I own nothing from NCIS and make no money from this story! If I did own them there would be some wicked story lines! LOL! But for now I shall merely play with them and return them very sated!

A huge thanks goes to my most excellent Beta-Amy- without whom this would not be as polished! Kudos to her for her great work and wanting to work with a nut like me! Trust me! And I lover her all the more for it!

Come by my facebook page- always a riot! Sometimes great eye candy as well! Facebook./gibbsandtonysbabe Always happy to have you drop by!


All of you who read my stories know that I don't do episode tags...there are a few episodes that bothered me a great deal and "Dead Air" is one of them. I have had this on a back burner for sometime, arguing with myself about writing it, for many reasons. There are a great many "Dead Air' tags out there, I don't write episode tags, should I? You get the picture! But it wouldn't leave me alone! So here is the first part...looks to be three parts- could be four depending on my muse! (I never, EVER argue with her- she gets uppity if I do!)! As always I appreciate you letting me know what you think and for going along with me on this journey!


"Alright guys, starting the second street and row of houses. What did you think of the last woman? You should have seen her Probie, she was something else. No offense Ziva, but she had a swim suit on and was very sexy."

Ziva and McGee rolled their eyes and kept silent as Tony rambled on. This going from door to door to get voice prints to locate a possible terrorist cell was getting old really fast. They had had enough. Looking at each other they came to a silent agreement and both turned off their coms.

Sighing in relief as Tony was silenced, Ziva spoke. "Finally, blessed quiet. I do not understand why we need to be here at all. He is simply walking door to door starting inane conversation. It is pure torture to listen to his voice any longer."

"I know. He never shuts up. The constant movie references, details about his dating life; which if they are true, and I have my doubts must be in some record book. Seriously it has to be impossible for him to score that often and I don't need or want to hear about it."

"He acts like a …what is the word…play boy, yes? He is too irritating for any woman to want to be near him for that long."

"I don't know what Gibbs sees in him. Of course, there are the head slaps. I can see why Gibbs uses them and we never need any. Maybe he was a friend of the former Director or something and just sort of hangs on."

If he were in Mossad, he would be killed for his actions. They would not put up with such insubordination and he would be dealt with severely." Ziva chuckled bitterly. "I have more skills in my little finger. He should not be Gibbs' SIC."

"He can barely type and knows nothing of computers. Gibbs doesn't either, but he is a formidable man." Tim shuddered hoping the man never heard him say that. "He has a reputation and Tony most assuredly is tarnishing that. He has a degree in what? Phys Ed? And was a cop before. I understand that he may have had a detective's shield, but I think I had to have heard that wrong."

"Why do you think that?"

"Because Ziva, it takes great skill to obtain a gold shield and Tony was never anywhere long enough for that to happen for one and I don't see him being awarding any such thing."

"Perhaps we heard wrong McGee or we misunderstood."

Before long the two of them looked at their watches, realizing it had been over two hours and decided they needed to check in. Each sighing as they readied themselves to hear Tony's voice they switched them back on.

They both listened for a few minutes and heard nothing. McGee tried to up the volume and all they heard was silence. Looking at one another Tim struggled for an explanation.

"Maybe he is playing a joke on us Ziva. Very funny, Tony. Come on, we're not laughing. We're sorry for turning you off."

As the minutes ticked by, they knew something was very wrong and they were in a great deal of trouble. They exited the van and went searching before calling Gibbs as they tried to come up with a logical reason for not noticing Tony was missing.

They returned to the van knowing the time had come to call Gibbs.

Tim looked at his com and figured that he should be able to cause some internal damage to make it look like theirs were malfunctioning. Tony would be all right and no one would ever look that closely at the details. After all, he went to MIT, how difficult could it be?

"Ziva, give me your com." He took out his knife, present due to rule nine, and proceeded to carefully open the two coms and mess with their inner workings, making a mental note to look up the specs on the make and model in case more details became necessary.

"Ok. Let's make the call.


Tony had gone two houses down and knocked on the door. "OK Probie and Probette here we go again." Smiling as a man opened the door he started to speak but was dragged inside and thrown against the wall before he could get his bearings. The breath was knocked out of him but he managed to throw a punch that scored solidly with the man's jaw as his feet were kicked out from under him, his head slamming into the ground making him dizzy.

"Ziva! Tim! Back up at 626 Morning Glory. NOW!" He fought off the man and managed to throw several punches of his own when he noticed the knife. "Shit! Ziva! McGee! Where the fuck are you? Armed man assaulting a federal officer." He tried to reach the man seeing the rage in his eyes.

