As McGee opened the inner door to the isolation chamber, he suddenly found himself assaulted by a crippling wave of rock music.
"What the hell is that noise!?" He placed his hands over his ears, unable to hear himself think as the guitar riff dug into his eardrums.
"Just a little mood music, Tim!" Thirteen shouted over the radio; McGee was now deeply regretting that he gave in and grabbed it for her.
"What kind of idiot plays heavy metal at full volume in a room like this!? Are you trying to go deaf!?" He managed to wrangle her away from it and turn it down.
"Just having some fun before… well, I'm just enjoying my time in here." She smiled sweetly, her companion glaring at her as her grin turned wolfish.
"Yeah, well, blasting 'Halestorm', 'Theory of A Deadman', and 'Shinedown' until your ears bleed is probably not the best way to enjoy being here." He sighed wearily, slamming the CD cases back down on the table.
"Oh, c'mon, Tim, I'm stuck in a giant Plexiglas box dying slowly! What the hell am I supposed to do to entertain myself!?" She flared her eyes in rage, panting in anger as she glared at him cruelly. His expression softened, giving her a gentle, comforting smile.
"It's gonna be okay. The team's gonna figure this out, and then we can leave this place and move on with our lives, okay?"
"And in the meantime, I'm just supposed to sit here uselessly, twiddling my thumbs? Or… twiddling something else?" She grinned wolfishly, chuckling as he rolled his eyes.
"I'm sure there are other options. Just try to find something that induces less vomiting and headaches than staring into a strobe light." She giggled as she sprawled provocatively on the bed.
"Ooh, that's a great idea, Tim; let's get drunk instead. You got any bourdon? Or absinthe?" She whispered the last word.
"Wha- Absinthe? Why the hell would I have absinthe!? If I wanted to be that drunk, I'd use wood varnish; it'd taste a lot better."
"How would you know what it tastes like?" His cheeks grew dark with an embarrassed blush. Seeing that her "prey" had weakened, she made her way over to him, smiling softly as she gently kissed his cheek.
"Relax, Tim. I'm just teasing you. I think the hormones are finally starting to wear off; now, I can think straight when I'm standing next to you." A certain doctor smacked his cane against the Plexiglas just before Tony could press the intercom button down, scaring the hell out of both of them.
"Hey, is this exhibit open to the public?" House shouted through the clear wall.
"How's it going, Thirteen? Comfy?" He rolled a chair up to the intercom near the door, almost knocking DiNozzo out of the way as he nearly lost his balance on the backless stool.
"I… it's okay. It's not fresh air and sunshine, but… the company's pretty good." She rolled her eyes. "Or, at least it was until you guys showed up and ruined our fun."
"Right, because you were obviously going to shag him on the linoleum. Give it up; we know your hormones are goin' cuckoo."
"That doesn't mean-"
"Did you ever stop to think why she chose you, Agent McGee? She's the kind of girl who likes a challenge; she'll go after the hot girl at the bar just for the thrill of the hunt, so she must think you're worthy of her pursuit. Or her pus-"
"Actually, House, I find Agent McGee to be a great conversationalist."
"Oh, really? I bet McGeek could tell you all about how to program your phone to speak Chinese; that'll really come in handy." DiNozzo chimed in.
"So, c'mon, McFreaky, tell us all about it. Is she still pining for your McLovin?" McGee looked very disturbed by his coworker's crudeness.
"Tony, she's right here!" He gestured with his hands, having to take a moment to collect himself mentally.
"Actually, Agent DiNozzo, Tim and I have already gotten to the shameless teasing stage."
"Nice. I love that stage." Tony chuckled humorlessly.
"So, good news and bad news. Good news; you're going to live. They're on their way with the antidote now, all they have to do is meter out the dosage."
"So, what's the bad news?" McGee queried.
"Apparently, there's a whole hell of a lot of this stuff still out there somewhere, and we get to go find it. Lucky us." Tony answered, sighing softly.
"So, does that mean I can get out of here now!?" Thirteen practically jumped through the wall as she roughly smacked into it, startling DiNozzo and House. House cleared his throat quietly.
"Y-you might wanna wait 'til they actually cure you."
"If I have to break this wall to leave, House, I will. Now get me the hell out of here!"
"Remy, calm down! You're gonna hurt yourself!" McGee found himself pressed up against the wall, the brunette pinning him to it as her face twisted into a snarl. She firmly pressed her body against his, their chests flat against each other as her eyes flared in anger.
"Shut up, Tim! For the past 30 hours, I have been poked and prodded, stabbed with IVs, shoved in a clear box for people to stare into, and told I was gonna die! I want out of here now!" She panted with rage as he stared at her timidly, terrified she was going to rip his head off if he spoke. House ambled in, roughly grabbing her arm and tossing her toward the bed.
"Hey! Knock it off, Thirteen! You wanna leave? Go! Don't take it out on us 'cause you can't follow protocol!"
"What are you-!?"
"Who leans over a dead body with no known cause of death, and doesn't wear a mask!? You didn't notice the rest of us staying back!? You're lucky this isn't Ebola or something! Now quit being stupid and get dressed!" He tossed the suitcase full of her clothes onto the bed next to her.
"Thanks to these idiots making me take, and shortly thereafter fall down, the stairs, my leg feels like someone's trying to cut it open with a machete. I've got more than half a bottle of Vicodin running through me and it's not helping, so maybe you're pissed 'cause you thought you were gonna die. At least you're not in any pain!" As she heard her boss berate her, the young woman's fury suddenly surged back. She had calmed marginally as she rethought her condition; now, her mouth twisted into an angry grimace, fire filling her eyes as she roughly shoved House away.
"Hey, don't take that out on me! I didn't make you a crippled, desensitized asshole! Maybe next time, try waiting for the fucking elevator to come back, and it won't happen again, will it!?" House's eyes widened in surprise. Tim found the strength to speak as he came a little closer.
"Remy, we're only trying to help…"
"I don't need your help! Now turn around; I need to get dressed." As they all turned around, House somewhat reluctantly, they heard her collapse to the floor. As they turned back to see what happened, they saw her struggle to stand.
"Hey!" Tony got there first, helping her back up as she shook her head in disbelief.
"I don't… I don't know what happened. I turned to open the suitcase and-"
"Your arm's twitching." She looked down to see that her arm had, indeed, developed a noticeable tremor.
"What the hell…?"
"Try to lift your arm." She tried to move it, but she found that it wouldn't follow her commands. She strained to lift her arm up, but only succeeded in sending a sharp sting of pain down it. It shot down her legs, nearly knocking her off her feet.
"What's… what's going on!?" She looked ready to cry.
"Don't know… but something tells me you're going be here a while longer."
Author's Note: Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about the rest of the teams. They'll be heavily involved in the chapter after next.