Disclaimer: I don't own the characters that appear on the TV show. They are all owned by Belisarius Productions and CBS. The original characters that appear in this story are all mine. I own them, but if anyone wants to borrow them I have no problem with that. I also disclaim the song Breaking The HabitbyLinkin Park. I so don't own the song. Otherwise I would be rolling in money, which I might point out. I am not!
A/N: This story comes after I watched a You Tube video called Ziva and Tony – JealousyIt actually doesn't have anything to do with that vid at all but I liked the song Breaking The HabitbyLinkin Park so I thought I would try and weave the song into the story somehow. This is my first real glimpse at Tony's dad and his life. Why Tony is sore at his dad. Why his dad drinks himself stupid all the time. Why his dad is breaking the habit for Tony. Tony comes to the house to ask his dad's advice about a particular person. Can you guess whom? Slight Tiva. One-shot!
The Ford Mustang purred along steadily into the upper class district of New York. The music from the vehicle could be heard blaring outside. The driver was making no move to turn it down as he drove into the quiet neighbourhood he now entered.
I don't know what's worth fighting for
Or why I have to scream
I don't know why I instigate
And say what I don't mean
I don't know how I got this way
I know it's not alright
So I'm Breaking the habit Tonight.
The car swung around the corner as if the driver was thrashing it for some reason or another. The music was still blaring out of the car as it turned the corner and headed in the direction of the last house on the particular street.
I'll paint it on the walls
'Cause I'm the one at fault
I'll never fight again
And this is how it ends.
The Mustang pulled up in the driveway. It slowed as it neared the house. Parking in a spot some way away from the main entrance, the song finishing as the figure opened the door.
I don't know what's worth fighting for
Or why I have to scream
But now I have some clarity
To show you what I mean
I don't know how I got this
I'll never be alright
So I'm Breaking the habit
Breaking the habit Tonight...
The engine cut out and Anthony DiNozzo climbed out the car. He slammed the door shut. He looked around at the big house he had once called home. His features were restless as he walked up the pebbled driveway to the main entrance of the house. He climbed the steps, zipping up his casual leather jacket as he climbed. He quickly ran his hand through his hair. Even now at the age of thirty-two, he felt he had to look presentable for the old man. He rang the doorbell, taking a step back when someone appeared at the door. Tony relaxed as the door opened and Stafford, the family butler, appeared. "Mr Anthony, welcome, sir."
Tony nodded to the butler as he walked through the door. "Hey Doug, where can I find Papa!"
Douglas Stafford's face broke into a thin smile. Tony was always casual when it came to him and any of the hired attendants whenever he arrived home. That didn't usually happen. The last time Stafford remembered Tony being here was when he had finished college. He had had a fight with his father over something trivial. But for Stafford that was really none of his business. "You will find him in the drawing room, sir." Stafford nodded in the direction of the drawing room.
"Drinking is he?" Tony asked contemptuously as his head turned towards the drawing room.
Stafford shook his head eyes wide at the suggestion. "No, sir." Tony's eyebrows rose and the butler continued, "He's reading a book…I think it was a Tom Clancy... No Remorse or was it The Hunt for Red October, I forget, sir!"
"Thanks, Doug." Tony walked down the hallway to the door of the drawing room. Opening the door, he was surprised by the light coming from within the room. Tony's memory of the drawing room was that it had been damp and dank. Not since his Mother's passing when he was ten had he noted that it was warm and filled with life. Tony's eyes roved the room. The pianoforte was repaired. There were lots of books on the shelves. Jazz was playing in the background from a new Bose sound system in the corner. His father had always liked Sinatra, Martin and even Bing. "Not too worried about the electric bill, huh?" Tony said loudly as he gazed at the warm fireplace.
A figure that Tony hadn't noticed sitting on a lounge suite turned and rose. Marco DiNozzo was a man of sixty-four. His hair was black, but there was a lot greyer then Tony remembered. His dark brown eyes always penetrated your body, unless he was drunk of course. His build was slightly bigger than Tony's and yet he was an inch shorter than his son. Marco's unshaven five o'clock shadow was now growing grey like his hair.
"Anthony!" Marco exclaimed with pleasure that Tony hadn't heard in his voice for a long time.
"Hi Papa," Tony replied, slightly embarrassed. Marco walked over to his son, embracing him as any traditional Italian father would. He kissed Tony on both cheeks. Marco stepped back to look at Tony. Tony, for the first time, noticed the glisten of tears in the older man's eyes.
"What are you doing here?" Marco asked as he and Tony walked back to the lounge suite.
Tony sat down on the lounge, his eye catching a glass of brown liquid on the table in front of his father. "You haven't given up your binge drinking I see!"
His father looked down at the glass he smiled. "That's not alcohol, Anthony!"
"What is it then, Papa?" Tony voice filled with accusation.
"That, my son, is iced tea!" Marco smiled at Tony. "I can get Stafford to get you one."
Tony eyed his father across from him. Tony lent over and picked up the glass and sniffed. Tea and a hint of lemon assailed his nostrils. He placed the glass down on the table. "Since when have you given up drinking? Since when have you cared to repair the house?" Tony asked, looked around.
