NCIS: Jethro's Secret


Just like in old Romero's movies, people were dawdling around the hospital - zombies look alikes whose daunting fate and remnants of their petty lives, made them decay - mentally, physically; made them more decadent.

Wretched, ill, dejected world moved in the hospital. Vanquished, squeamish people were pleading for help, for someone to end their dreadful pain, to gag their conscience, to gag its discouraging talk.

Blood drops and the hospital beds were in every corner. Doctors were striding around, wearing blue uniforms. Nurses were 100% occupied with their consecrated work; carrying medicaments and grains of hope to their patients.

Hard, neverending life of the hospital, congested with human traffic.

One familiar patient, blinded by the yellow beams of lights, approached the reception desk, leaning his crutches against it.

"Special agent, DiNozzo", the nurse began, looking at Tony surprisingly. "It's 4 AM, you should be asleep, not jumping around".

Her angry voice slowly faded away. An ordinary look on her face was replaced by a big smile.

"I can't fall asleep, I need someone to tuck me in", DiNozzo said smirking.

Pain and pleasure interlaced on his face, tinged with his Italian charm, made the nurse walk him back to his room, stroking his back. A grin, firmly glued to his face touched the nurse's heart.

"Was my Boss here"? DiNozzo asked leaning on her warm body wrapped in white uniform.

"Special agent Gibbs"? she asked back. "Yes, he was here most of the time and when he wasn't, he kept calling asking how you were".

Tony didn't reply, just kept smirking.

"Special agents Todd and McGee were deply worried about your condition, special agent DiNozzo".

"Tony", he hackled, "call me Tony".

"Oh", she continued smiling. "Dr. Mallard surprised me with his British accent and all those historical stories. And Abby... She ran in screaming asking after you anxiously. You're lucky to have them as friends, special age-, I mean, Tony", she corrected herself.

"I know", DiNozzo replied with an absent yet satisfying and alluring look on his face.

"Tony? Can you say 'Hello' to special agent McGee? He's a cutie pie"! The nurse asked, dashing DiNozzo's jolly thoughts. She left him speechless. He was gaping at her with a frown on his face. A Cupid's arrow missed his heart, turning Tony's exultant moment into a nightmare.

"Yeah, he's one hell of a cutie pie", DiNozzo retorted covering himself angrily with a blanket. Once again, he showed off his childish manners.

The Headquarters was asleep. Kate and McGee's noisy and confused activities incinerated as Gibbs walked in.

"I called the hospital an hour ago. DiNozzo was asleep but doing well", he said chucking an empty paper cup of coffee in a garbage can.

"It's so nice to hear that, Gibbs", Abby screamed gleefully, hopping from the lab. She jumped on Jethro and emraced him so tight; like a little girl embracing her dad on the lonely road, leading him back home from war.

Gibbs tapped her on the back smirking yet looking at the distance. Her chocolate scent reminded him of DiNozzo.

"I have some work to do", he began. "It's 5.30 AM. McGee, you can grab some sleep in that coffin in the lab; Kate, you can use a chair", Gibbs smiled at them leaving the headquarters behind.

"Argh", Kate grumbled pouting.

Accelerated footsteps invaded the headquarters. The sun was up in the sky, spreading its shimmering light. The warmth wafted into the headquarters.

"McGee, did you take my toothbrush"? Kate asked with her eyes half shut, sporadically glancing at DiNozzo's desk.

"No, Kate, I did not", McGee said convincingly.

Gibbs was molesting his computer while Kate was maniacally flung into finding her toothbrush. Shrouded in the mist of his own thoughts, McGee asked politely:

"Shall we go visit Tony today? It's 10 AM already".

"Yes, McGee, we shall go", Gibbs said, trying to figure out the computer configuration.

"What the hell is a torrent"? Gibbs rolled his eyes, violently waggling the mouse.

"Boss, it' s a noun of a simple meaning; violently rushing stream of water; in a figurative speech it means a violent outburst while in the computer world-"

McGee kept strutting back and forth in small steps yet proudly, suddenly bumping into Gibbs. McGee paused his gingerly jabbering.

