Chapter1: Recovery part1:
Gibbs watched as the nurse whose name was Emilia was checking Tony's vitals he had just gotten wheeled out of the surgical recovery room and settled into a regular room. He was so proud of his son for having the surgery that he refused to have for so long. This was the beginning process to getting his son back to the confident self reliant Tony he knew and loved, not the shell of a man who came home from Germany with his world shattered after the explosion on the Reagan. He still could not believe it took his bastard of a biological father or "sperm donor" as Tony started calling him to get him to realize he had a viable future. That he was perfectly capable of living a normal and productive life, even if he could not be a field agent again. Vance had even offered him several positions that would suit his skills as an agent and investigator.
His thoughts went back to when Tony came home had was settle in at his grandparents home, and how he was so depressed despite everyone including Vance reminding him that NCIS stilled him even if he could not be a field again. It took Gibbs an entire month before finally giving into finding a replacement for Tony. Tony's replacement took another month to fill as Gibbs and Ziva scared off at least ten potential candidates. Finally they settled on an agent from the San Diego office. Mark Turner was a former Navy SEAL and was well used to grumpy marines like Gibbs.
Though he did miss Tony on the team, he missed his insights and out of the box thinking. The team was finally adjusting to the new senior field. Mark had been an agent for six years before his wife finally convinced him to move back to the east coast. She wanted their children to have more time with their grandparents who lived in Norfolk and DC. He like Mark's wife Rachel, she kept him in line with a glare that put Gibbs glare to shame. Gibbs chuckled the first time he visited their home for a welcome diner and Mark made a snide remark that would have earned a DiNozzo worthy head slap she gave him a glare worthy of his own and a slap in the head with a dish towel in her hand. Mark's only response after rubbing his head was sorry dear, before continuing the table conversation. Mark and Rachel had three children Mark Jr. 8, Kristie5 and little Sean 3, with Rachel expecting her 4th baby another boy any time now. At the office Mark was on pins and needles waiting for the call. Ziva and Tim teased him contently every time the phone rang.
The surgery was the easy part, the surgeons installed all the appliances and microchips that would run his new legs. Dr. John Carson at Bethesda Naval Hospital performed the surgery with his partner orthopedic surgeon Dr. Christopher Henderson. Dr. Henderson was one of the premier surgeons in limb replacement surgery on the east coast. The hard part was going to be the physical therapy and learning to walk.
Hearing his son stir on the bed, he puts down his ever present coffee cup and reaches to hold his son's hand. "Hey, welcome back" looking at a slightly confused Tony turned his head to see who was talking and smiled when he saw his dad. "Hi, dad" he said softly. "Hi"
He tries to say more but his greeting is cut off shooting pain coming from my legs. "You ok? Son, Tony, are you in pain?"
"Hurts" Tony said as his face scrunched up in pain. Jethro, pressing the call button to get the nurse or doctor to give Tony something for the pain. The waiting seems like forever when it was only a few moments for the same nurse who was checking Tony's vitals to return with the doctor in tow. "The nurse will be here in a moment" holding his son's hand. The nurse Walker stepped over to Tony along with his surgeon Dr. Henderson. "Look who's awake" said the doctor "how are you feeling Tony?"
"Hurts!" said Tony with his eyes closed and his face still scrunched up in obvious pain.
"Where does it hurt Tony can you tell me on a scale of one-ten?" ask the doctor.
"My legs hurt, like they are on fire." Tony replied skipping the number the doctor was asking for it hurt too much to talk. I am holding my son try to stay calm for him. Tony's poor face is once again twisted in pain, trying to will the pain away as the doctor turns to the nurse giving her orders.
"Ok, Emilia, let's give him some morphine for the pain. While I check my handiwork" The nurse stepped out for a moment to return with the pain meds and the doctor put it in the IV, while Dr. Henderson checked the bandages on his legs. Tony, sighed in relief as the medication did its work and went back to sleep. "Looks good Jethro, the pain should subside soon. I'll come back and check on him in a few hours. Just let him rest for now and I would limit the visitors until he is up for it." Jethro smiled as most of the team and his grandparents were now in the waiting room, waiting for news about Tony.
"Thanks Doc" Jethro replied still holding his son's hand, watching him sleep.
The team had come in as a group to see Tony. Each of them coming in two at a time the first to surround his bed with concern on their faces, they were hoping to see him awake were Abby and Tim. Tim just touched Tony's shoulder trying not to wake him from his slumber but wanting to make sure he was ok. Abby took his other hand and was the first to speak. "Hey Tony" she said to the sleeping man. "Hey Boss" said Tim. "McGee, Abs. Abby continued talking "I thought the doctor said he was awake, I wanted to talk to him" said Abs, "how is he? Is he going to okay now? When will he get out, you know how he feels about hospitals." she continued, not letting Gibbs get a word in as she looked down at the still form of her friend
"Abby" I said, "Abby if you stop talking for a moment, I will tell you what the doctor said" giving her my usual glare. "He woke up a few minutes ago and the doc just gave him some pain meds so he is out again." I answered still watching my boy sleep. "He will be fine Abs, don't worry" I aid as I noticed the concern on her face. "He needs to rest and recover from the surgery before he is release, it will be at least a week or two as you know from before the surgery. Now, why don't you and Tim go home, get some rest, Tony probably won't be awake again for hours come back tomorrow, he will be more awake then."
"But Gibbs, we just got here, can't we stay" see whined.
"No Abby, the doctor wants him to rest and is only allowing short visits.
"Ok, but I will be back first thing tomorrow" she answered, as her and Tim said their goodbyes and left. I
Once Tim and Abby leave Ziva and Ducky entered to see Tony and again he said what the doctors told him as Ducky was looking at his chart and turned to squeeze Tony's shoulder before taking his leave. I watched Ziva stand beside his bed for a few moments saying a prayer in Hebrew, then said goodbyes and promises to come back tomorrow.
Sal and Sofia stopped by a few hours after the team had come to look in on their grandson. They also stayed a short time to give me a break to find some food and coffee. The floors coffee was worse than tar. Luckily there is a Starbucks down the street. An hour later I come back with three coffees and some pastries for Sal, Sofia and myself.
We sit in silence for a while just listening to the monitors recording all Tony's vitals. Another hour passed and Sal and Sofia take their leave. I am here again a lone with my son as he sleeps peacefully and I doze off in the chair as well.
As the sun came down Tony wakes up briefly from his drug induced nap, still a little high from the morphine he received earlier. "Dad, your still here" he said still groggy and confused, surprised to see Gibbs in the exact position he saw him earlier. "Where else would I be?" not giving him a chance to answer "how are you feeling, any better?" "A little still hurts a bit but not as bad a before, will it ever stop hurting dad." With the drugs in his system making him more honest than usual in his responses with regards his health. "It will son, do you want me to get the nurse to give you something?" "Nah, I think I will go back to sleep" he mumbles as his eyes close again and he is fast asleep.