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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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Tony couldn’t believe the expression of surprise on Gibbs’ face. Surely someone as intuitive as Leroy Jethro Gibbs could see that he was angry. Actually, anger didn’t begin to describe what he was feeling at the moment; frustration, hurt, rage, and a sense of betrayal, all were attempting to surface, forcing him to acknowledge their existence. He despised feeling like this. Tony didn’t like losing control; the price he had to pay for his actions was too great.

He had tried to fight the urge to confront the team leader, but the desire to be heard was too strong. Gibbs had been telling him that he needed to open up but Tony wasn’t sure that the former Marine was prepared to hear what he had to say. He was tired of being told what to do, how to feel, and what to think. Somewhere in the past few months, he had lost Anthony DiNozzo, but now he was determined to find him again.

DiNozzo had overheard most of the conversation between Gibbs and Dr. Marshall. It reminded him of when his parents would fight over him, but their arguments were never about who knew what was best for him; their overly loud discussions usually ended up with his mother and father cursing the day he was born. He supposed that he should be glad that Gibbs seemed to care so much about him, but what he couldn’t figure out was why he was finally admitting it now. The team leader’s revelation had unnerved him. For so long Tony had been trying to regain Gibbs’ trust and respect and failed miserably in his efforts, or so he thought.

After Tony had returned from being Agent Afloat, he had waited for Gibbs to take him aside and tell him that everything was going to be all right. He wanted to know that the team leader didn’t blame him for Jenny’s death, but it quickly became evident to Tony that Gibbs didn’t want to talk about it. No one wanted to talk about how he had screwed up, except for Vance. Director Vance took great pleasure in reminding him that Jenny Shepard was dead because of him and Tony knew it was true. He thought that he had come to terms with her death while he had been on the Seahawk, but once he had returned to D.C., he quickly learned that all was not forgiven or forgotten.

Things between him and Gibbs had only been strained further in the following months; Tony felt like he couldn’t say or do anything to please the former Marine. It wasn’t until he had overheard the conversation between Kate and Gibbs did he realize that Gibbs still trusted and apparently respected him. That was until he heard Gibbs threaten to have Kate replaced with another doctor. Maybe Gibbs’ opinion of him hadn’t changed after all.

Everything that he had kept bottled up inside him erupted like a volcano. One minute, the team leader had been saying how Tony should be allowed to make his own decisions and the next minute, Gibbs was making decisions for him when he insisted that Dr. Marshall turn over Tony’s care to another doctor. The team leader had told Kate that he had Tony’s six, but he could tell that she wasn’t convinced. Truthfully, he wasn’t either.

He had heard Gibbs calling out to him as he wrapped his hand around the sheet. His eyes narrowed as his own icy stare met the concerned eyes of his Boss. “Just who the hell do you think you are?” he had snapped.

Gibbs was clearly taken back by Tony’s vehemence. He refused to back down as he waited for the team leader’s answer.

“What are you talking about?” Gibbs asked.

“You know what I’m talking about,” Tony growled. “I’m talking about the crap you tried to pull with Kate.”

“Tony, I…”

“Don’t try and tell me that you don’t know what I’m talking about! You have no right to threaten to have her removed from my case.”

“You gave me that right when you listed me as your next of kin,” Gibbs pointed out.

“You’re only to exercise that right when I’m unable to do so. You told her that I could make my own decisions, and then you go and try and make them for me! Sounds like a double standard to me.”

“You’ve got a lot on your mind,” Gibbs pointed out. “I was just trying to look out for you.”

Tony clenched his jaw. “You were trying to look out for me?”

“I’ve always looked out for you.”

“When it’s convenient for you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” the team leader wanted to know.

“Just what I said.”

“I won’t accept that answer.”

“It’s the only one you’re going to get,” Tony shot back.

“You’re not getting off that easy. This isn’t just about what I said to the good doctor; it goes a lot deeper. We’ve never minced words and we’re not starting now.”

“Why not? You’re not going to want to hear what I have to say,” he warned.

“Yes, I do.”

Tony stared down at the sheet that was still tightly clutched in his hand. When was he ever going to learn to keep his mouth shut? Apparently, it wasn’t going to be today. Gibbs was right, his anger had very little to do with Gibbs wanting a different doctor to take over his case; that was just the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. It was much deeper, deeper than even Tony realized as nearly a year of pent up emotions came pouring from his lips and he was powerless to stop it.

“You told me once I was irreplaceable and I used to believe it, but I don’t anymore,” Tony began. “After I was sent away, I didn’t hear from you for four months. I’d get emails and letters from Abby and she would tell me that you were busy with your new team, but I knew that the real reason was that you blamed me for Jenny’s death. I finally told myself that you had every right to blame me and I guess I just accepted that it really was my fault.”

Gibbs shook his head. “Tony, Jenny’s death was not your fault. I…”

Tony raised his hand, abruptly cutting off the team leader in mid-sentence. “Please let me finish,” he pleaded.

“All right,” the ex-Marine agreed.

