Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS or DiNozzo or the plague. I don't wish to either… They're all perfectly fine in the hands they are in at the moment.|
Spoilers: Minor Spoiler for SWAK

I guess they couldn't go down this avenue in the series because of time restraints but I guess that's what Fanfiction was invented for. To take TV shows in the direction we want to take them.

Summary: Tony tries to get away from death's door and get back from the brink of death.

There must be something worth living for… There must be something worth trying for… Even something worth dying for, but if one man can stand tall, there must be hope for us all… Somewhere, somewhere within the spirit of man – Beth, Lyrics from Spirit Of Man, War Of The Worlds Stage Musical

Chased By The Shadows

CHAPTER 1: You will not die…

Tony could no longer lift himself into the sitting position. The continuous coughing fits had totally robbed him of his strength. He tried to look down as Emma wiped away the bloody sputum that accompanied each fit. Even breathing in through the nose was becoming too difficult as it was apparent he knew he was losing the fight.

"I'm sorry, I teased you with, all those movies Kate," Tony croaked out. I'm not going out with her thinking I always was an ass.

"Teased," Kate replied as she looked at him. "You tortured me… For the last two years all I've heard is John Wayne and Clint Eastwood… James Bond," Kate said. She hated what she was doing, but knew the teasing would spur him on and keep him going. And, selfishly, it made her feel like nothing was going to change, that he'd be up soon to continue their banter at work. Kate had five brothers that always kept her on her toes the same way Tony did. There was a comfort between their teasing that made her think of Tony like a brother and she wasn't going to lose it without a fight. She only hoped that Tony was in for the fight.

"James Bond…… is a…… character," Tony responded through panted breaths and coughed a couple of times. "Played by, Sean Connery... George Lazenby, Roger Moore, ……. Pierce Brosnan."

Kate wasn't surprised to hear how weak his voice was. How hard it was to continue a smooth sentence. All that coughing had to have torn his throat to shreds and he was struggling for his breath like a drowning man. And, truth be told he was drowning in the fluids that lay in his lungs.

Emma used the stethoscope to monitor the congestion and fluid which made breathing such an effort for Tony. Doing what she was instructed to only reinforced the fact that the man lying on the bed was dying. She'd seen young men die before. To her, Tony was to full of life and the thought of someone in this day and age to have the Plague, well, it scared and saddened her.

"Why are…… you wearing…… a mask?" Tony's voice was almost a whisper.

Emma looked up at Kate. The time to be truthful had come. Emma couldn't understand why Kate had stayed, but this would probably be the last straw, the woman would have to leave for her own health.

Kate knew the affect that this revelation could have. "'Cause I have a cold," she said.

Tony had stopped believing that along time ago. He wanted her there and yet he wanted her out,( where she'd be safe. "Why aren't….. you sick?" He asked. The question he was really asking was why aren't you infected or why are you still here? Either way he was relieved that Kate hadn't caught the plague from him stupidly opening that letter.

"'Cause I'm stronger than you Tony," Kate answered.

"No….. you're not," he retorted with wheezing breaths and struggled to get the words out.

Emma could hear the breathing getting worse even without the stethoscope. There seemed no way now around it. She schooled her face, she didn't want him to see the reality of the situation, but knew he felt it.)\

"Am to," Kate responded quickly.

Tony hardly had the strength to breathe in enough to cough out the phlegm that was building up. He breathed in but was getting to weak to expel it.

"Come on, sit up Tony," It took both the nurse and Kate to pull his dead weight up and lean him forward so he wouldn't choke on the sputum that was slowly taking the agent closer to death. Emma smacked Tony's back in order to assist him in coughing up anything he possibly could.

"Kate," Brad Pitt entered the isolation chamber. "You should leave now," he knew that it was getting worse and too dangerous for her to stay. There was nothing Kate could do anymore except leave so she wouldn't get infected.

Tony's head touched the pillow. He heard Kate leave. He was relieved at her leaving so she wouldn't catch the dreaded disease, yet he was scared to be without her. All he could think were jumbled thoughts and that it was only a matter of time before the end.

Kate had watched him deteriorate at an unbelievable rate, the disease from the past was robbing Tony of his life. These thoughts swirled around in her head while she waited for the first set of doors to close.

"Oh God," she mumbled as she removed the mask from her face. She took a last look at her partner. As soon as the second doors opened she was mournfully crying. All the things they said too each other in the past meant nothing. Tony meant more to her than she ever let on, but now she could never tell him. He'd be headed to the grave thinking she hated him. She made a B-line straight for Ducky's open arms and cried hard.

