Silent Misery - Repercussions and Recovery
Author's Note: This story is a continuation of "Silent Misery" by lastcrazyhorn, written and published with her permission and blessing. It's an established relationship Gibbs/Fornell slash story. Her wonderful story can be found on this site by copying and pasting the following into your browser after the fanfiction dot net part: /s/7376557/1/Silent-Misery. (Sorry, it won't let me link it.) If that doesn't work, please search for lastcrazyhorn in the "author" search box above and you'll find it. This story won't make a lot of sense unless you read that one first. It's not too long, so go read it. I'll wait...
Welcome back. Didn't you just love it? Poor, poor Gibbs. After I read the story, I was inspired to tell the tale of Gibbs' recovery, which be neither easy nor quick. As my background is in medicine and law enforcement, I chose to begin after lastcrazyhorn's section three with a trip to the hospital. Though her section four is beautiful and heart-wrenching, it cuts off avenues I wanted to explore. This story is detailed, and will be novel-length when it's finished. It'll eventually get to rated "M," but like Gibbs' recovery, it's going to take a while. Hope you enjoy the journey.
And now, on with the story...
Fornell secured the battered pair in his car and stood outside to call Ducky.
"It's Fornell. Gibbs and DiNozzo've been hurt," he said without preamble.
"How badly?" was Ducky's first question.
"DiNozzo's been beaten. Possible busted ribs, maybe a head injury. Gibbs was... raped," Fornell said, tripping over the word. He fought hard to keep his voice from breaking.
"My god," Ducky breathed. "Is Jethro alright?"
"No, he's not alright," Fornell said tightly, keeping his voice low so the Navy men wouldn't overhear. "He was raped!" The word didn't get any easier the second time.
Ducky heard his emotion. "Agent Fornell, I need you to focus. Is there physical damage?"
Fornell took a breath, maintaining control by the thinnest of margins. "Yes. He's bleeding. DiNozzo says it's pretty bad."
"You need to take him to a hospital. Immediately."
"He's not going to want that."
"It doesn't matter. Untreated damage of that nature can lead to serious consequences."
"Can't you take care of him?"
"I'm afraid I can't," Ducky said, and Fornell could hear the regret in his voice. "There is certain necessary equipment which I don't have access to. Plus, the sooner he can start antiretrovirals the better."
Antiretrovirals. For HIV, hepatitis, STDs. God, Fornell thought.
"Can you meet us somewhere, smooth the process? Make sure they're doing right by him?" Fornell asked.
"That I can do," Ducky said. "Though it may take me a bit to get there. Take him to the ER at Washington Hospital."
"What?" Fornell asked. Washington Hospital was the premiere private hospital in the District. He had been expecting something a little less...
"They've got a sexual assault trauma unit. They'll treat him with respect. Go now, Agent Fornell."
"On the way." He clicked off and climbed into the car. With a worried glance at where Gibbs was leaning almost limply against the door, he started up.
A minute later, DiNozzo spoke up.
"Where we going?" His voice was gravelly with pain and unexpressed emotion.
"To meet Ducky."
"This isn't the way to the Navy Yard," DiNozzo said.
"I know. He says it has to be a hospital."
Beside him, Gibbs stiffened. Fornell reached for his hand. "It has to be," he repeated.
Gibbs nodded and gripped Fornell's hand tightly. He closed his eyes, running a self-inventory. His head was pounding, pain radiating out from the point where it had been slammed into the concrete. His knees ached and the hinge of his jaw was burning from being stretched too wide during... There was a deep throbbing in his shoulders where they'd been pulled back almost to the point of dislocation. A thick knot had formed in his low back where he'd been punched and the muscles had been twisted. His ass... God, his ass... Gibbs tightened his inward focus, trying to build a compartment in his brain to store that away.
It took almost half an hour of careful one-handed driving before Fornell pulled up in front of the hospital emergency entrance. He parked in a police-only slot and shut off the engine.
"We're here, Jethro," Fornell said. Gibbs opened his eyes and looked around, his head rolling loosely on his neck.
"Where?" he asked.
"Washington Hospital," Gibbs nodded and took a breath. He reached for his seatbelt, hissing at the pain that shot across his back as he moved.
"I'll get it," Fornell said. He popped the buckle. Behind him, DiNozzo opened the rear door and slid out carefully. Tony braced his ribs with his left arm and moved around the back of the car even as Fornell got out and rounded the front. They met at the passenger door. Fornell pulled it open and put a hand on Gibbs' shoulder.
"Can you make it out?" he asked. Gibbs said nothing. He turned in his seat, a loan moan escaping.
Fornell helped him stand. When he was stable on his feet and the door was closed, Fornell got under one arm and DiNozzo reached for the other side. Gibbs shied away and DiNozzo jerked back like he'd been stung.
