AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
CHARACTERS: Leroy Jethro Gibbs & Anthony DiNozzo
SUMMARY: DiNozzo is accidentally shot. Gibbs takes it upon himself to look after him.
WORD COUNT: 3,045
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for dont_hate_me01: G - Gunshot Wound (02/26). I really hope this works for you; I did my very best to fulfil your additional request.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Gibbs brought the sedan to a stop; a few seconds later Palmer pulled the autopsy van up next to it. They had been called out to investigate the body of badly mutilate marine, who had been found by a man walking his dog. The man had been one of those rare Americans who didn't own a cell phone, thus he had waited until he returned home following his walk. As he'd said when he had reported it, the dead guy wasn't going anywhere and he had clearly been dead for some time.
Tony, McGee and Ziva had spent the entire journey bickering, whereas Gibbs had just resorted to driving even faster. As he turned the engine off, he slapped the steering wheel. "Enough!" he yelled. "One more word that isn't case related out of any of you, and all three of you can walk home!"
"But, boss -"
Gibbs growled and turned around to glare at Tony. "I said enough, DiNozzo. That means you too."
"Yes, boss. Sorry, boss. Shutting up now, boss." Tony hastened to open the back-door and got out as Ziva got out of the other side and McGee got out of the passenger seat. As Gibbs got out of the car and slammed the door, Ducky and Palmer got down from the truck and began to walk towards them.
Suddenly Ziva cried, "Shooter!" as she dragged her Sig from its holster.
Tony swore that everything then happened in slow motion.
He saw Ziva pull her gun out.
He saw McGee free his from its holster.
He saw Ducky grab Palmer and pull him back towards the truck.
And he saw Gibbs hesitate for a fleeting second.
"Gibbs!" he heard himself yell.
The next moment he felt white hot pain in his shoulder and temple.
He heard the retort of six shots.
He heard McGee call, "Got him, boss."
He heard Ziva gasp, "Tony!"
He heard Gibbs snap, "You and Palmer okay, Duck?"
And then Gibbs was there towering over him, glaring down at him, rage clear on his face. "What the fuck did you think you were doing, DiNozzo?" he growled, as he stared down, his face rigid with fury, at Tony who realized he was sprawled on the ground on his back. The pain in his shoulder and head began to radiate further throughout his body.
"Boss?" he managed, uncertain as to why he was being subjected to such fury from Gibbs. What had he done this time?
"You're an idiot, DiNozzo. A damned fool. You're reckless; a danger to yourself and others; you don't deserve to carry that badge. You're -"
"Jethro!" Ducky spoke sharply; far more sharply than Tony had ever heard him speak to Gibbs; far more sharply than he had ever heard him speak to anyone. It kind of surprised him, especially as he knew what good friends Ducky and Gibbs were and that technically Gibbs was Ducky's boss, that Ducky would speak to him so sharply - he was also impressed.
The next moment Ducky also came into view and he put his hand on Gibbs's arm. "Shouting at Anthony will not help, Jethro," he said, his voice now calmer.
"It helps me!" Gibbs growled, tearing his gaze from DiNozzo to glare down at Ducky, who merely tipped his head back a little further and held the fierce gaze. It was Gibbs who backed down - again Tony was impressed.
He stared at Ducky in silence for a moment and Tony watched them, as he had done over all the years he had worked for NCIS, hold a silent conversation. Finally, Gibbs sighed and briefly squeezed Ducky's hand before turning back to look at Tony.
The pure fury had gone, but he still looked pale and anger still clearly radiated from him. "What were you thinking, DiNozzo?" he growled, albeit his growl was softer than it had been.
"I imagine he was thinking about saving your life, Jethro." Ducky's tone was calm and conversational.
"I didn't fuck-"
"Jethro! Take Timothy and Ziva and go and examine the crime scene."
