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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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9

Abby dialed Jack’s number and waited anxiously, silently counting the number of rings it took for someone to answer. Gibbs had warned her not to use her phone to call Tony, in case their lines were being monitored. It bothered her to think that the Director would resort to such extreme measures to find her friend. She knew that whatever was going on between Tony and Vance could not be good; making her concern for the senior agent grow every second that she was unable to hear his voice. Abby had been thrilled when Gibbs had said that Tony wanted her to call him.

Knowing Tony, she realized that he probably just wanted someone to help keep him awake. Whenever DiNozzo was hurt or tired, he seemed to be plagued by nightmares and Abby would find herself over at his apartment either watching movies or talking until he fell asleep. Usually his head would be on her lap or against her shoulder and the two of them would stay like that until morning. Since Tony was in Stillwater, they had to settle on the next best thing and use the telephone.

Since she couldn’t use any of her phones, including her house or work phone, she came to the one place where she figured it would be safe to call DiNozzo—the bowling alley. Abby knew that Sister Rosita and the nuns would be bowling tonight, so no one would think it odd that she there. She smiled at her stroke of genius; Tony would be so proud. Mac, the manager of the Leisure Lanes Bowling Alley was an old friend and was more than happy to let her use the phone in his office.

After speaking to Sister Rosita and asking her to say a special prayer for Tony, Abby had retreated to the office to make her call. She had mentally counted the fifth ring before someone picked up.

“Hello?”

Abby smiled, instantly recognizing the voice of Jackson Gibbs. “Hello yourself, you handsome devil,” she answered.

“Abby? It’s good to hear your voice, sweetheart!” Jack said.

“Yours too. How have you been?”

“I’ve been doing well.” There was a slight pause before Jack asked, “Abby, where are you at? What’s that noise in the background?”

“Oh, I’m at a bowling alley and I think Sister Rosita just got a strike,” she hastily explained.

“A bowling alley? Why are you at a bowling alley? I’d figure that you’d be at work.”

“I had to use the phone,” Abby said, hoping that Jack would understand the underlying message. Of course, he would. He was just like Gibbs, only older.

“Of course,” he replied.

Abby could almost see Jack’s charming grin as he realized why she wasn’t using her own phone. “So, I hear you have some company. Anyone I know?” she playfully inquired.

“I believe so. Just hang on a minute and I’ll take him the phone.”

“Jack? Is he all right?” She had the feeling that she already knew the answer to her question.

“No,” Jack admitted. “But I do think that hearing from you will make him feel a lot better.”

She could hear Jack saying something to Tony and then it was just a few seconds before she heard Tony’s voice. Gibbs had been right, Tony sounded exhausted.

“Hey Abs,” the weary voice greeted.

“Tony? Oh my gosh! Are you okay?”

Silence. Abby hated silence. “Tony? Are you still there?”

“Yeah, I’m here Abby and no, I’m not okay.”

For Tony to so easily admit that he wasn’t all right, things had to be worse than she originally thought. “Talk to me, Tony,” she pleaded. “Tell me what’s going on.”

“I can’t Abs; not right now. Besides, I don’t think you have that much time,” he quipped.

“Tony, I have all the time in the world for you.”

She heard Tony sigh. Abby wished that she could reach through the phone and embrace her hurting friend. Holding the phone on her shoulder, she wrapped her arms around herself. “I’m sending you a hug, Tony.”

“Thanks Abs,” he whispered. “I needed that.”

“You’re welcome. I’m here and ready to listen.”

Another sigh. “Not right now. Right now, I don’t want to think about my problems. I just…”

“Need a friend?”

“Yeah. I need a friend.”

Abby leaned back in her chair and began talking about anything and everything that didn’t pertain to work or to the real reason Tony was in Stillwater. She would pause long enough to make sure that Tony was still there. Satisfied that he was still listening, she would continue chatting.

If her talking non stop was what it took to get Tony to the point that he felt like opening up, even a little, then she would ramble on all night. Abby refused to give up on Tony. He was more than her colleague; he was like her brother and family looked out for each other.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Director Vance was furious with Gibbs and his team. He had expected Gibbs to ignore his calls, but he had to admit that he was surprised that David and McGee had followed suit. They all knew where DiNozzo was and they obviously were going to great lengths to make sure that he didn’t find out the location of the missing agent.

Gibbs had been right when he had remarked that losing contact with his undercover operative made Vance look bad. Leon had barely been able to appease the SecNav with his excuses, but his peers had not been so easily fooled. Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo was attempting to play him for a fool and he was not going to that happen.

As soon as Gibbs had left, Vance had ordered all of the ex-Marine’s team phones to be monitored. DiNozzo would have to contact one of them soon. He had to give the agent credit; Tony DiNozzo didn’t want to be found and had covered his tracks well.

His phone rang. The caller ID revealed that the SecNav was calling him. Flipping open his phone, he answered, “Yes, sir?”

