The sound of gunfire was all that was necessary for Ziva to open the door and open fire to the first masked man, sending him to the floor with a quick double tap to the heart. McGee took a shot at the man next to him; another quick double tap to the heart sent the surprised man to the ground.
A burst of bullets sprayed towards them causing both McGee and Ziva to duct behind a bunch of boxes. On Ziva's count they jumped from the hiding place, and with the accuracy and efficiency only their team had, shot the man in the head and in the chest.
"You ok?" McGee cried over to Ziva who was currently gripping her right shoulder.
"Yes," she hissed looking around the warehouse for any sign of Gibbs.
"Tony!" McGee reached the limp man first.
McGee bit back the urge to puke as he watched his partner and senior agent's head hang limply towards his chest. At the moment McGee wished that he was deaf as he heard the sounds of Tony's blood slowly dripping onto the floor, a sick echo roaring in the silence that had become of the warehouse.
"Where's Gibbs?" Ziva asked her eyes searching the facility.
"Right here, David," Gibbs groaned limping towards them.
McGee saw the blood coming from his boss's leg. There was noise outside the warehouse and all three knew that it was too soon for it to be their backup.
"I left my mags in the car. I have about two or three left in this one," Gibbs spat out after checking his gun.
"I have three rounds left," Ziva whispered, all the while her hand still cradling her shoulder.
"I have eight," McGee whispered.
"Get Tony down," Gibbs whispered handing his knife to McGee.
McGee found a small ladder discarded a couple of feet away from Tony. He squashed away his nausea as he climbed up knowing that Tony had little time for it. He climbed higher, looking only upwards towards his goal: the ropes that suspended Tony in the air. Upon reaching his destination McGee left no time for triumph as he looked down at his teammates. Gibbs and Ziva were under Tony ready to catch the man. The sounds of people attempting to break through the doors disturbed McGee from his mission but only for a second, before he started hacking at the ropes quicker.
Tony fell unceremoniously from his position, his head lolled back to signal of his unawareness to the situation.
"Tony?" Gibbs whispered out, dragging his son towards the only hiding place within the warehouse. "Tony…wake up for a second please."
As if on cue Tony began to stir, a groan a pain rumbling from deep within. His eyes opened wearily looking up into a familiar pair of blue ones.
"Hurts," Tony struggled.
Tears fell from Gibbs' eyes. This was the most hurt he's ever seen Tony. It was the most broken. Flashes of the past ran through Gibbs mind.
"From today on out Anthony DiNozzo will now be Anthony D. Gibbs"
"Is it alright if I call you dad now?" Tony asked, his green eyes looking longingly into Gibbs asking for approval that he did not need.
"Yeah son, you've always been able to call me dad," Gibbs said with a smile.
"But now it's official. Now you're stuck with me, right?" Tony asked licking his ice cream while still looking up at Gibbs.
"Yes, it's official. I'm stuck with you."
"WHAT?" Tony shrieked into the phone. "The kiddies aren't due for another month and a half! Hold on, I'm coming home."
"No! Tony, you need to stay in school. I just wanted to inform you of what was going on back here," Gibbs said trying to calm his son down.
"Dad, winter break is coming up. I'll talk to my professors and I'm on the next plane home," Tony stated. He grabbed his wallet from his pocket counting all of three dollars and a condom. "Um…can I borrow $400 for my plane ticket?" Tony added sheepishly.
"AGAIN?" Tony yelled swatting away the angry tears that fell from his eyes.
"Tony, it's my job," a younger Jethro tried reasoning out.
Jethro stepped forward attempting to place a hand on his trembling teen's shoulder only to have Tony take a step backwards. Jethro allowed his arm to fall dejectedly back to his side as he watched the emotions on his son's features.
"You're going to miss my state championship game?" Tony shrieked. "NO! Don't touch me!"
"You do what you need to do son. But you need to know that either way I'm very proud of you, and I love you."
Tony looked up searching the crowd for his family, the gravity of the situation finally able to wipe the smile that was plastered on his face throughout the entire game. Jethro locked eyes with Tony. Jethro gave a reassuring smile giving the boy a thumb's up.
…"That's my boy," Jethro stated simply giving his son a tight hug. It was a simple phrase but it incorporated all that he wanted to say.
"Hey what the he..." Tony whirled around to see his father's glaring at him as he studied the cancer stick.
"What the hell did your mom and me tell you about these things?" Jethro demanded.
"Yeah well she's dead," Tony deadpanned.
Jethro shook his head stomping out the cigarette. "First of all, come here and give me a hug."
Tony complied, embracing his dad. Jethro noticed Tony was shaking, and it took a second longer to realize that Tony was not allowing the tears to fall from his eyes.
