Disclaimer: NCIS and it's characters are in part owned by me and no profit is made in the writing of this story.
I had so much fun writing the last 'five things' story that I thought I would do another one, this time with Tony. However, I've decided to break it up into five chapters, one chapter for each story of how Tony faints. I should point out that in this first story, I don't know a whole lot about football as I am not the biggest fan of it, so if I'm wrong with any of the facts or positions of the game, I apologize. I also want to add that I grew up in Michigan and even though Tony is a Buckeye, I'll always be a Wolverine fan. :P
Five Times DiNozzo Passed Out
Saturday, November 21, 1992
"DiNozzo, Stephens, Rogers! Get up here. You're going in!" Coach Cooper turned his head and shouted to the players lining the bench. Already on his feet, too excited by the now tied score to sit any longer, Tony made his way to the sideline to await the next opportunity for substitutions.
Ohio had been down for some time, gaining three points in the first quarter over their bitter rivals from Michigan, but remaining scoreless in the second and third. Just when the Wolverines thought they had them beat, the Buckeyes rallied, scoring ten points in the last quarter. Now with the score tied 13-13 and only a few minutes remaining in the game, the tension was almost insurmountable and Tony bounded on his heels in anticipation; he couldn't wait to finally get in the game.
It was near pandemonium as fans of both Michigan and Ohio were out of their seats, pounding their feet on the bleachers, screaming, chanting, waving banners and foam fingers while the teams' bands blasted out their fight songs. The charged atmosphere in the stadium was contagious and since Ohio hadn't won a game against the Wolverines in four years, they could all but taste it now that it was just within their grasps.
Being a senior, this was to be Tony's last chance to square up against Michigan and be a part of the greatest rivalry ever in the history of college football, but having sat on the bench the greater part of the game, Tony was more than ready to get on the field and do his part. Truth be told, he wasn't the best football player on the team. He wasn't even a starter, but he loved this game, loved the fans and loved that it helped him to stay in shape before basketball season started in the winter.
While the NFL wasn't knocking down his door to sign him on anytime soon, the NBA was still a possibility. He liked football, but he lived for basketball. His biggest dream since the age of five was to be a professional basketball player like Dr. J or Larry Bird. In just a couple of weeks, basketball season was to start and he could hardly wait. This was his year, he told himself. He was a senior and if he was going to make it even to a minor league team he was going to have to work his butt off.
But for now, his focus was on the game going on in front of him and when substitutions were finally called he ran out onto the field with unbridled enthusiasm. Tony took his position. He wasn't big enough for defense and not quite fast enough for running back, but as a wide receiver he did pretty well at finding those gaps in the other teams' defenses and could often find a way to get around them. He had scored several times not for his speed or agility, but because he saw the openings that the other team had failed to protect.
When the snap to the quarterback came, Tony found himself automatically running down the field and making himself as wide open as possible. A Michigan player, #93, was marking him, but he was certain he could get around him if he needed to, he wasn't too big and he could handle him. The Ohio quarterback searched the field for open players and in the space of a heartbeat, saw Tony as the most likely to be able to catch the ball and run with it. Just before he was tackled himself, the quarterback launched the ball in Tony's direction. Tony's sharp eyes zeroed in on the ball and he was already running to catch it as soon as it left the quarterback's hand. He watched it arc and spin towards him as he reached out and allowed it to land perfectly between his arms. He tucked the ball into his elbow and held it tight as he took off for the goal line.
He didn't make it very far.
The next thing he knew he was on the ground after hearing and feeling a sickening crack from his lower right leg. Rolling from side to side, he screamed in agony.
"Holy crap!" He heard from the Michigan man that had tackled him. It was that damned #93. "You okay?"
"Goddammit!" he screamed in abject pain as he writhed around on the ground. "What do you think?"
"Shit...." He heard several players from both teams exclaim as they formed a circle around him.
Blearily through the haze of pain and damaged nerve endings in his leg, Tony made out the concerned faces of his teammates as they gathered around. Several of them took off their helmets and more than one or two had to look away at the ghastly sight. He wondered vaguely how bad it was if 250lb linebackers were turning green around the gills from seeing his injury. Despite the pain, he decided he needed to have a look for himself, so he ventured to sit up, moaning as he did so.
Before he could get a look, a hand pushed him back down and patted his shoulder.
"Just be still, man. The medic is coming. You'll be alright." He was surprised to see it was #93. The Michigan player never took off his maize and blue helmet, so Tony couldn't get a good look at the guy's face, but the image of that number on his jersey would forever be burned into his brain. He would never forget that number.