Bemused now, despite the insidious pain moving through him, Tony waited to see what the boss would say. For a moment Gibbs said nothing, he just glowered at Ducky. Then he sighed, pulled his notebook out, nodded at McGee and Ziva and strode off.
After hesitating for no more than a second or two, with looks of awe and surprise on their faces, McGee and Ziva hurried off after him.
"Now then, Anthony, let me have a look at your head and shoulder." Tony watched as Ducky, somewhat slowly and carefully dropped down onto his heels and began to examine Tony's head and shoulder. "Now, Anthony, don't worry about Jethro, he only shouts like that when he is worried about someone." Tony blinked and frowned up at Ducky who sighed softly and patted his uninjured shoulder. "You, Tony. Jethro is worried about you."
Ducky nodded. "Yes. Now do you feel sick? No, don't try to shake your head; tell me."
"No," Tony said. "Well, not really. My shoulder hurts, Ducky."
"Yes, well, I'm not surprised. You have a bullet lodged in it and another one grazed your temple." For a moment he just smiled at Tony. Then he said, his tone even softer, "You do know that Jethro was quite aware of exactly where the shooter was, do you not? Your actions whilst being heroic were quite unnecessary."
Of course Tony knew that. He had known it even as he was leaping to push Gibbs out of the way. The boss always knew things like that. But it still hadn't stopped him from doing what he'd done, because . . . Well, what if . . . What if for once he hadn't known? What then? What if the great Leroy Jethro Gibbs's gut hadn't been working correctly? All it took was a split second and . . . He started to tremble and bit his lip.
Instantly he noticed a flash of concern cross Ducky's face as he put his fingers onto Tony's wrist and called, "Mr. Palmer, bring me a blanket and the first aid box, please."
"Didn't know you carried blankets, Ducky."
"Oh, it always pays to be prepared, Anthony. Now I'm going to put a temporary dressing on your head and shoulder whilst Mr. Palmer calls for an ambulance to take you to hospital."
Tony sighed. "Can't I go in the sedan or even your van? I don't need an ambulance. I'm fine, Ducky."
"You're shivering, Anthony, and your pupils aren't reacting quite as I would like them to. Plus, as I said there is a bullet lodged in your shoulder; a bullet which I am unable to remove."
"You'd let Gibbs go in the car. He'd probably insist on driving himself." Tony was aware he was whining slightly.
Ducky chuckled. "He might try, Anthony. However, I assure you that my authority when it comes to medical matters outranks even Jethro. Now try to keep still, my dear boy. Ah, there you are, Jimmy, do come and help me."
EIGHT HOURS LATER
"How you feeling, DiNozzo?"
Tony jumped slightly; he hadn't heard the door open. "Hey, boss. Like I've been shot in the head and shoulder."
Gibbs gave him a fleeting smile. "Doc reckons you should stay here overnight so they can keep on eye on you."
Tony sighed and rolled his eyes. It was what he'd expected, but he really didn't want to spend the night in the hospital. "Do I have to?"
Gibbs shrugged. "That depends."
"If you're prepared to come home with me and let me keep an eye on you. I told the doctor I was used to concussion cases."
"Most of them your own," Tony quipped.
Gibbs glared at him for a moment and then nodded and laughed. "Yeah, you're right there, Tony. So?"
"You don't want to have to babysit me," Tony said hurriedly.
Gibbs shrugged again. "It's me or staying here."
Tony thought for a moment; he really didn't want to spend the night in the hospital, even though he knew it was the sensible thing to do. The concussion was only mild, and given how infrequently someone had been in to prod him and ask him how he was, he reckoned he would be okay to go home.
"If you're sure, boss . . ."
Once more Gibbs shrugged. "You know me, DiNozzo. Never say anything I don't mean. Come on then, let me help you sit up."
"I can - Thanks, boss," Tony said, as Gibbs swiftly caught him as he swayed and held him firmly.
"You sure you want to leave?"
