The blue light of the isolation ward made the room seem cold. It had nothing to do with the fever Tony DiNozzo had or the temperature. Kate was finally gone, ushered out by the nurse. Tony was alone. When he wasn't coughing, he was too busy trying to breathe through the fluid in his chest to carry on a real conversation anyway.
His eyes were blurry. He felt his brows draw together. It couldn't be Abby, but his eyes wouldn't focus enough for him to tell who it was. She was familiar though. "Don't try to talk, Hot-Stuff," she said cheerfully. She settled on the bed, a mass of black crinolines creating a pillow for her. She wore them over tight black jeans. Her black combat boots hung over the side. She had on a halter top that showed off an ankh tattoo and allowed her ankh necklace to settle onto her cleavage. Dark make-up defined her features. There were enough rings and bracelets on her arm to make him wonder how she moved so quietly.
"I know you," he gasped out.
"Yeah, I've seen you around a lot. I was there next to you when Jeffrey died. I really wasn't sure which one of you I was going to be taking with me. He didn't want to kill you. You were nice to him."
"I'm an idiot," he choked out.
"Stop trying to talk. Just think in my direction." She glared at him and he wanted to laugh. Her glares had none of Gibbs' heat. He started coughing. Nurse Emma came in and fussed over him, completely ignoring the young woman, no – he decided – teen lounging across the foot of his bed.
//Angel?// he tried when they were alone again.
"Nope. I'm Death herself. Don't tell me you bought into that 'Touched by and Angel' crap."
//No, but I thought John Dye was hot.//
She laughed. He wanted to smile, but all of his energy was focused on breathing in and out. "You don't have to be scared," she said. She patted his thigh.
//Can't die yet. Things to do here.//
"Don't you mean people? He's on the way here."
//Of course. He always comes for me.//
"He's not a god."
//He's Gibbs. Gibbs takes care of me. Abby's going to be so hyped. She'll love your look.//
"You are in love, Tony-Boy." She tapped an absent rhythm on his thigh. "It's one of your redeeming qualities. That and your smile."
//Flattery will get you almost anywhere, little girl. Can I play big bad wolf to your black riding hood?//
//Were you there when Mama died?//
"Yes. You looked so solemn at the funeral, even though you had no clue what was happening."
//Papa was sad. I don't remember her.//
"She loved you. She never wanted to leave you, Tony."
//So, will I see her? And Nana?//
"And Roman. Do you remember him?"
//He broke my sailboat over my head. I kicked him in the shin. That's all I remember.//
"He loved you."
Tony thought for a moment, the only sounds in the room were the beep of the machines monitoring him and his own wet gasps. //He never made me stay behind when he played with his friends. He was a nerd though. Like McGee.//
Gibbs stalked through the doors and to Tony's side. Tony barely registered his presence.
//Will they all be okay if I come with you?//
"I can't tell you that."
Gibbs' whisper was harsh in Tony's ear. "You will not die from this," he ordered. The sharp rap on the top of Tony's head opened his eyes. He felt the familiar form of his cell-phone under his hand. Gibbs forced Tony to wrap his fingers around it. "You will not die from this."
"Got it, Boss," he said, gulping in air. He nodded, eyes not really focusing. Gibbs said something flippant as he left.
Death shook her head. "You have got it so bad."
//Sorry, can't go. I'm under orders.//
She chuckled. She leaned over to give him a quick kiss. "I'll hang around for awhile. You're fun to talk to. So many of the people I meet up with are terrified. It's nice to find a flirt."
He gave her a small smile.
"Go on, get some rest. We'll have a date some day. I get to meet everyone someday."
She laughed out loud at that. He closed his eyes and let himself fall into an exhausted daze.