"Oh, Tim." Sarah McGee said as she gently dabbed at the cut on her brothers' tempLe with the wet, royal blue dish towel. "You're going to Gibbs about this, aren't you?"

Tim McGee pushed his well-meaning sister away and stood up form his dark oak table to move to his refrigerator and take out a cold bottle of water. "And tell him what, Sarah?" He asked harshly as he twisted the top off his water. "That the FBI is picking on me?" Tim took a drink of his water, wincing slightly when the bottle hit his split, swollen lip.

"This has gone beyond just picking on you, Tim!" Sarah argued, placing her tanned, manicured hands on her slim, black, denim covered hips. "This is assault!"

Tim closed his brilliant, emerald colored eyes and leaned gingerly against his kitchen counter, resting his head back against the royal blue painted wood of his cabinets. "Sarah..."

"Please, Tim. They're escalating." Sarah paused. "I'm afraid for you." She finished softly.

Tim felt guilt swamp him for worrying his sister. "Sarah..." He started again quietly.

"You have to go to Agent Gibbs!"

Tim raised his head and opened his emerald green eyes to look into his sister's chocolate colored ones. "He already knows, Sis." Tim reluctantly admitted. He knew it would do no good to lie to his sister. He was a bad liar and Sarah would just badger him until he told her.

Sarah felt as if all the breath had been knocked from her body. "He does?" She asked in a strangled voice.

Tim looked away from his sister's pretty face, not wanting to see disillusionment cloud her beautiful chocolate eyes. Ever since Gibbs had helped them out a few years ago when Sarah had been involved with one of their cases, his sister had put Gibbs on a pedestal. It hurt him to have to tell his sister that Gibbs was just like everyone else in their lives.

"Yeah." He admitted bitterly. "I went to him three months ago when this all started."Tim shuddered when he remembered his conversation with the older man. "He told me that none of them liked having to work on this joint operation with the FBI but I was the only way one who was making waves. He told me in no uncertain terms to stop complaining and do my job."

Sarah felt tears sting her eyes. She knew how those words must have hurt her brother. She could remember their father saying words to that effect when Tim had went to him about being bullied as a boy. 'We all have to put up with things like this in this life,boy, so stop whining like a little bitch and make nice!' Sarah shook her head sadly. "I'm sorry, Tim." She whispered, furiously wiping the tears from her eyes.

Tim laughed bitterly and pushed off from the counter, immediately regretting the action when he felt a wave of pain from his sore ribs. "I guess I should be used to this by now." He said on a hiss of pain.

Sarah watched her brother, unsure of what to do; how to help. "It's not something you should have to get used to, Tim!" Sarah exclaimed after a minuter, feeling anger that her brother would believe that he deserved to be treated this way.

Tim didn't say anything, just walked painfully past his sister, pausing in the archway. "I'm tired, Sis. I'm going to take a shower and go to bed." He said, signaling that the conversation was over.

Sarah started, surprised. "Don't you want something to eat? You haven't had supper yet."

Tim remembered his hunger from earlier that evening, looking forward to his sister's lasagna and garlic bread, especially since his lunch had been ruined by his FBI 'friends'. "I've lost my appetite." He said. It was true. Tim was hurting to bad from the latest prank his FBI counterparts had pulled on him to be able to eat, though how anyone could consider hiding in a stairwell and tripping Tim so that he took a header down a flight of stairs funny, he didn't know.

"Are you sure,Tim?" Sarah asked hesitantly, not wanting her brother to go to bed hungry,even though he had many times when they were little. They both had. Not because there wasn't enough money for food. Their parents had had plenty of money, with their dad being in the navy. No one just hadn't cared whether or not they ate.

"Positive." Tim answered, starting his slow painful walk again only to stop once more when he made it into his living room to find his faithful companion waiting patiently by the door with his leash in his mouth in anticipation for his evening walk. Tim closed his eyes and groaned. He so did not feel like being dragged around the block by Jethro tonight.

"I'll take him,Tim." Sarah offered from beside him, wanting to help her brother in any way she could.

Tim debated silently for a moment before shaking his head. "No. You know that I don't like you walking Jethro after dark."

"It's alright. I"ll stay close by and use the street lights. Besides, do you honestly think anyone is going to get anywhere near me when Jethro's with me?"

Tim's full lips turned up at the corners. "Point taken." Tim shook his head again. "I still don't like it." He said uneasily.

"It will be fine, big brother." Sarah said encouragingly. "You just take your shower and get into bed. I'll bring you some more pain meds and another water when I get back." Sarah told him, already slipping on a light,black, button up sweater over her pretty dark purple microfiber top, to help ward off the cool September night. "I'll put the food in the fridge for tomorrow night, okay?"

Tim nodded and started his stumble to his bedroom. "That's fine. Call a cab to take you back to your dorm,okay? Take some money out of the kitty." He didn't wait for his sister's response, knowing that his instructions would be obeyed. "Wait until you see the cab pull up before leaving this apartment and lock the door behind you,please."

Sarah bent down, clipping the leash to Jethro's collar. She had no intention of leaving her brother tonight but she knew if she told Tim she was staying he would insist in using the sleeping bag. Sarah let her self out of the apartment with the large dog, her concern for Tim coming back full force. He could have been seriously hurt this time. She couldn't understand how anyone could think that hurting her brother was funny. She also couldn't understand why no one seemed to care.