Chapter Six: You're The Truth, Not I
Roy ran a hand over his chin, gun still held in his hand. The place was a mess; the bank floor covered in a snaking spider's web of blood trails and trapped flies of bullet holes. He shifted a foot back as a particular trail drifted its way across the floor towards where he was standing. Dalrym appeared next to him, sliding his own gun into his holster.
"I called Ducky, he's on his way," The junior agent reported, casting a look across the bank floor. Metro PD had already brought in the thick sheets to obscure the gruesome bodies. Apparently the siege had been text book, exactly to plan. Nothing went wrong. Sure, four dead bodies, only one injured hostage. Was that text book? Apparently NCIS operated on a very different school text book; maybe FLETC had changed the syllabus since Roy had been there. He'd been a sailor until he joined NCIS, served his time on a ship, and enjoyed his time on base when it had just been him and Annie. Well, that had been before they were married, but the point was still there. A naval man through and through.
Dalrym had been an NYPD cop before his recruitment to the Service; maybe he'd understand this 'textbook' phrase better.
The gunmen were spread across the floor, each with their own coned number singling them out. Two were on their back; one slumped against the counter and one on his back, staring up forever more at the bank's skylight.
The doors had smashed open with enough force to stop a hurricane in its tracks. The glass splintered like plywood, shattering towards the stone floor in a cacophony of sound. Shouted commands were lost in the volley of expert gunfire that was released from both sides. Roy skirted the edge, the corner of his eye finding out the fourth gunman he so wished he didn't recognise. With his partner at his side, eleven rounds were squared off from the two NCIS standard issue weapons even before Monroen could raise his despicable shotgun. The former CIA agent's body jerked eleven times, the final time his head snapping back with the force of the round hitting his temple. The clouds of dust drifted, replaced only by the eerie silence. Monroen's body twisted as it fell, hitting the floor with a light 'flump', blank, emotionless eyes staring towards the skylight until the sheet was brought to cover the sight.
Roy slipped his old magazine out of his gun, pocketing it in one of the pocket she could reach through his bullet-proofer and replaced it with a sharp snap which echoed around the old fashioned bank. The hostages had been herded out by the black helmeted SWAT team with only slightly more care and attention than the gunmen before hand. Both had had a job to do. But, three hadn't left, three had stayed put, one only moving through protest.
When Monroen's body dropped, Roy was able to have a full look across the bank floor. He was the first to start moving towards the hostages, dodging around a bloodied body. The corner they were cowering in was crowded, and it wasn't surprising the flinch that ran through the captives. So long kept in the dark with nothing to watch except the movement of those long barrelled beasts. There were few soft words of comfort as the Metro PD arrived, but the words that were spoken were meant for reassurance. The remaining members of the captive society were removed, but Roy hadn't bothered paying attention. The sight he and Peter had been drawn to was heart breaking.
The boy they'd come to know as a frequent visitor to the third floor NCIS building lying huddled against their indestructible superior. A young woman was kneeling close, as if afraid to let either slip away. Roy knelt down quickly, pressing two fingers to Tony's neck whilst Peter bent down to do the same to their boss.
"Weak and rapid." Roy muttered, "Hey, we need an paramedic here!"
"Make that two!" Dalrym chipped in, even though the Gibbs' eyelids were fluttering.
"What happened, briefly?" Roy asked quietly to the woman still kneeling close.
"They…he shot Tony. It started bleeding again, they beat him pretty badly. He's in shock, and…and he hasn't woken up since,"
"Okay, what about Gibbs?" Roy gently took Tony's shoulder, moving him slightly to reveal the tear in his shirt. He placed a palm on the wound, pressing down.
The woman looked confused for a moment, but quickly registered the only other person present would be the man, Tony's father. Tony Gibbs, nice name.
"Uhm, he was hit by one of the-the men. I checked for a concussion, I think he has one."
"How long's he been unconscious?" Peter asked, dark eyes watching as his boss stirred, turning his head when the hurried footsteps caught his attention. EMTs.
"A-about, forty minutes."
The rest was a blur. A blurry wash of activity. A stretcher brought out before a second pair of paramedics appeared out of nowhere. Fresh blood had marred the clotted blood attempting to stop Tony bleeding out from the brutal gun shot. The bruises were forming quickly, colouring his pale face and chest in a mirage of purples. Even as the EMTs moved the boy carefully, Gibbs blue eyes had fluttered, blinking open. The first movement. Now there was no there near the spot Roy was standing. He'd watched the EMTs jog quickly away beside the wheeled backboards. Blood was still tricking across the floor, and not the blood of a gunman. No, this was the bright crimson life of a loved seventeen year old splashed across the cold, stone floor without mercy.
