered. “If you don’t calm down, the nurses are going to come in here and give you a shot that’s going to knock you on your ass. I know you don’t want that.”

Tony shook his head. “No, I don’t.”

“Then I want you to hear me out.”

“All right.”

“Tony, I’m not going to tell you what to do. I don’t want you to think about all the stipulations that Davenport has put on this deal; I just want you to think about what you want to do. None of us are willing to see you sell your soul to the devil and no matter what your decision, we will stand by you.”

Tony continued to stare into the piercing blue eyes of the team leader. He knew that the team would stand by him, but he wasn’t sure that he could live with himself knowing that he’d be responsible for destroying their lives as well as his. There had to be another solution.

“I need to think,” he said.

“All right,” Gibbs agreed. “You’ve only got a few hours though. McGee is supposed to call Davenport back in just under 5 hours.”

Tony nodded. “Can you…leave me alone for…a few minutes?”

“Yeah. I’ll be right outside if you need me.”

Tony watched as Gibbs stepped out of his room. Once he was alone, he began to replay the conversation that he had just had with Gibbs in his mind. Tony hated himself for allowing his emotional floodgate to burst open, revealing to the ex-Marine some of his most private thoughts. If his decision only affected him, he would have no trouble telling the SecNav where to stick his deal, but ultimately, his decision would affect everybody that he cared about and he wasn’t willing to take that chance.

He heard familiar voices arguing outside his door. Although Gibbs was trying to be quiet, Tony could sense the anger in the ex-sniper’s voice. Who was he talking to? Tony listened carefully.

“It can’t be,” he whispered to himself. “Why would he be here?” Tony wasn’t sure that things could get any worse. That solution that he had been searching for was becoming abundantly clear; he just wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to pull it off surrounded by nurses and equipment that could save his life.

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