He took a deep breath and blew it out in an effort to release some of the anger that he was still carrying, but when he spoke, his voice still had an edge of bitterness to it.

“I’d lay awake at night and try to figure out how I could make it right, but I couldn’t come up with a way to fix it. When I finally heard from you, I thought maybe you’d forgiven me after all. God, I wanted to come home so bad and when I finally got home, I wished I had stayed on the Seahawk. Things were different between us and I didn’t know how to get them back on the right track. This big hole had been created and the more I tried to fill it up, the more I’d end up digging. I’d try and do stupid stuff just so you’d slap me upside the head. Nothing worked.

“Then Vance approached me and I started working undercover for him. I should have just let him ship me back, but I didn’t want the rest of you to be split up. I kept telling myself that you’d figure everything out and put Vance in his place, but that didn’t happen either. I guess I was just expecting too much. I shouldn’t have expected anything.

“You told Kate you had my six, but right now, I feel like those are just words. Right now, you’re here because you have to be; because Tony DiNozzo made another great big mess that you have to clean up. I’m sorry, Boss. I’m sorry for letting you down and not being who you wanted me to be.”

Tony startled when Gibbs suddenly stood up and leaned over him. The young man didn’t dare look away as the former Marine glared at him. “Don’t you dare say that!” the team leader barked. “You’ve have never let me down! Ever! Jenny was dying anyway; she went out of here just like she wanted to—in a blaze of glory. That was not your fault. I should have told you that but I waited too long. I was trying to deal with my own grief and I didn’t realize that you were drowning in guilt. Maybe I wanted someone to blame besides myself and that was wrong. I guess you were an easy target because I knew that you’d take the responsibility without question.”

“Glad I’m good for something,” Tony retorted.

He had no idea why he said that other than his desire to not make this easy for the ex-Marine. Anger and frustration were fueling Tony’s words and he figured that he was going to eventually say something that he was going to regret.

Ignoring his sharp reply, Gibbs continued. “As for your time on the Seahawk, I never intended for you to have to stay on that ship any longer than necessary, but my hands were tied and deep down you know that. I got you back to D.C. as soon as I could. You seemed to content and happy to be home, so I just assumed that you were all right. I broke one of my own rules,” the older man snorted. “Never assume, always double check.

“I became so focused on making sure that Vance didn’t abuse that chair like Jenny did that I missed what was happening to you. There’s no excuse and nothing I say can change what I did. It seems that once again I let you pay the price for my lack of objectivity.”

Tony closed his eyes, fighting back the urge to take a swing at the former sniper. “How much more do you think I have left in me, Gibbs?” he cried out. “Let me answer that for you! I don’t have anything! But you were right about one thing, I can make my own decisions and I intend to do just that without any help from you or anyone else.”

Gibbs smiled, which only served to enrage Tony further. “What the hell are you smiling at?” he wanted to know.

He felt his anger begin to dissipate and it frightened him. Tony knew that once his reserves of anger had been depleted, that the tears would come. He wasn’t ready for that to happen, but he could not stop them from flowing.

“I think you’ve underestimated yourself,” Gibbs went on to say. “You’ve still got a lot of fight left in you, Tony. It’s good to see that fire in your eye again. Take your own advice. Make your own decisions and don’t look back,” he urged.. “No regrets. You do what’s best for you. Do you understand me?”

Tony eyed Gibbs suspiciously. “Does that mean that I get to keep Kate as my doctor?”

A gentle tap to the top of the head brought a tiny smile to the young man’s face, but his expression quickly changed as he struggled to keep his tears from escaping down his cheeks. “Thank you, Boss,” he rasped.

He felt himself carefully being pulled into the arms of the team leader. Gibbs embraced him as he started to weep. He was embarrassed to appear to be so weak, but the older man continually reassured him that everything was going to be all right. Tony had been waiting to hear those words for a long time and now that they were being uttered, he wasn’t sure if he could believe them. He tried to pull away, but Gibbs refused to let him go. It was then that Tony realized that he no longer had to pretend that he could carry the burden that had been placed on his shoulders.

Tony wasn’t sure how long he allowed Gibbs to hold him, but it had been long enough that he had found himself drifting off to sleep. He was startled awake when Gibbs tried to lay him back down. “Sorry, Boss,” he mumbled.

“You have nothing to apologize for, DiNozzo.” Gibbs pulled the sheet up over Tony. “But if you ever yell at me like that again, I’ll slap you so hard your grandkids will feel it.”

“Gotcha Boss,” Tony sheepishly replied.

“Why don’t I give you a minute or two and then we’ll talk about what you’ve decided to tell Davenport,” Gibbs suggested.

“I’m all right,” he assured the former Marine. “I already know what I’m going to tell Secretary Davenport.”

“You do?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“Care to share it with me?”

Tony shrugged. Once the ultimatum had been given to him, he had realized that he was backed into a corner and there was only one thing for him to do. Tony was going to come out fighting. “You probably won’t like it.”

“Maybe, but I told you that I’d back your decision.”

