Sorry for the long wait once more but real life took over again for a while. Now this is set after Tony saves Gibbs and Maddie by diving into the water and pulling them out, because the episode follows up on Gibbs but not the others, and this story fills in Tony and McGee's parts as anyone reading this knows :)

I did try to make in angsty like most of my stuff is but as I was writing it turned out I was in more of a banter mood, so there's the usual undercurrent of caring but they basically snipe at each other for the whole thing. Enjoy!

He shivered slightly as he jogged back towards the two he'd left behind when he'd headed to the pay phone.

"McGee and Ziva are almost here" he informed Gibbs, teeth chattering as he talked. The team leader turned away from Maddie to give him a nod,

"Good work DiNozzo."

He's shocked for a second before he grins,

"Uh, thanks Boss? No biggie, little swim, quite refreshing actually..."

He trailed off as Gibbs' blank 'almost approval' face started to shift into blank 'almost annoyance'. It's subtle but he's learnt to notice these things.

"Right...uh..." He heard the squeal of tires and pointed over his shoulder. "I'm going to go get those guys and show them..."

He trailed off again at Gibbs' nod and started jogging off once more.

He took a slow, steady pace back through the building, towards where he could hear a car door opening and another pulling up. His body was starting to ache as he came down from his rush of adrenaline. He was soaked through, his feet slipping in his shoes due to the water pooled in them.

Basically, right now he just wanted to go home and have a hot shower, before collapsing into bed and sleeping for the next however many hours.

Tony frowned as he blinked his eyes open, turning questioningly to his partner.

"This isn't my apartment." He stated, glaring at McGee accusingly. The other man simply smiled fondly at him and rolled his eyes,

"Glad you can still tell the difference. Thought you spent too much time here to be sure."

Tony groaned and leaned back in the seat, slamming his head into the head rest.

"Please tell me you did not drive me back to the office just to use that joke. Please."

He could almost hear the eye roll McGee gave in response.

"Trust me I didn't, I'm not you."

"Then why are we here?" He did not whine. That was not a whine, it was a slightly high pitched question. "The reports can wait until tomorrow right? Gibbs said so, and you told me you'd drive me home."

"I'm not making you write a report Tony." McGee placated him, and he eased one eye open to judge the other man's sincerity. From what he could tell McGee wasn't lying to him, so he nodded,


"And I will drive you home."


"Right after Palmer checks you over."

"Great...wait what?" He blinked his eyes open fully and turned in his seat to look at McGee. Who had already opened his door and got out of the car. Cursing under his breath he scrambled to undo his seatbelt and open the door.

Slamming it shut he rested his arms on top of the car and glared at his partner, wincing as he felt a drop of water run down his back while his feet squelched in his shoes.

"Come on McGee!" He protested, "I'm cold and wet and tired and Gibbs gave us the evening and tomorrow morning off! Just drive me home."

"Not before you see Palmer." McGee folded his arms and glared back at him over the top of the car, before he sighed, slumping his shoulders and running a hand through his hair, "Come on Tony it'll take ten minutes."

"It will waste ten minutes." Tony corrected him, "I don't need a check up McGee I'm fine."

"I thought you were cold wet and tired?" McGee shot back, folding his own arms again as an expression of frustration came onto his face,

"I am." Tony agreed, nodding his head, "Which is why I would like to go home, where there are warm showers, towels and a nice comfortable bed."

"And we'll get there...right after we see Palmer."

"You still haven't explained why that's happening." Tony pointed out. "I'm not the one that drowned."

"No Tony you're not." McGee agreed, but he knew better than to consider that a victory. McGee's voice was tainted with barely controlled anger as he continued, "You're the one that dived into the freezing water after them. You're the one that had to do CPR. You're the one with the stupid scar tissue from having the god dammed plague screwing up your lungs. Combine all of them Tony and then try and use your brain to figure out why on earth your partner would want you to see a medical professional!"

It was quite possibly the angriest he'd ever seen McGee, who drew in a deep breath and puffed it out at the end of his speech, suddenly seeming to fold in on himself once more and uncrossing his arms.

"Ok." He agreed, watching as McGee's eyes shot back to him and he raised an eyebrow,

"Ok?" He repeated slowly, making it sound like a question.

"Why not?" Tony asked, pushing off from the car and resolutely ignoring the squelching of his shoes as he took a few steps so the vehicle was no longer a barrier between them. "You made some good points, and besides, we can frighten the gremlin into not saying a word about how I let you bully me into this."

He watched as McGee's face relaxed even further, and a small smile replaced the lines of tension,

"Thanks Tony."

