A/N: This is set between seasons 6 and 7 when Ziva is in Somalia before they start looking for her replacement.
How had things gone wrong so quickly?
Gibbs didn't understand how a simple drug bust could result in his senior field agent getting injured, again.
Gibbs, Tony, and McGee had been stuck working the weekend shift for the second time that month. In the back of Tony's mind he was thinking about when Paula Cassidy's team had the weekend shift two weekends in a row and how badly that had ended. He knew he shouldn't think about those things so he pushed the painful memory away so it could once again wait in the back of his mind.
Nothing exciting usually happened during the weekend, Tony mused as he sat at his desk finishing up the report he hadn't been able to finish during the week. Not very many teams had to work during the weekend so it was unusually quiet. This also gave Tony time to think about Ziva. He missed her so much it hurt sometimes. He hated thinking she hated him still. He was only doing what he thought was right. He had listened to his gut, and sometimes his gut just sucked.
Tony was so lost in thought that when Gibbs entered the bullpen and said 'Grab your gear' Tony didn't even hear him. He just kept typing trying to finish his report while thinking about Ziva, and Paula, and how much he wished he could be at home watching a Magnum marathon instead of at work. He loved his job more then anything in the world, but he really just needed some space lately.
Gibbs was getting coffee when his cell phone rang. He wondered how they always knew when he wasn't at his desk to call his cell phone before he answered the annoying little ringer thing. Predictably it was a drug bust. It was always a drug bust on the weekend.
He made his way to the bullpen, coffee in hand, and shouted 'Grab your gear' to his two agents sitting at their desks busily typing away at their computers. McGee automatically stood up and grabbed his backpack and jacket. Tony, however, seemed to have not noticed at all.
"DiNozzo!" Gibbs yelled louder. Tony jumped slightly but quickly recovered.
"Yeah boss?" He asked. Gibbs had to resist the urge to head slap him. He knew Tony was still having trouble with Ziva's absence so he was cutting him a little slack lately.
"Grab your gear." Gibbs said, impatience evident in his command.
"Sorry boss." Tony said as he stood up and gathered his gear. "Where are we going?" He asked sheepishly.
"Norfolk." Gibbs informed his agents as they made their way to the elevator. "Some idiot tried to smuggle heroine onto the naval base." Gibbs said. He really wasn't surprised anymore; people always seemed to be doing stupid things.
His location was in the residential housing just inside the naval base. All they had to do was corner him, hopefully catch him with the drugs, arrest him and then be on their way. Things seldom ever worked out the way they should, though. That was a lesson learned the hard way by all three of the NCIS agents.
Once they arrived at the petty officers house, they drew their weapons and carefully made their way to the front door.
"Petty Officer Connor Grant." Gibbs shouted at the door. "NCIS, open the door." He added. Gibbs, Tony, and McGee waited several seconds with no reply before Gibbs nodded to Tony. Tony stepped in front of the door and kicked it as hard as he could. The door swung open and they rushed in, guns raised.
They searched every room of the house but found every room to be clear. They regrouped in the living room when Tony heard a faint noise. Almost like a door clicking shut. He ran toward the noise, which came from the back door. He opened the door and saw Grant running through the back yard away from the house. Great, Tony thought to himself, another runner.
He took off after the guy and caught up to him in less then ten seconds. This guy didn't seem to want to cooperate so Tony put one arm up and tackled him to the ground. He didn't give up easily, though and tried to fight his way back up. Tony was only focusing on subduing him long enough to get cuffs on and almost didn't see the flash of metal. He saw it descending toward his body and quickly caught the hand before it reached him.
Grant sent him sprawling across the grass with a swift kick to ribs, which also left Tony gasping for air. Grant came at him again and this time Tony was too slow to stop the sharp blade from contacting his body. It sliced through his abdomen and Tony gasped at the sudden sharp pain radiating from the spot. Grant removed the knife in one swift motion and went to stab him again but before he was able to his head jerked back and a pink mist sprayed from his head. He fell to the ground, dead before he even hit the ground.
Tony lay on the ground gasping for several seconds before he saw Gibbs face come into view. He was saying something but Tony never heard it as the darkness claimed him.
