Sorry for the long unexcused absence - it was Christmas! Hope you all had a good Christmas and new year :) Anyway - thank you for all your amazing reviews during this story and I hope you do the same for the next, I plan to write a couple more chapters of my next story before posting so look out for it - I'm still looking for a beta - any offers just email me. Thanks again!
Gibbs peered over the top of his newspaper and watched as Tony slowly opened his eyes, "Glad to see you're still with us DiNozzo," Gibbs greeted as he folded the newspaper and placed it the bed next to his propped up feet. Tony frowned at his view of the ceiling. Gibbs sighed, "Over here DiNozzo," Tony looked down and Gibbs starring at him with an amused smile.
"What's the damage?" Tony asked in a raspy voice as he spotted the IV line going into his arm. Gibbs lifted his feet off Tony's hospital bed and pulled his chair closer.
"A couple of broken ribs, the rest are bruised, some cuts and scratches that aren't too serious, the smoke inhalation however has kept you on a ventilator for the last couple of days."
"So that's why my throat feels like sandpaper," Tony answered.
"Here," Gibbs stood up, picked up a cup and helped Tony to eat ice chips. The ice melted into cool water and slid down his throat, soothing his raw throat instantly. "Better?"
"Much, thank you," Gibbs sat back down. Suddenly Tony's eyes widened and he shot up ignoring the pain to his ribs. "My Dad! Where is he?" Gibbs grasped Tony's shoulders and pushed him back down onto his bed, trying his best not to hurt Tony any further.
"Your father's fine DiNozzo, He was better off than you, only stayed over night."
Tony winced as laid back down, "Lucky him," Gibbs pressed the button above Tony's head and a minute later a doctor walked in.
"Good morning Mr DiNozzo, how are you feeling?" The young blonde and female doctor asked.
"Better now that you're here," Tony smiled. Gibbs rolled his eyes. The doctor checked him over, ignoring Tony's flirty smiles and innuendo, "So how am I doing doc?"
"You'll live," She replied with a slight smile. "We'll probably keep you another couple of days and then you'll need to rest at home for another two to four weeks."
"Sounds boring," Tony answered with a frown.
"It's better than the alternative DiNozzo," Gibbs spoke sternly, giving the doctor a chance to escape.
"So, did you get Alistair Fields?" Gibbs nodded grimly. Tony knew that look. "What is it?"
"We have the container ship and all the weapons, just nothing connecting him to them."
"But you have me and my dad as witnesses, he and his goons attacked me!" Tony cried.
"I know, but with all the paperwork pointing to your father, he's not a reliable witness."
"The son of the soon to be accused?"
"And a federal agent!" Tony defended himself
"Doesn't negate the fact that Alistair Fields has enough money to buy himself the best lawyers in the country and with no hard evidence-" Gibbs didn't need to finish his sentence.
"Don't tell me you're not going to fight this!"
"Do you really think I'm going to let this go?" Gibbs shouted back, "He nearly killed you! I won't sleep until I get that man in jail!" Gibbs angered eyes softened.
"Sorry," Tony's eyes fell.
"Don't apologise, it's a sign of weakness," Gibbs lectured.
"It takes a strong man to apologise Agent Gibbs," Anthony DiNozzo began as he walked through the door, "And an even stronger man to mean it," He finished as he stared pointedly at his son. The plain cardboard box he was holding puzzled Tony. "Glad to see you're doing so well son," His father added with a slight nod of his head.
"Likewise," Tony replied, "What's in the box?" Tony couldn't hold his curiosity.
"It's a present," Anthony answered, "For you,"
"Me?" Tony asked confused. His birthday was months ago.
"A late Christmas present," Anthony spoke with remorse, "I was so busy i forgot to get you anything," He handed the box over and Tony took it excitedly, "I asked a friend of mine what a thirty four year old movie lover would want and he helped me find this," He explained. Tony ripped open the box and lifted out the contents. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped.
"I don't believe it," Tony spoke incredulously.
"What the hell is that DiNozzo?" Gibbs frowned.
Tony ran his hand over the clear crystal egg, "Is this the real thing?" He asked.
"Yes, cost me a fortune, but it's the real thing," Anthony replied.
"DiNozzo!" Gibbs cried impatiently.
"It's the crystal egg from Risky Business," Tony answered, still in awe of the object in his hands. He'd always related to the film so much, especially Tom Cruise's character. He had it on DVD and watched it more times than he could count. Having a piece of that film in his hands was staggering.
"Risky who?" Gibbs asked, clueless.
"Risky Business," Tony repeated, "It's a film," He looked up at his father, "Thank you."
Anthony smiled, "I'm glad you like it," There was something in Anthony's eyes that told Tony he had more to say.
"What is it?"
Anthony pulled a chair to Tony's bedside and sat down, "There is something I haven't told you, it's been eating away at me since we were kidnapped."
"Tell me," Tony answered, worried about the graveness in Anthony's voice.
"It's my fault we were kidnapped."
"What?" Tony asked with a frown. Anthony stayed silent, "Are you saying you helped Alistair Fields?" Tony spoke as he pulled himself up.
