"Tag, You're It, Part 2"
By:  Melissa and Cathy

"I have you now, Johnny."  Tag had been the fastest runner on the football team and once he was out of the water, it didn't take him long to catch John.  When he did, he simply scooped him up onto his shoulder as before, then continued into the bungalow where he dropped him onto the bed.  They looked at each other for several minutes, grinning and panting from exertion.  Both hard for each other.

As his desire for John Carter built within him, Tag's eyes darkened and all he cared about was this moment.  He knew he had taken John the night before, but he had been drunk and didn't remember it.  To him, it didn't count and he was sure that his performance had been so lackluster that it was no wonder John had thought that Tag didn't want him.  This would be different.  He was going to prove to John that he wanted him very much and had no intention of allowing him to even think about taking a plane back to Chicago.  Or anywhere else for that matter.  At least, not until they boarded the plane for Paris.

John's eyes were dark with desire as well and he watched anxiously as Tag measured out a lot of lubricant, then warmed it in his hands before using it on the both of them.  Tag didn't just apply the lubricant to John's anus, he also applied it to his penis and balls, massaging them and making them slippery.  He then applied more lubricant to John, using first one finger and then a second finger to get the lubricant well distributed.  Tag took his time, making sure that he didn't miss any part of John that might need attention.  Leaning over John, he took a nipple in his mouth, alternately sucking and biting, rubbing his lubricated fingers over the other nipple and making John feel that he would burst if Tag didn't do something else soon.  His whimpers and whispers that begged for release increased Tag's arousal, but he ignored John's requests.

"Not yet, John.  I'm only just getting started with you."  Tag got off of the bed and rummaged around in his bag, then returned with a vibrator in his hand.  "May I?"

John considered that request for a moment.  No one had ever used anything like that on him.  Not even Liz, although she had liked for him to use it on her.  The vibrator wasn't any bigger than Tag's finger, so it couldn't be too bad.  He didn't trust himself to answer Tag verbally though.  He simply nodded.

John watched as Tag put lubrication on the vibrator, thinking that Tag should invest in the company that manufactured the lubricant because he would keep himself in business for a long time at the rate he used the stuff.  Tag pushed John's legs up until his knees were bent, then watched John's face as he slowly inserted the vibrator.  John's expression wasn't any different from when Tag had used his fingers, but the minute he turned on the vibrator, he thought the younger man was going to jump off of the bed.

"My God!"  That was about all John could manage at the moment as the sensations swept up through his body.  When Tag began to move it back and forth, simulating intercourse, John thought he would really lose it all.  If Tag so much as touched his penis, he would come, he thought.  Just like that.  But, Tag didn't touch him.  He just continued to play with him in so many different ways, some that John had never even imagined were possible.  More than once he found his own hand drifting toward his groin, desperately wanting release.  But, each time, Tag would gently grab the hand and move it aside.

"Not yet, John," Tag would softly say as he watched the agony of denial cross John's face.  His own erection had long ago reached a state of pain and he was more than ready to take John now.  He slowly withdrew the vibrator, turning it off before he tossed it to the floor.  Then he pulled John toward him and held his legs as he ever so slowly entered him.  As he moved in and out, he kept watching John's face, loving the way that his emotions registered so fully and openly.  He could tell that John was close to an orgasm as he thrashed his head from side to side in time with Tag's strokes, almost urging him on.  Wanting it faster and harder.  Just wanting it.  He felt Tag's hand grasp his slick penis and begin to stroke it as well.  Because of the lubricant on his penis, Tag's hand slid up and down easily and quickly.  As Tag increased the speed of each of his strokes, John reached his peak.  He cried out Tag's name as he came, his semen coming and coming as Tag kept his hand in motion, milking him dry.  As John lay there, spent, he realized that Tag was not done with him, he had merely stopped while John had come.  He began his attack again, slowly increasing the speed of his strokes.  John met him thrust for thrust, whether he was going fast or slow and Tag was enjoying this aspect of playing with him - changing the speed of his thrusts, wanting to hear John beg for him to go faster.  But, Tag never had the chance because he was the one who needed it to be faster and harder and he unrelentlessly drove himself into John, crying John's name as he came.

