Okay, I know it's actually referring to a girl in this song, but hey - we'll just skip over that bit ;)
"Papa don't preach, I'm in trouble deep,
Papa don't preach, I've been losing sleep…"
Madonna, 'Papa don't preach'
McGee winced as he saw Tony slam the door to the interrogation room. He would have hated to have been the guy sat in there. The way Tony threw his files down on the table (Hard enough to be frightening, but not enough to make it seem like a tantrum) and glared at the guy…
Tim shivered turned to look at Ziva, who obviously had the same thoughts going through her mind,
"It seems he is directly in the tiger's den." She murmured.
"Lion's," McGee corrected instantly. "Lion's den." She nodded her thanks and continued to stare through the mirror, her arms folded.
"McGee," She suddenly said. "Did Gibbs not say to wait until he got back before we questioned him? That our emotions were too high?"
McGee suddenly froze, his eyes wide. As soon as they had thrown the guy in there, Gibbs had said those words exactly. But it had been over an hour since then, and both Ziva and McGee had forgotten. And where had Tony been?
McGee moaned, "He was in autopsy," He remembered. "He hurt his wrist when he tackled Weston," He paused as he gestured to the man opposite Tony. "So Gibbs made him see Ducky. He didn't get the warning."
Ziva nodded as she too remembered. They could both just make out a white bandage wrapped around Tony's wrist that he was trying to hide with his jacket.
"We need to get him out of there." McGee said, rushing to the door.
Ziva grabbed his jacket, "We can't, McGee - have you seen how he is behaving. He will not come out of there for you. And if did, he would ignore your warning and go back in."
"We have to do something!" McGee replied hysterically. "When Gibbs finds out - not if but when - he'll kill him!"
Ziva nodded, "I agree, but maybe this is good for him, yes? He may get rid of all those emotions that have been plaguing him for these past few weeks."
They were called onto a case two weeks ago, involving a petty officer who had gone missing, leaving his two daughters raped and traumatised, his wife on the verge of suicide and his son beaten to death. It was an awful scene, and Gibbs had even thought about passing the case on to someone else, but shook his head only half a second after that thought had gone through his head. This family needed his help, and he was damn sure going to find the bastard responsible.
After a while week of nothing, Abby had finally found something - one tiny thing to help them. A carpet fibre on his son's clothes. The fibre came from his car, and they found he'd used the tyre pump to beat his son's head in with. They managed to trace the carpet manufacturer to a very 'elitist' car, and from there they traced him.
They had all been badly affected by this, but Tony had gone silent as soon as they found the scene. The screaming mother was being sedated in the back of an ambulance, the daughters had both already gone up to the hospital, which left the poor son lying on the living room floor, a dark red pool blossoming around him. As they took pictures, sketched, measured and bagged evidence, Gibbs had noticed the pale colour of Tony's face, and had discreetly asked him to go see if the mother had anything to say. Tony had bolted out of there so fast; it was as if he was jet-powered.
He had been odd all week. And when they had finally found the murderer (Petty Officer John Weston) Tony had even out-ran Gibbs and leapt at Weston, tackling him down to floor. Gibbs heard a sickening crunch when they fell, but when he pulled up he saw that it was Weston's nose, although he couldn't miss the way Tony started to cradle his wrist on the way back.
And now they were here. Watching.
"Listen here, you scum. If I had my way, we'd strap you to the electric chair before you can say 'Guilty'. But…" Tony shrugged, flicking through the file. "I don't make the rules. Still… I'm sure they'll find something for you."
"You think you're scaring me," Weston sneered. "But you aren't doing a damn thing. I can tell that if there's anyone in here that's scared - it's you. See, my son was always doing bad things. He interrupted my football games, he didn't get good marks at school. He didn't even want to join a sports team."
"Oh no…" Tony said sarcastically. "What a hard life you must have had. Your son didn't want to play sports. What a…"
"See, when you have to punish a child," He interrupted the agent, "You know you've left an impression on them. And then if you have to punish children often enough, you can tell when there are other naughty children about. Ones who have had to have impressions left on them. And you're one of them Agent DiNozzo," He leered, watching the colour drain from Tony's face. "You're a bad seed. How many punishments did you have to have? Bet your father couldn't control you…"
Gibbs walked into the observation room with a cup of coffee, wanting to watch the man stew, unaware that two of his agents were in there with open mouths,
"McGee! David! What are you…" He stopped, seeing what they were looking at. He heard Weston chuckle, and say,
"Because you know, don't you, DiNozzo, that your father could never love you. He had to show his love through beatings…"
"Dammit!" Gibbs yelled, making McGee and Ziva jump. He rushed out of the room and into the interrogation room, to find that in the second he hadn't been watching, Tony had leapt across the table and started to beat Weston.
"DiNozzo!" Gibbs screamed, at the top of his lungs. "DiNozzo!" Tony leapt back form the man as if he had been burnt and backed away into the corner, like a naughty child who knew they were in trouble.