"Sir! Put the knife down. I'm Agent DiNozzo a federal officer."

"Don't care what your name is! You're the mother fucker that's been fucking my wife. She said she was leaving me for you. Like hell, she will! Eileen is mine asshole!" Throwing a solid punch to Tony's solar plexus and knocking the wind out of him. Before he had a chance to react, he felt the knife enter his side. Grimacing in pain, he threw the man off.

"I don't know Eileen, you have the wrong guy." Tony nearly had the battle won and the man subdued when he was thrown back, hitting his head on the corner of the coffee table, knocking him out cold.

The man kept beating on him and kicking him as he yelled. "She won't want you now! Don't look so pretty all busted up." Punctuating each word with a kick and then finally remembered the knife and began plunging it into Tony's inert body a few more times.

The man's rage finally settled, he leaned against the wall and realized what he had done. The front door opened and his wife walked in and looked at the bloody body on the floor.

"Carl?" She asked tentatively.

"Eileen, your pretty boy ain't so pretty now is he?" He leered at her. "Maybe I might seem a better choice.

"Carl." Eileen took his hand in hers. "There was never anyone else; I just told you that so you would notice me. You've been ignoring me lately and I don't like it. I don't know who that fool is."

"You lied to me?"

"Yes, honey. I wanted you so badly. I love you."

He looked down at Tony. "What do we do with him?"

She cocked her head. "Well can't have my man go to jail after defending my honor and all. We could load him up in the car, drive out to the woods, and dump him. Be forever before someone finds him. Then we can come home and fool around until we fall asleep. How's that sound?"

"You ain't mad at me?"

"Nope. Feels pretty good that you would fight for me." He pulled her in his arms and kissed her passionately.

"Come on; let's dump him so we can have fun." They wrapped Tony in sheets from upstairs and loaded him in the trunk of their car after pulling it in their garage. Carl changed his clothes and threw them in with Tony figuring it was a good way to dispose of them.

Pulling out of their drive way, they drove casually past McGee and Ziva who sat in the van unaware.


Gibbs grabbed his phone.


"How did you lose him?"

"How long were you out of contact?"

"What do you mean you don't know?" He growled into the phone.

"He had to have been talking; the silence should have clued you in."

"Yes! I am having a hard time believing your story McGee. You expect me to grasp how you suddenly realized that Tony was not speaking to you, when the sole purpose for your being in that neighborhood was to obtain voice prints. Voice prints, McGee. That requires talking and exactly why I asked Tony to do this. He can talk to anyone."

"So the fact that two agents that were supposed to watch his six lost him and have no time frame for it is crap. I expect you to wait there and I will deal with the two of you later." He slammed his phone shut and motioned to Balboa to come over.

"Seems McGee and Ziva lost Tony and have no clue how long."

Balboa looked aghast at Gibbs. "No fucking way."

Gibbs nodded tersely his jaw locked trying to rein in his worry, but his gut was churning something fierce. "Get your team out to their location and set up a search. Watch McGee and Ziva. I will be heading that way after I ask Abby to check some things out for me."

"You got it Gibbs." Balboa turned to leave and gather his team.

Gibbs ran down to Abby's lab hoping that she could help piece together the facts that were sitting all wrong. She looked up and smiled as he walked in until she saw the look in his eyes.

"What's wrong Gibbs" Who?"

"Tony. Seems McGee and Ziva lost him."


"Said their coms weren't working."

"That's not true; I set them up myself to record everything. They have to be mistaken Gibbs."

"I want you to look into it. Go through everything with a fine tooth comb and let me know if you find anything. This is between you and me for the moment. If I find that something else happened there will be hell to pay." His blue eyes glinted icy cold.

"They wouldn't do that to Tony….no…they couldn't leave him without back up."

"Don't know Abs; just know that it doesn't make sense. Can you trace Tony's phone?"

Abby turned as her fingers flew over the keyboard her green eyes wet with unshed tears. Could they have left Tony without back up? Weren't they family? There had to be something else, had to be.

"His phone is off. Let me see if I can triangulate with the com's frequency. Go…get out there and find him and if I can pick up on it I'll call and give you the location." Her green eyes narrowed as she realized that Gibbs gut was hardly ever wrong. "And if those two did leave him alone, I want a shot at them."

"Stand in line Abs, stand in line. I get them first." He kissed her temple and jogged out the door heading to his car, his thoughts on the younger man. "He better damn well be alright I did not give him permission to die." He whispered fiercely to himself. He sped to the site and walked over to Balboa ignoring McGee and Ziva.


