Duality

Chapter 15

Tim pulled his battered Chevy into Gibbs' driveway, it was a little after six and he was running late.

He had promised to spend the evening with Danny and he still had an hour of reports to program into the Center's computer and then work on the rest of that manual that SecNav wanted.

He had timed his evening down to the hour, he figured he could be done by one am and then get in the office at 05.30 again to make up for the janitorial shift he'd had to skip as Gibbs asked to see him. The deal with Vance was that he could put the janitorial time in as and when but Gibbs and cases took priority.

He sat behind the wheel for a few moments and opened a bottle of boost, he sat for a second as the caffeine rush flew over him and he felt a bit rejuvenated. He rubbed his eyes tiredly and slowly climbed out of the car.

Gibbs had been watching him from his window and was saddened about how hard this was on him, he'd been even more angered after talking to Admiral McGee earlier on the phone trying to get Tim's family to help him out. The Admiral had informed him in no uncertain terms that he did not have any more sons and that Sarah had been told to cut all ties with her brothers.

Even Penelope having learned what had happened to her ex-daughter in law had cut ties with Tim; he hadn't told the team that he was truly alone.


Tim knocked on the door and walked in. He stopped when he saw the whole team there, but he just assumed it was because of a case.

"Boss?" He said. "Have we got a case?"

"Sit down Tim." Gibbs said as Tony offered him a slice of Pizza, Knowing he couldn't afford to chip in for the cost Tim turned him down.

"McGee, when is the last time you ate anything other than vending machine snacks, power-up drinks or coffee?" Gibbs asked.

"I….er…well…I've been busy boss…but I have a proper dinner tonight all cooking," He lied.

"McGee!" Ziva said surprised he would lie.

"What were you planning on eating Tim?" Gibbs asked.

Tim shrugged, "I think there were some doughnuts left in the fridge in the doctor's lounge, I figured if there were any left I'd have one."

"We are worried about you Probie." Tony said placing himself between Tim and the door.

Tim looked up, "Is this, an intervention! I don't have time for this….Boss, I have to go….I promised Danny I'd be there and I have work to do!" Tim started to panic.

"Sit down McGee!" Gibbs growled and automatically Tim sat on the sofa.

"Here Tim," Abby said handing Tim a couple of slices of pizza.

"I can't take it." Tim said hungrily eyeing the food but putting it down.

"Why not?" Abby asked.

"I'm on a diet?" Tim said,

"No you're not…" Abby said with the amount of sugary snacks Tim had been living on there was no way he was watching his weight anymore, he'd even put on a few pounds over the last few months.

"Fine," Tim snapped standing up he walked over to the fireplace, "I can't afford to pay my share, the last of my money went to feed Jethro and on Gas for the car."

"But you only got paid last week!" Abby said surprised.

"Yeah and Danny's doctor fees and his medications and therapists, my rent, the car…I just can't afford it Abbs." Tim said sadly.

"We want to help." Abby said.

"What?" Tim asked annoyed.

"We want to help you….we can give you food parcels…." She started.

"I AM NOT A BLOODY CHARITY CASE; I DON'T NEED YOUR HELP!" Tim shouted as Abby cringed and Gibbs and Tony stood up to calm Tim down.

"It's not about charity Tim," Tony said, "It's about family helping out."

"I….I don't have any family." Tim said softly.

"You have us McGee, we may not be blood but circumstances have made us family, If I needed help for my father, even though you hate him, you would help me wouldn't you?" Ziva asked.

"Of course…do you need help?" Tim asked.

Ziva smiled, "No, I do not need help, but even though you, who by your own admission have nothing, you just offered to help me…why?"

"Because…..because you were in need?" Tim said slowly getting it.

"And we want to help you for the same reason." Gibbs said.

"But Danny, he hurt you guys…I know, that's my fault, I'm responsible for him now."

"The Danny that hurt us doesn't exist anymore, there's just Danny…your little brother." Tony said.

Tim smiled, "Actually Tony, Danny is my big brother, by about five minutes."

"Yeah but mentally he's your little brother….So can we help?"

"How?" Tim asked.

"I can spend time with him…Gibbs says that Danny likes stories, I can go read to him, give you more free time?" Abby offered.

Tim stared at her like she had just grown an extra head. "You…you wanna spend time with him?"

"Tony says he's like you but little…mentally…so yeah." Abby smiled, "I am sorry Tim, I know Gibbs' rule on apologies and this way I can show you I'm sorry."

"I will take your dog jogging with me, that way he can have a good run every day, it will be good for your dog and protection for me." Ziva offered, Tim smiled, and somehow he didn't think Ziva needed protection from anything, but he accepted the gesture.

"I can cook for you; get some meals you can freeze." Tony said and everyone stopped.

"WHAT! I can cook!" Tony said, he reached into his bag and brought out some Cannelloni. "Try these I made them."

Everyone took one and they were surprised about how well Tony could cook. "I can bring a DVD player over and we can have one night off a week, I'll even make them age appropriate for your brother." Tony smiled.

Tim grinned.

Gibbs turned to Tim, "You and I are going to fix up that….." He waved his hand out the window…." Heap of junk of yours. Also, I will be helping with your janitorial work."

Tim opened his mouth to protest, "I've already talked to Vance; Tony, Ziva and Abby will be helping too, you will keep the money for Danny's care, but it should give you time to sleep…I mean how many hours have you gotten in the last week?"Gibbs asked.

Tim thought about it. "This week, about 6." He admitted.

"That's less than an hour a night." Gibbs said looking at the dark circles under his agents eyes. "This way we will share the load and you will be rested enough to solve cases."

"Well, try to anyway." Tony added with a grin.

Tim sat on the sofa stunned. After all he had been through…all his brother had done; they were still willing to help him. Feeling overwhelmed he couldn't help it, Tim cried.


He turned away from the team, and wiped his eyes. "I'm sorry boss. It's just that I had a call from my father earlier; He told me that none of my family would be having any contact with me again because I had chosen to support my brother. I…I felt like I was completely alone and I even thought about….about killing myself…but I couldn't do it to Danny. He needs me and now this?"

"We are family Tim, we make mistakes but we support each other, Danny is family too." Gibbs said as the others nodded their consent.

Tim looked around him, and for the first time since this all began he realized he wasn't alone, even though his biological family had washed their hands of both him and Danny, he had the support of a family that meant so much more, they were there because they wanted to be not because they had to be.

Gibbs looked at his team and smiled.

He walked up to his youngest and took him outside, "Right son, before you go home for the night let's give this jalopy the once over and see if she can be saved." He grinned.

Tim smiled and nodded walking past Tony he grabbed the last Cannelloni and took another bite.

"Hey…That was mine!" Tony laughed and chased him down the steps.

Gibbs watched them go, they may be dysfunctional and slightly broken, but they were a family.

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