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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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6

Gibbs glanced at his watch as he sat down on a bench that bordered one of the more challenging running trails in Rock Creek Park. He and Tony used to run this trail together, especially when Tony had first started working for him. The younger man had been full of boundless energy and needed a way to channel that energy, so Gibbs had insisted on a daily run through Rock Creek Park.

He had learned a lot about Tony during those runs, but Gibbs quickly learned that he had barely scratched the surface when it came to discovering the real Anthony DiNozzo. After Kate and McGee joined, they still enjoyed the occasional run through the park, usually after a trying case. Then Tony had contracted the plague and Kate had died soon after that. Was that when everything started changing?

There were no more runs in Rock Creek Park for a long time until a year or so ago. Jeanne Benoit had accused Tony of murdering her father. Fortunately, DiNozzo had been cleared, but he had been forced to tell Jeanne that their relationship had been a farce. He had wanted her to move on with her life and forget about him, but his sacrifice had cost Tony dearly.

After everything had settled, Gibbs had found Tony in the gym, taking his frustrations out on the punching bag. DiNozzo had not even bothered to change out of his suit. Gibbs had handed him a towel to wipe his face with and suggested that they take a run. Tony had simply nodded and both men quickly changed and headed towards the park. He had let DiNozzo set the pace and Gibbs managed to keep up, despite his aching knees.

He wasn’t sure how long they had run before Tony stumbled and fell to his knees.

“I loved her, Boss,” Tony had whispered, sweat dripping into his eyes.

Gibbs had squeezed his shoulder. “I know, Tony. I know,” was the only answer he could give the young man at the time. There were no words that would heal his senior agent’s broken heart.

They had walked back to the car and he had listened to Tony as he talked, while simultaneously cursing the director under his breath. That was the last time that Tony had opened up to him about anything; or perhaps, it was the last time that he truly listened to what Tony had to say. DiNozzo never voluntarily divulged intimate details of his personal life, and Gibbs had been one of the few people to catch a glimpse of the real Anthony DiNozzo.

As soon as they had walked back into the NCIS building, Tony’s mask had slipped firmly back in place. Neither man ever spoke of the conversation that had taken place in the park that day, but Gibbs had made a vow to keep an eye on his senior agent for a while. It wasn’t long after that, Jenny Shepherd died and Tony was consumed with guilt; guilt that Gibbs had forced him to bear.
His silence had condemned DiNozzo and things between them had been strained. Gibbs had finally told Tony that Jen’s death wasn’t his fault, but it was too late. Tony had already accepted the responsibility and Gibbs knew that the young man was drowning in a sea of self loathing.

When Tony had been reassigned to the Seahawk, there hadn’t been time to make things right between them. Now that DiNozzo was back, things were still awkward between them at times, and Gibbs had chosen to ignore the fact that he was losing his senior agent.

“When you get back, we’re going for a long run, DiNozzo,” Gibbs promised.

“Talking to yourself again?”

Gibbs took a sip of his coffee. “Just making a mental note, Fornell. You’re late.”

“I’m five minutes early,” Fornell protested.

“But I’ve been waiting for twenty.”

“I just thought I’d give you a few minutes to cool down.”

“It didn’t work,” Gibbs retorted. “You just gave me too much time to think.”

Gibbs gestured to his colleague to sit down beside him. “What did you find out?”

“You’re not going to like it,” Fornell warned.

“Spit it out, Tobias.”

Fornell took a sip of his own coffee. “DiNozzo has apparently been working undercover on a joint operation for several months now. He’s managed to infiltrate one of the largest drug running rings on the East Coast.”

“What?” Gibbs crushed his cup, spilling the hot liquid on his lap. “Whose operation?”

“FBI, NCIS, and the DEA are involved.”

Anger did not even begin to describe what Gibbs was feeling at the moment. Once again, Tony was involved in an undercover operation that he knew nothing about and for some inexplicable reason, his outrage wasn’t directed at his senior agent. There was a piece of the puzzle that was missing and Gibbs was determined to find it. “Do you mean to tell me that between three agencies, DiNozzo was the only agent who could do this particular undercover operation? I find that hard to believe.”

“I do too, Jethro, but the word is that your man volunteered.”

Gibbs shook his head. “The hell he did. Tony wouldn’t voluntarily go undercover without telling me; not after what happened with Jenny. There’s something bigger going on here and somehow DiNozzo is caught in the middle.”

“Maybe you don’t know DiNutso as well as you thought.”

“Don’t go there, Tobias,” Gibbs warned. “And his name is DiNozzo.”

“Sorry,” Fornell apologized.

Gibbs knew that Tobias didn’t mean to insult his agent. Fornell had even admitted to the team leader that if Tony ever quit NCIS, that he would offer DiNozzo a job with the FBI. He nodded his acceptance of Fornell’s apology. “What else can you tell me?”

Fornell shrugged. “Not much. I do know that the drug ring is based in Norfolk and that something went down last night, but I don’t know what.”

“That’s all you know?”

“You didn’t give me time to do too much digging,” Tobias countered. “I had to call in several favors to find that much out.”