"C'mon Pete, let's get to the hospital." Roy's hand was still etched with that boy's blood, but he ignored it, tearing off the Velcro holding his bullet proof vest together. The blonde agent turned, making his way across to the ruined doors, Dalrym following behind. They car was the same placed they'd parked it just over an hour and a half before, the rain had eased up somewhat, but the wheels were still dripping, water running down the wind screen as if in a hurry to be somewhere.
Dalrym slid behind the driver's seat without a question, Roy didn't particularly like driving but he had to do it with two kids, and one on the way.
A hospital waiting room is never going to be someone's favourite place. It was the area of limbo where worried relatives, friends or maybe just acquaintances who had witnessed an accident paced back and forth wearing trenches in the cheap carpet. The chairs were usually occupied and the floor was hardly comfortable. Then again, if you were lucky enough to snag yourself a chair you were most likely going to find it impossible to get comfortable, no matter what position you sit in. And this was where they found Ducky. The pathologist was looking grim, but not depressed. Small favours.
"Any news, Duck?" Roy asked, pushing the door open. Surprisingly it was occupied only by the pathologist rather than the scores of other people that usually arrived mingled.
"I'm afraid Tony's still in surgery, and Jethro has been taken to Resuscitation."
"Any chance we can see him?" Roy was still standing straight whilst Dalrym had taken a seat to rest his weary legs, the adrenaline seeping away. It had been a rather action filled day already.
"Not until they bring him off observation. Which seems what you should be on as well, Royce." Ducky indicated the red smudge across Roy's otherwise clean shirt.
"It's, um, Tony's." Roy murmured, decided to take Peter's example, sinking into one of the cushioned chairs, Ducky took one across from the young agents, the silence drawing out until it was almost tangible.
The Resuscitation room was teeming with pale blue cover-alls and white masked medical staff.
"Male, seventeen, gunshot to the abdomen, four broken ribs."
"He's going into shock."
"He's gone into shock!"
"He's still bleeping out, where is that OR?"
"There isn't one free."
"Then clear one!" The voice was a sharp command from the doctor that sent the room into silence.
"OR 4's prepping."
"BP's 90/50, and dropping."
"Damn! This kid is going hypertensive. Prep faster."
"Do you want this kid to die? Because that's a whole lot easier than making him live. Prep it faster!"
That OR was prepared in record form.
Gibbs woke slowly, the bounding in his head similar to a chorus of a thousand bass drums beating out the national anthem. Licking his dry lips, Gibbs cracked open a eye, immediately closing it at the onslaught of light.
"I'll close the curtains." The familiar cultured voice informed him just before the light burning through his eyelids dimmed. This time it was much easier, and less painful, to slide an eyelid up.
"How are you feeling, Jethro?" Ducky had returned to his seat, closing the book he'd had propped open on his knee. Gibbs let the blurry puzzle of memories form together into.
"Tony! Where's Tony?" His voice was scratchy and soft, even though the urgency was almost a painful tinge. Ducky sighed.
"You need to calm down, Jethro, you've had stitches."
"Ducky, where is Tony, tell me." Those blue eyes, sparkling with worry, hiding the clouding of pain which was sinking in between the pupils.
"Tony's in Recovery, he only just left surgery."
"Surgery? How long? I've gotta see him."
"Jethro, no!" The force in the Medical Examiner's voice briefly stilled the father as he attempted to pull over his hospital blanket. "You are known for ignoring doctor's notes, but you cannot set that example at the moment. You have only recently come round from a concussion and I mean not for you to pull your stitches out."
"Ducky, my son was shot. I need to see him."
"And he needs you to be capable of remembering him when he recovers. You are no used to your son with brain damage!" It was so rare for the pathologist to stand up and argue with him that Gibbs was once again momentarily set back, but that didn't set him back for long.
"Jethro, if you do not return to your bed I will have no choice but to call from them to sedate you." Gibbs ignored the warning, easing himself into a sitting position. The doctor sighed heavily, pressing the call button before Gibbs could stop him. No-one wanted the irate father sedated, not the nurses who had to battle the agent against his will, not the friend who was trying to look out for his health when his friend wouldn't, not the father who wanted nothing less than to see his son without the pale tinge of agony. No-one, but life works in ways no-one can comprehend.
Recovery was a long room filled to the gills with bleeping, whooshing and scraping machines. And this was the symphony which assaulted Tony as his consciousness drifted back from its vacation. His throat felt raw and scratchy. And he felt oh, so tired. Without even bothering to let his green eyes see the light of day, Tony drifted back to sleep, before the pain could start letting itself known.
