Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1375
Character(s): Tony DiNozzo
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: Are the actions of Tony's father really as nefarious as everyone seems to think? Or is it just a hurt man trying to protect his son?
Author Notes: The dynamic between Anthony DiNozzo Snr and Tony has intrigued me since I first saw Flesh and Blood. My interest was further piqued when their relationship was further explored in Broken Arrow. Between those two episodes and snippets gained from Season 2's Black Water, and Season 5's Lost and Found about Tony's life... the following is one possible explanation for why things were the way they were...
PS: I will say in advance, this is a late night ramble that I did without the benefit of a Beta...
Tony watched as the private 757 taxied down the runway at Reagan International Airport ready for take off.
On board Anthony DiNozzo Senior would be sat back, relaxed in one of the leather seats – probably across from the owner of the plane, Donald John Trump.
He'd kept his word and gotten his Dad to the airport before noon. A free ride to New York on a luxury private plane. Tony snorted; his dad really did lead a charmed life.
Turning to leave, he let his mind wander back to the conversation they had shortly after arriving at the terminal not forty minutes before…
"Dad, what you said before… about when you filed for bankruptcy? That was true right?"
Anthony DiNozzo Snr met his son eye-to-eye and nodded.
"That would have made me what? Eleven?"
Anthony Snr could see the muscles in his sons jaw working as Tony chewed something over. He could read his son like a book at times – only because it was like reading the pages of his own life. Tony was filtering information through his own memories trying to pin down a fleeting feeling.
"You disowned me about then."
The sudden statement by Tony caught Anthony by surprise. Is that what his son really thought happened?
"Is that what you think happened?"
"Well, yeah Dad! I know it happened! It was all over the school in about three seconds flat!"
Anthony couldn't avoid the stinging slap in Tony's words.
"I never disowned you Junior…"
"Sure as hell didn't seem that way!" Tony mumbled…
"… I disinherited you."
Tony's eyes grew a little wider. "Well thanks for the distinction Dad, I would have never known there was a difference, except that… oh that's right there isn't… either way you look at it… I was cut off!"
Tony was bitter, and Anthony could understand – he would be bitter too if the circumstances had been reversed.
"Junior. From what Gibbs has told me, you're a world-class investigator. How about looking at it from my perspective and work out why I did what I did?" Tony's eyes narrowed. "When your Mother died, my world came crashing down. I didn't know how to be a good father to you without her."
"So you packed me off to boarding school?"
"Like I said, I didn't know what to do. You'd been in boarding school for about eighteen months when everything started to go wrong. Investments collapsed, I made bad decisions, the market went down when I thought it would go up and when up when it should have gone down. I know now I was still grieving for your Mom, and it affected everything about my life." Anthony Snr reached across the table and placed his hand on the back of Tony's. "The real wake up call came when I had to file for bankruptcy. I realised that if something happened to me as things stood that you would be left holding that can. You would inherit all my problems. Junior… I'd lost your Mom; the chance that I could end up screwing your life up for good was too much of a risk – even for me. So…"
"You cut me out of the will…" Tony finished.
Anthony nodded. "It was the best way I could protect you. If you stood to inherit nothing from me, then it would protect what your Mom had left you. They couldn't come after you in the event of anything happening to me. I didn't want to leave you with my mess. You had enough to contend with."
Tony looked down at his father's hand not knowing exactly what to say. Since his Mom died, talking to his Dad had always been a challenge for him. He was always afraid that what he said was going to be wrong somehow. Only now did he realise that for all those years of worrying, his Dad had been feeling the same things too.
"I wrote you back into the will you know?" Anthony commented, catching Tony off guard.
"When do you think?"
Tony frowned, piecing together parts of the jigsaw puzzle that had suddenly become his childhood. More and more parts started to come together giving him an insight into the bigger picture.
"Honolulu! The rich divorcee!"
"Now you're thinking like the investigator Gibbs said you were."
Tony grinned. "You still forgot me."
"I never forgot you Junior." Anthony replied. "I knew you'd be fine. I asked Eduardo to keep an eye on you." He shrugged. "Two days later I had sealed the deal on a new project and I was fiscally buoyant again. As soon as the money came back my direction, I rewrote my will."
"You never told me."
"I know. I did that for two reasons – one was from necessity the other, I'm not particularly proud of." Anthony's voice faded. There were still parts of his actions he didn't want to face.
This time it was Tony who reached over to take his Dad's hand. "Don't clam up on me now Dad. You've come this far… I'm a big boy, I can handle it."
Tears glistened in Anthony's eyes. "I know Son! I know…" He drew in a breath. "I didn't tell you at first because I was ashamed of what I had done to you, and to myself to get over your Mothers death. The loss of the money, the fact I threw myself at anything in a cashed up skirt to try and fix it. I also didn't tell you because I somehow knew that I would probably end up in the same boat in the future – and if you were under the impression that you were going to have fend for yourself that I couldn't let you down if it happened again." He shrugged. "I've re-written that blasted document about fifteen times in the past thirty years. Every time it's been to make sure you were protected."
Anthony looked up into the face of his Son, expecting to see either repulsion that he felt in his own heart or loathing – an emotion he was also to well acquainted with. Instead he was more than a little surprised to see a loving smile on Tony's face.
Before either man could react a pleasant female voice came over the loudspeaker.
"Paging Mr Anthony DiNozzo. Mr DiNozzo, please make your way to your gate, your plane is ready to depart."
Both DiNozzo's looked up at the speakers.
"I've said it before, you really do live a charmed life Dad!" Tony laughed clapping his father on the back.
Anthony gave his Son one final brief hug. "Can you forgive a foolish old man?" Anthony hoped.
Anthony felt his heart race to his throat, then plummet to the pit of his stomach.
"… but I can forgive my Dad." Reaching out, Tony pulled Anthony into a rough embrace. "I love you."
Even with his head nearly buried in his son's shoulder Anthony could still hear the catch in Tony's voice. "I love you too Junior!"
Sniffing slightly Tony let go the embrace. "Now go! I don't wanna have to drive you to the railway 'cause Donald decided to leave without you."
Anthony DiNozzo Snr flashed a toothy smile. "You'll come and see me up in New York?"
"First chance I get Dad."
"I'll hold you to that!"
With a contented look on his face, Tony watched his Dad wave jauntily at him and head down the concourse.
The plane had long since faded into a speck in the sky – but still Tony couldn't pull himself away from the observation deck. Despite the almost constant whine of commercial jet engines, he felt peace for the first time in years and was afraid that if he moved he would lose it.
The hum of his cell against his belt was the only distraction. He flipped it open. "DiNozzo."
"He get off alright?" a familiar voice drawled.
"You two good?"
"Yeah Boss, I think we are"
"Good t'hear DiNozzo." Gibbs said with uncharacteristic softness. "Now get your ass back here. Dead sailor at Rock Creek Park."
Tony grinned. "On it Boss."
Maybe Anthony DiNozzo Senior wasn't the only one to have a charmed life after all.