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The Season of Falls

by ellenoz

Gen team fic written for the prompt "messy" at kriadydragon's Gen Comment-a-thon at Sheppard H/C, specifc request appears at end of story.

Author's note : I took a break today from finishing "So Near, So Far" and wrote this little fic instead. SNSF should be up by the end of the week, and I thank everyone who has read that story so far and commented. Reviews are much loved and appreciated, as is your patience.

The city of Atlantis awoke to angry seas and a threatening sky. Dawn made way for a grander light show, as towering black clouds rolled in from the horizon on sets of rumbling thunder and lightning bolts. Teyla placed her breakfast tray on the table, zipped her jacket closed and sat down opposite Ronon and Rodney as heavy rain lashed against the mess hall windows. Ronon briefly looked up from his mountain of food to nod at her, then resumed shoveling scrambled eggs into his mouth. A lap top was open in front of Rodney and his untouched breakfast tray sat to one side.

Although there appeared to be little hope of any meaningful interaction, Teyla attempted to begin a conversation.

"Good morning. A good day to be off world, I believe."

Ronon made a snorting noise and continued the methodical eradication of his food. Rodney stretched a hand out and located his cup of coffee without looking away from the computer screen. Teyla softly sighed, took a sip of orange juice. The noise of the rain grew even louder, and her thoughts turned to the team's previous mission. They had assisted in the evacuation of a flooded village and Ronon had taken a heavy fall in the muddy conditions. He'd been fortunate enough to only have bruises and minor ligament damage to show for the mishap. His crutches were nowhere in sight, so it was probably safe to assume his condition was improving. Although knowing Ronon as she did, it could also mean that he'd flung them over the balcony and into the ocean.

"How is your leg feeling today, Ronon?"

"Good."

"Yet you still remain on restricted duties?"

"Yep."

Teyla drew a deeper breath. Rodney looked up, glanced around and said, "Hey, it's raining."

A true test of patience, Teyla thought, one she really didn't care to participate in today. She wished instead for company with the capacity for grace and good humor.

"Where is Colonel Sheppard?" she asked.

Rodney shut his lap top and pushed it away. It collided with Teyla's tray. He pulled his breakfast closer and began to eat like he hadn't seen food for several days. Teyla slid her chair and tray sideways to make more room.

Ronon had finished his meal and was wiping his hands down the front of his shirt. "Saw him earlier. Said he was going for a run."

Teyla understood that even in a city the size of Atlantis, John sometimes struggled with feelings of confinement. He was a man who found contentment in open skies. Teyla smiled. An early morning jog would do him well. When she did see John she would invite him to join her in stick fighting practice that afternoon.

Rodney glanced past Teyla's shoulder and said, "Here he is now."

Ronon's eyes narrowed … something seemed to be puzzling him. Teyla turned her head and saw John leaning in the doorway. On closer inspection, it seemed every inch of the man was wet. His black tee shirt clung to his body and his hair was wild and windswept, pointing in many directions at once. Water dripped into his eyes and Teyla watched him bring a clumsy arm up to wipe his face.

Before Teyla could call to him, John spotted their location and slowly walked over. Rodney remarked loudly, "I hear normal people exercise indoors on days like this."

Ronan snarled, "That's as close as you ever come to exercising, McKay. Hearing about it."

Teyla wondered why she would want to seek conversation from these two.

The colonel sat down heavily in the chair beside Teyla, directly opposite Rodney. Ronan's slur had in no way discouraged Rodney's nagging. "You couldn't, I don't know, maybe towel yourself off before coming in here?"

Sheppard blinked. Then blinked again. Teyla put a hand on his arm. "John, are you okay? Has something happened?"

Sheppard turned his head slightly towards her. His face seemed very pale and his lips were a little blue, but he gave a small smile and quietly greeted her.

"Hey, Teyla."

He didn't say anything else, just continued to stare at Teyla as her sense of unease grew. Why would Sheppard call into the commissary in such a state, unless there was something that needed his urgent attention here?

Ronon's voice rumbled, "What's going on, Sheppard?"

John looked across the table at Rodney. Rodney stared back for a second or two, before pointing at Ronan. "He talked, I didn't."

