Disclaimer. Not mine. I definately would have ended this episode differently.
AN - This is unlikely to be my only dip into the waters of Requim. Pun certainly intended. But this one is a little odd and needs some explanation. I was wondering how Tony must have felt when he had to stop working on Gibbs to take care of Maddie. So, the entire story is told from Tony's POV, including what he imagines as input from Gibbs as he tries to save them.
Even as he ran Tony knew it was a bad idea. As his arms pumped and his heart rate increased, his pulse quickening, both with fear and need, as his blood strove to keep up with the demands of his body for more oxygen, to go faster, to get there already, he felt his chest tighten as he pushed himself past a threshold he had almost forgotten he had.
"Always knew your driving would be the death of you, Boss." He panted inside his head.
"Save your breath, DiNozzo," He could imagine Gibbs replying in kind. " You're going to need it. And I'm not dead yet."
"Not for the want of trying." Tony retorted.
"You want to get into this now?" He could almost see Gibbs raised brow. "You've been blown up more than I have."
"Have not," Tony thought about that for a moment and decided Gibbs probably had a point. "You've been shot more than I have."
"Not if you don't pay attention."
Tony decided not to mention that his weapon was already in his hand and he had targeted the gunmen from several metres away. He was too busy dodging their fire and putting several rounds in their chests. He watched them fall, even as he continued to run.
"Nice shooting, DiNozzo." Gibbs' voice complimented him.
"Faster than a speeding bullet, Boss." Tony retorted, tossing his weapon to one side as he focused on his true goal.
"You start wearing your underwear on the outside of your pants and I'll make McGee Senior Field Agent."
"You wouldn't," Tony was confident. NCIS had an image to maintain after all. " Granted McGeek's suits are a lot nicer these days and he has a really cool car now but have you seen what he's been doing to his hair recently?"
"You think I care about his hair?"
"OK, bad example." Tony took as deep a breath as he could manage. "Is it cold in there, Boss?"
"It's Washington, not Waikiki, what do you think DiNozzo?"
"That at least we don't have sharks."
Launching himself off the pier, for a second he was weightless, then the icy cold of the water hit him and he would have gasped, if he could open his mouth to breathe. Instead, he focused on the car. Ignoring the pressure in his chest, as the cold began to squeeze it like a mighty, icy hand.
"You're still alive, Boss. I can see you moving."
"Didn't I say that already? Never lied to you yet, DiNozzo. Not gonna start now. Not sure about Maddie though. You need to get her out."
"I'm trying, Boss. See me trying? The door won't open. Maybe, I can break the windshield."
He hadn't really expected the car door to open. Party because he remembered having a conversation with Abby once about the effects of water pressure but mostly because that would just have been too easy.
"You doing OK, there, DiNozzo?" Gibbs voice asked as he swam around the car to the windshield. "You've gone kinda quiet."
"Just .. a .. little busy .. right now, Boss." Tony managed as he focused all his energies on pounding on the glass.
"Use the heel of your hand," Gibbs instructed. "Remember our sparring sessions? It increases the impact."
"Like I could forget," Tony scoffed. "You almost broke my jaw."
"Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades," Gibbs reminded him. "You done yet?"
"Almost." Tony couldn't resist.
"Well get a dammed move on," Gibbs wasn't amused. "You're running out of air."
"You've been under longer than me."
"I never had the plague."
"You just had to bring that up, didn't you?"
And then the glass shattered under his hand and the pressure released. Pulling the windshield clear there was no question but that he'd take the girl first. He half expected Gibbs to follow, coming up beside him to help support her weight.
"Boss, you coming?"
"Take care of Maddie, DiNozzo. That's an order."
"I got her out of the water. She's on the jetty. She's not breathing but her airway is clear. Now would be a good time for you to join the party, Boss."
When he didn't appear Tony was torn. She still wasn't breathing and Gibbs would kill him if he let her die. But the windshield was out, which meant if Gibbs was able to get out he would have been here by now.
Which meant he couldn't get out.
"Something's wrong, isn't it?"
"You mean besides the fact that you're disobeying a direct order?"
"Its too late to worry about it now, DiNozzo," Gibbs sounded resigned. "Guess, you were right about my driving."
Tony was on his feet and moving before he knew it. The water seemed warmer this time and Tony wasn't too far-gone to realise that was probably a bad sign. As he approached the car he could see Gibbs was no longer moving.
"No, no way. You will not die. Do you hear me? You do not get to die like this."
"Sorry, Tony," Gibbs actually sounded regretful. "Never was much of a one for following orders."
"Damn it, Gibbs."
Tony's hands were on him now. First, tugging at the steering wheel that was pinning him down, then pulling him up and past and not being especially gentle about it either. He'd break both his legs if he had to, but he was getting Gibbs out of there.
"Tony, no-one's going to blame you," Gibbs advised. "I was the one who went off without back up and drove the car into the water. Jen will probably put a posthumous reprimand in my file."
"It's not funny, Gibbs. I'll blame me. Every day for the rest of my life, I'll blame me, so don't you dare die on me."
"I don't want to."
"You sure about that, Boss? Because the way you act sometimes, I think Mann had it right about the death wish fulfilment."
He broke the surface, gulping down air into his battered lungs, before towing Gibbs towards the jetty thing. Looking up at the decking a couple of feet above and down at the waterlogged, Marine he paused for a second.
"I suppose you're going to just lie there?"
"You should get out of the water, Tony. You don't look so good."
"At least, I'm conscious."