"You were brave to stay with him, Kate," Ducky told her, his arms anchoring her and felt comforting.

She could feel Ducky was holding back his own sorrow in order to help her.

She didn't feel brave, she felt stupid. "He's dying Ducky," she whimpered not able to look at the isolation room or her partner, friend and in a lot of way, brother. They had known this for hours, but saying it only made his coming death a reality. That broke her heart, tore it to shreds.

"Ah, the hell he is," Gibbs walked by. There was no way Tony was going to die on his watch. He never lost a man or left one behind. Gibbs went in with determination. He wouldn't allow it, and he was going to tell Tony the only way he knew how.

Brad heard the doors open and intercepted the intruder, "Who the hell are you?" Brad asked as he stopped him.

"His Boss," Gibbs answered flatly, "The bug had a suicide chain, its dead. It's been dead for over an hour," he was even surprised that with the internal anguish he felt, he could remain so calm towards the doctor.

"He's no longer infectious," Gibbs made his way past the doctor and Emma in order to be next to Tony's bedside.

"Tony, listen to me," he whispered into his young agent's ear. "Are you listening?" Gibbs asked. He listened to the labored breathing waiting for an affirmative response.

"I'm list……-listening Boss," Tony painfully pushed out the words. He wanted Gibbs to know that it didn't matter what hell he was going through, he'd always listen to his boss.

"You will not die," Gibbs said.

Gibbs waited for a response, instead it seemed that Tony was drifting out of consciousness and he wasn't even sure if the message/order, got through to Tony. He held his hand above Tony's head and gave him a head slap. There was no way he was going to let this man die.

Tony's glassy green eyes snapped open. His eyes turned a bit unfocused on his boss, giving as much attention as he could.

"I said… You. Will. Not. Die." Gibbs said quieter but firmer. It wasn't hard to make it believable if you fully believed it yourself. He waited for the response that would tell him Tony had understood.

"I got-gotcha Boss," Tony nodded and felt some strength return, not much but more. He wondered if Gibbs had handed it to him. If anybody would ask, he'd always answer yes. If he was ever given that chance.

"Good," Gibbs said as he stood up straight. Tony felt something being placed into his hand and clasped it. "It's your new cell," Gibbs said to him. "Now get the number changed, women kept calling for spanky," he said to Tony. He thought of the several women that had called over the last few hours and shook his head, he shouldn't have been surprised.

He left the isolation chamber. Emma went right back to Tony and watched him bring his cell closer to his heart. "Spanky," Tony just managed to weakly mumble as he thought about Gibbs getting those calls. He imagined the look on Gibbs' face when someone called him spanky.

Emma stroked the side of Tony's face tentatively. Since she'd heard he wasn't infectious now, she wasn't so fearful. Tony still was on the edge. It had already done the physical damage to his body. Emma had noticed there was a slight change in Tony's demeanor. He seemed to fight a bit more even through the labored breathing.

Gibbs met with Ducky and Kate who were still waiting at the entrance with baited breath. It seemed that Kate's tears had stopped but her breathing was still shaky along with an occasional sob.

"He's going to be fine," Gibbs assured them.

"Nobody survives from the plague, Gibbs," Kate raised her voice at her Boss.

"Yeah they do," Gibbs replied confidently. And under any other circumstances he would have chewed her out. "There's a survival rate,"

"What is it Jethro?" Ducky asked. There was still some hope if there was even some mention of a survival rate.

"I need to talk with you Duck," Gibbs took him out of earshot from Kate. "I need you to keep Kate upbeat," Gibbs said.

"What is the survival rate Jethro?" Ducky asked the question once again, he had known about the suicide chain in the Y-Petis.

"It's fifteen percent," Gibbs answered. "But he's not going to die," he assured.

"What makes you so sure?" Ducky immediately regretted the question.

"Because I told him he's not going to die," Gibbs said as he went to leave. There was still something he had to do. There was the matter of interrogating the one responsible. "Have you ever known Tony to disobey a direct order from me?" Gibbs slight smile was confident before leaving. "Look after everyone Duck," he added.

A/N: Hope people will enjoy this story. I know, I'm so mean to Tony. But I think he got off lightlybetween the end of SWAK and the beginning of Twilight. So here's my variation of what went on during the recovery.
Special thanks to my Beta crockettsgirl, who fixed up many things in this chapter but still kept my words my own. Also a bit more of Brad Pitt and Emma... Bremma as it maybe known from now on. LOL, Alright, so I'm a doctor Pitt fan.

Thoughts either way are appreciated.