Title: It Stops Being Cute When Someone Almost Dies
Fandoms: NCIS & Criminal Minds
Characters: Tony DiNozzo Jr, Aaron Hotchner, Jennifer “JJ” Jareau (LaMontagne), Dr. Spencer Reid, Timothy McGee
Relationships: Tony/Aaron, Spencer/Tim
Content Warnings: Consequences of the Plague, Angst, Schmoop, Tony & Tim Friendship, Established relationships, Not Beta Read, Possible inaccurate medical details, Mean Girl!JJ
Word Count: 1,832
Notes: I’m not a doctor. I didn’t do research on the medical stuff because frankly this is how I wanted it to go. I tried to be vague on purpose. If inaccurate medical details irritates you, this isn’t the story for you. This also isn’t beta read. I don’t have a regular one. Again, if this is going to bug you… this isn’t a story for you.
Summary: What started out as a cute cold that amused him as his partner whined, turned deadly. Tony ends up in the hospital. Hotch ends up feeling guilty. Tim ends up being the voice of comfort. Spencer just tells people off with statistics.
It Stops Being Cute When Someone Almost Dies
“Can you jus’ like… knock me out or somethin?” Tony croaked laying on the bed in misery. Behind him he could hear his partner chuckle from somewhere in the direction of the closet. He was pretty sure the man was dressing for work.
For about half a minute, Tony considered rolling over to watch him. Seeing those hands tie that tie in the morning never failed to turn him on. More than once, his lover had found himself on the receiving end of a blow job in thanks.
Unfortunately, the way he felt that morning, rolling over seemed to be a lot more effort than he had to give. “If you loved me you’d put me out of my misery.”
“I love you very much, but I think that would be a little drastic for a cold don’t you?” Tony felt the bed dip just before a kiss was pressed into his hair. “Jack would be upset, and Abby would hurt me.”
“Abby would understand. Do you know what it’s like working for Gibbs when you’re sick?”
“What about, Jack?” Aaron asked amused and Tony whined.
”Damnit.” Rolling onto his stomach, Tony pressed his face into the pillow. Maybe he could suffocate himself.
“The second you pass out I am rolling you over so that you can breath again.”
Rolling over again, Tony glared up at his lover who was practically laughing at him. “You wouldn’t be this amused if you were the one that had to work for that man.” Tony pouted, and Aaron just rolled his eyes at him.
“Tony, I already called Gibbs, and told him that you aren’t coming in because you are sick.”
“You did?” Tony snuffled, and Aaron swore to himself he’d never tell the man who cute he looked when he made that face.
“Yes, I also called Brad. He said that he would call in a prescription. I only have to do my weekly meeting with Cruz, and then I will be back. I will pick up the drugs on the way home, and some of that egg drop soup that you like when you are sick. Gibbs promised he’d keep Abby and Bishop away ‘til I give him the all clear.”
“You do love me,” Tony squeaked, his voice going away rapidly. Shaking his head, Aaron gave him a kiss to his forehead.
“Yes, I have told you that numerous times over the last 5 years. It’s nice to know you finally believe me though.”
Tony was back to pouting, and Aaron just laughed as he stood. “I will be back after a while. Go back to sleep. I will wake you up when I get home.”
Hotch moved toward the door hearing,”Love you too,” just as he crossed the doorway. Shaking his head the BAU unit chief just smiled. Life with Tony was certainly never boring. It was nice that he was so predictable when he was sick, he turned into such a baby!
A week later, Aaron was no longer amused by his lovers illness. The simple cold had moved into Tony’s chest despite their best efforts. Tony had warned him, when they first got together, how careful he had to be with illnesses. Until now though, he had not understood the reality of his lovers health. He had come home from a consult that had ended in a 3 day stay to find his lover barely breathing and not responding. Aaron was currently sitting in a chair holding his lover’s hand, looking at his blue lips, and listening to the respirator do its job. Aaron wasn’t sure that he had been this scared since he realized Foyet had Haley and Jack.
He didn’t think he’d ever forget the sound of his lover wheezing as he struggled to breath.
He won’t forget the panic, when he saw the blue lips, and realized that he couldn’t wake him.
He won’t forget the look of terror in Tony’s eyes, when he woke up in the hospital, and found himself attached to machines with a tube down his throat.
He didn’t think that he’d get over the guilt of being so amused by the whining and the paranoia.
He didn’t know what the hell he’d do if he lost him.
“I know that it doesn’t seem like it right this second, but he’s stronger the he looks.”
Aaron looked away from the machine to see Tim McGee standing in the doorway. He wanted to snap at the younger man, and ask what the hell he knew. Only, he knew that Tim did know. After all, Tim had seen this the first time.
“Tony’s colds are tricky,”McGee continued inching into the room “Even if you’d been in town, this could have happened. First off, Tony is a stubborn ass. I love him like a brother, but he hates admitting he needs help. I am sure you could tell me why better than I could tell you. Secondly, infections in Tony’s system turn on a dime. We checked on him… every day. Hell we checked on him more than once a day. It just happens. There’s a chance Tony didn’t even realize until it was too late, or that he didn’t realize at all.
