I attempt to eat but I'm too short of breath, and trying to eat makes it worse. I give up after several bites. Gibbs sees my frustration and removes the tray.
"We'll try again later." he encourages but until I have a breathing treatment I know attempting to eat is futile.
Gibbs takes one look at Tony and he knows that his senior is already getting tired and with his depression he might start giving up, if that hasn't already occurred. Taking him to a hospital would only prove his point. Tony would give up if left alone in an ICU room without his friends, his family.
He worries if Tony's past will be impossible to overcome, his memories of what happened to his mother are overwhelming his agent with guilt, a guilt that is not founded, whatever it is that he has remembered, he was a kid.
Dr Sullivan had no right to make Tony relive those moments, to make him remember. He can't help but to wonder what her motives were/are so he asks one question that might give him a clue.
"Tony, did you date her? Take her to bed?" he asks, his voice low to where only his senior can hear.
I open my eyes and look at my boss, he knows me well.,"You think I pissed her off and she retaliated by taking me back to my past?"
"Stranger things have happened to you Tony." he comments, waiting for his answer as he takes a sip of his coffee.
I hesitate to give him a direct yes or no but I don't lie to Gibbs, "We went out for dinner."
"You tell her something she didn't want to hear?" he tilts his head my direction and gives me the Gibbs stare.
"I might have. I'm pretty sure now that I did." I would tell him how but rule number twelve prevents me from saying anything, even if it led to nothing it still happened and it was on company time.
"Ziva?" he asks, and now I think I am now holding my breath, my fingers start getting numb. Suddenly I realize it is not from what Gibbs just implied but from another round of unrelenting spasms in my lungs. At least I don't have to answer the question. I cough until I think I finally bring up the plug that was blocking my breathing. This is getting too hard already and I know it is just getting started.
"Come on DiNozzo, take a deep breath, just breathe." His voice is soft, encouraging, caring, it makes me tear up, I am not use to to such kindness, I was never, have never, been allowed such kindness.
"Can't boss...hurts too much." I choke out, It really does hurt, my chest that is and I really am putting effort into taking any type of breath right now. Dying is not easy.
"The hell you can't!" he gets up intot he bed with me, wraps his arms around me and takes me into a hug from behind where he gets his mouth as close to my ear as possible and whispers, "If you give up DiNozzo I will kick your ass."
"Got you boss...trying boss...really I am." I am doing it for him, attempting to breathe, but the air does not want inside my scarred lungs, and I can't make it happen, not for him or even for me if I actually wanted it to happen, they, my lungs, refuse to cooperate.
Gibbs continues to sit behind me, he will not leave me, he's encouraging me to breathe, to take a deep breath, but they remain shallow, the wheezing is a sure sign my lungs are tight, constricted and are in need of oxygen. I feel as if I will pass out when Ducky suddenly appears with a mask and a machine, a duoneb treatment that quickly gives me what my lungs are starving for, air.
I start gulping it in once my air passages are open, like a drowning man who just wants to breathe, they see my panic, my fragile hold onto life. Ducky quickly injects something into my arm, into a vein and I start feeling relaxed, more able to breathe without the panic, without the feeling that death is near.
"Just let the medication work Anthony. There you go, just relax." Ducky soothes as he starts to insert an angiocath into my arm, it will make it easier to receive the medications he has brought to the house. Gibbs never leaves his spot, he is still holding onto me, he is the reason I am trying.
I nod to Ducky in appreciation for saving my life, though I wonder inside if I truly mean it, he seems to think the same thing, I can see it on his face.
I look over at the door, they are there, Abby, Ziva, Tim, even Fornell. They are in tears, even the older man whom I have never got along with, he seems to be more upset than the others. I feel like crap for putting them through this, I wish they had just left me behind, I wish they didn't care, it would make this so much easier.
Ducky sees my embarrassment, he understands my need for privacy during this difficult episode and he stands to close the door, to tell the others that I am fine and he will make sure that I am attended to, they need their rest, it is late.
"You did good Tony." Gibbs pats my back and then assists me in getting into a comfortable upright position, lying flat is impossible with my lungs filled with fluid, infection.
"I hate this." I am honest, I do hate it, but he thinks I hate the bouts of coughing, of wheezing, of not being able to take in a breath. But what he does not understand is that I am tired of living, tired of these infections, tired of being the one who was guilty of opening a door to allow a stranger to come inside to kill my mother.
The medication is too strong, it is pulling me under into a thick cloud of obliviousness and I am glad, relieved.
Ducky looks at Gibbs and shakes his head, "I do believe Tony is in for a fight this time around."
"I just hope that he wants to fight." Gibbs returns, then picks up an old newspaper and settles down by his agent's side, he will not leave him, he will make sure Tony fights. He just hopes inwardly the man who assisted his friend before would hurry and get there, Tony really needs him.
Ducky continues to set up an IV for medication, antibiotics that will assist Tony in getting better. As he spikes the bag he wonders if the medication will be enough to fight t he infection in Tony's diseased lungs and knows if there is no improvement in twenty-four hours that Tony will need a hospital, an ICU, a ventilator.
"Gibbs, please get some rest. I will need to watch Anthony for a while, to make sure he is not having a problem with the drugs I am giving him, he will definitely need you later." Ducky directs his friend, seeing the effects of Tony' s problems on Gibbs face. He looks older tonight, tired.
"Not going anywhere Duck." he looks over at a now sleeping DiNozzo, his breathing is still labored, the wheezing in his chest still audible.
Gibbs sits still. Watching Tony as he takes each labored breath, it takes him back to another time he was concerned about this man, and to the day he met his senior agent, Detective Anthony DiNozzo.
Yes, Gibbs will be having his own flashback, to the day he met Tony and what they went through that took Tony to the brink, it will be from Gibbs perspective. Sorry, I have to work tonight but more tomorrow. Have a great Monday and if you have a spare moment please let me know what you think. Thank you for reading.