Title: Saving Charlie
Fandoms: NCIS, Hawaii 5-0
Characters: Tony DiNozzo, Charlie Edwards (Williams), Steve McGarrett, Danny “Danno” Williams
Warnings: Non-Cannon Compliant: NCIS, Mild Angst, Child in Danger, Anti-Abby, Altered Tony Exit Information, Possible Spoilers for Tony’s Exit, Not Beta Read
Word Count: 1983
Notes: Tony’s exit from NCIS is mentioned, but with my own spin. So, it isn’t true to cannon. It’s close enough though that I added the spoiler warning.
Summary: Tony leaves NCIS when the worst of all possible lies is uncovered. After traveling the world, he saves an admiral’s godson, and ends up at a beach house in Honolulu. Who knew that it would lead to so much more?
Tony was sitting in a chair watching the wave’s crash into the rocks near the beach house he was staying at. Life was more than a tad directionless, but he wasn’t sweating it. One of the first things he’d decided after leaving NCIS was that he was putting himself first.
As he contemplated fruit, masaladas, or fruit and masaladas for breakfast, a little boy ran in from the neighboring yard. He couldn’t help but smile at the sight of the blond headed child. Appearing to be completely happy as he ran across the sand, it looked like the boy was headed toward the rocks Tony had been watching. The second the thought entered his head, he realized no grownup was coming into view. His eyes wandered back to the waves, with his body already in motion.
Fearing he wouldn’t get to the kid before he reached his destination, his brain created the horrific image of the child falling and drowning, or breaking his body on the sharper rocks hidden underneath the surface of the water. As he ran toward the boy, panic boosted his adrenaline. In the distance, he could hear someone yelling, but tuned them out. He didn’t have time for whomever it was. Most likely being the parent just realizing the boy had escaped from wherever they were staying.
To his horror, his fear was realized. The boy hit the rocks and begin to climb, blissfully ignorant of the wave surging back toward him. As Tony ran he could see the water closing in out of the corner of his eye. It was as if it was racing him to see which one of them would reach the boy first. He was still afraid he wouldn’t beat it.
It was like the old cliché of time slowing down.
Waves crashed into the rocks.
The boy startled, losing his grip, falling from where he’d climbed.
Tony put all of his weight onto the foot planted in the sand to push off.
Pain exploded in the bad knee joint.
He felt the old injury tearing under the stress, as he launched himself through the air to catch him.
The child screaming as he fell.
The waves crashing relentlessly.
The sound of the panicked father crying out in the distance.
His arms wrapping around the boy felt better than any touchdown pass at OSU.
Rolling his body, he thrust the boy into the air, trying to hold him above the waves.
Water rolling over his head.
His back hitting the rocks.
The force of the water movement jolting his head downward into the sharp stones.
His last thought before losing consciousness was that the boy was going to drown. It would be his fault.
The force of a cough wracking his body returned him to consciousness. The familiar sensation made him try to curl into a ball with his body was screaming in agony. At the same time it felt like he was burning alive. He panicked when he couldn’t move as far as he wanted.
“Hey, don’t do that,” he heard an unfamiliar male voice advise. Hands stilling his movements. The faint island accent registered in his mind, but gave no clues to the identity.
“Please, no blue lights,” he muttered almost mindless. The fever raging through his body made thinking almost impossible. “Hurts, boss. I promise, no permission. Please.”
“Shh,” a woman murmured as he settled onto his back again, not having the strength to fight the hands holding him down. He heard the door open, and someone call his name.
“Sorry, boss. Don’t drown. Tried… save. Please. Sorry.” The darkness was too strong. In his weakened state, it was already pulling him under.
The next time he woke up, it was much more calmly. His chest still felt tight, but his head felt clearer. He also no longer felt like he was burning where he lay. Opening his eyes, he recognized the familiar sight of a hospital room, and his mind began slowly piecing together the events that must have sent him there. He vaguely remembered sitting by the ocean at Admiral Chegwidden’s beach house in Honolulu.
He remembered seeing a child running across the sand. Then panic and pain after that. He remembered a faint feeling of grief and failure. Little by little as he lay there the memory became clearer, and his anxiety increased when he couldn’t remember if the blond haired child lived.
“Special Agent DiNozzo,” he heard. Rolling his head toward the sound, he saw a familiar looking dark haired man. “Tony? Are you back with us?”
Tony saw the man reach onto the bed, and push a button. His mind began flipping through NCIS cases on its own, until settling onto one that involved a Naval Intelligence Unit. “Lt. Commander McGarrett?”
Before the SEAL could reply, the door opened leading to a nurse walked in. “Yeah, buddy. I’m gonna let Nurse Helen do her thing, but I’ll be back in when she’s done.”
A large part of Tony didn’t want the man to leave. His fear of hospitals was no joke. He felt his hands twining in the sheets on the bed as he tried to focus on what the woman was saying, along with not begging the man not to leave.
Despite his best efforts, he was much more anxious when she and the doctor left. The pneumonia wasn’t unexpected thanks to his scarred lungs. Nor was the concussion, which he could still feel the lingering effects from. He still couldn’t remember if the boy lived, and now he had all this medical mumbo jumbo going through his head giving him all kinds of new problems. Firstly, what the hell he was going to do for the next seven to ten months including the time he’d have to wait for surgery?