"I'm sorry, Boss", he said modestly, picking up the papers from the floor.

"You better be, McGee", Gibbs retorted quickly, glimmering out a lark; girdled with his cynicism.

"We can bring him a chocolate", Kate interupted gaping at Gibbs's sudden yet fierce movements. "It's awkward without Tony", she admitted. "It's quite odd not seeing him sprawling around, sleeping under the desk...", Kate's nostalgia wept away her toothbrush madness.

The grinning appearance of DiNozzo congested with warm feelings and annoying manners, was eavesdropping.

"You missed me"? He bawled, leaning on his crutches.

"TONY"! Kate scremed. "How long have you been standing there"? She asked with a puzzled look glowing from her face.

"Long enough", he replied, smirking at her.

"DiNozzo, what the hell is wrong with you? What are you doing here"? Gibbs said furiously; holding back an outburst of happiness. "Is your brain demaged? Get your ass back to the hospital"! He shouted, cynically showing his indulgence.

"Boss, I can't go back there, the nurse turned me down. She likes McGee", DiNozzo said frowning at Probie. "I felt like Richard Gere in "Runaway Bride", he continued holding his head down".

"Richard Gere was left heartbroken in the church, not hospital", Kate interrupted haughtily, wishing to provoke Tony.

"I know, Kate, I was just testing you", DiNozzo guffawed, deliberately mocking her.

Gibbs sniggered secretly, not letting them perceive how much he enjoyed having DiNozzo back, listening to his childish jabbering.

A jiffy of perpetual foolishness was impaired by Gibbs's shouting:

"Petty officer, reported missing yesterday, was found dead in Norfolk. Kate, pack your bags and snatch your toothbrush from DiNozzo's hand. McGee, go get the van! DiNozzo, you're staying here!"

A smile vanished from Tony face. The gaiety that was present in the air, wasn't perceived in DiNozzo's eyes. Gawping at Gibbs, he said gladly:

"Boss, I can walk without the crutches, I don't need them", he said hopping to Gibbs, showing off his well rehearsed rendition. At the same time, he was clenching his teeth, trying to fulfill a den of pain with his sarcasm.

He hopped to Jethro in small jumps, placing his hand on Gibbs's shoulder saying:

"You missed me, Boss, it's written all over your face".

"DiNozzo, don't make me kick your ass", he talked back wryly.

Tony's unpredictable comeback lifted up the spirit within the crew. Bruised, wounded, covered in plasters, he didn't wipe a big smile on his face away. His foolish manners, childish heart and intrinsic humor, brought the happiness back to their faces. Their hearts.

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, dear Tony, happy birthday to you...", was reverberating through the air.

Abby's nightingale voice interlaced with the voices of Kate and McGee made Tony blush like a boy on his first date. A grin on his face and his heart, thumping with excitement were indefinable. He turned at Gibbs who was foolishly smiling; refusing to sing. DiNozzo frowned at him, humming the Happy Birthday melody.

"I'm not singing, DiNozzo"! Gibbs yelled, glancing at a creamy, chocolate cake in Abby's hands and a gift box wrapped in a colorful paper.

Silence and warmth pervading through the air, surrounded by anticipation, fulfilled Tony's heart; amplifying a tepid feeling inside him as he began to open his present. His eyes were shining with excitement and joy, mixed with childish foolishness as he ripped the box that was hiding a miniature Corvette car.

"Holy Elflord, a mini replica of my stolen beloved Corvette"! He shouted stroking it.

DiNozzo was staring at the toy car, smirking, trying to find the words to describe his happiness. He didn't find them; silly expressions and a gawping look on his face required no words; his face was as image worth more than thousand of them.

"Make a wish", Abby said lighting up a candle on the cake.

"Wishes don't come true, Dinozzo", Gibbs interrupted quickly, smacking him twice on the back of his head.

"This one just did, Boss. Twice", Tony replied grinning, licking the cream off his fingers.