Poor poor sea sick McGee! Anyway I couldn't believe that the team would only see the funny side to the continuous vomiting so I give you what we missed out on! And just to reassure some reviewers, dog tags is definitely an upcoming chapter (or more if I get carried away) I'm working chronologically at the moment simply doing missing scenes or the aftermaths and interludes. Currently I'm thinking of making it go AU around Caged to finish off, (hint McGee whump alert).
Slight revision thanks to a reviewer, sorry I can't reply directly! Hope it makes more sense now.
It's only Tony's hands that stop him from falling, catching him after his stumble and as he fights the urge to simply curl up in one of the bathrooms and expel everything he's ever eaten.
He rolls his eyes. It's not him that's freaking out; it's his body failing him.
"Tell that to my stomach."
He snorts a laugh and offers Tony a small grin when he then crouches down,
"Easy Probie's stomach."
Tony straightens and grins back at him before frowning and shifting a hand onto his back, ignoring the fact that the rest of the team are moving off,
"You look really pale man, didn't you take those pills?"
"They don't help." He mutters back, "And I've probably thrown them up already. Let's just get back to this. Sooner we're done, sooner we're back on dry land."
Tony offered him a reassuring smile and patted him on the back once more,
"Sure thing Probie. And besides maybe you'll get your sea legs and all will be well."
"Stranger things have happened."
One more pat on the shoulder and they're following the others into the kitchen.
He'll be fine. He's probably got very little food left in him anyway.
"Hey Ducky?" Tony quizzes, walking quickly over to the other man while they're the only two there, "Quick question..."
The M.E looks up at him, pausing in his task for a moment, "Yes Anthony, what can I do for you?"
"Isn't it bad that McGee's still heaving his guts every ten minutes?"
He tries to make the question as nonchalant as possible, but knows some of the worry will have crept into his tone. He still finds it hilarious that someone in a job so closely associated with the navy has this much of an issue with ships, but after a few hours of it not letting up... well it's become slightly concerning as well. What if this isn't just sea sickness, is the niggling thought in the back of his head.
"Is he vomiting each time?" Ducky questions with a frown. Tony nods quickly,
"Oh yeah. From what I've heard anyway...it's pretty bad Duck man."
"Then dehydration and a lack of electrolytes may be in Timothy's very near future."
"Isn't that bad?" Tony questions, slightly reassured that Ducky seems to think these are the only issues, because those can be fixed,
"Just try to keep him hydrated. That's all we can do right now. I must confess I had no idea his sea sickness was this severe. The only case like it I've seen was a young lad..."
He's reassessing that theory about food a while later as he's leaning over another toilet bowl. He's lost count of how many times he's had to do this since getting on this stupid abandoned black ship.
This time however, is different. Tony has been alternating between offering jokes, insults and words of encouragement and sympathy. This time he hears Tony open the door and make his way into the cramped space.
"If you've come in to mock up close I warn you I can and will vomit on you." He informs him, letting the exhaustion and misery he's feeling creep into his tone.
"No mocking." Comes the voice from behind him, "Not right now anyway."
There's a hand on his back then, and he won't admit out loud how soothing he finds that right now, especially as Tony begins moving it in slow circles. He can almost hear the frown in the other man's voice as he starts talking,
"Shouldn't this have let up slightly by now?"
"I'm not that lucky." Tim mumbles back and Tony lets out a quick snort.
He hears the other man fumble around for something, and the hand leaves his back. A few moments later a bottle rim appears against his lips, nudging against them almost insistently.
"Rinse and spit." Tony tells him, tilting the bottle more as he parts his lips and moving it away once he has a small mouthful. "You'll feel better, trust me."
Following instructions he swirls the water round for a moment before spitting it into the bowl. It does improve the awful taste his mouth had taken on slightly, and he nods.
"Don't mention it." The bottle is suddenly back in front of him, "Now, take a few sips, you need to replace some fluids, no matter how funny it is that a navy cop gets this sea sick, losing that much can't be good for you."
