Tim checked the door handle and as he had suspected the door was unlocked. He walked inside and closed the door behind him. Tim figured that Gibbs would still be working in the basement, so he headed over to the basement door and looked down. Sure enough, Gibbs was working on his boat. "Gibbs." He said hoping the other man would hear.
He heard his name being called and looked up. "Tim." He watched the younger man in surprise. He couldn't remember the last time Tim had visited his basement that hadn't been case related. "What brings you here?"
Tim didn't get a chance to answer before his phone started to make the all familiar tone. He brought it out as he descended the stairs and answered without checking who it was.
"Tim, it's me. Something is not right. Hannah is drinking faster than I can stop her."
Tim briefly closed his eyes as he sat down on the steps. Not good at all. "Where is she now?"
Gibbs stopped and walked over to listen. Clearly the phone call was about Hannah.
"She is in the rest room."
"Ok, wait for her to get back and then take her home."
"What is going on McGee?"
This was not the time to get into that. "Not now Tony, please."
"Thanks Tony." Tim hung up the phone as he caught Gibbs staring at him. "Hannah is trying to self-medicate by drinking too much."
Gibbs sighed as he headed back to the boat. That was not something he wanted to hear. "So you didn't tell me, what brings you here?"
"Believe it or not I wanted to check on you." He toyed with the phone in his hand and hoped that Hannah was ok.
"I'll be fine." Gibbs barely looked up. "You can tell Ziva that too."
Tim got up and took a few steps closer to Gibbs. "She didn't make me come. And this is getting to you."
Gibbs stopped sanding and this time looked at the younger man again. "Tim, I told you I'll be fine."
"I really didn't think that of all things being jealous of Tony would be your breaking point so to speak." He watched as Gibbs seemed to struggle with what to say.
He hated to admit it but Tim was right. "What do you expect me to say? One call from him and her whole face lit up like a god damn Christmas tree."
At least he was not denying it. That was good. "She might have had the same reaction if Abby had been the one that had called." Tim was given a stare that clearly stated that he wasn't believed. "Look, Tony and Hannah have always gotten a long well. They tease and care about each other but that's it."
There was something else that usually didn't bother him but maybe now it should. "Tony did have feelings for her at one point."
"He also had feelings for Ziva.
"You trust Ziva." Gibbs defended himself.
"Are you saying you don't trust Hannah?" Tim threw back at him with some anger in his voice.
He did trust her he just wasn't sure about himself. "I just want to help her! Why…"
Tim interrupted him. "Not what I asked. Do you trust her?"
"Yeah but for the first time in all this I am not sure about myself." He threw the sand block away and wondered what the hell was wrong with him.
Some of the anger in Tim deflated but only a little. He didn't know if he was doing the right thing. A part of him still didn't want them to be together but more importantly, he didn't want her to lose this over her fear. "You want to walk away from this?"
That caused Gibbs to look up at him again in surprise. "What? No!"
Tim sighed. He knew Gibbs would never walk away easily and the man had come further than any other man in Hannah's life had before. Hannah hadn't really made it too easy for him though. Not that she had done it on purpose. But this took a toll on a person. Even Gibbs.
"Maybe you should sit this one out. Regroup." He waited as Gibbs seemed to think it over. "This isn't easy on anyone. It is kind of an endurance test with her sometimes."
"Nope, that's not going to happen." He took a deep breath. "I love her and she isn't getting rid of me."
Tim nodded slowly. "Plus, you don't really have to worry about Tony. There was a reason he didn't make a move on her when they first met."
Gibbs blinked and chuckled softly.
The sound of Tim's phone ringing caught them both of guard. Tim opened it and looked at the display. "It's Tony." He answered. "Yeah, Tony?"
"Tim, Hannah is gone. I can't find her anywhere. You know Agent Paulson? He was here. Apparently he and Hannah had some sort of run in and now she is gone. I tried her phone but nothing."
Gibbs didn't say anything as he watched Tim whose face changed. When Tim looked at him with a worried look Gibbs knew something was wrong.
Tim could hear the desperation in Tony's voice. This was bad. What the hell had happened? Just what kind of run in was that? He knew Paulson alright. How that idiot made it through FLETC he'll never know.
"She really hasn't been herself all evening. I'm still looking but maybe you should come down here. I'm at McGinty's."
Gibbs straightened. Something was definitely wrong.
"Keep looking. I'll be right there." Tim shut the phone and gritted his teeth. "Tony can't find her anywhere. Seems she is gone." Tim wasn't sure how much he should say just yet.
That was all Gibbs needed to hear as he followed Tim when the younger man hurried from the basement.
