Long-time reader of NCIS fanfic, with a definite tip in the direction of Tony as a competent and all-around good guy. After many kicks in the behind by scousemuz1k to keep me motivated, I decided to stick my toe into the fanfic writer pool and see what happens. All good things in this story are due to her gentle guidance and edits. Booboos are my bad. Second warning: If you're a fan of Ziva, skip this story.

Disclaimer: Don't own NCIS, just borrowing the characters for a little fun.

Chapter 1

Tony shifted uneasily under Ziva's stony glare, his injured arm aching all the way up into his shoulder, not helped at all by the bouncing and jolting of the C130's turbulence. They were hours into the flight and he was exhausted, but unable to relax under her angry stare. At least she had put the knife away that she's been periodically bringing out to examine minutely before tucking it back away out of sight.

Taking a careful deep breath, he closed his eyes and tried again to relax, hoping that Ziva wouldn't actually try and kill him with Vance and Gibbs present. While Gibbs had settled back into his usual state of sleep as soon as the wheels left the tarmac back in Israel, Vance remained awake, studying the three of them periodically, expressionless.

Tony had no idea what he was thinking, and tried not to think of being banished to another stint as Agent Afloat, or as the sole agent at some distant Navy outpost in the arctic hundreds of miles from the nearest neighbors. Whatever Vance was thinking, he was sure it wasn't good for his future. Though with Ziva probably plotting dozens of ways to torture him to death, maybe what Vance was thinking wouldn't matter much in the long run.

After what seemed like an eternity, the plane finally descended and landed at Andrews Air Force Base. As the plane taxied to a stop and the engine noise died down, the four of them stood and stretched. Tony hid a grimace at the waves of pain that swept across his shoulder, up his neck, and across his back. Picking up his bag, he followed the others off the plane and into the cool night air of DC.

With the vibration and noise of the plane gone, the quiet and fresh air was a relief. All he wanted now was a shower, some Tylenol, and his bed. Please, he thought, no report writing tonight. Tomorrow would be soon enough, right? He glanced at Gibbs, wishing and hoping for him to give the ok to head home.

Walking towards the Flight Office parking lot, Vance turned to Gibbs, "Tomorrow morning, my office, debriefing on this damn mess. 0800. Make sure those two are available," he added with a scowl towards the two trailing agents. His security detail was standing by his waiting car, and without another word, he entered the car, and was soon out of sight.

Gibbs led the way to the Charger, and had just unlocked its doors when a dark sedan pulled up behind it. Officer Michael Bashan stepped out of the back door and nodded to the three of them. "Officer David, we have an apartment ready for your use. We will discuss more permanent housing arrangements tomorrow. Please," he said motioning to the open rear door of his sedan.

Ziva glared at him, before turning, intending to enter the shotgun seat of the Charger. "Ziva," Gibbs said, stopping her. He nodded toward Officer Bashan. "Go. Get some rest. Be at the office tomorrow by 0730."

"I do not need or want his help, Gibbs," she stated firmly. "I will shower in the locker room at NCIS, and sleep on Abby's futon. I will not go with him," nodding towards Bashan, "and will make my own housing arrangements." She opened the door to the Charger, and started to toss her bag inside.

Before she could enter the car though, Gibbs spoke, "Ziva, you need to get some decent rest, and you're not going to get it sleeping on a futon in Abby's lab. It's going to be a long day tomorrow. Go, get settled, take a hot shower, rest."

Scowling, she started to object, but Gibbs cut her off, "That wasn't a suggestion, Ziva."

Tony watched as she stared at Gibbs, obviously frustrated and furious. Just go, Ziva, he thought, aching and frustrated himself. The longer she argued, the longer it'd be until he could fall into his own bed. He needed the break from her, her rage, her distrust; he needed time to figure out how he was going to deal with tomorrow. He was certain that whatever Vance had planned in response to Rivkin's death, it wasn't going to go well for him. Sighing, he ran a hand through his hair and shifted uneasily.

Bashan gently touched Ziva on her shoulder, "Ziva, it's late. We all need some rest."

Wrenching herself from under his touch, she sent a look of hatred Tony's way, then went around to the driver's door of the waiting sedan, and evicted the person behind the wheel. Slamming the door as she settled into the driver's seat, she barely waited for Bashan and the ex-driver to settle in the car themselves before flooring the accelerator and whipping out of the parking lot.