Weston was lying on the floor, laughing hysterically, "Yeah that's right, DiNozzo!" He cried. "Run away! You'll get a good beating when you're done!" He laughed again, and McGee and Ziva slipped into the room, yanking the man to his feet and dragging him away to a different room.
Gibbs whirled round to see Tony still stood in the corner, breathing heavily and clutching at his injured wrist,
"What were you thinking?" Gibbs snarled. "I said to wait until I got back before we do anything. What gave you the right to firstly interrogate him, and secondly attack him?!"
"Don't… don't…" Tony managed, before sliding down the wall in a defeated way. He still held his wrist and stared down at it before drawing some heaving breaths in order to continue. "I… I didn't hear you say anything… about not interrogating him… I couldn't just… couldn't just let him sit there - I needed to know why…"
"Why what?" Gibbs asked, exasperated. How was it that he could go from being so angry he wanted to rip his agent's head off, to feeling concerned and curious?
"Why did he do it? I needed to know… know why he did it…" Tony mumbled, and it was at that point the door opened and Ducky looked in,
"My boy," He sighed, glancing at him, "You do get yourself into messes, don't you?" Tony tried his best to grin sheepishly, but his face wouldn't do what he wanted it to. Instead he made an odd grimace and glanced down at his wrist again,
"Jethro," Ducky said gently, "Perhaps you would be so kind as to help me pull our young Anthony off the floor and perhaps onto this seat?" Gibbs conceded and took one of Tony's arms, and helped Ducky pull Tony onto the seat,
"Now, my boy," Ducky said calmly. "Tell me what happened."
Tony looked to be steeling himself for a while, before he said, "Weston got too mouthy. He started to push some of my buttons. I guess I just snapped," He looked over at Gibbs. "Sorry Boss. I must have just forgotten what you said about not interrogating him yet."
"No you didn't, my dear fellow," Ducky corrected him. "Ziva and McGee told me what happened. You were with me in autopsy as Jethro gave them his orders. You weren't to know."
"Oh." Tony murmured, looking slightly surprised, before shaking his head. "That doesn't mean I shouldn't have gone in there. I just… I really wanted to know why."
"He's a bastard, DiNozzo," Gibbs told him flatly. "We'll get Ducky to dissect his brain and find he'll have a small pool of evil in there. But until that day - we'll have to just guess."
Tony looked down at his knees as Ducky checked his wrist again.
"I wish you wouldn't punch people with your injured arm, my boy," He chuckled. "It does tend to make things worse, somewhat."
The ghost of smile appeared on Tony's face, and he shook his head,
"Sorry, Duck," He apologised. "I guess I wasn't thinking."
"What did he say to warrant such a thorough beating?" Ducky asked, which made Gibbs rather glad it was the ME who asked rather than himself.
"He just… said some things. Said I was a 'bad seed'," He tried to chuckle, before his face darkened. "He said he killed - no, wait, sorry, 'punished' - his son because he didn't want to join his sports team. And that his grades weren't high enough. Why scum like that have kids I'll never know."
"I don't think any of us will, DiNozzo," Gibbs replied glumly. "But you have to try and distance yourself from cases like these. It's so much harder to work if all you feel is hatred. Think of the paperwork if you'd killed him."
"I wouldn't have wanted to put all that extra work on you, Boss," Tony tried to chuckle. "I just… he said people can tell when a kid's been 'punished' if they're a really bad kid. People can just tell. And then they can stay away."
"In my experience," Ducky started, "It is only when one truly gets to know another that they can tell if someone has been punished."
"It's true, Tony," Gibbs said. "I only found out yesterday about some of an old marine buddy's misdemeanours. And what happened after." He grinned at the young man in front of him.
"But… how do you know?" Tony asked, "How can you honestly tell whether someone's bad or not? It's not what Abby thinks, they can't all just be sorted by Santa's list. And what if m… someone's father told them they were worthless or whatever? How would they know if that was true or not? They couldn't just ask their dad to stop lecturing them, they couldn't say they were losing sleep over it, and they couldn't ask anyone else for help…"
Ducky and Gibbs looked at each other. They both knew what he was talking about. This was a quick digression from what they had originally talked about.
"Listen, Tony," Gibbs said. "There is no reason why a kid can't ask their parents to stop saying stuff like that if they genuinely thought that what they were doing was right."
"You're not bad, Tony," Gibbs said, cutting him off. "You're not. Whatever you were told doesn't matter. Only let people who truly know you contradict that. You don't have to listen to scum like Weston or… or other people. Got me?"
"I gotcha, Boss." Tony responded, starting to smile slightly. Ducky nodded approvingly and patted his shoulder, and chuckle as Gibbs head-slapped the younger agent.
"That's for letting him get to you," He said, before giving him another, softer one. "And that," He said, much quieter than before, "Is for not asking me to stop yelling."
Hm. To be honest, I'm not sure why I'm bothering to upload this. I just got bored after writing some coursework and needed to relax. So this was produced. Tell me what you think anyhow - and I have no idea why 'Papa don't preach' came into my head when I was halfway through writing this, but it worked, so I made the ending go with it ;)