Tony can feel his chest tightening as he sits on his haunches on the dock between Maddie and Gibbs. His heart's racing a mile a minute and he doesn't think he could speak if he tried.
He can hear sirens getting louder, and when the ambulance pulls up, he climbs shakily to his feet so the EMTs can get to Gibbs and Maddie. He watches as they check them out and when one of the medics gives him a nod, the surge of relief almost sends him to his knees. His sight goes dark, and he bends forward and puts his hands on his knees, waiting for the head-rush to pass. The next thing he's aware of is a blanket being wrapped around his shoulders and he looks up to see an EMT standing there, worry in his eyes. "You okay?" the man asks.
Tony straightens up and nods quickly, still trying to get his breathing under control.
They've got Gibbs and Maddie on gurneys and Tony walks across as they're wheeled toward the ambulance. Gibbs reaches out and grips his forearm. "Thanks," he whispers.
Tony wants to tell him it's fine, all part of the job, but his lungs feel like they've seized midway between an inhalation and an exhalation and all he can do is nod.
"You should go to the hospital too," the EMT tells him. "You look worse than they do."
Tony finally finds enough breath to huff out a snort at that. "I'm okay," he says. "Take care of them."
By the time he makes it back to his car, his hands are shaking so much, he can barely get the key into the ignition and when he finally does, he just sits there till the trembling eases.
He should go back to the office, put in a report but right now he just needs to be home, someplace where he can fall apart, alone.
A hot shower, a change of clothes, and a shot of whisky later and he's feeling almost normal. There's still a tremble to his hands as he picks up the glass though and he forces his fingers to clench around it till the shaking stops. His chest is wheezy now but he can at least take a deep breath without feeling like it'll be his last. He's just about to turn on the TV when there's a knock at the door.
"If that's you, McGee…" he mutters warningly as he goes to open it then stumbles back in surprise as Gibbs shoulders his way in. "Boss? Shouldn't you be in the hospital?"
"I was just about to ask you the same thing," Gibbs says, grabbing Tony's arm on his way past and towing him over to the sofa, pushing him back down to sit on it.
"I'm fine," Tony says automatically, knowing the trembling in his hands is a dead giveaway that he's not and wondering if it'll look too odd if he sits on them.
"Yeah, so am I. Mind you, I had a doctor at the hospital tell me that. Whose medical opinion are you going by?" Gibbs asks. He picks up the whisky glass, places it in Tony's hand then goes out to the kitchen and comes back with the bottle and another glass. He fills his quarter-full then taps the edge of it gently against Tony's. "Thanks again," he says and takes a sip.
"I just… um…" Tony puts the glass carefully on the table then holds his hands out straight in front of him. "I can't stop shaking," he says finally. "My lungs felt like they were going to burst and then I saw neither of you were breathing, and I knew I had to make a choice…" His voice trails off.
"It's called a reaction for a reason." Gibbs drops down to sit on the edge of the coffee table across from Tony and picks up the glass, handing it back to him. "Better finish this. Ducky probably won't let you have any alcohol once he gets here."
"You called Ducky? I told you, Boss, I'm-"
"Fine. Yeah, you did. And as soon as Ducky tells me that, I'll believe it." Gibbs leans forward and looks firmly into his eyes. "If you're gonna go running around, hauling my ass out of submerged cars, you need to be fit, DiNozzo. You got that?"
"Yeah." Tony nods, take a drink and notices that his hands aren't shaking quite so much. "I got it."