Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Word Count: 5 x 100
Challenge: ncis_drabble; Challenge #91 - Ice
SPOILERS: 05x18 Judgment Day
Crossposted: ncis_drabble; ncisfanfic; tonydinozzo
Summary: Ice can cause a slippery slope...
He didn’t remember how he ended up in bed or even what time it was, but the ice-cold cloth on his head would stay with him forever. He would also remember the lilting tones of the housekeeper as she sang to him in Spanish. She was there when his parents couldn’t be bothered with a sick child. She was the first and only person to hug him after he had his high school diploma in hand. Whether it was ice packs or hugs, she was always there when he needed her and many times when he didn’t know he did.
In college, he learned that ice packs were his saviors on nights after practice had been long and brutal. Then came the morning after parties where his head would start pounding at even the slightest sound or hint of light. His frat brothers sometimes teased him about how much room he took up in the freezer with his ice pack collection, but they always made amends when they were on the receiving end of the relief they brought. The night after his injury however, the ice packs were no relief. They couldn’t ease the burn of losing his sports career.
It was in Philly that he noticed the pattern. Depending on how severe a case had been would depend on what method he would use to ease the dark thoughts that overwhelmed his mind. For Light cases, it was a long cold shower, the bullets of water hitting his body to draw his focus away. The bad cases found him curled up in bed with darkness surrounding him. He would place the cloth wrapped ice pack on his head blink back tears that threatened to fall. When he finally closed his eyes, he could hear the Spanish songs drift by.
He couldn’t remember much from the isolation unit at Bethesda. The only thing that was seared into his mind was the words from his boss, “You will not die.” He repeated them over and over in his head those first few nights as the pain tried to overwhelm him. Four nights into his recovery, he had been moved to a regular room that supposedly had normal visiting hours. However in the middle of his first night there, he woke to find a cold cloth wiping his forehead and his boss’ voice whispering, “What am I gonna do with you DiNozzo?”
He was cold. He had been since Gibbs had walked out and went to Mexico. So much had happened, so much had gone wrong. Jeanne, almost losing Gibbs on that pier, Jenny and now Vance had split them apart. He had almost walked away from everything. He had done it before; his father, sports, Peoria, Philly, Baltimore… But NCIS had become his family by some strange quirk and he didn’t want to quit his family unless they quit him first. So he settled for walking the corridors of the Reagan trying in vain to shake the cold that encompassed him.