Title: General Orders
Rating: PG-13 to be safe, for slight language.
Characters: Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Hurt!Tony, Family Dynamic (Team as Family)
Spoilers: Mentions of SWAK, Twilight
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, I just like to borrow 'em every now and then. Especially Tony. Yum.
Summary: A (not-so)random attack on a Georgetown street leaves Tony fighting for his life and Gibbs and the team at a loss for what to do.
A/N: So I like the whole "You will not die" order that Gibbs gives to Tony in SWAK, and wanted to try my hand at it, but after realizing there are currently a gazillion SWAK fics, I took the general idea and tweaked it just a bit. This is the result. Hope you enjoy, and remember, comments/critiques are always appreciated! =D
"You'll call, right?"
"Of course," came the casual assurance as Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo leaned over to press a kiss to the beautiful blonde's lips.
"Do you really have to go?" She asked earnestly, her fingers grasping for the collar on his shirt, desperate to keep him close.
"If I want to live," he responded dryly, giving her his patented million-watt smile. "I promise I'll call. We'll make plans for this weekend."
"Okay," she responded dejectedly, releasing him from her grasp. "But you swear, cross your heart and hope to die, that you'll call?"
A boyish grin replaced his best movie-star smile and leaned down to kiss her again. "I pinky promise," he said, holding his hand up, wiggling his little finger at her.
With a grin that rivaled his own, she wrapped her finger around his and shook on it. "I'm holding you to that, DiNozzo."
Stepping out of the apartment complex with a grin on his face, Tony hoisted his pack up a little higher on his shoulder as he dug his cell phone out of his pocket. He was fairly sure that if Ziva and the Probie caught him strolling back into work in the same suit he'd left in, he'd never hear the end of it, but it was a beautiful freakin' morning and he couldn't exactly bring himself to care.
Especially when he dialed the familiar number and heard that sweet voice in his ear. "I promised you I'd call," he said by way of greeting. Her musical laugh tinkled in his ear, and just the sound of it was enough to make his grin widen. "So how about those plans for this weekend?" He asked.
"We'll see," she responded dryly, though he could hear the smile in her voice. "What exactly did you have in mind?"
"Well, I was thinking a little dinner, maybe a movie, and definitely a repeat of last night," he teased.
"Oh yeah? I think I could definitely go for that." He could practically see her shudder with anticipation, if the tone of her voice was anything to go by.
"Alright," he said, checking his watch as he approached his car, "I'm just about to the 'Stang so I'll call you later, alright?"
"I doubt that," she responded, and suddenly, all traces of humor were gone from her voice. "Tony? I'm really sorry about this," was the last thing he heard before a hand clamped down on his shoulder. Turning, eyes wide, he barely registered the angry scowl on the otherwise beautiful face before a blinding pain seared through his abdomen.
He sank down to his knees, hands grasping for handle of the serated blade currently lodged in his body. "Gibbs..." was all he managed before the warm blood bubbled forth from his lips, the darkness overcoming him.
"Where the hell is DiNozzo?" Gibbs growled for what McGee realized was the fifth time that morning. While it wasn't unusual for DiNozzo to come strolling in five or ten minutes late, this was pushing it. It had been over an hour since they'd reported for duty and no one had seen or heard from Tony.
"He is not answering his home or cell phone, Gibbs," Ziva responded, slamming the phone down after another failed attempt to contact the senior field agent. "Perhaps he spent the night with one of his women and lost track of time, yes?" McGee didn't miss the irritated look on the Israeli's face at the thought.
"Has anyone heard from Tony?" came a worried voice from the direction of the elevator as Abby stepped out, her face a mask of worry. "He hasn't answered any of my texts and he didn't even send me an email! I'm worried, Gibbs. Like really, really worried. Tony always answers my texts, even if he's busy. This isn't like him!"
"Ziva," Gibbs barked, and while his voice was gruff, McGee was certain it was out of concern rather than irritation, "get over to his place. Make sure no one's gone 'Fatal Attraction' on him." McGee was positive that Tony, had he been there, would have been proud of Gibbs' casual movie reference.
With a nod, Ziva stood from her desk and grabbed her pack that was lying at her feet before she stalked off towards the elevator, her posture rigid. "Uh... boss, do you maybe um... want me to go with her?"
"Did I tell you to go with her, McGee?"
"Then what does that tell you?"
"That you don't want me to go with her."
"Very good, McGee. I guess that MIT degree paid off after all," he spat angrily as he stood up, throwing his coffee cup in the trash. "I'm going for more coffee," he growled. "You call me the minute you hear from DiNozzo," he ordered.
"Right boss," McGee responded with a nod, but he was already talking to Gibbs' retreating back. Once the elevator doors dinged shut, he let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding and his shoulders slumped slightly. Abby wrapped her arms around him from behind, her head resting on his shoulder.
"He doesn't mean to snap at you," she assured him. "He's just worried about Tony."
"Yeah," he responded with a nod as he patted her hands. "Yeah, I know Abs. As much as I hate to admit it... I am too."