"Tony, you can cry you know son," Jethro said gently.
"I don't need to cry," Tony said stubbornly.
"Kiddo you're shaking like a leaf," Jethro squeezed the boy a little and frowned. "And since when have you last eaten. You lost a lot of weight."
"Give me a break dad!" Tony growled out shoving away from his father.
"Tony, I know it's been a hard couple of days, but I'm here ok. I'm here son," Jethro said attempting to get Tony in a hug once more.
"Yeah until you leave again! What's going to happen to me now? You have to go back to…" Tony stopped mid rant his eyes widening when he finally had the chance to look over his dad. "You're hurt."
"Tony, I couldn't come as early as I could because I've been in the hospital," Jethro explained.
"No one told me," Tony whispered. It was silent all of two more seconds before Tony exploded. "You could have died and I wouldn't have known because no one fucking told me!"
"Tony calm down. I'm ok, see?" Jethro said attempting his best not to wince as he limped forward.
"It's my fault!" Tony cried out aguishly.
"How the hell is this your fault Tony? You weren't the one who threw the grenade son. No, me being hurt is definitely not your fault!" Jethro said fiercely.
"If I didn't call you like a little bitch begging you to come back home because I miss you then you probably wouldn't have been so distracted. Oh God…" Tony was near hysterics.
"Hey!" Jethro grabbed his son by the shoulders, surprised when he flinched away.
It had been a long time since Tony had flinched away from any contact. He tried his best to ignore it, all the while his heart breaking at the quick digression his son seemed to have taken over the past couple of days.
"Tony. You missed your mom and your sister. You were all alone over here. You handled the funeral arrangement and calling all the right people. You were doing all the things I should have done, but couldn't have because I was away. If anything this is my fault. You're still a kid, you're still my kid, those were my responsibilities. Your responsibility was to call me crying because you missed your mom and sister. Your responsibility is to grieve like the sixteen, almost seventeen-year-old kid you are. But damn it Tony, I'm so proud of you son for being able to do what you've done throughout this entire mess. You are so much more mature than even I give you credit for sometimes son," Jethro said his voice breaking midway through the speech. He took his son back into an embrace; one his son did no resist as they both let the tears fall freely from their eyes.
End of flashback
"Damn it Tony. You hold on ok. I've got you now. No one can hurt you," Gibbs whispered brushing away the stray hair that was sticking to his son's face.
Sounds of gunfire echoed through the warehouse. Somewhere in the distance McGee was shouting something incomprehensible. The sound of Ziva yelling I'm out did nothing but encourage Gibbs to hold his son tighter, his body shielding the broken one under him. Gibbs watched as Tony fought to stay conscious, the pain evident on his face.
"Where the hell are they!" McGee's voice cut through as he shot his remaining rounds.
"Dad, it really hurts," Tony gurgled out, blood spilling from his mouth.
Gibbs let out a choked groan that sounded strangely like a sob, tears really threatening to fall from his face.
"Boss!" Gbbs said nothing as he handed his gun to McGee.
Ziva and McGee had gathered up on either side of Tony and him, shielding them from the bullets the best they could. Gibbs watched as his son struggled for each breath, his eyes locked on him. There was nothing any of them could do at the moment. They were outnumbered. Gibbs watched as Tony struggled on, as if each blink was a concerted effort, bitter realization that it was caused him to just continue holding his son.
"Dad…" Tony struggled once more.
"Shh, it's ok. Don't talk Tony. I've got you. Just hold on ok. I won't let nothing happen to you," Gibbs promised. "Remember, I will always protect you."
And with that Gibbs let Tony go. With the utmost gentleness he could muster he placed his son's head on the ground. He grabbed a forgotten gun from a dead masked person on the ground and he stood up. And with the head of an angered father he charged forward, much like Tony had in the past when he rescued Gibbs and Maddie from the drowning waters. He shot left, and he shot right. Bullets paraded through the air as the enemy shot at the flying man. And as he emptied the barrel the back up which they had called for moments ago entered the scene killing off the last of the men.
Exhausted Gibbs fell, his leg finally giving out, oxygen unable to circulate through his lungs. With all that he could muster he took hold of the nearest agent, and with his help walked on over to Tony who was currently already being loaded onto a bed, Ducky appearing besides the man out of nowhere.
Safe. His boy was safe. His boys were safe. And with that Gibbs allowed himself to sit down and get some much needed rest.
-Last chapter coming up. There will be a re-write of this but instead of starting over like others I'm just going to replace everything chapter by chapter. It will be the same just a lot more detail and a lot more revision. I hope you guys like this one.