Disclaimer: NCIS is not mine.

He downed another shot, drowning himself beyond the legal limit. He couldn't really help it; the events of the past twenty-four hours were all his fault, and that realization was beginning to take a toll on him. At the moment he could think of no better way to forget about it all than by ordering enough shots of liquor to probably kill him.

"Bartender--" He raised his empty glass.

"Another shot?" The bartender filled his cup, nodding. "Must've been a hell of a long day."

McGee nodded. "You have no idea."Before he could drink it, a hand reached out from behind and him snatched it away.

"You've had one too many," Tony DiNozzo said as he plopped down onto the stool beside his friend. "No doubt you'll have a hangover tomorrow, huh?"

McGee shrugged. "I don't care."

"But I do, now come on." Tony tried to pull him up, but McGee swatted his arm away.

"Tony, seriously. I don't need this right now. Can you please just...go away?"

Tony shook his head. "You're drunk, Probie. You're gonna get hurt just walking outta here." He studied McGee's sad face. "You're not still upset about what happened, are you?"

McGee glanced at him sideways. "Wouldn't you be? Abby almost died because of me."

"But she didn't."

"It was close though."

"Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, McGee." Tony said, trying to lighten up the mood. "Abby wasn't hurt. She's not dead. The bad guy didn't win. We did."

"But still..." McGee didn't expect his friend to understand. "My writing killed three people. Those deaths are my fault. I should just stop writing." He reached for the shot glass, but Tony quickly drank it. "Hey!"

"No more for you. You must be over twice the legal limit, Probie."

"I said I didn't care!"

"But what about everyone else?" Tony demanded. "Get over it, McGee! It's the past! Move on! Your writing is...brilliant, okay? You have the skill to grab someone's attention in a book, and look at what you've become; you're a great author that so many people admire!"

McGee couldn't believe what Tony was saying. Maybe it was because he was drunk, or maybe it was because he could never imagine ever hearing Tony giving him such a compliment. Actually, he couldn't remember Tony ever complimenting him at all...

"What if it happens again?"

Tony sighed. "Then it happens. But that's Thom E. Gemcity's problem. Timothy McGee's the hero that puts those people away. You can't give either of it up. What if we all did that? What if Gibbs hadn't come back?"

"He gave up though," McGee pointed out.

"But he still came back. He remembered who he was." Tony stood up. "Maybe you should remember too."