Title: Conversations
Author: Cosmic

Email: bananacosmicgirl at hotmail . com
Website: www . cosmicuniverse . net
LiveJournal: bananacosmic . livejournal . com

Parts: 6
Words: 12 100
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Hurt/comfort, angst, romance
Characters: Timothy McGee, Anthony DiNozzo, others
Pairings: Tony/Tim

Warnings: Slash
Spoilers: Up to 2x22 SWAK

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations from the TV-show "NCIS", created and owned by David P. Bellisarius and CBS. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Summary: Tony recovers from the plague, and Tim is there to help him through it.

Author's notes: This is the continuation of 'Staying'. As I wanted to keep that a gen, friendship fic, and this will be more than that (ie slash), this gets to be a sequel instead of chapters added to that story. Read that first.

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Conversations

By Cosmic

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Six.

The next time they go out for a walk, Tony manages just fine. He's been home nearly a week, and he is looking much better – although the shadows beneath his eyes stay stubbornly, as a blue reminder of the hell he's been through.

"I am so ready to get back to work," Tony says as they walk.

Tim is beside him, perhaps slightly closer than strictly necessary. He doesn't care, not right now – not when the sun is shining and Tony's energy is nearly at the level it's always been at work.

"You don't think you should, you know, take the time the director offered?" he asks.

Tony glares at him. "Another week, cooped up at home with nothing to do? No way."

"I've given you notes on the stuff we're working on," Tim says.

"Notes!" Tony exclaims. "I don't want notes – I want to be out there. Field working. Securing evidence. Interviewing suspects."

"You make it sound like you've been away from NCIS for months," Tim says.

"Feels like it," Tony says. "A week in Bethesda is a month out here."

Tim is inclined to agree. The hours in Bethesda did seem to move slower – the seconds when Tony coughed up blood seemed to take eons to pass. Tim thinks he probably aged a year or ten in there, worrying about Tony.

They have walked for nearly half an hour, and are almost back at Tony's apartment. It is enough to get Tony a bit tired, but it's far from the exhaustion of their first excursion. Tim wants Tony to take it slow, to build up his body and allow his lungs to heal – but Tony does, of course, have other plans.

"When d'you think I can start running again?" he asks conversationally.

"Tony," Tim says warningly.

"What?" Tony says. "I'm an NCIS agent – I need to stay fit. You know, you should look into it."

Tim glares at him, but he knows it's true. Tony before the plague could outrun him at any point – and he's done so on a few occasions, while chasing suspects – and even now, pure will might very well lead to Tony winning, had they tried racing. They don't, of course, even though Tony would have jumped at the chance. Still, Tim knows he ought to work out more.

Reaching Tony's apartment complex, they take the stairs up rather than the elevator. Tim knows Tony is pushing himself, but he listens to Tony's breathing and deems him fine. He's no doctor, but after having listened to Tony's breathing for nearly two weeks, he feels he's something of an expert on the subject. He knows the sounds Tony makes before a coughing attack, and this is not it. He can tell several other ways Tony's breathing shifts – the most interesting one being when they kiss.

They haven't done anything beyond kissing and a bit of groping. Tim knows Tony wants to, but Tim is afraid that the excitement will lead to coughing, and he'd rather not be the reason why that happens.

Tony closes the door behind them, and immediately, Tim finds himself pressed against the wall.

Tony's lips are demanding and pushy, tongue running across Tim's lower lip before pushing into his mouth, and Tim can do nothing but reciprocate with the same aggressiveness.

When Tony pulls back, they're both panting.

"I managed half an hour of walking," Tony says, voice a growl, lips half an inch from Tim's. "Do you think there's any possibility that we could move beyond making out?"

Tim's body is aching with need, even after just the short, hot kissing. Being this close to Tony for days, but not allowing anything more to happen – even Tim gets frustrated. He can feel Tony's hard-on against his own leg. He looks at Tony, and sees heat and intensity in his eyes.

"God yes," Tim breathes.

