Chapter 7

Ducky came and picked up Gibbs when he was released from the hospital the next day. Gibbs refused to go out in the wheel chair. He won his argument by claiming he had to start his exercise program. Half way to the car, Gibbs visibly became winded. When Ducky asked if he was alright, Gibbs told him he was fine and just wanted to get home.

Gibbs wasn't very surprised to see multiple cars in his driveway. He wasn't sure how he felt about it though. He was kind of tired and wanted to rest, but he had also been pretty isolated the last few days. Something to write in the journal, he sarcastically thought to himself.

When he walked in he was greeted by the smell of something very appetizing. There was also some soft music playing in the background; sounded like jazz. So far, he hadn't seen anyone. Ducky, who was carrying Gibbs' duffle bag on his own insistence, asked, "Do you want me to take this upstairs, Jethro?" Gibbs nodded and followed him up.

"Gibbs!" Abby had been finishing making the bed with his new, clean sheets, when he walked in. She threw herself and her arms around him. He grunted in pain from her force, but still managed to wrap his arms around her as well. "Oh God!" she said realizing what she had just done. "I am so sorry! I wasn't thinking. Are you okay?"

"Yeah, Abbs, I'm fine. What are you all doing here?"

"We wanted you to be comfortable when you came home. I bought and washed new sheets for your bed. Ziva made dinner. And Tony and McGee have spent the last hour arguing about whether or not to light candles."

"McGee wanted to light candles?"

"No," said Abby. "Tony did."

"You look a bit pale, Jethro. Why don't you sit down for a spell."

"No, Duck. Thanks. I'm going to the basement for a minute. I have the strangest urge to check on my boat." Abby giggled. "What?"


Abby and Ducky followed Gibbs to the first floor. He stood in the door of the kitchen and watched Ziva set the table. It had been a while since he had a sit down dinner with guests and didn't use paper plates. Tony and McGee were standing in a corner deep in conversation about something. They can't really be arguing about candles?

"It's lavender and vanilla, McGeek. Its supposed to be relaxing!"

Apparently so, he thought. "You know what would be more relaxing?" Gibbs asked getting Tony, McGee and Ziva's attention. "If you two would forget about the candles and shut up."

"Good to have you back, Boss," said Tony. "See, McGee. I told you the candles were a bad idea."

"But you were the one-."

"Stop!" yelled Abby. Everyone's shocked face turned and looked at her. "Gibbs demanded quiet so quiet we shall be."

"Well, thank you, Abby." said Gibbs moving towards his basement door.

"Where's he going?" McGee asked.

"Check on his boat," said Abby. Tony laughed.

"What is so funny about that?" asked Gibbs sounding a tad annoyed.

"Nothing," Tony and Abby said in unison.

Gibbs ran his hand over the rough wood of the hull of his boat. Picking up his sanding block, he started gently rubbing it against the wood. He was sure the last thing it needed was to be sanded, but he felt he had to do something. He was only able to work on it for a couple of minutes before he had to sit down. He almost had to physically push Ducky and Abby away from him when he first headed downstairs. He assured them he would be fine alone for a few minutes. He would hate to have to prove himself wrong by calling for one of them to help him back upstairs. God, I have never felt so old in my life, he thought taking in a deep breath. Once he thought he was able to get back up the stairs without appearing as though he was about to drop dead, he made his way to the kitchen.

"I hope you are hungry, Gibbs." Ziva said setting the finished food on the table. Jimmy, who must have arrived while he was downstairs, was helping her.

"It smells wonderful, Ziva. What we got?" he asked heading over to the table to have a look.

"Mashed sweet potatoes, lightly seasoned green beans, no salt. And a vegetarian lasagna." A kitchen timer went off. "Oh!" she said pulling the oven door open. "And some whole wheat buns."

"You mean rolls," said Tony taking in a deep whiff of the lasagna.

"Are they not the same thing?"

"They are," said McGee. "He's just messing with you."

"And he will live to regret it," she muttered.

"Vegetarian lasagna? Such a slap to the face," said Tony to himself.

5 minutes later, everyone was sitting around the table. "Can I have everyone's attention please?" Ducky asked. Everyone focused on him. "I know this is a very rare occurrence that we are all together like this. Actually, I don't think we have all been together in such a manner. When I was a little boy-," a few low moans were heard around the table. "Now, now!" said Ducky. "This won't take long. When I was a little boy, my mother always used to make me say grace. It was a tradition that I never really outgrew. If you all would allow me the honor of saying grace tonight, I would much appreciate it." They all agreed. "If you would please hold the hand of the persons next you, I will begin." Everyone grabbed the hand of the people on either side of them; except Tony and McGee who exchanged less than happy glances and placed their hands on each other's shoulders. "This is a little something that I picked up a while ago. It seems to fit so perfectly right now." Everyone bowed their heads.

"We thank the Lord for happy hearts, for rain and sunny weather. We thank the Lord for this our food, and that we are together."

"That was real nice, Duck. Thank you," Gibbs said.

"My pleasure, boy. My pleasure. Now, I do believe it is time to start passing those buns, Miss Ziva."

"HA!" she turned and said into Tony's face. "I told you they were the same thing!"

A/N: This is the end of the story. It didn't really turn out at all like I thought it would. I just let the story go where it wanted to after a while. I hope it wasn't a disappointing ending. Thank you to all of those who reviewed and stuck with me through out this. You were a really big help.

A/N 2: The saying Ducky said before dinner is something I got from my husband's family. Its something they always say before we eat at family gatherings. I'm sure they won't mind my borrowing it for this story.