The next two hours are filled with final paperwork on Tim and Tony as well as getting the younger men to Gibbs' house. Tony had protested at first but a glance at Tim's face convinced him to go with the others for the time being. Jack puts a friendly hand on Tony's shoulder, steering him towards his pickup.
"I really could go home. I -"
"You just hush and let an old man take you to get some proper caring son."
Tony ducks his head, not wanting the "old man" to see the tears in his eyes. He blinks and when Jack looks at him, reasons it away as "dust in my eyes."
Jack says nothing. He knows just by looking at him that Tony is feeling almost as overwhelmed by the day's events as the rest of them are. He leads Tony out to his pickup and the younger man climbs inside without further protest.
Gibbs says nothing as Tim lightly grasps his arm, trusting him to lead him securely to his pickup. "You okay, Gibbs?"
"Yeah Tim, just a lot to take in at once." Gibbs admits ruefully.
"Yeah, I agree."
They fall into silence once again and Gibbs isn't too surprised to see Ducky and Mike waiting for them when they arrive at the house.
"I can tell Ducky and Mr. Franks are here. What's going on?"
"Knowing those two...interference. Good natured but yeah..."
Tim chuckles, "Are they like the well meaning uncles that you love but wish they'd stay away most days?"
Gibbs gives a small snort of laughter as he nods his head before saying, "that's a great analogy, Tim, and yes it does fit most of the time."
"They're good friends as well."
"Mmm...that they are. Come on, let's get you settled."
Gibbs leads Tim inside the house, noting absently that Tim counts the stairs and then the steps from the porch to the front door. Inside Gibbs tells Tim, "Ten steps down the hall and to your left is the living room. I'll be in shortly with bedding. I think we'll put you on the couch for now."
Tim smiles and shakes out his cane as he walks the ten steps to the living room. Jack pulls up a few minutes later and Tim grins as he hears Tony exclaiming about the woodwork and the wainscoting. Gibbs comes down the stairs with a load of bedding in his arms. He hides a smirk as he listens to Tony's enthusiastic approval of his house.
Gibbs tosses Tony a pillow, who winces slightly as he catches it. Gibbs frowns and looks at his dad who motions to Tony's ribs and the file in his hands. Gibbs motions to the living room, "Go in and sit down. I'll get us some lunch."
Tony goes in and sits on the couch by Tim who immediately puts the pillow in Tony's hands behind Tony's back. Tony tries in vain to hide a groan as he leans back and Tim runs a hand over Tony's face.
"You sure you should be out of the hospital Tony? Don't give me your usual claptrap about hating hospitals, should you have left?"
"I couldn't stay there Tim. You, I just…my nightmares aren't as bad when you're around." Tony softly confesses.
Tim nods and gently repositions them until Tony's head is on his lap. "Sleep while they're getting lunch for us. I've got your six Tony."
"Hey, Tim, can you tell me one of your stories?" Tony's eyes are already closing as he feels Tim's hands running lightly over his face. Hazel green eyes open briefly and he smiles at the peace he sees on Tim's face.
"Sure Tony what do you want to hear?"
"How did you know to contact him?"
Gibbs is standing in the doorway, dishtowel in hand and he gives a small smile at Tim's answer.
"I remembered a friend from a long time ago and took the chance that he might be receptive enough to hear me."
"Hear you say what?" Tony asks sleepily.
"Can anybody hear me? Is anybody there?..."