Vance listened carefully as the SecNav spoke. His superior was informing him of some new information that had come to his attention pertaining to DiNozzo and the undercover operation that he had been involved in. The NCIS Director‘s anger steadily grew as he listened with a forced calmness. When the SecNav was done, all Vance could manage was a terse, “I understand, sir.”

He hung up the phone and poured himself a drink. After quickly downing it, he threw the glass across the room. Vance didn’t flinch as the glass shattered against the wall. Damn DiNozzo! The bust hadn’t gone as planned and he was just finding out about it. The fact that two men had been killed and DiNozzo had not taken the time to inform him of this development infuriated the man even further.

“You better have a good explanation, DiNozzo,” Vance growled, “because you’ll be the one taking the fall.”

A tiny smile danced upon his lips. He now knew how to find out where DiNozzo was hiding and Gibbs would be the one to lead him to the agent. All he had to do was convince Jethro Gibbs that his boy was in danger of losing everything, including his job, his freedom, and his life. Of course, as far Vance was concerned, it wasn’t far from the truth.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Gibbs sat at Abby’s desk going through the emails that Vance had sent Tony. Most of them were short and to the point, consisting of various times followed by one or two words. He assumed that it was some kind of code that only Tony understood. There were also a couple of emails that Vance had forwarded from the SecNav congratulating DiNozzo on a job well done.

He scrubbed his face with his hand and sat back in his chair. When was DiNozzo finding time to pull these undercover operations off? Since Tony had been back from the Seahawk, his team had stayed busy with back to back cases and DiNozzo hadn’t been prone to disappearing like he had when he was working undercover for Jen. How could Tony keep up that pace for so long? It was no wonder that his senior agent sounded completely and utterly exhausted. Gibbs sighed. Hopefully, Tony would provide him with some answers sooner than later.

His phone rang and he flipped it open. “Gibbs.”

“Leroy Jethro Gibbs?” a female voice hesitantly asked.

“Yes.”

“My name is Dr. Katherine Marshall,” she introduced herself. “I’m the doctor here in…”

“Can I call you right back?” Gibbs interrupted.

“I’m not going to take up to much of your time, Mr. Gibbs. I just need to ask you a few questions about…”

“I assure you that I’ll answer your questions to the best of my ability, but I need to call you back. Give me ten minutes.” Hanging up his phone, he pushed himself back from the desk and stood up.

“I’m going for coffee. I’ll be back in a few minutes,” he called back over his shoulder to Ziva and McGee as he headed towards the elevator.

Within a few minutes, he was at his favorite coffee shop, purchasing a prepaid phone card. He went over to the payphone, thankful that the manager of the shop hadn’t taken the payphone out when he had remodeled. Glancing at his cell phone, he quickly memorized Dr. Marshall’s phone number and then entered the card information and the number on the payphone. He wasn’t surprised when the doctor picked up on the first ring.

“I don’t appreciate being cut off like that,” she blurted out.

“I had to switch phones. There wasn’t very good reception where I was,” he lied.

“I could hear you just fine.”

Gibbs blew out a frustrated breath. “What can I do for you, Dr. Marshall? Are you calling about Tony?”

“Yes, I am. You’re listed as his next of kin,” she stated.

“I have been for years, ever since he came to work for me.”

“Then you are familiar with his medical history.”

“Is that a question or a statement, Dr. Marshall?”

“Both,” she coolly replied. “I’ve just been reviewing his medical history and it seems that Mr. DiNozzo has been injured in the line of duty several times.”

“Yes, he has.”

“And he’s suffered a variety of injuries, from a sprained ankle to the pneumonic plague. That’s quite an extensive history.”

“Is there a point to this, Dr. Marshall?” the team leader snapped. “I thought that you would want to inform me about his current medical condition. I don’t need a reminder about DiNozzo’s past medical history; I need to know what’s going on with him now.”

He knew that she probably didn’t welcome his abruptness, but at the moment, he didn’t care. All Gibbs wanted to know was how DiNozzo was doing and what she was doing to help him.

“I’m sure that you spoke with Dr. Mallard and you’re aware of his physical condition. I want him to go to the hospital for some tests and to make sure that I’m not missing something. I thought that perhaps as his next of kin, you could persuade him to go.”

Gibbs smiled. The doctor had discovered Tony’s stubborn streak. “That’s easier said than done, Dr. Marshall.”

“So, I’ve discovered. My main concern is that he could be bleeding internally, either from the bruising or from the ulcer. He also seems to be dehydrated and has lost some weight, which is taxing his system as well.”

He mentally head slapped himself. How could he not notice that Tony was losing weight? Had he been that blind?

“Mr. Gibbs, are you still there?” the doctor inquired.

“Jethro,” he corrected.

“Very well, Jethro.”

“Is he still at my dad’s?”

