Tim stuck his head into Tony's hospital room the next morning with a smile and two coffees. "How's it going, Tony?"

"Well, I have the most incompetent partner ever who got me shot, but otherwise I'm doing fine, Probie." Despite the harsh words, Tony grinned.

Tim, on the other hand, didn't find the joke funny. "Look, Tony, I feel bad enough about without you berating me. I knew this was just a ploy." He dropped the coffee on the small rolling hospital table over Tony's lap, and turned to leave.

Tim got all the way to the door before he heard Tony backtracking so fast he was tripping over himself. "I didn't—I don't—I—I don't believe that. You're—I mean to say I'm sorry, and please don't leave? I was just kidding around, Tim."

Tim turned around at Tony's pleading. "Okay, DiNozzo, but don't say things like that."

Tony flashed a grin. "Okay, Probie. So, how's it going? You and Ziva have fun playing Scrabble last night? You know, maybe you should try strip Scrabble some time."

Tim shook his head. "Come on DiNozzo. There's nothing between Ziva and I. You know that."

"But Probie, you could see her naked, surreptitiously take pictures, and send them to me. Everybody wins! I mean, you get to see your first naked woman since Abby, I get to see Ziva, and everyone knows Ziva likes me." Tony flashed another grin.

"Speaking of Ziva," Tim said, smoothly changing the subject away from the topic of naked women. "She told me that the reason you didn't want to see me was not that you were angry with me, as I had guessed, but because you were embarrassed. Since when do you get embarrassed, Tony? You don't have the tact to know to be embarrassed."

"Look, McNosey, I don't have to explain myself to you. I just was worried you'd take some of the things that delusional me said the wrong way." Tony smiled. "Nice deflection on the accusation of not having hitting anyone since Abby, though."

"If I didn't know any better, Tony, I'd say it seemed more like you were afraid I'd take it the right way, because you know I don't ever take anything you say seriously, and I don't take anything anyone says when they're compromised seriously. And, for the record, I've had plenty of tail since Abby." Tim took a sip of coffee in an attempt to hide the red in his cheeks from Tony.

"Do you remember when I kissed that guy because I thought he was a girl? How disgusted I was? This is like a ten times worse. A thousand times no. Ew."

When Tim saw Tony's eyes again he decided he ought to leave. "Right, whatever. I have to go, Tony. Enjoy your coffee."

As Tim left he heard Tony demand, "You don't believe me. What the hell is wrong with you, McGee?"

Tim turned around and looked at Tony. "Well, 'Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo', you tell me. What reasons do I have to believe that you are lying to me? For one, the number of times that you have lied to me is about twice the number of times you've told me the truth, you made me fall in love with a female version of you online, and do you even realize that you called me 'Tim' a minute ago? You never call me Tim. And despite all this I wouldn't have said anything or even thought it, if it weren't for one thing."

"And what is that one thing, McGee? What has your computer-like mind concocted this time? Is it as dumb as everything else you've ever come up with?" Tony scoffed angrily.

"No Tony, it's probably the most obvious thing that's ever happened. Since when do you beg to see anyone but Gibbs, and since when do you even give a damn if I hate you. Before you even left for coffee two days ago you were entirely put out, it wasn't just the shock, and while I might have played it off otherwise, you begged me to come last night, and when I refused you pretended it didn't matter, and earlier you begged me to stay when you insulted me. That's not the Anthony DiNozzo I know."

Tony opened his mouth and then closed it, unable to formulate a cohesive sentence, because there was no defense for that.

"And besides, Tony, you haven't even said I was wrong yet, just made some lame excuse. So tell me, Tony, am I wrong?"

"No," Tony mumbled at his hands. "No, you're not."

"I didn't think so. And for the record, I'm not as uninterested or disgusted as you're apparently so sure I should be. Maybe you should do something about it."

Tim left a very baffled DiNozzo alone in his room, headed for the stairs. That really hadn't gone as badly as he had expected.

AN: So that's actually the end of this story, but there will be a sequel. This one is only five chapters long, but the next story should be significantly longer. There are reasons for this, mostly involving about a few weeks' gap in any real action for Tony's complete recovery. He was shot in the liver. It'll probably be at least a week and a half before anything for the next story shows up, but I wanted to make sure everyone knew because nothing has actually been resolved yet.