A/N: I'm baaaack, finally I finished my exams. Hopefully the updates will be a lot quicker now. Thanks for the great reviews. This a little long to compensate my long absence. Enjoy!!
''Tell him Abs…Tell him…Just tell him'' Tony said between clenched teeth as his own tears fled from his eyes. He was in much pain, but he needed Gibbs to know what happened. He needed someone to tell him that everything was going to be ok. That it was not too late.
Abby took a deep breath as she tried to control her sobs and tears for Tony's sake. She looked into his dark frozen green eyes, still holding his hand is hers.
''Ok Tony, I'll tell him, but I do not want you to do what you did the first time you told me about it'' Abby said as she ran soothing circles with her thumb through Tony's hand. She looked at his face hoping to get any response out of him.
Gibbs watched the silent plea in Abby's eyes and did not understand what was happening. Tony must've done something really bad to make Abby that concerned. He wanted to ask her what Tony did but figured that now that Tony gave her permission to tell him, she would tell him everything, eventually.
Tony's face still seemed passive and cold, his eyes still dark and unreadable. But Gibbs spotted the squeeze Tony gave to Abby's hand.
''Okay , Tony but you promised now'' Abby said as more tears slide down her face and she continued '' and do not you dare break that promise and go into that mood again. You're already hurt enough'' she said and more tears stained her pale face.
Gibbs gave her shoulder a squeeze to let her know that she does not have to take care of Tony alone anymore. He needed to know what Tony did when he told the story, but he needed to know the story itself first.
''Whenever you're ready Abbs'' Gibbs said still holding her shoulder, he knew that Abby and Tony both needed physical contact. As much as comforting words may seem, both of them needed to communicate with others and get assured through that physical contact.
Tony needed head slaps to know that someone still wanted him and Gibbs delivered. As much as Gibbs did not like scolding his agent in that way, he knew that it was the only was to make feel wanted and needed by others.
And Abbs, she always needed hugging and close proximity to get comfortable. As much as people saw Abby the cheerful, self-confident Goth that she was, she had her own insecurities as much as DiNozzo. She would only feel people's love by getting a hug every now and then.
Now he was holding Abbs's shoulder to assure her that she was not alone and she, by turn, she was holding Tony's right hand in hers.
Abby wiped the tears that still stained her beautiful pale face and took a deep breath and said '' okay, here we go''
Gibbs shifted his looks every now and then between Abby and Tony to make sure they both seemed okay.
''Tony…Tony told me that his depression is only caused by one thing, he assured me that work never affects his mood nor does it even in the slightest cause him that state.'' Abby was talking slowly fearing to reach the goal from this whole story. She wanted to give Tony time to prepare himself for the vicious memories to come back.
Gibbs listened patiently as he knew how Abby was avoiding the main reason for their conversation.
''when Tony five…five years old'' Abby started the real story as she felt a lump in her throat and tried to hold her tears while she told Gibbs what happened.
''His…his mother died in a hit and run accident. He was with her the day she died, he…he did not know what to do. He was only a small child''.
Abby could not prevent her own tears anymore. She squeezed Tony's hand and wiped the single tear that fled his icy green eyes ''They were half way crossing the street when a speeding car was approaching them rapidly and the traffic lights were red, his mother lifted him in her arms and ran, but could not make it through the long street, it was only a few seconds and she barely managed to pick up Tony in her hands.''
A sob escaped her throat as she tried to control herself for Tony's sake. Gibbs was just shocked but waited for the rest of the story to come. He squeezed her shoulder assuring her that he was still there and at the same moment Abby tightened her grip around Tony's hand as Tony held hers tightly as he listened to his story life being retold.
He could recall everything as if it was being replayed in a movie in front of him. He held Abby's hand tighter; he did not want to sink back in those dark memories alone.
Abby took a deep calming breath and continued '' Tony's mother, Gabriella was her name by the way Gibbs, a very beautiful name if you ask me'' Abby said looking at Gibbs and her eyes lit up a bit.
Gibbs knew exactly what Abby was trying to do, she needed a let out, she needed to ramble , but it was not time for ramblings yet.
