A/N: Story was written for NCIS LFWS. The prompt word was Whumpage. This one's a little different:-)
Into the darkness
The attack came fast and furious. Tony was walking down the hallway, one hand clutching a flashlight, the other holding a gun. The building looked empty, but Tony knew for a fact that there was a killer hiding somewhere. Or at least the killer's phone, as Abby has said.
He should've known that splitting up was a bad idea, but the building had several exits and they needed to search it fast, in case the killer wasn't there after all. So they split up, each taking a floor. McGee was the lucky member, puking his guts out at home from a stomach bug he had caught earlier that day.
Tony has just reached a crossroad, when he caught motion in his peripheral vision and instinctively turned towards it, gun ready to fire. He didn't get the chance though. Something heavy connected with the hand holding the weapon and there was a dull crack as Tony's arm went limp, the gun falling to the ground. The flashlight clattered down next to it, throwing the hallway into darkness. Tony cried out in pain and anger. Jumping away from a swing aimed at his head, he used his attacker's momentum to kick out, hitting solid flesh.
What followed next was a blur. The attacker lurched forward and Tony used his elbow to hit him on the back, throwing him to the ground. But the move cost him his balance and he fell too. Soon, they were both on the ground, fighting to get the upper hand. Tony managed to get in several blows, but the attacker gave as good as he got, and after one particularly bad hit, Tony blacked out for a second. When he came to, there was an arm pressing against his neck, holding him down.
Gasping, Tony opened his mouth, trying to call for help. Where the hell were the others? They should've heard him cry out. His lungs were starving for oxygen, and there were blotches of color creaping into his vision. He was so focused on the arm crushing his neck that at first he didn't notice the pinch in his shoulder. Only after the syringe was pulled out of his flesh did he realize what was happening.
"Sweet dreams. This should slow your friends down for a moment," the killer said, throwing away the empty syringe and patting the agent's face. He let go of Tony's neck and the only thing he could think of was getting some air. Gasping, he gulped down precious oxygen, coughing and wheezing, while his assailant fled the scene. The door hadn't even closed behind him when two figures appeared on the other end of the hall.
"DiNozzo?" Gibbs shouted when the beam of his flashlight hit Tony's face. Tony winced, closing his eyes against the bright light. When he opened them, it was to find Ziva's face inches from his, her fingers checking the bruising on his neck. He couldn't see the look on Gibbs' face, but he could imagine it well.
"Go... get him," Tony croaked.
"Ziva, stay with him. I'll be right back," Gibbs said, and Tony knew he meant it. If not for the pain, Tony would've almost felt sorry for the killer. Gibbs was pissed and angry. He didn't need an excuse to shoot the bastard and save the tax payers some money on court costs.
It was only after Gibbs was gone that Tony felt the strange tingling across his body.
"Crap…" He said and Ziva startled.
"What is it?"
"He... shot me up... with something. I can only... guess... it was the... same shit he... used before," Tony stuttered, and felt Ziva freeze next to him.
"Are you sure?" she asked and Tony wanted to roll his eyes, but thought better of it.
"Hard to... miss it," he snapped and Ziva cursed.
"Okay. Lay still and don't move, just stay calm. The faster your heart beats, the faster it will react," she instructured and Tony let out a snort. Sure, staying calm, that was easy. His whole body was hurting, he was still struggling to breathe, and he was just coming off of the adrenaline high the fight had caused. His skin tingled and the feeling was spreading through his blood faster than the plague. He knew the drug was working already and that the hallucinations would start soon. That thought alone made him panic and he started to hyperventilate. Ziva was on the phone, probably calling 911, but Tony knew they wouldn't get there fast enough to help, not even if they had they very own Gibbs sitting behind the wheel.
"Hey, what did I tell you? Relax. You'll be okay. The drug didn't kill those men," Ziva reminded him and Tony gave a desperate chuckle.
"No, they killed themselves," he squeeked, knowing that he was just making things worse, but he couldn't help himself. He was scared. There were only a few things Anthony DiNozzo feared. Losing control of his mind was one of them. However crazy he might've acted in the past, whatever masks he put on in public, he was still the one in control. But whatever was coursing through his bloodstream was already making him lose that. He couldn't let that happen. Not now, not ever.
"Okay," he took breath, as deep as he could. "Use my handcuffs. Cuff me to some pipes, or a desk, I don't care. Then leave."
"Are you crazy? I'm not leaving you! And I can't use the handcuffs. Your right arm is already broken and I won't risk you breaking the other one when you start thrashing around trying to escape. Damn it, I need more light." Ziva cursed and started looking for the lightswitch.
Tony winced when the light flooded the hallway. Blinking, he tried to make an inventory of himself. The feeling of his body going numb wasn't exactly unwelcome. While there was still pain from his injuries, it seemed distant now. When he thought about it, his arms seemed distant too... and so big. The right one had started to swell and looked like one of Hulk's arms, except it was red and blue instead of green. Tony chuckled at the thought of a blue hulk. It seemed ridiculous. His arm looked ridiculous and huge. He tried to move it, but it didn't respond.