Just as #93 had said, paramedics and his coach were surrounding him moments later and began to treat his injury. Finally, as they loaded him onto a stretcher, Tony caught sight of his leg. It was the most terrible thing he had ever laid his eyes on and that included the time when his older cousin, Mike, broke his arm and he remembered how it had been bent so unnaturally. But this was ten-times worse and he could hardly believe that it was his own leg he was looking at.
Jagged bone jutted out from his calf and blood stained his bright white pants. One look and Tony knew that all that he had worked for the last four years was finished. He would never play football again. He would never make it to basketball season and there would certainly be no professional basketball scouts watching him play. He could just kiss any thoughts of playing pro-ball goodbye.
Fans from both sides cheered as he was taken from the field. He felt the grip of tears threaten and he was overcome with emotion. Those cheers were for him, but they were not the cheers that one gets after making a great play or scoring. No, their cheers were pity cheers. Polite clapping for one that would never be a part of something this big ever again.
Tony saw spots dance across his eyes and closed them tight to the pain and dizziness he felt, but he refused to allow himself to pass out though he was as close as he had ever come before. He could just hear his father's taunts if he did. 'Poor baby. Broke your leg.' he imagined his father addressing him in his usual condescending manner.'Tough it out you wuss. DiNozzos don't pass out. Weak people pass out. Are you weak? Well, are you, Anthony?'
He would have been fine and he would have been strong and never fainted, but as the paramedics rolled him to the waiting ambulance, he caught one last glance at the stadium he had come to know so well over the last four years that it was practically home and realized with a closing throat that he would never play here again. That and the fact that the paramedics caught a curb they didn't see and nearly tossed him to the ground, sent him spiraling into a world of pain and pitch blackness.
Twenty-four hours later and Tony was lying in his hospital bed, his leg suspended in traction and filled with rods, pins and various other metal appliances. Flipping mindlessly through the channels of the TV, he cared little about what was on, he just hoped for a little distraction from the discomfort in his leg and the disappointment in his heart from knowing that he would never achieve his dreams of playing professional sports. The worst yet was knowing that they hadn't even won the game, but had remained tied 13-13, he had gone and broken his leg for nothing.
It was then that a pretty, blond nurse not much older than him, walked in carrying a tray of food and a little cup of medicine, placing it on the table in front of him.
"Time for lunch and your meds Mr. DiNozzo." She lifted the lid of the tray and revealed an unappetizing meal of Salisbury steak, peas and wheat bread. She poured a glass of water and handed him the tiny paper cup with the pain pills. He swallowed the pills and chased them with the water.
"Call me Tony." He told her.
"Okay, Tony. Call me Amy."
His nurse smiled brightly then reached into her pocket, pulling out another card. He already had a room full of get-well cards and balloons from his teammates, so he didn't think much of it at first when she placed it on the table next to his food tray.
"A guy dropped this off for you. He said you wouldn't want to see him, but he wanted to make sure you got this."
"Okay." Tony glanced at the card, figuring he would open it later, but he wanted to know who would drop off a card but think that he wouldn't want to see him? Was it from his father? Would his Dad finally show up now that he had been terribly injured? He doubted it somehow, but that weak candle of hope still burned inside his core as he tore at the envelope to get to the card inside. Unsurprisingly but a little disappointingly, it was a get well card, but not from his Dad.
Inside of the card was simply written the words: 'Sorry I broke your leg.- Brad Pitt-#93'
Good thing the guy hadn't come into his room. Even with a broken leg he would have kicked that Wolverine's ass. He made it a vow then and there that if he ever came across this Brad Pitt again, there would be a reckoning.
As he tossed the card to the side, his nurse came up beside him and fluffed the pillow, propping him up for a better position to eat. With a surrepitious glance, Tony caught a peek at her white, lacy bra when she bent over him and adjusted his blankets and liked what he saw. She grinned as she came up and blushed, her blue eyes sparkling as they caught his. She was definitely coming on to him. He had a sixth sense about that sort of thing. He just knew automatically when a girl liked him and this girl definitely liked him. He hoped she would still be available after he got out of the hospital.
"Now, eat up." She ordered with a mock waggle of her fingers and a twinkle in her eye. "You're scheduled for a sponge bath after lunch." He could have sworn that she winked at him, but it also could have been just his imagination. His eyebrows acted on their own accord and raised up high into his forehead.
For the first time since his injury Tony felt his smile return. Maybe not everything about having a broken leg was bad after all.
Four more times DiNozzo passed out coming up soon if you feel is this worth continuing. :D