Sometimes you have to learn to enjoy being cared about.
" I want to go to my apartment, not Gibbs house." Tony grumbled from his passenger seat, Tim at the wheel of the car.
"Boss's orders Tony." Tim responded as he took a glance over to his partner's pale form. "You okay?"
"I feel like crap but I would never tell that to Gibbs or he will take me back to the hospital." he leaned his head back and closed his eyes, fighting back the nausea he was feeling from the motion of the car. He had been in the hospital of forty days and he felt like...Hell.
Tim pulled into the driveway of Leroy Jethro Gibbs house and exited the car. He rushed to the other side to assist Tony with getting out of the car but Tony already had his door open and his feet on the ground. "Take it easy Tony." Tim ordered his friend.
"I'm fine McWorryWart." he said as his weakened legs almost failed him but Tim's strong arms caught him before he did a header into the gravel.
"Sure you are Tony." Tim answered as he assisted Tony towards the door.
Gibbs was aware they had arrived and opened the door to help with his senior agent. He was not to happy with the discharge, because he felt Tony was still way too weak to care for himself, but Tony had begged and pleaded. He had aggravated the staff so much that they finally caved in with one condition that had to be met, and that was that he had to go home with someone who could care for his needs and he had volunteered.
He knew he had to get his agent back into shape. The man, his senior agent, was notorious for saying he was fine and yet he was far from it...the plague days again came into mind and Tony wanting to come back to work before he was ready.
McGee and Gibbs almost had to carry their friend to the bedroom and when they arrived they assisted him into getting his robe off and helping him into the bed, the man was now covered with sweat from the short walk and Gibbs gave Tim a worried look.
"This is embarrassing." he moaned as they tucked the covers around his body. It felt rather weird to have two grown men tucking him into bed.
"Get some rest Tony." Tim encouraged, hoping that Tony would listen.
He just nodded and turned over into the soft blankets and the cool sheets, if he had to be honest it felt good to just be in bed and not have to worry about anything.
Gibbs and Tim left the room, leaving the door open in case Tony needed something. They would check on him again soon.
It wasn't long before Gibbs re-entered the room with a glass of water and a hand full of pills. He was rather concerned that Tony had not eaten his breakfast so he also had a bowl of broth and a cup of jello for him to eat first.
Tony was snoring softly in bed and Gibbs almost hesitated in awakening him but he knew that he needed his medications.
"Tony, wake up. I need for you to eat something." he said it in a soft tone of voice and it worked, eyes flew open, Tony seemed a little confused as to his surroundings at first but quickly reoriented. "You need to eat before you take your meds." he instructed as he sat up the small table so Tony could sit up and eat.
"My taste buds died, food tastes nasty boss." he complained as he attempted to sit up but needed Gibbs assistance.
"Doesn't matter Tony, you have to eat. You can't take these." he held up the pills in the clear cup, "Until you eat or you'll throw up."
"Don't want to do that for sure." he stated as he sniffed the broth and picked up the spoon, carefully scooping it up and waiting for it to cool enough to put it in his mouth. He wrinkled his nose at the salty tasting fluid but continued, knowing that he had to do it, knowing he had to take the pills to get better so that he could return to his own home.
Gibbs walked over, grabbed a chair and brought it close to his charge then took a seat, they needed to talk, and now was as good as time as ever.
"Tony we still need to talk about you leaving the hospital. It was a pretty stupid thing to do, want to explain?" he asked, his voice calm, not angry.
"Guess the plague had a bigger effect on me than I thought." he responded as he continued to sip on the soup, avoiding eye contact with the man sitting in front of him.
"I could only imagine." he hesitated, wanting Tony to continue but aiding it along with understanding, his own experiences assisting in his understanding. "I hate hospitals."
"Me too boss, they make you feel vulnerable, like you're not in control." his words rolled out of his mouth as he was finally allowing a peak into his psyche.
"That feeling really sucks. It does make you feel like running." he leaned forward, getting closer into Tony's personal space.
Tony didn't acknowledge the closeness though, but instead he continued to talk, " I guess I wanted to get out of there so badly I wasn't thinking. I just wanted to be home." He stopped placing the spoon in his mouth and allowed it to sit in the bowl, "All I could think of when I was dying with the plague was that I was alone, that I would die alone. This time was different, I felt as though I was leaving behind a family and that scared me." Tony looked over at his boss and shrugged."Guess it's something that you have to get use to, people caring and all."
"Yeah, it's hard to realize that people care about you,but you don't have to run from it Tony. Sometimes its okay to embrace it, allow others to get close." he gave him a smile and stood to leave, "I'm still learning that lesson."
Tony nodded as he watched his boss leave the room, it would take some time, it wasn't easy to have people care about you when you have been alone for such a long time. He picked up his spoon and continued to eat the soup, it was a little bitter but he dared not complain, it was an act of caring and he wasn't ever going to take that for granted ever again.