At least I'm walking out of this alive, though I wonder how long that condition will last as I see Gibbs heading towards me, the glower in his eyes obvious even at this distance.
"I'm fine," I say as he reaches me, though fine is a relative term at the moment. I'm walking and I'm alive, the fine part's an obfuscation for Gibbs' benefit.
He grabs me by the arm and spins me around as I start to walk past him. "What the hell were you doing?"
"My job, Boss. It's what they pay me for."
"You were told to stay put till we got here," he snarls, giving my shoulder a good shake for emphasis in case I missed the point.
"Yeah, and if I had, she'd be dead now," I reply, nodding over my shoulder to Ziva, who's being helped out of the warehouse by a couple of medics.
Gibbs looks over at her then pivots back to face me. "You! Stay here!" he orders.
"Yeah, whatever," I mutter. Truth be told, I couldn't go any further if I wanted to, and believe me I want to. Want to get as far away from Gibbs and his anger as I can. My knees have a different plan though and as I watch Gibbs stride over to check on Ziva, I sink down onto the ground, wishing there was a wall at my back that I could lean against.
I pull my jacket away from my chest and peer in surreptitiously at where Martelli's bullet had hit me. I was wearing a vest, and even though the impact had sent me flying backwards, I'd thought the vest had caught it. There's blood dripping from a gash across my arm though, and it hurts like a mother, so I figure the slug must have glanced off the vest and ricocheted across my shoulder. Figures. DiNozzo luck, my mom used to call it whenever I fell off the same ride at the park that everyone else walked away from unscathed, or caught the latest kid disease going around when no one else we knew had even had it.
I wipe a hand across my sweaty forehead and watch Gibbs help Ziva up into the back of the ambulance. No gurney for David. She's one tough chick. I can't help grinning as I think that if she heard me calling her that she'd probably show me just how tough she is by kicking my balls up into my throat.
"Tony, you okay?"
I look up into Tim's concerned face. "Hey, Probie. Nice shooting." He'd taken out the guy who'd been about to blow me away.
"Thanks. Ziva okay?"
I frown as I think about that. My head's feeling fuzzy now all the excitement's over. Adrenaline letdown, I think as I slump down further.
"Yeah, she's got a concussion. Those goons beat her up pretty bad," I finally get out. I fix my eyes on Tim's shoes, hoping it'll help me focus. They're nice shoes, really shiny. I grin up at him. "Hey, Probie." His face does a slow, dizzying whirl and I hear myself say, "Oh crap," as the nice shiny shoes rise up and whack me right in the face.
"I know you're awake, DiNozzo."
I'm glad Gibbs knows because I'm not too sure, or at least I'm not too sure I want to be. Oblivion was pretty nice while it lasted - no pain, no blood, no Gibbs yelling at me and slapping me upside the head.
Figuring I might as well get it over with, I crack my eyelids open. "Hey, Boss," I croak out.
Gibbs picks up a glass of water and puts the straw to my lips. "Drink," he orders.
I obey. I'm thirsty anyway. I wait till he puts the glass back on the sidetable then ask, "How's Ziva?"
"Concussed, bruises, lacerations. They're keeping her here overnight."
"Can I see her? I just want to tell her I'm glad she's okay-"
"She knows you're glad, DiNozzo. You busted in there to break her out with no backup in sight." He gives me a grin that has absolutely no humor in it. "You'd better be glad she's okay after that."
"I didn't feel I had a choice," I say quickly, struggling to sit up. It's really hard to sound forceful when you're lying flat on your back.
Gibbs watches me wriggle around then suddenly leans forward and helps me sit up, stuffing an extra pillow behind my back. "Comfy?" he asks.
I wince. The pillow's pushed my injured arm up into an awkward angle and it twinges. "Yeah," I reply. "Fine."