Tony sank into the car seat and struggled to buckle his seat-belt, grimacing at the stabbing pains interfering with his efforts, before the buckle clicked into place. He braced himself for the trip to NCIS, hoping the light traffic would help avoid too many sudden swerves by Gibbs on the way.


Sitting on one of the cold autopsy tables, Tony yawned and shivered, shirtless. Damn Gibbs, anyway. As soon as they'd hit the NCIS parking lot, Gibbs dragged him down to autopsy and left him in Ducky's hands with a short, "Check him out, Duck," before disappearing.

With a clucking sound, Ducky turned away from the fresh radiographs of Tony's shoulder that he'd been examining, pausing momentarily when Gibbs returned. Returning his attention to Tony, Ducky said, "Anthony, how did you injury your shoulder? It was undamaged when you departed for Israel apart from some bruising. Now you've not only fractured the scapula, but you've managed to add significantly more bruising to that shoulder and along your upper back. Furthermore, young man, I most certainly do not recall this swelling and bruising in the center of your chest before you departed."

Tony just shook his head, so tired he could barely muster the energy to concentrate on what Ducky was saying. "It was nothing."

Ducky frowned and said forcefully, reproach in his tone, "It is not nothing, Anthony! You have clearly been assaulted, severely enough to break bones. By rights, you should go to Hospital for an MRI to determine if you've damaged any ligaments or tendons in your shoulder when your scapula was fractured."

Tony looked up alarmed, "No hospital!" He straightened his back and almost groaned at the pain and exhaustion washing through him. "Ducky, please, can't this all just wait until tomorrow after we all get some rest?" He glanced beseechingly at Gibbs.

Gibbs stared at him for a long moment, then without taking his eyes off Tony, he asked, "Duck? Can it wait? "

With a deep breath of exasperation, the doctor finally conceded, "You will permit me to secure your arm from all movement, Anthony, and take the anti-inflammatory and pain medication I prescribe. And you will stay with Gibbs tonight. First thing in the morning, you will report to Bethesda for whatever tests the doctors determine are needed to uncover the full extent of the damage inflicted upon you, and you will agree to whatever treatment the doctors determine is necessary."

Tony perceptibly relaxed and nodded, which was a mistake.

Gibbs stepped into his personal space, inches from Tony's face, and demanded, "Who did this to you, DiNozzo?"

Swaying back from Gibbs, Tony reacted badly to this new threat, "Just leave it alone, Gibbs!" He tried to wiggle off the table and around his boss without success. The last think he needed was to hand Vance more ammunition to use against him. And…he wasn't all that sure that Gibbs wouldn't think it was his fault that it happened. He was already riding a desk until he healed up as it was; no point in having Gibbs think he'd caused himself even more damage because he couldn't handle Ziva when she was on a tear.

Placing both hands on the autopsy table on either side of Tony, blocking him, Gibbs said forcefully, "Who? Was it one of Director David's people?"

A flicker of misery, quickly hidden, showed in Tony's eyes before he closed them and shook his head, "No. Just…can you just leave it alone for now, please?"

Gibbs remained implacable, "Who did this to you?" He tipped his head to the side slightly, eyes narrowing. He waited until Tony opened his eyes, then bent down a little until he was looking directly into his eyes. "Ziva?" he asked softly.

Tony didn't answer, but Gibbs could see the answer in his expression. Behind him Ducky breathed out an almost inaudible, "Oh dear."

Gibbs straightened, stepping back, face blank.

"Boss, she didn't mean to…"

Gibbs spoke softly, "Enough, DiNozzo. We'll deal with this tomorrow." He turned to Ducky, "Get him fixed up, Duck."

Tony sat silent, eyes downcast, while Ducky worked. Gibbs stood silent, watching Tony without comment. Tony couldn't help wondering if Gibbs was ticked because Tony screwed up and caused this whole mess in the first place, or at his lack of ability to keep Ziva corralled and out of trouble.

Ducky finished by holding out two tablets for Tony to swallow, unscrewing the lid of a bottle of water to wash them down. He held out a packet with several more tablets to Gibbs, "Pain medication. Two when you get him home, two in the morning before heading to Bethesda." He passed another smaller packet to him, "Anti-inflammatories - two in the morning also. The doctors at Bethesda will prescribe additional medication if needed after reviewing the test results."

Gibbs nodded, pocketing them and helped Tony from the table, heading for the door with one hand under his good elbow, steadying him. "Thanks, Ducky."

The doctor watched them go, shaking his head, "What a dreadful mess this has all come to be."