Gibbs cursed under his breath when the last room had been cleared. He was certain this was where they were going to find Grant. He put his sig away and made his way to the living room. Tony and McGee where already there by the time he got there. Before they were able to say anything they all heard the click of a door being shut. They ran to where they heard the noise. Once Tony opened the presumed door Gibbs saw Grant sprinting away from the house. In an instant Tony took off after him. Tony was good at chasing suspects so Gibbs wasn't all that worried until Tony tackled him to the ground and they began fighting.
Tony seemed to have the upper hand until Grant kicked him, hard, which sent Tony flying. It wasn't until then that Gibbs saw the knife in Grant's hand. Both Gibbs and McGee began running towards the fighting men but it was too late. Grant thrust the knife into Tony's abdomen. He could hear the pain filled gasp and he knew it was bad. He stopped, drew his weapon, aimed it at Grant's head, and pulled the trigger before he was able to stab Tony again.
Gibbs and McGee ran to Tony's side. McGee looked terrified beyond belief. Gibbs immediately started putting pressure on the wound.
"Come on Tony, stay with me!" Gibbs begged Tony as McGee got his cell phone out to call an ambulance. Tony focused his eyes on Gibbs for a moment before they closed.
"Dammit Tony, don't do this to me!" Gibbs said as he checked the younger mans pulse. It was weakening as the vital liquid poured out of his stomach. He continued to put pressure on the wound but blood still seeped through his fingers.
"What's the ETA on the ambulance, McGee?" Gibbs asked the junior agent.
"5 minutes boss." McGee said in a small voice. McGee was terrified that he may have to watch as his partner and friend bled out in front of him.
"You get him?" Gibbs and McGee's attention snapped to Tony's face as his voice cut through the tension.
"We got him, Tony." Gibbs could have laughed out loud at the sound of his agent's voice but figured that would be an inappropriate reaction considering the situation so he settled for a sigh of relief instead.
"That's good." Tony said in a small voice. He couldn't hold back the grimace as Gibbs put more pressure on the wound.
"Sorry, Tony. Gotta stop this bleeding, though." Gibbs apologized.
"What happened to apologies being a sign of weakness?" Tony teased and winced again at the fire in his gut. He was steadily getting colder. It was unsettling to see Gibbs this worried. Gibbs was never worried, not even when Tony had the plague had Gibbs seemed worried. Gibbs didn't even answer his question; he just continued to stem the blood flow preying that the ambulance would be there soon.
Gibbs raised his hands away from the hole in Tony's stomach long enough to see if the bleeding was slowing down. As soon as he removed his hands he regretted it instantly as the bleeding increased.
"Shit." Gibbs said under his breath as he placed his hands over the wound again. Tony gasped and his eyes started to roll.
"Come on Tony, you have to stay awake." Gibbs yelled to his nearly conscious agent. "The ambulance is almost here, Tony. You have to hold on." Gibbs added when he finally heard the sirens.
"I'm awake." Tony said in a voice so small Gibbs almost didn't hear it.
"That's good. Stay that way until the ambulance gets here. McGee, make sure they know where we are." McGee nodded, secretly glad that he now had something to do and ran back to the front of the house to guide the paramedics to where Tony was.
Less then minute later, the paramedics were swarming around Tony in a frenzy of life saving activity. As soon as Tony was loaded in the ambulance the doors were closed and the vehicle sped away towards Bethesda. Gibbs and McGee got into the company car they had came in and sped away after the ambulance.
Five hours later a doctor came into the waiting room and told the group of people waiting there that Tony had survived the surgery. The doctor also told them that the blade had lacerated his liver but they had repaired it easily and he should recover completely.
It was a month before Tony was able to return to work. His first day back was pretty much uneventful. Everyone from the office, even some of the people he didn't know that well were coming up to his desk and welcoming him back.
The first thing he saw when he came out of the elevator and looked over at his desk was a whole bunch of black roses and a big banner that said 'Welcome Back Tony' in Abby's handwriting.
As the workday came to an end Tony shut off his computer and turned off the light at his desk. He grabbed his jacket, said his goodbyes, and headed toward the elevator. He pushed the arrow and as he waited for the doors to open he looked back at his overly decorated desk. He hadn't bothered to take down the banner so it still hovered in the still air above his desk. He took a few seconds to look from the banner to Ziva's desk and silently preyed that soon there would be one with her name on it.
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