"I'm dying probie…"

McGee hadn't believed him. Tony had known from the look on his face. He had only been entertaining him. But it was true, he was dying. He had gone to see Dr. Pitt every two months since he had recovered from the plague. For the last two years he had been completely healthy…until recently.

His health was declining, fast. He had been going in every week since it had dropped. So far he had been able to sneak out when nobody was notice, usually after he got done work.

His latest appointment had been scheduled for tonight, right after work. Dr. Pitt was doing all he could but he had given Tony only two months to live at his last appointment. That isn't to say that he wouldn't live longer than that, but that was all he had for sure. He was most likely going to die in the next year. He couldn't bring himself to tell anyone, but now here on this ship he knew he was going to have to tell them. Normally he would wait but at this point he wasn't sure he was going to make it through the night.

It had been an hour since the lights had gone out. The air was back on high now, and he was freezing but he was also sweating profusely. The team was in the lab area, and admittedly he was avoiding them. He didn't want them to see him like this. But it was inevitable, he had wandered the entire ship and now he found himself entering the lab.

"Hello Anthony," Ducky said not looking up from the body unlike the rest of the team.

"Wow Tony are you okay," McGee asked in concern.

At this Ducky looked up eyes concerned when he saw Tony shake his head.

"What seems to be the problem?" Ducky asked.

"I'm dying," Tony said coughing into his elbow.

"Don't be so dramatic DiNozzo," Gibbs snapped.

"I'm not Gibbs," Tony said just as his phone went off. "Hey Brad." He said as he picked up.

"Speaker DiNozzo," Gibbs said.

"Tony where are you, you're an hour late!" Brad said frantically.

"We caught a case," Tony said coughing again.

"Tony are you alright, should I send Emma to come get you? Just tell me where you are."

"Can't come in Brad," Tony said weakly.

"Don't talk like that Tony, if it's Gibbs tell him you have to go!" Brad growled.

"Dr. Pitt?" McGee asked confused.

"You have me on speaker Tony?" Brad asked.

"Yeah," Tony said coughing some more.

"Why are you calling Tony's cell phone Dr. Pitt?" Gibbs asked.

"Because he's an hour late for his weekly appointment. Didn't he tell you about…" Brad started to ask.

"No I hadn't, I've been avoiding it." Tony wheezed

"What haven't you told us Tony?" Ziva asked.

"Well actually I told Tim." Tony said with a small smile.

"What did you tell me?" McGee asked.

"I'm dying, granted you didn't believe me."

"Because you aren't." McGee said.

"Actually yes he is," Brad said solemnly.

"But Anthony was in perfect health before we got on the ship." Ducky said confused.

"Actually, last month I started declining. I've been going to Bethesda every two months for the past two years. Just to be sure I'm okay," Tony started.

"Last month we noticed a major drop, ever since I've had him coming in every week, so far he has continued to decline." Brad explained. "I need to see ASAP."

"Well this is bad," Ducky muttered.

"What's wrong?" Brad asked.

"We are stuck on a ghost ship investigating a sailors death. And we think he died of an infection." Ziva explained.

"Shit, and he's coughing already? This isn't good. How bad is it Tony?" Brad asked completely professional.

"I'd say bad," Tony said as he looked down at his arm he'd been coughing into.

"How bad?"

"Coughing up blood, I'm freezing, and I'm sweating profusely."

"This isn't good, with as short as I gave you last week…" Brad muttered.

"How long did you give him?" Ducky asked.

"Two months for sure, a year at the most." Brad said sadly.

"And you failed to mention this how?" Gibbs growled.

"I didn't want anyone to worry. I knew I was going to have to tell you guys soon, I was going to wait to see if there was any change in my test results since last week tonight if there wasn't then I was going to tell you."

"There isn't much I can do for you from here Tony, but I'll have Emma get the blue room ready for you. Once you get back by the sounds of it you'll be back in quarantine again." Brad said sighing.

