"Holy hell, McGee, you shoulda been here," Tony said the following morning from his hospital bed. "I was sobbing like a girl. On. His. Shoulder. Holy hell. Gibbs. Our. Boss. Gibbs. Me, bawling my eyes out."

McGee looked at his partner and chalked up the crazy grin and his words to the painkillers. He couldn't imagine either Tony breaking down like that or Gibbs being comforting. He wondered again if Tony was making it up. Or had imagined it.

"Tony," he said, raising a skeptical eyebrow.

"No," Tony interrupted. "I know. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't been here myself." He cocked his head to the side and frowned. "Maybe that's why you don't believe me. 'Cause you weren't here. Hmm."

"Tony," McGee said, only to be interrupted again.

"I know, I know. It's not funny. I had a total meltdown. I've got issues. I probably need professional help. I should get some professional help." McGee looked surprised at that until Tony wiggled his eyebrows suggestively and said, "Didn't say what kind of professional, though."

"Tony," McGee tried again.

"Am I talking fast, McGee?" Tony asked, talking fast. "'Cause I feel like I'm talking really fast. Probably 'cause I'm a northerner. We all talk fast, especially when on drugs, and I am definitely on drugs right now. But I don't really talk like I'm from Long Island all enunciating my 'G's and all. Like I'm goinG to the shoppinG mall 'cause I'm from LonG GUY-land. What, McGee?"

McGee stopped waving his hands and pointed to the door. Tony turned and saw Gibbs standing in the doorway with a half-amused, half-annoyed expression that only he could pull off.

"Oh hey Boss. How lonG have you been standinG there? Heh. No really, I don't talk like that. But really boss, how long? Did you overhear—no wait you don't overhear anything. You've got hearing like… something with really good hearing. I bet you could hear someone let one rip in Kansas if you wanted to. Not that you would want to. I'm going to shut up now." He looked down at his hands. "Ooooh," he whispered, fingers wiggling. "Fingers."

"You ready to go, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked, nodding at McGee, who promptly but gently head-slapped Tony, who was still enraptured by his fingers.

"Geez, boss. Why didn't you say that earlier?"