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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?

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35

Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ limited patience had expired about ten minutes ago. He had respected Tony’s wishes and kept a low profile when the young man had confronted his father; a difficult task, especially when the elder DiNozzo started throwing slurs at the young man. Now, Dr. Katherine Marshall was prepared to deliver a lecture to him about what she thought Tony needed, and he was not in the mood to hear what she had to say. He believed that she had DiNozzo’s best interests in mind, but she didn’t know Tony.

When Dr. Marshall had indicated that he and the others did not care about Tony’s welfare, Gibbs could no longer contain his temper. He admitted the relationship between him and his senior agent had been strained, but that didn’t mean that he was going to sit by and allow the woman accuse him of not caring about DiNozzo. His eyes were flaming with rage as he stood face to face with the physician. “How dare you! How dare you even suggest that we don’t, that I don’t give a damn about what happens to Tony!” he roared.

“I wasn’t…”

“Don’t talk! Don’t say a word!” he warned. “Just listen.”

He didn’t care if she was offended by his actions; it wouldn’t be the first or last time that somebody had been upset by something he had said. The team leader was determined to make Katherine understand just how much he and the others cared for DiNozzo. Tony was the heart of their team. Whenever Tony wasn’t there, things just didn’t seem right; but the moment he walked in, the room would hum with an unexplainable energy that they all seemed to draw on.

“Tony’s got a lot on him right now,” Gibbs began to explain, his steely gaze daring the physician to interrupt him. “He’s been through hell these past few days and he’s still got a long road ahead of him, but we’re going to be right there with him. We may not be as orthodox and by the book as you want us to be, but we’re his family and as dysfunctional as you think we are, we’re all he’s got.

“There’s a lot going on that you know nothing about, Dr. Marshall, so I suggest that you refrain from passing judgment on me and my team. I know better than anyone how hard this is on Tony and I’m doing everything in my power to make sure he keeps fighting. Maybe letting him see his dad wasn’t the idea, but it was Tony’s decision and I respected his wishes. If you don’t want DiNozzo to leave this hospital AMA, which you know he’ll do, then you better back off, Dr. Marshall.”

The former Marine took a deep breath and blew it out. “Tony’s just another patient to you; he more than that to me. He’s the son I never had and it pisses me off that you have the audacity to even think that I don’t care about what happens to him.”

“He doesn’t know his own limits,” she quickly blurted out, her sharp tone reflecting his anger at being addressed in such a rude manner.

The team leader leaned in closer to her. “Neither do you,” he whispered. “And I told you not to talk.”

He straightened his stance, his eyes still fixed upon the physician, ignoring her obvious displeasure. “Tony does push himself,” Gibbs agreed. “That’s part of what makes him the man he is and if you want to remain on as his primary physician, you better not take that away from him. He doesn’t need your holier than thou attitude constantly badgering him; he has enough on his plate without you adding insult to injury. Do we have an understanding, Dr. Marshall?”

“May I speak now?” she snapped.

“Choose your words carefully,” he replied.

Gibbs knew that she wasn’t pleased with the dressing down that he had just delivered to her. He remained firmly planted where he stood, despite her useless attempts at intimidating him.

“I’m Tony’s doctor,” she stated with authority, “and I’ll do what I think is best for him and if I think it’s best to restrict his visitors, I will do just that. He is under too much stress, both physically and emotionally, to make any decisions about his health and his recovery. As his next of kin, you should be making those decisions for him, but you’re not. Instead, you are just contributing to his problems.”

“I thought I told you to choose your words carefully.”

“And I thought you appreciated brutal honesty.”

“I do, but I don’t appreciate you talking about Tony like he’s a child, incapable of making his own decisions. I suggest that you limit your practice to the physical aspects of Tony’s recovery and leave the rest to me and his friends.”

“With friends like you, he certainly doesn’t need enemies. Tony’s going to end up dead if he continues on like he is,” she growled in frustration.

Gibbs clenched his jaw. “Perhaps it would be better if you did remove yourself from Tony’s case,” he suggested. ”You’re obviously used to doing things your own way, everyone else be damned, but that’s not going to fly, Dr. Marshall. Not with Tony and not with me!”

“Maybe you’re right,” she conceded. “I am used to doing things my own way, as are you, Agent Gibbs. Maybe someone else would be willing to stand by and watch Agent DiNozzo on this path of self destruction, but I’m not. I just hope you really mean what you say and that you’re there to catch him when he falls, Agent Gibbs, because it’s a long way down to the bottom.”

“I’ve got his six.”

“I hope you’ve got a lot more than his six, Agent Gibbs. I’m going to go and check on Tony again before I leave. If he wants a new doctor, I’ll hand over his case to someone else,” Katherine promised.

“So, now you think he’s capable of making a decision?” Gibbs asked. “Five minutes ago, you implied that he couldn’t make a sound judgment about what he wanted. Which is it, Doctor?”

The physician visibly bristled. “I think we’re through here,” she coolly stated.

“For now,” the team leader said as he followed her back into Tony’s room.

