Word Count: ~4000
Pairing/Featured Characters: Gibbs/Tony pre-slash
Warnings and/or Spoilers: No spoilers. Warnings include some violence, language, etc. I dunno about you, but if I were in Tony's situation, I'd be cursing a crapload too. *snort*
Author's Notes: Written for the first challenge over at ncis_slash. This is the photo prompt. Beta'd by my friend Kelly. 3/31/09: Slight edit to a bit of dialogue. I kept reading it over and over, and it was bothering me, so I tweaked it a bit.
Summary: Insane laughter bubbled within Tony, and he couldn't help but think that the Director was going to go ballistic when she found out that several of her agency's cars had been torched in an explosion caused by a rocket launcher.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything except for the lint in my pockets and a bookcase full of psychology and crime books.
Tony held his breath.
He pressed himself against the wall, willing himself to melt into the shadows.
Ziva and Gibbs had better hurry the fuck up, because Tony didn't think that he could stay still much longer. And it looked like McGee was about to piss himself.
Not that Tony could blame him; he was pretty damn close to pissing himself too.
It was pretty much the standard reaction when you were trapped in a rank, musty abandoned warehouse with guards crawling over every surface.
It didn't help that they had AK-47s. And M-16s. Drug runners were awfully territorial of their cargo.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
Tony wished he could shut off his watch; the persistent ticking only heightened his paranoia. Could the guards hear it? They were hidden behind a wall of large crates, and the ticking was really not that loud, but in a warehouse like this that could carry the sound of a pin dropping, did that really matter? Tony resisted the urge to rip off his watch and stuff it in his pocket to muffle the noise. He didn't want to make any sudden movements; for his and McGee's sake, mostly, because the younger field agent might shoot himself in the foot if he was startled.
He had to hand it to McGee, though; most agents with his limited field experience would have given away their position by now.
But it was his fault that they were trapped here in the first place. McGee had taken too damn long with the lone computer in the dirty makeshift office (he kept babbling about some encryption, and Tony kept wondering where drug runners had gotten a sophisticated enough encryption to momentarily baffle McGee, and then he realized that he didn't give a fuck, just as long as McGee hurried the hell up), and Tony had started to hear the telltale signs of footsteps outside. They had a warrant, so it wasn't like they weren't allowed to be here, but they weren't expecting any company; intelligence had informed them that the warehouse hadn't been in use by the drug dealers for a couple of months. Tony frantically peeked out of the grimy window, and he quickly realized that it wasn't just one or two people, but more like ten or twenty. And that's when he noticed the guns.
Yeah, Tony had been able to call Gibbs to inform him on the situation, but that was before the people with the big guns had started milling in. McGee quickly finished up on the computer, shuffled stuff around to make it seem like it was undisturbed, and hurried out with Tony. They had just enough time to duck behind some crates when the warehouse door swung open, and the big guns started storming in.
That was twenty minutes ago, and Tony prayed fervently that the cavalry would get here soon. It had taken him and McGee almost an hour to drive out in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere to get to the warehouse, but Tony doubted that would faze Gibbs in the slightest. The man was hell on wheels when he went out to get coffee; Tony was pretty sure that Gibbs was breaking all kinds of laws of physics to get to his compromised agents.
Tony briefly wondered why no one had bothered to look behind the grates, but then decided that it was only to his advantage that they had no common sense. Even if they did had fancy schmancy encryptions on their computer. Dumb shits.
Shut the fuck up already! Tony silently cursed at his watch.
The hairs on Tony's neck stood up, and for a moment, he thought that they had been found out. But it was a different kind of awareness, and then he realized that he could hear the faint sound of tires on gravel outside. Now, either it was more drug dealers, or it was Gibbs. And Tony's hair stood up like that only when Gibbs was around.
Jesus Christ on a fucking crutch, thank GOD.
A little voice in his head that sounded suspiciously like Gibbs barked at him to never assume, but Tony's gut firmly wrestled that voice to the ground.
Tony made sure McGee was looking at him before silently touching his arm and tilting his head towards the wall behind them, signaling that someone was here. McGee's eyes widened, but Tony shook his head and tilted his head towards the wall again. Comprehension dawned in McGee's eyes, and he could see that the agent was relieved. Christ, Tony himself was about to cry, he was so relieved.
