Chapter 14

New York

The doorbell rang at an estate in New York.

An older woman came to the door. Gibbs quickly recognized her as the woman that Tony tried to hide from when they were at the hospital.

"Yes?" She said in a snobbish tone.

"I am here to see Agent DiNozzo." Gibbs said holding up his NCIS badge.

"Ohhhh, all right. Do you have a gun too?" She said. He nodded, glaring at her.

"Well, I will ask that you not use it in here." She said. Gibbs grinned and raised his eyebrow, waiting for her to either let him in or to get Tony.

"Come on in. . ." She finally snarled. "I have seen enough police officers lately. I thought that was finally over."

"Do you have something against law enforcement officers that risk their lives for your safety?" He asked. She glared at him.

"Boss!?" DiNozzo passed by and stopped when he heard his voice.

"Anthony." The old woman said snobbishly, as he entered the room.

"Ugh Boss." DiNozzo smiled and let out an awkward laugh.

DiNozzo shielded him from the old woman, as he pulled him into the nearby dining room. As he did this, DiNozzo closed the doors in the process.

"Boss." DiNozzo said, with a grateful but also nervous smile.

"Tony" Gibbs said with a grin. DiNozzo was now feeling uncomfortable with the way he had just grabbed and pulled Gibbs into the room. The shocking part to DiNozzo was the fact that Gibbs let him do it.

"I am sorry about that Boss." DiNozzo said. Gibbs smiled, nodded, and looked him over.

"Are you doing all right?" Gibbs asked. DiNozzo nodded.

"Yeah, I think he will be fine."

"You rushed him out of D.C. so quickly that I never talked to him." Gibbs said.

"I know." DiNozzo responded.

"I told you that I wanted to talk to him." Gibbs reminded him.

"I know, but everything did work out. The charges were dropped." DiNozzo said.

"You ended all contact with Wendy-why?" Gibbs asked.

"I was just waiting. . .for everything to sort of blow over. You know, . . .like when my father was better." DiNozzo said looking away. "I will."

"It was the truth right?" Gibbs asked.

"Yeah." DiNozzo said quickly, unsure of Gibbs' thoughts.

"He isn't manipulating you? He didn't say that to the police. . .and then order you to break up with her in return."

"No!" DiNozzo shouted in surprise.

"Tony?" Gibbs said.

"We had a long . . .discussion." DiNozzo said.

"And?" Gibbs asked. "He did this in exchange for. . .?"

DiNozzo shook his head and looked away. Gibbs closed the gap between them.

"He just. . .he did. . .he did push for me to move back to New York." DiNozzo said. "It was a little push."

"Which is away from Wendy and away from being a cop, Tony?" Gibbs said. DiNozzo nodded.

"He manipulated you then?" Gibbs suggested.

"He just asked." DiNozzo quickly defended him.

"So he is laying a guilt trip on you?" Gibbs added. "You did nothing wrong."

"No. . .Boss" DiNozzo said. "Please don't."

"I want to see him?" Gibbs said. DiNozzo nodded.

DiNozzo Senior's bedroom

DiNozzo knocked on the door and entered with Gibbs just behind him.

"Hey Dad?" DiNozzo said. "Are you up for a visitor?"

"Sure." DiNozzo Senior said, realizing that Gibbs was standing behind him.

"Ah, Gibbs. . .how long will you be in New York?" He asked. "I still owe you for letting me stay with you in D.C. for Thanksgiving."

"Not long." Gibbs said shaking his hand with a brief smile. "Can we have a quick chat?"

"Sure." Senior said turning off the television, as he still laid in the bed.

"Tony." Gibbs said looking to him. "Give us a minute." DiNozzo looked to him surprised that he was being asked to leave. DiNozzo turned to his dad, who also signaled for him to leave.

"Would you close the door, please, Gibbs?" Senior asked. "Otherwise, he'll listen in." Gibbs actually laughed from the comment and nodded in agreement, as he came over and sat near the bed.

"How are you?" Gibbs asked.

"Not bad, thank you." Senior said.

"Just ask what you need to ask me Gibbs." Senior said with his charming smile.

"Are you enjoying your son being here?" Gibbs asked.

"Yes, immensely." Senior responded. Gibbs looked down trying to contain his frustration.

"Actually, he is the only one saving me from my dear sister Lorraine's cooking." Senior said with a laugh.

"Is that who that is. . .?" Gibbs asked of the woman Tony was so intimidated by and the snobbish old woman who answered the door.

"Junior spent a lot of time with her, when he was growing up." Senior offered. "She often would stay with him, when I would go on long business trips. . ."

