Their perp was in a holding cell but Abby couldn't accept that he had been working on his own, that he had managed to use forensic science to out wit her. Chip tried to calm her down but she wasn't listening to him, too intent in figuring out what she had missed. She was concerned when Chip stormed out of the lab but shrugged it off and, deciding to take a break from figuring out how she had been outsmarted but a simple mortician, she headed to welcome Tony back. She didn't see her lab assistant en-route to the elevator so pressing the correct button she simply waited for it to ascend to the bull-pen.
Exiting the elevator when it arrived on the correct floor she bounced over to Tony and enveloped him in a hug. He quickly returned the gesture, assuring her that he was fine when she worriedly questioned his well-being. They pulled apart and he kissed her cheek, as she scolded him for making her worry, before turning to Gibbs and jokingly opening his arms to the special agent. Gibbs shook his head, a small smile playing across his lips, and simply patted the younger man's shoulder.
"Welcome back DiNozzo," he swatted the back of the younger man's head. "Try and stay out of trouble for a while."
"Aw boss," the smile on Tony's face grew impossibly wider. "Didn't know you cared."
"I just don't want to have to look for a new senior feild agent," Gibbs stated
No one was expecting the sound of a gunshot. Tony's eyes widened in a mixture of shock and pain and he managed a weak 'boss' as he began to topple foward. Gibbs caught him before he could fall and gently lowered him to the ground. Ducky immediately moved to Tony's side and began putting pressure on the bullet wound on the young man's upper back whilst murmering calmingly. McGee called an ambulance and hugged Abby, who was half in hysterics, whilst Gibbs and Ziva chased down Chip.
They cornered the lab assistant in the corridor which housed the interogation room. He waved his gun at them threateningly but but Gibbs easily dis-armed him before he could get a shot off. Slapping his cuffs around Chip's wrists Gibbs all but threw him in the nearest interogation room. Turning to Ziva he told her to watch Chip from the observation room Gibbs headed to check on Tony. The younger man was barely conscious and being loaded into the ambulance when Gibbs arrived. Climbing in beside his senior field agent Gibbs took Tony's hand in his own.
"Hell of a way to get attention DiNozzo," he whispered.
"Sorry boss," he choked. "But you know me."
"Yeah," Gibbs smiled.
"How bad is it?" Tony asked. "Honestly?"
"You'll live DiNozzo," Gibbs informed. "That's an order."
"Yes boss," Tony nodded.
They reached the hospital and Tony was rushed into surgery to remove the bullet and fix any internal damage that it may have caused. Gibbs paced the waiting room anxiously. He hated waiting for anything and an update on a member of his team's health was even harder. Duck and Abby arrived at the hospital. The goth rushed to Gibbs and he held her as she worriedly questioned whether or not Tony would be alright. Growling out that the younger man better be Gibbs looked towards the doors through which his senior field agent had been rushed. Seeing the barely concealed anquish on his usually stoic friends face Ducky immediately offered to try and get an update on the young man's condition. Thanking the medical examiner Gibbs tried to soothe Abby.
Tony was in surgery for over an hour. Abby and Gibbs waited pensively for news on the younger man. Ducky approached and told them that Tony was in an Intensive Care room. He showed them to it and Gibbs sank into a chair to wait for the younger man to wake. It was several hours before the younger man showed any sign of waking, Gibbs had already sent Abby home for the night and Ducky had offered to drive her home. The young man's eyes weakly fluttered open and he looked at his boss in confusion.
"Boss?" he croaked.
"Hey DiNozzo," Gibbs smirked. "Glad you finally decided to return to the land of the living. Guess I'm gonna have to tell McGee he can't have your job."
Tony smiled, "Funny, but he's not ready for that, not yet."
"I'll need to keep you around for a while longer then," Gibbs smirk turned to a smile.
"Did you get the guy that shot me?" Tony asked.
Gibbs nodded, "It was Chip. He's in a cell."
"You waited until I woke up?" Tony looked confused.
"Wanted to be sure you'd pull through before I interogated him," Gibbs admitted.
"Thanks," Tony's eyes drifted closed. "Let me know what he says."
"Sure DiNozzo," the younger man was already back asleep.
Leaving the hospital room Gibbs headed back to NCIS. Taking the time to get himself a cup of coffee he headed down to the interogation rooms. Chip had left in the room Gibbs threw him in and he looked decidedly uncomfortable. The special agent smirked and contemplated leaving him in there for longer but instead decided to get the interogation over and done with so he could wrap up the case. Taking the lab assistant's file from McGee he stormed into the interogation room his patented glare in place. Chip tried to remain impassive but he was clearly afraid. Slipping into a seat across from the the man Gibbs began flipping through the file. Chip watched him warily.
"You don't scare me,"
he blurted. "I've watched you do this before."
"Really," Gibbs was sceptical. "I don't need to scare you. I've already got you for the attempted murder of a federal agent and the attempted framing of said agent."
"DiNozzo survived then," Chip sighed. "Figures he ruins my career and survives."
"Ruins your career?" Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "We wouldn't have made the connection if you had shot Tony."
"Before that," Chip snarled. "After that case it was impossible for me to get any good work. He ruined me."
"So you decided to try and kill him," Gibbs growled, struggling to keep his anger in check.
"I wouldn't have had to if you had just accepted that he was a murderer," Chip exclained. "But no, you know it was so easy setting him up but then you had to go and prove him innocent."
"Easy?" Gibbs smirked. "You failed."
"Yeah," Chip faltered. "But I'd got all the evidence, he nearly went to jail."
"And now you are," Gibbs stood.
As he exited the room Gibbs ordered some guards to take Chip to a holding cell. He felt a tiny sense of satisfaction at the fact that Tony would be fine and that Chip was going ot jail but he kept his face impassive as he headed to write his report.
Less than a month later Tony was back at work, only a slightly tender scar and his memories of the jail cell to act as a reminder of Chip's actions, and everything was back to normal, or as normal as things got at NCIS.