Disclaimer:- I do not own NCIS or any of its characters. Any copyright infringement is unintentional.
SUMMARY: - While investigating a murder at a remote country property, Tony, McGee and Palmer are cut off from the others by a hurricane. One is dangerously ill. Can the others keep him alive and can Gibbs get to them in time?
It was Friday 1800 hours and Tony was seated at his desk. He was finishing the last of the paperwork from the Harrison case that they had successfully closed earlier that afternoon.
Ben Harrison was a 23-year-old midshipman accused of the savage beating of his ex-girlfriend. Harrison had gone UA from his posting at Norfolk but Gibbs' team had managed to locate him. Unfortunately, when Harrison spotted the team closing in, he took off like a startled rabbit. He was deceptively fast and easily outdistanced both McGee and Tony over the first 100 yards.
McGee slowed to phone in their location and direction to Gibbs and Ziva who were in the sedan attempting to intercept their course. Over the longer distance Tony's fitness proved superior and he quickly started to make up ground. They had sprinted for 2 city blocks, before a flying tackle by Tony brought Harrison to the ground. He made no further attempt to resist arrest as Tony quickly cuffed both hands behind his back. Harrison and Tony remained on the ground sucking in deep breaths as they waited for the rest of the team to arrive.
Gibbs brought the sedan to a halt with the usual screech of tires and acrid smell of burning of rubber. Tony dragged Harrison to his feet and guided him into the backseat of the car where Ziva began to advise him of his Article 31 rights. He grimaced a little as he leant against the car, still breathing heavily.
"You okay, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked.
"Sure, Boss," Tony answered. "Just a stitch. Nothing to worry about."
After they had returned to the office, Harrison had quickly wilted under the pressure of Gibbs' interrogation technique and had provided a full and detailed confession in near record time. Only thing left to do now was to write up their reports and head out for the weekend.
Tony had been looking forward to this weekend for months. Not only was this to be the team's first break in four weeks, but his good friend and frat buddy, Jason Matthews, was getting married in three weeks time and, as best man, Tony had organized the bachelor party.
He could barely keep the smile from his face as he hastily typed his report, printed it out and placed it on Gibbs' desk. He swung his backpack over his shoulder and turned to his younger teammate.
"Don't do anything that I wouldn't do, Probalicious!" He paused slightly, "and if you do…take pictures!"
McGee gave him a wan smile. "See you Monday, Tony." After a sudden thought he added. "Hey, Tony! What about the hurricane? Won't dampen your big plans for the bachelor party, will it?"
"No way, Probie! According to the National Weather Service, that hurricane isn't even headed in this direction. Besides, our plans are strictly of the indoor variety." He gave McGee a wink and turned to leave. McGee didn't even want to think about what he meant by that.
Ziva, Gibbs and Abby entered the bullpen just as Tony was leaving.
"Did I say you could go, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked.
"You said we could leave once we'd finished our reports, Boss," Tony answered, praying that they hadn't been assigned another case. "My report is on your desk, so I was just-". Tony pointed his hand towards the elevator, indicating his intention to leave. However after recognizing the dark expression on Gibbs' face he quickly moved his hand to point at his desk. "- I was just gonna wait at my desk until you say I can leave."
Ziva and Abby smiled as they watched Tony's expression change from delight to despair in seconds and he sat sullenly at his desk, muttering under his breath.
Gibbs knew of Tony's plans for the weekend but couldn't resist the opportunity to yank his chain a little. Seated at his own desk he picked up Tony's report, noting in his peripheral vision, that Tony was watching him anxiously and waiting to be excused.
Gibbs read through the report. In true DiNozzo style, it was concise, accurately detailed and contained all required information – no more, no less. He noted the younger man's pained expression, as he checked his watch for the fourth time in as many minutes. Gibbs read the report a second time as Tony huffed his impatience.
Finally Gibbs head shot up to look in Tony's direction. "DiNozzo!" he said brusquely, barely containing his grin as Tony practically launched himself out of his chair. "Is this a draft copy or your final report?"
Tony looked panicked. "It's my final report, Boss," he said tentatively. "Is there a problem?"
Gibbs' eyes narrowed highlighting his peeved expression. Tony was bracing for the onslaught. "DiNozzo, this report-" he said. "-this report is fine. Get outta here, see you Monday."
