Title: Late for Work

Disclaimer: No they are not mine, not even DiNozzo but I can wish.

The buzzer on the alarm was seeping into his dreams, causing havoc on the visual he had in his mind's eye, and he had to open his eyes and find that noise, that loud aggravating noise.

The light from the window was like a lazer, drilling into his eyes as he attempted to find the alarm clock that he had knocked to the floor at some point during the last few minutes or was it longer. His eyes finally focused and he noted the time, eight thirty three.

It finally dawned on him, he was late, not just late late but really late. He pushed back the tangled sheets and jumped out of the bed searching for his cell at the same time, then when he finally found it the battery was long dead so he quickly placed it on the charger and ran for the the bathroom. A quick shower and a swipe of the toothbrush to his front teeth only as he rushed to throw on his clothes, hoping he wouldn't get fired. His boss hated late.

He grabbed the dead cell from the charger, his gun and his badge and slammed the door behind him as he headed for his car, hoping that his boss would understand. He would come up with some elaborate excuse before he got to the office, he had a great imagination and it had been weeks since he was late, maybe he would get a pass.

He unlocked the car door, slid into the driver's seat, then he threw his jacket and phone to the passenger seat then holstered his gun. As he started the engine and hit the gas, the tires made that terrible squealing sound as he pulled out the driveway. He would make up some time by using the beltway.

The beltway, as usual at this time of day ,was bumper to bumper, and he tried to think of a short cut, a way to get to the office quickly, possible being able to save some face but knowing he didn't stand much of a chance when it came to the man who would yell at an old woman if it would get him answers.

He glanced to the clock on the dashboard and knew he had to do what he had to do. He found the next exit and quickly made if off the exit ramp and hit the gas, speeding through yellow lights with ease, he was making good time until he came to a light that was just about to change, almost red. Instead of hitting the break though the intersection, he hit the gas and was almost through the lengthy space when metal found metal.

It was the sound of the car hitting another that sent an undeniable message to his brain, he was in an accident, as his body slammed against the driver's door and his head met glass he wished that he had taken that extra moment to fasten his seat belt, but it was too late and now he would pay the price.

As the life drained from his body, his last thought was that he would never be late again.

The vehicle hit flipped and went into the opposite lane of traffic, getting hit again by a swerving car, when it finally quit spinning smoke bellowed from the engine, the car now upside down. The two passengers inside were totally unsuspecting of what had just occurred.

After a few moans, the driver's eyes opened, recognition that there had been an accident finally dawning on the man with a nice lump to the side of his head, a laceration above his eye spilling blood down his face. He then noticed his passenger not moving, totally quiet, a moment that he could not recall ever happening except the one time he was on a ventilator, with the plague.

"Tony, you okay?" Tim asked as he wiped the blood from his face, people now gazing into their car. He attempted to see his partner's face but it was facing an backward direction and he was unable to ascertain if Tony was alive or dead, he was scared and as he attempted to exit the car to get to the passenger side he found that he had suffered an injury to his left shoulder, and he was unable to unlock the door.

The sound of sirens and of people yelling got his attention fast, 'What the hell had happened?" Tony attempted to answer his partner, but he was unable to talk, unable to move, he was in a world of hurt.

Tim was feeling the panic rise in his chest, he needed to know if Tony was alive and what the hell had happened, who was in the other car and if they too were alright, he was the driver, a wave of guilt washed over him, he was to blame for Tony getting hurt or possibly even worse, killed.

Suddenly the door to his side of the car opened and a paramedic started placing a collar around his neck, asking him questions, but all he could think of right now was his partner in the other seat, the man was not moving and he needed to make sure he was still alive. "Is Tony alright?" he asked the dark skinned man attempting to give him first aide, not noticing at first that he was upside down..

"We are attempting to get his door open, if we get you out first I can check on him. Understand?" he wanted to relay the importance in getting to his next victim.

Tim nodded in vague understanding, his head dizzy and his eyes blurry, he definitely had a concussion. He could hear voices around him, but one stood out as they placed him on a stretcher, "The other man is dead.", but were they talking about Tony or the other driver?

"I need answers!" he fought them as they attempted to keep him in a lying position.

The paramedic knew he had to talk to the patient, to attempt to calm him, telling him the truth would be difficult but the man deserved answers.

"The driver in the other car is dead, according to witnesses he ran the red light and hit your car full on." the paramedic explained as he loaded his victim into the ambulance and started to work taking vitals and starting an intravenous line..