He studied Gibbs’ solemn expression. It was his decision and Gibbs had promised to support him. Guilt swept over him as snippets of their conversation replayed in his mind. He all but accused the man who had been like a father to him of not caring about him. Had he lost his mind? Maybe he should be locked away somewhere until he got his head on straight.

“All right,” he finally conceded. “This is what I’ve decided to do.”


Ziva looked up from the magazine that she had been perusing to see whom she assumed to be Tony’s father enter the waiting room. He was tall, well-dressed, and well-groomed; the expressive eyes and the firmly distinguished jaw line cemented the fact this man was indeed related to her partner. She put down her magazine and rose to greet him. “Can I help you?” she asked.

“I need to speak to Director Vance,” Vincent DiNozzo stated.

“And you are?”

“I think you know my name, Officer David.”

“You are Tony’s father.”

“Unfortunately,” he grumbled. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll…”

“How did you know my name?” she demanded to know. “I don’t believe our paths have crossed before.”

“Even though I haven’t seen my son in many years, I still know a great deal about his life. I know where he lives, I know who he works with, and I know who he associates with outside of work.”

“Why would you care?”

“I don’t, but it pays to know your enemies.”

She inwardly shuddered when Vincent smiled at her. “You consider your own son your enemy?”

The elder DiNozzo nodded. “Right now, he’s probably my greatest nemesis.”

She believed that neither Vincent DiNozzo or Eli David were going to be nominated for the father of the year award, but at least her father loved her in his own unique way. Tony had never experienced the love of a father until he had met Jethro Gibbs and now she understood why he was always striving to please the team leader.

“That is a cruel thing to say about your own son,” Ziva insisted.

“Sometimes the truth can be cruel, my dear. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m here to speak to Director Vance.”

“I’m afraid that I can not allow you to…”

“David!” Vance angrily called out. “Stand down. He doesn’t need your permission to speak to me. I’m still the Director of NCIS and you still answer to me.”

Ziva smiled as she returned to her seat, silently wishing that McGee and Abby would hurry back so they could witness the conversation that was about to take place. She could have physically removed Vincent DiNozzo from the room, but she quickly tamped down the urge to do so in hopes of learning something that could be used against not only the Director, but Tony’s father as well. “I’ll be right here if you need me, Director.”

She listened intently as the two men talked in hushed tones, grateful that her training had taught her to be observant without attracting attention to herself. Their conversation was limited to short sentences, both men being careful to not divulge too much information.

“Did you get whatever it is you came for?” Vance asked Tony’s father.

“No, not yet.”

“Are you surprised?”

“Truthfully, I was a little surprised.”

“So, what’s our next move?” Vance inquired.

“We have to wait.”

“On what?”

“On Anthony to make up his mind.”

Ziva felt her body tense at the mention of Tony’s name. She was protective of her partner as he was of her; their friendship had many different layers, but the foundation was the fact the knowledge that they trusted each other with their lives.

“He should make his decision soon,” Vance continued. She was glad that he either didn’t see or was choosing her obvious physical reaction to the mention of DiNozzo’s name.

“I’m on my way to see him once again. I’ve spoken with Phillip and we’ve agreed to up the ante.”

“What do you mean?”

“It means that we have a new offer that my son can’t refuse.”

“Good luck,” the Director said as Vincent turned to leave.

As the senior DiNozzo made his way towards the door, he looked at Ziva one last time. “My son has such strong feelings for you, my dear. Don’t allow yourself to be drawn into his sordid life; he’ll only hurt you.”

“I’m not sure what you mean,” she insisted.

“I think you do,” he taunted as he left the room.

She stared at the door, confused by Vincent’s statement. There was no way that Tony would hurt her, intentionally or unintentionally. Quickly pulling out her phone, she sent a text to Gibbs warning him that Tony’s father was planning on coming to visit Tony once again.

“Was he right, David?” Vance wanted to know.

“Right about what, Director?”

“Does DiNozzo have feelings for you?”

“We are partners and we are friends; of course we would have feelings for one another, but they do not extend beyond friendship if that is what you’re wondering.”

“If you say so, David.”

Before she could reply, McGee entered the room, balancing a drink carrier in one hand and several paper bags in the other. “I brought food,” he announced.

“What took you so long?” Ziva snapped.

“Well, I uh…is something wrong?” Tim asked.

“You missed meeting Tony’s father,” she informed him as she grabbed one of the cups out of the tray. “I’m going to take this coffee to Gibbs; you stay here with the Director.”

“Okay, but can you tell me what’s going on?”

She glanced at the Director and then turned her attention back to McGee. “Nothing is going on,” she insisted. “I just have a feeling that he needs some coffee.”

“Is that all there is to it?”

“For now.”

Without further explanation, Ziva left McGee in the waiting room and headed towards ICU. She knew that Tony’s father was headed there and while she realized that Gibbs probably wouldn’t need her help, the team leader would still welcome her presence. More importantly, she was determined to be there in case Tony needed her; she would have her partner’s back, just as he had always had hers.

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