Brown eyes scanned an empty bullpen, with a sigh shaking his whole body Special Agent Anthony Dinozzo stood up. He looked down at his aging hands and grabbed the paper he had been reviewing. It was a case file, simple, classic, just another serial killer they had put behind bars. But something about this one caused something to happen behind the scenes of this weathered agent's eyes. He slowly placed the paper back in it's file and then laid it on his boss' desk. He turned slowly, his dark hues landing on the clock against the brown tinted wall and he grunted very much like Gibbs would have when the time 4:01 A.M. flashed back at him. Tony drew in a shaky breath and grabbed his coat, slowly the agents body made it's way to the elevator his fingers hitting the lights as he left.

"Morning Jethro." Director Shepherd spoke softly into Gibbs' ear as her fingers stroked the silvery chest of the seasoned marine.

"Mmm...good morning to you Director." He smiled and kissed her forehead, his fingers running through the length of her hair.

"You know...we have an hour before I have to go to work Jethro." Shepherd purred gently, her nails tracing their way down his inner thigh.

" hour, for you. But I have to get a criminal to his cell this morning." He laid his hand upon her's and pushed it off slowly his lips running along the length of her forearm before he got out of bed.

Tony tossed in his bed, sleep decided not to come to him on tonight of all nights. He ran his hand across his sweating brow and just gazed at the ceiling. His fingers traced over the solitary ring that was attached to his necklace. He closed his eyes and hummed silently, a tune that was so slow it could soothe a babe into sleep but not Tony. For Tony it was a song of sadness, not joy, there used to be someone he shared that song with someone he shared his heart and his home with. But in one flick of a finger, one squeeze of a trigger his life had been taken away from him.

Tiny feet could be heard beating against the floor of his apartment and Tony sprang from the bed, he smiled weakly as any father would in the wee hours of the morning to his young daughter. "Hey baby what are you doing out of bed?" He asked in a soft, soothing tone. His hand landed on her cheek, she was ice cold and shivering he made a soft sound and ran his thumb across her cheek while she spoke.

"Daddy...I don't feel good..." She mumbled her body rolling into his lap, his eyes widened as he caught her limp form. She had always been sickly when she was younger but at five when she recieved a heart transplant she seemed to get better, but Tony had flash backs. In an instant she was clutched in his arms and he was racing down the stairs of his apartment, his door swinging behind him with a force strong enough to wake the dead.

The phone rang even as Gibbs began to head out the door, but for some reason he was compelled to answer it. His fingers latched around the receiver and even as he picked it up he could feel his gut wrenching.


"Gibbs! It's Tony, Teresa she's..."

"Where are you?"

"Meadowbrook Children's Hospital."

"Give me ten."

For those ten minutes Tony sat on the edge of his seat, his fingers caressing the stuffed bear that Teresa so treasured. His breath came in quick gasps and he was doing everything he could to keep from having a panic attack. But nothing really seemed to ease those nerves until a hand fell on his shoulder and his brown eyes caught the steel blue of Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

"How is she?"

"They...they won't tell me anything..." Gibbs kneaded his shoulder gently, taking a seat beside him. Tony looked like he was the walking dead, but since the beginning of this case he had appeared as such. Especially the night after Louisa was murdered. He sighed gently and looked down, those icy blues closing he could still remember the man beside him crouched and crying covered in his wife's blood...and screaming her name over and over again. It was a sound that Gibbs was sure he could never forget...something that would haunt him for the rest of his days.

The shuffling of feet could be heard and standing there before them was a young doctor, Tony immediately stood and Gibbs was right behind him placing a hand carefully on Tony's shoulder as the doctor began to speak.

"Agent Dinozzo...I didn't think I would have to see you with Teresa here again for a long long time...and I wish I had better news for you but to say that I did would be a lie..."

"Stop bullshitting me doctor and tell me whats wrong with my little girl!" He practically threw his body at the doctor but Gibbs' firm hand pulled him back and thrust him into a seat.

"You relax Dinozzo or I will yank your gun and badge so fast you'll have some sort of burn!" He growled at the man and then turned back to the doctor with a forced smile. '"What we both mean is, what's going on with her doctor?"

"She's dying to say it nicely...her heart is giving out and there is very little possibility that she can recieve another since the list is so long..."

The doctor was so used to the long faces that seemed to be a never ending stream when he had to relate the worst news but he wasn't prepared for what Tony would do. The man launched himself at the doctor, the only thing saving the poor man was Gibbs stepping into the way and placing a well trained fist right into the gut of the other agent sending him flying across the waiting room. "Dinozzo! Stand down and that's an order!"

The doctor was quite terrified, even when Gibbs reassured him that Tony was quite the teddy bear and meant no real harm then asked where the phone was. The doctor told him hurriedly and scurried off leaving Gibbs glaring with those cold hues back at Tony. "If you move Dinozzo I will not hesitate to put fifteen rounds in you and give your daughter your heart!" He snorted then headed towards the phone leaving Tony behind just sitting where he had landed with tears falling down those tanned cheeks.