"Boss, Raimey just died." McGee announced to Gibbs, as he entered the squad room. He froze.
"Who was the shooter, McGee?" Gibbs asked, looking up at the ZNN coverage that Ziva and McGee were both watching.
"Danny Price's father." McGee answered.
"Oh my g-." Gibbs responded with a groan from that information.
"Boss, Chip is back in jail. Vance talked with the judge about his parole violation." McGee explained.
"Yeah I know that McGee." Gibbs said.
"Price's father knew Lance Read." Ziva offered.
"He was actually hired as a hit man to kill Raimey." McGee continued.
"Hooooow, did you find that out?" Gibbs asked turning and approaching her.
"Chip confessed to Fornell, when he was returned to jail for violating his parole. He was not in on the plot to kill Wallace. Chip was in on the plot to kill Raimey. The fight in the alley was not planned after all, but it did ruin the plan to kill Raimey. Price's father had to carry out the plan alone then."
"Wow." Gibbs responded.
"Where are you going, Boss?" McGee asked quickly.
"I sent DiNozzo home. I want to check in on him." Gibbs answered, stopping in his tracks. He turned to face McGee.
"I can check on him Gibbs." Ziva said to him. Gibbs shook his head.
"Boss? Did you want me to go, instead?" McGee asked.
"No, I want to make sure he is really home first." Gibbs said.
"A lot has happened in the last hour." Ziva offered.
"Oh, okay. Oh, right I will track his cell phone." McGee said as he sat down at his computer.
"Yes, he is home, Boss. He is using his phone right now." McGee said. McGee and Ziva watched as Gibbs headed for the elevator.
Gibbs arrived at the apartment building and walked up to DiNozzo's apartment door. He started to knock with little success. He then started to bang on the door much louder before he pulled out his cellphone to call DiNozzo. DiNozzo answered his phone.
"Tony, I am outside your door. Open up." Gibbs shouted into the phone.
"Hey there Boss, what brings you by?" DiNozzo asked. Gibbs looked him over critically. He had wet hair sticking up in every direction. He stood barefoot in a t-shirt and jeans.
"I just got out of the shower." DiNozzo responded to Gibbs' critical stares.
"You are supposed to be sleeping." Gibbs said entering the apartment.
"I am working on that, Boss." DiNozzo answered, somewhat defensively. "I am just trying to . . ."
"Relax? Have you been watching television?" Gibbs asked, looking strongly at DiNozzo.
"No, well, the Duke is on." DiNozzo answered. Gibbs could hear an old western playing in the living room. Gibbs followed DiNozzo into his apartment. He could see a half-full, bottle of wine sitting on the coffee table with a pizza box. There was a blanket spread across his lazyboy recliner.
"Now see, this is why you aren't getting a decent nights' sleep, Tony." Gibbs said taking in the scene, shaking his head in irritation.
"What is wrong with your bed?" Gibbs asked, looking in the direction of the bedroom.
"Nothing." DiNozzo answered. "You sleep on your couch."
"Ever try just warm milk?" Gibbs asked, picking up the wine bottle.
"Warm milk?" DiNozzo said sarcastically with a laugh. Gibbs returned a no-nonsense glare.
"Sorry Boss, no I haven't." DiNozzo answered. Gibbs grabbed the pizza box and brought it over to the kitchen area. He wrapped up the leftovers and threw out the box. He then put the cork back in the bottle of wine, and he put it into the refrigerator.
"Boss?" DiNozzo asked, wondering why he was there and why the sudden interest in how he slept.
"Do you even have milk?" Gibbs asked. "Ah, amazing." He said as he poured some into a glass and heated it up in the microwave.
As the milk heated up, Gibbs looked over at DiNozzo. The microwave buzzer before he could start lecturing him on eating better.
"You haven't watched the news have you?" Gibbs asked, pulling the glass out of the microwave.
"Drink." Gibbs ordered.
"Ah, no I haven't, Boss." DiNozzo said. "Thanks." Gibbs grabbed DiNozzo's shoulder and pushed him towards the couch.
"Raimey was shot, Tony." Gibbs said as Tony sat down.
"What? When?" DiNozzo asked in confusion.
"It happened today, when he was being transported back to the prison." Gibbs said.
"What happened?" DiNozzo asked.
"Price's father shot him." Gibbs answered. DiNozzo stopped himself from spitting out the milk. "Actually, he had hired a hit man, Lance Read. As you know, Read killed Wallace instead, after he was given the gun by Chip." DiNozzo looked as though he may lose his lunch.
