Chapter 18


Gibbs wasn't wrong. As soon as Tony woke up he was given breakfast to eat and pills to swallow. He was then given a final bed bath before been given another exam. Finally after a few hours of poking and prodding they cleared him to leave. Gibbs helped Tony into the clothes he had brought and then into the wheelchair. It took quite a while to get to the exit as Tony had to stop several times to say goodbye to people.

When they finally got to the car Gibbs helped Tony to stand and then helped him into the front seat. The nurse left with the wheelchair and Gibbs loaded the bags into the trunk. They then started the drive Gibbs' house. Tony was surprised at how calmly Gibbs was driving and even fell asleep. He woke when the car came to a gentle stop. Tony opened his eyes and looked out the window. He was surprised to see his friends waiting for him. Abby and Jimmy walked forward with a new wheelchair as Gibbs got out of the car. Gibbs walked around to the passenger side and opened the door.

"Welcome home Tony." Abby cried as she ran towards him. She bent down and hugged him.

"Thanks Abbs." He mumbled and hugged her tight.

"Let him get out of the car." Gibbs said as he positioned the wheelchair.

"Oh sorry." Abby replied and moved back.

Gibbs quickly helped Tony get his legs out of the car and onto the ground. He then helped him to stand and moved him into the wheelchair.

"Let's get you inside." Gibbs said as he saw Tony panting from the exertion.

Tony nodded and the group quickly made their way inside. Gibbs helped Tony onto the couch while Ducky got the oxygen ready. When Tony was lying down Ducky placed the mask over his face and Tony gladly gulped in the oxygen.

After a few minutes Tony breathing was back to normal and he removed the mask.

"Thanks for coming guys." Tony said to the group who were now sitting in the living room.

"You're very welcome Anthony." Ducky said. "Now I fear I must leave you. I have to go check on Mother."

"How is she Ducky?" Tony asked.

"Oh she is her usual self." Ducky replied "She seems to like the new nursing home, which makes life a bit easier."

"Tell her we said hi." Tony said with a smile.

"I will." Ducky assured "Now you need to get some rest and make sure to take your medicine."

"I will, thanks Duck." Tony said and Ducky left the house.

"We should get going too." Abby said as he stood up. "You need to rest. We'll call around tomorrow and I can tell you how the bowling went."

"I'll be here." Tony replied. "Tell everyone I said good luck and I hope you win."

"Thanks Tony." Abby replied and gave him another hug.

"I'll call tomorrow as well." Jimmy said "I ah, have a date tonight with that Doctor you set me up with."

"Way to go Jimmy." Tony cheered. "Good luck and I want all the details tomorrow."

"Maybe." Jimmy replied with a grin and he and Abby hurried out the door.

"We will also call tomorrow." Ziva said.

"Get some rest." McGee added and they too left.

"Do you want to go up to bed?" Gibbs asked Tony after a few minutes.

"Actually I'm kind of hungry." Tony said "Can I get something to eat."

"Yeah sure." Gibbs replied and headed for the kitchen.

He returned a few minutes later with a confused look on his face.

"What's wrong boss."

"Oh nothing." Gibbs replied. "What would you like to eat?"

"Whatever is there." Tony replied.

"That's the thing." Gibbs replied with a grin. "The refrigerator is packed full of food, as is the freezer and all the cupboards. Ziva must have gone shopping."

"Oh um I'll just have a sandwich or something." Tony replied. "Ham or turkey maybe."

"Alright." Gibbs replied and went back to the kitchen.

He returned a few minutes later with a tray carrying 2 sandwiches, a glass of juice, a mug of coffee and 2 packets of crisps. He laid down the tray and handed a sandwich to Tony and took one for himself. They ate the sandwiches and crisps in silence and then had their drinks.

"Thanks boss, that was good." Tony said as he sat back.

"Glad you liked it." Gibbs replied "Do you want to lie down for a while?"

"Yeah that'd be good." Tony replied.

Gibbs got up and moved the wheelchair beside the couch and helped Tony into it. He then wheeled him into the downstairs bed room and helped him into bed.

He then fitted the mask for the nebulizer over Tony's face and switched it on.

"Get some sleep. I'll back in a while to check on you."

"Thanks dad." Tony mumbled and quickly fell asleep.

Gibbs smiled at his agent warmly. "Sleep well son." He whispered and left the room.

Gibbs spent the rest of the afternoon preparing dinner. At 6 he went to Tony's room and found the younger man still asleep. Although he didn't want to wake him, Tony needed something to eat and also he needed to take his medication.

"Hey Tony, dinners ready." Gibbs said

"Hey." Tony replied as he lazily opened his eyes "Mmm smells good"

Gibbs helped Tony into the chair and after a quick toilet stop they headed for the kitchen. There was already a space at the table and Gibbs wheeled Tony in there.

