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Series: 1) The Ring, 2) Respite, 3) Death Match, 4) Whore, 5) Broken, 6) Vows, 7) Please, 8) Liberation
Warnings: DARKFIC!!! rape, violence, brutality
Summary: Tony vanishes and Gibbs tracks him into the violence of a human slavery ring. Tony doesn't think they really got out. Without a Trace crossover.
Tony looked so small and vulnerable strapped to the hospital bed that it was all Jethro could do not to scream his rage out. Taking a breath, he closed the distance between them and, for a moment, he just looked. The bandage around Tony's head was disturbing, worrying him more than the fresh bruises that had been dealt in the last twenty-four hours. He didn't know what had happened, but anything that shook Tony's head hard enough to need bandaging was a bad thing.
He walked back to the door and opened it, telling the startled agent Fitzgerald, "Tony has a history of head trauma. He needs a CAT scan and probably an MRI to be safe."
Fitzgerald nodded and promised quietly, "I'll make sure it happens."
"Thank you," Jethro replied, closing the door again.
Returning to the bed, Jethro unbuckled the straps on all of Tony's limbs. The last thing the other man needed was to wake up in a different kind of prison. Once finished, he simply climbed into the bed and tucked Tony into his arms, pulling the blankets up over them both. Someone had given Tony a cursory sponge bath, so he at least smelled of antiseptic instead of that place and Jethro took a deep breath.
He knew that he was out of control. He knew that and still couldn't seem to stop himself. Everything that had happened before should stay in the past. He shouldn't force himself on Tony now that they were free, but Jethro honestly didn't know if he could let go. Tony was such a part of him now that it would be like living without part of his soul. He knew for a fact that he never would have survived without those days that Tony had bought for them at such a high price.
Shuddering with emotion, Jethro buried his face against Tony's hair and whispered, "Don't leave me, Tony, please don't ever go."
A soft knock at the door turned him towards it and he found Fitzgerald standing there uncertainly. The young man said, "They think it's better to take him now, before he wakes up from the drugs."
Something that Jethro had to agree with, however reluctantly. He sighed, but nodded and kissed Tony's mouth lightly before climbing out of the bed. The nurses came and transferred Tony to a gurney. As he followed them out and Fitzgerald followed him, Jethro looked around and asked, "Where's your keeper?"
Fitzgerald huffed in amusement and answered, "Paperwork hell, at the moment. I'm hoping he falls asleep at his desk."
Jethro chuckled in appreciation. "Not as young as he used to be, huh?"
"No, he's not," Fitzgerald agreed easily. "Don't try telling him that, though."
Jethro wouldn't dare. He recognized enough of himself in Malone to know it wouldn't do any good. It would be like talking to a brick wall.
The tests didn't take too long, thankfully. They were back in the hospital room within the hour while the doctors waited for the results. Jethro climbed right back into the bed with Tony, not wanting to miss his waking. He would give it another half-hour before seeing if there was something wrong that kept Tony under.
Tony didn't make him wait that long, though, shifting restlessly against him not five minutes later. Jethro loosened his hold, not wanting the younger man to think he was being held down and wake up fighting. That had happened a few times when they'd fallen asleep together.
Pressing his lips to Tony's forehead, he murmured, "Wake up, Tony. Let me know you're okay."
Tony sighed deeply and smiled dreamily even before his eyes opened. One of his hands reached up to cup Jethro's face as he said, "Nice dream. Don't wanna wake up, Boss."
Jethro smiled in return, unable not to, and laced his fingers with Tony's, bringing the palm to his mouth and holding it there a few seconds. He said at last, "Not a dream, Tony. We're free now."
"It worked?" Tony asked in apparent surprised. "So, are we in heaven or hell? Not that I care, you know, so long as we're together."
Frowning, Jethro told him, "We're in a hospital, not dead."
Tony shook his head and countered, "But you're dead, so I must be dead. Or hey, I guess you could be a delusion. I was hitting my head pretty hard for a while there."
"Tony, did you hurt yourself?" Jethro demanded, pushing up on his elbow.
Giving him a hurt look, Tony said matter-of-factly, "You were dead. How else was I supposed to kill myself?"
Jethro breathed, "Jesus," and yanked Tony into his arms, holding as tight as he could. If Malone hadn't arrived when he had...
"Boss, you're kinda smoothing me," Tony protested in a mumble against his chest.
Jethro squeezed tighter and said, "Tough."
He did finally pull back, but only enough to kiss Tony on the mouth, hard and hungry. He bit at Tony's lower lip, puncturing the flesh and making it bleed. Drawing away, he asked Tony, "That feel like a delusion to you?"
Tony's hand went to his mouth, eyes wide with shock as he whispered, "Boss? Is it, are we really..."
"We're free, Tony," Jethro confirmed. "The FBI took the whole fucking place down. Sir is dead, along with his partners. No one's going to come after us."
Violent shudders rocked Tony's body and Jethro did the only thing he could do; hold Tony down and make sure he didn't hurt himself again. Keeping his mouth by Tony's ear, he said over and over, "I'm not leaving, Tony, I'm not going anywhere. You're safe now, we're both safe."
"Sir? Let me sedate him again," an unexpected voice said from behind.
Jethro snarled at the nurse standing a couple of feet away, "Get out of here! No one touches him but me, understood?"
Shock lit the woman's face as she protested, "He needs to be sedated! You can't..."
"Get out!" Jethro shouted. "Get the fuck out of here!"
Fortunately, Fitzgerald stepped in quickly, guiding the woman out of the room in a murmur of placations.
Turning back to Tony, who now lay panting and shivering on the bed beneath him, Jethro covered him with his body. Holding tight, he promised, "It's okay, Tony. It's just you and me. No one else. It's just us now, Tony. We'll get through this."
Once he convinced Tony of that, he could start working on himself.
***Next story in series: Visitors.
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