Four times Tony woke up in pain (and one time he didn't)



Consciousness comes and goes, and he’d really rather it go, because each breath hurts like fire and ice breaking him apart from the inside. There is nowhere he can go to get away from it. He gasps and coughs, and he tastes blood on his lips and then there are nurses, and doctors, and he can barely see through the hazy pain.

But there is one thing he likes about waking. One single thing – a warm hand, fingers wrapped tightly around Tony’s. Tony can’t find the strength to hold on himself, but he rests assured that Gibbs has his six.


He wakes up in the back of a car. He recognizes the smell: Gibbs’ car. He’s hung onto its rails enough times to know it intimately.

“Morning, DiNozzo,” Gibbs says.

Tony blinks and sits up, or tries to anyway. Gibbs is in the front seat, driving, but much more carefully than he usually does. Tony’s body feels like it’s made of lead.


“HQ,” Gibbs says. “You need rest. Doctor’s orders.”

Tony closes his eyes briefly, and remembers. “They’d be dead if I hadn’t been there.”

Gibbs gazes back at Tony through the rear-view mirror.

“You did good, DiNozzo.”


His head aches, pounding with every heartbeat. Finding himself on hard stone, he rolls over with a grunt. The sky above him is endlessly blue, making the elephants stomp around in his head even harder, because there is nothing to settle his gaze on.

Then Gibbs’ face comes into view, and Tony thinks absently that Gibbs’ eyes are the same color as the sky.

“Lucky you’ve got a thick head, DiNozzo.”

“Mh-hm,” Tony says, unable to get his tongue working amidst the elephants.

Gibbs touches the side of Tony’s face. He’s checking for injuries, but Tony enjoys the touch anyway.


Tony wakes up, body hurting. He tastes the metallic tang of blood and his head is pounding; it’s not a pleasant way to awaken. Then again, he’s been unconscious, not sleeping.

He opens his eyes, finding Gibbs staring down at him. Tony wonders how it’s possible for the man to look concerned and annoyed at once, but Gibbs manages. Then again, Gibbs always manages the impossible.

“Ziva?” Tony asks, because the last thing he remembers is them fighting bad guys.

Gibbs holds his hand out to Tony. Grabbing it, Tony knows bad things have happened – Gibbs never helps this way.


Fingers are running through his hair, threading gently, the motion soothing. The hand is warm and a bit rough and calloused, but Tony doesn’t mind. He lets his senses slowly awaken, enjoying the sensation of sweet touches and taking in the smell – sawdust and coffee, because what else would it be? – of his lover. He doesn’t need sight to know.

When he does open his eyes – slowly, lazily – he finds blue eyes watching him, and he knows that this is how it’s supposed to be. This is the way they are supposed to be.

“Morning,” Gibbs says, and Tony smiles.

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1. 2x22 “SWAK”
2. 2x23 “Twilight”
3. 4x04 “Faking it”
4. 6x08 “Cloak”

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