At least, for now. No telling how this major fuck-up could turn out.
“Well, look who we have here.”
Guess he was a tad premature with the “dumb shit” crack.
Tony brought his sig up, and he could hear McGee moving behind him, but the butt of a gun (holy shit that was a big gun) came barreling towards his face, and his nose was soundly smashed in. He fell back, and could hear shots being fired, but he couldn't tell if they were from his own gun, McGee's, or from one of the drug dealers'.
Tony recovered quickly and retrieved his fallen sig, only to have a heavy boot force it's way into his side, presumably searching for his spleen. Tony let out a loud whuff of air, and his sig was knocked away. Dazed from the gun-butt and the kick, Tony's head was forced into a tight headlock. Tony mentally shook himself, and tried to maneuver out of the headlock. The blood streaming from his nose painted a macabre pattern on the dirt floor, and Tony was momentarily mesmerized by it. He looked up to find McGee in a similar position, only with a non-bloodied nose.
Well. This is just swell.
“Looks like we've got a couple of feds here, boys!” The one holding McGee (Tony mentally dubbed him Bull, because he looked just as big as one, only more ugly) said.
The one holding Tony (Tony couldn't get a good look at his face, but he surmised that he was even bigger than McGee's captor, so he'll just call him “Big Fucking Guy Who's Trying To Pop My Head Off”) shook him a little. “What should we do with them boss?”
Tony could practically see the grotesque grin on the giant's face, and he mentally winced. Time to salvage the situation.
Tony scoffed. “What makes you guys think we're feds?”
McGee whimpered, and Tony sent him mental vibes that were along the lines of shut up shut up shut up shut UP.
Bull only grinned. “Your fancy guns gave you away, and you dumb fucks were hiding. Now, why would you be hiding?”
Tony snorted. “Because we didn't want this to happen, duh. Do you see a fucking badge?” His badge was actually hidden in his coat, but he wasn't about to tell Bull that.
Bull faltered. “No, but that don't mean you guys ain't feds.”
“We're trying to help you, you idiot!” Tony glared.
Bull blinked, and Tony was fast getting the impression that the guy couldn't pour water out of a boot that had instructions on the heel. That would only make Tony's job easier, and he mentally grinned.
Bull's eyes narrowed, and his hold tightened visibly on McGee, and McGee scrunched his eyes tight. “I don't believe you.”
“Frankie sent us, you miserable shit. And when he gets wind that you guys ambushed us, you can guarantee that your shit will get fucked up.” Tony snarled. He seamlessly slipped into his self-assigned role, easily supplying the name of the head of the drug ring.
Bull's eyes widened, and Tony knew he had him. “Frankie sent you?”
“Yes, Frankie sent us. Now let us go.”
Bull paused, but then shook his head. “How do I know I can trust you?”
“Oh ye of little faith. I'm just here to do the job Frankie told me to do. You can either let us go, and we can neglect to tell the boss about this little mishap, or we can argue some more, and you can be sure that the boss will find out.”
Where the hell was Gibbs? His Gibbs-senses were never wrong! Tony thought frantically.
“Boss?” The giant restraining Tony sounded confused.
Bull was silent for a moment, but then his eyes hardened. “If we kill you now, we can make it look like it was an accident. Frankie will never have to know, and I'll sleep better knowing you two are dead.”
Tony wouldn't be surprised if McGee did piss himself then, and Tony stopped himself from checking his pants. Shit.
They pushed Tony and McGee forward, and just as they raised their guns, the doors to the warehouse burst open, and agents started piling in.
“Federal agents, freeze!”
The drug runners looked momentarily stunned by the sheer numbers with which the agents poured in, and Tony took the opportunity to disarm the giant, punching him in the nose and taking his gun. He pointed the gun at the giant, chest heaving and eyes wild. He glanced to the side, and saw that McGee also had a gun pointed at Bull, his eyes wide with terror and his breath coming in short bursts.
Go Probie, Tony mentally praised.