"He tried her phone but got nothing." Was she hurt or had she left on her own? He hurried through Gibbs' living room and dialed Ziva. As soon as she picked up he spoke quickly. "Hannah may be on her way back to the apartment. Can you head over there? I'll explain later." He knew what her response would be so without waiting for a reply he hung up.
Gibbs soon slammed the front door behind him. He quickly grabbed Tim's arm and guided him towards his direction. "Let's take my car."
He didn't argue. With Gibbs driving they would get there faster.
"Where are they?" Gibbs asked as he got in the car.
"McGinty's" Tim answered as he got in and braced himself for the ride.
"A bar?" That wasn't too far. With seatbelt on he started the car and made a U turn. He hoped Hannah was ok.
"Yeah." Tim dialed and waited. No answer. "Come on Hannah, where are you?"
Gibbs glanced over at Tim. "What do you think is going on?"
Tim decided to come clean. "She had a run in with Agent Paulson." He shut the phone only to open it and try again.
"Paulson? Damn it!" Just what had that idiot done now? Gibbs ignored the honk he got as he continued to drive.
Tim shut the phone again and decided to try one last time. "Yeah, Tony didn't get in to details though."
Gibbs turned a corner. "She'll be ok. She is tough." Why he was even saying that to Tim, the man that knew that better than anyone else he had no idea. Gibbs just really hoped she was.
Tim shut the phone and ran a hand over his eyes. Where was she?
"Great, it's a red light." The car came to a stop. He drummed the steering wheel wishing for the light to turn green.
"Tony is looking for her. Hopefully he'll find her." Tim wasn't sure if believed that himself.
The moment the light changed Gibbs floored it.
"Hey, no need to get us both killed." Tim yelled as more honks could be heard.
"I know what I'm doing." Gibbs ignored the honks and did another turn. "We should be there any second now."
Tim looked out and saw the bar come into view. He also saw Tony pacing outside while using his phone.
Gibbs saw the familiar figure outside. The car came to a halt and Gibbs got out. "TONY!"
Tony almost jumped when he heard his name being yelled. "Oh crap." He shut his phone and waited as both Tim and Gibbs jogged towards him. "I can't find her anywhere. I looked but it's like she vanished into thin air." He saw the marks on Gibbs face. What the hell had been going on?
"She has a habit of doing that if she set's her mind to it." Tim said.
Gibbs cut to the chase. "What happened between her and Paulson?"
"I don't know but when I saw them he was on the floor holding on to his privates and.." He took another deep breath. "Hannah had a split lip."
Gibbs clenched his fists in anger. "Is he still in there?"
Tim could understand the anger in Gibbs voice as he felt the very same thing.
Gibbs didn't need to hear more. He hurried to the front door where the bouncer held up his hand.
"Where are you going grandpa?"
Gibbs quickly brought out his badge. "In there."
The man simply nodded and said nothing more.
Gibbs pushed the door open and walked inside. He took a quick look around.
Tim scanned the place as he got inside. It was rather crowded.
Tony immediately saw him. "There he is."
Gibbs turned to see where Paulson was. He took quick steps towards the man at the bar. "Paulson!" He didn't enjoy the other man's worried look and or that he seemed to shrink in size. "Want to tell me what happened between you and Hannah?" Paulson seemed to be sporting a bright red cheek and his nose was still bleeding. He really hoped that Hannah had broken it.
Gibbs leaned in closer. "I heard you had a run in with Hannah. I am giving you a chance to give me your side of it. Now again, what the hell happened?"
"Nothing. Just some words were said and she took it the wrong way."
He could hear the uncertainty in Paulson's voice. Gibbs was doing his best to control his anger. "What about her split lip?"
"Hey, she hit me first."
Tim kept his focus on Paulson. He had never liked that man.
Gibbs spoke in a hard voice. "Just what did you say to her?"
The response from the other man was simply a cold laugh and Tim lost it. He pushed Gibbs out of the way, grabbed Paulson by the collar and dragged him away from the bar. Soon Tim had him against the wall near the bathroom.
"Hey get off me!"
"What did you do to my sister?" He didn't even want to think what might have happened. He held Paulson tightly and high on the wall, so that only his toes touched the floor.
"Nothing, I didn't do anything."
Tim pushed Paulson hard against the wall again-by his neck.
Tony stepped up and tried to get Tim to let the other man have an airway. "Tim! A little help here, Gibbs."
Gibbs was not going to do anything. The guy deserved anything he got and if Tim had not acted he would have. Though he was a bit surprised to see this side of Tim.
Tony knew he wasn't getting any help as he tried to grab Tim's arm and almost shouted. "Hannah wouldn't want you to do this! And she'd never let you live it down if she has to bail you out tonight!"
Tim stopped and turned a little to look at Tony. He was right. There was one last shove against the wall before Tim let the other man go and took a step back to catch his breath. But he made sure Paulson couldn't go anywhere
while he thought it through.
