Title: Untitled at this time
Story Fandoms: NCIS and Possibly Criminal Minds
Story Relationship: Tentative Tony DiNozzo/Aaron Hotchner
Story Characters: Tony DiNozzo, Dr. Brad Pitt
Story Warnings: NCIS AU Post Requiem
Notes: This story will go AU for NCIS after Requiem.
Tony sat in Brad’s office coughing as the doctor listened to his chest. It was two days past his dive into the Potomac, and it was getting harder to breath. The cough was becoming deeper and had gotten to the point that even he couldn’t ignore it. After saving Gibbs and Maddie Tyler, he’d been forced to work the scene even though his chest was burning, and the EMTs had wanted to take him to the hospital with Gibbs and Maddie.
McGee and Ziva hadn’t help matters either. For once he could understand Ziva not getting what Tony was going through since she hadn’t been around when he had the Plague. Tim though, while for once he’d followed Tony’s orders while Gibbs was gone, hadn’t seemed concerned at all about the fact that Tony was only getting colder, and his lungs began to hurt more and more the longer he had to stand on that dock.
You’d think that at least Ducky would have been concerned, but he only seemed focused on Gibbs and Maddie. By the time that he was done, he was freezing, and a cough had firmly settled in his chest. So, instead of going back to the office, he’d called Director Shepard and explained that he’d do reports in the morning.
His friend and Doctor had immediately put him on a regiment of antibiotics and a breathing treatment, with orders to come back in a couple days. The next morning before Tim and Ziva had gotten to the office, Tony was there filling out sick leave forms, and meeting with the director. He’d thought maybe his absence would remind someone that he in no way should have been diving into that river with his compromised lungs. All he got though was a voicemail from Ziva about him being a baby and trying to get some of the attention away from Gibbs.
So, there he was as ordered, sitting on Brad’s table coughing as his friend and doctor listened to see if the fluid in his lungs had gotten worse. “I want you to take at least a full week off from work, Buckeye. Most likely though, it’s gonna be closer to two weeks before I release you for work.”
“Sure thing, Wolverine,” Tony said between coughs catching the Pneumologist off guard.
“What?” The physician questioned startled. “No arguments?”
Tony shrugged as he kept his eyes focused on the wall behind the doctor. “What’s the point? I do know when I’m too sick to work despite what everyone thinks of me.”
Instead of replying immediately, Brad straightened to look at his friend closely. “OK, what else is wrong. Because, if you’re not fighting me to get back then there’s something I don’t know about. You’re always rushing back and putting your own health in jeopardy so that you can watch their backs.”
“But, who is watching mine?” Tony asked subdued lowering his gaze to study the floor in the exam room attached to Brad’s office. I pulled two people out of a car at the bottom of the river, and then had to give them both CPR. I had to work a crime scene in the cold with a chest that was burning, and I was already coughing. The only person that has called me was Ziva to bitch at me and make sure I remembered how worthless I am.”
Tony paused when another cough wracked his chest and wanted to double over. The lack of air from the length of the cough made him start to panic against his will. Had Brad not also been his friend, he probably would have. As it was, the calming feel of the former Wolverine’s hand running up and down his back as he coughed kept him on the right side of the edge he was standing on.
“Tony,” Brad began when his patient could finally breathe again, “come on into my office so we can talk.”
Nodding, Tony stood and buttoned up his shirt before trailing after his friend. After they were both settled on the couch in his friend’s office. Brad looked at him seriously, and Tony knew he wasn’t getting out of a conversation he absolutely didn’t want to have.
“I hope that I don’t have to tell you how serious what you said is,” Brad observed. “I know that I’ve never done your job, but even I know that if you don’t trust the people around you to have your back then eventually someone is going to die. What does your Step-Dad say about all of this?”
Unwilling to answer right away, Tony turned his head and looked out the window at the people down in the courtyard. Tony’s mother Claire had divorced his father Anthony DiNozzo Senior when Tony was five after she realized just how he earned his money. He was pretty sure that had David Rossi not been at the park the day his mother, already smashed at not even noon in a Tuesday, taken him to play his life would have gone much differently.
Rossi had been fresh off a divorce from his first wife, and mourning the loss of his son, which had been the catalyst for the marriage ending. He’d later in life told Tony that going to the park had been both a comfort and a punishment that he thought he deserved. To the present day, Tony had never been able to fully convince the man that he hadn’t been even partially responsible for James’ death.
When the Italian noticed the state his mother was in, he’d approached her ready to tear her a new asshole for not appreciating how precious her son’s life was. Somehow though, he’d found himself caught up in the woman’s grief at the newly found knowledge of how her husband made a living. Having grown up around people like Senior, he understood what she was going through and lent her a shoulder to cry on. Only, that wasn’t the last time that he made an appearance in their lives, and adult Tony guessed that a shoulder wasn’t the only thing he’d offered her.
Not a year later, Senior was in jail and David Rossi was quietly marrying Claire Paddington DiNozzo. Eventually, Senior pissed off the wrong person while behind bars and was killed. Rossi had offered to adopt him, but there was a part of Tony that just couldn’t give up his father. Besides, as he told him, he didn’t need a judge to tell him that David Rossi was his father.
When Tony’s mother died when Tony was 8 after a car accident, the FBI agent hadn’t even hesitated in making sure Tony understood that he wasn’t going anywhere. Fortunately, his mother left a will that named his step-dad as his guardian, and while sad at her absence, he’d known that his life could have been much worse.
Over the years, he and Rossi had gone through their ups and downs. Tony hadn’t been a fan of either of his step-dad’s next wives, and frankly hoped that he was done with that mess. To be honest, he thought the man had a horrible taste in women, but since he had was very firmly in the men category, what did he know. He hadn’t talked to his step-dad since ending up in the river, mostly because he knew that he’d just gone back to the BAU, and didn’t want to disturb him.