"Joy," Tony muttered sarcastically."

"Call me when you're on you way back to DC I'll have Emma pick you up at the dock." Brad said before hanging up.

"You're dying," Ducky asked.

"Yeah," Tony said leaning against a wall.

"Clear out you three." Gibbs said looking at McGee, Ziva and Ducky.

They did as they were told immediately. Gibbs closed the door to the lab behind them.

"I'm sorry Jethro, I wanted to tell you. I really did, but every time I got up the courage to say it you were in either a really good mood or completely pissed off and I just couldn't find a right time to say it." Tony said sliding down to the floor.

"Hey it's okay, I'm not mad." Jethro said sitting next to him.

"You aren't?"

"No, you weren't trying to hurt me, in fact you were doing the exact opposite. Do I wish you would have told me as soon as you found out you were declining? Yes, but I'm not mad." Gibbs said wrapping his arms around the other man.

"Jethro?" Tony asked quietly.

"What love?"

"I don't want to die," Tony said voice cracking.

"Neither do I," Gibbs said pulling Tony closer. Tony clung to him face buried in Gibbs' chest silently soaking it through.

That was how the others found them when they re-entered the lab.

"What is wrong?" Ziva asked.

"Aside from the fact that I'm going to die at age thirty? Nothing." Tony snapped.

"Easy Tony," Gibbs said calmly.

"Sorry," Tony muttered not meeting anyone's eyes.

"It is fine, I'm sure you will be alright." Ziva said calmly.

"But that's just it Ziva," Tony said brokenly. "I won't be fine, I have a year at most."

XXX

It had taken a while but they were finally on their way back to dry land. Crazy how much Tony was dreading it. He really didn't want to go back to the blue room. He had a feeling that once he got into the room he wouldn't be leaving. He was going to die in a room with blue lights that killed all the germs around him. Well at least when hour died he'd have a killer tan.

They were aproaching the dock now. He could see Nurse Emma now. She was still really pretty. She hadn't changed in the two years since Tony's bout with the plague. He flirted with her like he did back then and she knew it was just for fun and she occasionally would flirt back. Everyone of Tony's friends knew he was in a serious realstionship. Not all of them knew who he wa with but they did know he was with someone.

"I'm not ready to go Jethro." Tony said as Gibbs helped him out of the boat they had stolen to get here.

"Don't worry Tony I'll be with you I don't care what Brad says I will not leave you now." Gibbs said holding Tony close as he helped the man towards Emma.

"Hello Agent Gibbs," Emma said when they came to a stop in front of her.

"Emma, let's get him out of here." Gibbs said quietly.

"Of course. Dr. Pitt will probably have some questions for you when we get there but I could be wrong."

"That's fine," Gibbs said as he and Tony settled into the backseat of her car.

"So are you the person Tony's been seeing? He never actually said a name but I had a feeling from the way he talks that it's a man." Emma said calmly.

"I am, so you'll probably see a lot of me." Gibbs said running his fingers through Tony's hair.

"It's good to see him happy." was all Emma said as they entered the main gate. She walked them strait through to the blue room and set Tony up with an oxygen mask.

Gibbs was sitting next to him hand held firmly in his whennesd walked in.

"Hello Agent Gibbs. Tony I'm going to do a blood test and check all you stats see how you're holding up. I'm sorry to say that I can,t make any promises right now but I can hope and pray as a friend that you will be okay." Brad said as Emma carried in all the supplies he would need.

"Thanks Brad." Tony said with a small smile before blacking out.

He never woke up. He died later that evening much to Gibbs' dismay. The poor man had not only had to live through the death of his wife and daughter now he had, had to live through the death of the only person he had loved since then.

After Tony's death Gibbs retired and headed off to Mexico never looking back except on his and Tony's anniversary when he'd come up and leave his true love a dozen blood red roses they went fight next to the black ones Abby always left.

It went on like that until the day Gibbs himself died.