A/N: So I'm back…hopefully for a while. On a personal note I would like to say that my heart goes out to anyone who has ever suffered from a fire. Just cleaning up my family's business was heartbreaking. I cannot imagine if it had been our family home. Okay enough of the sad stuff (everything is good now) and on with the story! Still own nothing…a person can wish though, right?

It had been almost four days since she'd arrived in New York, and to say that Sarah McGee was frustrated would be an understatement. Sure Agent Gibbs was personally keeping her updated, but having not actually spoken with her brother since her second night in town was driving her up the wall. The only thing to keep her from heading back to Washington herself was the two conversations she'd had with Ziva.

The phone call to her parents had been brutal. Not that she had any problems fibbing to her parents on a normal basis, it just felt wrong to down play something like this. She had, as instructed, told them that Tim was essentially fine and in Chicago being looked at by a specialist just to be cautious. Wincing to herself, she remembered that she had even joked that he was finally getting to use his great government benefits. Her mom had gotten a little, okay a lot, teary, and her father as usual had demanded a full accounting of the everything from beginning to end. Finishing with promises to call, and assurances to them to expect a call from Tim as soon as he could make an international call she promptly hung up the phone and burst into tears. Hannah, Sarah's best childhood friend, had simply come in and sat with her on the couch and let her cry.

In all reality, with the exception of actually being with Tim, there was no one else she would rather be staying with. Hannah had been there the first time when he had crashed his car, so knew when to let Sarah have time alone, and when she needed to be distracted from her own thoughts. She had also been cool with the two agents, affectionately dubbed Mutt and Jeff by the girls, who shadowed them every time they left the apartment. Jokingly Hannah had told her that she had never felt so safe in the city before.

Sighing to herself, Sarah pushed off the couch and made her way into the small kitchen to get another cup of coffee. Opening the refrigerator to get the creamer Sarah nearly jumped out of her skin when the apartment buzzer sounded. Immediately her heart was in her throat, they weren't expecting anyone. Chiding herself for being jumpy, she realized that she did not have to actually let anyone in, and besides Mutt and Jeff were right next-door. Walking calmly over to the intercom by the door Sarah pushed the button and said, "Hello?"

"Is this Sarah McGee?"

Making his circuit of the house, Tony was drawn to McGee's room by the unusual sound of raised voices. He peered into the doorway to find what he considered a most intriguing sight. From his bed Timothy McGee, in all his red faced glory, was staring down a stony faced Ziva David. Crossing his arms over his chest, Tony settled in to watch the show.

"Ziva, I cannot talk to my parents for the first time since the accident stoned out of my gourde!" Tim argued through clenched teeth.

"You can and you will. Ducky was adamant about not skipping doses." Ziva reasoned.

Throwing his good hand in the air, McGee persisted. "You don't understand! Momma McGee knows all!" Scrubbing said hand through his hair he continued in a slightly more rational tone. "My mother will know the minute I get on the phone, not only that she will also know if I'm on that much medication how bad it really is. We just got the phone relay to Chicago up, twenty minutes that's all I'm asking. Then I'll willingly take anything you give me!"

Ziva watched with a steely gaze as green eyes closed and Tim rode out the fresh onslaught of pain. Crossing to the bed she took his hand in hers and waited till he opened his eyes before she spoke again. Leaning down she said softly, "You are in pain, and it is within my power to offer you relief. How can you expect me to simply ignore that?"

His own gaze softening McGee replied, "Because I'm asking you to. Gibbs instructed Sarah to down play my injuries. I need to be able to keep up that illusion. If I can't do that then you are not only going to have to deal with my father calling in all kinds of favors to get information and he will believe me, but once he has that information they will be stateside before anyone can blink and we will all have to hunker down for my mother the one woman hurricane. Please, just let me make the call and this will be a moot point."

Finally Tony took pity on the poor kid and made his presence known. "Come on Ziva, let McGee be all manly and talk to his momma. Then you can dope him up all you want." He said giving Tim a wink behind Ziva's back.

Looking from one to the other Ziva found herself between one set of pleading green eyes, and another set of gently reassuring hazel ones. Relenting she said, "Fine, on two conditions. One, after you take your medication you must sleep for at least an hour. Two, you will owe me a favor of my choosing at the time of my choosing. This is fair yes?"

"Sounds fair to me Probie. You?"