A grin flashes across Tony's face, and he pulls at Tim. They kiss their way into the bedroom, clothes ripped off as they go. Tim's shirt comes off, and Tony's fingers pull at his belt buckle, and then they fall onto the bed.

Tim loses his mind in the feeling of Tony beneath him, his warm, strong body perfectly fitted against his own. Tim is self-conscious as Tony pulls his clothes off, but as Tony's hands roam his body, Tim forgets all about it, and allows himself to just enjoy the moment.

He has no idea how much time has passed since they started, when he collapses, spent, on the mattress. Tony curls up against his side. They need to clean themselves up, but Tim's heart is still racing from his orgasm, and he can't make his heavy limbs move just yet. He runs his hand lazily through Tony's hair.

"Won't be able to sit for a week," Tony mutters.

Tim smiles sleepily. "I'm sure you'll manage."

"Easy for you to say," Tony says, looking up. "You weren't—"

"Tony?"

Tony gives him a look, that tells him exactly what he feels about being interrupted. "Yes?"

"Shut up."

Tony snorts. "Now there's a lover's exclamation if I ever heard one."

He lays his head back on Tim's shoulder. Tim thinks about the words Tony has just said. He wonders what Tony will say if Tim does say the words that a lover should say after sex – three words, which he undoubtedly feels, but it might still be too early.

But then he thinks that Tony nearly died just two weeks ago, and if things had gone differently, then he'd never have said the words at all. Tim suddenly realize that no, they don't have all the time in the world.

"Tony?"

"Didn't say anything," Tony says. "Can't shut up any more than I already have."

Tim smiles. A beat of silence passes, and he knows Tony is gearing up to say something else, and then Tim will lose his nerve.

"I love you."

The words leave his mouth, and though his heart beats with nervousness, he doesn't regret saying them.

Tony slowly lifts his head up to look at Tim again. "Seriously?"

He sounds as though he doesn't quite believe it – as though maybe he should look around to see if there's a hidden camera somewhere.

Tim cups Tony's face in his hand. "Seriously."

"Oh," Tony says. "Huh."

Tony's gaze is piercing, but Tim doesn't feel uncomfortable. He gives Tony a small smile. He doesn't mind if Tony doesn't say the words back – it might be far too soon. He just knows that he needed to say it.

"Haven't heard those words in years," Tony says quietly, resting down again. "Decades, really. I think mom told me when I was like ten or something."

"None of your girlfriends—?" Tim asks.

"Never had one for long enough," Tony says.

"And no boyfriends?" Tim says, part teasing and part curiosity.

"Same thing," Tony says calmly. "Though there haven't been all that many."

They fall silent. Tim runs his hand in lazy circles up and down Tony's back. He enjoys their moment of calm, their afterglow together in the darkening room as night falls. Tomorrow, Tony will be back at NCIS, and things will go back to a relative state of normalcy. Except they'll be hiding a relationship, of course. The others can't know, at least not yet. Tim has already warned Tony that Abby will figure it out soon enough, and they both doubt they can keep it from Gibbs for all that long. But they'll try, keeping things perfectly normal at work.

Tim wonders what he will feel the next time Tony puts himself in harm's way. He lives under no pretence that Tony won't do stupid things just because they're together; Tony will still get shot at, and drugged, and kidnapped, and—the list goes on and on. But now, with a whole new investment in Tony, what will Tim feel?

"You know," Tony says, bringing Tim out of his thoughts. "I think I do too."

Tim's heart speeds up. "What?"

Tony looks at him, and he there's a slight frown on his face, as though he's trying to feel through his own body to make sure.

"Oh, you know," Tony says. "Don't make me say it. Not yet."

Tim grins; he can't help it. He kisses Tony, a soft and sweet kiss with none of the aggressive impatience of earlier – instead, this is filled with promise and heart.

"You don't have to say it," Tim says. "I know."

Tony smiles, and curls in tighter against Tim.

"Good."

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Author's notes: That's it :) I hope you've enjoyed. Anoter SWAK-story (Should Have Been) is coming up shortly.