A/N: Thanks to everyone who commented I am doing some major rewrites to make things flow better and more accurate. Note I am not a medical person so some of this maybe poetic license on the authors' part, but for all you experts please chime in, it will help in the future. This is my first attempt at this so all commentary and critiques are welcome, be kind.
Chapter 1: Waking up
Anthony Dominic DiNozzo woke up in a cold sweat he had be having another nightmare about that day. At first he didn't know where he was until he looked down at the blanket covering his body and realized his legs were not there. It wasn't a dream, it was real and he remembered every detail. A day after waking up he was hoping it was a dream.
Later that evening he awoke in the bed, he was angry when realized I am alive, He didn't know where he was but he did remember what had happened to him, he started to cry uncontrollably, there was an older man sitting at his bedside, telling him everything would be ok now, that he wasn't alone, that he had people who cared a great deal about him. He had the next several hours crying on the old man's shoulder and he comforted him and told him that all would be well with time and that he would not leave him alone.
When he woke up again in bed, nothing had changed, his legs were gone and it was daylight, the sun was streaming through the windows and he saw and old man at his bed side, at first he thought it was Gibbs, grey hair, almost the same build but this man was a more muscled, also the eyes were different they were green like his not blue, it wasn't until he noticed the calloused scared hand took his own that he recognized the voice that said, "hey look whose awake."
"Grandpa is that you?"
"Yes who else were you expecting?"
"No one I guess" He started to cry again.
"It's ok Bambino, I am here" said his Grandfather, moving to the bed to hold his shaking grandson.
Three weeks before back in DC NCIS headquarters he was called into Vance's office for a special assignment.
"I am temporarily assigning you to the USS Regan in the gulf as Agent afloat for a month." Seeing Tony's face the director continued. Don't worry DiNozzo it's not permanent. Just temporary until Agent Foxboro is available from the pacific fleet. Our current agent afloat Nani York is going on maternity leave and we need a short term replacement. And Gibbs approved the temporary reassignment. Just think of it as a vacation at sea. Be at Norfolk at 0630 tomorrow."
Leaving the director's office, Gibbs saw his face, "oh don't worry DiNozzo its only temporary, we are a little short on agents afloat and we are kind of slow here. So think of it as a vacation."
"Thanks Boss, that's just what Director Vance said. Guess I need to pack" grabbing his things, and said goodbye to Ziva and Tim before heading to Abby's lab to tell her he would be gone a few weeks.
One week before the accident:
Upon boarding the Regan he is given an empty officers quarters and he unpacks his things. The chief petty officer gives him the standard tour of the ship and he meets the Captain Raymond McCallaster.
For the next week all was routine, he took reports from three crew fights, one harassment charge and one drug charge, nothing usual from his last time as agent afloat. There is a knock on the door. A petty officer says there is a fight in the laundry area and he is needed to take witness statements. Grabbing his cap and note pad they head out.
As they enter the ships laundry area, it is hot and steamy and two ensigns are battered and bruised. Ensign Jones and Ensign Warren give their conflicting statements on who started what. When all of sudden there is a bang. A steam pipe explode and everyone ducked for cover.
What happened next is a blur for Tony, he remembered seeing a blast of smoke, hearing a loud bang, something exploding and flying towards him and something searing hot land on his legs. The pain was incredible, there was blood everywhere and he didn't understand until a group crewman freed him from the steam pipe that landed on his legs and he noticed something was wrong. One the weight was removed he thankfully blacked out.
Later when he came around briefly they told him that his legs were amputated, the weight of the pipe had crushed his legs and there was nothing they could do.
A few days after the accident, Remstein base hospital:
Unsure of where he was, he looked around the room and realized he was in the hospital. Boss was going to kill him for getting injured again. Where was the Boss anyway where was Gibbs? Whenever he ended up in the hospital he was always there. He suddenly remembered the pain and he looked at the blanket covering him and realized something was not right. It took a few minutes to process that his legs were missing. Freaking out, he started shouting incoherently with Drs and Nurses rushing into room. Seeing him awake, the calmed him and explained about the accident aboard ship.
With tears running down his face he turned away, wanting his father very badly to tell him it was going to be ok, as the sedative they gave him took effect, he fell asleep.
