A/N: While this technically could fit into my 'Fragments' series, I've decided to make it a self-standing story for one main reason - it actually will encompass several different episodes, starting with 'Hiatus Part Two' and moving forward through the first bit of Season Four. It is assumed that the reader has seen these episodes, or else there will be gaps that make no sense. Spoilers for anything up to those episodes.
AZGirl asked me a long while back to write a fragment for 'Hiatus', and I confess, I was intrigued. It seemed to me that there were a wealth of emotions stemming from that episode that could be explored, and I loved the idea of climbing into Tony's head during that time period. Surprisingly to me, Gibbs also had a lot to say. This story is, as usual for me, Tony/Gibbs centered, with a healthy splash of Abby and a smattering of all TeamGibbs. Not slash - more father/son. Just a small prologue to get us started. There will be no further author notes unless it pertains directly to the chapter, and I will post a chapter at least once a week (more if I'm able).
The characters are not mine, and no profit is being made.
"You should go."
The first words from DiNozzo in nearly an hour were so quiet Gibbs almost didn't hear them. He let his gaze run over the wounded man, noting that although the sheen of fever was still present on his face, his green eyes were once again lucid. He gave the suggestion all the consideration he felt it deserved, promptly ignoring it.
DiNozzo shifted restlessly, trying to find a position that didn't hurt quite as much, his free hand weakly pushing against the now-bloody rag Gibbs had pressed into his side only a short time before. He looked over to the stairway of the damp basement they were being held captive in as if listening for the sound of a key turning in the locked door. "She'll be back, you know," he stated almost conversationally. "She may be a whack job who's gone off the deep end, but I'm pretty sure she's with it enough to know it's a bad idea to leave us alive to track her down." His voice was raspy and thin, but his conviction was firm.
Gibbs glared at him as a matter of course, raising his own cuffed hand in wordless explanation. "Where the hell am I supposed to go, DiNozzo? We've got no car, and we're in the middle of freakin' nowhere."
Tony coughed, and Gibbs froze, waiting to see if the deep, wet, barking would continue to the point where the younger man was unable to breathe. When Tony was able to control it after only a few moments, Jethro relaxed fractionally, his gaze once more focusing on his senior field agent's face.
Tony took as deep a breath as his beleaguered lungs would allow and persevered, certain he was right. "That's my point, Gibbs. Any chance of us getting out of here has to be with you. Because we both know I'm not going anywhere."
Gibbs shook his head at his agent's lack of subtlety. He knew 'us getting out of here' translated into 'you getting out of here'. If he left DiNozzo behind, he was certain any rescue he managed to return with would be too late to help him, and the young man would find his way back to NCIS only as a guest on one of Ducky's tables. An absolutely unacceptable option. No way in hell was he leaving a man behind.
Especially not this man.
He said as much. "Not leaving you, DiNozzo."
Tony allowed his head to drift to the side, breaking the eye contact he'd struggled to maintain. His voice, when he spoke, was barely a whisper, carrying a world of hurt behind the words.
"Not like you haven't before. . ."