"Not yet. No trace. Those two have been silent the whole time. I'll be honest Gibbs; I don't get a good feeling about this at all. I took their coms from them and bagged them. That caused a hitch in McGee's breathing." Balboa smirked grimly at Gibbs. "You taught me that."

"I agree. This has cover up written all over it. I have Abs checking the recordings and seeing if she can hear anything. She's also going to try to triangulate a location using the coms frequency." At that moment, his phone rang.


"You have a location."

"That forty five minutes away." His eyes narrowed dangerously as he looked at McGee and Ziva.

"Have Ducky and an ambulance at that location, I would rather err on the side of safety and be prepared. I'll leave Ziva and McGee with Balboa. He took their coms."

"I know Abs, finding Tony was first, now you can do your thing. Call me when you know anything."

"I will."

"I won't let him die Abs."

"I will."

He slammed his phone shut again and tried to calm down. "Keep those two with you, don't let them leave. I'm going to the site and will call when I know anything."

"Find him Gibbs. I'll take care of these two. Tony's my friend and has helped me out on cases all the time over pizza and beer. His insight is something I don't have."

Gibbs nodded and again sped off, this time Ziva and McGee were wondering why he said nothing to them.


Abby quickly went to autopsy and started talking. "Tony is missing and I may have found him but I don't know. And he could be hurt and he may have been alone. Ducky that's not right." She started pacing and wringing her hands together. "He wants you to meet him there with an ambulance. His gut is churning Ducky and it's never wrong. He wants me to look into the recordings and see if I find anything. They told him they weren't working." She stopped and balled her hands at her sides. "But I know they were; I programmed them myself because it was crucial we obtain clear voice prints to match with the one heard over the radio."

She started pacing again and pulling on her pigtails nervously. "Gibbs will kill them, and I want to as well. But they wouldn't have done that to Tony, would they? I mean we're family. Right?" The tears began streaming down her face.

Ducky pulled her into his arms, thankful that he understood what she was saying. "We must think positively, Abigail, Anthony is a strong man who has great will to survive. And if indeed the other two left him alone, then we shall deal with them as well. There is no excuse that would warrant that behavior."

"Now dry your tears and send Anthony happy and warm thoughts and all the love you have for him. I shall do the same. And do as Jethro asked you and investigate. He trusts you with this Abigail, be strong. Now where am I supposed to go so I may also call an ambulance to that address?"

Abby wiped her tears and gave him the address.

"Go Abigail and find out what happened to Anthony. We will have his six." He kissed her on the temple before he exited.

Abby went to her lab with a new purpose and determination. Gibbs needed her and was relying on her to help solve this and Ducky was right, they would have Tony's six.


Gibbs reached the area Abs said the signal was the strongest and his stomach dropped when he saw a body wrapped in a bloody sheet. He wrenched the car door open and ran over telling himself he was mistaken that it was something else entirely until he was upon it and saw Tony's pale and lifeless face poking out of it. He knelt down beside the man remembering in his haste and worry to grab gloves; this was a crime scene, and he was going to get the people that did this to Tony.

Feeling a pulse though slight, he began to unwrap the man hoping to find just one or two injuries that he could deal with. What he saw took his breath away. Tony had multiple stab wounds. And as he opened his shirt, he could see the beginnings of boot print shaped bruises forming on the younger man's torso.

He also saw defensive wounds and knew that Tony had gone down fighting. Finally finding his voice, he spoke to the unconscious man. "You fight, you hear me! You still do not have my permission to die. I can not lose you too. Fight Tony. I have your six. We'll find everyone involved and take care of all of them, I promise."

Hearing the siren, he was relieved as there was so little he could do. The paramedics ran over and began treating Tony.

Gibbs noticed the extra bloody clothes, ran back to his car for the evidence kit, and began to bag and tag what he could. Ducky arrived and had the same reaction as Gibbs when he saw the condition of Anthony and the amount of blood.

"Jethro, call Balboa's team so they can take over. You need to be with Anthony."

Gibbs nodded. "I need to have him put Ziva and McGee somewhere on ice though, I don't want them near here or to know what's happening with Tony."

"Agreed. But surely they can be held back at NCIS pending an investigation."

Gibbs pulled out his phone. "I'll call Balboa, please go see what you can find out about Tony."

"We found him."

"Not good at all. Stabbed countless times, beaten, and kicked."

