Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, nor am I profiting from this piece of writing.

When Ducky arrived, so did chaos.

Tony had barely stayed conscious as Ducky examined him with utmost care. The almost silent moans were agony to the three friends; their patient flinched at every touch. When the paramedics arrived and questioned the problem, Ducky explained everything he knew and Tony's possible conditions while Gibbs held Abby together with a hug. Finally, moving him was the last straw for Tony's weak body, and he became unconscious as they lifted him onto the stretcher.

As the medics carried Tony away, Abby, Gibbs, and Ducky watched with worry. They stood in silence for a moment. Ducky was the bravest and broke it. "Abigail, I'm sure dear Anthony will recover quite quickly and completely. His loss of consciousness is nothing to be concerned with considering his blood loss and the horrid concussion plaguing his mind." Seeing the distraught look in Abby's eyes, Ducky tried again. "But there didn't seem to be any inter-cranial swelling and he was lucid enough to walk to NCIS from the scene of the accident. I wouldn't bestow too much worry on this little incident. Young Tony will be back to normal in a few days."

Abby sniffled for a few moments before breaking into action. "Gibbs, I'm going to finish up here, and shut down some machines. Just wait for me and gas the car or whatever it is you do in the parking lot and I will be there in five minutes. Don't leave without me!" Abby gave Gibbs a stern look, and then softened to give him a hug. "Gibbs! He's gonna be fine! Weren't you listening to Ducky?"

Gibbs kissed the top of Abby's head. "Yeah, Abs, I know. Ducky and I will wait for you in the car." He disentangled himself from her and followed a thoughtful looking Ducky into the elevator.


As soon as the doors closed, Gibbs turned to Ducky. "Tell me what's really going on here, Duck. What are you hiding?"

Ducky stared at the floor. "I really have no idea what you are talking about, Jethro. I already apprised both you and Abigail of his condition in the best way I could. He really is going to be fine, disregarding a massive headache, some minor side effects, possibly some fixable, minor internal bleeding, and a scar. Maybe a few weeks was a more accurate convalescing period for Tony. But other than that, I said everything." Ducky sighed uncharacteristically and finally looked into Gibbs's eyes.

"Then what aren't you telling me, Duck?" Jethro knew the moment he saw Ducky's eyes that there was information he wasn't divulging. He placed a hand on the doctor's shoulder for reassurance. "If Abby couldn't take it, I can."

"No, no it's not about Tony's physical condition. I'm more afraid that…" Ducky trailed off and Gibbs could have sworn he saw pity in the older man's wise eyes.

"Spit it out, Duck." Jethro returned to gruff informality when Ducky became slow.

"I do believe that the other victims in the accident haven't or won't… make it." They exited the elevator on the parking lot level and stopped just outside the elevator. "The other vehicle… was smashed beyond belief. The front end was mauled…" Ducky trailed off, looking very worriedly at the concrete of the ground.

"Was it Tony's fault?" Gibbs wondered, knowing how serious the fault could be. If Tony awoke to find he had been the cause of one or more deaths… Gibbs shuddered at the thought, waiting for Ducky's analysis to continue.

"No, I don't believe so. It looked to me to be an actual accident, perhaps a loss of control or a falling asleep at the wheel. But the wreck was on Tony's side of the road, indicating the other vehicle crossed over the separating bulk head and ran into his car head on. I am amazed he wasn't hurt more, seeing the wreckage." Ducky sighed and began to walk again, worried they might be passed up by Abby.

"Then, really it shouldn't be a problem. Besides the fact the other passengers will die, it shouldn't matter to DiNozzo." Gibbs even sounded doubtful to himself, and Ducky gave him a sad glance.

"Jethro, I think we both know full well that dear Anthony would never forgive himself for living in spite of any living person's death, disregarding the fact that the other driver seems to be responsible." They arrived at the car, and Gibbs unlocked it, watching as the experienced medical examiner climbed into the car in a way that could only be described as knowing sadness.

In his mind, Gibbs cursed anyone who could inflict so much pain on almost all the people he loved in one night, doing a simple, everyday act like driving a car. Anger surged through him momentarily, and he calmed himself, calling all his energy reserves to keep focused on the task at hand. Wait for Abby, then drive to the hospital. As he waited, he reminded himself of the title of the misfortune: an accident. Ducky made it sound like it was, and no one was to blame.


After minutes of silence, Abby climbed wordlessly into the backseat, wiping carefully and generously applied black makeup from under her eyes as she pulled herself together for Tony's sake.

Gibbs pulled out and drove quickly to hospital, much to Ducky's and Abby's dismay, and much too quickly. But, for once, they understood the urgency and knew that as soon as he knew that Tony would be okay, the fury and grief inside of the man would slowly die down, only to be replaced with relief and concern as Tony made a recovery, hopefully a full one.