A short time after he woke up, his doctors were just walking in to see how he was doing. They introduced themselves as Dr Noel Parker neurosurgeon and Dr. Burton Conner orthopedics. He didn't understand at first what they wanted, and why they were staring at his legs or lack thereof the damage that was done, the lower halves of his legs were gone. What did they care! he thought angrily. The Dr's were explaining his options for prosthetics and what his future will hold, and his willingness to try out new experimental limbs. But first they discuss healing process that needs to occur before he gets the new legs, first the swelling of the remaining parts of his legs needs to go down, then his other injuries needs to heal and lastly they need to determine what if any nerve damage was done when his legs got blown off. This was just too much to take in. When they finally asked if he had any questions, Tony exploded "I don't want new ones, I liked the ones had." Tony immediately apologized as both doctors nodded their understanding as they continued to explain. There was a knock at the door and all turned to see a man at the door.
"Looks like you have a visitor" at first he thought it was Gibbs, but as his vision cleared he saw General Salvador Castel enter the room all of sudden he broke down and cried "Grandpa, my legs are gone." Sobbing as the older man sat carefully on the bed next to his grandson. The Dr's murmur they will be back later to discuss next steps. As he watched the doctors leave the room. Tony told him everything that happened.
Over the next two weeks, he and the Doctors discussed when the surgery will be, with the excellent progress of his remain legs healing they figure about another month, They say the recovery will take months, depending on how the surgery goes at least 6-12 months before he will be fully recovered and able to walk again, but they said he will be able to do all the activities he had done previously. But what most concerned him was would he still be allowed to be a field agent. What did his future at NCIS contain, but for now it was one step at a time.
Present - hospital room
He had been in the hospital for nearly three weeks now, the same amount of time he was assigned to be agent afloat on the Regan. All he knew was that his grandfather was taking care of everything and that made him happy, because he didn't know what to do, what the future would hold. It was a boon to him to have the old man there. He listened to him rant, rave and go ballistic or even cry. Sometimes Sal just yelled back at him like one of his raw Army recruits, other times he just silently held him.
Tony continued his quiet talk to this grandfather, semi-retired General Salvador Castel his maternal grandfather. Sal was visiting the base to report on operations and to catch up with his old cronies from back in the day. Vets like himself who had seen enough fighting to last a life time. He had a good relationship with Sal, and he knew like Gibbs he would never turn him away, unlike his father. He also knew that of all people he would understand the nightmares, depression and fears for the future he was experiencing.
Sal sighed and looked at his grandson he was so like his mother, he thought, stubborn and never letting his true self out for fear of getting hurt. Very few saw the true Anthony DiNozzo, Sal counted himself one of the lucky few who knew what lay underneath the masks his grandson showed the world. Tony continued talking about the dreams and it made him feel good that he was at least talking about how he was feeling and what he was experiencing. Dr. Barnes had told him exactly how to deal with Tony's sudden mood swings from good to bad and so far so good. They had decided to that Sal would notifying NCIS, first he called an old friend Admiral Wayne Fitzgerald at the Pentagon to find out who at NCIS should be notified of the events that past these last three weeks. Dr. Barnes a had suggested keeping him on base a few more weeks before shipping him Anthony back to DC since his grandfathers assignment at Remstein was almost over. This would also give her a chance to start treating Anthony as a patient to deal with the trauma he has been through. She noted to him that Anthony was very good at hiding things all she could do was hope he would open up.
Chapter 2 - NCIS headquarters the three weeks after the accident on the Regan, the day Anthony was due back.
Admiral Fitzgerald just arrived and was looking around and saw a familiar face. "Gunny, good to see you again." He said to Jethro.
"Admiral it's good to see you too, it's been a long time, how have you been, how are those grand babies."
"Getting bigger every day, Vanessa is three and Seth is 5," he smile and then turned serious. "Walk with me Jethro, I need to see Leon and you should be there too."
"What's up Wayne."
"Boss" McGee looked up "still no answer from Tony, his cell is going to voice mail, and not answer on this land line, he was supposed to be back from the Regan, a few days ago. Do you think he was delayed on the mission?" Tim asked.
"I don't know McGee, try the GPS on his phone."
"On it boss" Tim is typing away at his computer it's coming up now Boss" hitting a few more keys to put it on the plasma. "Looks like he is in Remstein, Germany sir on base."
"What the hell is he doing in Germany?" Gibbs fumed and turned to the Admiral.
"Jethro, that's why I am here, just come with me, we need to talk and in private about Anthony."
"You do, what's going on Wayne" turning a little angry, and a lot concerned.
"Out with it Wayne" glaring at him.