Sheppard's eyes slowly moved to settle on Ronon, and his expression changed to one of intense concentration, as though he was searching for an answer.

Or perhaps trying to recall the question.

Rodney groused, "Surely breakfast could have waited until after you showered?"

Sheppard looked back at Rodney and mumbled, "Yeah, I guess." He started to get up, only to lose his balance. He almost fell sideways before landing back in his seat.

"What is wrong with you today?" Rodney glared at John.

The colonel didn't return any one of the many playful insults he usually reserved for this type of exchange, and Rodney's brow furrowed in response. Teyla watched him lean forward, until he was only a matter of inches from John's face.

Rodney squinted. "Your left eye looks weird." He said to Teyla, "Does his eye look weird to you? It looks weird to me. Tell me if it looks weird to you."

"Please be quiet, Rodney." Teyla gently took hold of John's chin and turned his face towards her. Rodney was correct. John's left pupil was larger than the right and his skin felt clammy. "Rodney, please call Doctor Beckett at once."

Rodney tapped his earpiece. "Carson. We need you in the mess hall. Something's wrong with Sheppard, one of his eyes looks weird." He paused for a few seconds, "Yes, that. Unequal." Then he said abruptly, "How the hell am I supposed to know? Just get your ass down here!"

John winced at the loud volume of Rodney's voice. He pulled his head away from Teyla's grasp. "I'm going to my quarters." He attempted to stand again, this time with a little more success. He made it to his feet, but had to lean heavily on the table with both hands. He closed his eyes and said, "Oh wow. Head spins."

Ronon put a steadying hand on Sheppard's right forearm. "You're not going anywhere, buddy. Sit down and stay still."

Sheppard did as he was told. He sat, but immediately began to list sideways. Ronon tightened his grip, and Teyla added her support. "Perhaps it would be better if John were to lie down until Carson arrives. Rodney, could you help me assist the colonel to the floor, please?"

Pushing his chair back from the table, Rodney stared at Sheppard in a mild state of panic. "Please tell me you didn't contract alien meningitis from that muddy hell hole we were just in."

"I didn't catch … what?' John was beginning to look quite distressed. His breathing was speeding up and he was sweating. "I feel…" His eyes rolled up in his head and Teyla found herself suddenly propping up the colonel's entire weight.

Within seconds both Rodney and Ronon were there to help lower Sheppard carefully to the floor. Teyla sat down close to John and eased his head onto her thigh. When she moved her hands away they were bloody.

Ronon was sitting down on the chair that John had just vacated, his bad leg stretched out in front. He leaned forward and said, "He hit his head?"

Rodney let out a relieved, "Yes!" He had the good grace to look a little ashamed when Teyla glared at him. "I'm sorry, okay? But we've just avoided a lockdown against unknown contagions. Although if we had to be caught up in quarantine, I guess the mess hall would be the best place for it."

Teyla glared harder. "John may have injured himself in a fall, or he may have blacked out from an illness and then hit his head. What happens to us at this moment is of little importance."

Rodney knelt down beside Sheppard, took his jacket off and laid it over John's chest. "You may not have noticed before, but I tend to ramble a little when I'm worried." He slapped the radio in his ear again. "Where the hell are you, Beckett? He fainted. I don't know, about a minute ago. He has a head injury. What? Okay." Rodney didn't look any less stressed. "Carson says he'll be here in under two minutes. He said to keep Sheppard warm and elevate his legs."

Rodney moved around to sit at Sheppard's feet and pulled them up into his lap. People were beginning to gather, most of them from the science department. "Don't you idiots have work to stupidly stare at instead?"

The small gathering quickly dispersed.

Teyla laid one hand on Sheppard's chest. His breathing seemed shallow, but regular. She slipped the other hand underneath his head again to gently probe. There was significant swelling near the base of his skull and the area felt spongy.

Sheppard woke at her touch and groaned.

"Stop doin' that," he mumbled.

"Be still, John. Help will be here very soon. Can you tell me how you came to hit your head?"

Sheppard groaned again, "I hit my head?"

Teyla saw Rodney roll his eyes, and behind him, the welcome sight of Carson running through the doorway. A medic pulling a stretcher was close behind. The doctor was soon kneeling where Rodney have been only a minute before. He glanced at Teyla and Rodney and said, "I'll ask you both to move away now and allow us to work."

