"Aw, Ducky that hurts, ouch, and that," Tony yelped as Ducky examined Tony's leg. Ducky pushed against Tony's foot. Hot pain flared up his leg.
"Shit! Ducky stop, please," Tony gasped out trying to grab Ducky and pull him away.
"Okay Tony, all done," Ducky said patting Tony on the shoulder. "Jimmy, could you ask Timothy to come down here to lend me a hand?"
"Of course Doctor," Palmer replied moving to the phone.
"What do you need McGee for?" Tony asked suspiciously.
"Your leg is in spasm Tony and the bruising it has already sustained does not allow for a deep massage which in most cases would relax the muscle and stop the spasm." Ducky explained.
"So what do ya need with McGee?" Tony asked again.
"I need him and Mr Palmer to hold you while I administer an injection, "Ducky replied.
An injection didn't sound that bad, Tony thought, but why would Ducky need someone to hold him down, let alone two, Tony's pondering was interpreted by the arrival of McGee who was closely followed by Kate.
Kate looked Tony up and down as he sat on one of the autopsy tables his legs spread out before him, Ducky having stripped him of his pants. Tony adjusted the tails of his shirt trying to hide his underwear.
"This isn't a damn peep show Kate," he growled.
Kate just smiled and winked at him.
"Wow Tony," McGee exclaimed having examined Tony's bruised leg. "What incredible colours."
"Glad you like it Probie," Tony snapped
"I think we had best get this over with before Tony's mood deteriorates," Ducky said preparing the syringe.
"Ducky I still don't know why you need Palmer and Probie here?" Tony said sourly. "An injection in the arm can't be that bad."
Ducky turned round, syringe in his hand.
"Tony, it's not going in your arm," Ducky said, "It has to go in your leg muscle and as it's in spasm it's going to be extremely painful, but you have to remain still to ensure you don't snap the needle off." Ducky explained.
"Hey Ducky, surely some painkillers will do the trick," Tony said as he attempted to move his legs off the table. Ducky gave a nod to McGee and Palmer. Palmer gripping Tony's ankles and McGee gripping Tony's shoulders.
"Shit Ducky," Tony gritted out as Ducky approached with the needle. Tony curled his hands around the edge of the table his knuckles turning white.
"Tony, you must hold as still as possible," Ducky warned.
"Just do it Ducky," Tony ordered closing his eyes.
Ducky pressed the needle into Tony's thigh firmly, fighting the resistance as he slid it to the correct depth, he felt Tony go tense, McGee and Palmer tightening their grips. Ducky injected the drugs and pulled the needle back out.
Tony groaned a sigh of relief once the needle was removed, sagging back, thankful that McGee still had a grip of his shoulders.
"All done Tony, you'll feel better in a few minutes. Perhaps you should lie down," Ducky said helping McGee to lay Tony flat. Palmer grabbed a sheet and covered Tony with it.
"Ducky, he's going to be …." Kate started as the group moved away from the table.
"He'll be fine Kate; the drugs will work very soon. He'll be up and getting into more mischief before you know it," Ducky reassured. "He just needs a moment to himself."
"He'll be okay for tonight?" McGee asked in a whisper.
"He'll be fine Timothy."
Gibbs walked into a deserted squad room. There was paper piled all over Kate's, McGee's and Tony's desks, a pizza box sat on Tony's chair, Gibbs walked towards it, flipping the lid and removing a slice. He was a little concerned that a pizza had not only got cold but had remained unmolested by Tony. He walked to his desk and sat down, pulling an envelope from his coat. He had worried what to do about the envelope ever since Tony's cousin has given it to him. It hadn't been his intention to let Tony know that he had gone to see is Father, but he was uncertain on how to give Tony the envelope. A part of him didn't want to; the items contained within were years old, probably long forgotten by Tony, he won't miss them. But another part of him realised how precious such things could be. He tucked the envelope back into his coat, perhaps Ducky could help. He threw the slice of pizza in the bin.
Gibbs discovered his missing team the moment he stepped off the elevator and walked into autopsy. He saw Tony lying on a table, a white sheet pulled up to his chest. He gave Ducky a sharp look.
"What the hell is going on?" he demanded, he marched over to Tony putting a gentle hand on his forehead.
"He's fine Jethro," Ducky said suddenly at his side. "He took a back-up call this afternoon and re-injured his leg. I had to administer an extremely painful injection, once Tony laid down however, he fell asleep. I thought it best to leave him," Ducky quickly explained.