"I want your team here, but not Ziva and McGee. In fact, I don't want them knowing anything. Can you have one of your people take them to NCIS and hold them?"



"He has orders not to die." Hanging up the phone, he took a deep breath.

Ducky walked over to Gibbs. "They are ready to transport. It's quite serious Jethro; he has lost a great deal of blood and his injuries are quite severe. You're not going to like this."

"What Ducky?" Gibbs eyes narrowed dangerously.

"With the amount of blood he has lost, his body temperature, and the way the bruises are showing up-" Ducky steeled himself. "This happened over four hours ago, at the very least. And the sheet he was wrapped in means it didn't happen here; he was brought here and dumped. This happened under Ziva and McGee's watch."

Gibbs growled from low in his belly, a feral sound that signaled certain death to those who crossed his path.

"Positive Duck?" He ground out through his clenched jaw.

"Unfortunately yes. Exact time, I can't say but well over four hours. But you need to keep calm for the time being." Holding out his hand in supplication, "There will be time enough for you to rip those two to shreds as well as the person that did this to Anthony, but right now he needs you".

Gibbs took a deep breath. "Trying Duck. But this is not something I can deal with quietly. They didn't have his six. I don't know what Abs will find, but there's no way in hell he didn't call out for them. This was not a quick simple fight. Where the hell were they?"

"We shall solve this too Jethro. I trust Abigail will search every millisecond and find the answers, no matter what they are and the outcome. We will have his six, where others didn't. Now get ready to follow them, they will be taking Anthony to Bethesda as I have requested and I already called Bradley. He is waiting."

Gibbs answered his ringing phone.


"Calm down."


"I can't believe that."

"No Abs, I don't doubt you. Please calm down."

"I know. This is unconscionable."

Gibbs growled. "They said that."

"Fucking morons."

"No Abs, killing them will not solve this."

"Yes, damn it I want to rip them to shreds and send them to hell."

"I want you to secure it, make a copy, and bring it to Vance. I will call him right now before I leave with Tony."

"Yes. Not good. Ducky is here. He was beaten and stabbed multiple times."

"He says over four hours ago."

"I know."

"He called for them." Gibbs took a deep breath his fists balled at his side, anger, and rage pouring off his body."

"I'll give the address to Balboa's team. They left evidence here. We'll get the bastards."

"Them too Abs."

"Calling Vance now. Whatever you do, try not to let Ziva or McGee know anything about Tony."

"I will Abs."

Gibbs hung up and dialed Vance holding a finger up to Ducky's questioning gaze.

"Vance, its Gibbs."

"We have a real issue here. Abby will be bringing you a recording and evidence from today's voice print gathering."

"No, don't have the terrorist."

"Well shut up and I will tell you, damn it."

"I'm pissed and you're not listening."

"ZIva and McGee turned off their coms and left DiNozzo without back up. He went up to a house where the guy apparently thought he was the one fucking his wife and was beaten and stabbed multiple times. DiNozzo called out for back up and no one was listening. Put up one hell of a fight."

"Abby says the wife comes in and gets all hot that the man wants her so much and the two of them dispose of the body."

"Yep. All on tape."

"No there is more. Abby had it rigged to record everything, so that nothing was missed and while Tony was fighting for his life, those two idiots were complaining about him. Stating he was no good, shouldn't be SIC, poor schooling. You name it they said it."

"Right now I want my sniper rifle, but that would be too fast. I want them off my team, banned from NCIS, and anything else we can do to them."

"Balboa is having one of his team bring them back to NCIS. I don't want them knowing anything about Tony right now."

"I agree."

"His team will gather the evidence and they can pick up the couple at their home."

"He gave the address as he was calling for help."

"I will."

"IA and JAG?"


"I'll be in touch." He hung up the phone, his brain struggling to process everything that happened; the fact that Ziva and McGee turned off their coms, their comments. It was too much and he wanted to scream in pure agony and frustration.

Ducky looked at him his own eyes hard as steel. "I heard Jethro. What shall happen with those two?"

"Vance will hold them and talk to IA and JAG. He believes that their willful disregard can be viewed as a conspiracy and they can be charged as accessories to attempted murder of a Federal Agent as well as a few other crimes. Gross negligence possibly even as accomplices considering they let the perps remove Tony from the scene right out from under them."

Ducky grinned evilly. "Good. Those two deserve that and more."

"He also said that if it showed that they tampered with the coms that would be another charge and would go to show that they knew their actions were wrong."

"And keeping Anthony's condition a secret?"

