To Muse or not to muse:

Gibbs smiles as he watches Tim type. The sheer level of concentration and focus always surprises him, but still, he can't help but watch. He frowns as the younger man growls and pulls his work out of the old typewriter before throwing it into the shredder. He steps up, softly rubbing Tim's shoulders.

"What's wrong Tim?"

Tim sighs as he leans back in his chair, enjoying their rare time together. The cases have been long and hard lately, giving them less and less time to spend with each other, much less any time to indulge in their other passions.

"I think my creative muse has left me." Tim sighs and rubs his eyes. Gibbs frowns with sympathy, hating the frustration and tenseness that he can feel under his hands. He starts to knead the kinks out of the younger man's neck and smiles affectionately when Tim moans in pleasure.

"Oh yeah. Right…Ahh that's it." Tim sighs heavily when Gibbs hits a particularly stubborn knot of muscles and works it until they are relaxed and loose.

"What's Lyndi got you trying to do this time?"

Tim leans forward, giving Gibbs access to his back and rests his arms on the desk in front of him. "She wants me to find a way to somehow blend the legends of Zorro and the Lone Ranger into a story. I just…I really don't want to mess with the classics."

Gibbs keeps rubbing, hating the fact that no sooner has he managed to soothe one knot of muscle, he finds another. He carries on with the massage knowing that Tim will hurt in the morning if he goes to bed like this.

"Okay, this isn't working. I need you to lie down so I can really work these out." He stops what he is doing and gently urges Tim out of his chair before ushering him to the bedroom. He soon manages to get Tim lying down on their bed, as he opens the nightstand drawer to get the massage oil. Soon enough, he's rubbing Tim's back and finds it easier to work on the most stubborn knots under his hands.

"Well, while you try to figure that out, why don't you tell me about the muses? Maybe by talking about them, they'll reward you with a story idea."

Tim leans his head to the side, and Gibbs can tell he's thinking about the muses before answering.

"Well, depending on which one you go with there are either three or nine."

Gibbs keeps up his gentle ministrations, as he asks, "So the first three were what?"

Tim cradles his head in his arms, giving Gibbs better access to his back and sides.

"Mmm, depends on the region. There are three muses that are worshipped on Mount Helicon in Beotia. They're thought to be the three original Muses."

"Uh huh." Gibbs hums under his breath, loving the fact that Tim isn't ashamed to share this with him.

"Melete's purpose changed over the years but originally she was seen as the muse of thought and meditation. Her name literally translates to 'ponder' or 'contemplation'. Later, she was listed as the muse of practice or knowledge. She had two sisters…Mneme and Aiode"

Tim hums happily and finds himself relaxing more and more. "Who were they?" Gibbs asks gently.

"Mneme is the muse of memory and Aiode is the muse of song and art. You know, in Delphi they were called other names. Nētē, Mesē, and Hypatē. The three chords of the Lyre." Tim pauses briefly, worried that he is boring his lover. When Gibbs doesn't protest, he carries on. "Later on, they were called Cēphisso, Apollonis, and Borysthenis, whose names characterize them as daughters of Apollo."

Gibbs wipes his hands on his sweats and runs his hands over Tim's head, carding his hands through the silky hair. "You prefer the nine muses though."

Tim nods yawning slightly, "Yeah…I like the myth of the King of Macedon. He dared to name his daughters after the muses and then dared them to a challenge or a match. For his impudence the muses turned the daughters, the Pierdes, into chattering magpies."

Gibbs can see Tim's almost asleep but he has to ask, "So who are the nine muses? Are they all the same?"

Tim yawns as he thinks about his reply before shaking his head. "No, well, quite a few are related to poetry, but they have all been given different emblems and have deeper meanings. I think that's why I like them."

Gibbs smiles, "What kind of emblems?"

Tim yawns again and turns to face him, blinking sleepily as Gibbs gently massages his chest. "Calliope is the muse of eloquence and epic or heroic poetry. She's always associated with a writing tablet and is the one that I guess I associate with the most. I think Ducky could almost be related to Clio. Clio is the muse of history and is portrayed carrying scrolls and books. Erato is the muse of lyric poetry; especially love and erotic poetry. Her symbol's the Cithara."

Gibbs finds himself drowning in Tim's knowledge and wants to know more. It is another facet to the complexity of the man's mind that he's grown extremely fond of. "What's that?"

"It's a musical instrument in the lyre/harp/guitar family. She also carries a crown of roses. Mmm…that feels good… Euterpe is the muse of music or lyrical poetry and carries an aulos, which is an ancient flute. She carries that because she's thought to be linked to joy, pleasure and flute playing."

Gibbs can see the green eyes attempting to close and says, "That's four, who are the other five?"

Tim lifts his hand and brings Gibbs face to his for a kiss, "The one I associate with you is Melpomene. She's the muse of tragedy and carries the tragic mask. Sometimes, when I look into your eyes, I can see all the pain and heartache that life has thrown at you and it breaks my heart. I know that there is nothing I can do to erase it, but as long as you know that you don't have to carry it by yourself anymore, then that's good enough for me."

Gibbs feels his heart miss a beat at Tim's words and finds himself loving him more and more. The hidden depths of Tim's mind can almost be called a mystery and right now, he is being given the rare insight as to the way in which his lover thinks.

"The other one I compare to you is Urania. She's the muse of Astronomy and when we go out stargazing, I can always picture her carrying a celestial globe and compass. Tony is Thalia, the muse of comedy and light poetry. She carries a comic mask and is thought of as Mirth who is abundant and flowering."

Gibbs couldn't help but snort at the thought of his senior agent being thought of that way, but in a weird kind of roundabout way, it fits Tony extremely well. "What about everyone else?"

Tim takes a breath, letting it out slowly, "Ziva could almost be Polyhymnia. That's the muse of religious or sacred poetry who often wears a veil or that pensive expression since, well forever. She's linked to sacred Hymns, eloquence and dance." Gibbs nuzzles his neck, and Tim sighs, "Abby is or could have been Terpsichore the muse of song and dance. She's always dancing in her lab and that was Terpsichore, dancing and carrying a lyre."

Gibbs lies down, and cradles Tim in his embrace. "So in a way, you've managed to take your muses and liken them to your team mates. Seems to me that if you apply that same theory to the story Lyndi wants, you should be able to create something even better than the other LJ Tibbs series put together."

Tim blinks sleepily, nodding his head in agreement. Gibbs waits for his words to sink in then Tim's head jerks up and he stares at Gibbs in surprise.

"You think I should make it part of the Tibbs series?" Tim's sleepy innocence always makes Gibbs smile.

"You could have it be a dream that one of them is having. It'd work because they do it in movies and television all the time."

Tim hums happily as he finally drifts off to sleep. Gibbs watches him fall deeper into slumberland unaware of the tender look on his face. He's not sure just what their talk might do, or if it will help those creative juices flow again, but for now Tim's mind is at peace and that's all Gibbs can ask for.

The End.