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The Lost Boy

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Gibbs heaved a deep sigh has he stood in line at the grocery store. He preferred to do his shopping early Saturday morning when the store was almost deserted, not on a busy Friday night. He mentally groaned has a customer and the cashier started to argue over the price of item. Out of sheer boredom, he started to scan the headlines of the various gossips rags.

Gibbs suddenly frowned when he caught the name 'DiNozzo' splashed across the cover of a well known gossip magazine. He pulled the magazine out of the rack and skimmed though the article. Anthony DiNozzo Senior was getting marring to a bikini model almost 30 years his junior. Gibbs felt a surge of anger when he read that DiNozzo Senior was hoping to fill his Long Island home with children.

'You have a son you’ve ignored for almost 25 years, and now you want to have children?" Gibbs thought to himself angrily, and stuffed the magazine back into the rack when the line finally started to move.

Gibbs wasn't surprised to see Tony's car parked outside his house. Tony was slumped on the sofa holding a bottle beer and staring bleakly at the coffee table that was covered in magazines. Some of the magazines were old but Gibbs easily spotted the magazine he had flipped through while he was at the grocery store. He quickly put his groceries away, grabbed a beer and joined his Senior Agent on the sofa.

"Do you know why I was shipped off to Rhode Island Military College when I was twelve?" Tony asked in a tired voice. "Wife number two, Cheryl, didn't want me around the house. She didn't want a reminder of my mother in her house. After daddy dearest shipped me off, she took it one step further. She completely redecorated top to bottom. She threw everything, and I mean everything out. My baptism outfit, a locket hair from my first haircut, mama’s wedding dress, all my artwork, my toys, the family photo albums; all of it into the garbage. It was useless trash as far as she was concerned." Tony gave a shaky laugh. "Thankfully our house keeper rescued most of the stuff and kept it for me."

Gibbs heart ached has Tony spoke. He couldn’t image throwing away Kelly’s old artwork, her toys, Shannon’s letters, or the family photo albums.

"I spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter at school and my summers at camp. As far as they were concerned I didn’t exist. They divorced when I was sixteen years old. My eighteenth birthday? Wife number three got an engagement ring and I got a lawyers letter saying I was officially disowned. They got divorced six years later; turns out she was doing her golf instructor," Tony said flicking a bead of moisture off his beer bottle. "I was working in Philly when he married wife number four. Big photo spread in People, and ET had a reporter at the wedding. It was the social event of the year," Tony shook his head in disgust. "I wonder if he gave the money back when they got divorced a year later.

“And now we have wife number five: Briana Caverly," Tony said gesturing at the coffee table. "Did you know she was Swimsuit Illustrated Model of the Year three years ago? I use to think she was really hot and now I can't look at her without feeling sick to my stomach. My future step mother is seven years younger than me.” Tony looked at Gibbs, and Gibbs could see the lost and lonely boy who never understood why his father never loved him. "Do you want to know the real kicker is? He wants to have kids. He wants to turn my old bedroom into a nursery and fill it with children. I guess I don't count, do I?" A single tear dribbled down Tony’s face followed by another and another.

"You count," Gibbs said gently taking the beer bottle from Tony and pulling the younger man into hug and stroking Tony’s back has he shook with silent sobs. “Your dad has no idea what he threw away and what I gained. I may not be your biological father, but you are the closest thing I will ever have to a son.”