Gibbs stood at the end of Tony’s bed, watching her as she checked his surgical incision and his vital signs. DiNozzo stirred slightly at her touch, a tiny moan escaping his lips as he opened his eyes.

“Sorry, Tony,” she mumbled.

“S’okay,” DiNozzo slurred. “You two done fighting?”

“I thought you were asleep.”

“Just dozing. Heard some of it, tuned out the rest. Used to do the same thing when my parent would fight,” Tony recalled.

“I’m sorry you had to hear any of it.”

“Sorry you had to be on the receiving end of one of Gibbs’ lectures,” Tony countered. “He can be a real bastard when he’s fired up.”

Gibbs couldn’t help but grin. DiNozzo had a unique way of forcing the team leader to climb down off his high horse. But Tony was right; he was a bastard when it came to somebody threatening the sanctity of his team. The ex-Marine protected his team; over the years they had earned his loyalty, especially Tony. There had been an unspoken bond between him and DiNozzo from the first time they had met and although there were some issues between them that still needed to be resolved, Gibbs refused to believe that their relationship was damaged beyond repair.

“I assume that’s the medication talking for you, DiNozzo,” Gibbs teased.

“Uh, yeah Boss. You know how loopy I get when I’m on pain meds.”

“Yeah, I know.”

A hint of smile escaped the doctor’s lips as she took one final glance at the monitors. “You’re incision is a little inflamed. I’m going to start you on a different antibiotic that’s a little stronger to help clear that up.”

Tony nodded. “Thanks, Kate.”

“You’re welcome.” She paused and took a deep breath. “I’m sorry for yelling at you earlier.”

“That was yelling?” Tony playfully retorted. “That was nothing. My father could yell so loud, that the servants three mansions down the road could hear him.”

“Tony, I just…”

“I know, Kate. I know. Don’t worry about me and don’t worry about Gibbs. He’s just in need of some real coffee.”

Again, Gibbs was amazed by Tony’s ability to forgive so easily. He had mentioned this to DiNozzo one time and the young man had told him that it was easier to let a wrong go than to hold a grudge and let it eat at you like a cancer. Tony admitted that it took longer to let go of some grudges; Gibbs knew that the agent was referring to his father and possibly Trent Kort.

He was drawn back into the conversation as Kate suggested turning over his care to another doctor. The choice was Tony’s and despite his personal objections, he would respect his senior agent’s decision.

DiNozzo shook his head. “Hell no! I’ll probably get some old guy who’s a hundred years old with hands like ice. I want you to be my doctor, but I can’t promise to be an easy patient, not until I’ve taken care of a…certain matter.”

“This certain matter may end up killing you,” she pointed out. “I’m not going to stand by and watch you die.”

“Haven’t you heard? I can’t be killed.”

“This isn’t funny,” she barked.

“Do you see me laughing?”

Gibbs heard the frustrated sigh of the physician. “I’ll check on you in the morning,” she said. “If you’re still around.”

“I’ll be here,” Tony assured her.

The team leader watched Katherine leave. He didn’t regret anything that he had said to her earlier, but he probably should have been a bit more diplomatic about his delivery. Of course, most of his superiors would say that Leroy Jethro Gibbs didn’t even know the meaning of the word diplomacy.

He sat down in the chair beside Tony’s bed to find DiNozzo staring at him with a clarity that the agent didn’t exhibit when the doctor had been in the room. Something was amiss, Tony’s demeanor had changed completely, anger was radiating from the young man and Gibbs sensed it was directed towards him.

“Tony? You okay?” he asked.

Gibbs noticed Tony clutching the sheet beneath his fingers; his knuckles were turning white from the effort. “Tony?” Gibbs called out to his senior agent. “Are you all right?”

Tony slowly shook his head as he continued to glare at the former Marine. Gibbs watched as DiNozzo struggled to form the words that he wanted to say. Unfortunately, what came out of Tony’s mouth was not what the team leader expected to hear.

The senior agent leaned forward slightly, his eyes never leaving Gibbs’ face. “Just who the hell do you think you are?”


XXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Jackson Gibbs walked down the hallway, nodding a pleasant greeting to staff and patients as he made his way towards the front entrance. He had been at the hospital for hours and he felt like the walls were starting to close in; he desperately needed some fresh air. Inhaling the crisp evening air, he felt refreshed as the cobwebs that had been taking up residence in his mind were swept away.

It had been a trying day for everyone, but especially for the young man that he had come to cherish as one of his one—Tony DiNozzo. The elderly man’s heart ached for the agent whose life had been turned upside down by the events of the past few months to the point that Tony was now suffering the consequences both physically and emotionally. There were so many people that wanted to help DiNozzo, including him, but at the moment there was nothing that any of them could do but wait.

He hated waiting, but over the years he had become an expert at it. How many years did he have to wait for Jethro to speak to him again? Now they were learning to be father and son again, trying to recapture some of the years that they had lost. Their stubborn pride had denied them their ability to talk and the silence had created a rift between them that had almost impossible to heal. “Almost,” Jack smiled. “But not quite.”

