I am still working very hard on 'How Does it All Go Wrong?'. This is just something that I'd been working on every so often when I had trouble with my other stories and I finally finished it today. So...Enjoy! :)

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me.

Tony DiNozzo Jr. really hated hospitals.

They were so depressing. They were so bland and colorless...And lonely. Really lonely.

And as shocking as it sounded to his own ears, he'd much rather be at school right now instead of laying in a hospital bed. At least if he were at school, there would be other people around.

Its not that he'd spent allot of time in hospitals. To be truthful this was only the third time he'd been forced to stay there overnight.

He'd only been seven the first time he'd been taken to the ER. He'd been climbing the tree in his family's backyard when he lost his footing and fell, breaking his arm and whacking his head on the trunk in the process. His mother, who had seen what happen from den window had had a near heart attack. She had hauled him to the car and their chauffeur, Sammuel, had driven them to the hospital, where the doctor had set his arm and had him admitted in case of a concussion.

He'd also advised him to no more tree climbing. His mother reinforced the suggestion with the threat that if he ever climbed the tree again she'd ground him until he was old of to get a job. A week after the the cast had been removed, he was up in the tree again.

But what had hurt even more was the the broken arm and bruised brain, was having to spend the night alone. His father had, had a business party that night to close a deal with a very rich investor and both of his parents had been expected to attend. It was, after-all, unavoidable.

Then again, just over a year ago, he'd been playing basketball when a friend had made to block his shot, accidentallly knocking Tony down in the process. He'd whacked his head on the pavement, giving himself yet another concussion and gash that required several stitches. He seemed to get hit on the head allot for some reason.

He'd spent the night in the hospital again. Alone. His mother had passed a few years ago and his father was away on business. As usual.

The shrill ringing of his room phone caused Tony to jump. Something he instantly regretted as his jarred his stitches and left him slightly breathless.

With one arm wrapped around his stomach, he reached for the phone.

"Hello?" he asked breathlessly, trying to ignore the waves of pain even as they subsided.

"Hello, Anthony."

"Dad!" he yelped, more in surprise than in excitement. His father was on a business trip in California and Tony hadn't heard from him in three weeks.

"How're you feeling, Junior? Emma told me you had appendcitis."

That explained it. Emma was one of the cooks at the DiNozzo household. She had a soft-spot for the younger DiNozzo, having no children or family of her own and was always dropping hints to Sr. pay more attention to his only son. Tony suspected it wouldn't be long before she was no longer employed at the DiNozzo household.

"Okay, I guess."

"That's good to hear."

"Are you coming home soon?" The question was more out of habit than actual curiosity because he already knew the answer. It never changed.

After a short pause his father answered, "I'm sorry, Anthony, but no. We have a big deal that needs to be given allot of attention before we close. You understand."

"Of course." he responded, albeit dully. He always understood. He'd understood a long time ago that his father's business and his dates came first in his father's life. Where he stood in his the older DiNozzo's list of priorities, he wasn't sure; but he was pretty sure he didn't even make the top five. So, yes he understood his father needed to stay for the deal, didn't mean he had to like it though.

There was another long, uncomfortable pause on the line before his father spoke again.

"I'll tell you what, Junior, after I finished up here, I was planning on taking a few days off in Maui to celebrate. You can come with me if you wish."

"Really? I can come?" He almost hated himself for the slight excitement he felt. This wasn't something new, this was how it always worked. A missed birthday here, a broken promise there. All easily fixable, at least in his father's eyes, with a promised vacation together or some new present he sent the secretary to pick up. The vacations never turned out well. Most of the time his father would get side-tracked by some long-legged, blue-eyed beauty and Tony would spend most of the trip alone.

"Yes, you can. We-" his father paused and Tony could hear another voice mumbling in the background; "Anthony, I have to go, I'm needed in the conference room. I'll call you later, okay?"

"Yeah, sure." he replied. His father never noticed the saddened voice of his only son. Tony knew the promise of his call later was simply another one that would be broken.

"Excellent!" his father replied, oblivious to his son's feelings, "Get well soon, Anthony."

"Yeah, thanks, Dad. I-" He stopped, his heart-breaking a little more when he realized his father had already hung up.

He sighed, hanging the phone back on the cradle.

It was silly, he thought, that he let it get to him anymore, it was just how things were.

Looking on the bright side, it might be fun spending a few days in Maui. He knew his father wouldn't stick around. As soon as he signed them into the hotel, to separate rooms, his father would go to the bar and he would be allowed to roam as pleased. But maybe the hotel would have a beach close-by. Or maybe an arcade like the one they'd visited in Florida. Either way, he was sure there'd be something fun there to do for a few days. He was always able to find ways to entertain himself; he was used to it.

'And besides," Tony thought to himself as he settled back against the pillows, 'He may be busy, but at least he's never forgotten and left me behind.'

Tony grimaced as he plucked at the white sheets of his bed, and sent a glare to the room itself for it's depressing demeanor.

The past twenty-five years had done nothing to change his dislike for hospitals. If anything, they had made his distaste for them intensify, what with all the trips to visit hurting partners and team-mates, and all times he had been forced to stay for some wound or another.

'You'd think they could at-least spring for some different colored paint, or maybe some new sets of sheets. All this white could make a person go blind.' he thought sardonically.

If he didn't think Gibbs would make good on his threat, he'd go MIA and sign himself out tonight. However, Gibbs was never one to make a threat and not follow through. And, really, he would like to have kids someday.

He didn't understand why the doctors insisted on keeping him anyway, he felt fine. Kinda. Okay, so stab wounds weren't the easiest of injuries, but it's not like going home and sitting on his couch was going to pull out the stitches.

And the concussion was already beginning to fade away a little. Not really. Okay, so he had a pounding headache and the nurses had to make sure he never fell asleep for longer then twenty minutes at a time. But he could handle that by himself. How hard was it to make sure you didn't fall asleep? When you've been going on adrenaline and coffee for the past three days and were now pumped up on pain killers, pretty hard actually, he decided. Okay, so maybe they had a point, but still he wanted, no needed, to get out of here. He hated this place. Always had.

"Mr. DiNozzo?" a calm, female voice interrupted his track of thought and caused his head to snap in the direction of the speaker, which turned out to be the nurse who had come in earlier to check on him.

"It's time for your pain-killers." she explained, holding up a needle. She was slightly older than most of the twenty and thirty-something nurses that frequented the floor, evidenced by her brown hair that was now tinged with gray pulled into a loose bun, and the wrinkles starting show at the corners of her eyes.

"Is that really necessary?" he asked with grimace.

"Oh, don't worry, honey. This isn't going in your arm, I'm going to inject it into the IV line."

"No, I meant-Never mind." There was no point in arguing, he decided, they'd end up giving him the painkillers in the end anyway.

She gave him a comforting smile before crossing the room and injecting the needle of medication in to the IV. She then patted his shoulder, turned, and left.

Casting the IV bag an evil glare as the medication started to drip down the line, into his system, which was sure to make his mind wander uncontrollably any minute, he sunk further into the pillows.

He really hated painkillers too. Really, really hated painkillers.

They loosened his tongue, slipped off his mask, and he had no control of what he may say or do. That was dangerous. He had a few too many skeletons in his closet that he didn't want just anyone to know. Not to mention they led to some pretty embarrassing situations.

And besides they...Great. Now he'd lost his train of thought. Stupid painkillers...That was it! Painkillers!...Now why was he thinking about painkillers?...And why was everything so white?...Dang...He was a hospital...He hated hospitals.

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