Tony DiNozzo quietly sat at his desk drinking from his bottle of water and tried hard to hide the occasional coughing fit from everyone else. The more he coughed the more dry his throat became. It wasn't the coughing or stuffiness that got the other people's attention but the amount of water he'd drank seemed to.
"Are you feeling ok Tony?" Kate looked over from her desk with an eagle-eye.
"I'm good Kate." Tony answered with a smile. But that was a lie, Tony was going to ride out the rest of the day doing the damn paperwork and rest the weekend.
He entered another coughing fit as he seemed to feel the need to try and cough up a lung. It was obvious his symptoms were getting worse. What started out as just an irritable cough now turned into a throat tearing chesty cough. The chills and sweating was becoming more noticeable to judging by Kate's occasional glances in his direction. Carefully he made his way to the water cooler and dampened the cloth and returned to the bullpen. Kate eyed him carefully as he awkwardly planted one foot in front of the other and used his desk as support until he sat down.
Tony knew his temperature had risen because as soon as the damp cloth touched the skin on the back of the neck it felt as if it was freezing and made him shiver. That was never a good sign.
A little while later, Gibbs strolled down the stairs and entered the work area. The day was quiet and spent catching up on the neglected paperwork that the Director was starting to complain about. To make matters worse he had a sickly agent on his hands who was being as stubborn as usual.
"Would you stop looking at me Kate?!" Tony snapped. This got just about everyone's attention in the NCIS floor.
This had been a regular occurrence when Kate and Tony were stuck in bullpen together. They soon got bored and that meant they soon would get on each others' nerves, it was worse with Tony feeling the way he did.
"Are you done with that report DiNozzo?" Gibbs said, he wanted to gage how badly Tony was feeling since asking him would get the usual I'm fine BS, "Bring it over here I want to have a look at it."
Tony waited until Gibbs had his attention diverted before daring to stand up. As soon as both of his feet hit the ground the whole bullpen seemed to sway beneath them and he lightly leaned up against the desk as he grabbed his report and looked over at Gibbs who was busy typing away. His desk looked miles away… Tony didn't exactly walk towards him but instead kind of half stumbled and fell to Gibbs' desk.
"Here you are… Boss." Tony panted and breathed out heavily trying to expel the rising nausea.
Gibbs looked up and saw that Tony was even more paler than before and was starting to sweat, then began breathing funny as his eyes darted from left to right, "You feeling OK DiNozzo?" Gibbs glared at him, daring his senior agent to lie to him.
Tony was only half listening to Gibbs talking, the other half of him was calculating which bathroom was closer, "Be right back." Tony said quietly before dashing to the nearest direction of the nearest bathroom.
Gibbs watched Tony make his mad dash and wondered how bad it possibly could be if he had to betray his exterior in such an undignified manner. He noted Kate's concerned look as well but dismissed her with a wave of the hand.
"Damnit." Gibbs snarled, "Don't tell me you've never been sick before."
Kate went back to work as quick as lightning when Tony re-entered the bullpen and went to sit down.
"That's it." Gibbs said suddenly, "You're going home DiNozzo."
"I have another report to hand to you Boss." Tony said, he didn't want to go home and be by himself. Sure he could take care of himself but being in company was nice.
"That can wait." Gibbs said.
"I'll finish this and get home." Tony challenged back.
Gibbs sighed, Tony was extremely stubborn but soon lost the fight when Tony's stomach lurched. This time he wasn't going to even make it to his feet and threw up into his desk bin before trying to cough up his lung again.
"That's it!" Gibbs stood up.
Tony's eyes widened in horror at what the hell he could mean by that. "Boss?" Tony asked with extreme caution.
"You're going home." Gibbs said in a tone that nobody dared argue with.
"Alright Boss." Tony grabbed his backpack and went to leave the bullpen.
"Where do you think you're going Dinozzo?!" Gibbs snapped.
Tony stared at him blankly for a moment. His glassy-eyes locked with Gibbs. "You just told me to go home." He leant against Kate's desk this time and waited for Gibbs to start making more sense.
"You're not going to be sick on my desk are you?" Kate asked.
"There's no way I'm letting you drive yourself." Gibbs said, "It's quiet, I'm taking you home with me."
"I think I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself." Tony said. Ever since he was about thirteen he'd been the only one to take care of him. He was the only one he could safely rely on.
"You're coming with me." Gibbs ordered as they entered the lift leaving Kate all by her lonesome.
Tony mainly kept his eyes closed and felt like he was going to vomit every time the elevator started movement again.
"You're not going to be sick are you?" Gibbs had automatically taken a couple of steps away from his senior agent.
Tony very carefully shook his head. "I'm good Boss." He stated, "But really, you don't have to do this. I've been looking after myself since I was thirteen."
"And now you have someone who'll watch your six when sick." Gibbs replied. He found it hard to fathom how anyone could be so against being looked after. But if Tony was going to protest any further, Gibbs was going to throw him off the next floor and bust his ass down to mailman.
Tony had sensed this and sighed as they reached the basement and Gibbs' car. He'd sensed what Gibbs was thinking but thought that feeling like death was probably his only saving grace… Funny that.
"Don't you dare throw up in my car DiNozzo." Gibbs opened the door for him and was met with a scowling look.
"Wouldn't dream of it Boss." Tony replied trying to smile, "But don't open doors for me." Tony buckled himself in, dreading the thought of Gibbs looking after him. Well at least it will make for a speedy recovery. "Can you drive carefully Boss?" Tony said sleepily as he leant his head back.
"Don't start on my driving DiNozzo." Gibbs warned as he pulled the car out of the undercover carpark.