Disclaimer: Check Ch1 for it
A/N: I have good news and bad news for all of you... The good news? Here's the new chapter! The bad news? Is the last one *hides* I'm sorry I took forever! Beta took some time with it and then I was busy with my admission to Grad School so it took me longer than I wanted to post it. As I said before this is the last chapter and the end of this fun ride. I thank you for all your wonderful words and super duper special thanks to those of you that came back for more after reading After The Bullets Stopped Flying =) Hopefully I will be back soon with another one!
One by one the symptoms began piling up. Deeks wondered just how much adrenaline had to have been coursing through his veins for him not to have felt the pain earlier. He never really lost consciousness, which turned out to be awful luck.
Sometime as he made his way upstairs, his energy left him. He had gotten halfway before the pain became too much and his body took control, and the guys practically had to drag him the rest of the way. Embarrassing? Yes, but at the moment, he couldn't even breathe properly. He was tired and aching everywhere.
"You with us Deeks?" asked a worried Callen. Deeks wasn't talking and that had to be a cause for concern if he ever heard one. Deeks was always talking. Even when he collapsed, he had had something to say, but not one word ever since.
"Sick…" Deeks said, barely above a whisper through chapped lips.
Sam and Callen gently lowered him so he could throw up the contents of his already empty stomach. The last two days had been so crazy… the only thing he consumed was the tea he had shared with Hetty.
"Kensi stay with him, we'll bring the paramedics." Sam started walking but Callen stayed behind for a few seconds, taking in the scene. Kensi was supporting Deeks while he threw up- it wasn't a pretty job but partners had each other's back no matter the situation. A partnership had formed. She might doubt it but Callen knew they would do well in the future. He caught up with Sam and hoped the paramedics were there.
When Deeks was done, Kensi wiped some of the sweat from his fevered brow. "Thank you, Florence," he said with a loopy smile.
"If you weren't delirious I would take out my gun and shoot you for that."
"That's what happens when you try to save the world running on fumes."
"Had… to get him." Deeks' eyes were glassy and unfocused and his face looked flushed.
By the time the guys made it back with the EMTs, Deeks was shivering uncontrollably to the point where his teeth were chattering. Just when he thought he couldn't feel worse, a haze of agony chased the air out of his lungs as they eased him on the stretcher.
"How long has he being like this?" one of the EMT asked them.
Kensi answered. "It's been downhill fast for the last half hour or so."
The EMT's wrapped a blood pressure cuff around Deeks' bicep and took a rapid reading "Ninety over forty. Heart rate's one-fifty." They quickly started an IV line and put an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose. "He's pretty dehydrated. Has some cracked ribs too…"
"You should check his side" Sam told the paramedic.
When he did, he found a jagged tear in the man's back that was deep enough to expose the muscle. It was swollen, steadily oozing blood and something… else. "This looks badly infected, when did it happen?"
"Two days ago," Callen responded. The paramedic made some notes on the chart, said something about antibiotics to his assistant, and they were off.
Callen called Hetty from the scene to let her know what was happening, and she agreed to go to the hospital and keep them updated.
When Hetty arrived at the hospital, she tracked Deeks' physician down and asked to be informed of his condition. Knowing all the important people she did, it only took a few words to convince him to release the information and keep her up-to-date about his condition.
"He lost a fair amount of blood, and was severely dehydrated, malnourished, and exhausted. On top of that he has a mild concussion and two broken ribs, along with cuts, bruises, and some minor burns. He also has a raging fever, which brings me to the real concern- we found a laceration on his side. Whoever sewed him up did a poor job at cleaning the wound, allowing for infection to set in. If we can't control it, he could go into septic shock and the infection is likely to spread to the rest of his body. If that happens we're facing high risks of organ failure."
"What are you doing to control it, Doctor?" Hettie asked, more interested in how he was going to get well again.
"We're pumping him full of antibiotics, constantly checking his white blood cell count, and trying to lower his fever. I'm cautiously optimistic. This young man has gone through a lot, and he's obviously a fighter. I'm sure he just needs to get some of his strength back so he can fight the infection.
Hetty looked through the glass window and saw Deeks' prone form laid out on a bed, surrounded by monitors and tubes. "I pray that you are correct, Doctor." Even his blonde curls seem devoid of energy.
"He's been in and out of consciousness since he arrived, but you can go see him."
"Thank you, Doctor." He gave her a polite smile and walked away.
She wanted to stay, but she needed to make sure the case was wrapped up tight and that all parties involved would pay for their heinous crimes. That way, she could give Deeks the good news when he was feeling better.
Seven hours later, Frank Scarli was in jail and all reports were filled. Every 'i' dotted and every 't' crossed. The news of Deeks breaking the case wide open, stopping the human trafficking ring and unveiling the mole in the LAPD had somewhat raised his status among them. Callen doubted Deeks had any real friends in the force, or anybody that would worry about him. He knew well how that went… Before he had joined NCIS of course. No one was saying it out loud, but they were all worried about the guy.
They all had found excuses to leave the office at one time or another. Hetty knew what they were doing and she let them. First was Callen, who just up and vanished only to come back an hour later with no explanation. After that was Kensi, who said she needed a bite to eat. Then it was Sam's turn to disappear. All of them had the same destination, the Intensive Care Unit of Cedars-Sinai hospital where Deeks was currently admitted.
Their weariness had already been showing, and was more pronounced when they got back from their 'mysterious' escapades. When night approached, she sent them all home. After she settled the matter with the lawyer, even Callen had a home to go to. Just as he was leaving, Hetty received a call from Mr. Deeks' doctor saying that the worse was over. She thanked him and made a note to make sure to see the progress for herself before she too went home.
It had been a long day.
Twelve hours after Deeks was admitted to the hospital he was showing a low grade fever and a few sweat beads on his forehead. He'd woken up to a pounding headache and a consuming weakness. Not to mention the overwhelming ache throughout his body. He let his eyes focus on his surroundings, but he didn't have to be a detective to know the white room, the clean smell and the 'beeps' belonged to a hospital room. He groaned.
"Nice to see you awake Mr. Deeks" His heart skipped a beat when he heard Hetty's voice. He tried playing it cool but the heart monitor betrayed him. Ninja's had nothing on her.
"Hetty!" His throat felt like he had swallowed nails. Noticing the discomfort and the shadows of pain that tinged his face, she offered him ice chips. A moan escaped through his lips as the cool liquid soothed his dried throat. Hetty lifted an eyebrow and Deeks blushed.
"What happened?" voice still hoarse, but better than before.
"The team found you just as Lazik was trying to beat the information out of you." She wasn't happy. It was obvious, even for him in his dazed state. "Lazik is dead and the LAPD mole is in custody."
"Good." Deeks closed his eyes for a moment and took it all in.
"You lied to me Mr. Deeks, and I don't take kindly to that." Time to come clean Deeks
"I had to get him for what he did. For what he was doing."
"At the cost of your own life?" His silence spoke volumes. "That veterinarian didn't do you much good. His work was sloppy at best, and barely held up through your session with Lazik. You suffered a serious infection Mr. Deeks. I'm afraid you're still fighting it."
"I'll be fine, Hetty."
She vacated the chair and walked towards the door. Just before leaving she looked back at him and found him staring at the ceiling. "Try to be a bit more careful next time. I don't like being down one agent."
"I'm not an agent," Deeks said, turning his head to look at the already empty doorway.
Hettie made her way down the hall with a devious smile on her face.