Gibbs sighed as he pulled up in his driveway. This day had dragged on to the point where he thought that it would never end.
But end it did.
And now he was home again, where'd he'd wished he had been all day. But he'd had to go back to work. It had been three weeks since that damn letter. Three weeks of hell for him and his team. But especially for Tony. But now Tony was out of hospital. And yes he still had a long way to go before he was well again, but he was getting better. Brad was saying it would be at least a month before Tony would be well enough to take the necessary physical that would tell them if Tony would ever be able to go back to work as an active field agent. But Gibbs knew, without a doubt that Tony would pass that test. There was nothing on this earth that would keep Tony desk bound. Nothing short of death anyway, and for the moment Tony had even beaten that obstacle. And didn't that train of thought send a cold shiver down his spine. They had come so close to loosing Tony to the plague, he had come so close to loosing Tony. The doctors had all but given up on him, they had reached the point where they were just trying to ease his pain. But Gibbs hadn't let them. Refused to hear them when they said that there was no hope, had railed against what they thought had been inevitable. And Tony had proven him right.
He looked up at his house and then sighed.
It really had been a long and testing day.
Tony had been released from Bethesda five days ago. Still sick and weak as a kitten but he had been able to eat solid foods and stomach his medicines orally and there was a strict rehabilitation schedule that he'd had to agree to keeping as well as the doctors appointments and outpatients visits that he would have to keep, and the daily visits by Ducky to check on him. But they had agreed to release him as long as he had someone to stay with, under no circumstances was he to spend too much time alone in case of any complications that they didn't know about. And that had suited Gibbs just fine. After all he'd had no intentions of letting Tony go back to his apartment when he was released anyway. From the moment that the doctors had been sure that Tony was going to live Gibbs had planned on taking him home with him.
And that was where he was now.
Tucked up inside Gibbs' house.
He smiled as he walked up to his front door.
Five days ago he'd brought a sick and sleepy Tony to his home, with only minimal argument. Gibbs had simply pointed out that if Tony wanted out of the hospital then he had to stay with someone and if that someone wasn't Gibbs then hell, the rest of the team were arguing over whom Tony would stay with. Abby had been winning that contest, with Kate and McGee a close second, Ducky had also put his hand in and suggested that Tony would be better off staying with him, until someone had reminded him that his mother was quite fond of Tony and thought he was a gigolo. Probably not the most productive place to rest and recuperate.
But in Gibbs mind there had never been a question of where Tony would be staying.
Since his release Tony had spent the majority of his time sleeping. But he had been getting stronger every day. The team all visited him every chance they got, whether he was in the hospital or at Gibbs'. Gibbs knew that it was partly to help keep Tony occupied while he was housebound and partly to reassure themselves that Tony was still alive and with them. He did it himself. He'd often found himself just sitting and watching Tony sleep, watching him breath, waiting for the next coughing fit to wake him and steal his breath again. But Gibbs was there, ready and waiting to help him, support him.
He unlocked his front door and quietly entered, listening to see what his guests were up to, to judge how quiet he needed to be. He smiled as he heard a movie playing in the lounge room. It was a good day then, Tony had been well enough to get out of bed and make his way downstairs. Not that he had to, Gibbs had asked McGee and Abby to set up a TV and DVD player in the guest room for him as well as a full entertainment system in the lounge room for when he was having a good day. After all there was nothing worse than a bored Tony, that way led to trouble for everyone.
He made his way down the hallway to the lounge room and stopped and smiled at the sight before him. The movie, some Bond movie, was nearing the end. The good guys had won and the bad guys were a thing of the past and Bond had gotten his girl, again. But that wasn't what had caught his attention.
Tony and Abby were curled up together on the sofa. Fast asleep. Tony was slightly propped up on some of the cushions, to make it easier for him to breath and Abby was curled up against his chest.
He made his way over to them and felt a wave of warmth spread through him. Everything was as right with his world. Tony was right where he was supposed to be, in Gibbs home, surrounded by people who loved him. He pulled the afghan from the back of the sofa to keep them warm, Tony got cold so much easier now.
He leant down as he covered them and ran his hand through Abby's hair and kissed Tony's brow.
"Hey Gibbs," Abby sleepily slurred as she woke up. "welcome home, we missed you today."
Gibbs smiled and bent back down and kissed the top of her head.
"Missed you as well Abbs, go back to sleep."
"mmmmm good idea."
Gibbs laughed and headed into the kitchen to get some more coffee and start some dinner.
Life was good.