He keeps his breath steady, determined to neither faint nor puke. He focuses on the in and out, gritting his teeth against the searing burn in his chest, resisting the urge to curse the airbag and seatbelt that saved his life. In and out.
"This is going to sting a little."
"A little" is an understatement, and Tony allows himself a single curse as the first shard of glass is removed from cheek. "Shiiiiiit," he groans, and then it's back to the breathing. The nurse works quickly and though all Tony can see from his current angle is the man's midsection, he can hear the glass dropping into the metal pan. The sound it makes is almost delicate, a tiny clink.
There was nothing delicate about the sound it made earlier, when they were in the middle of a goddamned moment. He can only remember flashes: Ziva telling him something that wasn't easy to tell, the realization that this time- this time- he had gotten it right, and the feeling that he should take her hand. Then there was the shattering. It was a big sound, mixed with a lot of other big sounds, and that's when the pain began.
He is going to be fine. A burning chest. A shredded cheek. An aching head. The accident sounded worse than it was. For him. He isn't sure about her. He hasn't asked.
He is going to. He is. He will wait for the boss. Or maybe Abby. If he waits for Abby, he won't even have to ask because it will be all over her face, and no one will have to say any words.
Another clink, another little piece of glass.
He isn't interested in anyone's words. He is haunted by the silence that followed the breaking glass. She hadn't made a sound. Not a single sound. He reminds himself to breathe.
"Last one," says the nurse. A final clink, and it's time to be stitched back together.
If he gets the chance, he has some words for her. He is tired, and he's going to tell her so. He's done with vendettas and everyone's eye-for-an-eye bullshit. He understands, he really does, but it's not worth the quiet in that car after the crash. It is not worth the fear of what he will hear when he finally manages to ask.
His face has been numbed, but the first prick of the needle against his skin still draws a hiss.
If he gets a chance, he will tell her that he is out. He will beg her to be out too. He will fucking beg her. She won't like it, but maybe he will make her see. Maybe he will make her understand that this has to be the last night he spends terrified to find out how much he has lost.