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Help, I Need Somebody

by: BuffyAngel68 (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 041 Word Count: 76064
Rating: MATURE
Warning(s): Disturbing Imagery or Content, Other (See Author's Note)
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Abby Sciuto, Timothy McGee, Ensemble
Category(ies): Alternate Universe, Angst/Drama, Episode Related, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Pairing(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo, Abby/McGee
Episode(s): 3-12 Boxed In
Summary: My version of where Tony might have ended up after the crappy treatment he received in Boxed In. This is a bit dark, but I have to go with the muse and this is what she provided. The thought woke me up crying, as a matter of fact. Triple Kleenex warning...

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9

Help, I Need Somebody 9/?

--------------------------

FOLLOWING MORNING: BETHESDA

When Dr, Lewiston entered Tony's room just after breakfast the next morning, he found Tony sitting up on his bed, his functional arm wrapped around his bent knees. The young man appeared somber and contemplative, as he'd expected. Tony, however, did have a major surprise in store for his therapist.

"Morning, Tony."

"Hey."

"The nurse told me you ate well. Are you feeling a little better physically?"

"Some. The stitches are starting to itch, and that's usually a good sign."

"It is. I'm glad to hear that. Do you think you're ready to cut down on the pain meds?"

Tony lit up.

"Hell, yes."

"I love seeing that smile. Okay, I'll let the nursing staff know to start reducing it gradually. You've got a ways to go on the antibiotics though. Those you'll have to stay full schedule on until Dr. Harris says you're fully healed."

"I understand. I don't have to like it... but I understand."

"Nobody likes them, but they're a necessary evil and stopping them before the course is finished can mean serious problems the next time you get sick or hurt."

"I know, I know. Been there, done that. Look... can we change things up today? Is that doable?"

"Absolutely. How?"

"I... I need to talk a few things out... but I need you not to comment until I ask you to. Alright?"

"That's fine. Start whenever you're ready."

For a long moment, Tony was silent, simply drawing and expelling deep breaths, as if he were preparing to attempt a free-dive for the first time. Eventually, he settled his gaze on the far wall and began to speak.

"What I wanted to talk about is alcohol... and anger. See, over the past few years, I've been doing some research and I know that it isn't necessarily specific addictions that are hereditary. It's the addictive personality that can get passed on. Still, there's the ' learn what you live, live what you learn ' thing... Talking about my past so much, it's stirred up memories I wish had stayed buried... mostly about my father. Last night I lay awake for hours, going over and over things I've done... moments I really regret. I realized that as much as I've tried not to become him... that's where I'm headed if I don't do something."

Tony paused for another round of slow breaths and Lewiston stayed quiet, as much as he wanted to help erase the anguished, lost expression on Tony's face. He knew the young man might be about to open some very painful doors and any interruption now could cause him to decide they'd be better off shut and triple locked.

"My father was addicted to booze and fury... I've known that for a long time. Back in the day, that meant dear old pops had a big dilemma. There he was, a major name in the corporate world, but he was also a rage-aholic. He couldn't afford to lose it out where his cronies or the media might see, so he brought it home. Me, he just threatened and scared the hell out of. My mom was the one who got his fists and backhands. I remember... most nights I used to pray for him to start drinking instead of her. It sounds weird, I know, but alcohol mellowed him out. The fights only really happened when *she* drank. See, when she got plastered, that was the only time she had the courage to try and get out from under his thumb... the only time she wasn't his ideal wife. He couldn't stand that. I've since learned that some rage addicts explode because their need for total control is overwhelming. That level of... of perfection is something they can never achieve, though... especially not in the people closest to them. That's why their families are the ones who usually get hurt when the addict blows."

Tony paused again, running his fingers through his hair and shifting position to stretch limbs that were going numb. When he resettled finally, he was sitting with his legs over the side of the bed and his gaze was now riveted to the floor.

"I know, all that was the *extreme* long way around to get to the point... but I do have one. I swore to myself I'd never become the son of a bitch my father was and I'd never be a drunk... like most kids in that situation do, I guess. Thinking about the past few months of my life, though... I'm suddenly scared shitless. The one moment that's really throwing up a red flag is an undercover assignment I was on a few weeks back. I can't give you details, but I'll tell you what you need to know to understand. I went in with another agent, a woman. The assignment got twisted and off course, and we ended up back to back, tied into our chairs. Total cliché, I know, but true. Anyway, I knew my partner could handle herself, but not if she wasn't free, so I told the black hats that only she knew where we'd hidden the item they wanted. One of the two bad guys took her to go get it... and the other one... he left off beating the living hell out of me and pulled out this huge knife."

Hearing about the beating made Lewiston's anxiety step up another notch. Not speaking and not comforting Tony became even harder to resist, but he continued to hold back, sensing the story was close to an end.

