This idea came to me while watching Frame-up again. What happened the night Tony had to stay in prison? How did it affect him or did it? What if something happened but Tony was afraid to say or had been made to fear repricussions. Lots of Papa Bear Gibbs, Tony Angst! Some OOC attitudes.

I do not own the characters of NCIS and am only writing this for the purpose of entertainment. I make no profit from this.

"Running on Empty"

Tony had been home for about an hour when Gibbs phone rang. He hadn't wanted to be disturbed and knew Tony needed his attention. The team had been told to not call Tony or himself for a couple days. Ducky had wanted to come to check up on them but Gibbs had flat out refused. He wanted to give Tony some time to come to grips with all that had transpired. He knew Tony was on edge. He seemed even more perturbed this morning than he had yesterday. Something was wrong in the state of DiNozzo and he was determined to discover it's cause.

Chip was in jail and wouldn't see the lite of day for years to come. The Director had seen to it that Chip was being held in isolation under suicide watch until his court date. She had been most accomodating in consideration of a rather irate forensic scientist who had threatened to quit if she, the director, did not protect Tony from Chip, whom she had hired and never to force an assistant upon her again. The hiring procedures were being revamped, at the insistance of Gibbs, to include background checks to determine if there were any conections between applicants and current / former NCIS agents. Ducky's input was minimal with the reaffirmation of the necessity for psycholgical evaluations for new hires and the need for some decompression time for Tony and Gibbs.

Gibbs looked at the caller ID and saw a name he didn't think would have the balls to call him. Fornell…


"Jethro, I know you're angry but I need to see you. It's about your boy…DiNozzo." Fornell sounded odd. It was a mixture of contrite and concern. Whatever it was it surely wasn't what Gibbs had expected to hear. Not that he wanted to hear anything from Fornell of all people.

"What is it? I think you've done quite enough. Are you going to accuse him of something else or just try to set him up for your boys to come nab him. I'm about sick and tired of you and your boys," said Jethro, the sneer in his voice was palpable.

"Jethro…please, this is important. I wouldn't have called you if it weren't. I was just made aware of this and you need to see it right away. If you really care about DiNozzo, you need to get down here to my office ASAP."

"I don't want him to be alone right now." Gibbs sighed in resignation. He didn't like to admit his feelings, ever. But this was something different. Tony was like a son to him. Gibbs had seen brief glimpses of Tony's past but Tony's rant in the jail cell had left him unsetteled. He needed to be there for his son. He needed to make certain Tony was going to be alright, that he was safe. He didn't want to make Tony feel like he was being abandoned.

"Gibbs, I can't explain this over the phone. You need to see this for yourself. It's still light out. He should be fine. I'd say bring him along but I don't think that's a good idea. I don't think this is anything he would want you to know or for you to see but…Jethro your boy…Tony… he needs you to see this now, not later."

Gibbs contemplated what this could be in regards to, he wasn't sure anything was important enough to drag him away from Tony. Tony needed him to be strong and understanding. He didn't need to feel betrayed by Gibbs, NCIS or anyone else. Fornell, Chip and the Director had done quite enough of that already. "If you don't think it's something he would want me to see then I think I should pass. He's had enough of your people violating his privacy for one lifetime."

"I understand what you are saying but…you really need to see this. He's hurting Jethro, more than I ever would have guessed. He needs you to understand and the only way you are going to be able to do that is to see this. I have pulled it from security. I have made sure there are no other copies, but before I destroy this you must see it. He needs you to as well. You wont be able to help or defend him if you don't come down here."

"I'll talk to him and give you a call when or if I'm on my way." With no preamble gibbs hung the phone up.