Hey I am so sorry about the long wait but here is the next chapter, Thank you to everyone who has reviewed and stuck with this so far.


Brad had left for a few minutes to grab him some pills he wanted him to have from the pharmacy. Tim knew there was a problem with painkillers he should be remembering, especially if he was going home with Tony, but he was just so tired, he couldn't quite think of it.

He also knew that he should probably try to stay awake; he still had to get out of the hospital and back to Tony's car. But again... he was just so tired. As if he had read his mind Tony was suddenly speaking in his ear.

"Tim you still awake?"

Tim nodded his head slightly, feeling his nose brushing against the warm skin of Tony's neck with the movement. He was pressed up against Tony still, his face resting sideways on his shoulder while his body moulded itself to rest against Tony's chest. He could feel Tony's arm hanging loosely around his waist, his hand resting on his hip. He sighed in contentment and found himself beginning to drift. He heard Tony chuckle lightly.

"Do you reckon you'll be able to stay awake or am I just too good as a pillow?"

Tim simply sighed again and shifted his head slightly in reply. He felt Tony's laughter vibrate through his chest at his actions.

"I'll take that as a compliment to my comfortableness shall I?"

Tim gave a non committal grunt in reply.

"Yep, that's me Very Special Agent Tony DiNozzo, crack marksman, movie expert, and pillow extraordinaire."

Tim chuckled, blinking his eyes trying to bring some awareness back.

"You forgot humble." Tony laughed.

"Joke all you want Tim but it's the truth... I could have listed hundreds more brilliant qualities I posses, but I chose not to. See? humble."

Tim snorted.

"Whatever you say Tony."

With the increased alertness came the awareness that he had been pressed closely against his male partner that he was secretly more-than-crushing on, for a while now, and that he was enjoying it as much as anyone would in that situation, but also that it felt right... natural to rest in Tony's arms.

That right there set off warning bells in his head. He wanted to keep Tony as a friend... he couldn't keep thinking like this. Eventually he would become too comfortable and relaxed, let his guard down and do something that would drive Tony away. He would blurt something out or... Crap.

"Tim?"

He mentally cursed himself for pulling away and tensing up as his thoughts progressed. Tony would now be demanding an answer.

"Tim, you okay?" Sometimes he hated it when he was right.

"Yeah Tony I'm fine."

He heard Tony's scepticism in the silence and was inclined to agree, did he always sound that unconvincing when he lied?

"Uh huh"

Tim sighed,

"It's nothing, don't worry about it."

He felt Tony tense suddenly after a moment,

"This is still okay right, me sitting here, it's not bothering you or anything?"

Tony sounded panicked and was still tensed as if ready to move at any second, and Tim hastened to reassure him.

"No! No Tony its fine, that's not what's bothering me."

He felt Tony relax behind him and could have sighed in relief... until Tony spoke.

"So you admit something is bothering you."

Tim groaned cursing his verbal slip and mentally head slapping himself for it as he laid his head back down against Tony's shoulder. He knew Tony wasn't going to let this go, and if he kept him in the dark it would just keep making him press for information. Besides he could tell him what was worrying him, just not the reason why it was such a big deal.

"I just... Painkillers tend to make me kind of... loopy."

He could almost feel Tony's frown.

"No they don't."

Tony sounded confused.

"They kind of do, I'm probably worse than you are to be honest."

"How come I've never noticed this before?"

Tim sighed against Tony's neck, feeling some of his warm breath rebound off of Tony's skin and blow back into his face, before he straightened so he wouldn't fall asleep while they were talking like he wanted to.

"You've never seen me on any pain meds apart from some mild headache tablets Tony."

Tony sounded very confused now,

"I must have done... what about when you dislocated your shoulder?"

Tim shook his head,

"We were the only two at the hospital after Gibbs and Ziva dropped us off and we needed to get back. I had my arm in a sling and couldn't drive even if we had a car. You were really out of it and one of us needed to be lucid enough to get a taxi back to the yard, so I turned them down when the doctor offered."

Tony seemed to contemplate that for a moment before he gave a sincere.

"Thanks Tim."

Tim shrugged and twisted his head to look at him, giving a small tired smile,

"Partners right?" Tony gave him a bright smile in return, one that lit up his eyes and made Tim's pulse quicken slightly.

"Right."

Tim turned back around and leaned his head against Tony's shoulder once more, closing his eyes and relaxing. There was silence for a moment before Tony broke it.

"What about when the dog attacked you?"

Tim sighed and opened his eyes.

"I had to drive myself and the dog back to the yard so Ducky only gave me something mild to take the edge off."

Tony seemed to take a moment to let that sink in.

"But you went to the infirmary after that right?"

Tim nodded in agreement, his head brushing against Tony's shoulder.

"Yeah, I needed a tetanus shot and some antibiotics."

"And they didn't give you anything for the pain?"

"They gave me a prescription, Palmer went to get it filled while Ducky gave me another look over."

"So I must have seen you on pain meds."

Tim sighed and shifted uncomfortably,

"Uh not... not exactly."