The following days blurred into one long sexual odyssey for Tag.  He couldn't seem to get his fill of John's body and John seemed equally hungry for him.  They had everything they needed at the bungalow - if they were hungry, Tag called room service.  If they wanted to get some sun and swim, they had their own private beach.  If they wanted to have sex, they had nothing but time.  And so, it was with great reluctance that Tag allowed John to finally drag him away from their bungalow for some sightseeing on the island.  Once out and about though, Tag didn't regret the fact that he let John convince him to leave their love nest.  The island was spectacular and Tag loved the fact that John was so enthusiastic about showing him even the most obvious tourist destinations.  Of course, the lava flows from Kilauea volcano were awesome and Tag just couldn't get over the powerful untamed fury of nature.  John explained to him that the Hawaiian Island chain had been formed by volcanoes and that the big island of Hawaii was still growing from the eruptions of Kilauea.  Tag was momentarily taken aback when John led him out onto the blackened lava and led him to a crack in the cool rock to where they could see the red lava flowing below.  The heat from that small stream was so intense that Tag could feel it before he reached the crevice.

After leaving Volcanoes National Park, John took Tag on a tour of the local beaches, telling him that tomorrow they would go to the Hilo side of the island to see some spectacular waterfalls and maybe do some snorkeling.  When Tag admitted he had never done that, John had assured him that he could teach him all he needed to know.

"This beach is one of my favorites, but it can also turn into a deadly place.  Down on the north end are a lot of underwater rocks and the currents get pretty rough.  Still, it's great to watch the waves come crashing in.  Come on."

John took off down the beach and Tag had no choice but to follow him.  He would have preferred to be following John on their beach, but there would be time for that later.  He was just going to have to insist to John that this was their last stop for the day.

When they reached the end of the beach, John beamed with pride as he presented the vista to Tag.  Again, Tag was impressed with the sight.  In his mind's eye, he could envision boats being tossed and pummeled to their deaths on the rocks, some of which were barely visible under the waves.  Warning signs dotted the beach and Tag had no doubt at all that anyone foolish enough to swim at this part of the beach was taking a deadly risk with their own life.

"Did you hear something?" John asked as he stepped toward the water's edge.

"No," Tag answered.  Then he heard it.  A faint call for help.

"Get a lifeguard.  Now!"  John called out to him as he chucked off his shoes and ran into the water.

Tag ran down the beach and tersely told the lifeguard that someone was in trouble in the water.  The man radioed for help and ran down the beach to where they had heard the cry for help.  Tag ran behind him, wondering why the man didn't go in after John and the helpless victim.  The lifeguard was simply standing there, watching as John reached a floundering person.

"Why aren't you going out there?" Tag demanded to know.

"Mister, can't you read the signs?  This is an extremely dangerous area for swimming.  It's prohibited.  Your friend is doing fine and we'll go out as he gets closer in.  There's no sense in risking three lives to save one."

Anger built inside of Tag at that remark, but another look at the raging ocean tamped that anger down.  The lifeguard was most likely correct.  John was a good, strong swimmer and would be fine.  Another lifeguard joined them, also watching the duo approach the shore.  The lifeguards began to head out into the Pacific while Tag kept a steady eye on John's progress.  It was apparent that the near-drowning victim was a young man, a teenager most likely, and while he wasn't hindering John, he wasn't helping with his own rescue either.

Then the impossible happened.  John went under and didn't come back up.  Neither did the boy.  Tag felt cold as the lifeguards ran into the surf, their fear of the danger forgotten as they now had two lives to save.  Tag inched closer to the incoming water, his mind in turmoil as he realized that John might not be found.  The lifeguards reached the spot where they had last spied John and dived under again and again until one of them finally came up with a body.  It wasn't John.  Tag's mind was screaming its demands - find John, find John, and don't let him leave me.  The seconds felt like agonizing minutes, but the second lifeguard finally brought John to the surface.  Even at a distance, Tag could see the blood on John's head and he reasoned that he must have hit his head upon the rocks.  The lifeguard swam in with him, laying him upon the sand to assess his condition.