"You sure he's okay Ducky?" Gibbs asked brushing his hand across Tony's hair before replacing it back onto his forehead.
"He'll be fine," Ducky reassured, "Although I would recommend that he is placed on desk duty for a couple of weeks,"
"He won't like that Duck," Gibbs said gently.
"Then he'll have to lump it," Ducky said firmly. "That leg can't take much more, its desk duty or hospital." Ducky said moving away from the table, Gibbs following.
Gibbs looked at Kate and McGee questioningly.
"Ducky needed help with Tony," McGee quickly said.
"Did you get everything done?" Gibbs asked Kate.
"Yes, we just need to take it to your place," Kate replied.
Gibbs pulled his house keys from his pocket passing them to Kate.
"Palmer, help Kate and McGee," Gibbs ordered.
Palmer looked at Ducky and received a confirming nod; he followed Kate and McGee from the room.
"It is very generous of you inviting us all to Christmas dinner Jethro," Ducky said. "What with mother at her sisters I would have found it quite lonely. Should be a quite a lively affair this year, what with Tony, Abby, Timothy, Catlin and young Jimmy all in the same room."
Gibbs walked to the far end of the room making sure he was out of earshot of Tony. Ducky followed.
"I went to see Tony's father," Gibbs suddenly said
"I see," Ducky replied. "It didn't go well?"
"He didn't get a chance to say a lot, one of Tony's cousins caught up with me, he explained a few things. Tony's father is dying." Gibbs explained.
Ducky shot a quick look at Tony. "Do you intend to tell him?" he asked
"I hadn't planned to Duck; I didn't want him to know I'd been. But his cousin gave me something for Tony." Gibbs said pulling the envelope from his coat, flipping it open and pulling out the contents. A small envelope with "mom" written on it and a discoloured photograph sat side by side protected by a plastic cover. A second photograph, a newer, cleaner version of the first completed the contents.
Ducky took the newer photograph from Gibbs hand.
"Tony's mother?" he asked
"Yeah, when his mom died he placed a letter and the photograph in a tin under a summer house his mom liked to use. His cousin managed to get his hands on it before his father."
"His mother was rather beautiful," Ducky said "You can see where Tony got his good looks. You do intend to pass these items to him Jethro, don't you?" Ducky said sharply.
"Ducky, he buried them to remember his mother, god knows what's in that letter, it can't do any good to drag it all back up," Gibbs said.
"Jethro, I am surprised by your attitude," Ducky said sternly. "Tony was a child when he buried this photograph, when he wrote that letter. A loss of a parent eases in time, but the pain is never forgotten and to have items long forgotten or long thought lost returned may bring back bittersweet memories, but it is not for you to deny Tony the right to process them."
"I just don't want him to hurt anymore Ducky, he's been through enough," Gibbs explained.
"None of us like to see him hurting, but he is an adult he has a right to make his own choices. No matter where they may lead him." Ducky said.
"I'll give them to him tonight, after dinner," Gibbs said decisively, putting the items back into the envelope.
"Better wake sleeping beauty up, time to get ready for tonight," Gibbs said to Ducky as he walked back towards Tony.
Tony was having a great time. He felt relaxed and for the first time in weeks he was genuinely happy. He had damn near fallen off the autopsy table when he was woken and Gibbs faced loomed into his vision. Gibbs had smiled and told Tony to get dressed; he was taking him to dinner. Gibbs had then headed for the door telling Tony he would meet him in the garage. Ducky had appeared holding his pants and asking if his leg felt all right, which to Tony's relief it did, it felt stiff and sore but the unbearable pain had gone.
Ducky had escorted Tony to the garage and had surprised him but getting into the back seat of Gibbs car. Tony shrugged, the more the merrier in his book. Gibbs and Ducky had laughed at Tony's surprised expression when they had turned up at Chan's and Tony had discovered Abby, Kate, McGee and Palmer were already seated at a table. Abby waving enthusiastically at them. The evening just kept getting better and better.
They had finished their meal and Tony had leant back in his chair listening to the conversation between Ducky and Abby regarding bats, the mix of painkillers and alcohol had left him with a pleasant buzz. Ducky had missed the first beer, but had firmly told the others that Tony could have no more after he spotted the second; Ducky had replaced the beer with an orange juice.
