Chapter 8:

December 25th

The team once again came to visit Tim in the hospital as they had done every day since the ordeal started. Someone was always there when he relived painful nightmares about what happened as a result of James Buchanan's vicious plot. Someone was always there to put a steadying and on him during the shaky moments when he first got out of bed after being out of commission and someone was always there after he talked to the hospital psychologist. Someone was there every step of the way, whether it be someone from Tim's defacto NCIS family, or whether it be his real family. He was never alone for a minute.

Everyone came around late on Christmas because Abby corralled them all into going and keeping Timmy company on the festive holiday. Tiny supplied endless wisecracks about how he was missing some poker tournament, or talking about all the Christmas movie classics. Abby put up green and red skeleton masks and ornaments around his room, and she practically hung into him the whole night. While Ducky corralled everyone with stories of Christmas' past, and Jimmy would pipe in with laughter at all the wrong places like only he could. Gibbs, well he was Gibbs, just ebbed and flowed really.

Tim's family had come by earlier in the day and the agent finally convinced his parents to return to California so they could get back to enjoying their retirements. Gibbs knew that it was hard for Robert to let go and leave Tim, because it is always hard to see your kids leave their nests and fly without your parental wings. However the ex Naval man and him had talked and he assured the man that he would call if Tim hit any roadblocks.

Tomorrow Tim will be going home, a mere 2 weeks after he entered the hospital. Sure he may be going home but Gibbs is confident that Tony will find time to stop by and check up on Tim, and bring plenty of movies to keep the younger man's dark thoughts away. Ziva will take care of all the practical things that Tim needs such as the cooking and cleaning. All the while Abby will be there to cheer him up by getting him out of the house and doing fun Goth things!

But all that is for tomorrow. Tonight Gibbs is content on just watching the tea interact with one another, and he is just happy that Tim is awake and alive to enjoy their company. While Tim and the others know that there will be more painful roadblocks ahead they are all confident that they can face them all together and Gibbs is confident that they will all come out for the better!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

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