He shrugged, "Like I said, no one else will find out. And besides," he grinned, "I can spend the whole time teasing you about how much you obviously care about me."

McGee sighed, but the grin remained,

"Fine. Whatever makes you happy."

"Love you too McGee."

"Thought you didn't swing that way?" McGee teased him, bumping his shoulder as they started walking, "And you're too old for me."

"Bite your tongue McGee." Tony scolded, "I'm in my prime. And it's a completely platonic love. "

"We'll let Palmer be the judge of your prime-ness." McGee answered diplomatically.

"He'll agree with me." Tony replied confidently.

"Only because he's afraid of you."

"He's in awe of me." Tony corrected, "I'm pretty awesome."

"But you agree it's the only reason he'll agree with you?"

"He's a medical professional McGee. He'll give an honest, unbiased opinion of my health, irrespective of my carrying a gun."

"In which case he'll tell you diving into freezing water with your history was a bonehead move." McGee informed him with a small, but worried smile.

"Relax Mcworry-wart." Tony scolded, as they finally reached the building and headed towards the elevator.

"He's perfectly fine." Palmer stated, stepping back from his examination and tucking away his stethoscope.

Tony grinned in triumph and turned his attention to where McGee was leaning against the wall.

"Are you sure?" McGee questioned, "You can stick a needle in him if you need to check. A big one."

He faked a hurt expression,

"Is that how you treat all of the daring heroes?"

McGee rolled his eyes as he stepped towards him,

"No that's how I treat my idiot partner that seems to forget his lungs have been through enough without adding nearly drowning into the mix."

"It was necessary." He argued back, frowning now, "Are you telling me that in my place you wouldn't have dived in?" He demanded.

"No!" McGee was stood right in front of him now, huffing out a breath, "You did the right thing, what I'm saying is it's important to get checked out afterwards."

"He's right." Plamer piped in from where he'd moved to the background. Tony shot a glare in his direction and grudgingly felt a small amount of respect when Palmer only hesitated for a second before continuing, "This kind of stress does mean a check up after. It was fine this time but anything that could affect your breathing has bigger risks for you."

"You see?" McGee questioned, before turning to the autopsy assistant, "Thanks Palmer."

"No problem" The younger man reassured, "Any time."

"Only if you remember our deal." Tony cautioned, voice light, but with an undertone of seriousness, "This," he made a gesture to encompass the whole room, before waving a hand between all of them, "stays between us."

"Because God forbid the great Tony DiNozzo actually do the sensible thing." McGee muttered, even as Palmer nodded his head vigorously.

"Yeah, absolutely. Patient confidentiality means I shouldn't tell anyone anyway. Doctor Mallard would definitely disapprove if I just walked around telling people who I'd treated. And since there was nothing wrong it would just be gossiping. And that's just even more-"

"Thanks again Palmer." Tony interrupted, "Really."

He grabbed McGee and started walking out of the room followed by Palmer's quick, "Uh sorry, sure, any time!"

He raised a hand in acknowledgement before shoving McGee ahead of him into the elevator.

"Come on McRide-home. My apartment. Shower. Bed. You promised."

He pointed an accusing finger at McGee before jabbing the button for the floor they wanted.

"Platonic huh?" McGee teased him. He rolled his eyes and groaned as the metal doors slid shut and they started to move. He leant back against the elevator wall and closed his eyes, feeling the tiredness creep in again.

"I miss the days when you were terrified of my very presence."He informed the other man. "That was much more entertaining."

McGee snorted and leaned back next to him.

"I was only mildly scared of you. Terror was saved for Gibbs...and occasionally Kate."

He heard the usual almost hesitance over Kate's name that McGee had never quite managed to get over, and felt the responding momentary tightening of his chest.

"Fair enough." He replied, keeping the tone light.

"And besides." McGee put in after a second of silence, "Secretly you love it."

"Sure I do McGee." He reached over and patted his partner condescendingly on the arm as the elevator doors opened and they pushed off from the back wall.

"Deny it all you want but you love me." McGee teased him as they wandered back across the squad room, keeping in step with one another perfectly from years of practice.

"It's requited." He assured the other man with a grin. "You platonically love me right back."

"Whatever." McGee scoffed, but there was a fond grin on his face when Tony glanced at him in mock hurt.

"Do you have any food?" McGee asked, head stuck in the fridge as he wandered out of his room, dressed in loose sweats and a T-shirt and towelling off his hair. He frowned and crossed his arms, slumping to the side to lean against the door frame.

"You're in my fridge, you tell me."