"Forgive me for not looking relieved," Rodney grumbled as he climbed to his feet.

Teyla folded Rodney's jacket and placed it underneath John's head, then backed away to stand beside Rodney and Ronon. She listened as Beckett asked John, "What have you done to yourself, lad?"

"I hit my head."

"Oh please." Rodney said loudly. "He only knows that because we told him thirty seconds ago."

Beckett and the medic proceeded to check the wound on Sheppard's head, asked about his pain, examined his pupils and took his vitals, before the doctor announced that Sheppard's blood pressure was a little low for his liking.

"We'll get you down to the infirmary, dry you off and put you under the scanner, see what the exact problem is, John. You'll be feeling better in no time."

One hour later ...

Sheppard was lying flat on his back in a hospital bed, a very skinny pillow under his very sore head, and he'd had pain medication injected into his IV port not long ago. He decided he was feeling a lot better, at least his head wasn't playing the drum solo from that Phil Collins song anymore. It had scaled down to more of a Zeppelin number now. He still couldn't remember the exact circumstances that had landed him here though.

Falling down on the East Pier while he was running seemed to be ringing a bell. Or more to the point, had rung his bell.

Whatever.

Beckett said not to stress about the temporary memory loss, and John had suffered enough concussions in his time to know that the confusion would lift, but the headache and nausea would hang around to make his life miserable for a day or two. Longer, if he was unlucky.

And that was all the thinking he wanted to do for now. He yawned. He was very sleepy.

When he opened his eyes the next time, Teyla was standing beside his bed. She placed her hand softly on his shoulder. "I do not want to disturb you John. I simply came to wish you well, and reassure myself that you are beginning to feel better."

"Thanks Teyla, I'm good."

"Ronon asked that I pass on his good wishes as well. He will be here later, but for now he is following Doctor Beckett's instructions and is resting his leg. Rodney would be here too, except … he had a fall."

Sheppard went to sit up, and the room spun. He carefully put his head back on the pillow.

"He okay?"

"He slipped on a wet floor in his lab and wrenched his back. He is resting in his room. Carson declined to accommodate him in the infirmary, as he believed his presence may interfere with your recovery."

Sheppard smiled. "His complaining can get a little loud at times."

Teyla nodded and smiled back at him, "I have noticed."

"So, first Ronon falls, then me, then Rodney. They say three's a charm, but you better take it easy for a while. Stay away from heights and all that."

Teyla laughed, covered his hand with hers and lightly squeezed. "I will John. Now rest and recover." John closed his eyes as she walked away, and smiled when he heard her softly say, "I will call on you again tomorrow."

THE END

Diane requested : Sheppard, appearing at the entrance to the mess hall completely wet from head to toe, messy hair (of course), confused, and with, at closer inspection, a head wound. Everyone and everything in the mess stops in bewilderment or shock. His team is the first to reach him. Fill in the before and after (comfort, please).

My story didn't fill this exactly, 'cos Sheppard will aways do what he wants to do :)
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Tripping Tony DiNozzo

by ellenoz

 

Rating M

Challenge response Tag to S2 Good Wives Club

at NCISGenFanfiction

Humor/Team fic

Beta: thanks to Annie Booker

 

Summary : Tony is not quite himself on the drive back to JAX




Tony wanted Cautious Kate to drive. Or even Granny Elf McGee. He wondered if he found a candle and blew  . . .  do you make the wish before you blow the candle out or after you blow the candle out? McGee would know. Kate would know, too. Gibbs would head slap him. He didn’t have one anyway. A candle, that is. Or a match. If he did he’d make a wish that Gibbs would stop the car and let one of the others get behind the wheel. Gibbs was grouchy and it was making all the lights turn red. Tony chuckled. Grouchy Gibbs, Cautious Kate, and Granny Elf McGee. So he was . . .

Toasty Tony. Tasty Tony. Tickle- me-Tony.

He laughed very, very quietly because Gibbs was really, really grouchy.

Oh wow, this light was green. Bright, bright green. Or yellow. No, red.

The seatbelt was cutting into him and the back of the front seat was close up in his face all of a sudden. Then it wasn’t. His head wobbled. Funny word, that. Wobble. Wobbled. Woobbbliing.