“Yes. I left him with strict orders to rest. He’s had an eventful day.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s a long story. Right now, I need you to convince him to let me admit him to hospital.”

He sighed in frustration. “I’ll see what I can do, but you have to understand, that I can’t make any promises. When Tony makes up his mind about something, he doesn’t change it so easily.”

“I’m aware of that,” she said. “However, at the rate he’s going, he’s going to end up in the hospital one way or another. I just want to get a handle on his condition before he ends up worse than he already is.”

“I’ll talk to him,” the team leader agreed.

Gibbs took a sip of his coffee that he had purchased earlier and set it down on top of the payphone. “I have a feeling that something else is bothering you, Dr. Marshall.”

“Is it that obvious?”

“I’ve spent most of my life learning how to read people and you seem like you’re hiding something from me. Am I right?”

“You’re very perceptive, Jethro. But, I’d rather not continue this conversation over the phone. How soon can you get to Stillwater?”

The team leader grinned. It seemed that Dr. Katherine Marshall preferred the direct approach as well. “I’ll be there in the morning.”

“I’m looking forward to meeting you, Jethro.”

“Same here.”

Gibbs hung up and took another sip of his coffee. He had wanted to give his senior agent the time to himself that he had asked for, but that was before Gibbs had discovered that Tony was hurt. DiNozzo had a habit of denying that he needed help whenever he was injured or sick, not believing that he was worthy of anyone’s concern. The feeling of inadequacy stemmed from the lessons that Tony’s father pounded into him. He couldn’t begin to count how many times had he heard Tony say something like, “DiNozzo’s don’t pass out; DiNozzo’s don’t get sick; DiNozzo’s don’t cry.”

Pushing these thoughts to the back of his mind, he purchased three more coffees and headed back to Abby’s lab. As he walked down the street, his phone rang. It was Vance. He didn’t want to talk to the Director, but something in his gut told him that he needed to take the call.

“Gibbs,” he answered.

“So, you finally decided to answer my calls,” Vance said.

“I left my phone in the car,” Gibbs replied.

“I guess David and McGee left theirs in the car as well?”

“Something like that.” Annoyed, Gibbs asked, “What do you want, Leon?”

“I just got off the phone with the SecNav. I need to know where DiNozzo is.”

“Why?”

“Because his undercover operation got blown all to hell and I need to know why. Two men are dead and DiNozzo is suddenly missing. It’s in his best interest if you tell me where he is.”

Gibbs clenched his jaw tightly. “I don’t know.”

“Do you realize what kind of trouble your man could be in?” Vance pressed.

“I understand that you’re trying to imply that DiNozzo somehow screwed up the mission and I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong,” he barked.

“Tell me where he is or you’re going to leave me no choice but to suspend you for withholding information pertinent to a case.”

“I’ll leave my badge and gun on your desk, Director Vance.”

Gibbs slammed his phone shut and tossed it in the nearest trashcan. He entered the NCIS building and headed straight for the lab. As he handed Ziva and McGee their coffee, the team leader quickly explained what was going on and made them promise that they would simply lay low and wait for him to contact them.

“I don’t know how long I’ll be,” he said. “Right now, stay under Vance’s radar. He wants to know where Tony is and I need time to sort out whatever is going on. I’ve just approved you two for a week’s vacation, so make yourselves scarce. I’ll call you when Tony’s up to having company. I know what I’m asking is a lot, but…”

Ziva didn’t give him a chance to finish. “Tony is one of us and we always have each other’s backs. He has always had ours; it’s now time for us to watch his.”

“Yeah, Boss,” McGee added. “We all owe him a lot. You can count on us.”

Gibbs patted McGee on the shoulder. “Never doubted it for a minute. Now, get out of here, both of you. I’ll call Abby later and explain what’s going on.”

“Shouldn’t she be back by now?” Ziva wanted to know.

The team leader glanced at his watch. “Nah. Knowing Abby and Tony, they’re just getting started.”

Taking one final look at his team, he realized that although he was always proud of his team, he had never been prouder of them than he was at that moment. “I won’t forget this.”

“Keep in touch, Boss,” McGee said.

“I will.”

Without a backwards glance, Gibbs headed up to the Director’s office. He laid his badge and gun on Leon’s desk and left as quickly as he had entered. Now he wouldn’t have to worry about anyone looking over his shoulder and that should hopefully make things easier for him and for Tony. DiNozzo probably wouldn’t be thrilled to see him, but hopefully the younger man would realize that Gibbs simply wanted to help.

He hadn’t been much of one to pray in the past because he wasn’t convinced that it did any good. Gibbs wasn’t even sure he believed in a higher power any more, but he found himself daring God. “If you’re listening,” he began, “you’ve got to help me get through to DiNozzo. I can’t lose him. I won’t lose him. You’ve taken Shannon and Kelly; I’m not going to let you have my son…Tony. Do you hear me? I won’t lose him!”





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