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Blast from the Past

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Tony felt the gravel scrape against his cheek as his arms gave out. He wasn't entirely sure the back of his neck hadn't been singed in the blast, but his arms weren't working well enough reach back and find out. His eyes were closing, and he knew that was no good, but he couldn't keep them open. He tried to take a deep breath, but caught a chestful of dust kicked up from him literally hitting the dirt, and he began coughing.

Gibbs was going to make him take that last week now. He'd been going insane for the past week. He did not want to be sent home.

He could hear feet against the gravel and Gibbs was yelling either to or at Ducky. Tony really wished he could get his traitorous body to cooperate so he could see what was going on. Just before he'd fallen over, there'd been a burning tire near Gibbs' head. Was that why he needed Ducky? Was Gibbs hurt? Was Kate or McGee? Maybe it was Ducky who was hurt. He really should get up and check. Just as soon as he quit coughing, he'd get on that.

He was still coughing when he felt strong hands manhandling him into a sitting position. "Come on, DiNozzo, sit up," Gibbs said quietly.

"Tryin'" Tony coughed out. He leaned gratefully into the hand Gibbs was pressing against his chest. He didn't have the pillow he'd had to hold onto – had to have Gibbs hold for him at first – when he'd coughed in the hospital, but the pressure Gibbs was providing helped.

Sitting up had gotten his face out of the dust and it was easier to breathe upright. Once the coughing was under control, he nodded to Gibbs. "I'm okay."

"Like hell you are," Gibbs said, shifting to sit behind Tony, holding him up. "Ducky, what the hell is taking so long?"

"I'm right here, Jethro, no need to shout," Ducky said setting his tools next to Tony and settling in front of him. "I had to get my first aid kit. I was only prepared for non-living patients this morning."

"He's hacking up a lung here, Duck," Gibbs said even though Tony had quit coughing almost entirely.

Ducky pushed the sleeve of Tony's jacket out of the way and took his pulse. "Anything feel broken, sprained or twisted, Anthony?" Ducky asked.

"I'm fine," Tony insisted, gritting the words between his teeth, because he knew shouting would have him hacking again. "Got our damn crime scene blown up, but I'm fine." His voice rose anyway and he had to try to cover his cough again.

Gibbs tapped him on the back of the head – not hitting him nearly as hard as he wanted to. "We lost a couple bodies. At least we didn't lose a couple of agents! Now shut the hell up and let Ducky finish."

"As I was saying: what hurts? And I'd advise you not to say 'nothing' while Jethro is still within head-slapping range." Ducky was shining a pen light in Tony's eyes. "A little sluggish," he reported.

"My ears are ringing, Ducky, but that's all. Really." Tony rolled his shoulders and stretched his neck. He really didn't want to be sent home. "I can help with… well, what's left of the scene." He tried to get up, but got dizzy and sat back down with an "oof."

"DiNozzo, you used up your portion of heroics for the month dragging your ass into the office this morning, a week before your doctors wanted you to. Go sit in Ducky's truck. Palmer, McGee and Kate can finish with this scene," Gibbs looked around at the scattered debris, "And Ducky and I can take you back to make sure you haven't actually done something lethal to yourself this time."

Gibbs leaned down and helped Tony to his feet, not trusting him to try again on his own. Tony swayed, his eyes closed tightly and from the way he leaned back into him, Gibbs knew Tony was still dizzy. "Fine, my ass," Gibbs muttered as he got an arm around Tony's back and Tony leaned into him. "Ducky's truck, Ducky's lab and then if this is anything less than a terrorist hit, you will get some rest."

Tony growled and carefully climbed up into the truck. He'd shut up long enough for Ducky to do his examination. That would prove to Gibbs that he had no need to be stuck at home being useless.