Title: Just Another Vacation
Author: Nicol Leoraine
A/N: Written for NCIS LFWS Round 6. The prompt was Whumpage: Pick a main character and "whump" the hell out of them.
He woke up in darkness and pain, but it was the confusion that scared him the most. He didn't know where he was or why he was in pain. All he was aware of was the furious pumping of his heart, the pain of something broken deep inside, and a whole crew of workers drilling holes into his brain. Anthony DiNozzo was in trouble, and that was the only thing he knew.
The trip was coming to an end and Tony spent the last night partying with his frat brothers. They were all grown men now with their own families, but they still found the time to get together once a year. Last time, Tony didn't participate due to work. He made sure this year would be different. After all that had happened, he deserved a vacation.
"So where are you going this year? Las Vegas? Tijuana? Disney World?" Ziva asked him when he announced his leave.
"Richmond," he answered with a smirk, seeing the sudden frown on her face.
"What's in Richmond?"
"Ah see, it's the birth town of Shirley MacLaine…there's also the Edgar Allan Poe museum-" Tony started, but was interrupted by McGee.
"Doesn't one of your buddies own a bar there?" he peeped in, all innocent. Tony paused, throwing a suspicious look at McGee.
"How do you know that?"
"I was trying to salvage your comp when you caught that virus last month. I was clearing your temp files, and I saw the invitation to the opening party. By the way, why didn't you go?"
"That's not your business McNosie , and I'm so never letting you near my computer again," Tony growled pointing a warning finger at McGee, who shrugged.
"So that's where you're going? To a bar?" Ziva wasn't ready to drop the subject.
Tony sighed, exasperated. "It's not just a *bar*. It's the best place in Richmond, at least according to Johnny. Got fifty kinds of beer, most of them imported! Johnny's also one of the few who didn't settle down with a family yet, so his house is all ours too. And let me tell you something, Johnny has the coolest house ever! There's a jacuzzi, a sauna, he's got his own bowling alley and billiard room. It's every man's dream," Tony said, his voice acquiring a dreamy quality.
"Ookay, and how can Johnny afford all that?" Ziva asked suspiciously.
"Well, for starters, his father didn't divorce five or more wives, so the riches stay in the family. Secondly," Tony's voice dropped to a murmur, "he listened when Ed told us to buy some stocks from Google." Clearing his throat, Tony ignored the disbelieving chuckle coming from McGee and the confused look on Ziva's face. Instead he made himself comfortable behind his desk and looked at the calendar. In three days, he would be on his way to Richmond and nothing would stop him from having fun.
The three days passed by quickly, but the week after went by even faster. While Tony enjoyed the time spent drinking, running a bar during strip night, and spending time with friends having a good time sharing old jokes, he also felt a little thrown. They were showing off photos of their families, telling stories about raising their kids and dogs, and all Tony could think of was, that while they would return to a warm dinner, he would go back to cold pizza and lonely nights spent on the couch with old movies. Even Johnny, the guy who swore never to bring a woman into his house for more than a day, had a girlfriend he was contemplating allowing permanent entry. So when they parted, Tony felt both sadness and relief.
Blinking, Tony's head jerked up at the memory and he instantly regretted it, as pain reminded him how stupid that motion was. Cursing, he took several shallow breaths and tried to clear his head. He remembered leaving Richmond behind, the mixed feelings he had during the drive home, contemplating how messed up his own chances of getting a family were. He was well into the second hour of the drive, and getting closer to DC, when the sky turned black and the rain started. Grumbling, Tony slowed down. Driving in the rain wasn't his favorite past time, especially not on an unfamiliar road. He was just driving up a hillside when he saw the upcoming lights. Frowning, Tony pulled more to the right, but the lights seemed to dance on the road, moving dangerously close to him.
Cursing again, he turned the wheel to the left and hit the brakes. But it was too late. Tony saw the startled look on the teenager's face a millisecond before the other car clipped his right side, sending both vehicles into a crazy spin. He felt the car break through the rails and caught a look at the rocks down below. When the car turned upside down, Tony screamed as everything vanished in a dizzying whirl.
He must've passed out again , because the next time he came to, it was to the main theme of Magnum PI. It had stopped raining and the rays of a settling sun showed him a new, horrifying view. Swallowing hard, Tony decided it was time to act. It didn't look like the teenager was anywhere near, or that he had taken the time to call for help. Thinking of help reminded him that the music hadn't stopped, and that it was probably coming from his cell phone. While his mind was still fuzzy, much as his vision, Tony carefully moved his right hand. His wrist throbbed and he could already see a purple bruise forming, but the appendage seemed to be working, so he finished the motion. Reaching into his jacket, he extracted the phone painstakingly slowly. By that time it already stopped ringing. Taking several deep breaths, Tony thumbed the phone open and hit the first number on his speed dial. It was picked up almost instantly.
