SUMMARY: Set from 'Mine', also takes place after chapter 9 of 'Moments'. Answers the questions what did the others talk about while Tony took a nap and where did Gibbs get the idea to ground his son?

WRITTEN FOR: Every single one of you who has stayed and waited for this chapter to come out; please forgive me for taking so long in getting this out; I hadn't realized how long it had been since I posted, my deepest apologies.

A/N: So, Jimmy is completely 100% OOC, I do realize that HOWEVER, please remember this is from my adoption universe and my Jimmy is very protective of Tony.


"I think you don't understand," His brother contradicted, "I need to have a talk with your dad. While I do so, I want you to think back to the story you told me about learning to use chop sticks. After that, take a short nap; I'll be back up in two hours."

Jimmy hated walking away like he was but he knew that his staying wouldn't help matters. Tony needed to come to the same understanding the rest of them had and that was that his dad loved him unconditionally and with no strings attach.

As the door clicked behind him Jimmy took a deep breath to steady his nerves. Even now, it tore him to have used the tone he did with the man he considered a brother. He walked lightly down the staircase needing another moment to get himself together and in the frame of mind he needed to deal with the elder Gibbs.

It was with a confidence that no one would have ever expected to see in him, that Jimmy Palmer entered the dining room. His gaze never wavered from the two older men as he took a seat across from them.

Gibbs was quickly out of his seat, intent on going to check with his own eyes that his boy was alright.

"Let him be," Palmer got out before the older man got too far. He wasn't fazed by the patented glare sent his way. "He needs to sleep and won't if you go up there."

Before the lead agent could do his assistant any damage Ducky interrupted, "Do sit down Jethro; I'm sure there's an explanation. But first, would you care for something to drink Mr. Palmer?"

"Coffee if you still have some," Palmer smiled softly as the older man, still unfazed by the look being sent his way.

"Allow me to fetch you a cup," Ducky was out of his seat before his assistant could protest.

"Agent Gibbs," Palmer nodded at a seat across from him, not bothering to even pretend to be uncomfortable in the silence that followed the ME's exit.

Gibbs was slow to return to his seat, going against his instincts to do what he wanted rather then what was being demanded of him.

Ducky was gone only a couple of minutes, "Here you go Mr. Palmer."

"Thank you doctor," Jimmy smiled as he took a sip once again never letting his gaze leave the two older men.

"How is young Anthony doing?" The ME asked to break the silence knowing it was on the dad's mind even if he couldn't get the words out himself.

"Other than having a bit of a shiner, he's physically fine," Jimmy answered, his gaze altering between the two. "As I said before, he's taking a nap. I have a feeling he's already asleep."

"And psychologically Mr. Palmer," Ducky wondered aloud.

"He'll need time, patience, and love from everyone," Jimmy answered honestly. His eyes darkened as he glanced at Gibbs, "I'm going to assume, as dangerous as that is, that the bastard is long gone and won't be back."

Gibbs gave a nod, his own eyes matching that of the younger man before him.

"Good," Jimmy gave a dark smile, "I'd hate to think that my brother was in any danger."

Neither older man said anything; there was no point. Ducky took a sip of his tea, letting the warmth of the liquid warm his heart.

"We will all do what we can," Ducky said after a couple minutes. "Should we worry about nightmares James?"

Jimmy took his own sip of coffee before answering, "Not right now as he won't fall into a deep sleep. He's more daydreaming then anything. Tonight though will be a different story."

He turned his attention Gibbs, "He'll have nightmares and they will be bad Agent Gibbs. Whatever you do, don't leave him alone. He'll fight it; tell you he's fine and that he wants to be alone. It's not really what he wants but it is what he knows."

Jimmy stopped to take a deep breath and take a long sip of his coffee. He'd never talked this much before in front of the lead agent and it was unnerving for him. However, for his "little" brother, he'd do anything including brining forth a big brother's wrath.

He continued, "He'll be quiet and withdrawn for the next couple of weeks at least. It'll feel odd and you'll want to demand that he talk to you or snap out of it…don't. If you want to be there for him be there silently. Don't make him talk or else you'll risk alienating him and trust me Agent Gibbs, if you alienate him now you'll never get him back."

The glare Jimmy sent Gibbs made the older man proud. It was a weird feeling; the feeling of pride, knowing this is son had friends he could depend on through anything. Jimmy's speech and his glare let Gibbs know that he would let no one, not even Gibbs himself, do his friend, his brother, any harm. To bring harm to Tony would be to bring a big brother's wrath unto himself.

"The best thing for you to do is to give your silent support. Sit next to him on the couch, watch a movie if you must," Jimmy paused long enough for another drink, "don't be afraid to let him know that he can come to you but don't push it either; follow his lead. There's one last thing Agent Gibbs, one thing you must do."

The look Jimmy shot him was so intense that for first time, Gibbs was actually nervous! He was suddenly aware that the conversation they were having was Jimmy already showing Gibbs some of his wrath. Gibbs took a long pull of his coffee before heading into the kitchen for a refill, taking the time to get his mask back firmly in place.

"Go ahead Palmer," Gibbs nodded, "What's the one thing?"

Jimmy took a deep breath, holding up a hand to forestall the protest he knew was sure to come, "Tony is going to push you. And he will keep pushing you until he thinks you are going to leave him. You can handle this one of two ways. One, you can ignore it and hope he'll realize that you're not leaving. Two, you can do something about it, let him know that you won't go anywhere and he's not allowed to keep pushing."

"So you're saying I should do something about this stunt he pulled?" Gibbs questioned. Seeing a nod of the head he demanded to know, "And just what do you suggest Palmer?"

Jimmy Palmer simply smirked at him, not answering the question. Gibbs glare intensified at the lack of response. It was Ducky who finally understood the unspoken answer.

"Jethro," The ME broke the silence, "If Anthony was a teenager and snuck out his home, what would you have done?"

Gibbs turned to the doctor, finally understanding, "He's not a teenager though Duck."

"He acted like one," Jimmy protested, "I've given you your choices Agent Gibbs. It's up to you how you handle it from here."

Gibbs turned to his long time friend and stared incredulously, "What do you think Duck?"

"I think Mr. Palmer is right Jethro," Ducky answered, "on all accounts. Right now, it is up to you to decide what is best for your son."

Gibbs sat back in seat, lost in thought. Tony wasn't a teenager, he was an adult yet…he was Tony's dad and that meant something…didn't it? Could he really ground his son as if he were a teenager who had thrown a temper tantrum and then snuck away?

Yes, he could and yes, he would. He nodded slightly to himself before coming back to the present; the sound of a knock at his door bringing him back quicker.

Gibbs looked up worried but Ducky calmed him, "Mr. Palmer ordered Chinese for all of us; he is paying for it right now."

Gibbs nodded, grabbing money from his wallet to give the MEs assistant when he came back.

"Is Tony awake," He questioned the younger man when he reappeared in the dining room.

"I'm gonna go get him now," Jimmy answered with a slight nervous smile, "I want to check him over again before we come down."

Gibbs nodded his head in acknowledgement. As he watched Jimmy Palmer walked up his stairs, confident in his steps, he was once again thankful for his son's friends.

Listening for the sound of movement Gibbs couldn't help but smile, his son was in for a shock of his lifetime when bed time rolled around, of that he was sure…unless the shock had come before in the form of a big brother's wrath.


A/N2: So, I've had writers block and I'm dealing with some health issues. My apologies once again in taking so long to post! I hope you liked it!

Date Written: 3/27/2011