A/N: I know I'm a terrible terrible author who leaves her fans hanging for months on end. Not much happens in this chapter but do not fear because there is more to come and stuff actually happens in the next chapter :D
Tomorrow came all too soon… yet not soon enough in Tony's mind. As glad as he was to be released from his least favourite place in the World, Gibb's threat still lay heavily on his mind. There really was no excuse for hiding an injury from his boss.
'Ah, hell' Tony thought, at least Gibbs wouldn't beat him to a pulp until after he was properly healed. That left him a good 2 weeks of life left. Seeing Abby arrive in the doorway to his room he knew exactly how he would be spending them as well.
"You ready to break out of this joint yet, Tony?" Abby asked her head tilted to one side making one raven pig tail drape over her shoulder.
"Spring me now please; otherwise you might just have to do a roundabout trip to the mental ward." Tony flashed Abby his customary grin before attempting unsuccessfully to get out of bed.
Falling back into the mattress Tony couldn't help the grunt of pain that escaped his lips.
"Nah ah Tony. You get to ride out of here in style. Ducky's bringing your carriage now."
Before he even had a chance to wonder what Abby was on about, Ducky came through the door pushing a wheel chair.
"How are you my dear boy, are you ready to leave this most excellent hospital."
"A wheel chair, Ducky…… do I have to?" Tony knew he sounded like a whining five year old, but seriously a man had to have some self respect.
"Hospital policy, I'm afraid Anthony. You should feel lucky; I remember a time when it wasn't. Some patients were determined to walk out of the door on their own two feet. Well I'm sure you can imagine what came of that. It seemed that every second patient released had to be sent straight back to a hospital bed after falling down before they even made it out the door. Of course I've personally never had this problem. The dead don't generally walk anywhere." Ducky finally finished with a chuckle.
Before Ducky even finished one sentence of his seemingly never ending monologue, Tony had already decided that getting in the chair was much less torturous than Ducky's lecture.
"Fine I'll get in the chair" Tony grumbled, as Ducky continued to chuckle. Although he had agreed to ride the wheel chair out of the hospital the act of actually doing so proved quite complicated. It took all three of them to finally get Tony in the chair. Abby helped him into a sitting position while Ducky held the chair still. As hard as he tried to suppress them a few grunts of pain still escaped during the process.
By the time Tony was actually sitting in the chair his face was covered in a fine sheen of sweat and the pain was clearly visible in his scrunched expression. Still Ducky ever the optimists had to add "Well, that's wasn't so bad now was it Anthony?"
Grimacing Tony replied, "Yeah, Ducky…. piece of cake!"
The journey out of the hospital proved uneventful after the effort it took to get Tony into the hospital chair. Tony couldn't help but notice that three nurses blew him goodbye kisses. Unfortunately his travelling companions were both scientists who were paid to notice and deduct things. Each time he received an air kiss he also received 5 minutes of merciless teasing.
"So Tony… was that another one of the nurses who gave you a sponge bath? I really see a connection between the two of you. I mean she even shares you scruffy chin."
"Now Abigail, her chin hairs weren't that noticeable"
"Thank you Ducky." Tony replied resentfully. At least someone had the maturity not to make fun of his unpleasant hospital experiences.
"Well, they weren't as noticeable as her mono-brow as I hear they are called these days." Abby could hold her laughter back no more and let loose with the suppressed giggles.
Tony couldn't believe it. The whole point of having friends visit you in the hospital was for them to make you feel better. Not humiliate you. Tony grumbled all the way to the parking lot while Ducky and Abby continued their jests.
The friend who greeted him at the car was another who didn't make him feel any better. In fact the sight of this friend made him desperate to be readmitted.
"No…NO, please tell me you're not driving"
"Don't tell me, you're afraid, Tony"
Tony could only stare in abject horror as none other than Ziva grabbed the keys and moved towards the driver's side. Wasn't it bad enough that he had been bleeding on the inside for a day without him having to be tortured again by Ziva's reckless driving?
Still Tony couldn't let anyone know he was terrified about all the pain he would be in when Ziva took her wild turns and swerves. Putting on his cocky grin for the second time that day, Tony replied, "Ah NO… course not!!! Why would I be, Zi-Va?"
"Not to worry Tony, I'll go real slow on you… I promise"
"I feel soooo much better"
"Really Tony, you don't have to worry she knows how much pain you're still in. She even swore to Gibb's she would drive carefully, and you NEVER break a promise to Gibb's." Abby said as she came to stand behind Tony and place a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"So why is that even necessary… I mean, why aren't you or Ducky driving me?"
Abby look uncertain for a bit before reluctantly telling Tony the reason he would be at the hands of a lunatic, " Well you see… Ducky and I are needed to work on the case."
"What? I didn't hear about any case."
"That's because Gibbs didn't want you to know about it."
"He doesn't want me?"
At the hurt look on Tony's face Abby took immediate pity on the man, hurrying to provide the much needed reassurance, "No nothing like that Tony, He just wants you to get better."
"Well will you at least tell me what the case is about?"
"Nope, sorry can't. Gibb's said not to tell you, and I cannot… No I will not betray Gibb's."
Tony put his most charming smile on before begging the goth, "Pretty please with an upside down bat and a skull choker?"
Abby look indignant as she placed her hands on her hips.
"Anthony Dinozzo, are you asking me to betray Gibb's?"
"Good you better not have been, because if you were I want to remind you I'm a forensic scientist. I have ways of making people disappear, you wouldn't believe."
Tony shivered, he couldn't help it. As cute as Abby was most of the time she could really be scary when she wanted.
"Hey are the two of you ready or what?" Ziva called from the other side of the government issued car where she had been chatting to Ducky.
The time had come for Tony to actually get in the car and he wasn't looking forward to it. Again it took Ducky's help to get him in the vehicle. Even moving the short distance between the wheelchair and the front seat left Tony covered in sweat and panting lightly.
As Ziva moved into the front seat she couldn't help but ask, "Hey, Tony are you ok?"
"Yeah, just peachy", Tony replied, his pain creased face an obvious contradiction to the statement.
As Ducky closed his door Tony caught a final look at Abby twining a pigtail around her finger and a worry line wrinkling her brow.
Unfortunately all thoughts of Abby flew out of his head when the engine turned on. Tony hadn't thought the sound of one of his most favourite things in the world could bring such terror until now. The deep rumble of the engine reminded Tony of his current situation and he was terrified.
Luckily Ziva was paying attention to exiting the car park and didn't notice the fear in Tony's eyes. If she had Tony suspected like any predator when they're confronted with prey she would have attacked without mercy.
When Tony caught sight of the first corner he couldn't help but close his eyes in anticipation of the pain he would be in when she swerved around it like she usually did. Tony felt a slight force as his body continued on it forward momentum but other than that nothing. It was the tamest corner Ziva had taken since she first got behind the driver's seat of a car when she was thirteen.
Tony couldn't believe his eyes when Ziva drove the entire trip like an elderly lady. He could vouch for his still aching insides when he said he was extremely thankful.
"What??? The speed limit is 60. I'm doing 60." Ziva responded when she finally took notice of the strange looks Tony was shooting her.
"Sure, and since when have you ever paid attention to silly little things like traffic laws."
Ziva took the next corner slightly faster as revenge. 'Oh well, I guess I deserved it' Tony thought to himself.