''Abbs'' Gibbs cleared his throat
''Sorry Gibbs. Okay, Gabriella tried to lessen the impact from Tony's small body, so she turned her back to the car as it hit her and hugged Tony's small body tightly close to her chest''
A small whimper escaped the stiff body sitting on the bed; Gibbs could tell how hard it should be for Tony to see his mother die this way.
''I'm sorry Tony, I really am, I'm sorry to bring it back'' Abby started to apologize repeatedly when she saw how Tony's passive face was starting to express the pain he felt. It was becoming too much for him.
''It's…it's okay, Just…just…just…just to tell him'' Tony whispered between his clenched teeth, again as he tried to fight against his own rebellious and stiff body. His body was giving him much insufferable pain. He had to tell Gibbs, to let him know the reason, to let his father in.
''Okay Tony. The driver that hit them continued driving without even checking if any of them was still alive. Gabriella hit her head and her back and had an internal bleeding. She held Tony's fragile body close to her body even when she went unconscious….''
Gibbs did not guess he would ever hear a more saddening story than the one of Shannon and Kelly and how they were killed in cold blood by a drug dealer. Now he was rethinking how people could be so cruel. He never figured that Tony had such a bad experience as this one. He always knew from the different hints that his father ill-treated him, but never had he known anything about his mother. How I ever missed that before?
As Gibbs went on his own reverie, he never expected he would ever witness what happened next. He never thought he would ever see Abby, his girl, do what she was about to do.
A small gasp was heard from the stiff body sitting on the bed. Tony was having difficulty inhaling oxygen even with the oxygen mask over his face. All sorts of machines started to make noises and different warnings.
Abby immediately moved from standing beside Gibbs and then sat on the bed her face inches away from Tony's own bluish reddening face. Her own pale face turned red as she started yelling at the top of her lung at the choking stiff body in front of her'' Tony, do not you dare do that again. Do not you dare leave me again, do you hear me? DO YOU HEAR ME?''
''TONY, DO NOT YOU DARE BREAK YOUR PROMISE, YOU PROMISED'' Abby yelled more at the gasping figure while Gibbs could not even register what was happening to take action.
Abby was looked hysteric but Gibbs knew that that was the only way to convince Tony not to give up on his own life. He stood on the other side of the bed trying to comfort Tony; he knew he had a bad experience as a child to lose his mother that way but what made him give up like that, what is it that made a one lively life-loving agent to turn to that depressed and desperate man sitting in front of him.
Tony did not respond to either Abby's shouts or Gibbs comforting words. Then Abby made the unthinkable. She yelled at Tony one last time saying ''TONY DO NOT YOU DARE BREAK YOUR PROMISE, AND LEAVE ME HER ALONE'' then she slapped his cheek hard.
The minute the hard slap met Tony's face, both Gibbs and Tony gasped. Gibbs could not even believe what Abby did. That was too much even for the famous Leroy Jethro Gibbs to see the most loving and caring person in the world turn that vicious. He even backed half a step before he realized it.
Tony, on the other hand, was having another trail of thoughts. He was just reliving one of his old terrors again; his mother's death only a reminder of the torture he had to endure after she died. It was getting too much for him. He could almost feel the pain his body went through back in those dark times.
That's too much; I'm dispensable, why would someone need me. That's it Tony decided as his lungs was starting to shut down from the lack of oxygen, before his depressing thoughts were cut by the loud shrieks of Abby demanding him to keep his promise.
He heard her pleading for him not to leave her alone again. He could also hear Gibbs comforting voice telling him that he would never give up on him, that he had his six. He could feel a hand being replaced on his back trying to assure him.
The next thing he felt was a sharp slap on his face. It took him a second to register what happened and he gasped as his eyes turned alive again as he looked at the reddening angry face in front of him. He saw the concern in her eyes. He realized the love she had for him and the concern she felt for him.
He would not do that to her. He would not put her again through that misery. He took a deep gulp of air and allowed the oxygen back to his suffocating lungs.