"Just follow me, Gunny" returning the glare for glare, "I need both you and Leon to hear this first, then you can tell your team and his friends." Getting worried stares around him as everyone stopped, "please Jethro, let me explain first but not here, there's been an accident on the Regan, Anthony was injured pretty badly. Is there some where a little more private please, besides Leon will need to know as well?"
"Ok." Gibbs said flatly, walking with the Admiral to Leon's office. He was looking at Ziva and Tim who were looking scared for their friend and dying to know what happened he gave a them a look of when I know so will you.
As they watched Gibbs and the Admiral walked away Ziva and Tim, start talking at the same time that are babbling and yelling at each other.
"Do you know what is going on?"
"Accident" cried Abby who joined the group staring at their friend's empty desk.
"NO" Ziva snapped, worried about Tony.
"Have you heard anything?"
"McGee, I know as much as you do"
"Ok" Should be call Ducky, maybe he heard something?"
"Call me about what Tim" Ducky asks as he comes into the bull pen looking for Gibbs. "Where's Jethro"
"Vance's office" replied Tim
"What happened?" asked Ducky
"We don't know, something about an accident on the Regan and Tony being hurt." Said Ziva
"Gibbs went to find out Duck."
" Then we wait."
"I hate waiting"
Chapter 3 NCIS Directory Leon Vance's office
Leon Vance is sitting at his desk, reading reports when his secretary Cynthia rings to say Admiral Fitzgerald and Agent Gibbs to see you sir. He answers send them in. He wasn't surprised to see him, given the report he just read. "Admiral" getting up to greet the older man, "good to see you."
"You too Leon, I wish it was under better circumstances."
"I assume this about DiNozzo, I just read his report and that of the doctors"
"Report, What Report!" Gibbs shouts angrily"
"How's he doing?" Vance continues ignoring Gibbs for a moment longer.
"Taking it day by day when I spoke to him yesterday with General Castel."
Gibbs interrupts "would somebody tell me what the hell is going on? What happened to DiNozzo?"
Wayne takes up the tale and Gibbs takes it all in.
A half an hour later they are on a MTAC feed to Germany from Vance's office, talking to the man himself.
Tony looks horrible, pale and gaunt and his voice soft and thick with emotion as he tell the tale of what happened two weeks earlier.
NCIS headquarters Director Leon Vance's office
After he told his tale, answered all their questions, and before he turned off.
"Dad" looking at Gibbs
"Yeah son" answered Gibbs with a slight smile. "What do you want Anthony?"
"Will you come?"
"You bet, let me make the arrangements, and I'll call Sal with the details, ok."
And the connection closed.
"Son?" asked Vance
Gibbs looking directly at Vance said "Yeah, I adopted Anthony when he was 13. His father Senor is a real a bastard. Read the reports its' all there." Taking a piece of paper from the desk, "here's the file number, and access codes, it's an interesting read."
"I'll bet it is." Watching Gibbs turn to leave the admiral and Vance. "And Gibbs, I'll process your vacation papers. Will a month do?"
"Yeah Leon, thanks" closing the door.
Chapter 4 – The team
The moment Gibbs got back to his desk he was assaulted by his team, they wanted to know everything, everyone including Abby was taking over one other to be heard. Finally he said. "If you shut up a moment I'll tell you what I know." For the next few minutes he explained and it was Abby who broke the silence. "He will be ok Gibbs won't he" "Yeah Abs he will, he just need a little time. Oh and I'll in Germany for the next a week or so, so don't cause too much trouble." Grabbing his things from his desk, as he turned to leave Ducky stopped him. "Is he really ok Jethro? Why aren't they shipping home there are some excellent rehab facilities here."
(The rest of the team starts to chatter in the background as Gibbs and Ducky goes off to the side to continue the conversation slightly out of ear shot of the rest of the group).
"I see" sounding skeptical about the arrangements, it wasn't until the mention of his doctors being involved in the decision that changed his mind.
"Duck, I also spoke with his psychiatrist Dr Barnes and she said him adding he needed help and that he wanted where he was is a big step. So let it be."
"He admitted? That is unusual for him. But I am glad", the elderly man smiled.
"Yes it is Tony rarely admits to anything." Smiling "he is going to be there for another two-three weeks before they ship him back."
"Where will he do his rehab?"
"Bethesda for the moment, since they have a unit that specializes in people who lost limbs and has an excellent reputation for getting folks back on their feet."
Back to Germany Tony's hospital room
He is sitting with his grandpa Sal and it is early evening.
"Tony, are you ok, why are you crying?" looking concerned and wondering what the phone call was about.
