Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS.

New Reality

Tony leaned his head back against the wall. His heart was racing and tears were threatening to fall, completely ruining his assertion that DiNozzo men didn't cry. The sounds of the emergency room washed over him, gurneys and heart monitors and people talking. He closed his eyes and focused on trying to control his breathing. Collapsing in the ER waiting room wasn't going to do anyone any good.

It had been a routine follow-up with a witness. Sergeant Kyle Clark had been a part of a training mission that had gone wrong and resulted in the death of a fellow marine. Clark had told NCIS that he had though he'd smelled alcohol on the breath of Captain John Hanson who had been in charge of tactics on the mission. McGee and Ziva had been sent to Clark's house to get a few more details.

Tony had been in the lab with Abby when the call came in. McGee's voice came in panicky bursts. All Tony remembered hearing was "Hanson…Ziva shot…Bethesda." Without a word, Tony had run out of the lab, heading full speed towards the garage. Somewhere along the way, Gibbs had caught up with him and the older man drove them both to the hospital.

Now, Tony stood in the waiting room trying not to go crazy from a combination of adrenaline and fear. At the very edge of his perception he could hear Gibbs and McGee talking. After a moment, he sensed Gibbs' presence beside him.

"Boss?" Tony said, eyes still closed.

"Single gunshot to the abdomen. Doctor thinks it lacerated the liver, maybe even perforated."

"She in surgery?"

"For at least four more hours."


Gibbs sighed. "Too soon to tell."

"Is there paperwork I need to…"

Before Tony could finish the sentence there was a sudden flutter of activity. He opened his eyes and saw Abby and Ducky rush into the room. While Gibbs moved to update the two unofficial members of the team, Tony moved to McGee's side.

"What happened?"

McGee took a shaky breath. "We knocked on the door and the shot just came through the open window. Hanson was waiting for us. He said there was no way he was going down for this. We didn't even have time to draw our weapons. He just shot her."


"I don't know," McGee said. "I just got Ziva into the car and drove here. I didn't even think about Clark. I just…I just needed to get her here."

Tony put a hand on McGee's shoulder. "You did the right thing Tim," he said. "Thank you for getting her here."

If McGee was surprised by Tony's words he didn't show it. Looking down he realized he was covered in blood. "I need to find some clothes," he said before walking over to the nurses' station to ask about getting a pair of scrubs.

Tony watched the younger man walk away. Gibbs came over. "Ducky and Abby are gonna stay," he told the younger agent. "We need to find Clark and Hanson."

"Take McGee," Tony said. "I'm sure there's something I need to do…"

"Hey," Gibbs said firmly, "she'll be in surgery for hours. We still have a job to do."

"Right now my job is to stay here Boss," Tony replied, looking towards the doors that led to the operating rooms.

"DiNozzo," said Gibbs, the stress and anger in his voice rising, "did I ask if you wanted to come with me?"

"No you didn't," Tony replied. "But I'm still staying here. The doctors might need to make decisions about what to do in there. I need to be here."

"I think Ducky is more than capable of making those decisions and I still don't know why we're even having this conversation. Get it together and get moving."

When Gibbs' hand moved to slap him, Tony blocked it and shoved his boss into the wall. "No!"

It was almost as though time had stopped. None of the team could believe what had just happened. McGee had just reentered the room and stood with his mouth hanging open. Abby's hand covered her own shocked expression and Ducky was staring at the two men, brow furrowed.

Tony knew he had crossed a line, but in that moment he didn't care. He turned back towards the OR doors and ran his hand through his hair. "You don't understand," he said quietly.

"You're damn right I don't," Gibbs replied. He began to move towards Tony but was blocked when Ducky stepped between them.

"Wait Jethro," Ducky said quietly. Then he walked over to Tony and placed a hand on the younger man's shoulder. "Anthony," he said, "why do you need to be here to make decisions?"

A single sob shook Tony's shoulders but he quickly swallowed it back and wiped at his eyes. "Because…" he cleared his throat, "because she's my wife."


I think I may have made Gibbs a little too mean, just try to remember that he's stressed out. Please review. It will make me update faster.