A Recovery Room nurse looked up from the patient she'd been changed the IV for as the heart monitor connected to the youngest patient in the room skipped slightly. Finishing her task, the nurse moved over to the boy, practised eye glancing over monitors.
"Everything alright, Marie?" The voice of a doctor came from behind her. Marie turned, smiling gently.
"Everything's fine, Doctor Runyon." She reported, glancing softly over the patient as the doctor picked up his chart.
"Oh yes, the lad from the bank robbery, I had one man from there in Recuss." Mark Runyon had been a doctor for many years, he'd treated many head injuries, some worse than others. His eyes scanned over the page on the chart. "Gibbs." He muttered under his breath.
"Pardon, doctor?" Marie asked, catching the muttered word.
"Gibbs." Runyon repeated, looking up from the sheet. "The same name on both patients. Marie, they're father and son."
"Oh, how horrible!" Marie sighed, brushing a hand over the boy's still forehead.
"Definitely not how I would like to spend my Fridays." Runyon concluded, placing the chart back on the end of his bed. Mothers and daughters he could deal with, fathers and sons could get rather more complicated.
"Marie, when this patient comes round, see he's moved to the same room as his father."
"Doctor?" Runyon turned, hands slipping into the pockets of his white coat.
"True me, Marie. It'll cause a lot less hassle in the long run."
"But, but the paper work?"
"Put it in my pigeon hole. I don't mind a bit of paperwork." With a last smile, Mark Runyon left Recovery with a sigh. Moving down the corridor towards the elevator the doctor made his way down towards the Wards Administration. The woman at the desk greeted him by name as he approached.
"Good evening, Mark."
"Evening, Josephine. Could you do me a favour, check which room a patient named Gibbs is in?"
"Sure thing, we still on for dinner tomorrow night?" Josephine started typing on one of the computers around the station.
"Wouldn't miss it." Mark smiled broadly.
"There are two 'Gibbs' in the system. One of them is at the moment in Recovery and the other is in room…616."
"616. Thanks Josie. You're an angel." He called back, turning back the way he'd come.
"I know, Mark." Josephine smiled to herself. "You tell me all the time."
Roy, Ducky and Peter had been taking it in turns, shifts, to stay beside each of the two bedsides whilst the rest settled into a few hours rest at home. Roy had been up to see the director the night of the bank capture, a daring feat for an agent no exactly high up on the chain of command.
Running a hand through his blonde hair, Roy braced himself as the elevator doors pinged open. The walk down the corridor across the walkway seemed to take longer than usual, but the agent took a deep breath and pushed open the metal door leading to the outer office.
"Can I help you?" Asked the secretary behind the desk, looking up from her computer.
"Only if it's to walk through that door there to see Director Morrow." Woah, sounded more confident than he felt.
"I'm sorry, Director Morrow's in a meeting at the moment, but you can leave a message."
"Nope, that's alright I'll just sit right here and chat with you until he has time." It wasn't really a suggestion. He didn't actually have to wait too long for the door to open and a suited man to walk out. Lawyer, obviously. Casting a smile back towards the secretary, Roy caught the door before it closed and slid inside.
"Ah, Agent Cadman. I read your report." Director Morrow greeted him politely, looking up from his desk.
"Sir, I have a request."
"Yes, I read your request as well; it always helps to come in person as well. You seem to be learning from Gibbs." Roy gave a small smile at that. "You were a Petty Officer before you came to Law Enforcement, were you not?"
"That's correct, sir."
"Petty Officer Royce Cadman, honourable discharge, clean record, been working for Agent Gibbs for a while now."
"Hmn, you're a good Agent Cadman. I'll expect you back on duty by Monday."
"You did request to have this weekend off rotation, am I mistaken?"
"No, Director. I was thinking I'd have to fight my corner more."
"We look after our own, Agent Cadman, and our own's families. I'll see you and Dalrym back on Monday. Make sure you tell Gibbs I don't want to see him in this building until at least Wednesday. Thank-you."
With that Director Morrow cast his eyes back down at the papers on his desk. Roy blinked for a few seconds before making his way back to the door. Director Morrow glanced up as the door closed, allowing a small smile before professionalism returned.
Peter walked out from the elevator, making his way towards the Recovery Room. His fiancée had just dropped him off before heading off once more. Saturday afternoon. Usually he'd be living it up with his freedom and his fiancée, Natasha, unless he was rotation. Actually, Agent Gibbs' team were on rotation, but after Roy had squared it with the Director it was a calming day. He'd passed Ducky fetching coffee before returning to his post beside the still-sedated Gibbs' bedside.