"That was Grandpa Jackson, Gibbs father, he said he was coming"
"Yeah" feeling kind of overwhelmed by love he never felt before
"Well isn't that something, now you will truly be surrounded by family Bambino.
Sal though as he walked out, finally healing, finally getting back on his feet, this is good, and having family around is better.
The phone rings just as Gibbs is finally leaving the office. He made all the flight arrangements with the Admiral. Now what he thought as he answered the phone. "Gibbs"
"Leroy" recognizing his father's voice on the other end.
"Kind of in a hurry dad, what can I do for you?"
"I just got off with your son I'll be on the next flight to Germany, just got to call the travel agent."
"You're going to Germany?" Unable to keep the surprise from his voice.
"He's my grandson Jethro. It's family."
"Can you get down to DC tonight, I am on a military flight and I can get you on."
"Sure, where do I meet you?"
And they worked out the details.
Chapter 5 Home again One month after accident
Tony had stayed in Germany for another few weeks recovering before be transferred back to the states. He was grateful to have his Grandparents Sal and Sofia, Grandfather Jack and father Jethro at his side. Family now meant the world to him. They were there when he was happy, sad and frustrated by the recent events. He still could not believe that his grandfather Sal had gotten himself reassigned to an administrative position at one of the Army recruiting stations in Maryland so they could be close to their grandson.
Brief Flashback reuniting with Grandparents – two years before incident
He remembered the day well when they were reunited. His father was such a bastard that he would not let him see his own grandparents growing up, at least when he was living with him, before his Dad came into the picture. Now all those years later he remembered being at a party for the Secretary of the Navy, he was on security detail for Director Vance and he saw a lady that looked familiar across the room. Ziva had asked who he was staring at she thought it was the leggy brunette, next to the silver haired lady. But it was the older woman Anthony was staring at. She looked up from where she was talking to the young naval officer to see him staring at her; recognizing him came immediately over.
"Antonio?" she said
"Si, Sofia?" I ask
"Nonna" giving her a big hug, they switched to English when Ziva and the young officer exchanged looks question. "Ziva David, Sophia Castel my grandmother." "Nonna Ziva."
"Pleasure to meet you Ziva"
"You as well"
Then the Anthony and Sofia go off for a private chat to catch up after all these years and Ziva spots them walking up to one of the Generals attending the party and sees the joy on then man's face as his wife and Tony approach. Hugs are exchange...
Chapter 5.1 - Visitors
When the team arrived for their first visit at the hospital nearly two months had passed since the accident. Everyone was just standing around looking at me and was not sure what do. He had made it easy for them by rolling over to give Abby a hug, and then Ziva, Tim and Ducky as his father watched.
They had talked things over and the told them about the accident in detail. He even told them in a few more months he would return to work at the office, he didn't know about field work yet, but he remember the conversation he had with his grandmother said you have other skills Antonio use them she scolded. At first he was like no way. I am a field agent I don't want to be anything else. But she reminded him if you are good at field work, yes, he had to nod. So what do you do when there are no big cases, how do track down leads, get your evidence, research, you use computers for that right? He had to respond yes. After their conversation he contacted the director and was offered him a technical analyst position and with a computer so he could work and keep busy. They would reevaluate the field work in few months
Chapter 6: Bethesda Naval Hospital – 9 months later
Sunday afternoon: day before surgery
Sophia was standing next to him, in his room as they waited for the transport to arrive. It was Sunday and the big day was tomorrow. His legs had finally healed so the doctors could perform the necessary surgery for his prosthetics. It had been very difficult home coming. He was wheel chair bound since the accident. He hated losing his independence. But both his grandfather's both Sal and Jack would jumped on his case whenever he thought that way, reminding him that he was alive and had a life. It really helped to have them there.
Monday, Afternoon – Surgery completed
Dr. Jonathan Reynolds is walking down the corridor to speak to Anthony's family. There is quiet a group there were at least a ½ dozen people waiting. He smiled to himself, all patients should be this lucky. Seeing him smile his father raises from his seat and he tells them the good news. "The surgery was a success, the new mechanics were put in for the prosthetics and now once the swelling goes down in another week or so, the doctors will measure for new legs. Then he learns to walk again."
"That is good news" comments Ducky
"When can we see him" ask Abs
"Not for a few hours, he is still in recovery and it will take a few hours to come out of the anesthetic and move him to a room"
Monday, evening, visitors- family and friends :)
A/N more to come