Tim rubbed his head as he sat at his computer desk. It was late, and it had been a very long day. He wanted nothing more than to go to bed, but he had promised his mom that he'd stay up and wait for her to call.

Blinking was beginning to turn into a chore, so he decided to rest his elbow on his desk, lay his head in his hand, and close his eyes.

Just as he was about to lose his battle to stay awake, his phone rang.

Tim got up and walked over to his phone, yawning as he picked it up and answered, "Hey, Mom."

"Hi, honey, how are you?"

"I'm fine. How have you been?"

"Busy. Very, very busy."

Tim yawned again, "That's good."

"Are you sure you're okay?" She asked, sounding concerned.

"I'm sure." He walked to his room and laid down on his bed, "Just tired."

"Well, I sure do miss you and your sister. Arizona is a long way from DC, and even further from London."

"Miss you too… How long is Sarah going to be in London for?" He asked. He knew Sarah had told him already, but he was so tired that he just didn't remember.

"A year… at least."

They were both silent for a moment. Tim waited for the question that his mom always asked. And his mom hesitated to ask it, as she always did.

"Have you heard from your father lately?" She finally asked.

Sixteen years. That's how long she'd been asking that question.

Tim was eighteen, and at college, when his parents divorced. It shocked both him and his sister. They had always thought their parents had the perfect relationship, so the sudden divorce was something neither of them ever expected.

"I talked to him last week," Tim replied.

"And how was he?"

"Good. He just moved to Florida a couple of weeks ago."

"Really?" She asked, trying, and failing, to hide the shock in her voice, "He's not here in Arizona anymore?"

Tim sighed. He loved his mom, but he was so exhausted, and he knew these questions were completely unnecessary, "Nope. Not anymore."

"Hm… That's good for him, if he's happy."

"He seems to be," Tim replied.

"Good. Good."


"So, how's work?" His mom asked, feeling the need to change the subject, "Everything going okay?"

"Mhm. Everything's great… I mean, besides the fact that we're having to investigate two deaths right now."

"That's so sad," She replied, "I don't understand how some people can be so cruel."

"Me either."

"How are your teammates?"

"They're good. Tony came up with a new "Mc" nickname for me today. Ziva told a man that he looked very gay, thinking he'd take it as "seeming happy"… he didn't. Ducky told me a story about something that happened a long, long time ago. And Gibbs managed to get through the day without killing us all."

His mom laughed, "What about Abby?" She asked curiously.

Tim rolled his eyes, 'I never should have told her how I felt about Abby eight years ago,' He thought.

"She and I only got to see each other for a couple of minutes today. I just had to ask her a question. She's doing well though."

"That's good. I'd love to meet them all one day. They seem like great people."

She'd been saying that for eight years now. If it hadn't happened yet, it probably never would… or so he hoped.

He yawned, "Mom, I'm gonna have to go. I'm really tired and I'm about to fall asleep while we're still on the phone."

"Alright honey, I love you. Sleep well."

"I will. I love you too."



Tim hung up and rubbed his tired eyes. He put his phone on the nightstand, then got under the covers and went to bed.

Two days later…


"Yeah, Tony?"

Tony got up and walked over to Tim's desk, "I've got a… a kind of important question for you," He said, looking completely serious.

Tim stopped what he was doing and looked up at Tony, "What is it?"

Tony looked around, to make sure they were alone. He looked reluctant to ask the question, but finally he did, "What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me?"

Tim rolled his eyes, "Tony, go away."

"Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song, I'll try not to sing out of key."

Tim went back to working, typing away at his computer, "I'm not listening."

"I get by with a little help from my friends. I get hi- Ow! Thank you, Boss."

"Get back to work, DiNozzo," Gibbs said as he sat down at his desk, "Before I kick your butt through the window."

"Of course, Boss. Getting back to work," Tony replied, rubbing the back of his head. That headslap felt harder than usual.

"Where's Ziva?" Gibbs asked.

"She went to get coffee," Tim answered.

They all went back to work as the elevator door dinged and Ziva walked out, along with another woman.

"Who's the stranger?" Tony asked curiously as they approached.

Tim glanced up for a moment, then did a double-take.

"Look who I found," Ziva said to Tim with a smile.

Tim stood up quickly, "Mom!"

She smiled, "Hello, Timothy."

Short and uneventful first chapter, I know. But we have to bake the cake before we can eat it... No, I have no idea where that came from, but it kind of sounds like something Ziva would say...

Anyway, I hope you continue to read and enjoy this story as we go on a very bumpy, emotional ride.

Thanks for reading, please review :)

Oh, and if some of you didn't know... When Tony was talking to Tim, he was speaking the song With A Little Help From My Friends.

And yes, I know I said I wasn't going to start this until AFTER I finished The Hunter And The Prey... but I'm helpless!