Recovery was lit by a dim light when he moved his head around the corner, looking down the length of beds. A nurse looked up from her station.
"Can I help you, sir?" She asked politely, standing up and pulling down her bright pink scrubs. The name 'Marie' embroidered on her shirt.
"Yeah, I'm just checkin' in on Tony Gibbs." He informed her with a smile.
"Oh, right. You're friend left about twenty minutes ago. Roy, isn't it?"
"Yeah. I'm Peter."
"Well, Peter, he's just this way."
Marie stepped out from behind her station, walking along the row of beds to one at the end. Which was empty.
"Uh, he was…he was here a moment ago."
"You didn't see him leave?" Peter already had his head flicking back and forth, searching.
"I only left my post for a moment!"
Running a hand over his face, Peter turned, jogging back down the length of the room, almost running straight into a doctor.
"Is there some sort of problem here?" He asked, politely.
"Well, one of your patients has gone missing, so, yeah, I'd say that was a problem, Doc." Dalrym replied, slipping passed the doctor.
"Marie?" Doctor Runyon questioned quickly.
"It's the young Gibbs, I left my post for a moment and he's gone!"
"Alert security, he can't have gone far." Runyon took off after Peter, his white coat flapping with his long strided walk.
Peter met Ducky as he came down from the stairwell, too impatient to wait for the elevator. "Tony's done a ducker." He informed the pathologist. Ducky's expression changed to grim. "Security's on the look out, I called Roy. I'm checkin' top floors. You can do bottom, right?"
Ducky nodded without a reply, turning tail to go back down in the waiting elevator. Runyon had already caught up with Peter's stride. "You know the kid?"
"Yeah, he's my boss's son." Peter's reply was clipped as he quickened his stride, checking each corner.
"Kid's a fighter."
"Yeah, he is."
"He woke up this morning, was quite adamant about seeing his father. I almost sedated him."
"It runs in the family I guess. Wait...if you sedated him, how did he get out?"
"I didn't sedate him, I just thought I should. I'm Mark, by the way."
"Whilst I do like introductions, Mark. I am looking for a missing seventeen year old. Call me Peter."
That more or less ended the conversation as Peter took the stairs two at a time up to the sixth floor, leaving Runyon in his wake.
The sixth floor had eighteen identical rooms lining it, the wide corridor letting nine doors on each side. The nurse at the desk looked up as Peter appeared at the top of the stairs, hardly out of breath.
"Yes?" She asked, confused.
"Has a kid just come up here? About five ten, brown hair, green eyes, kinda lanky."
"I've just come on shift, I wouldn't know." Very helpful, Dalrym thought bitterly. Runyon joined him, panting slightly.
"You check the left, Doc." Peter more or less order, jogging forward to gaze into each room in turn.
Until he came to room sixteen. A still figure lay comfortably in the bed, his head turned towards the door. A second figure was hunched in a chair, a gentle shake in his shoulder, back to the door. Peter stopped, watching carefully, Runyon had seen him pause and was about to open the door, but the agent snaked out a hand to grasp his wrist, stopping him. The small voice from inside could still be heard out in the corridor.
"It's just…uhm, I dunno. It's kinda lonely without you I guess, dad. I don't think I like it much, it's like that Christmas you had to work on that case and, uh, I went to Annie and Roy's. It was good, I like them, but it wasn't the same thought you. It isn't the same without you. So, you gotta wake up, Dad. Not like you to sleep in, that's my job isn't it? Uhm. Yeah, I just. God, I'm whining aren't I. Yeah, sorry. I don't. Jesus, I uhm. Sometimes, I uh. Man, these hospital gowns don't give much warmth, right? C'mon, dad." The voice was getting quieter, more broken as the shaking grew in aptitude. The sentences were stuttered, whispered, jolted. Sobs? Pain?
"Has no-one told him his father's sedated?" Runyon asked softly, watching the scene with sympathetic eyes. Peter shook his head, ignoring his own warning and opening the door.
Tony looked round slowly as the door opened and closed.
"Hey, kid." Peter said softly. He could see the shaking in the boy's shoulders so instead of just taking a seat he grabbed one of the blue blankets which was neatly folded at the end of Gibbs' bed out of use and draped it around Tony.
"Hey, Pete." The reply was soft, the pain evident.
"You know," Dalrym began, crouching down next to the chair. "You're dad's just sedated, Tony. He got real worried about you and they had to keep him still. He's gunna be fine, kid. But, you. We need to get you back to bed." Dalrym had never been great around children, but since Tony was growing up he was getting better around his boss's son.