Actually, suddenly Tony wasn't. But the thought of staying there in the heat, his nose being assaulted by the clinical (and worse) smells made him say, "Yeah, boss. I'm sure."
He dressed as best as he could, letting Gibbs help him pull a sweater on rather than put his shirt on and enduring Gibbs tying his shoe laces for him. When he was dressed, Gibbs, once again holding his arm and staying close by him, helped him stand up.
Tony had half expected to feel giddy and sick when he was upright, but to his surprise with his feet on the floor, he actually felt less dizzy than when he had first sat up. "Thanks, boss," he said.
Gibbs just nodded, glanced at him to assure himself he wasn't going to pass out and let go of his arm. However, as they walked along the corridors to the exit he remained close by Tony's side, and Tony was aware that Gibbs was alert, even more alert than he usually was and ready to catch Tony should he fall.
FIFTY MINUTES LATER
"Hey, DiNozzo, wake up."
"Mmmm?" Tony jumped, bit his lip to stop himself from gasping as pain shot through his shoulder and turned his head to look at Gibbs.
Gibbs rolled his eyes. "How many pain-pills did they give you?" And before Tony could answer he said, "At my home. Come on then, let's get you inside."
Gibbs got out of the car, slammed the door and hurried around to the passenger side to open the door and offer Tony his hand to help him get out. Tony accepted the help, steadied himself for a moment before the world once again righted itself as he looked towards Gibbs's house which showed faint lights.
"Do you always leave your lights on when you go to work, boss?"
Gibbs shook his head. "Nah. I asked Tim to collect a few things for you and bring them round. He said something about Ziva cooking something for us."
"Can she cook?" Tony said, and then added, "Oh, yeah, of course she can. Not that I'd know what her cooking was like. I wasn't -"
"Shut up, DiNozzo."
"Shutting up now, boss."
Moving more slowly than he normally would, Tony walked by Gibbs's side towards Gibbs's front door. Gibbs opened it and ushered Tony inside. Immediately Tony's senses were hit by a wonderful scent of something cooking, and the smell of wood smoke; the place seemed warm and homely - quite unlike how Gibbs's house normally felt.
Gibbs closed the door, but didn't lock it. "Ducky said he's pop by later to make sure I was keeping a proper eye on you," he said, taking Tony's coat from around his shoulders and hanging it up with his.
"Thanks, boss." Gibbs just nodded and strode off into the living room; after a moment Tony followed. There they found that not only had several lights been put on and the curtains drawn, but also that a fire had been lit and the table set for two. The wonderful aroma of something cooking was even stronger and more wonderful than it had been in the hall.
"Sit down and try to get comfortable. I'll just see what Ziva's done," Gibbs said. However, he waited until Tony was sitting down before he strode off into the kitchen.
Dinner was good; in fact dinner was excellent; Ziva clearly was a very good cook. Despite how good it was and how hungry he was, Tony didn't eat as much as he normally would; eating left-handedly involved a lot more effort and he was already tired. It touched him, though that Ziva had chosen something that could be eaten, if necessary, with just one hand. So he made himself eat a little more as Gibbs sat opposite him and calmly and methodically cleared two plates of the casserole and drank beer. Tony found he wasn't at all bothered when Gibbs told him he couldn't have a drink; water was just fine.
Ducky dropped by, as promised, and spent a good ten minutes fussing over Tony, slightly rearranging the sling the hospital had put on him and examining the stitches in Tony's head and asking him various questions. Finally, he accepted Gibbs's offer of a whiskey, and Tony sat on the couch, his head back on the cushions and just listened to Gibbs and Ducky talk for half an hour before Ducky drained his glass, stood up, repeated the instructions he had already given to Gibbs at least twice, said goodnight to Tony and Gibbs and left.
THE NEXT DAY
Tony opened his eyes and groaned softly as the pain from his shoulder and head reminded him off what had happened the previous day. He lay for a moment just staring at the ceiling before his bladder let him know he really should get up.