His medical training snapped to the forefront of Tag's consciousness and he pushed the lifeguard away and knelt by John.  The gash in his head was bad and he was bleeding profusely.  The worst part though was that John wasn't breathing.  As Tag began to perform mouth to mouth and CPR, he could hear the lifeguard radioing for an ambulance.  The coughing of the teenager, now breathing on his own, drowned out the radio conversation.  Tag had no intention of letting that kid regain his life at the price of John's.

"An ambulance is on the way.  Let me spell you."  The lifeguard knelt down beside Tag, who reluctantly let him take over.  He looked over to where the other lifeguard was still watching over the teenager.  Dumb kid, he thought.  Why didn't he heed the warning signs about the dangers of swimming in this area?  And why had John been so quick to jump in to go after him?  Yes, he was a good swimmer, but the signs warned about the rocks and rough water.  Even the lifeguards had been reluctant to dive in.  But, John had done fine, Tag reflected, his pride in John was quickly overshadowed by worry as John remained unable to breathe on his own.

"Your turn," the lifeguard gasped.  Tag took over again, wondering just how much time had passed since John had quit breathing.  He breathed steadily into John's mouth, pleading with him mentally to breathe.  But, still there was nothing.  It was when the lifeguard was giving him mouth to mouth again that John finally drew in a big breath, then began to empty his body of the salt water he had ingested and inhaled.  The lifeguard rolled him to his stomach, pushing on his back to get the water out of his lungs.  The ambulance arrived and John and the teenager were bundled into it.  The driver gave Tag the name of the hospital and he rushed back to where the rental car was parked so he could join John there.

By the time he reached the hospital, John was in having a CT scan.  Tag identified himself as a doctor and Doctor Wang, the physician in charge of John's case, told him that they wanted to keep him a few days for observation due to the severity of the head laceration and the amount of water he had taken in.  John also had several bruised ribs and the doctor told him that it appeared as if some type of driftwood or other debris had hit him in the chest, making him go under.  According to Wang, John didn't really remember what had happened.  Just that he had been pulling the teenager in and then he was waking up on the beach.  He had no memory of hitting his head on anything while underwater, but that was the only explanation they had for the gash.

"Are you a relative of Mr. Carter's?" Wang asked.

"No, we're just vacationing together."

Wang nodded.  "He is of legal age, right?"

"He's almost twenty-five."  Tag was then hit by the thought that John Carter had come damn close to not seeing his twenty-fifth birthday.  Too close.  "When can I see him?"

"We'll take him to a room once the C.T. scan is done.  You can see him then.  The waiting area is over there." 

Wang pointed out the chair area to Tag, who mutely nodded.  He hated the way it felt to be the person having to await news on someone in an emergency room.  He wanted to be back there with John, making sure he was all right.  He wanted to reassure him that he would be fine.  He couldn't comprehend how most people managed to handle waiting for news of their loved ones.  Then it hit him hard - he genuinely cared about John Carter, and not just as a friend.  In the short time they had spent together, he had come to have feelings of love for the man.  Tag managed to get to one of the chairs and he sat down heavily, feeling stunned by the revelation.  He loved Carol Hathaway, he told himself.  Just a few days ago he was ready to spend the rest of his life with her.  Ready to dedicate his life to her.  Or was he?  Had his questioning of her love for him really been about Doug Ross or had it been about himself?  Had he used that as an excuse to keep from marrying Carol?  With a start, Tag realized that it had been days since he had last thought about Carol.  He hadn't made any conscious effort to forget about her.  It was just impossible to think about anyone else when he was with John.

God only knew how long he sat there thinking.  Loved?  John Carter?  It had started as a drunken foray into a little harmless debauchery.  Had there been a turning point?   Tag decided it was a gradual realization of how...how easy it was to be with John.  He had no expectations, no baggage.  No previous relationship to compete with, to try to live up to.  

