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Death By Secrets

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Jimmy Palmer walked into the morgue whistling the song that had been playing on his radio on the way into work. He flicked on the lights and headed straight for the wall of units to pull out their first patient, scooping up the clipboard Ducky’s desk as he went. He glanced over the list and saw it was patient 3B who needed to have his autopsy today. He opened the door and pulled the cadaver out, and froze in horror. There was a body lying on the slab in the middle of the room, tools set out around itAnthony DiNozzo was laying on the slab and white mist was flowing out around him.

“Oh no,” Jimmy groaned, “Not this dream again!”

Then the eyes flickered open and he sighed, rubbing at his face, “Wake up, Jimmy. Wake up.”

“Put me back,” A wretched, wheezing voice hissed at him, “I’m not dead yet.”

“Yeah, okay,” Jimmy sighed, and pushed the door shut. The mist drifted off along the floor and Jimmy stood there in confusion, waiting to wake up or for all the bodies to start crawling out of their units. Neither happened and Jimmy’s heart began to race in horror. He pulled 3B open again and checked DiNozzo for a pulse. It was weak and as he stood over him trying to figure out where the mist was coming from he realized there was a block of dry ice at his feet.

He checked the man over to see if he was tied down, but apparently he wasn’t restrained in any way. Instead he was simply laying there beneath a sheet which covered his… nudity?

“Okay. Um. Okay. Don’t panic Tony,” Jimmy squeaked in horror, “We have an oxygen max- I mean mask- in here somewhere and… and… and…  I know! I’ll call Doctor Mallard!”

“No…” Tony wheezed, and put a weak arm out to stop him. Jimmy didn’t listen so Tony struggled off of the rollaway table, toppled to the floor, and tried to stumble after him. The end result was a horrific coughing fit and then he vomited onto the floor.

“Doctor Mallard, it’s Jimmy,” Jimmy stammered into the phone, “Someone locked Tony in a refridgeration unit with a block of dry ice! He’s really sick and…”

An hour later, after Jimmy had practically sat on Tony to force the man to accept oxygen until Ducky arrived, the distressed ME finally allowed Gibbs to approach. McGee was on his way to Tony’s apartment to get him some clothes and check for a primary crime scene. Ziva was going through the neatly folded pile of Tony’s clothes. There was no sign of a struggle and Tony had no defensive wounds, but Ducky had drawn blood so they’d figure that out in short order.

“Tony, what happened?” Gibbs asked, putting his hand on the shaky younger man’s bare shoulder.

Tony’s response was a subtle shake of his head.

“I think you had better read this, Gibbs,” Ziva stated, holding up a piece of paper she’d found in Tony’s pants pocket.

“Letter from the wanna-be killers?” Gibbs asked with narrowed eyes.

“It appears to be a suicide note,” Ziva replied, “In Tony’s handwriting.”

“Bag it and tag it,” Gibbs replied, then looked back down at Tony, “Can you describe them, Tony? Who made you write that?”

“I really think you should read this, Gibbs,” Ziva stressed.

“I’m not reading some damn suicide note!” Gibbs shouted at her, making everyone in the room jump, “If Tony really did this- and I mean if- than he’ll tell me himself!”

“His throat may be too raw at the moment,” Ducky replied sadly, “Perhaps some honey and tea will-“

“Someone did make him, according to this,” Ziva stated, “But he does not specify who.”

That sealed it for Gibbs and he walked over to snap on gloves and snatch the letter from her hands.

“Dear Ducky,

I apologize for the rude awakening. At least you won’t need any tea today cause this should wake you right up.  Not funny, DiNozzo! I wish I could tell you that this was something interesting so you could tell people about it some day, but I’m afraid it’s just your garden-variety suicide. For the record, it’s nothing to do with the job or anything, so let everyone- especially McGee- know that this isn’t their fault. I’ve been hiding some serious pain for a while now and someone made me face it last night. I decided it was time to end things. I’m tired of running from job to job to keep my secrets. I’m just plain worn out.

Tell Gibbs that tonight I will look up at the moon; and I will know that somewhere he is looking at it too.

Anthony DiNozzo Jr.

What the hell is this, DiNozzo?!” Gibbs raged, slamming it down on Ducky’s desk.

“Sorry Boss,” DiNozzo wheezed, his voice nearly a whistle.

“You’re sorry? Sorry doesn’t cut it, DiNozzo!” Gibb shouted.

“Jethro,” Ducky stated softly, reaching out to stop him from storming back over to the sullen man, “I realize that you’re upset, and I am too, but do you really think this will help matters? Anthony needs to see a therapist, not get chewed out by his boss.”

“I hate therapists,” Gibbs growled.

“It’s not for you,” Ducky chuckled, “It’s for him.”

“What I don’t understand,” Ducky sighed, walking over to Tony to check his bloodpressure and the colour of his lips again, “Is why you felt the need to put dry ice in there? The refrigeration unites are airtight.”

“Because,” Gibbs snarled, “He didn’t want to die slowly. Also he knew he had a time limit since he altered your records for today’s autopsy.”

“Ah,” Ducky nodded, “I see. Perhaps his delay was a cry for help?”

“I doubt it,” Gibbs grunted.

“Well, you chose a poor method, my dear boy,” Ducky told him, “Dry ice is made up of carbon dioxide. Carbon monoxide is the substance that lulls one into the eternal sleep. Had you been in there for much longer you’d have suffered tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmias, lost consciousness, then perhaps gone into convulsions, before dying in rather a lot of pain.”

“Oh,” Tony wheezed out.

“As it is we’ll be sending you to the hospital for those ice burns on your feet,” Ducky told him, “If you’re lucky they won’t need to do a skin graft.”

Gibbs growled, “This isn’t right. Don’t you see that, Ducky? Tony wouldn’t just off himself. He wouldn’t. Something caused this and I’m going to get to the bottom of it.”

Gibbs turned to storm out of the morgue dramatically but his phone went off halfway there, he pulled it out and put it to his ear. He paused a moment and then turned with a sigh, “Ziva, leave that for McGee. We’ve got a possible case. Ducky, follow us after Tony’s ambulance arrives.”

“Possible?” Ziva asked, stopping what she was doing to hurry over.

“Yeah,” Gibbs glanced at Tony suspiciously, “A marine was just found dead with his head in a box… of dry ice.”