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He’d never seen Tony looking so weak, so frail.

Tony stayed in the hospital a few days and as soon as the IV antibiotics were completed, he demanded to go home.  Home being Jethro’s house because there was no way Tony would be going back to his tiny apartment alone.

A nurse came in to check on him the first few days until he said he didn’t need a baby-sitter.  Of course, that little temper tantrum left him out of breath and needing a two-hour nap on the couch, with Jethro sitting quietly, watching him breath.

At the end of the week, Tony is able to walk around, helping himself to things in the fridge and the cabinets.  Nothing too spicy or too cold as those makes him cough.  Jethro brings home different types of tea looking for something Tony likes.  No caffeine, lots of sweet fruity herbal stuff that makes Tony grumble.  But he drinks it and falls asleep, under Jethro’s watchful eye.

Nearing the end of the second week, he’s acting a lot more like himself, complaining about the lack of cable TV and being whiney when Jethro sends him to bed.  But at least he’s resting enough now that Jethro is back to sleeping with him, rather than in a chair that he’s dragged into the bedroom.  And Tony does sleep easier with Jethro next to him, his warm hand resting on Tony’s belly.

He wakes up Jethro saying, “So I’m thinking that if I had to get a plague, pneumonic is the way to go.”

Tony’s feeling better if he’s back to saying things that initially don’t make a lot of sense.  “Yeah, great plague Tony, not sure what I liked better, when you started to turn blue from the lack of oxygen or the actually hacking up blood.” Jethro whispers against Tony’s shoulder.  Usually Tony sleeps half on top of him, but anything that puts pressure on his chest is uncomfortable.  And Jethro is getting used to sleeping on his side, a leg wrapped around Tony’s.

“Not a party for me either, but better than bubonic.  Swollen lymph nodes and huge boils?  This one is much sexier.”  Tony grins, and other than the dark circles under his eyes, he looks like the Tony that Jethro is used to.

“Hey,” Tony says through a huge yawn and stretch. “Speaking of being sexy, you know what would make me feel better?”

“Sleep.  A cup of tea and some toast.  More sleep,”

“Well that does sound wild, but I was thinking of something gently athletic, to get both of our blood circulating.” He rolls towards Jethro and kisses him, running his hand into Jethro’s hair.  Jethro kisses him and rolls him back onto his back. 

Tony rolls his eyes and groans, “Oh come on, I’m feeling great!  Plenty of energy, especially in the morning.  How about a little hubba hubba?”

“Hubba hubba?  I think my grandfather might have said that.  How about some more sleep?”

“So what I’m hearing is it’s not out of the question, you just need a better line?  Come on, Jethro, we need this.  It’ll be healing, for both of us.”  Tony rubs his hand down Jethro’s side and kisses his neck.

And he’s right, Jethro does need this.  Not the orgasm, those are easy to come by.  He needs the connection, the solidness of Tony and knowing that he’s okay. Knowing that they’re both going to be okay.   He moves his head to catch Tony’s lips in a kiss that starts softly and ends up leaving them both breathless, in the best of ways.

Tony smiles and lies back, running a hand lazily up and down Jethro’s back, while he kisses and licks and bites into Tony’s neck and shoulders and down to lazy nips along his belly.  When he finally takes Tony into his mouth, Tony’s hips come off the bed and his sigh makes Jethro’s chest ache.

Afterwards, Tony says, “Now the idea of a nap sounds good.  We both deserve one.” He looks at Jethro with a smug grin and his eyes look sleepy and sated, rather than just exhausted.

“Umm hmm,” Jethro mutters, with his hand resting on Tony’s chest feeling his heart beat slow down.  “You have another week of leave.  More if you need it.”

“Nah, I’m getting bored being home.  If you were here, great.  But since you’re at work, I should be too.”  He tugs Jethro’s hair until he looks up and they share a sleepy kiss.  “And Probie needs me.  Kate, too.   And you need me.” 

Jethro kisses his shoulder, shuts his eyes and lets his breath sync with Tony’s.  “Always will, Tony.”