He rolls his eyes but again does as he's told, gently pushing Tony's hand away when he feels like he shouldn't drink any more. The frown is almost audible again, and he can imagine Tony squinting at the bottle at his next words,
"You sure that's enough?"
He starts to stand, pushing up from the floor as he answers,
"Any more and I'll be seeing it again." He informs the other man bluntly.
"Right. Enough water. Understood." Tony agrees, "Ready to go looking for a lion goat snake?"
He really doesn't like rats. At all.
He'd been telling the truth about not really having a problem with them before. Sure he hadn't really been dying to have a rat as a pet or anything, but now, after lying in a hospital bed fighting some medieval disease that the little guys are famous for carrying... well he's a bit apprehensive around them.
And now there's the possibility that he's been exposed to another deadly disease while surrounded by the things.
So really, they don't have the best track record of bringing him luck.
And on top of that, the number of close calls he's had may mean that sometime soon it won't be 'close'.
Talking to McGee calms him somewhat though. The offering of alternative explanations for everything makes him feel slightly better, and even though his brain still makes the worst case scenario assumption, Tim's obvious scepticism,
"Until you are actually dead... can you please help me fix this?"
So they work and Tim humours him and all is good... until the other man's face takes on a sickly green tint again and suddenly he's darting towards the nearest toilet one more.
This cannot be normal.
For a fleeting moment he wonders if McGee has picked up the deadly virus thing he's been so worried about, but that doesn't make sense right? Ducky would have looked slightly more concerned about the vomiting when he asked him if that was the case right?
So McGee just has really rubbish luck when it comes to ships.
Sighing he gives a quick knock on the door to announce he's entering this time. His only response is another retch.
He swings the door open, pulling the bottle of water out once more. Ducky's words are still ringing in his ears, and although the M.E. didn't sound all that worried he can't help but wonder if that was in an 'in the grand scheme of things' kind of way. Like, yes this whole dehydration thing may be bad, but hey on the ship with people vanishing and dropping dead of highly infectious thingamabobs, well it could be worse.
Because dehydration was definitely a bad thing last time he checked. He remembers coaches pushing water on them like crazy after intense games, and all the first aid training sessions he's had... dehydration equals bad is basically the idea.
Like the last time he places a hand on McGee's back, rubbing it slightly while the other man shudders as his body goes against him.
"Think you're done for now?" He questions sympathetically. The last few retches have been unproductive, but if anything that makes him even more worried. He remembers stomach viruses when that's happened and sometimes it sucks even more then when there is actually something to get rid of.
His reply is a short nod and a shuddered breath before Tim huffs a small laugh. Moving, and dislodging Tony's hand, he repositions so he's side on to both Tony and the toilet bowl, leaning against the wall, legs drawn up in the cramped compartment.
"God that sucked."
He winces in sympathy,
"Yeah sounds like."
He uncaps the water bottle in his hand, while crouching so he's down at the same level as the other man. Placing the water bottle near Tim's mouth again he nods towards it meaningfully. McGee rolls his eyes but obediently opens his mouth so Tony can tip a small swallow of water in.
He waits patiently while Tim swallows the water and releases a shaky breath.
"Think you can handle some more?" He questions, shaking the bottle for emphasis. He tries to offer a supportive grin when Tim cracks an eye to glare at him, "Come on, you want to be dehydrated on top of everything?"
Tim sighs before holding out his hand for the bottle,
He hands over the water before straightening; looking out of the door and down the corridor, feeling the need to check that nothing has snuck up on them in the moment of weakness. That's the other worrying thing about this whole situation. With the number of times he's thrown up and how quickly Tim can go from fine to curled up over a toilet... well he's not at the peak of his ability to defend himself.
Behind him he can hear the bottle tip a few more times before Tim starts to struggle to stand. That's slightly reassuring, but when he turns to take the bottle back and replace the cap he can't help but frown at how little water those few sips have translated to.