"Why the hell aren't you picking up, DiNozzo? Know rule number three? Never be unreachable!" Gibbs' voice barked through the phone, and Tony instinctively cringed.
"Sorry... Boss," he said a little breathlessly. "What's the...rush?"
There was a momentary silence on the other side.
"We got a case and we need every person available. You were supposed to be back in town last night, DiNozzo."
"Ye-ah, I left only ... this morning. Working from tomorrow, boss," Tony's voice suddenly dropped as a painful twinge in his side reminded him of where he was. Gibbs must've realized something was wrong, because next time he spoke his voice was wary and as close to concern as Tony had ever heard it.
"What's wrong, Tony?"
"Uh, I... had a little... accident," he grunted out and closed his eyes. It was hard to talk when each breath hurt.
"Doesn't sound little," came the gruff reply. "Where are you, Tony?"
"D-dunno, boss. My head seems to be a little foggy." Tony admitted and heard Gibbs barking orders in the background, probably to McGee or Abby, to trace the call. When he returned to the phone, his voice seemed to radiate patience instead. Tony found himself thinking how neat a trick that was and that Gibbs should definitely teach him how to do it.
"Don't worry, McGee and Abby are working on it," Gibbs said, pulling Tony back to reality. "What's your situation?"
Tony almost grinned at the ease with which Gibbs assumed control.
"There was... another car. Dunno where it is... now," Tony started, trying to look out the window, but the motion made him gasp as pain laced his side.
"I don't care about the other car, DiNozzo. Tell me your situation, and for God's sake, don't move if you don't have to!" came the order, and Tony grinned.
"Well, I'm... hanging on a ... hillside, boss. The only thing... keeping my car from... tumbling down another thirty feet, is a rather big tree... I jammed into. Which reminds me.... can you tell the... rent company... I just totaled... their car?"
There was an unidentifiable sound that could've been anything between a chuckle and a growl. Finally, Gibbs replied:
"I think I'll leave that up to you, DiNozzo."
Tony tried for a pout, before he realized it couldn't be seen."Maybe I can play the injured puppy look card," he thought out loud.
"Let's hope it works better than with Ziva. Now stop dilly dallying, and focus. Is the car stable?" Gibbs voice was back to business and Tony realized it was time to do as he was told.
Preparing himself for a catastrophe, Tony tried to wiggle on his seat. The car didn't move an inch, but Tony let out a pained moan as some of his other injuries awakened. Like his left leg, which seemed to be trapped under the board.
"Tony!" he heard Gibbs shouting from the phone, and it took him a minute to get his breath back.
"Damn, remind me... not to do that... again," he said and heard a relieved sigh, which turned into irritation.
"Damn right you won't!" Gibbs all but shouted into the phone. "What the hell was that?!"
"Sorry boss, just... testing. The car seems... stable." Much more than me, he thought morbidly.
"In that case... stay put. That's an order, understand?"
"Sure," Tony replied with a grimace. "Not like I... want that to... repeat."
There was a sudden commotion on the other side of the phone and Tony heard Abby's voice shouting 'Found him!'
"Okay, we got you, Tony. Abby's already sending over a rescue team with paramedics. They should be there within half an hour."
"That sounds... cool, boss," Tony replied and let out a little sigh of relief. He wasn't saved yet, but help was on the way. All he had to do was...
"Just hang on, Tony." Gibbs said and Tony had a scary thought that maybe he wasn't really using a phone , that Gibbs was talking right in his head. Then he realized what was said and frowned.
"I'm hanging... oh, that's so not funny, boss," he grumbled as he shot a look at the rocks below. Pushing back the dizziness, Tony closed his eyes, the phone lying in his hand already forgotten as sleep claimed him, ignoring the worried voice on the other side.
While the rescue arrived pretty quickly, it took them another hour to get Tony out of the car and up the hill. During that time Tony faded in and out of consciousness, depending on what they were doing to him. When the medic trying to free his leg inadvertently caused Tony to cry out, they could all hear Gibbs' queering voice through the phone. It stayed on during the whole time, so when Tony was awake, he spent the time grumbling to Gibbs about all the cruelties that were being done to him by his rescuers. His grumbling faded away as soon as he was given something for the pain, and Gibbs had to listen to his semi-conscious agent flirting with a female rescuer. Still, the phone stayed on, until Tony finally rested on a gurney heading to the ambulance. He didn't need the phone anymore, because Gibbs was there, along with the rest of the team.
"Hey, McGoo.... ya looking a little green around the edges," Tony grinned when he saw the younger agent.
"You would be too, if you had been in the drive here. I swear, Gibbs broke the speed record. Half the time I was thinking we would end up wrapped around a tree right next to you," McGee whispered, leaning closer to Tony so that Gibbs wouldn't hear him. By the glint in the older man's eyes Tony thought it was a lost cause, but he kept it to himself. It was hard enough to breathe, let alone talk. He didn't need to speak anyway. His team had his six, and right now, that was enough.