He'd think about it later. Didn't have time right now for all the unbidden images churning up. He'd think about it all later; right now all he needed to do was to keep going, keep switching from Gibbs and Maddie in their turns. He didn't know how long he was supposed to work on each one and it was by God the first question he would ask Ducky the next time the required re-certification came around. He tried to give each of them a minute or so as best he could measure – or however long it was taking him to do the sets of compressions and breaths as he'd been taught, plus a couple of Heimlich-y things each to hopefully push some more of the water in them out again so he was getting some more oxygen in. He didn't think that was too much of a problem; he'd done everything but stick a turkey baster down their throats as he'd hauled them up onto the pier. Both had expelled a positively frightening amount of water as he'd done that but he didn't think about that now and he didn't think about how tired he'd been on that second dive that was really more of a fall, really, and he didn't think about how his heart had nearly stopped when he saw Gibbs under there (dead) as he hoped he could yank that damned steering wheel out and how much air he had lost himself as he had. He wished he could catch his own breath but knew that until he actually had a chance to stop doing stuff for awhile that wouldn't happen.
Was that? He willed himself to stop panting and feel Gibbs' neck again more carefully. He smiled as he laid his ear on the wet chest to confirm the information his fingers had conveyed – yep, the big guy was back in the building. Still, he kept a firm eye on him as he swiveled back to Maddie, and then raised a surprised eyebrow as she seemed back on the planet as well.
He let himself sag back on his heels for a moment. He didn't think about how he'd started flagging as he'd struggled to get to the surface towing Gibbs, gathering his strength to propel first Gibbs, then himself up out of the water, how he'd not been able to get to his feet but had just sort of grabbed Gibbs and rolled over with him to get him positioned to begin CPR.
Then he heard a car coming and acknowledged, resigned, that if this was another group of bad guys he was well and truly screwed – maybe he shouldn't have tossed his weapon away like that but that was something to remember for the next time.
He thought he'd feel some sort of relief when he recognized the car but didn't. He checked Gibbs and Maddie again. Incredibly, they seemed to be conscious now and were even smiling at each other. That seemed to be a good sign as far as brain damage went. He shoved that thought away and himself to his feet. He tried not to sway as he walked or it least turn it into a John Wayne swagger but then found he didn't care after all. His suit coat was binding and heavy so he stripped it off and dropped it. Ziva had disappeared; McGee was looking Tony up and down and speaking rapidly into his phone. He loosened his tie with some difficulty and stripped it off, too.
A gust of wind swayed him and he staggered, more from the chill than from the velocity. McGee caught his arm and handed him a cap. "Thanks," he said and put it on. Ziva reappeared with a lifted eyebrow.
"There are two men in the warehouse. They are both dead," she said.
He nodded. He wasn't going to think about it. He wanted to bend over and stop pretending he wasn't still trying to catch his breath, but he thought maybe they hadn't noticed and he wasn't going to draw their attention to it.
"There also is a duffel bag with a large amount of US currency in it."
He nodded again. "Let's eat out," he said. He turned to McGee and wrapped his arms around himself to try to control the tremors that were turning into shivers. "Ambulance on the way?"
McGee nodded and took off his jacket, offering it to Tony. He shook his head and hooked a thumb toward Maddie. "Put it on her."
McGee didn't move. "You need it more right now."
"What happened?" Ziva interrupted, ignoring the byplay, so so did Tony.
"I got here, Gibbs was getting shot at and he had to go in the water with Maddie. I shot the bad guys and got the good guys out of the water. Took a little too long so I had to do some CPR on them. My weapon's over there," he pointed, McGee followed the motion, Ziva did not.
She was frowning. "Why did they not merely swim to safety once you had dispatched the miscreants?"
He frowned back. "Dispatched? Miscreants? Ziva. You have got to insist on the refund from Hooked on Bad English, I'm telling you. They couldn't swim out because they were trapped underwater in their car. Surely I mentioned the car?" He was shivering harder now and walked away from them back to Maddie and draped McGee's jacket over her and helped tug her closer to Gibbs.
