A/N: I know I've been saying there were 26 chapters, but I just had to separate this last part from the rest, even though it's short. It needed to be its own chapter.


Chapter 27

Again, consciousness came slowly. Tim basked in the warm, dazed feeling of the semi-conscious. But as much as he enjoyed the feeling, he could feel his mind sharpening in spite of his best efforts. His life recently had been punctuated by bouts of unconsciousness. He was afraid to open his eyes, but finally, he gave in. It was the hospital. How he gotten here? He didn't remember leaving his own apartment. Then, he remembered what had happened at his apartment. His eyes opened wide.

"Back with us again, huh, McGee?"

Tim turned his head slowly, feeling the chafing of a bandage on his neck. "Hey, Tony. What are you doing here?"

"Making sure you're okay."

"How long was I out?"

"A few hours. It's around five in the morning."

Tim began to worry a little. "Did you stay here all night?"


"Why? Is someone else after me now?"

"Not so far as we know."


"Just accept it, McGee. I'm here. And if you bring it up to anyone, I'll kill you."

Tim smiled and laid back. Then, he had to know. "Tony..."


"Did I really..." His throat closed up and he had to start over. "Did I really kill him?"


Tim just nodded.

"How do you feel about that, McGee?"

"I don't know."

"Good answer. Sleep on it."

That sounded like good advice. "Okay. Thanks, Tony."

"Don't mention it. Really. Don't. Ever."

"Wouldn't dream of it." Tim fell asleep, almost happy.

The next morning, the doctor wouldn't let him leave the hospital without talking to a psychiatrist first. Tim was able to be mostly honest about how he felt, and the psychiatrist scheduled a few extra visits just to be sure but cleared him to leave. Tony gave him a ride home and even offered to stick around, but Tim told him to go. When he got inside, he looked around at his apartment and wondered where to start first. It seemed almost a hopeless task. Finally, he settled for washing the dishes from last night. He had just started scrubbing when he heard someone knocking on his door. He went over and opened it.

"Hey, Tim. I thought you could use some help cleaning up your place."

"Hey, Abby. You don't have to–" he started to say as she walked by him. He shrugged and closed the door.

Abby shook her head. "Of course, I don't have to. I want to. What do you want me to do?"

"Uh..." He was interrupted by another knock at the door.

"McGee, last night, I couldn't help but notice that your apartment was still quite a mess from when Robertson was here the first time. I've come to offer my services."

"Thanks, Ziva." Tim was bewildered, but he let her in. He pointed Abby and Ziva toward the destroyed living room while he headed back to the kitchen. They had all just started cleaning when there was a knock at the door.

Tim opened it and was surprised to see Gibbs and then noticed Tony and Ducky coming up the steps behind him. "Uh, hi, boss. Hi, Tony, Ducky."

"Morning, McGee." Tony slipped in around Gibbs and started helping Ziva with the bookshelves in the corner. He nodded at Abby who was sorting Tim's records. Ducky joined Abby.

"What are you doing here, boss?"

"What does it look like, McGee? Where would you like me to start?"

Wordlessly, Tim pointed to the corner where his bookshelves were all in disarray. Gibbs went to the indicated place, and then Tim noticed that he was carrying a box with him. He didn't say anything, but went back to the dishes with an embarrassing lump in his throat.

"Ooh, Gibbs, where did you find that?" Abby asked from behind him.

Tim turned around and saw a typewriter nearly identical to the one Robertson had broken. No one said anything. He looked at his team, his friends. "Thanks, guys. Thanks a lot." Then, he went back to the dishes with a smile on his face.