The first thing he was aware of were the hands touching him; constantly touching him, poking and prodding and why the hell did they have to keep touching him? Didn't they realize how much it hurt? It felt like his body was on fire and there was nothing he could do to alleviate the burn.
This must be what Hell feels like, he decided as the voices that had been shouting in the distance grew closer and louder.
"...the OR, have them prep and..."
At the sound of those four letters, his eyes snapped open and he gasped for air when the harsh lights assaulted his eyes.
"Whoa, whoa!" One of the paramedics shouted, a hand going to chest when he began to struggle. Eyes wide, he concentrated all of his strength into grabbing the man's arm.
"Gibbs..." he managed before he lost the battle once more.
"Well did you check with the neighbors to see if he'd even been home last night?" Gibbs asked as he picked up his third cup of coffee. "I don't know, Ziva. You tell me! You're supposed to be a trained investigator! Do you think its pertinent to talk to them?...Then do it. And don't call back until you've found him!"
With a growl of frustration, he snapped the phone closed and barely suppressed the urge to throw the annoying little device across the room. His eyes narrowed when he saw Doctor Mallard shake his head disapprovingly. "Something you want to say to me, Duck?"
"Biting Ziva's head off isn't going to make Anthony magically appear, Jethro. You are not the only one who is worried about him, and the way you are reacting is just making everything that much worse."
From across the bullpen, McGee couldn't help but privately agree with Ducky. They were all worried about Tony, but with Gibbs walking around biting everyone's head off, he had set the whole floor on edge.
"This isn't like him."
"No," Ducky agreed, "this is not. Anthony's never been one to make you purposely worry. But you must remain calm, Jethro."
"Easier said than done, Duck." When his cell phone began to chirp pleasantly in his hand, he didn't bother to check the caller ID. "Yeah, Gibbs."
Giving Gibbs some semblance of privacy, Ducky crossed the squad room and came to a rest in front of McGee's desk. "Timothy," he said kindly, "could you try again and see if you get a location on Anthony's cell phone?"
"I can try," he responded, pleased to just have something to do. It had been futile the last three times he attempted, but anything would be better than just sitting and waiting.
"Not necessary Tim," Gibbs said, his voice void of emotion. "I know where DiNozzo is."
"Well out with it, Jethro, or are you going to make us guess?"
"He's on his way to Bethesda. He was stabbed this morning outside a Georgetown apartment complex."
Almost immediately, McGee jumped to his feet. "I'll gas the car, boss. Should I call Ziva and have her respond back?"
"No, there's no time for that. We'll pick her up on the way," Gibbs responded. "Ducky--"
"I'll get Abigail and we will meet you out front," the M.E. said, already on his way to the elevator.
Nodding to nobody in general, as the squad room had cleared out, Gibbs grabbed the cup of coffee from his desk and dumped it into the trash can. "I swear to God, DiNozzo, if you're not okay, I'm going to kill you," he vowed as he headed to the elevator.
"And you are sure you did not hear him come in at any point last night?" Ziva asked for what felt like the millionth time.
"No," Mrs. Simmons responded with a shake of her head. "I usually always know when Tony's home because of that darn sound thingy he has on his television. Why you young people need such ridiculous equipment is beyond me. That boy will be deaf before he's fifty."
"Right," Ziva said, her eyebrow raised just slightly. "Well then, thank you for your help. If he happens to come home, please tell him to contact Ziva at once. It's urgent."
"Ziva? What kind of name is that?"
"Mine," she responded with a slight scowl.
"Well, you'd better let me write that down. I tend to forget things if I don't write them down. Can you spell that out for me?"
"Ziva! Like that… thing you hook to a television! A Tiva, yes? You know, the thing that records—oh, never mind! It's Ziva: Zee-Eye-Vee-A. He will know who you are talking about." As she watched the older woman write down the correct spelling of her name, she wondered briefly if this is what Tony felt like when he was trying to explain the correct way to use certain American phrases to her.
She had just thanked Mrs. Simmons for her cooperation and moved on to the neck door when McGee stepped out of the stairwell, panting slightly. "Ziva!"
Turning at the sound of her voice, she was slightly startled at the look of panic on McGee's face.
"It is Tony, yes? You have found him? "
"Come on," he responded, ignoring her question. "I'll explain in the car."
She found that she didn't need McGee to explain with his words; his body language and facial expressions said everything she needed to know. They had found Tony and he was not okay.
The ride to Bethesda was silent, save for the quiet sniffles that Abby tried so desperately to stifle. "He has to be okay, right Gibbs?" She whispered, voice thick with tears. "He knows—he knows you would kick his butt if he wasn't. Y-you're the only person who could actually order someone not to die and have them listen."
Though her words seemed to bring a slight comfort to the other people in the car, Ziva didn't comprehend the meaning. She had not been around for the plague, after all. "Abby, you cannot order someone not to die."
"She might not be able to," Gibbs said, his eyes meeting Ziva's in the mirror. "But I sure as hell can."