"Yes!" Tony said excitedly pumping his fists in the air. "See you Monday!" he called over his shoulder as he ran for the elevator.
Abby called out mischievously. "Hey, Tony! Don't forget! The groom's supposed to get stripped naked and tied to the traffic light, not the best man! Watch your back! Remember what happened last time?"
Ziva and McGee exchanged stunned looks.
Abby shrugged. "It's a long story…. but a very good one!" she said with a wicked smile.
Work was almost behind him and the weekend with his frat brothers beckoned. The elevator doors were almost closed when, unbelievably, he heard Gibbs bellow again. "DiNozzo!"
Tony placed his hand between the closing elevator doors and desperately tried to disguise the exasperated expression on his face. "Boss?" he answered.
"Remember, you are an NCIS Special Agent, not a frat boy on spring break – behave yourself!"
The words from Tony's mouth said "Yes, Boss!" but the split watermelon grin on his face said the opposite as the doors finally closed and he was gone.
Truth be told, Tony's weekend with his frat brothers was not going to be anywhere near as raunchy or salacious as his teammates thought. They imagined strip clubs and lap dances; beer bongs, copious amounts of alcohol, scantily dressed, buxom girls and corny pickup lines. Tony didn't deny their presumptions; hell, he openly encouraged them. After all, the "Sex Machine" had an image to maintain.
He met his friends for drinks before heading out to watch the Washington Wizards from the courtside seats that had cost them each a week's salary. After the game, they went to dinner and a nightclub where, admittedly, there was a lot of alcohol; the odd scantily clothed buxom girl and the odd corny pick up line.
They left the noisy, over crowded nightclub and headed for an Irish Pub that was located about a 15 minute walk from Tony's apartment – or a 20 minute stagger, depending on your alcohol intake. There they revelled in the familiarity of good friends, easy companionship and lots of old stories that had grown larger than life in the years since college. After grabbing a couple of chilidogs from the sidewalk vendor, they called it a night at 0400 and headed for home.
Although not directly in its path, Washington DC was already feeling the effects as the hurricane built up force and momentum, bringing torrential rain and gale force winds. There were reports of wide spread damage and flooding but mainly in the more rural areas surrounding the city. Tony woke once or twice to the sound of buffeting winds and heavy rain against his bedroom window and bemoaning the chilidogs that were waging a tempest of their own in his stomach.
Later that afternoon, feeling a little worse for wear, but fortified by a supply of vitamin B, antacid and Tylenol, Tony joined his college pals at the gym for a game of basketball. Their annual Buckeye reunion match against a local amateur league team coincided beautifully with the bachelor party weekend. Tony showed that while he had lost a modicum of speed since his glory days as starting point guard for Ohio State, he had lost little of his skill. During the forth quarter, he called for a time out and a substitution as a sharp pain pierced his lower abdomen. He remembered feeling the same pain after chasing down midshipman Harrison on Friday. The pain had disappeared within minutes, so he dismissed it as another stitch and subbed back into the game.
By Saturday evening it was back to Tony's apartment for beer, pizza, more exaggerated stories and an all night poker game with the brothers. Tony was still unable to shake the residual effects of the previous night and after only two beers, decided to stick to water. This attracted quite a few barbs from his frat brothers who fondly recalled that the "Sex Machine of old" had the constitution of an ox. These days, despite what some would say, Tony knew his limits.
The storm was still raging over the city and surrounding areas. At one stage, a power outage had everyone rummaging around for candles and matches, but the poker game continued well into the early hours of the morning. There was a brief break in the storm at around 0530 when "last hand" was called. By 0600, Tony had waved goodbye to the last of his frat brothers. The normally house-proud agent grimaced at the empty beer bottles, pizza boxes and potato chip bags strewn around his apartment but as he still wasn't feeling too well, he decided the cleanup could wait until he'd had some sleep and he headed to his bedroom.
The storm had returned with a vengeance. Sheet and fork lightning and deafening thunder added their presence to the devastating winds and pelting rain. Tony pulled the covers a little higher and hunkered down to sleep, still feeling nauseous and wondering how he had survived four years of hard-core partying during college.
Three hours later, the front door of his apartment silently opened and a man stepped cautiously inside. The darkened apartment looked trashed. Eyes sharp, he removed his side arm from its holster. Passing through the living room he quietly stepped into the bedroom, reaching his arm out towards the sleeping man.
Thanks for reading, L