Moving carefully and being as quiet as he could, he wasn't the only one who had had a broken night's sleep, as he remembered Gibbs's frequent visits to wake him up and ask him the questions Ducky had told him to ask him, he made his way to the bathroom and somewhat awkwardly peed. God, it was difficult doing things he normally did with his right hand with his left hand.
He had just managed to squeeze toothpaste onto his brush, well onto the sink, which he then scooped up with his brush, and had began to clumsily brush his teeth when Gibbs came in. He stared at him. "You all right?"
Tony nodded. "Yeah, boss," he managed around the toothbrush, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand as toothpaste splattered out.
Gibbs rolled his eyes. "I need coffee," he said, turning to go. "Then we'll get you bathed."
Tony stared at Gibbs's retreating back, mouth open, toothpaste dripping into the sink. Hastily he closed his mouth around the brush and made an effort to finish brushing his teeth, before he swilled the brush and wiped his mouth. He wandered back into Gibbs's spare room to drag on his dressing gown and push his feet into his slippers (McGee had packed really well for him) before he ventured downstairs and followed the scent of strong coffee into the kitchen.
"Here," Gibbs thrust a mug into his hand and then with his own mug in his hand he made for the stairs. "I'll go and run a bath for you."
"Can't I just have a shower? What?" he said, as Gibbs rolled his eyes and just stared at him.
"You aren't meant to get that wet, DiNozzo," Gibbs said, nodding at Tony's arm.
"Oh. So how come a bath will be okay?"
"Because, DiNozzo," Gibbs said, talking slowly as if to a five year old (and a not particularly bright five year old at that) we can put a plastic bag around it. Now any other stupid questions you want to ask me, or can I go and get on?"
"No more stupid questions, boss," Tony hastened to say.
Gibbs nodded, took another two strides than stopped and turned back to look at Tony. "You sure you're okay, Tony?" His gaze had softened in a way Tony had never seen it, at least not when he'd looked at him.
Tony bit his lip and nodded. "Yes, boss," he said. "I'm fine."
Gibbs stared at him for a moment or two longer before nodding and saying. "Good." He turned to go, he stopped again. "I'll wash your hair for you - you won't manage that."
"Boss! I -" Tony fell silent as Gibbs strode off.
AN HOUR LATER
Gibbs had been as good as he word and after helping Tony get into the bath, reminding him that actually getting into a bath with only one hand wasn't an easy or a particularly safe thing to do, left him alone for quarter of an hour or so to wash himself before coming back and turning his attention to washing Tony's hair for him.
When Tony had dared to ask how come Gibbs did it so well, Gibbs fell silent and still before saying quietly, "Did it for my mom once." Tony hadn't asked any further questions.
Now, once again sitting on Gibbs's sofa, washed, fed, comfortable, his pain-pills swallowed and without the demanding pain he had suffered the previous day, Tony felt warm and content. "Thanks, boss," he said, after swallowing some coffee.
Gibbs shrugged. "Just doing my job."
Tony swallowed. "I know I'm the most irritating - of us kids," he added, when Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "I know Tim, Ziva, Abby, Jimmy even are . . . Less annoying," he added. "But . . . Thanks. You know for . . . Well, for . . ." Gibbs just continued to stare at him. Finally, Tony swallowed again and said softly "Caring."
Gibbs held his gaze and for a moment the dark blue eyes softened as they had done earlier. Then he shrugged, stood up, looked down at Tony and said, "You ever do something as damned idiotic as you did yesterday again and it won't just be a busted shoulder you end up with. You understand me?"
Despite the words and the harsh tone, Gibbs gaze was still not as hard or distant or unfriendly as it so often was. Tony grinned and looked up at him. "Understood, boss," he said.
For a moment they just stared at one another in silence, until Gibbs nodded briefly, turned on his heel and strode into the kitchen.