Tony lifted his eyes and saw that the agents had all of the drug dealers disarmed and cuffed. He turned his head a little and saw Gibbs stalking towards him, a look of... something on his face. There was most definitely anger there (oh yes, lots and lots of anger), and frustration, and concern, and was that a little bit of fright? His gaze hardened when he took in Tony's bloodied nose. The look warmed Tony considerably, and he grinned. He winced when the action contorted his face in a painful way, and he wiped at his nose with his shirtsleeve.
“Hey boss,” Tony said, grinning through the pain.
Gibbs looked like he was either about to punch Tony or pull him into a fierce hug. Tony briefly hoped it was the latter, but he quashed that thought down mercilessly. He didn't need to deal with that particular emotional fuck-up right now.
He was about to say something witty when the pain in his side made itself known, and he winced. He gently raised his shirt, and he could already make out the signs of a bruise. This one would be for the record books, he could tell. Gibbs' gaze hardened even further, and he pursed his lips.
“C'mon, DiNozzo. Let's get you to a medic.”
“Boss, I'm fine – nothing a little elbow grease and a few Tylenol can't fix.”
Gibbs leveled a “you've got to be shitting me” glare at him, and he crooked a finger at him. “Now, DiNozzo.”
Tony weighed the merits of arguing further, but decided that the back of his head would thank him later if he stopped now. So he silently followed Gibbs.
“You too, McGee,” Gibbs barked over his shoulder. “You're getting checked out too.”
McGee numbly scurried after them, and a couple of medics caught sight of them once they were outside. Two of them immediately rushed over and ushered Tony and McGee aside, eyes narrowed at the state of Tony's nose. It was determined that McGee had come out of the whole ordeal with a couple of bruises and a cut brow from where Bull had blindsided him with a backhand. Meanwhile, one of the medics was trying to convince Tony to go to the hospital.
“Agent DiNozzo,” the medic said sternly, her hands planted on her hips, “we have to check for cracked ribs, and make sure that nose of yours doesn't need any surgery.”
“But I'll be fine,” Tony pleaded. And if a little bit of whine came through, he didn't care. He flashed her a grin. “And call me Tony.”
“DiNozzo!” Gibbs was suddenly beside him, and Tony jumped. “You're going.”
Tony opened his mouth to retort, but a cuff to the back of his head stopped him. Tony's initial reaction was to yelp, but he stopped when he realized that it wasn't a real cuff. It was more of a caress, and Tony shivered. Gibbs' hand immediately drew back, and Tony could see that he was scowling. Tony didn't know what to make of the scowl, and his brow furrowed.
The medic watched all of this with curious eyes, and she only glared half-heartedly at Gibbs for hitting Tony on the back of the head. Apparently, she saw something that didn't exist between them. Nope, doesn't exist, not in this lifetime, DiNozzo, Tony mentally assured himself. Not ever, he added wistfully.
He turned back to the medic, intent on wooing her with his DiNozzo wiles. Just as he was about to pour on the charm, a thunderous explosion rocked the earth. Tony almost fell out of the ambulance, and Gibbs pulled out his gun. The warehouse was in flames, little chunks of wood and fire raining down everywhere. It was almost like Armageddon.
“What the fuck?” Gibbs snarled.
Tony blinked furiously. “I swear to god boss, we didn't find any bombs in the warehouse.”
“That wasn't a goddamn bomb, that was a goddamn rocket launcher.”
A rocket launcher? Neat. Tony didn't question how Gibbs knew it had been a rocket launcher. The man knew damn near everything, it seemed.
A particularly large bit of flaming wood fell on top of an NCIS issue car next to them, and the car crumpled in on itself.
“Oh shit,” Tony said softly, scrambling out of the ambulance.
“Run!” Gibbs yelled, grabbing Tony's arm and running for the open field next to them. Tony briefly wondered why he hadn't grabbed the medic as well, but one look behind his shoulder told him that she was close at their heels. Several agents were doing the same, taking refuge from the flaming debris. Tony stumbled after Gibbs. His nose was throbbing, his side ached, and he wanted to punch the fucker who shot a fucking rocket launcher into the warehouse. What the hell kind of drug dealers used rocket launchers?