Anthony's head snapped up, "No!" he cried, "No" He repeated quietly, "I phoned him," He began as he stared at the floor, "Told him I wasn't going release the ship, and that I was going to sell the weapons myself, cutting him out of his own deal," Tony didn't get a chance to speak. Gibbs grabbed Anthony by his lapels and pushed him against the nearest wall.
"You put my agent in danger to make a profit! You bastard!" Gibbs pulled Anthony forward and then back against the wall harshly, Tony heard the smack as his father's head connected with the brick wall, "You were a bad father when Tony was a kid and I can see nothing has changed," Gibbs spat, "I don't want you anywhere near him ever again!" Gibbs pulled him back, ready to punch Anthony but Tony stopped him.
"Stop!" He shouted, halting Gibbs in mid stroke, "Boss," Tony pleaded, "He's not worth it," Gibbs let go of Anthony's jacket and stepped back.
"Son," Anthony said.
"Don't," Tony interrupted, "Leave now, before I change my mind and let Gibbs finish what he started," Anthony hesitated for a second before sighing and walking towards the door, "Oh and dad?"
"Yes?" Anthony turned to his son.
"I'm thirty five, not thirty four," Tony finished by turning away from his father.
Anthony turned back to the doorway, "I love you Tony," He spoke softly before leaving. Tony closed his eyes and hung his head.
"Why'd you let him go?" Gibbs asked as he walked back around to Tony's bedside.
"He can't help it Boss, he's a power addict and a control freak, I'm not surprised he did what he did, I think half of me was expecting it," Tony laughed hollowly, "For a moment… for a very short moment, me and my dad connected, for the first time in thirty five years we understood each other,"
"Not surprising, in a life and death situation like that," Gibbs shrugged as he made himself comfortable in the very uncomfortable plastic chair.
"Were does that leave us now?" Tony asked Gibbs as he stared at the crystal egg that still lay in his hands.
"Wherever you want," Gibbs replied, "He's your father, whether he's good at it or not."
Tony thought about it for a second, "I think there's still a chance, maybe all this was the opportunity we needed,"
"Then start with a letter, then maybe a phone call, just don't get you hopes up too high too soon," Gibbs said, "Baby steps," He added with a smirk.
"Baby steps," Tony repeated with a nod and a smile.
"Tony!" A familiar voice shouted. Abby ran into the room excitedly and pulled Tony into a hug. Tony moaned in pain as Abby pushed against his broken ribs, "Oh no!" She cried, "Did I hurt you?"
"I'm fine Abs," Tony replied through gritted teeth. Ziva, McGee and Ducky walked in a second later, "Hi Guys," Tony smiled, "Missed me?"
"Missed you? Mr X-rayed Peter Pan?," Ziva laughed.
Tony glared at McGee, "First of all it's X-Rated, second, You're gonna regret telling her that Probie," He warned. McGee gulped.
"I was so worried about you," Abby changed the subject, "First I'm told you had a fight with Gibbs and that you quit and suddenly you're in a fire and McGee rings to tell me you're on a ventilator and-" Tony place a finger on her lips to silence her.
"I'm fine," He repeated. Gibbs snorted, "Something you wanna share Gibbs?"
"You're not fine Tony."
"Who made you my doctor!"
"I Know more about these things than you do DiNozzo," Gibbs' voice began to rise in volume.
"You know nothing about me! Who the hell are you to tell me how I should feel?"
"Oh no!" Abby spoke, "They're fighting for real this time!" She took a step back as Gibbs and Tony ignored her.
"Maybe I should quit NCIS for real if this is how I will be treated," Tony growled.
"Maybe you should!" Gibbs replied. The pair's eyes dark and angry as they stared at each other. The rest of the team watched in silence as they glared at each other with equal intensity. Slowly Tony's lip quirked, evolving into a smirk. His eyes began to gleam and as he tried to hold back the laughter, Gibbs angered expression turned to full blown laughter. Tony joined in, his laugh softer to prevent further pain to his chest, "You caved first DiNozzo!" Gibbs said between laughs.
"You looked so serious!" Tony replied as he wiped away the tears of laughter. They looked to the rest of the team and laughed even harder at their shocked expressions, "Fooled you twice guys, you really have to learnt to stop being so gullible!" Tony sighed happily and settled back under the covers but Gibbs noticed the bags under Tony's eyes.
"Okay, fun's over, you need your sleep."
"Aww, come on boss!" Tony whined.
"No buts," Gibbs said sternly.
"Fine," Tony said, "You gonna come visit me tomorrow?"
"Who else is gonna sneak in pizza for you?" Gibbs asked rhetorically as he herded his team out of the room.
"Bye guys!" Tony shouted as they left the room. He closed his eyes and began to fall asleep when he felt someone shaking him. He opened one eye and then the other, smiling when he found himself staring into Abby's eyes.
"Tony?" She asked.
"Yeah Abs?" He replied as he closed his eyes again.
"You keep a secret mission from me again, fake a fight with Gibbs and disappear off the map to stop your father and his associate and his evil daughter from selling grenade launcher to Iraqis-
"I know, I know," Tony interrupted, "You'll kick my ass" He smiled.
"Glad we understand each other," She kissed his cheek and smiled before jumping excitedly out of the room.