McGee snorted, straightening and closing the fridge door.

"In which case no. Either in there or any of the cupboards."

"There should be some Ramen." The frown deepened as he tried to remember if he'd used all of that up.

McGee laughed again,

"I said food. As in a healthy post near-drowning meal."

"They have guides for that kind of thing?" He asked, frown morphing into a grin. McGee shrugged,

"Probably? And I don't think Ramen would be on there."

"It's good in a pinch." Tony defended. "And you can add stuff to it."


"Did you stick around just to criticise my grocery buying?" He demanded, following McGee with his eyes as the other man made himself comfortable on one of the kitchen stools, wrapping his hands around a steaming mug.

"No." McGee paused, before he continued in an amused tone, "But if I had I'd probably comment on the fact there is no food other than Ramen, yet there is a full cupboard of Coffee." He raised the mug in emphasis before taking a sip.

He shrugged, grin unrepentant,

"I have my priorities. Now why are you here?"

McGee rolled his eyes,

"Clearly I stuck around for your unparalleled conversational skills."

"I could throw you out." Tony informed him.

"I made coffee." McGee counters, using his own mug to gesture to one sat on the side that he hadn't noticed before. He pushed off of the door frame and made his way into the kitchen area. Picking up his favourite mug he breathed in the aroma before taking an experimental sip. He shot a look toward McGee, who was grinning at him again,

"Alright." He agreed taking another sip, "As you remembered how to make my coffee, you can stay."

"I'm honoured."

"You should be. I never even bring girls here." Tony reminded him, sliding into the seat across the counter from his partner. "But seriously, why are you still hanging around?"

McGee shrugged and looked away from him for a second.

"It's what we do." He replied seriously before looking back at Tony, "And who am I to break that tradition?"

"Tradition?" He questioned, suddenly too tired to figure out what McGee was on about despite the sips of caffeine he kept taking. He frowned down at the mug, "Is this decaf?"

"No, you're just that tired." McGee told him, frowning at him for a second, "Or, you know, the fact that we mainline coffee has built up your resistance."

"A distinct possibility." Tony agreed, "But, yeah, tradition?"

He raised an eyebrow and stared at McGee.

"What we do when one of us does something ridiculous, or gets hurt or almost dies. I'm staying over." McGee said simply, before frowning and waving his now half empty mug in Tony's direction, "And there are no arguments. If you can invade my apartment for seasickness, I totally get privileges after a near drowning."

Tony grinned at him, "You're worried about me."

"Mentally." McGee muttered.

"No, no, no, McGee." Tony waved a finger at him, grin spreading wide across his face, "Don't even joke right now. You love me. I knew it."


"And you're right." He mused, taking another sip of the, admittedly excellent, coffee his partner had made him, "We do stay round a lot...we should totally just be done with it and move in together."

Whatever reply McGee was about to make froze on his lips for a second before he shook his head,

"I thought this was platonic love DiNozzo?" He teased back, but Tony's grin didn't lessen,

"Oh it is. Doesn't mean we can't be roomies. You'd love it. You could keep an eye on me and do all your McWorry warting close at hand."

McGee shook his head and slid his coffee mug away, standing and walking round to Tony's side of the counter to drag him off of his own stool.

"But McGee!" He protested, waving a hand in the direction of his own abandoned mug as he was dragged away, "Coffee."

His partner looked at him incredulously before shaking his head, "There's no way you need it right now. You're too keyed up on adrenaline, and exhausted. I should never have added caffeine into the mix. You're going to sleep."

"And you're staying?" He checked as McGee continued to shove him in the direction of his bedroom.

"Yeah Tony."

"Alright." He agreed with a sigh. "Fine. Whatever. But we have work tomorrow."

"As you reminded me, we have the morning off. I can head home and change."

Tony waved a hand in the direction of a cupboard,

"You've got a spare set of clothes in there."

"Oh...yeah." McGee muttered.

"Towels are-"

"Under the sink. I know."


"In the same cupboard as the clothes. And before you say it so are pillows. I know."

They both stopped in the doorway of Tony's bedroom and he grinned at McGee,

"See you're practically platonically moved in already!"

"Sleep Tony."

"Night McWorry wart."

"Night Tony." McGee shoved him into his room.

"I love you platonically!" He yelled through the now closed door.

"I will kill you in your sleep."

He rolled over and blinked his eyes open, only to scramble away from the figure stood over him, one arm outstretched.

"Tony relax its me."

The words took a moment to register, but he stopped trying to figure out where his gun was right then and breathed out a deep breath,

"Jesus McGee." He ran a hand through his hair, "I thought you were joking about the whole killing me thing."