"Good. I will return in twenty-five minutes that should give you the time you require."

With that Ziva sailed out of the room. Crossing to get the phone and it's accompanying equipment Tony let out a low whistle.

"Either you've got some brain damage the doctors missed, or pain makes you brave." Tony said with a raise of his eyebrow.

"The jury's still out on that. I'll let you know." McGee teased back as he began the arduous process of dialing an international call through from Chicago.

"You good?" Asked Tony as he headed for the door.

"Yeah." Tim sighed, giving him a smile that looked more like a grimace. "And, thanks Tony."

"Totally worth the show." He called back as he walked out the door.

Waiting for the connection to be made Tim closed his eyes again and tried to steel himself for the conversation to come. He knew he made the right decision, but in truth he was hurting more than he cared to admit. A beeping from the phone signaled a good connection, he took a deep breath and pressed send.

"Hello." Came a deep voice on the other end.

"Hey Dad." Tim said into the receiver.

"Tim, it's good to hear from you son. Sarah told us you were having problems getting an international connection at that fancy hospital in Chicago."

"Yeah. They just put in a new phone system, and all the bugs haven't been worked out yet. I am sorry for worrying you guys sir."

"Well, I suppose since you are laid up we'll have to forgive you this time." Came the teasing reply.

Laughing slightly Tim conceded, "That's fairly accurate. Busted up my leg pretty good this time, sir."

"That's what your sister told us. What's your recovery time looking like?"

Tim took a breath, straight to business as usual. He could deal with that, facts he could do. "They still have some tests to run here, but it's actually going to be similar to before. Traction for a while longer, soft cast and crutches for couple of weeks, then they'll give me a walking cast so I can start PT."

"And your hand?"

"I'll start occupational therapy as soon as the cast comes off in 4 to 5 weeks."

"Okay. Sounds like this is going to be old hat for you son. Any leads on whoever hit you."

"No sir, not yet. They found the car, but it was a stolen vehicle."

"You did good Tim, saving your sister like that. I, we're proud of you."

"Thanks, but if something had happened to her I would have never forgiven myself. It's my job to keep her safe." Tim said his breath hitching.

"But nothing did, because of you. Here's your mother. Bye son, we'll see you in a few weeks."

"Yeah bye." Switching the phone to his other ear Tim prepared himself for the hard part of the conversation.

"Hey baby, how are you really doing? And none of that bullshit you fed your father. I want to know how you are really feeling."

The sweet voice on the other end of the line was almost his undoing. "I'm okay Mom really."

Letting out a huff she replied. "Really, cause you sound like you're in some pain sweetheart."

"Some, but I just finished with my first round of PT with the crutches. You won't believe me but Constance, my nurse here, makes Andrew look like a sweet little kitty cat." Tim said lying through his teeth. God, he hated lying to his mother.

"Be nice Timothy." She admonished with a smile in her voice. "Andrew was really good to you."

"Yeah, him and his ankle weights of doom."

Laughing at the old joke his mother sighed. "Are you sure you don't want us to come home? I hate thinking of you all alone in a strange city after an accident like this."

Clearing his throat he said. "I'm actually not alone Mom."

"Oh, really?"

"Uh…yeah Abby took some time off to be here till I could go back to DC."

"Abby's there? Are you guys…"

Interrupting before she could get carried away, he corrected her assumptions. "No Mom, Abby and I are still just friends. She just had some time coming and knew that you guys were out of the country, and that Sarah has school. She's just here for moral support nothing more. Okay?"

"Okay, a woman can dream can't she? Eventually you are going to have to give me a wedding and some grandbabies you know." She teased.

"I know Mom and one day I will." Tim said exhaustion creeping into his voice.

"You sound tired baby. I'll let you go and get some sleep. You'll keep us posted?"

"Of course. Love you guys. Miss you."

"Oh honey, we love you too. We'll talk to you soon okay."

"Okay Mom. Bye."

"Bye sweetie. Feel better."

Hanging up the phone, Tim took a minute to let himself wallow. He was in pain, and he was scared. Not for himself, but for Sarah, Faith, Grace and the rest of his team. They were still no closer to finding who did this and until this was finished no one was going to rest easy. Wiping his eyes he strengthened his resolve. Tomorrow he had work to do. No more of this taking it easy crap. He was going to finish this sooner rather than later.