Gibbs was beyond mad and felt like striking the guy but as Tony had said just then Hannah wouldn't have liked it. Hannah, he needed to find her. He turned to leave. Gibbs knew Tim would deal with Paulson. Right now all he wanted to do was to make sure Hannah was ok. "I'm going after Hannah."
Tim watched as Paulson tried to gather himself before he asked quietly "Want to tell me what really happened with Hannah?"
Tony was torn of what to do. Go after Gibbs or stay to keep Tim from going after the guy again. There was a little brawl at the door that made his mind up. He hurried over and saw that Gibbs was arguing with someone.
"Hey man, why did you push me eh?"
Tony grabbed a hold of Gibbs who seemed ready to strike the innocent man. "Sorry about that. Really, really sorry. Come on Gibbs." It took all of his strength to almost drag Gibbs outside.
"Get off me!"
Tony let go. "Where are you going?" He watched as Gibbs walked away.
"I'm going to find Hannah!" Gibbs yelled back as he continued to his car.
Tony threw up his hands and ran back into the club, hoping Paulson was still alive and had his limbs. He got there in time to hear the conversation.
"I said want to try that again?" Tim repeated when the man simply stared at him.
"What, you heard me." Paulson tried to act nonchalant as the much taller man towered over him.
Tim snorted in disgust. "The thing is I don't believe you. Hannah isn't into bar fights, so she wouldn't just walk up to you and say things that would start a fight." When the other man simply shrugged his shoulders Tim took a
step closer to him again. "Plus, a trained law enforcement officer should be able to handle that situation without resorting to violence."
"Fine, I simply mentioned on how you whored her out to get on Gibbs team. No big deal." Paulson tried to laugh but stopped as he saw the look in Tim's eyes.
Tony took a step back. He could swear Tim had murder in his eyes and Tony couldn't really blame him. Suddenly his phone rang.
Tim remained calm but inside he was steaming. "So let me get this right. You called me a pimp and my sister a whore? That I sold her to get my spot on the team."
"So you are not denying it?" Paulson sneered.
Tim sighed right before he slammed the man against the wall again by his throat and picked him up.
Tony decided now was not the time to interfere as he backed away further to answer his phone.
"I got the slot on Gibbs' team because I am damn smart and good at what I do. And he wanted to see that potential used. Now, that you weren't and still aren't smart or good enough to get a slot on a team is not my problem. Though someone should look into how you even passed FLETC." Tim took a deep breath and lowered the man to the floor but didn't release him. "Hannah and Gibbs didn't know each other when I started working on Gibbs team and didn't meet for several years after I joined it."
Paulson was gasping for breath but Tim suddenly released his neck and helped to straighten out his shirt before he continued. "Now, this isn't over. I simply need to be going. However, you will regret the instant you though
calling my sister a whore was smart. If I hear that you have said it again, or I hear any rumors that you have been saying it, you will unfortunately live to regret it."
Without another word he walked away. What a mess. He zigzagged between people with Tony on his heels.
"Not particularly." Tim wasn't so sure if he was. Not until he would find Hannah.
Tony was not feeling any calmer even though he has just talked to the missing woman on the phone. "Hannah just called. Apologized, seemed upset and said she was home or heading home. I couldn't quite make that out. Don't think she heard your speech to Paulson though."
Tim breathed out a sigh of relief. "Does Gibbs know?" At least she was safe.
Tony shook his head. "No, he walked straight to the car and honestly, I was bit scared to approach him."
Tim wasn't sure if Tony was joking or not.
"What happened to Gibbs face?" Tony asked as they made their way to Tony's' car.
Tim didn't answer him as he looked for Gibbs. "Give me a lift back to Hannah's apartment?"
"Sure." He decided to try and find something out of this. "Tim, what is going on with Hannah?"
Tim felt for Tony. He knew he deserved some sort of explanation. "She is going through a rough time right now."
Tony nodded as he thought back. "Yeah, she said something about feeling like the world come crashing down on her."
Those words made Tim halt and listen a bit more carefully. "She did?"
Tony turned to Tim. "Something about how she kept treating you like crap. She seemed to feel really bad about that. She was almost crying. She thinks you deserve a better sister then her."
Tim didn't know what to say to that and got into the car.
"I just told her you adored her and that she was wrong." Tony smiled as he hoped he had not over stepped any lines.
Tim gave him a small, tired smile. "Thanks Tony. I appreciate that."
Tony looked at his friend as he started the car and saw how tired he was. Whatever was going on was hard for Tim and Gibbs too. "Hannah is going through some rough times and it isn't easy for any of you, is it?"
"No." It was the simple truth. "Come on. Let's go."