He could feel the question and confusion coming from Tony and sighed. Today was not his day.

"I didn't take them." He mumbled against Tony's neck.

"What?" He winced at the slight reprimand in the tone.

"I didn't take them."

"Tim..." He hurried to explain himself.

"The pain really wasn't that bad Tony, and besides Gibbs wanted me to go over the footage, I couldn't do that if I was on the meds, I'm too easily distracted, I can't focus. My job needed doing and I couldn't afford to miss something because my head wasn't clear."

"The pain wasn't that bad? A dog tried to rip you apart and you didn't take anything? I know I try to avoid the meds but Jesus Tim I take some of the recommended doses!"

He could hear the incredulity in Tony's voice and closed his eyes. Tony was right; it had hurt, but he had pushed the pain back and got on with it.

"I took some when I got home." He defended himself.

Tony snorted.

"Yeah? How many?"

Tim paused, and heard as Tony snorted.

"That's what I thought."

"I took one dose." He defended himself half heartedly. He could feel the scepticism almost rolling off Tony, and he relented.

"Okay, I took one pill."

"Yeah and I bet that made a whole lot of difference." The sarcasm was clear and Tim sighed.

"It was enough to let me sleep and that's all I needed. Can we drop this please?"

Tony obviously heard the underlying exhaustion in his tone and didn't say anything for a moment. Tim closed his eyes again, shifting slightly against Tony until he was comfortable. He smiled slightly as Tony's arm tightened slightly while he was moving, relaxing once more when he was settled.

Tony broke the silence a few seconds later.

"Just so you know, I'm personally making sure you take some pills this time okay?"

Tim tensed in momentary panic. Warning lights flashed in his head. He tended to also become... talkative when on pills. He could spill anything... specifically the fact that he was in... that he had a crush on Tony.

He ignored his mental stumble, he didn't know what he had almost said instead, because all this was, was a crush. A very serious crush.

He needed this to just be a crush. He could deal with that. A crush would go away eventually. He could ignore it and not lose the most important person... one of the most important people in his life. That's all Tony was, one of them. He had a sister, his sister was definitely more important to him than Tony and so were... other people. Absolutely. It was just a crush it would go away and Tony could go back to being the annoying, cocky danger magnet, who was undoubtedly the best friend he had ever had.

"Tim?" He really needed to stop spacing out.

"Yeah Tony I'll take the pills." He said in a resigned voice.

It would be nice to get rid of the ache, and occasional flares of pain in his side, head, and the throbbing that was starting in his jaw. Besides, with how exhausted he felt he would probably sleep most of the time anyway, so there was very little chance of him accidentally blurting something out.

"I didn't think that was in question when the medical professional had said that was the case?"

Tim looked up and offered Brad a small smile as he walked back into the room, a small plastic container in his hand.

"Of course not."

"Good, otherwise I will check you in and not let you make your escape with your partner in crime here."

"Partner in crime solving!" Tony piped in, and Brad raised an eyebrow,

"If doctors' orders were law I'm pretty sure my description is more accurate."

"You do realise in that analogy you basically described this place as a prison right?"

Tony pointed out and Tim snorted at the comment even as he felt his eyelids begin to droop.

"Yeah well I'm a good doctor and I like to talk to my patients in terms they understand." Tim peeled his eyes open and looked at Brad, who had a slight smirk on his face.

"So Tim, I'm offering you a deal, take the meds and you can walk out of here on bail. I'll assign Doctor Mallard to be your..."

"Parole officer?" Tony added helpfully, his laughter vibrating against Tim's back.

"And he can send you back here any time he sees fit understand?"

Tim nodded his eyes beginning to slip closed again. Evidently Brad saw this and his smile turned into a frown.

"Tim? How about we give you your first dose and Tony can take you home?"

"Uh... could I wait until we got to Tony's apartment... or even to the car?"

Brad frowned at him again, and he heard Tony sigh against his back,

"It won't be that bad Tim, just take them now, I know you're in pain."

Tim grimaced as the pain in his head and chest spiked in response to Tony's words, but shook his head adamantly, resolutely ignoring the stab of pain and swirling vision that caused.

Tim watched as Brad raised an eyebrow at the both of them, and left it to Tony to explain, as he closed his eyes and leaned back again. He was just so tired.

"Apparently pills make him a bit... funny." Tim snorted and cracked his eyes slightly, meting Brad's questioning gaze.

"There's no 'a bit' about it... I go completely loopy." He informed them.

"Good to know." Brad grinned slightly. "Unfortunately that does happen to some people... How bad is it?"

Tim felt Tony tense in anticipation of the answer too,

"Pretty bad... I'm worse than Tony, who once while on meds informed me that his fingers were 'finging'."

Brad looked between the two of them as Tony hissed

"Tim" and Tim chuckled at the memory.

"What it's true. I wish I had recorded it." He added wistfully as he closed his eyes once more, just for a second...

"Tim? Come on stay awake for me."

"Huh?" He groaned.

"You were drifting off on us Probie... to be honest I'm offended, I take it as a personal insult to my conversational skills."