Gibbs stood up and threw his cup away. “Well, it looks like I’m going to go and wait on Director Vance to get out of his meeting.”

“Straight to the top, huh?”

“Yeah. He’s been giving me the runaround all day. Now I know why.”

“But you didn’t hear it from me,” Tobias reminded him.

“Nope. As a mater of fact, Fornell, we never had this conversation.”

Gibbs began to make his way down the worn path. “If you find out anything else, you let me know.”

“Will do. Hey Gibbs,” Fornell called out. “I hope DiNutso’s all right!”

A tiny smile escaped Gibbs’ lips. “So do I, Tobias; so do I.”

Gibbs left Fornell sitting on the bench. He began to pick up his pace until he was running a steady speed along the familiar trail. Rage coursed through his veins, forcing his legs to pump faster. His knees were already throbbing, but Gibbs refused to give in to the pain.

He ignored the stares of the other joggers that he passed. Gibbs was aware that he looked strange running in his jeans and a blazer, but at the moment, he didn’t care. The only thing on his mind was finding out what DiNozzo was involved in and why he knew nothing about it.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Tony still couldn’t believe what he had just done. He felt like he was going to throw up and not because of the concussion, but because he had almost killed Jackson Gibbs. Once Gibbs found out that he had tried to kill his father, Tony knew that whatever was left of their relationship would be destroyed. DiNozzo wasn’t sure he could survive if he lost the one man that had been like a father to him.

He had been disowned at the tender age of twelve by his biological father and it had taken Tony years to learn to live with the scars of rejection. Even after all this time, there were some days that the pain was still fresh and now with the possibility of Gibbs no longer being in his life, the agony of those memories returned full force.

He buried his face in his hands, silently willing the trembling to stop. Tony cursed his weakness, hating himself for what he had become. “Pull yourself together, DiNozzo. Quit being so pathetic!”

Tony heard someone enter the room. Looking up, he saw the doctor standing in the doorway. Her auburn hair fell on her shoulders as her piercing green eyes seemed to stare right through him. He had to admit that she was beautiful and there would have been a time that he would have unleashed the DiNozzo charm on her, but times had changed. He had changed.

“Do you make it a habit of talking to yourself, Mr. DiNozzo?” she asked.

“Only when nobody else is around,” he wearily replied. “Call me Tony, please.”

“Very well, Tony. Jack asked me to come over here and check you over. Is that all right with you?”

“It was a condition of my staying here,” Tony explained. “I guess I owe him that much, especially after almost killing him.”

“Jack doesn’t hold grudges.”

“Yeah, but his son does.”

Katherine walked over towards Tony and set her bag down on the table. “Why don’t you lie back down and let me take a look at you?”

Tony nodded and slowly swung his feet back on the couch and lowered his battered body against the cushion. She began her examination by carefully removing the bandage that covered the stitches in his head.

“That looks painful,” she observed. “What happened?”

“Forgot to duck.”

“I see. If I were to venture a guess, I would say a bullet graze. Am I right?”

DiNozzo looked up at the ceiling, purposefully ignoring her question. He heard her sigh in frustration as she shone her pen light in his eyes. He flinched against the brightness and closed his eyes.

“Are you experiencing any nausea and dizziness?”

“Yes,” Tony admitted. “The dizziness has eased up some unless I do something really stupid like getting up too fast.”

“What about the nausea?”

“Off and on.”

“Why did the hospital release you? You have a serious concussion which should have been monitored by…”

“I checked myself out AMA,” Tony said, interrupting the doctor’s tirade.

“Why?”

“I had to.” Offering no further explanation, he asked, “Are you done yet?”

“No. Now, remove your shirt,” she ordered.

“It’s just the first date. Are you always this forward?”

“Mr. DiNozzo…”

“Tony,” he reminded her.

“Tony,” she corrected herself. “I’m sure that you don’t want me to tell Jack that you aren’t cooperating with me. The better you cooperate, the quicker we will be done with your examination.”

“Not much on small talk, are you?” he teased.

“No, I’m not. Now, take off your shirt.”

Tony removed his shirt, mindful of the bruises that littered his chest and stomach. He gritted his teeth against the pain whenever she pressed on a particularly tender spot. The agent about came off the couch when she pressed on his stomach. He rolled over on his side and vomited in the floor. After a few minutes of drive heaves, he rolled back over onto his back.

“Sorry,” he breathlessly mumbled.

“It’s all right. It’s not the first time that I’ve worn my patient’s stomach contents. Although, judging from yours, you didn’t have very much in your stomach.”

“No.”

“And it looks like there some blood mixed in the emesis. Maybe from an ulcer?” she guessed.

“Maybe,” Tony admitted. When she glared at him with a look that could rival Gibbs’, he decided that he may as well tell her the truth. “Yeah.”

“How long have you had it?”

Tony shrugged. “I was diagnosed with it when I was Agent Afloat on the Seahawk, so about nine or ten months.”

“So, are you under a doctor’s care for it?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“I haven’t had a lot of time to go to the doctor lately.” Tony didn’t like where this conversation was heading.