"What about Tony?" he asked again, wanting answers regarding his partner, not wanting him to be hurt, not wanting him to be dead.

The paramedic assumed he was speaking of the passenger in the car, "They are working on getting him out. It looks like he might have suffered some type of injury to his chest."

"He has a history of the plague, his lungs were damaged, he almost died a few years ago." McGee struggled to give the information, the white pain in his shoulder was causing his mind to fog a bit.

"Plague?" he looked over to his partner, this was news that had to be relayed. "I'll be back in a second." he jumped down from the back of the emergency vehicle and ran over to the firefighters attempting to free Tony, to his partner Joe, who was attempting to keep the victim alive, this was important information.

Tim attempted to move his head to see possible a glimpse of his friend, wanting to make sure he wasn't dead for himself but it was fixed, strapped down to the point of no movement.

"Joe. This man has a history of the plague, he has damaged lungs according to my patient." he spoke it quickly, knowing he had to hurry and get back to his own patient.

"Thanks Greg, that's definitely something we needed to know. It might be a few more minutes before we get him free, I've started an IV and have given him something for pain, but you need to get your patient to the hospital, another ambulance will be here shortly, I'll be going to Bethesda." he wanted the best trauma center for the man still trapped in the car, he would probably end up air lifting him, the flight pilots had already been notified and were waiting for him at a designated air landing strip.

"We'll be going to University." Greg spoke the last words quickly as he was already making it back to his patient.

Joe continued to look at the bruised and battered face of his patient, the blood seeping from the chest wound. He again checked his pressure and noted it had dropped again. "Dammit man you need to hang on!" he spoke it with an anger born of driver's not wanting to stop at damned red lights. And victims who had to suffer the consequences of others stupid mistakes

Within minutes the scene of the crash had changed, Tim was gone and Tony was now being laid out onto a stretcher, the C-collar attached, the back board in place and a dressing to the seeping chest wound intact. He also sported an intravenous line pumping in volume expander and pain medication with extra fluids infusing, and he had an oxygen mask tightly fitted around his nose and mouth, Tony was in critical condition.

The movement into the cab was swift and the movement of the vehicle and the squeal of the sirens caused Tony to awaken to the agony he called his life, he attempted to speak again but was unable to get enough air into his lungs to speak, to utter much of a sound. He knew he was in trouble, he hoped that Tim was fine, he was worried and just wanted to know about his partner.

Joe looked down to see concerned eyes but he knew it wasn't concern for himself so he updated the man on the stretcher, "Listen, my name is Joe and I know you will do better if you have the facts, I know that I would. Your friend is doing fine, he seemed to have a dislocated shoulder and a few cracked ribs, but he was doing fine when he left in the other ambulance. The driver who ran into your car died on impact, he wasn't wearing a seat belt, it could have been prevented." he continued to check vitals as he talked, seeing a mixture of relief and pain etched on the man's face.

Tony nodded his thanks the best he could with his neck strapped down, he hurt, damned pain. Gibbs was going to be pissed at him, they were late to a crime scene. He attempted to reach up to loosen the Oxygen from his face to tell the man to contact his boss but was quickly met with resistance, his hands were already restrained by his side, he hated when they did that , he really did.

The ambulance came to a stop but his stretcher wasn't being taken into a hospital it was being loaded onto a copter, he knew he was in worse shape than the man working on him acknowledged. He was going to Bethesda, great, he moaned to himself, the staff would definitely keep him tied down and snowed with the best of drugs while they did their work, poking him with needles and catheters that were like the spawns of hell.

He felt bad for the man who died, he himself had ran a few red lights in an attempt to get to work on time, if that was the man's reason, then he himself had been guilty of that same act and he could not hold a grudge. He felt sorry for t he man's family, hell, he felt sorry for himself right now.

Within just minutes the copter left the ground and he was again being given medications and fluids, he watched as they started yet another IV and attached fluids and inserted syringes, he knew he wouldn't be awake long and he hoped like hell that someone had notified Gibbs, he really was going to be so pissed that he hadn't made it to the crime scene.

Crime Scene

Gibbs looked down at the victim again, taking a few more snapshots, a job his second was suppose to be doing but he had been a no show, along with Tim, he didn't know if he was more pissed than worried right now.

Ziva continued to sketch the scene and Ducky had arrived just minutes ago with Palmer in tow, "The traffic had been a bear", he had stated as he dismounted from the large truck.

Gibbs was now more concerned about the absence of his Senior and Tim and attempted again to get a hold of his team, the part that had not shown up at the crime scene, he admittedly was worried, it was unlike Tim or Tony to be this late.