The words were light-hearted but Tim had worked with Tony for years and could pick up the underlying worry in the tone. He blinked his eyes deliberately, trying to force them to stay open while urging his sluggish brain to just think of a response to reassure Tony he was still okay.

"So... we agree conversationalist isn't one of your brilliant qualities?"

"Hey!" Tim wondered if Tony realised how badly he failed at sounding offended when the relief was that evident in his tone.

"Brilliant qualities?" Tim smirked slightly at Brad's raised eyebrow before doing his best to look serious.

"Of course, he has a list if you're interested... Please don't be interested."

He closed his eyes again and shifted against Tony, smiling slightly at the snort he heard from Brad and another mock indignant "Hey!" from Tony.

There was silence for a second as Tim couldn't think of anything else to say. Letting himself drift momentarily it had just occurred to him they should probably start to move before he fell asleep and was forced to stay at the hospital overnight. He had just resigned himself to the fact that this meant he was going to have to actually support his weight with his aching muscles, when he felt something vibrate in his pocket.

He blinked his eyes open in confusion desperately trying to make his brain just think for a moment. As if sensing his predicament a quiet voice from behind him supplied the answer his mind had been refusing to give him,

"Phone Tim, it's in your pocket remember?"

He inclined his head slightly in acknowledgment before fumbling with his trembling hands to retrieve the device. Clearing his blurry vision he read the display. The name served to wake him slightly further. Abby. Crap.

He debated momentarily about ignoring the call, but realised that wasn't an option. If he failed to answer his phone Abby would worry, which almost always led to her doing something drastic, or she would go to Gibbs... who to stop her worrying and coming up with some scenario worse than what actually happened, would be forced to explain the situation. Either way she was going to find out and he would rather it came from him.

He was grateful as he felt Tony rub his back in support and saw Brad offer him an encouraging smile before leaving the room, as he lifted the phone towards his ear and hit answer.

"Tim, Oh my God I was getting worried! Your date should have ended and you promised you would call me! I would have called earlier but I thought that me calling you could get in the way of you calling me and..."

Tim couldn't help but laugh at the sheer normalcy and energy pouring out of the phone, but regretted it as shifting his ribs caused another flare. He let out a gasp, and winced as both the rubbing on his back and the monologue on the other end of the line paused.

"Tim? You're okay right?"

He sighed,

"Yeah Abby I'm fine."

He closed his eyes and once more leant on Tony, realising he would probably need the majority of his pitiful supply of energy to have this conversation. He quirked his lips slightly in a small smile as he felt Tony give his waist another small squeeze in reassurance.

"Are you sure? You sound tired and... pained?"

He sighed, he should have known Abby would know him to well to buy that. He winced as he heard her continue talking.

"Your date wasn't that bad was it? Or did it just not solve the problem? Not that I think it's a problem but you do. I told you it probably wasn't going to work but..."

He cut Abby off praying that Tony either hadn't heard or would forget about what Abby had said.

"No Abbs, that's not it I... remember I texted you saying I thought something was... off and wondering why you picked him?"

He could almost see her nodding along as he talked.

"Yeah... why McGee what happened... was he not interested or...?"

She trailed off and he screwed his eyes tighter shut.

"That's not it Abbs, he... he was slightly too interested, but I dealt with it Abby okay? I just have a couple of bruises alright?"

He rushed to get the last part out so she wouldn't worry as much.

"He tried to... oh my god Tim I'm so sorry..."

He quickly cut her off again just knowing she would blame herself.

"Abby! Abby it's not your fault... It's not anybody's fault, you got that?"

"But Tim he tried to..."

"Yeah Abby, tried to." He stressed the word. "I dealt with it... and now Gibbs and Ziva are dealing with it."

That made her pause, and he heard her taking deep breaths over the line. He felt Tony shifting round behind him, and opened his eyes looking up at him curiously. He was pulling out his phone, mouthing the word 'Ducky' and pointing to Tim's phone. Tim nodded in agreement, Abby would not want to stay at home, would probably insist on coming to see him, and she was in no condition to drive.

Sure enough the next words out of her mouth were,

"Where are you right now?"

He leaned back against Tony again and closed his eyes, feeling himself coming closer to sleep again, Tony's rising and falling chest and murmuring into the phone serving to soothe him...

"Tim?" The panic was evident again instead of the forced calm from moments ago and he rushed to reassure her.

"Sorry zoned out... I'm at Bethesda with Tony... but you don't need to come here." He pre-empted her question. "Like I said I just have a few bruises, they're letting me go home with Tony in a minute."

He silently thanked Tony for allowing him to stay at his place. Abby would have panicked ten times more if he had told her he was being admitted over night.

"I'll meet you there... " He was about to object and tell her Ducky would probably be there to drive her in the next half hour when she suddenly cut him off "hold on."

Her voice muffled for a moment and he heard her moving towards the door before opening it and saying "Ducky?" Tim opened his eyes and looked up at Tony quirking an eyebrow slightly, He simply shrugged with the shoulder Tim wasn't using as a pillow and mouthed 'Gibbs' as if that should explain everything. To be honest, it actually did.