A/N: I'm back again, I'm again sorry for taking so long with the update, I have no excuse for it and I feel really bad for my tardiness. This is the last chapter of this fic and I want to thank you everyone who has read, reviewed, put this on alert or to their favorites, I would love to continue writing these little one shots, but I'm currently fresh out of ideas for this.(but I reserve the right to add more chapters if I get more ideas, but I don't want anyone to be waiting for updates that may never come. So the fic will be marked as complete for now anyway...) I'm working on the next part of the series, but I can not say when I will start posting since I have a lot of things in the works... Hope you enjoy the chapter!
It had taken a week after Tim's return to the land of the living before the doctor gave him permission to return to work on desk duty, but both Tim and Gibbs had noticed that Tony was still highly affected by their seemingly abandoning him, so both men decided it best for the younger man to take all the sick leave he could muster up and stay at home with their little boy.
Gibbs himself had gone back to work as soon as his lover had been released leaving McGee alone with Tony at home, he had made sure the younger man was well enough to be left like that, but as long as Tim was careful not to overdo it, he would be fine.
McGee had tried his best to show his son how much he was loved and to be there for him as much as possible, but still the boy seemed shyer and more withdrawn than before and he wasn't babbling as much either. Before Tony had been a very talkative boy, even if his speech wasn't developing at a normal rate, but he had been trying. Now he was content to use what little sign language he knew to get his point across and only used a few words here and there, mainly Dada and Daddy.
It broke Tim's heart to see how his normally so happy and energetic little boy had been hurt so much by what had happened, that he had turned quiet, only playing with his imaginary dog. Another thing that had changed was that the little boy had became clingy, he spent as much of his time in his daddies lap as he could and when he wasn't in physical contact with them he would every now and then stop whatever he was doing to make sure he wasn't alone and if he couldn't see either of the men, he would call out to them and only be satisfied when he got a visual of one of his daddies.
Slowly though things seemed to improve and more of Tony's old energy and happiness would break through, making Gibbs and McGee believe for the first time that the boy would be alright in time.
When Tim had to return to work both men feared that it would set back the progress they had made with their son, but to their surprise the return to the routine that they had prior to McGee getting hurt seemed to be just the thing to help Tony bounce back. They all settled back into the daily life and everything settled back to the way they were.
After a month of both men being back to work and Tony in daycare, they got home after a quiet work day after picking their son up and Gibbs set to work preparing dinner as Tim went to the living room to play with Tony. McGee and the little boy sat on the floor racing toy cars and the man smiled happily when his son was sent into peals of laughter when he used the car to drive all over the little boy's belly and over his head.
"Daddy!" The little boy cried out for help in the midst of his laughter when Tim abandoned the car in favor of using his fingers to tickle the little boy.
It took Jethro only a minute to rush out of the kitchen to see what had caused Tony to call for him, but as he saw the scene in front of him he couldn't help but grin. The little boy called for him again and he rushed over and tackled Tim gently to the ground and pulled Tony to launch a revenge attack on McGee's unprotected sides.
After a while of tickling by both Gibbs and Tony he couldn't take it anymore "Okay I surrender!" Tim called out and was relieved when the assault ended but the residual giggles still escaped his mouth a few times before he got himself under control.
"Okay kids time for dinner" Jethro said as he got up from the floor and held out a hand to his lover who stuck a tongue out to him but accepted the hand none the less.
After dinner and the three settled in to watch a movie and afterwards took Tony to his bed to get some sleep.
Once the little boy was sleeping the two men headed to their own bedroom and changed their clothes before getting in bed.
"You know I haven't seen him converse Mac for a while" Tim said referring to the imaginary dog that had kept Tony company during the time he was feeling abandoned.
"Yeah, maybe he doesn't need him anymore" Gibbs suggested and he could see his lover frown as the bedside lamps were still on.
"Maybe, I just wish he hadn't needed him in the first place"
Jethro nodded and leaned in to give his lover a soft kiss before pulling back to look into his eyes. "It was not your fault you got shot."
"I know." They decided to leave that subject since neither of the men were truly convinced that they weren't at fault for everything that had gone wrong during that time.
"So, tomorrow's Saturday and we have the weekend off. The plan still on?" McGee asked in an effort to distract himself
"Oh yeah, I called my friend and he said he has some good ones for us to pick from." Tim couldn't help but grin at the idea of them getting a dog for their son.
"Oh I'm sure Tony will appreciate having lots to choose from" The men had decided that instead of going by themselves to get a dog, they'd take Tony with them and let him be a part of choosing the perfect one, and since Gibbs' friend who owned a kennel had already made sure they had a selection of kid friendly dogs to choose from there wasn't any danger of getting a dog that was not suitable for a family with a kid.
The men has also decided not to get a small puppy since neither had any experience with raising a dog so it would be best if the dog would have some prior training.
Gibbs snorted at his lover's words "Oh yeah, he'll probably want them all"
"You call Tess yet?" Jethro asked his lover who gave himself a slap on the forehead for forgetting.
"No, I totally forgot, it's not too late yet so I'll do it now" He got out of bed and took out his cell before going to the hall to make the call not wanting Jethro to hear as he groveled to make up for forgetting the call.
