He hates heights. Hates them. Always has and, as far as he's concerned, always will.

It's not really one of those fears that can be traced to anything specific in his life. Not really. It's not like he looks over a ledge and is suddenly flashing back to some childhood trauma, even though there were a couple of incidents that could qualify. Any bad experiences he's had have simply reinforced something that had already been present for a long time. He's just come to accept the fact that heights are not his thing.

And then there's a man threatening to commit suicide off of a tall building.

He goes up to the roof, of course he does, it's his job. It doesn't mean he has to like it, but he goes.

And he's fine. He can ignore the building nausea rolling through his stomach.

And then he's on the ladder and he can't. Can't do it. No way.

Because he's terrified. Absolutely terrified, and he knows he's fine on the ladder, safe. Far enough back from the ledge that even if he did slip it's not a situation of plummeting to his doom.

But apparently logic doesn't apply in this kind of situation.


Tony took a video. He can't believe Tony took a video.

But then again, of course he did. It's Tony. Blackmail material/laugh at the Probie opportunities were not passed up.

He feels silly as he sees himself on the screen, because afterwards it always seems stupid. Afterwards it always seems like he shouldn't have been scared, that there's no logical reason to be.

But at the time...

He grabs for the phone and they end up tumbling around on the couch.

Being mistaken for a couple is not the ideal outcome. But afterwards, he can appreciate the hilarity of it. A little.


"I'm coming Tony!"

Glancing up he'd seen all he needed to have him sprinting towards his partner. Tony, hanging off of the edge.

If the panicked yell as he'd gone over hadn't been enough, that sight had.

And so he runs and, when he reaches him, doesn't even hesitate before leaning over and extending his arm. It takes all of his strength to haul Tony back over the edge, having to keep his other arm free to hold onto the ledge. Tony is a dead weight until he can pull him up far enough to take some of the strain himself. Just before it gets to that point the muscles in his shoulder and across his upper chest start screaming at him to let go, it's too much, but it's Tony, so he simply tightens his grip and yanks, something shifting and sending a shock through his arm... and then he collapses to the floor, with his shoulder throbbing and Tony right beside him.

The two of them are breathing hard and the stone of the parking structure is digging into his back.

"Thanks McGee." Tony pants out "I promise to never give you a hard time again."

He grins and shakes his head,

"Yeah...right."

He closes his eyes and tilts his head back to rest against the concrete behind him, listening to his huffed breaths mixing with those coming from beside him.

"You alright Tim?"

He blinks his eyes open, and glances at Tony from the corner of his eyes,

"Sure why?"

Tony jerks his head to behind them,

"The height... didn't it bother you?"

He shrugs, "I'm fine. And glad to see you're back to normal...well not glad."

"Honest concern Tim. Swear."

He studies him intently for a second before nodding. He's genuinely asking. He feels his own face soften from the tense, defensive expression he'd unconsciously adopted.

"I'm fine."

He closes his eyes again and leans back, breathing deeply.

"Sure? It's quite high..."

He makes something between a laugh and a growl in the back of his throat.

"Drop it Tony."

"Glad you didn't." He opens his eyes again and turns to him and shakes his head,

"Not even funny."

"It was a little funny." Tony shrugs, "Admit it."

He doesn't say anything, instead watching as Tony stands,

"Come on; let's go see what Gibbs and Ziva got up to during your daring rescue."

Tony offers him a hand up but he ignores it. His shoulder is starting to ache and he doesn't feel like having Tony pull on his arm will help with that any.

"Suit yourself." Tony mutters.

He staggers slightly as he stands, legs not cooperating for a second, and suddenly the concern is back,

"Hey, you alright? For real?"

He sighs. "Fine Tony. I'm fine, the height didn't bother me. Just stood up too quickly."

Tony looks him over before turning around and shrugging, calling out over his shoulder,

"Whatever...McPhobic."

"See. Back to normal." He mutters, quickly moving to follow after, frowning and rolling his shoulder quickly as it spasms for a second.


"You did well today... overcoming your fear yes?"

He smiles weakly, looking up at Ziva as he sends his finished report to print.