They were still lying there smiling at each other and holding hands like some dinged out members of a sun gazing cult. He started to worry about brain damage all over again.
Ziva shrugged out of her jacket and put it over Gibbs, staring at Tony like he'd grown another head. Then she looked out into the water, squinting like she thought she could actually see the car. He wondered if she was going to dive in there. He thought about pushing her in.
He started to stand up to do just that but Gibbs shook free from his reverie for a moment and caught his arm, obviously on the verge of saying something. Tony ran through possibilities in his mind. 'You're my hero,' 'Thank you,' 'I'm in the mood for a film marathon, pick a theme.' He gazed down at his boss expectantly. Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "Drowning sucks," he rasped, and coughed hard.
Tony smiled tolerantly back at him. "Tell me about it," he replied.
He refused to leave the scene, even when the Director showed up and the ambulances took Gibbs and Maddie away. He delegated everything out of course and in quick fashion was able to persuade not only Ducky that he was functional and would submit to a Ducky-thorough exam before leaving for home that night but also the Director to go to the hospital to personally ensure that Gibbs would stay overnight as the EMTs had assured Tony was minimally necessary.
He stayed, answering questions patiently from everyone who showed up at the scene, long into the evening, watching expressionlessly as the car was dragged up from the depths, taking calls from the Director who updated him on the pair's remarkable recovery.
He left the scene with the last car, catching a ride with Ziva and McGee, suddenly fatigued beyond all measure.
Ziva wordlessly handed him a snack bar. He ate it in two bites, then put his head back on the seat, eyes closed, to avoid needless conversation. Once back, he changed gratefully into a pair of sweats from his gym locker, demanded and got not one but two blankets, patiently endured Ducky while keeping his eyes and thoughts averted firmly from the two involuntary occupants of nearby autopsy tables, then retreated to Abby's office for some rest, too tired to go either home or to the hospital to check on Gibbs and Maddie.
Only then did he let his exhausted mind go through the process of play, replay, replay, the same scenes over and over. He didn't think he'd be able to sleep, but surprisingly, at some point he drifted off.
When he finally woke up, Abby was sitting there in her office chair, looking at him with that, I don't care if you want to hear this or not, I have to say it expression. He rolled up to a sitting position, pulled his blankets around himself a little more firmly, and smiled expectantly, though it was entirely fake because what he needed now was a lot of coffee, not anything requiring defense mechanisms.
"I saw the car," she said. "I mean, I saw it, I touched it, I looked at it, Tony. I analyzed it. I mean, are you Superman or something? Seriously? Bionic?" She wheeled closer and punched him in the arm.
"Ow!" he yelped, and rubbed the spot.
"Just checking," she said, "of course you could be pretending. Never mind. It's okay, I don't care, really. I don't want to drive you away and make you have to establish a new identity. I want you to stay here. Always. I mean it, Tony. You have to promise. Nobody else could have done what you did. Gibbs would be dead now if you hadn't gotten there in time. McGee couldn't have gotten them out, Ziva couldn't have. Only you. So you can't ever leave. I mean it."
He shook his head, unsettled by her intensity. "Look, it wasn't that big a deal. Sure they would have been fine. McGee would have engineered some lever and hoisted the car out without even getting wet and Ziva would have shot holes in the gas tank until it blew up and propelled them to the surface."
Abby scooched her chair even closer. "I'm not kidding. You have to promise me." She dropped her voice to a whisper. "I know about Rota."
Too many unfiltered emotions hit him simultaneously, ranging from surprise to admiration to gratitude for her ability to not only find out but to keep it to herself. He doubted he was able to keep it all off his face as he struggled with it. Finally, he gave up and smiled – a real one. He leaned forward and kissed her cheek. "If you know about Rota you know you have nothing to worry about, Abs." He lay back down and gave an exaggerated, patently fake yawn, and spoke in his best John Wayne voice, "Turn out the light when you leave, will ya, lil' lady?"