"Tony?" He heard Ziva calling and saw her kneeling next to him, though she seemed to be far away. Tony chuckled. Suddenly the walls lurched and his eyes went wide.
"Whoa. Stop!" He said, or he tried to. He wasn't sure what came out. His mouth felt strange, as if it wasn't his own, and he had the feeling there was drool running down his chin. Slowly he reached up to his face. When his fingers pulled away, he looked at his hand. It was red. Blood red. Tony grimaced, the sudden smell of blood and the spinning walls making him sick to his stomach.
There was blood everywhere. The walls were red, Ziva's face had turned red and Tony had the sudden feeling he was drowning in blood. Coughing and spitting, he turned away and leaned against the wall, willing everyhing to just stop. The motion, the thoughts, the memories. He tried to reach up and get the blood, Kate's blood, off his face but he missed by a mile and almost poked out his eyes.
The world as he knew it was gone. The walls were dancing in the red light, and Tony knew he should be grateful the light wasn't blue, but the red seemed even worse. It looked too much like blood. It smelt like death. Tony couldn't stand it. He had to get out, he had to find Gibbs. The Boss would know how to stop this, he would make everything fine.
Pushing off the floor, Tony ignored Ziva and her attempts to keep him still. It was just another barrier stopping him from escaping. He pushed her off and got to his feet. At least he thought he was up; it was impossible to tell. One wall looked so close he could almost touch it, but then his arm looked as if it was miles long. Felt like it too. Shaking his head, Tony lurched to the side, hitting something soft and hearing it grunt. He would've turned away, but someone was holding him, trying to get him down. He didn't want to get down. The floor was cold and he had a feeling that if he lay down, he would never get up. The floor would just swallow him and then close up, and Gibbs would never find him. He would be dead, just like everyone else. Maybe it was the right thing to do? Maybe it would stop what was happening to him.
Tony didn't know how much time had passed. To him, time had lost meaning. A second lasted an hour, five minutes passed in a blink of an eye. For Anthony DiNozzo, one minute could be an eternity.
So when Ziva tried to pull him down, Tony started to fight. It wasn't a coordinated fight, like they sometimes did at the gym. It couldn't be, when Tony couldn't tell left from right. But it was a struggle nevertheless. Tony fought with animal fear. Ziva just wanted to keep him down and stop him from hurting himself. She didn't want to worsen his injuries, but when an elbow found it's mark in her side, she knew that playing nice wouldn't do it.
For a second Tony thought that the force pulling him down let him go, and he felt a pang of hope, bu it died when something heavy pressed against his back and threw him down. The ground didn't swallow him up, it didn't yield, and so the fall hurt. At this point though, Tony didn't care. All he felt was fear. His heart was beating fast and his skin was slick with sweat. Breathing felt like an enormous struggle, and the weight on his back didn't help. A sharp knee jabbed into his shoulder and Tony let out a scream, because he didn't want to die, not like this. Not alone.
Ziva jerked at the sound. She had never heard him scream and it scared her. Tony never let anyone see his pain; he took his beatings with stoicism. When he was bound to a chair and shot up with truth serum, he joked with his captor. It wasn't like Tony to scream.
"I'm sorry Tony. I'm sorry," she said but didn't relinquish her hold.
It seemed like an eternity when the door to the hall opened. Ziva instinctively aimed her weapon at the entrance, then lowered it with a sigh. Gibbs looked ruffled and his knuckles were raw, but he seemed otherwise unhurt.
"Did you get him?"
"Yeah," was the simple answer as Gibbs crossed the distance, his face turning into a frown.
"Tony?" he asked, puzzled by seeing Ziva trying to restrain the struggling agent.
"The bastard injected him. He's..." Ziva swalloved, not sure what to say. Gibbs nodded. He knelt down next to the agent's head and gently, minding Tony's injuries, slapped the back of his head. Tony froze. He didn't breathe, he didn't move, and Ziva panicked for a moment, thinking Tony was dead, that somehow the headslap was the last straw. She looked at Gibbs with wide eyes and opened her mouth.
"Gibbs?" It was only a whisper, but they both heard it. Closing her eyes in relief, Ziva sent up a silent prayer.
"DiNozzo." Gibbs replied, voice dry and emotionless, as if this was just another day at the office.
"You found me?" Tony asked, dazed, his voice muffled by the ground.
"Never leave a man behind, Tony. You should know that by now." Gibss said, sounding a little pissed. Tony moaned, his head turning slightly towards Gibbs.
"Never doubted you, Boss," he muttered and Gibbs sighed.
"I know Tony. I know." Gibbs laid his hand on top of Tony's head, then nodded at Ziva that she could let go.
"Go and check where the damn paramedics are," he hissed, and Ziva stood up. "It's gona be alright," Gibbs said and Ziva wondered who Gibbs was trying to convince. Tony or himself.