Marco shook his head. "Your Aunt Lisa didn't tell you when she came up to Washington last year. I made her promise not to tell you." Tony looked at him suspiciously. Marco went on. "I had a heart attack last year just after Thanksgiving. It was minor and so I made your aunt promise that when she saw you she would say nothing." Marco pressed a button on the settee to call Stafford.
A moment later the butler appeared by the fireplace as quiet as a cat. "You paged me, sir?"
"I had a heart attack did I not?" Marco asked Stafford. Tony looked at Stafford, the butler never lied. It was his job to satisfy his boss. Stafford nodded his head. Marco smiled at his son. "The doctor informed me that if I was to spend more of my life here on this earth, I would need to exercise, stop drinking and eat healthy. I have not touched a drop of liquor in a year now!" Marco turned to Stafford. "Please bring another glass for Anthony!"
"Yes. sir," Stafford nodded and departed.
Marco looked at Tony. "You know why I did it?"
Tony shook his head. All this news had softened him in seconds after hearing it. His father had had a heart attack and he had been left in the dark. "No." Tony looked at the old man, not just an old drunk that he didn't want anything to do with, his father, Marco DiNozzo, a good man underneath. "Why didn't you tell me?"
His father lent forward. "Because, my son, you hated me!" Tony grimaced as his father hammered the perfect reason into his soul. It was true. Tony wouldn't have come even if he had been told. "Because I had been drinking since your Mother died. You would have let me die if I had been dying." Tony was about to speak, but his father held up his hand. "You want to know why I drank all those years when I should have taught you what was right?"
Tony, whose head had been hanging, in shame looked up. "Yes, Papa, why did you drink so much?"
"This is not a good answer, but it is the truth." Marco hung his head in shame. "I drank because I could not live without your mother." Tony looked at him and his father ploughed on. "You see, when a man gets married he gives his heart to that one special woman and vice versa. When your mother died, it was almost like my heart had been ripped from my chest and the only way I could cope was to dull my mind. I was not easy, you were around which always reminded me of her. It was far easier when I sent you to boarding school, and remarried half a dozen times." Tony slouched back, allowing all this new information to absorb itself. Stafford returned with the drink, placing it on the table.
Tony's father continued as Tony sipped at the cool ice tea in front of him. "When the doctors told me that I would quiet surely die if I didn't stop drinking. You see not only did I have a close call with the heart attack, at the same time they found I had almost reached the point of no return with liver failure."
"You're okay now though, aren't you?" Tony asked, concern now filling his voice.
Marco nodded to his son. "Yes, Anthony, I am going to be fine. Now, however, I want you when I pass on to have a pristine house down here. I also want to be around long enough to see my grandchildren walking around this house at some point."
Tony looked at him, embarrassed as his father spoke the last words. "I actually want to talk to you about something along those lines."
His father raised an eyebrow with surprise. "Oh, yes!"
"Her name is Ziva," Marco grinned at his son as Tony told his father about Ziva. "Ziva, she's…" Tony thought about her as she washed over his consciousness. "She's hot, sexy, flirtatious, those beautiful brown eyes just absorb you."
Marco raised an eyebrow. "Sorry Papa." Tony grew serious, "She sometimes she makes me crazy, other times I wish I could just take her in my arms and hold onto her, and just kiss her for the hell of it. The feelings I have for her are insatiable, I've never felt this way anyone before."
Marco had grinned as Tony told the whole story. His first meeting with Ziva, his undercover operation and numerous other events. Tony told him about all his previous history before Ziva, of all the one-night stands that he had had with numerous women. So many that he had forgotten how many actually. Tony explained about Gibb's rules, in particular, rule number twelve.
At the end of his explanation, Tony took a deep breath. "So you see, Papa, I can't talk to Gibbs because of his frigging rules. I am not going to talk to the Director because she could very well tell Gibbs. McGee is definitely out! So this is why I have come to you!"
"Does she love you?" His father asked, quite seriously.
Tony looked at him, his eyes alight with truth that was perceived. "I think so, Papa. Sometimes she looks at me differently to the rest of the team, almost as if she wants to tell me..."
"Do you love her?" Marco DiNozzo interrupted his son.
Tony looked down at the ground as his Father's gaze met him. His father wanted the truth. Tony cleared his throat. "Yes, Papa!"
"Then my only advise is that you break your habit of these flings you have," his father conceded. "Otherwise you will forever be unfaithful to her and destroy her heart along with your own."
"You speaking out of experience, Papa." Tony grinned at his father.
Marco ignored the jibe about his ex-wives, and then turned to Tony gravely. "Well, then if she is the one then all I can suggest is that you give your heart over to her. Because if you don't, your heart will be torn away. It is better to give it willingly then to turn into a copy of ones own father."
"But you had your heart torn from your chest Papa," Tony said worriedly, "Mum died!"
"Yes, but I have made my peace, that was something I should have done long ago. I am breaking the habit by drinking this," Marco said, lifting his glass of ice tea towards his son. "And you, my Anthony, are nothing like me!"
A/N: Okay this might not be the whole truth to Tony's life, but it's my interpretation of it. If I was too brief with the Tiva let me know. I want to get this right.