Gibbs walked out of the hospital and headed straight to his basement.
He loved Tim; he had done ever since he found out that he was his father. He wished he had known sooner, there was so much anger in his son and he felt like he was walking a knife-edge around him.
His heart had leapt earlier when Tim had called him Dad and had been worried about him and needed him. Now he felt crushed.
Tim did not want to know him.
He had only found out he was his father a week ago and he had screwed it up already so much for having a second chance.
He picked up a jar, filled it with bourbon, and picked up the sander. Then he threw the sander at the wall. He sank back onto the bench and drank his drink.
"Hey Boss." Tony's voice floated down from upstairs.
Gibbs groaned and looked up ready to be there for whatever Tony wanted.
"I got you Chinese." Tony said carrying a plate of food down to his boss.
"Thanks." Gibbs said.
They sat and ate in a companionable silence.
Gibbs waited for Tony to tell him what was on his mind.
After a while, Tony stopped eating and looked at Gibbs. "It's not your fault Boss.Tim just needs to work it out himself. It's a big change for both of you."
"He doesn't need me Tony." Gibbs said.
"He does he just won't let himself admit it. My father was like his. I'm not the best now at asking for help. It is inbred into us. Don't cry. Don't show emotion. Don't be weak. No one needs you and you don't need anyone else." Tony said quietly.
"Is that how it was for you?" Gibbs asked.
Tony laughed a bitter laugh, "Still is….unfortunately, my father IS my father." He turned to Gibbs. "Tim is your son; you have a chance to fix this. He needs to realize you won't treat him the same as Shane McGee. You need to be there to listen as he cries and works through this. You both need each other; there's still hope for Tim."
Gibbs looked at Tony, He knew the young man had been through a lot with his father but he was touched at how Tony wanted to help Tim.
"There's hope for you too Tony." Gibbs said hoping to help lift Tony's mood.
"Not really." Tony smiled sadly. "I learnt years ago, my father doesn't love me, He tolerates me….it's the best I'm ever going to get from him. I'll take it every time he dishes it out. We are and always will be dysfunctional Boss, I love my dad and I live in hope that one day he'll look at me and be proud of me as his son."
"I'm proud of you Tony and what you're doing now. Thank you, I will be there for Tim. I promise I won't let him down, and my door is always open for you too." Gibbs said.
Tony got up and headed for the door.
"Let Tim know that, He will need to hear to say it and see it in action." He said and left.
Gibbs sat on the sofa thinking about all Tony had said.
Early the next morning Tim woke up and jumped slightly as he saw Gibbs asleep in the chair next to his bed.
This was a new experience for him, the last time Tim had spent any significant amount of time in hospital was when he was sixteen and he had totaled his Camero.
He had spent a total of twenty weeks in hospital and hadn't had a visitor once.
He turned over and watched Gibbs sleep. He looked for things in Gibbs' face that he would recognize in his own.
The eyes definitely, and they had the same nose and hair color.
There was no getting around it; Gibbs was his father. However, what exactly did that mean?
"Hey," Gibbs said gently as he woke to see Tim deep in thought.
"Why are you here?" Tim asked, there was no anger or malice in the question, just confusion. Gibbs' heart hurt at what Tim must have lived through to ask that question.
"You're injured, I'm worried about you." He told him.
"I'm sure I'll be back to work soon." Tim said having figured that Gibbs must be wondering about when he would be ready to resume his place on the team.
Gibbs relieved that Tim had apparently forgotten last nights threat to move teams let out a sigh of relief. On hearing that, Tim nodded. He did just worry about his team.
He wasn't going to be burned this time.
"I'm sure Vance can move someone to TAD while I'm out." Tim reassured him.
Gibbs suddenly realized what Tim was thinking.
"God, No! Tim! The team is the last of my worries you're sick I'm here for you." He reiterated.
Tim looked at him, slightly hopefully but very guarded. "Because?"
"Because you're my son, I am here for you anytime you need me. Because you need me now and more than that because I love you." Gibbs practically ended up pleading.
Tim gave a sour laugh, "Love me? You don't know me….you know the Agent, but you don't know me. My father…..Shane knew me and he hated me, what makes you think you won't hate me when you get to know me." Tim took a deep breath. "I'm scared." He breathed quietly, hoping Gibbs wouldn't hear it.
Gibbs got up and sat next to Tim, He gently placed his arm around him. "I won't let you down son. I'm scared too!"
Tim looked up surprised. "You are?"
"Your sister, Kelly died when she was eight. When I saw Shane attack you, I was scared I was going to lose you, just after I had found you. I understand it may take a long time for us to have anywhere near a normal father, son relationship….but I'd like to try it. If that's ok with you?"
For Tim those words were ones he had waited his whole life to hear. Ok so they weren't coming from the father he had hoped would say it. However, maybe, just maybe this could be better.
He let out a small sob, not letting Gibbs see the tears that were falling he just nodded silently.