The Trials Of Timothy by ceilidh

A/N:- Hello again, everyone, and welcome to my second holiday story.

Now, as mentioned in my note for the last chapter, this one comes from Love And War, one of my favourite season six episodes. I just loved Tim's reaction to Beary Smiles, and how sweetly he remembered how much he'd wanted one. Of course, he didn't get the real thing in the end, but - well, how typically Tim to make his own :o)

So here's my idea on how Pooh-Two-Point-O came to be - and how Tim's father might have found out where his old tape recorder had gone.

As always, I hope you enjoy!

The Trials Of Timothy

Chapter Seven - Smarter Than The Average Bear

Sitting back on his heels to study his handiwork, Tim McGee allowed himself a satisfied smile. Okay, so it wasn't nearly as good as the real thing, but for a hastily improvised substitute –yes, his neatly modified childhood companion was still a triumph of resourceful ingenuity.

Just a few more tweaks to get the voice right, and Pooh-Two-Point-O would be ready to roll.

Focussed, completely, on that gentle tweaking, Tim had no idea that he was being silently watched – his wife's puzzled glance met with a smiling 'sssshhh-' as Kyle McGee nodded into his study.

"Genius at work-" he said at last, joining her in chuckles of proudly loving laughter.

"When you said that last year, he blew up the kitchen-" Diana reminded him with a teasing grin – taking advantage of the rueful silence that followed to beat a sensibly smart, still laughing retreat.

Pulling a suitable face in her wake, her husband then turned back to watch over their little Einstein – growing more serious as he realized how much his son had changed since that last, explosively eventful Christmas.

He'd only just turned twelve, but he was still growing up so fast. Growing up so frighteningly quickly. Kyle just hoped that he was simply growing up, as nature intended, and not growing away from him. As a Naval officer, committed to spending so much time away from his family, it was something he silently dreaded.

Every time he came back from his latest tour at sea, he'd noticed subtle changes in Tim's character. Yes, he was still kinda small, and scrawny. Yes, he was still painfully shy. But advancing so rapidly through his classes, his little baby boy was still years ahead of his time – hence the surprise he'd felt when he'd seen what had topped his genius son's list for Christmas.

Okay, so every kid on the base, not just his, kept raving on about it, but… jeez, a talking bear?!?

Whatever his feelings about it, though, there'd been no denying how much his son had wanted one – just as there'd been no hiding his disappointment when he'd unwrapped that final present so eagerly, but in such crushing vain. Yes, he had stacks of new books, toys, and games for his computer – but no treasured Beary Smiles.

He'd handled it well, though. Not made too much of a fuss. His dad was justly proud of him for that. He was also intrigued by what had happened next. Why Tim had then smiled, asked to be excused, and trotted so quickly up to his room.

There'd been no sulkiness, or pre-teen tantrums, but – no, for all that, he was clearly up to something. And after last year's little mishap, Kyle had to make sure this year's Christmas dinner stayed intact. If anything like it happened again, both the men of the McGee household would be in serious trouble.

Still smiling at the memory - hell, he just couldn't help it - Kyle moved quietly on into his study, ruefully noting that all hopes he'd had to catch up on some holiday paperwork had been thwarted.

Quite why his son's battered old Pooh Bear lay strewn, headless and limbless, over his desk defeated him, but – well, on the plus side, and unlike last year's little experiment, at least this time he hadn't exploded.

The many lessons of fatherhood, he thought through a wry smile, still watching his son at work. However much he begs you to get him one, never, ever, give your kid a chemistry set for Christmas.

Pooh Bears seemed to make a pretty good substitute, though, and… what the hell?!?

\\Merry Christmas, Tim! I'm Pooh-Two-Point-O, and I want to be your friend//

Still thrown by his son's voice coming out from a stuffed Pooh Bear, Kyle then smiled in realization – adding a proud 'that's my boy' afterthought as he moved closer to inspect that boy's latest stroke of twelve year old genius.

Okay, so he needed a few lessons in neat needlework from his mother, but for all that – no, for all those straggly knotted stitches, his son's makeshift dream present wasn't at all bad.

He'd even managed to make it talk too somehow, and… ah. Yes. Hm. That explained it.

Another rule now joined Kyle McGee's ever growing list of coping with a creative child genius. If you're going to keep some old tape recorder as a spare for its replacement, don't leave it lying around on your desk. As far as a creative child genius was concerned, that made it fair game for his latest project.

His brilliant boy seemed to have telepathic 'uh-oh' talents too, since Tim now glanced up at him – the smile on his face shadowed by the realization that maybe, just maybe, his dad still needed that old recorder.

He really couldn't be angry, though – not when he saw the pure joy of achievement beyond it. Instead, he ruffled Tim's hair, cherishing the broad grin that it coaxed back onto his son's face, while keeping the still needed rebuke to its gentlest minimum.

"That's some pretty neat thinking, son, but… well, for next time, you check first. Okay?"

Met with a heartfelt nod, and a smile of sweetest innocence, Kyle McGee happily returned it. God only knew what mischief and mayhem lay beyond it, but… well, one thing was for sure. With this inventive mini-Einstein in the family, life in his household would never be dull.