"I knew Price's father, Boss. He would never do something like that. He would not do either. . .that cannot be true, Boss." DiNozzo rambled trying to defend Price's father.
"T-o-n-y." Gibbs emphasized his name saying is slowly and softly. "There were witnesses. Price's father shooting Raimey was caught on camera. There is proof. He confessed."
"Boss, that isn't possible." DiNozzo said trying to stand up, but Gibbs was sitting in front of him, holding him down by the shoulders.
"That is what happened. He is dead, Tony. Raimey died." Gibbs said softly.
"What!" DiNozzo shouted and managed to get out from underneath Gibbs hold, only to throw up into the garbage can. DiNozzo quickly tied up the garbage bag and threw the garbage bag onto the balcony before closing the door. He then started to pace in the center of the living room holding his head.
"Come here." Gibbs grabbed his arm and directed him back over to the couch.
"Sit down, Tony." Gibbs ordered grabbing him by both shoulders and pushing him down on the couch.
"Uh, Boss, thanks. . .for the concern. Thank you for checking on me, but I would really like to be alone right now." Tony looked at Gibbs and made a plea. Gibbs sat down in front of him, examining how agitated Tony was right now. The strong look Gibbs was giving DiNozzo showed that he was not going anywhere.
"Tony, talk to me." Gibbs said as he continued to look him over.
"I think I will need something a little stronger than warm milk to sleep, Boss." DiNozzo confessed. "I don't think the wine will cut it either."
"No more alcohol, Tony." Gibbs said. "You already drank half of that bottle in under an hour." DiNozzo looked around becoming increasingly agitated as Gibbs continued to sit so close and as he continued to process all the information.
"Talk to me." Gibbs said again.
"He's dead. Price's father was arrested?" DiNozzo asked. Gibbs nodded, not elaborating because he was not sure of the exact details of that.
"How did you find out that Read was hired as a hitman?" DiNozzo asked curiously trying to calm himself down through distraction.
"McGee and Ziva said that Chip had confessed to Fornell." Gibbs stated.
"Chip?" DiNozzo said in surprise. "Was actually in on the plot to kill Raimey? Here we thought they might have been working together."
"Yeah." Gibbs said quickly. "So Raimey is gone. How do you feel about that?"
"Shocked." DiNozzo said shaking his head with his eyes wide open. Then DiNozzo looked down and away from Gibbs, making him completely unreadable.
"What. . .did the two of you discuss last year, when you were in the interrogation room together?" Gibbs asked.
"Uh, oh yeah, I don't know. He was really mad and came up with about every verbal attack on me that he could come up with." DiNozzo admitted. The truthfulness surprised Gibbs.
"You didn't believe anything he said right? They were unfounded personal attacks." Gibbs asked.
"No." DiNozzo shook his head as he answered the strange question, starting to look at Gibbs suspiciously.
"Boss?" DiNozzo asked.
"You were listening in on that conversation then, weren't you?" DiNozzo asked still giving Gibbs a suspicious look, as he became increasingly more embarrassed. Gibbs chose not answer rather than lie to him, which caused DiNozzo to assume that he was listening in anyway. "That is why in the elevator. . ." DiNozzo stopped and froze.
"Tony, your self-confidence and even your self-esteem has really been hurting. This all started when Price died last year, and you had that talk with Raimey." Gibbs offered. DiNozzo shook his head, dismissing Gibbs' words.
"I am fine Boss." DiNozzo repeated the line once again. He could not contain how unsettled he was about Raimey's death though.
"It is very noticeable and it is effecting your decisions in the field. You are not fine." Gibbs said, looking him over.
"What are we going to do about this Boss? We just keep shooting the same lines back and forth at each other?" DiNozzo tried to say humorously, but Gibbs' glare seemed to burn through him again.
"Maybe we should go talk to Ducky. He seems to get you to talk, when I can't." DiNozzo swallowed hard at Gibbs' comment.
"You have me really worried. Do you know that?" Gibbs asked trying to read DiNozzo.
"Why?" DiNozzo asked a bit flustered and frustrated.
"Why? Do I really need to answer that?" Gibbs said. Gibbs blocked DiNozzo from trying to get up again.
"I am sorry Boss." DiNozzo responded. Gibbs shook his head in irritation. "I cannot believe that Chip confessed." DiNozzo added. "So he was the one who stole that evidence, but he just tried to pin it on Raimey?" Gibbs did not answer, but he did agree with the comment. He was giving a disapproving look at DiNozzo for changing the subject yet again.