He certainly couldn’t take up Admiral Chegwidden’s beach house for almost a year. He still wasn’t sure why the older man offered the place up to him, but he hadn’t been of a mind to turn down a vacation in Hawaii. Sure he’d saved the man’s godson, but he’d saved plenty of people in his career usually without even a simple thank you.
Searching for and finding the bed controls, Tony ran his options through his head. He was still in the process of making himself more comfortable when the door opened, again. It was Lt. Commander McGarrett coming back in with a blond following close behind. When the unfamiliar man made a dart for his bedside, Tony studied him silently.
“If I wasn’t afraid of hurting you, I’d hug you. I owe you more than I can express, and Mr. Super SEAL will tell you I don’t normally suffer from a lack of words. My son Charlie would be dead if it weren’t for you. Anything I can do for you. Just name it. Seriously, consider 5-0 at your disposal.”
Tony felt a rush of relief fill him as the father’s words registered. Turning his attention to the only one in the room he knew, Tony questioned Steve, making sure he understood.
“Charlie is the boy, Lt. Commander? He lived?”
He watched Steve smile at him, feeling a familiar tingle. There had been an attraction to the SEAL when they’d met. Time certainly hadn’t dulled his interest.
“He is, and he did. Special Agent DiNozzo, this is Charlie’s father and my partner Danny Williams. Danno is right. 5-0 will help you any way we can while you recover. Charlie is ohana, and therefore we all owe you a debt of gratitude.”
Laying his head back onto the pillows for a moment, Tony looked at the ceiling. “It’s just Tony now Lt. Commander McGarrett. I don’t work for NCIS any longer.”
“That is NCIS’ loss, Tony. I remember you being one hell of an agent. If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t have caught that man when your team helped mine. Please, call me Steve. I moved to the Reserves so I could lead the governor’s task force 5-0 here in Honolulu.
“What are you doing now that you aren’t with NCIS? We could always use someone with your experience. Didn’t you tell me back during our case that you were a cop before you joined NCIS?”
Before Tony could speak the blond, Danno Tony remembered Steve saying, spoke. “This is an excellent idea. I approve of this offer. I can use all the help I can get with Super SEAL here. It’s bad enough that he’s corrupted our rookie into being as reckless as he is. Please, tell me you understand the importance of paperwork.”
Tony chuckled despite himself. He turned his attention back to the blond who made him homesick in a way he hadn’t felt in years. There weren’t many fond memories of Long Island, but it was still home. “New York or New Jersey?”
Danno puffed out his chest as he answered. “Newark, New Jersey born and raised.”
Tony grinned big at the answer. “Long Island, New York.”
“Finally!” Danny exclaimed, stepping closer to the bed, and taking Tony’s hand excited. “Someone on this island who understands what real pizza is. Can you believe they think fruit belongs on a pie?”
Tony made a face. “Pineapple is for fruit salads, not pizza. I’m a rebel though. I warn you. I like sausage on mine with the pepperoni and extra cheese.”
“This I can live with,” Danno declared waving around his free arm. “Sausage is an additive I can approve of. Just for that I volunteer Steven’s house for you to rehabilitate in. Maybe you can talk some sense into him. I’ve tried for over 6 years now with no luck.”
“Oh I couldn’t…” Tony started, but found himself cut off by the former SEAL.
“You know, Tony, normally I would argue with Danno just on principle, but in this instance it’s a good idea. We contacted Admiral Chegwidden, and got his permission to get some of your stuff out of the house. He said you could use it as long as you need, but I think the doctors are gonna want someone to help you. I have a bedroom downstairs you can use. Between Danno and Kono we have plenty of experience with knee injuries. Staying at my place is the least I can do to repay you for saving Charlie. Maybe 5-0 will benefit from that outside the box mind of yours.”
He wanted to argue, but there was something in those brown eyes. Some promise of more he’d been waiting for and thinking about for going on ten years. He certainly didn’t have any other options. The world traveler routine was getting old, and he missed being a cop. Once upon a time he’d thought maybe the best thing he’d ever done was join NCIS. Now he knew it was the worst decision he’d ever made.
NCIS meant Gibbs, which meant Ziva. Ziva meant Talia, which meant lies, deception, and pain. The daughter that wasn’t his. Friends he’d thought he could count on, who stabbed him in the back with false paternity tests. Friends who let him believe he had a child, then told him it was for the greater good when the truth came out. Friends who when the dust settled were nothing more than backstabbing enemies.
Steve McGarrett had been one of the most honest and honorable servicemen he’d met while with NCIS. Hawaii had always been a dream. Maybe he’d even buy a 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSI, and live in the guest house of a mansion. Maybe he’d just fall in love with a former US Navy SEAL, and work on the governor’s task force.
“You might be able to convince me.” Tony offered casually, but the grin on the other men’s faces brought his own to the surface.
“Say, do you know anyone who has a Ferrari 308 GTSI for sale?”
End Notes: This is my answer to the Tony DiNozzo prompt on Rough Trade.