"Trust me. That was my limit right now." Tim informs him grimly before offering a grateful grin.
"Thanks though Tony. Seriously."
"Don't thank me yet." Tony cautions, "Dehydration may have been a nicer way to go than black ship disease."
That earns him an eye roll.
"You aren't dying Tony."
"So you say." He counters, "Threes McGee. And my luck has to run out some time."
"When this ship kills me, I will haunt you."
Tim snorts as they move off ready to regroup with the others.
"If that happens feel free to do that... for the few hours before I'm dead too."
"I will." Tony reassures him, "I'd hate for you to think I'd found other people to haunt."
"I'm sure I'd get over it." Tim offers, glancing down the corridors they pass in search of the rest of their team, "And soon I'd be joining you anyway. I think I could deal with the few hours of separation."
"What if I found cooler ghosts to hang with?" He counters, following after McGee and glancing over his shoulder every so often to check behind them, "An eternity of separation McGee."
"You'd miss me." McGee assures him in a confident tone, opening a door that was slightly ajar and peering in. He shakes his head at Tony's quirked eyebrow and they move on.
"Really?" Tony picks up the conversation.
"Yep." Tim offers him a slight grin as he glances back over his shoulder.
"Are you going to go find another ghost with a Mc name? Or will you miss the opportunity to call someone McGhostly?"
This time it's his turn to snort,
Tim's huff conveys disbelief, and he feels his lips twitch.
"Fine then... the opportunity to remind me that you were right? For all eternity."
He tilts his head as if considering the statement seriously, before looking at the amused grin on McGee's face and nodding.
"...see you in the afterlife McGee. I'll save you a spot."
Tim shakes his head and Tony grins.
"Eternity of torment with you? What did I ever do?" It's said in a false whisper as Tim peeks through another door. Tony huffs in the expected indignation,
"Not listen to your partner telling you he was dying. Mocking him for believing the end was near." He informs McGee in the most serious tone he can manage.
"Not dying Tony." Tim's voice slips slightly from the easy going banter they've found themselves in, and becomes more fondly exasperated.
"Then why were you so upset that I wouldn't hang with your ghost?" He demands. This earns him a small huff of laughter,
"I don't want you to be under the impression that when you do die anyone else will be idiotic enough to agree to hang with you."
"But you would? Ah McGee, I knew you loved me!" He lets a bright grin slip onto his face as his partner turns to face him. Taking in his expression Tim snorts before continuing to move on down the corridor.
"I've been your partner for years Tony; it already feels like I've suffered for eternity."
"You'll regret saying that when I'm dead." He cautions seriously.
"You're not dying." He likes to think the term 'fondly' exasperated still applies to the tone McGee just used to say that, but it's a close call.
"You don't know that." He insists. "I could start frothing at the mouth any second... bleeding from my eyes, and suddenly, dead DiNozzo. Do you want that on your conscience McGee?" He demands.
His response is another amused glance and an eye roll,
"Then I'll apologise to your ghost when you come to haunt me, alright?"
"Yes Tony," Fond exasperation, definitely. It's unmistakeable. " if the ship kills you I'll apologise for my joke to your ghost."
"So that was a joke?" He says triumphantly, and Tim turns to him again, one eyebrow raised,
"You're saying you like being my partner?" Tony can hear the small amount of glee in his tone at his victory before he frowns, "You really think I'm dying don't you?"
Tim snorts and rolls his eyes,
"Tony for the last time, you are not dying."
"But you like being my partner." Tony quizzes with a grin, "And I don't even have to be dying for you to tell me. McGee I'm touched."
Tim laughs slightly again, before looking at him over his shoulder. He puts on his best fake hopeful expression and Tim laughs again, shaking his head,
"It has its moments." The other man admits. Rolling his eyes as Tony grins widely. He reaches forward to pat the other man on the back, and waits until he looks at him again to state as seriously as he can,
"Love you too McGee."
