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Fic: Five Packs of Ice (NCIS)

Title: Five Packs of Ice
Author: kaylashay
Rating: FR13
Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Word Count: 5 x 100
Challenge: ncis_drabble; Challenge #91 - Ice

SPOILERS: 05x18 Judgment Day

Crossposted: ncis_drabble; ncisfanfic; tonydinozzo

Summary: Ice can cause a slippery slope...

He didn’t remember how he ended up in bed or even what time it was, but the ice-cold cloth on his head would stay with him forever. He would also remember the lilting tones of the housekeeper as she sang to him in Spanish. She was there when his parents couldn’t be bothered with a sick child. She was the first and only person to hug him after he had his high school diploma in hand. Whether it was ice packs or hugs, she was always there when he needed her and many times when he didn’t know he did.

In college, he learned that ice packs were his saviors on nights after practice had been long and brutal. Then came the morning after parties where his head would start pounding at even the slightest sound or hint of light. His frat brothers sometimes teased him about how much room he took up in the freezer with his ice pack collection, but they always made amends when they were on the receiving end of the relief they brought. The night after his injury however, the ice packs were no relief. They couldn’t ease the burn of losing his sports career.

It was in Philly that he noticed the pattern. Depending on how severe a case had been would depend on what method he would use to ease the dark thoughts that overwhelmed his mind. For Light cases, it was a long cold shower, the bullets of water hitting his body to draw his focus away. The bad cases found him curled up in bed with darkness surrounding him. He would place the cloth wrapped ice pack on his head blink back tears that threatened to fall. When he finally closed his eyes, he could hear the Spanish songs drift by.

He couldn’t remember much from the isolation unit at Bethesda. The only thing that was seared into his mind was the words from his boss, “You will not die.” He repeated them over and over in his head those first few nights as the pain tried to overwhelm him. Four nights into his recovery, he had been moved to a regular room that supposedly had normal visiting hours. However in the middle of his first night there, he woke to find a cold cloth wiping his forehead and his boss’ voice whispering, “What am I gonna do with you DiNozzo?”

He was cold. He had been since Gibbs had walked out and went to Mexico. So much had happened, so much had gone wrong. Jeanne, almost losing Gibbs on that pier, Jenny and now Vance had split them apart. He had almost walked away from everything. He had done it before; his father, sports, Peoria, Philly, Baltimore… But NCIS had become his family by some strange quirk and he didn’t want to quit his family unless they quit him first. So he settled for walking the corridors of the Reagan trying in vain to shake the cold that encompassed him.

Comments

( 25 Campfires — Leave a Comment )
donutsweeper
Jun. 23rd, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
I love the image of the housekeeper taking care of him as a child.

Poor Tony
kaylashay
Jun. 23rd, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
I'm all for "poor neglected kid!Tony"... just watching him, you know he has to have some issues going back when he was kid. He laid them out for Gibbs in that prison soliloquy of his from Frame Up.

:-)
donutsweeper
Jun. 23rd, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
oh yes. And in other places- the step mom that hit his knuckles when he was practicing piano and made a mistake. The poo boy story. Was being left in Maui from that episode.

Poor Tony. *sigh* He really does need a hug
kaylashay
Jun. 23rd, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
I don't remember if the Maui mention was in the same ep as the poo boy story or not. And let's not forget the "too drunk to hit anyone" comment from Chained. I don't think the stepmom was the piano instructor, but the piano instructor did wrap his knuckles.

And there's his constant need for approval... yeah... poor guy has issues... I'd give him a hug any day...
donutsweeper
Jun. 23rd, 2008 02:27 am (UTC)
Oh- maybe the stepmom forced him to have lessons and the teacher hit his knuckles. I don't remember it exactly. Either way- not nice.