"Ducky!" Gibbs yelled the medical examiner's name.

"Yes Jethro." Ducky returned as he placed the liver probe into the man's side. "I will have the time of death of just a few seconds."

"That's not want I need, I need to know where my agents are right now." Gibbs was upset, worried.

"I am sure they are fine Jethro. They probably had to take a detour around that huge wreck on Graham this morning." then his hands froze, sudden realization hit him as it hit Gibbs at the same time.

"You okay doctor?" Palmer asked as he jotted down some notes regarding the condition of the body. "Doctor?" he asked again when he saw no answer coming forth.

Ducky quickly stood and followed Gibbs to his car, a shout back to Ziva and Palmer came from Gibbs, "Get the body back to NCIS!" Gibbs car skidded a 180 degree turn as it pulled out onto the gravel road, they had to get to the accident.

Car Accident Scene

The police were actually placing the first of the cars onto the tow truck when Gibbs and Ducky arrived, lights flashing. Gibbs jumped out as did Ducky, Gibbs went over to inspect the sedan as Ducky went to the totaled vehicle with the deceased body still inside.

Gibbs flashed his badge and went to the officer in charge, "What happened?" he asked recognizing the NCIS issued car sitting now on top of the tow truck.

The police officer recognized the gray haired man as a federal agent and started giving him details. Gibbs reaction was shock, he needed to see Tony and Tim but the officer told him that they had been taken to two different hospitals, and that Agent DiNozzo was the most seriously injured.

Gibbs wasn't surprised at the news that Tony was in worse shape, the vehicle had taken a direct hit into the passenger side of the vehicle and it looked as if whoever was sitting near it had suffered some internal injures given all the blood that was still on the asphalt.

Gibbs looked around for Ducky, who was still standing near the dead body, he quickly made his way over and spoke, "I need you to go to University hospital to see after Tim, I'll go to Bethesda, since I'm listed as Tony's next of kin." Ducky nodded as he let go of the sheet covering the now deceased driver of the almost new BMW. "Tony would been very upset if he had seen this." Ducky stated in a low tone.

"What, the dead body?" Gibbs questioned, knowing that Tony would have felt overwhelming guilt that the man had died..

"No the car, it's totaled, but the dead man would have been upsetting to our Anthony too." Ducky walked away, found an officer and gave an order to take the body back to the Naval ship yard, he would do the autopsy since there were two agents involved in the accident. The officer nodded and made a phone call, probably canceling the county coroner.

Gibbs whistled for the officer in charge and the man walked over, "I need you to take Doctor Mallard to University Hospital." the man acknowledged the request and started towards his vehicle, Ducky trailing.

Gibbs jumped back into the car, but he slowly pulled out from the crime scene, it just didn't seem right to speed, to place anybody's life in jeopardy, his agents wouldn't want that.

Bethesda Hospital

Gibbs entered the emergency room, the nurse in charge recognized the man from his many visits when his Agent DiNozzo had had the plague years ago. "Agent Gibbs, they took your agent to surgery just minutes ago, Dr Pitt said that you would be coming."

"How is he?" Gibbs asked. Worried that Tony's nine lives were about to run out.

"Critical. He sustained several injuries but the worst was a punctured lung." the nurse continued. "He was clinically stable when they took him into the surgery but he's going to really have to fight to make it through this time." she was honest, it was the only way to be with Agent Gibbs.

He nodded, words weren't coming forth, he couldn't speak actually, if he did the emotion would flow out and right now he had to stay strong for his second.

She pointed towards the waiting surgical area and led him there, she knew he would need coffee and had already prepared a new pot that was awaiting them when they arrived. "I'll be back in a while to check on you Agent Gibbs, it will be a while before we hear anything though."

"Thanks" he muttered as he walked over and poured a cup of the strong black coffee. This was getting old, Tony seemed to be a beacon for bad things to happen to him, he couldn't even be a passenger in a vehicle doing the speed limit without getting hurt. 'Dammit!"

University Hospital

Ducky entered Tim's cubicle and took mental notes of all the injuries and Tim's disposition.

"Ducky!" Tim greeted.

"How are you doing Timothy?" he asked as he walked over, his hands automatically went to Tim's laceration above his left eye, checking his pupils and making sure the sling to Tim's left arm was secure.

"I'm fine but they won't tell me anything about Tony. They keep reciting some HIPPA crap, I'm his partner and need to know if Tony is okay." Tim was upset, he had been given no information regarding his partner.