His eyes were still fixed on her face as small sobs started to escape her mouth. The strength she found to prevent him from going back where she cannot get him back was gone. She was starting to lose the power that made her slap his cheek in a full panic attack.
Her body shake as she realized how close Tony was to dying, again. She cried hard still sitting in front of Tony never breaking the eye-contact with Tony's eyes. She realized how her slap had waked him out of his old memories. Still, she felt guilty for slapping him, his cheek was already turning red and it would leave a mark. She felt Gibbs behind her giving her a squeeze to her shoulder, to let her know that he was there if she needed a hug, while still holding Tony's shoulder with his other hand.
She watched Tony's green eyes and how they turned alive the minute her hand connected with his cheek. He gave her the same look the last time she pulled him out of his torturing memories. She knew what he meant by that look.
She cupped his face in both her hands to force him to keep his eye-contact with her and said '' Tony…Tony you did nothing wrong, you…you'' Abby chocked as more tears ran down her face ''Just do not do that to me again, I almost lost you Tony''
A small whimper escaped the stiff face she held in her hand. '' Tony, Tony you matter. You're not dispensable'' Abby knew where Tony's thoughts were going.
A small sob came from the figure sitting in front of her.
Immediately Abby held Tony's tighter in her hands as she tried to keep eye-contact with him'' Tony…Tony listen to me. You ARE needed, you ARE Indispensable, you matter…''
More soft sobs came from the rigid face she held in her hands and a single tear escaped his green eyes. Tony never thought that anyone cared for him. His own father convinced him that the world would be a better place without him in it.
He knew Abby cared, but he did not know that she would do all of that for him. He could still feel Gibbs assuring hand on his shoulder, not firm or loose, just like he always did, gentle when needed. He never thought that someone would ever love him again the day his father told him that he was just a piece of garbage and no one will ever care for him. He sobbed; he did not believe that Abby would fight for him like that.
As if Abby knew what Tony was thinking of she said '' You matter to ME Tony, You matter to Gibbs'' she said as she held his face tighter in her hands as if to confirm her statement. She could also see Gibbs tightening his grip on Tony's shoulder.
''You matter to us Tony, you matter, you matter'' Abby repeated as more small sobs escaped Tony. She knew his past and his dark stories and how a long damage that his father did would not heal totally in the few years he worked in NCIS.
She would have killed his father and left any forensic evidence behind, if it was not for his weak state he gets in whenever his father is mentioned and how he asked her to leave it along and that the bastard did not deserve her dirtying her hands, he was just not worth it.
''You matter Tony, so please do not do that to us again. Please Tony, please, please, please do not let me go through this again, please''
''Sorry…sorry…sorry Abby'' Tony started repeating his apology over and over as an apologizing look was gracing his sad green eyes.
''It's ok Tony. Just do not give up again, ever'' Abby ordered gently and then kissed his forehead before climbing down from the bed.
The next thing Gibbs felt as he had watched the interaction happening in front of him was the crushing hug Abby engulfed him in. he would not admit it, but he needed that hug as much as Abbs did. He was stressed as much as she was.
He kissed her forehead and whispered some assurances in her ears before parting from their embrace.
Gibbs then leaned and looked deeply into his agent's green eyes. He knew that Tony needed his words now more than ever. His expressions softened as he talked '' You matter to me Tony, as a son, you're the son that I always wanted and never had'' he patted Tony's cheek before standing straight again, and was met with another crushing hug from Abby. She always communicated her feelings through her hugs and she knew when people needed it too.
''Thank you Gibbs, it means a lot to him'' Abby's muffled voice said as she kept holding into Gibbs.
He patted her on the back for a minute before she released him.
As much as he hated it, Gibbs needed to know the rest of the story. He needed to be able to comfort Tony. He needed to know the reason behind his misery and finish it for him.
''Now, let's continue with what happened. Now, Abby you have to be strong for Tony, and Tony we're here for you. Okay?'' Gibbs stated as her turned to the boss role again.
Abby nodded her head and both she and Gibbs gave Tony a gentle squeeze to his hand and shoulder.
Wow, that was a long one. Liked it? Need more?