The car decided to explode at that moment, and Tony barely stopped himself from falling to the ground. They were far enough away that nothing hit them, but Tony could feel the flames from the warehouse. He turned back and saw that several cars had exploded into flame, the fire licking upwards into the air.
Insane laughter bubbled within Tony, and he couldn't help but think that the Director was going to go ballistic when she found out that several of her agency's cars had been torched in an explosion caused by a rocket launcher.
His amusement must have shown on his face, because the medic was looking at him strangely, and Gibbs had an unreadable look on his face.
Tony heard the shrill sound of a siren, and looked up to see firetrucks barreling down the road. He sighed and rubbed his forehead. There was too much noise, and he just wanted to go home and sleep for the next thirty-six hours. Screw paperwork; he'd end up typing mumbo-jumbo anyway, given his current muddled state of mind.
“C'mon, DiNozzo. Let's get you to a hospital.” Gibbs' mouth pressed into a hard line.
Tony blinked. “Aren't you staying, boss?”
“There are plenty of agents here to secure the scene and talk with the firefighters – I'm coming with you, DiNozzo, so shut the hell up and let's go to the goddamn hospital.”
Tony could only grin at that.
Tony had always hated doctors. They always seemed too cheerful, they almost seemed to enjoy giving you bad news, and they were just downright creepy. The one that he got stuck with at the emergency room wasn't any better. Dr. What-his-face had poked at prodded at Tony's side and nose until he had snapped at him to stop if he wanted to keep his finger. Gibbs, who had been watching Tony being manhandled with hard eyes, smiled slightly at the threat.
Not fazed in the slightest, the doctor said that he hadn't cracked any ribs, but he was going to have a nasty bruise for a while, and that he would be sore (no duh). He also said that his nose didn't need surgery (thank god), but he would have to have it in a splint for the next couple of days (another no duh). He prescribed Tony some painkillers, and sent him on his way. Of course, Tony had every intention of flushing the pills down the toilet when he got home. He'd stick with Tylenol, thank you very much.
Tony grumpily walked out of the hospital, Gibbs following him closely. He got into Gibbs' car and slammed the door shut, glaring at the bag that held his pills. Gibbs deftly reached over and snagged the bag out of his hands.
“I know you, DiNozzo – you were going to flush these down the toilet, weren't you?”
Tony slumped a little in his seat and crossed his arms. “Was not.”
Gibbs smiled enigmatically. “Yeah, I thought so.”
Gibbs put the car in gear and drove out of the parking lot, keeping a relatively sedate pace. Tony was mildly surprised; apparently, Gibbs was thinking about him. Huh.
The drive home was silent, until Tony realized that he wasn't going home.
“I live the other way.”
Gibbs grunted again. Tony blinked.
“You do know I live the other way, right?”
“Of course I know, DiNozzo!” Gibbs snapped. “I'm taking you back to my place. You shouldn't be alone tonight.”
“Boss, I'm not five. I can take care of myself.”
“But you won't.” Gibbs said stubbornly. “You're gonna go home, you're not gonna eat, you're not gonna take your pills, and you're probably gonna stay up all night watching a stupid movie.”
“I wasn't gonna.”
“I'm taking you back to my place,” Gibbs continued as if he hadn't heard him, “and I'm gonna feed you, make you take your goddamn pills, and you're gonna go to sleep. Understood?”
Tony mumbled something about stubborn Marines and stupid pills, and Gibbs shot him a glare, but it was softened by the amusement lurking in the corners of his eyes.
He really could get used to those blue eyes.
Tony mentally banged his head against a wall. He wasn't going to survive, he wasn't.
Tony stayed silent for the rest of the trip. He glared at Gibbs' house when it came into view, and grumbled when the car stopped and Gibbs sharply told him to get out and get inside. Tony opened the front door, shaking his head at the fact that Gibbs never locked it, and walked inside. Tony felt warm hands at his shoulders, and he was practically shoved into the kitchen.
“Sit.” Gibbs said pointedly, pointing at a kitchen chair. Tony slumped in one, his brow twisted in a scowl. It was all just a show, really. He was mentally doing cartwheels in his head, ecstatic at the chance to be in Gibbs' house. Tony refused to think that he was only here because of a near-fatal clusterfuck.