Tess was a nice twenty something woman who lived with her husband in the house next to their's. The woman had been longing for a dog for a long time, but unfortunately her husband was severely allergic to any creature with fur so a dog didn't fit in their life. Tess was unemployed at the moment so she had heaps of free time and nothing to do during the days.
The two men had wanted to get a dog for Tony, but because the boy was too little to take care of the dog and because of their crazy work hours it had seemed an impossible to add a dog to their house hold. That was until they got an idea and talked it over with Tess. So the three came to an agreement, Tim and Gibbs would get a dog and Tess would take care of it during days and if the two men were unable to get away from work and the woman could come see the dog whenever she wanted and take him for a walk or something like that.
The arrangement seemed perfect for everyone involved and Tess' husband was happy with the arrangement, Tim just had to call the woman and make sure she would be free to come and see the dog once they brought it home.
After a while Tim returned to bed and nodded his head to indicate that Tess was free the next day and he told his lover she would be by later in the evening.
With that both men settled in for the night and after exchanging good night's were out like two lights.
The next morning after breakfast Tim and Gibbs loaded Tony into the car and started the drive to the kennel where they would be getting the dog. The drive was quiet as Tony fell asleep almost as soon as they pulled out of their driveway.
Gibbs pulled the car into the yard of a big country house with plenty of yard space and two big cages where a few dogs barked a greeting as the men got out of the car. Tim opened the back door to get the little boy who was now wide awake and watching the dogs with something acing to wonder in his green eyes.
The door to the house opened and a man about Gibbs' age stepped out onto the porch before smiling widely and making his way to his friend.
"Gunny! It's been a while" He said as he shook Jethro's hand before turning to Tim and Tony who was standing next to his dada.
"It has, Rick meet my partner Tim and our son Tony. Tim this is an old friend of mine Richard but he prefers Rick, don't even try and call him Dick or he'll go ballistic."
Tim smiled and stretched his hand out for a shake.
Rick laughed at the introduction and shook the proffered hand before crouching down so he was looking in the little boy's eyes who was now hiding behind McGee's legs.
"Hello Tony, My name is Rick. It's very nice to meet you." He offered his hand out for Tony to shake and after getting an encouraging nod from his daddies the little boy took hold of the hand and pumped it up and down vigorously.
"Tonie, Nice meet you too" Rick laughed again kindly as he ruffled the boy's hair before addressing the boy again. "You know why you're here Tony?"
Tony looked at his daddies before shaking his head and looking back at the man in front of him.
"Well, I grow dogs, do you like dogs?" After the boy nodded enthusiastically the man continued.
"Your daddies brought you here to look at some doggies and if you're a good boy and if you find one you like, you can take him home with you"
Tony's eyes widened as he listened to the words and he turned to look at his daddies to confirm the words.
"My doggy?" He asked and smiled happily when Gibbs confirmed the words.
"You wanna go see the dogs?" The words were directed to Gibbs and Tim, but it was Tony who gave the answer.
The men smiled at his enthusiasm and Rick led them to the back yard where there was another big cage with a few dogs inside.
"These are the ones I had in mind for you to pick from, they're all house trained and child friendly." They made their way closer to the pen, Tony leaning the way now that he had taken off to see the dogs more closely.
All men expected it to take a while for them to pick a dog but Tony looked through all the dogs in the pen before his eyes light up at the sight of a beautiful black and white dog and he he let out a happy "Mac!"
The men turned to look at the dog that had caused the boy to get so excited and saw the black and white dog with one brown ear licking the hand that Tony had resting on the fence.
"That one is a Border Collie, he's still a pup, but well trained for his age and he loves kids" Gibbs nodded his head, he had known the man long enough to know that he could be trusted with theses kind of things.
"How much?" He asked curtly, the smile on the little boy's face making the decision to get the dog.
Tim turned surprised eyes at his lover at that ,but didn't comment after all it seemed that Tony had already fallen in love to the dog that obviously reminded him of his imaginary pet and neither man thought the dog anyway unfit to be a part of their little family.
"Tell you what Gunny, since I owe you and everything you take that dog home and take good care of it and we'll call it even. Besides your boy has already named it and all so it's already his"
Jethro smiled widely at that and offered his hand to seal the deal. Gibbs looked at the boy who was having his cheek licked by the little dog and giggling happily and he turned to Rick with a half smirk.
"Don't think we're even Rick" as the other man turned to look at him with a raised eyebrow Gibbs continued with a smile "I definitely owe you now" But even as he said it Jethro didn't seem to mind one bit.
He turned to look a this lover and took Tim's hand in his, knowing that Rick wouldn't mind and pulling the younger man to his side. They watched as Rick went to put a leash on the dog and let it out of the pen. The dog wagged it's tail as he Rick brought him over and after briefly smelling his new owners and letting them scratch his ears he turned his attention back to the boy that had fallowed the dog. The small dog started again licking Tony's hand as the little boy started petting the dog, Tim cautioning him to be gentle when he got a bit too carried away with patting the soft fur.
The two men watched their son with the dog and how happy Tony seemed and they smiled at each other knowing that everything would be alright and that Tony would be fine.