As usual I don't own the characters, sigh.

Basically this is my own version of what Tony may have been thinking after Boxed in, I must say he looked rather hurt when I re-watched the episode. Warnings for a lot of angst and maybe a few scenes/mentions of abuse. I will get round to my other stories as soon as possible and I do have a new idea too but I'm not going to post that until it is done. This just wanted to be written, I'm not sure where this is going to go yet but please to let me know what you think. The title is completely random lol it sounded very cool.

A Failing Optimism

So, there it was, he had been excluded by the people he had come to trust, people who had become closer than his real family ever had. When had that happened, he wondered. Years ago he had told himself that nobody was going to get that close again and he meant nobody. He couldn't afford to take the chance; they would only hurt him anyway. Somehow, this time he had believed them when they seemed to care, believed them when they said they were his friends, even believed Gibbs. That was what hurt the most; the person he trusted the most had been apart of what was slowly eating away at his well built defences. He knew that in some way it must have been his fault, wasn't it always?

He couldn't have stopped the brief look of hurt that crossed his face, but like always his ever optimistic-carefree nature came back in full force, along with his defence mechanism and they had bought it as well. Sometimes he wished that people would look beyond the surface, maybe that's what hurt the most. It was like they didn't even care, and hadn't seen the look of hurt. But of course though, everything was just peachy in DiNozzo's world, they thought they knew him so well. He thought that Gibbs was good at reading him, he had been in the past, but now he hadn't even looked up from his desk. Not one look, one gesture to make sure he was okay, just nothing. Tony berated himself for the pathetic thought that people may care about him, now he knew where he stood on Gibbs' team, he wasn't needed. His own father was right, he was worthless.

What the hell was he going to do now? Could he even face work tomorrow knowing that they thought the same as his father? Would they care if he was gone? He sighed and rolled over on his bed, dim pain flared up his injured arm, at least something hurt rather than the numb feeling that had been festering. He could almost hear his father's angry tone, telling him that it was only a matter of time before he screwed up again, just like in Baltimore and Philadelphia. What was making the decision to leave so hard this time? Of course he knew why, he cared about them in his own way but damn it he cared and he couldn't help but hope they cared a little.

He laughed a little too forcefully at the word he had used often. Hope. Ever since he was little he had hoped that someone would care enough to notice him. Why did everyone think he was just trying to get attention? He laughed again, because that's what he had been doing too, trying to get attention in anyway possible in hope that someone would acknowledge his presence. Then there was the hope that he would never, ever disappoint Gibbs. That, would be worse than getting yelled at and worse than just getting a head slap for getting off track. He knew that if he did ever manage to disappoint Gibbs, then Gibbs would most likely not trust him anymore.

This thought forced him to look at his other issue, trust. He could trust these people with his life but not his secrets; if they found out they would judge him and think he was pathetic. Pathetic for thinking that work colleagues could possible be family. Of course the rest of the team had families. Well, all except Gibbs but even Gibbs had ducky and sure Ziva's father was by no means the best, he still loved her. So what exactly was stopping him from just going, everyone had someone to talk to if they decided to miss him, which he had now decided they wouldn't, how selfish did that sound. His father's voice echoed in his mind.

"You're a worthless, selfish brat" his father had yelled after hitting him and pushing him to the ground, "you will never amount to anything" his father had continued, then the final nail in the coffin. "You will end up in the gutter". His father had sneered after another one of his lessons.

The memory forced him to sigh again. He had actually ended up in the gutter once; Gibbs and Kate had come to rescue him, and then Gibbs had told him he was irreplaceable. Then McGee had been sitting at his desk and Gibbs had thrown that comment at him about telling McGee to forget about it because he had still been alive. Had Gibbs even meant what he had said? At the time he had shook it off because he saw the way Gibbs had smiled after the comment. He believed, no, hoped that Gibbs had still wanted him and he did, because McGee hadn't stayed around much longer than needed at the time. Maybe, he should have cut all ties then, it may have been easier than now.

His thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of his cell. He looked briefly at the caller ID; it was Gibbs. He just let his phone ring until it stopped. He knew that he would pay for it when he went into work tomorrow but he just couldn't find it within himself to care at the moment.

What would he tell them, tell Gibbs? Wouldn't Gibbs be disappointed for just quitting? He just didn't know what to think anymore. He decided that he wasn't going to be getting anymore sleep tonight, he forced his tired body onwards and went for a run he knew he would regret later…


Oh dear, what will happen at work the next day, will he get to work, you will have to wait and see.

A/N Edited a little to get rid of little mistakes. Thanks annsan.