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Pacino's Way

by: Azar (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 005 Word Count: 3259
Rating: TEEN
Character(s): Tony DiNozzo, Ensemble
Category(ies): Character Study
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: Five things Tony believes in.

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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I. Family

Tony first saw The Godfather when he was nine years old, sleeping over at his best friend Jimmy Mitchell's house. Jimmy's dad was watching The Godfather Saga on TV and didn't even hear them sneak into the room.

He still remembers, as clearly as if it were yesterday, standing there in his white socks and powder-blue pajamas with little anchors all over them, wide-eyed and breathless as the flickering light from the TV the only light in the room cast multicolored shadows on the walls and everything else into silhouette.

Tony came away from that night with two lifelong impressions: that family always comes first, and that Al Pacino was a god.

Mama would've been horrified if she'd known that the Mitchells had let him watch the movie. Not because of the violence: Tony saw plenty of that at home, when drink, some imagined slight or a combination of both had put his father into a particularly foul mood. No, Mama's complaint, even though she never saw the movie and never intended to, was the way it portrayed Italians. She was always worrying about that: no book, movie or TV show, no star of stage, screen or song was ever good enough for her if she thought for one second that they gave Italians a bad name. And according to Mama, The Godfather made all Italians look like criminals.

The irony was, of course, that Mama wasn't Italian. But she'd married an Italian, so apparently that was enough. She was loyal. She would never do to Papa what Kay had done to Michael: to a young Tony, that was all that mattered.

It would take years and his parents' bitter divorce for Tony to understand how little his father deserved that kind of loyalty: a realization that shook his worldview at its foundations. When Papa disowned him for having the audacity to want to become a cop instead of something more worthy of a DiNozzo and Mama died a few years later, Tony found himself rootless, cut off from the thing that had defined him for most of his life. He bounced from job to job: always restless, always afraid to put down new roots for fear they would be ripped out or cut off all over again.

And then, one day in 2001, only a few months before the world shifted for everyone, along came Gibbs, bringing Abby and Ducky and Vivian Blackadder and eventually Kate, McGee and Ziva too along with him.

It didn't take Tony long to realize that some ties were thicker even than blood. That family still came first, but sometimes family had nothing to do with genetics.

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Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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