"I've got him," Fornell said grimly. DiNozzo nodded, a look of shock and sorrow on his face. There was something else there, too, but Fornell was too focused on Gibbs to decipher it. He clamped down on a sudden rising rage at what had happened to the man he loved. There would be time for that later.
They moved slowly toward the doors, which swooshed open at their approach. The inner doors also opened, admitting them to the ER waiting room. It spread out to their left and right with the triage desk inside a glass and painted-drywall cubicle straight ahead. A short line of people were waiting to be checked in. To the left of the cubicle was a podium with a security guard sitting on a high stool. The guard saw them come in and slid over to knock lightly on the cubicle glass. When the nurse looked up, he pointed to them. Her eyes widened briefly at the sight of them and she stood.
"Come on through," she said, her voice amplified by a speaker in the glass. She indicated a doorway to the right of the desk. A soft buzzing and DiNozzo pulled it open. Fornell moved Gibbs that way, DiNozzo trailing behind.
The nurse met them just inside the door.
"What happened?" she asked.
"Fornell, FBI," he began. "They're federal agents. A case went bad. This one was sexually assaulted." He indicated Gibbs, who twitched at the words.
She blinked. There was a noticeable hesitation before she spoke.
"Are you physically injured?" she asked Gibbs.
"Yes," Gibbs said, his voice rough.
"Okay. Let's get you into a room. Do you need a wheelchair?" the nurse asked Fornell. He shook his head.
With Fornell under Gibbs' arm carrying as much of his weight as the Navy man was, they moved down the long, wide hallway. It was busy, staff moving in and out of rooms, patients being moved on wheelchairs and gurneys, several occupied beds lining the hall. Gibbs kept his head down as she lead them toward the back of the sprawling ER, seeing nothing. Just before they would have reached the end of the hall and been forced to turn, she stopped and tapped twice on a wooden door labeled 'SART'. No response came and she pushed through. She palmed a light switch and the room was bathed in harsh fluorescents.
It was a relatively large room for what it contained. The door was in the right corner, with the bulk of the room ahead and to their left. It was furnished with a wide bed, two wheeled bedside tables, a straight chair and a pair of low rolling stools. The wall to their right opposite the foot of the bed was lined with cabinets over a long counter with a sink at one end, a computer at the other. Above the middle of the bed, a large exam light on a flexible arm was pushed up almost against the ceiling, its multiple bulbs dark. At the head of the bed, a ceiling bracket held a patient monitor, multiple cables hanging coiled up on hooks beneath. A group of several large pieces of equipment Fornell couldn't immediately identify stood under plastic covers along the wall, filling the space between the head of the bed and a bathroom door in the far left corner.
"Do you think you can get into a gown?" the nurse asked.
"Think so," Gibbs said.
"Good." She took a folded gown and several brown paper bags out of one of the cupboards, then pointed to a large rectangle of white butcher paper taped to the floor next to and partly under the bed. "Stand there while you change, then go ahead and lay down. Put your clothes in these bags. The team will be right with you."
"Thank you," Fornell said. She smiled a little and turned to DiNozzo, who had followed them into the room.
"How are you doing?" she asked.
"Just beat up. Ribs might be cracked a little."
"Okay. Come with me." DiNozzo looked uncertain.
"I've got him," Fornell said again. "Get yourself taken care of."
"It's okay, Tony," Gibbs said quietly. "Go."
DiNozzo nodded and turned away.
"Hey," Gibbs called, and he turned back. "No names."
"Understood," DiNozzo said. The nurse followed him out.
Fornell turned Gibbs to lean his hip against the bed, making sure to center him over the paper. When he tried to release Gibbs, the injured man grabbed Fornell's forearm.
"This can't get out," Gibbs said. "You can't let anyone know."
"We'll talk about it later," Fornell said.
"No, now," Gibbs insisted. "There can't be a record. You gotta control the kit, keep the LEOs away."
"I will," Fornell promised.
"If it gets out, it'll ruin us," Gibbs said.
"Ruin who?" Fornell asked.
"You, me," and after a pause, "it'll kill Tony."
Fornell looked at him strangely. "What the hell happened out there, Jethro?"
Gibbs shook his head. "Not yet. Just promise me you won't let it get out."
"I won't," Fornell said. "I promise."
Gibbs nodded, relaxing a little.
"You need to get undressed. The doctor will be here in a minute."
Gibbs nodded again and released him, moving to pull at his jacket. He hissed at the burn in his shoulders from where they'd been stretched too far during...
"Let me," Fornell said softly, seeing both the pain and the memory cross Gibbs' face. Gibbs nodded again and dropped his arms.
