"Really liked him."

"Yeah, yeah I can see that." Gibbs said with an almost grin as he relaxed his stance.

Tony couldn't muster a smile for his boss, even though Gibbs finally being there to back him up was the moment he'd been looking forward to since things went haywire.

Gibbs holstered his gun and stepped closer to the car. "You okay?"

"I think so." Tony spoke after a brief pause while staring at the gun, still warm and smoking in his hands.

"Yeah, okay." Gibbs sighed and offered his hand.

Tony let Gibbs pull him up out of the car, but once on his feet Tony didn't let go of his boss's palm.

"DiNozzo?" Gibbs groused and tugged, but Tony still didn't release his grip. "Tony!"

Feeling like all the blood had suddenly vacated his head Tony fought to remain conscious. It was like a bubble inflating behind his eyes, getting bigger and bigger until he couldn't hear Gibbs yelling his name anymore.

"Damnit… DiNozzo!" Gibbs grabbed Tony the minute the hand holding his went slack and lowered him to the ground.

Tony lay flat on the cold concrete floor and stared sideways at the cars blood stained window. He could feel Gibbs' hands patting him down searching for injuries. The thought, coupled with the sensation, made him giggle.


"I'm good boss."

"Well you don't look it."

Tony rubbed a sore spot on his neck and then turned his head from the view of the window to look at Gibbs.

"I think this might be mine." Tony replied dazedly pulling his right hand away from his neck and showing Gibbs his blood covered palm.

Gibbs' eyes widened, "he cut you?"

"Apparently," Tony looked at his hand and re-touched the wet spot on his neck, "I felt a pinch but..."

Tony could see the confused look Gibbs was giving him and got the impression he wasn't making any sense. Not that he often did make sense, but now, at the present moment, not making sense wasn't the right thing to do. He had tried and failed to do that. He'd killed a man, the opposite of the right thing.

"DiNozzo…" Gibbs shook his shoulder, "Hey!" Gibbs slapped him. "Tony?"

The softness of the last word, his name, forced Tony to see who wanted him. All he saw was Gibbs.

"Boss you alright?"

"Am I alright?" Gibbs almost choked.

"Yeah… you're not yelling."

Tony saw that almost grin again, and it looked like Gibbs was about to say something meaningful before he covered it with a scowl.

"Tony okay?" Kate's voice came from somewhere over his head.

Gibbs was studying him, the soft worried look in his eyes. "Ambulance Kate."

"Boss, no I'm fine, just a flesh wound." The giggle that followed up his comment didn't help his credibility.

Tony stared at the faces floating above his. Gibbs looked pissed and Tony thought he could see something else… something not quite right…pity he eventually settled on and Kate had the same look. Tony decided that if he wanted to be taken seriously he would need to stand up and be brave. Bracing his arms underneath his body Tony pushed off from the ground and actually made it to his feet before he started to wobble. Gibbs had hands on him instantly and Tony wasn't so self confident that he was going to shrug off the help. He let Gibbs walk him over to their Sedan. Gibbs opened the back door and sat him down in the back seat. Popping the trunk he disappeared out of Tony's line of sight, but reappeared quickly, a green first aid box in his hands. Tony reached out for the alcohol wipes, but Gibbs smacked the back of his hand.

"Keep yourself still." Gibbs ordered and proceeded to clean the blood from his neck. "It looks deep... how you feeling DiNozzo?"

"Ready to go boss." Tony cheered, falling short at the end of his proclamation.

"Want to tell me happened?" Gibbs picked another wipe and tossed the used one to the ground.

Tony breathed out and chuckled, "Well after we escaped the prison transport we ran-"

"Skip to the end Tony." Gibbs stuck down a large gauze pad with medical tape. A small amount of blood seeped through, but didn't soak it.

"The end?"

Gibbs stood from his crouch and ducked around to the trunk again, returning with a clean blue t-shirt. "In the car…" he pointed to the blood covered vehicle.

Tony, blood stained coat removed and handed over for evidence, shrugged on the offered tee and blanched. He desperately wanted to chuck up.

"I shot him… he …" Tony took a deep breath, willing the nausea to abate so he could continue and not get puke on his boss's shoes.

"Ambulance is here!" Kate shouted out from somewhere across the lot.

Tony wondered if she had been watching him. He looked up and caught Gibbs giving Kate a nod and mouthing something, but his vision was blurring for some reason and he missed what was actually said.

He looked away briefly and when he turned back Tony found a tissue thrust under his nose. "What's that for?"

When he didn't take the tissue Gibbs knelt in front of him and held his head steady, before Tony could pull away Gibbs was wiping the tissue over his eyes. Tony blinked and found he could see clearly again.

"We'll talk later," Gibbs stood and spoke to a stranger wearing a green uniform, "he's all yours."