Right, I can't say how sorry I am for letting you wait again..but I had a lot of exams and then other problems to take care of...anyway, this is the last chapter, I hope you're not disappointed, but I think it's a reasonable ending. I just want to thank everyone who have read this story and first of all all those lovely reviewers! Love you! And a big thanks to Xenascully, who's my beta and became a good friend whom I can tell everything! And this year I'm gonna book a flight and come to America to visit her :) xxxxxxx
Gibbs had his eyes glued on Tony's closed ones. He was pulled away from Tony when the paramedics arrived. He still had his eyes on Tony's. He kept fighting; wanted to stay at Tony's side. Didn't want to let go...
The worst thing was that Tony hadn't moved yet. That just seemed wrong.
Gibbs struggled to get out of Ziva's grasp, but she didn't let go. She attempted to calm him, "Gibbs! Calm down, they're helping him! Leave them to their work." When that didn't work, Ziva raised her voice, "GIBBS!"
That seemed to let Gibbs snap out of it and he stopped struggling. His eyes followed the paramedics who were readying to put Tony on a stretcher, shouting medical phrases at each other that Gibbs didn't understand.
When Ziva let him go, Gibbs hurried after the paramedics who were on their way to the helicopter. He was held back by one of them.
"Sorry sir, there isn't enough room for all of us."
Gibbs was just about to complain when he felt a gentle hand his shoulder. He turned and saw Ziva's sympathetic face.
"Come, I will drive you. They need to leave soon, to help Tony."
Although it wasn't Gibbs way to handle things, he surrendered, because he knew Ziva was right. He gave a final glance to Tony, who was safely strapped on the stretcher on the helicopter, and turned around to follow Ziva to her car.
The car ride was silent. Ziva didn't know what to say and Gibbs wasn't really the person to talk about his feelings. What worried Ziva was that Gibbs let her drive. She glanced to her right looking at him. He just stared out of the window onto the street.
"I think you should know, we have apprehended Ewan and Charlie. We found them when we were searching for you. A bit lucky I guess, but sometimes we need luck, correct?"
Gibbs stayed silent; staring blankly ahead. Nevertheless, Ziva continued talking. She knew he was listening; he just didn't want to answer.
"Anyway, Ewan spilled everything. He was a nervous wreck when we arrested them. Charlie was furious but I think Ewan was just glad that everything was over. He told us where the place was where they left you. From there, we were able to track your movement. Then we found you...just in time..."
They arrived at the hospital in record time. Gibbs was out of the car before Ziva had a chance to stop the car. He ran into the hospital.
After parking the car she headed towards the entrance and saw Gibbs just leaving the desk at the front door, running to the stairs. She had a surprisingly difficult time keeping up with him, but eventually she caught up.
He was already talking to a doctor in the middle of the long hospital hallway. When she arrived she could finally hear what the doctor was saying.
"...so I think he will fully recover. There is no need to worry."
Gibbs let out a shaky breath. "Can I see him?"
"Of course, it's room 17, just over there." He pointed to a door just a few metres away from where they were standing. "But he won't be waking up for a couple of hours anyway. He needs to rest."
"Yes, of course. Thanks."
Gibbs watched the doctor as he left, and saw Ziva coming towards him.
She smiled softly. "So he is going to be okay?"
Gibbs let his relief in that thought cause a small smile to show on his face. "Yeah. Doc said his wounds are infected, but are being treated. It turned out that he had a sedative in his system. That bitch gave him something...If she wasn't dead already..."
Gibbs looked down on the floor and then back to Ziva. "I'm gonna go see Tony now."
Ziva knew he wanted to be alone with him for a while so she took out her mobile phone. "I will call McGee. Perhaps he has some news about this Lisa woman."
He nodded and turned around and headed to Tony's room.
Gibbs entered the room quietly. After closing the door behind him he pulled one of the plastic chairs close to Tony's bed. Actually, Tony looked peaceful. Gibbs couldn't fully believe the doctor when he said he was going to be okay. There had been so much blood.
Mental images of Lisa with the knife flashed back before his eyes. He looked down on Tony and took one limp hand of his agent into his own.