Gibbs then served up the roast dinner and they both tucked in. Tony ate nearly all of the dinner and even had some pie for desert.

"That's was good." Tony sighed happily when they had finished.

"Not bad if I do say so myself." Gibbs agreed. "Now let's get you into the sitting room while I tidy up."

"Sure." Tony agreed and soon he was settled on the couch with the TV turned on.

Gibbs returned to the kitchen and quickly cleaned up. He then returned to the sitting room with Tony's pills and a glass of water. Tony quickly swallowed the pills and water and returned to watching the TV. Gibbs took a seat at the end of the couch and watched the TV.

"Is this TV new." Tony asked after a few minutes.

"No, it's your TV." Gibbs replied with a smile. "I had McGee bring it over so you wouldn't be bored."

"Thanks Gibbs." Tony replied as he switched stations. He finally settled on an old western film and they both watched it in silence.

About half way through, Tony fell asleep and was soon lying on Gibbs shoulder.

When the movie ended Gibbs gently eased Tony off his shoulder and went to get Tony's bed ready. He returned to the sitting room and gently lifted Tony into his arms. Tony snuggled up against Gibbs as Gibbs carefully brought Tony to his room. He gently put him into the bed and then tucked him in. He ruffled his agents' hair and left the room. He headed down to the basement and worked on his boat for a few hours. He had just come back up stairs when he heard coughing coming from Tony's room. He hurried into the room and helped Tony sit up. The coughing eventually subsided and Gibbs left to get a glass of water and some pills. Tony gratefully took the water and took a few gulps. He then swallowed down the pills.

"You ok." Gibbs asked.

"Yeah I'm good." Tony assured and lay back down.

"Good, you need to take the steroids now." Gibbs said as he pulled out the mask.

"Do I have to?" Tony groaned.

"Yes." Gibbs replied and secured the mask over his face and injected the steroid.

"I thought I only needed the steroid twice a day." Tony complained. "I had it in the hospital and one after lunch."

"The one after lunch was Ventolin to help keep your airways open."

"Oh." Tony replied as Gibbs switched the machine on.

"Just relax." Gibbs instructed as he sat on the bed beside Tony. "Sleep if you want to and I'll remove it when it's done."

"Alright." Tony replied and closed his eyes.

Gibbs stayed where he was until Tony's breathing had deepened and he was sure Tony was asleep. He then went and locked all the doors and windows. He then tidied up a bit before returning to Tony's room and switching off the nebulizer. He checked to make sure Tony was still asleep before he went to his own room for his first night in his own in bed for quite a while.

He woke a few times during the night when he thought he heard Tony. He went to check on him but found him fast asleep each time.


When morning came Gibbs got up and started cooking breakfast. When everything was ready he woke Tony and helped him get ready for the day and they then went for breakfast. Gibbs had cooked numerous things including pancakes and waffles. Tony happily stuffed himself with the food. Gibbs laughed at Tony's antics and then sat down himself and he too dug in. After breakfast Tony asked to go outside for a while. Gibbs reluctantly agreed and after Tony had taken his medication and steroids Gibbs got him wrapped up and into the wheelchair. They then slowly walked to a nearby by park. They walked around for a while and eventually Gibbs positioned the wheelchair beside a bench and he sat down.

"This is nice." Tony sighed "I feel like I haven't had fresh air in months. Well except for the funerals."

"Yeah." Gibbs agreed.

They sat there for nearly half an hour talking about nothing in particular. Gibbs had decided to head back when he saw a shiver course through Tony's body.

"Why didn't you tell me you were cold?" Gibbs growled.

"I'm not Gibbs." Tony replied honestly "I just got a shiver, like someone walking over my grave."

"We should get back." Gibbs said as he started pushing the wheelchair. "The team will be around later and you need to rest."

"Yeah ok." Tony agreed and they headed home.

After some lunch Tony went to bed and slept for the afternoon. He woke later when some delicious smells wafted into the room. He opened his eyes and looked around the room. The sun was shining through the gasps in the curtains, illuminating some spots on the walls and floor. He sighed and sat himself up. He was just about to swing his legs over the bed when Gibbs arrived into the room.

"What are you doing?" Gibbs asked

"Just sitting up and stretching." Tony replied with an innocent look.

"It's time to get up anyway." Gibbs said. "Do you want to try walking a bit?"

"Yeah I would." Tony smiled and with some help from Gibbs he managed to stand. With Gibbs supporting him he managed to walk to the bathroom and back again. Then with Tony in the wheelchair they headed for the kitchen.

"Dinner smells good boss." Tony commented as he breathed in deeply.

"The others will be here in a few minutes." Gibbs said as he laid out some plates.

