NCIS - Requiem Alternate Ending.

A/N - Okay - I've finally managed to edit it and spread out the paragraphs so they arent so intimidating-looking! Thank you for readin, reviews appreciated!

Tony sat back on his heels, breathing deeply and trying to fight through the wave of nausea threatening to take over.

Looking over his shoulder, he smiled slightly as he saw Gibbs sit up, cough slightly and make his way over to Maddie to check she was alright. Immediate relief washed over Gibbs' features as she blinked hard and began to come around to her senses.
Suddenly McGee and Ziva came running from inside the warehouse, falling to their knees by Gibbs and Maddie. McGee had already pulled out his phone and was in the process of calling an ambulance.

'Tony!' Ziva cried, catching sight of him fall onto all fours and retch – only to bring up grungy brown water, 'Tony, are you alright!' she said, rushing to his side and gently rubbing his back.

'J-Just peachy, Ziva' came his muffled reply, 'H-how's Gibbs?' the rest of his sentence was cut off by another round of harsh coughing, 'A-and M-Maddie? I h-had to give them b-both m-mouth to mou-mouth but I-I didn't see what hap (he coughed) happened next...' Yet another cough racked his shaking body and he was left gasping for the oxygen his beaten body was craving.

The ambulance had arrived and Ziva backed off, leaving more space for the medics to do their jobs. She could only watch as Tony shrugged off any help and insisted they tend to his Boss and Maddie before coming and helping him.

DiNozzo!' came the harsh bark from Gibbs, 'We're OK! Let them help you!' He finished before turning to the nearest medic, 'He had a bout with the pneumonic plague a few years back, and they said he'd be susceptible – weak lungs...' That was all he managed before he and Maddie were gently guided into the back of the ambulance.

Amongst the confusion, Ducky and Palmer had arrived in the coroners van and were making their way across the pontoon towards where Tony, Ziva and one of the medics were standing.

'Come on my dear boy, in we go.' Said the old ME, taking Tony by his elbow and guiding him into the van where Gibbs and Maddie were already sitting on a gurney waiting for him, 'We'll be over in a jiffy just once we've seen these two to the autopsy room' He finished, gesturing to the two bodies just inside the entrance of the warehouse. Once everyone was in the back, Palmer slammed the back doors, slapping them twice to indicate to the driver that it was alright to drive off.

Tony sat on the edge of the upright gurney shaking. He couldn't help but think about the consequences if he had come even a few minutes later, the thought made him feel sick. He didn't remember when but at some point somebody had obviously fitted himself and the others with oxygen masks and now Tony could feel his breathing ease up a little.

The drive was short and all of a sudden Tony, Gibbs and Maddie were being led out of the back of the van and into then awaiting wheelchairs which then took them into the hospital and to their individual rooms. He had only been settled in his bed for what seemed like a few minutes before Dr. Pitt had come bustling in and taken Tony's chart off of the nurse standing at the foot of his bed.

'My, my DiNozzo – what did I tell you about straining your lungs after your little incident with Y Pestis? Diving under TWICE! And mouth to mouth resuscitation on top of that certainly wasn't your brightest idea my dear man...' he paused, noticing that Tony hadn't said a word since his entrance, 'Tony? What's bothering you? You did a fantastic job back there! You knew that diving in to save them could have seriously damaged your health yet you did it without a moment's hesitation! That took some serious guts and I know Gibbs and Miss Tyler will be eternally grateful!'

'Really?' Tony whispered, his voice laced with scepticism, 'Cuz he didn't really seem to chuffed to me...'
His voice remained low and it was clear he was really upset by this. 'I...' Brad wasn't sure how to respond.

He knew Gibbs cared for him deeply, more than just a Boss and his SFA – more of a father/son relationship. He had seen it with his own eyes when Gibbs had visited Tony in that infamous blue-lit room, what confused him was DiNozzo's obvious need to live up to his boss's standards, his constant loyal St. Bernard position and his yearning for Gibbs' appraisal.
Didn't he realise that the famously tough ex-marine loved him as any father would his son? That every time he put his life on the line in the name of his job that it worried the older man to death? Didn't he realise that Leroy Jethro Gibbs cared?

Shaking his head, the doctor promised he would be back to check on him within the next half hour and that with any luck he would be released on anti-biotics by the end of the day and swiftly exited the room. Moments later, Tony was blinded by a sudden rush of black as Abby came speeding in and pounced on him, enveloping him in a hug – closely followed by Ducky.

'Hey! Don't they have a speed limit for the hospital corridors!' Tony said, feebly attempting to regain the composure of his usual self with a joke.

'No.' Said Abby, releasing Tony from her death-hug and looking directly into his bright green eyes, 'This isn't just a joke – you could have killed yourself out there Tony! Between Gibbs, Dr. Pitt and McGee I managed to get the whole story. You were so brave diving in there! We were so worried, what with the state of your lungs...' She rambled, slowly climbing down from the hospital bed, just as yet another round of coughing broke out and Tony was left breathless.

'A-any word o-on G-Gibbs yet?' he gasped as Ducky passed him a cool glass of water.

'He's doing great – in fact he and Maddie are down by the nurses' station signing their discharge papers right now, apparently your mouth to mouth saved them both and all the doctors had to do was give them a once over and pump 'em with a few anti-biotics before the both of them were discharged!' Abby babbled, forgetting her temporary annoyance at Tony and returning to her usual optimistic self.

'But you, my boy, are a completely different kettle of fish!' scolded Ducky.

The telling-off was interrupted when a very tired and worn out looking Gibbs appeared in the doorway of Tony's room, coffee in hand.

'Could we... Have a sec?' he asked quietly.

Abby nodded, her pigtails bouncing. Recovering from her moment of shock, she scuttled out of the room, her black leather high-heeled boots clip-clopping on the clean linoleum floors. Taking one last look between the two men, Ducky nodded and followed suit, muttering
'Of course, Jethro, but mind – he's not himself right now' under his breath as he passed the team leader.

An uncomfortable silence settled upon the two men, neither sure how to break it.

'I'm g-glad you and Maddie are O-Okay...' Tony said, his voice barely above a whisper yet this amount of usage strained his lungs enough to cause a bout of wheezing coughs. Gibbs was immediately at his side, rubbing his back comfortingly and holding one of those small cardboard sick-bowls just under Tony's chin as yet more phlegm and a little blood was choked up from Tony's lungs.

'S-sorry boss...' Tony stuttered, leaning back into the pillows on his bed.

'You know what I say about apologies DiNozzo...' Gibbs said, not quite having the heart to growl at this man who seemed so sad and helpless lying among the pillows on his hospital bed.

'S-sign of we-weakness, I-I remember b-boss' came Tony's breathless reply.

There was another silence, but this time a little more comfortable.

'Thank You... For saving us' said Gibbs, completely out of nowhere.

Tony looked up, surprised. 'I-it was nothing, boss. Just do-'

'No.' Gibbs cut him off, 'Don't say you were just doing your job because it isn't the first time you've done it and it damn well won't be the last, with our job. Every other time I've just brushed it off, taken it in my stride but today I realised how much you put your life at stake every time you say 'I've got you six, boss'. I'd just like to say thank you. For everything. For every time...'

And with that he stood up, turned around, and swiftly left the room.

Tony was left there, quite literally shell-shocked by this admission. He didn't think he'd ever heard his boss say 'Thank You'.

'You're Welcome' He whispered.