 

It was one of those words that sounded like what it did.

Fuck, his head hurt. That wasn’t funny at all. He should take another pill. Where was his soda?

McGee was pawing at him. Saying something, too. Granny’s voice was stretchy. Tony would’ve laughed except he was maybe going to vomit. He probably should ask Gibbs to stop the car.

“Boss, I gotta get some air.” Huh. His mouth felt all strange and stretchy. McGee looked like that, too. Why was McGee in his face? Tony should tell Tim that he wanted to get out of the car.

Tony threw up in his mouth a little bit, instead.

 

* * * * *

 

Tim was feeling more than a little stressed. When Senior Field Agent Gibbs told you to get something done there was no room for error. You made damned sure to do it right, and you made damned sure there were no complications along the way. That was if you wanted to live to be abused another day, anyway. A few hours ago Gibbs had left Tim down in the ER with Tony, while he went with Kate to speak to Petty Officer Swain’s attending doctor. Swain had been sedated and moved to a more private area already, but Gibbs wasn’t happy to leave until he was sure there were no loose ends that needed tying up. Gibbs wasn’t happy to have Melankovic finish things either, although Tim had been impressed with the way the local agent handled herself throughout the investigation, for all that his opinion mattered anyway.

Gibbs just wasn’t happy at all.

 

When Tony was taken in to be checked over, Tim thought the best place for him to be was in the chair he was already sitting in, which was out in the waiting room. He planned to continue what he was doing, which was putting a few ideas about the case down on paper while everything was still fresh in his mind. Tim was convinced all the crazy people and things he was encountering as a NCIS field agent would someday help him write a best seller. Getting into the habit of recording a lot of detail also helped him submit a field report that met with Gibbs standards, more often that not. He was jotting down a couple of observations, mostly about how the bunker was set up and how Swain had looked when they found her, struggling with a description that would do the bizarre situation justice. That was when Gibbs appeared out of nowhere like he seemed to do very regularly and grabbed the book from underneath Tim’s moving ballpoint pen. There was now a long ink mark trailed across the page. This was the least of Tim’s worries at that particular moment, however.

 “What do you think you’re doing, McGee?” Gibbs seemed about ten foot tall, standing over Tim like something unholy, notebook dangling from his hand.

 “Aaah …”

 “Get in there with DiNozzo. We’re gonna be upstairs longer than we thought. Keep me informed.”

Tim thought he might get the opportunity to say a word or two before another order was fired at him, but he didn’t even get his mouth opened more than quarter of an inch. Gibbs drilled him with a look that was mostly annoyance but also no small part concern and said, “Tony was out for over five minutes. You’re looking after him until I say you’re not. Understood?”    

 

Tim answered with a short nod that he hoped communicated reliability and a willingness to get even the most unusual assignment done. Babysit Tony. Really? Tim was having a hard time working the man that was Leroy Jethro Gibbs out.

 

“Okay, Boss. Will do.”

 

Gibbs eyed him for another second or two before flinging the notebook back into Tim’s lap. Without any further act of intimidation, he strode back towards the elevator.

 

That had been around one in the afternoon. It was now approaching three, and they were still a good thirty minutes from the airport. Their flight left in forty five minutes, and the way Gibbs was driving they’d make it there with time to have an extra large coffee or two before take-off.

Tony was in the back seat next to him, a jumbo sized soda that was near empty balanced on one thigh. He’d been needling Tim for the past two days about being a green agent, but ever since his head had been introduced to the heavy base of a ceramic lamp, the shoe had been firmly planted on the other foot. Tony had been a pasty, pukey color from the moment he’d first come around on the bunker floor, and his pallor hadn’t really improved all that much in the meantime. He seemed to be sweating an awful lot too, although the car’s air conditioning was working overtime. Tim had heard him chuckling softly a couple of minutes ago and been afraid to ask what was so amusing. Usually when Tony laughed it was over something Tim had said or done, so it was often better to pretend he didn’t hear him. This was probably just another one of those times. Or maybe not.

Gibbs slammed on the brakes. Only because the cab in front had pulled up at a red light for the first time in the history of the automobile. Tony flopped forward fairly bonelessly then landed back against the seat like so much silly putty. 