"Raimey." Gibbs tried again. DiNozzo looked at Gibbs curiously. "You did ignore what he said to you." DiNozzo tried to shake off Gibbs' concerns.
"Tony?" Gibbs prompted again.
"Well, he did say a lot of true things even though they were personal shots at yours truly. He said I was both blind and in denial about Danny. By not turning him in, he felt that I should be considered an accomplice. My bad investigative skills were the cause of my not realizing Danny was dirty and not making the connection to Raimey himself either. After all, it was Danny who discovered that and not me."
"Tony" Gibbs said softly. "Please tell me you didn't believe any of that. He was mad that he was caught, and you were the one who caught him. That was your collar. He would say or do anything at that point."
"Yeah, I know." DiNozzo said quickly looking down away from Gibbs.
"Hey." Gibbs shouted out, reach back behind Tony had to give him a firm head slap. "Are you hearing me?"
"Yes Boss." DiNozzo said rather solemnly rubbing the back of his head.
"Watch it DiNozzo, you are asking for harder one." Gibbs said, after allowing a long silence in which DiNozzo looked so lost in his own thoughts.
"He was right about some things." DiNozzo said, feeling the sting of a second head slap impacting the back of his head.
"Raimey was arrested and then now he was shot dead. Why are you listening to his opinion on anything?"
"Can I watch a news report on the shooting, Boss?" DiNozzo asked.
"Good Morning Gibbs. How did Tony seem last night?" Ziva asked as she watched Gibbs come off of the elevator.
"He seems okay." Gibbs said sitting down at his desk. "He needs to clear his head though."
"Did Tony know about the shooting already when you got there?" McGee asked in concern.
"No, luckily I was the one who first told him." Gibbs admitted. "Then he started watching the news and fell asleep, so I just left his place."
"Wendy keeps calling here for Tony." McGee informed him. "She called three times in the last hour. Tony couldn't believe all of the messages, when he first came in."
"Wait. . .Tony?" Gibbs looked at him in surprise. "Was DiNozzo here earlier?
"Yes, he is here . . .somewhere. I haven't seen him in a while. He wasn't feeling well." McGee offered looking around the room for him. Gibbs got up and left the squad room. "He might have gone down to see Ducky, Boss."
Gibbs turned the corner and entered the men's bathroom to dump out the rest of his coffee. As he stepped over to the sink, he could hear someone vomiting in one of the stalls. Gibbs washed his hands, than he stepped over closer to where the noise was coming from.
"Tony?" Gibbs said. "Is that you?"
"Uh, oh yeah it is me, Boss." DiNozzo said with a laugh before he flushed and opened the door. He quickly passed up Gibbs to get over to the sinks.
"Are you doing okay DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked in concern. Gibbs approached DiNozzo who was splashing water on his face and gargling water. He placed his arm on DiNozzo's back. He could feel DiNozzo's body trembling beneath his hand. "I am surprised you even came in today. You are even here early.
"Hey." Gibbs said looking him over. "You should have stayed home."
After hearing Gibbs' words, DiNozzo stood up and turned around to face Gibbs.
"Did you finish that bottle of wine, when I left?" Gibbs asked, looking him over.
"No." DiNozzo said firmly enough for Gibbs to believe him.
"I want Ducky to check you out, then." Gibbs said, grabbing a hold of his arm and directing him toward the door. Before DiNozzo had the opportunity to object, Ducky was standing right outside the bathroom when they came out.
"Jethro! Good Morning. Hey Ziva and McGee, I found both of them!" Ducky yelled out.
"Is there a chance that you could examine this agent here?" Gibbs asked as he continued to hold onto one of DiNozzo's arms.
"Of course, is there anything specific that I should be examining?" Ducky asked Gibbs.
"Yeah, why does he keep throwing up? Is it from consuming too much alcohol or from anxiety? Gibbs asked.
"Boss, I am not." DiNozzo said defensively, as he was pulled into the elevator with Ducky.
"It is all right Tony. This will only take moment." Ducky tried to reassure him that they were on his side, but at the same time recognizing Gibbs' concern.
"When was the first time that you threw up?" Ducky asked turning his body to look over Tony.
"Uh, it was last night. It was right after Gibbs had told me that Raimey was murdered by Danny Price's father. I did not expect that." DiNozzo stated.
"I see. How much alcohol did you consume?" Ducky asked.
