Title: Asking - Part I
Word count: 1749
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, Anthony DiNozzo Sr.
Disclaimer: Disclaimed totally. DB continues to ignore my tweets asking for ownership of these characters
Summary: Tony has a crisis of confidence
Notes: This is my first time writing Senior. I don't really have a feel for him, so he may seem OOC and since this plotted out very differently than I had originally planned, I am doing it in three parts. Part I is Tony/Senior. Part II is Ziva/Ray and Part III is Tony/Ziva.
Follow up to Doing
He knew it was going to be a bad day when he woke up naked in a strange bed with a cramp in his stomach and feeling more or less like he had been hit by a truck and no one had bothered to tell him.
He pulled up the sheet to cover his nakedness and looked around the room. He was obviously in a hotel suite, expensive by the looks of it. Glancing to his left he saw a large bathroom decked out in black marble and to his right he saw his clothes strewn haphazardly across the floor. He whipped his head around painfully to look at the closed double doors leading to the main room when he heard a woman's voice and soft laughter.
'Oh my God, what have I done?' he thought racing towards the bathroom - the alcohol in his stomach not the only thing causing bile to rise into his throat.
After a few minutes of heaving up guilt as well as last night's alcohol, he turned on the shower as hot as he could stand it. Better to face the coming disaster with a clear mind and a clean body. As he scrubbed with hotel soap (he hated hotel soap) his mind searched for some memory to tell him just how bad this was going to be.
He remembered picking up his father from the airport and taking him out for a birthday celebration - just the two of them. He knew Senior was expecting a party with his Washington cronies, but for once, Tony wanted time alone with his dad. Senior actually seemed pleased and somewhat touched by the idea which came as a huge surprise to Tony - he and his dad didn't do alone with each other very well.
Tony took his dad out to dinner at his favorite DC restaurant and then for drinks at the Fairmont Hotel where one of his dad's favorite jazz pianist was playing. 'This must be the Fairmont' he thought recalling sitting at the hotel bar and....calling Ziva repeatedly.
He remembered calling her the first time earlier in the day just to let her know that his father had arrived safely and they were off to the birthday celebration. Ziva was aware of and approved of his birthday surprise for his father. He wanted to let her know how it was going. She didn't answer, but he left her a message and didn't honestly think much of it, until later.
As the night progressed he thought it strange that Ziva hadn't returned his call- he had expected at least a text from her acknowledging his message and a birthday wish for his father.
It worried him.
Never let it be said that DiNozzo men don't enjoy their cocktails, and he and his father were both in rare form, each for different reasons. The more drinks he had, the more he thought of Ziva and the unreturned message. Thoughts of Ziva brought thoughts of Ray and the promised proposal. What if she wasn't answering his message because she was busy celebrating with Ray? What if she wasn't on the same page as he was after all concerning their developing relationship? What if seeing Ray had made her forget all about him and the progress they had made these past four months? Those thoughts only caused him to drink more which in turn caused even more morose thoughts. It was a vicious cycle. He must have called her at least a dozen times, but hung up each time he got her voice mail. Why didn't she answer and why didn't Senior stop him from making a fool of himself? Thoughts turned from Ziva to his dad.
'Crap, Did I abandon my father in a bar on his birthday while I hooked up with some random woman? This day just keeps getting better and better.'
The shower finally ran cold and it was time to face the music. He dressed quickly in last night's clothes, the aroma of bar and cigarettes that wafted from them almost caused him to be sick again. But really what choice did he have? He wasn't about to face last night's mistake unclothed.
He nervously opened the double doors and stepped inside the main area. He was relieved to see his father sitting on the couch watching CNN and eating from a plate stacked high with food.
Senior smiled when he saw Tony emerge from the bedroom "It's about time you got up. I ordered brunch - hurry and eat before it gets cold"
Tony moved to the table and began piling a plate with food although he knew he wouldn't be able to eat, it was more or less something to do while his father stared at him expectedly. He poured himself a cup of hot coffee which he did want and then sat in the armchair next to his dad. Senior smiled at him in a knowing way and asked "How do you feel?"
Tony grimaced and answered "Pretty much as you would expect. So we stayed here last night?"
"Neither of us was in any condition to drive" answered Senior.
Tony's answer was a snort as he drank more of the much needed coffee.
Senior continued to stare at Tony with the look of the cat who ate the canary - knowing, sly and having the upper hand.
Tony took a few tentative bites of scrambled eggs and then placed the plate on the table in front of him, his stomach threatened revolt and he was throwing in the white flag. Stomach 2 - DiNozzo Jr. 0.
Finally, he couldn't take the staring any longer and snapped "What?" He didn't mean to be curt, but the toll of not knowing what happened last night, his massive hangover, and his father's annoying smirk had pushed him to it.
"Just wondering" replied Senior with his canary eating grin
"About?" sighed an apologetic Tony
"What about last night?"
"You got pretty drunk."
"It was a celebration" quipped Tony thinking two could play that game - after all they had been playing it for years
Senior didn't reply, just grinned and began eating again. Tony looked around and asked non-nonchalantly; even though he was feeling anything but, "So, where's the girl?"
That got Senior's attention "Girl? What girl?"
"I heard a woman laughing before I got in the shower"
Senior looked puzzled for a moment and then answered "Oh, it was the girl who brought in the food. Cute. But too young for me.. or you"
DiNozzo Sr didn't know his son as well as he should, and that was his own damn fault, but he did know him well enough to see the quick look of joy and relief pass over his face before he hide it behind a mask of indifference. 'So..., Tony thought that he had picked up a woman and brought her back here. He was happy and relieved to find out that he didn't. Since when did Tony consider picking up a woman and having drunk sex a bad thing? Last night is beginning to make more sense.' thought the elder DiNozzo.
Senior took another bite of his pancakes in order hide the satisfied smile that he couldn't keep in check. After swallowing, he took a drink of orange juice and casually asked "So, how's Ziva?" The final puzzle piece clicked into place when Tony spilled his coffee and cursed loudly.
"Ziva? Ziva is fine, I guess." shrugged Tony while dabbing at the stain on his pants. He was starting to feel the same way as he did as a teenager when his father had discovered that he had been sneaking booze from the liquor cabinet. Caught out. But that was ridiculous - he hadn't done anything to get caught at - especially, now that he knew he hadn't betrayed Ziva with a drunken pick up.
"That's good to hear. I was beginning to think that maybe she was in trouble or having problems"
Tony was stumped "Why would you think that?"
"Well, you must have called or texted her a dozen times last night."
"I am sure it wasn't a dozen. I just found it strange that she didn't answer. Rule #3."
"What's rule #3?"
"One of Gibb's rules for us - never be unreachable"
"It is her weekend off."
Tony laughed "When Gibb's says never - he means never. On or off duty"
Senior decided to play another hunch and said "Well, I am sure as you say that she is fine. Perhaps she was otherwise engaged and couldn't answer the phone"
He knew he had touched the right button when a dark scowl crossed Tony's face. Tony was afraid of that very thing - Ziva being otherwise engaged.
Senior wasn't blind to the ways of love and he sure wasn't blind to the distress of his son; so he decided it was time to be the father that he knew he could be, even though up to this point he never was.
He placed his empty plate on the table, wiped his hands and face with his napkin and then leaned across the space between them, putting his hand on the arm of his only child squeezing gently while giving Tony an open and honest look and said "Tell me all about it son."
And to Senior's great surprise, Tony did just that.
Title: Asking - Part I