Comatose: Epilogue

Terrence McGregor looks around the squad room of the RCMT. Three months have passed since Tibbs woke up. Three months of bringing the boss back up to speed on his attacker and the new changes that have occurred during Tibbs' coma.

"Like being in charge Terry?" Tibbs voice is gentle as he watches his young agent finish up his report.

"Honestly, Tibbs, if I had my druthers, I'd ruther not do it for a while. You and Tommy make it look so easy. I was petrified the entire time that something was going to go wrong and I'd screw things up. Hell I did screw up in that we didn't go back to your crime scene for almost six months."

"Not your fault Terry. None of the other agents remembered either."

Terrence sighs again and Tibbs can tell that it will be a while before McGregor can forgive himself for that error, no matter that those other, more experienced agents hadn't remembered. McGregor was like that…he tended to blame himself more than he blamed those around him. Tibbs smacks him lightly on the head and McGregor smiles.

"Thanks boss; did we tell you welcome back yet?"

The two men walk out of the squad room shutting the lights out behind them.

####

Vance's office: two days before Gibbs takes over once again as Lead Agent of the MCRT.

The director smiles as Tim walks in with his report and motions for the younger man to sit down. He listens as Tim recites what they have planned for the next few weeks and nods his approval. Tim stands up and prepares to leave and Vance says,

"McGee…before you go…did you ever wonder why I put you in as Lead Agent instead of Agent DiNozzo?"

"More than once considering Tony's experience and not just as an agent or a cop but also as our team leader when Gibbs went to Mexico."

"Did DiNozzo or David either one back away when you were made team leader?"

"No, if anything we're almost as tight now as we were when Gibbs was shot."

"Actually, your team dynamic is even tighter. The three of you comprise the MCRT, but you and DiNozzo really pulled it together and made it work. I'm proud of all of you, but especially of you McGee. In the words of your favorite marine, "you pulled up your bootstraps and made it work."

"Thank you sir."

"Thank you McGee. Now go tell that lazy jarhead to get his head out of the clouds and his ass out of bed and get back to work."

Vance was smiling and Tim actually smiled back at him as he walked out the door.

###

Gibbs is sitting in a recliner watching Air Force One when there is a knocking on the door and Tim walks inside. Tim hands him a notebook and Gibbs takes it without looking at it. He knows that it's the original copy of Tim's newest novel.

"You did a good job Tim. I've read everyone's reports and you never once let me or our team down."

"I should still apologize though. I don't normally go behind your back."

"This is about my mother isn't it?"

"Yes sir. I…if it's any consolation I can tell Ms. Crawshaw that I can't publish this."

Gibbs puts the notebook on the side table and turns to look Tim in the eye. "If you do that, I will head slap you into next year. Did you hear me when I first woke up?"

"I…you said that your mother said good job…I thought you were dreaming."

"Tim…this story…in the chapter you dedicated to her, you gave me back my mother. She's the one person I haven't dreamed of, haven't been able to dream about, in over thirty years. You did it beautifully in this story so don't let insecurity keep you from publishing this."

Tim blushes at the unfamiliar praise. Gibbs gives him a gentle headslap. Tim smiles and says, "Thanks Boss."

Two months later:

Comatose: The Continuing Adventures of LJ Tibbs hit the stands today to an amazing sell out crowd. According to author Thom E. Gemcity, the dedication is "For all those we've lost over the years, be they family, friends or co-workers."

Proceeds from Mr. Gemcity's current novel will be going to the Amelia Gibbs Foundation for Unsung Heroes. The foundation was created by the late Mrs. Gibbs husband and son in an effort to raise brain tumor/cancer awareness.

In other news…

A/N: Thus ends the story of Comatose. I really need to say thank you to my talented writing partner, McSpecialAgent Tim-Spence Reid. You were terrific to work with ^_^