"Hilarious." McGee moved away from the bed and across the room, switching the light on before turning back to him,

"What are you doing in here?" Tony demanded, "Did we over sleep?"

"No. No, its fine. I just came in to give you this." McGee held out a glass of water and he took it from him hesitantly, raising an eyebrow,

"In the middle of the night?"

McGee shrugged, and folded his arms, looking down at him with a frown that appeared to be more concerned than anything,

"You keep coughing. Loud enough that I heard it through the closed door. Not sure if it's in your sleep or you wake up for a second."

Now that his partner mentioned it, he did have a vague recollection of blinking awake a few times. He nodded in appreciation, taking a sip of the water,


"No problem." McGee slipped out of the room, but was back in seconds, carrying some more pillows. "Lean forward."

He obeyed the authority in the tone before the words had even really sunk in. McGee slid the pillows in behind him, where they would force him into a more upright position when he laid back.

"That should help." McGee announced, taking a step back to study him, "You don't look ill, but you might be coming down with something from the water."

"I'm sure it's just a cough." He assured him, taking another sip before setting the glass on the side table. "Really McGee, thanks." Something occurred to him and he frowned, "Aren't these the pillows you were using?"

"Its fine Tony." The younger man told him, before he could even tell him to take them back. "I can use the arm and couch cushions."

"You're sure?"

"Tony. I'll be fine. Go back to sleep."

He wanted to protest, but he was tired, laying back down he tugged the cover back over himself,

"Would still be asleep if someone hadn't woke me up." He grumbled, just loud enough that McGee would still hear it on his way out.

"Whatever Tony." He heard in reply from the doorway, "Next time I'll leave you to it. Die and see if I care."

"You'll make someone a great wife one day McGee" he countered. There was a huff from the door and a mumbled,

"Not staying next time." Before the light switch clicked off and the door... he cracked an eye open and peeled off the covers so he could look. It was left ajar. He grinned. McGee totally cared.

"I'll yell if I need anything?" He called out, "Or you know, feel like my lungs are making a bid for freedom?"

"It's to make it easier to sneak in and strangle you!" There was a pause, "But yeah. Yell."

He grinned and shut his eyes again. Yeah. McGee so cared.

He grunted in response to Ziva's greeting, sliding down in his chair and pillowing his face on his desk. Whatever fondness he'd had for McGee from the night before was gone.

"Someone came down from their adrenaline rush." He heard McGee tell Ziva. He raised his head long enough to glare at his partner.

"No. Someone wouldn't let us stop for coffee."

"Because someone wouldn't get out of bed after his adrenaline wore off."

"Whatever you say McGee." He turned to Ziva who was looking at both of them with a smirk, "And we haven't eaten."

"You haven't eaten." McGee corrected him, "Because you slept through breakfast and then we were running late so we didn't have time for lunch."

He groaned and put his head back on his arms.

He heard McGee and Ziva milling around, setting up for the day and flicking through files. After about five minutes there was a frustrated sigh from McGee's desk. He resisted the urge to look up until something hit him. Frowning he glared at his partner and then at the paper ball on the floor.

"Yeah McGee torment the starving man."

"You aren't starving Tony."

"You don't know that."

McGee rolled his eyes, but reached into his bag and pulled out a paper bag and thermos, standing he brought them over to Tony's desk and set them in front of him.

"Lunch and coffee." He informed him, "Now stop complaining."

"When did you get this?" Tony demanded, opening the bag and peering in to see a sandwich, what looked to be cereal or protein bars, and an apple.

"You had no food Tony. I had to go out to get breakfast and picked up some things to fill the cupboards. I made that while you were in the shower."

"And you didn't tell me until now because?" He demanded, unpacking the lunch on his desk and ripping the wrapper off of one of the bars.

"You didn't give me a chance over all the complaining you were doing."

He opened the coffee and took a long swig, not bothering to reply to that. He groaned. Now that he was fully awake he could appreciate the fact that having a partner work with you for years allowed them to get your coffee. Spot. On.


"Yeah Tony?" Came the distracted reply, the other man already pouring over files and tapping away on his computer,

"Forgive me for complaining?"

"Always do. I'd go crazy with rage if I didn't."

Ziva snorted, but continued with whatever it was she was doing. He grinned.

"And forget about moving in with me." He ignored the way Ziva's head snapped up in confusion and shock, and grinned at McGee, "Platonically Marry me instead." He demanded, "And our vows will be that you make me coffee every morning."

McGee shook his head and returned the grin,

"In your dreams."