“Don’t beat yourself up about this, and have faith. He’ll pull through.”
“How can you know that?” Aaron asked a little desperate for something comforting.
“Because he’s Tony. He’s too stubborn to let a stupid cold beat him. He loves you too much to give in. He loves Jack too much to have him go though another parent dying.
“I just wanted to check in and… well, we wanted to make sure you knew that you have more than your team. You can lean on us, Agent Hotchner. We won’t mind.”
Hotch watched the younger man turn and walk off, leaving a cloud of comfort and hope behind him.
~~*~~*~~*~~*~~Several days later Tony opened his eyes, and looked around at his surroundings. Oh, right… hospital. Scrunching up his nose, Tony cursed that woman, brain tumor or not… he was tired of the fallout from her revenge scheme. OK, so it wasn’t exactly that, but… he was tired of this shit. It wasn’t his fault her daughter had been ashamed and lied. Yet, he was the one who had to live with lifelong consequences.“You scared him you know. You really need to think of others, if you refuse to take your health seriously.” Tony turned his head toward the voice, and scowled when he saw who it was. He really wanted to tell her to fuck off, but his throat was dry, and he wasn’t about to ask her for help.
He hated people like her. People that just made assumptions. People who acted like he was so blasé about his life. He’d been a two sport college athlete. He’d battled for weeks to survive the plague. How the fuck could they think he cared so little about his health? How could people who should have been so smart be so stupid?
“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Tony croaked, and spotted the water cup on his tray, which was unfortunately just outside of his reach.
“I know that this could have been prevented had you taken care of yourself. You, obviously, didn’t or you wouldn’t have ended up in here. People who are taking their medication, and following doctor’s orders don’t end up in the hospital.”
“They do when they’ve had the fucking plague, and have compromised lungs.” Someone snapped from the doorway. Turning his head, Tony was relieved to see McGee. “Probie,” he croaked, and pointed to his water making his friend swear. “Jesus, you couldn’t even get him his water? What the hell are you doing in here?”
Crossing the short space between the door, and Tony’s bed, Tim picked up the cup, and held it up for Tony to drink.
“What do you mean the plague? No one gets that these days. I’m not stupid.” JJ snapped unhappy at being caught.
“Actually,JJ, there were 15 cases of the plague reported in the United States in 2015 alone. Between 1994 and 2003 there were 28,530 reported cases of the plague worldwide with 2015 deaths. While there is some conflicting reporting if all of these cases were in fact the plague, you can certainly catch it in this day and age.” JJ turned to frown at Spencer.
“In Special Agent DiNozzo’s case, it was a genetically engineered strain of the disease, which made it resistant to antibiotics. It was literally a miracle that he survived. It wasn’t without consequences, though. His lungs will be scared, and he certainly will be more susceptible to things like illness and cold temperatures. Things like a simple cold for instance certainly can land him in the hospital, as you can see. I don’t know why you’re here JJ, but.. that wasn’t nice. Hotch won’t be happy with you. You’ve already been warned about this. I thought you promised Will that you’d stop being so petty.”
Tony watched amused as the irritating woman did her fish interpretation before storming out. Licking his lips, Tony smiled at the younger man. “Thanks, guys. I wish she didn’t hate me so much. I don’t know what happened this time.”
“Doctor Pitt thinks you developed a new reaction to one of your antibiotics. He noticed you weren’t waking up when you should after they gave it to you. He says that it caused you to most likely lose track of time, and sleep though your doses. It wasn’t your fault.”
“It wasn’t anyone’s fault, and JJ and I will be having another talk about her minding her own business.” Hotch promised coming in. “Tim, Spencer, thank you so much for coming in. I hope I didn’t interrupt your evening.”
Tim shrugged, and patted Tony on the shoulder before heading to the door. “We were just gonna binge watch Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock series on Netflix. It can wait.”
Spencer nodded smiling. “Jack needed to see you.” Taking his boyfriend’s hand, Spencer waved goodbye to Tony before they left the two alone.
“I’m sorry,” Tony offered still feeling guilty. Hotch crossed the room to sit in the next to Tony’s bed.
“It’s not your fault.”
Nodding, Tony looked at his partner. “So, not yours either. No offense, but she’s kind of a bitch. Can we take her off the Christmas card list?”
Aaron snorted and ran a hand through his lover’s hair. “I love you. You scared me, but I forgive you. If you still mean it in December then you can consider JJ off the list. We’ll just send one to Will and Henry at his precinct. Let’s not do this for awhile, huh?”
Nodding, Tony, yawned and settled in for another nap. In his chair, Hotch sat and thanked every God he knew for letting him keep his love. He didn’t think he would ever be amused by a simple cold again.
End Note: I don’t know why JJ keeps ending up the super bitch. I really don’t hate her despite how I keep writing her. I guess someone has to be the bad guy, and it seems to come naturally with her.