Note:This is an answer to a bunny/challenge issued by Kathleen Moran on the NCISSlash group on Yahoo.

Tony stared at Dr. Pitt in horror, "What are you saying?"

Dr. Pitt looked sorrowful, "I'm sorry Tony, but that dive you took to save Agent Gibbs did more damage to your lungs and I can't in good conscience clear you for field duty." He let that sink in before continuing, "I'll start the paperwork for your discharge. You also qualify for disability and workman's comp if you want."

Tony sat there in absolute disbelief, "What-What do I do now? What are my options?" He wouldn't be able to get another law-enforcement job unless it was dispatch and Tony couldn't picture himself pushing papers or living off the government for the rest of his life.

Dr. Pitt shrugged, "My only real suggestion is that you relocate to somewhere warm and dry like the Southwest to try and stave off further infections."

Thirty minutes later, Tony was heading back to NCIS Headquarters, his thoughts in turmoil. He couldn't believe that after almost seven years, his job with NCIS was over unless Gibbs could find a way to circumvent the medical discharge papers sitting on the passenger seat of his car and if not Gibbs, then maybe Director Shepperd since she still owed him big time for the La Grenouille fiasco.

It hurt so bad that he might have to leave a job he loved so much because of a dive to save his boss, who had never thanked him for saving his life and had never shown any concern for his well-being until the cough that had been nagging at him since that fateful dive had become a serious problem, especially when they were out at crime scenes. Gibbs had roughly ordered Tony to the doctor's with the warning to not come back until he was cleared. Which now looked like never.

Tony shook his head, he couldn't think like that. If there was a way around this, Gibbs would find it, the older man had never let him down when Tony had needed him most. A sudden coughing fit sprang up, causing him to have to pull over until he had it under control. He tried to shake off the fear the spell had stirred up but it nagged him almost as much as the cough itself.

As he walked into the bullpen, Tony was stunned by the absolute chaos the area was in. McGee and Ziva were rushing around the room, Gibbs growling into his phone, clearly something was going on. He walked over to McGee's desk with a perplexed look on his face, "Hey Probie, what's going on?"

McGee shook his head, "Can't talk right now, Tony. We've got six dead Navy SEALs found inside a warehouse in Puerto Rico." He scurried off, presumably to Abby.

Tony frowned and turned to ask Ziva but she was already gone, he walked over to Gibbs' desk, "Hey boss, what's-" he didn't get anything else out before another violent coughing fit hit him out of nowhere, causing him to double over. Unfortunately, that's what Gibbs saw.

"DiNozzo! I thought I told you to not come back until you were cleared by a doctor," Gibbs snarled, his blue eyes icy as he looked at his pale senior agent. "Go home, you're no good to me when you're so sick you can't stand up straight."

"But I…need to talk… to you about something… boss," Tony gasped trying to get oxygen back into his lungs, but by the time he managed to get his breath back, Gibbs was already gone and the bullpen was quiet.

Tony sat down at his desk with a sigh and a heavy heart. Even though he hadn't had the chance to explain what was going on, Gibbs had managed to hit the nail on the head; Tony was no good like this and he wasn't going to be cleared by a doctor. It was no use, his career was over.

Hanging his head, he dug out the medical discharge paperwork, his badge and his gun and stared at them for a long moment before he switched on his computer and began to type