"Tony..." he started, even though he knew that Tony couldn't hear him, he had to get this out. Might be better this way anyway. He knew he wouldn't hear the end of it... "I know I don't say it very often, but I'm sorry. I shouldn't have trusted her so easily. And I don't think I should have let you go back to the warehouse alone in the first place."
He sighed heavily. "Why does this always happen to you? And what if next time Ziva and McGee don't show up in time? We can't always save you..."
He leaned back in his chair and sighed once more. He got up and ruffled Tony's hair gently. Getting closer to his agents face he whispered: "But you know, I am really proud of you. For everything you have done."
He patted Tony's cheek and left the room to find Ziva.
What Gibbs didn't see, was the smile on Tony's face.
Gibbs didn't have to search for long. Ziva was leaning against the wall next to the door. "What did McGee say?"
"This Lisa was one evil bitch," she said. Gibbs raised a brow, surprised to hear the word used by his Israeli agent. "The search dogs went mad. They found about 17 bodies in the garden...they are not sure if there are more. They are still looking."
That got Gibbs attention. He looked up surprised.
"They also found several chemicals for sedation and..." she hesitated.
"The basement looked like Ducky's autopsy rooms, just dirty... "
That was enough for Gibbs' mind to lose control and show images of how things could have gone wrong.
"Gibbs, are you okay?" Ziva gently touched his shoulder with her hand.
"Yeah, of course. I'll go back to Tony. You know what to do."
Without waiting for an reply, Gibbs went back into Tony's room and left Ziva standing outside.
Ziva looked after him and gave a sad smile.
He blames himself.
2 Weeks later...
Gibbs was standing on top of the stairs looking down on his agents. McGee and Ziva were standing in front of Tony's desk. Abby was there as well, right on top of Tony's lap. They were chatting and laughing. Gibbs smiled to himself and went downstairs. When he came closer he could hear the happily talking of his agents and his forensic scientist.
"Hey, Gibbs!" He heard Abby's cheerful voice, she waved at him when he walked towards his desk.
"Well I guess it is time to go, we all need a good night's sleep," Ziva stated.
McGee nodded and gently pulled Abby off Tony's lap.
"C'mon, let's get your stuff from the lab." Abby was just about to protest when she realised what McGee and Ziva were intending. She turned around to Tony and gave him a peck on the cheek.
"We'll meet you at the bar, right?" Tony nodded, then smiling when Abby whispered "Try and convince him to join!".
Then Ziva, Abby and Tim left the bullpen, leaving Tony and Gibbs alone. Tony stayed in his chair, knowing Gibbs had something to say. The older agent stood up from his chair and went to lean onto Tony's desk with both arms. He hesitated and just before he could say a word Tony interrupted him.
"It's not your fault you know. It was my stupidity that got us in that situation in the first place...and..I don't know why but I guess I am a trouble magnet.." He looked apologetic at his boss and continued, "But the worst thing I could imagine is that because of me, someone...you...gets hurt. I got you in enough trouble already and I don't want to be responsible if anything happens to you..You are family..all the years I've worked for you, you've been like the father I never had for me. I learned so much from you..and I don't want to lose you. First of all, if it's all my fault..you've got to promise me that you will never try to save me if it brings you into danger..please, promise me?"
Gibbs was speechless, even for him, in this situation it was really hard to keep his tears from falling.
"You know I can't promise you that..."
"Somehow I thought you'd say it..." He shot Gibbs a reassuring smile, telling him without words that he understood. Just in this moment Ziva, Tim and Abby came rushing into the bullpen with Ducky in tow.
"Ready?" Abby almost shouted.
Tony got up from his own chair and pulled his coat on.
"Yes we are, and I even convinced Gibbs here to join us." He gave Gibbs his best smile, hoping that he'd agree. Gibbs just rolled his eyes and turned and strode to the elevator. Tony shared a look with the others, uncertain if that was a yes or a no. Gibbs turned on his heel looking at them expectantly.
"What are you waiting for?"
Tony ran with a huge smile on his face towards the elevator, not able to wait to spend a brilliant night with his family. His real family.