Tim rolls his eyes again and goes back to his search,
They continue on in silence for a few more seconds before Tony frowns at how Tim's pace does seem to have slowed, and the occasional swaying isn't reassuring either. Digging out the water again he taps McGee on the shoulder and waves the bottle in his face when he turns,
"Drink some more water McGee. I'd hate for you to die before your time."
Tim sighs and takes the bottle, glaring at Tony's observation while he takes a few sips.
"Happy now?" Tim asks as he stops drinking, screwing the cap back on and handing the bottle back.
"Very." Tony assures, inspecting the water level and realising it is more than McGee's managed before. He looks up to find Tim shaking his head fondly at him before moving off.
"Glad you love me back Tony." McGee calls over his shoulder as Tony moves to follow him. He thinks of making another comeback when he sees the rest of the team up ahead. Moving so he can walk next to McGee he settles for clapping him on the shoulder as he moves past to rejoin the group.
"You have your moments."
They stand and watch the smoke rising from the remains of the ship they'd barely evacuated in time, before suddenly Tony's attention is drawn to McGee. The expression on his face has become familiar over the last few hours, and he moves so that he's closer to the other man.
Reaching out he places a hand on his back and starts nudging him towards the side.
"Seriously?" He questions in a light-hearted tone, "Still? You did realise what the N in NCIS stood for when you signed up right?"
"Not in the mood Tony." McGee informs him as he drops to his knees and leans over the side, breathing deeply.
"Right." Tony immediately switches gears. He settles for keeping one hand on McGee's back as he searches for his bottle of water. He curses under his breath as he realises he must have left it on the ship. Looking over his shoulder he sees the rest of the team are frowning in their direction, Gibbs glancing at them in between keeping control of their craft.
"He is still sea sick?" Ziva queries, "I thought it had finished, no?"
Tony shakes his head, wincing as McGee begins retching in earnest,
"He just ran out of food to show for it...any of you got any water?"
Ziva turns to start digging through what little there is on the small boat they're now on, while Ducky makes his way to crouch beside them.
"Has he been drinking regularly Anthony?" The doctor questions as they watch McGee's body struggle to expel what isn't even there anymore, Tony moving his hand in slow circles he knows McGee won't admit feel good. Tony grins slightly as Tim huffs a laugh between bouts of retching.
"Oh yeah." McGee gasps out, "I think Tony was measuring my intake."
Tony opens his mouth to deny it when he sees Gibbs and Ducky both looking at him expectantly,
"He's been taking in a little each time he does... this." He gestures with his free hand to how McGee is leant over. "More in the gaps between but it wasn't much. Not even a full bottle in the whole time we were on ship."
Ducky nods while frowning at McGee's hunched over form.
"Well, as soon as we're back on dry land I recommend a shopping trip." He directs the comment towards Tony who starts paying rapt attention, "Something to help replenish the fluids and electrolytes, as well as a good night's sleep."
Tony nods while Tim hums in agreement. He feels McGee moving as if to sit up so gently presses against his back.
"How about a little while longer just to be sure?"
Tim shakes his head and pushes up again,
"Bouncing up and down on the side isn't exactly helping." He informs him, sliding his eyes closed as he rests his back against the side of the boat. Tony lets out a huff.
"Fine, have it your way." His lips twitch slightly as he feels the boat slow slightly, easing the bouncing McGee was talking about. His eyes cut to Gibbs. Quirking an eyebrow he looks at the team leader who only glares stonily in response as if daring him to comment.
"Here is some water McGee." He refrains from jumping in shock as Ziva suddenly appears beside him, holding out a small bottle from somewhere. "There is more, but I thought we should start small yes?"
"Not too much." Tony agrees.
"Guys I'm fine." Tim sighs, cracking an eye and reaching for the water. "It's just a little sea sickness; it was apparently hilarious a few hours ago."
"I can make jokes if you want McGee?" Tony offers before anyone can say anything, "You have to admit, it is hilarious and besides, I have a few saved up."
"I'm sure you do."
"An eternity worth." Tony assures him.