"I still don't think I'm going to be standing near the edge of any tall buildings willingly."

"But you did when it counted." She points out, "And that is what matters."

"Can we drop it?" he begs, before smiling slightly as Tony's reaction earlier to the same comment comes back to him. She nods and takes a step away.

"Of course. You are finished?" She nods towards where the printer has just started spitting out the pages of his completed account.

"Yep. You?"

"I am almost done." She informs him, as he reaches over to grab the report before scrawling a signature on the bottom.

"Good. Any plans for the evening?"

He drops the completed report on Gibbs' desk,

"No." Ziva replies, "Do you?"

"A hot shower and sleep sound good." He bends over to pick up his backpack from the floor, the weight of it shouldn't bother him, but it, along with the movement, is much more difficult than it should be.

He frowns releasing the pack, and rolling his shoulder, wincing at the sharp flash of pain and just how stiff and resistant the muscle is to moving.

Straightening, he stumbles back a half step as he finds Ziva stood right in front of him,

"... everything ok?"

She nods, frowning at him slightly,

"Are you hurt McGee?"

He stops himself from shrugging just in time and instead gives what he hopes is the facial expression equivalent of a shrug,

"Just a little sore...Tony might want to think about more hours at the gym."

They grin together, before her face turns serious again,

"Are you alright to drive McGee?"

"I'll be fine Ziva." He reassures, "A hot shower maybe some ice, and I'll be good as new by the morning."

"Still." She presses, "I would feel better if you would allow me to drive you."

He shakes his head, causing her to frown again. He sighs in defeat.

"Ok." He rolls attempts to roll the joint again and has the same result, causing him to frown again, "That might not actually be a bad idea. Tony definitely isn't as light as he looks."


"Get changed." She instructs the moment they are inside his apartment, he turns just as the door clicks shut, to see her leaning back against it and looking at him expectantly,

"You do not wish to wear the suit all evening do you?"

"I figured I'd change in a minute. Can I get you anything?"

She smiles at him,

"I am not leaving McGee. I am helping you, as soon as you get changed."

He frowns,

"Okaaaaay, why?"

This earns him a quirked eyebrow as she folds her arms across her chest,

"Because you are a member of my team and you are in pain McGee. Now get changed."

"What are you going to do?" He asks cautiously, and immediately back tracks at the expression on her face,

"Not that I'm not grateful, or don't trust you because I am and I do, but I'm fine, really."

"And once I am finished you shall be even more so. Get changed."

Seeing the steely determination in her gaze he decides it's best to give in.

"Fine." He agrees, "Make yourself at home, I think there are some leftovers in the fridge if you're hungry."

"Thank you, McGee." Nodding he ducks into his room and grabs some more comfortable clothes.

He tries to change as quickly as possible, but it's hard with the limited movement his shoulder affords right now. He decides to start easy and slips of his pants, replacing them with the more casual ones he'd found in the drawer.

The shirt is a different story. He manages to get it unbuttoned, but trying to get his shoulder out is next to impossible. The muscle screams at him not to bend it that way right now, so instead he settles for taking it off one sleeve at a time, uninjured arm first, before using that now free hand to get the shirt off of the other arm without moving the shoulder.

Once that has been successful he eyes the t-shirt he'd pulled out. Still not quite ready to give in he decides to give it a go, but can't help the groan of pain as he tries to manoeuvre his arm into the sleeve and ends up twisting the shoulder in a way it evidently does not approve of. There is a knock on the door barely a second after the noise leaves his mouth,

"I'm..." the door opens and Ziva walks into the room, "Fine?" he offers.

Ziva rolls her eyes and tugs the t-shirt out of his grasp, placing it back on the bed and tugging him out into the main apartment again.

"This will be easier without it anyway" She informs him.

"You don't have to do this Ziva, really."

She scoffs as she shoves him down in the chair,

"Stay!" She warns, and he nods, leaning back in the seat while she moves around his apartment as comfortable as if it were her own home, "I know I do not have to McGee. I want to. We are partners, a team; we look out for each other, Yes? You would do the same for me would you not?"