He'd told Carol at the church that when he was with her, he could hardly breathe.  At the time, Tag had meant that in a flattering way, but he now knew that it had a double meaning: he couldn't ever relax, could never feel confident that his feelings were returned.  Christ, what a way to live - always knowing you were second best.  Maybe he had something to thank that prick Doug Ross for, after all.

Tag was finally given permission to enter John's room, and stole in silently.  He'd come close to losing him, without even knowing his own feelings at the time.  Did John have similar feelings or was he merely out to have a good time?  Tag couldn't think of any easy way to question John on the subject without revealing to him how he felt and he wasn't prepared to do that yet.

Tag went straight to the side of John's bed, looking down at him for several moments before John opened his eyes and smiled up at him.  Tag felt a surge of relief wash over him as he had definite confirmation that John was all right.

"Hey, Tag."  His voice was a little hoarse from the water.

"Hey, yourself.  You gave me quite a scare back there, John."

"Sorry," John looked very much like a little boy who had just been chastised by his dad. 

In Tag's opinion, he looked unbearably vulnerable and he regretted having made him feel that way.  Still, that didn't prevent him from taking John to task over something else.  "Do you know that if something bad would have happened, that I had no idea who to call?"

John slowly shook his head.  "I didn't think about that.  I'm really sorry.  But, nothing bad happened, so it doesn't matter now, does it?"

"It still matters.  We still have to finish out this week here and then we're on to Paris.  When we get you back to the hotel, I want you to write down some names and phone numbers, okay?  I'll do the same for you."

"Okay.  Tag, is the boy all right?"

"I don't know.  I haven't asked about him."

John frowned.  "I hope he's okay."

Tag immediately felt guilty for not caring.  "I'll check on him for you.  Your doctor said that you'll have to stay here a couple of days for observation."

"Yeah.  They're worried about the amount of water I took into my lungs and I have a pretty severe concussion.  The CT scan didn't show any damage, so I'll be okay.  I just wish they could give me something for my headache."

"You should know better than that."

John smiled.  "I do, but it doesn't change the fact that I wish they could give me something."

"Well, I was told to keep this short, so I'll leave now.  I'll find out about the teenager and let you know how he's doing before I go back to the hotel."


"No problem."  Tag leaned over and quickly kissed him on the lips.  "I'll be back to see you first thing in the morning."

"I'll be waiting for you.  Don't forget to bring me some clothes for when I can leave.  They felt they had to cut mine off of me."

"That's just because the nurses wanted to see your body.  Can't say I blame them any either."

John blushed at that and Tag grinned, then he left to go find someone who could give him an update on the teenager that John had saved.  He went back into John's room to tell him that the boy was also being held for observation, but that it looked as if he was going to be fine.  His parents were there and wanted to see John to personally thank him for saving their son.

"They can come in," John said, even though his head felt as though it were an anvil.  A very busy anvil.

The nurse shook her head.  "Sorry, Doctor Wang said no more visitors tonight.  You can see them tomorrow."  Then she shooed Tag out of the room, assuring him that there wouldn't be a problem with him being able to see John in the morning. 

With great reluctance, Tag left.  He didn't want to spend a lot of time alone in the bungalow, so he chose to eat out and walk around.  When he finally made it back to the resort, it was dark.  Feeling the way he did, he wasn't sure he was going to make it through the next couple of days alone.

John lay awake, staring at the ceiling.  Why was it that all hospitals, no matter where they were, looked the same?  Same white ceiling, same boring walls, same beds.  At least this one had a nice view outside the window, not that it mattered, since it was almost dark now.

He found himself wishing that Tag had not gone back to the resort like he had suggested.  It would be nice to have someone here that he knew.  The nurses were nice and came in often to check on him, but that was because they were concerned about his head injury and not because they wanted to have a long talk.

He sighed, then reached for the remote so he could see what there was to watch on TV  Just that small amount of stretching set his ribs afire.

"How are you feeling, Mr. Carter?" a woman in a nurse's uniform asked as she entered his room.  She was a new face, probably just starting her shift.

"I'm okay.  Wish I was out of here."