"When all this falls around them, I want that to be the last thing they hear about as well as a great deal of information about the man. The things they said about him. Damn it Ducky, why didn't I see that? We could have nipped this in the bud. Was I that blind?"

"Jethro I don't believe any of us saw that extreme amount of arrogance from either of them. Yes, we saw jabs and smart remarks but Anthony gave back as good as he got. I would have never thought them capable of leaving him without back up. Nothing in any of their previous behavior led me to believe that they felt that strongly about young Anthony." Ducky's eyes thoughtful.

"They bought into the whole jock and playboy act that he does so effortlessly without ever stopping to see what he was really about. There were very large breadcrumbs dropped over the years Jethro. Not to mention the multitude of other agencies that has and still tries to court him."

"He did not earn the reputation of being the foremost sought after uncover agent by lacking skill and intelligence. We can and shall rectify their beliefs on Anthony. I will make sure that they are brutally aware of how obtuse they have been. Even if it is as they draw their last breath."


Leon had finished listening to the recording that Abby had made for him, again trying to wrap his head around the actions of two of his agents. He would have never expected that behavior from them. He certainly understood Gibbs' desire to use his sniper rifle and shuddered to think what would happen when he actually heard the recordings and God forbid, if DiNozzo didn't make it.

He would be the first to admit that when he met the man he had doubts about his skill. But then he did as he had done with every agent and reviewed his file trying to get to know him. DiNozzo had surprised him on many levels, his education that he continued after joining his first police force was impressive, and the number of undercover jobs and requests from quite a few agencies was astounding. That and the fact he was constantly being poached by other agencies.

From there he had begun to watch DiNozzo; watch how he did indeed solve cases with leaps of intuition, how he seamlessly slinked into an undercover persona that fit him like a glove, and how he was able to handle himself in any situation. To say his opinion of the man had changed was a vast understatement.

The words from Agent David and McGee echoed in his ears-'I have more skills in my little finger. He should not be Gibbs' SIC. He has a degree in what? Phys Ed? And was a cop before. I understand that he may have had a detective's shield, but I think I had to have heard that wrong'- what kind of investigators were they that they could not see what was right in front of their faces. He knew that he was blindsided, but even if he hadn't had the files to peruse, DiNozzo's skill, intelligence, and ethics were clearly evident.

He wondered if there was something that he, as the Director, missed that could have prevented this tragedy. But they all had missed this hatred of DiNozzo which was brought on by their arrogant belief their own skills were better. Skills that honestly didn't measure up to DiNozzo's. When Gibbs and DiNozzo had worked as a two party team their closure rate was as high as it is now, the others had really added nothing to their solve rate.

And truthfully, no one would have ever imagined a situation where any agent left another without back up; that was unheard of. Vance knew that when word of this spread through the agency, and it would, that those two would be ostracized as they rightfully should be. Not withstanding the possibility of legal charges after JAG and IA heard what had transpired. They would be adamant that the charges stick.

IA was ready for them and understood that at this time they had no knowledge of anything regarding Tony's ordeal and agreed that would be a better way to proceed. DiNozzo was well liked and respected by a great many people at NCIS and when word got out, Vance knew that hell would break loose. It had been agreed that as long as there was no actual threats of bloodshed, there would be no protection offered. SECNAV had stated that the other agents needed to see that this was taken very seriously and in no way be swept under the rug because of McGee's computer skills or David's father.

It was not lost upon Vance that SECNAV did not refer to them as agents. As far as he was concerned regardless of any criminal charges, they were to be dismissed from the agency. And for his part, Vance had every intention of having all of this happen as publically as possible. DiNozzo deserved that, period.

He was also going to make it blatantly clear that their overrated sense of self paled in comparison to DiNozzo's skills. He may call in Dr. Mallard for that as well. Who better to deliver the dressing down and subsequent education they obviously needed?

The ringing of his phone brought the man out of his thoughts.

"Agent Richards."

"Place them into separate interrogation rooms with a guard on each. Do not allow them to leave under any circumstances. Understood?"

"IA will be dealing with them shortly."

"No new information on Agent DiNozzo at this time. Do not give those two any on him at all."

"I understand Balboa gave you the run down, just want to make sure that it is clear."

"Don't worry they will be dealt with." Hanging up he dialed IA letting them know that they were in the building and in separate cells. Taking a deep breath, he left his office so that he could watch what happened from the observation rooms.