I love the fics where people use his constant need for that approval as a mask for his utter scared inner feelings of low self-worth and worries about abandonment.
citymusings
Jun. 23rd, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
Wow. As always, that was incredibly well done. You've captured him so well!
kaylashay
Jun. 23rd, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)
I love my Tony... :-)
citymusings
Jun. 23rd, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
I love your Tony, too.
mylogiceatsyou
Jun. 23rd, 2008 08:05 am (UTC)
Oh this was perfect. Painful and perfect.

The housekeeper looking after him, Gibbs wiping his fevered brow, and walking the corridors of the Reagan...so sad.

Tony really does need lots of hugs.
kaylashay
Jun. 23rd, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
I can see the crew of the Reagan calling him a ghost or something. Either that or he will go completely Frat!Boy!Tony which would be even worse I think...

He needs plenty of hugs.
mylogiceatsyou
Jun. 23rd, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
Frat boy Tony by day, Ghost by night...
kaylashay
Jun. 24th, 2008 06:34 am (UTC)
This comment has a little plot bunny jumping at my legs and I can't shake it off...
mylogiceatsyou
Jun. 24th, 2008 07:23 am (UTC)
Oh, ooh I can see it now. :D
kaylashay
Jun. 30th, 2008 03:14 am (UTC)
The bunny bit hard enough and I wrote it for the drabble fic of the week.

:-)
tearful_eye
Jun. 23rd, 2008 10:15 am (UTC)
aw. this is somehow beautiful & painful at the same time - just like i always see tony. lots of hidden darkness... really lovely ficlet.
kaylashay
Jun. 23rd, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Tony has lots of hidden stuff to him than many don't see, so I like playing with it.

:-)
ksl2025
Jun. 23rd, 2008 10:32 am (UTC)
I love thsee five things. :-)
And I like that it isn't really the ice pack that offers comfort---but the association. It was tangible proof someone cared and that he would be okay. Very, very nice.
kaylashay
Jun. 23rd, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
That's all Tony needs is to know that someone cares for him... of course getting that point across to him is painstaking and requires lots of patience.

I really want to know how the show is going to resolve things to get the team back together. Because it is the team that makes the show, not the cases like the CSIs.
sunshine_sean
Jun. 23rd, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
Just the way I see Tony. Only, I wouldn't be able to wrap it up as nicely as you do (:

I can see how Tony fight the tears at night, alone on that ship, waiting for his assignment to be over. I totally agree with you... Tony needs a hug 24/7.

Great fic.
kaylashay
Jun. 24th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Tony's like Shrek who's like an Onion... they all have layers. :-)
sunshine_sean
Jun. 26th, 2008 09:21 am (UTC)
That's a nice metaphor. But I totally agree with you. And Tony has way too many layers wrapped around his heart... you never see right through.
kaylashay
Jun. 30th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
I have this little thought that's always been stuck in my head about Abby and McGee talking about Tony and McGee saying how there wasn't much to him. Then Abby enlightens on the ways of Tony using Shrek and onions as her starting point.
matt51
Jun. 29th, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Ah, man...this is a terrific collection of tied-together thoughts. The ever-present cold that parallels DiNozzo's bleakest times is a great method to remind the reader of the connection between the body and the soul.

I also want to comment on how much emotion you managed to capture from such few words, like short, staccato jabs to the heart. Nice work-

Matt
kaylashay
Jun. 30th, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
Thanks! Tony's character just hits all these emotion buttons for me in writing that I never had before. There's so much to his character that's left unexplored in the show and I want to get in there and dig around and find all the little things that make him tick.
azraelz_angel
Jul. 7th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC)
Again, great job. You do such an amazing, terrific job of getting into Tony's head. And the background snippets that you give are perfect.

The night after his injury however, the ice packs were no relief. They couldn’t ease the burn of losing his sports career. These two lines really broke my heart. For Tony, to lose his sports career and to have his hopes and dreams washed away. *whimpers* That just broke my heart. I mean, I'm not glad it happened, but if it hadn't then we would have never gotten Tony, you know?
( 25 Campfires — Leave a Comment )

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