"Abby it's time," Gibbs said interrupting the conversation. "Who wants to go first?"
"I will," Palmer said pulling some thing from underneath the table and passing it to Tony.
Tony sat up in his chair to take the package from Palmer, puzzled. It was a bit early to exchange Christmas presents, he looked down at the package realising that it was in fact a birthday present. He looked up at the others.
"We missed your birthday Tony," Gibbs explained. "Sorry it's late."
Tony just sat there in stunned surprise.
"Tony, open your present," Abby demanded excitedly. "We want our go."
Tony looked back down at the present and started to unwrap it revealing the DVD "The House of Wax", the 1950's original.
"Hey thanks Jimmy," Tony said with a smile. "I don't have this one."
Palmer flushed with pleasure at Tony using his first name, an indication this his present had been well received.
"My turn," Kate said presenting Tony with a beautifully wrapped present. Tony took it with a small amount of suspicion which turned to surprise when he uncovered a book, "The Journals of Lewis & Clark".
"Katie this is … wow," he said as he leafed through the book, Ducky leaning over to peer at it as well.
"Ah a most fascinating book," Ducky said. "The depth of their observations is quite outstanding."
"Thanks Kate," Tony said.
Gibbs and Abby gave McGee a pointed looked. McGee had lost his confidence over the present he had chosen, he was suddenly very nervous about giving it to Tony but the glares from Gibbs and Abby left him with no choice.
"Tony, Happy Belated Birthday," he said as he handed it to Tony.
Tony tore at the paper, starting to laugh as he revealed the title.
"A Magnum P.I Annual Probie?" Tony smiled.
"Tony, I'm sorry ….. "McGee started.
"Where did you get it Tim?" Tony asked. "These are hard to get hold off, 1982, wow, thanks man," Tony finished flipping through the book.
"There's a small memorabilia store …." McGee replied with enthusiasm before being cut of once again.
"Ours now," Abby said practically bouncing in her seat. "Gibbs?"
"Over to you Abs,"
"Gibbs and I have entered you into the River Gorge challenge," she stated.
"Huh?" Tony said mystified.
"It's a two day three man team event. You have to complete a course that includes white water rafting, rock climbing, rappelling and hiking," Gibbs explained.
"Three man team?" Tony asked
"Yeah, that's the catch Tony, Gibbs and I have signed ourselves up as your team members." Abby said.
"You have!" Tony exclaimed. "I didn't know you did that kind of thing Abs."
"I've done some climbing, but we have until May to get into shape, so you guys can teach me." Abby said pleased that her present to Tony would enable her to spend more time with both Gibbs and Tony.
"Bout time you took that stuff back up," Gibbs said.
Conversations then started about the various presents and the reasons behind them that lasted long into the night.
Gibbs pulled up outside Tony's apartment block and killed the engine. He turned towards Tony who was gathering up all his presents. Gibbs reached into his coat and fingered the envelope.
"Tony I ….. "he started but Tony turned towards him.
"Boss I had the most, I just can't believe," Tony stopped unable to find the words; he leant forward and gave Gibbs a brief hug.
"Boss, the last couple of weeks, they were tough, but I want you to know I'm over it now, I know where my family truly is. " Tony said.
He released his safety belt and grabbed his presents.
"Can you believe I spent an hour discussing flora and fauna with McGee and Palmer," Tony chuckled opening the door.
He started to get out of the car.
"Tony, remember everyone is staying at my place tomorrow night, don't forget to bring what you'll need." Gibbs reminded him.
"Not a problem Boss." Tony acknowledged as he got out of the car, he ducked back down again looking at Gibbs. "I have got you the most kick arse present," he said with a huge grin, "wait till you unwrap it in front of Katie" He closed the car door and walked to his apartment building.
Gibbs started the car and drove off. There was no way he was going to burst the kids happiness, not tonight. He hadn't seen Tony so happy in weeks; he'll give him a few more days just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, that Tony really understood where he belonged. Things were looking good. Gibbs reached into his coat and fingered the envelope. A few more days won't hurt.
Sorry guys that's it. Thank you for all the brilliant reviews, you are the best!
Planning on a sequal to The only thing Necessary, wonder what ole Enquire Pablo's been up to, but then again there has been interest in what happened in Baltimore, sorry, what's that muse, you want to write something about the River Gorge Challenge, where who does what? Now, that's just mean, no, no I like it. Perhaps we should let them decide.
Over to you guys.