"Can I help with anything?" Tony asked.

"Nah everything is ready." Gibbs replied as he pulled a roast beef out of the oven.

He put it on a plate and laid it in the middle of the table. He then put out potatoes, a variety of vegetables, some salad and gravy.

"Wow this looks great." Tony said looking at the food hungrily.

"Thanks." Gibbs replied just as they heard the others come in.

"Hi Tony, Hi Gibbs." Abby called happily as she entered the kitchen followed by the others.

"Wow everything looks great." McGee said as they saw the spread.

"Yes it looks delicious." Palmer agreed as he placed a pie on the counter top.

"Everyone take a seat and dig in." Gibbs ordered as he started carving the beef.

Everyone helped themselves and Gibbs got some up for Tony. They all ate happily and chatted about the weekend. Abby's team had won the game of bowling and were now top of the league. McGee had his next book nearly complete, Ziva had spent the weekend cooking and had brought a lot of the food with her tonight for Gibbs to keep in the fridge. Jimmy had gone on his date and had a fantastic time. He was going out again next week.

Gibbs was delighted when Tony asked for more and pilled more food on the plate. For desert they had some of the pie that Jimmy had brought and some ice cream. They were all well and truly stuffed and after the dishes were done they went to the sitting room. Tony managed to get onto the couch by himself and after Gibbs had given him his pills he sat beside him, with Abby on the other side. McGee put on a DVD and they all watched it. Again towards the end of the movie Tony fell asleep with his head against Gibbs shoulder.

"Aw that's so sweet." Abby gushed as she saw them.

"Yes it is." Ziva agreed.

"You should get him to bed Jethro." Ducky said. "I can give him a quick check up before I go,"

Gibbs gently moved away from Tony and then picked him up in his arms. Ducky led the way to the bedroom and turned back the covers on the bed. Gibbs gently lay Tony down and Ducky started his examination.

"He seems to be doing well." Ducky said as he finished.

Gibbs placed the mask over Tony face and started the nebulizer. They then left Tony to sleep.

"Tony seems much better now that he's out of the hospital." Abby said when Gibbs and Ducky returned.

"Yeah he does." Gibbs agreed. "He still has a long road ahead of him but we'll help him."

"Of course we will." Jimmy said.

After they all helped clean up, they headed home. They all had to go to work the following morning.

Gibbs finished cleaning up and after checking on Tony he removed the nebulizer. Tony woke up a bit so Gibbs gave him his pills and he quickly fell back to sleep. Gibbs then went to bed himself and both men slept through the night.


Gibbs woke early and again made a big breakfast but this morning unfortunately Tony didn't seem very hungry and was quite.

Gibbs cleaned up the remains of the breakfast and then helped Tony get dressed for the day.

"Do you want to go for another walk?" Gibbs asked when Tony was dressed.

"Yeah alright." Tony agreed

"We don't have to, it was just a suggestion." Gibbs said seeing Tony reluctance. "Are you feeling alright?"

"I had a dream about Jeanne and Katie last night and I just miss them." Tony replied sadly. "I know it's stupid, I mean, I barley new Katie and I hadn't been with Jeanne in months, but I just feel…….empty."

"It doesn't matter how long you knew them. It still hurts." Gibbs said. "Do you want to go the graveyard?"

"Yeah I'd like that." Tony replied and they both headed out.

Tony insisted that they stop at a flower shop on the way and he purchased 4 bunches of flowers. When they arrived at the grave yard Gibbs wheeled Tony to the graves and then went to leave him alone.

"Stay boss." Tony said as he looked over at Shannon and Kelly's graves. "Your family are here too."

"If you're sure."

"I am." Tony replied and slowly stood up from the wheelchair.

Gibbs moved closer to him and was in reach in case he stumbled.

Tony gently laid the flowers down for Jeanne and Katie and then laid the other 2 bunches for Shannon and Kelly.

"Does it get any easier?" Tony asked after a few minutes of silence.

"It gets easier to deal with." Gibbs replied sadly. "It never stops hurting but you learn to deal with it and eventually you will start thinking of the nice times you had together and be happy again."

"I hate thinking of them." Tony sobbed as tears rolled down his face. "It hurts too much to think about them, I feel so alone."

"You are never alone Tony." Gibbs assured as he pulled Tony into a hug. "You have your friends and you have me."

Tony continued sobbing for a few minutes before pulling away and collapsing back into the wheelchair.

"Thanks boss."

"I'll be here for you every step of the way." Gibbs said "We'll get through this together like a family."

"Like a family." Tony repeated as they headed home.

The End

A/N: A big thank you to everyone who has followed this story through. Thank you for all the reviews and alerts, they were much appreciated. I hope you enjoyed the story.