"I don't know. . .maybe 12 ounces." DiNozzo stated. Gibbs examined him trying to determine if that was a truthful statement.
"Well, let's go see what the problem is Tony." Ducky said encouraging DiNozzo to step off when the elevator doors opened. Gibbs followed but hung back by the entrance, waiting patiently as Ducky examined him.
"Your temperature is normal and your blood pressure is normal. Nothing else seems to be wrong with you. Your eyes are a little blood shot, and I don't remember you ever having those dark, very dark, lines underneath your eyes before. So, here are the questions I normally ask you Anthony." Ducky stated. Ducky's last comment caught Gibbs off guard. He looked over trying to anticipate what that might be.
"Have you been getting a good night's sleep?" He asked.
"No, I haven't, but not from lack of trying." DiNozzo admitted, looking over at Gibbs waiting for his lecture or a look of disapproval. Gibbs came closer to them, still wondering where Ducky was going with this.
"My other question is usually in regards to what you have eaten." Ducky stated. Gibbs then nodded in understanding.
"I had a half of a large pizza around 6 last night." DiNozzo said.
"Well, that part is not surprising. What did you have this morning?" Ducky asked.
"Nothing." DiNozzo admitted. "Coffee."
"Filled with sugar, I am guessing." Ducky stated. "Nothing else then?" DiNozzo shook his head.
"Besides pizza, what did you eat yesterday?" Ducky asked.
"I skipped breakfast. Then we had the case, so . . .I didn't stop for lunch." DiNozzo explained. "Nothing. I don't think I ate anything."
"Nothing?" Ducky and Gibbs said in unison.
"What the h*ll is wrong with you?" Gibbs shouted. Ducky and Gibbs shot each other with an unsurprised but disgusted glance.
"I guess I forgot." DiNozzo admitted becoming agitated by how angry Gibbs was and from the attention he was getting. "I wasn't hungry until I got home. I am not hungry now either."
"You still need to eat. But, you are always hungry." Gibbs said with noticeable concern. "Why wouldn't you be hungry?"
"Was Wendy here again?" Ducky asked. "Ziva and McGee said you didn't eat when she was here last month."
"Tony? Was that the reason?" Gibbs asked, closing up the space between them. He now was in head slapping range, which caused DiNozzo to tense up in anticipation of being lectured.
"You didn't eat because of Wendy? You have to be upset about the trial and Raimey's murder too." Gibbs stated waiting for reactions. "Maybe you should have stayed home today."
"Is seeing Wendy upsetting you that much?" Gibbs asked, looking him over. DiNozzo did not answer; instead, he looked down and away. Gibbs still caught the ashamed look.
"All right, you are no longer her liaison, then?" Gibbs said.
"No, Boss I would prefer that it would be me over Ziva or McGee. . ."
"We will stick with our policy that we do not liaise with the press." Gibbs informed him. This comment caused Ducky to look at Gibbs critically.
"You go eat something. I would prefer that you go home all together." Gibbs ordered DiNozzo.
"Yes Boss." DiNozzo tried to slowly back away from the two men who were both standing within inches of him at the autopsy table. They both watched as he tried to escape their critical eyes.
"I highly recommend some oatmeal Tony." Ducky said.
"Oatmeal? I don't eat. . ." DiNozzo said, catching the strong disapproving reactions from both of the men. . ". . .I'll try some oatmeal. Thank you Ducky."
"I'll be keeping my eye on you, Anthony." Ducky yelled out. When they heard, the elevator, they turned to talk. "That helped Jethro by freeing him of his ex-fiancé. And, now that Chip is going back to prison and the trial with Raimey is. . .well, over." Gibbs shook his head in agreement of Ducky's analysis. He then turned to find the camera in autopsy.
"Do you hear that Leon? The good doctor says he will be fine. You can stop spying on us now." Gibbs yelled out to the camera. Ducky looked to him as if he had gone mad. "Thank you for your time Ducky. I appreciate what you did there for Tony."
"Hopefully, this will be closure for him from Wendy and from Raimey." Ducky said with Gibbs agreement. Gibbs smiled at him and headed toward the elevator.
Thank you so much for reading. Thank you so much for posting such great feedback!
I do think this will be my last fan-fiction centering on season 9 plot bunnies. Although there is just so much to play with this season with such great character focused storylines, I think many will be resolved on screen as the season finale approaches. However, the "kid from Baltimore" Tony storyline is included somewhere in the last three to five episodes so there might be one standalone fanfiction still coming on that.