A/N: Terribly sorry for the extremely long delay in updating. But I wasn't sure where this story was going for a while. Got it figured out now. More updates coming.

Disclaimer: I do not own.

Review if you want

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The ambulance ride was terrifying for Jimmy Palmer. Tony had decompensated rapidly; he seized two more times and then became completely unresponsive. Fortunately the hospital wasn't too far away. The ambulance pulled into the bay at George Washington just as the EMT's lost Tony's airway and began intubating him. They were good at their job and had Tony bagged in seconds.

As a shaken Jimmy exited the ambulance he was met by a rumpled and enervated Ducky.

"What is happening Mr. Palmer?" Ducky asked him tersely.

Jimmy looked at Ducky his face pale and replied. "I don't know what's causing it but my guess is something neurological."

"Well of course it's neurological! What is his status Mr. Palmer?" Ducky was worried and to be honest feeling a bit guilty, making him short tempered.

"Oh, yes, I'm sorry Dr. Mallard. He's been intubated after seizing a total of three times with loss of consciousness and respiratory distress."

"Oh dear."

Ducky paled and slumped down into the nearest chair the weight of all his years crashing down upon him at once.

"Dr. Mallard are you alright?"

"Yes, yes Mr. Palmer. It's just a bit of a shock."

The two men sat in a collectively stunned silence for a few moments, before Ducky stood with effort and said, "Well, I shall see what is going on with young Anthony."

Before he could approach the nurse's station a young doctor in baggy scrubs came out the ER's double doors. "Anthony DiNozzo? Family of Anthony DiNozzo?"

"That would be us." Ducky replied.

The young doctor looked at Tony's chart and said, "Are you Leroy Jethro Gibbs?"

"No, I am Dr. Mallard, Anthony's personal physician and friend. What is his status?"

The young man was slightly taken aback by the authoritative tone the older man used.

"Well Dr. Mallard things aren't looking too good right now. We've sent him down to CT, we are fairly certain he has a brain bleed somewhere. His ICP is through the roof and he's a 5 on the GCS. Do you know if he had any new head injuries? According to his chart he had a concussion not too long ago."

Ducky took the information in as professionally as possible but at the mention of Tony's GCS Jimmy's knees almost buckled. All he could think about was what Gibbs and Abby were going to do when they heard.

Especially Gibbs...the young ME thought.

Jimmy may not be an extrovert and was often a bit goofy but he was observant and he knew full well the way Gibbs felt about Tony, even if Tony didn't.

"Yes, Anthony did have a concussion recently but was cleared for duty some time ago. I doubt this has anything to do with what's going on now." Ducky responded.

"I'm inclined to agree. According to the symptoms Dr. Palmer described this seems more like a vascular issue, possibly stroke, maybe caused by an aneurysm."

Ducky just nodded silently.

"In any case, I need permission to operate should it become necessary, and to be honest if his ICP keeps going up it will be."

"Yes, of course man. Do what needs doing. Let's not quibble about consent!" Ducky snapped.

"Well there's a problem Dr. Mallard. Tony has an advance directive precluding extraordinary measures. I can't override that without familial or a medical proxy's consent, hence my need to speak with Leroy Jethro Gibbs."

Ducky sighed and sat back down. "Oh dear, this is going to be difficult."

"Would you like me to call him Dr. Mallard?" Jimmy asked bravely.

"Thank you Mr. Palmer that is very kind, but I think we both know I need to do it."

Ducky turned and looked at the waiting ER doctor. "May I use a phone in a more private location?"

"Certainly, follow me."

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Gibbs was finding it hard to calm himself down no amount of sanding and carving was doing the trick. He couldn't get the way Tony looked when he left him, the way Tony's body felt pushed up against his.

Dammit Gibbs get over it! The kid was in pain it didn't mean anything. He's not interested in men let alone a grumpy old fart like you!

His self -flagellation was interrupted by the shrill ring of his phone.

"Gibbs."

"Jethro…"

"Hey Duck. What's up?"

"Jethro, have you had anything to drink?"

"Why?" Gibbs' gut clenched.

"Oh for heaven's sake Jethro just answer the question!" Ducky spat out.

Gibbs swallowed his retort knowing a pissed off Ducky was never a good thing.

"Yeah, Duck I had a beer. Now will you tell me why?"

There was a moment of silence broken by Ducky's sigh. "It's Anthony…"

Gibbs was half way up the stairs before he replied. "Where is he?"

"George Washington. Jethro you need to sign consent for surgery…quickly."

Ducky could hear the sound of Gibbs' charger roaring to life. "Be there in ten Duck."

"Jethro be—" Ducky was cut off by the unmistakable click of a Gibbs goodbye.

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The seven minutes it took Gibbs to get to the hospital felt like an eternity to Gibbs. All he could think about was the very real possibility that he might lose Tony. He realized that he couldn't imagine his life without Tony in it in some way, it didn't even bear considering.

Okay Leroy, you got to pull yourself together. You won't do Tony any good if you go in there like a freight train…

Gibbs parked the car haphazardly and ran in the hospital. By the time he reached Ducky he was panting and out of breath.

"What the hell happened?"

Ducky sighed for what felt like the hundredth time. "Jethro, please calm down and catch your breath."

Gibbs looked past Ducky and noticed a young man in scrubs standing anxiously with a stack of papers in his hand. Gibbs stepped around Ducky and said, "You got something for me to sign?"

"Are you Mr. Gibbs?" the young doctor's voice cracked with nervousness.

"That's Special Agent Gibbs to you. Now tell me what's going on with Tony so I can sign the damn papers." His voice was soft but menacing.

"It appears Mr.—Agent DiNozzo has a brain bleed, right now we're not sure what exactly is causing it but he is in critical condition and we need to operate to relieve the pressure in his head." The young man's voice gained confidence the longer he spoke and now had an air of competence.

Gibbs silently nodded and stuck his hand out for the forms and held them against the wall and signed them.

He shoved the papers back. "Here, now go and save him." There was a thinly veiled threat in his statement backed up by the Gibbs glare.

The doctor looked Gibbs in the eye and without any trepidation said, "We'll do our best," and ran through the double doors to the operating room.