The Stranger


Tim couldn't move. He couldn't breathe. This was all wrong, this wasn't fair. To both him and his lover.

Jethro didn't remember him, he felt his heart break and shatter into a million pieces at the blank stare in Jethro's eyes as he looked at him. No recognition. This wasn't right.

"Where's my wife? Where's my daughter? Where are Shannon and Kelly?"

What kind of God could do this? What kind of God not only makes a man forget his current lover but forget so much that he can't remember that his first wife and child were dead? Had been murdered years ago.

This wasn't right.

"Who are you?"

Why? Why was this happening? He had been ecstatic when Jethro open his eyes and woke up, so much that he completely forgot about the shock and slight anger in Director Shepard's eyes when she was informed that Tim was Jethro's medical proxy, but to see that confused and frightened look in his lover's eyes was heart breaking.

What was he supposed to do? How was he supposed to function? How was the team?

They were working with Tony as the leader, and it was working but it was hard. How were they going to react when he told them the news?

"Desert Storm."

He didn't remember anything past Desert Storm. He didn't remember the team, NCIS…Tim.

Tim left Jethro with Ducky to watch, he seemed more comfortable with Ducky even though he didn't remember him either. He kept throwing looks at Tim like he was an alien. Tim left the hospital to get much needed air, to let Jethro speak with Ducky and the doctor comfortably. He wasn't going to give up on Jethro, he loved the man with his entire being, he wasn't going to give up on him, but he needed space until he could face this situation steadily.

So he found himself in front of the team, Abby, Jimmy, and the Director. "Probie?" Tony said.

"Jethro's awake."

The smiles and happiness spread and he knew he was about to shatter it along with how his heart felt.

"And he doesn't remember anything past Desert Storm."

Silence. The silence was stifling and he could feel his composure start to chip. No. He had to be strong for his team; he had to be strong for Jethro.

"So…what does this mean?" Abby asked.

"…He doesn't remember NCIS. He doesn't remember our team." 'He doesn't remember me.'

Abby burst into tears and leaned into Jimmy, Tony collapsed into his chair while Ziva stared at Tim and Director Shepard's eyes widened. She may be pissed to be the last to find out about Jethro and Tim, and maybe a little jealous, but she cared for Jethro.

Tony took the lead, but Tim could see the fear and sadness in his eyes. "So, what do we do?"

Director Shepard composed herself as well and instructed their team. "You will continue to work the case. Tony, you're still team leader."

Tony nodded and turned back to the team while Director Shepard motioned for Tim to follow her off to the side.

"Yes Director?"

She stared at him, scrutinizing him, but Tim didn't budge. Working for Jethro for years meant you could handle anyone else's steel gaze but his. The Director must have seen something she liked because she gave him a small smile. "Agent McGee, I won't deny that I'm surprised with this but now's not the time to get into it. You have two options. You can stay here and work on the case with the team, or you can stay with Jethro and I can lend your team a few agents to help."

Surprised, he glanced back to his team who were looking exhausted but still working. He turned back to her. "I need to talk to them first."

She nodded and he walked back to his team.

"Hey Tim," Tony said and clapped a hand on his shoulder, "how're you holding?"


Tony nodded.

"I have no idea."

"Anything you need, you tell us."

"Well, Director Shepard gave me two options. Work with the team or stay with Jethro and she offers you guys more agents for help."

"Oh." Tony looked at Ziva who joined them and after having a silent partner conversation he nodded. "You stay with Jethro, your mind would be on him the whole time anyway, and we'll work from here."

"I don't want to leave you guys, but thanks. Anyway, I'll be taking my laptop so if you guys need anything with searches or hacking, I'm just a phone call away and I can help."

"Same for you Tim," Ziva said from beside him. "You need us, about the case or Gibbs, you call us."

Feeling his composure start to crumble, he nodded and pressed a kiss to Ziva's cheek before giving her a hug. "Thanks Zee," he whispered.

"You are welcome Tim."

Tony gave Tim a hug as well before releasing him. Tim went to his desk to grab his stuff and was going to head out but stopped when he passed Jethro's desk where Abby was sitting miserably.

He and Abby's relationship was still strained but were working at it. However, he couldn't stop walking around and giving her a hug. Abby gasped before turning in his arms and squeezing him back. They didn't say anything, they didn't need to. They were both in pain.

After releasing her and giving her a peck kiss to the top of her head, he headed to the elevator. And with one last glance to his team, the doors shut and he was on his way back to see his lover who didn't remember him.

A/N: Whoa. This may be short, but already that was hard to write.

Obviously Hiatus is the episode tag, and the rating may be a bit high for this story, but I'm not sure yet since I'm just going with it. So I'm being safe by keeping it M. If by the time it's done the rating should be lower then I'll change it. But only then.

Please review!