She smiled, then began to take his blood pressure.  "You'll be out soon, Mr. Carter.  We just want to make sure that you don't try to leave Hawaii with any of the Pacific Ocean in your lungs.  We're very careful about what we export," she joked.

He smiled, appreciating her efforts to try to cheer him.  Then he frowned, going under ranked up there with some of the worst experiences in his life and it wasn't something he ever wanted to go through again.  He recalled the sharp pain when he was hit in the chest, then the horrible feeling of going down under the water.  No matter how hard he paddled, he couldn't get back to the surface.  It didn't help any that the kid was freaking out and hindering his efforts.  But, there was no way under the sun that he was going to let go of that boy, especially to try to save himself.  The doctor and Tag told him that he had hit his head on the rocks, but he didn't remember that happening.  He did remember the suffocating feeling as the breath slowly left his lungs to be replaced by sea water. The terror as he realized he was dying, then there was nothing but blackness.  A deep blackness that to him, ended abruptly with him staring up into the dark blue sky.  Even as he gasped for breath on that beach, he was busy thanking God that he was not dead.  And then Tag was there and he knew everything was really going to be all right.

The nurse finished taking his vital signs, then asked him a few routine questions in an effort to determine his mental alertness.  Then she was gone and he was alone once more.  Again, he found himself wishing that Tag had not gone back to the resort.  The phone rang and he slowly reached out for it, not wanting to cause himself any pain.


"It's Tag."

John smiled, "Are you reading my mind?  I was just thinking about you."

Tag laughed.  "Same here.  It's odd to be here without you.  I know it's getting late, but I wanted to call and tell you good night."

"Thanks.  Will you be coming back out tomorrow?"

"First thing.  I convinced the staff that since I am a doctor I can help them care for you."

"Thanks.  Did they say how long I'll have to stay here?"

"At least two days, John.  We don't want to take any chances with your health.  Breathing in all that water could give you pneumonia.  But, you should know that.  Don't tell me that you've forgotten everything you've learned in medical school."

"Not quite everything, but you have to remember that my last rotation was in surgery and Benton didn't get a lot of drowning cases."

"I never saw many up in ortho either," Tag joked.  "Well, I should let you go so you can get some sleep.  I'll call you in the morning before I head over there, just in case you want me to bring anything."

"Just bringing yourself will be fine."

"I was thinking of something along the lines of real food."

"Dinner wasn't so bad."  The truth was that John was only able to choke about half of the meal down.  He still didn't have much of an appetite.  They had told him that feeling would pass.

"Hospital food is always bad.  Have you forgotten so quickly what the food at County tastes like?"

John laughed.  "No, I haven't forgotten.  But, the food here is much better.  Maybe it's just the fact that we're in Hawaii and not Chicago."

"Maybe.  I'll let you go now.  I'm sure that you're tired.  I'll see you in the morning."

"Okay.  Bye."

"Good night, John."  Tag had to stop himself from saying "I love you" to John.  He wasn't sure if John was ready to hear those words from him now.  Or ever.

Tag spent the next day at the hospital with John.  He brought him breakfast, but John just picked at it.  Tag let that go, knowing that John wouldn't have much of an appetite yet.  At lunch, the nurse not only brought a tray for John, but one for Tag as well.  Again, John didn't eat much, and again, Tag didn't push him to do so.  He did tell himself that if John wasn't able to eat his dinner, then he would have to take some action.  As it was, when Doctor Wang came to check on him, Tag decided to mention to him, but in the hallway and out of John's hearing.

"I'm a little concerned that he has no appetite," Tag said.

"As a doctor, you should know that it's not at all unusual."

"I'm an orthopedic surgeon, Doctor Wang.  It's been a long time since I had to deal with a head injury or a drowning victim."

The doctor smiled, "I guess that it is easy to forget something if you never have to deal with it.  John will be fine within a few days.  Not only did he take water into his lungs, but into his stomach as well.  That, combined with his head injury, is responsible for his lack of an appetite.  I think that he'll begin to get hungry later today, or maybe even tonight."

"How was his second CT?"  They had given John another one that morning.