"I saw it... and I knew I was done if I didn't change things. From that point on... that's where it gets really scary for me, because... I don't remember anything else until my partner and Gibbs busted in. It's not like I blocked out the memory... I think I'd feel different if that was the case. That few minutes just... doesn't exist in my head. According to Gibbs, when he and Ziva showed up I had the second suspect trapped between the beds in this hotel room. I was still tied to the chair, but I managed to find a way to kick the bastard into unconsciousness, apparently. I found out later he was in a coma for three days. It's so weird... I mean, I remember seeing the knife... and feeling this mixture of fear and anger flood over me. Then I was standing over a motionless man and telling Gibbs something about a divorce... probably because Ziva was driving me crazy. That night I went home, flushed the pain pills Ducky gave me... and drank until I passed out. Thank God I had a couple days off thanks to my injuries, because the next morning... I couldn't move. I managed to lean over and barf into my bedside trashcan a few times, but that was about it."

For several minutes, silence finally reined in the room, though the words that had been spoken left the atmosphere feeling oppressive and tense. At last, Tony looked up and directly into his doctor's eyes. "Okay. Your turn."

Instantly, Lewiston was beside Tony on the bed, touching his shoulder gently and turning the young man to face him.

"First off... wow. When you said you wouldn't be holding much back you really meant it. That had to be incredibly difficult for you to talk about... and you were incredibly courageous to put it out there. I'm very proud of you for risking yourself like that, especially considering how often you've been betrayed and hurt. Second, what happened to you in that hotel is a rage blackout. That's what I call it at least. I'll admit it does concern me, but we'll work on it another time. Right now, I want to discuss the points you raised. You're right about addiction. We think it's the susceptibility that gets passed on, but environment definitely influences what direction a child of addiction might go when they get tempted. In your case, I'm not too worried about you following in your father's footsteps. Your awareness and understanding of addiction, and his motives specifically, make it much less likely that will happen."

"But... the hotel, and what I did after..."

"Mitigating circumstances in both instances."

"But..."

"Tony, have you ever been so angry you hurt someone close to you? Your co-workers or friends?"

"No."

"Has drinking ever seriously affected your work? Have you ever come in drunk or had a hangover so bad that you couldn't do your job?"

"No. I faked a few hangovers... just to keep up appearances, but the few times I've screwed up at work, it had nothing to do with booze."

"Then you aren't in trouble yet and I don't think you ever will be. As I said, the blackout isn't exactly a good sign, but we'll talk about it. Once we both understand why it really happened, I can help you develop strategies to keep it from happening again. I tell you what. You took such an amazing step this morning... how would you like a reward?"

Tony studied Lewiston warily.

"Like?"

"Half an hour in the sunroom."

"What? I'm not ready yet. It's only been a few days... what if... I told you the feelings that put me here aren't gone. I could freak out. I really could. You understand that right?"

"I trust you to talk to me if you get overwhelmed. You deserve this, Tony, and I'll be with you every minute."

Tony stood and tugged Lewiston up with his good hand then began to straighten the blankets, sheets and pillows. "What is it, Tony? What's scaring you?"

"Nothing... not really. I just like it in here. It's nice. Kind of bland with all the white and beige... but nice."

"You mean it's safe."

"That too."

"I'm not shoving you out the hospital doors today, Tony. Eventually, you will have to face the world again, but all I'm suggesting right now is a little sun."

Tony sighed and abandoned his attempt at neatening the bed.

"Sometimes I think I'm really strong... then something knocks me on my ass and I'm drowning in doubt all over again. It sucks..."

"You are strong. My God, do you think a weak man could have admitted the things you did today? Not in a million years. C'mon. Session's over. Let's go catch some rays and relax, hmm?"

"You won't leave?"

"I won't leave."

"Okay."

Wrapping one arm around Tony's shoulders, Lewiston led him slowly to the door. He opened it and waited for his patient to decide he was ready to move beyond the threshold. It took several minutes, but Tony eventually shuffled forward a single step, blinking in the brighter light of the corridor. Joining him, Lewiston smiled and lightly squeezed the young man's shoulder.

"Alright?"

"So far."

When they made to the sunroom and dropped side by side onto a window seat, Tony closed his eyes and turned his face up to the warmth and natural light streaming through the glass. The other man gave him a few minutes to unwind then asked a question designed to take Tony's mind completely away from any thought of the stress he'd been under for so long.

"So... what's your favorite ice cream?"

"You're Barbara Walters now? If I were a tree, I'd be an oak." Tony replied, never turning away from the sunlight.

"Ice cream."

"Do I have to pick just one?"

"I can't bring ten different bowls with your dinner tonight, now can I? The staff nutritionist would have me drawn and quartered."

Tony grinned.

"Rocky Road."

"Appropriate."

"And delicious."

-----------------------------------

10:00 THAT NIGHT: MTAC

"You ready, McGee?'"

"Anytime you are, boss."

"Atta-boy. Do it now."

Once again, Tim typed and punched a button and the screen above Gibbs came to life. The face was the same one as before, but the status-quo didn't last long. After a brief greeting, his former contact stepped aside and a new man took his place. Silver hair shone from his temples, while the rest remained a glossy black, and his proud bearing told Gibbs that this was the man he had hoped to see.

"Director David. I appreciate this."

"As well you should. What is this news you have concerning my daughter?"

--------------------------------

TBC......

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