AUTHOR'S NOTE: If you're here because you received a notification that this fic has updated, I have bad news. I was trying to fix up some spelling errors ready for an alternate ending fic I was going to post, and accidentally deleted 6 chapters of it.
So I'm reuploading them with fixed grammar, spelling and other issues.
Really sorry everyone for the mix-up, but a new chapter will be available with an alternate ending in a few days. Cheers.
"Thank God, Tony's still alive. Who else can piss people off like that?"
Tony DiNozzo didn't want to wake up. He could hear muffled voices from somewhere over his head, but ignored them. He was so tired... surely he could sleep for just another five minutes.
"Tony, wake up." That was Ziva's voice. What was Ziva doing in his apartment? Because wasn't he asleep at home, simply exhausted after work? Unless... oh no. Gibb's rule, what number was it? He couldn't remember, like it mattered. Something with a 2. Never date a co-worker. There was no way him and Ziva...
No. At the very least, he'd remember if him and her had... they hadn't. He wasn't entirely sure how Ziva did it, but he was fairly sure he'd have bruises.
Although his head was in agony... thinking hurt. Tony allowed himself to stop thinking, and begun to drift again. Bliss.
"DiNozzo!" Oh crap, that was Gibbs. Now he was in trouble. He wasn't sure what for but his hazy mind supplied.. rule 12? Something to do with rule 12? And Ziva...
"DiNozzo, don't make me headslap you. This is a direct order, open your eyes!" Tony tried. He really did. But his eyelids felt like they were glued together, and after all, it was so much nicer when they were shut. Surely Bossman would understand... All he wanted to do was sleep...
He felt someone brush their hands across his face, moving his head. The touch was so featherlight, he couldn't think who it might be.
Voices again. This time McGee. It was a goddamn party in here. "Boss, are you sure you should move him? If he's got a spinal injury..." Who, Tony? He felt fine. Head was sore, but apart from that.
"The only thing DiNozzo's got is a thick head and an inability to listen to simple instructions!" Gibbs' voice sounded mad, frustrated and, a little of something else. Fear?
What could possibly make the legendary Leroy Jethro Gibbs scared? There was no drifting off for Tony now, he redoubled his efforts to open his eyes. It was like someone smeared wet cement on them, they refused to move, and the pain in his skull worsened.
Someone's hand was cradling his head, and he felt a breath on his face as the person leant down to get closer to his ear.
"Tony, listen to me. You need to open your eyes. Now. Please?"
That – that wasn't Gibbs was it? He sounded like he was pleading with him! The great Gibbs never pleaded. And... was Gibbs holding him? If he had of been capable of strong emotions, Tony would have ranked this as the most embarrassing moment of his career. Well maybe except for that time he stayed with Gibbs and... well that was best forgotten.
DiNozzo swallowed, and tried to form words but his mouth was as uncooperative as his eyes. It felt as dry as sandpaper, and his tongue was so swollen he could barely move it without it sticking to the side of his cheek. Any attempt at breathing caused his throat to hitch as though there was something lodged inside.
"G-ah," he gasped, no words legible. He felt the person holding him freeze, listening intently. He had never felt so out of control of his own body, and frantically wondered what had happened to him. The pounding of his headache drowned out all other sounds, and he focussed completely on the rhythm of Gibbs breathing. "I'm, I'm ss-soh-orry," he choked out.
He felt Gibbs relax. "Don't apologize, DiNozzo. It's a-"
The words came easier this time. "Sign of weakness." DiNozzo attempted a smile. He opened his eyes, a momentous effort. Gibbs was peering over him, customary expressionless face intact. But was it just a trick of the light, or did he look a little paler than usual...? And there was a cut above his eye. He wondered if the person who did that was still alive...
"Tony?" That panicky voice could only belong to McGee. "Tony, man, are you OK?"
Tony tried to turn his head, but pain exploded in his skull and he fought down a wave of nausea, only managing a groan. He closed his eyes and tried to ride the waves of pain.
"You got quite a knock to the head, my boy," he heard Ducky say from a long distance away. "Possible concussion, try not to pass out on us."
"Trying that, Ducky," he murmured. Gibbs tensed up again, Tony felt the muscles in his arms contract. And why exactly was Gibbs holding him like a child?
"Who you talking to DiNozzo?" he barked. Tony opened his eyes again, and tried to focus on Gibbs.. no wait, he tried to focus on one of the Gibbs's.
"Hey Boss, why didn't you tell me you had a twin?" he asked, giggling. This seemed utterly hilarious to him. "Ducky, did you know?"
"Of course," said the elderly doctor. "It reminds me of this time when I was a boy..."
Tony groaned again, this time at the thought of another of Ducky's long, rambling stories. He tuned back into Gibbs's voice again, seemingly unable to listen to two things at once. The Marine was glaring at him, Gibbs stare in full force. His twin was gone, although the original's edges were a little blurry.
"Focus DiNozzo, Ducky Isn't here! What's your full name?" And as soon as Gibbs said that, Tony could no longer hear the brisk British accent prattling on. He swallowed. He hated being so defenceless in front of his team. He ignored the question, it was stupid. He knew his name. It was Tony... something. Nevermind.
"Ziva? McGee?" he rasped. Had he hallucinated them as well?
"We are here, Tony," the Mossad agent told him. She sounded like she was speaking from far away, across a room perhaps. She sounded tired, tired and hurt. Something had broken her defences down.
"Yeah, right here." Ahhh, he never thought he'd be so glad to hear the Probie's voice. He wasn't such a bad guy, turning out to be a good agent. Maybe he should tell him that... before he fell asleep again...
"Tim..." he slurred, already drifting away. "S'good agent..."