"It looked good," Doctor Wang assured him.  "He has good breath sounds as well, so I don't foresee any reason why he can't be released in the morning."

"Good.  He's not anxious to spend the rest of his vacation in a hospital, especially not since he works in one."

"He's a doctor?"

"Med student."

Wang nodded.  "I see.  Don't worry about him too much, Doctor Taglieri, he'll be just fine."

"You and the staff here are doing a wonderful job.  I appreciate all that you're doing for him."

"We're just doing our jobs, that's all.  If he feels up to it, the Kelianu's would like to speak with him.  They're the parents of the boy whose life he saved."

"Right.  I didn't catch their names last night.  The nurse was pretty adamant about John not having any more visitors."

"Magda is a tough one all right, but she's one of the best nurses we have."

"I'll ask John if he feels up to seeing them and I'll let the nurse know."

"Great.  I'll see you around."  Wang walked away and Tag went back into John's room.

"That was a long consult," John joked.

"It wasn't a consult.  I was just making sure you were okay."

"I told you I was.  The CT scan showed nothing wrong and my lungs are clear."

"That's just what Doctor Wang said.  He also wanted to know if you felt up to having more visitors.  The parents of that teenager still want to see you."

John sat up as straight as he could.  "That would be okay.  As a matter of fact, now is a great time."

"I'll go tell the nurse."  Tag told the nurse and within ten minutes the grateful parents were there to thank John for saving their son.  John was very gracious to them playing down his own injuries and assuring them that he was fine.  After they left, it was painfully obvious to Tag that he was beyond tired, so Tag insisted he take a nap.  While John slept in his bed, Tag fell asleep in the chair.  It gave him a small pain in his neck, but it was worth it if it kept him near John.

Magda, the stern nurse, was tender hearted enough to let him stay past visiting hours that night, so it was near midnight when Tag returned to the resort and fell into bed, too tired to really notice that John wasn't there.

The next morning, he was at the hospital bright and early, ready to bring John back to the resort with him.  After being checked over one last time by Doctor Wang, John was released.  The doctor gave them both a long list of instructions and also gave John a prescription for a painkiller should he need one.  Then Tag had John out of there.

As soon as Tag opened the door to their bungalow, John headed for the bed.  He was tired and wanted to get some sleep.

"Are you sure you wouldn't like to get a shower first?" Tag asked, closing the door behind him.  "You still have salt water in your hair."

"I can't wash my hair too easily with the stitches up there."

"I'll do it for you."

John sat on the edge of the bed, wavering in his resolution to get some sleep.  A shower would be nice - very nice.  He felt gritty and salty.  But, seeing as how the nurses were vigilant in awaking him often during the first night at the hospital, and how he was unable to sleep without Tag there the second night, sleep sounded just as nice.

Tag saw John's indecision and made the choice for him, pulling him to his feet and leading him into the bathroom.

"We'll make it a quick shower, or better yet, a bath."  He started the water while John began to unbutton his shirt.  Tag wanted nothing more than to help John strip and to get into the bathtub with him, but he knew that John didn't need that kind of physical exertion right now.  Once John was undressed, Tag got him into the tub, then began to rinse him off, leaning him back in the water and supporting John's head and neck with his arm.  Using a cup, Tag was able to get most of John's hair wet, washed and rinsed - all done without getting the stitches wet.  John was clearly tired and Tag took the liberty of washing his body, trying his best to perform the task as efficiently and non-erotically as possible.  Of course, in John's present condition, he probably wouldn't have noticed if Tag had been coming on to him.  Tag pulled the plug and lifted John to his feet, drying him off quickly before tucking him into bed. 

John was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow and all that was left for Tag to do was to sit there and watch John sleep.  Which was something he didn't mind doing.  He yawned, then decided to join John in bed.  He had not gotten much sleep last night either.  He had become too used to having John in bed with him and had felt his absence keenly.  He didn't even want to think about what would happen when they returned to Chicago and went their separate ways.  Tag figured that if he didn't think about it, then maybe it wouldn't come to pass.  He knew he was wrong, but it felt good to pretend that this would last forever.

Chapter Three

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