Jack sat down on a rock wall adorning a raised flower bed and began to watch as strangers and acquaintances would speak to him as they entered or left the hospital. The thing about being in a small town was that if someone didn’t know your name, they would still speak and expected a greeting in return. Maybe that’s why several of the visitors were seemingly put off by the man that was frantically pacing while talking on his cell phone.

He noticed how the well dressed man’s expressions fluctuate between frustration and anger. As he studied this stranger, Jack found himself looking at an older version of Tony DiNozzo; there was no doubt in his mind that his man was Tony’s father. Other than their appearance, the senior Gibbs had a feeling that father and son were as different as night and day and from what the younger man had told him in some of their past conversations, Tony didn’t want to be anything like his father.

As the senior DiNozzo snapped shut his phone and put if back in his pocket, Jackson rose from his seat and headed towards the obviously irritated man. “You’re new in town, aren’t you?” Jack called out.

Tony’s father turned to face him. “Excuse me? Were you talking to me?”

“Yes, I was.” Jack extended his hand. “My name is Jackson Gibbs.”

“Vincent DiNozzo.”

The senior DiNozzo had yet to shake his hand. “You too good to shake a man’s hand, Vinnie?”

The other man tensed as he reluctantly grasped Jack’s hand. “My name is Vincent, Mr. Gibbs.”

“Whatever you say, Vinnie,” Jack taunted. “So, what brings you to town?”

“I came to see someone.”

“Who?”

“Someone,” Vincent growled. “Is everyone in this charming town as…inquisitive as you, Mr. Gibbs?”

“Pretty much. You know how small towns are, or maybe you don’t. You look like you’re more at home in the city,” Jack stated. “So, who did you say that you were coming to see?”

“I didn’t say, did I?”

“Don’t guess you did. Oh well, I thought I might could help you find whoever you were looking for; save you some time.”

“I know exactly who I’m looking for and where he is.”

“Oh, is he a patient here?”

“Yes.”

“I’m sorry. What happened?”

Vincent glared at Jackson. “Gibbs,” he mumbled. “Are you by chance any relation to Jethro Gibbs, are you?”

“He’s my son,” Jack proudly replied.

“I should have known,” Vincent mumbled. “Let me ask you something, Jackson. As a father, have you ever been disappointed in your son?”

“What kind of question is that?”

“Just an honest one. You see, my son has disappointed me in the past so many times that I’ve lost count. I was just wondering if your son had ever acted in a way that didn’t please you.”

Jack thought for a moment. If Vincent DiNozzo was trying to find an ally, he was going to have to look somewhere else. “I think that disappointment is something that we all have to face at one time or another; we’re human and we all make mistakes.”

“But some mistakes are inexcusable, don’t you agree?”

“It depends on what they are.”

“How about the mistake of even being born?”

Jackson Gibbs stared at Vincent in disbelief. How could a father wish his own son had never been born? “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”

“My son has caused me nothing but heartache; his mere existence has been nothing but a thorn in my side.”

“Those are pretty harsh words.”

“Anthony deserves every one of them,” Vincent sneered.

Jack took a deep breath and blew it out, struggling to keep a hold on his temper. Tony had been right about his father; the man gave new meaning to the words heartless bastard. “So why are you here?”

“Anthony has something I need.”

“I thought you said he was worthless,” Jack challenged. “Seems to me if he’s got something you want, that makes him an asset to you.”

“You would think so, wouldn’t you?” Victor shot back. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.”

“So, I guess you haven’t gotten what you came after,” Jackson deduced.

“No, but I’m not going to give up. The wheels are already in motion,” Vincent gloated.

“Mind if I tell you something?” Jackson asked.

“I’m surprised you even asked.”

Jack smiled. “Just a formality.”

“I figured as much.”

He stepped forward, intentionally blocking Vincent’s direct path. “You’re a fool. That boy of yours is worth more than all your stocks, bonds, companies, and money combined. If you’re too blind to see that, then you don’t deserve to even speak his name. He wanted to make you happy, but you never gave him a chance. You were too busy making money to have time for him and you missed out on one of the greatest joys a man could have; the joy of being a father.

“It’s amazing that Tony turned out to be the man that he is today. He’s a good man; someone that puts other people’s needs in front of his own. You should try that sometime.”

Vincent smiled. “Another member of the Anthony DiNozzo fan club,” he said. “Just remember that there are two sides to every story.”

Jack shook his head. “Not this one. Tony carries too many scars, both inside and out. Sounds a little one sided to me.”

“Believe what you want to. I really do not have any more time to devote to listening to you sing my son’s praises. Maybe you should save those for his funeral; I’m sure that you’d do a great job with the eulogy,” Vincent taunted.

Jackson watched Tony’s father arrogantly stride into the hospital. He didn’t waste any time following suit; the need to talk to Leroy had become urgent. Jack didn’t like the intent of Vincent’s last comment and he wanted his son to be aware of the conversation that he had just had with Tony’s father. He also wanted to make sure that Leroy understood how important it was that he made things right with Tony; DiNozzo needed a father and Jethro was the only one who could fill that void.











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