There's a knock at the door and a guy wearing scrubs and a white coat walks in. "Mr. DiNozzo, we haven't been formally introduced. I'm Doctor Marsden. I sutured the wound in your bicep. Took eight stitches. Not bad for someone who was wearing a vest." He looks impressed; Gibbs looks bored.
"DiNozzo luck," Gibbs and I both say at the same time. I raise my eyebrow at Gibbs and he shrugs.
"Well, anyway, I'm happy for you to be discharged providing you have someone who can keep an eye on you. Do you live alone?" the doc asks.
"Um, I just got shot in the arm, Doc," I remind him. "It's a flesh wound. I don't need a babysitter. I've been hurt worse than this-"
"And when you have been hurt worse than this, you would have been kept in hospital at least overnight, isn't that right?"
"Well, yeah, but it's not like I have a really bad concussion or anything."
"But you did pass out for some time. You do in fact have at least a mild concussion. Now, I'm more than happy to keep you here but Special Agent Gibbs said he thought you'd prefer to be released as soon as possible so-"
Gibbs stands up. "He lives alone but it won't be a problem. I'm taking him to my place." He smiles at me, the smile never reaching his eyes.
I slump back on the pillow, the groan seeping from my lips not caused by pain this time. 'DiNozzo, you've really done it this time.'
An hour later I'm following Gibbs into his house, trying not to pay too much attention to how well his ass fills out his jeans.
Oh yeah, haven't I mentioned it? I, Anthony DiNozzo, have a serious jones for my boss, the very good-looking, very heterosexual, thrice-married, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. See, everybody thinks I'm into women too, and I am. I love them. I just don't want to sleep with them.
My thoughts come to a sudden halt as I slam into Gibbs' back. He looks over his shoulder at me as I yelp in pain. "Is your boo-boo hurting, DiNozzo?"
"Nope," I manage to grit out between clenched teeth. I'm plastered up against that fine ass and DiNozzo junior's decided to stick his head up for a looksee.
Gibbs turns around so that I'm now plastered up against his chest, and a very nice chest it is too. He looks down between our bodies and raises an eyebrow. "Is that for me?" he asks casually.
I step back, shaking my head. "Just a reaction to the stress, Boss."
Gibbs follows me and I keep backing up till my back hits the door I'd just closed behind us. I swallow as Gibbs keeps coming, looking like nothing more than a big cat stalking its prey. He stops a breath away from me. "Something you want to tell me, Tony?" he asks.
I shake my head and place a hand over my injured arm, hoping that a visual reminder that I'm wounded will stop him from killing me.
"Do you like guys, Tony?" His voice is almost a purr, and I flick a quick glance into his eyes. His pupils are dilated, making his eyes look dark with something I can't define.
"Yeah," I say finally, relieved to have it out in the open. I don't think he's going to fire me because I'm gay, after all. He reaches a hand out toward me, and I flinch involuntarily, but instead of the expected headslap, he cups it behind my neck and pulls me towards him.
"Do you like me, Tony?" he whispers across my lips.
I nod jerkily and he laughs softly then presses his mouth to mine and kisses me like I've never been kissed before. I swear to God, DiNozzo Junior's doing high fives.
Gibbs pulls away and looks into my eyes and I suddenly recognize the look in his. Lust, love, all in one sweet, smouldering gaze. "I like you too, Tony," Gibbs says. "If you ever, ever pull a stunt like that one today again, I will take you upstairs, handcuff you to the bedrail and-"
"Um, that's hardly a deterrent, Boss," I squeak out.
"Jethro," he whispers in my ear and I shudder at the sheer intimacy of it. "I will take you upstairs, handcuff you to the bedrail and wallop your backside with my belt till you can't sit down for a week. You got that?"
I nod. "Yeah, I got it."
"I got it, Jethro," he says, and I parrot the words, grinning as he plants a sloppy kiss on my forehead.
"Let's go upstairs and I'll give you another reason not to sit down for a week." He reaches down, pats DiNozzo Junior on the head, then grabs my hand and leads me upstairs.