It took almost everything he had to hoist Gibbs' inert body onto the decking. The only reason he managed it was because leaving him behind was not an option. Even so, he could feel the burning in his oxygen deprived muscles and knew the worst was yet to come.
Neither of them was breathing.
"Don't do this to me, Boss."
Mind and body spoke as one as his first set of compressions had no effect. He checked and checked again. Hoping for some small sign of life.
"Come on, don't do this to me. Don't make me kiss you, Boss."
"Not like it would be the first time." Gibbs voice observed dryly.
"That was on the cheek," Tony defended his actions. "And I had to maintain my cover, remember Papa?"
"Plus Abby bet you a hundred bucks you wouldn't do it."
"It was two hundred," Tony paused. " You knew about that?"
"I do now. Go help Maddie."
"You want me to help her. You start breathing."
"C'mon, Boss. C'mon!"
"You've already given me some air. And I know you, DiNozzo. You'll never forgive yourself if she dies."
"What about you?"
"I just need a minute to catch my breath."
"Funny, Boss. If I do as you say, you'll start breathing?"
"Can't promise anything but I'll give it my best shot."
Deciding he had to be satisfied with that, Tony set Gibbs head back so his airway was clear and touched his fingers to his throat, still nothing. As he went to go to Maddie, his hand ghosted over Gibbs' wet and patted hair in a small gesture of affection and comfort.
"Now Boss, you come on." He reminded him.
"Go kiss the girl, DiNozzo," Gibbs released him. "Let me worry about my side of things."
Tearing himself away, Tony moved over to Maddie. Trying not to think about the aches in his joints, or the burning in his chest, or even the way his suit clung to him, wet and dripping, inviting the sharp wind to cut through the sodden cloth.
God, he was cold.
"Thought you were going to stop wearing those suits to work." Gibbs observed.
"Do we have to mention the plague, again?" Tony paused between compressions.
"You didn't answer my question."
Almost against his will, Tony's eyes were dragged back to look at Gibbs lifeless form even as he continued to work on Maddie. Automatically checking out the chest and seeing it unnaturally still. People usually said the dead looked like they were sleeping. Tony had seen Gibbs sleep in all kinds of conditions, all around the world.
He'd never looked like that.
"Boss?" He faltered.
"Hang on in there, DiNozzo. We've survived worse. Its not over yet."
"At least, this time it was your car that got totalled." Tony managed, in an effort to hold it together.
"Not my car." Gibbs reminded him, sounding a trifle smug.
"Figures." Tony huffed
He really wasn't feeling so good. Despite the adrenalin coursing through his veins his body was protesting every step of the way. Time seemed to be slowing. He wanted nothing more than to take a break, to have a second to catch his breath but he knew that if he stopped. He'd never be able to get going again.
"Still waiting for my answer, DiNozzo." Gibbs reminded him.
"Um, what was the question, Boss?"
"Number of suits you get through at work, why do you keep wearing 'em?"
"In case you hadn't noticed, Boss. I spend most of my life at work. If I don't wear a suit to the office now and again I might never wear it."
"Not seeing a problem there, DiNozzo."
"When he died my Grandfather had about twenty suits in his closet, that he had never even worn. Some of them were still wrapped from the store. My Grandmother said he was always waiting for just the right occasion. I didn't want that. If I have to die I want everything used up and ready to fall apart.
"Everyone has to die sometime, DiNozzo."
"Yeah, I've been thinking about that. Tomorrow is soon enough for me."
"You realise tomorrow never comes?"
"Got it in one, Boss."
Tony stilled as he felt the first flutter of movement under his hands and then Maddie was awake and breathing, her fingers reaching out to where they were almost touching Gibbs still lifeless ones.
"Hey Boss, she's awake. Your turn."
He watched, waiting and for long agonising seconds nothing happened, expect the burning sensation that rasped through his airways every time he took a breath, wanting to rub some warmth into his cold and aching limbs but feeling his body weighed down by his exhaustion.
"C'mon Boss. Please don't do this to me."
"For the last time, DiNozzo, I do not have a death-wish. Although, I'm starting to wonder about you."
"Remind me again which one of us is still breathing?"
"For now. You look like crap."
"Yeah," Tony didn't even want to think it but he knew he was rapidly running out of options here. "I think I might need to go to the Hospital, Boss."
And then Gibbs' fingers moved, curling around Maddie's until they were joined and he took a breath, before rolling his head to look his daughter's childhood friend. Tony sat back on his haunches just watching as he gasped his relief in harsh, pained, breaths that Gibbs would have to be deaf and blind to miss.
Sure enough, the Marine slowly rolled his head back to look up at him, taking in the laboured breathing and soaking wet clothes and hair in a single glance and his eyes narrowed in concern and approbation. Tony read his expression easily.
"Ambulance. On it, Boss." Tony panted.
Too exhausted to stand, he began to crawl on all fours towards the bad guys. He'd bet his pay check one of them would have a working cell. Probably be top of the line too. The bad guys got all the best toys. Just so long as he hadn't managed to put a bullet in it.
He had barely begun to move when a hand tugged gently on the edge of his jacket. Looking down, he met Gibbs eyes.
Slowly, carefully Gibbs mouthed the words his abused throat could not yet manage to speak and that his hands were still to weak to sign.
And kneeling on the freezing waterside, in his ruined suit, with his damaged lungs and probably days of hospital and needles and antibiotics and jello ahead, Anthony DiNozzo had never been happier in his whole life.