“I think you need to go the hospital and get a complete gastrointestinal workup so that we can have a better idea of what we’re dealing with. It will also give you a chance to rest for a couple of days.”

Tony shook his head. “I don’t think so. You see, I don’t do hospitals very well. Nothing personal, well, yeah I guess it is something personal, but it doesn’t concern you. But anyway, I’m rambling.”

“Yes, you are,” she heartily agreed.

“Anyway, I can rest here and once I get some rest, I’ll feel a lot better.”

“Tony, listen to me,” Katherine pleaded. “This could be serious. You already have a severe concussion and I don’t have to tell you the complications that could arise from that, but you’re exhausted. You’ve evidently not been eating properly. I’m guessing that you normally weigh between 180 and 190?”

Tony nodded. “I’ve been trying to lose a few pounds,” he quipped.

“This isn’t funny, Tony. This is your life we’re talking about.”

Tony put his shirt back on. “Well, let me save you the trouble, Doc. My life as I know it is probably over anyway, so it really doesn’t matter whether I spend a few days in the hospital or not. So, I appreciate you taking the time to check me out, but I’m not worth your trouble.”

“Who told you that?” she quietly asked.

DiNozzo swallowed nervously. “Who told me what?”

“Who told you that you’re not worth the trouble?”

“It’s been ingrained in me for a long time, Doc. Like I said, don’t worry about me,” he insisted. “You tell Jack that you did your job and that in a few days, I’ll be on my feet again.”

“I can’t tell him that because I can’t honestly agree with your self prognosis.”

“Tell him what you want then.” Tony closed his eyes, hoping that she would take a hint and leave him alone.

He felt a gentle touch on his arm. Opening his eyes, Tony placed his hand on top of hers and lightly squeezed it. “Thanks, Doc.”

“Katherine,” she softly said.

“You don’t look like a Katherine,” he sleepily observed.

“Really? So, what would you call me then? Hopefully something besides Doc; that makes me sound like an old man.”

Tony thought for a minute and then grinned. “How about Kate? I’ve always liked that name.”

“I’ll think about it,” she promised. “You rest and I’ll be by to check on you later.”

He nodded and watched her as she gathered her bag and left the room. The last thing that Tony wanted to do was to sleep. He didn’t want to take another chance on hurting anyone, especially Jack. His head still ached and he was too tired to even begin to contemplate what would happen when he finally had to talk to Gibbs. Tony began searching for ways to keep his mind busy, so he wouldn’t sleep and he wouldn’t have to think. He began replaying episodes of ‘Magnum, P.I.’ in his mind, allowing him to briefly escape from the nightmare that his life had become.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Dr. Katherine Marshall couldn’t begin to describe the myriad of emotions that she was experiencing at the moment. She was angry that Anthony DiNozzo apparently demonstrated little concern for his own health and she was concerned that he didn’t seem to care if he lived or died. Katherine couldn’t help but wonder what had made Tony DiNozzo feel as if he wasn’t worth her trouble. Was it something or someone in his past that had drummed that into his head? The man in the other room was definitely a mystery and while she wasn’t one to interfere in her the lives of her patients, she found herself drawn to Tony.

She slammed her bag down on the counter and looked around the store for Jack. “Jack? Where are you?”

“Done so soon?” he asked as he set a case of water down on the floor.

“Actually, I want to admit him to the hospital, but he’s refusing.”

“That sounds about right. Leroy, that’s my son, once told me that Tony hated hospitals. Something to do with Tony having the plague,” he recalled.

Her eyes widened in disbelief. “The plague?’

“I’m pretty sure that’s what Leroy said. So, what’s wrong with Tony?”

“He’s got a severe concussion and needs to be monitored for at least 48 hours. He also needs a complete gastrointestinal workup, not to mention some X-rays and blood work to make sure that he’s not bleeding internally.”

“And he refuses to go?’

Katherine nodded. “Yes. I need to speak to his personal physician. Do you know who it is?”

“No,” Jack replied. “But I can find out for you.”

“Would you mind?” Katherine picked up her bag and headed towards the door. “Have his doctor call me at my office,” she instructed. “I’ll be back later to check on Tony.”

“Will do.”

Without a backwards glance, she got in her car and drove the short distance to her office. While she was waiting on the call from Tony’s doctor, Katherine fixed herself some lunch. She sat down at her desk and began to eat. Katherine could not get her mind off of Tony DiNozzo. She had a feeling that on a normal day, Tony could be a handful. There had been a hint of playfulness in his voice while she was trying to examine him, but the cheerfulness had been forced. Then when he told her that he wasn’t worth the trouble, she thought her heart was going to break.

Tony DiNozzo was going to need more help than she could give him. She could heal him physically, but mentally and emotionally, that was out of her field of expertise. There had to be someone that Tony could turn to. What about Jack’s son, Leroy? Jack made it seem like they were close, but if that were the case, where was he? Was this the same son that Tony had said held grudges? Was Leroy Gibbs part of Tony’s problem? She would bring that up with her patient when she went to check on him, but for now, all she could do was wait on the phone to ring.

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