He watched Gibbs move around the kitchen, moving from the fridge to the cabinets to the microwave. Tony craned his head to see what Gibbs was heating up for him, but he couldn't see a damn thing. Suddenly, a plate of lasagna appeared in front of him.
Tony blinked at his plate.
“Oh for Christ's sake, DiNozzo, just eat it.”
“Where did this come from?” Tony rubbed the back of his head.
“I made it a couple of days ago.” Gibbs shrugged, taking out Tony's prescription from the inside of his jacket. Damn, he had hoped that Gibbs had forgotten about it, and... wait-
“You made this?”
“When did you get all domestic on me?” Tony grinned.
“I'm not getting domestic,” Gibbs rolled his eyes. “It's just nice to not have take-out every goddamn day.”
Tony put a hand above his heart and fluttered his eyelashes. “Be still my beating heart, a man who can cook.” He said this with his best imitation of a southern belle, but he supposed that the image was ruined by his nose splint and bruised face. Gibbs snorted.
“Just eat it. When you're done, you're taking your pills. Says here you're supposed to take them with food.”
Tony dropped his hand and scowled. “I don't want to take them.”
“You're gonna take them, and you're not gonna say one more word about it.” Gibbs glared at him.
Tony stared at him. Gibbs stared stoically back, and Tony blinked. He huffed, and picked up his fork. He dug into his lasagna, and was only mildly surprised that it was good. Better than good, actually. He should have known; Gibbs never did anything half-assed. If he made it, it wasn't anything to turn your nose up at.
When he was finished, Gibbs pushed a bottle of water and two pills at him. Tony pursed his lips, and he opened his mouth to-
“Don't even think about it, DiNozzo.”
Tony's mouth snapped shut, and he grabbed the bottle of water. He glared at the pills one more time before snatching them and popping them into his mouth, chasing them down with a slug of water. He grimaced. He was not looking forward to the effects; there was a reason why he didn't take painkillers.
“Open your mouth, DiNozzo.”
“Oh come on, boss!”
“Open.” Gibbs' tone brooked no argument.
Tony rolled his eyes and opened his mouth, lifting his tongue and wiggling it around. It wasn't how he really wanted to wiggle his tongue while he was around Gibbs, and good god, he needed to stop thinking about that.
He stood up and headed in the general direction of the living room, and he stumbled a little. The painkillers were already working; he could feel himself getting more and more sluggish. And only a little bit loopy. He hoped he didn't do anything stupid.
Gibbs caught him and steadied him, and when did he stand up? The man must be part cat, Tony wondered briefly.
Tony was guided to the living room and pushed down onto the couch until he was laying down.
“Why boss,” Tony said before he could stop himself, “if you wanted to get me horizontal, all you had to do was ask.”
His foggy brain registered his own comment, and Tony's eyes widened.
But Gibbs only smiled enigmatically again, and went to get a blanket and some pillows. Tony brought his hands up to his face, but found that he couldn't clutch at it in despair, due to the nose splint. Christ.
Gibbs was back, and he carefully arranged a pillow behind Tony's head and placed a large quilt over him. Tony attempted to smooth over his last comment with a more lighthearted joke.
“So, you're a domestic and you're tucking me in. You must be Pod Gibbs.” Tony paused, and he squinted at him. “Are you Pod Gibbs?”
Gibbs shot an exasperated look at him, apparently not going to indulge Tony by dignifying that with an answer. Gibbs turned around and switched off the lamp.
Gibbs then knelt beside Tony, and Tony shut up. Gibbs reached out and cuffed Tony on the side of the head, but it turned into another caress. Tony shivered again, and closed his eyes. When he opened them again, Gibbs had an unreadable look on his face, as if he were trying to read Tony. And then he smiled softly.
“Go to sleep, Tony.”
Gibbs got up and left the living room, but Gibbs could have disappeared in a shower of glitter, and Tony wouldn't have noticed.
Gibbs had called him Tony.
Gibbs had called him Tony.
Tony blinked, and grinned. Maybe it could happen in this lifetime.