Gibbs had been pacing the halls of Bethesda since they arrived and rushed Tony off. Ducky had managed to bring him coffee before he disappeared to be with the younger man and deal with the aftermath of this clusterfuck.

Logically he knew that pacing didn't help anything, but he was too worried, agitated, and furious and a whole slew of other emotions to sit down. All he knew was that Tony had to be ok, there was no other option.

Looking at his watch to find only five minutes had past since the last time he looked; he noticed the blood covering his hands, Tony's blood. He realized he was covered with it. There was too much blood. He went to the men's room to wash it off, watching as the red tinged water rolled off his hands.

He started shaking as he leaned against the wall and slid down, overcome by his emotions. What the fuck was wrong with him? Tony had been hurt before; he had the damned plague for God's sake. But he knew it was different this time, he knew what he was feeling and he had no choice but to admit it.

This was not how he envisioned this happening. Hell, he was sure he would never bring himself to admit it at all, but in the rare times that he allowed the thought to the forefront of his mind, he didn't see Tony covered in blood when he confessed that he had fallen in love with the man.

Over pizza, beer, maybe even a cowboy steak, but never paired with the possibility that he wouldn't get the chance at all. And that was when he knew that he was going to have to man up and when Tony was on the road to recovery, tell him.

He could only hope that his feelings would be reciprocated. There were times when he looked in the younger man's eyes he thought he saw the same thing that shone in his own when he looked in the mirror, but he always wondered if it was wishful thinking on his part.

He had to have the chance. He needed the chance; he wasn't sure he could take another loss to his soul. And for better or worse, Tony was such a part of him that he knew losing the man would cost him more than he ever imagined. It was part of the reason he tried so hard to fight against it, but it was too late for that now.

Standing on shaking legs, he finished washing up, looked in the mirror, and whispered. "Shannon…Kelly…please help Tony. Be with him, don't let him be alone. God please let him live, I've lost more than I can bear. Please." He did nothing to stop the tears rolling down his face as he let every fear flow with them, every ounce of pain that he'd kept inside and every feeling that he locked behind a closed door. They flowed with the tears, cleansing him from within. Finally allowing room for a new love to fit beside the one he lost, a heart ready to be made whole and a life finally ready to be lived.

Gibbs had no idea how long he was in the men's room as he walked out the door, time had lost all meaning since he had found Tony's battered and bloodied body. He sat down in the chair to wait for news and though still worried, he felt as though it would be all right somehow. He was going to hold on to that for dear life, it was his life line until he saw Tony breathing and on the road to recovery.

The doors opened and Ducky stepped through them looking older than his years. Fear gripped at Gibbs' heart, terrified that Tony had lost his fight and the reason for Ducky's countenance. Ducky looked up and seeing the abject fear in the blue eyes quickly set out to reassure him the best that he could.

"Anthony is alive and holding his own. I won't lie or mollycoddle you and tell you that it went smoothly. We lost him twice on the table Jethro. The blood loss was too much for his battered body to contend with, but he came back to us fighting. It's not going to be easy and at this moment, I can't tell you whether he will go into the field again."

"That is not to say that it looks that dire, it's just too soon. He lost over half of his body's blood supply, it's a wonder he is alive at all. He had sixteen stab wounds. One required the removal of his spleen, one required removal of a portion of his lower intestine. Amazingly with as many wounds as there were, they missed his vital organs."

"Bradley put him on a ventilator to ensure his lungs are not over taxed during this crucial time. He lost a small portion of his more damaged lung which should work in the lad's favor. He has one hell of a fight ahead of him. Three ribs were wired back in place, his kidneys are severely bruised and he has more bruises and contusions on his body than I ever wanted to see."

"But he is strong, his heartbeat sounds strong and his brain activity is normal. There is no swelling on the brain, which was a concern considering his head injury and his left hand his broken, but very cleanly so." He looked at Jethro seeing the man struggle to take it all in.

"Jethro, I believe he will be fine. I do not say that lightly, I have seen his injuries. But Anthony is not ready to leave you at this time. I believe you both have unfinished business." He held up his hand to forestall any comment.

"I may be old, but I am certainly not blind. You have been granted a second chance, do be sure and not to waste it." Ducky narrowed his eyes at the silver haired man.

Jethro gave him a sheepish grin. "I won't waste it. That I promise you."

"Anthony will not be set up in ICU just yet, so let us go grab you something to eat and refresh your coffee. We shall call Abigail and inform her of Anthony's condition and ask that she bring your gear here so that you may freshen up."

Ducky looked at Jethro as he began walking, "Come on, let's not dally."