"They flew him to Bethesda, looks as if he had suffered some chest trauma. According to Dr Pitt's nurse he was taken directly to surgery." Ducky had already made phone calls and was awaiting word from Gibbs.

"Do you think he'll be alright?" Tim's eyes filled with tears, his voice cracking with emotion.

Ducky looked down at the man in the bed, "He is quite the stubborn man, and he did beat the plague my boy. I would say that Anthony has a good chance at a full recovery." he smiled and hoped inwardly that his words came true.

"Timmy, Timmy!" a voice interrupted them from behind, it was Abby still dressed in her lab coat, her pigtails wagging her pristine makeup smeared with recent streaks of tears.

Ducky watched as the lab tech embraced Tim's neck, she hung like a noose for a while then let go when Tim started to cough from lack of air.

"Sorry Timmy but I was so worried about you after Gibbs called and told me you were in the hospital and that Tony was in surgery at Bethesda. Poor Tony...Poor Timmy." she was upset, beside herself actually with worry.

Ducky knew that a little time with Timothy would do her good so he walked outside to make a call.

Bethesda Hospital

Gibbs was waiting, pacing and worrying about his Senior when a very exhausted looking Brad Pitt entered the room. "Agent Gibbs, sorry to meet again under these circumstances."

Gibbs was a man of few words so he asked, "How's Tony?"

"Well, he'll sporting a chest tube for a while, he has a few broken ribs, a second degree concussion and a broken right tibia...again." he thought back to a certain football game where he had landed on a certain quarterback during a routine sack.

"He's going to make it?" Gibbs asked, a feeling of relief rushing through him.

"Unless we have any unforeseen complications he should be out in a week." he smiled, wondering if that might be too optimistic knowing Tony's propensity for getting himself in trouble.

"Yeah." Gibbs was thinking the same thing. "Can I see him?"

"Sure, we're getting ready to move him to ICU where he will stay for a couple of days but he is awake right now and would love to see a familiar face." Brad waved him through the doors and down the hallway.

Gibbs could hear him before he could see him, it was definitely DiNozzo.

"Listen, I know I'm a little under the weather right now and all but after I get out, maybe we can go see a movie or maybe just stay at my apartment and watch a DVD?" Tony was asking the very pretty nurse who was fussing over him.

She smiled, ignoring his drug induced state and looked up at the doctor entering. She was quiet surprised to see a visitor in tow.

"DiNozzo, they can sue you for harassment you know." Gibbs voice boomed through the small space.

"It's not what you think boss, well, actually it is, but I am so under the influence of drugs right now, I'll shut up boss." he gave his boss a side ways grin, he definitely looked loopy.

"Only you DiNozzo." his hand slightly tapped the back of Tony's head. He saw for himself that Tony was fine, he had escaped another close call and that's all he needed to see. "I think he will be just fine doc." he spoke the words to Brad then headed back out the door, he had calls to make. "I'll see you in ICU DiNozzo!" he called out as the double doors closed behind him.


Ducky entered the elevator to go to autopsy, he had a body awaiting him actually two but he would do the autopsy of the driver first. Both Tim and Tony were doing well and he had to figure out if the man died of coronary or of just plain stupidity.

Team leader Andrews was standing beside Ducky in the elevator looking very pissed, muttering to himself about wringing out his second, Agent Douglas Sanders. The man had not even showed up for work, taking an unscheduled day off was going to get the boy a real headslap.

He shook his head, the man sounded so much like Gibbs and when the doors opened he exited and entered Autopsy leaving the team leader behind to continue his tirade. Inside the large autopsy room Palmer greeted him with a smile.

"I heard that Tony and Tim are going to be just fine, doctor." his voice was positive and upbeat.

"Indeed, Mr Palmer, indeed." he took off his coat, his hat and hung them on the coat rack then headed for the sink to wash up before he started the autopsy. Palmer still in the background talking.

"They finally found the wallet to our accident victim and brought it over, our victim's name is Agent Douglas Sanders." Palmer continued with other information but Ducky froze.

Ducky shook his head, the lad was going to be more than late, he would have to go and deliver the bad news to his boss. He stopped washing his hands and walked over to the body laid out on the cold still table and spoke. "Was it really worth it Douglas?"

The man looked up at Ducky and spoke, 'Guess I should have fastened my seatbelt first."

"Most definitely Mr Sanders." he took the blood stained white sheet and covered the head back up and walked out the double doors, bad news would have to be delivered, Mr Sanders wouldn't be making it to work today.