"She still really intimidates him." Senior said laughing.

"Her cooking though. . .is terrible, so Junior keeps sneaking out and bringing back pizza." Senior said, causing them both to let out a short laugh.

"What do you have against your son dating or even marrying Wendy?" Gibbs asked.

"I have always admired your bluntness, Gibbs." Senior responded. "Would your parents have approved you dating your high school music teacher?"

Gibbs raised his eyebrows acknowledging the uniqueness of the situation.

"She is a bad influence." Senior said.

"How so?" Gibbs asked.

"First, she is the one that pushed him to major in physical education in college." Senior said. Gibbs laughed.

"You didn't approve?" Gibbs asked.

"She was the reason that my son and I nearly stopped speaking to each other for years." Senior added.

"Yeah, it had nothing to do with you pushing him off into boarding schools or failing to come see him in Baltimore or D.C." Gibbs added.

"Her family has a reputation of stealing and hustling money off of us." Senior finished his speech.

"Ah hustling used to be such a unique trait in a person." Gibbs snapped.

"Tony likes her." Gibbs said.

"However, I was willing to forget that. She called off the wedding." He added.

"But now. . ." Gibbs prompted.

"She shot me, while I was trying to enter Junior's apartment. Look, I realize I should have called first. And, I should have knocked first. I could not let her go to prison for an obvious accident."

"I am glad to hear that you caught that madman Harper Dearing. I met him once. . .actually before his son was killed." Senior added. "It was such a shock to hear what happened at NCIS. I wanted to come to D.C. to see it for myself. My plan was to drop off my stuff at Junior's apartment and come visit."

"But. . .?" Gibbs prompted.

"I was shot, and then Junior insisted that he take care of me." Senior said. "We are closer now than we ever have been."

"He feels guilty about what happened." Gibbs said. "That is why he is here."

"I know." Senior said. "But, I still like him being here."

"Does he like it here?" Gibbs asked. Senior looked down unable to answer the question.

"He told me he will adjust." Senior finally answered. "The family is being a little rough on him."

"Yeah?" Gibbs asked. "Are you supporting him with that?"

Senior looked away for a moment.

"So you talked him out of being a cop?" Gibbs accused.

"No!" He answered. ". . .well sort of. I asked him to be a cop in New York."

"And how did he react to that?" Gibbs asked.

"Actually, it sounds like he doesn't want to be a cop anymore." Senior said looking concerned.

"You are using this situation to manipulate him." Gibbs accused more forcefully.

"No! I wouldn't do that Gibbs." Senior argued.

"But. . .you are." Gibbs responded. "Talk to him. . .he feels guilty. That is why he is here. He has to be here. You were shot with his gun."

Gibbs stood up ready to leave the room.

"I do hope that you feel better Mr. DiNozzo. I am glad that you have improved your relationship with your son so much. It means a lot to him." Gibbs exited the room. He could hear DiNozzo at the end or the hallway having a tense conversation with the old woman.

"Yes ma'am, I will take care of it." DiNozzo said to her. Gibbs approached him.

"I know you have been sneaking in pizza for him! I can smell it." She snarled.

"You never liked my cooking." She accused. She turned to see Gibbs standing there. She let out an audible groan.

Gibbs looked at DiNozzo with a grin, once she left.

"Want to stay for dinner, Boss?" DiNozzo whispered. Gibbs let out a short laugh.

"Tony." Gibbs said. "Why don't you like your Aunt Lorraine's cooking?"

"I just had a little trouble with the Thanksgiving turkey back in '86." DiNozzo said. "And never forgot it." DiNozzo said with a smile, than he looked to Gibbs.

"You come back. . .when you are ready Tony." Gibbs said.

"Boss. . .I don't know, if I can." DiNozzo said.

"It is your choice, Tony. This is your decision to make. If you can be a cop in New York . . .than there shouldn't be a problem with you coming back to D.C. to be a cop" Gibbs said.

"I am not going to be a cop in New York." DiNozzo said in a sad tone.

"When you clear your head. . .and your father gets better. . ." Gibbs said confidently. DiNozzo looked at Gibbs and how confident he was that DiNozzo would be coming back.

"You did need this, Tony. You can repair all the broken pieces that have prevented you from being happy." Gibbs said as he left.

2 Months later

"I didn't think that I could ever ride that elevator again." DiNozzo said as he got off and approached the squad room.

"Neither did I, Anthony." Ducky said as they were greeted by the others.

"So what did we miss?" Ducky asked, as DiNozzo went to sit at his desk.


The End

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