Fornell slipped Gibbs' jacket backwards off his shoulders. He patted the pockets and removed Gibbs' notebook and a pen, putting them in his own breast pocket. He folded the jacket and set it on the bed before easing Gibbs' polo and undershirts up in a single unit. He bent Gibbs' elbows down one at a time to pull the shirts off without having to raise his arms. His bare chest was covered with bright red scratches that made Fornell frown for a second before he could hide it. He bit the inside of his mouth and smoothed his expression, glancing at Gibbs. Jethro was looking down and hadn't seen his slip.
The bruises Fornell had already noticed at Gibbs' neck were starker without the dark clothing to soften the effect. He opened one of the bags and carefully folded up the shirts, laying them in the bottom and placing the jacket on top. He picked the gown off the bed and shook it out, slipping it up over Gibbs' arms to his shoulders. Gibbs laid his head against Fornell's shoulder so the FBI man could tie the strings at the back of his neck. Fornell nuzzled Gibbs' hair with his nose for a moment, the achingly familiar smell of shampoo and sweat grounding him in this unfamiliar situation. He moved further down Gibbs' back, reaching for the waist ties. Gibbs raised his arms slightly, resting his hands on Fornell's hips while the ties were secured.
"I'm going to take off your pants now," Fornell said. He kept his voice low. Gibbs nodded, not moving his hands. Without taking his eyes off Gibbs' face, Fornell leaned down slightly and slipped his hands under the bottom of the gown, sliding it up. He was alert for any change in Gibbs. When he got to the top of Gibbs' jeans, Fornell moved his hands around to the belt buckle. No change in expression. Fornell carefully undid the belt, noting the empty holster. The bastards had taken his weapon. Reporting that was going to be a high priority. Fornell pushed Gibbs' pants button through and lowered the zipper. No change. He pressed his thumbs under the waistband of Gibbs' boxers, intending to push the jeans and underwear down at the same time.
"Better leave those," Gibbs said roughly and cleared his throat. "There's bandages underneath. Bleeding might start again."
Fornell grimly nodded his understanding and repositioned his hands. He pushed the jeans down and over Gibbs' hips. The weight of the belt, the holster, his handcuffs in their pouch and the stuff in Gibbs' pockets made the pants fall. They hit the ground with a thump that made Gibbs flinch.
"It's okay," Fornell said needlessly. "Slide up onto the bed, I'll get your shoes."
Gibbs nodded and Fornell took hold of him at the waist. Using Fornell's shoulders for balance and leverage, Gibbs pushed a hip up onto the bed until enough of his weight was there to hold him, then brought both feet up, swinging around to lay on his side with knees bent. An involuntary groan escaped and Fornell whispered a soothing word before letting him go. Gibbs moved a hand under his head on the pillow, using the other to balance himself against the mattress. He was now facing the door, his back to the far wall. Instinct, Fornell knew, even in a moment like this. Maybe especially in a moment like this. Fornell unlaced Gibbs' shoes and pulled them off one at a time, then pulled the jeans off. He could see the back of Gibbs' underwear was dark and stiff with blood, a matching but lesser stain on the inside of the jeans not quite soaking through to the outside. He swallowed hard against a sudden lump in his throat.
"Socks?" Fornell asked.
"Leave them," Gibbs said. Fornell nodded. He emptied Gibbs' pants pockets, finding his badge folder, wallet and knife, and noting the lack of cell phone. He put the items in his own pockets, then rolled up the jeans. He opened the second bag and put Gibbs' shoes in them, placing the jeans on top of the shoes before setting both bags on the floor at the end of the bed. He picked a white blanket off the foot of the bed and unfolded it, gently covering Gibbs. When he was sure Gibbs was as comfortable as he was going to get, he took off his tie, folding it into his jacket pocket before removing the jacket and hanging it on the back of the straight chair. It was noticeably warmer in the room than it had been in the hall and Fornell suspected this was going to take a while. As a precaution against panic, he clipped his badge onto his belt right next to his holstered sidearm before turning the chair to face the bed and taking a seat.
A minute later, Gibbs spoke. "I don't like this, Tobias," he said.
"I know," Fornell said simply. He leaned forward and placed a light kiss on Gibbs' forehead.
"Will you stay?" Gibbs asked, and Fornell knew what it cost him to ask.
"The entire First Marine Division couldn't drag me away," Fornell said firmly. Gibbs nodded, what might have been a smile playing at one corner of his mouth. He reached for Fornell's hand and they settled in to wait.
To be continued.
I tend to write in large chunks, and will update as real life allows. There's about 50,000 words written already, so even if things get busy, I should have at least an update or two each week for a while.
If you enjoyed, please speak up. I'd love to hear from you.