"No. No, I wanna stay with him." Tony's reply was short and jolted.
"C'mon, Tony. When you get outta Recovery we'll bring you in here. I bet when your dad wakes up he'll come and see you. Okay? You need to get better, can't worry yourself any sicker, and you'll pull out your stitches." Peter's voice was kind and calm. He rested a hand on Tony's shoulder.
"You've shown how strong you are just by gettin' here. Long walk up, and sneaky too." Runyon opened the door as Peter helped Tony out of the chair, guiding him back.
Running footsteps announced the arrival of Roy, who had just run up six flights of stairs and was just getting his breath back. "You scared us, alright, Tony." Was the first comment he made as his partner led the boy into the corridor with a helping arm around his shoulder.
"When's my dad gunna wake up?" Tony's voice was less than a whisper, but Doctor Runyon picked it up. "Soon, kid, soon." He promised, letting the two agents escort the boy slowly back down towards where he belonged in Recovery.
"Hey, Martha, call off security. Situation's back to normal." He called to the nurse at the desk, who had been watching the conversation with curiosity.
"Right you are, Doctor Runyon." Was her only reply as she picked up the phone.
Later that evening, whilst the lights around the hospital wards had been dimmed out Doctor Runyon leant against the nurses station of Recovery with Josephine and Marie by his side. Recovery only had two patients in their respective beds, but seven people occupied the large space. A bleary eyed boy was lying back against a mound of soft pillows with the two agents whom Runyon had talked briefly with standing on one side, a woman was standing close to Roy that Runyon would bet was his wife. The pathologist he'd conversed with many times on the condition of the Gibbs' boys. And there was the father, seated in one of the cushioned chairs pulled in from the nurse's station. He was leaning forward, one hand resting on the bed. His back was to the three medical professionals, but the soft murmur of conversation was what made them smile.
"It's good to see everything calming down." Marie smiled, resting her arms on her desk as the scene played out.
"Isn't it. I was getting worried about them, but they seem to be doing just fine." Runyon replied, sighing. It had been an eventful day.
"I don't think I've ever seen such a happy father and son." Josephine commented. "Where's the mother?"
"There wasn't one listed." Marie glanced up with a shrug.
"They'll get on fine together." Runyon said confidently.
"I hope you'll tell me the whole story over dinner, Mark." Josephine linked her arm with Runyon.
"Of course, this'll be a story to tell the kids. You coming Marie?"
"No, it's alright. I've got another few minutes of my shift."
"Okay, we'll see you tomorrow."
Marie waved her goodbyes, casting a glance over at the group again. Roy and his wife were just donning their coats, Peter following suit. "Rest well, kid." Peter's voice told Tony, even going as far as to pat the teen on the shoulder. Marie noticed the approving nod from Gibbs as they left, each giving Marie a smile or a wave at their own leaving.
"I, too, shall return tomorrow." The older Medical Examiner said with a smile. "You'll ruin your back if you spend all night in that chair, Jethro." Was his passing comment.
Tony shifted his head in the bed, bleary green eyes fixing on his father's. A small smile curved the side of the boy's lips, a bruise on his cheek especially evident under the dim light.
"Sleep, Tony." His father's soft voice sounded, a warm hand brushing over the thick brown hair.
" 'M Okay, Dad." The reply was hardly audible. If he closed his eyes, his father might vanish. Gibbs smiled gently, easing himself out of the chair and pressing a kiss to his boy's temple.
"Sleep, nothin' is gunna happen to me. Rest." Those emotive green eyes flickered for a moment before gravity was reintroduced and they slid shut. Brushing a few strands of brown hair off his son's forehead, Gibbs sat back in his chair, one hand still resting on the bed where it had always been, the slender fingers of his boy clasped lightly in his own.
Hmn, little longer, eh? Oddly enough, I haven't finished. I think I'll just keep going. I could do a sequel…what do you call the sequel of a sequel? A triquel? Well, I think I'll do a triquel, It sounds good anyway. It'll be a triad, unless I do four. Then it would be a quadrat. Too many things to think about. What do you think, since I do this for me own entertainment and yours as well! Was this good? Oh, and as some of you picked up, very well done, my medical knowledge spans as far as watching House and Scrubs. If I get something wrong don't hesitate to say, I might look it up but I may be wrong. Thanks for reading and replying I will get round to replying to you, I will! I shall reply to all the reviews I get now, because there is nothing better than a happy author. And this is long and rambling, enjoy!