"Sure, of course...If you'd let me." She offers him a grin over her shoulder,

"Thank you McGee."

She moves back over to him, this time with icepacks, a cloth and a roll of bandages in hand.

"Now, let me help you." Sighing he nods in consent, and watches as she drapes the cloth over his shoulder before setting an icepack on top at the front. He can already feel the cold starting to seep through the material and he relaxes even further as it soothes the constant hum of pain he'd stopped registering a while ago.

She grasps the hand of his other arm and places it on the icepack,

"Hold this." She requests, letting go and leaving him to keep things in place. He shifts his grip into a slightly more comfortable position, watching her while she takes the next pack and a roll of bandages, settling the pack against the back of his shoulder before beginning to wrap the bandages around his arm and chest to secure everything in place.

"I could have..."

"Not without moving your shoulder." She interrupts him, "Admit it McGee, you are hurt."

"You don't always..."

"And one of you always phones me on it." She counters,

"Calls." He corrects automatically, before looking at the small twitch of her lips, "And that was an awful attempt at distraction."

"But it was true." She insists, continuing to expertly strap everything where she wants it.

"You would not allow me to walk around, knowing I was hurting, when there was something you could do to help, yes?"

Conceding the point he sighs and closes his eyes, allowing her to do what she wants. He can practically see the grin when she says,

"I thought so."

He has to admit the cooling of the ice is nice, taking away the pain he'd stopped even registering because of the consistency of it.

"There." She's finished without him even noticing, he blinks his eyes open to watch her check her handy work.

"Thanks Ziva." He mutters, taking in the crisscross across his chest and shoulder, securing the joint in position as well as the ice packs, "Really. You're right, I wouldn't have been able to..."

"It is fine McGee." She reassures, "We agreed you would do the same for me, yes?"

"Anytime." He agrees. Glancing at the clock he frowns, "You didn't need to stay though, really Ziva it's late."

"I had no plans."

"Still, go and get some dinner." He insists, "Have some down time."

"I can stay. We can have 'down time' together, yes? And you will struggle to remove that," she gestures to the wrapping, "without help, or further damage. We can both eat; you have those leftovers, yes?" He grimaces at the thought of the pots in the fridge and those being Ziva's only evening meal. Even he had considered simply throwing them out.

He shakes his head,

"If you're staying I can make something..." at the look on her face he quickly adds on, "Or order in. We've had a long day, probably shouldn't be cooking."

She smirks at him in triumph, "That sounds nice McGee..."

They are interrupted by a knock on the door. He starts to stand to answer it, but sinks back down into his seat as she swirls her head to glare at him,

"Why don't you answer it?" He suggests, as if that had been his plan all along. She gave a quick nod and moves off towards the front door, shooting a glare over her shoulder as if she's daring him to stand and defy her. He purposefully sinks further back in his seat. There are some battles that just aren't worth it.

"Tony?"

"Ziva?"

The "What are you doing here?" Is almost comic as it's said in perfect synchronisation. He snorts at the two of them, while Ziva moves to the side to let Tony in. The other man waves the pizza box in his hands.

"I'm bringing sustenance. Your turn."

"She drove me home." He puts in from his seat, and frowns in confusion at the expression that comes onto Tony's face when his eyes shoot to him.

"Why? What happened?" He takes in the slight widening of Tony's eyes as he looks at him properly. "What the hell?" He looks down at his still shirtless chest and the bandages all across it.

"It's nothing. Don't worry about it." He looks back up to see Tony shoving the pizza on the side and striding towards his chair,

"That's a lot of bandages for nothing Probster."

Before he can say anything the older agent is inspecting Ziva's handy work, taking in the icepacks that the wrapping is holding in place before looking him in the eyes again, one eyebrow raised,

"Muscle strain?"

"Not my fault you need to hit the gym."

Tony's lips quirk slightly at the joke, but his eyes unfocus for a second and his head tilts to the side before he mutters,

"One handed. Right... you twisted something pulling me up didn't you?"

He shrugs, and then frowns as the movement is prevented by the white strips encasing that area of his body.

"It's just a twinge. Really. I'll be fine by tomorrow."

