Shot To Hell by ceilidh

A/N:- Hello again, all, and welcome to my latest 'missing scene' story for season five's Dog Tags. This one, though, has a bit of a twist, in that it's also an alternative re-write for most of the episode.

I love Abby, I really do, but her attitude towards Tim, and the way she treats him, just really annoyed me. And since I was badly bitten by a dog, too, when I was little, my sympathies are entirely with McGee!

So just using Jethro's attack on him, Abby's reaction, and Tony's 'little surprise' for him from the episode itself, this is my idea on what might have happened to Tim if that attack had led to something more serious

I've done as much research as I can into what happens to our favourite probie, but I'm not a doctor (oops, already given away the whumping bit!) so I apologise in advance for anything that isn't completely accurate.

Of course, there's angst for Abby too, and Tony – but the real suffering, I'm afraid, is for our poor favourite probie. So with that, on with the Timmy-whump!

As always, I hope you enjoy!

Chapter One - Fire And Ice

It was getting worse. For the last hour, the dull ache in his arm had flared back into excruciating pain. And however much he'd tried to ignore it, Tim McGee knew he couldn't avoid the inevitable any longer. However lousy he felt – and right now, he felt like hell itself – Tim knew he needed to find its cause.

He could go back to the Infirmary, of course, but – no, he doubted his legs could carry him that far.

Legs that could effortlessly cope with a five mile run currently had all the strength of melting jelly – more tremors moving through them now, triggering more waves of nausea, as Tim rose from his chair.

Dazedly shaking his head to clear it, McGee then groaned as his vision stubbornly refused to re-focus. Damn it, he shouldn't have stood up so fast, and – jeez, that wobbling elevator was a long way away. It was going to be a real challenge to reach it without ralphing, let alone make it down to Ducky's lab.

Even without the spasms of worsening pain in his arm, though, Tim knew he didn't have any choice. Every part of his aching, sweat-soaked body was telling him something inside it was seriously wrong. One minute he felt like an erupting volcano, the next he was shivering as if he were stuck in a blizzard.

The scientist in him had already guessed the two likeliest causes for these switch-backing symptoms. It was probably an infection, or some adverse side-effect to the mass of shots he'd been given, and – oh, sweet hallelujah, he'd actually reached the elevator without making a complete idiot of himself.

As the doors dinged shut behind him, Tim leaned against its blessedly cool panels, panting in pure relief. He felt like he'd run a marathon, but he'd made it. Thank God. At least now he could pass out in privacy

No sooner had he brought his breathing back under control, though, than the doors dinged open again – the sheer irony of it lifting Tim's mouth into a humourless smile as he wall-walked towards Autopsy.

He felt like death warmed over, and he was relying on a coroner to find out why. Yeah, that was ironic

Maybe that was why he was so strongly tempted now, to just turn around and head back to the bullpen. However deeply he respected Ducky's medical opinion, he really didn't want to do this.

He really didn't want to have their ME unwrap this mass of bandage on his arm, because that – well, it would hurt like hell for a start, but it would also expose the nauseating wounds beneath.

It would also bring back the nightmare of bared teeth, and fetid breath, and that mind-splitting pain. Dear God, that pain had literally ripped him apart.

Swallowing hard, Tim closed his eyes for a moment, trying to force those images out of his mind. Opening them would take too much effort, so he didn't even try. Instead, he tried to control his breathing

God, it sounded awful – already ragged again, unnaturally laboured. Then again, he felt awful, period.

Right now, all he wanted to do was curl up alone in his misery, tell this lousy world to go to hell, and –

– oh, crap.

Moving gingerly through Autopsy's doorway, leaning for support against its frame, Tim visibly flinched. Just when he thought this pig of a day couldn't possibly get worse for him – yeah, it could. Big time.

Instead of Ducky's cheering smile, he now faced the last person in the world that he wanted to see.


Normally, she'd make his heart flip in pure joy. But now it clenched, painfully, in bitter disappointment. Her face was still set in a sulking frown. And the eyes he loved still glared at him, in unforgiving fury.

If he were to go anywhere near her now – no, Tim sourly concluded, that would not be a good idea. He didn't have the strength to tackle a lettuce leaf right now, let alone this soul-destroying anger. And he certainly didn't want any more reminders that she cared more for a damn dog than she did for him

So even as Ducky offered him a quizzical smile, Tim found himself moving shakily away from it – stammering out a nervous apology in a voice which, to his further dismay, sounded alarmingly faint.

"I'm – I'm sorry, Ducky, I - um, didn't realize you were busy, I'll, um… I'll – I'll come back later-"

From that, and the unhealthy sheen on Tim's face, Ducky's smile faded into a frown of doctorly concern. The boy didn't look well. He didn't look well at all.

"Are you sure, Timothy? If that arm's still bothering you, I should really take a look at it."

Every fibre in his being was telling McGee to swallow his pride, and his pain, and take Ducky's advice.

Instead, so aware of Abby's glaring eyes upon him, but not daring to meet them, Tim shook his head – all strength to speak deserting him now, as he sought the closest escape from their fury that he could find

Watching the elevator doors close behind him, Ducky sighed, shaking his head in his own frustration – the voice of legendary calm holding a distinct edge to it now, as he turned back towards Abby.

"Well now, Abigail, I rather think that you and I need to have a serious chat," he said at last – putting the tone he used on his mother's corgis to perfect effect as he nodded towards a nearby stool.

"Now, sit."