A/N: Just a quick word…for those who've read Journals of a Lovesick Fool (Or Two) this takes place in that particular storyline…for those who haven't…Tim was approached by Gibbs and Tony about choosing one of them as his lover. Tim retaliated saying that he wanted to be courted/dated by both men before choosing one or the other…or both. The story is set during season six. This chapter had been cut from the original story and was sitting on a backburner until a friend asked me if I'd help her write a story for a mutual friend as a Christmas gift. It's been expanded quite a bit from the original storyline and for those who want the sex it's there…in the later chapters. And so without further ado…
Sands of Time (co-authored by Shelbylou)
Chapter One: (from Tony's POV)
I stood up and walked over to his chair. Tim met me halfway and we exchanged our first kiss. I held him close for a few breathtaking seconds before looking up and over at Gibbs.
"Tim if you need me, you call me." I stared at Gibbs as I left the apartment and the man I love more than my life behind, "You hurt him, and Abby won't find enough left of you for evidence."
After tossing and turning all night, wondering if I'd done the right thing or if I'd just thrown away my chance at Tim, I am woken up at nine a.m. by a slight knocking on my front door. I yell that I'll be right out and shrug into my robe. A peek through the peephole reveals an extremely tired looking Tim McGee. I crack open the door just as he says,
"Can we crash here for a few minutes?"
We? Then I see Jethro, the dog, and he looks just as tired as McGee does. That makes me wonder…did McGee walk here from his apartment? That's exactly what they did. Apparently, my Probie couldn't sleep and took his dog on a walk that brought them to my doorstep. I open the door and let them both in, wondering what it was that made my friend look so haunted. They were both exhausted, that much is clear and Tim collapses on the couch that we'd shared pizza on a few hours ago. McMutt accepts a ruffle of his ears as I set a bowl of water in front of him.
Tim crashes hard and I wonder just what Gibbs has said or done to send Probie back to me in this condition. Then again, this is Tim McGee…the one who over analyses everything to such an extent that one day, he'll give himself an ulcer. Still, I wistfully watch him sleep, wanting the green eyes to open so that I can find out why he came to me and what had happened to make him come here, dragging the dog with him.
I take the time to shower and put on a fresh pair of sweats then check on my guests. Tim is still sleeping albeit fitfully and Jethro has laid a protective paw on his master's hand.
"What's wrong Jet?"
"No…don't want the dog…he bit me…not my fault…bad…McGee..." Nightmares of the time that poor Tim had been bitten by Jethro. And the dog knows it. He puts his muzzle under Tim's hand, trying desperately to wake him up. I step closer to the couch and Jethro's brown eyes watchmy every move warily as I crouch down beside them.
"It's okay Jet; I'm just going to see if I can get him to wake up." I soothe knowing how protective he is of Tim.
"No…Tony…don't die…please…no Kate…no more…Tony!"
"Easy Tim, I've gotcha buddy…" As my hand touches his forehead, I can feel the heat radiating off him and I ran back into the bathroom and grabbed the washcloth. As the sink fills with water, I can't help wondering why Tim's here. Why come to me? Damn, how many times has he relived these nightmares alone? I at least went to Gibbs with them…and Tim has no idea where Gibbs lives…oh boss, boy are you gonna head slap yourself for this one. I wring out the excess water and head back to Tim's side and start to wipe the washcloth over his face. He's still tossing and turning but the cool water seems to calm him down slightly.
"Alright, McGoo. This'll make you feel a bit better. Shh, it's okay." I want to soothe him; I want to take away the nightmares; hell, I want...I don't know what I want, but I do know that this guy is in pain and I don't like it. Tim finally quiets and I temporarily leave the washcloth on his forehead, letting the cool draw some of the heat from him. I look down at the dog who is still watching us both with his sad, doleful eyes. Even the pooch looks as though he wants to curl up and sleep, but he won't. Not when Tim's like this. He'll sit there like a silent sentinel and protect him as much as he can. I can't help but wonder whether or not this is a regular occurrence and glance at the soft, furry face of the German shepherd.
"He get these often?"
"Usually after a stressful day or night?"
"Wurf." Jet understands what it is that I'm asking. Always knew he was smart. He licks my palm and I know that he's trying to apologize for his past mistakes. I stroke his muzzle and ruffle his ears to pacify him and let him know that all is forgiven...hell, it was ages ago.
"It's okay buddy. We'll take care of him together."
Tim stirs at the booming bark and his eyes crack open a touch. I look down at him and smile. "Tony? What are…what am I doing here?"
I can feel myself frowning at the question. He doesn't know why he's here? He's got a fever and is obviously confused. That can't be good. "Well, I'm not really sure on that one Tim. You showed up here with Jet in tow about two hours ago."
"Jet?" He questions and subconsciously holds out his hand.
The sheer scale of the confusion in those green eyes tugs at my heart and brings me to my feet.
"You feel up to some juice or coffee Tim?"
"I…I think so…Tony what happened? Why am I here?"
"Like I said, you and Jet showed up around 9 am. Just asked if you could crash and you did."
"Oh. I'm sorry, we'll leave…" He's struggling against the comforter that I had laid on him...what the heck is going on in that mind of his?
"Like hell you will." I say and lean down so that I can put my hand on his shoulder to still him.
"Tim, you're going nowhere for the next few hours. You're exhausted to the point you have a fever and McMutt looks like he could do with a few hours sleep as well. The couch is comfortable so sleep…after we get some juice into you."
Fever bright green eyes stare into mine and I know what he's searching for. The fact that he is… hurts more than I would ever tell him. He's looking for any sign of humor or sarcasm, hopefully all he's finding is only concern for him. He nods and sinks back against the couch playing with Jet's ears. I hurry into the kitchen knowing that he'll crash soon and that he needs the juice to help get him hydrated. I pull the orange juice out of the fridge and pour him a tall glass before going back to the living room to find him crashed out again with one hand on Jet's head. The sweet, sweet mutt is just sitting there with his muzzle resting on the edge of the couch.
"Here, Tim, wake up and drink."
"Okay." Complacent Probie is not something I want to see on a regular basis but for now it makes it easier for me to help him sit up and get him to drink. In truth, it terrifies the hell out of me and I call the first person I can think of as soon as Tim is asleep again.
"Ducky? Can you come over to my apartment?"
"Well of course Anthony, whatever is wrong?"
"I don't know. Tim showed up on my doorstep and he's really out of it. I managed to get some juice into him but…he's feverish and I'm not sure what to do, Duck."
"Ah, I see. Well, young man, never fear. I am sure that you are taking excellent care of him. Just keep him warm until I get there."
"Alright, and thanks Ducky."
A/N: This is the only chapter from a particular point of view...all others shall be from the reader's POV...thanks for reading, and reviewing ^)^