"Still... thanks." He looks up at the overly serious note in Tony's voice as the other man pats him on his good shoulder.

"You said that already." He points out. "And it was nothing."

"It had to have hurt when it happened." Tony counters, "And you still held on. So Thanks."

"You would have done the same." Tim points out and Tony grins,

"Of course I would." He gives him one more pat on the shoulder before he's springing out of his crouch and wandering over to the entertainment centre.

"And I brought movies!" Tony announces, serious moment evidently over. "Now Ziva" Tony addresses the woman as she appears from wherever she wandered off to while they were talking, "What do you think of a night of the British Legend that is Bond...James Bond?"

Tim glances over his shoulder in time to see her shrug,

"We have a late start tomorrow, and someone needs to stay and help McGee remove the ice."

"Great!" Both Tim and Ziva frown as Tony winces while fist pumping the air.

"Ziva there's another..."

"In the freezer." She interrupts already moving "I saw McGee."

Tony frowns at the both of them, protesting,

"I don't need..."

"It's no use arguing." McGee whispers to him, "Really."

"He is right." Ziva announces, "Tony. Sit."

Tony shoots a pleading look at McGee. He shakes his head.

"Seriously. Just let her Tony."

He leans back in his chair and closes his eyes as Tony continues to protest; only opening them as his whining turns into a groan of satisfaction.

"Ok...I take it back. You were right. I needed this."

"That is because you fell off a building." Ziva informs him.

"Was forced off of a building!" Tony corrects.

"Details." Ziva waves him off. "Now, this Bond night?"

"Bonding over Bond night!" Tony agrees. "There's pizza, movies, what more can wounded warriors ask for?!"

"Peace and quiet?" Tim mutters leaning back. Tony shoots him a look,

"You're looking forward to this really McGee! Don't deny it! Besides, I brought you Pizza!"

He looks at the grin on Tony's face and the barely concealed amusement sparkling in Ziva's eyes.

Ok maybe he's looking forward to it a little.

"No pre-emptive quoting." He warns.

"Or British accents." Ziva adds.

"Or real life comparisions."

"Or lengthy admirations of cars."

"Or women."

"Or fun." Tony mutters looking between his two grinning team mates. "You just don't give my brilliant insights enough credit."

"McGee saved your life and we are in his apartment." Ziva reminds him, "He deserves to enjoy the movie."

"My insights enhance the movie viewing experience!"


Tony does, however, manage to keep quiet through the first five minutes, chewing slowly and petulantly on his cold pizza slice. Tim glances at Ziva who has positioned herself between the two men. As she nods he reaches over and taps Tony's arm,

"So this was made in the 70's right?"

Tony turns to look at him incredulously,

"Dr. No? Seriously McGeek? The 60's man!..."

And then launches into a long winded explanation of the various actors and the film release dates.

Tim and Ziva glance at each other and grin.


"Go and see Ducky." Are Gibbs' first words as the three of them make their way in the next morning. It had gotten too late for McGee to consider letting them think of leaving and they'd all crashed spread over any vaguely comfortable piece of furniture they could find.

Tony frowns as he pauses in dropping his bag,

"We have a case?"

"Nope. You and McGee have a check up. Look at those muscle strains."

They glance at each other, wanting to be surprised but...It's Gibbs.

And one of them had been hanging off the side of a building and then pulled up by the other. It's not exactly a hard conclusion to draw.

"We really don't need..." Tim tries, with Tony nodding along.

"Seriously Boss we're fine."

Tim nods even as Ziva betrays them,

"You spent the whole night with ice packs strapped to you." She informs Gibbs. "Both of them."

"Because you put them there!" Tony protests.

"Boss Tony's right, we're good." Tim agrees.

"Ducky. Now."

The steel in Gibbs' voice is enough to get them both moving.

"Right. On our way Boss."

"He might be busy..." Tim offers a small protest, even as he makes to leave, "And it's really..."

Gibbs glare causes him to trail off.

"Going to see Ducky. Right Boss."

They're almost back at the bullpen when Gibbs calls out after them.

"And don't worry McGee... He's been expecting you."