Tim felt compelled to put a hand on Tony’s shoulder and make sure he was okay. Gibbs was staring at the pair of them in the rear view mirror, but that in no way influenced his decision to help.

Frowning at the lack of any kind of reaction or DiNozzo patented insult, Tim asked, “Hey Tony, you feeling all right there?”

Tony looked sideways without really turning his head. One glance at Tony’s right eyeball provided Tim with an instant flashback to senior high. There was this kid in his science class back then who had the worst truancy record in the state. Always arrived late on the days he did manage to show up and smelled permanently like weed. Right now Tony had the exact same glazed over, high as a kite expression as stoner guy. Tim thought it was safe to say he’d failed his baby-sitting duties and was going to get an L. J. Gibb’s ass-kicking in the not so distant future. Exactly how many pills did DiNozzo take, anyway? Shit. That was sure to be Gibb’s first question. He grabbed Tony’s chin and turned his face towards him.

 “Tony? Look at me.”

Dinozzo’s pupils were huge and did a slow half roll before settling on Tim. He pulled away from Tim’s grasp and mumbled something that sounded a lot like “Ssss. Goddagedd sssmare.” Then his throat worked up and down a couple of times and he turned a few shades whiter in the space of a second. He clamped his lips firmly together. Tim would bet any money that DiNozzo had just thrown up in his mouth.

“Boss . . .” Tim began.

The light turned green and Gibbs accelerated hard, swerving out in front of the slower traffic to get around the cab and then back into the lane closest to the sidewalk. Tim kept a firm hold on Tony, who looked like he was about to lose what was in his mouth and follow that up with about a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

Tim tried again. “Boss. Tony’s . . .”

Tires squealing, Gibbs drove the car up and over the gutter, pulling the car up just shy of a fortuitously unoccupied bus shelter. He wrenched the parking brake on and was out of the car and leaning in Tony’s open door before Tim could say ‘unwell’.

“I know, McGee.” Gibbs voice was controlled, held not a glimmer of murderous intent. Tim hoped this would continue to be the case over the next few minutes at least. Gibbs was staring at Tony and probably coming to the same conclusion as Tim, that DiNozzo’s condition involved a lot of drug ingestion on top of the minor concussion.

Kate had turned in her seat to find out what was going on, but was yet to say anything. Tony was completely oblivious to the fact that he was now being observed by his entire team like a bug under a microscope. He slowly peeled back the lid from his soda, bent his head forward and expelled the contents of his mouth into it. Spat twice. Put the lid back snuggly in place with a level of competence truly impressive for someone circling Jupiter. With all that out of the way, Tony leaned back in his seat with a tiny groan.

That was when he noticed Gibbs next to him.

“Oh hey, Boss,” he slurred. “Can you stop the car?”

Kate obviously took that comment to indicate her partner’s brain was leaking from his ears or something equally as bad. She aimed a worried expression at Gibbs and said, “We should go back to the hospital.”

Gibbs ignored Kate and turned his attention to Tim, who knew his time had run out. Probie ass kicking was about to ensue.

“What exactly did that idiot doctor prescribe, McGee?”

Tony opted to field Gibb’s question with a very descriptive, “Biiiig pills, boss. Blue ones.” He held up his left hand and wiggled all his fingers.

Gibbs voice rose a few decibels. “Five of them?”

That comment was directed squarely at Tim and to him sounded more like, you let Tony take five damned prescription pain-killers?

Tim answered in the most professional tone he could muster. “Five milligram Percocet. Tony took two at the hospital, as well as a muscle relaxant.”

Tony curled his thumb and pinkie into the palm of his hand. 

Tim swallowed the lump in his throat and hoped his voice wouldn’t fail him. “Make that three Percocet and a muscle relaxant.”

Gibbs eyes flashed dangerously, but he took a deep breath. Tim waited to see if he was about to lose a limb, a job, or both.

“Get Tony in the front seat and get rid of the damned vomit, McGee.”

Gibbs returned to the driver’s seat with a slam of his door.

As Tim gingerly reached for Tony’s jumbo soda-vomit, Gibb’s added with a growl, “And when DiNozzo’s brain is functioning again, tell him to stick to aspirin.”

 

THE END

 

 

 

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