When Tony woke the first thing he saw was Gibbs sat in the chair next to the sofa, reading the paper and drinking his ever present cup of coffee. He shifted slightly swallowing down the jolt of pain in his side, his movement had drawn Gibbs attention and his boss was now staring at him with those hard blue eyes. Tony shifted his own eyes away, moving to sit he couldn't help the groan as the wound in his side reminded him of his own stupidity, Gibbs must me waiting for him to wake so he could fire him. The next thing he saw was a hand holding out some painkillers and a glass of water, he ignored the offered pills and moved to stand, swaying slightly he made his way to the bathroom, pausing in the doorway and without looking back he advised Gibbs his letter of resignation was on the side table.

Gibbs watched Tony leave the room before moving to find the envelope bearing his name, the letter was torn in half and thrown onto the couch before he settled back in the chair and waited for his agent to return. He wasn't going to leave this apartment until he was sure that Tony would be back at work, he was the first agent in a long time that Gibbs could see on his team as a permanent member. He had noticed when he grabbed the painkillers that the bottle was full and as Tony had left the hospital five hours earlier any pain medication in his system had definitely stopped working long ago. He heard the door open and watched Tony move back towards the couch, pausing slightly when he realised Gibbs was still there he eventually lowered himself slowly and sighed with relief, he noticed the bits of letter on the cushion beside him and for the first time he met Gibbs gaze. Gibbs held out the tablets again, pleased when this time Tony swallowed the pills with a quiet 'thanks boss'.

Tony lay back on the couch as the pain eased, he watched as his boss disposed of the envelope and letter, the weight on his chest easing for the first time. He allowed his eyes to close as sleep pulled at him, for a minute he thought he was dreaming when he felt a hand on his forehead until he opened bleary eyes and watched as Gibbs covered him with a blanket before retaking his seat. It was the first time in his life when he knew someone would be there, when he could sleep and not worry. When he woke again the chair was empty, his disappointment faded when he realised his boxes had been unpacked, his movies lined the shelves and even his television and sound system had been set up. As he sat up he realised there was another voice in his apartment, turning and looking towards the kitchen he saw Gibbs and Abby dishing out take away before coming to join him. Abby sat next to him, offering a plate and leaning against his good side, his new team mates witnessed the real smile of Tony Dinozzo.

Despite the protests of Ducky and Gibbs Tony was at his desk two days later, he had argued he was perfectly capable of doing paperwork and they had relented happy he was staying and wanting to keep an eye on him. The other agents in the office stopped by to welcome him back, he was still the same annoying playboy jock but he was also Special Agent Dinozzo, Tony and their respect was obvious, he had done a good job, put his life on the line and Gibbs was keeping him. Ducky won the office pool. Tony still wore his mask to work but it was lighter than before and not always in place. As a police officer he was always good at reading people but he had only now realised the glares Gibbs sent his way weren't always angry if you stopped to see the glint of humour in his eyes and the look that had previously been unreadable to Tony was in fact concern. He had found people to trust, maybe a family and one day he thought he could share with them more of his secrets, one day.